iran politics

‘Diplomatic Vandalism’: Latest Leaked Darroch Cables Show Trump Exited Iran Deal Purely To Spite Obama

"The Administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism".

If the US goes to war with Iran, you can blame Donald Trump’s personal disdain for Barack Obama, nothing more, nothing less.

That’s according to another batch of leaked diplomatic cables from Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s former ambassador to the US who resigned last week after Trump branded him “a very stupid, wacky pompous fool” in a series of tweets following revelations that Darroch once called the administration “incompetent”.

Jeremy Hunt wasn’t amused with Trump’s antics and neither, generally speaking, was Theresa May. After all, Darroch was just doing his job.

Read more: Kim Darroch Becomes Latest Victim Of America’s Own ‘Very Stupid, Wacky Pompous Fool’

On Sunday, the Mail published the details of another cache of cables, and according to Darroch, Trump’s decision to scrap the nuclear deal was an act of “diplomatic vandalism” aimed at spiting his predecessor.

This doesn’t come as complete surprise – after all, there’s a sense in which Trump’s entire domestic and foreign policy agenda revolved on undoing anything and everything Obama accomplished. But it his highly disconcerting considering recent events which have brought the US and Iran to the brink of war.

Darroch’s cable was sent to London just hours after then foreign secretary Boris Johnson met with Mike Pompeo in a last ditch effort to convince Trump’s closest advisors to prevail upon the president that abandoning the Iran deal would be a potentially historic mistake. To wit, from the Mail:

Britain’s Ambassador to the US, lamented that Mr Trump’s Administration ‘is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism’.

In a blunt assessment, Sir Kim wrote that Mr Trump appeared to be abandoning the Iran nuclear deal for ‘personality reasons’ –because it had been agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama.

And Sir Kim suggested there were splits among the President’s closest advisers and claimed the White House lacked a ‘day-after’ strategy on what to do after withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the Iran deal.

As the Mail goes on to recount, Johnson’s May 2018 visit to the US was a somewhat frantic affair. Darroch scheduled meetings with John Bolton, John Kelly, Ivanka and Jared Kushner. He also appeared on Fox & Friends, which Boris apparently knew was the second-best way to get through to Trump himself barring an actual face-to-face.

“What if the Iranians do rush for a nuclear weapon?”, Johnson asked, while on the network. “Are we seriously saying that we’re going to bomb those facilities? Is that really a realistic possibility or do we work with what we’ve got and push back on Iran together?” Here is the clip:

This may in part explain why Johnson – who is set to become prime minister – was reluctant to throw his support behind Darroch during a debate last Tuesday. Presumably, he realized it was just a matter of time before this news was leaked too. During the debate with Hunt, Johnson said Trump had been “dragged into a British political debate”, and after acknowledging that it wasn’t “necessarily the right thing” for the president to tweet insane things about Darroch, he refused to commit to keeping him on. “Whoever leaked that deserves to be eviscerated”, Johnson said. “I, and I alone will decide who takes politically sensitive jobs such as ambassador to the US”.

The Mail goes on to detail the Iran cable further:

In the two-page summary, written by Sir Kim to Mr Johnson and sent to the Foreign Office, No 10, the Ministry of Defence and elsewhere in Whitehall, the Ambassador revealed how the Foreign Secretary said he ‘recognised the flaws and inadequacies in the deal’ but argued the White House should stick with it. Paraphrasing Mr Johnson’s argument, he wrote: ‘A deal which established a break-out period of more than a year, took away two-thirds of Iran’s centrifuges, reduced their enriched uranium stockpiles by 95 per cent, concreted over the heavy water reactor [potentially used to produce plutonium that could be used in a bomb] and included an exceptionally rigorous inspection regime, should not be thrown away.’

Although Pence was keen to emphasize that the administration was looking for a new deal, not a prolonged “no deal” scenario, Darroch says the vice president, Pompeo and Bolton were completely unable to explain why Trump was so hell-bent on abandoning the deal. “None of the three could articulate why the President was determined to withdraw, beyond his campaign promises”, Darroch wrote. “And, even when you pressed, none had anything much to say about the day after, or a Plan B, beyond reimposition of US sanctions”.

He continued. “I’m grateful to you for coming out on short notice and undertaking such a packed programme”, Darroch told Johnson. “The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the President; but on the substance, the Administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons – it was Obama’s deal”.

Read more on the Iran standoff


15 comments on “‘Diplomatic Vandalism’: Latest Leaked Darroch Cables Show Trump Exited Iran Deal Purely To Spite Obama

  1. Good piece I thought you all might enjoy.

    Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:
    “A few things spring to mind.
    Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
    For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
    So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
    Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
    I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
    But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
    Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
    And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
    There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
    Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
    Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
    And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
    Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
    He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
    He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
    And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
    That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
    There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.
    So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
    * Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
    * You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
    This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
    After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
    God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
    He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
    In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
    And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
    ‘My God… what… have… I… created?

    • Anonymous says:

      Loved it. What his (de)base at home doesn’t understand is that the world, save for a few despots and fellow criminals, loathe him.

    • and this just underscores a point we’ve made in this pages again and again: Americans are far, far stupider than anyone ever imagined prior to 2016.

    • Srinivasan Kasturi says:

      Spoken like a True Brit with all the charm of the English language. Wish this comment would be widely circulated and read aloud on TV frequently from now till the next election. May be that will get a few of his supporters to rethink and act accordingly.

    • michlarouche says:

      Thank you for sharing, I loved it.

    • Harvey Darrow Cotton says:

      Uh huh. So what does it say that Trump was able to get Britain to fire it’s ambassador, abide by America’s Iran policy, extra-territorialy enforce America’s sanctions against Iran, coordinated Britain’s bombing of Syria, and despite insulting the Mayor of your most important city and Prime Minister, was feted at a State Dinner in that city and despite interfering in British domestic politics will get his personal choice as your Prime Minister? When again has Britain stood up to Trump’s America at NATO or G7 or G20 or the United Nations? When has Britain ever acted like it wasn’t a puppy to protect its very special relationship? And who won your European Parliament elections again? Spare us all.

      • “When has Britain ever acted like it wasn’t a puppy to protect its very special relationship?”

        when they came over here and tried to kill us for trying to start our own country. 🙂

    • Rcohn says:

      Let me preface my statement that I am not a big fan of Mr Trump, but vastly prefer him over Hillary and vastly prefer him over the 20 Democratic pipsqueaks.
      Britain has been on the decline since WW1. It was saved by the US during WW2. Its great “triumph was the Falklands 2.5 month war in1982.
      It has been destroyed through a combination of its immigration policies,
      an irrational desire to maintain a colonial empire and a highly stratified class system in which the ruling class always thought that they knew what was right and looked down their noses at everyone else.So forgive me but opinions of British ambassadors do should not carry much weight.
      Mr Trump is not sophisticated , did not attend the American equivalent of Oxford(Harvard) ,is crude , tweets far, far too much and is just plain incorrect with many of his facts.He acts as a lightening rod for many of his opponents complaints because of arrogant , belligerent,personality.
      But more importantly , let’s look at some of his major policy suggestions
      1.Talking with North Korea. No one has done so since a truce was declared in the early 1950s.Whether a reduction in nuclear arms will result only time will tell
      2.Calling out China for what they are , a mercantilist economy which has little concern for environmental, labor or intellectual property laws.
      3 . Suggesting that Europeans and Britain pay a much larger share of NATOs budget
      4 Has continued many of the economic policies of his predecessors

      5 Has attempted to change the disastrous immigration policies of all of his successors.

      Just reading the comments of the British ambassador would imply that Trump was the only important critic of the Iran nuclear treaty. That is just intellectually dishonest since there were a number of well known and highly regarded critics of the nuclear treaty when it was signed.
      And I suggest that those who think that he will go to war with Iran just do not understand the way that he thinks.

      • “Mr. Trump” is dangerous and afflicted with a mental disorder of some kind – literally. Your characterization of Britain being “saved” by the US in World War II is a rather odd way to conceptualize things, considering the circumstances. I mean, the entire world was facing annihilation by the armies of a genocidal maniac who murdered 6 million people. If stepping in to prevent that is your definition of doing somebody a solid (akin to giving a buddy a ride to the store or helping a neighbor change a tire) well then I’m not sure what to tell you.

        Trump’s immigration policy is a disaster. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the numbers look like they do now versus what they looked like when Trump took office? Of course it’s not. Trump’s own policies have turned a make-believe emergency into a real one. Anybody with even a shred of common sense can see that.

        Finally, the idea that you “vastly prefer” Trump (a racist with the intelligence of a second grader) to anybody is so utterly mind-boggling that one struggles to comprehend it. oh, and the whole “pipsqueak” thing is silly. Donald Trump is not a large man (unless you mean he’s overweight), and your efforts to denigrate Democrats with a derisive adjective like that just underscores the absurd notion harbored by many white male republicans, that they are somehow a superior breed when, in reality, someone like Ilhan Omar, who survived a refugee camp and circumstances that the vast majority of Americans can’t even fathom, are as hardcore as it comes. And look, if you don’t like that, then how about John McCain, who Donald Trump called a “coward”. Is John McCain a “pipsqueak”? Because Trump sure has gone out of his way to suggest that he’s a bigger, badder man than McCain. Trump has also suggested that he’s more of a man than folks like Jim Mattis and Adm. William McRaven, who oversaw the Bin Laden raid.

        Maybe it’s just me, but from where I’m sitting, it’s Donald Trump who is the “pipsqueak”, givne his 5 deferments and life spent holed up in a penthouse spending daddy’s money.

        Just some thoughts.

    • Rcohn says:

      The British favor the underdogs.
      I suggest that Mr White reread British history of the last 250 years
      What about the
      and much closer to home
      Ireland and N.Irelandaa

  2. George says:

    I do not think the Brits have all much to crow about in all this but certainly agree that Trump relates to a large portion of American males who see him when they look in the mirror in the morning. It is truly distressing and I for one despise that mentality , although I deal with some of these people on a day to day basis and realize it is frustration that brings on that “stupid ” attitude. Great response Michael to a long overdue post by H…………not that he has ever been easy on T……… Moral lesson …you get the politics you deserve and obviously there is humility lacking in America.

  3. I think Trump was elected as a vote against the established party picks. The vast majority of Americans are struggling to make ends meet and see that the privileged just get richer and a lot of people sent to Washington don’t help the little guy at all. The only person worse than trump is the man who could have stepped in and ended the pain but chose to ignore America’s walking disaster. Mitch. He is the one American’s should look on as today’s Benedict Arnold.

  4. Bryanb says:

    So the main leadership in the USA – foreign minister Pompeo, Vice President, Bolton, Mathis , plus CIA external spies and internally FBI, didn’t
    know why the pact with Iran should be broken, except for campaign promises. Maybe Sir Kim Darroch had justification for calling the house dysfunctional and incompetent.

    The ” wacky pompous fool” tweets seem to be self-castigation. Was there a mirror in the room?

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