Good grief, the world's gone mad! The other day I threw a hissy-fit because 'Her Majesty's Royal Daily Telegraph' had decided to charge me - yes, ME! - for access to their website. Through gritted everything I had to comply because there are several of their commentators I admire. However, yesterday, being a Saturday, it is my habit to buy a printed version - the 'Memsahib' is much taken with several of the supplements - and I came across an article by Mr. David Blair (no relation, I trust!), their chief foreign affairs correspondent. He was reporting on the outcome of the negotiations with Iran over their nuclear activities. This summarises Mr. Blair's vision of what was achieved:
Under the joint statement released by Iran and America on Thursday, all uranium enrichment at Fordow [the main Iranian nuclear site for enriching plutonium] must stop. The installation will be stripped of fissile material and “converted” into a “nuclear physics and technology centre”.
If this accord sticks, then a vital threat will have been neutralised without a bomb being dropped or a person maimed. All the revenge attacks for an Israeli first strike – from Iran firing missiles at Dubai to Hizbollah bombarding Israel with thousands of rockets – will have been avoided.
As such, the joint declaration on Iran’s nuclear programme amounts to a genuine triumph for diplomacy.
What is this man on, I asked myself? Well, even so, I reminded myself, just because he reports the dead opposite of what I suspect has happened, he is, after all, something of a Middle East expert and, dammit, he works for the 'Torygraph'! But then a second article appeared under his name which in places had me rolling on the floor with laughter. Here is the opening paragraph:
In the White House, as the Iran nuclear deal was on, then off, then on again, a Harvard-educated lawyer poured over the technical niceties of heavy water reactors and uranium-enriching centrifuges with forensic attention, convinced the devil lay in the details.
Er, the "Harvard-educated lawyer", by the way, is Barack Obama, a man so embarrassed by his university grades that he has had them locked up in secret vaults protected by death rays, or something like that! But according to Mr. Blair:
In order to take personal control, Mr Obama – a Harvard law graduate – trained himself in nuclear science, according to his aides. [Do stop that sniggering!]
One official claimed that by the end, in meetings in the White House situation room, he understood the technical issues as well as “almost anybody in the room” except for his energy secretary, Ernest Moniz.
He studied the way the centrifuges installed in Natanz, the Iranians’ giant uranium processing facility, operated. He read, according to one account in the New York Times, briefings on three alternative ways of converting Iran’s nuclear plant at Arak so that it could not be used to create weapons-grade material.
He personally examined and approved proposals for the heavily intrusive inspections programme to be carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Oh my giddy aunt, I couldn't take any more. Is The Telegraph seriously expecting us to believe that a man who is too embarrassed to produce his college grades, a man who rose up the ranks of the Democrat party by being a good-looking, smooth-talking but, most important of all, a black 'community organiser' - whatever that is - and who, when he isn't on holiday playing golf, spends most of his time jetting, at public expense, to various golf courses in the USA, is the man who mastered all the intricate maths and physics of exactly how nuclear centrifuges work?
Well, do you believe it?
But according to Mr. Blair (can we be absolutely certain he is no relation?) a new dawn has broken. All is well with the world. Those nasty Israelis (Mr. Blair only intimates that feeling, by the way but he has history) have been done down. It's 'peace in our time' - now, where have I heard that before?
But more important, how do I get my money back from The Telegraph from whom I expect a modicum of reality?