(National Review) -- For much of the last week, the very small world of pundits and policy wonks has been buzzing about the New York Times’s extended profile by David Samuels of Obama foreign-policy guru Ben Rhodes, the “aspiring novelist” (as the headline put it) with a master’s in fine arts who sneers with contempt at the president’s foes and has helped helm American foreign policy in the age of ISIS.
The story is rich with detail that should scandalize anyone who is concerned with either truth or humility in American policymaking. Rhodes apparently lied to sell the Iran deal to the American public, counting on ignorant, sympathetic leftist journalists and activists to peddle the administration’s foreign-policy line and dominate the public debate. The Obama administration has become inured to tragedy, Rhodes confessed, adding, “There’s a numbing element to Syria in particular,” where 450,000 lives have been lost. And, of course, when it comes to failures and disappointments, the buck stops with the traditional foreign-policy and military “establishment” that Obama (and Rhodes) despise.