ZTE, Iran, and the Hypocrisy of the Left
When President Donald Trump announced he would give the Chinese technology company ZTE a reprieve, withdrawing sanctions that would have likely put the company out of business, he immediately took fire from the left.
Democratic senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) blasted Trump for endangering America’s national security and questioned whether Trump was serious about putting American jobs first.
It did not take long for the leftist media to “discover” what changed Trump’s mind. The editorial board of The New York Times alleged that the ZTE deal was a quid pro quo. The newspaper believed that Trump spared ZTE for two reasons. First, China granted trademarks to Ivanka Trump in May. Second, a theme park in Indonesia received a loan from a state-owned company in China. The theme park licenses the right to use Trump’s name, but is not owned or operated by the Trump organization.
The only evidence the newspaper provided in its reports and editorial was the timing of the events.
But that did not stop New York Times writer Paul Krugman from screaming at the top of his lungs, Donald Trump took bribes from the Chinese government! He jeopardized our national security! Don’t say there’s no proof!
But in typical fashion, Krugman failed to offer any proof.
The Washington Post, Vox, Vanity Fair, and Business insider were all peddling the same conspiracy theory as The New York Times. They also insisted Trump’s decision on ZTE would undermine America’s credibility and embolden our enemies, such as Iran.
Then on June 6, a report by the Senate homeland security committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that in 2016, the Obama administration granted Iran special access to the U.S. financial system to move $5.7 billion funds frozen by international sanctions in an Oman bank. Even though State Department officials under Obama gave a special license to allow Iran access to the U.S. financial system and encouraged U.S. banks to help out, the banks refused to cooperate. Iran finally converted the assets into euros without using the special license and the U.S. banks.
The report accused the Obama administration of lying to Congress and the American people about the matter. While the administration granted Iran the special license, it repeatedly told Congress that allowing Iran access to the U.S. financial system was “not on the table or part of any deal.”
Obama was easily the most Iran-friendly president in U.S. history. Iran profited from the Obama presidency handsomely. The Iran nuclear deal, a personal agreement between Obama and Iran that was neither legally binding nor enforceable, released $100 billion’s worth of frozen assets to the regime. On top of that, Obama flew pallets of cash, totaling $1.7 billion, to Iran. The administration claimed this was necessary because Iran lacked access to the international financial system.
The Obama administration directly violated the U.S. sanctions against Iran and lied to Congress about it. It financially aided and abetted the Iranian regime, the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, as designated by Obama’s own State Department. Iran has provided financing, training, and equipment to terrorist groups around the world, such as Hezbollah.
Even John Kerry, Obama’s secretary of state, admitted the funds Iran received would “end up in the hands of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.”
Of course, all the leftist media—The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox, Vanity Fair—that cared so much about Trump’s supposed violation of national security were up in arms, full of rage, at these dealings, too—right?
No, they weren’t angry. In their twisted worldview, Obama’s endangering of our national security made us safer and was without ulterior motives. On the other hand, Trump’s actions can only bring us peril, and his modus operandi must be seeking to enrich himself.
This episode reminds me of a story. During the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney was accused of animal cruelty because he once drove a long distance with his dog on top of the car during a family vacation in 1983. The left was outraged: Romney was a heartless scoundrel! Then, it was found that Obama, as a boy, ate dog. Suddenly, dog-eating was totally cool with the left.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.