© Josh Sager – March 2015
On Monday, 47 of the 54 Republican Senators took an extreme and absolutely disgraceful stand against the Obama Administration by sending a letter to Iran that could potentially scuttle our anti-proliferation negotiations with the Iranian regime. This is an unprecedented move in American politics and a sign of just how extreme the Republican Party has become.
The GOP’s letter argues that any deal made by Obama to stop Iran’s nuclear program would be an executive agreement that could be unilaterally changed at any time by a future President or the Congress. Obviously, anybody to take this letter seriously will refuse to deal with the United States, as nobody is going to sign a contract where the other party claims the power to alter any condition ex-post-facto without bilateral renegotiations.
Additionally, it signals the intent of the Republican majority in the Senate to block the confirmation of any deal with Iran. This letter was written before the GOP had any knowledge of the terms of the evolving deal, thus their rejection of a non-proliferation deal must be on principle rather than substance.
For a full list of the Senators who signed this letter, follow this link.
These Senators have thrown doubt on our nation’s ability to make ANY international deal, as foreign leaders can clearly see that any deal that they make will be subject to reflexive opposition by intransigent and irrational people who will never let such agreements be confirmed. Just to make matters worse, they now know that the legislative body that must confirm any deal that Obama makes holds the opinion that any deal can be altered on a whim, for as long as they refuse to confirm it.
In effect, these Senators have publically announced themselves to be a fifth column within our government that will sabotage peace talks and anti-proliferation negotiations in order to spite our current president. They may claim to love this country, but they clearly hate Obama more and have shown themselves to be willing to damage America if it will reflect badly on Obama or disrupts his platform. This isn’t a new phenomenon—as the GOP has long demonstrated this with economics (ex. the debt ceiling crisis, the shutdown, etc.) and health care (trying to destroy their own healthcare plan because it has Obama’s name on it)—but this is the first time in recent history that the GOP has attempted such destructive tactics in the realm of national security.
While this letter is unprecedented in modern history, two of the last four Republican presidents did similar things during their election campaigns—both had absolutely disastrous results.
In 1968, Nixon made secret contact with the South Vietnamese government while running for president against Hubert Humphrey. He had his campaign manager make a deal with the Vietnamese, trading the promise of favorable negotiations once elected if the Vietnamese would stall peace negotiations until after the election in order to deny the Democrats a war victory before an election (which would have virtually guaranteed them victory). Just to make things worse, once in office, Nixon reneged on his traitorous deal and thousands of Americans died in the following years of war.
During the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan made secret deal with the Iranian Grand Cleric to prolong the Iranian hostage crisis until after the election—in effect, he told the Iranians to just hold the hostages a little longer and, when in power, he would give them a good deal and make some of them personally wealthy. Reagan did this to support accusations of Carter being weak on national security and to leverage the hostage crisis to his political advantage.
The greater takeaway from the Iran letter, and the actions of these past Republican presidents, is simply that right wing extremists in our country are so dead-set on controlling our nation that they are willing to destroy it in the process of taking power. They will take traitorous action against our nation’s interests (although technically not treasonous, as their actions don’t meet the legal definition from the Constitution) if they think it will give them a political advantage. Things like American lives, peace deals, and the American credibility on the world stage are simply collateral damage in these peoples’ war to control whatever remains of the nation after all political games are done.