Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Monkey Wrench Gang


How Republicans still see Iran

Whether emboldened by Netanyahu or upset that Obama got to bask in all that sunshine in Selma, 47 Republican legislators took it upon themselves to "remind" Iran who controls Washington.  Their open letter has caused ripples in foreign diplomacy but hardly the tsunami they imagined.  Iran's foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, who studied in the United States, called the letter nothing more than a propaganda ploy and used the opportunity to "remind" Republican Congressmen that a nation is obligated to international agreements signed by its predecessors.  So, who schooled who here?

President Obama didn't have any opportunity to enjoy his moment in Selma, where he gave one of his most stirring speeches on the progress of Civil Rights in America, touching on so many issues, notably renewing the Voting Rights Act, that it probably gave the Republicans delirium tremens.  It seems it has been very difficult for the GOP to adjust to the first Black President, using every opportunity to undermine his authority as a state would a black governor.  They act like Obama was forced upon us rather than democratically elected.

What made this open letter particularly appalling is that it was signed by 47 out of 55 Republican US Senators, including the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell and ranking members, John McCain and Lindsey Graham.  They should know better.  These are senior senators who represent the highest law in the land.  Instead, they acted like complete fools, embarrassing themselves and to some degree the nation in making this monumental blunder of foreign diplomacy.  It just makes you realize how badly the GOP has descended in FP.

Meanwhile back in Israel, Bibi Netanyahu got no "bounce" at all from his Congressional speech.  A huge rally was held in Tel Aviv protesting his policies, notably in regard to Palestine, as public confidence has eroded tremendously.  Unfortunately, Israeli politics is so fractured that Bibi could still pull together a ruling coalition in government even if his party lost the election, which is what he did last time.

The whole thing is like some episode of House of Cards.  You expect Putin to step in with some brash move to further upset the fragile balance in diplomacy taking place, but even he knows better than to get involved.

These US Senators acted like a juvenile gang of thugs, led by freshman Tea Party Senator Tom Cotton, who penned this missive, which was translated into Farsi no less.  It was nothing more than a attempt to throw a monkey wrench into the diplomatic accord the US has been working with Iran on ever since the new administration was elected in 2013.  Fortunately, it seems Zarif knows the Republicans in the United States all too well and isn't falling prey to this kind of bluster.  If anything, it seems to have helped him in being more forceful in the negotiations and appeasing the hard line element in Iran.

More than ever, it makes you realize that the worst thing that could happen to the United States right now is a Republican President, especially someone like Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, who both signed that letter.

1 comment:

  1. I was initially worried about how the letter might be received in foreign capitols. It now looks like my concerns were unnecessary. They’re shrugging it off as a silly American political spat which is exactly what it is. The world is wising up to how blowhard Americans slug it out amongst ourselves over here.

    Craig

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