By Thomas Madison
While Democrat leaders in Washington strut to the nearest microphone and declare in their most righteous indignation their outrage over the GOP letter to the Iranian leadership regarding any agreement they may enter with Barrack Hussein, becoming more apparent is the fact that the letter just might work to undermine a ridiculously one-sided nuke deal with the Iranian crackpots.
Of course that is the last thing any DC Dem wants, as they are all such brainlessly loyal party members their blind obedience would make a Soviet apparatchik take notes. Thus, they continue to parrot the party talking points, pushing King Hussein’s agenda, no matter how destructive.
Here is why Tom Cotton’s letter, signed by 47 GOP senators, may just work:
1. If the Iranians have learned anything it is that you cannot trust an American Democrat president. Consider the back-stabbing the Shah got from Carter.
2. The uber-paranoid Iranians may begin second-guessing whether Hussein actually has the authority and power to make such an agreement stick, which he doesn’t.
3. If the Iranians are good students they will check out Tom Cotton’s assertion that anything King Hussein signs is not a long-term binding agreement, as Hussein is not the final “decider” on treaties, and Congress can alter the agreement at any time.
Thus, any document Barrack Hussein signs giving the Iranians a wide-open go-ahead to build their Israel-ending nuclear arsenal is as valuable as so much toilet paper, which to the Ayatollahs is completely worthless as they have no use for toilet paper.
The GOP Plan to Sabotage an Iran Nuclear Deal May Just Work
In a new low for bipartisan consensus on U.S. foreign policy, 47 Republican senators have issued an “open letter” addressed to the Iranian leadership that is intended to sabotage prospects for a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran by cultivating doubt about the credibility and reliability of the American president.
Although the letter has drawn wide reproach as a partisan tactic and a dangerous precedent, it might just accomplish what it was intended to do — reinforce the paranoia of the Iranian regime and scuttle long-awaited progress toward a negotiated resolution of the Iranian nuclear impasse.
The letter asserts the primacy of Congress — and, by extension, the Republicans — in determining the longevity of any nuclear agreement between Iran, the United States and the five other world powers involved in the negotiations. “Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” the letter stresses, adding that “[t]he next president could invoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of an agreement at any time.”
Just in case the message wasn’t clear, the letter emphasized that Obama would be out of office in a matter of months while “many of us [the 47 signatories] will remain in office well beyond then — perhaps decades.”
The letter was organized by freshman senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), a rising GOP star who only weeks ago sneered that Obama’s own letters to Iranian leaders reminded him of “a lovestruck teenager.”
Criticism of the senators’ letter
The release of the letter provoked sharp criticism from the administration andwell beyond. Obama accused the Republicans of aligning themselves with Iranian hard-liners against diplomacy and in favor of war; Vice President Joe Biden described the letter as “beneath the dignity of an institution I revere” and “highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments-a message that is as false as it is dangerous.”
The letter has also prompted howls of outrage and mockery on social media and among pundits, particularly after Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith, writing on the Brookings-affiliated blog Lawfare, pointed out the rather awkward inaccuracies in its characterization of the Constitutional prerogatives of the Congress with respect to treaty ratification. (See also Goldsmith’sfollow-up post for additional nuance and interpretation.)
Brookings non-resident senior fellow Dan Drezner, international relations professor and Washington Post blogger, envisages an optimistic scenario — that the letter’s warning about the limited duration of President Obama’s tenure might actually boomerang in the administration’s favor, by persuading Tehran to get on board as quickly as possible with a deal.
I want to agree, but unfortunately I’ve long since lost most of my optimism about Iran. Instead, I tend to believe the opposite dynamic is more likely: by exacerbating Tehran’s pre-existing skepticism about the durability of President Obama’s promises, the letter could spook the Iranian leadership.
This in turn could prompt Tehran to demand a higher price for any concessions, to try to stack the deal with as much early sanctions relief as possible, and to begin making its own arrangements for an early expiration date on any commitments.
And that, of course, is precisely the point. My Twitter feed is filled with derision and chortles about a presumptive Republican misstep and the acumen of its organizer, Senator Cotton. Senator Harry Reid (D-UT) accused Cotton and his cohort of attempting to undermine the president “purely out of spite.”
Unfortunately, it’s worse than spite or stupidity; it’s a strategy, and it just might work.
Spectacular misstep or savvy strategy?
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is steeped in suspicion toward Washington, and he has repeatedly expressed doubts about whether the United States will uphold its end of any bargain. He routinely reminds Iranians that “even if we accept what they dictate to us on the nuclear issue, their destructive moves and sanctions will not be stopped and lifted. They will continue to create all sorts of problems for us because they are opposed to the essence of the Revolution.”