GOP bungling of foreign policy is harmful to the country

Arkansas legislators are already attempting to rewrite state law to allow U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton to run for both the Senate and the presidency in 2020, when his term expires. (AP)

Arkansas legislators are already attempting to rewrite state law to allow U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton to run for both the Senate and the presidency in 2020, when his term expires. (AP)

Those conservatives still attempting to defend the letter that was sent by 47 GOP senators to the leadership of Iran are citing the Constitution’s “advise and consent” clause as the legal underpinning for that decision.

However, if you read the Constitution closely, I believe you’ll find that the person whom senators are supposed to offer advice and consent is the president of the United States. Offering advice and consent to leaders of an antagonistic foreign power — especially advice that directly undermines the authority of the duly elected American president — is quite a different matter.

jindal

We’re still far from certain that a deal can be reached, but if it happens, it will be a deal between Iran and the six major nations that have imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iran to force it to the table, and that have negotiated with Iran for well over a year.

That’s a critically important point. If a deal is reached, each of those six countries — the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia — will play roles in enforcing it and will have to take steps to implement it, such as gradually relaxing sanctions as a reward for each step that Iran takes on its end.

In addition, constant inspections will be needed to ensure that Iran is abiding by the agreement. Those inspections would be carried out by the well-respected International Atomic Energy Agency, which has played a leading role in exposing Iran’s nuclear activities and demanding accountability. Because the IAEA is a United Nations agency, the approval of the United Nations Security Council will be needed to allow it to play that role.

In short, this would not be a deal between Iran and the United States. It would be a deal between Iran and the larger international community. The United States, on its own, never could have brought sufficient pressure on Iran to force it to negotiate. And the United States, on its own, could not ensure that Iran will abide by an agreement, should one be reached.

In that letter, Republicans correctly pointed out that a future president could walk away from any deal with Iran at any moment, since that deal will not be formalized in a nation-to-nation treaty but instead will be carried out by international agreement. It’s also true that “playing well with others” is not a virtue that Republicans in general seem to value, either domestically or internationally. If you’ve watched their antics in Washington, they can’t even get along among themselves.

But if a future president does choose to unilaterally walk away from the agreement, the onus of breaching the agreed-upon deal would be on the United States, not on Iran. We would be the “rogue nation,” not Iran. Likewise, if the United States, not Iran, is seen by the rest of the world as the party that sabotages a potential deal, the willingness of our partners to cooperate in continuing and even tightening sanctions will simply evaporate. With their ham-handed letter, those 47 GOP senators made it much easier to cast the United States in that damaging role.

This is not simple stuff, and the excruciatingly important details of the nuclear inspection regimen are much more complex still. Negotiating such a deal among multiple partners with multiple viewpoints and interests takes persistence, diligence, patience and a seriousness of purpose.

And as conservative columnist Michael Gerson notes in the Washington Post, those attributes are not much in evidence among those who drafted and signed the letter to Iran. In fact, he concluded, “In timing, tone and substance, it raises questions about the Republican majority’s capacity to govern”:

“The document was crafted by a senator with two months of experience under his belt. It was signed by some members rushing off the Senate floor to catch airplanes, often with little close analysis. Many of the 47 signatories reasoned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsement was vetting enough. There was no caucus-wide debate about strategy; no consultation with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has studiously followed the nuclear talks (and who refused to sign).

This was a foreign policy maneuver, in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation, with all the gravity and deliberation of a blog posting.”

 

I disagree with part of that — a typical blog post takes a lot more work and thought than that put into the letter.

The Republican Party’s other recent foray into foreign policy appears to be turning out about as well as its letter to the ayatollahs. The rapturous, swooning embrace that it gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to chew out President Obama simply hasn’t had the impact on Israeli voters that the GOP and Netanyahu had expected. Quite the contrary. Once considered a shoo-in for re-election, Netanyahu now trails in recent polling, and operatives of his Likud Party are already blaming Netanyahu’s antics for their party’s dimming prospects.

Here in the United States, Republicans have tried to pretend that disagreement with Netanyahu on Iran and other issues betrayed a lack of commitment to Israel’s security. That’s the essence of Bibi’s pitch to Israeli voters as well, and in these last few days, he’s pushing it with the desperation of a salesman who knows that he’s just not making his numbers. Israel’s “security is at great risk because there is a real danger that we could lose this election,” he said this week, warning that if he loses, “You will get prime ministers who completely prostrate themselves to any pressure.”

Even his fellow Israelis are getting the Neville Chamberlain treatment.

Given the complexities of the Israeli parliamentary system, it is still possible for Netanyahu to draw fewer votes than his competitors yet still survive as prime minister. But it’s already clear that a lot of Israelis are deeply uncomfortable with leaders who undercut their American allies for partisan purposes, and who believe that bluster and posturing are adequate substitutes for statesmanship.

In that, we can agree.

Reader Comments 0

556 comments
Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

I miss when this once-free nation had a Real Man for its leader, who had NO PROBLEM saying "NYET" to The Soviets. What happened when That Man said "NYET!?" A wall came crumbling down not too far after That Man stared down The Reds. A Real Man is someone who sticks with His principles and NEVER wavers from His principles. What has happened to the Real Men who stared down Islamo-Fascism, Communism, unfunded mandates/dictates from the Washington elite class? WHAT HAPPENED? WE ARE IN MORE DANGER THAN EVER and yet this once-free nation that led other once-free nations has sold out to ayatollahs and dictators. Is anyone awake out there? Does anyone wish to do something about this problem which will lead to The Apocalypse? Hello!? Good night. Amen, Bill 

LiberalVet
LiberalVet

The GOP is just a bunch of racist traitors, who hate having a black president more than they love America.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

@LiberalVet This is ridiculous as usual - coming from a socialistic liberal. When a liberal does not have the facts "he" has to resort to name-calling because "he" has not facts on "his" side. Amen, Bill 

Bernie31
Bernie31

The report out of Iran from the Cabinet Ministers, whom are "ALL" are Ph'd Holders from The Best Universities and Colleges of America. All Were said to have been in Hysterical Laughter and practically on the Floor rolling in Loud Laughter, at the GOP GOOBERS, Letter of nonsense. All agreed, they know more about The U.S. Constitution than the Clowns, who signed the UNWISE and MISGUIDED Letter. 


Thanks to  Bibi " Barabbas" and The GOP of America...You have given Iran, the boost they have needed to have Sanctions removed and rescinded by the other Nations who have been in Close negotiations with President Obama.


A special thanks goes out to TOM Cotton(R) of Arkansas....Iran could NOT have achieved this status so soon, without Senator Cotton's and the UDDER (46) Forty-Six U.S. Republican Senators, Help and Assistance. 


Dear Leader Kim of North Korea is now hoping and expecting a similar type assistance from America's Republicans.  uh..huh.


USA! USA! USA! USA!

Bernie31
Bernie31

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

EdUktr
EdUktr

Media gossip is that the Democrat Party’s press shills have been instructed to harp on “the letter” ... to distract us from Hillary’s missing emails and the wounded cops in Ferguson.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

@LiberalVet @EdUktr Uh....how about following The Law? Why does this have to be a racial issue? These stories are about law-breaking folk who disrespect authority. The true racists are folk like you and your friends Hussein Obama, Father Pfleger, Hairy Read, Jeremiah Wright, Nanny Pelosi, Bill Ayers, Tom Hayden and Jesse Jackson. Gimme a break. Good night. Amen, Bill 

ssinf
ssinf

@EdUktr lolol


What "media" are telling you that, Sean Hannity and Townhall? It seems that the letter is being panned from both the Right and the Left. So....I'm not sure that gossip really makes any sense.

LiberalVet
LiberalVet

@EdUktr 


why dont u racist Christian conservatives ever speak up when unarmed blacks are murdered by the police? I guess conservatives think its ok for the cops to murder blacks..

JoelEdge
JoelEdge

"GOP bungling of foreign policy"

Considering the last six years of the current administration, that's funny.

LiberalVet
LiberalVet

@JoelEdge 


You mean Obama let a terrorist murder 3000 Americans? Oh that happened under DUM DUM DUBYA

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

If other nations are playing a leading roll in the Iraian negotiations it would be because Obama and Horse Face are weak, which is entirely possible.


The other nations have spent decades operating with America being the leader.  Plus, history shows we are the ones who have stepped in and saved their butts when they could not.


I would not be too proud or dependent on the other nations making the best decision.  Instead, they provide an excuse for Obama's incompetence. 

LiberalVet
LiberalVet

@JohnnyReb 


yEAH LIKE America TOOK THE LEAD ON THE Iraq wmd debacle...We're still paying for that lie. You tough talking chicken hawks really love war.  

Corey
Corey

@Salt-n-Light 1 hour ago 

"if a deal is reached, each of those six countries — the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia — will play roles in enforcing it and will have to take steps to implement it"


So Salt, The other five nations at the negotiating table want to give Iran nukes too? Oh, I get it. Fox News conveniently left out the part about other nations participating in the negotiations, Germany, France and Britain included.  

Salt-n-Light
Salt-n-Light

The 47 Patriots did absolutely NOTHING illegal or unethical. Only thing they did was shine light on Obama's attempt to give Iran Nukes. And Libs don't like the dark deeds of Obama coming into the light. Too bad it takes Senators to do a President's job. Just sayin'

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Salt-n-Light  - LOL! ROFL!.....Too Funny!  Hey Goober got anymore Jokes fer US?  Just sayin...uh..huh.

Stan_Dup
Stan_Dup

"Those inspections would be carried out by the well-respected International Atomic Energy Agency..."


"Well respected" unless you're George Bush, want to invade Iraq and don't want to hear that Iraq doesn't have the WMD's, which the IAEA said it could conclude in a few weeks.


juvenal
juvenal

so who was on watch when N Korea got the bomb?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@juvenal - George Bush was POTUS when N Korea got the bomb.  But the situation is quite different.


Had we taken military action against N Korea, China would have defended them.  Plus the rulers there let their people literally starve instead of backing down due to sanctions.


Iran would have a civil war before the people starved, which bolsters the Congresses position of increasing sanctions.  Plus, there is not another country of any consequence that I can think of that would come to Iran's defense if we attacked. Russia would rattle swords and maybe sell them supplies, but I doubt they would send troops.


Also, Iran is the terrorist exporter in the Middle East.  They are lot more dangerous than N Korea.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Much earlier I posted I could not get past the Title of Jay's post, which was true at the time but I have since read the whole thing.  Here's what's glaringly missing.


The people, although not most who post here, have elected both chambers of Congress to Republican control. 


Republicans have clearly for some time now let Obama know they do not agree with the direction of his negotiations. That other countries are also involved does not remove that fact.


Backing up the Republican position is Obama's approval on foreign policy down around 30% which is the same hard Left 30% that backs him no matter what, no matter how wrong his direction.


Instead of respecting the people and working with Congress, leading the negotiations toward an agreement that Congress can endorse, Obama in his typical arrogance refuses to do so.


Obama backers blindly support him to the point where said support is more important to them than the fact he is making a bad deal.  What a big mistake.


Of course if that mistake unfolds in the worse way they can always curse each others stupidity when the bomb goes off in New York as they kiss their butts good bye. 


So the best course is for the Left to stop criticizing the Senators and tell Obama he should work the issues out with Congress.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Dr. Irving @JohnnyReb - Congressional approval is irrelevant.  The people have elected both houses of Congress.  The majority of Senators do not agree with the negotiations.  It is a duty for Obama to address their concerns if he sincerely wants any deal he brokers to survive.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Stan_Dup @JohnnyReb @Dr. Irving - no lottery, but a lot of low information voters.


Obama's election was prior to the last mid-term where Republicans gained control of the Senate.


Clearly if voters were pleased with Obama's policies that would not have occurred.


The simple truth is Americans have very low confidence in Obama and voted Republicans in to stop and detour him.  He in his astounding arrogance ignores that and his obligation to serve all Americans. 

gaylib
gaylib

@JohnnyReb @Stan_Dup @Dr. Irving You mean like when they voted heavily for Republicans in 2010 and then elected Mitt Romney in 2012? Oh, wait...The GOP wins midterms because of gerrymandering and low voter turnout. How else do you explain them picking up seats in 2012 in the house but losing the popular vote? 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@gaylib @JohnnyReb @Stan_Dup @Dr. Irving - I see you buy into everything from Obama's mouth.


He arrogantly proclaimed after the latest midterm his policies were still popular because of low voter turnout.


What BS.

Robtown
Robtown

@JohnnyReb @gaylib @Stan_Dup @Dr. Irving The only "BS" around here is the wingnuts full throated and hearty approval of anything done in their name.


Is there ANYTHING that the wingnuts have done in the last decade or so that you and your lickspittle ilk disapprove of?

jellyphish
jellyphish

Bungling?  Only to Bookman.  I saw Martin O'malley speak recently.  I don't share his politics but compared to Hillary, he's a very polished politician.  Seeing both of them in a debate would probably greatly diminish her chances.  The only question is whether or not the democrat party has completely phased out white men as national candidates.

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@MaryElizabethSings 

"Gotalife responded to your inquiry about me by saying that I was "a nice lady with good manners."  Your reply was "a lady doesn't brag on herself."  Gotalife said back to you, "Got proof?"  to which you made light of your remarks."

Thanks for responding. I think you seriously misread what I meant in that exchange. I responded to a euphoric post on Obama by gal by pretending to think he was you. So I queried "Mary Elizabeth?" At the point I said "a lady doesn't brag on herself" I meant to continue to imply that gal was really you (because, for some inane reason, some liberals here have a preoccupation with "sock puppets" and my sense was that gal was fighting against the perception that HE himself was a sock puppet), and NOT to cast aspersions on you. The exchange really had next to nothing to do with YOU.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Penses

The exchange really had next to nothing to do with YOU.

Uh, huh.

What ever you need to make you feel better about yourself, liar-boy.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Penses 


I'm not really interested in all of the detail which you posted, above.  But, I do want you to know that I was disappointed in what you posted today, not last evening.

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@LogicalDude 

"Let me know if you agree or disagree with these Republican moves, okay?" 

I think the GOP is understandably upset with the way Obama is (some would say unconstitutionally) "throwing his weight around". But the GOP is anything but shrewd in my opinion. For instance, since the Democrats eliminated the filibuster for judicial nominations, the GOP should have done so for the all important funding bills for similar reasons. Then, they should have sent a DHS funding bill up to Obama without funding for his EO and let him dare to veto it. That's how you play chess. But the GP plays checkers, not chess - much to my chagrin (not theirs - they are oblivious). 

EdUktr
EdUktr

It's a pity we don't know what Jay felt ... when Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy sent the Soviet leader a letter similarly undercutting the efforts of our president (Ronald Reagan) to counter Russia's build-up of weaponry threatening Europe.

http://tinyurl.com/numahe2

And there are other examples:

http://tinyurl.com/oux82d9

Still waiting to hear from Jay on the shooting of cops in Ferguson.

The blame for this and other outrages lies squarely in front of Obama, Eric Holder and the liberal media—for allowing the "Hands Up Don't Shoot" lie to give cover to haters.

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@EdUktr but I thought your side didn't like the 'hands up don't shoot' phrase so how could that give you cover?

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@EdUktr Did you really read the articles at both links?  The Ted Kennedy one is so weak it is ridiculous.  Not a single link to the supposed letter that Ted send.  Just hearsay.  The second link is also suspect with the same issue.  It just has the words and phrases that you want to see and hear without really making it's case.

ALibNotToBeMessedW/
ALibNotToBeMessedW/

@EdUktr

Because one fargin' icehole sent a letter to a fargin' bastage in a different sumnumbatching time, doesn't mean that a different fargin' icehole can send a letter to a different fargin' bastage now.  


Or at least that's what Confucius Moroney would say.  

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

Wouldn't it be some pretty poetic justice if this incident along with the GOP invite to Bibi resulted in Bibi losing his election?

I don't believe in Karma, but a Bibi loss could change my mind...

alexander2
alexander2

@gotalife Thats all, with social media and a click being a "signature", really nothing to crow about...