On Iran, preserve us from the certainty of fools

101021_marco_rubio_ap_328-1For months, a group of Republican and Democratic senators have been working to craft legislation that would give Congress a means to debate and weigh in on a potential nuclear agreement with Iran. They now have that hard-won bipartisan agreement, and President Obama has grudgingly agreed not to veto it if passed in its current form.

But thanks to two other GOP senators, Marco Rubio of Florida and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, that legislation may yet fail. Among other things, the two insist on an amendment to the bill requiring that Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist before a deal can be consummated.

“Who could object that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state?” Cotton asks, brimming with all the innocence of a fox with chicken feathers stuck in its teeth.

If Cotton and Rubio get their way — if they succeed in presenting their amendment on the Senate floor — a line of dominoes would begin to fall:

1.)  The amendment would pass. As Cotton suggests, “who could object”? A vote against the amendment would be depicted — falsely — as a vote against Israel’s right to exist, and such is the state of American politics that few senators would be willing to take that risk.

2.) However, Iran isn’t going to recognize Israel’s right to exist any more than Israel is going to recognize Iran’s right to nuclear weapons. One is as non-negotiable as the other. In short, a bill requiring Iranian recognition of Israel is a bill that would doom negotiations, and for that reason Obama and his Democratic allies won’t accept it. The bipartisan compromise negotiated in the Senate would blow up, just as Cotton and Rubio intend.

3.) With the bill dead, Congress would have no other mechanism by which to weigh in on a deal with Iran, should one be achieved. Cotton and Rubio know that, and offer no alternative to it. They just don’t care. They care only that they want to get their way. Wrapped in the bubble of their own absolute certainty, the consequences of their stance are somebody else’s problem.

There is, however, at least a consistency in their stance. They don’t like the deal negotiated with Obama and the Democrats because while it might be achievable, it doesn’t give them everything they want. They don’t like the preliminary deal negotiated with Iran for the same reason. In Congress as on the world stage, they behave the same way.

And if they do succeed in their larger goal of destroying any chance of a negotiated settlement?

Well, they don’t care about that either. That too is somebody else’s problem. They and other opponents of negotiation have been asked repeatedly for their alternative plan for how to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Apparently, their plan is to demand and get Iran’s surrender. Their plan is for the mullahs running that country to decide to go commit suicide, and for a new generation of pro-American, pro-Israeli Iranians to appear by magic out of Aladdin’s lamp and take control of that country. They seem certain that such a thing would happen — certainty being their defining trait — even though they cannot provide a plausible scenario by which it might.

The sophistication and maturity of their political judgment is also reflected in the Twitter war that Cotton began this week with Iran’s foreign minister, in which the American senator personally insulted the Iranian diplomat, attacking him as a coward. As in their earlier exchange, the Iranian foreign minister ended up showing much more class and dignity than did Cotton. All Cotton achieved was the further embarrassment of himself and unfortunately of his country.

But Rubio is the more troubling case. This is undoubtedly part of his strategy to portray himself as Obama’s chief antagonist on foreign policy, and you do have to expect a certain degree of such posturing with an election coming. But again, he shows no sign of having thought this through. He is proving himself capable of destroying solutions crafted through the hard work of others, but no capacity for creating such solutions himself.

The sad part is, that makes him the perfect standard bearer of the modern Republican Party.

Reader Comments 0

348 comments
Michael B
Michael B

the agreement is being negotiated between UN Security council and Iran.  If an agreement is reached, the UN will lift sanctions.  This means Russia and other countries will start trading immediately.  The irony is that congress might stop the US from lifting sanctions.  But again, we will be alone.  I doubt that any of the other nations in this negotiation will have a reason to take a call from Cotton Mouth, or any other senator.

Cotton Mouth's strategy might be to veto the Security council action.  Again I don't see any reason for any member of our administration to take that call.

Cotton Mouth can make noise, but his authority is absent. 

AjaxLessome
AjaxLessome

The mullahs in Iran are the largest sponsors of terrorism in the world. Their historical support for Hezbollah as the Marine barracks bombers in Lebanon, their support for Shia militants who killed USA soldiers in Iraq with weapons and IEDs, their support for Hamas in random rocket attacks against Israel are all aimed at the USA or our allies. To now give the Iranian theocracy who subjugate their females, murder their gays and lesbians, murder non Shia citizens and desire Armageddon in our lifetimes a nuclear WMD is madness on a scale not seen since the barbarian hordes invaded Rome from the north.


Alex Nunya
Alex Nunya

@AjaxLessome You don't know what you are talking about. First of all Americans and Israelis have both killed many times more innocents then Iran has. Of this there is no question. We have our noses in other peoples business all over the world, usually pretending to help but almost always with a some sort of personal gain in mind. The far right Evangelical Christians are the ones looking to bring about Armageddon. Iraq is 60% Shia and the "democracy" that your pal George brought is what allowed Iran to gain a foothold there. Before that we Americans helped Saddam suppress the majority Shia. We even sold Saddam chemical weapons during the Iran Iraq war and showed him where to point them killing over 100,000 Iranians. Israel has forced huge amounts of native Palestinians into open air prisons and deny them basic needs whenever they feel like it. While Hamas lobs rockets at Israel, Israel kills 100x more Palestinians all the while stealing more land and calling the weaker side the aggressor. If you cannot see what is right in your face I feel truly sorry for you. Iranian women are among the most educated in the middle east while women in Saudi Arabia (our ally) are treated like cattle and cannot even drive a car. The barbarian hordes that raided Rome were Germanic. Rome attacked ancient Persia more then once but never made much ground. As a matter of fact much of the Roman military worshiped the Persian god Mithra, the Vatican is build over a shrine to him. The 3 wise men were Persian Zoroastrian priests. Iran is not the biggest enemy to America, misinformation is. Many of our supposed allies are not our friends at all. While Iran is by no means perfect it is certainly the lesser of many evils when it comes to the Middle East. Think about what people tell you, don't just regurgitate it like a lazy toddler.

lvg
lvg

@AjaxLessome Saint Ronald gave them a pass on the Marine Barrcks killing and ran after wetting his pants.Every terrorist learned an important lesson from Saint Ronald.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Reading comments below, I noticed a tenuousness regarding Hillary Clinton's decision-making future in the area of foreign policy.  I challenge you to consider this possibility:


I believe you are misjudging Hillary's global goals and her wisdom.  I believe your misjudgment of Hillary Clinton stems mainly upon her Senate vote to enter Iraq. (I believe only one member of Congress voted not to enter Iraq.)  I suspect what you really are fearful of, is Hillary Clinton's personal style, not her global vision and her global goals.  Look within.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@MaryElizabethSings No, what they're really afraid of is letting a GIRL be in charge of the 'football team' of government.


Unless, of course, the 'girl' in question is soccer-mom Sarah Palin, who is as dumb as the summer day is long in Alaska.


Captain-Obvious
Captain-Obvious

@Tuna Meowt @MaryElizabethSings No, we're afraid of yet another liberal with no appreciable accomplishments being put in a position to screw up our foreign policy and economy further than it already has been.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Arms_Akimbo 

The Iran nuclear "negotiations" have been the worst example of international diplomatic negotiations in several generations. The Obama administration, by not listening or consulting with U.S. officials and former allies with Middle East experience, has given the Iranians the opportunity to possess nuclear weapons

**
That's got to be about the dumbest post from you yet.

Which U.S. officials has Obama refused to consult? And how does the deal itself set off an arms race and not its collapse?

Arms_Akimbo
Arms_Akimbo

@LeninTime 


History shows that we cannot trust Iran, or have you forgotten the 444 days they held American hostages. Obama should have consulted with other  middle Eastern allies as well as the foreign relations committee to form a strategy. I cannot blame him for trying to instigate a dialog, but this is too complex to "pass and then we will learn what's in it" type of policy. We are giving a culture that breeds terrorists whose preferred method of attack is to strap a bomb onto their bodies and blow us up, nuclear weapons. The concept of mutually assured destruction does not work with a fatalistic religion.

td1234
td1234

It appears to me that Rubio and Cotton are attempting to follow the UN resolution 242 but that Obama or the Dems are opposed to it? 


"United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (S/RES/242) was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. It was adopted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter.[1] The resolution was sponsored byBritish ambassador Lord Caradon and was one of five drafts under consideration.[2]

The preamble[3] refers to the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security."

Operative Paragraph One "Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." [4]

EgyptJordanIsrael and Lebanon entered into consultations with the UN Special representative over the implementation of 242.[5] After denouncing it in 1967, Syria "conditionally" accepted the resolution in March 1972. Syria formally accepted[6] UN Security Council Resolution 338, the cease-fire at the end of the Yom Kippur War (in 1973), which embraced resolution 242.[7]

On 1 May 1968, the Israeli ambassador to the UN expressed Israel's position to the Security Council: "My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace. I am also authorized to reaffirm that we are willing to seek agreement with each Arab State on all matters included in that resolution."

In a statement to the General Assembly on 15 October 1968, the PLO rejected Resolution 242, saying "the implementation of said resolution will lead to the loss of every hope for the establishment of peace and security in Palestine and the Middle East region." In September 1993, the PLO agreed that Resolutions 242 and 338 should be the basis for negotiations with Israel when it signed the Declaration of Principles.

Resolution 242 is one of the most widely affirmed resolutions on the Arab–Israeli conflict and formed the basis for later negotiations between the parties. These led to Peace Treaties between Israel and Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), as well as the 1993 and 1995agreements with the Palestinians.

CrazySexyKool
CrazySexyKool

@td1234 -- I thought most republicans HATED the UN and think that they are ineffective, at least that's what was said about all those UN investigators that said that they didn't find ANY "WMD's" in Iraq before the War. What a big change for you Republicans to actually start EMBRACING the UN!! 

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@td1234 "Resolution 242 is one of the most widely affirmed resolutions on the Arab–Israeli conflict "


This is not in the same boat as working with Iran on Nuclear power/weapons.  


If a couple of mullahs from Iran shot in an amendment for the US to recognize Palestine, would you agree to that before moving forward with removing nuclear capabilities from Iran? 


td1234
td1234

@LogicalDude @td1234 Is Israel our ally and do we support them or is Iran a better ally and we support them? 

Arms_Akimbo
Arms_Akimbo

The Iran nuclear "negotiations" have been the worst example of international diplomatic negotiations in several generations. The Obama administration, by not listening or consulting with U.S. officials and former allies with Middle East experience, has given the Iranians the opportunity to possess nuclear weapons. Not only does this create a new arms race in the most dangerous region in the world, it makes our allies question their allegiance to the U.S.


Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz, who is a nuclear physicist, has participated in some of the negotiations with John Kerry. Moniz was quoted in the WSJ on April 24th saying that using current centrifuge capabilities, Iran could produce a nuclear bomb in 30 to 60 DAYS. So much for Obama's "snapback" provision threatening sanctions if Iran doesn't give the U.s. 12 months notice. In the meantime, Russia is violating existing sanctions by selling Iran anti-aircraft missile systems making it that much more difficult for Israel to take out Iranian facilities. The Saudis have probably already purchased a nuke from Pakistan. Jordan, the UAE, and Egypt won't want to be left defenseless. If Pakistan won't sell, then I am sure that the Russians or North Korea will be more than happy to oblige (they need the money).


Obama's Iranian proposal is dependent on U.N. inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities for enforcement, just like the Syrian chemical weapons program agreed to last year when Putin bailed Obama out from his "red line" promise. Of course, Syrian civilians, just last month, died from chemical weapons that were supposedly handed over to the U.N. , so the Iranians are all for the U.N. inspection plan. The end result of all of this is that the Obama administration has the worst foreign policy record in several generations and the anointed standard bearer for the Democratic Party- Hillary Clinton- was Secretary of State while the seeds of global instability and potentially WW III were planted. The entire escapade reeks of what Americans associate with the modern Democratic Party- corruption and incompetence.   

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Arms_Akimbo @Tuna Meowt @Jefferson1776 "Ignore the Ernest Moniz quote at your own risk fool."


I will do so, fool, because it DOESN"T APPEAR IN THE 24 APR WSJ.  Moniz said nothing of the sort, and you're misquoting him.


"We already know that you are stupid."


Not only am I not stupid, I'm smarter than you, better educated than you and already knew that the alleged Moniz quote doesn't exist.


"Say something substantive rather than attack me personally."


If *you* had anything substantive -- like a link -- you'd have posted it already.  Thus you deserve nothing more than what you've received.


"You simply don't know how."


You simply deserve no better.



Arms_Akimbo
Arms_Akimbo

@Tuna Meowt @Arms_Akimbo @Jefferson1776 


READ the editorial  piece by Mort Zuckerman from April 24the and maybe, I doubt it, but just maybe you MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING rather than just whine and complain all the time. Life is too short to be in a bad mood every day.


I g

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Arms_Akimbo @Jefferson1776 No, just a bunch of bullspit and vinegar.


Come on back when you have something coherent to say.  We already know you don't like President Obama, so make sure you say something more substantive than that.


Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Arms_Akimbo @Tuna Meowt @Jefferson1776 "READ the editorial  piece by Mort Zuckerman from April 24the and maybe, I doubt it, but just maybe you MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING"


Not only had I already read it, I linked it below and debunked your and Zuckerman's bullspit as well, Pumpkin.


Maybe if you read more, YOU would learn something.


"rather than just whine and complain all the time."


Like you're doing right now because the Zuckerman opinion piece isn't being accepted as gospel truth?


"Life is too short to be in a bad mood every day."


Take your own advice, Pumpkin.


Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Arms_Akimbo "Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz, who is a nuclear physicist, has participated in some of the negotiations with John Kerry. Moniz was quoted in the WSJ on April 24th saying that using current centrifuge capabilities, Iran could produce a nuclear bomb in 30 to 60 DAYS."


This is an outright lie, and is not what Moniz said at all.


Here's the link:


http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-president-daydreams-on-iran-1429914121


And here's the passage in question:


"How far Mr. Obama is prepared to chase the negotiation dream is illustrated by the recent candor of his energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who has been party to the negotiations. In 2013 the president answered questions about Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons with these words: “Our assessment continues to be a year or more away, and in fact, actually our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.”


"Yet on Monday Mr. Moniz told reporters at Bloomberg a different story: “They are right now spinning. I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000,” he said. “It’s very little time to go forward. That’s two to three months.” How long has the administration held this view? “Oh, quite some time,” Mr. Moniz replied. The Bloomberg report suggests “several years.”


We already know that our assessment was based on *Israeli* intelligence claims asserted by PM Netanyahu which have been refuted and debunked by his own intelligence service, the Mossad.  So you're claiming that Moniz had more accurate intel, when in fact, Moniz was simply relying on the same old alarmist bullspit Netanyahu has been spouting for the last 10+ years -- and which Israel's own intelligence apparatus has disavowed.


Yeahright.  Pull the other one, pal.


gotalife
gotalife

The violent protesters won like I said they would.


Cops are arrested, body cams on police but keep filming them.


More concessions are needed from congress like prison reform and free the weed.


Keep the pressure on people for total victory..

alexander2
alexander2

"perfect standard bearer..' Oh just quiet down Jay, your adolescent hyperbole can be insulting and nauseating.  Many Repubs would not vote for this guy. Your broadbrush attack reminds one of a toddlers finger painting...You can criticize these two but focus your complaints a bit more , you'll be more believable, if you care.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@alexander2 So, you agree that Cotton and Rubio should be disgraced for even trying to bring up such a thing? 


Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

It would be better to defend America when needed than to start a war for the paranoid and get 10s of thousands Americans killed and maimed like what happened in Iraq. When Saddam was in power Americans were not getting killed and maimed, and less Iraqies were getting gassed than what the war killed.


Fight to win when you have reason to fight,  not based on "what ifs".

gotalife
gotalife

You can't bully Iran cons .

gotalife
gotalife

Trying diplomacy first has always been our first move.


.



Kamchak
Kamchak

Funny thing about Sanders running for POTUS -- when Kerry announced his candidacy for the 2004 election, he was derided as the most liberal Senator even though he didn't even break the top ten. Same thing with Obama in 2008.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@straitroad @Kamchak

I've never seen Sanders speak.

If only there were resources where one could view such things.

But seriously, he has a comforting, common-sense, confident air to him. His NYC accent (that's where he was born/raised) might be a turn off to some.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Visual_Cortex 

If only there were resources where one could view such things.

Heh, heh, heh.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@straitroad 

I was just asking for an opinion.

No, you asked a loaded question.

Perhaps if you had omitted the "as wooden as Hillary" bit I would have taken you seriously.

Just sayin'.

alexander2
alexander2

@straitroad Blow Kam off, he's not worth the finger pressure., Sanders is a bit strident for me , but he's engaging.