Senator Tom Cotton Desperately Needs A Geography Lesson

Image courtesy of Democratic Underground.

Image courtesy of Democratic Underground.

Tom Cotton, current infamous Republican senator from Arkansas, appeared on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer this past Sunday. The topic of discussion was Senator Cotton’s letter to Iran, and Cotton’s motivation for said letter. Many of the senators who signed the letter have backtracked their support, including John McCain, who has been telling anyone who will listen the only reason he signed it was the weather. Now, we’ve all done it; we’ve glanced at the weather forecast, freaked out, and signed a letter written specifically to destroy negotiations with a country whose government wants to wipe another country off the face of the planet. Don’t judge.

In response to a question posed by Bob Schieffer, Senator Cotton gave us a glimpse into his foreign policy expertise. Here is the exchange:

Schieffer: What do you want to happen here? What is your alternative here? Let’s say that the deal falls through, then what?

Cotton: Well as Prime Minister Netanyahu said, the alternative to a bad deal is a better deal. The Iranians frequently bluff to walk away from the table. if they bluff this week, call their bluff. The Congress stands ready to impose much more severe sanctions. Moreover we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran increasingly they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad and now Sana’a as well. They do all that without a nuclear weapon. imagine what they would do with a nuclear weapon. (source)

They control Tehran. You know what? Senator Cotton is absolutely right-Iran does control Tehran, in much the same way that Arkansas controls Little Rock, or Minnesota controls St. Paul, or California controls Sacramento, or the United States controls Washington, DC…that one may be a bad example. Tehran is the capital city of Iran. Which is why Iran controls Tehran. Who would Senator Cotton prefer control Tehran?

We all know the answer to that question, don’t we? Senator Cotton, along with the other war hawks in DC, would very much enjoy taking over Iran, much like they want to take over Afghanistan. And like the Bush administration wanted to take over Iraq. Folks, this has very little to do with Israel, and a lot to do with oil and money – with a bit of religious nuttery tossed in. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Iran holds the world’s fourth-largest proved crude oil reserves, and the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves. Thanks to sanctions, Iran’s oil and natural gas production has slowed “substantially” over the past few years. What to do, what to do. We can’t remove the sanctions, because if we do, Iran will blow up Israel, even though Bibi Netanyahu has been saying that for twenty years, and it still hasn’t happened. So how do we, the gas-addicted United States, get to all that oil? Why, we wage war on Iran, and send Dick Cheney on a media tour, swearing that oil will pay for the war, just like he swore it would pay for the Iraq war.

Speaking of Darth Cheney, his former company, Halliburton, would make a fortune if we waged war in Iran. Ever heard of The Halliburton Loophole? In 2005, then-VP Cheney inserted a provision into an energy bill that stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate fracking. Fracking, by the way, was invented by Halliburton in the 1940’s. Halliburton would make millions, if not billions, if we invaded Iran. Why should American citizens whose health and welfare have been decimated by fracking have all the lesions fun? Let’s outsource carcinogens, toxic drinking water, and earthquakes!

Back to Senator Cotton. Perhaps he was just nervous being on the teevee with Bob Schieffer. And became confused by Schieffer’s “gotcha” question. Asking Cotton what his alternative is, what might happen if the deal falls through, might have been cruel of Schieffer, or maybe Cotton became confused, thinking he was on Fox, where the questions are softer than a down pillow. Or a cotton blanket. Or a kitten.

Senator Tom Cotton, it might behoove you to learn the geography of the country you and your fellow “patriots” want to invade. You don’t want to be like these folks, do you? Well, maybe it won’t matter. After all, your constituents-mostly white, older, fundamentalist Christian Fox viewers-don’t really care about facts. Remember that 2003 study by the University of Maryland that proved Fox viewers are more likely to believe false statements? Given that Fox’s rhetoric has increased both in volume and vehemence, it would be a fair guess that Fox viewers are even less informed now than they were twelve years ago. And you love that, don’t you, Senator? Your voting block believes this is all about Israel.

What will happen if Bibi loses tomorrow? That right-wing bully goes the way of the dodo, and suddenly, a more liberal power structure emerges. Will you still support Israel, Senator Cotton? Will you write another letter to Iran? Will you put our men and women in the military in harms’ way once again for oil and money? Or will you find other things on which to focus, like spending more of our tax dollars investigation Hillary Clinton, or trying to overturn the ACA for the umpteenth time? Maybe a little work on restricting abortion even more, or putting DOMA back on the books? Spend more time proving you all don’t really want a smaller government at all; you just want to use it to legislate morality and attack the poor and middle class.

The touch, the feel, of Tom Cotton is not the fabric of our lives. This is a man who wants war, and he doesn’t even understand the basic geography of the country he wants to invade. Maybe we should send Ted Nugent into Tehran with five hundred yards of white muslin, a giant bottle of mercurochrome, and a paint brush. Nugent can paint a big X on the muslin, and hang it from Azadi Tower.

Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.


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