Treason isn’t a word I use lightly, but even if the act wasn’t exactly treason, Senate Republicans attempting to undermine delicate negotiations with Iran is one of the most ridiculous stunts I’ve seen in my 20+ years in politics. As Allen pointed out earlier, while many of us couldn’t stand George W. Bush when he was in the Oval Office, we wouldn’t have supported any politician that tried to sabotage negotiations that he was involved in. While Senate Republicans claim that they love this country, they’re putting two interests ahead of the United States as a whole, and this is the reason why Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and 46 other Republican senators sent a letter to Iran trying to dissuade their government from making any sort of deal with President Obama.
Before we discuss the reasoning behind their motivations, here’s the text of the letter:
It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.
First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.
Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.
What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.
We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress. (Source)
Now, why would 47 Republican members of the Senate want a nuclear deal to fail? With the condescending tone of their letter, which Iran says is proof the United States is “not trustworthy,” it’s obvious that they’re not attempting to send any other message than to say that they are in charge, and not President Obama. Therefore, anything will have to ultimately be approved by them, and if it comes from President Obama, they’ll automatically refuse to ratify any treaty he could possibly add to his legacy. Tom Cotton even went on record at a Heritage Action for America event back in January and stated that he wanted these talks to fail, so there’s no other explanation for this letter from him and 46 other members of the GOP Senate.
These Republicans aren’t just refusing to allow a treaty with Iran because they’re stubborn and hateful partisan ideologues who place sabotaging President Obama over everything else, they are also extremely loyal to two separate interests that I mentioned before. These two interests are defense contractors and religious extremists (both Jewish and Christian), both of which are huge supporters of the Republican Party. Neither of these groups want peace in the Middle East, because war is profitable if you’re the producer of tanks and bullets, and if you’re a religious extremist, war against your religious enemy is required by your twisted interpretation of what your god wants.
Bernie Sanders is right when he said Republicans are “itching” for war with Iran, and the fact that Bobby Jindal (who has pandered hard to Christian extremists) is urging Republican presidential candidates to sign on to this letter is proof that the GOP is playing hard to the Christian fringe in this attempt to sabotage peace talks. The religious right, especially here in the United States, believes that a war involving Iran and Israel is part of a series of events needed to fulfill a Biblical prophecy found in the book of Revelations. This is why they support hawkish politicians both here and in Israel, and oppose any sort of peace deal with Iran. The only acceptable outcome for the people Bobby Jindal is desperately courting is a massive regional conflict that results in the deaths of millions of innocent Jews and Muslims, because they think that will set the wheels in motion for the End Times and return of Jesus. This is why they’ve cheered at the idea of nuclear war and the enormous casualties that would come with it, while electing people like Senator Tom Cotton because they’re “pro-life.”
At the same time, Iranian hard-line politicians and religious figures also don’t want peace with the West, or with Israel either. This is because they need to have an outside enemy for their people to hate and blame for their problems, just like Republicans need to have an enemy to justify a military budget. Radical Islam is most certainly a threat to global stability, but so are radical Christians, their defense industry bedfellows, and the Republicans like Tom Cotton and Bobby Jindal who pander to them.
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