Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Et Tu, Daily News (or the Man Who Would Control Our Foreign Policy)

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Wow, maybe there is a liberal media. I'm torn over whether this goes too far (it's obviously not treason except in a tabloid world), but here's the reason that the 535 members of Congress are not in charge of foreign policy

Cotton called for “more sanctions” and “confronting Iran.” The newly-minted senator argued that a credible threat of force should be on the table, adding “Israel struck Iraq’s nuclear program in 1981 and they didn’t reconstitute it. Israel struck Syria’s nuclear reactor, they haven’t yet reconstituted it. Rogue regimes have a way of getting the picture when there is a credible threat of military force on the table.”
But past experiences with Iran appear to undermine Cotton’s policy prescription.
As Secretary of State John Kerry pointed out during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing least week, the George W. Bush administration pursued a “no nuclear capability” policy on Iran throughout most of its eight years in office only to see Iran’s centrifuges grow. 

Uncredible, a foreign policy decision of the Bush WH that turned out wrong. 

(W)hat about Cotton’s backstop of military action? American and Israeli military leaders warn that any strike against Iran would only set Iran back two or three years and could gravely destabilize the region. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who served under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, predicted, such action would “bring together a divided nation, it will make them absolutely committed to obtaining nuclear weapons.” Experts also point out that a strike against Iran “could not be accomplished in a single sortie and would require employing much greater force than Israel used against Iraq and Syria.” While Iraq and Syria relied on outside suppliers for their nuclear capabilities and were thus unable to rebuild their programs, “Iran would not need outside help” and will reconstitute a more covert operation.

God forbid these idiots get back in charge of anything beyond blathering in the House and Senate.  And from Charles Pierce:

 It may have eluded you as you watched Cotton lose to coherence two out of three falls, but he managed to dump a whole lot of stuff down the ol' memory hole.
"Israel struck Iraq's nuclear program in 1981 and they didn't reconstitute it..."
Wait. What? What about the aluminum tubes? The yellowcake from Niger? The smoking gun that cannot be a mushroom cloud? What about Condi Rice? Was Judy Miller's martyrdom in vain? Was it even necessary to have ruined Valerie Plame's career? Damn, Tom, where were you when we needed you?

In today’s GOP, Cotton is at least Veep material. A Harvard man, he is.

It appears from the letter that the Senators do not understand our constitutional system or the power to make binding agreements.
The letter states that “the Senate must ratify [a treaty] by a two-thirds vote.”  But as the Senate’s own web page makes clear: “The Senate does not ratify treaties. Instead, the Senate takes up a resolution of ratification, by which the Senate formally gives its advice and consent, empowering the president to proceed with ratification” (my emphasis).  Or, as this outstanding  2001 CRS Report on the Senate’s role in treaty-making states (at 117):  “It is the President who negotiates and ultimately ratifies treaties for the United States, but only if the Senate in the intervening period gives its advice and consent.”  Ratification is the formal act of the nation’s consent to be bound by the treaty on the international plane.  Senate consent is a necessary but not sufficient condition of treaty ratification for the United States. 
And too, the Guardian:
If no deal is reached, what does the Senate GOP think will happen? Peace on earth and goodwill to men? Iran will continue to build up its nuclear program, and the world will eventually face a stark choice between Iran being a screwdriver’s turn away from a nuclear bomb, or using its own traditional bombs in Iran and starting a disastrous war.
It was left to Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to explain to the Senate Republicans, in an epic bit of trolling, that though a deal may be struck without Congressional approval, it would still carry the force of international law. Under US law, designated “treaties” need Senate approval. But under international law, agreements between two states – irrespective of internal national laws – arebinding.
So it’s a bummer for Corker that Cotton’s efforts seem to have hurt his efforts to affect the outcome. One Senate Democrat at the forefront of cooperating with Corker, Virginia’s Tim Kaine, has already said this “partisan and nutty behavior” makes it more difficult for him to join his colleagues across the aisle.
Corker might consider explaining that to his 47 colleagues, including the full Senate GOP leadership, who signed the letter. As Obama rightly noted, they have formed an “ironic” and “unusual coalition” with Iranian hardliners, who also seek to block a deal at any cost.
The winners, then, might be the moderates in this mixed-up international game of chess: Obama, who is a bit closer to negotiating an agreement with Iran absent naysaying Congressional oversight; and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who stands to bolster his own political clout if such a deal is struck. And those winners would include the nations they represent, who keep steadily moving away from the specter of war, despite hardliners’ efforts in both countries.
If we reach an agreement with Iran and Bibi is looking for a job a week from now and I'll be very happy.

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