Thursday, March 12, 2015

47 American Imbeciles Part #3...

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Continuing the coverage of THE 47 Republican Imbeciles we came across a very well thought out and superbly articulated article this morning. Michael Tomasky's article is spot on and mirrors my own thoughts quite precisely. Mr. Tomasky's article is reprinted in part here with linkage to the full article provided.

This senators’ letter is poisonous, but not out of character. The no-diplomacy posture is exactly what has brought matters to this point.

I have probably written many times in the past that Republicans hit a new low, but as of this week you can toss all those. This Senate letter is the definite low of all time. I didn’t think these people could shock me, but this one genuinely was shocking in so many ways—not least the dishonor it brings on the United States Senate—that every other nutso thing they’ve done drops down one notch on the charts.

Treason, as the Daily News blared? I don’t know for sure about that. But I know to a certainty that if a group of Democratic senators had done this to a Republican president, Republicans and conservative pundits would be screaming the T-word and demanding the Justice Department investigate the senators.

Imagine if, say, 47 Democratic senators had written an “open letter” (a moral cop-out that permits the senators to say that it wasn’t “really” a communication to Ayatollah Khamenei) to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 assuring him any treaty Ronald Reagan signed with him could and quite possibly would be altered or abrogated by them. Or worse still—imagine that 47 Democratic senators had written an open letter to Saddam Hussein in the fall of 2002 reminding him that only Congress could declare war and that most of them would long outlast President Bush, while closing on the breathtakingly cloying note of being happy to have enriched Saddam’s “knowledge of the constitutional system.” There seems to me no doubt whatsoever that some Republican senators and members of Congress would have been baying for Logan Act prosecutions.
This senators’ letter is poisonous, but not out of character. The no-diplomacy posture is exactly what has brought matters to this point.

I have probably written many times in the past that Republicans hit a new low, but as of this week you can toss all those. This Senate letter is the definite low of all time. I didn’t think these people could shock me, but this one genuinely was shocking in so many ways—not least the dishonor it brings on the United States Senate—that every other nutso thing they’ve done drops down one notch on the charts.

Treason, as the Daily News blared? I don’t know for sure about that. But I know to a certainty that if a group of Democratic senators had done this to a Republican president, Republicans and conservative pundits would be screaming the T-word and demanding the Justice Department investigate the senators.

Imagine if, say, 47 Democratic senators had written an “open letter” (a moral cop-out that permits the senators to say that it wasn’t “really” a communication to Ayatollah Khamenei) to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 assuring him any treaty Ronald Reagan signed with him could and quite possibly would be altered or abrogated by them. Or worse still—imagine that 47 Democratic senators had written an open letter to Saddam Hussein in the fall of 2002 reminding him that only Congress could declare war and that most of them would long outlast President Bush, while closing on the breathtakingly cloying note of being happy to have enriched Saddam’s “knowledge of the constitutional system.” There seems to me no doubt whatsoever that some Republican senators and members of Congress would have been baying for Logan Act prosecutions.

Much as part of me might savor it, I don’t think we ought to go there. A far better punishment for these disgraceful intriguers would be for the letter to backfire and increase the likelihood of a deal being struck. And it might well have that effect: If the mullahs genuinely want a deal, then surely a threat like this from the Senate would make them more anxious to pursue one while they can, and then hope that Hillary Clinton, who’s indicated she’d support a deal, becomes the next president and can make it stick.

Let’s hope that’s the effect—but let’s never forget the intent. These Republican senators, says Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council, an advocate for a deal, can’t block a settlement; “but they can get the Iranians to think that it’s impossible to trust the United States,” he says. Thus, “the intent of the letter was to show the United States to be untrustworthy.”

It’s pretty amazing that members of the United States Senate would want to do that to their own country—not just in the eyes of Iran, but in the eyes of the five other powers involved in the negotiations. Three are some of our closest allies (Britain, France, and Germany). The other two are the not inconsiderable nations of Russia and China. All five have had negotiators sitting at the table with us and the Iranians for a year and a half. Wonder what they think of this.

It’s a disgrace, but only another in a long history of Republican-conservative disgraces with respect to Iran. Indeed these go back to 1953, when Dwight Eisenhower green-lighted the coup that Harry Truman had blocked. And they extend up to 2003, and the now largely forgotten but suddenly rather timely story of the Bush administration’s rebuff of an Iranian diplomatic overture that could have made the history of the U.S.-Iran relationship a very different one from what it has been.

As we now understand it is not the interest of the neo-cons in the republican party to craft diplomatic relations with countries that will insure peaceful coexistence through mutually beneficial relationships. For them is all war all the time. Of course war is necessary for the "very patriotic value" of trying to force others to see things the American neo-con way.

Continuing on with the article.

It was all widely reported then; this Washington Post article provides a good rundown. In sum, it was a point in time when the (Shia) Iranian republic had been cooperating with the United States in tracking down some (Sunni) al Qaeda men; through a Swiss intermediary, Iran passed a letter to the White House feeling the Bush administration out on broad-ranging negotiations—possibly curtailing its nuclear ambitions, cutting back on its support for (or maybe even disarming) Hezbollah, and most strikingly of all, indirectly recognizing Israel’s right to exist—all in exchange for the lifting of American sanctions.

The offer was real. Whether it had Khamenei’s blessing, no one in the West really knows. Still, some elements in the Bush administration wanted to pursue it. But guess who won? As that Post story reports it, “top Bush administration officials, convinced the Iranian government was on the verge of collapse, belittled the initiative.”

We can’t know what might have happened. “But we do know one thing,” Parsi says. “When diplomacy is rejected, as it was under Bush, when the official U.S. policy was for regime change in Tehran, you give the Iranians every incentive to do everything they can to prevent the United States from pursuing regime change.” That means spreading its talons across Iraq, and it chiefly means, of course, pushing ahead full-speed with its nuclear ambitions.

Here’s part of what that rejection of diplomacy has done for us. In 2005, Iran put an offer on the table to the Europeans calling for it to keep 3,000 centrifuges. But that was rejected, because the United States wasn’t willing to talk to Iran. So what did Iran do? While we were refusing to negotiate and rattling the saber, they were building centrifuges to beat the band.

It has always been the case. The fight is really against the political, ideological, and theocratic extremes whose purpose is to force their views and values on the rest of humanity. There was time when the ideology of the political left needed push back and those of us who realized it became more conservative. But the pendulum always swings back and when it does it seems to sing to the opposite extreme. Just another law of physics. At any rate when such a pendulum shift occurs it is reasonable, as well as the logical decision to push back against the shift to the extreme right. That is where this site is at presently and it will continue to hold this position until I no longer walk this earth.

Article continues BELOW THE FOLD.

2 comments:

  1. "The fight is really against the political, ideological, and theocratic extremes whose purpose is to <><>force<><> their views and values on the rest of humanity."

    My sentiments exactly. In an earlier comment, the names of alternate candidates came up in discussion - Jon Huntsman for example. Although I may disagree on some policy points, I have no issue with him. He appears to be an honest and sincere politician - a commodity in short supply these days. Unfortunately, rational candidates have no chance in today's GOP.

    My concern is focused on the Gestalt of the GOP - pandering to lunatic ideologues, malcontents, and religious extremists that go far beyond the mainstream and an authoritarian mindset hell-bent on domination and suppression. Their legislative agenda makes me feel less safe and less free.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is certainly becoming increasingly evident, almost daily, that the GOP's so-con, neo-con, anarcho libertarian wings of the party are bent on forcing their ideological beliefs on us all. In other words the ones demanding liberty and freedom in the highest pitch voices possible are precisely the ones who would restrict the freedom and liberty of those that do not conform.

    Sounds quite familiar. But I never thought it would happen here. Perhaps I was wrong.

    ReplyDelete

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