Wednesday, March 11, 2015
So, 47 Republican Senators, including Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, have recently signed off on a threatening letter to the nation of Iran, which says, in essence, that any treaty agreed upon by the executive office without congressional approval could simply be overturned in the next administration.
I could reprint the letter itself here, but enough media outlets have made that available. I could also post the reply that Iran's Foreign Minister made, appropriately disrespecting these idiots for their fantastically immature and inexperienced attempt at undermining diplomacy.
"So what?" you might say. They sent a letter, and it got pissed on. No harm, no foul. Obama went over the head of congress on immigration, so this is just congress going over the president's head right back. Tit for tat, right?
Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
The international embarrassment alone should be enough to warrant immediate dismissal from office. I mean, Jesus Fucking Christ! How could anyone have even conceived of doing something so incredibly dumb? But alas, being a complete moron is not an impeachable offense, and may even help someone win an election in certain states. And the problem goes much, much deeper than mere embarrassment over how stupid the people we (bafflingly!) allow to govern us are. No, this is treachery on a grand scale, and the fact that the 47 senators who did it are too ignorant to even realize it makes it worse, not better.
First, we need to understand Iran a little bit better. This is not just an Islamist Theocracy looking to get its hands on nuclear power. There is also a significant percentage of Iranians who want an Arab Spring variety of revolution to overthrow their existing government and bring freedom in the form of a secular democracy. You may recall five years ago the tumult that erupted in the streets after an Iranian election was seen to be rigged, and protesters in that country took to the streets. The Iranian government tried to censor the media coverage, but they didn't anticipate that citizens would post their homemade videos onto social media, and so we all learned about these heroes of democracy in Iran. These Iranians are on OUR side! They fight for freedom and democracy! No, their numbers are not large enough to overcome a rigged election, but they are certainly are large enough to make the Iranian government nervous! There lies our key advantage.
Enter the nuclear weapons problem. Analysis has shown that Iran's citizens largely don't want its government to have a nuke, largely because they don't want to incur the wrath of the U.S. and its allies. They do want nuclear power, however. They want to be able to power their lights and their homes and their TV's and cell phones at cheaper prices. Who wouldn't? But can they do it without the Theocracy of Iran stabbing them in the back by obtaining nuclear weapons first?
The experts say, probably not! Because the citizens who want revolution might well pull it off if the government is seen as its primary enemy. But what if that shifts? What if the big, bad United States threatens it with military actions over violations involving procurement of fissionable materials? Well, then, the democratic-minded citizens will see the U.S. as the greater enemy, and side with the government they despise in order to save their homes and their families from potential destruction from the bigger threat.
As such, the smart move, diplomatically, is to gradually ease trade sanctions and slowly allow Iran the ability to build nuclear power plants. This also gives them the ability to make a dirty nuclear bomb if they wished, and this makes us all nervous, but you know what? It's an uncomfortable arrangement we can actually live with in the long run. So long as the democratically minded citizens remain allied with us from the inside, the chances of Iran's Theocracy becoming a rogue nuclear power are small. For more on this analysis, I defer to the real expert, a brilliant mathematician and expert on the nation of Iran, Mr. Bruce Bueno De Mesquita. You can watch his TED Talk video here and see for yourself the situation I am describing. (The talk is six years old, but still relevant.)
Now, the real consequences of the letter sent by the 47 backstabbing senators begins to become clear. At a single stroke, these dunderheads have given the Iranian Theocracy exactly the ammunition it needed to convince the democratic secularists among its citizenry that the United States is the bigger threat to their well being than they are! As such, the letter does all the following things at once:
1.) It directly attacks democracy by undermining the efforts of pro-democracy activists who want to make Iran a democratic republic.
2.) It promotes nuclear theocracy by providing political power to the idea of the Iranian regime having, and using, a nuke.
3.) It strengthens the resolve of the Iranian people against the West, so that economic sanctions will have less effect psychologically and strategically.
4.) Due to the above, it could very well spark a war, because if Iran obtains a nuke, only a military incursion will take it away from them again. Israel will insist on such an incursion, and if Israel strikes, we will have to as well.
And this is before we get to the other things the letter does, such as disrespect the office of the president of the United States, shame our country, insult the time-honored and respectable offices and representatives of our diplomatic corps...
Let's face it, everybody, these 47 Senators, whether they meant to or not, have committed an act of war against the American people. They should therefore be immediately recalled!
I'm not one for picketing, demonstrating, or taking to the street with a pitchfork and a torch, but I'm ready to over this one! To attack democracy not only here, but in Iran as well? Bullshit! Let's throw the bums out!
Physically, if we must.