Right at the start of the Senate hearings on the nuclear deal with Iran today – at which US Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will testify – in what can hardly be called a surprise, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) found fault with an agreement which has been widely praised everywhere but in Israel and Congress.
Senator Corker began the meeting by telling Secretary of State John Kerry, “Not unlike a hotel guest that leaves only with a hotel bathrobe on his back, I believe that you’ve been fleeced.”
According to Corker, the Obama administration has shown “disdain” for US allies in the region (jargon for Israel), claiming that “if we had dealt with dismantling their nuclear program they wouldn’t be reacting as they did.” Corker forgets the U.S. has other allies, and that our foreign policy does not revolve around – or function for the sole benefit of – Israel.
According to Corker, far from curbing any potential Iranian nuclear weapons program, the administration has actually made it possible for “a state sponsor of terrorism” to create nuclear weapons.
On the contrary, pointed out Kerry, rejecting the treaty would be giving Iran “a great big green light” to produce nuclear weapons. After all, what measures would be in force to stop them short of war?
Clearly, this meeting is more about Republican talking points than our shared world of facts, something about which Kerry was quick to remind him:
Kerry told Corker that he apparently believed in some “sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation.” In other words, Kerry dismissed Corker’s fantasies about a world where Iran’s nuclear knowledge can be made to magically disappear:
“The fact is that Iran now has extensive experience with nuclear fuel cycle technology. We can’t bomb that knowledge away. Nor can we sanction that knowledge away.”
This should hardly need be said, but these are Republicans we are talking about here. They’re not scientists, after all.
And Kerry made clear that “the result will be the United States of America walking away from every one of the restrictions we have achieved.”
“We will have squandered the best chance we have to solve this problem through peaceful means.”
Which is hardly a problem for chickenhawks, who are always eager to send innocent young men and women to die for their ideological causes and whatever war profiteering they can get out of foreign adventurism.
It is clear that Republicans don’t want to deal with the real world, but rather with what they want to be, which is not something relate-able to other Americans, let alone the rest of the world.
Obama’s achievement in bringing together a coalition to force Iran to the negotiating table cannot be understated, and the resultant deal is too important to be destroyed by Republicans who have no viable alternative to diplomacy save a war nobody wants to fight but them.
Congress has 56 days to give and up or down vote on the deal, not that they can realistically hope to stop it.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.