You would never know from the Republican Presidential nominee hopefuls that they have lost their battle to defeat Obama on the Iran nuclear deal….but electioneering is not known for being mindful of facts.
Time finally ran out for the majority Republican led push to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal...but you wouldn’t know it.
Still they shout from the debate and election rally pulpits about all the things they will do to what is apparently the most vile of deals.
The Obama administration is underway in implementing its commitments, playing catchup with the five other signatories.
However if your only source of ‘information‘ on this deal comes under the umbrella of the GOP nominee hopefuls in this never-ending nomination/election campaign you could be forgiven for not realising there was anyone else involved other than the righteous but temporarily misguided USA, and the despicable Republic of Mullahs.
Those who lined up for the second Republicans debate seemed incapable of accepting that not only did they lose their Netanyahu-sponsored, multi-million dollar campaign to deny Obama his solid foreign policy victory, but their pledges to alter, toughen or simply rip up the deal look very, very silly.
They are also quite duplicitous because should one of these 16 hopefuls still hanging in make it to the Oval Office, he or she would not have the legal right to fulfill such pledges.
Even Donald Trump knows that.
Don’t forget, as if you could, he is in his own humble opinion, “the master negotiator that President Obama and other candidates are not”, and he has a 28-year old book ‘The Art of the Deal’ to prove it.
Carly Fiorina, who carries similar questionable business baggage to Trump’s, scolded the negotiators for breaking every rule in high-stakes deals. You have to walk away sometimes, she offered.
Apparently there is “no real guarantee” that Iran is going to play fair.
Do these people listen to themselves?
Are they not proof positive that it is the Iranians who should be doubting the veracity of America’s signature on the deal given the bombast that is being spouted by these Republican candidates?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell optimistically claims the deal will likely be revisited by the next commander-in-chief.
Speaker John Boehner (who must be very concerned about his job) has (in desperation) raised the possibility of legal action to block the deal or legislation to reinstate sanctions.
Is ‘trust but verify’ not a two way street in a signed deal?
Fiorina showed she can certainly string a few sentences together, but the content on Iran is dubious. She promised to make her first phone call to her “good friend Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him we will stand with the state of Israel, and her second call will be to “the supreme leader” (presumably of Iran).
Call number two will be to “tell” (others would call it threaten) that leader that “unless and until he opens every military and every nuclear facility to real anytime, anywhere inspections by our people, we will make it as difficult as possible (for Iran to) move money around the global financial system”.
Fact check - she can’t unilaterally alter the contents of the deal.
President Fiorina could move to make life difficult for Iran financially at the expense of American businesses eager to get into the Iranian market, and the rest of the world has moved on from the days of signing up to American initiated economic sanctions.
Trump’s predictions are a little fuzzier and a little less detailed - surprise surprise. He calls the agreement terrible, incompetent...”I’ve never seen anything like it. One of the worst contracts of any kind I’ve ever seen...we’re talking about Iran, (thanks for the clarification). They are bad actors, bad things are going to happen.”
In the meantime something quite Orwellian is going on in the camp of the failed campaign to stop the deal.
This most public of defeats is being twisted into a victory.
For Chemi Shalev writing in Haaretz, AIPAC, Republicans, Netanyahu and everyone else involved in the “all-hands-on-deck” anti campaign were reminiscent of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.
The effort to scuttle the deal apparently worked, even though the effort and not the deal collapsed.
In this make-believe world defeat is victory because the Senate sent a strong message against the deeply-flawed, unpopular agreement; division is unity because four of 46 Democrats joined the Republicans and Jewish ‘unity’ is actually a 50/50 split; and, a failing strategy is a brilliant success because Netanyahu claims the public has turned against the deal.
While in the land of make-believe there are two examples of never letting the facts get in the way of the Republican narrative.
In the first, Fox News recently called out Dick Cheney when he tried to blame Obama for the massive increase in Iran’s stockpile of centrifuges for enriching uranium. When it was bluntly pointed out to him this stockpile went from zero to 5,000 by the end of George W. Bush’s watch, the grumpy Cheney was forced to concede.
The second is the cringing pilgrimage Republican candidates make to the temple of Reagan. You know, the shining one on the hill.
Every Republican candidate wants you to believe he or she will return the US to the glory days of the Gipper...except with it comes to Iran.
The Reagan relationship with Iran is never mentioned.
Candidates are obviously relying on widespread public amnesia over the Iran Contra Affairs.
The introduction to the report of the Congressional Committees Investigation produces a strong hint as to why..
“The common ingredients of the Iran and Contra policies were secrecy, deception and disdain for the law...the United States simultaneously pursued two contradictory foreign policies - a public one and a secret one”.
Reagan’s signatures were all over the trading through Israel to Iran of arms for hostages, National Security Advisor John Poindexter admitted that he destroyed Reagan’s signed approvals in order to “avoid political embarrassment”.
Secrecy, deception and disdain for law. That was Reagan on Iran. They are not the hallmarks of Obama on Iran.
But the way the losers in the battle are carrying on it could be some time before the US is demoted from the rather amusing ‘Great Satan’ to perhaps a ‘lesser Satan’ in the words of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
The reality is both sides have to prove their sincerity - something Republican candidates are proving willfully blind to.