The pull of the 51st State of America

The US Congress has managed to insert itself into the Iran nuclear negotiations but its reasons for doing so are highly questionable - more to do with sucking up to Israeli lobby election dollars and diminishing Obama than the safety of the rest of us - Americans included.   

While the US Congress managed to muscle in on the potential nuclear deal with Iran, other considerable world powers were also getting involved but in a very different way.

The Congress bill that will give it power to review and then vote on any deal with Iran should, if Republicans can get their way, strip President Obama of his much coveted Foreign Affairs victory of a deal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile Russia and China - both members of the international P5+1 can smell the uranium on the Persian breath (apologies to the late David Lange) and that means trade and money.

Russia has renewed a contract to deliver an advanced missile system to Iran, and China is ready, willing and able to build nuclear plants wherever the Ayatollah wants them.

Both countries are eager to end what President Putin called this week, the “vicious international isolation of Iran”.

Add to that the optimism from Austrian President Zeitung who plans to make a state visit to Iran later this year once the deal is done.

Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies predicts a very fast return to the Iranian market of scores of international companies which, coupled with sanctions relief will quickly heal Iran’s fragile economy.

So here is a conundrum for the US Congress.

On the face of it, this Congress appears obsessed with its own self importance on the international stage which it presents as grave concern that Obama is going to be the President that delivers Iran a nuclear bomb.

That is not its concern and has no connection to the facts.

Congress is deliberately obfuscatory when it comes to the fact that the United States is but one of the six parties dealing with Iran, and that the others have not required their leaders to ask for permission before signing a deal, if it is ever reached.

Congress is also very adept and playing fast and loose with the US Constitution - a practice which would have its much vaunted ‘Founding Fathers‘ spinning like centrifuges in their graves.

Democrats have aided the Republicans in what a recent New York Times Editorial declared a “Reckless Act on Iran” because any final agreement would be a political one made by the White House (as Presidents of both hues have done before)  and would not invoke a constitutional imperative requiring Congress to insert itself into the negotiations.

This fight between the Republicans and Obama is about so much more than a world safe from, as yet non-existent, Iranian bombs.

It is about the fulfillment of the Republican pledge to destroy Obama’s oppose anything he does no matter how that affects Americans or, for that matter, the rest of us.

The alternative to a deal with Iran is no deal with Iran, and no deal with Iran will eventually mean bombing the bejeezus out of suspected Iranian nuclear facilities should Iran walk away from the talks in disgust.

Republicans seem to be very interested in getting involved in parts of the Middle East when the White House is trying to stop another war, yet strangely disinterested in the hellish aftermath of the wars they started in the region.

If Congress manages to disrupt America’s participation in the deal with Iran in a way that Obama can not veto them, this saga could go a number of ways.

The UN, the EU and the rest of the world could lift their sanctions and Iran will get on with its recovery and its civilian nuclear programme.

Iran has to date referred to the Congressional interference as US domestic concerns and points out rightly that the P5+1 and Iran talks are not with the US Senate or House of Representatives.

If Congress votes down the deal we are all dragged in because it is ridiculous to believe that a country the size of Iran with, what we are being told, powerful ‘terrorist’ tentacles throughout the Middle East, will sit back and let an attack on its nuclear facilities, and its verified respect for these current negotiations, go unanswered.

But we must not be fooled into believing that the US politicians who are essentially undermining Obama’s presidency, are worried about all of us.

No, US politicians are worried about their own re-elections and no-one gets elected in the United States unless he or she swears undying allegiance to Israel.

So blatant is this that following a rebuffing of Israel’s demand that any deal include Iran’s professed recognition of Israel’s right to exist, Republican Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is soon to introduce a bill requiring just that!

Any such bill will resonate domestically because of the obscene amount of campaign money from pro-Israel lobby groups and billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers, to name but a few.

Hollywood’s wealthy Jews are already on the record as backing Hillary Clinton, having shunned her in favour of Obama in their 2008 run-off.

What should be of serious concern to Obama is the report that American-Israeli media mogul Haim Saban has strongly hinted that his friend Hillary who he is backing to be the next President, is opposed to the Iran deal.

He’s gone public saying “she has an opinion, a very well-defined opinion....everything that she thinks and everything she has done and will do will always be for the good of Israel...we don’t need to worry about this”.

Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs has described the move by Congress to curtail Obama as “an achievement for Israeli policy”.

Meanwhile Obama has been practically contorting himself in an effort to prove America will guarantee Israel’s ”qualitative military edge in the region”...and any attack against Israel will be answered by the US. 

That is some commitment given the arms race which is now in full swing in the region, fueled, in part, by the American Military Industrial Complex which is making billions selling arms to Middle East and Gulf states.

The ‘everyday Americans’ as Clinton has taken to calling them in her bid at humility this presidential race, should be extremely worried about the level at which their democracy is being sold to pacify the fifty-first state of Israel.

Its not new for Israel to drive American policy, but it has gone up quite a few notches and is certainly not democratic when criticism of Israel in any way is smothered by dollars.

It is difficult to see why everyday Americans, let alone everyday Iranians or Palestinians should be expected to pay such a price.