For more than half a century, the bipartisan consensus in Washington has functioned primarily as a way of empowering Muslim theocrats in Iran by repeatedly confirming the mullahs’ characterization of the US as “the Great Satan” — overthrowing their elected government in 1953, giving their overthrown tyrant refuge in 1979, shooting down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, pursuing decades of economic sanctions, etc., etc., etc.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Washington Post reports:
A bipartisan juggernaut of senior senators is spending the remaining week of the Thanksgiving recess forging agreement on a new sanctions bill that the senators hope to pass before breaking again for Christmas.
I’m not a big supporter of the “nuclear agreement” the Obama administration has been negotiating with Iran, primarily because the background of that agreement has been pure political theater — it aims to bring an end to an apparently non-existent arms program and results in only partial and highly contingent US and EU recognition of Iran’s clear and unambiguous legal entitlement, per the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to develop nuclear power. The good parts of it shouldn’t have required any additional “agreement,” and the Iranians should have vetoed the bad parts of it from the git-go.
But even this “agreement” is too much for the Israelis (whose own intelligence services confirm that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, and who themselves have developed such weapons completely outside the scope of the international controls and inspections they want to impose on Iran) and their fifth column in the US Congress.
I’m beginning to think that the best possible bet for peace in the Middle East might be for the Iranians to either go ahead and build some nukes or perhaps try to negotiate with Vladimir Putin for a spot under Russia’s nuclear deterrent umbrella. The Mr. Nice Guy routine obviously just isn’t going to work with the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu, Bob Menendez or Ted Cruz.