We at Occupy World Writes try to be apolitical as much as possible. We find both parties to be hypocritical to a large degree, and we’d rather remain equal opportunity critics. However, the chuckleheads who have taken over conservative politics are especially worthy of our scorn.
We could talk about their fiscal irresponsibility or their tone deafness in their statements about women, minorities and unions. We could talk about their denial of science, or their demonizing of intelligence. We could name many, many more examples why the Republican party of today is the most inept and derision worthy group of clowns we’ve seen in our lifetimes. However, their most obvious fault (and the most dangerous one at the moment) is their willingness to put party before the good and safety of their country.
Last week, Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress. We wrote numerous pieces in the days leading up to the speech explaining why this was an end run around normal protocol and could be seen as possibly interfering with upcoming elections in Israel. We also discussed the dangerous precedent this set as far as foreign policy is concerned.
However, it’s another week, and this means another blunder with possible international consequences by our conservative brethren in Congress. Yesterday morning, a group of 47 Republican senators wrote an open letter to the leaders of Iran, warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with the Obama administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.
Freshman Senator Tom Cotton, who is on record as wanting to sabotage the negotiations between Iran and the US, organized the writing of the letter. It was signed by the Senate’s entire Republican leadership, as well as three potential 2016 presidential candidates: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the letter interfered with diplomatic negotiations, calling it a “rush to war, or at least the rush to the military option”.
Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid said; “Let’s be clear. Republicans are undermining our commander in chief while empowering the ayatollahs.”
President Obama responded by saying that the senators were “interfering with the talks. He went on to say; “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition.”
Senator Susan Collins, one of the seven Republicans who didn’t sign the letter, doubted if the letter would have the effect the others wanted. She said; “It’s more appropriate for members of the Senate to give advice to the president, to Secretary Kerry and to the negotiators. I don’t think that the ayatollah is going to be particularly convinced by a letter from members of the senate, even one signed by a number of my distinguished and high ranking colleagues.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gave a scathing reply to the letter, saying: “in our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.”
Zarif pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy. He then said: “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with ‘the stroke of a pen,’ as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law. I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States. The conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by U.S. domestic law.”
As was the case with the Netanyahu speech, Congress is doing all it can to scuttle peaceful resolution of Iran’s nuclear future, and pushing for a much more warlike stance instead. And, as with Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu, the Senators’ actions could be seen as a violation of the Logan Act:
“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence orintercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer oragent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title orimprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Occupy World Writes is appalled by the Senators’ actions. Their constant placing of party above national unity and security is dangerous, short-sighted and a disservice to We the People. There’s a petition at whitehouse.gov calling for charging the Senators with violating the Logan Act. We urge you to sign it; not because we believe they will actually be charged (they probably won’t be), but to indicate that We the People do not believe members of Congress can be exempt from the laws they write for the rest of us. We believe it is time for the elected officials of this country to do their official duties instead of playing partisan games with foreign powers and making a mockery of the American government around the world. Enough is enough.