Republican Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran last month wasn’t just his attempt to undermine President Obama – it was the order that was given to him by his funders in the defense industry, states Ring of Fire Radio.
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), an opponent of President Obama’s diplomatic efforts to strike an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, suggested on Tuesday that armed conflict with Tehran could be easily contained to “several days of air and naval bombing” and would not require the deployment of American ground troops. The comments echoed the false predictions of Bush administration officials on the eve of the Iraq invasion, according to ThinkProgress.
Mike Papantonio and Abby Martin discuss this story.
Tom Cotton is the junior U.S. Senator from the state of Arkansas. He is a member of the Republican Part and he is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a lawyer. Cotton is now known for writing a letter signed by 47 Senators to the leadership of Iran, apparently in an effort to undermine the peace treaty being negotiated with the U.S. and five other nations.
“On or about March 9, 2015, Senator Cotton wrote and sent a letter to the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed by 47 of the Senate’s 54 Republicans, attempting to cast doubt on the Obama administration’s authority to engage in nuclear-proliferation negotiations with Iran. The open letter was released in English as well as a poorly-translated Persian version (which “read like a middle schooler wrote it” according to Foreign Policy). Within hours, commentators suggested that the letter prepared by Cotton constituted a violation of the Logan Act. Questions also were raised as to whether it reflected a flawed interpretation of the Treaty Clause of the United States Constitution.“
“President Barack Obama mocked the letter, referring to it as an ‘unusual coalition’ with Iran’s hard-liners as well as an interference with the then-ongoing negotiations of a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.
“In addition, during a Vice News Interview, President Barack Obama said ‘I’m embarrassed for them, for them to address a letter to the Ayatollah the Supreme Leader of Iran, who they claim is our mortal enemy and their basic argument to them is: don’t deal with our president, because you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement… That’s close to unprecedented.'”
Cotton predicted Thursday that U.S. military strikes on Iran could damage its nuclear capabilities without leading to a full-scale war, states USA Today.
He said past Israeli air force attacks on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria and President Obama’s own statements about a “military option” indicate that “air and naval bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities would in fact work,” states USA Today.
He likened the option to Operation Desert Fox, the four-day bombing campaign President Clinton ordered in 1998 for Iraq’s refusal to cooperate with international weapons inspectors. “That’s what military action would look like if we had to take military action against Iran,” Cotton said, according to USA Today.
Cotton, himself a veteran of the Iraq War, dismissed any comparisons to the predictions of a short conflict by then-President Bush and then-Vice President Dick Cheney and others before the invasion of Iraq.
Secretary of State John Kerry called the open letter penned by 47 Republican senators to Iran’s leaders over negotiations on that country’s nuclear program “absolutely calculated,” “unprecedented” and “unthought-out,” states the Washington Post.
“It’s false information and directly calculated to interfere and basically say, ‘Don’t negotiate with them, you’ve got to negotiate with 535 members of Congress.’ That’s unprecedented. Unprecedented,” Kerry said in an interview Sunday with CBS News.
Congressional Republicans have thrown rules out the window.
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Arizona Republican Senator John McCain said on Tuesday night he wasn’t sure it was the best way to handle the situation.
“Maybe that wasn’t the best way to do that, but I think the Iranians should know that the Congress of the United States has to play a role in whether an agreement of this magnitude,” he said of the letter, according to MSNBC.
“I didn’t think it was going to further our efforts to get to a place where Congress would play the appropriate role that it should on Iran,” he said. “I did not think that the letter was something that was going to help get us to an outcome that we’re all seeking, and that is Congress playing that appropriate role.”
Arizona’s Republican Senator Jeff Flake said: “I just didn’t feel that it was appropriate or productive at this point. These are tough enough negotiations as it stands, and introducing this kind of letter, I didn’t think would be helpful,” he said.
New York’s Rep. Peter King, a hawkish Republican, said Tuesday he didn’t “know if I would have signed the letter. I don’t trust the president on this, quite frankly, though I don’t know if I’d go public with it to a foreign government,” he said.
Arkansas state senator Jason Rapert took to Facebook to suggest that dropping nukes on ISIS is the best way to “quickly turn things around” in territory captured by Islamic State extremists. Apparently, “collateral damage” did not enter his mind.
“With ISIS spreading all over the Middle East and Africa and Islamic Extremists carrying out violence in Europe, The United Kingdom and even in the United States, I wonder why the civilized world just sits by when we have weapons that could wipe out these barbarians where they are concentrated? I believe it is time to annihilate the strongholds and pursue the rest till we have them all captured or killed. A strategically placed nuclear weapon would save the lives of our soldiers and quickly turn things around. It is time for the insanity to be stopped.”
An Arkansas voter ID law was approved last year by the Arkansas GOP-controlled legislature.
A judge struck down the law last April, 2014, and the law is now in some kind of legal “limbo.” It is supposedly still in effect, and the state went ahead and enforced the voter ID laws during the Arkansas primaries on Tuesday.
After checking ID, election workers quizzed voters on their personal information, and they used electronic card strip-readers to verify ID.
However, these things apparently go beyond what the law allows.
Also, some voters without proper ID are said to have been wrongly denied provisional ballots. If they don’t have ID, they are supposed to get a provisional ballot and return with ID later.
In addition, large numbers of absentee ballots also are in danger of not being counted.
Apparently, voters are supposed to send ID with absentee ballots, but often that didn’t happen.
The director of the state Board of Election Commissioners Justin Clay said the state’s training program for poll workers had made clear that the law allows them only to verify the name and picture on voters’ ID.
However, the official response in Arkansas has been lackadaisical.
Clay said he had spoken to one county involved, which assured him that it had trained its poll workers correctly. He was asked if there was a plant to investigate further.
“No plan at the moment,” said Clay, adding that unless the board received complaints from voters or from county clerks on voters’ behalf, there wasn’t much it could do.