Thursday, September 3, 2015

Neocons Powerless to Scuttle Nuclear Deal with Iran, but They'll Keep Trying

Now that Obama has locked in the support necessary to maintain a veto of any Congressional vote of disapproval of the P5+1 deal on Iran's nuclear program, discussion has quickly shifted to what the GOP and Likudnik Democratic dead-enders in the House and Senate can do to scuttle the agreement. The answer, based on Jennifer Steinhauer's story, "Republicans Weigh New Ways to Upend Iran Nuclear Deal," is very little. The principal idea at this point is reimposing economic sanctions:
Republicans have been thinking through alternatives for months, knowing that Mr. Obama would probably be able to fend off efforts to override his veto of a resolution scuttling the accord. The agreement’s implementation seemed assured Wednesday when Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, came out in support, the 34th Democrat to do so, providing Mr. Obama with enough votes to prevent an override of a resolution of disapproval of the deal.
For its part, the House will also consider the disapproval resolution next week when Congress returns. Democrats hope to assemble enough votes to sustain a veto in that chamber, as well. A veto override must pass both the House and Senate by a two-thirds vote. 
Approving new sanctions, even many set to be lifted as part of the accord, is one possible path, said several aides to lawmakers, because it would both send a message to Tehran and the White House and put Democrats in a difficult position.
Under the agreement reached with six world powers, Iran would be released from congressionally imposed sanctions related to its nuclear program. Still, Congress could pass new, even tougher terrorism-related sanctions on key Iranian leaders. 
The White House has repeatedly said the lifting of current sanctions would not lessen Washington’s resolve to counter Iranian aggression in the Middle East. But approval of additional sanctions could undermine the legitimacy of the United States with its negotiating partners. 
Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, alluded to the strategy just before Congress left for its August recess. 
“One of the first things Congress will do when we finish this debate, I would say give it 60 days, we will pass that extension” on sanctions, Mr. Corker told reporters after a briefing with Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz.
Senators Mark S. Kirk, Republican of Illinois, and Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, both opponents of the current Iran accord, introduced legislation this year that would extend the Iran Sanctions Act, which expires at the end of 2016, for another decade. 
While most lawmakers understand the need to have legal authority to “snap back” any sanctions that are lifted, Republicans would most likely move to enforce those sanctions, putting Democrats in a bind in an election year by pushing for a vote on legislation to punish Iran for killing Americans and Israelis, and for supporting Hezbollah, leaving the president little choice but to veto because if he signed it, the Iranians would say they are no longer bound by broader agreement. 
Even if these sanctions are never reimposed, Republicans could use the issue in an effort to divide Democrats in 2016.
This is a perfect example of Congress confusing talking points with reality, which, as you know, if you have ever read The Federalists Papers, was a concern of the Founding Fathers. Create a national government with its own national capital and you create a situation where elected representatives will leave home (and their watchful constituents) for long amounts of time and take up residence in a remote city where they will be beset by agents with special interests. These agents will replace issues concerning the general welfare with their own special interests.

If Congress reintroduces sanctions after the United Nations has already validated the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran, so much the better for Europe, China and Russia. These countries won't have to concern themselves with competition from giant U.S. corporations.

At this point the only option remaining to the Saudis, Israelis and their neocon agents is war; and in order to have a war with Iran, control of the White House is a prerequisite. Hillary would be amenable to such an option, maybe a false-flag op that could be whipped into blackmailing Europe to readopt sanctions. Walker would do anything he was told by the neocons.

But the problem for the Saudis, Israelis and their neocon agents is the public has left them far behind. With the Taliban biding its time as the puppet government in Kabul gradually disintegrates, and with Islamic State celebrating the one-year anniversary of its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, not to mention U.S. participation in wars in Yemen and Libya, there is no appetite for more war. But since Congress and the Presidency exist at this point almost solely to wage war, they grow increasingly isolated from a public they are supposed to represent.

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