By Bill Fletcher, Jr.
I never cease to be surprised by the racist audacity of the Republicans in Congress. In clear violation of international protocol, they arranged for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak before Congress. The established practice has been that this is done always in consultation with the Executive Branch. This time the Republicans decided to snub that branch.
Wonders never cease. Forty-seven Republican Senators then signed onto one of the strangest letters in the history of international relations. The letter is addressed to the leadership of Iran and, in essence, says that whatever agreement Iran comes to with the Obama administration will be voided by the next President of the United States. This is remarkable on so many levels, not the least being that no agreement has been reached–at the time of this writing–and that the Republicans are telling another country that there is no point in their negotiating with the incumbent administration.
Like many people, I have been curious as to whether these Senators actually broke a law. I am hoping that this can be quickly clarified. Deciding that they are appendages of the Israeli state instead of representatives of the people of the United States, the Republicans are suggesting that if Iran does not surrender to the terms established by Israel that there will be war. Yes, Netanyahu and his sycophants in Congress do not use the term “war.” They speak of increasing sanctions and other pressure, but most knowledgeable observers recognize that the intent is to create a military crisis that will result in actions being taken by the United States against Iran. The results would probably be catastrophic.
Let us all remember that it was Prime Minister Netanyahu who sought to assure the people of the USA that by attacking Iraq in 2003 that it would change the region for the better. Netanyahu was, of course, half right: the region has changed. He got the second part wrong, however: it changed for the worse, with the spread of Al Qaeda and, more recently, the Islamic State, and with the corresponding instability.
There are questions that need to be asked of these Republican members of Congress. Let’s start with the matter of war. Are they prepared for yet another war? These are the same people who are insisting on cutting the budget and not taxing the rich, so where do the resources come from for a war? And, of course, what happens if the Iranians, attacked by the US and Israel, shut the Straits of Hormuz where so much of the world’s oil travels? What is the Republican answer?
The answer for the Republicans seems to always be the same. Bully until you win…or until someone stands firm…and then start alleging anything that will discredit that government or social movement as supposedly standing in the way of peace. The longer that this goes on, the more that this feels like we are living George Orwell’s “1984”, where there is eternal war and that eternal war is considered peace.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the host of The Global African on Telesur-English. He is a racial justice, labor and global justice activist and writer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.