Thursday, March 12, 2015

Iran views U.S. Republicans

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's supreme leader said Thursday that a letter from Republican lawmakers warning that any nuclear deal could be scrapped by the next U.S. president is a sign of "disintegration" in Washington.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the letter a sign of "the collapse of political ethics and the U.S. system's internal disintegration," according to the official IRNA news agency. It was the first reaction to the letter by Khamenei, who has the final say over all major policies.
 The U.S. has been intent on raining opprobrium down on Iran based, ostensibly, on the notion that Iran is working to create a nuclear bomb. U.S. sanctions have hurt the country.

 As far as I know, any (even-American) dissection of Iran's nuclear-bomb capability -- and the country claims to be developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes -- shows that in order to make a bomb Iran has ten or more years of research and development in order to make the bomb a reality. "Imminent threat" is not credible. And then there's the question of why Israel should go unscathed under the American microscope. Or Pakistan. Or France, for that matter -- a country that derives 75% of its energy from nuclear power AND has the bomb. The selectivity seems to suggest the U.S. has other motives for using Iran as a punching bag. Oil, perhaps. Or Israeli pressure? Or a power base in the Middle East?

Whatever the case, I have a hard time disagreeing with Iran's leader, even if he is just another political liar like the Republicans. The Republican letter -- even if they do hate having a black man in the White House -- is beyond the traditional pale. Traditionally, foreign policy is a no-go zone for responsible lawmakers: If the commander in chief says so, that's it, and the nation deserves better than Republican undercutting and carping. The Republicans really have demeaned the country by pretending they are simply mentioning matters of fact.

There is something almost as fanatical as the Joseph McCarthy hearings of the 1950's in the Republican interference-passing-as-patriotism. And there seems to be no latter-day counterpart to Joseph N. Welch, who interrupted Sen. McCarthy's marauding insinuations of communist affiliation aimed at numerous people with, "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Perhaps decency and shame and country are just things of the past and Iran's supreme leader has a valid point.

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