The Demise of American foreign policy
March 13, 2015
By Colonel Richard L. Klass (USA, Ret.)
I wonder who will take “credit” if the Iranian nuclear talks fail. Will it be Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), based on his unprecedented partisan invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, and on the rapturous applause he received from the GOP attendees? Or will it be freshman Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R) impertinent and flawed letter to the Iranian government, signed by forty-six GOP colleagues? While GOP members of Congress are exchanging high fives, will they take note of the smoldering embers of U.S. foreign policy and the vastly diminished U.S. influence in the world?
Cotton has been clear in his intention to stop any agreement on curbing the Iranian nuclear program, stating in January that, “The end of these negotiations isn’t an unintended consequence of congressional action. It is very much an intended consequence.” He contended, however, that his current epistle was merely intended to educate the Iranians on U.S. constitutional procedures. If so, he was a poor teacher, mistakenly characterizing the role of the Senate in ratifying treaties.
In return, Cotton and his colleagues received a terse tutorial on international law from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who noted that international agreements, the vast majority of which are executive agreements and not treaties, are obligations entered into by governments, not legislatures. But Cotton and his colleagues’ aim was not to educate or be educated but to undermine the president’s authority and, frankly, kill the negotiations.
Click here to read the full article on The Hill.