Watching The Gulf With Alarm
by Deacon Blues
Despite my initial optimism about the first-stage outline between Iran and the P-5 over Tehran's nuclear program, I’ve now reconciled myself to the reality that things are about to get bad, and perhaps really bad in the region. First, even though the Corker legislation from last week, and Obama’s acceptance of a congressional role in negotiation oversight was in fact a victory for the administration, it was a short-lived one.
Over the weekend, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard did whatever it could to signal defiance of any negotiated solution, something that wouldn’t have happened without the support of the Ayatollah. This came on the heels of stupidity from several of the GOP’s foreign policy “experts” and potential candidates, who said with a straight face that America could stop the Iranian nuclear program with air strikes, and be done with it, as if this would happen in isolation. And now today, the Pentagon has found it necessary to send naval resources to at least monitor Iranian efforts to supply their Houthi Shiite allies in Yemen, a move that could escalate things overseas and create the expected chest-beating from GOP chicken-hawks here at home.
We can argue about how American foreign policy got so muddled and lose-lose in the region, and argue in hindsight if the lead-from-behind approach taken by the White House in the region during the first term preordained the wrong decisions about Libya, Syria, and even Iraq. But what can’t be argued right now is that no GOP critic ever offered a comprehensive alternative during that time that would have made things any better now, not even John McCain. When a political party to this day swears total opposition to a president on foreign policy without even offering to engage and be part of the solution, then that political party has forfeited the right to be taken seriously or listened to. Yet that won’t stop the GOP from working with their extremist brethren in Iran and Israel to align their agendas and set a match to the region in the coming weeks.
Worse yet, this disaster is playing out now in the midst of a presidential cycle populated with a group of GOP misfit toys, uniformly bereft of any magic solution or realistic world view. When it takes the likes of Carly Fiorina to point out Tom Cotton's detachment from reality, several weeks after Lunatic Cotton got 46 other GOP senators to put their names to a moronic document while these same senators don't have the balls to pass a authorization for force against ISIS, then you know we're going down the rabbit hole.
Then again, nothing helps oil and defense stocks, and the GOP elites like a new firefight in the Middle East.