Conspiracy theories abound about everything imaginable. They have become a part of our culture. While most conspiracies that we see and hear about come from the realm of fiction, some do reside in history. Of course among the most famous was the successful assassination of Abraham Lincoln. But as we know, history is replete with palace uprisings, coup d’etats and revolutions, all of which began with some kind of conspiracy. The dictionary defines conspiracy as, ” an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated by two or more persons; plot.” Naturally, evil is in the eye of the beholder. As we are aware, conspiracies have been implemented throughout history to defeat that which the conspirators perceived as evil. While we have grown to view conspiracies as something sinister, they may in fact be inspired by fundamentally well-intentioned individuals trying to achieve something that they truly believe in, regardless of how misguided. Yet I believe that this is only part of what we are seeing in the behavior of Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and the GOP leadership and members in both the house and the senate.
It is the motives behind their behavior that I am most concerned about. We have a long history of individual senators or congressmen disagreeing with a foreign policy position of an administration. The right to disagree is one of the hallmarks of our system. Open and honest discussion regarding any policy leads to a stronger result. Yet, throughout our proud history of dissent and discussion and compromise there have been accepted and expected parameters of behavior from those we elect to represent us. First and foremost they adhere to the prerogatives constitutionally afforded each branch of government. The Executive Branch has always been responsible for the negotiation of treaties and agreements with other nations. The Legislative Branch, while given the opportunity to agree or disagree with the ultimate result of those negotiations, has always remained silent during the negotiating process. They have always understood that to interfere at this time can create confusion and ultimately impact negatively on the end result. Yet their behavior during the negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear program has disregarded all of this.
For the House of Representatives to formally invite a foreign leader to speak to a joint session about an issue currently being negotiated with a foreign power by the Executive Branch without first receiving agreement from that branch is both reckless and unconscionable. For the GOP leaders of both the Senate and the House to visit that same foreign leader in his home country during those negotiations to voice agreement, contrary to the position currently being negotiated is simply beyond anything seen in our past diplomatic history. It has every appearance of the GOP leadership conspiring with the Israeli leader to destroy any chance of the negotiations with Iran being successful . During this same period, our group of loyal Neocons have made their dire predictions right on cue. There has been a chorus of statements that raise serious questions regarding any chance to contain the Iranian nuclear capacity through negotiation using such potent analogies as Chamberlain’s agreements with Hitler. It is clear that the only solution the Neocons see to the Iranian threat is war. In fact, despite general GOP denial that they are calling for war, they have presented not one alternative to that eventuality.
It is always important to be able to match behavior with the words. I believe that Netanyahu and The GOP leadership would love nothing better than to destroy any chance for a successful result to the negotiations with Iran. They see a negotiated settlement as not only inadequate to the perceived danger, but also an Obama victory that would not play well for them in the 2016 Presidential campaign. I believe that there is no result that they would accept other than the complete destruction of Iranian nuclear capacity. At this time they believe that the Obama Administration is incapable of negotiating an agreement that they can live with. I believe that they are purposefully doing everything they can to make these talks fail. The big question is, are they going to do something that would create a fait accompli to effectively scuttle the negotiations? Are Netanyahu and the GOP leadership laying the ground work for a preemptive attack on Iran?