reagan and iran contra affair

In another forum several days ago I responded to another commenter’s claim that you just can’t negotiate with Iran because…you can’t negotiate with Iran. Not his precise words but essentially his reasoning was equally self-cancelling. My reply was just as brilliant in that I pointed out that…obviously…if you don’t negotiate with iran you can’t negotiate with Iran.

Of course that was in a “debate” about recent events with 47 Republican Senators embarrassing themselves with a letter to Iran’s leaders telling them that negotiating an end to their nuclear weapons program is futile because the next President will be a Republican who will bomb them back to the Stone Age anyways. Better surrender their yellow cake now and commit hari kiri.

Naturally the errant, arrant, and unrecalcitrantly tactless GOPers think of President Barack Obama as an incompetent boob and oppose every tack he takes as he tries to tack down his legacy with what would be a historic agreement stopping another nuclear weapon wanna be in its tracks.

But, then again, the GOPers on pretty much any topic think of Obama as an incompetent boob and score and scold every action or non-action as an unprecedented Presidential misstep, even if preceding Presidents set preceding precedents in proceeding as they did.

Now I see a problem with the right wing’s avowed American Idol, one Ronald W. Reagan. For it seems in their haste to waste Obama the Republicans cling to the waist of St. Ronnie as a toddler clings to her mother for protection against the actual dangers of the outside world as well as the imagined dangers of the monsters beneath her bed.

But Reagan is a convenient reference, though not deserving of the reverence accorded him by Republicans not the deference shown him by many Democrats. For you see Reagan had a philosophy, if you will, of “trust but verify” and that was in dealing with the Soviet Union that had thousands of nukes already pointed our way. Why cannot the principals negotiating with Iran (not including the Principality of Monaco) apply that same principle to any agreement reached?

What these Senate Republicans should have done to the lobbyists clamoring for them to derail these talks was to show them to the lobby and put them on a rail to be run out of town. Tar and feathers optional.

And though Reagan admonished to trust but verify, his administration early in his term neither was trustful or trustworthy nor would it verify, until pressure was exerted, that it was itself negotiating with the Iranis to supply missiles in a roundabout way so that money could be raised to assist the Contras in Nicaragua in another roundabout way such that the inevitable 11 car pileup became a highway gawker’s delight.

Oh, yeah, those same Iranis who only recently had held American hostages for 444 days and were now fighting a war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Saddam having arms supplied by…The United States?

Ain’t diplomacy grand?

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  • Devildog  On March 17, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    UMOC, why can’t you give us the truth, the “whole” truth and nothing but the truth? The so-called letter was nothing more than the equivalent of an op-Ed piece. That it appeared to be directed to an individual was no more than a method of presenting one’s views in an op-ed format.

    It is totaling false that the import of the letter was that it was “futile” for the Iranians to negotiate an agreement with Obama. What the letter did was tell the Iranians, the world, Americans and Obama that any agreement meant little legally unless it received the approval of Congress. It told Obama that an agreement of this import must, under our system, be brought to Congress. Many Democrats in Congress agree with the Republicans on this issue-as do the American people.

    This so-called letter should have been a non-issue but desparate Democrats will take desparate actions. It is not negotiating with the Iranians that is a problem it’s what is apparently being negotiated. Neither is trust but verify a problem because if what is being reported is accurate, there are the “breakout and 10 year problems.

    Question-who is more desparate for an agreement? Which side is in a position of power?

    • umoc193  On March 17, 2015 at 10:32 PM

      Sorry, you are completely off base here. The GOP wants no negotiations. It wants war and nothing but war.

      Furthermore, what the Senators ignored is that this is not a one-to-one negotiation. There are six nations and Iran in these talks and any agreement achieved is not subject to Congressional approval but is to be part of a joint U.N. Security Council Resolution which will go into effect without challenge because all the permanent member of the SC who have veto power are party to the talks.

      The Irani Foreign Minister knew this and this article in Al Jazeera explains.

      The offending Senators believe in deja vu as they would just as soon go to war as we did in Iraq without providing full opportunity to ensure no nukes are developed.

      • Devildog  On March 17, 2015 at 11:29 PM

        Sorry UMOC, I may be off base but you miss the point. It doesn’t matter how many countries are in in loved or whether a proposed agreement goes to the Security Council. What matters is what the U.S. position is with regard to that agreement and whether that position should be decided solely by the president or whether he should submit it to Congress, at the least to solicit its opinion on the matter if not its approval. That what the letter from the 47 was all about.

        If Obama submits it to Congress which then indicates its disapproval, we may be in unochartered waters if Obama signs the agreement. If he does, then according to Kerry, it will not be legally binding on the U.S.

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