Congressional Republicans are rightly outraged about President Barack Obama’s eagerness to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program while he refuses to meet with House Speaker John Boehner to discuss GOP differences over Obamacare that led to Obama's government shutdown.
There also has been a stark difference in the rhetoric Obama and his allies have used concerning Iran and what they are saying about congressional Republicans.
Republicans should recognize that there’s a lot more at stake here for the United States than Iran and Obamacare.
When the president addressed the United Nations last week, he did not mention that Iran is an active state-sponsor of terror and how al-Qaeda operatives in Iran tried to blow up a train enroute to New York from Toronto last April.
He instead asserted that both Iran and America have deep seated differences with each other, almost as if both sides are equally at fault.
From the recent rhetoric against Republicans by President Obama and his allies, one would think they were talking about Iran or North Korea. For example, the president has accused Republicans in Congress of engaging in blackmail and extortion over the current budget impasse.
White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer last week shamefully likened House Republicans to suicide bombers, kidnappers, and arsonists.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi recently referred to her Republican colleagues as “legislative arsonists.” Several Democratic senators have condemned Republicans for trying to put a gun to their heads to force a House-Senate conference on Obamacare.
Damaging concessions already offered by the Obama administration to Iran make its willingness to negotiate with the Iranians but not the GOP look even more troubling.
Obama has tried to avoid criticizing the Iranian regime after it launched a bloody crackdown against huge numbers of demonstrators protesting Iran’s fraudulent June 2009 presidential election. The reason? The Obama administration was holding out for a new round of nuclear talks with Iran.
As a result, France — and not the United States — led the world in denouncing this violent suppression by the Iranian regime of their people.
At multilateral talks with Iran held in Baghdad in May 2012, the United States, joined by the United Kingdom and France, offered to allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium to the reactor-grade level and keep its enriched uranium stockpile if it would agree to stop enriching uranium to higher levels and cooperate with IAEA inspectors. Iran was also offered some sanctions relief.
Israel and many experts harshly condemned this offer which reversed years of insistence by the United States and its allies that any uranium enrichment by Iran was an unacceptable security threat.
It also contradicted several U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for Iran to cease uranium enrichment and give up its enriched uranium stockpile.
The May 2012 offer didn’t cause Iran to make any concessions —it pocketed this concession and continued its belligerent rhetoric. As a result, negotiating a meaningful deal to halt the Iranian nuclear weapons program became much harder.
The Obama administration eased U.S. sanctions against Iran at least twice this year to encourage Iranian leaders to enter into new talks on their nuclear program.
Such action by this administration is not unprecedented. In 2012, it exempted all 12 countries that violated tough U.S. Iran sanctions. It is worth pointing out that these sanctions were passed by Congress in late 2011 on a bipartisan basis over the objections of Obama officials who thought they would reduce the chances of holding new talks with Tehran.
It’s clear that the Obama administration is prepared to put just about everything on the table in talks with Iran. But President Obama refuses to talk with the GOP at all.
President Obama’s reckless approaches in dealing with Iran and congressional Republicans raise serious concerns about how much damage his incompetent leadership will cause at home and abroad in his remaining 28 months in office.
Since the mainstream media will continue to refuse to honestly report on the Obama presidency, Republicans must redouble their efforts to hold the president accountable and educate the American people in hopes of stemming the damage he can do by winning control of Congress in 2014.
This probably will require a strategic retreat by Republicans on the current budget impasse. Congressional Republicans would take a short term political hit, but they probably will be able to turn the publicity they gained on their objections to Obamacare into a campaign for real political change in next year’s elections.
Fred Fleitz served for 25 years with the CIA, the State Department, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. He is currently chief analyst with LIGNET.com, Newsmax Media’s global intelligence and forecasting service. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
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