At the end of an exchange between Sen. Tom Cotton and Gen. Martin Dempsey regarding the number of American servicemen killed by the Iranians, Cotton asks if Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani was responsible for the explosively formed penetrators that took the lives of several hundred Americans. Yes, answers Dempsey. Then why, Cotton asks the secretary of state, is Suleimani being taken off the sanctions list. “Under the United States’ initiative,” says Kerry, “Qassem Suleimani will never be relieved of any sanctions.”
Kerry’s phrasing here is awkward—what does he mean by “initiative”? Suleimani is still on the U.S. list for non-nuclear related sanctions. But the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action removes the Quds Force commander from the U.N. list for nuclear-related sanctions. This seems to be the third time, even after the State Department set the record straight two weeks ago, that Kerry has insisted that Suleimani is still under sanctions.
The American blood that Suleimani drew in Iraq and Afghanistan is hardly the only reason that Cotton says “the United States should reject this deal.” In a keynote address for a conference at Hudson Institute on the JCPOA. (Full disclosure: I am a senior fellow at Hudson and moderated the ensuing panel.), Cotton explained why. “No deal, whatever its details, should leave the ayatollahs grinning,” said Cotton.
Iran is the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. It is led by an anti-American, anti-Semitic, jihadist regime that’s destabilizing the Middle East and has shed the blood of hundreds of Americans. We do not share interests, and we do not share values with this regime. Any agreement that advances our interests must by necessity compromise Iran’s—doubly so since they are a third-rate power, far from an equal to the United States. The ayatollahs shouldn’t be happy with any deal; they should’ve felt compelled to accept a deal of our choosing lest they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear infrastructure. That Iran welcomes this agreement is both troubling and telling.
Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill today the U.S. government will not be revealing the contents of secret side deals with Iran to the American people. Senator Tom Cotton wanted to know why it can't be made public.
Tom Cotton is headed to Iowa. This weekend the freshman Republican senator from Arkansas will be a featured speaker at a Republican presidential candidate gathering in Boone, Iowa.
The event is being called Joni's 1st Annual Roast and Ride, which is being organized by Joni Ernst, the freshman senator from Iowa.
"As you may have heard, I am throwing a big pig roast to kick off the summer on June 6th in Boone. We are calling it a 'Roast and Ride' and it’ll be a fun filled event for the entire family," Ernst writes in an invitation to supporters.
Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said President Obama is "not providing the resources" to defeat the Islamic State in and that United States ought to send "a few thousand more" troops into Iraq to combat the terrorist group in that country.
John Forbes Kerry is the 68th secretary of state of the United States of America. If you’re ever tempted to ponder American decline, or for that matter the decline of the West, you might pause to reflect that John Kerry was preceded in his august office by, among others, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, William Seward, John Hay, Elihu Root, Charles Evans Hughes, Henry Stimson, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, and George Shultz.
If one were to deny Barack Obama the use of straw-man attacks, misrepresentation of facts, accusations that opponents are operating in bad faith, and other non-sequiturs, one would hear mostly silence coming from the White House. This administration is chronically incapable of having a serious argument with its opponents.
For your further enlightenment, two news stories on page one of last Sunday’s New York Times. One begins a long report on California’s water problems, attributed to a drought rather than bureaucratic mismanagement.