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article imageOp-Ed: U.S. Senator says bombing Iran's nuclear facilities a piece of cake

By Ken Hanly     Apr 9, 2015 in Politics
Washington - U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, claims that bombing Iran's nuclear facilities would take only several days. Cotton said the bombing would be nothing like the Iraq war.
Cotton said that attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would be a limited operation such as that mounted by Democratic President Clinton in 1998; “Even if military action were required — and we certainly should have kept the credible threat of military force on the table throughout which always improves diplomacy — the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 heavy mechanized troops on the ground in the Middle East again as we saw in Iraq and that’s simply not the case.It would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. For interfering with weapons inspectors and for disobeying Security Council resolutions. All we’re asking is that the president simply be as tough as in the protection of America’s national security interest as Bill Clinton was.” Of course Cotton does not mention that it was the U.S. that ordered the inspectors to withdraw and not Hussein. Most of the places that Iraq would not allow inspection were related to political and security issues such as the party headquarters. The CIA had infiltrated spies into the UN inspection team to gather intelligence that was later used in the invasion of Iraq: In early 1999 it was revealed that the CIA, as well as possibly MI6, had planted agents in the UNSCOM teams, leading the UN to admit that "UNSCOM had directly facilitated the creation of an intelligence collection system for the United States in violation of its mandate."[15] As part of the CIA's Operation Shake the Tree, run by Steve Richter of the Near East Division, a "black box" was installed at UNSCOM's headquarters in Baghdad to eavesdrop on Saddam's presidential communications network. The information collected by the agency was not shared with UNSCOM investigators.[16]
Cotton advanced some interesting reasons for ensuring that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon among them that Iran already controls its own capital Tehran: “They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad. And now, Sana’a as well.They do all that without a nuclear weapon. What they would do with a nuclear weapon.” While Iran no doubt has influence in Iraq, so does the U.S., as shown recently by the failure of Iraqi forces helped by Iranian-trained and -led militia to capture Tikrit without U.S. bombing support. Of course Iran supports Assad but it is not clear that they control him. Iran also has influence in Beirut but it hardly controls events there. No doubt it wishes it did. The same is true of Yemen. Of course there is never any mention that Israel is a nuclear power already.
Cotton is also responsible for a letter to Iran signed by 46 other Republicans warning Iran that the deal would need to be approved by the U.S. Congress and that any deal could expire immediately upon Obama's leaving office because it would be a mere executive agreement. Javad Zarif, Iran's Foreign Minister's reacted by pointing out: "[the Senators'] letter in fact undermines the credibility of thousands of such mere executive agreements that have been or will be entered into by the US with various other governments." Zarif pointed out that the nuclear deal is not supposed to be an Iran–US deal, but an international one, saying that "change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran's peaceful nuclear program. I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law".[68] There are six world powers involved in the deal with Iran. Of course none of this matters to a Harvard law school graduate when he is playing a tune for the US electorate.
The letter was supported by the Israeli lobby and many pro-Israel figures. Among the contributors to Cotton's Senate race was Bill Kristol's Emergency Committee that gave Cotton nearly a million in supportive advertising according to Eli Clifton. Cotton's open letter to Iran can be found here. Just one day after sending the letter Cotton appeared at an "Off the Record and strictly Non-Attribution" event of the National Defense Industrial Association(NDIA) a lobby and professional organization of US defense contractors including executives of Northrup Grumman, Boeing, Booze Alllen Hamilton among others.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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