Sunday, January 17, 2016

7 Days, 15 Americans Freed, Republicans Gloomy

what eye thynk:  It was quite a week for President Obama, and the Republican Party hates that.

To be a Republican is to be eternally unhappy, gloomy, dissatisfied.  They are Eeyore without the redeeming lovableness.  They either can't or won't (I believe the latter) recognize a foreign policy victory unless it involves tanks, bombs, and American blood.

The President began the week by giving a positive and moving State of the Union address.  The next day he announced that ten sailors held by Iran had been released--within 24 hours of their capture. 

He followed that by celebrating the release of five more Americans, the result of 14 months of negotiations with Iran--14 months that the GOP spent howling for bombs, tanks, boots on the ground.  Blood! We want to see blood! All tactics that would have assuredly resulted in the deaths of Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari and Matthew Trevithick.  Instead of admitting--even grudgingly--that President Obama's quiet diplomacy worked, the GOP raised it's caliginous voice en masse.
  • Chris Christie: "We shouldn't have to swap prisoners, these folks were taken illegally in violation of international law and they should have been released without condition...but you know, the Iranians have treated this president with disrespect for years and he continues to take it."
Sure, Mr. Christie, you go on and dream about your ideal world where any violation is corrected simply by pointing out the violator's error.  And no one with an "R" following their name has any right to talk about disrespecting President Obama--not unless they intend to apologize for the blatant, non-stop, hate-mongering brand of disrespect they have been practicing for seven years.
  • Marco Rubio: "We should not be involved in swaps.  These things should never happen is my point... I think this has created incentives for more governments to do this around the world."
You would have preferred that we follow the tradition of Ronald Reagan and send Iran a couple of tanks and an air craft carrier instead?  (Inflation, you know.)
  • Donald Trump: "I will tell you, it's a disgrace that they've been there for so long.  It's a disgrace.  Remember that.  A total disgrace... (Iran is) getting seven people, so essentially, they got $150 billion plus seven and we get four." 
Actually, we got five, but accurate details are just too tedious for Mr. Rich White Trash to worry about.  It's much more important to monetize American lives.  Let me return the favor: Donald Trump--Value as a human being = $.01 (Surely there is a hamster owner somewhere who will pay a penny for that nest on Trump's head.)
  • Mike Huckabee:  "They should've been released before we ever sat down at the negotiating table."
What part of "negotiation" is confusing you?  How would "We're not going to sit down and talk about dismantling your nuclear arms program until you release your American prisoners" work exactly?
  • Ted Cruz: "Praise God!  Surely bad parts of Obama's latest deal, but prayers of thanksgiving that Pastor Saeed is coming home."
Yay, Jesus!  Who apparently isn't as happy about the other four Americans being released as He is about Pastor Saeed. And, nice job getting in that little "bad parts" dig.  No Republican celebration is complete until something bad is said about President Obama.
  • Jeb Bush:  "I would say... if you do not release them, that there's going to be military action, that that's an act of provocation, an act of war."
Yay, war!
  • Ted Cruz (again):  Any country that makes members of our military kneel like the 10 sailors who were seized by the Iranian military this week "will feel the full force and fury of the United States of America."
Yay, war, part 2!

In short, unable to admit that their claims of apathy on the President's part were totally wrong, they now find it necessary to belittle the results they claimed to want. 

Perhaps the best rebuttal of the GOP myth that the President was uninvolved and indifferent, came from Naghmeh Abedini, wife of released prisoner Saeed Abedini, who told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "It's been wonderful.  Especially the last year.  Constant communication.  Constant updates.  Of course last year, we met with President Obama.  He was in Boise, Idaho (and) we had a private meeting with (him). The last year has been the best support.  They were continually updating us,  talks they were having with Iran and the side negotiations.  I had a feeling in the last few months that it was coming to a close..."

Diplomacy doesn't have to be loud to be effective.  And nobody has to die.

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