Not one missile launched, not one bomb dropped. What a great disappointment there must be in GOP Land today.
While Republicans dissed the Obama administration Tuesday for being weak and donned their Chuck Norris personas to mouth off cluelessly about being tough with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry phoned up his counterpart in Tehran to discuss the capture by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards of two Riverine Command boats and 10 U.S. sailors. On Wednesday morning, 16 hours after they were taken, both the boats and the sailors were back in international waters. Four or five years ago, such a swift resolution of this situation would have been unthinkable.
Actually, no thanks, if you are Republican. If that’s the case, the capture of the boats (in what officials from both nations now agree were Iran’s territorial waters) was humiliating to the U.S., proof that President Obama is a weakling, and a vindication of right-wing opposition to the agreement negotiated to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.
If chest-beaters like Chris Christie or Tom Cotton or Donald Trump or Ted Cruz had been in charge, Iran would be in a permanent state of trembling and those sailors would never have been taken in the first place. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Here’s Sen. Cruz, being interviewed by Hugh Hewitt Tuesday:
“The bad actors of the world have learned that [President Obama] will not stand up to them.” [...]
We have a Commander-in-Chief where the bad actors of the world have learned that he will not stand up to them. Remember this is the same Barack Obama who is trying to send Iran 150 billion dollars.
“When you follow the path of appeasement, it only emboldens the bad actors, and our prayers are that these sailors are released and they’re released quickly.”No doubt Cruz believes it was his prayers rather than the discussion between Kerry and Iran Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif that quickly got the sailors back into U.S. hands unharmed.
And then there was Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who has tried his damnedest to scuttle the nuclear agreement with Iran:
"This kind of openly hostile action is not surprising. It's exactly what I and so many others predicted when President Obama was negotiating the nuclear deal with Iran—that it would embolden their aggression towards the United States and our allies in the region," Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton told Blitzer on "The Situation Room." [...]And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:
"Iran is testing the boundaries of this administration’s resolve and everybody knows the boundaries are pretty wide and the administration is willing to let them get away with many things. You'll only see this accelerate since the deal was signed with Iran. [...] That's why as president on my first day in office I will repeal the nuclear deal that Barack Obama has signed with Iran."The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, was upset that Sec. Kerry attended the State of the Union address:
"The secretary of state should not say, 'It's gonna be soon, real soon,' "We need to have the secretary of state engaged in this issue right now. In fact, I'm not sure I would have him at this speech."By the time the president began his speech, however, it was clear the boats and the sailors were about to be released.