SOMETIMES…THROWING A MONKEY WRENCH
(…doesn’t necessarily screw up the works…) 

The recent uproar over freshman senator Cotton’s tough-worded letter to Iran’s Supreme Ayatollah (co-signed by forty eight other Republican senators) may not really be the act of throwing a monkey wrench into the nuclear negotiations…that it is perceived to be. Sometimes, throwing a monkey wrench doesn’t necessarily screw up the works.

Here’s why: the relatively low-key Democrat reaction to his letter suggests it may actually be part of an elaborate bi-partisan back-channel stealth maneuver, brokered by the Oval Office, to show Iran’s hardliners that the US has its own brand of these…so they better make a deal while the dealing’s good…or else face a much tougher situation later on. A neat “good cop-bad cop” ploy to strengthen Secretary Kerry’s hand for getting something done before the deadline.

If this seems a weird perspective of the situation, it’s not an inconceivable one, if we consider the fact that there’s an upcoming presidential election cycle, and none of the career politicos of either party care to have an unresolved Iran issue hanging over their heads in the middle of that process…the Democrats not wanting to appear weak and ineffectual in foreign affairs…the Republicans not wanting to be tagged as racially motivated irresponsible obstructionists. In short, nobody on either side of the aisle is about to let something like that mess up their respective political rodeos for that election. Thus, letting a young freshman senator play the “wild man” is a perfect smokescreen for doing that. If this seems too cynical a viewpoint, like we said, these are…career politicos…and that’s their nature.

As for those negotiations with Iran, US thinking appears to be driven by the idea that delaying Iran’s nuclear ambitions for ten years…kicks the problem down the road for someone else to deal with later on, and, who knows, by that time…the Ayatollahs’ regime might be replaced by a less ideologically rigid and more pragmatic one… or monitoring technologies may become so advanced that any clandestine weaponry efforts will become almost impossible…or else…newer and more refined means of mass destruction will have made nuclear weapons obsolete…perhaps all of the above.

For its part Iran may see such a deal as time well spent…to re-energize its sanctions-mangled economy, further securing the Ayatollahs’ hold on power…as a way to lull the rest of the world into believing it can now be allowed back into international polite society… all the while quietly tweaking its nuclear efforts a little bit here…a little bit there…without violating its “parole”…so as to have enough ready-made components at hand by the end of that time…to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon…any time it wants.

Of course, all of that presupposes that, in the interim, none of the paranoid nutcases controlling Pakistan’s military (which actually have nuclear weapons) won’t opt for launching a first strike against India (which also has its own nuclear weapons), thereby making Iran’s case moot and completely irrelevant…if doesn’t actually become “collateral damage” from that event. Such are the byzantine convolutions of consideration when dealing with world affairs, in this, our 21st Century.

Well, if none of this stirs up the bee-hive of conspiracy theorists in the social media universe…nothing will.

CENTURION