There is a myriad of complexity within the Iran issue that extends beyond the substantive issue of whether or not President Trump should again certify compliance with the Iran Nuclear Deal.
For clarity, President Trump would not be ending the deal or ending the agreement. The President is required (every 90 days) to certify if Iran is upholding the terms of the nuclear agreement. The next certification is due on October 15th. If President Trump does not, because he cannot, certify compliance – he notifies congress. It’s up to congress to decide what to do from there.
Therefore President Trump would not be “tearing up” the agreement, nor would he be “ending the agreement”, he would simply be notifying congress of the compliance of Iran, or lack thereof, according to the monitoring agencies that report to the President. That’s it. Now to Senator Tom Cotton. Watch:
Senator Cotton can be an ally for MAGA (see immigration), or he can be a concern for MAGA (see aggressive military intervention), depending on the issue. It is also important to understand how lobbying efforts impact policy positions as they relate to military intervention. There are interests in DC pushing us toward military conflict with Iran.
It is critical to understand nuanced DC perspectives because the same lobbying activity stems across a broad stream of “conservative media” outlets, and has an interest in influencing our opinion. Breitbart, Washington Free Beacon, Conservative Review, and a host of other media entities are aligned in purpose/ideology with strong religious, Pro-Israel lobbying positions.
This can sometimes create a challenging hypocrisy to reconcile, and is never more evident that on the subject of Iran.
Example: Steve Bannon will argue against military intervention from one side of his mouth, yet when it comes to Iran he will happily align with the need for a declaration of war or militaristic activity. Bannon’s connection with lobbying groups is also why he will never stop supporting Senator Ted Cruz. It’s not simply a matter of U.S. policy, it’s an agenda aspect to supporting the lobby; and ultimately Israel’s best interests.
[Ted Cruz supported TPP and actually constructed Trade Promotion Authority, the vehicle for TPP passage. This would make one think Steve Bannon, who claims “Economic Nationalism” as a priority in 2017, would therefore abandon Cruz. He doesn’t because of the larger interests of aligned and connected lobbyists and their influence on media.]
Senator Tom Cotton is an ally in America-First economically and on immigration; however, when it comes to foreign policy the filter of the pro-Israel lobby overlays his militaristic positions. This ideological alignment, and donor-rewarded advocacy within the GOPe, is a common DC influence agent for foreign policy.
Some christian and far-right (orthodox) media are also part of this advocacy. It becomes increasingly evident when we see Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Joel Pollak, et al, attacking Trump administration officials depending on the perception of policy risk to pro-Israel media positions.
Additionally, some attacks on Trump cabinet members by the “NeverTrump” community are driven by a concern the member’s support for Israel is not paramount in the policy.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been, and will be, openly skewered for positions that do not align with accepted conservative religious media orthodoxy. So too will Secretary of Defense James Mattis; or, as history has evidenced, Trump National Security Adviser HR McMaster.
Each of these administration officials, and others, will be a hero or villain depending on the policy issue that surfaces and how it is viewed by pro-Israel media outlets who share opinions on politics. CTH is pro-Israel, but it doesn’t drive our perspectives.
This is an important aspect to understand because many of the facts and opinions which help us establish our own positions on the Iran deal are likely to come from ideologically familiar media sources, or politicians. Those voices can often be heavily influenced by their association with pro-Israel/anti-Iran lobbying groups.
Ultimately any underlining influence is just another consideration when viewing information as it is shared. Understanding the prism and world-view writers and pundits place upon their discussion of foreign policy helps everyone better evaluate content.