by Sean Jobst
15 March 2015
The number 47 has been immortalized in a story from Samurai-era Japan. The 47 ronin were samurai who avenged their insulted master, even after his death. They carried out what they regarded as their duty as samurai, knowing this one act of vengeance would lead to their own deaths in a collective act of seppuku. The event turned into legend, as others admired this unflinching willingness to carry out an ultimate act of loyalty.
Recently, another group of 47 made it into the history books for a much less ignoble cause. There is nothing honorable about this group of 47 Senators' own act of suicide, which manifested itself in a recent open letter addressed to the Iranian government. Rather, it has been revealed as an act of desperation committed by a group of 47 Republican U.S. Senators pursuing a treasonous agenda that puts the interests of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over their own oath to the U.S. Constitution and their elected promises to uphold and defend American interests.
Leading this group of Senators is Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). He is the ultimate "Peter Cottontail" politician, leading his fellow senators down a rabbit-hole of treason and ignorance, in the process becoming a living embodiment of the "Peter Principle" of incompetence in a position of authority. Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer, Cotton seemed to claim Iran conquered its own capital. "They already control Tehran", he blustered....ignorant of the fact that Tehran has been the capital of Iran since 1796 and part of the Persian landscape for 7,000 years!
Cotton admitted that derailing the negotiations between the U.S. and Iran "is very much an intended consequence." The reaction from foreign diplomats has been one of alarm and bewilderment at this warmonger's efforts to sabotage diplomacy. "This kind of communication is unprecedented and undiplomatic," said Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. His words were echoed by European diplomats, including German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who warned it "would have been difficult enough without the letter of the 47. Now it has become somewhat more difficult."
These senators have an obsessive fear of Iran, where even simple logic or human decency are thrown out the window when it comes to pursuing the agenda. During a 2013 U.S. House session about an Iran sanctions bill, Senator Cotton introduced an amendment that would punish family members of anyone who violated the sanctions, venomously referring to a "corruption of blood" that would include in its scope of punishment "parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids." This is the same man who has uttered strange archaic notions about women.
Following the money leads to some serious questions about Cotton. He is a protégé of Neocon Bill Kristol, whose Zionist lobby group Emergency Committee for Israel donated no less than $960,250 for Cotton's 2014 Senate campaign. Even the letter itself shows all the hallmarks of the powerful American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), charges former AIPAC member MJ Rosenberg. Cotton is also financed by extreme ultra-right-wing fanatically pro-Israel billionaires such as hedge fund directors Seth Klarman and Paul Singer.
That Cotton has never seen a war (for Israeli interests) that he doesn't like, is also demonstrated by what has recently been uncovered about his links to "defense" contractors. Almost as quick as news outlets were reporting about his letter, ole Tom Cotton was cozying up with lobbyists from the National Defense Industrial Association, a group he has consistently supported with his legislation seeking to maximize as much profits he can for these war-profiteers.
These are the very same war-profiteers who make money off Guantanamo Bay, such as from the $2.7 million per prisoner cost. Given his own bedfellows, its little wonder that Cotton asserted "the only problem with Guantanamo Bay is there are too many empty beds and cells there right now." This should come as no surprise, as Cotton is very closely connected with leading Neoconservatives, who groomed him from the same time he was a political nobody.
It is easy to dismiss Cotton as a fool, yet he is a man with a real agenda, financed by those with the means to pursue that agenda. He makes ignorant statements which betray his ignorance about foreign policy, but this does not stop him from signing his name on to the legislation prepared for him by lobbyists. His own paranoia knows no bounds, such as when he promoted a bizarre (and racist? the brown peril?) conspiracy theory that ISIS and Mexican drug cartels are joining forces to "attack Arkansas," which he called "an urgent problem."
"The truth is that an Arkansan is more likely to die being struck by lighting or drowning in a bathtub than by an ISIS attack," writes Arkansas journalist David Ramsey. "We expect more from our leaders than to tell tall tales to sew panic for political gain." Indeed, we as Americans SHOULD expect more from elected officials - of BOTH political parties - who apparently failed to get the memo that they were elected and gave an oath to serve American interests, not those of Netanyahu, AIPAC and war-profiteers.