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Will Bob Corker Save the GOP?

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By:Pat Buchanan | April 07, 2015

"Pat, sometimes it seems like our friends want me to go over the cliff with flags flying," President Reagan once told me.

Today, it is "Bibi" Netanyahu and the neocons howling "kill the deal" and "bomb Iran" who are shoving the Republican Party toward the cliff.

The question, which may decide 2016, may be framed thus:

Should a Republican Congress meticulously point out the flaws and risks of this nuclear deal with Iran and, if the Iranians do cheat or attempt a breakout, be rewarded for their skepticism and statesmanship?

Or should the GOP sabotage and scuttle the deal and let itself be held politically liable for the diplomatic and strategic disaster that would follow?

Consider the consequences of successful Republican sabotage.

The U.S. coalition of France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China would be shattered. But the U.N. Security Council, China, Russia and the Europeans would still go ahead and lift sanctions on Iran.

Should Congress override a veto by President Obama, pile new sanctions on Iran, and demand new concessions, Tehran could ignore us or declare itself no longer bound to the concessions it has already made.

If Iran then began to restore its nuclear program to where it was 18 months ago, we would have one option left to stop it: war.

But Obama is not going to war with Iran. Hence, goaded by the neocons, GOP candidates would spend 2015 and 2016 assuring the nation that war with Iran is still "on the table" should they win the White House.

Is this a winning platform?

Yet this is the path Bibi and the neocons would put America on.

John Bolton, a possible presidential candidate, has already come out for bombing Iran. John McCain urges Israel to "go rogue," prodding Bibi to launch a strike on Iran and drag us into his war.

Lindsey Graham supports "an authorization for the use of military force" against Iran and said in 2010 that we should launch an air war so massive that Iran would be unable to defend itself.

Sheldon Adelson, casino oligarch and Daddy Warbucks who put $100 million behind the party in 2012 and promises more this time, has advocated a nuclear strike to warn Iran to stop enriching and a follow-up nuclear strike on its capital if Iran defies us.

"Kill the Deal" is the headline on Bill Kristol's editorial in the Weekly Standard. Writes neocon Joshua Muravchik, war is "our only option." Gov. Scott Walker has declared that his first act as president would be to kill the nuclear deal.

President Walker would thus put us, alone, without allies, on a road to war—to strip Iran of weapons of mass destruction it does not have.

Is this what America can look forward to if it votes Republican?

A new Middle East war with a nation three times the size of Iraq, and with Dover receiving again the coffins and Walter Reed the casualties?

Which brings us to Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who declined to sign Tom Cotton's letter to Ayatollah Khamenei and is best positioned to plumb the depths of this nuclear deal to determine whether Iran's concessions are real.

Iran has agreed to cut back its operating centrifuges to 5,000, to reconfigure its Arak reactor so it does not produce plutonium, to stop enriching underground at Fordow, to dilute all of its 20-percent enriched uranium, and to allow in more inspectors and inspections.

If true, the deal appears to do what Obama says it does: close off every known avenue to an Iranian bomb.

My own sense is that Iran decided some time ago not to test a nuclear device because it believes, as do we, this could mean the spread of nukes to Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia—which Iran does not want any more than we do.

Corker should schedule testimony from National Intelligence Director Adm. James Clapper and the directors of the CIA and DIA.

The critical questions: Does the U.S. intelligence community stand by its declaration of three years ago that Iran does not have a bomb program?

How long would it take Iran, if it decided to go for a bomb, to build and test one? How long would it take us to discover a breakout?

Does Iran have an ICBM that can hit the United States, as Bibi claims? Is Iran testing intercontinental ballistic missiles?

The GOP should raise every legitimate question, but if the deal seems to do what Obama claims it does, let it go into effect.

Then, if Iran cheats, the nation will turn to the GOP. But if Iran abides by the deal and the deal accomplishes what Obama promises, the GOP can say: We did our due diligence. We did our duty.

Should the deal collapse, Republicans will be far better off if the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or some new ayatollah sabotaged it than if Congress is seen as the perpetrator.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at




Clyde Wilson
Columbia, SC
4/7/2015 08:18 PM

  The Republican leadership are utterly unfit to rule the country. That has been obvious for at least a quarter century to all but the hopelessly stupid or the self-deluded. Can anyone now doubt it? Who thought we would ever be thankful for a Third World President, for only such can stand up to the Lobby. The danger is not that the Republicans will lose the election, the danger is that both parties will become war-mad, leaving no choice as usual.

4/7/2015 09:22 PM

  Yes, I agree with Professor Wilson. The real danger is not that the GOP loses, rather that they might win. Why would serious Democrats risk running Hillary Clinton if there was any chance whatsoever the GOP would field a real challenger? If Bibi Netanyahu would run, I might consider supporting him or perhaps Elizabeth Warren, who was an Okie from Muskogee before becoming a Senator for Massachusetts.

Harry Heller
San Francisco
4/7/2015 10:31 PM

  Nonsense on stilts! Pat's otherwise justifiable hatred for the neocons is getting the better of him (as too with Prof Clyde Wilson). The West, whether libertarians and paleocons like it or not, is in a global clash of civilizations with an increasingly martial Islam. The last thing we want is for any of these savages to get The Bomb. This is geopolitically obvious! Ideally, only Western nations would possess nukes. But Russians and Chinese were never apocalyptic "suicidaires". The Middle East is terribly politically unstable; do we want a whole region of Pakistans?! What happens when ISIS, or Al-Qaeda, or some new militants yet unborn, get hold of nukes? No, Bibi is correct, even if he operates for his own people's interests (and what's wrong with that? I wish we had an American President of similar ethnonationalist inclinations). Why does Iran need nuclear power facilities, when it is awash in oil? Only so it can build The Bomb. Wake up! We should annihilate Iran's nuclear facilities (and entire large weapons systems) from the air NOW, while our enervated and increasingly affirmative actionized and Third Worldized military still has the means to do so. The last thing we want is to allow a nuclear arms race to take hold in the violently unpredictable Middle East. And a salutary effect of bombing would be a new national security justification to seal the border with Mexico due to legitimate concern for Iranian terrorist retaliation.

Neptune Beach, FL
4/7/2015 11:55 PM

  Thank you, Dr. Wilson. Being an old man, I plan to abstain from further voting. Done with it. There is no point in it. Whichever way you vote, you get the result you did not intend. The Dems push, and the Reps cave, and the result is not that you are represented, but used. Neither Party has any morals, just deals etc. No true alternative candidate will have a chance anytime. I subscribe to the reverse argument that to NOT vote does not mean that you should blame yourself for not voting because you did not give your " Voice for Democracy," We should never blame ourselves for not voting and being used for validating the process.

Neptune Beach, FL
4/8/2015 12:05 AM

  Dear Mr. Heller: Bring every son and daughter of this country home now! From all over the earth. From every base, embassy, covert hole. There is nothing worth fighting for over there that we did not create ourselves. We need to take care of our own country. And I have young sons...they will NEVER get sent over there to be killed and maimed.


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