Distinguished adjunct professor of Government and Public Policy at William and Mary University in Virginia and former chief of staff for Colin Powell, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, may be a Republican – but he seems to have made a career out of enraging conservatives the last few years.
This time he is not holding back any punches as he calls 47 Republican senators “traitors” for sending a letter to the leadership of Iran.
Speaking to MintPress News over the phone from his home in Virginia, Wilkerson spoke out about the lack of a “sound strategic approach” by the United States in the Middle East, noting that Tuesday’s election in Israel is one of the most important events related to U.S. foreign policy in the region.
MintPress News reports that
The Israeli election is being held on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scandalous visit to the U.S. Congress, and amid the fallout of a letter to the Iranian leadership that has been described as “treasonous.” The letter, signed by 47 Republican senators, locksteps neoconservative geopolitical strategy in the Middle East with that of the national security prerogatives of Israel’s current prime minister.
Wilkerson told MintPress News that “The only positive thing I can see right now is the potential for Bibi Netanyahu to lose,” adding that Netanyahu has created “unprecedented” damage in the region:
Fifty-one percent of the [Israeli] land belongs to the security complex, either outright or leased. Sixty families in Israel own about 75 percent of the wealth, which is unbelievable. They’re the most predatory capitalist state in the eastern Mediterranean, and that’s saying something because we [the U.S.], China, and Russia have exemplified predatory capitalism in the last 20 years, but Israel outstrips us all.
As long as the United States continues to support Israel, “It is impossible to say you have a sound strategic approach to the region,” concluded Wilkerson.
MintPress News reports that they “made the case that the U.S. does in fact have a foreign policy strategy, which includes realizing the uselessness of invasion and occupation. MintPress argued that the U.S. is attempting to balance regional powers by reaching out to Iran and having a lighter footprint overall in the Middle East, so that it can focus more closely on East Asia,” but Wilkerson disagreed:
You think that’s the case when you have senators and representatives in the House that are doing everything they possibly can, including becoming traitors with this open letter to the leaders of Tehran to start another war in southwest Asia? You really think that’s our strategy?
MintPress continues, reporting that the Republican senators were attempting to “upend current negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 nations — the U.S., China, Russia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The potential deal between the six powers would restrict sanctions on Iran in exchange for guarantees that the Islamic Republic will not pursue a nuclear weapons program.”
The Obama administration and many members of Congress, including some Republicans, support this effort. Yet a significant number of other politicians and current and former U.S. officials do not, and they have made it a priority to stop this deal by any means necessary. They have invited the leader of a foreign state (Israel) to speak to Congress without the approval of the executive branch. They wrote the above-mentioned letter and addressed it to a foreign power (Iran) in brazen contradiction to the president’s foreign policy efforts. They have also supported former terrorist groups, such as the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK), that want to overthrow the Iranian government and take power for themselves.
Wilkerson concluded his discussion on the 47 senators, explaining that:
You cannot have a strategy if you are constantly buffeted, and buffeted seriously, by the winds of domestic interest.