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Posted at 3:59 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

About the U.S. Chamber's opposition to Iran sanctions

By Greg Sargent

Brian Beutler points out that the semi-official Iranian news agency is claiming that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently sent a "statement" to Iran stating that the American business community is completely opposed to sanctions against that country designed to limits its nuke program.

The Chamber, however, says the whole thing is bogus, and furnished a
copy of the actual letter. First, it is 13 months old -- it was sent in January of 2010. Second, the letter wasn't sent to Iran; it was sent to Obama economic adviser Larry Summers and National Security Adviser James Jones.

Third, despite the Iranian news agency's claim, the letter doesn't outline complete opposition to any "new" sanctions. Rather, back when Congress was mulling a sanctions package last year, it urged Summers and Jones to ditch a "unilateral" and overly broad approach to imposing sanctions, arguing that such an approach could alienate allies and impede dealings unrelated to Iran between U.S. companies and foreign counterparts:

While we agree that preventing Iran from developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons is an urgent U.S. national security objective, the unilateral, extraterritorial, and overly broad approach of these bills would undercut rather than advance this critical objective.

The proposed sanctions would incite economic, diplomatic, and legal conflicts with U.S. allies and could frustrate joint action against Iran. They could prohibit any U.S. company from transacting routine business with critical partners from around the globe even if these transactions have no bearing on business with Iran. These provisions could encompass a very large portion of the global trade community with consequences that in our view have not been adequately assessed.

In his post on the Iranian agency's claim, Beutler actually did note that Congress took into account the objections of the Chamber and other business groups in fashioning the sanctions package that eventually passed with bipartisan support. It turns out that Iranian agency merely rehashed this old letter as something new.

UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: Date of letter fixed.

By Greg Sargent  | February 7, 2011; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

I'd like clarification on which country this statement was on behalf of since foreign corporations are also paying the Chamber to lobby our Govn't.

Nokia/Siemens perhaps? Possible Airbus who is also vying for U.S. Govn't contracts on our air refueling tankers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce does not have this countries best interest in mind. It represents its clients who pay membership fees and is liable to them alone.

Make no mistake, they are not a friend to the U.S. worker, they are a friend to the highest paying members.

Selfishness disguised as liberty. Power wearing a mask of freedom. Free trade tearing our working class apart hidden under the facade of patriotism.

That's what the Chamber stands for.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 7, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Apparently some people on this blog believe that their offenses have been so great that they are going to be banned once the new softward comes in.

Among those: 12BarBluesAgain, who brought Cao to this blog, knowing full well what he would be like. She did this with a destructive intent, and she has admitted as such.

So, thinking she is smart, has created a new name for herself and is attempting to hide when the new software comes in.

Nice try, but we ALL see you in the open.


_________________________


Part of the problem here is the moderation policies are not spelled out - guidance has to be given.

There needs to be an "active warning system" to guide people when they have crossed the line. People don't get warnings, or even comments back stating clearly they have crossed the line.

The result has been that all the bad behavior has become the de facto guidance as to what is acceptable and what is not.

Also, moderation policy can not be influenced by political beliefs. There simply can not be the impression that liberals or conservatives are getting away with things that are enforced against the other side.


GUIDANCE - one easy way to do the "active warning system" would be to require all posters to stick to the issues - and avoid making personal nasty comments. These personal attacks have flared up recently. For me, I try to state my my opinions and CUT through the personal "ad hominem" attacks. People complain about that - however that is how I have dealt with the insanity here.


___________________________


If there are to be rules

1) The rules must be clearly defined

2) If the liberals break the rules, they get punished too.


3) You can't enforce rules ONLY against people whose views you don't like - that starts nasty lawsuits and ends careers.


Clearly

GUIDANCE - one easy way to do the "active warning system" would be to require all posters to stick to the issues - and avoid making personal nasty comments. These personal attacks have flared up recently. For me, I try to state my my opinions and CUT through the personal "ad hominem" attacks. People complain about that - however that is how I have dealt with the insanity here.

WASHINGTON POST - really should do something about the Obama paid trolls. There should be some contact made between the paper and Axelrod as to the ground rules BECAUSE if the Obama paid trolls start to harass people again like they did in 2008 and 2009, there will be a response.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 7, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the correction here Greg.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 7, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

How dare you, Greg, present a post that is not entirely critical of the US Chamber of Commerce? You have no right to be fair or balanced. You apparently do not understand your role in the take no prisoners war of the partisans. How will the righties attack you if you insist that your stories be accurate?

Answer from the righties in 3... 2... 1

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 7, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You and Brian completely overlooked the big revelation:

Iran would not be pulling a stunt like that, if the were not scared to death of the sanctions, so they must be feeling the economic pressure. Without intending to do so, when they played this bluff, they actually revealed what a weak hand they are holding.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 7, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Edit:

Greg,

You and Brian completely overlooked the big revelation:

Iran would not be pulling a stunt like that, if they were not scared to death of the sanctions, so they must be feeling the economic pressure. Without intending to do so, when they played this bluff, they actually revealed what a weak hand they are holding.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 7, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

From politicalwire.com


Bonus Quote of the Day

"When I was a child, President Ronald Reagan was the nice man who gave us jelly beans when we visited the White House. I didn't know then, but I know it now: The jelly beans were much more than a sweet treat that he gave out as gifts. They represented the uniqueness and greatness of America - each one different and special in its own way, but collectively they blended in harmony."

-- Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ), writing for Politico.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 7, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

OT - on the Kristol/Beck thingey....

"Apparently, Beck caught wind of all of this, and lashed out at Kristol on his radio show this morning.


"I don't even know if you understand what conservatives are anymore, Billy," Beck said in his extended, sarcastic attack on Kristol. "People like Bill Kristol, I don't think they stand for anything anymore. All they stand for is power. They'll do anything to keep their little fiefdom together, and they'll do anything to keep the Republican power entrenched."


I especially liked it when Beck asked rhetorically on the air, "Have you done a minute of research, Bill?" It's amusing to think Beck believes additional scholarly work would prove there's a global conspiracy to "divvy up" the world between communists and "radical Islamists." If only Kristol would do more "research," he'd see how right Beck's delusions are.

We'll see if Kristol feels compelled to respond to this, though I rather doubt he'll bother. The larger point to keep in mind, though, is that the fissures within the right that generally go unnoticed are starting to widen."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_02/027882.php

Posted by: bernielatham | February 7, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

fissures? If it looks like a tire fire, sounds like a tire fire and smells like a tire fire...

Posted by: shrink2 | February 7, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Ot Christie rocks!

"Facing budget deficits as far as the eye could see, Governor Christie killed the $9.7 billion ARC tunnel... complaining that the state of New Jersey would be bearing the brunt of the costs.

"... Now, a(n admittedly public) corporation will be taking on the project, ponying up the preliminary costs and doing the capital raising. New Jersey — and New York, and the Port Authority, and (imagine!) private investors — will be able to run the cost-benefit analyses and determine their exposure to the project... it’s hard to see how this isn’t a significantly better outcome for Governor Christie and the people of New Jersey."

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/259171/chris-christie-ftw-daniel-foster

Posted by: sbj3 | February 7, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh great, this is just what we need...

"The first increase in credit-card debt since the financial crisis hit helped to boost overall consumer borrowing 3 percent in December, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2.41 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. It was the third straight monthly gain."

As the Federal debt blasts past $15 trillion, the downwardly mobile are borrowing again too. Problem is, consumer borrowing carries actual moral hazard.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 7, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/07/beck-hits-back-kristol/

Posted by: Liam-still | February 7, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Apparently some people on this blog believe that their offenses have been so great that they are going to be banned once the new softward comes in.

Among those: 12BarBluesAgain, who brought Cao to this blog, knowing full well what he would be like. She did this with a destructive intent, and she has admitted as such.

So, thinking she is smart, has created a new name for herself and is attempting to hide when the new software comes in.

Nice try, but we ALL see you in the open.


_________________________


Part of the problem here is the moderation policies are not spelled out - guidance has to be given.

There needs to be an "active warning system" to guide people when they have crossed the line. People don't get warnings, or even comments back stating clearly they have crossed the line.

The result has been that all the bad behavior has become the de facto guidance as to what is acceptable and what is not.

Also, moderation policy can not be influenced by political beliefs. There simply can not be the impression that liberals or conservatives are getting away with things that are enforced against the other side.


GUIDANCE - one easy way to do the "active warning system" would be to require all posters to stick to the issues - and avoid making personal nasty comments. These personal attacks have flared up recently. For me, I try to state my my opinions and CUT through the personal "ad hominem" attacks. People complain about that - however that is how I have dealt with the insanity here.


___________________________


If there are to be rules

1) The rules must be clearly defined

2) If the liberals break the rules, they get punished too.


3) You can't enforce rules ONLY against people whose views you don't like - that starts nasty lawsuits and ends careers.


Clearly

GUIDANCE - one easy way to do the "active warning system" would be to require all posters to stick to the issues - and avoid making personal nasty comments. These personal attacks have flared up recently. For me, I try to state my my opinions and CUT through the personal "ad hominem" attacks. People complain about that - however that is how I have dealt with the insanity here.

WASHINGTON POST - really should do something about the Obama paid trolls. There should be some contact made between the paper and Axelrod as to the ground rules BECAUSE if the Obama paid trolls start to harass people again like they did in 2008 and 2009, there will be a response.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 7, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"Beck later feigned apology for his rancor because “I get really testy when I hear people who should get it come after me. It’s like really, have you done a minute of research, Bill?” Offering to “dumb it down,” Beck told Kristol exactly where he could find all the research to prove socialists and Islamists are in “phase 2″ of their plot to take over the world — “just watch the show in the next week,” Beck instructed. "

Posted by: Liam-still | February 7, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

" the fissures within the right that generally go unnoticed are starting to widen.""

I'm not so sure. I think this is a predicatable move by the GOP. From their perspective, Beck, Palin and the Teabaggers served a useful function but their utility is marginal now that the GOP has the House and is aiming for the Senate, if not the White House. They have to get rid of the more notorious loons like Beck and Palin (who were developing their own personal constituencies) and let the Teabaggers know the score, both of which they are doing. Fox is the key: I wouldn't be surprised to see less of Palin on Fox. And if Beck's ratings get worse, he won't be long for Fox either is my guess. Useful idiots who have outlived their usefulness are just idiots.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 7, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Why is this even an issue?

IN the US, there are various groups with different opinions of sanctions.

In Iran, there are probably people who want the trade sanctions lifted - and others who would prefer to have ZERO trade and keep contact with the US to a minimum.

So, why is it so hard to understand that people in Iran would want to say that people here in the US have the same opinion?

And who cares?


This is a nonstory, a non-article about a nonstory.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 7, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

"Useful idiots" You mean they actually had some utility at one point? :-)

Sarah is better positioned than Beck IMHO to come out of this in a great position. I think Beck's days are numbered. He'll always have a radio show..hell even G Gordon Liddy has a radio show, but Beck will be yesterday's news.

If Sarah shuts up about policy pretty quickly, she'll be able to retain her legions of clawrences and still host reality TV...and of course as a former basketball player...you know with coordination..she'll be able to do a far better job on DWTS. And of course her legions of clawrences will be on hand to stuff the box just as they did with Bristol.

Of course at the end of the day they're both freaking multi millionaires now so they can at least laugh all the way to the bank. John McCain deserves a 10% cut for a finder's fee...but then he already has enough of Cindy's $$$.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 7, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't think Palin really knew how lucrative it was to be such a firebomber. She was actually considered to be pretty bipartisan as Alaska gov. Not a moderate, but someone who would work with both sides. Then she assumed the role of attack dog for John McCain and realized that everyone loves her! Yeah, the liberal elites scoff at her inability to form coherent sentences, but look at how she does at rallies! And everyone buys her book (well, a few Conservative groups buy hundreds of thousands of copies of her books and distributes them, but that's a different story). Hell, even her TLC show is a hit. Sarah Palin is the only person in the world who can get Conservative to tune into a channel with the word "Learning" in it.

It's a nice gravy train she has going. Honestly, I don't know whether she needs to run for office some day to maintain it. I think she doesn't need to. I think it would be easy enough for her to decide to not run because she wants to protect her family from the media or the liberal elites have made the atmosphere so toxic or that they are so sexist or something retarded like that. Palin has already played the governance game, so she knows she doesn't have a taste for the mundane aspects of governing.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 7, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"at the end of the day they're both freaking multi millionaires now"

God bless America. And you got yourself a doozy down there in the Sunshine State:

"At a highly partisan tea-party event, Gov. Rick Scott unveiled his first budget proposal that makes good on his promises to slash the size and spending of government. Scott proposed spending almost $66 billion - $4.6 billion less next budget year compared to this year. Scott also wants to eliminate nearly 8,700 state positions, many of them filled by current state workers.
Though cutting those state jobs would add to the state’s unemployment rate, Scott indicated that the best way to grow the state’s economy was through his “jobs budget,” which shrinks state government and cuts property and corporate-income taxes by nearly 1.4 billion.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/07/2054753/gov-scott-to-unveil-budget-with.html#ixzz1DJfZWTOj

Later, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 7, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@Liam - yup, thanks, I'd seen that. MM has a piece on it too but I wanted to extract this portion...

"Fund: Beck's Use Of "Apocalyptic Conspiracy Terms" In Egypt Commentary "Goes Too Far." During the February 6, 2011, edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund said of Beck's Egypt commentary:

Look, Glenn Beck is a commentator, and I think that part of his analysis is accurate. Look, we have to remember that the Iranian regime when it collapsed was going to be a democracy, then it was hijacked by Islamic extremists and we're still dealing with them 30 years later and their nuclear weapons. And obviously Europe has a lot more to worry about - you know, by 2030, 90 percent of Europe is going to be Muslim. But to carry that and take it into apocalyptic conspiracy terms about America becoming Islamic state that goes too far, and I think if Glenn Beck had to do it over again, he might rethink that. [CNN, Reliable Sources, 2/06/11]"

http://mediamatters.org/research/201102060009

John Fund is a lying, propagandist jerk. I don't think there's anyone worse in the WSJ organization (other than the new owner, of course). Catch how he follows the blossoming establishment talking point but slips in the Muslim take-over lie. I despise this guy.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8189231.stm

Posted by: bernielatham | February 7, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/happy_hour_roundup_181.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 7, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Is being a "propagandist"'always bad, and hence the "propagandist jerk?". Or is Mr. Fund a jerk, perhaps for other reasons, and is also a propagandist?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 7, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

As soon as Palin says she is not going to run, she loses a lot of media cache. So dragging it out works in her favor regardless of whether her motivation is political or economic. But when she says she won't run, she'll also lose political clout because she will become marginalized and irrelevant as attention and coverage shifts to candidates.

It comes down to the depths of her delusion, her ego and whether she can avoid the maneuvers of the big boys (I doubt it).

Posted by: bernielatham | February 7, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"It comes down to the depths of her delusion, her ego and whether she can avoid the maneuvers of the big boys (I doubt it)."

Do you really think Palin is delusional? Like in need of hospitalization and institutionalization?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 7, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

@troll - first, on propaganda, I'm not at all sure you'd be interested in a serious analysis. But let's see...

Lay out what you'd see as the meaningful differences between "propaganda" and "public relations".

As to Palin... of course she is delusional. The other part of your question is merely silly.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 7, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Well, is propaganda always bad?  For example, did FDR's administration engage in propaganda during WWII, either domestically or abroad?  If so, was it serving a noble end?  Also, isnt advertising Propaganda?

Why is my asking if Palin should be hospitalized for being delusional, "silly?"  Isn't that the usual reccomendation for those that are delusional?  You might have said, for example, "Troll, there are different levels of delusion, an underdog in a boxing event may be technically delusional for thinking s/he can defeat a much larger, stronger, faster and vastly more experienced opponent. But we wouldn't necessarily consider that person ill, would we?" Or, you might have (metaphorically) rolled your eyes and sighed, "Troll, please, I was being, technically hyperbolic.  However if Palin runs thinking she could win, that would be quite clinically delusional, and therefore accurate.  However, Troll, she might be running to try and influence the policy discussion of the candidates, or to try and secure a Cabinet position if a Republican wins the election.  But because I cannot read her mind, we'll have to assume I'm being hyperbolic.  Is that a sufficient answer?". But you didn't do that, you said it was silly.  Because this blog really doesn't allow any, for example, italics or bolding, for example, nuance is very difficult to convey.  As a result, I asked for clarification before I accepted that you meant she was literally psychotic.  I'm merely doing what any decent and fair-minded commentor would do, seeking clarification.  It's the same thing you would do if you were in my position.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 7, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ixnay on Palin hospitalization. You don't hospitalize an idiot for believing in vampires because he's an idiot who doesn't know that vampires are just in the movies.

It's the educated guy who binds his putz with picture-hanging wire to amp himself up with pain in preparation for murdering his vampire next door neighbor that you put in the booby hatch.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 2:11 AM | Report abuse

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