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Neocon Watch

Sen. Tom Cotton Scores a Big Foreign Payoff


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In Washington's corridors of power, it can often pay to do the bidding of a foreign country. Foreign governments pay top dollar to remain in Washington's good graces (and to make sure their adversaries are demonized), and the myriad of public relations firms that litter the Beltway attest to just how much foreigners are willing to spend for the privilege. While most guns for foreign hire are off the government payroll and self-declared "agents of a foreign power," as is required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), there are a few exceptions to the rules.

Sen. Tom Cotton, it turns out, is one such exception. For the sitting Senator from Arkansas, doing the bidding of foreigners while holding US elected office has paid off literally. To the tune of nearly one million dollars.

That is the big payoff Cotton received from the "Emergency Committee for Israel" to push the Netanyahu line on the Iran nuclear deal among his fellow senators. Even though President Obama's Iran policy has temporarily carried the day in Washington, don't think that million dollars was money badly spent. Who could put a price tag on such high-profile media coverage as Cotton received from the letter he initiated (signed by 46 other Senators) informing his Iranian counterparts that the US would pull out of the deal at first opportunity under the next US Administration? It was a bold shot across diplomacy's bow and it nearly sunk the SS Obama.

Sometimes a strategic win can come from a few tactical losses along the way. Among the presidential hopefuls can any candidate be expected to continue pursuing the position of engagement with Iran? Will Hillary turn her back on Bibi? Bernie Sanders? Don't count on it.

What remains to be accounted for is the unbridled enthusiasm on the part of Tom Cotton to push the interests of a foreign power having national security interests often at odds with those of the United States. Cotton went so far as to pledge his support to that foreign power. “I will stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel," he said while on Israeli soil last summer.

Will no one in the state of Arkansas question the fact that their voice in Washington thinks first about the interests of a government not his own -- and gets paid handsomely for doing so? 

In the olden days wasn't there a word for such a person?
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