Former Indiana Senator Richard G. Lugar became the first high profile Republican this week to endorse President Obama’s hugely controversial nuclear deal with Iran’s revolutionary Islamic government.
If Congress is unable to override an expected presidential veto, in addition to $150 billion in immediate sanctions relief, the deal will guarantee the same radical Iranian regime that openly calls for the annihilation of an entire nation state both the legal right and practical ability to develop an industrial scale nuclear weapons infrastructure along with the intercontinental ballistic missile systems necessary to deliver nuclear payloads anywhere on earth.
Speaking on MSNBC, the 83-year-old former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee praised the Iran deal as the “best available option” for restraining the world’s foremost terror supporting state. Exactly how it would restrain Iran, the voter-retired senator did not say. Lugar’s comments, together with an op-ed co-written with former Democrat Senator J. Bennett Johnston, praised Obama’s deal and harshly attacked Democratic Senator Charles Schumer for being the first Democrat to break with the President.
By becoming the first Republican figure to openly endorse a deal opposed by a large majority of American, and universally rejected by every single elected member of Lugar’s own Republican party, the octogenarian Hoosier continues his career practice of espousing foreign policy positions nearly identical to those promoted by America’s left-leaning foreign policy establishment clique.
Lugar, warmly referred to as “Obama’s’ favorite senator” by the mainstream press, first rose to national attention in the late 1960’s when, as Mayor of Indianapolis, Lugar became known as Richard Nixon’s “favorite mayor.” Nearly four decades later, Lugar is still widely credited with being the most successful and transformative mayor in that city’s nearly 200 year history.
After being elected to the US Senate on his second attempt in 1976, Lugar devoted most of his 36 years in the Senate to studiously cultivating a reputation as man possessed with unrivaled foreign policy wisdom. Ironically, the more Senator Lugar got wrong over the years, the more he was celebrated by the foreign policy establishment. What mattered was not whether Lugar was right or wrong. What mattered was that he towed the liberal line.
An initial opponent of President Reagan’s successful Strategic Defense Initiative, a quarter century later Lugar lobbied President Bush to support Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s own anti- ballistic missile defense plan. In 2006, Lugar was one of only six Republicans to sign onto the defeatist Iraq Study Group report that argued US forces still fighting in the field had no chance of victory and should beat a hasty retreat.
Lugar doubled down on his attempt to weaken President bush by leading the attack against the Iraq surge that turned the tide and won the war then lost by Obama. Lugar confidently predicted that the surge “had little chance for success and could end in disaster.”
That same year, Lugar called the “election” of Hamas, the genocidal Palestinian terror group that now rules Gaza, “a good thing.”
In 2010, Lugar outraged conservatives by working tirelessly to help President Obama win passage in a lame duck session Senate session of the highly contentious START Arms Control with Russia. That treaty, which called for a nearly 30% reduction in US nuclear warheads is considered by many national security experts to have gravely weakened the United States at the same time greatly strengthened Russia.
But the diplomatic initiative that Richard Lugar and his many admirers were certain would secure his place as one of the great statesmen of the late 20th Century has been sadly exposed on the killing fields of eastern Ukraine as one of greatest debacles of post Cold-War history. Hailed at the time even by the Wall Street Journal as “one of the most prescient pieces of legislation ever enacted”, together with former Democrat Senator Sam Numm, the Nunn-Lugar initiative conditioned any future assistance to the newly independent Ukraine to its agreeing to a complete and unilateral dismantlement of all its nuclear weapons and all their delivery systems.
Like Czechoslovakia 47 years before, in compelling a hapless and defenseless Ukraine to accept the infamous 1994 Budapest Memorandum and render itself defenseless, Nunn-Lugar responded by offering utterly worthless promises of support and protections. Rather than re-examining the catastrophic failure of Nunn-Lugar, the former senator recently reaffirmed his belief that not only was Nunn-Lugar his greatest success, but that the world needs still more fanciful, divorced from reality, disarmament treaties.
Not only did Nunn-Lugar not promote the peace and security of Europe they promised, it greased the skids for a newly resurgent Russia to invade, occupy and pillage a Ukraine rendered they themselves helped render defenseless.
In the 2012 GOP Senate primary, Lugar was crushed by a little known and poorly funded tea party opponent. Not even able to win 40% of the vote, Lugar suffered the worst primary defeat ever inflicted upon a sitting Republican Senator in American history.