California Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, a senior member of the influential House Armed Services Committee, gave the nation a glimpse of what U.S. foreign policy may be like if the GOP captures the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.
Representative Hunter told a C-SPAN interviewer on Wednesday the preliminary nuclear pact with Iran wouldn’t work, even if it wasn’t an ill-conceived one-sided giveaway to them, because Middle East culture fosters lying and deceit and the nation is irrational.
He hopes this doesn’t mean war is inevitable, but, “I think if you have to hit Iran, you don’t put boots on the ground. You do it with tactical nuclear devices, and you set them back a decade or two or three. I think that’s the way to do it—with a massive aerial bombardment campaign.”
The former Marine, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, said said the recently-reached preliminary pact between Tehran and the United Nations Security Council made conditions worse. The pact would reduce some of the sanctions that have crippled Iran for years in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear production and regular inspections of its facilities.
Instead, Hunter said, Congress should pass proposed legislation that levies heavier sanctions, and he voted with the hermetically-sealed Republican-controlled House to do that earlier in the year.
Hunter echoed sentiments expressed in October by billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, who suggested dropping nuclear bombs on an empty Iranian desert, which would kill “maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.” Adelson’s spokesman suggested that his boss was using hyperbole to make a point.
Hunter does not claim that. He explained to the C-SPAN interviewer and call-in questioners why negotiating with Iran is fraught with peril and Tehran must be directly confronted:
“In the Middle Eastern culture, it is looked upon with high regard to get the best deal possible, no matter what it takes. And that includes lying. . . . If you’re willing to blow yourself up and commit suicide, in order to blow up other people, you are not a rational person. And that’s who you are dealing with when you are dealing with the Iranians.”
Hunter represents a district that covers the eastern and northern sections of San Diego County. He was first elected in 2008, succeeding his father, 14-term Representative Duncan L. Hunter. The senior Hunter sought the Republican nomination for president that year, but did not win.