The President on Wednesday secured a 34th supporter in the Senate, enough for him to veto disapproval without fear of an override, and he began pushing for additional votes that would enable supporters to let the pact stand without a roll call.
Although the fight is lost, the Senate owes the people an up-or-down vote on one of the most consequential foreign policy agreements in decades.
Obama says he has boxed the Iranians so tightly that they have no chance of expanding a greatly reduced nuclear program in the short run, and that he or a future President could “snap back” economic sanctions should the Iranians go rogue. Thus, he argues, America will be better positioned to curb Iran for the 15-year life of the pact.
His positions are based on faith and hope, two virtues that are misplaced when risking utter catastrophe, quite probably triggering an arms race in the Middle East, and leaving Israel under the shadow of a mushroom cloud.
At the same time, the terror-exporting, radical Islamist regime will gain economic strength, becoming still more capable of waging not-so-covert warfare in the Middle East.
By lifting international economic sanctions, the pact will pour $150 billion into the limping Iranian economy. Not to worry, Obama says: Iran will have to devote most of the money to past obligations and meeting current needs, leaving only $50 billion free for use. Only?
At the same time, Obama also contends that money is not really the issue with Iran. In an interview with The Forward newspaper, he said, “Where Iran has been effective in its destabilizing activities, it’s not because it’s had a lot of money.”
No, the President said: “It’s because they’ve effectively used proxies; it’s because they’ve invested in places like Lebanon for decades and become entrenched. And the reason we haven’t done a better job of stopping that is not because they’re outspending us. The reason is, is because we haven’t been as coordinated, had as good intelligence and been as systematic in pushing back as we need to be.”
Again, not to worry. Referring to Israel and Arab states aligned against Iran, Obama flatly declared: “We now have a regional power that is good at asymmetric and unconventional and proxy aggression, and that’s something that we, together, can confront and stop.”
Stop? Really? If the feat could have been done, it would have been done.
The pledge is no more credible than this 2014 vow by the President: “We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, (ISIS) through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
With his next breath in the Forward interview, the President took away what he had just given, appearing to know better than to get too carried away about putting a “stop” to Iran’s maneuverings, specifically as they relate to supplying Hezbollah with missiles used to attack Israel.
Obama went only so far as to envision military and intelligence cooperation with Israel “to see, are there additional capabilities that Israel may be able to use to prevent Hezbollah, for example, from getting missiles.”
Not to worry, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.