By Alan M. Dershowitz • Boston Globe
A great debate is underway regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran — and the Obama administration is losing. Unhappy with the growing opposition to his legacy deal, President Obama is trying to stifle the debate by attacking the personal motives and public-communication methods of those who oppose the pact.
He recently derided some prominent opponents as “the same columnists and former administration officials that were responsible for us getting into the Iraq war.” Those comments followed last month’s characterization of deal critics as “talking heads and pundits, and folks who are not going to be making sacrifices, if in fact you end up in a conflict, who are reprising the same positions we saw during the Iraq war.”
Obama has also decried the millions spent by organizations in opposition, saying they have been “putting the squeeze” on members of Congress with TV ads and lobbying campaigns. These groups, he claims, are backed primarily by “billionaires who happily finance super PACs” and are “opposed to any deal with Iran.” In a July 18 address, he seemed particularly hostile to the influence of AIPAC; speaking a day after the pro-Israel lobbying group came out against the deal, he urged Congress to evaluate the agreement “based on facts . . . not based on lobbying.” Continue reading
by The Editors • Bloomberg View
President Barack Obama took to the airwaves today, aiming to sell Congress and the American people on the wisdom of his nuclear deal with Iran. He had a case to make but chose not to make it. He decided instead to cast legitimate criticism of his pact as ignorant warmongering.
A few examples:
“We have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Actually, the deal’s restrictions end abruptly after 15 years, with some of the constraints on uranium enrichment fading away after just 10. Late in the speech, Obama made the case that much can change in a decade and that the West could be in a stronger position then to continue to block Iran’s nuclear desires. But the temporary nature of the deal remained disguised.
“Many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.” Certainly the Iraq war was sold on spurious grounds and had tragic results. Certainly Republicans and Democrats alike were far too credulous in accepting the Bush administration’s rationale. But these facts have absolutely nothing to do with this agreement. Continue reading
by Kyle Smith • New York Post
On Wednesday, at American University, Obama said the genocidal fascist freaks in Iran who chant “Death to America” are “making common cause with the Republican caucus” for opposing the deal.
It was a gratuitous, unsupportable, vile insult. Remember six months ago, when the entire press corps had a convulsion because an ex-mayor of New York who hasn’t held public office in 14 years said, “I do not believe the president loves America”? The media demanded Rudy Giuliani apologize. They couldn’t talk about anything else for days.
Now the sitting president of the United States says the entire Republican caucus not only doesn’t love America but doesn’t like America, even hates America. But not only that — craves death for America. By logical extension, anyone who agrees with the Republican caucus on the Iran deal also must be in “common cause” with the “Death to America” savages. Continue reading
by Charles Krauthammer • Washington Post
The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that the American public rejects the president’s Iran deal by more than 2 to 1. This is astonishing. The public generally gives the president deference on major treaties. Just a few weeks ago, a majority supported the deal.
What happened? People learned what’s in it.
And don’t be fooled by polls that present, as fact, the administration’s position in the very question . The Post/ABC poll assures the respondent that, for example, “international inspectors would monitor Iran’s facilities, and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement economic sanctions would be imposed again. Do you support or oppose this agreement?”
Well, if you put it that way, sure. But it is precisely because these claims are so tendentious and misleading that public — and congressional — opinion is turning. Continue reading
by Alan M. Dershowitz • USAToday
The Framers of our constitution probably would have regarded the nuclear deal with Iran as a “treaty,” subject to a two thirds ratification by the Senate. At the very least they would have required Congress to approve the agreement by a majority vote. It is unlikely that it would have allowed the President alone to make so important and enduring an international agreement.
If President Obama doesn’t treat the Iran agreement with more respect, all his arguments today are beside the point. The agreement won’t have the force of law.
Article II, section two of the Constitution states that the president “shall have the power, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the senators present concur…” Although the Constitution did not provide a clear description of the types of international agreements the Framers viewed as “treaties,” there is evidence that they included significant and long-term commitments with foreign countries. Some early versions of the Constitution allocated treaty-making powers solely to the Senate, but Alexander Hamilton argued that “joint possession of the power in question, by the President and Senate, would afford greater prospect of security, than the separate possession of that by either of them.” He thought it unwise to give a single person all the power to shape the country’s relationship to the rest of the world. He believed that the public is much better protected from abuse under the Constitution than it was under the Articles of Confederation, which rested the power solely in the hands of Congress. Continue reading
The speech was mean-spirited and dishonest ─ and may have been counterproductive.
By Victor Davis Hanson • National Review Online
President Obama’s speech last week advocating congressional approval of the Iran deal was mostly made-up history mixed with invective. Indeed, he talked far more roughly about his congressional partners than he did about our Iranian enemies, who have worked so hard to kill Americans over the last 35 years.
Obama assured us that in the past a “nonproliferation treaty . . . prohibited nations from acquiring nuclear weapons.” One wonders, then, how India, China, North Korea, and Pakistan ever obtained them, given they were all forbidden to do so under “new agreements” forged by Democratic and Republican presidents. Is there much logic in the assertion that the intelligence was flawed when we went to war with what proved to be a non-nuclear Iraq, but that we can trust the same intelligence agencies to apprise us precisely of the nuclear status of Iran?
“After two years of negotiations,” Obama went on, “we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb.” Continue reading
by Morgan Chalfant • Washington Free Beacon
Two Republican congressmen are demanding the Obama administration release the full details regarding the “secret side deals” of the Iran nuclear arms agreement, accusing the president of breaking the law by refusing Congress access to such documentation.
After penning a letter to Obama on the subject and receiving no response, Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Sunday blasting the administration for refusing to provide information about Iran’s undisclosed agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is responsible for ensuring that Tehran abides by the stipulations in the finalized deal.
The Republican congressmen accuse Obama of “plainly violat[ing]” the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, a law he signed in May before the final deal was reached in Vienna that requires congressional lawmakers view all documents of the nuclear agreement–specifically including those reached on the “side.” Continue reading
‘He’s got the toughest vote of his career coming,’ a colleague says of the New York Democrat, who insists he’s undecided.
by Manu Raju and Burgess Everett
More than 10,000 phone calls have flooded his office line the past two weeks, organized by a group looking to kill the deal. Another group has dropped seven figures on TV in New York City to pressure Schumer and other lawmakers to vote against the plan. The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee has put its muscle behind an effort to lobby the New Yorker against it.
And Dov Hikind, a state assemblyman from Brooklyn, was arrested for disorderly conduct while protesting the deal outside Schumer’s office. Continue reading
By Scott Clement • Washington Post
Update: A new poll shows even worse numbers for the Iran deal. The Quinnipiac University poll shows 57 percent against and just 28 percent in support. The two-to-one negative split is by far the worst poll yet for the deal.
Below is our post from last week summarizing the deal’s declining poll numbers. As you will read, polls like this — that don’t provide details of the deal — have shown less public support for it. But this is clearly the worst one yet. (Quinnipiac, for what it’s worth, asked a more-detailed question in April and found nearly two-to-one support.)
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, meanwhile, also shows support slipping. The poll, which offered a detailed description, now shows Americans are split evenly after they were clearly in support in prior months.
Here’s how the NBC/WSJ poll worded our Iran question pic.twitter.com/AqYnIylfXo
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) August 3, 2015
Just two weeks after it was struck, Americans appear to be taking an increasingly negative view of the Iran nuclear deal. Continue reading
by Kieran Corcoran • DailyMail.com
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the head of the Muslim nation, is said to have released the extensive plan, which recommends driving Israelis out of the Middle East with endless war, even as his officials were bargaining with the White House.
Despite the good faith with which Iran claims it struck its nuclear deal with the White House and other nations, the alleged publication seems to show no let-up in violent anti-American rhetoric inside the nation’s borders. Continue reading
Jacques Audibert reported to have said congressional rejection would be ‘helpful’
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
Two more lawmakers stepped forward on Friday to confirm recent comments by senior French national security official Jacques Audibert, who reportedly told a delegation of lawmakers in a recent meeting that a congressional rejection of the recent Iranian nuclear deal could be “helpful.”
Audibert, a senior diplomatic adviser to President Francois Hollande, is said to have told Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D., Calif.) and Mike Turner (R., Ohio) in a recent meeting that congressional disapproval of the deal could be beneficial and help world powers secure more favorable terms.
The comments, which were first reported Thursday by Bloomberg, are directly at odds with recent remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry, who has argued that a rejection of the deal would destroy international sanctions on Tehran and push it to pursue nuclear weapons more aggressively. Continue reading
Op-Ed: Has Iran agreed to ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections, an end to R&D on faster centrifuges, and the dismantling of its key nuclear sites? No, no, and no
by David Horovitz • The Times of Israel
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday unsurprisingly hailed the nuclear agreement struck with US-led world powers, and derided the “failed” efforts of the “warmongering Zionists.” His delight, Iran’s delight, is readily understandable.
The agreement legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program, allows it to retain core nuclear facilities, permits it to continue research in areas that will dramatically speed its breakout to the bomb should it choose to flout the deal, but also enables it to wait out those restrictions and proceed to become a nuclear threshold state with full international legitimacy. Here’s how. Continue reading
by Alyssa Canobbio • Washington Free Beacon
During Tuesday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Iran nuclear agreement, Rep. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) asked Secretary of State John Kerry if the implementation of the deal would increase Iran’s support for terrorism.
Kerry said that the United States had no way to know that if the deal is implemented whether Iran would continue to support terrorism because of the difficulty of defining terrorism itself.
Iran is a leader in the state sponsorship of terrorism and the deal includes a transfer of $140 billion.
“They [Iran] are committed to certain things that we interpret as terrorism, they don’t, and we’re going to continue to conflict on those issues,” Kerry said.
by Blake Seitz • Washington Free Beacon
Retired Admiral James Stavridis rejected key talking points used by the Obama administration to sell the Iran nuclear deal in an interview Wednesday.
Admiral Stavridis, who served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander and is now Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe the deal may not catch Iranian nuclear cheating if it occurs.
“I think the top [issue] is the verification regime, which is starting to roughly resemble Swiss cheese,” Stavridis said. “You can drive a truck through some of the holes. I am very concerned about that.”
Defenders of the deal, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, have insisted the deal’s verification measures are airtight. Continue reading
by Alana Goodman • Washington Free Beacon
Fifty-two percent of Americans polled by CNN/ORC said Congress should reject the agreement, while 44 percent said it should be approved. A plurality of respondents in a separate survey commissioned by the Israel Project also said legislators should scrap the deal.
The CNN poll found opposition to the deal is higher among Republicans and independents, with a respective 66 percent and 55 percent objecting to it. Sixty-one percent of Democrats said the agreement should be approved.
The results are similar to the TIP survey of registered voters released on Wednesday. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they disapprove of how President Obama has handled the Iran nuclear negotiations. Continue reading