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. Continue reading
With the Senate lacking the two-thirds majority it would need to stop him, President Obama will succeed in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran. At this point, barring a miracle, Obama has outmaneuvered the Congress and won that fight.
He has also lost the argument.
For all the millions of dollars they promised to spend influencing public opinion, his allies failed to put a dent in the overwhelming opposition among the American public. The demeaning videos they trotted out featuring vapid celebrities failed to convince the undecided to embrace this deal. Nor could they assuage the glaring problems in its terms for those following closely enough to feel confident expressing an opinion. Continue reading
By John Podhoretz • New York Post
It’s rare for people to celebrate getting 41 percent of anything. If you score 41 percent on a test, you get an F. If you win 41 percent of the vote in a two-person race, you lose. If your tax rate is 41 percent, you’re likely to feel ripped off.
In the matter of his Iran deal, President Obama and his team have spent two months working relentlessly to secure 41 percent — and now they’re claiming an enormous victory even though by any other standards what they’ve achieved is nothing but a feat of unconstitutional trickery.
They worked throughout the summer to browbeat Senate Democrats so they could get 41 of them to say they would support the Iran nuclear deal. They’re up to 42 now — that’s a mere 42 percent of the Senate. Continue reading
Iran missile stocks increase
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed that the Islamic Republic would violate outstanding United Nations restrictions governing the country’s ballistic missile program and that the behavior would not violate the recent nuclear accord, according to a translation of the leader’s remarks performed by the CIA’s Open Source Center.
Iran is “not committed to the restrictions on its missile program,” according to a recent comment made by Rouhani, who said a violation of international restrictions would not impact the nuclear accord recently reached with global powers.
“We have formally announced that we are not committed to these provisions [related to missiles] mentioned in [the] U.N. resolution,” Rouhani was quoted as saying in an Aug. 29 Persian language speech broadcast on Iran’s state-controlled television networks. Continue reading
1. You have argued that the Iran deal enhances Israel’s security and those of our Arab Gulf allies. At the same time, your administration has offered the Gulf states a huge security package by way of compensation and you have expressed frustration that the government of Israel has not yet entered into discussions with you to discuss ways to bolster its security. But isn’t this a paradox? If the Iran deal bolsters their security, shouldn’t their security needs be going down, not up?
2. It is surely legitimate for you to argue that the Iran deal enhances U.S. security but it certainly seems odd for you to claim to understand Israel’s security needs more than its democratically elected leaders. Are there other democracies whose leaders you believe don’t recognize their own best security interests or is Israel unique in this regard?
3. Constructive, respected, well-informed observers, like your former [National Security Council] Iran policy advisor Dennis Ross, have urged you to propose transferring to Israel the “mountain-busting” Massive Ordnance Penetrator as a way to boost Israel’s independent deterrence against Iran. But you have not done so. Instead, in your letter to Congressman [Jerrold] Nadler, you highlighted your administration’s plan to send Israel a much less capable weapon. Why are you reluctant to send Israel the best item we have in our inventory to address this profound threat? Continue reading
By Seth Mandel • New York Post
And he knows it. That’s the upshot of Obama’s letter to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan-B’klyn) to secure Nadler’s support for the deal.
Nadler says he believes the deal will keep Iran from going nuclear even after all its enforcement provisions end (though even Obama has admitted that’s a concern).
But the congressman was worried that unwinding the sanctions regime would leave Tehran flush with cash, and primed to step up its proxy wars throughout the region. Continue reading
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo were recently in Vienna, where they met up with the deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The U.S. lawmakers charged that the U.N. agency had made a “confidential” side agreement with Iran that was not included in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear pact between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the U.S., Great Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany).
State Department spokesman John Kirby suggested that Sen. Cotton and Rep. Pompeo were lying. “There’s no side deals,” he assured, during a press briefing. “There’s no secret deals between Iran and the IAEA that the P5+1 has not been briefed on in detail.” Continue reading
By Michael Barone • Washington Examiner
What do military leaders appointed by President Obama and President Clinton think of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran? Not much, in many cases. Examples:
• Admiral James Stavridis, NATO supreme allied commander 2009-2013: “I think the top [issue] is the verification regime, which is starting to resemble swiss cheese … you can drive a truck through some of these holes. I am very concerned about that.”
• General Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency 2012- 2014: “There are so many things that Iran has been gifted right now with this unbelievable deal. I mean, it’s far more than just nuclear issues. I mean, it goes into everything that Iran is going to be capable of doing. And I’m going to tell you. When they receive this $150 billion check essentially I am really concerned about what kind of behavior they are going to continue to display.” Continue reading
by Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi
In his embarrassingly unpresidential Cairo speech in 2009, President Obama stated that “in the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” This statement was vintage Obama. On the one hand, he demonstrated his historical illiteracy for ignoring the hundreds of books and thousands of essays published in Iran and throughout the world about the real causes of Mohammed Mossadegh’s downfall in 1953. On the other hand, by mindlessly parroting the KGB-manufactured disinformation about the CIA’s involvement, he signaled to the mullahs his sympathy for their hatred against the United States of America.
More tragically, Obama’s apology reflected his naivete about the root causes of the United States’ troubled relationship since 1979 with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In his intellectually defunct book “The Audacity of Hope” he portrayed the United States as a rogue state that, from its inception, arrogantly trampled on the sovereignty of others. In fact, he clearly intimated that he was elected to rectify the past immorality of American foreign policy not just against Iran but also toward the wider world. Continue reading
Administration engages in anti-Semitic rhetoric to smear nuke deal opponents
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
Obama administration allies lobbying in favor of a recently signed nuclear deal with Iran are smearing Jewish lawmakers and opponents of the accord with allegations of dual loyalty to Israel, rhetoric many view as anti-Semitic, according to allegations leveled by these individuals and groups.
Organizations close to the White House, including the pro-Tehran lobbying shop National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the liberal fringe group J Street, and the anti-war organization MoveOn, have come out to question the motivation of Jewish individuals who oppose the nuclear deal, which will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief and lift longstanding restrictions on its ballistic missile program.
These allegations of dual loyalty to Israel, which many have identified as anti-Semitic, began almost immediately with the White House, which accused its critics of worrying more about Israel’s interests than the United States’. Continue reading
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