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Friday, August 07, 2015

Too late? Schumer comes out against Iran deal

In the middle of the Republican debate on Thursday night, @SenatorSchumer announced his opposition to the sellout to a nuclear Iran (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Ultimately, in my view, whether one supports or opposes the resolution of disapproval depends on how one thinks Iran will behave under this agreement.
If one thinks Iran will moderate, that contact with the West and a decrease in economic and political isolation will soften Iran’s hardline positions, one should approve the agreement. After all, a moderate Iran is less likely to exploit holes in the inspection and sanctions regime, is less likely to seek to become a threshold nuclear power after ten years, and is more likely to use its newfound resources for domestic growth, not international adventurism.
But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.
Admittedly, no one can tell with certainty which way Iran will go. It is true that Iran has a large number of people who want their government to decrease its isolation from the world and focus on economic advancement at home. But it is also true that this desire has been evident in Iran for thirty-five years, yet the Iranian leaders have held a tight and undiminished grip on Iran, successfully maintaining their brutal, theocratic dictatorship with little threat. Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years?
To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.
Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.
For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one.
Schumer came out against the deal, but the only way he could have made it less noticeable and less effective was to wait until mid-September to do so. I guess he wilted under the pressure to take a position.

The real question now is whether he will be active in trying to persuade others to vote against the deal. It doesn't sound like it.
While we have come to different conclusions, I give tremendous credit to President Obama for his work on this issue. The President, Secretary Kerry and their team have spent painstaking months and years pushing Iran to come to an agreement. Iran would not have come to the table without the President’s persistent efforts to convince the Europeans, the Russians, and the Chinese to join in the sanctions. In addition, it was the President’s far-sighted focus that led our nation to accelerate development of the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP), the best military deterrent and antidote to a nuclear Iran. So whichever side one comes down on in this agreement, all fair-minded Americans should acknowledge the President’s strong achievements in combatting and containing Iran.
Obama opposed the sanctions every step of the way. And as to the MOP's, they were developed under Bush and not under Obama, although they were finally delivered to Israel under Obama.  But hey - why let facts get in the way of throwing a little support to an embattled President from one's own party?

Yes, Schumer will vote against the deal to preserve his Senate seat, but I doubt he will lead the opposition to the bill. I also have to wonder whether he acted in concert with New York's junior Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, or whether he double crossed her by leaving her as the one to face the wrath of New York's heavily pro-Israel voters.

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At 2:08 PM, Blogger Will MFS said...

Hi Carl, i think you might be mixing up the type of bunker busters; the MOP were not delivered, only a 'lighter' type of guided bunker buster, see :


At 12:08 PM, Blogger TMay said...

Schumer gave up being the Minority Leader by going against
Obama. The Iran nuke deal is not a ratified treaty. It is not
a non-ratified treaty, it is not an executive agreement.
It is something Obama wants. Josh Earnest, Press Secretary,
said if Congress doesn't support it, Obama will do it anyway.
In the meantime Obama got people to say where they stand
so that in his typical peevish way, he can punish them.


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