You know, it’s bad enough that Republicans cater to only their wealthy donors, but when Democrats start acting like Republicans it’s time for Americans to rise up and unseat these old white nincompoops before they get us all killed. It was bad enough that Billy-Bob Clinton pushed NAFTA through Congress. It was ten times worse when he signed the repeal of Glass-Stegall (which had protected business/commercial deposits from the whims and recklessness of investment banks), and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (which allowed wealthy investors like the Koch Brothers to tie up huge inventories of commodities on margin instead of settling accounts at the end of each trading day).
But now, President Obama, another Democrat in the White House that has inexplicably formed an unholy alliance with Republicans. Like Billy-Bob Clinton, for Obama it’s another instance in order to force a bad trade agreement, The TPP, through Congress which will do irreparable damage to the U.S. economy. And if that isn’t bad enough, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the probable successor to Harry Reid as the top dog in the Senate Democrat’s Party leadership, has announced that he will not support the international agreement designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. What the hell gets into these guys?
Schumer’s explanation did not touch on his views on the consequences of rejection. He naively says he will vote against the deal not because he believes “war is a viable option” or “to challenge the path of diplomacy.” Instead, his reasoning is based on his belief that “Iran will not change.” Bullshit; pure bullshit.
The deal has nothing to do with trusting Iran, changing its regime or even avoiding war. To say that these are the precepts of an agreement is either naiveté or political bullshit-for-dollars, and his fellow Democrats should all be raising hell.
What it is about is preventing Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon without sending war-weary volunteer soldiers to fight one unnecessary war after another.
Schumer’s “brilliant” alternative to the agreement is 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.”Surely Shumer’s fellow Democrats are trying to change his mind, but I sure haven’t heard any outcry.
Naturally he does not explain how his strategy would be accomplished without the support of Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. Why does he omit such salient information? Because his assumptions are pure hogwash. His assumption is that the other parties to the deal besides the United States and Iran will continue to support the U.S. position, for which there is ample evidence to the contrary. He also does not address the consequences if Washington fails to honor its commitment to a multilateral agreement negotiated over 18 months.
Rejection of the agreement would severely undermine the U.S. role as a leader and reliable partner around the globe. If Washington walks away from this hard-fought multilateral agreement, its dependability would likely be destroyed for decades.
Rejection would also destroy the coalition that brought Iran to the negotiating table. China and Russia would likely resume trade with Iran and probably using their own currencies, putting the continuance of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency at severe risk. U.S. allies, unsettled by Washington’s continued erratic behavior that was so prevalent during the decade before Obama’s presidency, would move their own separate ways.
The other five negotiators would likely have little stomach for going back to Iran “for a better deal.” The ambassadors of the five countries recently assured members of Congress that their governments would not return to the negotiating table should Washington reject the agreement.
Future sanctions would then have to be largely unilateral U.S. efforts — and exponentially less effective. There would be no coalition standing by to restore sanctions or apply other pressures if Iran did not comply. It would also be difficult to develop joint forceful action against Iran should it decide to go for a nuclear weapon.
Schumer’s suggestion that the United States “impose secondary sanctions on other nations” would likely be challenged by Washington’s friends and allies. It could rapidly lead to alternative financial arrangements disadvantageous to America over the long term. A U.S. policy of extending unilateral sanctions to other nations that had agreed to lift them on Iran would also risk damaging the power and influence of the U.S. Treasury.
Tehran would be the winner of this U.S. rejection because it would achieve its major objective: the lifting of most sanctions without being required to accept constraints on its nuclear program. Iran could also claim to be a victim of American duplicity and try to convince other nations to break with U.S. leadership and with the entire international sanctions regime.
Meanwhile, Israel would be the loser, as Iran would resume its nuclear program without inspections and would garner support from other nations around the world. Ninety countries, including Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, have already supported the deal. Though Israel opposes it (read Netanyahu), many key Israelis do not, including retired senior generals and former Mossad leaders.
From 2005 to 2013, Iran rocketed from about 200 installed centrifuges to 20,000, while Washington, under Bush and Obama administrations, sought to stop them through sanctions. Unrestrained by the joint nuclear agreement, Iran could quickly resume its aggressive nuclear program: move from 20,000 to 200,000 installed centrifuges, resume enriching uranium to 20 percent in its deeply buried facility, finish its plutonium reactor and develop reprocessing.
Vindicated in his distrust of the United States, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would no longer have any incentive to negotiate. The much flaunted and powerful Iranian “hard-liners” would likely return to dominate national politics and push President Hassan Rouhani’s more centrist team aside permanently. A return to the “hard-trodden path of diplomacy,” as Schumer proposes, would have to be conducted without Iran and its six negotiating parties.
The scuttling of the agreement could also put the United States on a path to another unnecessary and expensive war in the Middle East. The uncertainty about the reinstated, uncontrolled Iranian nuclear program would rapidly become an unacceptable mystery. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors could find the unprecedented inspections program of the Iran nuclear agreement foregone, probably forever.
The hair-on-fire spiral from fears of Iranian intentions would lead again — as in 2012 and 2013 — to demands for military action. As uncertainty mounted, Israel might again find it necessary to attack Iran and expect U.S. support.
Ironically, full U.S. military action against Iran would achieve only a three- to five-year delay in an Iranian surge toward a bomb, while the international nuclear deal would allow 15 years to test whether the agreement was on track to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. An Israel-U.S. military attack would more than likely assure a decision by Iran to move rapidly for a nuclear weapon, a decision it has not yet taken, according the director of U.S. national intelligence.
Within a month, Congress will face a momentous decision to kill this last chance for Washington to reach a verifiable Iranian commitment not to build a nuclear weapon. Congress can either accept or reject it by overriding an expected presidential veto — thereby taking sole and exclusive responsibility for the grave consequences for U.S. national security that would certainly follow. Democrats have got to get through to Shumer and any other idiot standing in the way.
As Congress has made so few good decisions, and even fewer based on what was in the best interest of ALL Americans, I am not confident that they will make the right decision this time.
Get off your couch; contact your representatives…let them know that America is tired of throwing good money after bad at the Middle East so that defense contractors, their lobbies, and members of Congress on the dole from powerful defense lobbies can rake in millions under the table.