Shia Altman

They came, they saw, they capitulated

I have written several columns about the P5+1 deal with Iran and its nuclear weapons program.  I have covered the interim and the final agreements, I have gone over technical details, and I have done my best in trying to explain why I thought the deal with Iran, as it was coming and as it arrived, was a disaster.

After President Obama did an end run around the US Congress and went to the UN to get its support almost as soon as the ink dried on the joke of an agreement, I wrote that once the UN gives its OK, in effect the fight to prevent the debacle deal from happening would be over.  I also wrote that we should not be silent and should speak up to prevent the US Congress from capitulating as Obama and John Kerry have, to at least keep the US out of the deal.

A few thoughts as those who fought the good fight (and will continue to do so), people of all political persuasions, now lick their wounds and seek yet other ways to, if not put the brakes on the Iran deal, at least find the best way to move forward.

– The Democrats will never admit it but had it been a Republican president cramming this deal down Congress’ throats, circumventing the law by not calling the deal what it really is, a treaty, they would be screaming.  They would be saying the Republican president was putting the US and Israel in mortal danger.  You know that.  And now we hear that Senate Democrats may, if they have enough votes, filibuster the bill, preventing a vote and so, Obama’s veto, and the very public attempt to override it.  Again, were the situation reversed, Democrats would be livid.

– And speaking of treaties, which require 67 Senate votes for ratification – and that would not have happened, unlike the craziness we have watched with opponents trying to get enough votes to overturn an Obama veto of a bill to disapprove, always a long shot, I have read and heard that the Republicans should not have proposed the resolution and should have only debated a treaty proposal.

Well, it couldn’t be done.  The US Constitution may have required the deal to be a treaty, but Obama was not going to send it to the Senate that way and the Republicans would have needed a veto-proof majority to make him do so.  That was not going to happen.

Senators Bob Corker (R, TN), Bob Menendez (D, NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R, SC) co-authored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 to try to overturn the wishes of the president and in the least get each senator to reveal his or her position.  Corker, Menendez and Graham could not do the former but they have succeeded for the most part, to do the latter.  Had there not been a bill, there would have been nothing.  Now we know where people stand, or will stand

– One of my Maryland State Delegates before I moved to California was Ben Cardin.  He is now a US Senator and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  I am not sure if Ben would remember me – I did spend time in his office when I was an aide to another Democratic State Delegate at the time (while in college), but I am happy he decided to oppose the Iran deal.  Yes, he made his view known after it was too late to perhaps sway any of his colleagues, and maybe that was done as a favor to Obama, I don’t know.  But at least Ben (yes, I called him Ben) did the right thing.  Earlier would have been better, but thanks anyway, Ben.  I wish I could thank Maryland’s other senator, but alas, I cannot.   She put Obama over the top last week.

– And have you noticed that some US lawmakers who pledged their support of the deal did so in such agonizing ways?  Reading the defenses in their decisions, one would think they were actually against the deal.  I won’t name the cowards and I won’t bore you with their words and I won’t even link to their manifestos in case you are expecting that because many of you know I like linking to my proofs, but I will paraphrase for each of the capitulating lamenters.  “This is a terrible deal!  Deeply flawed!  The Iranians are horrible!  They want to destroy the US and Israel.  They can’t be trusted!  The deal legitimizes their nuclear ambitions!  Oy gevalt!  So in conclusion, I am supporting the agreement.”

– Just imagine, had the Republicans not nominated ridiculous candidates in the 2010 and 2012 Senatorial elections, not only could the Senate have been in Republican hands earlier than 2014, but much of Obama’s ideas and actions would have been thwarted.  And certainly, this Iran business of his would have had a much tougher road to hoe.  Thanks, purists.  Some of the blame falls on you.

– John Kerry never ceases to amaze me.  He has come up with so many imaginative head-shaking reasons the US must go along with his giveaway, that I almost respect him.  Almost.  Well, truthfully, not in the least.  Not even a tiny, tiny bit.  One reason for support he has repeated is his worry that Iran would not be able to trust the West!  Forget about the world trusting Iran, Kerry is concerned the ayatollahs will be mad at us.

Kerry said this recently: “What I can tell you is, if we walk away from this agreement, given the suspicions that the Supreme Leader had about even entering into negotiations with us, we will have proven their worst fears, that you can’t deal with the West. You can’t trust the West.”  Think about that.  It is bad enough we care what the butchers of Tehran think.  But Kerry’s own words are proof that he negotiated from a position of weakness.

– I think it’s safe to say there are leftist supporters of Israel who are in favor of the Iran deal because they hate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu more than they love Israel.  It is all over social media and the blogosphere.  “Take that, Bibi!”  “Now you can sit down and shut up, Bibi.”  Maybe you have seen the same.  Never mind that leftist leaders in Israel have condemned the deal as vociferously as Netanyahu.  As long as Bibi gets beat, that’s all that matters.

Now I fully admit, it could be argued there are rightist supporters of Israel who oppose the agreement because they hate Obama more than they love Israel.  Fair enough.  But this is about decriminalizing the worst people in the world who now have license to make this planet an even more dangerous place.  That being the case, people should err on the side of caution, whatever the path taken to get there.

– Finally, where the US is concerned, the Democrats and the Democrats alone, save a few exceptions, now own this deal.  Iran will do more horrifying things and there will be more terrorism and murder because of the agreement.  And it will be proven so.  But you will hear, they would have done it anyway, or it would have been worse, or some other lame excuse as, sadly, the bodies pile up.  I hope that as time goes by, people remember who orchestrated and enabled this travesty.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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