The end of last week was tough: With the declaration of Senator Mikulski (D-MD) that she would support the Iran deal, Obama had the number of votes he needed to block the Senate from overriding his veto of the Congressional rejection of his Iran program. At least on paper.
My message was that we keep going, because it might still be possible to overturn the situation.
See my comments here:.
But then, no sooner was my last message out when further news was announced. Three more Democratic senators declared for the deal: Cory Booker (NJ) – in a pathetic announcement, Mark Warner (VA), and Heidi Heitkamp (ND).
Not a happy moment.
But in the end my message does not change: Those of us with the clarity of vision to understand what a horrendous and dangerous deal this is must persist in speaking out against it. If anything, the perversity of those who are coming out for the deal must prod us to ever more vigorous protest.
Overturning the situation in Congress is now more problematic, as Obama has more than sufficient votes to block the veto override. But there are multiple reasons for continuing on our path:
As unlikely as it is, some who have declared for the deal might still change their minds.
What is more, a strong case against the deal provides impetus to those in Congress working on fighting it via a variety of legal approaches. (See more on this below.)
Caroline Glick last week called our apparent inability to garner sufficient Congressional opposition to the bill “A glorious defeat.” Glorious because it strengthened American and American Jewish opposition to the deal.
Because the deal will be a failure, says Glick, it will end up being a political liability for those Democrats who have stood with Obama, and provide an opportunity for Democratic challengers to clean house.
It will pave the way for Obama’s successor in the White House to abrogate the deal.
And, significantly, “by fighting against this deal, Netanyahu removed the main obstacle that kept Israel from taking action that will prevent Iran from going nuclear. He reduced Obama’s power to harm Israel.” (emphasis added) Israel, she says, is using the battle on the issue “to expand its capacity to act without the US to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
What we see, then, is that what appears to be an Obama victory on the Iran deal is not the last word on the situation by any means.
It is a victory of note for opponents of the deal that Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has now announced his opposition.
The influential Senator Cardin is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Republican Senator Bob Corker (TN). On the House side, Congressman Eliot Engel (NY), ranking Democrat of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Republican Congressman Edward Royce (CA), also came out against the deal. This is considered a blow to the president’s prestige.
What is more, Senator Cardin has announced his intention to introduce legislation “that would make clear the steps the United States will take against Iran if it violates the nuclear deal. The bill will include provisions such as regular reports from the administration on how Iran is spending resources it obtains thanks to sanctions relief as well as a new security package for Israel.”
It seems to me of considerable importance that, according to Politico, Cardin has the backing of lawmakers “on both sides of the issue.” This means that even some in Congress who have come out in support, have reservations about the degree of latitude provided to Iran. and it greatly increases its chances of passing.
If this item in the Politico report is accurate, it has, I think the greatest significance: There is an allusion above to a “new security package for Israel.” That package is then explained in more detail (emphasis added):
“Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a group that supports the deal, said the draft he’d seen of Cardin’s proposed legislation was deeply problematic. He said the bill would allow the U.S. to transfer the bunker-busting ‘massive ordnance penetrator,’ a weapon that could in theory destroy Iran’s best-protected nuclear facilities, to Israel. The only aircraft known to be able to carry MOPs are B-2 or B-52 bombers…
“The bill ‘seeks to reinterpret the terms of the nuclear deal itself, and thus it needs to be recognized as an effort by someone who’s voting no to undermine the implementation of the deal,’ Kimball said.”
Don’t know if this is true, don’t know if it would pass in Congress. Don’t know if we would get those B-2 or B-52 bombers. But this suggests a whole different line of thinking. Kimball’s “deeply problematic” is music to the ears of a great number of us here in Israel.
Maybe if not this minute, a bit down the road. Stay tuned.
And so, my friends, the case against this fiasco must continue to be made. The fight must go on with full vigor.
Along with the proposed legislation of Senator Cardin are a number of other tacks being considered for blocking the Iran deal. They involve, for example, the questionable legality (per the Constitution ) of the deal in its current formulation, rather than as a treaty, and the fact that there are parts of the agreement to which Congress has not been made privy, thereby rendering a decision on the matter – as outlined by the Corker bill – impossible.
Remember that there are major rallies this Wednesday, September 9: At 1 PM on the West Lawn of the Capitol, a rally featuring Senator Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and a whole lot more. I urge you to attend if you possibly can. Make your way to Washington! Numbers matter and this will be a significant event. Among the sponsors is ZOA and Center for Security Policy.
At noon, at the same locale, there will be a Rabbi’s March of 400, sponsored by OU. The participants of this event are being encouraged to stay for what follows. Rabbis will also be meeting with members of Congress.
In Toronto on the same date, 4:30 to 6:30 PM, on University Avenue, across from the US Consulate. This is in support of the Rabbi’s March on Washington, and is additionally sponsored on behalf of the Yezidi people facing genocide.
There is so much more I am eager to write about – including Palestinian Arab issues, Temple Mount issues, illegal immigration issues, and more. I will do my best, but will continue to focus on the Iran issue in the short term, as well. Our eye must stay on the ball.
I’m going to do something very “out of the box” here, because I think it’s called for. I share a video that delivers – in a very different, and moving context – the lesson we all need to internalize. We do not give up. As long as we believe we can have an effect of matters, we will. This conviction must not be surrendered.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.