On the verge of the unthinkable
Can we stop this deadly Iran deal?
Can we stop this deadly Iran deal?
Should we try?
Yes. With every fiber of our being.
To the first point, there are two major hurdles that make stopping this deal nearly impossible.
First, there are the numbers needed in Congress to override Obama’s veto. At this time, the numbers aren’t there. But perhaps we can change that.
Second, even if Congress is able to override Obama’s veto, we cannot stop the full scope of the deal from going into effect. As John Bolton explained during an interview on Fox News, because Obama partnered with European nations, they will still honor the deal irrespective of our actions.
Obama intentionally surrendered our sovereignty to Europe.
And that doesn’t even take into account Russia or China.
According to Bolton, all Congress can do is stop Obama from lifting sanctions. And if that happens, it triggers a clause in the deal that releases Iran from its responsibilities with respect to nuclear agreements.
To the latter point, I’m not convinced it means much. There’s no reason to think Iran would uphold its end of the bargain no matter what the circumstance. Nor am I convinced the deal allows the West any meaningful ability to monitor Iran’s behavior. More importantly, I have no confidence the West would take action against Iran even if they did catch Iran breaking its end of the bargain. Quite the opposite.
But back to the sanctions for a moment. American sanctions have the strongest economic impact on Iran compared to sanctions from other countries. Sanctions relief will also increase the chances that Iran would have enough money to buy a nuclear weapon from another country, such as North Korea. Given the choice between the United States keeping sanctions in place, or not, it’s a no brainer to keep them in place. So while this would not “kill the deal,” as they say, it’s still meaningful.
In addition, a Congressional vote against the deal -- one large enough to override Obama’s veto -- would send a message to the rest of the world that America does not stand with a nuclear Iran. And we certainly don’t fund it to the tune of 150 billion dollars.
How surreal it is to type these words. We are writing, reading, talking, screaming, raging, witnessing, and fearing our country becoming an enabler of the largest state sponsor of terror in the world. That we are on the verge of helping a nation that wants to destroy us, acquire the weapons to do so. That we are aligning ourselves with the 21st century Hitler. And that we must take action -- no less fight a nearly impossible fight -- to curb this descent into evil, madness, and hell.
As John Podhoretz wrote in Commentary Magazine:
The United States and its allies have struck a deal with Iran that effectively ensures that it will be a nuclear state with ballistic missiles in 10 years, assuming Iran adheres to the deal’s terms, which is a very large assumption…The president and the secretary of state are making large claims for the deal that are not true; the same will be true of all of its signatories, who are seeing Nobel stars in their eyes…and while those of us who see Iran’s nuclearization as the threshold threat for the rest of the 21st century will not be silent and will not give up the fight against it, it is appropriate to take a moment to despair that we — the United States and the West — have come to this.
Yes. Despair. That it has come to this.
And, yes. Not giving up the fight.
Each of us must do everything in our power to create a small miracle -- to maximize the chance that Congress can override the veto of the evil enabler of terror who sits in the oval office.
Will our actions matter? I don’t know. Like many readers, I have become cynical and increasingly hopeless. I have lost confidence that my voice counts for anything.
How can any of us live with ourselves if we didn’t do everything possible to ensure a future for ourselves and our children? To live.
You don’t have to be optimistic when taking political action. People can have serious doubts about the outcome of their efforts and still put forth the effort.
And mind you, the effort is nothing monumental. It doesn’t take an enormous amount of time or energy (not that that’s the point). It doesn’t require that we put our life in harm’s way or take a huge risk we are unwilling to take. (Obama is doing that for us.) All we need to do is contact our elected officials to say we are against the Iran deal.
Will they listen? I don’t know. Will they care? I don’t know. The cynic in me believes most are dug in and know how they will vote irrespective of how many call to voice their opposition.
Imagine your child or grandchild living in a world with a nuclear Iran. Imagine your child or grandchild asking what you did to try to stop it. And imagine you saying you couldn’t be bothered to take a couple of minutes out of every day for a few weeks to make a few phone calls.
Imagine your child or grandchild asking you why you didn’t do it. And imagine telling them you couldn’t be bothered because it wouldn’t matter. And when they ask you how you knew it wouldn’t matter, you tell them it hadn’t seemed to matter in the past so you assumed it wouldn’t matter now.
And they say: But still. Why didn’t you try?
And you have to look them in the eye and defend your cynicism and hopelessness, and expect them to be fighters.
How can anyone be so cynical, so hopeless, or so apathetic to be unwilling to expend even an ounce of energy to press for votes against this deal?
Because unlike any other dangerous move Obama has made against America, this time the stakes are as high as they get. Obama has shoved the United States (and Israel) in front of a speeding train with barely room to maneuver to free ourselves.
Perhaps this precipice that Obama has brought us to is so unthinkable, so surreal, and so terrifying that it tests the limits of our ability to truly grasp what it means. Perhaps we retreat into denial. Or perhaps the prospect of a nuclear Iran is somewhat abstract. It’s a country far away from us. And maybe we somewhat simplistically think Israel will take care of Iran.
Whatever the case, we cannot allow ourselves to remain passive.
Taking action doesn’t require us to fit into a box or don a label, be it “conservative,” “grass roots,” “activist,” “patriot,” and so on. It’s enough that we’re American. And for that reason, we never give up.
Here is some information for those who will not give up, despite apathy, discouragement, disillusionment, hopelessness, frustration, as well as a hefty dose of rage. Time is of the essence. The vote is days away.
Contact your Senators and Congressional Representative. And do so as often as possible.
Contact those Senators we need to target who may (emphasis on “may”) break with party alliance and vote against the deadly deal. Thanks to Steve Chambers who wrote a piece for AT that provided names and contact information for the Democrats to target. (Note: The first five senators are up for reelection in 2016.)
Michael Bennet (CO) . bennett.senate.gov . (202) 224-5852
Richard Blumenthal (CT) . blumenthal.senate.gov . (202) 224-2823
Barbara Mikulski (MD) . milkulski.senate.gov . (202) 224-4654
Charles Schumer (NY) . schumer.senate.gov . (202) 224-6542
Ron Wyden (OR) . wyden.senate.gov . (202) 224-5244
Ben Cadin (MD) . cadin.senate.gov . (202) 224-4524
Robert P. Casey (PA) . casey.senate.gov . (202) 224-6324
Joe Donnelly (IN) . donnelly.senate.gov . (202) 224-4814
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) . gillibrand.senate.gov . (202) 224-4451
Heidi Heitkamp (ND) . heitkamp.senate.gov . (202) 224-2043
Joe Manchin (WV) . manchin.senate.gov . (202) 224-3954
Robert Menendez (NJ) . menendez.senate.gov . (202) 224-4744
Bill Nelson (FL) . billnelson.senate.gov . (202) 224-5274
Debbie Stabenow (MI) . stabenow.senate.gov . (202) 224-4822
Cory Booker (NJ) . booker.senate.gov . (202) 224-3224
Gary Peters (MI) . peters.senate.gov . (202) 224-6221
Mark Warner (VA) . warner.senate.gov . (202) 224-2023
Make this deadly deal a topic of interactions with others. Help them grasp the urgency and light a fire under them to speak out. Give them information to help them do so.
Keep printed materials with you to give to others. Print out the contact list, above. Print out talking points. Have materials on hand. Keep them in your car. Give them to people at the dry cleaners, the supermarket, everywhere you go. Help them understand what is at stake.
Use social media to educate others and convince them to take immediate action.
Support organizations that are lobbying Congress against this deal. Christians United for Israel, for example, has created a spin-off lobbying group (CUFI Action Fund) that has made the Iran deal it’s top priority for action.
Many clocks are ticking, ticking, ticking. Counting down to an Iran nuclear break out. Counting down to the 2016 presidential election. But the clock that will run out sooner than either of these is the one counting down the number of days before Congress votes on the Iran deal.
I implore every reader to take action.
Orwell could never have imagined this level of madness.
But here we are.