Rep. Martha McSally Returns from Israel, Speaks Out on the Iran Deal

Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ) is just back from Israel where she went with other freshmen representatives.  They met with Israeli leadership, those in the military, academia, and journalists.  What she saw and was told was eye opening.  The Congresswomen spoke with American Thinker about her trip and her views about the Iranian nuclear deal. 

Her resume is impeccable.  As a Colonel is the Air Force she was part of the team that helped plan and execute the U.S. air operations over Afghanistan shortly after 9/11.  Also, in January 1995, she became the first woman in U.S. history to fly a combat aircraft into enemy territory, in order to help enforce the United Nations' "no-fly zone."  In July 2004, McSally took command of the 354th Fighter Squadron, becoming the first woman in U.S. history to command a combat aviation unit. Having deployed to the region over the course of her career she is aware of the threats Israel faces.

While on the trip Congresswomen McSally heard and saw first hand why this deal is so dangerous.  Not only is there the nuclear element but there is also the terrorist component that threatens Israel’s very existence. Because Hezb’allah and Hamas are Iran’s proxy organizations, they will allow these Jihadists to have sophisticated rockets that can make it all the way to Tel Aviv.  This is hammered home since a little over a month after the deal was concluded Iran unveiled its latest domestically produced surface-to-surface missile with a 300-mile range and features more advanced sensors and technology.

Rep. McSally on the Golan Heights

McSally told American Thinker, “This rocket scientist showed us a picture of his nephew being married in Tel Aviv.  He pointed out that in the top right corner was a white spot in the sky.  It was a missile that the Iron Dome intercepted.  This is the new normal for Israelis where they have to face threats on a daily basis.  We were told every new apartment/house built has a bomb shelter room.  We saw school children and the elderly practicing to get to bomb shelters where they have about 7 to 30 seconds before an Iranian rocket explodes.  Its crazy what they have to live with and this deal makes the danger exponentially greater.”

She described those in Israel, as being confused “as to why the Obama Administration has allowed some of those provisions to go forward, and why the sanction leverage was not allowed to continue.  It is not that they are against a deal, but against this deal.  We met with the opposition leader Isaac Herzog whose purpose in life is to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu.  Yet, he is in lock step agreement with him on this Iranian deal.”

She sees the dangers in thirteen years when Iran gets nuclear capability.  But she also literally saw the danger of having Israel in such close proximity to its enemies.  “We stood on the border of Gaza and the Golan Heights where we heard the explosions in the background coming out of Syria.”

She told American Thinker, “Those of us who wore the uniform have a deep understanding of the importance of diplomacy, for we know the horrors of war first-hand.  Yet, let us not forget Iran has the blood of American soldiers on their hands, with hundreds killed and thousands injured in Iraq by IEDs imported from Iran.  We have Americans no longer with us, dying for our country, because of the terror imported by Iran. I agree with Netanyahu who met with us and said, “The ‘I’ in ICBM stands for missiles to America.  Iran already has the capacity to hit Israel but the only reason they need ICBMs is to hit you.”

In Israel she went to the Holocaust memorial and was reminded about the six million who died.  “The generations that followed told me this is very real in their minds.  They believe the Iranian rhetoric of Death to the Jews, Death to America, and that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth.  I was asked to explain how Israel’s closest partner is legitimizing this path to a nuclear capability.”

In a reference to a 2008 slogan, the Congresswoman believes this administration’s view comes down to “hope and change, the hope that in thirteen years Iran will change regimes. But we cannot base a strategy on hope and change.  This is naïve, especially since there is no indication that this government will change anytime soon. President Obama’s whole approach to the Middle East is incoherent and inconsistent.”

She feels the co-equal branch of government has a right to identify the serious flaws of this deal.  Citing a Wall Street Journal article by an Arizona State professor she points out that over 200 times in America’s history Congress has directed the President to re-negotiate multilateral agreements. She suggests a bi-partisan committee that should make proposals, listing what a good deal will look like. 

If she were in charge of the negotiations the first requirement would be “100% access to the Iranian sites, scientists, and documents.  Secondly, we need to set a base line before we move forward in any talks. If we do not know how they cheated in the past, how will we know how they will cheat in the future?  There is a long list that IAEA has not been given access.  When we asked Secretary of State Kerry about the inspections of the Parchin military site, he told us it is between the IAEA and Iran.  If we can’t review and scrutinize this side agreement how are we supposed to trust it will be OK, especially since Iran is allowed do it yourself inspections.  That is like asking professional athletes to bring in and submit their own urine sample.  This is a joke.”

She went on to say, “What we need to do is keep the sanctions in place, keep the diplomatic pressure on, and have a credible military threat.  Our allies can choose if they want to do business with Iran or America.  This is what leadership is all about.”

Because the Republicans oppose the deal she believes that if it is to be reneged people like Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) must step up to the plate.  “Is he going to vote no to save himself politically, or is he going to whip others to vote no because he deeply cares about this?  So far it looks like he is voting no, but unwilling to pressure anyone else.  I believe he personally can gather enough votes to override a veto.  So people really need to crank up the pressure on him and those like him.  The trend is that the American people oppose the deal, nearly 60%.” 

Summarizing her feelings Congresswoman McSally told American Thinker, “This is a historical deal.  It is historically bad.  We can make this deal stronger and better.  This is not a partisan issue. I have been a leader and practitioner in national security issues for over 30 years and deployed to this region six times. It’s clear to me the Administration’s plan rests on hope that Iran will change its ways in thirteen years. While I hope that too, hope is not a strategy, and we cannot afford to bet our security and the security of our Middle East allies on it.”

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.