On Iran sanctions, no bill is better than a bad bill
No amendments. No anguish. No bill.
Congress must not pass any Iran Nuke Bill, for it could promote what some feel is Obama’s alleged goal – namely, making Iran into the Middle East’s hegemon.
Instead of pondering the improbable and/or reliving the tragic ignorance of the 1930s, there is a method by which President Obama’s failed foreign policy – promulgated for more than a half-decade – can be placed into a form of “receivership,” even if he would profess that it has been successful.
Because of existing sanctions legislation, purposeful inaction should necessitate that a component of this “deal” be submitted to Congress. Obama can waive sanctions only if it’s determined to be necessary to the “national interest”; his stated rationale would then be subject to litigation.
Therefore, those who perceive it as a treaty – invoking the precedent of all prior nuke-related agreements – would mandate that it be ratified by two thirds of the Senate (Article II, Section 2, ¶2), even as Obama’s apologists claim he could sign off on an executive order. Indeed, he has not ruled out issuing an executive order to close Gitmo!
Let’s call his bluff!
The trigger for this initiative was the bluster of Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who claimed that Obama “will have to stop implementing all the sanctions, economic and financial sanctions that have been executive order and congressional. However he does it, that’s his problem.”
Indeed, the left-leaning Politifact determined it to be “mostly true” that “the next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” because “a key portion of the 286-word [Cotton] letter says that the undersigned senators ‘will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei’.”
It is unnecessary to analyze the situation further, except to note that endorsement of this unamended bill by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) violates that group’s responsibility to advocate the position of the Israeli government as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby.” Proof positive of this flip-flop is what happened a decade ago, when the JTA reported that “there never was any doubt that AIPAC would offer some measure of support for the Gaza withdrawal, since the lobby is committed to backing the policies of the Israeli government.” Mark Levin railed against AIPAC – along similar lines – on May 5 (podcast @ 47:49-49:13).
Thus, by ignoring PM Netanyahu and eschewing the gravamen of his “State of the World” address, AIPAC has become compliant irrevocably to the Dems…exposing the myth of AIPAC power. In contrast, as per an exhaustive analysis by Ted Belman on his Israpundit website and personal e-mail, the Zionist Organization of America endorsed amending the bill. Again, among national pro-Israel advocates, the Organization’s president, Mort Klein, stands alone against the forces of evil.
The amendment process, admirable as it should be, may apparently be short-circuited by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who doesn’t want the Cotton-Rubio initiative (requiring Iran to disclose the history of its nuclear program, to shutter all its nuclear facilities, and to recognize Israel’s statehood) to be subject to a vote. His supporters claim that this “stunt” constitutes a “poison pill.”
Uncertainty abounds, such as the potential for the U.N. Security Council to remove sanctions independently. Danger abounds, noting the capacity of released billions to grease Tehran’s worldwide sponsorship of terrorism. Concern that a constitutional crisis looms abounds, for any clash of powers of allegedly co-equal branches may ultimately reach the SCOTUS in a fashion comparable to the current litigation promulgated by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) against unilateral Obamacare rule changes by the administration.
The alternative to standing firm is capitulation. Instead, as Netanyahu has repeatedly argued, it is necessary to maintain – if not to expand – sanctions until/unless a “better” deal has been reached. Clarity is mandatory; Congress must not pass an Iran bill.
Dr. Sklaroff is a hematologist/oncologist and has served as a GOP committee-person for more than two decades.