A friend of mine commented yesterday on my posting (which in fact she liked) that it felt strange because “we are programmed to expect more and more [on] Iran.” Sad but true. So as not to disappoint, I will write this pre-Shabbat posting with more on Iran. But with a touch of good news.
Since I last wrote, another Democratic Congressman, Alcee Hastings (D-FL 20th) has come out against the Iran deal. What makes it notable, and laudable, is that, while he is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, he is not being swayed by phony issues of race (which would call on him to support the president because he is black). That is integrity.
Congressman Hasting wrote an op-ed in the Palm Beach Post, that outlined the reasons for his opposition. In addition, he wrote:
“Earlier this month, I sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to appoint a high-ranking military official to oversee the implementation of the deal, should it enter into force. Iran needs to understand that our commitment to ensuring compliance with this deal would be unwavering.
“I will also introduce legislation on Sept. 8 that authorizes the sitting president or his successors to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state. Iran’s sincerity in forgoing the procurement of a nuclear weapon makes these steps, in my opinion, an absolute necessity – regardless of how Congress votes.” (Emphasis added)
Right on! He’s a man with clear vision.
You can see the full op-ed here:
If you reside in Florida’s 20th district, please write, as a constituent, and thank him for standing against the Iran deal.
When I listed Democrats in Congress who had declared against the deal in a recent posting, I inadvertently left out David Scott, of Georgia, whom I happily mention now.
I do not believe I have yet addressed the fallacious Obama charge that Israel (and specifically Netanyahu) is meddling in US affairs:
“In a CNN interview on Sunday, Obama was asked if Netanyahu has ‘injected himself forcefully’ into Washington affairs, and he replied ‘right.’ When asked whether this was appropriate, Obama said, ‘I’ll let you ask Prime Minister Netanyahu that question if he gives you an interview,’ and that ‘I don’t recall a similar example’ of a foreign leader meddling in U.S. affairs.”
The answer to Obama is simple, of course: The question of whether to approve the Iran deal is not a domestic American issue. It is something that affects Israel and the Western world powerfully.
Never mind, by the way, that Obama meddled big time in our last election, which IS a domestic affair.
The fact that Netanyahu has the courage to speak up is, in my opinion, something he should be respected and applauded for doing. He’s the only one with this courage. Consider here (emphasis added):
“European leaders have reservations and concerns about the Iran nuclear deal, but have reluctantly followed Washington’s enthusiastic lead, according to Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations.
“Hoenlein, who routinely meets statesmen across the globe, told a meeting with the Israel Diplomatic Correspondents Association on Thursday that he knows firsthand that Israel and the Gulf states are not alone in their apprehension over the Iran deal. European prime ministers and foreign ministers — including from countries that are part of the so-called P5+1 group (the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) that negotiated the accord – are ‘very uncomfortable with this deal,’ he maintained.
“According to Hoenlein, these leaders told him in private meetings that they objected to many of the agreement’s provisions but that the US took the lead, and they followed. ‘Unfortunately, they are not courageous enough, obviously, to say that in the negotiations,’ he said.”
How morally reprehensible this is. But then, these European leaders are not concerned with morality. Putting that aside, it is shockingly shortsighted and down-right stupid.
Speaking of lack of courage, please see what Jonathan Tobin has to say about Senator Schumer’s approach to the deal. There is not the time for me to reproduce a large portion of it here, but please, read it. It’s important, and I think Tobin is on the mark. If you live in New York, please contact the Senator once again and urge him to go that extra mile to block the deal. He has enormous power he is declining to use.
“…Refusing President Obama’s demand that he back the deal was no easy thing for a highly partisan Democrat slated to become his party’s Senate leader in 2017. But, as Politico reports, Schumer is covering all his bases. The furious pushback from the administration against him is sending a strong signal not only about the current Iran vote but to intimidate pro-Israel Democrats from dissenting from what will follow against Israel as Obama pursues an Iran-centric policy in the Middle East. But instead of showing real courage — and perhaps risking his chance to succeed Harry Reid – Schumer is assuring other senators that he has no intention of trying to influence their votes. What might have been a Profiles in Courage moment for Schumer is turning into an undignified humiliation.” (Emphasis added)
The point here is that Schumer’s vote by itself probably will not turn things around. He has it in his power to bring others along – which could make all the difference, but is declining to do so. He is playing it safe, even as he appears to be courageous.
There’s more, much more. But time has run out.
© 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.