Will Hillary and Schumer save Dems from themselves on Iran nuke deal?
Former New Republic Editor: Dems risk another “McGovernite legacy”
In an essay for August issue of The Tower Magazine, former longtime editor of The New Republic, Martin Peretz calls on Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer to save the Democratic Party by leading the fight against the nuclear deal with Iran otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Two of the most powerful members of the Democratic Party, former and current senators from New York, now hold the fate of the putative deal with Iran in their hands. Because they alone can overturn it, this means that presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer carry a heavy burden that will deeply affect their personal reputations and, most probably, the trustworthiness of the Democrats in foreign policy for at least a generation.
Clinton, for her part, has expressed support of the deal.
For Peretz, opposing the JCPOA is essential for the Democrats. Noting that Iran re-opened negotiations over the conventional and ballistic arms embargoes at the last minute, Peretz urges Schumer and Hillary to force the administration to go back and re-open the deal improving some of its terms.
Obama the star negotiator has told us that the only other alternative to this treaty is to resolve the Iranian issue “through force, through war.” But, of course, there are other alternatives to war than deficient deals that damage our interests. Fortunately, America is full of talented, responsible, creative negotiators who can improve on the woefully low bar set by Obama, Biden, and Kerry in this catastrophic bargaining process.
There is no reason Senator Schumer, with Secretary Clinton’s backing, cannot lead a consensus in Congress to tie a set of focused, reasonable conditions to their support for the existing deal. Since Iran was happy to trade and re-trade right up to the negotiators’ self-imposed deadline, and then extend the deadline, there is no reason Congress cannot exercise its constitutional prerogative and send the administration back to the table with some improvements.
For starters: Cancel the automatic removal of the conventional arms embargo in five years and the ballistic-missile ban in eight years and link them to a future vote in Congress, which will depend crucially on concrete Iranian behavior; release immediately all American hostages held in Iran; insist that Iran come clean immediately about prior illegal military nuclear activities; and enhance the verification procedure to ensure quick inspector access to any suspect Iranian site upon demand within a week. If those four conditions are incorporated in the deal, the U.S. Congress will then lift American sanctions.
Obama and Kerry will naturally protest, as will the allies, that we are re-opening the so-called agreement. The “awe” reported by Bloomberg might dissipate. But Iran happily reneged upon the April agreement, so why do Americans and the Democratic Party have to be shackled permanently to a poorly conceived and weakly negotiated deal? The outcome will be imperfect. You could anticipate a situation where the Europeans lift sanctions and the U.S. does not.
Such are the consequences of incompetence. But U.S. sanctions do matter, and their continuation (in the absence of reasonable satisfaction of congressional conditions) will affect Iranian calculations. Moreover, the uncertainty created in the Iranian leadership will restore some leverage to the next American president. If Schumer and Clinton instead passively capitulate to the flawed approach of the administration, they will bear their full share of responsibility for the substance of the deal and the consequences for their party.
Peretz argues that taking up this fight isn’t just about the JCPOA, it’s about the future of the Democratic Party and whether it will have any credibility on foreign policy issues for the foreseeable future.
About this matter of political consequences: has the Democratic Party forgotten the McGovernite legacy from which it fought for so long, and for a time so successfully, to free itself? The George W. Bush Administration’s post-invasion missteps in Iraq, and their grisly consequences, have given the Democrats a dangerous sense of their own freedom: Americans may oppose aggression without strategy, but history has shown that they also oppose idealism without strength and pragmatism without principle.
What are the chances that either Clinton or Schumer would take up the role of savior of the Democratic Party?
Lee Smith looked at Clinton’s considerations:
The truth is that wherever the Republican candidates profess to stand, none of them has the slightest practical influence over the Iran deal. The one and only presidential candidate who does is Hillary Clinton, who can crash the deal a year and a half before the 2016 election. Sure, she already came out with a statement tentatively praising the deal, but with a vote in Congress due in the fall, she still has time to shape the results. If Clinton comes out against the deal, she will start a chain reaction in her own party, with Democrats on the Hill abandoning President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy initiative like a sinking ship and joining Republicans in an overwhelming No.
If on the other hand Clinton says nothing, stays loyal to the president she served, and maintains party unity, the deal will almost certainly sail through Congress untouched. If Clinton becomes president, she will then inherit an agreement nearly guaranteeing that a terrorist-supporting, anti-American, anti-Semitic ruling clique in Iran will continue to spread chaos throughout the Middle East and will likely acquire a nuclear bomb on her watch. Whether Clinton decides to speak out or stay quiet is perhaps the most important decision of a Clinton 45 Administration—a decision that will powerfully shape her own foreign policy legacy and determine what sort of world she will hand off to the future. …
After several years of secret talks with Iran starting in 2009, and nearly two years of public negotiations, the Obama Administration is all in on a deal that they are promoting as the centerpiece of the president’s foreign policy legacy. They don’t care that the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action have no real inspection and verification regime to make sure that Iran is abiding by the deal because, they say, it is the best possible deal that they could get. John Kerry and his staff don’t mind saying that they were lying about making sure that the agreement would ensure anytime/anywhere inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities.
The way they see it, any deal is better than no deal. Sure, the president says his name is on the deal, but he understands better than anyone that the attention span of the American public is no longer than a 12-hour Twitter cycle. He’s confident that someone else will be holding the bag if and when Iran gets the bomb.
As for Schumer, he has his own considerations. Taking on the administration could cost him his long sought goal of succeeding Harry Reid as the Democratic Senate leader.
Last week Page Six of The New York Post reported that Schumer’s non-stand against the deal is earning him some negativity from pro-Israel donors. Still it might be that he is choosing ambition over principle as the next day he skipped the rally against an Iranian nuclear bomb in Times Square, preferring instead to mull over some bagels.
The Democratic Party is at a crossroads and it’s not at all clear that its most influential members are willing to take on the President.
[Photo: CBS Sunday Morning / YouTube ]
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
How do you fight a “legacy” you worked hard to earn?
I have to agree with Podhoretz. Despair is what I feel whenever I think about this deal, the haters of America who fashioned it…particularly the ones FROM America…and what it will mean for literally millions of lives all around the world.
And despair is hardly my native mood.
Under Obama’s (lack of) leadership, the enemies of the United States have grown emboldened and aggressive.
And that is happening because since day one Obama has been a wussy, and has has made sure USA becomes a wussy in the international arena.
It’s not only Iran. All enemies of America think we are weak now because we are being lead by a wussy.
This is their opportunity.
They’re taking it.
Yelp. That’s what happens when you let a Manchurian Candidate steal elections……
You make the mistake of confusing “wussy” with traitor.
This deal did not happen because Obama is a wussy, it happened because he is on the side of our enemies.
…treasonous wussy …
OK, I’ll go with that. 🙂
Unfortunately, once UN sanctions are off and $150 billion in frozen assets are released to the mullahs, nothing our Congress can do will matter.
Our own sanctions are almost irrelevant since we do no business with Iran. Only those few foreign firms doing business here and with Iran can be affected, and that won’t hurt Iran.
The only way any of this can be revisited is by the next President, if he is willing to threaten military action.
Presidents have broad foreign policy powers, which is another reason to choose them wisely. Our electorate was foolish twice in a row; the world pays the price.
But Kerry says Congress has the power to sabotage the entire deal! (presumabably by causing Iran to reject it)
Yes, if it acts now, and enough Democrats go along to override the president’s veto. The UN sanctions don’t go away until the IAEA certifies that Iran is complying. I have no doubt that it will certify this regardless of the truth, but it will take some time. Also, the president can’t waive the sanctions until 60 days from when he submitted the deal to Congress, or 10 days from when he vetoes the expected resolution of disapproval. If 2/3 of each house votes for the resolution within the 60 days, and especially if they do so before the IAEA reports, the whole deal will be canceled.
Wall St’s Senator has no intention of fighting the tide of money going to Iran. And Hillary hates the Jews at least as much as Hamas.
I am all in favor of a war against Iran. We can do it now with fewer casualties or later when we have no choice with many more casualties. I believe that when Iran gets the bomb it will use it against Israel then the US. The bomb against the US will be an EMP fired from a cargo ship off our coast. They have three ships fitted with a rocket launching elevator. They’ve already tested the launch concept. They are perpetual liars who openly talk about taking over the world. A mullah led Iran cannot be allowed to exist any longer. And if we are not going to do it, we should not stand in Israel’s way. Huckabee is right you know.
I do not understand those who say it is this deal or war. We have been opposing Iran on the nuclear issue since the Bush administration without either this deal or open hostilities.
They’re just trying to scare people into submission by ‘war mongering.”
Their screeching about it being this Obama betrayal or war is completely illogical, and completely psycho.
The bush administration passed on the issue. They did nothing to stop iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the ability to deploy them. They did nothing to stop iran’s terror activities, including supplying IED’s in Iraq that murdered and maimed many of our troops. Spit on them.
All this “deal” is designed to do is speed up Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and the means to deploy them.
A bit off topic here, but it looks like Schumer has had his scalp pulled all the way back to the Left Coast.
OK, I’m off-topic, too. Schmucky and Not-So-Sharpton both lately look like they have one foot in the grave. This is what belonging to the Dark Side will do to you, I guess.
They do look rather skeletal, don’t they. Sharpton looks like a little bantam rooster.
Sharpton’s on a low calorie and somewhat intermittent fasting diet – he doesn’t eat anything after mid-day.
I don’t know about Schumer – do you think he consulted the same expert(s)?
This is almost the direct parallel to the Clinton Chinagate scandal in the 1990’s. It is the globalist left policy of “multi-polarity”, that no one nation should have most power. (Of course that may really just be the propaganda mask for the globalists to weaken US, so they can dominate the globe with their global “mafia”)
So China and now Iran have basically been handed multiple warhead ICBM technology, and a nuclear arsenal, in eight years at most for terrorist regime Iran. The cherry on top from Kerry/Clinton/Obama is now Iran can freely buy missile tech from Russia, or they can buy our own tech from China I guess, which is maybe what Russia has as well.
The obama administration has the goods on Hillary regarding the destroyed emails among other things..No way clinton will cross obama as long as he remains president…
It’s not that Obama and company really has “the goods” on Hillary, but politically, he could condemn her retention of e-mails etc., and that would be severely damaging politically to her, as much, if not more so, than Senator Ted Kennedy’s and Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama for preident was in 2008. (there’s an argument it wasn’t critical, but it still helped)
So she wouldn’t want to anger him, or break too much from him.
I mean, he could simply even make a comment about there being severe drawbacks to political dynasties, and about this violating republican principles. (with a small r)
Norman Podhoretz goes a bit too far.
It’s enough to say:
If Secretary of State John Kerry is right, and there is no possibility of this deal being improved (and of course there is not no possibility, what’s the next best thing??
A) An act of war with Iran. (which could be of varying degrees of length and seriousness, depending upon what both Iran and the U.S. do)
B) Iran having the atomic bomb.
And it’s not like negotiations cannot resume after a bombing raid.
The third option is continuing a policy of sanctions against Iran and not releasing any funds to that regime.
It’s that third option that Kerry declares is off the table (presumabably because Iran will not be interested in negotiating a better deal, and the sanctions regime will fade away – which is probably actually not true, because the financial sanctions are very powerful.)
Now the question is, assuming that Kerry is correct like he’s saying, that we are down to these two choices, what’s the next best thing? This deal, or an act of war?
It hardly goes without saying that this deal is the better of the two remaining options. (also, “war” is not a single indivisible option, although if Obama bombed Iran, he probably would try to take out all their capacity to wage aggressive war or attack U.S. miliatary assets first before even getting to the nuclear project because that is what the Joint Chiefs of staff would recommend.)
President Obama is claiming that signing on to this deal risks nothing, because if Iran violates this agreement, every other thing that we could do or could have done will still remain: The sanctions can be restored (as if you would immediately get back to where you were before in termsd of pressure on Iran) or the United States or Israel can bomb.
So, according to Obama, it’s worth trying out to see if it works.
In terms of war, a one-time bombing of Iranian oil shipment facilities would impoverish them with minimal fatalities.
It would also show the populace that the gov’t can’t protect the country. Customers could conclude that there’s no sense in supporting Iran if there’s no oil to be had.
Finally, it would then be simple to translate some extreme statements and ask the Iran gov’t “Do you stand by this?” Either they back down, or the US gov’t could say “We’re taking these statements seriously” and use it to justify stronger measures.
This is Iran, at least, their bought and paid for stooges.
“Bill Buckley, the CIA’s Beirut station chief, had been kidnapped by the Lebanese Hezbollah and mercilessly tortured until his death 15 months later. Buckley’s suffering was recorded in teasing videos Hezbollah sent to the U.S. government. Gordon Thomas describes the final one. Buckley’s “words were often incoherent; he slobbered and drooled and, most unnerving of all, he would suddenly scream in terror, his eyes rolling helplessly and his body shaking.””
That, and the bombing of the Beirut barracks in 1983 to kill US Marines, should be enough to stiffen the spine of any American.
Rest assured that the dirty “Chicago political machine”, coupled with weaponized US Govt agencies such as FBI, NSA, and IRS and being brought to bear on Schumer and Clinton as I write this. They will comply with Dear Leader.
Remember, Iran has had the car bomb for over 30 years, and they have used it repeatedly.
Iran has not suffered much in retaliation for doing this, and this deal risks removing, or even prohibiting, what retaliation there is.
“…and this deal risks removing, or even prohibiting, what retaliation there is.”
It “risks” no such thing. It is designed to do it. It is the only reason for the deal. Period.
The terms of the deal are that only nuclear related sanctions are to be removed, but it risks removing other ones, since they may not be labeled correctly and there are mixed motives, and risks prohibiting new sanctions, especially the any of the very same sanctions you just took off when they were said to be nuclear related.
Risks, only, because it doesn’t actually outright declare that you can’t re-impose sanctions for another reason.
Norman Podhoretz in the Wall Street Journal today:
He finds any Iranian possession of an atomic bomb to be extremely destablizing, especially if things get to the point that Iran actually has possession of atomic bomb, instead of just being on a path to it.
To get behind the paywall, do a Google search for some of the quoted text, or just for Podhoretz and wsj.com and past day or week, and click on the link.
Here’s how to link to WSJ articles.
If somebody does it that, without theperson who clisk on that link being both a subscriber and logged in, what you get is one paragraph or so, and:
I suppose you mean maybe that the way to link is not to have the full URL, but you are not explaining how to do it manually, and maybe that’s not so good anyway, if a person can’t get the full article by clicking on the link. You’d have to click, ad then do a Google search.
Um, no. Did you bother clicking on the link? Did you even bother looking at the link? I showed you how to link to WSJ articles; why do you not learn the lesson and start doing it that way?
Yes, I did, and I got this
message, because I was not logged in, and most people who click on the link will not be both a subscriber and logged in, and therefore this should be the best way to link to Wall Street Journal articles.
Although a full URL won;t help, at least you will know where it is, and can use that to do a Google search and get a working link.
And you didn’t tell me how to link – the klink you gave is an example, and it resolves in a fully visible link – although I think you’ve explained more than once on Patterico, and you can use the comment box on Patterixo to format it for you.
I keep on forgetting the html language, and I’m not sure that’s better anyway, because then someone who doesn’t click on it doesn’t know what the link is.
The deal does not remove any U.S. arms sanctions on Iran, which will remain in place, but only United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions, whose removal the United States could or could have vetoed.
But the resolution scheduling their removal (with its conditions under which it could be put back without a new vote which Russia and China could veto) has already been passed.
I have had a few ideas about what concurrent Joint Resolutions of Congress could be passed (which Obama couldn’t even veto, because they are just declarations, of political, but not legal, worth.)
0bama can veto joint resolutions; he just wouldn’t bother.
I said Obama cannot veto, because it is only an expression of a legal opinion, and not a law, and it won’t be sent to him.
It would say, among other things, that it is not a treaty, and the U.S. government and succeeding U.S. government officials will not be legally bound by it, and that we remain interested in what Iran does after 10 or 15 years, and that if Iran looks like it might move toward a bomb within the terms of this agreement, it is the opinion of this Congress that sanctions should be re-imposed, and that
nothing in this agreement should be interpreted to mean that any sanctions mentioned in this agreement cannot be re-imposed for some other reason besides attempting to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
And Obama won’t even actually want to disagree with all or most of what it says, except possibly an opinion about the necessity of the U.S. violating this agreement later, but what he will say is that officially pointing out 1) that it is not binding, and 2) that we care about what happens after the deal expires, and 3) that sanctions can be imposed for some other reason without that being a violation of the agreement, will sabotage the agreement.
Yes, I know what you said; you’re wrong. Joint resolutions have to be presented to the president, and are subject to his veto, just like any other matter on which both houses have to vote.
If there is no intention to enact a law, I don’t think a Joint Resolution needs to be presented to the president.
…says there is one exception (a constitutional amendment)
I don’t think resolutions to adjourn, either, if done jointly, are presented to the president.
So already you have an exception or two. And that means there’s nothing about a Joint Resolution itself that says it must be presented to the president.
A Joint Resolution is simply something identical that passed by a majority vote in both houses of Congress.
If you want it to become law, it needs to be presented to the presented; if not, not.
If it is merely an expression of the sense of both houses of Congress, it would not need to be. Either House alone could do that, too, but it would be more politically effective if done jointly.
President Obama cannot veto what I proposed – this resolution would not be intended to be law, but only an opinion about the law, and a statement about desired (but not required) policy.
David thanks for a fantastic laugh this morning! What a great way to start the day!
No. No they won’t!
“Former New Republic Editor: Dems risk another “McGovernite legacy””
They’ve already got it in spades!
If there were CNN cameras at every nuclear site in Iraq, Chucky would be there full time.
“Last week Page Six of The New York Post reported that Schumer’s non-stand against the deal is earning him some negativity from pro-Israel donors.”
I love Israel and it’s people but Schumer and his fellow Jews in NY will never part ways over anything. He will be able to garner at least 60% of the Jewish vote NO matter what he does. It’s a cultural thing.
Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?
Seth Lipsky’s column printed in the New York Post today ends with the middle sentence of that quote from the Book of Esther.
I can tell from this, not only that Schumer wants to vote for that deal, as Seth Lipsky says, but that he’s lying – and not just in his arguments about the deal, but I think he’s also lying in his claim that he will not be pushed around on this. (if it were true, he would not need to say it.)
Seth Lipsky derives his column from an analysis of a YouTibe video of a meeting in June (that is, before the deal was reached, but we were hearing about what would be in it) that took place beyweem Senator Schumer and members of the Orthodox Union (the OU, that also is the principal kosher certification organization in the United States)
Schumer said he was not going to take “tachlis” (rough translation: end result or bottom line) because it was being recorded, but Seth Lipsky said he did.
Schumer claimed that a military strike on Iran would be “the nect-worst solution” He gave as his reason because then, he said, Iran make terrorist strikes on America and Hezbollah would launch 10,000 rockets against Israel.
That’s fallacious, because, first of all, that’s not inevitable, and secondly, he has to ask himself why it’s not happening now. The answer is, Iran is deterred. Schumer is balancing this off against a military strike on nuclear or even other military targets in Iran. But in reality it is other things that balance it off. Schumer needs to explain, why, if Iran’s nuclear program, or even its air defenses, were attacked, it would make sense to Iran for it to escalate the confrontation.
When the Syrian nuclear program was attacked, Syria did not escalate. Counties only escalate if they think they can win with an escalation.
But this is an argument that the time when it is safe(r) to attack might go away. Right now, Hezbollah shooting rockets at Israel, and not stopping, would probably bring de facto Israeli military intervention in the Syrian Civil war, at a very bad time for Iran. Hezbollah does not launch rockets against Israel because it doesn’t wanbt Israeli miklitary intervention on the Iranian nuclkear program, and taht deterrence would still remain even after an attack – but it might go away with time.
Also, with regard to the United States, the relative balance of power will probably get worse.
Iran will gain nothing by attacking anything in retaliation.
Schumer also said an agreement might say, leave Iran with a a 95% chance oif not getting an atomic bomb.
He said that for the United States and Europe that might look good, but for Israel that might be intolerable.
Schumer seems to be conflating here, by the way, the prospect that Iran will get a bomb – which is way above 5% – and the prospect that it would use it, which may be only 5%.
But Iran actually using it would not be very tolerable for the United States either, an even a 5% chance of using an atomic bomb would not be. Obama is actually assuming that the possibility of Iran actually using it is so low that it can be disregarded)
The prospect of Iran using an atomic bomb is intoleable because it could undermine the entire balance of terror on which the peace of the world rests.
Then Schumer claimed that if the deal was rejected, Jewish fate would lie in European hands, because they’d have to continue sanctions. Now this is all untrue in several different ways.
Schumer is not personally in danger in any case now, unless you have some scenario you haven’t mentioned.
This deal doesn’t actually outright declare that you can’t re-impose sanctions for another reason. It only says:
Now, it doesn’t say that the United States, or the United Nations Security Council, or the EU can’t impose any sanctions for other non-nuclear related reasons, but it certainly could be interpreted by Iran to mean that the same exact sanctions can’t be re-imposed for a non-nuclear related reason.
( Like support of terrorism, or acts of war, or support for acts of war not done by Iran itself, or to prevent an arms race, or because of human rights violations.)
But Iran could definitely interpret it that way, and has said so. And unless you spelled this out in advance, (and even if you did) it could slow things down.
Just look at the text. Article 26 continues:
Seriously, why would anyone think the Donks care or worry about a “McGovernite” legacy?
Heck, if McGovern were running today, he’d be way too far to the right for their voters. After all, he was:
->a WWII veteran, flying bombers, dropping actual bombs on civilians;
-> a professor of HISTORY (a topic of which today’s Donks are woefully ignorant); and
Peretz isn’t saying that the Democrats are worrying about it. He is saying they shold wprry about it. (a McGovernite legacy being the idea that the Democrats are not good on foreign policy. I don’t know that that idea or worry ever went away. Rand Paul also has a similar problem.)
Iran now says it is not bound by all of United Nations
Security Council Resolution 2231.