If the overheated rhetoric and denunciations of the opponents of the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal weren’t over the top before Chuck Schumer announced his position, they certainly have reached that point now.

William Jacobson and Kemberlee Kaye have catalogued some of the more appalling responses here and here. Two of the worst accusations that are being made against Senator Schumer, as well as other members of Congress that have openly opposed the deal, are first, that they are acting against American interests, and second, that they do so at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and AIPAC.

Those who call Schumer “Netanyahu’s marionette” appear oblivious to the Senator’s deliberative, thoughtful, and well-reasoned statement, which rebuts the President’s arguments point by point. They similarly ignore the fact that, as the New York Times reports, Schumer met with the President, with Wendy Sherman and John Kerry, and in addition to those meetings, had “three hourlong meetings with members of the negotiating team during which he received answers to 14 pages’ worth of questions on the agreement.”

The charge that Senator Schumer did anything other than exercise his own independent judgment is scurrilous. Clearly, what is really unacceptable to his attackers is the fact that Schumer failed to blindly follow the party line.

All of which has left me wondering, when did it become anti-American to exercise independent judgment?

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer Iran Deal Iran Nuclear Bomb Inspections Regime Obama National Security

For members of Congress, the exercise of independent judgment is a requirement, not an aberration. Yet, Schumer and other Democrats who oppose the deal are being vilified for upholding their responsibility to their constituents and the public.

The accusation that Schumer is acting against American interests also disregards his actual statement, which reads, in part,

Finally, the hardliners can use the freed-up funds to build an ICBM on their own as soon as sanctions are lifted (and then augment their ICBM capabilities in 8 years after the ban on importing ballistic weaponry is lifted), threatening the United States.

The threat to the United States may not be immediate, but it is very real.

The non-nuclear threat this deal poses to other countries in the Middle East, meanwhile, is both real and immediate. The President himself has admitted on at least two occasions that some portion of the Iranian assets set to be unfrozen will support the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as the genocidal Assad.

While the Iranian government sponsors rallies at which participants chant “Death to Israel,” it attempts to make good on this threat through its sponsorship of Hamas. Hamas is responsible for launching eleven thousand rockets into Israel since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

At the same time, Iran props up Bashar al-Assad. Several months ago the death toll from Assad’s four-year long war in Syria passed 300,000, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Many of these deaths were due to starvation or chemical weapons.

As a supporter of Israel, obviously I am deeply disturbed by the threat that Hamas poses to Israel and the support that this deal will provide for Hamas. Support for terrorism, however, should be disturbing to all people of conscience, whether they support Israel or not.

As an American, moreover – and as a human being – I am sickened by the fact that, not only have we stood by and watched the slaughter in Syria for four years, we are now poised to fund it.

We had an opportunity with this deal to insist that Iran stop supporting Assad, stop funding Hamas and Hezbollah, and stop funding the Houthis that are destabilizing Yemen. We passed on this opportunity.

pelosi and assad

According to one report, the EU’s Federica Mogherini asked that cessation of support for Assad be made a condition of the deal, but it was John Kerry who persuaded her to drop this request. The same report alleges that French and British negotiators asked that Iran stop supporting Hezbollah, and again it was Kerry who argued against this request.

(Notably, no Europeans appear to have asked that Iran stop supporting Hamas.)

Instead of taking the opportunity to stop Iran, we will be giving them more money with which to do these things.

Opposing a deal that funds terrorism and genocide is now being labeled as acting against American interests. When did it become anti-American to oppose terrorism and genocide?

Four thousand Americans have been killed by terrorism since 1970. Fighting terrorism has always been an American policy — including under Obama. In 2011, President Obama declared that “Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States of America.”

Opposing a deal that will fund terrorism and genocide upholds American values, and it is therefore certainly within the American interest.

The US was once considered the leader of the free world, a role President Obama has rejected. This deal, however, will turn us into the financial backer of murderous regimes. Is that really in the American interest?

[Featured Image: Washington Post / YouTube ]


Mirabelle is a non-practicing lawyer and blogger, writing about Israel, the US-Israel relationship, and media bias at Israellycool.com. On twitter: @MiraWard375

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