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Iran Nuke Deal just another Obama legacy sandcastle

Iran Nuke Deal just another Obama legacy sandcastle

An increasingly aggressive Iranian Mullah regime at war with us and our allies is Obama’s lasting legacy, and it will be more difficult to wash away than the nuke deal.

In withdrawing from the Iran nuke deal, the U.S. did not breach a commitment of the United States.

The Trump administration reversed a non-binding, ephemeral policy preference of Barack Obama, who refused to submit the deal as a Treaty under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution. Had the nuke deal been a treaty, it would have been the supreme law of the land.

Nor was the Iran nuke deal entered into with the consent of Congress, by treaty or otherwise, or under any other authority that made it irrevocable.

Senator Ben Sasse put it perfectly:

The Iran deal has always been terrible. Today is a reminder that if you live by the Presidency, you die by the Presidency. We ought to be clear about this: Donald Trump isn’t ripping up a treaty; he’s walking away from Barack Obama’s personal pledge. Two and a half years ago, President Obama made a bad deal with Iran without support from Congress, and today President Trump is pulling out of President Obama’s personal commitment, and he doesn’t need Congress’s support to do so. American foreign policy makes lasting progress when it is led by the President, approved by Congress, and presented honestly to the American people.

This is another example of Obama’s sandcastles washing away with a new administration. Obama bragged how he would use his pen and his phone to go around Congress on a host of international and domestic issues.

In so doing Obama left most of his legacy at the mercy of the pen and the phone of his successor. Had that successor been Hillary, Obama’s legacy would have been secure. A disaster for our country, but secure.

But Obama’s successor wasn’t Hillary. And Obama’s legacy is washing away.

In the case of the Iran nuke deal, that’s a good thing. The deal was part of Obama’s Grand Bargain with the Mullahs, to give Iran regional hegemony in exchange for a delay in going nuclear. Obama’s hope allegedly was that the Mullah regime in the interim would moderate. That was alway a fraud perpetrated on the American public by Obama, Ben Rhodes and the echo chamber.

Will this lead to war?

Iran has been at war with us and our allies in the region with an increasing intensity since the nuke deal was signed. That’s Obama’s lasting legacy, and it will be more difficult to wash away.


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but, but…. muh legacy!

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to redc1c4. | May 8, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    The “illegal won” is getting washed away by this just as the Iranian axis of evil is getting washed away by it.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | May 8, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      Time to take back those Billions of Taxpayers’ cash also!

        Or a Gaddafi solution, less the trail of tears (“refugee crisis”), Libya-ISIS Affair, sodomized ambassador, gerrymandered votes, redistributive change (e.g. welfare profits), etc.

        They weren’t the taxpayers’ cash. They were Iran’s cash, plus 40 years of accumulated interest, calculated at a very low rate. Sooner or later we would have had to give them back their money and pay the interest, probably at a higher rate. But 0bama was wrong to pay this debt now, knowing full well what the mullahs would do with it. That money should still be sitting in escrow, accumulating interest, and waiting for the mullahs to be overthrown so it could be paid back to their successors.

          Not quite. It was Iran’s money to start with, yes. Then after the revolution there were a number of lawsuits against Iran for little things like confiscating property of US companies and other damages until the money was *gone*.

          Obama wrote a taxpayer check to cover an imaginary debt plus quite real interest. Theft, plain and simple.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 8, 2018 at 11:38 pm

          There were lawsuits, yes, but this money was not available to pay them. The consistent policy of every administration from Reagan through 0bama was that the frozen money would eventually be returned, and none of the judgments could collect from it. (I know, because I know one of the lawyers who won a judgment and couldn’t collect.)

          alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | May 9, 2018 at 12:57 am

          Yes… returned… but to whom? Having stiffed the Green Revolution it was easy early on to see that eventually, the Mullahs’ Moola was coming their way. The Obama Admin should have used the late Monte Hall… at least he could make a deal.

          BobM in reply to Milhouse. | May 9, 2018 at 5:32 am

          The consistant policy was just that, policy – not law.
          Like Obama’s Iranian Deal, it could have been overturned by any change in administration, and likely would have been by Trump if the money was still there.

          This “deal” reminds me of the old Popeye/Wimpy skit – “I’ll gladly pay you Wensday for a hamburger today.” where wensday never comes.

          All of our actions in the deal were front-loaded, all of the Iranian actions were sometime in the indeterminate future with no good verification path if the Iranians – with a clear history of bad faith in dealing with others – displayed future bad faith.

“But Obama’s successor wasn’t Hillary.”

Thanks to those who voted Trump/Pence.

    hrh40 in reply to Barry. | May 9, 2018 at 7:14 am

    I voted Trump and got Pence along as baggage, supposedly so that Pence would get his “good friend” Paul Ryan to move the president’s agenda. Oh well.

“Will this lead to war?”

No, Iran is not capable of making much in the way of war. A short skirmish perhaps.

No deal with Iran that does not include an absolute ironclad ceasing of terrorist support.

But Obama’s successor wasn’t Hillary.

Pure music, there. Rapture.

G. de La Hoya | May 8, 2018 at 9:46 pm

Hey Ben Rhodes, you are a tool 🙂

Just wait, California will sue in the 9th Circuit to keep the deal going and the judges there will agree that Trump cannot withdraw from the deal because Reasons.

Just wait.

    Milhouse in reply to Sunhawk2. | May 8, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    That won’t happen. But if it does I’m sure Trump will finally put his foot down and tell the court it’s way ultra vires and should stick its injunction where the sun don’t shine.

To Obama, the the Iran Deal would prove a success if, when the sun finally set on its restrictions, Iran would develop and deploy a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel. That was the endgame.

    Milhouse in reply to nisquire. | May 8, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    There was never any prospect that it would wait that long. Iran has halted bomb development only because it had no need to keep going with it. It had got to a convenient stopping point, and was waiting anyway for its missile tech to catch up. The deal did nothing to stop that. When the missile tech is up to snuff, it will restart the bomb development.

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | May 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm

      Milhouse, are you falling for the charade? Iran never stopped bomb development. In fact, one of the frauds perpetrated by both Iran and the signatories is easily revealed by the fact, spelled out in the JCPOA, is that Iran is allowed to stockpile heavy water, uranium, and is allowed thousands of advanced centrifuges. There were limits on amounts, but Iran has been ignoring them all along since the JCPOA supposedly went into effect.

      “…But Rouhani warned that Iran would begin enriching uranium BEYOND THE LEVELS ALLOWED IN THE ACCORD if the government decides the country’s needs are not being met. He said Iran would decide in “a few weeks” whether to ramp up enrichment.”

      The levels allowed in the accord are sufficient to support the development of nuclear weapons. And Iran has been in violation of those levels from the start, and it was Obama administration policy to look the other way. The other members of P5+1 have followed suit.

      And why wouldn’t they? They’re making money.

      The JCPOA was not even a speed bump in the way of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. It’s a fraud based on lies in that regard. One of the laughable aspects of the revelations of Mossad’s heist of Iran’s nuclear files (Mossad, if you’re monitoring this site, from one professional to another high five) is that it doesn’t give us any new information.

      First of all, that’s not true, as Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, tells us.

      But even if it were true, the reaction of the people now retreating to the “nothing new” redoubt reveals the basic lie underlying the fraud. They say that they knew all along Iran was lying (and therefore everything in Israel’s possession is nothing new) but that’s why the JCPOA is based on stringent surveillance and inspections but not on trust.

      But it is based on trust. The Iranians get to dictate which sites we can inspect. As in, not the military sites where we know the majority of development is taking place. And Iran dictates the terms of of when the timeframe of when we can inspect the sites they will allow us to inspect. And who the inspectors can be; as in, no Americans.

      They lied their way through the baseline process. We don’t even know all the sites where nuclear weapons development is taking place. My personal rule of thumb is if it’s an IRGC site, it’s a nuclear weapons development site.

      So even from what we know, we know Iran is cheating. And we should know more, since the IAEA needs to establish a baseline from an honest accounting of all aspects of a threshold state’s nuclear program, most especially including any dual use technologies since that would allow the IAEA to determine and then monitor supply lines from other nations.

      None of that happened. So the standard for reinstating sanctions has elided from “compliance” to “in material breach.” Which isn’t a standard provided for in the JCPOA.

      “… Iran has halted bomb development…”

      This never happened. The JCPOA was crafted in such a way as to ensure that would never happen. And crafted in such a way that we could never know about the extent of Iran’s bomb development. Did the JCPOA add any new elements to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons? Yes, Annex III committed the US to protect Iran’s nuclear program from physical or cyber sabotage. In other words, Obama committed the United States to defend Iran against Israel and another stuxnet.

      The JCPOA isn’t an arms control “deal.” It’s a monument to Barack Obama’s untutored tiers-mondiste instincts that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” No, I’m not saying that Obama is a crypto-Muslim. Just a committed anti-US, anti-Western Civilization leftist who always sees the “brown other” as the victim of imperialistic white-supremacist forces no matter how ahistoric that view is. In fact, that view requires a complete ignorance of history, as exemplified in Obama’s embarrassing Cairo speech. But no matter how monumentally stupid that view is, it’s Obama’s and therefore Iran ought to have nuclear weapons to defend itself against the evil United States.

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | May 14, 2018 at 3:51 pm

        No, Arminius, I’m not falling for anything. As I understand it everyone, including the Israelis, agrees that Iran has indeed put its bomb development on hold. But that means nothing, because the bomb development was running way ahead of the delivery systems and fuel enrichment. It was no skin off their noses to pause that project and let the other necessary projects catch up, and when they’re ready they can just take it off hold with no difficulty.

G. de La Hoya | May 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm

That’s ok Obama. We’ll get you your participation trophy soon 🙂

As the wise Chris Plante said: “I am thankful every day for the Electoral College.”

    blah deblah in reply to unommin. | May 8, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Enjoy it while it lasts: Connecticut To Give Its Electoral College Votes To National Popular Vote Victor

      Milhouse in reply to blah deblah. | May 8, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      That’s fine. CT can do that if it likes. Since CT’s electors currently always go D, this decision would only means that sometimes they will vote R instead.

      Except that (a) it doesn’t take effect until enough states sign on to it to give them 270 votes between them, and that isn’t ever going to happen; and (b) even if the compact did reach the required 270 votes, I don’t believe it would hold. The moment a R candidate won the national vote, you’d see electors from the compact states refusing to comply with the compact and vote for him/her.

        rdm in reply to Milhouse. | May 9, 2018 at 5:53 am

        I think in many states they would have a serious problem the first time they gave their electoral votes to someone that lost their states vote.

        hrh40 in reply to Milhouse. | May 9, 2018 at 7:18 am

        But it’s a GREAT argument to get CT Rs and conservatives out to vote by taking away the “our vote doesn’t count in a blue state anyway” argument, because if CT’s electors can vote for the national popular vote winner, than every vote adds to the national total.

0bama’s pen is out of ink, and his phone battery is dead. MAGA.

    legacyrepublican in reply to walls. | May 9, 2018 at 7:55 am

    A pen is hard to keep up when you are out of office. Just as Michelle who keeps calling.

blah deblah | May 8, 2018 at 11:08 pm

Will never get those 8 years back, though, will we?

In withdrawing from the Iran nuke deal, the U.S. did not breach a commitment of the United States.
The Trump administration reversed a non-binding, ephemeral policy preference of Barack Obama,

This is exactly right.

who refused to submit the deal as a Treaty under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution.

I quibble with the word “refused”, which implies some sort of duty to do so. 0bama had no such duty. It was entirely up to him whether he wanted it to be a treaty or not, and he chose not. Of course one reason for that choice was that there was no way in the world that he could ever have got it ratified, so there was no point in trying.

Had the nuke deal been a treaty, it would have been the supreme law of the land.

True, however Trump would still have had the authority to withdraw from it. Treaties and statutes rank equally, but they differ in how they’re made and repealed. Statutes, as we all know, require majorities in both houses and the president’s signature, both to make and to repeal. Treaties require the president and 2/3 of the senate to make, but the president can abrogate (repeal) them at will. (Or at least that is the status quo, since Carter asserted his right to do so and the Supreme Court said it’s not justiciable, so if Congress objects it should impeach him. Congress didn’t, so the current state of the law is that he was right. Should a president ever be impeached for abrogating a treaty that will become the presumptive law.)

Nor was the Iran nuke deal entered into with the consent of Congress, by treaty or otherwise, or under any other authority that made it irrevocable.

Actually no authority could make it irrevocable, but it could have been made harder to get out of. However there was no way Congress was going to agree to any of those ways, so the point is moot.

Two and a half years ago, President Obama made a bad deal with Iran without support from Congress, and today President Trump is pulling out of President Obama’s personal commitment, and he doesn’t need Congress’s support to do so.

Again, this is precisely correct. 0bama didn’t need Congress’s support to make the deal and Trump doesn’t need it to pull out. But it’s also worth pointing out that if he had needed it, it would have been forthcoming; clear majorities in both houses support Trump on this. So do the people.

Obama bragged how he would use his pen and his phone […] In so doing Obama left most of his legacy at the mercy of the pen and the phone of his successor.

Yep. That’s how it goes.

(((Boogs))) | May 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

Millhouse, you miss a large point. If Obama’s goal was to create a “landmark” deal with any domestic legitimacy then Senate ratification was necessary. And if the Senate might have agreed but for various defective provisions in JCPOA (several of which weren’t in JCPOA at all but were contained in side letters, only several of which have been disclosed), then that amounted to a negotiating collar on his ability to deliver a legitimate deal.

But with Woodrow Wilson’s arrogance, Obama didn’t do much Congressional consultation on this. His deal has now met the same fate as Wilson’s League of Nations treaty, which the Senate killed.

When you stake your legacy on a pen and a phone, it behooves you to remember that your successor will also have a pen and phone.

500k dead Syrians are unavailable for comment.

    Milhouse in reply to (((Boogs))). | May 9, 2018 at 12:02 am

    The senate was never going to agree to it no matter what. Not even by a majority, let alone 2/3. It was touch and go whether Corker and Menendez could get the 2/3 needed to pass a law to block it; they came just short.

    The only thing that would have given the deal “domestic legitimacy” in the political sense would have been for it to have demonstrably worked. If it had, then the doubters would have been proved wrong and in hindsight the nation would have praised 0bama as the wise president who defied everyone to do what was right. But that was never going to happen.

(((Boogs))) | May 9, 2018 at 2:22 am

You’re right. The moral of both Wilson and Obama then is not to stake U.S. or presidential prestige on agreements that lack a domestic constituency. I would add a second caution: in selling any agreement, treaty or not, whose viability depends on unstable actors (interwar Europe) or disingenuous partners, keep expectations low.

Obama failed spectacularly at this. He sold the deal as “peace,” an Iran he was sure would “rejoin the community of nations,” and a stabilizing regional hegemon. In the end, Obama chose his partners poorly. As the mullahs injected hyper toxins into the region, each atrocity, gas attack, Syrian massacre, Death to America chant, and flaunting of ballistic missile launches increased the deal’s political vulnerability.

Theocracies don’t have great feedback loops for information about the world they inhabit. Since 2015, Iran’s behavior coupled with Obama’s too clever by half domestic marketing was a fail guarantee. He should’ve used his own feedback loop and inferred that “I’ll never get this through the Senate” was a pro-tip and not an obstacle.

But that would’ve required Obama to work the Senate, LBJ style. Not his forte.

What did anyone expect from an incompetent traitor lime obama?

Of course he sold out his country.

Of course he did t do it very effectively.

Noe, repeal obamacare: terrorism upon our health csre system.

Oh I do like that last line TFR!! 🙂

Six countries were supposedly a ‘party’ to this ‘deal’.

Not one of them signed it.

Not only did Obama not submit it to the Senate for ratification, he didn’t even bother signing it himself.

“refused to submit to the Senate” NO NO NO NO! you cannot let Bob COrker skate on this. He is just as culpable as Obama.

    Milhouse in reply to sdharms. | May 9, 2018 at 9:06 am

    That is a filthy disgusting slander, and no matter how many times you repeat it it won’t change. Corker did everything humanly possible to block the deal, and even without the numbers to do so he managed to squeeze a concession out of 0bama giving him another chance to try to block it after it would be concluded. 0bama took a risk making that concession; he couldn’t be sure that Corker wouldn’t succeed the second time around. But he felt under enough pressure to make it, thanks to Corker’s hard work.

    But in the final analysis it was always going to take 2/3 of each house to block a deal, and 0bama played hardball with enough D senators to prevent that 2/3 vote.

    The idea that the deal could have been blocked by fewer than 67 senators — indeed by as few as 34 — is stupid and ignorant, and depends on the utterly illogical propositions that (a) the president can’t make private agreements with whomever he likes, and (b) there is some difference between 66 senators voting consent to a proposed treaty and 0 senators doing so because no vote was even held.

      mailman in reply to Milhouse. | May 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Fuck off Millhouse. Corker is just as responsible as every other fucking Republican who supported the deal!

      All this really does is highlight just how alike Democrats and the GOPe are! One and the same! Only out to protect and enrich themselves! Thank God for Trump and thank God adults are now back in charge in the White House.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to mailman. | May 9, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        Democrats + GOPe = Uni-Party.

        Milhouse in reply to mailman. | May 9, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        You fuck off, you fucking liar. Not a single Republican supported the deal, and certainly not Corker. Freedom of speech does not include slander.

And with that, President Pen & Phone’s legacy is now comprised of running guns to Mexican drug cartels and letting crazy men in girls bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.

    Massinsanity in reply to gwsjr425. | May 9, 2018 at 8:18 am

    there is also Sotomayor and Kagan… sigh

      tom_swift in reply to Massinsanity. | May 9, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Unlike Barry’s Wonderful Treaty Adventure, those two were ratified (or rather, “confirmed”) by officialdom.

      So they’re not all Obama’s fault. He had help.

Poor John Kerry, perhaps he can call James Taylor in to cheer himself up?

Henry Hawkins | May 9, 2018 at 3:40 pm

It’s OK, Mr. Obama. Let it go. Just remember – they’ll never take Cash For Clunkers away from your legacy.

“In so doing Obama left most of his legacy at the mercy of the pen and the phone of his successor. ”

Constitutional scholar? This is like a NASA rocket scientist fumbling the Law of Thermodynamics.

I guess Harvard Law isn’t what it used to be.

Milhouse is a font of bad information. Congress legislated in 1996 that victims of terrorism could sue designated state sponsors of terrorism for damages. Courts found defects in the law, ruling that while victims of terrorism could sue individual officials, agents, subsidiary organizations, etc., Congress had not provided a federal cause of action against the designated states themselves.

In order to remedy the situation, Congress attached a rider to the FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act, specifically to provide a federal cause of action to sue designated state sponsors of terrorism and to make it clear that the assets of the states themselves were available to pay damages to those victims.

In 2012 President Obama froze $2B that Iran’s central bank had illegally concealed in a New York bank account. In the same year, Congress amended the law to state that $2B was to available to victims of Iranian terrorism. Everything had been spelled out by law. There were exceptions for frozen Iraqi funds, as by 2008 the status of Iraq had been changed by force of US arms, but there were no exceptions for frozen Iranian monies.

Which led to this:

Milhouse simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Yet, that doesn’t stop him from being absolutely sure in his error.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | May 10, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    You can either believe me + Supreme Court, or you can believe the unsupported word of Milhouse.

    Those are your choices.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Arminius. | May 10, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      False dichotomy. We can believe neither. ;o)

        Arminius in reply to Henry Hawkins. | May 10, 2018 at 10:30 pm

        No, there is not third option. The SCOTUS ordered the judgement in the case of BANK MARKAZI, AKA CENTRAL BANK OF IRAN v. PETERSON ET AL enforced. Unlike what Milhouse intends, the Obama administration made no move to intervene and protect Iranian assets from the plaintiffs because the law is clear. It would have been illegal for Obama to do so.

        You have no other option unless you are saying you opt out of reality entirely.