Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How to Kill The Iran Deal

How and why to kill the deal - Caroline Glick

Congress may have more power than it realizes to kill the deal before Iran gets the money and before its other provisions are implemented.

Over the months leading up to the conclusion of negotiations, Obama refused to acknowledge that he was negotiating a treaty. Rather he said it was nothing more than an executive agreement.  Consequently, he argued, the US Senate’s sole authority to ratify treaties by two-thirds majority would be inapplicable to the deal with Iran.

Obama also said he would further sideline Congress by anchoring the deal in a binding UN Security Council resolution. This resolution would force Obama’s successor to uphold the deal after he leaves office.

Obama mitigated his position slightly when Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, drafted the Corker-Cardin bill with veto-proof majorities in both houses. The bill, which Obama reluctantly signed into law, requires Obama to submit the deal to an up or down vote in both houses. If more than two thirds of Senators and Congressmen oppose it, then the US will not abrogate its unilateral sanctions against Iran.

In other words, Obama agreed that if Congress turned the Constitution on its head by replacing the two-thirds Senate majority required to approve a treaty with a two-thirds bicameral majority necessary to disapprove his executive agreement – then he wouldn’t go to the Security Council until after Congress voted.

When Obama betrayed his pledge and went to the Security Council on Monday, he gave Congress an opening to reconsider its position, ditch the restrictive Corker-Cardin law and reassert the Senate’s treaty approving authority.

As former US federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued in National Review last week, by among other things canceling the weapons and missile embargoes on Iran, the six-power deal with Iran went well beyond the scope of the Corker-Cardin law, which dealt only with nuclear sanctions relief. As a consequence, Congress can claim that there is no reason to invoke it.

Rather than invoke Corker-Cardin, Congress can pass a joint resolution determining that the deal with Iran is a treaty and announce that pursuant to the US Constitution, the Senate will schedule a vote on it within 30 days.
Alternatively, Congress can condition the Iran deal’s legal stature on the passage of enabling legislation – that requires simple majorities in both houses.

[On] Monday Netanyahu explained that by keeping US sanctions in force, Congress can limit Iran’s capacity to move beyond the current sanctions regime even after it is canceled. Every state and firm considering business opportunities with Tehran will have to weigh them against the opportunity cost of being barred from doing business with the US.

Iran for its part may walk away from the deal entirely if Congress acts in this manner. If it does, then the US will not be obligated by any of the deal’s requirements. The continued viability of the Security Council resolution will be something for the lawyers to argue over.

The devil in Obama’s deal with Iran is not in the mind-numbing details, but in the big picture. The deal guarantees Iran will get the bomb. It gives the Iranian regime $150b.

To secure these concessions, Obama has trampled congressional authority.

If the American people think this doesn’t advance their national interest, they should encourage their congressional representatives to ditch Corker-Cardin and use their full authority, as a co-equal branch of the government, to scupper it.

[Jerusalem Post]


LHwrites said...

I have not commented on this topic much because it’s been pointless. Those more knowledgeable than I have pointed out the obvious points that I’ll make now, but since those committed to failure, whose ideas and actions have led to disaster in the Mideast for 15 years, still assert that they know best, it seems worth reiterating: Iran has been under crushing sanctions and been an international pariah for decades. This has been a failure and they have moved steadily towards developing nuclear capability. As in North Korea, it has been proven that isolation and sanctions hurt the populace and turn them against the world and convince them that their government is acting appropriately. Without an agreement, we can wait for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and then get into war with them. War is never a good thing contrary to the belief of many conservatives, who still, at best, only grudgingly admit what a f***ing fiasco Iraq was. You remember Iraq? That was our interference in the Middle East that gave Iran its rise to power in the region. At that time this was supported and encouraged by Netanyahu, by the way, who guaranteed it would usher in a new and better MidEast. But we’ve belabored that point. Whether someone likes every part of this agreement is irrelevant. We don’t get to dictate everything a country does. There are probably a lot of Arabs who don’t like the nuclear capability of Israel. We dictated to, sanctioned and tried diplomacy in North Korea and it didn’t work. However, unlike North Korea, Iran has oil and could be prosperous with happy people if they work with the rest of the world. It would be a long process to make North Korea stable and they managed to find crazier people to lead them than Iran did. That’s why it’s not clear Iran would go the way of North Korea through diplomacy. We are also ignoring that the rest of the major nations have signed this agreement. Congress fighting will only make the US less relevant. Our sanctions won’t work when the rest of the world ends theirs. Eventually, if Iran wants to have a bomb much like other countries, they will develop one. If they are engaged and their people are happy, they will understand they have raised the stakes and military action involving WMD would leave their own country in ruins.
Conservatives these days have a very strange worldview: they think only America matters and has power. Oh right, and maybe Israel. It is acting on this worldview that has created the mess the Mideast has become in the last 15 years. As bad as it ] was, it is worse since the military intervention of the US. Conservatives fail to learn from their mistakes. I get a good laugh when Dick Cheney is on TV as if his opinion on anything matters in the least. Or Donald Rumsfeld. These guys are funnier than any comedians because they are able to put on a straight face and speak with conviction despite their abject failure and weakening of security in the Mideast, caused by their actions and policies. Don’t agree with the agreement reached with Iran. It’s irrelevant. It was the actions taken in the Mideast by the Bush administration and recent meddling by the Republican Congress that has enabled Iran to become a dominant force in its region, move steadily ahead with its nuclear program while diminishing our credibility. The rest of the world is moving on and we cannot exist without them, contrary to the ethnocentricity of Republicans or the isolationism of libertarians. A map where it’s the US and Israel against every other nation in the world will not be a very helpful map for our future. We can support this agreement because it’s a good agreement. But if for no other reason we should support this agreement because it’s the complete opposite that Bush, Cheney or the Republican Congress would do. Right there is the most compelling argument for why it might work and why it should be given a chance.

Bruce said...

Naturally, I disagree. You know that...we've had this conversation before.
The Iraq thing depends where you place the punctuation...that is to say, Obama inherited a won war there. He said as much himself when he [quite mistakenly] pulled our troops out. But we've gone this way before.

You remain overly focused on the GOP and what its most rightward people say. Consider Menendez and [hopefully] other Dems.

In any case, let's agree to disagree.
Bruce :}