It was already difficult to imagine Congress mustering up enough support to override a presidential veto of a bill to kill the Iran deal, but it will be impossible now that Kerry Secures Gulf Support.
Gulf Arab countries gave cautious backing on Monday to the nuclear deal with Iran, giving the White House an important diplomatic card as it seeks to gain congressional support for the agreement.
Speaking alongside US secretary of state John Kerry after a meeting in Doha, Qatari foreign minister Khalid al-Attiyah said that the agreement which the Obama administration helped negotiate with Iran would make the “region safer and more stable”.
“This was the best option amongst other options in order to try to come up with a solution for the nuclear weapons of Iran though dialogue,” Mr al-Attiyah said, speaking on behalf of the Gulf Co-operation Council. “We are sure that all the efforts that have been exerted make this region very secure, very stable.”
With that, some Democrats on the fence will likely be convinced. Republicans should too, but most won’t.
Republicans in No-Win Situation
Pat Buchanan is one of few republicans thinking clearly about Iran. Buchanan explains The GOP’s Iran Dilemma.
It appears that Hill Republicans will be near unanimous in voting a resolution of rejection of the Iran nuclear deal.
They will then vote to override President Obama’s veto of their resolution. And if the GOP fails there, Gov. Scott Walker says his first act as president would be to kill the deal.
But before the party commits to abrogating the Iran deal in 2017, the GOP should consider whether it would be committing suicide in 2016.
For even if Congress votes to deny Obama authority to lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, the U.S. will vote to lift sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. And Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, all parties to the deal, will also lift sanctions.
A Congressional vote to kill the Iran deal would thus leave the U.S. isolated, its government humiliated, unable to comply with the pledges its own secretary of state negotiated. Would Americans cheer the GOP for leaving the United States with egg all over its face?
And if Congress refuses to honor the agreement, but Iran complies with all its terms, who among our friends and allies would stand with an obdurate America then?
Israel would applaud, the Saudis perhaps, but who else?
And as foreign companies raced to Iran, and U.S. companies were told to stay out, what would GOP presidential candidates tell the business community?
Would the party campaign in 2016 on a pledge to get tough and impose new sanctions? “Coercive diplomacy,” The Wall Street Journal calls it.
Would we bomb Iran? Would we go to war? Not only would Americans divide on any such action, the world would unite — against us.
Republicans seem to be unable to grasp the changes that have taken place in this century. With the Arab Spring, the fall of half a dozen regimes, the rise of al-Qaida and ISIS, civil wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, we have a new Middle East.
Our principal enemies are now al-Qaida and ISIS. And while both have been aided by our old allies, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, both are being resisted by Iran.
All Iran had to do was prove it had no bomb program, which was not difficult, as U.S. intelligence had repeatedly said Iran had no bomb program.
Then the Iranians proved it. They agreed to cut their centrifuges by two-thirds, to eliminate 98 percent of their uranium, to halt production of 20 percent uranium at Fordow, to convert the heavy-water reactor at Arak that produces plutonium to a light water reactor that produces one kilogram a year, and to let cameras in and give U.N. inspectors the run of their nuclear facilities.
And how is Israel, with hundreds of atom bombs, mortally imperiled by a deal that leaves Iran with not a single ounce of bomb-grade uranium?
Remarkable. Iran agrees not to build a bomb it had already decided not to build, and we agree to lift all sanctions. And they pulled it off.
Does Iran Really Want a Bomb?
Buchanan also tackles the question Does Iran Really Want a Bomb?
While Iran and its allies are fighting al-Qaida and ISIS, Turkey and our Arab allies are malingerers at best and collaborators at worst.
How explain this? Not difficult.
The Shiites, a religious minority in the Muslim world — Hezbollah, Assad’s regime, Baghdad, Tehran — see ISIS as a mortal threat and are willing to fight to kill the monster.
Our Sunni allies won’t go out and fight ISIS, because that would make them allies of Iran and the Shiites, whom they fear even more.
Our Sunni friends want America to crush ISIS and al-Qaida, then to crush Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. But why is it in our interest to send U.S. troops back into any of these wars?
Is America more threatened than our Arab allies?
Rather than listening to allies who are non-combatants, we should take a hard look at the Mideast. To whom does the future belong? And with what can we live?
The Republicans want to give a blank check to Obama and any future president to fight ISIS and al-Qaida everywhere and forever. And they want the United States to treat Iran as we should have treated Nazi Germany had Hitler been about to get the bomb.
But if the GOP platform takes the neocon-Netanyahu line that we must not only fight ISIS and al-Qaida, but also Iran and Syria, the party will imperil its improving chances for 2016.
Americans don’t want another war.
Though Israel has 200 atomic bombs, Iran has not produced a single ounce of uranium enriched to bomb-grade 90 percent.
U.S. intelligence agencies in 2007 and 2011 declared, with high confidence, that Iran has no active bomb program.
Why would Iran test and build a nuclear bomb, when this would set off a nuclear arms race across the Middle East and put Iran in mortal peril of being smashed by the United States, or by Israel with a preemptive strike?
Question Now Moot
The question as to whether Iran wants a bomb is now moot. The deal pretty much guarantees Iran won’t get one.
Yet, Republican war-mongers would rather risk war with Iran than work with a country that actually would make a better ally than Saudi Arabia.
Did Iran Threaten to “Wipe Israel off the Map”?
The Hitler Card players in both parties keep referring to an alleged statement by Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to “Wipe Israel Off the Map“.
The problem is twofold.
- Ahmadinejad was not the power broker in Iran.
- The translation was not even correct.
Ahmadinejad was actually referring to a statement made by leader Khamenei in which Khamenei said in Persian “Een rezhim-i eshghalgar-i Quds bayad az sahneh-i ruzgar mahv shaved.” This means, “This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time.”
Anonymous wire service translators rendered Khomeini as saying that Israel “must be wiped off the face of the map.”
The myth still persists to this day. President Bush, and Even President Obama have used it when it suits their purpose.
And of course, every time that I have spoken favorably of the agreement, I hear the same “wipe the map” nonsense from readers.
Rare Victory for Peace
Due to political divisiveness, political leaders are never willing to say the other side did anything right.
That’s why I will never be a political leader. I bash Obama often enough, and for many things. But I equally bash the warmongers who have been wrong every which way, and virtually every time!
This was a rare victory for peace.
I am proud of the fact that I stood against the Vietnam War, I was against the War in Iraq, and I have been on the right side of the Iran debate from the beginning.
I echo Ronald Reagan’s former budget director David Stockman who says All Praise To Barack Obama For Stiffing The War Party—- Peace Is Finally Being Given A Chance.
I even go one step further and encourage President Obama to resume normal relations with Iran. Only good can come from such talks.
Amazingly Nearsighted Fools
Walker and Rubio are amazing fools. Sadly, nearly all the Republican candidates don’t have their heads on straight regarding this deal.
Here’s my simple position: I will not vote for any candidate who takes the position he or she will kill the deal if elected.
Perhaps Pat Buchanan should throw his hat into the ring. Why not? Everyone else has. And the war-mongering talk from the others clearly shows Buchanan is better qualified than the current field leaders.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock