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Friday, August 7, 2015

David Brooks, "3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran": How Many Democrats Will Vote Their Conscience?

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience."

- George Washington

I met Chuck Schumer only once, when he was still a congressman from New York, and I remember his devotion to his daughter, then a toddler, while we ate lunch together with another congressman from New York. Apparently, Schumer is also devoted to the truth, given his decision to oppose President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei. Announcing his position on Thursday evening, Schumer stated:

"To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.

Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.

For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one."

Thank you, Chuck.

But whereas Schumer attempted to defend his determination in a manner that was respectful of President Obama, David Brooks, in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran," does not mince his words. Brooks concludes his opinion piece by declaring:

"Many members of Congress will be tempted to accept the terms of our partial surrender as the least bad option in the wake of our defeat. I get that. But in voting for this deal they may be affixing their names to an arrangement that will increase the chance of more comprehensive war further down the road.

Iran is a fanatical, hegemonic, hate-filled regime. If you think its radicalism is going to be softened by a few global trade opportunities, you really haven’t been paying attention to the Middle East over the past four decades.

Iran will use its $150 billion windfall to spread terror around the region and exert its power. It will incrementally but dangerously cheat on the accord. Armed with money, ballistic weapons and an eventual nuclear breakout, it will become more aggressive. As the end of the nuclear delay comes into view, the 45th or 46th president will decide that action must be taken.

Economic and political defeats can be as bad as military ones. Sometimes when you surrender to a tyranny you lay the groundwork for a more cataclysmic conflict to come."

Ouch! And while you're at it, also have a look at Charles Krauthammer's Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Just who is helping Iran’s hard-liners?":

"Well, this treaty is not standard practice. It’s the most important treaty of our time. Yet, Congress is asked to ratify this 'historic diplomatic breakthrough' (Obama) while being denied access to the heart of the inspection regime.

Congress doesn’t know what’s in these side agreements, but Iran does. And just this past Monday, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to the supreme leader, declared that 'entry into our military sites is absolutely forbidden.'

One secret side deal could even allow Iran to provide its own soil samples (!) from Parchin. And now satellite imagery shows Iran bulldozing and sanitizing Parchin as we speak. The verification regime has turned comic."

Why am I not laughing?

How many Democratic senators, other than Schumer, will be willing to vote their conscience and not toe the party line? Don't hold your breath.

1 comment:

  1. the long knives already unsheathed against Schumer, whose timing is very welcome.

    Remember, the real test is veto override, but looks like Schumer will stand firm.

    Could get ugly in Crown Heights Brooklyn, gerrymandered into Yvette Clark's CD.