Tag Archives: Iran nuke deal

Why, precisely, does POTUS oppose the Iran nuke deal?

One of the worst-kept secrets in Washington, D.C., is out: Donald J. Trump plans to decertify the agreement hammered out by the Obama administration to curb Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons.

The president calls it the “worst deal ever negotiated” in the history of Planet Earth. He said he’d never strike such a deal. He has called it an “embarrassment” to the United States of America. He says it is not in our national interest.

Forgive me if I’ve missed something, although I don’t believe that’s the case, but has the president ever offered a single detail over precisely why he hates this deal with such a passion?

I haven’t heard him articulate a single policy dispute he has with it. He has spoken completely, totally and utterly in platitudes and clichĂ©s about why he hates this deal.

I cannot help but wonder whether his opposition stems largely — if not entirely — from the fact that President Obama’s national security team, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, negotiated this deal. Sure, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu hates the deal, too, but he hates any effort to make peace with his nation’s mortal enemies; in a way, I kind of understand Netanyahu’s suspicion, even if it’s a bit overheated.

Details of the Iran nuke deal

However, the president of the United States owes his constituents — you and me — a much more detailed explanation into why he opposes an agreement in which U.S. analysts say is being honored by the Iranians. Trump, though, says otherwise.

We’re supposed to take the president at his word? Is that the deal?

Uh … no thank you.

What about our allies, Mr. Secretary?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has put Iran “on notice” yet again.

He also put several of our nation’s key allies on notice, too, by suggesting that the United States’ commitment to negotiated agreements isn’t as rock-solid as it must be.

Tillerson put the world on notice this week that the United States no longer thinks much of a deal meant to deny Iran the ability to develop a nuclear weapon. It’s part of Donald John Trump’s vow to renegotiate agreements that he says are worst in the history of humankind.

The Iran nuke deal falls into that category, according to the president.

The deal was brokered by former Secretary of State John Kerry in conjunction with foreign ministers from Great Britain, China, France, Germany and, oh yes, Russia. What would a U.S. withdrawal from the agreement mean to our partners?

This is just me, but perhaps it would mean that the United States isn’t a trustworthy partner. It well could fracture our international alliances, particularly as it regards the Brits, French and the Germans, who are critical players in our nation’s ongoing geopolitical struggle with forces that seek to undermine us at every turn.

I’m not going to assert that the Iran nuke deal is perfect in every single way. But it does allow for careful monitoring of the Islamic Republic’s intentions and it gives the United States plenty of room to re-impose economic sanctions if it’s determined that Iran isn’t complying with the terms of the agreement.

Tillerson’s comments centered on Iran’s continued support of international terrorism. OK, then. Deal with that separately, Mr. Secretary.

Although the secretary didn’t say directly that the Trump administration would back out of the nuke deal, he did sound a dire warning. According to Politico: “Apparently referencing a failed 1994 nuclear deal with North Korea, which now has nuclear weapons, Tillerson said Wednesday that the Iran agreement is ‘another example of buying off a power who has nuclear ambitions. We just don’t see that that’s a prudent way to be dealing with Iran.’”

Our partners are watching with great interest. I believe it would foolish to renege on a deal that took a long time to craft. After all, the United States isn’t the only actor in this drama.

Don’t hold your breath on Gohmert’s pledge


U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Loony Bin, says he’s going to quit Congress.

His reason? He’ll await the pending approval of the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration and then he’ll wait for the pending “nuclear holocaust” he believes will be the inevitable result.

The East Texas Republican has said plenty of goofy things in the past. He’s a big-time Barack Obama “birther,” suggesting the president isn’t constitutionally qualified for the office he’s held for nearly two full terms.

Gohmert to quit

I am not going to hold my breath waiting for Gohmert to bail.

Other politicians and celebrities have made similar pledges. Do you remember what actor/left-wing activist Alec Baldwin said upon the election in 2000 of Texas Gov. George W. Bush as president? He said he would leave the country.

Baldwin’s still here. Fifteen years later.

Gohmert, also is quite an expert at saying provocative things.

This sounds like one of those times.


Who’s in charge of U.S. foreign policy?


U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., thinks it’s OK to travel abroad and to meet with a foreign head of government for the purpose of undermining a key foreign policy initiative.

It’s not OK. At least it’s never been acceptable … apparently until now in some circles.

Cotton went to Israel and Is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to figure out a way to torpedo the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the United States and five other great powers.

Cotton’s meeting with Netanyahu now has become the norm, it seems, for critics of President Obama. They forget what they said when then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Syria to meet with dictator Bashar al-Assad. Vice President Dick Cheney reminded us then that only the president can conduct foreign policy.

Except that Pelosi coordinated her visit with Bush administration officials and had made sure she didn’t interfere with what President Bush’s goals were as they regarded U.S. policy toward Assad.

Cotton said: “Today’s meeting only reaffirms my opposition to this deal. I will stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel and work with my colleagues in Congress to stop this deal and to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself against Iran and its terrorist surrogates.”

We’ve only got one president of the United States at a time. And at this moment, it isn’t Tom Cotton.


‘Boxcars’ no more acceptable than ‘ovens’


Admission time.

I’ve been goaded into saying something about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remark concerning Donald Trump’s “immigration reform” idea, which is to round up 11 million or so undocumented immigrants and ship back to where they came from.

She said recently that Trump and other Republican candidates intend to ship immigrants back to their homeland in “boxcars.” The remark drew understandable rebuke from those on the right who said the Democratic presidential front runner is invoking images of the Holocaust with that kind of analogy.

Clinton’s campaign has denied any connection.

You decide.

The campaign flacks are mistaken if they do not believe many Americans understood the juxtaposition of “boxcars” and “Holocaust.”

These presidential candidates need to understand that gravity of making such highly offensive comparisons.

Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, you’ll recall, criticized the Iran nuclear deal by declaring President Obama would march Israel to the “oven door” if the deal is approved by the Congress. That remark also drew expected — and deserved — criticism from those on the left.

A critic of this blog reminded me that I had been silent about Clinton’s nasty reference to boxcars. I took the criticism as a challenge to be as vigilant on both sides of the political divide about comments that deserve rebuke.

Clinton, Huckabee and the whole crowd of presidential candidates should declare a moratorium on comparing anything that occurs presently to what happened between 1939 and 1945.

World War II — and all its ghastly consequences — stands alone.



Netanyahu says it’s ‘not my job’ to dictate Iran vote

FILE - In this March 3, 2015, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as  he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, listen. Relations between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans have hit a new low. There has been little direct communication between Obama and the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill since Republicans took full control of Congress in January. Obama has threatened to veto more than a dozen Republican-backed bills. And Boehner infuriated the White House by inviting Netanyahu to address Congress without consulting the administration first.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — I dare say — is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

He told a delegation of congressional Democrats visiting him in Israel this week that it’s “not my job” to tell them how to vote on the Iran nuclear deal hammered out by Secretary of State John Kerry and representatives of five other world powers.

However, that doesn’t quite square with what he did earlier this year when, at the invitation of Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, Netanyahu stood before a joint congressional session and — yep — told them in effect how they should vote on a deal designed to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Lawmakers visiting Netanyahu said the prime minister was respectful and frank.

He doesn’t like the deal. In many ways, I understand Netanyahu’s reluctance to deal with the Iranians. Their regime has declared its intention to wipe Israel off the face of the planet. The Islamic Republic of Iran isn’t to be trusted at any level, according to Netanyahu.

But President Obama, Kerry and all the participants say the same thing about the deal: It blocks “every pathway” Iran has to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Congress is going to take up the issue next month. A resolution calling for defeat of the deal is likely to pass. It’s also likely to lack the votes to overturn an expected veto from the president.

Never mind, though, that the Israeli prime minister isn’t telling members of Congress how to vote.

Wink, wink.

Actually, yes he is.


Diplomacy ought to trump war every time

Barack Obama could have invoked the late, great Winston Churchill at his press conference today.

Churchill once said it is better to “jaw, jaw, jaw than to war, war, war.”

So it is with President Obama’s defense of the deal struck with Iran that seeks to end Iran’s quest to acquire nuclear weapons.


I remain more or less undecided on the merits of the deal, but the president has posed a fascinating challenge to his critics.

Is it better to take military action to remove Iran’s nuclear capability, or is it better to use diplomacy to rid them of their nuclear ambitions?

Critics, Obama said, haven’t offered a credible alternative to the deal that struck by Secretary of State John Kerry and his team of international partners. They blast the 159-page deal with words like “appeasement,” “disaster,” and “historic mistake.”

So, what do they suggest? Do we send in squadrons of fighter-bombers to blast the nuclear plants into oblivion? Let the Israelis do it? Do we risk all-out war?

The great Winston Churchill had it right: It’s better to talk than to drop bombs.


Who sold arms to Iran?

This video is quite instructive.

President Reagan went on the air in March 1987 to explain why he sold arms to Iran in exchange for money that he would use to seek to topple the Marxist government in Nicaragua.

The late president today remains a conservative icon to those who revere the policies he instituted during his two terms in office.

Those admirers are going ballistic — no pun intended — over a nuclear deal brokered by another president, Barack Obama, that seeks to disarm Iran and intends to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal. Why, they just cannot fathom how we could negotiate with those who would refer to the United States as the Great Satan and who would sponsor terrorist activities around the globe.

What, then, was President Reagan doing when he sold weapons to the Islamic Republic of Iran less than a decade after the radicals seized our embassy in Tehran, held our citizens hostage for 444 days and threatened to blow up the Middle East during that entire time?

Have those folks forgotten all that?

Watch the video. President Reagan said his “heart” told him he wasn’t doing what the facts proved he was doing. He was selling arms to an enemy state.


Too early to judge Iran nuke deal

Listen to the mainstream media on both ends — conservative and liberal — and the Iran nuclear deal is either the precursor to World War III or the agreement that will bring a comprehensive peace to a region that’s never known it.

Fox News this morning was having its usual fun blasting the “liberal mainstream media” for gushing all over the deal that seeks to block Iran’s ability to acquire a nuclear weapon. The caption on the screen as the “Fox and Friends” talking heads were blathering on noted “liberal bias” in the media’s coverage of the agreement. That stuff just slays me, given that Fox never recognizes its own conservative bias.


I’m not going to draw any firm conclusions about the deal just yet.


I remain cautiously hopeful that the deal will produce the desired result. One of the Obama administration talking points is that it “blocks all pathways” for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. Israeli officials — led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — say it’s dangerous in the extreme, as it doesn’t prevent Iran from making mischief in the Middle East.

The economic sanctions? They’ll be lifted over time, giving Iran needed money to rebuild its shattered economy — which was made that way by the sanctions.

What if Iran cheats? What if the Iranians don’t do what they say? The sanctions return.

Is the deal perfect? No. Is it the disaster that congressional Republicans predict it will become? No.

The mainstream media — all of it all along the political spectrum — need to take a breath and listen intently to the debate that’s about to unfold.

Assuming, of course, that the debate isn’t overtaken by hysterical politicians.


Where is LBJ when you need him?

Barack H. Obama needs to channel Lyndon B. Johnson.

In a big way.

President Obama’s negotiating team — led by Secretary of State John Kerry — has just brokered a deal that cuts off Iran’s path to obtaining a nuclear weapon.

But not only are congressional Republicans opposed to the deal — which is no surprise in the least — but congressional Democrats appear to be skeptical of the deal.


How does LBJ play into this? I’m trying to imagine congressional Democrats bucking ol’ Lyndon, who was legendary in his ability to cajole his former congressional colleagues into seeing things his way.

Vote with me, or else I’m going to make your life holy hell, he would tell friend and foe alike. There was not disputing LBJ’s sincerity. When he said he’d make congressmen and women’s lives uncomfortable, he meant it.

Former Amarillo College President Paul Matney, who is no slouch as a political observer, once told me he thought Obama’s greatest weakness as president was his lack of congressional relationships. He served only three years in the Senate before being elected president in 2008 and hadn’t built a large cache of friends on Capitol Hill upon whom he could depend when the going gets tough.

It’s going to get quite tough in the weeks ahead as the president seeks to sell the details of his Iran nuclear deal to members of both parties.

Imagine Democrats telling Lyndon Johnson that they’re skeptical of a deal negotiated by a presidential team of the same party.

As for President Obama’s efforts to sell this deal — which I believe has the potential for bringing a more comprehensive peace to the Middle East — well, good luck, Mr. President.