As Congress returns to work this week, debate centers on approval or rejection of the deal made by the Obama administration on limiting Iran’s nuclear capacities. The deal is so flawed that it is virtually a resolution directing the United States Congress to declare war.That may seem a bit strong to some people but history often repeats itself when nations do not learn from it. The United States Congress faces a big decision with big consequences.
As of Tuesday morning 41 senators had committed to support the resolution. That is enough to defeat any effort to override a veto. At this point, the only thing left is whether President Obama will have to veto the measure before the United States Congress, which he has promised to do, and it would certainly be upheld by a vote to override. What remains a question is whether Democrats will filibuster a disapproval resolution in an attempt to kill it. Democrats fear that a veto by the president and continuing debate would hurt the standing of the U.S. internationally. Republicans want to put political pressure on Democrats to keep the eyes of the country on a deal that they feel is an existential threat to Israel and eventually the security of the United States.
This all sounds historically familiar. On September 30, 1938, Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, returned from a meeting with Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini where the Munich Pact was agreed to, sealing the fate of Czechoslovakia by virtually giving it over to Germany with a promise of peace. Chamberlain returned declaring “Peace in our time” but the future brought only war and the destruction of Czechoslovakia and eventually the world was embroiled in World War II.
It is obvious now that history has judged, that the Munich Pact was a farce. The question the world faces again is whether the deal with Iran threatens to move the world toward another serious war. If this is so, this means that the United States Congress, in allowing this deal with Iran, is virtually declaring war on Israel.
The deal is so complicated that very intelligent people are disagreeing on what it really says. In all of the stipulations the word on the Iran side of the deal is “commit.” Iran will commit to not pursuing a nuclear weapon. If after the restriction time is over Iran will commit to notify the Atomic Energy Agency when it will build nuclear weapons. Iran agreed to “committing” that only some facilities will be inspected. With other inspections the inspectors will have to wait 24 hours. Iran has never committed to an “anywhere-anytime” inspection commitment.
When they make these very loose commitments and the United States Congress approves the deal, Iran will have access to billions of dollars, some say as much as $150 billion. If Iran slips up, there is a “snap back” provision allowing the sanctions to be reset but the other nations have not agreed to this stipulation and in fact have said they would not re-implement sanctions.
This is all quite confusing to the average person. Most people do not live in Israel nor understand the workings of the United States Congress. But if you are living in Israel you are paying attention to the depth of the commitment on the part of Iran because it may mean your survival. After recent disturbances on the temple mount, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei put forth nine reasons the Jewish state “has no cure but to be annihilated.” The nine points include arming the people of the West Bank and influencing global opinion against Israel. Many in the United States Congress do not take these words seriously.
When President Obama called for an agreement to be agreed to, the Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, called for “death to America.” In his speech the crowd began to chant “death to America” and Khamenei responded, “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.” Death to America. Those are very strong words coming from the mouth of the man responsible for signing this agreement. Which does he mean–that he intends to allow an honest deal to go into effect, or that he wants death to America. Which statement does the United States Congress believe?
This scenario is slowly taking on a shape that reminds people of another day in September. That would be September 30, 1938 when Chamberlain basically said, “It doesn’t matter what Hitler has been saying or doing. This is a good deal and it means peace in our time.” Would it not be a wise thing for all parties to step back and let things cool down so that a legitimate deal can be reached; one that does not allow Iran any loopholes and brings them to a real commitment. If the United States Congress declares war through this deal the world will not be safer, especially if you are an Israeli.
Opinion by Lloyd Gardner
Times of Israel: Iran Supreme Leader touts 9 Point Plan to Destroy Israel
Constitution Center.org: The Voting Math Behind the Iran Nuclear Deal in Congress
IJR Review.com: Iranian Leader Calls for Death to America Just Days After Kerry Says Genuine Progress Being Made
Photo courtesy of Maxwell Hamilton’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License