The online article below appeared on NPR News today. The duplicity of our elected officials is breathtaking. Listen to the NPR story or read the article.
The NPR piece describes quite well the mechanics or process concocted by both political parties whereby the Iran nuclear deal was deliberately transformed by congress from a treaty, which it really is, into an executive agreement. This sleight of hand was orchestrated so that congressmen, including all members of the Republican Party, could say in public to their constituents that they are vehemently opposed to the deal while simultaneously making sure the deal was approved by congress and signed into law by the president.
According to the Washington Post, 55 percent of voters opposed the deal in a Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday — more than double the 25 percent who supported it. A mid-August CNN-ORC poll found 56 percent saying Congress should reject the deal, though in a separate question, 50 percent supported the broad framework. If 55 to 56% reject the deal as currently structured, why then has congress contrived to have only 33% of its members not disapprove the deal for it to gain congressional approval. This is nothing short of an insult to Americans, whom they are supposed to represent.
The Iran deal reveals the mendacity of our elected officials in its most repugnant light. You would think that something as important to the U.S. and as existential to our ally, Israel, would be treated with the gravity and dignity that behooves it.
Senator Corker, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has earned special condemnation for his double-dealing and stultifying hypocrisy by publically complaining that Secretary Kerry was fleeced by the Iranians; at the same time Corker was among the architects of the rules that would make it extremely hard to stop the deal. Congress’s vote not to disapprove the Iranian deal is akin to quantum mechanics where a particle can appear to be in two places at the same. Who knew our elected representatives were quantum physicists on a legislative level? But that would underestimate their cunning. Where there’s a will, you can count on a politician to find the way. Apparently, this horrendous deal, as it is described by congressional Republicans for public consumption, is somehow worthy enough to gain the backing of our elected representatives.
We can see from the NPR report how the Iranian deal cynically weaved its way through the back corridors of congress so that congressmen could say with a straight face that they got something done, albeit something that could wind up getting us all killed. Why is it so important that this flawed deal get signed into law? The way the deal finds its way to congressional approval (as Machiavellian as it is) is far less important than WHY it is getting rammed through congress, despite broad public disapproval.
NPR attempts to answer this question by quoting Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute as follows:
“Corker has known for some time that the president and the United Nations were on their way to approving the Iran agreement. Once the president has made a deal with all these other nations, endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, if Congress votes to block it, it’s not going to look good for anybody — the country or them. So, you find a way to make it work.”
This explanation is weak and naïve. Since when does congress, particularly a Republican-led congress, have much respect for the United Nations, especially when it comes to protecting our strategic interests and those of our ally, Israel? Since when is the senate willing to forego its Constitutional duty to approve a treaty (for that is exactly what the Iran deal really is) just because a president went ahead and cut a dubious, if not dangerous, deal with foreign countries without the senate’s consent?
The answer must lie elsewhere. Everyone knows China, Russia and our European partners are anxious to start doing business with Iran. Once the crushing sanctions are lifted on Iran, which is a key part of the Iranian deal, there is a lucrative market in Iran to be exploited. In fact, the Europeans are so hungry to transact business with Iran that planeloads of businessmen are beating path to Tehran to explore potential trade agreements. Rest assured, that businessmen in the U.S. are just as anxious to do business with Iran, but unfortunately for them, the sanctions related to Iranian terrorism and human rights, enacted in 1995 will remain in effect. This precludes banks, oil companies, and consumer-goods companies from trading with Iran. Exceptions allow civilian aircraft companies, like Boeing, and companies providing food and medicine to do business with Iran.
So, if the Iranian deal doesn’t permit the U.S. to transact commercial business with Iran, except for the noted exceptions, what would drive congress to do back-flips to not disapprove (or its converse, approve) the deal? The answer is not flattering. It is probably means that our elected representatives are either plain stupid or piss-poor negotiators, or both, because most people would reject such a deal as being too dangerous for U.S. interests here and abroad. And this is exactly what the polls indicate.
It may also explain why non-politician Republican politicians like Trump, Carson, and Fiorina are currently leading the polls and establishment politicians are not. Americans are too educated and perceptive for this kind of hypocritical nonsense to continue. Americans are a forgiving and generous people, but they have grown weary of establishment politicians in Washington, who can’t seem to find their ass with both hands in their back pockets.