Restoring the Sacred

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Chuck Schumer shows Political Courage. Who Knew?

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, in a rare move away from his party loyalty has stated he will vote to disapprove the nefarious "Iran deal."  A skeptic might be inclined to suspect that this courageous gesture on his part is not really all that courageous.  It's possible that he was given permission to placate his Jewish base by voting against the deal, which even without his vote will surely pass or at least survive an attempt to override the promised veto if it does pass.  It would be nice to think that he is truly risking his place in the hierarchy of his party - and maybe he is.

So, in today's Notable & Quotable section of the Wall Street Journal, Schumer explains his decision to vote against this ill advised "deal."
Notable & Quotable: Chuck Schumer on Iran
The risk that the regime use the nuclear agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great to vote to approve it.
If one thinks Iran will moderate, that contact with the West and a decrease in economic and political isolation will soften Iran’s hardline positions, one should approve the agreement. After all, a moderate Iran is less likely to exploit holes in the inspection and sanctions regime, is less likely to seek to become a threshold nuclear power after ten years, and is more likely to use its newfound resources for domestic growth, not international adventurism.
But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.
Admittedly, no one can tell with certainty which way Iran will go. It is true that Iran has a large number of people who want their government to decrease its isolation from the world and focus on economic advancement at home. But it is also true that this desire has been evident in Iran for thirty-five years, yet the Iranian leaders have held a tight and undiminished grip on Iran, successfully maintaining their brutal, theocratic dictatorship with little threat. Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years?
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.