Even if President Obama hasn’t tended well to congressional egos, he’s certainly due credit for engineering a political victory on the Iran treaty that’s good for the country.
He has ensured the affirmation of a multi-nation nuclear deal with Iran that will prevent that nation from developing a nuclear weapon for years to come. President Obama has gotten the votes he needs to protect the treaty from a resolution of disapproval from congressional Republicans.
Their credibility, in terms of their opposition, is virtually non-existent. They’ve been against everything Obama has done, and their 16 presidential candidates have used the nuclear deal for their own political convenience to the surprise of absolutely no one. This uniform stance has made the candidates look ill-informed. They want to just bash the president when they’re not preoccupied with the ridiculous controversy they’re trying to create over Hillary Clinton’s emails.
GOP opponents have pronounced the deal a failure and called it dangerous and some kind of collapse to Iran by negotiators. It’s none of those things. The president and America’s allies are simply trying to prevent Iran from going further toward nuclear weapons, with a strong incentive of billions of dollars in eased economic sanctions. Republican presidential candidates have talked plenty tough about how they’ll kill the deal when they take the White House. They would tighten sanctions on Iran and consider military action, something certain to get thousands of Americans killed if not start a long regional war.
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Sadly, Israel’s leadership, resistant to any treaty with Iran, has been vehement in its opposition, and its lobbyists have spent millions of dollars in the opposition effort. (Israel, of course, receives several billion dollars in aid each year from the United States.)
No treaty with a nation that has been hostile is a guarantee of global peace. But this treaty is a constructive step that is better than the alternative of continuing to starve Iran with sanctions and threaten it with military action. And one certainty has been that without a treaty, and without the lifting of economic sanctions, Iran would have continued working on developing a nuclear weapon.
Secretary of State John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran and U.S. senator for more than 30 years, is not naive, and his part in the treaty negotiations proved it. The secretary looked out for the best interests of the United States and, yes, the rest of the world. If only Republicans could just once put aside political interest or the grab for the best catch phrase to use against the president, they’d be positively contributing to the political dialogue instead of trying to inflame it.