Archive from December, 2013
17 Dec
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Do They Not Learn from Each Other’s Mistakes?

Obamacare is a nightmare at home, but don’t worry, it is just as bad overseas for President Obama. News from the past several weeks has consistently shown that the foreign policy of the current administration is leaving the U.S. in a weakened position – and heading to a more dangerous future. Despite Team Obama crowing about a new way forward in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani was quick to point out that the Geneva deal recognized Tehran’s “right” to maintain an enrichment program and that “this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement” that Iran’s “enrichment activities will continue as before.”

This is not monkey business – the Iranians are working to develop the technology necessary for launching missiles that would be capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the world. That is a powerful tool in the hands of the new Iranian President, a man who claimed that Israel is an “old wound” that needed to be “removed” from the Middle East. But, just like the debates surrounding the debt ceiling, we have kicked the can down the road. The 6-month deal gives Iran a clear timeline to hit the pause button, clean up the mess, and wait us out. All the while we will have paid them to do so through the easing of sanctions. Obama’s deal has allowed Iran to keep its ability to enrich uranium and, ultimately, to create a nuclear weapon. Perhaps the administration’s negotiators did not realize that they were giving so much away. Channeling their inner Pelosi, they actually had to agree on this deal before they could know what was in it. That seems like the most likely scenario as a spat between White House representatives and the Iranian government on differing interpretations of the agreement spewed forth just days after it passed. This is not surprising as it falls right in line with the Obama administration’s “leading from behind” foreign policy.

Unfortunately, it is not just this Democratic administration that seems to act before it thinks. We have several cases where past administrations cleared the path for dangerous enemies to acquire the world’s most destructive weapons.  The Guardian recently reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency has observed activity at one of North Korea’s nuclear sites consistent with restarting a reactor. The agency observed this behavior by studying satellite images of the complex, a complex which The Guardian states “is capable of producing plutonium for bombs.” But, the agency has no access to the site despite a 1994 agreement negotiated by Bill Clinton, where – you guessed it – the North Koreans agreed to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for money. That money was then siphoned off to fund their continued, clandestine nuclear program that resulted in their first nuclear test in 2006. Experts believe that North Korea already has enough nuclear material to build 10 bombs. Prior to Clinton, Jimmy Carter wondered how to act in the face of Soviet aggression, while the Indian subcontinent was arming itself to the teeth. So, his solution was to do nothing. Pakistan refused to join Carter’s non-proliferation program, and the prolonged discussions around their intentions bought time for that unstable state to ultimately develop its own bomb.  We are two for two with Carter and Clinton, and, unfortunately, Obama looks to be making it three for three.

What can you do? A couple of days ago, Democrats decided not to pursue a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have enacted stronger sanctions on Iran. That effort was being led by Republican Senator Robert Kirk of Illinois and Democrat Senator Robert Mendez of New Jersey. Please contact Senator Mendez’s office and let him know that you agree with his statement on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that he should not buckle to pressure from the White House or from Foggy Bottom on pursuing these important and necessary sanctions.  Below is a template that you can use to submit your comment:

“The Iranian government is a dangerous regime and a state supporter of terrorism. Do not kick the can down the road. President Obama’s deal gives Iran a clear timeline to hit the pause button, clean up the mess, and wait us out. Do you really believe that they will not clandestinely pursue the bomb? 

I agree with your statement of November 21 on Iranian sanctions. Please do not buckle to pressure from the White House or from Foggy Bottom – our security is at risk and we need your leadership.”

Let’s not make this three for three.