Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, of the U.S. Constitution specifically gives the president the right to pursue international diplomacy as a power of his office. That right also comes with the understanding that Congress may or may not be part of the negotiations—depending on the matters at hand. International Treaties are entered into and enforced only after the Senate has been consulted and two-thirds have agreed to its provisions; Executive Agreements, on the other hand, do not require such advice and consent. In addition, Executive Agreements generally entail insignificant matters, matters that follow precedent, or matters in which time is of the essence and an Executive Agreement is simply more practical. It should come as no surprise then that in his dealings with Iran President Obama is pursuing an Executive Agreement and purposely taking the framers’ meanings well beyond their intent. After all, Iran’s nuclear program with Iran is hardly insignificant, but crafty Mr. Obama won’t need Senate involvement or approval.
An aside: avoiding the use of the word “Treaty” is rather Clintonesque since it reminds us of former President Clinton’s statement, It all depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.
But wait. The situation becomes even more unbelievable as Mr. Obama has also floated the idea of taking his case to the United Nations. Essentially, it’s a bit of thuggery. It would appear that Mr. Obama seeks to push the Senate’s hand by saying in effect, if you don’t vote for this, the United Nations’ Security Council will. And surely the P5+1 would affirm his agreement.
During the President’s Rose Garden press conference last week, we were told that the US and Iran are on the verge of coming to an historic agreement, which means we don’t have an agreement yet, but we might be close to reaching one. Secretary of State Kerry then parroted what Mr. Obama said only to have Iranian officials take to the airwaves and social media to say that Messrs. Obama and Kerry had misled the American people and the people of Iran. In other words, their “historic agreement” is only at the wishing stage at the moment and Iran indicated it had not foregone its nuclear development program nor did it intend to do so. I would say that was a pretty clear statement of Iran’s position and, if it is true, the only historic thing about the agreement is just how ineffectual and worthless it is.
There is likely only one reason why Iran would deny that any agreement is close to being settled and that would be money. The USA has agreed to relinquish all sanctions over time as the U.N. announces compliance, thus easing the economic effects on Iran. But that does not satisfy the issue of upfront money and on-going payments in the way of assistance to Iran as it mockingly takes on the challenge of compliance. Yeah, right. Once again, we have another case of taxpayer dollars being used to feather the nest and guarantee the legacy of a high official. To run for president—awesome; to be elected president—amazing; to purchase a future legacy on the backs of American taxpayers and the future security of the nation—priceless!
Based on its track record, I assume the Obama Administration is not going to pursue any military action against Iran should it not abide by the terms of the agreement. President Obama has declared that the world does not work that way anymore. Thus, all we and other nations have as leverage are the economic sanctions which have been in place since the 1980’s. Lately, those sanctions seem to be causing some agitation between the people of Iran and their government. Remarkably, we now have a president who is unwilling to use those sanctions and Iranian unrest to his advantage, but would rather turn the entire matter over to the United Nations to uphold and enforce.
If Iran continues on the current path, it will possess nuclear weapons in the not-too-distant future. Those weapons may not yet be capable of reaching the US, but they constitute an immediate threat to Israel. Iran has made no secret of its hatred of Israel, thus attempting to wipe that tiny nation off the map would become an eventuality. Such a reality is all the more probable given the state of relations between the Obama Administration and Israel.
If we can believe what Iranian officials have stated regarding Obama’s claim of a historic agreement, then we have to ask why the US is at the table seeking an agreement at all. Well, the party line is that an agreement curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions is good for the American people and the Middle East. A more accurate answer—and far more truthful one— is that it will enhance the legacies of Barack Obama and John Kerry—to hell with the American people, the Iranian people, or the people of Israel for that matter. The key word here is legacy. Legacy is what gives rise to the use of the adjective “historic” when Obama describes a potential agreement with Iran. Legacy is the driving motivation for both Obama and Kerry and both are in full harmony that such an agreement will be secured no matter the price to the US and its allies.
Here Obama stands to gain a triple win if he can push forward without the Senate. First, he potentially adds to his legacy in history; second, he successfully trumps the Constitution without opposition; and third, he opens the door for future involvement of the United Nations in US affairs—a huge step toward our transformation into a bit player in the global community. The danger of the third win cannot be overstated: it bodes ill for the US while, at the same time, does little or nothing to ameliorate the actions of Iran.
Obama is betting that he can paint the Senate as unwilling to help him achieve a deal with Iran, and convince the American people that his efforts are sincere and in their best interest. All the while, however, his real concern is his legacy and undermining the Constitution—a necessary part of his agenda. Be afraid, America, be very, very afraid—bad, bad things are afoot here.
©Copyright WBrown2015. All Rights Reserved.