I am not very good at predicting political events, and I did not expect Senator Chuck Schumer to announce his opposition to the Iran deal before the August recess. After all, he’s in line to become the Democrats’ leader in the Senate, very important for a professional pol. That happy thought is now very much in jeopardy as he is targeted by the White House and the left wing – that is to say the majority – of the Democrat Party.
He certainly knew that he would be viciously attacked; the left, and not only in the United States, has pretty much given up trying to win rational arguments. The old pseudo-Marxist remedies having failed long since, their “politics” consist primarily of attempts at the personal destruction of their opponents and enemies. Schumer will now bear the full brunt of his party’s rage. It has already cost him money, no small matter.
In my world, anyone willing to pay a steep price for his actions isn’t cunning, but brave.
So I think that Schumer’s action is one of those profiles in courage that John F. Kennedy wrote about in his famous book. I am not at all convinced by the various conspiracy theories that are floating around, the cleverest of which is the suspicion that Schumer knows that the deal will survive, even if it goes back to Congress after an Obama veto, and so he is free to cater to the sentiments of his (Jewish) base. Such theories are too clever for me. Among other problems, I doubt that the bulk of his supporters are opposed to the deal, and there is certainly no mass uprising against it from the American Jewish community (although, in another surprise, the liberal American Jewish Committee has also come out against it). So the would-be premise is false.
As a matter of fact, it is much more difficult – at least for me – to account for those who are supporting the Grand Bargain with Iran. By now, anybody who cares to know is aware that the deal is a bad one, and indeed it is probably worse than we know because the administration is withholding information about it from Congress and the public. Moreover, just as Kissinger and Schultz predicted, the deal, far from lessening the risk of nuclear war, is provoking other countries to pursue nuclear options. I am quite surprised, for example, at the considerable number of intelligent and well-informed people who privately say that Saudi Arabia has already obtained nuclear weapons.
But even aside from nuclear proliferation and Iran’s continued rejection of serious investigation of their known and suspected nuclear facilities, the whole issue boils down to a simple, straightforward question: do we really want to pay Iran to kill Americans?
Just in case you missed it, I’ll ask you again: do we really want to pay Iran to kill Americans? Because that’s what the deal does. It provides tens of billions of dollars to a regime that declared war on the United States in 1979 and has waged war against us ever since. We are not talking about ancient history here; we’re talking about yesterday, when we caught the Iranians sponsoring a terrorist attack in downtown Washington, D.C., and another at JFK Airport in New York City, and yet another aimed at passenger trains between Canada and the United States.
If we had an administration that was serious about advancing the American national interest, we would not be paying our leading enemies to kill us. We would be making them pay for daring to challenge us.
How? Above all, by supporting the tens of millions of Iranians who hate the regime and want to play a role in the free Western world rather than pursuing ever more power inside the Islamic realm. If that is to off-putting for you, then how about taking legitimate revenge against our killers, starting with the infamous General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Iranian Foreign Legion known as the Quds Force, who has overseen the war against us on a global basis. He is not a man who hides in his tent; he flies all around the Middle East, meeting with military and political leaders, and even, in defiance of existing sanctions, goes to Moscow to conspire with his partners in mayhem.
Here and there, some of our political leaders are beginning to use such language. It’s all to the good. I don’t believe that the Obama administration will ever do anything to annoy supreme leader Ali Khamenei, but you don’t have to be a weatherman to know that things are changing.