…In sum, the Obama administration has acceded to these demands by foreign sovereigns – some of which are enemies of the United States, and none of which guards the interests of the United States – that legal action imposing obligations on the American people be taken by those sovereigns not only before action is taken by the American people’s representatives but in violation of our Constitution.
I warned in March that this was where we were heading. Back then, Senator Tom Cotton was under attack by the Obama administration and the media for pointing out that the Constitution did not permit the president to impose enforceable international legal duties on the United States in the absence of congressional authorization (i.e., a treaty or laws enacted under the Constitution’s legislative procedure). Senator Cotton explained that, without congressional authorization, Obama’s deal would be a mere executive agreement which could be rescinded at any time by a future president (indeed, by Obama himself).
As I pointed out at the time, though, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif could not help himself but reveal the transnational-progressive, jihadist-friendly, anti-constitutional strategy:
According to Zarif, the deal under negotiation “will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the U.S., but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.” He hoped it would “enrich the knowledge” of the 47 senators [whos signed the Cotton Letter] to learn that “according to international law, Congress may not modify the terms of the agreement.” To do so would be “a material breach of U.S. obligations,” rendering America a global outlaw….
Clearly, Obama and the mullahs figure they can run the following stunt: We do not need another treaty approved by Congress because the United States has already ratified the U.N. charter and thus agreed to honor Security Council resolutions. We do not need new statutes because the Congress, in enacting Iran-sanctions legislation, explicitly gave the president the power to waive those sanctions. All we need is to have the Security Council issue a resolution that codifies Congress’s existing sanctions laws with Obama’s waiver. Other countries involved in the negotiations — including Germany, Russia, and China, which have increasingly lucrative trade with Iran — will then very publicly rely on the completed deal. The U.N. and its army of transnational-progressive bureaucrats and lawyers will deduce from this reliance a level of global consensus that incorporates the agreement into the hocus-pocus corpus of customary law. Maybe they’ll even get Justice Ginsburg to cite it glowingly in a Supreme Court ruling. Voila, we have a binding agreement — without any congressional input — that the United States is powerless to alter under international law.
This is the scheme that is going forward … today … at the Security Council.
At the U.N. today, the Obama administration is colluding with our enemies and other foreign sovereigns to deprive the American people – through their elected representatives – of the power to determine what obligations they will accept under international law. The Obama administration has taken the position that Russia, China, and, yes, Iran, have a vote on our national security, but we do not. And in this betrayal, Congress has, at best, been a witless aider and abettor.
Category Archives: Iran
We Interrupt Our Regular Trump Programming to Announce America’s Surrender to Iran and Global Governance
In a stunning display of moral cowardice, President Obama struck a nuclear deal with Iran that leaves four U.S. citizens, including American Pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran.
They’ve been abandoned. And for what?
The “historic” deal with Iran grants it billions of dollars in sanctions relief and new trade, a pathway to a nuclear weapon, and the privilege of being one of the only nuclear powers in the Middle East. What does it give up? Nothing. It merely agrees to do, for a time, what it is already not allowed to do.
In exchange for that epic disaster, President Obama is leaving behind four Americans. It’s diplomatic malpractice.
Pastor Saeed, whose family we at the ACLJ represent, has been wrongfully imprisoned for nearly three years because he is a Christian. He has endured beatings, torment, malnourishment, psychological abuse, and intense pain (injuries sustained from prison beatings).
Just one single hour of his more than 1,000 days in prison looks like this:
2:00 PM As prisoners, we are responsible for maintaining the ward and are each assigned chores and tasks. But even with these tasks the sheer number of us and lack of overall care for the facilities has created inhumane and unsanitary conditions. Our bathroom, which I am tasked with cleaning today, is no more than a hole in the ground. Every attempt to clean the bathroom is futile as the ceiling above leaks feces and urine from the bathroom directly above. As I clean I try to maintain perspective by humming worship songs. In this filth, I am reminded of the depth of my own filth that Jesus took for me by dying on the cross.
That’s what he endures each and every day. Yet, President Obama abandoned him.
Now that the P5+1 and Iran have inked a deal that will unleash Tehran from decades of international sanctions, the agreement has to go before the legislatures in Iran and the US. The former is a mere formality; if Supreme Leader Ali Khameini likes the deal — and there’s zero reason to believe that Iranian negotiators would have acted without his express permission — then the Iranian parliament will rubber-stamp it. That leaves Congress as the last remaining stage on which this deal must play before full implementation. Bloomberg’s Billy House sees a rocky path ahead for the deal, but will it be rocky enough to halt it?
The U.S. Congress will begin its scrutiny of the international nuclear agreement with Iran amid heavy skepticism among Republicans, many of whom said in advance that they’re prepared to reject a deal that’s weak and gives too much leeway to Tehran.
Under legislation passed in May, Congress will have 60 days for public debate and hearings by as many as eight Senate and House committees. Lawmakers then could vote on a joint resolution to approve or reject the nuclear deal, though they also may not act at all.
The Iran deal is “going to be a hard sell” in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on “Fox News Sunday.” He said President Barack Obama “knows that the resolution of disapproval is likely to be introduced, is very likely to pass and very likely to get over 60 votes.”
Of course he does. In his statement earlier today, Obama already announced that he would veto any measure of disapproval:
So I welcome a robust debate in Congress on this issue and I welcome scrutiny of the details of this agreement. But I will remind Congress that you don’t make deals like this with your friends. We negotiated arms control agreements with the Soviet Union when that nation was committed to our destruction and those agreements ultimately made us safer.
I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies. So I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.
Ahem. It’s not quite consistent to declare oneself welcoming of “a robust debate” while at the same time pledging to ignore everyone else’s advice on the subject of it. Obama isn’t welcoming a debate or scrutiny at all; he’s telling Congress to sit down and shut up. We’re used to Obama being inconsistent and hardline at home, though. We just wish he’d toughen up abroad.
The Senate rejection of the deal under Bob Corker’s bill takes 60 votes, and is almost a certainty. So is Obama’s veto, which everyone understood well enough without the reminder today. Under the Corker bill, that veto becomes subject to an override, which will take 2/3rds of both the House and the Senate. Can the Senate get 67 votes to override Obama’s attempt at legacy-building at the expense of our allies in the Middle East?
Now we know what hope and change really meant.
Somewhere Frank Marshall Davis must be smiling. Barack Obama toasted what he always wanted, the decline of the West, as our president finally rolled over and made a big nuclear deal with Iran, giving the ayatollah virtually everything he could have dreamed of, let alone needed — including control over nuclear inspections, making them meaningless — and getting nothing in return.
Among the first to respond, Senator Marco Rubio:
Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today commented on the Obama Administration’s announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran:
“I have said from the beginning of this process that I would not support a deal with Iran that allows the mullahs to retain the ability to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel, and continue their regional expansionism and support for terrorism. Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed. I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security
More from Rep. DeSantis, chairman of the Subcommittee for National Security :
This Iran deal gives Ayatollah Khamenei exactly what he wants: billions of dollars in sanctions relief, validation of the Iranian nuclear program, and the ability to stymie inspections. It even lifts sanctions against Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the campaign in Iraq. The deal will further destabilize the Middle East, allow Iran to foment more terrorism, and aid Iran’s rise as the dominant power in the region. By paving Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, the deal harms American national security and effectively stabs our close ally Israel, which Iran has threatened to wipe off the map, in the back. Congress needs to move swiftly to block this dangerous deal.
Good words all around, but not enough. Words by themselves are not going to cut it, only action and serious organizing of the apathetic American people. This is not courtly congressional business as usual. This is nothing less than the sabotage of Western civilization by itself, covered by weasel-like spin and outright prevarication. The time has come for the all the candidates, indeed the entire country, to speak out as one. This monstrosity cannot pass.
Just how badly has Barack Obama and his administration damaged relations with our allies in the Middle East? NBC’s Richard Engel reports that the Sunni nations in the region have begun to fear that the Obama administration leaks intel to Iran as part of its efforts at rapprochement with the mullahs, which is why the US got blindsided by the Saudi-led coalition’s operations in Yemen. The White House’s “incoherence” in policy, Engel reports, has most of them losing confidence in American leadership, according to Engel’s contacts (via Free Beacon):
ENGEL (1:58): I know several people in the US military who were taken by surprise by this [action in Yemen]. Senior officials who would have been expected to know that there was going to be an operation in Yemen, they didn’t. They were finding out about it almost in real time.
And they believe, and some US members of Congress believe, that the reason Saudi Arabia and other states didn’t tell the US that it was going to launch this war against Shi’ite backed, or Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen, is because Saudi Arabia and other countries simply don’t trust the United States anymore, don’t trust this administration — think the administration is working to befriend Iran to try and make a deal in Switzerland, and therefore didn’t think that the intelligence frankly would be secure.
I think that is a situation that is quite troubling for US foreign policy, where traditional allies — like Saudi Arabia, like Egypt, like the United Arab Emirates — don’t know if the US is reliable at this stage to hold onto this information when it comes to Iran.
And if by “nation” they mean “this White House,” it’s probably true. Here’s a refresher on the administration’s moral calculus these days:
Out: Standing by the only democratic Middle East ally.
In: Entering into deals with theocratic terror-sponsoring regimes that will destabilize the entire region, without the consent of the American people.
Sure, Iran’s top ally may be dropping chlorine gas on civilians, but the real problem in the Middle East is the Israel electorate. “The Price Israel Must Pay: We no longer have a Netanyahu problem. We have an Israel problem”—not a Hamas problem, or Fatah problem, not a random-criminals-shooting-folks-in-markets problem, or a lack-of-a-civil-society-in-the-Middle-East problem, but an Israel problem—writes William Saltean over at Slate. If you turn on Obama—which is the only real “problem” here—there is always a steep price.
It is true, for many Democrats this is about Israel, not any one politician. But the irrational hatred of Benjamin Netanyahu sure does propel things
Guess who is the number one violator of women’s rights in the world today? Israel. Violating the rights of Palestinian women.
At least that is the view of the UN’s top women’s rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW ends its annual meeting on Friday, March 20 by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women’s rights – Israel.
Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Where in 2014 the Assad regime starved, tortured and killed at least 24,000 civilians, and three million people – mostly women and children – are refugees….
Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified. “Adultery” is punishable by death by stoning. Women who fight back against rapists and kill their attackers are executed. The constitution bars female judges. And women must obtain the consent of their husbands to work outside the home….
The Obama administration has an answer to this dilemma. Vote against the resolutions, while paying the fees to run the bodies that adopt them. Join and legitimize the institution, while consoling the delegitimized that it feels their pain.
But the reason the president is facing such bipartisan backlash is that an overwhelming number of voters are deeply worried about the direction of the negotiations. Think about how rare, in these polarized times, mobilizing a veto-proof majority of congressional Republicans and Democrats is for any significant legislation. Yet despite all the distractions, Congress is close to achieving that goal: requiring the administration to go to Congress for approval of any deal.
The administration is so focused on process and protocol in attacking the opposition because it’s a useful distraction from how unpopular the administration’s eagerness to strike any deal with Iran has become.
Being so dismissive of public opinion is a dangerous game to play, especially when it comes to foreign policy. For all his mistakes in conducting the Iraq War, former President George W. Bush secured a bipartisan congressional authorization for declaring war against Iraq, working to rally public support in 2003 to win that approval.
Obama views that equation backward: Getting the outcome he wants, and then attacking his opponents for not going along with him. It certainly hasn’t proved to be a healthy process domestically. Now he’s trying to extend that approach to the international stage.
So how might Obama retaliate against Israel for re-electing a pro-American government?
In the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decisive re-election, the Obama administration is revisiting longtime assumptions about America’s role as a shield for Israel against international pressure.
Angered by Netanyahu’s hard-line platform towards the Palestinians, top Obama officials would not rule out the possibility of a change in American posture at the United Nations, where the U.S. has historically fended off resolutions hostile to Israel.
Nice country you have here. Shame if something were to happen to it.
At no time in history has there ever been a “Palestine.” Should there be one now? Does it makes sense for Israel to resist the foundation of a terrorist Islamic state in Judea and Samaria, the heart of Biblical Israel? One might think so.
The administration’s critique goes on and on, as you will see if you follow the link. The bottom line is that we now have, in the United States, an administration that is friendly to the Islamic extremists in Iran who consider us to be the “Great Satan,” who hang homosexuals from cranes, who torture and kill those who want democracy, who have ICBMs and eagerly seek nuclear weapons with which to attack us and our allies. All of that is fine with the Obama administration, apparently. But the administration is bitterly hostile to the only actual democracy in the Middle East–the one place in the region where women in burkas can vote.
Does this make any sense? Seemingly not. But over the next year and a half, watch for Barack Obama to try to punish Israel for electing Benjamin Netanyahu, contrary to his wishes. In the Age of Obama, logic takes a back seat to ego.
Despite this hyperventilation, the Cotton Club did not send its letter anywhere — particularly not Tehran. As I mentioned last Thursday, Cotton drafted this letter, which explained to Iran’s leaders several relevant aspects of basic American civics. “We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei,” the letter states. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen,” it continues.
Cotton got 46 other senators to sign this letter in ink. “Because it was an open letter, it was not sent to Tehran but rather posted on Senator Cotton’s website and social-media accounts,” Caroline Rabbitt, Senator Cotton’s communications director, explained to me last week. Cotton & Co. never even dropped an envelope in the mail.
The fact that Cotton and his colleagues created a letter to nowhere seems to have escaped the loudest voices in this national conversation. Had that letter been posted on the website of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, or the Washington Times, the tumbrels would not be rolling toward Capitol Hill. So, this fight largely concerns which website first carried Cotton’s letter.
As Americans debate the wisdom of this GOP gambit, it should not surprise Obama that nearly half the Senate went around him to express its views on what White House chief of staff Dennis McDonough calls a “non-binding arrangement” with Iran. (This sounds like handcuffs without locks.) After all, Obama very openly craves an accord with Iran that goes around Congress. Thus, Obama is getting precisely what he deserves, given his overbearing, anti-Constitutional lust for common cause with the ayatollahs — to the exclusion of America’s duly elected representatives. Obama is desperate for a deal with this radical-Islamic, terrorist-sponsoring, IED-detonating regime. And he wants Republicans to shut up about it.
If Obama finds this Republican medicine bitter, he should stop pouring his own acrid elixir down their throats.
Agree or disagree with that point, here is the inescapable truth: Tom Cotton and his Senate colleagues never contacted anyone in Iran. That fact alone should turn the Left’s fluttering “GOP = Treason” banner into a wet rag.