Diary

Iran, Hezbollah (and Syria) - the Administration's new BFFs

The unclassified version of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities, dated February 25, 2015 (h/t The Times of Israel) indicates that Iran and Hezbollah are no longer on the United States’ list of terror threats according to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (oxymoron alert), although they still remain on the terror threat list of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  Are you feeling any safer?

Of course, the removal of both organizations, especially Iran, just happens to coincide with the Administration’s “Let’s Make a Deal” talks with Iran.  We concede lifting of sanctions, removal from the global terror threats list, ignore/bypass Congress in favor of the UN, that noblest of organizations, and look the other way as Iran exerts its spreading influence in the region.  For a country, once known as Persia, that has existed for over a thousand years, what’s 10 years waiting for a sunset clause.  Our modern day Islamic versions of Xerxes, already have scoped out their plans for probably the next three decades, and they only need the US vacuum of leadership in the region, aided and abetted by this Administration, to put their plans in motion.

Ah, but not so fast, Mr. President.  Sen. [mc_name name=’Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001095′ ] (R-AR) with 46 of his Senate colleagues, upset your apple cart last week by notifying the Iranian leaders that the US Congress must approve all “agreements” of this magnitude.  That re-inserts the Senate back into the ballgame, along with the bipartisan legislation that [mc_name name=’Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001071′ ] (R-TN) wants introduced.  Now, Mr President is officially in a hissy fit.  From today’s Wall Street Journal, we get a sample of what’s going on:

“Mr. Corker wrote March 12 asking the President to clarify comments by Vice President Joe Biden and others that an Iran deal could “take effect without congressional approval.” He also asked about media reports that “your administration is contemplating taking an agreement, or aspects of it, to the United Nations Security Council for a vote,” while threatening to veto legislation that would require Congress to vote.

Mr. McDonough replied for the President on the weekend in a letter that can only be described as an affront to Congress’s constitutional prerogatives. The chief of staff asked Mr. Corker to further delay his bipartisan legislation that would require a Senate vote within 60 days on any Iran deal. “The legislation would potentially prevent any deal from succeeding by suggesting that Congress must vote to ‘approve’ any deal, and by removing existing sanctions waiver authorities that have already been granted to the President,” he wrote.

The larger context here is that Mr. Obama is trying to make his Iran deal a fait accomplibefore Congress has any say. His plan is to strike a deal and submit it to the U.N. Security Council for approval, hemming in Congress. He’ll then waive some Iran sanctions on his own, while arguing that anyone who opposes the deal wants war.”

But wait, there’s more!

With all the focus on Iran, just ICYMI, Secretary of State [mc_name name=’Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’K000148′ ] (also affectionately known as “Lurch”) was on Face the Nation yesterday, where we learned of his new stance on negotiating with Syria, although he forgot to tell his State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf (also affectionately known as “Valley Girl”).

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Egyptian President al-Sissi is worried his country may collapse, as he turns to the Russians for weaponry, the Saudis have struck a nuclear technology deal with South Korea, and most importantly, the Israeli election tomorrow could oust Netanyahu.  Unfortunately, the Israeli populace will learn that US/Israel relations will not be any better after Netanyahu than with him, since our President’s personal animus comes into play.

So as we continue to not negotiate with terrorists, we can only hope that our negotiator-in-chief doesn’t give us his 2015 version of Bowe Bergdahl.  All bets are off on that score.