Yesterday, President Trump did what needed to be done. He announced that the United States would cease its participation in the Iran nuclear deal. Other than pissing off a battalion of pearl-clutching diplomats and arms control weenies and German industrialists who were as happy to sell nuclear technology to Iran as they were to sell Zyklon B to…well, all comers, this should not have been a big deal. This deal was not a treaty. It did not have enough support in Congress to pass as a bill much less as a treaty. Even Democrats like Robert Menendez and Jeff Flake were against it in 2015 though they were both bitching about President Trump’s decision yesterday mostly because it was President Trump’s decision. At the time Obama signed onto this travesty, the Iranians were warned it would probably not survive his administration.
[As an interesting aside, this was how the Cotton letter was greeted n the media (see my post.)
Forty-seven Senate Republicans may have broken the law this week. But no one’s losing any sleep over it.
Pundits and legal scholars are raising questions over whether Sen. Tom Cotton and the 46 Senate Republicans violated the Logan Act when they penned a letter to Iran’s leaders on Monday, undercutting President Barack Obama’s efforts to negotiate a nuclear agreement with those same leaders. The law, passed in 1799, forbids any U.S. citizen — acting without official U.S. authority — from influencing “disputes or controversies” involving the U.S. and a foreign government.
The open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran signed by 47 senators and instigated by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was a stunning breach of protocol. One so outrageous that my former colleagues at the New York Daily News dubbed the signers “traitors.” While it is indeed a slap in the face of President Obama and an affront to the presidency, I’m not sure I would go that far, especially since Cotton is an Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. So, I turned to retired Major Gen. Paul D. Eaton for perspective. He wouldn’t say Cotton and Co. were “traitors,” either. He had a better word.
“I would use the word mutinous,” said Eaton, whose long career includes training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004. He is now a senior adviser to VoteVets.org. “I do not believe these senators were trying to sell out America. I do believe they defied the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act.” Eaton certainly had stern words for Cotton.
Not only was it not a treaty, the State Department said that it was not an executive agreement, either. According to Obama’s State Department, this was a “political understanding” between Barack Obama and the other parties to the agreement and was not legally binding.
All that is under the bridge, and we’re out. Now the line of attack is “what’s next?”
Pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal is a big mistake. It makes America less safe and less trusted. Iran is now more dangerous. What's plan B? Anyone who thinks bombing is the answer is woefully misinformed.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 9, 2018
Decision to withdraw from #IranDeal will undermine our national security, increase prospect of a nuclear Iran or a conflict with them, and cause the world to conclude America doesn't keep its word. Scuttling the deal without a Plan B is not a strategy, but a dangerous abdication: pic.twitter.com/QMzc9z1z2J
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 8, 2018
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) May 9, 2018
Trump just exited the Iran nuclear deal with no Plan B, manufacturing a crisis to appeal to his base.
He and all his outside enablers now own the consequences.
But as the risk of war goes up, I fear it will be our men & women in uniform who will ultimately pay the price. 1/3
— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) May 8, 2018
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) May 9, 2018
Can't be overstated that Trump's Iran deal decision faced little resistance in his Cabinet despite big backlash in Europe and no Plan B. Trump's previous natsec team brawled over Iran deal in October when Tillerson and McMaster were around. Their firing sent a clear signal
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) May 9, 2018
There is obviously, totally no coordination of themes here.
This is nonsense from two perspectives.
Suppose you are in a physically abusive relationship with the attorney general of New York, hypothetically speaking, and you decide to get out of it. What if your house is on fire? Do you need a “Plan B?” No. Because “Plan A,” getting out, is what you need to fix the immediate problem.
One of my favorite talking points from #Iran boosters and deal supporters is “there’s no Plan B.” That’s like, “what are you going to do AFTER you fix the broken leg? Why would you fix it if you can’t tell me what comes next?” Even if there wasn’t a plan, you still fix the leg.
— Matthew RJ Brodsky (@RJBrodsky) May 9, 2018
And, factually, there is a Plan B. Yesterday, the Trump Administration released NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM/NSPM-11. the title is “Ceasing United States Participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and Taking Additional Action to Counter Iran’s Malign Influence and Deny Iran All Paths to a Nuclear Weapon.” It sketches out a fairly comprehensive plan for what we will do in absence of the JCPOA.
In FOX interview, Newly confirmed US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell calls on German businesses to cease trade with Iran. “Iran is a "state-sponsor of terrorism, they spend billions of dollars to spread terrorism around the world.”https://t.co/pjor6g6fxX pic.twitter.com/fV7jAiODq5
— Act for Israel (@ActForIsrael) May 8, 2018
On @CBSThisMorning, former CIA Dep Dir Mike Morell says Plan B for Admin is to put enough pressure on Iran to bring it back to the negotiating table in pursuit of "a better deal," but calls it "very risky" whether it happens. pic.twitter.com/Ps000OR21o
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 9, 2018
This is all a smokescreen blown by the anti-American left who thinks any means of constraining American power and influence is laudable. If that includes enabling a state sponsor of terrorism to obtain nukes, well, so be it.
No one knows how this will play out, but, even if we are acting like the battered husband fleeing the house he is paying the mortgage on with no plan, sometimes getting out of a terrible situation gives you time to think about what to do next.
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