He folded like an accordion.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) has chosen base political expediency over basic common sense in his unfortunate decision to oppose President Obama’s support of the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
Bowing to enormous pressure from The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the country’s most influential pro-Israeli lobby, Schumer has turned his back on a multi-national accord reached after years of strenuous negotiations. In doing so, Schumer presents a perilous profile lacking courage and simultaneously jeopardizes his chances of replacing retiring Harry Reid as Democratic leader in the Senate.
With a Congressional vote on the agreement still weeks away, here’s how it looks right now.
For approval – Virtually the entire free world, our negotiating partners Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia; President Obama, most Democrats, dozens of retired top-tier military leaders in both the United States and Israel, Gulf Arab states, The United Nations Security Council (by a vote of 15-0) - and retired Navy Rear Admiral Harold L. Robinson, who chairs the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces. In supporting the agreement Robinson states,
“As a lifelong Zionist devoted to Israel, a retired general officer and a rabbi for over 40 years operating without institutional encumbrances, I have a unique perspective.”
Against the pact – Almost all Republicans, Benjamin Netanyahu, hard-liners in Israel, weapons manufacturers, Chuck Schumer and a handful of embarrassingly intimidated Democrats.
By no stretch of the imagination does this represent a perfect pact. There is nothing that can’t be “better.” But arguments in opposition seem intrinsically illogical and emotionally charged far past any perspective that open, measured, honest discourse should allow.
In my mind there is no question the long established historic ties that firmly bind Israel and the United States to each other are inviolable and irrevocable for any number of reasons. We are and will be friends forever.
It is in our mutual national interest that Iran not be allowed nuclear weaponry under any circumstances and that its population, exploding with millions of youth, eventually attains a level of freedom impossible under the suffocating, oppressive reign of radical Islamic fundamentalism.
The 10-year timeframe cited in the agreement’s final draft does not mean that Iran will be allowed to proceed unencumbered toward nuclear military capability at its conclusion. It does provide a decade-long respite, allowing an extended period during which further, more specific, lasting remedies may be thoroughly discussed and hopefully attained.
Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, a stand-alone group sponsored by AIPAC, may wind up spending more than $40 million in a massive public relations campaign against the agreement, including thousands of TV ads in major markets. Additionally, a volatile payback campaign against members of Congress who vote for the measure has been threatened.
Ironically, while I agree wholeheartedly with the goal intended, I remain firmly convinced that rejection would engender exactly the opposite effect and play directly into the hands of antagonistic Ayatollahs.
As far as Senator Schumer is concerned, his well-earned popularity among fellow Senate members may well override suffering any permanent damage after opposing his party and his President on this issue, particularly since the decision is so nauseatingly pragmatic. It’s old school politics at low tide on the Potomac.
But perhaps way down the road, Schumer might be replaced in office by someone younger, brighter and much more in touch with the times. Like - cousin Amy.
Turning down the Iran Agreement would be yielding to unreasonable fear, abandoning genuine hope and unilaterally deserting our allies - leaving us alone in the world.
An ultimate train wreck.