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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » "Republicans Warn Iran -- and Obama -- That Deal Won't Last" (Page 1)

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Author Topic: "Republicans Warn Iran -- and Obama -- That Deal Won't Last"
philnotfil
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How is this in any way acceptable? Dealing with other countries is the responsibility of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. Actively undermining the work of the executive branch? That moves dangerously close to treason. No matter how much we disagree with him, Obama is still the president.

bloombergview.com

quote:

A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran's leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama's administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.

Organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton and signed by the chamber's entire party leadership as well as potential 2016 presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process.

quote:
Many inside the Republican caucus, however, hope that by pointing out the long-term fragility of a deal with no congressional approval -- something Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also noted -- the Iranian regime might be convinced to think twice. "Iran's ayatollahs need to know before agreeing to any nuclear deal that … any unilateral executive agreement is one they accept at their own peril,” Cotton told me.
Congress ratifies treaties. The president negotiates them. We can't just pick and choose which parts of the constitution to live by.

[ March 09, 2015, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: philnotfil ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
How is this in any way acceptable?
It's not. But Republicans seem determined to stomp all over any illusion of basic federal functionality.

[ March 09, 2015, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Fenring
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Unless something else is happening of which we're unaware?
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Unless something else is happening of which we're unaware?

If there was something else happening that would necessitate the legislative stepping over the executive, wouldn't it also necessitate impeachment?
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Seneca
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quote:
How is this in any way acceptable? Dealing with other countries is the responsibility of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. Actively undermining the work of the executive branch? That moves dangerously close to treason. No matter how much we disagree with him, Obama is still the president.
Crafting new immigration law is the responsibility of the legislative branch, but that didn't stop Obama did it? It's not even in dispute that was he is doing is wrong, there are videos of himself saying he can't do what he is doing. He just doing it because the GOP doesn't have 2/3 of the Senate.

They are dealing with a lawless President who is now negotiating with a terrorist regime that has slaughtered America and her allies. Imagine how the democrats might react if Bush started negotiating with Osama bin Laden.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
there are videos of himself saying he can't do what he is doing
*sigh* You're just going to keep shamelessly misrepresenting this, aren't you? Do you even know that's what you're doing, or have you completely internalized this falsehood through repetition despite repeatedly being contradicted by fact on this point?
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Seneca
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Obama's own former cabinet members are getting on TV and also admitting he is doing what he said he couldn't do before.
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Greg Davidson
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Are there any tactics employed against Obama that republicans will deem inappropriate when used by a democratic congress against a republican president?
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Wayward Son
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Are there any that wouldn't be? [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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" Dealing with other countries is the responsibility of the executive branch, not the legislative branch"

Wrong. Read Article One. The Senate shares that responsibility.

if you want to see a case of undermining negotiations, look at Bill Clinton before he became President.

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TomDavidson
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I actually think Reagan provided the textbook example. With Iran, even.
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philnotfil
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According to the constitution, the legislative branch deals with foreign countries in the following ways:
quote:
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
quote:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?
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NobleHunter
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I didn't realize it was news that Republicans had no intention of sticking to commitments made by previous administrations or congresses.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Are there any tactics employed against Obama that republicans will deem inappropriate when used by a democratic congress against a republican president?

If you can find a Republican President who engages in such blatant Constitutional overreach, I'll back calling him to account myself. Of course, a Republican President would have been impeached or forced to resign over the same amount of reckless overreach.

That said, our system is broken. We clearly don't have a remedy for the collusion of a President who acts unconstitutionally and the party first loyalty of a minority of US Senators who refuse to do their duty to Congress and the American people to rein him in. This precedent the Democrats are setting really should scare you.

It is not a good system to have an executive that believes any action that they take, unless someone can stop them, must in be legal and proper.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?

quote:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
You missed the definition of the President's authority including limitations thereon.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Are there any tactics employed against Obama that republicans will deem inappropriate when used by a democratic congress against a republican president?

If you can find a Republican President who engages in such blatant Constitutional overreach, I'll back calling him to account myself. Of course, a Republican President would have been impeached or forced to resign over the same amount of reckless overreach.
Because Patriot Act, CIA torture, and NSA mass surveillance were so constitutional.


quote:
It is not a good system to have an executive that believes any action that they take, unless someone can stop them, must in be legal and proper.
True, although city governments do exactly the same thing, as does more or less anyone who is not forced to stop by someone more powerful.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?

quote:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
You missed the definition of the President's authority including limitations thereon.

That is from Article Two, Pete directed me to examine Article One.

The Senate can advise the president, and any treaty made by the president has to be ratified by the Senate, but I don't see anything there that involves the Senate stepping into treaty negotiations.

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Greg Davidson
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Seriati, how about when Cheney deared that the vice presidency was a fourth branch of government. How does that compare to what Obama has done? Or when Nixon imposed wage and price controls? Or Truman nationalized the steel industry?
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Because Patriot Act,

Which is a law passed by Congress is it not? Not a executive action at all. But even still, there are some elements, which are agree are unconstitutional, even more that are a bad idea, and some parts that make sense.
quote:
CIA torture,
Don't think I've ever called for anything but criminal charges on this one, and disputed it both as a policy and the rationales behind it. Same as I disputed the pre-emptive war doctrine of the past administration, and the executive war powers overreach of this one.
quote:
and NSA mass surveillance were so constitutional.
I'm on record all over the place opposing the NSA surveillance. On record stating its unconstitutional as well.
quote:
quote:
It is not a good system to have an executive that believes any action that they take, unless someone can stop them, must in be legal and proper.
True, although city governments do exactly the same thing, as does more or less anyone who is not forced to stop by someone more powerful.
I'm aware of the tactic at the city level. They use the disproportion between their ability to make rules (essentially free) and every one else's to get them removed (years of expensive litigation if you're lucky, and then they just reissue the rule with a tiny modification).

It's a fundamental flaw of our government, that the framers built in on a belief that the citizen's that followed them would honestly try to act within the bounds of the Constitution so they didn't put in reasonable tools to force them to do so.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I actually think Reagan provided the textbook example. With Iran, even.

Or Nixon with Saigon.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Seriati, how about when Cheney deared that the vice presidency was a fourth branch of government.

Don't know what "deared" means? Declared? I certainly don't remember such a declaration. I know he's somekind of boogey man for the left, but I don't really recall him actually overstepping his authority in any context.
quote:
How does that compare to what Obama has done?
How can any action of the Vice President compare to an act of the President? And why is it relevant here?
quote:
Or when Nixon imposed wage and price controls?
Under a law that authorized him to do exactly that? Congress delegates the implementation of all kinds of things to the executive branch and its agencies, is that even up for debate?
quote:
Or Truman nationalized the steel industry?
Didn't the court put a halt to that swiftly by ruling he didn't have authority? Not sure what your point is on that. I wouldn't agree that the President has that authority.

I don't get your beef. What rule is the Senate violating here? Other than custom? And the President has shattered custom on his own part by the degree he refuses to invite their participation or even consult with them, even knowing he'd have to get their support of a treaty.

Instead, what we can expect him to do is to negotiate a treaty and call it something other than a treaty and assert he can enforce it. Which again is an unconstitutional act beyond his authority.

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Seneca
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Something interesting that several news sources have pointed out. John Kerry, our secretary of state, has registered lots of outrage over this letter and claims it is unprecedented.

Apparently Mr. Kerry seems to forget that when he was a Senator, he purposefully traveled to Nicaragua to negotiate with the despotic regime there and undercut President Reagan's foreign policy in direct contravention to what Reagan was doing and trying to accomplish. If anyone is guilty of treason and/or violating the Logan Act it would be Secretary Kerry, not these 47 republicans who merely wrote a letter stating their belief about their constitutional powers.

What utter hypocrisy. Same goes for the idiot dem legislators who went to Baghdad in 2002 before the Iraq invasion and did the same thing with Saddam. Why isn't 'Baghdad' Jim McDermott in jail?

[ March 12, 2015, 01:39 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If anyone is guilty of treason and/or violating the Logan Act it would be Secretary Kerry, not these 47 republicans...
I don't see why both aren't possible.
But, hey, let's briefly move past the "your side did it, too!" equivalences, Seneca, and get your opinion on the act. Is it a good thing, in your view, that this letter was sent? Should Congresspeople be deliberately undermining the President's foreign policy if they believe that foreign policy is misguided, or is that a selfish and potentially dangerous approach to internal politics? I'm curious how you feel about this when painted in broader strokes.

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Seneca
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The suggestion that they are equivalent is insane.

One was a letter simply describing the Senate's Constitutional role in ratifying treaties.

The other was Kerry physically traveling to a foreign country to attempt to negotiate a separate, specific arrangement with a hostile foreign leader that the Reagan administration was dealing with at the time. Only one is a clear violation of the Logan Act, and that was Kerry's action.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I actually think Reagan provided the textbook example. With Iran, even.

absolutely agreed, Tom. and in past discussions when republicans gripe about obama or clinton violating separation of powers, that's the example i bring up. when dems gripe about Republicans doing it, i bring up Clinton. you see, I have this queer notion that it's bad to violate the Constitution regardless of what party you are.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
The suggestion that they are equivalent is insane.
Insane? Really? You don't find that a little hyperbolic? [Smile]
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Seneca
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This is clearly different from sending a letter explaining the Senate's role in making treaties.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7WtIaVMrXs

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?

quote:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
You missed the definition of the President's authority including limitations thereon.

That is from Article Two, Pete directed me to examine Article One.
You are correct that the one treaty item that you all just cited from Article Two is even more on point from any one item from Article One, nevertheless the following Article One items are also on point:

Article One Section 8 items on point:
* To regulate commerce with foreign nations
This obviously impacts our relations with Iran.

* To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
The Law of Nations clause involves Congress' power to recognize (and enact) international law. There was a huge outrage in 18th Century Europe that the constitution gave Congress this power, rather than giving Judges the power to recognize laws of the international community directly, as Justice Kennedy pretends to have.

* To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

The latter "war powers" clause, taken on point, provides the power to create a full dial-up range of war powers that may run all the way up to [but not necessarily] declaring war. For example, Congress has used the captures subclause to confiscate Iran's property, without ever declaration of war on Iran. The letters of Marque and Reprisal subclause even allows congress to license private parties to wage war on America's behalf against a congress-designated enemy (with or without a declaration of war!). While it may be shocking that the founding fathers that the constitution specifically allows the Congress to license state-sponsored terrorism, fact is that the practice was openly and unabashedly practiced by most countries and by the Union until Lincoln personally abandoned it. (The Confederacy DID use such measures unilaterally; indeed, the famous "CSS Alamama" was a private enterprise entirely crewed by Europeans. Only the Captain was American, and only it's letter of Marque made its operation arguably legitimate privateering rather than piracy.)

All of the clauses that I cited, plus the Article Two item, absolutely establish Congress' power to discuss matters with foreign powers and leaders. This is even more obvious than the fact that Article Two's Veto power give the president an arguable role to propose legislation for Congress' consideration. It's pure Chutzpah for a president whose administration authors legislation to propose to Congress, to turn around and moan when Congress publicly expresses its views on foreign relations. Clue to Obama: Congress has more of an explicitly constitutional role with foreign relations, than the President has in leading the legislative process.

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Seneca
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The embargoes and sanctions on Iran are parts of commerce, Obama attempting to remove them unilaterally or through the UN is a violation of our Constitution.
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Pete at Home
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Correct. EmEmbargoes and sanctions fall under article one commerce, Unless they are enacted as part of t multinational treaty.
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Adam Masterman
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I'm rather surprised that more people aren't discussing the elephant in the room, namely that the GOP letter glaringly misunderstands what is happening in the Iranian negotiations, particularly their own irrelevancy.

The U.S. has had basically no trade with Iran since Jimmy Carter, and this was made even stricter under Clinton (two democrats, cue the irony). So, for example, when "we" started slapping sanctions on Iran in 2006, it wasn't actually "we" Americans. We can't really do less than zero business with them. Rather, the sanctions come when we convince everyone else to stop. More specifically, China and Russia, but also Europe, India, Indonesia, Brazil. Basically, we have to get all the big money in the world to agree to starve the Iranian economy.

That's it. That's our stick. And when Obama negotiates as the head of this coalition, its his role as the American head of state that lets him broker agreements. His actual constitutional powers are more or less irrelevant, because its not a change in American practices or policies that we are talking about. Senator Cotton can recite the Constitution all he wants; its unlikely to have much impact on the trade policies of the PRC.

What these nutcase *could* do is re-issue any sanctions that we might lift as part of the deal (assuming they actually take the white house). However, we play almost no role in Iranian economy. Its no punishment if they lose a single trading partner with whom they have zero bilateral connections.

Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)

In any case, I'm finding it rather sad that the U.S. has gotten all worked up in a tizzy because some senators copied and pasted from a middle school government textbook, while the Iranians, of all people, actually understood what was going on. Maybe they should offer a seminar or something; it couldn't hurt to have the majority party in congress be a little better informed.

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Seneca
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quote:
Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)
To suggest that the Iranians ever had any intention of honoring any deal which leaves them without nukes is laughable. Who seriously believes that? They have lied over and over for decades. They are already a signatory to the NPT but are in violation. How can you possibly take them seriously considering that and their other lies? How can you take them seriously when they sponsor terrorism throughout the world?

On a related and sickening note, the Obama administration has airbrushed Iran from the Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment for 2015. Despite having entire subsections dedicated to the attacks that Iran and its terror networks including Hezbollah and other actors performed in 2014 and pretty much most years prior going back for decades, they are notoriously absent from the 2015 report. Did Iran and its puppets suddenly stop committing acts of terror? No.
What this shows is that Obama is literally ignoring dangers to the American people all because he wants to play politics and "get back" at those republicans who decided they don't want to let him help Iran get nukes.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)
To suggest that the Iranians ever had any intention of honoring any deal which leaves them without nukes is laughable. Who seriously believes that? They have lied over and over for decades. They are already a signatory to the NPT but are in violation. How can you possibly take them seriously considering that and their other lies? How can you take them seriously when they sponsor terrorism throughout the world?

Because you haven't written anything here that isn't true of the U.S., or any other nation of consequence. They will follow an agreement that is in their interest, so long as it is in their interest to do so (that's also true of the U.S., historically and as a matter of basic logic). The mindless rejection of these deals is stupid; we are made safer by having access to Iran's nuclear sites, and the ability to know if they decide to escalate. ANY increased access makes us safer, a fact that seems lost on the crowd that won't accept anything but the illusion of guaranteed security through total war with Iran (a cowardly position).

Iran, in return, almost certainly wants nuclear weapons. All else being equal, all nations want more power and security. But Iran also wants an end to sanctions, and the ability to fully profit from their oil. If we can get the ability to better verify the degree of their compliance with NPTs, then its worth it to phase out sanctions. The whole "no deal is better than [an imperfect] one" rationale is obtuse: no deal is the surest path to an Iranian bomb.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
I'm rather surprised that more people aren't discussing the elephant in the room, namely that the GOP letter glaringly misunderstands what is happening in the Iranian negotiations, particularly their own irrelevancy.

The U.S. has had basically no trade with Iran since Jimmy Carter, and this was made even stricter under Clinton (two democrats, cue the irony). So, for example, when "we" started slapping sanctions on Iran in 2006, it wasn't actually "we" Americans. We can't really do less than zero business with them. Rather, the sanctions come when we convince everyone else to stop. More specifically, China and Russia, but also Europe, India, Indonesia, Brazil. Basically, we have to get all the big money in the world to agree to starve the Iranian economy.

That's it. That's our stick. And when Obama negotiates as the head of this coalition, its his role as the American head of state that lets him broker agreements. His actual constitutional powers are more or less irrelevant, because its not a change in American practices or policies that we are talking about......

Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligation.

Obama's constitutional power is relevant to whether the Senate's actions are constitutional.to the extent thatare sanctions against Iran are tied up in international treaties, descended has legitimate constitutional involvement.

however, the issue of whether the SSenate should ould be involved, is a separate question for whether to send it is using its constitutional powers and an intelligent strategic way.and I believe that Adam has made a legitimate argument that the Senate's actions are in fact stupid and dangerous. does anyone have a viable counter argument? I don't. at least not yet. adam has given me something to think about

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noel c.
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"I believe that Adam has made a legitimate argument that the Senate's actions are in fact stupid and dangerous. does anyone have a viable counter argument? "...

Yes, do you trust this idiot to negotiate?

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/kerry-congress-change-iran-nuclear-deal-29555760

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)
To suggest that the Iranians ever had any intention of honoring any deal which leaves them without nukes is laughable. Who seriously believes that? They have lied over and over for decades. They are already a signatory to the NPT but are in violation. How can you possibly take them seriously considering that and their other lies? How can you take them seriously when they sponsor terrorism throughout the world?

Because you haven't written anything here that isn't true of the U.S., or any other nation of consequence. They will follow an agreement that is in their interest, so long as it is in their interest to do so (that's also true of the U.S., historically and as a matter of basic logic). The mindless rejection of these deals is stupid; we are made safer by having access to Iran's nuclear sites, and the ability to know if they decide to escalate. ANY increased access makes us safer, a fact that seems lost on the crowd that won't accept anything but the illusion of guaranteed security through total war with Iran (a cowardly position).

Iran, in return, almost certainly wants nuclear weapons. All else being equal, all nations want more power and security. But Iran also wants an end to sanctions, and the ability to fully profit from their oil. If we can get the ability to better verify the degree of their compliance with NPTs, then its worth it to phase out sanctions. The whole "no deal is better than [an imperfect] one" rationale is obtuse: no deal is the surest path to an Iranian bomb.

The idea that if we made some kind of a deal that we would have access to ALL their sites and know everything they were doing is funny. There might be one or two "show" sites we'd have access to but a dissident group has already found a secret site they didn't disclose and pretended didn't exist.

We cannot allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. They are a state sponsor of terrorism. Hezbollah would be covered by a nuclear umbrella, who wants that? The other ME states would also demand the right to get nukes. Obama is creating a nuclear arms race among some very nasty regimes.

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Greg Davidson
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If Hezbollah would be covered by a nuclear umbrella if Iran gets nuclear weapons, why wasn't the Taliban and Al Qaeda protected by a nuclear umbrella since Pakistan had nuclear weapons? Are you arguing that Hezbollah's links into the Iranian government are that much stronger than the links of either the Taliban or Al Qaeda into the Pakistani government?
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Seneca
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quote:
Are you arguing that Hezbollah's links into the Iranian government are that much stronger than the links of either the Taliban or Al Qaeda into the Pakistani government?
Yes. Anyone who doubts that for a second can remember this then perish any niggling suspicions.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/16/world/asia/ap-as-pakistan.html?_r=0

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noel c.
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Adam,

As a representative liberal, why does this red herring continually show up in pro-barry policy arguments? :

"ANY increased access makes us safer, a fact that seems lost on the crowd that won't accept anything but the illusion of guaranteed security through total war with Iran (a cowardly position)."

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Seneca
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Such "increased access" makes us less safe because it is the illusion of safety/security/knowledge in the face of Iran's obvious deception. They are known liars and are religiously committed to our destruction.

How do you reason with a theocrat?

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