Ben Carson .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
With every passing day, opposition mounts against the woeful nuclear deal negotiated by the administration with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism—the Islamic Republic of Iran. The White House is making a full court press to muster support for a bargain it sees as a key legacy issue for the president, but which serious Middle East scholars, military officials, legislators, diplomats, nonproliferation experts and a wide range of others view as a dangerous gamble that poses a serious threat to American national security.
The deal will enable $150 billion to flow into the coffers of a rogue regime that systematically abuses the human rights of its own citizens, foments violence in the Middle East, funds terrorist proxies who have killed hundreds of American soldiers and whose leaders decry the United States as the “Great Satan” and lead mass rallies featuring chants of “Death to America.” And let’s not forget the American hostages who continue to suffer in captivity just as they did while talks proceeded apace and concluded with handshakes and smiles.
Viewed on its own merits, the deal is an abject failure that will leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state in just 10 years. The deal seeks to quickly roll back layers of sanctions that took decades to assemble and to dismantle a much-needed arms embargo on Tehran, thereby allowing the Iranians to proceed with efforts to amass sophisticated weaponry and develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads to our own shores.
The agreement fails to answer critical questions about the possible military dimensions of the nuclear program Iran assembled in secret over decades, provides international legitimacy to Iran and allows Iran to keep the infrastructure of its illicit nuclear program intact. It foregoes anytime, anywhere inspections for managed access and 24-day delays that former IAEA veterans have warned Iran can use to block inspectors and sanitize suspect sites, just as they have done in the past
But just as shocking as the decision to actually agree to such a flawed deal are the lengths to which the administration is going today to tar and feather those who dare speak out against it. By playing politics with a critical national security issue, President Obama is cementing his well-earned legacy as the Divider in Chief.
In a speech at American University defending the deal Obama stooped to new lows far beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency, savaging deal opponents as warmongers and saying that “those hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’” in Iran were “making common cause with the Republican caucus.”
Shockingly, his diatribe also was replete with coded innuendos employing standard anti-Semitic themes involving implied disloyalty and nefarious influences related to money and power. One can only imagine the sting of his words on members of his own Democratic party, especially those Jewish Members of Congress who have publicly stated their opposition to this deal based on its merits or lack thereof.
It takes a certain amount of courage to stand on principle rather than falling into line in support of a risky agreement that flies in the face of America’s strategic interests. In my book, doing what you feel is correct even when it is not politically expedient and requires you to withstand relentless pressure from the White House and its surrogates constitutes true leadership.
Since his speech, the reverberations of Obama’s reckless, spiteful language have been ringing out across the United States, causing grave concern. Leaders from across the political spectrum, including prominent fellow Democrats have stepped forward to decry the White House’s bully tactics
In the end, all Americans are left to wonder why divisive, scurrilous rhetoric and heavy-handed political hardball are necessary to defend this deal. If the agreement with Iran can actually withstand the test of scrutiny, then why is the White House so afraid of an open discussion about the deal and its shortcomings and so quick to demonize those who think America deserves better?
By reducing a vitally important matter with life and death consequences to a partisan football the president is doing a disservice to the American people. For months the president and his secretary of state proclaimed that no deal was better than a bad deal. Today, a bad deal has been reached and they have changed their tune completely, saying that the only alternative to this deeply flawed agreement is war.
It is clear that the president and his team are in full campaign mode, demonstrating a steely resolve to jam through this misguided Iran deal at all costs. They are smearing those who dare to raise questions and employing a take no prisoners approach complete with bigoted dog whistles and malicious whisper campaigns that cynically divide ur country. Just imagine how different things would be today if Obama and his negotiators had demonstrated a fraction of this tenacity at the negotiating table with the Iranians.
It’s not yet too late. Democrats in Congress must put policy above partisanship and reject this very bad deal. For everyone’s sake, I pray that they will ultimately decide to do what is right for the United States as opposed to what they are being told is right for their party’s leader.
During the coming weeks the American people should continue to demand a better deal with Iran that will dismantle Tehran’s nuclear program and strengthen, rather than threaten, our nation’s long-term security.The writer is a Republican presidential candidate