jlink
Monday, November 11, 2019

We are all in agreement. The Iranians are bad players and must be stopped. They cannot be trusted. We know that, too. Since Geneva, their officials say they can go back to nuclear weapons development on a day’s notice. That’s why Congress wants to make sure they have no wiggle room to exploit whatever advantage they think they got by agreeing to the deal—a deal which has already yielded huge multiplier benefits for them. Now the Iranians are pointing their fingers at the U.S. and the West and laughing all the way to the bank and God knows what else.

We also agree that there is such a thing as “the law of unintended consequences.”

When you read the Menendez-Kirk bi-partisan “Sanctions Bill,” a 52-page document that makes a lot of sense, you will discover one paragraph that is perhaps, and we are guessing, the sole reason the President has said he will veto the bill. (Unless this is all some bizarre game of Good Cop, Bad Cop.) It’s finding #5 in Section 2.

“…if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence;”

 

It is, on its face, a commendable finding, clearly in support of the State of Israel, and is also what is known as the military option. It is a scary option, and would, if worse comes to worst, precipitate an ugly and devastating world war.

We do not know what is going on behind the scenes. This is where unintended consequences come in. We do know Iran has an impact on Syria. If Assad falls, the fanatics will take over, and Israel will have to deal with that like they do with Hamas in Gaza. No one wants that, least of all Jordan.

Turkey is coming apart at the seams; Lebanon is a mess. Iran is a key part in the equation to prevent total disaster, as is Saudi Arabia. So it’s a difficult web we weave when the U.S. Congress expresses its military option in this way. And we fully appreciate their heart-felt and very real support of Israel.

BUT to be more effective and carry the full threat of a military option, the finding might work better if it existed independently of Israel. It should be an option to be exercised when, and if, any U.S. ally needs military and humanitarian support. Like Jordan.

The bill will be vetoed if it hits the Oval Office as is. Perhaps this finding can be used as a bargaining chip to get those other sanctions implemented. Rewrite the military option so that the Iranians will stop laughing and know we, the citizens of the United States, mean business.