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Iran Nuke Deal
By Micah Halpern

Friday September 5, 2015


The Iran deal was in the bag from the start. Anyone who surveyed the landscape of Washington, DC knew that.

But even though we knew it, whichever side of the debate you are on, some things are worth fighting for. And they are worth fighting for not only when you know you will win, but even, and even more so, when you know you are going to lose.

Everyone involved in the debate over the Iran Nuke Deal knew that the chances of getting 67 senators to override the president's commitment to the deal was nearly impossible. Barbara Mikulski, the democratic senator from Maryland, was simply the last senator to confirm what we already knew. For some, Mikulski's vote was the cherry on top of the sundae, for others it was the last nail in the coffin.

So why the rage? The storm? The fundraising? The speakers? The ads? What was all the hullabaloo surrounding the vote about? And was it worth it all?

The answer is twofold.

Most importantly, President Obama needs to understand that this deal with Iran is a bi-partisan issue - even though he won. The president needed to hear, to feel in his kishkes, that critique of the deal was not meant only as a way of telling him to goose step around Israel's prime minister and supporters of Israel but to let him know that Americans across a broad spectrum of the country were also wary of the deal.

The president needed to - and still needs to understand, that people who support him are very uncomfortable with this deal.

Senator Chuck Schumer did not commit political suicide by standing up to Obama. On the contrary.

The democratic senator from NY, the man who would be the next senate minority leader, made a cold calculation. And he almost certainly cleared it with the White House before going public. Schumer said the deal is a done deal, but -- let me appease my constituency and let me help the Democratic Party down the road so that this does not become a republican democrat split. And that's why Chuck Schumer chose to oppose the deal.

Schumer's decision was at the same time a gift to his constituents and a gift to his party.

The other reason it was important to debate the deal was to enable Israel to fight to get the best "swag bag" of treats they could as a result of the implementation of the Iran Nuke Deal.

There is definitely a list, a Chanukah list of goodies -- if you will -- that Israel wants and expects to receive once the deal that so definitely endangers their country is implemented.

The list has been in formation for months. The longer the time frame between the signing of the deal in July and the 100% certainty of the deal going through, the more Israel can add on. U.S. Undersecretary of the Treasury Adam Zsubin was just in Israel and it is this list that took him there. He spent four days on this very issue.

The deal was always done. Now Americans across the divide - those cheering and those weeping - must accept that the time to debate is over and done with. And now the real work begins.

Keeping Iran's feet to the fire and making certain that the United States has the wherewithal to enforce the agreement will be another struggle.

In this case, there are no foregone conclusions. Iran is notorious for not living up to their nuclear commitments and the United States is famous for looking forward to future goals, making peace and infamous for not focusing and nit picking and policing agreements.

Good luck to us all.

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4 June 2017 12:12 PM in Columns

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