WASHINGTON – Any reader of high-school level American history should have known that it was a bad idea to let a U.S. president draft a treaty with Iran that threatens a nuclear holocaust in the Mideast and a missile attack on us.
No president should have that kind of power all by himself. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton spelled this out for us in 1788 in the Federalist Papers. These were articles in which the framers of the Constitution explained it to the public.
In a letter to “the People of the State of New York,” Hamilton said, “it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate [the president] of four years’ duration.”
Hamilton explained that “a man raised from the station of a private citizen to the rank of chief magistrate, possessed of a moderate or slender fortune, and looking forward to a period not very remote when he may probably be obliged to return to the station from which he was taken, might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice his duty to his interest [meaning his own welfare] …”
Hamilton warns that history shows no single person should be entrusted with such power. The Senate must share it. Underline Hamilton’s words “unsafe” and “improper.”
These words apply equally to President Obama’s upcoming secret Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty with 11 other nations, as well as the Iran deal.
The Constitution was written so that any treaty drafted by the president had to be approved, front wise, by two-thirds of the Senate present.
Obama has again turned the Constitution on its head. Having so little confidence in the safety and prudence of the Iran arrangement, the president immediately threatened to veto any attempt by Congress to block the Iran treaty.
This means both houses must muster two-thirds to override his draft treaty.
There have been treaties of lesser importance that have bypassed the Constitution. But nothing so consequential as Iran and the TPP.
Yet, on big things, it was not Obama who first broke the mold. It was Democratic President Bill Clinton. In 1994, Clinton made a deal with North Korea on nuclear energy and inspections, without referring it to Congress.
Clinton announced at the time, “this is a good deal for the United States. North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program.”
The Arms Control Association reports among those who helped draft this deal was former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. No one in Congress, controlled by Democrats, lifted a finger. The association says that at the time, R. James Woolsey, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, knew North Korea already had two working nuclear bombs.
In 2005, North Korea announced it had the bomb. So much for Clinton’s “good deal.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, said the new Iran treaty “is worthy of support.”
The Council on Foreign Relations warns that the deal contains two main hazards: That Iran will cheat (as North Korea did), and that it will create a nuclear bomb with long-range missiles when the restrictions expire.
The Jewish News Service warns that when and if the United States lifts its sanctions, Iran will access between $100 billion and $150 billion. This will augment Iran’s funding of worldwide terrorism.
The most persuasive arguments against the Iran deal are the united political opposition to it in Israel, and support by the regimes in Syria and Russia. That Americans can so readily cast off their sacred obligations to Israel, the region’s only democracy and our oldest ally, is another black mark on our culture.