Letter to the Editor

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I would like to respond to Daniel Maibenco’s article, “Terror spreads as Obama cowers at defining it,” published on March 27, 2015.

After winning re-election in 2012, President Obama made striking a nuclear agreement with Iran a cornerstone of his foreign policy. The objective of this nuclear agreement is clear: allow the Iranian people to use nuclear power for civilian purposes while preventing the creation of a nuclear weapon.

President Obama has a clear mission: to ensure that Iran abides by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This treaty outlaws the proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout the world by its signatories while guaranteeing them the right to a peaceful nuclear program, as outlined in the third pillar of the treaty. Iran signed and ratified this treaty within the first decade of it being enacted and has remained a signatory ever since.

The NPT is causing the world to question Iran’s nuclear program. Under it, Iran has the same right to nuclear power that every other nation does. But, the international community has been skeptical of Iran’s peaceful purposes.

To settle this skepticism, President Obama’s administration has worked tirelessly with other leaders of the world to ensure that Iran can both keep its civilian nuclear program and not produce a nuclear weapon. Now that a deal is close to completion, the President has been harshly criticized here at home for his work.

Many would say that the GOP and their supporters have reached new levels of disrespect for the Oval Office throughout the entire process of crafting this deal. Foreign affairs rest almost entirely with the head of state and we have now seen Congressional Republicans twice overstep their bounds.

The first is a threatening letter sent to the Iranian government and the second is the invitation of a foreign head of state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to speak against the President’s policies without White House approval. Even now the President faces the threat of defunding the U.N. from Senator Graham if this Iranian deal is not approved by the Senate.

President Obama, like both his Republican and Democratic predecessors, can legally sign an executive agreement with a foreign nation without Senate approval according to the college of law at Arizona State University.

The Supreme Court also ruled in 1937 that executive agreements carry as much weight as treaties, the difference being that future presidents can overturn past executive agreements and not past treaties. The Wall Street Journal has a statistic showing that since 1939, over 94 percent of all international agreements were executive agreements, not treaties.

Presidents such as FDR (leased warships in World War II), Truman (sent troops to Korea without a war declaration), Eisenhower (made a pact to defend then dictator led Spain & opposed an amendment limiting executive agreements), Kennedy (sent troops to Vietnam without a war declaration & negotiated a missile reduction deal to end the Cuban Missile Crisis) and Reagan(who signed over 1,500 executive agreements including a nuclear deal with China & an agreement with Iran over the hostage crisis) all used executive agreements as a means to bypass Congress and achieve foreign policy goals.

It astonishes me that so many people continue to attack the leader of the United States for being “unconstitutional” and for “breaking the law” when he has done everything just as his predecessors have from both parties since the end of World War II.

President Obama and the other P5 leaders are well aware of what is at stake. Achieving support from each of the P5 on large controversial issues is almost unheard of, so if a deal like this were to pass the Security Council, it would be safe to assume the deal is as good as it gets. I believe that everyone needs to show a greater degree of respect for President Obama and offer constructive critiques instead of petty attempts to undermine our Commander-in-Chief.

 

Sincerely,

Alex Stogin