Two issues that live separately in today’s headlines — the refugee crisis in Europe and President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran — should be linked in today’s political debate. The refugee crisis that is overwhelming Europe’s eastern borders is not showing any signs of subsiding. Perhaps as the weather becomes more inclement later this fall, there will be a pause in the stream of refugees, but the underlying problems that have caused this crisis are only destined to get worse. And a big factor that will contribute to the worsening of the refugee situation is the impending implementation of the president’s nuclear agreement with Iran. Republicans should be reminding everyone that the two issues are tied together.
Iran, a principal agent of instability in the region, will be newly flush with cash after the Iran deal, all thanks to Obama and his allies in Congress. What will Iran’s leaders do with their influx of money? Among other things, they are certain to increase the potency of Shiite Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, further bankroll the butchering by the Assad regime in Syria, fuel increased sectarian strife among the Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq and pour more resources into the hands of their allies in the Yemeni civil war. All this will not only cause more disruption and chaos in the region overall, but also will have the direct effect of creating even more refugees.
Let’s also remember that Obama couldn’t — or wouldn’t — negotiate for the release of the four Americans held or missing in Iran in exchange for the billions of dollars that the president’s nuclear agreement will hand over to Iran’s leaders. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t get any people as a direct result of the Iran deal. I expect we will see tens of thousands more refugees as a result of the Iran nuclear agreement, and before it is all over, we will get our fair share of refugees entering the United States.
Every member of Congress and every Democratic candidate who supports the Iran nuclear agreement should bear some of the political responsibility for not only making jaw-dropping, inconceivable accommodations to Iran, but for all the as-yet-unknown consequences of that deal.
Peggy Noonan’s smart piece in the Wall Street Journal today, “The Migrants and the Elites,” foreshadows the forthcoming political debate in the United States over how many refugees we should take. As Noonan states, the refugee crisis is “a catastrophe unfolding before our eyes” and “the unprotected, the vulnerable, have a right and a reason to worry.” Well, the catastrophe is going to get worse. And as it does, the political debate in our country is destined to take the familiar path of liberals accusing Republicans of lacking compassion, etc. But it will be fair for Republicans to remind Democrats that the refugee crisis has occurred on Obama’s watch and has, in fact, been compounded by his foreign policy failures in Syria and his insistence on capitulating to Iran.
The byproducts of strengthening Iran are certainly troubling and potentially calamitous. The Democrats who supported the deal, especially no less than former secretary of state and likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, should be held to account. It is up to Republicans to make sure that discussions about the Iran nuclear deal and the refugee crisis are linked in voter’s minds and that they stay that way throughout the 2016 campaign.