Unsurprisingly President Obama’s failed foreign policy is being attacked from multiple angles and on multiple issues.
Yesterday at the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee policy conference, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted his policy as giving rise to doubts around the world that America can be relied up in a crisis. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), although not specifically calling out Obama, ripped the president’s lifting of some sanctions against Iran. “The only way, the only way” to get Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions, he said, was the mullahs know “tougher and tougher sanctions” are on the way. He vowed Congress would determine if a final deal met the requirements for dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program, and if not, would pass newer sanctions.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who previously tried to negotiate a House resolution with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) instead reached an agreement with his Democratic counterpart and released a joint letter to the president, which read in part:
Because we believe any agreement should include stringent transparency measures to guarantee that Iran cannot develop an undetectable nuclear weapons breakout capability, Tehran must fully and verifiably implement its Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, ratify and implement the Additional Protocol, answer pending IAEA questions, and comply with the transparency measures requested by the Director General of the IAEA, as well as with any additional verification and monitoring measures necessary to ensure Iran is abiding by the terms of any agreement. Such measures should include an agreement granting the IAEA necessary access to inspect all suspect sites, including military facilities, and providing an unfettered ability to interview Iranian scientists and personnel associated with Iran’s nuclear program.
As negotiations progress, we expect your administration will continue to keep Congress regularly apprised of the details. And, because any long-term sanctions relief will require congressional action, we urge you to consult closely with us so that we can determine the parameters of such relief in the event an agreement is reached, or, if no agreement is reached or Iran violates the interim agreement, so that we can act swiftly to consider additional sanctions and steps necessary to change Iran’s calculation.
They then showed up at AIPAC to speak jointly from the stage.
Informed observers will recognize that their letter takes issue with the administration’s view that Iran must be prevented from getting a nuclear bomb, but not a nuclear capability. Canton and Hoyer insisted, as did Schumer, that Congress and not Obama have the final say in lifting sanctions.
But that wasn’t all. Tired of waiting for the president to act on Russia, Cantor released a separate statement vowing to”expeditiously consider assistance to Ukraine in the form of loan ” and to “begin reviewing what authorities, similar to the Magnitsky Act, we may provide the Administration so that the President can take actions to impose sanctions on Russian officials, oligarchs, and other individuals complicit in Russia’s efforts to invade and interfere with Ukraine’s sovereign affairs.”
Even the president seems a tad shaken by the robust criticism over his remarks in a Sunday interview in which he was seen as blaming Israel for the failure to get peace, warning Israel the U.S. might not be able to protect it and sharply criticizing sanctions advocates. In his photo-op, the president twice acknowledged how much Israel had sacrificed for peace. (“And I just want to publicly again commend the Prime Minister for the seriousness with which he’s taken these discussions. The timeframe that we have set up for completing these negotiations is coming near and some tough decisions are going to have to be made. But I know that, regardless of the outcome, the Prime Minister will make those decisions based on his absolute commitment to Israel’s security and his recognition that ultimately Israel’s security will be enhanced by peace with his neighbors.”)
The question is whether all these voices can yank him back to reality in sufficient time to deal with threats to the U.S. and our allies. Unfortunately, he’s the only president we’ve got.