Believe it or not, the tiny Nevada delegation in Washington could play a significant role in international affairs, the likes of which could be compared to the Munich Pact of 1938 that inexorably led to World War II.
Obama?s deal with Iran not only allows the mullahs to immediately start spending $150 billion on conventional weapons to foment terror and unrest throughout the region and the world, but it hardly deters their ability to develop nuclear weapons. Depending on how the agreement is interpreted, Iran may be less than 24 months from having a nuclear payload.
The vote could be very close.
Of Nevada?s six representatives who will have an opportunity to vote on the treaty, only Democrat Sen. Harry Reid has chosen to play the part of Neville Chamberlain and declare the agreement will mean peace in our time.
Even hard-left-leaning Democrat Rep. Dina Titus is quibbling.
?Today?s historic accord is the result of years of hard work by President Barack Obama and his administration,? Reid said in a statement on July 14. ?The world community agrees that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable and a threat to our national security, the safety of Israel and the stability of the Middle East.?
Titus stated on her website, ?With the announcement today of an agreement with Iran, I stand strong in the belief that no deal is better than a bad deal and a nuclear-armed Iran is simply unacceptable.?
Since the deal virtually assures that there eventually will be a nuclear-armed Iran and the debate is largely over how long it will take, one could read that as a no vote from Titus, but then she throws in a caveat. ?As I join my colleagues in closely examining the details of the agreement, I want to commend the Obama Administration for their diplomatic efforts and tireless work through the negotiations.?
The rest of the delegation, all Republicans, are firmly opposed to the deal as a non-starter.
The problem is that it will take a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to nix the deal and override an Obama veto. Though the Constitution gives the president the power to make treaties ?provided two thirds of the Senators present concur,? Obama is not calling the deal a treaty, but he consented to a congressional vote and our lame Congress acquiesced.
Sen. Dean Heller was perhaps the most cautious of the four.
?I have some serious reservations regarding the deal reached on Iran?s nuclear program and will review it carefully, as will the public,? Heller said. ?For more than three decades, America has stood up against Iran and implemented sanctions enacted by Congress to prevent them from further developing a nuclear weapon. Yet, this work may be unraveled by an agreement that crosses red lines the U.S. had previously set, putting our nation and its allies like Israel at risk.?
Rep. Cresent Hardy was more firm, making note of Iran?s open threats against Israel and its sponsorship of terror around the world, including the killing of hundreds of American soldiers.
?If initial reports are true: This agreement would provide billions of dollars in sanctions relief and only delay Iran?s breakout time to a nuclear bomb by a matter of months,? Hardy said. ?The president can claim a victory with this deal ? but it is a hollow one. Simply extending the time it takes for Iran to get a bomb still creates a future where Iran has a bomb.?
Rep. Joe Heck, who is running for Reid?s Senate seat, said he is concerned by the fact Obama caved on anytime-anywhere nuclear site inspections, basically giving Iran a say in which sites get inspected and when. He was also bothered by the fact the deal lifts the conventional arms embargo on Iran.
?In the past Iran has not adhered to international norms and obligations when it comes to their nuclear program, and so Congress now has a chance to review this deal and every aspect of this agreement,? Heck said.
Rep. Mark Amodei told a television station, ?We?re not making the Middle East a safer place when you have the Saudis and the Israelis and the Jordanians wondering what Iran will do with that stuff. I think we instead should stay the course with the sanctions and say no, you cannot do this.?
Reid, as usual, is playing politics instead of looking out for the welfare of his constituents and future generations of Nevadans.
Thomas Mitchell is a longtime Nevada newspaper columnist. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at http://4thst8.wordpress.com/.