New York Senator Charles Schumer has taken a stance against the Iran deal. https://medium.com/@SenSchumer/my-position-on-the-iran-deal-e976b2f13478 Predictable some will say; disappointing, others will moan. But Schumer's statement defending his position is a must-read. Schumer says that his overall judgment is that, in relation to the key goal of restraining Iran's nuclear ambitions, "we might be slightly better off with it." In this respect, i.e. a cautious realistic assessment that on balance the deal is better than the alternatives as far as restraining Iran's nuclear capacities goes, Schumer's position turns out to be little different than that of others, such as Congressman Adam Schiff, who support the deal but with eyes wide open.
So how does Schumer end up with an overall negative verdict? It is the "non-nuclear" aspects that Schumer says tip the balance toward a negative verdict. When I read that remarkable sentence, I was sent scurrying back to the text of the JPOA. What "non-nuclear" aspects was Shumer talking about? In my parsing of those pages, had I missed a whole series of clauses unrelated to nuclear matters?
But, in fact, Schumer never does refer to any part of the text of the JPOA about non-nuclear aspects, even though this is apparently the crucial basis of his determination to vote against.
Instead, in plain contradiction to his own statements, Schumer goes on simply to make the hackneyed claim that, unless Iran changes, it can't be counted on to comply with the nuclear aspects.
Now Senator Schumer is a smart guy. So he knows that neither he, nor anyone else, can really predict whether Iran will stay the same or change for the better or worse. So we are dealing with decision-making under uncertainty. Schumer has a personal feeling or belief that Iran will not change. Fine, he is entitled to his own ESP.
But this leads him to his final failure of logic. Schumer says that if one assumes, and again he admits it's just a crap shoot, that Iran will not change, we are better off with sanctions and strengthening sanctions than with the deal.
But why? For if Iran is irredeemable, as is Schumer's unsubstantiated hunch, wouldn't sanctions result in defiance and resistance not capitulation?
Schumer is aware also that the US cannot unilaterally determine whether other nations have sanctions against Iran. So what he proposes is that the United States enact "secondary sanctions" against our allies and trading partners who take a different view. The cavalier reference to "secondary sanctions" by a Senator who supposedly represents a state that has one of the world's most important global financial centers is made with utter indifference to the economic consequences to New York, or to the unity we need with our most important allies to address many threats and challenges in a dangerous world. It shows that Charles Schumer has not bothered to think through America's or New York's interests in a complex and interdependent world. Rather he has fallen victim to the dangerous and deranged ideology of Netanyahu-and his billionaire backers.