The honesty, integrity and diplomacy of the United States of America worldwide is on the line. “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” — the name of the agreement that the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China and Russia signed with Iran — is about to be revoked by President Trump.
The plan was approved by the United Nations Security Council. Its purpose was to prevent development of nuclear weapons. There were obviously other considerations as well, but that was the focus when the plan was approved.
It is understood that Iran has lied about its intentions … but lying is certainly nothing new to this country as of late. The fact is, we signed an agreement, and all of our allies say Iran has honored it — including new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Everyone who has spoken about the agreement concedes it’s not perfect. But what is perfect is what it accomplishes. It allows our inspectors access to Iranian nuclear sites at any time and any place without notice. That means the inspectors have unrestricted access to assure nuclear compliance — and they have stated Iran is compliant.
So if the United States withdraws from the deal, that action will represent another turn away from the multilateral diplomacy that underpinned Obama’s foreign policy and has been America’s approach to the world for much of the 20th century.
At a time when strategy is essential, Trump — over the objections of some 60 percent of the country — wants to breach the agreement with Iran, while at the same time trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with North Korea.
Why would North Korea enter into a good-faith agreement with our country, given our decision to breach the same type of proposal with Iran?
Perhaps our new secretary of state, in whom I have some confidence, will at the last moment convince the president his idea to breach the agreement is bad. But since it is apparent the president listens to no one but himself, the secretary may run into his first, obvious failure.
By the time you read this article, our country will have either honored its agreement or breached it in bad faith. Our allies have been there for us when we needed them. It’s about time we reciprocate.
It was nice to see the first lady taking steps this week to advance the cause of women and children. The naysayers suggest her comments were crafted from Obama-era speeches. That bothers me not. If someone has said what you want to say, only better, why not use their words? But give them credit.
Melania Trump now has a chance to put her goals to work. As she focuses on the rights of women and children, she will be running right into — and hopefully right over — Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In this era in which advisers and friends of the president are pushing to privatize prisons (with private companies running them rather than state, local and federal agencies), Sessions has just announced that every person who tries to enter this country illegally will be detained and referred to federal prosecutors. He warned that will likely mean separating their children from their parents.
With absolutely no statistics to back him up, the leader of this country brands men, women and children seeking asylum as (in his words) murderers, rapists and the worst their countries can offer. He has said in so many words, “The countries from which the people are fleeing are not sending us their best.”
Actually, they aren’t “sending” us anyone. These individuals are fleeing for their lives — fleeing murder, rape, slavery and oppression along a route that leads through Mexico. Our nation has always been, and should be, open and welcoming to them. Aren’t these the very kinds of people our Statue of Liberty welcomes?
What do the words on Lady Liberty say?
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Amen.