by Brent Budowsky
President Trump’s ill-considered decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and his threats against America’s European allies if they continue to comply with the deal, have created a major inflection point in American and global politics as military tensions rise and midterm elections approach.
Former President Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who have been largely absent from national politics since Trump was inaugurated, were roused, to their credit, to take forceful public positions warning of the dangers to American and world security from Trump’s aggressive and unilateral attempt to destroy the Iran nuclear deal.
America’s leading allies in Europe spoke forcefully from London, Paris, Brussels and Berlin and came to Washington pleading with Trump to keep the Iran deal in effect, while initiating new negotiations to address and remedy agreed-upon concerns about hostile and unacceptable Iranian actions outside the scope of the current deal.French President Emmanuel Macron took the extraordinary step of giving a wise and far-reaching address to a joint session of Congress warning of the danger to world security of Trump’s aggressively unilateralist foreign policy ventures.
Contrary to false representations made by Trump, the Iran deal has worked. It includes strong verification guarantees. It halts Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons. Iran has complied with it. It prevents the spread of nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East. These gains will be lost, and grave new dangers will be created, if Trump succeeds in destroying the deal.
Trump, whose unilateralism and constant threats of trade wars have already created unprecedented tensions with America’s European allies, now threatens Europe with retaliation if European firms do business with Iran as the deal permitted and encouraged.
Trump, who recently and falsely referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as being transparent and acting in good faith, has increased North Korea’s leverage in the crucial nuclear negotiations.
Military tensions, nuclear proliferation and security dangers will rise in the Middle East if Iran renews its nuclear program. American military forces will be stretched dangerously thin by having to protect America from two new and simultaneous nuclear threats from the Middle East and Asia. This will embolden North Korea and increase the danger these negotiations fail.
The entry of Obama and Kerry into the great debates about America’s future, as world tensions rise and midterm elections approach, will be hugely valuable to Democrats and believers in peace, security and democracy everywhere.
Obama, Kerry and European leaders are right condemning Trump’s aggressively unilateralist foreign policy and his repeatedly dividing America from our democratic allies. This undermines our unity, strengthens our enemies and divides America from the democratic world as Trump does when he repeatedly threatens trade wars against allies and rejects international agreements such as the Paris accord to combat climate change.
As midterms approach, Obama and Kerry should now emerge in full force and speak out strongly, boldly and often on behalf of Democrats, especially in support of ObamaCare and health care. This is a vital issue for voters as punishing insurance premium increases plague consumers because of Trump and GOP policies.
Media would love and Democrats would prosper from the debate electrified by Obama speaking out. According to a new CNN poll, 56 percent of Americans think Obama was a better president than Trump, while only 37 percent choose Trump.
Leaders and citizens everywhere seeking the alternative to Trump as midterm elections approach, world tensions rise and democracy is under attack should watch “Bobby Kennedy for President,” the sweeping and inspirational four-part documentary recently released by Netflix.
The Robert Kennedy brought alive in this important documentary embodies politics at its best and America at her noblest. Leaders like RFK lead with fearless courage and moral passion, healing wounds and bringing people together, seeking equality and justice under law, lifting our spirits and raising our aspirations, envisioning an America that is the leader of the free world — a special role that Trump would destroy and America must regain.