A Presidency in Crisis: A critical look at the president’s ongoing border crisis.

Joseph Biden, who campaigned on the promise of immigration reform, finds himself incapable of managing the biggest immigration crisis of the last twenty years. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris – the person in charge of the White House immigration front – is missing in action. 

When President Biden ran for the Presidency, he sold himself as the moderate choice among his party’s contenders and the compassionate alternative to former President Donald Trump. Then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden campaigned as a veteran of Washington politics with the experience to navigate the crises which plagued the nation, and a record of achievements that supported his claimed ability to create consensus and co-operation in government. Truth-be-told, the mantle suited him. As a Senator, he worked with Presidents of both parties and amassed an enviable legislative record. As Vice President, Biden was largely responsible for the implementation of the Recovery Act and the end to the war in Iraq. 

How, then, has the Biden Presidency gone so wrong?

As President, Joe Biden has been a well-intentioned leader whose policies are meant to promote the general welfare of the American people. However, as the crisis at the Southern border has shown, he is grossly unprepared to deal with the real issues facing the country today. 

Over the last weeks, the country has seen the real consequences brought by blind idealism, and an inability to face facts and reality. As thousands of Haitian migrants converge on Del Rio, Texas with the hope of being granted asylum, the President has created a political and humanitarian crisis which could have been avoided (like much of what has happened during his presidency), if he had listened to lawmakers on the Hill. 

This border crisis followed a familiar pattern: (1) The President was warned about the negative consequences of his messaging; (2) Lawmakers from both parties urged the White House to respond appropriately to the impending crisis; (3) The President ignored these concerns, and adopted an “I know best” policy stance: and (4) The crisis point happened, the White House did nothing and shifted blame to the Trump administration. Outside of the bubble the Biden administration seems to live (along with most Democrats, quite frankly), the reality of the situation is clear and stark: Biden owns the crisis at the border, and no amount of blame shifting, and verbal gymnastics will change that. 

The President worked himself into this crisis long before the Haitian migrants arrived at Del Rio. During the 2020 Presidential campaign, he promised to reverse every one of Trump’s policies on immigration, and did so within his first one-hundred days in office, even as the administration knew such a drastic reversal in policy would strain an already overwhelmed immigration system. This, added to the administration’s incoherent, and outright erratic, rhetoric on immigration, does nothing less than to highlight the fact the White House has not a singular idea of how to bring this problem to a humane and responsible resolution.

Now, even though some would argue Biden ought to be left to take the heat alone for this crisis – and the immigration issue as a whole, that would not be entirely fair. Since Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, no succeeding president has been able to craft an effective vision on immigration, leaving this issue to be piled up for a future president to handle. Thus, much like Afghanistan, Biden has been forced to clean up the messes of his predecessors. 

However, this is not a sufficient excuse for the utter lack of preparation and proper planning on the part of the President’s team. The image this crisis sends to the country, and indeed the rest of the world, is of a leader unable to organize and execute a unified response to the problems facing the American people. Perhaps the most interesting question that can be asked about this quagmire, is where is Kamala Harris? After all, she is the person appointed by the President of the United States to orchestrate a response to this problem. If the Vice-President is not doing the job she was elected to do, and the President will not tighten up his grip on the administration, it is appropriate to question whether or not the White House is interested in solving the biggest immigration crisis of the last twenty years, and indeed, if they are even capable of doing so.

Texas Abortion Law Prompts Legal Action: Justice takes legal action against Texas abortion law

The Western District of Texas is expected to issue a ruling after the Department of Justice asked for an injunction to temporarily halt the novel abortion law.

On Oct. 1, before a Federal District Judge, the Department of Justice argued the new abortion law passed by the Texas state legislature presents a threat to the rule of law and poses a clear violation of the Constitution. The oral arguments follow a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in September, which accuses the law of violating Supreme Court precedent, namingly Roe v. Wade, which established the Constitutional right to abortions across the country.

The law, which went into effect Sept. 1, seeks to prohibit abortions after the detection of an unborn child’s heartbeat by allowing private citizens to file civil lawsuits against physicians and medical institutions that engage in abortion practices.

Although the state of Texas argued before Judge Robert Pitman that the Constitution does not prohibit laws such as SB 8 from existing, given the design of the law, the position of the Federal government is that by avoiding judicial review and delegating police powers to private citizens – rather than agencies of the government – Texas violated the constitution. 

The showdown between the state of Texas and the Justice Department comes after the Supreme Court declined to block the abortion law last month by a 5-to-4 vote, with the majority reasoning that the abortion providers did not address “complex and novel antecedent procedural questions,” NPR explained. The court, however, did not rule on the constitutionality of the law, something the Justices will do during their upcoming term. 

According to a press release by the Justice Department last month, the goal of the Attorney General is to obtain a declaratory judgment on the part of the Judicial Branch establishing SB 8 as being invalid under the Supremacy Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment, is preempted by federal law, and violates the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity,” Justice.gov stated.

A ruling by the Western District of Texas is expected to be issued soon, which will most likely be appealed to the 5th Circuit if Pitman grants an injunction. 

Sources: Dallas Morning News, NPR, Legiscan, Justice.gov, NPR

The People’s Champion: Nearly half a century after his untimely death, we owe Roberto Clemente Walker an eternal debt of gratitude for being a towering inspiration to us all.

The evening of Dec. 31, 1972 not only changed the world of Major League Baseball, it would also be the source of inspiration and heartache for generations of baseball players, particularly those born in Latin-American countries. That fateful evening, Roberto Clemente, right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, would lose his life after a plane stocked with medicine and aid packages chartered for Nicaragua crashed off the coast of San Juan.

Clemente, undoubtedly among the greatest to ever play the game of baseball, is fondly remembered for his powerful defensive presence on the field, as well as his activism in favor of Civil Rights and his charity work apart from the game. Most importantly, however, he was – and remains – the pride of Puerto Rico.

First signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers, Clemente was sent to the Montreal Royals (Triple A affiliate at the time), where he was mostly shelved despite his defensive and batting prowess, in an effort to keep him from being drafted. After moving to Pittsburgh, he was subject to ridicule by peers and the American press, with his accent being the butt of endless jokes. He was often called lazy for complaining about his chronic back pain and criticized when he took credit for leading his team to victory. Throughout an 18-year career, Clemente was under-appreciated by writers, owing to his race and ethnicity. In the end, as in all tragic plays, the world saw greatness before its eyes and did not realize it until the hero was no more.

Clemente’s life remains, to this day, the representation of what it means to be Hispanic in America. The values we bring to this great nation – hard work and personal responsibility – values America claims to embrace, are oftentimes met with dismissiveness. Our desire to integrate into society is met with jokes aimed at our accent and pattern of speech. The significance our collective culture has in our lives and communities is met with indifference.

Today, Major League Baseball celebrates Roberto Clemente’s life and contributions with a humanitarian award and a league-wide celebration in the month of September. Hundreds of schools across the country are named after the Puerto Rican legend. Nearly half a century after his untimely death, we owe Roberto Clemente Walker an eternal debt of gratitude, if anything else, for his choice to endure so much discrimination. Because of this, in due time, a child from even the poorest community could have the chance to walk the ground he broke. We owe Clemente a debt of gratitude for being a towering inspiration to us all.

The Failure of Impeachment

On Feb. 5, news networks across the country turned their attention to the trial of President Trump expecting its outcome to be as dramatic a show as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff had built it to be. Instead, the verdict House Democrats witnessed was delivered in the same predictable, partisan fashion by which they forced articles of impeachment against the President through the House last December.

Now, after a mess of their own making, Democrats must face the reality that impeachment, for their part, is over. For their failure, Democrats in Capitol Hill have no one but Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff to blame. Not Senate Republicans. Not Chief Justice Roberts. Congressional Democratic leaders’ handling of the impeachment inquiry was not in any way guided by a desire to apprehend the President for whatever wrongdoing he might have committed; rather, their clear disdain and hostility toward the Trump was, from the beginning, the determining factor in the way Pelosi and Schiff moved through the process.

When compared to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton’s impeachment inquiries, in 1973 and 1998 respectively, the investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged trespasses was nonsubstantive and plagued by ultra-partisan passions, with these being evident long before the inquiry was formalized. When the House of Representatives decided to launch an impeachment inquiry into Richard Nixon, they had clear reason and proof to do so: the Nixon White House had authorized the wiretapping of the Democratic Party’s headquarters at the Watergate Complex, and subsequently ordered the Justice Department to cover up the President’s wrongdoings. In the case of Clinton, a longstanding Kenneth Starr investigation found the President had committed perjury to Congress in regards to his inappropriate personal relationship with Monica Lewinsky. In both of these cases, the investigations themselves, and not hear-say or contextual interpretations on the part of Congressional committees, were the markers of impeachment. Moreover, even though the Clinton impeachment was indeed partisan, such partisanship did not dictate the course of the independent counsel investigation.

In the case of Donald Trump, however, House Democrats were determined to impeach the President months before he even took the oath of office. In fact, talks of impeachment had been emanating from Democratic circles even before the 2016 election. Democrats in the Hill called for impeachment of the President for allegedly being a Russian asset during the 2016 election, “associating the Presidency with White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism, and Hatred,” and possible violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. None of which either led to serious formulation of articles of impeachment or carried significant weight to satisfy the removal of a President. When these allegations did not bear fruit, House Democrats called upon an independent counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller, a former FBI director. After hundreds of interviews and thousands of leads, Mueller found no conclusive evidence of wrongful behavior on the part of the President. One would think Democrats would be satisfied by the Mueller Report, except they were not–until their goal of impeaching the President became a reality.

Without any attempt to reach consensus among members of the two parties, and without any proof that the President engaged in behavior worthy of removal from office, Speaker Pelosi moved the articles of impeachment through the House before the holiday break knowing there would be no way the Senate would vote to convict Donald Trump. If the Speaker of the House had any confidence in the case presented by Congressional Democrats, she would have immediately scheduled the articles of impeachment to be sent to the Senate. Instead, Pelosi held onto them for nearly a month with the pretext that the conduct of Senate Republicans toward an impeachment trial would not be fair.

The reality is that Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff did not provide a punishment fitting the President’s conduct. Yes, Donald Trump withheld Ukraine’s military aid. However, he was hardly the first President to withhold military aid intended for a foreign government. And yes, Trump did ask a foreign entity to investigate a political rival, which was wrong on his part. Nonetheless, the development of these events did not warrant the conviction of a President.

The hope for convicting Donald Trump lied in 67 Senators acknowledging that Donald Trump abused his power as President by soliciting opposition research from a foreign entity–at least that is what House Manager Hakeem Jeffries wanted the Senate to understand. Yet, when confronted with Hillary Clinton’s use of a foreign spy to dig up information on Donald Trump in 2016, he dismantled his own party’s case by accepting Clinton’s openness to foreign interference because, in her case, such interference was purchased.

 

The Influence of Local Politics: The power of public activism to bring about change lies in the ability and willingness to be politically involved at the local level.

The common trope among young voters, particularly in the United States, is a hesitancy to participate in the electoral process. There are, of course, a plethora of reasons for this tendency, chief among these being the usual “one less vote will not count,” or “one vote will not make a difference.” Sectors of voters look back to 2016—when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral count—as evidence of a rigged system, further solidifying the belief in the insignificance of politics and being politically active. Yet, what this approach to the body politic and the public duty of citizens fails to recognize is that the power of public activism to bring about change lies in the ability and willingness to be politically involved, not necessarily at the national level, but rather at the local level.

Local politics are, for lack of better language, the driving force behind everyday American life. In the United States, the electorate has the tendency to look to the federal government for nearly all issues, most of which can, should, and ultimately are resolved at the local level.

The local machination of American politics, whether in towns, cities or counties are responsible for real and compoundable decisions that directly affect the lives of regular citizens. The water one uses and disposes of, the roads one drives, the public bus system one enjoys. These are all in consequence of political decisions made at the local level. When a house burns down or a backyard floods, the individuals directly responsible for providing assistance or aiding citizens in navigating relief options are not members of the federal bureaucracy, but rather public servants elected to mayoral offices, and city and county councils.

For far too long, schools have indoctrinated our children to believe that their inability to take the streets every four years to vote in national elections translates to taking their rights and duties for granted. Though this is oftentimes true, by undermining local politics and local elections in favor of producing massive turnouts at the national level, society has taught the children of tomorrow to ignore and disregard their direct future.

We teach our children about the progress brought about by Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Cesar Chavez. We teach our children of Civil Rights and Voting Rights. Yet, seldom is it mentioned that the United States abandoned the dark alleys of States’ Rights and marched, hesitantly, through the bright gates of Civil Rights not only because Dr. King marched in Washington, but also because his movement stormed town halls, blocked highways, and walked through the streets of the segregated South.

Local elections affect every aspect of American life—from small town to big cities. While Congress and the Supreme Court take months and years to make progress in our laws, local governments make constant decisions that affect our children’s education opportunities, their immediate environment, as well as their quality of life. At the end of the day, local elections are about the core of American identity at its simplest.

Open House at Eastern: How this event has become one of Jaclyn Favaroso’s favorite days since becoming an Admissions student worker at the beginning of the academic year.

On Feb. 17, Eastern is set to hold one of the many Open Houses that are expected through the Spring semester. These events are held for the purpose of engaging prospective students with the Eastern campus as a way of working toward higher enrollment numbers for the university.

In order to get an understanding of the work and preparation, as well as expectations, that are tied to Open House events, Jaclyn Favoroso was kind enough to sit for an interview on the subject.

“Open houses are a way for Eastern University to offer prospective students and parents a sliver of what life on campus is like,” Favoroso said. The university allows students and families to sit in college classes, talk to financial aid representatives, enjoy a planetarium show, get a meal from the Dining Commons and other options for the day. The way in which Eastern personalizes Open houses is through campus yours, something Jaclyn Favoroso, a Senior Admissions student worker, thinks makes Eastern unique among colleges.

Due to the amount of people who attend Open houses and time restraints, Favoroso acknowledged that “it can be a little challenging to give a quality campus tour.” However, for her, providing an understanding of Eastern as an institution is no more important than getting to know those who show interest in the school.

“Oftentimes, prospective students and parents expect us to put on a show and persuade them that Eastern is definitely the place for them. We know that Eastern is not right for everyone, and that is why I love hearing about where people come from and what brought them to Eastern on their journey,” said Favoroso.

Preparations for Open houses start early in the morning in which they are set to take place, which is always on Mondays or Saturdays. The earliest post for an Open house begins at the main entrance to the university at 8 AM. Given the flow of people coming in and out, there is a need for a great variety of students who are willing to participate in Open house events. For Jaclyn Favoroso, that is being a greeter. “I am always eager to sign up for this position because I know how important first impressions are,” says Favoroso, “it is my job to spread positivity from the very start of the day.”

Along with a substantial number of visitors and a high level interactivity on campus, Favoroso expects there to be excitement across the Eastern community for this upcoming Open House. “There was an 8th grader that visited during this last open house,” said Favoroso, “these are students who want to get involved.” Involvement is key in the hopes Admissions has for Eastern’s future.

Remembering a Legend: The life and influence of Kobe Bryant

In the morning of Jan. 26th, a helicopter transporting Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and 7 others crashed into a mountain in Calabasas, catching on fire. Two days later, on Jan. 28th, the bodies were identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. Through the use of fingerprints, the department provided a positive identification of Bryant’s remains. The Black Mamba had passed to now belong to the ages.

Bryant was born in the city of Philadelphia to former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. After spending his childhood in Italy, where Bryant’s father played basketball following his retirement from the NBA in the early-80s, Bryant returned to Philadelphia, where he was enrolled in Lower Merion High School.

In 1996, Bryant was drafted into the NBA by the Charlotte Hornets, and was subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Lakers before the start of regular season play. He would wear the purple and gold for the entirety of his 20-year career.

After struggling during his first few seasons in the league, Bryant formed part of one of the most formidable and dominating duos in the sports history, with fellow Laker Shaquile O’Neal. Together they brought the NBA championship to the city of Angels three consecutive years (2000-2002), a feat previously accomplished by the Chicago Bulls, with Michael Jordan in command.

Following a failed attempt at obtaining another championship ring, the Lakers traded O’Neal, making the Black Mamba the cornerstone of the organization. Bryant would again lead the Lakers to the promised land in 2009 and 2010.

Though one of the most successful NBA players of all-time, Bryant was not without controversy. In 2003, the late-star was accused of sexual assault by a hotel clerk in Colorado, and criminal charges were mounted against him. However, after the accuser refused to testify, the charges were dropped, and Bryant settled a civil lawsuit out of court. This accusation forever tarnished the basketball giant’s public image and led to the loss of several multi-million dollar sponsorships.

In the sunset of his playing career, the second act of Kobe Bryant’s life seemed upwardly promising. In 2018, he published a book and won an Academy Award. Since 2014, Bryant had endeavored in several business ventures that saw the worth of his brand sky-rocket through the millions. Furthermore, since his retirement, Bryant had become keenly focused on fighting homelessness through the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.

The world of sports has lost a giant whose shoulders thrusted upwards, and held in high place, the sport of basketball through the first two decades of the 21st century. Bryant was a flawed human being, with his personal and private life being an example of the price a high-profile celebrity must pay at times. Yet, throughout his playing career and his personal life, he often showed his humanity and dignity, toward his fellow players as well as those who were less fortunate than him.

Toward the end of his career, Bryant took upon referring to himself as “vino” (Wine), since as to him, his play aged like fine wine. The heartbreaking irony, however, is that his life was cut too short and the world was robbed of seeing that notion play out beyond the confines of the court. For all Kobe Bean Bryant did for the sport of basketball, and for how much he impacted the world beyond his sport, he will be forever missed.

Sources: CBS Sports, New York Times, Bleacher Report, USA Today

Trump at The March for Life: On his rallying for the Evangelical vote

Since Jan. 1974,  thousands have taken the streets of Washington, DC with the vision of “a future world where the beauty and dignity of every human life are valued and protected.” Originally, intended to be a one-time event, as a way of bullying the United States Senate into providing a legislative solution to the controversy created by the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision–which legalized abortion nationally, Nellie Grey (the march’s organizer) worked to stage a march every year until the decision was reversed.

This year, President Donald J. Trump attended the event, becoming the first sitting president to ever do so. Though other Republican presidents have addressed the march in the past, notably Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, they did so via telephone connection. This begs the question: Why would a sitting president physically attend the March for Life? President Trump clearly lacks congressional support to mount any credible threat to Roe V. Wade, as Democrats control 53% of the house, and though the balance in the Senate tilts ever-so-slightly toward the Republican party, if a vote on abortion were to be held today, a formidable number of Republican senators would reject such a resolution.

Every Republican at the hill knows any legislation geared toward ending the legal practice of abortion is destined for failure, not only because of the Democratic-controlled House, but also because the public sentiment across the country favors the legality of abortion practices.

Therefore, the writer of this article would suggest that offering a conservative alternative toward placing a sunset on abortion is not the actual goal of the President; rather, Trump’s motivation lines up more with rallying the Evangelical forces which were responsible for his election nearly four years ago.

As a conservative Republican, I share the sentiment of the President’s words that “Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God” and that in fact “We must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and sanctity of every human life.” However, any words Trump may offer to anti-abortion activists–and these are activists–is baseless and devoid of any real, tangible, piece of law. In actuality, any words the President may have wanted to deliver at the March for Life, he could have done so directly from the White House.

As it stands, Trump finds himself in the least enviable of places: he has been impeached by house, faces a potentially strong Democratic opponent this coming November, and could most likely experience setbacks in attracting independent voters, as well as moderate Democrats and Republicans. And so, the President has gone back to the oldest-existing hat trick in the Republican arsenal: courting and winning back the Evangelical vote. In American politics, no topic elicits the ire of Evangelicals, at least those aligning with conservative politics, than abortion. Trump knows he has not a chance of advancing the anti-abortion cause, which I think is one to commend and admire, however that will not stop the President from presenting an alternate reality which fulfills the desires of his so-far faithful Evangelical base.

Sources: The Washington Post, The March for Life Education and Defense Fund

EU Basketball Stops Wilkes: A look into ultimate frisbee and its role at Eastern.

St. Davids, PA. 17 Jan., 2020 –After recovering from a first-half five-point deficit, EU Men’s Basketball rallied through the second half to obtain a hard-fought victory over MAC Freedom rivals, the Wilkes University Colonels.

Leading the offense for the Eagles were Victor Peña with 16 points and 9 rebounds, Draig Ruff with 12 points and 7 rebounds, William Blett with 12 points and 9 rebounds and Gabe Perez with 8 points and 2 rebounds. Perez also scored two out of the three goals behind the three-point line by the Eagles quintet.

In the first half, the Eagles controlled possession and pace for most of the 20 minutes. However, for the half, the Eagles’ lead never exceeded 9 points, and through 16 minutes of intense play, the Colonels managed to merge the distance to 22-19.

The closing minutes of the first half saw the Colonels’ Sean Coller score a three-pointer to tie the game, while the rest of the Wilkes’ offense pushed a 7-0 run orchestrated by Derek Heiserman. Through half-time, the Colonels held the upper-hand of the game, 29-24.

In the early stages of the second half, the Eagles struggled holding onto possession, as turnovers marred the efforts mounted by their offense.

After reeling a Colonels’ offense thrusted forward by success from behind the three-point line from Bradley Anacreon and Rob Pecorelli, the Eagles initiated a run after a Gabe Perez three-point shot. From this point, Eagles Guard Clifton Adams did a commendable job at managing the Eastern offense with a shot behind the three-point line, overpowering the Colonels and extending the Eagles’ lead 50-40.

With the end of the second half nearing, the game was highlighted by fouls, most notably by the visiting Colonels. This allowed Clifton Adams, William Blet, and Draig Ruff to score at the free-throw line, extending the Eagles’ lead over the Colonels. The final score stood at 67-62.

The Iranian Crisis

On Jan. 3, the United States (U.S.) carried out a military operation resulting in the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran, an action widely criticized by U.S. allies and which was met by forceful opposition and anger by Tehran. The event followed several years of escalation in the U.S.-Iranian conflict, which included the invasion of the U.S. embassy, located in Baghdad, last December.

Subsequent to the military operation responsible for the assassination of Soleimani, Iranian Cabinet officials declared the nation would no longer adhere to the JCPOA, colloquially referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal, and would proceed to expand uranium enrichment. On Jan. 8, Iran launched several ballistic missiles directed toward the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Western Iraq, which served as an American military base in the region. Though no deaths were confirmed, 11 military personnel members were consequently evaluated for injuries. Reports suggest Iran informed the Iraqi government prior to the attack. Such information was evidently channeled to American officials.

As a response to the attack on the Iraqi military base, President Trump issued increased sanctions against Iran, with the tension between the two countries leading their respective citizenry to believe another extensive military expedition in the Middle East would ultimately come to fruition. If this were to have happened, it would have followed 18 uninterrupted years of American military presence in the region.

The present-day conflict between the United States and the government of Iran, though it dates back to the first half of the 20th century, had its point of intensification in 1979. With Ayatollah Rhomeini’s guidance, the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed, thus formally becoming a theocratic state in April 1979. In November of the same year, Islamic students and followers of the Ayatollah invaded the American embassy in Tehran, taking 52 American hostages, many of them serving in diplomatic posts, in what became a forceful demand for Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to return to Iran and stand trial. The Shah had been admitted into the United States in order to undergo surgery for gallstones. This was followed by the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Iran-Contra Affair in the 1980’s, a period of economic sanctions against Iran in the 2000’s, and the eventual nuclear arms deal in 2016.

The tension, which has recently manifested into armed conflict between the two nations, has been in escalation since 2015, when Iran tested the Emad, a medium-range ballistic missile, in violation of the United Nations Council Resolution 1929 (2010). In 2016, Iran violated the limits on heavy water stock established by the Nuclear Deal in two different occasions, prompting President Trump to strengthen his rhetoric in opposition of the deal; however, the U.S. continued to uphold its commitment through 2017. In Dec. 2017, the United Nation Secretary General established Iran had violated the arms embargo provisions on Resolution 2231. In May 2018, following Iran’s expressed intention to pursue naval nuclear propulsion, President Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.

The retaliatory actions by both countries did not only do away with whatever reconciliatory work the Bush and Obama administrations may have strived for, but it also thrusted American foreign policy to the forefront of the 2020 presidential election.

Amid the lonely place where President Trump stands, given none of America’s allies–Britain, France, Germany– supported his decision to strike down Soleimani, Emanuel Macron was a vocal encourager for Iran to return to diplomatic normalcy by urging Iranian president Rouhani to “return to full compliance with [Iran’s] commitment under the JCPOA.”

Though “war” was timely avoided–which almost certainly would have presented a governmental deficit for Iran given the country’s internal instability–the sudden military escalation highlights the thin line dividing the delicate idea of diplomacy and the sometimes volatile nature of a peace-through-strength approach, especially when the countries in question sit on alternate extremes of the global power imbalance scale, as the U.S. and the Republic of Iran do.

Sources: Arms Control Association, Associated Press, PBS NewsHour, Washington Post