The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines emergency as follows:
“1: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action
2: an urgent need for assistance or relief”
What’s in common with both these definitions of emergency is a short time frame. An emergency is something that needs to be dealt with immediately, or terrible things will happen.
A problem that unfolds over 32 years, and is dealt with through an ongoing program of negotiations, does not fit that definition. Yet, President Barack Obama has decided to characterize just such a moderate, chronic problem as an emergency.
Yesterday, Barack Obama sent a message to the U.S. Congress, declaring, ” I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Iran that was declared in Executive Order 12170 of November 14, 1979, is to continue in effect beyond November 14, 2011.”
A national emergency is even larger than an emergency. It’s an emergency that’s taking place all over the country. Can someone tell me what the imminent threat from Iran is, and how it is creating an urgent need across the United States?
President Obama describes the nature of the the emergency as follows: ” relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is still under way.”
If this is an emergency, can I have my dog’s recurring problem with fleas declared a national emergency too?