An estimated 200 retired generals and admirals put pen to paper and sent a letter to Congress to advise them to reject the nuclear deal pressed by President Obama, saying the world will become a more dangerous place if it’s approved.
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter stated.
It was addressed to House Majority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The writers say the “agreement as constructed does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” an apparent reference to the terminology President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry used to tout the benefits of the deal.
“To the contrary,” it continues, “it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding the deal.”
The generals and admirals say the agreement will let Iran enrich uranium, develop centrifuges and keep up work on its heavy-water plutonium reactor at Arak.
And also of concern, they write: “The agreement is unverifiable. Under the terms of the [agreement] and a secret side deal (to which the United States is not privy), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be responsible for inspectiOns under such severe limitations as to prEvent them from reliably detecting Iranian cheating.”
The letter references the widely reported 24-day delay that was given Iran to keep out inspectors, under the terms of the forged deal. And it also mentions the facet of the agreement that “requires inspectors to inform Iran in writing as to the basis for its concerns about an undeclared site,” and says such allowances are inappropriate and dangerous.
“While failing to assure prevention of Iran’s nuclear weapons development capabilities, the agreement provides by some estimated $150 billion… or more to Iran in the form of sanctions relief,” the letter states.
And their conclusions?
“As military officers, we find it unconscionable that such a windfall could be given to a regime that even the Obama administration has acknowledged will use a portion of such funds to continue to support terrorism in Israel, throughout the Middle East and globally,” they wrote, summarizing the agreement is a danger to the world.
“Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the letter wraps.
Among the signers: Admiral David Architzel, U.S. Navy, retired; Admiral Stanley Arthur, U.S. Navy, retired; General Alfred Hansen, U.S. Air Force, retired; Admiral James Hoggs, U.S. Navy, retired; and General Ronald Yates, U.S. Air Force, retired.
A “staggering betrayal” is how one pro-Israel activist in Washington describes any use by the Democrats of a filibuster to prevent the Iran deal from getting a full vote next month in the Senate.
That is emerging as the goal of the backers of President Obama’s contract with the mullahs. They want to block the measure from getting a vote in the Senate at all, which would leave Obama with a free hand to release billions to the Tehran regime.
The activist, Omri Ceren, who is The Israel Project’s managing director and has been working the story for months, says that would be a “stab in the face.” He notes that “Americans by a 2-1 margin want Congress to reject the bad Iran deal.”
The pro-Israel community, he says, has “worked in a bipartisan fashion with Congress to give the president breathing room for negotiations while protecting legislative prerogatives.” He thinks the Senate Democrats therefore owe Americans an up-or-down vote.
As this drama drags on, however, it’s not all that clear that we’ll see that vote. For it to take place, 60 senators must agree to cloture. At the moment, the Washington Post counts only 57 senators against or leaning against the deal.
This could change, of course. Only 33 senators are for or leaning for the deal. That leaves 10 undecided. If it does go to a vote, and the Senate votes to reject the pact, the president could veto it. At that point, even more votes against the deal would be needed to override. So it’s none too soon to think about what happens after.
One possibility is a round of recriminations among supporters of the Jewish state. Did Prime Minister Netanyahu misplay his hand? Did the American Israel Public Affairs Committee blunder by announcing a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign?
Already some are complaining that such a boast energized Iran’s supporters. For my part, I wouldn’t waste a New York nanosecond on that kind of handwringing. No opponent of this deal – least of all Israel’s elected leadership – is going to owe anyone an apology.
Moreover, if Obama fails to win a simple majority of either the Senate or the House or both, a startling situation is going to emerge. The administration is going to have to implement a pact that voters couldn’t block but still oppose.
That would be a ghastly situation for the Democrats – worse even than what happened after SALT II, the arms pact President Carter inked at Vienna with the Soviet party boss, Leonid Brezhnev, whom the American president kissed at the signing.
Mr. Carter ended up withdrawing the treaty from consideration in the Senate, where it stood no chance of ratification. SALT II was one of the reasons Mr. Carter lost the next election to Ronald Reagan (who honored the treaty only until the Kremlin violated it).
The Iran accord is different from SALT II, in that the Iran pact is not being submitted as a treaty. The whole constitutional setup, which is supposed to put the burden of proof on the president submitting the treaty, has been turned on its head.
In this deal, not only the Senate but the House must muster the votes to block the deal or it goes through automatically. If a resolution of disapproval is then vetoed by Obama, the deal still goes through.
But if Obama is left with a deal that is opposed by a majority of either the Senate or the House, the Democrats will be stuck with it. They will then be on the defensive with every hostile move Iran makes with the $150 billion the mullahs are going to get.
No doubt they’re going to try to skate through it. Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has reported an amazing lack of reaction by the Obama administration and others to rocket attacks from Syria that last week struck northern Israel and that were initiated by Iran.
Those rockets are but a wake-up call to what lies ahead, just in time for a presidential election. That’s the next big fight if this deal goes through, defeating the candidate of the Democratic Party that appeased Iran. Staggering betrayal, indeed.
Senator Markey has announced his support for the Iran deal that will let the terrorist regime inspect its own Parchin nuclear weapons research site, conduct uranium enrichment, build advanced centrifuges, buy ballistic missiles, fund terrorism and have a near zero breakout time to a nuclear bomb.
There was no surprise there.
Markey had topped the list of candidates supported by the Iran Lobby. And the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) had maxed out its contributions to his campaign.
After more fake suspense, Al Franken, another IAPAC backed politician who also benefited from Iran Lobby money, came out for the nuke sellout.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Iran Lobby’s third Dem senator, didn’t bother playing coy like her colleagues. She came out for the deal a while back even though she only got half the IAPAC cash that Franken and Markey received.
As did Senator Gillibrand, who had benefited from IAPAC money back when she first ran for senator and whose position on the deal should have come as no surprise.
The Iran Lobby had even tried, and failed, to turn Arizona Republican Jeff Flake. Iran Lobby cash had made the White House count on him as the Republican who would flip, but Flake came out against the deal. The Iran Lobby invested a good deal of time and money into Schumer, but that effort also failed.
Still these donations were only the tip of the Iran Lobby iceberg.
Gillibrand had also picked up money from the Iran Lobby’s Hassan Nemazee. Namazee was Hillary’s national campaign finance director who had raised a fortune for both her and Kerry before pleading guilty to a fraud scheme encompassing hundreds of millions of dollars. Nemazee had been an IAPAC trustee and had helped set up the organization.
Bill Clinton had nominated Hassan Nemazee as the US ambassador to Argentina when he had only been a citizen for two years. A spoilsport Senate didn’t allow Clinton to make a member of the Iran Lobby into a US ambassador, but Nemazee remained a steady presence on the Dem fundraising circuit.
Nemazee had donated to Gillibrand and had also kicked in money to help the Franken Recount Fund scour all the cemeteries for freshly dead votes, as well as to Barbara Boxer, who also came out for the Iran nuke deal. Boxer had also received money more directly from IAPAC.
In the House, the Democratic recipients of IAPAC money came out for the deal. Mike Honda, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Iran Lobby backed the nuke sellout. As did Andre Carson, Gerry Connolly, Donna Edwards and Jackie Speier. The Iran Lobby was certainly getting its money’s worth.
But the Iran Lobby’s biggest wins weren’t Markey or Shaheen. The real victory had come long before when two of their biggest politicians, Joe Biden and John Kerry, had moved into prime positions in the administration. Not only IAPAC, but key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both men.
That list includes Housang Amirahmadi, the founder of the American Iranian Council, who had spoken of a campaign to “conquer Obama’s heart and mind” and had described himself as “the Iranian lobby in the United States.” It includes the Iranian Muslim Association of North America (IMAN) board members who had fundraised for Biden. And it includes the aforementioned Hassan Nemazee.
A member of Iran’s opposition had accused Biden’s campaigns of being “financed by Islamic charities of the Iranian regime based in California and by the Silicon Iran network.” Biden’s affinity for the terrorist regime in Tehran was so extreme that after 9/11 he had suggested, “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran”.
Appeasement inflation has since raised that $200 million to at least $50 billion. But there are still no strings worth mentioning attached to the big check.
Questions about donations from the Iran Lobby had haunted Kerry’s campaign. Back then Kerry had been accused of supporting an agreement favorable to Iran. The parameters of that controversial proposal however were less generous than the one that Obama and Kerry are trying to sell now.
The hypothetical debates over the influence of the Iran Lobby have come to a very real conclusion.
Both of Obama’s secretaries of state were involved in Iran Lobby cash controversies, as was his vice president and his former secretary of defense. Obama was also the beneficiary of sizable donations from the Iran Lobby. Akbar Ghahary, the former co-founder of IAPAC, had donated and raised some $50,000 for Obama.
It’s an unprecedented track record that has received very little notice. While the so-called “Israel Lobby” is constantly scrutinized, the fact that key foreign policy positions under Obama are controlled by political figures with troubling ties to an enemy of this country has gone mostly unreported by the mainstream media.
This culture of silence allowed the Iran Lobby to get away with taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times before the Netanyahu speech asking, “Will Congress side with our President or a Foreign Leader?”
Iran’s stooges had taken a break from lobbying for ballistic missiles to play American patriots.
Obama and his allies, Iranian and domestic, have accused opponents of his dirty Iran deal of making “common cause” with that same terror regime and of treason. The ugly truth is that he and his political accomplices were the traitors all along.
Democrats in favor of a deal that will let a terrorist regime go nuclear have taken money from lobbies for that regime. They have broken their oath by taking bribes from a regime whose leaders chant, “Death to America”. Their pretense of examining the deal is nothing more than a hollow charade.
This deal has come down from Iran Lobby influenced politicians like Kerry and is being waved through by members of Congress who have taken money from the Iran Lobby. That is treason plain and simple.
Despite what we are told about its “moderate” leaders, Iran considers itself to be in a state of war with us. Iran and its agents have repeatedly carried out attacks against American soldiers, abducted and tortured to death American officials and have even engaged in attacks on American naval vessels.
Aiding an enemy state in developing nuclear weapons is the worst form of treason imaginable. Helping put weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists is the gravest of crimes.
The Democrats who have approved this deal are turning their party into a party of atom bomb spies.
Those politicians who have taken money from the Iran Lobby and are signing off on a deal that will let Iran go nuclear have engaged in the worst form of treason and committed the gravest of crimes. They must know that they will be held accountable. That when Iran detonates its first bomb, their names will be on it.
Obama’s $500 million plan to combat Bashar Al-Assad and ISIS forces in Syria created an elite force called “Regiment-30”. While Fox News revealed the program only gained 54 applicants, new evidence reveals that there were “thousands of outside forces” who joined Regiment-30, who are now also joining Al-Nusra terror front in Syria. The U.S-appointed Regiment-30’s main leader, as ironclad evidence reveals, is one code-named Abu Iskandar and he has now sent out an official appeal, including airing an explosive T.V interview, confirming they joined the notorious terrorist Al-Nusra Front which carried out massacres against Christians in Adra and Maaloula in Syria. Here is how the story goes:
As soon as the U.S-backed Regiment-30 was dispatched, their commander Nadim Al Hassan and his deputy Farhan Al Jassem, along with 18 others (this would be third of the U.S. trained regiment), were “abducted” and re-educated by the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria. Al-Nusra was designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization and are known for massacring Christians.
The Pentagon denied the claim of the abduction of a third of this U.S.-appointed regiment. This complete lie by the Pentagon was not only flatly refuted by Reuters , but one official document, including an interview with the main leader of the U.S.-backed Regimen-30, First Lieutenant Abu Iskandar, reveals receiving the best of training and declares his appeal to Al-Nusra, reminding the group of its unity agreement with Al-Nusra to join forces:
The pertinent part of the plea states:
“The leadership in Regiment-30 is calling upon (and for the second time) our brothers in Al-Nusra to stop these exercises [abducting Regiment 30 operatives] and stop the bloodshed and to keep our unity [agreement] intact“.
This plea to keep a “previous unity agreement”, cemented between Regiment-30 and Al-Nusra, was also exposed from sources coming directly from the Middle East. Jenan Moussa, an Arab journalist, who was able to penetrate the headquarters of the top ranking official in the U.S. appointed Regiment-30, Lieutenant commander Abu Iskandar, reveals an amazing tale showing how this U.S. appointed team was again begging Al-Nusra terror front to keep its previous arrangements and promises in preserving the unity coalition agreement that the two had made. The clear evidence from the U.S. appointed commander spilling the beans on everything, his intentions to only use the U.S. and his previous agreement to join forces with Al-Nusra and more can be watched here. Shoebat.com translated most of the interview showing the pertinent lines.
Jenan first introduces the scene by stating:
”…they were showing me all the weapons provided by the U.S…. it is the first time that a journalist was able to get to the headquarters [of Regiment-30] which is located in Northern Aleppo”.
Abu Iskandar speaks of when Al-Nusra had attacked and abducted ten from Regiment-30 operatives on July 12, 2015 adding that: (see 1:50)
“we had arranged previously with Al-Nusra and agreed never to combat each other and we would never give any information to the allies about Al-Nusra. We are not the arm of the U.S. in Syria and we are not against Al-Nusra Front, the opposite is the truth, they [Al-Nusra] are our brothers and we personally know them… they might accuse us of being agents of the West but we are agents for our country… we are both the same sons and both sides Al-Nusra and ours who were killed are [Jihadi] martyrs…”
Jenan then asks about the detail for the collaboration and arrangements between Regiment-30 and the terrorist group Al-Nusra Front (begin at 4:17). Abu Iskandar replies:
“We are forced to make arrangements with all other fighting groups [including Al-Nusra] and we say that before we came here a week ago that we met with Al-Nusra, and four months ago we met Al-Nusra, which in turn expressed admiration for the [U.S.-led Regiment 30] program. In fact they welcomed us… our arrangements with Al-Nusra is to collaborate militarily. We are not only 54, we are thousands… We were then shocked why they kidnapped Nadim, our leader… we are not 54, we are thousands, we have ground troops on land helping us.”
The “thousands” revealed by Abu Iskandar are “defensive forces” added in by the leadership of Regiment-30. “Al-Nusra released four already” says Abu Iskandar, emphasizing that the broken unity between Al-Nusra and Regiment-30 was simply a skirmish and that both sides mended their differences.
Jenan then asks to reveal what type of weaponry Regiment-30 is using, adding that “information has been revealed that some of your weapons [provided by the allies] are now in the hands of Al-Nusra. What did they [U.S] provide you?” Abu Iskandar denied that any weapons fell in the hands of Al-Nusra and that Al-Nusra released all whom they kidnapped.
Jenan then asks (at 8:11) “Don’t you think that the Americans just dumped you here to die?” Abu Iskandar smiles, and Jenan adds “what can 54 do against all these huge numbers of the other extremist sides, especially that you are agents of the U.S. you have been already honed in on.”
Abu Iskandar replies (see 8:30):
“The Americans, you in the media keep talking about them, the Americans are only part of this alliance. They did give us aid and lots of services, but the bigger enemy [besides the U.S.] is Bashar who is defunct politically”.
Al-Nusra is known to behead Christians.
 Patrick Poole, PJMedia reported “From the Reuters report: The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front has abducted the leader of a U.S.-backed rebel group in north Syria, opposition sources and a monitoring group said, in a blow to Washington’s efforts to train and equip fighters to combat Islamic State. A statement issued in the name of the group, “Division 30″, accused the Nusra Front of abducting Nadim al-Hassan and a number of his companions in a rural area north of Aleppo. It urged Nusra to release them. A Syrian activist and a second opposition source said most of the 54 fighters who have so far completed a U.S.-led train and equip programmed in neighboring Turkey were from Division 30. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that reports on the war, said the men were abducted while returning from a meeting in Azaz, north of Aleppo, to coordinate efforts with other factions. The opposition source said they were abducted on Tuesday night. The Telegraph is also reporting: Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists kidnapped the commanders of a US-trained rebel faction operating in northern Syria on Wednesday, sources said, in another blow for the Pentagon’s train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels. A statement issued Wednesday by the Division 30 Infantry group accused the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, of taking the Division’s commander, Colonel Nadim Al-Hassan, and his companions in the northern countryside of Aleppo province. “[The Division] demands that the brothers in the Nusra Front release the colonel… and his companions with the utmost speed so as to preserve the blood of the Muslims and… so as not to weaken the frontlines with side disputes between the brothers of one side,” said the statement, which was released on Division 30′s official page on social media.
South Korea fired a barrage of artillery rounds into North Korea on Thursday after the North shelled across the border to protest against anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts by Seoul, moves that raised tensions on the divided peninsula.
Washington urged Pyongyang to halt any “provocative” actions in the wake of the first exchange of fire between the two Koreas since last October. Both sides said there were no casualties or damage in their territory.
North Korea did not return fire but warned Seoul in a letter that it would take military action if the South did not stop the broadcasts along the border within 48 hours, the South’s Defense Ministry said.
In a separate letter, Pyongyang said it was willing to resolve the issue even though it considered the broadcasts a declaration of war, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.
North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, would put his troops on a “fully armed state of war” starting from 5 p.m. on Friday and had declared a “quasi-state of war” in frontline areas, Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency reported.
Such language is often used by North Korea in times of tension with the South.
A South Korean military official said the broadcasts would continue. Seoul began blasting anti-North Korean propaganda from loudspeakers on the border on Aug. 10, resuming a tactic that both sides had stopped in 2004.
South Korea said the North had fired one anti-aircraft shell followed by multiple shells on Thursday.
South Korea’s military, which said it fired “tens” of artillery rounds in response, raised its alert status to the highest level.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye told defense officials to “react firmly” to North Korean provocations, a spokesman quoted her as saying.
“Our military has stepped up monitoring and is closely watching North Korean military movements,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry said.
The North Korean army said the South fired 36 rounds, six of which landed near its guard posts, in a “reckless provocation,” KCNA said.
The United States, which has about 28,500 military personnel in South Korea, said it was concerned and closely monitoring the situation.
“Such provocative actions heighten tensions, and we call on Pyongyang to refrain from actions and rhetoric that threaten regional peace and security,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Katina Adams said.
The Pentagon said it would “take prudent measures” to ensure the well-being of U.S. personnel, but did not elaborate.
The first North Korean shell landed in an area about 60 km (35 miles) north of Seoul in the western part of the border zone, the defense ministry said. Nearly 800 South Korean residents living nearby were ordered to evacuate and stay in shelters, officials said.
North Korea said the South’s military “invented a case of ‘shell fired by the North’,” according to KCNA.
The two Koreas last exchanged fire in October, when North Korean soldiers approached the military border and did not retreat after the South fired warning shots, the South Korean Defense Ministry said at the time. There were no casualties.
Tension between the two Koreas has risen since early this month, when landmine explosions in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of the border wounded two South Korean soldiers. Seoul accused North Korea of laying the mines, which Pyongyang has denied.
The incident prompted Seoul to stage the propaganda broadcasts.
North Korea on Monday began conducting its own broadcasts.
Thursday’s exchange of fire took place during annual joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises.
The two Koreas have remained in a technical state of war since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
Retired Army Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency is accusing the Obama regime of lying about the rise of ISIS and the assertion that they were somehow caught off guard. He says that far from being surprised by ISIS, the Obama regime allowed them to form in a deliberate act intended to unite Sunni Muslims against the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria.
According to a report in WND, the circumstances surrounding the rise of ISIS are similar to those claimed by Iran and other Arab nations, which state that it was the United States government that created ISIS. They sponsored, which means at a minimum organized and funded and most probably trained as well, radical jihadists who later became the Jabhad al-Nusra and ISIS, supposedly as forces to be used in fighting the Syrian government.
Flynn also verified the authenticity of a 2012 DIA document that was recently obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA request which had previously been classified with no foreign access but was now declassified in a heavily redacted form. WND quoted that text as stating, “This is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”
Interviewed by Al Jazeera, Flynn left no room for doubt, stating, “It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.”
In support of the General’s claims, Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA analyst who is now the director of the Congressional Advisory Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, describe Flynn, saying, “Gen. Michael Flynn is very honorable and honest, indeed, courageous; so I credit what he says.” In other words, he’s everything that Hussein Obama is not, so who are you going to believe?
“The Obama administration should not have been surprised by the rapid rise of ISIS, since it was anticipated by DIA.” Pry attributed whatever surprise may have existed as being the result of Obama’s Ego, arrogance, stubbornness, and possibly anti-Americanism, saying, “Incompetence and ideology probably account for why the administration was surprised. This will not be the first time the administration has ignored the advice of military and intelligence professionals.”
According to the WND article, the report actually detailed the anticipated actions of what would later be called ISIS in Iraq. It stated that ISIS, at the time called the opposition forces, “will try to use the Iraqi territory as a safe haven for its forces taking advantage of the sympathy of the Iraqi border population, meanwhile trying to recruit fighters and train them on the Iraqi side, in addition to harboring [Syrian] refugees.
It also stated, “If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran). Those supporting powers included and were most prominently the United States.”
It further predicted the development of ISIS, stating, “This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters.
As if looking into a crystal ball, the document continued, “ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”
General Flynn’s version of events explains the public “confusion” and failure to recognize the threat posed by ISIS and to a large degree the unwillingness of the Obama regime to engage the terrorist organization in any meaningful way. It also explains how John McCain happened to end up mugging in photographs with known ISIS affiliated terrorists prior to the group self-identifying as the Islamic State. They could have been called McCain’s Army or Johnny’s jihadists.
Could this have been what Hussein Obama was talking about when he said, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” The devil lies in knowing the details of just what those national security objectives were.
There’s no reason to believe that Obama would actively be attempting to destroy American in every other manner imaginable, as we have witnessed, but would work to enhance our national security in this one specific area. His national security objectives clearly must also be to weaken and destroy the United States. Creating ISIS and then importing them into the United States as Syrian refugees or across our now porous southern border would be a logical and efficient way of achieving that goal.
ISIS is becoming increasingly powerful, they’ve got Iraqi oil so they’re well-funded, and they’re well armed with American equipment that was supposedly abandoned by the Iraqi Army after the first shot was fired.
It would also help to explain why we deposed Saddam Hussein in spite of the fact that he had no weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with 9/11. Chaos had to be fomented to create a terrorist breeding and training ground. Maybe Saddam had to go to make way for ISIS.
The lowest moment from what was probably the lowest speech of his presidency – so far. David Harsanyi, watching this, asks a good question:
Imagine what would have happened if Bush had said that Democrats were caucusing with Saddam Hussein?
12:50 PM – 5 Aug 2015
The GOP opposes the nuclear deal because they think it’s too favorable to Iran and not favorable enough to America. The hardliners in Iran’s parliament oppose the deal for the opposite reason. Insofar as they both want the deal to fail, I suppose that’s “common cause.” But then, as Harsanyi says, it must also be true that Barack Obama made “common cause” with Saddam Hussein since both of them thought the Iraq war was a bad idea. Obama thought it was a bad idea for U.S. and Iraqi security whereas Saddam thought it was a bad idea for his own personal security, but the reasoning is immaterial apparently. All that matters to “common cause” is how the parties to an issue align. Or at least, 12 years after the invasion of Iraq, that’s all that matters now. I wonder what Democrats like Steve Israel, who came out against the Iran deal yesterday, thought when they found out today that they’re on the same side as the worst fanatics in Iran’s government.
Actually, Obama’s insult may be worse than it at first appears. The major theme of this speech, as it always, always is – and always disingenuously – when Obama talks about diplomacy with Iran is that the only alternative is war. Reportedly he went so far today in a private meeting with Jewish leaders as to claim that Iranian rockets will rain down on Tel Aviv if the GOP-led Congress blocks the deal, because that will lead to war with Iran and war will lead to Iranian reprisals against Israel. Never mind that Iranian-made rockets already rain down on Israel every few years thanks to Hezbollah and that the sanctions relief Iran is getting from this deal will help pay for more of them. Never mind too that Israel’s own prime minister seems to think reprisals are a risk worth taking in the name of stopping an Iranian atomic bomb. The point, at least to Obama, is that only a warmonger would oppose this terrible deal, which all but endorses an Iranian bomb 10 years from now. Equating the Republicans in Congress with Iran’s hardliners was his way of suggesting, I think, that both of those groups actually seek war with each other in the name of advancing their own political interests. There’s no such thing as good-faith opposition to an Obama policy, at least outside the Democratic caucus. If GOP hawks hate his nuclear deal, it can only be because they’ve got Gulf War III on the brain and refuse to let some master stroke of diplomacy deter them.
In fact, that’s basically an Iranian talking point coming out of the president’s mouth, that some elements of the U.S. government are stone-cold fanatics who’ll accept nothing short of war with Iran. You hear a lot of Iranian talking points coming from the White House lately, curiously enough: Ed wrote this morning about John Kerry warning his former colleagues in Congress not to “screw” the country’s lunatic supreme leader by torpedoing a deal he kinda sorta supports. Here’s another choice bit from the same interview when Kerry was asked why we would agree to advanced enrichment 10 years from now by a country that’s sworn it’ll destroy Israel:
Though he says he is in tune with this set of Israeli fears, he does not endorse a view widely shared by Israelis – and by many Americans – that Iran’s leaders, who have often said that they seek the destruction of Israel, mean what they say. “I think they have a fundamental ideological confrontation with Israel at this particular moment. Whether or not that translates into active steps to, quote, ‘Wipe it,’ you know…” Here I interjected: “Wipe it off the map.” Kerry continued: “I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t seen anything that says to me – they’ve got 80,000 rockets in Hezbollah pointed at Israel, and any number of choices could have been made. They didn’t make the bomb when they had enough material for 10 to 12. They’ve signed on to an agreement where they say they’ll never try and make one and we have a mechanism in place where we can prove that. So I don’t want to get locked into that debate. I think it’s a waste of time here.”
That’s some fine PR for the mullahs: They haven’t tried to destroy Israel yet, and as far as what the future holds, who knows? And yet it’s the GOP, according to this guy’s boss, that’s making common cause with Iranian lunatics, not the White House. Over to you, Michael Weiss:
Please posit these two news stories, conveniently placed side by side.
2:03 PM – 5 Aug 2015
Two clips for you here, one about “common cause” and the other of Obama acknowledging that, sure, some of the money Iran gets after sanctions are lifted will go towards funding terror. This too he defends as if his deal was the only possible outcome of the negotiations: Sanctions relief was always going to be part of a nuclear agreement, he notes, so if you oppose that, you oppose diplomacy altogether. That would be a fair point if the agreement had produced something more meaningful for the U.S., like a permanent end to Iranian nuclearization. If the program had been “dismantled” rather than simply slowed down for 10 years, even Netanyahu could have gone along with it; the benefit would have been worth the cost of some extra cash in Iran’s terror treasury. Instead they got the money and we got nothing more than a 10-year respite from having to decide what to do about a fanatic Shiite regime with nuclear “breakout” capacity. And you know what the weirdest part of all of this is? For all their demagoguery and desperation in pushing this deal, Obama and Kerry don’t need to sell it at all. There’s nothing the GOP can do to stop it. The purchase has already been made in Congress. Obama and Kerry are getting nasty here not because they think it’s essential to getting Democrats to buy in but because, I think, they simply resent having their diplomatic master work criticized so sharply. It’s personal.
Today President Obama gave a speech at American University, urging acceptance of his nuclear deal with Iran. It was the usual exercise in deception and demagoguery, and he skated up to the edge of accusing opponents of the deal – a majority of Americans, apparently – of treason.
After some initial reminiscence about the Cold War, Obama leaped right into misrepresenting the agreement’s terms:
After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The “prohibition” consists of a pious declaration by Iran which it can repudiate at any time. The agreement contains no provisions that will permanently impede Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons. The provisions that (if adhered to) would materially impede Iran’s nuclear weapons program expire in no more than 15 years.
Next, the president offered up a revisionist history of the war in Iraq–a topic of dubious relevance at best:
[M]any of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.
Whereas others who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case in favor of the Iran deal–Joe Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, for example. So what? Next comes a breathtaking series of lies:
I said that America didn’t just have to end that war – we had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place. It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy; a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus; a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.
No American administration has ever preferred war to diplomacy. The war in Iraq was anything but unilateral, as more than 20 countries participated in the U.S.-led coalition. And the intelligence on Iraq’s WMDs was not exaggerated, as we know from the now-public October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. (Nor, as we now know, was that intelligence entirely wrong.)
Obama recites Iraq’s recent history, but leaves out a key point:
Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al Qaeda in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.
Obama neglects to mention his own role: in 2011 he prematurely withdrew all American troops from Iraq, crowing that Iraq was then “sovereign, stable and self-reliant,” a fact that Vice-President Joe Biden hailed as one of Obama’s “great achievements.” Iraq was sovereign and stable but not, as military leaders warned, entirely self-reliant. It was Obama’s needless withdrawal of the last American troops that allowed Iraq to spiral toward chaos and permitted ISIS – the Islamic State in Syria – to move into Iraq. But Obama has never once in his life taken responsibility for anything.
Who is to blame for Iran’s nuclear program? Why, President Bush, of course!
When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges – the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb – that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges…
IAEA reports indicate that Iran’s Natanz facility had around 5,500 centrifuges when Obama took office, and over 15,000 by May 2015. With the Fordow facility, Iran now has around 19,000 centrifuges operating. But it’s all Bush’s fault!
As always, Obama misrepresented the terms of the agreement. These are issues we have written about many times, so I won’t address those misrepresentations in detail. But here are a couple:
If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council; America can trigger snapback on our own.
Sheer fantasy. Much of the sanctions relief that Iran most craves can never be taken back–most notably, the $100 billion to $150 billion in frozen funds that will soon flow to Tehran. Further, all commercial deals that are entered into during the period of sanctions relief are excepted from future sanctions.
Even with those huge loopholes, the “snap back” is a fiction. Even U.S. sanctions will not “snap back” automatically; they will have to be reimposed by Congress and implemented over a period of time. We will have no control over whether the E.U. reimposes sanctions. The supposed “snap back” mechanism is limited to U.N. sanctions, and, as I wrote here, it is doubtful whether paragraph 37 of the agreement, the purported snap back provision, would actually cause U.N. sanctions to be reimposed based on the vote of one member of the Security Council.
It is true that if Iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money – revenue frozen overseas by other countries.
This is a very recent and highly dubious talking point. Until the last week or two, as I wrote here, every source I am aware of has long estimated Iran’s frozen assets at $100 billon to $150 billion. In fact, the Treasury Department, which John Kerry cited as the source for the administration’s new number, pegged the frozen assets at “approximately $100 billion” in sworn testimony before a Congressional committee in January of this year. And that is just a down payment on the economic benefit that Iran’s mullahs will receive from the end of sanctions.
No doubt the worst portion of Obama’s speech is the one that has gotten the most attention. Note how Obama walks right up to the line of accusing Republicans in Congress of treason:
Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. (Applause.)
No, but it is what Iran’s rulers believe. Iran’s Supreme Leader frequently leads mobs in chants of “Death to America.” Does Obama think he is kidding?
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. (Laughter and applause.)
If Obama had said that the Republican caucus is making common cause with Iran’s hardliners, it would have been an unambiguous accusation of treason. By phrasing it the other way around–the hardliners are making common cause with Republicans–Obama gives himself a slight margin of deniability. But either way, it is a disgusting slander.
It is also delusional. Iran’s hardliners are the regime in power. The mullahs are not aligning themselves with Republicans; on the contrary, they are trumpeting the fact that they got everything they wanted in their negotiations with John Kerry and Barack Obama. But Obama can’t, and won’t, confront that reality. He will just go on slandering his political opponents and lying to the American people.
Barack Obama is a terrible president, but he is a worse man.
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said he was unaware of reports that claim Iran is sanitizing a suspected nuclear site on Wednesday.
Bloomberg reported that Congress has received evidence from the intelligence community that Iran is sanitizing a suspected nuclear military site at Parchin.
Toner was asked if the State Department has seen the report.
“The U.S. intelligence community has informed of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin in broad daylight days after agreeing to the nuclear deal with world powers,” the reporter said. “The new evidence, which is classified, satellite imagery picked up by U.S. government assets in mid and late July showed that Iran had moved bulldozers and other heavy machinery.”
“I’ve not seen those reports until you just spoke to them,” Toner said. “But, you know, we’ve been very clear that the joint agreement that we plan that you can’t hide nuclear activity. There are traces that remain.”
Toner clarified, saying that he could not elaborate.
“But I can’t speak to that specific instance you’re talking about,” Toner said.
Skeptics of the nuclear agreement have concerns about confidential side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency that detail the inspection procedures into Iran’s suspected nuclear sites like Parchin.
U.S. SENATE HEARING ON THE OBAMA REGIME’S IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT
While Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama do their best to paper over the brutality of the Iranian regime and force through a nuclear agreement, Iran’s religious leader has another issue on his mind: The destruction of Israel.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called “Palestine,” a 416-page screed against the Jewish state. A blurb on the back cover credits Khamenei as “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”
A friend sent me a copy from Iran, the only place the book is currently available, though an Arabic translation is promised soon.
Obama administration officials likely hope that no American even hears about it.
‘Reclaiming Muslim lands’
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.
He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.”
One such principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims.
Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.
Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered.
These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of The Philippines and Thailand.
However, according to Khamenei, Israel, which he labels as “adou” and “doshman,” meaning “enemy” and “foe,” is a special case for three reasons.
The first is that it is a loyal “ally of the American Great Satan” and a key element in its “evil scheme” to dominate “the heartland of the Ummah.”
The second reason is that Israel has waged war on Muslims on a number of occasions, thus becoming “a hostile infidel,” or “kaffir al-harbi.”
Finally, Israel is a special case because it occupies Jerusalem, which Khamenei describes as “Islam’s third Holy City.”
He intimates that one of his “most cherished wishes” is to one day pray in Jerusalem.
Khamenei insists that he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to “massacre the Jews.” What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.
His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have double-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States and Europe to daily threats of death.
Khamenei makes no reference to Iran’s nuclear program. But the subtext is that a nuclear-armed Iran would make Israel think twice before trying to counter Khamenei’s strategy by taking military action against the Islamic Republic.
In Khamenei’s analysis, once the cost of staying in Israel has become too high for many Jews, Western powers, notably the US, which have supported the Jewish state for decades, might decide that the cost of doing so is higher than possible benefits.
Thanks to President Obama, the US has already distanced itself from Israel to a degree unimaginable a decade ago.
Khamenei counts on what he sees as “Israel fatigue.” The international community would start looking for what he calls “a practical and logical mechanism” to end the old conflict.
Khamenei’s “practical and logical mechanism” excludes the two-state formula in any form.
“The solution is a one-state formula,” he declares. That state, to be called Palestine, would be under Muslim rule but would allow non-Muslims, including some Israeli Jews who could prove “genuine roots” in the region to stay as “protected minorities.”
Under Khamenei’s scheme, Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, would revert to a United Nations mandate for a brief period during which a referendum is held to create the new state of Palestine.
All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are, would be able to vote, while Jews “who have come from other places” would be excluded.
Khamenei does not mention any figures for possible voters in his dream referendum. But studies by the Islamic Foreign Ministry in Tehran suggest that at least eight million Palestinians across the globe would be able to vote against 2.2 million Jews “acceptable” as future second-class citizens of new Palestine. Thus, the “Supreme Guide” is certain of the results of his proposed referendum.
He does not make clear whether the Kingdom of Jordan, which is located in 80% of historic Palestine, would be included in his one-state scheme. However, a majority of Jordanians are of Palestinian extraction and would be able to vote in the referendum and, logically, become citizens of the new Palestine.
Khamenei boasts about the success of his plans to make life impossible for Israelis through terror attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. His latest scheme is to recruit “fighters” in the West Bank to set up Hezbollah-style units.
“We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006 and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip,” he boasts.
Khamenei describes Israel as “a cancerous tumor” whose elimination would mean that “the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. In its place, he boasts, “the hegemony of Iran will be promoted.”
Khamenei’s book also deals with the Holocaust which he regards either as “a propaganda ploy” or a disputed claim. “If there was such a thing,” he writes, “we don’t know why it happened and how.”
This is what Iran’s leaders are preaching to their people and their allies in the Middle East. Do we really want to give succor?
Forty to fifty Americans are fighting with Kurdish forces against ISIS –
Retired U.S. Marine Jordan Matson joined the YPG Kurdish fighters to fight ISIS in September 2014.
Jordan told Greta Van Susteren in February that there are 40-50 Americans fighting with Kurdish forces against ISIS.
He also said the Kurds are very hospitable to Christians and Yazidis.
British ex-soldiers are also fighting with Kurdish forces against the Islamic State.
James Hughes, 26, and Jamie Read, 24, are fighting alongside other foreign volunteers with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units.
This week Obama gave a green light to Turkey to bomb the Kurds.
Msg. to the American people and the US gov. : Is this a penalty because we fought against ISIS instead of the world ?
10:45 PM – 25 Jul 2015
Turkish jets struck camps belonging to Kurdish militants in northern Iraq this weekend. This was Turkey’s first strike on the Kurds since a 2013 peace deal.
Americans and British soldiers are fighting with Kurds against ISIS.
After the nuclear deal between Iran and US
Shiite militias (#PMF) = Forces to protect human rights.
9:40 PM – 25 Jul 2015
No Friends but the Mountains: The Fate of the Kurds
White House calls Kurdish force a terrorist group.
5:19 AM – 26 Jul 2015
President Barack Obama boasted last week that his administration forced Iran to accept an eight-year delay in the lifting of ballistic missile sanctions, when Iran wanted those restrictions canceled immediately. (Never mind that Iran made the demand at the last minute, raising a “non-nuclear” issue of the sort Obama says the U.S. could not make with regard to American captives.) Now, Obama’s brag turns out to have been a lie. There are no effective ballistic missile restrictions in the deal: Iran is merely “called upon” to refrain, voluntarily, from such technology.
The old text of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010), reads:
…Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities…
The Iran deal, as formalized by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015), reads:
Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.
In his press conference last week, President Obama claimed that he had insisted, and won, an eight-year concession from the Iranians:
But what I said to our negotiators was, given that Iran has breached trust and the uncertainty of our allies in the region about Iran’s activities, let’s press for a longer extension of the arms embargo and the ballistic missile prohibitions. And we got that.
We got five years in which, under this new agreement, arms coming in and out of Iran are prohibited, and we got eight years for the respective ballistic missiles.
Yet since the deal was passed, Iranian leaders have claimed that it agreed to no restrictions on ballistic missiles, or that the UN Security Council resolution did not apply to its missile programs, since they are ostensibly not related to nuclear weapons.
As ridiculous as that sounds, it is closer to the truth than what President Obama has been telling the American people and the world.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration’s decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, “But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?”
“Well, they have a right to do that, honestly. It is presumptuous of some people to say that France, Russia, China, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do,” said Kerry. “They have a right to have a vote. But we prevailed on them to delay the implementation of that vote out of respect of our Congress.”
Reality is moving in on Barack Obama and the gang that can’t shoot straight. The sun shines bright and the mice won’t find a dark place to hide. The president continues to celebrate the remarkably awful deal he cut with Iran, but the rank and rancid details continue to leak, like something from a neighbor’s overflowing toilet upstairs.
Only yesterday, the day after he lost both cool and temper when a reporter asked a respectful, sensible question about why he let the Iranians off the hook for abusing four American hostages in Tehran, the administration confirmed – because the margins for lying about it continue to shrink – that the president had agreed that no Americans would be permitted to inspect suspected nuclear sites.
Only countries with “normal diplomatic relations” with Iran will be allowed to participate in the inspections organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That “includes the Americans out,” since putting American diplomats in Tehran puts them in grave danger and the United States so far brooks no relations with barbarians.
This remarkable concession was revealed by the Russians and the Iranians, who are still celebrating what they clearly regard – who can blame them? – as a remarkable triumph over Mr. Obama and his crack negotiators. The concession becomes clear in the text of the agreement released in Moscow and Tehran.
“Iran will increase the number of designated IAEA inspectors to the range of 130 to 150 within nine months from the date of the implementation of the [agreement],” the text reads, “and will generally allow the designation of inspectors from nations that have diplomatic relations with Iran, consistent with its laws and regulations.”
It’s possible, of course, that the president and his secretary of State forgot, with all the important things they must remember, that the United States is among the nations that have no diplomatic relations with Iran. The presidency is a demanding job, as we all know, and who can expect the president to remember every little thing? But there’s more, and maybe worse. The United States will assist Iran in combating nuclear sabotage and threats to its nuclear program. This sounds like satire, something from an Evelyn Waugh novel, but it’s true.
Susan Rice, President Obama’s crack national security adviser, confirmed the agreement that no Americans would be allowed to inspect anything, and seemed pleased to do so. Mr. Obama’s famous promise that in any agreement he would sign the Americans would inspect “anywhere, any time,” has shrunk to a concession that Americans could go “nowhere at no time.” He has abandoned Ronald Reagan’s famous presidential caution in dealing with the enemy to “trust, but verify.” He trusts, and thinks it’s impolite to ask questions, even of criminals.
The international inspectors, the White House insists, are “highly respected,” even if the Americans are not, and will do the work that Messrs. Obama and Kerry apparently think Americans cannot be trusted to do.
The more the plain folks in Washington learn about what the not-so-dynamic duo agreed to the more the incredulity level rises. How could two reasonably intelligent men agree to a deal that a jackleg lawyer from Hicksville would laugh out of the room? You might think a reasonably intelligent negotiator would insist that one of the negotiators, familiar with the negotiations, is exactly who must be on the inspections team.
“It’s ironic,” says Elliott Abrams, who was the director of the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration, “that after [we heard] about how Kerry and [Iranian foreign minister] Javad Zarif had tears in their eyes thinking about all they had accomplished together, we learn that the Islamic Republic won’t allow one single American inspector. No member of the [negotiating team] should be barred, and this is another example of how badly the administration negotiated. We should have insisted that the ‘no Americans’ rule was simply unacceptable.”
That conversation between Mr. Kerry and the Iranian foreign minister is said, by two persons who were there, to have brought tears to their eyes. Once the Iranian foreign minister got the sweetheart deal, enabling him to go home to Tehran without fear of losing his head to the mullahs with carving knives, he sat with Mr. Kerry for a little reminiscing.
Mr. Kerry got all choked up talking about his heroism in Vietnam, but said nothing about how he came home to tell a Senate committee how the men he served with had “personally raped, cut off ears, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies” and “razed villages in the fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.” The diplomats in the room “were visibly moved,” and “began to applaud.” That’s more than his countrymen can do.
When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history,” you don’t expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then on Tuesday the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. I was wrong.
Who would have imagined we would be giving up the conventional arms and ballistic missile embargoes on Iran? In nuclear negotiations?
When asked Wednesday at his news conference why there is nothing in the deal about the American hostages being held by Iran, President Obama explained that this is a separate issue, not part of nuclear talks.
Are conventional weapons not a separate issue? After all, conventional, by definition, means non-nuclear. Why are we giving up the embargoes?
Because Iran, joined by Russia – our “reset” partner – sprung the demand at the last minute, calculating that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were so desperate for a deal that they would cave. They did. And have convinced themselves that they scored a victory by delaying the lifting by five to eight years. (Ostensibly. The language is murky. The interval could be considerably shorter.)
Obama claimed in his news conference that it really doesn’t matter, because we can always intercept Iranian arms shipments to, say, Hezbollah.
But wait. Obama has insisted throughout that we are pursuing this Iranian diplomacy to avoid the use of force, yet now blithely discards a previous diplomatic achievement – the arms embargo – by suggesting, no matter, we can just shoot our way to interdiction.
Moreover, the most serious issue is not Iranian exports but Iranian imports – of sophisticated Russian and Chinese weapons. These are untouchable. We are not going to attack Russian and Chinese transports.
The net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but also to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf. Imagine how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half-century.
The other major shock in the final deal is what happened to our insistence on “anytime, anywhere” inspections. Under the final agreement, Iran has the right to deny international inspectors access to any undeclared nuclear site. The denial is then adjudicated by a committee – on which Iran sits. It then goes through several other bodies, on all of which Iran sits. Even if the inspectors’ request prevails, the approval process can take 24 days.
And what do you think will be left to be found, left unscrubbed, after 24 days? The whole process is farcical.
The action now shifts to Congress. The debate is being hailed as momentous. It is not. It’s irrelevant.
Congress won’t get to vote on the deal until September. But Obama is taking the agreement to the U.N. Security Council for approval within days . Approval there will cancel all previous U.N. resolutions outlawing and sanctioning Iran’s nuclear activities.
Meaning: Whatever Congress ultimately does, it won’t matter because the legal underpinning for the entire international sanctions regime against Iran will have been dismantled at the Security Council. Ten years of painstakingly constructed international sanctions will vanish overnight, irretrievably.
Even if Congress rejects the agreement, do you think the Europeans, the Chinese or the Russians will reinstate sanctions? The result: The United States is left isolated while the rest of the world does thriving business with Iran.
Should Congress then give up? No. Congress needs to act in order to rob this deal of, at least, its domestic legitimacy. Rejection will make little difference on the ground. But it will make it easier for a successor president to legitimately reconsider an executive agreement (Obama dare not call it a treaty – it would be instantly rejected by the Senate) that garnered such pathetically little backing in either house of Congress.
It’s a future hope, but amid dire circumstances. By then, Iran will be flush with cash, legitimized as a normal international actor in good standing, recognized (as Obama once said) as “a very successful regional power.” Stopping Iran from going nuclear at that point will be infinitely more difficult and risky.
Which is Obama’s triumph. He has locked in his folly. He has laid down his legacy, and we will have to live with the consequences for decades.
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) released a video of their massacre at the Speicher army base in Tikrit, which left over 1,700 young Shi’ite cadets dead.
In the video, young men plead for their lives as militants drag them off a truck. The terrorists bind the men’s hands behind their backs and gag them. A man, whose face is completely covered, “lectures the young cadets” before an unmasked gunman shoots them to death as a masked man waves the infamous black ISIS flag.
“This is a message I address to the whole world and especially to the Rafidha dogs, I tell them we are coming,” stated one of the masked men.
Rafidha is a derogatory term used against Shi’ites.
The video then cuts to the other men marching in single file down to the Tigris River. Masked ISIS terrorists shoot the men and throw the bodies into the river. The place of the execution is caked in blood by the end of the massacre.
The militants continued the massacre into the night. A night vision attachment on the camera allowed the terrorists to capture the massacre as the sun went down.
Government officials recovered 600 bodies after they captured Tikrit, the hometown of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, in April. Loved ones have been unable to recover bodies thrown into the river.
The body count puts the massacre as one of the deadliest in Iraq in the past decade. A court in Baghdad sentenced 24 men to death by hanging due to their role in the slaughter.
The White House and the State Department are pushing back with unusual vigor against a New York Times article Monday that reports that “Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations.” The revelation, based on the most recent reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Institute for Science and International Security, contradicts President Barack Obama’s repeated claims to have “frozen” Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. The new information also suggests that Iran is, or will be, in violation of the interim nuclear deal.
Instead of expressing concern about Iran’s behavior, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf and White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes have tried to discredit, discount and deny the Times story.
Harf unleashed a series of angry tweets on Wednesday attacking the article and its author, while Rhodes tweeted his assurance that Iran has “consistently” lived up to its end of the bargain. Both are insisting that any apparent non-compliance by Iran is either inadvertent or mistaken, and that the Iranian regime will meet its obligations to reduce its nuclear stockpile drastically by June 30.
Richard Nephew reaffirms Iran has not violated JPOA and has consistently met its obligation to cap stockpile on time
4:58 PM – 3 Jun 2015
Why Iran’s growing uranium stockpile won’t derail a nuclear deal
Recent media reports have raised questions about whether Iran is adhering to its commitments under an interim nuclear agreement, even as Tehran and six world powers enter the final weeks of negotia..
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(The report to which Rhodes refers actually admits that the Iranian non-compliance “is an issue,” but argues, unconvincingly, that the excess material is “not a bomb’s worth,” and that “there should be some understanding for the complexity of the task on the part of the Iranians,” through Iran committed to that task knowing how difficult it might be.)
The trouble for the Obama administration is that no one believes it anymore, least of all the State Department press gallery, which chafed at Harf’s evasions on Wednesday.
There are several reasons for the administrations fading credibility. One is that the interim deal turned out to be far more lenient than even senior national security officials had been led to believe (it does not cover ballistic missiles, for example).
But the most important reason that no one believes the Obama administration is that the president has taken the military option off the table, most recently in an interview on Israeli television in which he said that there is no military solution to the problem.
Obama has demonstrated that he will do anything to preserve the façade of a nuclear deal–even though the Iranians continue to insist that they will not allow spot inspections of known nuclear facilities, much less military sites, to ensure compliance, and even though Iran continues its war against American allies and calls for “death to America” itself.
Iran would behave quite differently if it really worried about complying with the interim deal, and assuring the world that it had only peaceful intentions.
The simplest explanation for Iran’s failure to freeze its enrichment of uranium, or to convert the excess enrichment material in time, is that Iran knows it has a unique chance to build a bigger stockpile, and that Obama will not walk away.
Obama’s PR flacks cannot admit what Iran is doing, because then they would admit Obama has lied to the world. They protect Iran because in protecting Iran, they protect Obama.
Effectively, they are now tools of the Iranian regime.