American Elephants

The Feckless U.S. Foreign Policy by The Elephant's Child

“The Jerusalem Post reports that European diplomats say the deal between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is for Tehran to keep about 6,500 centrifuges in return for “guaranteeing regional stability” —using Iranian influence to keep Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in check. International sanctions that  Obama claims have forced Iran to the negotiating table would be lifted.

Iran not only retains the ability to attain atomic weaponry, it gets license from the U.S. to become a power broker in the region—eventually a nuclear-armed actor.”

In his State of the Union speech, Obama devoted just 172 words to the question of Iran. He was attempting to put a pretty face on the entire state of the union, but this was delusional.

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran, secures America and our allies, including Israel, while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.

But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails—alienating America from its allies; making it harder to maintain sanctions; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. And that’s why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. [Applause] The American people expect us only to go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.

Iran hasn’t halted anything. Days before the speech Iran announced it would be building two more reactors. They have continued to make progress on the plutonium program and continued enriching. Obama has been returning funds frozen as part of the sanctions program. Iran is the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world.

Obama believes that the radical theocracy in Iran that sponsors worldwide terrorism can be talked out of its nuclear aspirations and transform itself into a helpful friend, who will stabilize the mess in Iraq and defeat ISIS, and then the Middle East will cease to be a problem that we have to get mixed up in. He really doesn’t seem to see a nuclear Iran as a particular problem. After all, lots of other nations have nuclear weapons, and nobody is about to use them.

Israel believes that the Obama administration “has already given the Iranians 80% of what they want” in nuclear negotiations.

Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken admitted to Congress that the Obama administration’s goal during negotiations with Iran is delaying the regime’s development of nuclear weapons rather than actually shutting down their contested nuclear program.

In his recent interview with Fareed Zakaria which turned largely on Obama’s inability to put “terrorism” and “Islam” in the same sentence, Obama said:

Sure they can do harm, but we have the capacity to control how we respond in ways that do not undercut what’s the — you know, what’s the essence of who we are.

That means that we don’t torture, for example, and thereby undermine our values and credibility around the world. It means that we don’t approach this with a strategy of sending out occupying armies and playing Whack-A-Mole wherever a terrorist group appears because that drains our economic strength and it puts enormous burdens on our military.

Ultimately these terrorist organizations will be defeated because they don’t have a vision that appeals to ordinary people. It is — it really is, as has been described in some cases, a death cult, or an entirely backward looking fantasy that can’t function in the world.

For whatever reasons, Barack Obama is living in a fantasy world where all of his speeches are well received, where his strategy always works, where the economy is booming, all of his economic efforts have paid off, and his efforts to make the world a better  place have been triumphant. What more could you possibly want?

America In Retreat by The Elephant's Child

ISIS would not exist, but for President Obama’s overwhelming urge to get completely out of Iraq because he hated George W. Bush and believed that he was elected to “get us out of Iraq,” tossing aside the difficult task of getting a status of forces agreement, the advice of his Secretaries of Defense and the military establishment. To his mind the subsequent failure of the Iraqi army proved that he was correct—not that they needed more training, as he had been warned.

Now he’s doing the same thing in Afghanistan, with the same results. Reportedly, ISIS has joined up with the Taliban to recruit fighters in Afghanistan. The current speculation is that Obama intends to turn over the problems in Iraq to Iran, and if they can clean it up, we’ll let them go ahead with their centrifuges. Obama does not believe in a “smarter” American leadership. He has no strategy at all, and doesn’t know how to lead.

ISIS Purifies Islam Through Fire by The Elephant's Child

jpb The horrendous video was released yesterday by ISIS. To Western eyes it is beyond comprehension. Over at Frontpage Magazine, Dawn Perlmutter, an expert in symbology and why these people do what they do, explains what it’s meaning is to them. Still hard to understand, but the article is helpful, as is the accompanying video in which she discusses Islamic Murder by Ritual Purification.

Despite the surprise and shock of seeing a young man burned alive, this is not a new tactic. In fact it is a common method of ritual murder in Iraq and other countries particularly in honor killings and the murder of Christians. The significant difference is that the Islamic State media films the execution using sophisticated editing and highly choreographed techniques turning the killing into a scripted reality show.

Hundreds of women in the Muslim world have been murdered by fire in honor killings. The murders were often disguised as suicides or accidents. In the first six months of 2007, in Iraqi Kurdistan, 255 women were killed, three-quarters of them by burning. An earlier report cited 366 cases of women who were the victims of so-called fire accidents in Dohuk in 2006, up from 289 the year before….

The article helps to explain some of the polarizing differences between our world and theirs. I can’t say that there is anything there that explains the response of our president or his administration, but I’m impressed with Ms. Perlmutter’s article. I wish it would get wide circulation among the media. But that’s not going to happen either. Not exactly what one would call a religion of peace.

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