American Elephants


Selling Out Your Country, Step by Step by Step! by The Elephant's Child

It’s no wonder that Obama dashed off to the United Nations Security Council to attempt to block Congress from doing anything to discredit his proud catastrophe in waiting. The administration raced straight from Vienna, without waiting for even comments from Congress.

It has now been 4,403 days  — since June 2003 — since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first reported that Iran had breached its legal obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It took another three years to get the matter before the Security Council. From 2006 to 2010 were six hard-fought resolutions that managed to avoid vetoes from Russia and China. Four of those resolutions contained sanctions provisions.

The resolutions didn’t stop Iran from working on nuclear weapons, but they were a universal statement that Iran was a pariah state. It was in breach of fundamental international law, and legitimately subject to sanctions until there was independent, reliable verification that Iran had fully complied.

Both Democrats and Republicans have criticized the U.N. First gambit. Secretary Kerry said it wasn’t deliberate. He said he and the President had wanted the U.N. to hold off until Congress completed its 60-day review as specified in U.S. law, but the other global parties simply couldn’t wait. Complete nonsense.

“It’s presumptuous of some people to suspect that France, Russia, China, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do,” Mr. Kerry lectured his former Capitol Hill colleagues on ABC’s “This Week.” Mr. Kerry added as a sort of consolation that his hard bargaining did get the U.N. to delay the provisions of Monday’s resolution from going into effect for 90 days.

Yeah, sure. “Mr. Obama deliberately structured his Iran negotiation to make Congress a secondary party to the U.N. The Security Council vote means that the process of lifting international economic sanctions is now under way and the pact will roll forward. Mr. Kerry ad supporters of the deal will also now argue that if Congress does reject the pact, the international coalition  and sanctions regime can’t be reassembled.” The Wall Street Journal added:

The U.N. vote lets him assert that disapproval in Congress will pit America against the rest of the world outside the Middle East.

Congress shouldn’t fall for it…

The bigger issue here is self-government. The U.S. Constitution gives Presidents enormous clout on foreign policy, especially when Congress won’t assert its own powers. But Mr. Obama doesn’t have the authority to let the United Nations dictate to America’s elected Representatives.

Even if Mr. Obama does veto a resolution of disapproval, a bipartisan majority vote against the Iran deal would be a forceful statement to Iran and the world that Mr. Obama is acting without the support of the American people.

Breitbart reports that there are two secret “side deals” between Iran and the IAEA to accompany the main Iran nuclear deal, which will not be shared with other nations, Congress, or the public.



Hoover fellow Charles Hill Discusses the Iran Deal by The Elephant's Child

Charles Hill is one of our nation’s most accomplished diplomats. He is now the diplomat in residence at Yale, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He served in the State Department at the right hand of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Secretary of State George Shultz. He has written important works such as Trial of a Thousand Years: Islamism and World Order, and he teaches “Grand Strategy,” a course that has become legendary among generations of Yale Undergraduates.



Here’s Why This Man is Laughing. The Iran Deal explained. by The Elephant's Child

WhyIsThisManLaughing

Here’s an explanation of the Iran Deal reduced to basics. We would all prefer to think that Obama meant what he promised about a deal  two years ago, or last year, or even a month or two ago. But he didn’t. And he lied about it.

Here’s What we get:

•Iran reduces by about half the number of centrifuges actively enriching uranium.

•Iran reduces its stockpile of enriched uranium from about five tons to 300 kilograms.

•Iran repurposes its heavy water reactor in Arak so it does not produce plutonium.

•An unspecified increase in inspections by the IAEA

Here’s What Iran Gets:
Sanctions relief:

•Almost every type of U.S. EU and UN sanctions are lifted.

•Repeal of six UN Security Council resolutions declaring the Iranian nuclear program illegal.

•Top IROC and Quds Force terrorists removed from the sanctions list, including Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran’s campaign against US. Soldiers in Iraq, and Ahmad Vahidi, mastermind of the 1994 Jewish community center bombing in Argentina that killed 85 people.

•Removal from the sanctions list of approximately 800 people and legal entities, including 23 out of 24 Iranian banks.

•$100 to $$150 billion to be  unfrozen and given to Iran with no restrictions on its use to purchase arms and fund terrorism, including funding for Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Assad regime in Syria.

Nuclear Program:

•Iran keeps every one of its nuclear centrifuges.

•Iran keeps its entire physical nuclear infrastructure, including the enrichment facilities at Fordow, Nantaz, and the enrichment facilities at Bushehr.

•Iran permitted to continue research and development on all of its advanced centrifuge designs, reducing nuclear breakout time at the end of the deal to weeks.

•Iran permitted to transition its allowed enrichment of uranium from older centrifuge designs to advanced designs.

•No “anywhere, anytime” inspections. Iran can delay inspection of any site for at least 24 days.

•No requirement that Iran fully disclose past nuclear weapons research and development (PDM issue).

•The P5+1 western powers pledge to collaborate with Iran on nuclear technology.

•Restrictions on enrichment—part of the “sunset” of the deal—are lifted after eight years.

• If Iran is thought to have violated the deal, in order to “snap back” sanctions a dispute resolution process must be undertaken that can last two and a half months, after which the matter can be referred to the UN Security Council. At the UNSC, the re-imposition of sanctions can be vetoed by Russia, which stands to earn billions of dollars from arms sales to a non-sanctioned Iran.

Concessions unrelated to nuclear program:

•Ballistic missile embargo lifted after eight years.

•Conventional arms embargo lifted after five years.

•Iran keeps U.S. hostages.

(h/t: Noah Pollak, The Weekly Standard)

After his team, on his instructions, has given away the store, Obama had a “press conference” that was really just a reprise of White House talking points designed to fool the public. This was a catastrophic failure of understanding, of backbone, and of the real dangers involved.

Iran is not a normal country, but a radical theocratic regime whose goal is to develop nuclear weapons in order to destroy the State of Israel and the United States of America. Obama does not believe they would ever use a nuclear weapon. He is mistaken.



The Issue Is Never the Issue, and The Iran Deal Is Not About Nukes. by The Elephant's Child

The Iran Deal wasn’t really about nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons were never the top priority on the Obama administration’s list. Obama is firmly convinced that Iran would never actually use nuclear weapons. The administration, defeated in its efforts to bring about a “two-state solution” between Israel and the Palestinians, Obama’s intent when first inaugurated. That failure has been a thorn in his side ever since.

Obama has viewed Israel as an intractable troublemaker, and Israel as the main reason for all of the troubles in the Middle East. One of his main concerns with the Iran Deal was to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran. His vision of a peaceful Middle East has Iran as the great regional power who would manage the troublesome sects and tribes and dictators and jihadists, and America can just wash its hands of the whole region.

He wants to transform the United States into a less imposing power. He wants to limit American action. In his view the United States has been way too eager to impose its norms onto other countries and needs to stop throwing its weight around. It needs to be just one country among the family of nations — a more humble power.

And of course the biggest goal is to ensure the legacies of the president and secretary of state as men of vision and peace, who recognize that diplomacy can bring about real peace. That these abstract principles have no relation to the facts on the ground is not obvious to the true believer in the White House. He believes that with cooperation and forgiveness, even a nuclear Iran will become a collegial member of the community of nations.

When you have that mindset, whether or not Iran wants to become one of the world’s nuclear powers is just not all that important.

3220

Formal portrait. The two Iranian diplomats just can’t contain their giddy triumph.



Putting the Middle East in Proper Perspective by The Elephant's Child

Daniel Pipes is President of the Middle East Forum, and one of the 100 most important living Harvard graduates. His father, Richard Pipes, is an eminent Russian historian and author of one of my most prized books: Property and Freedom, which If I had any doubt, which I didn’t, settled the private property question for once and for all.

Daniel Pipes gave a talk at the David Horowitz Freedom Center;s Texas retreat last month in Dallas, a video of which Scott Johnson posted at Powerline. It is worth your time and attention, Mr. Pipes is brilliant, knowledgeable and deeply interesting.



Obama is In Search of His Legacy, As Meaningless as His Nobel Prize by The Elephant's Child

Supreme-Leader-of-the-Islamic-Revolution-Ayatollah-Seyed-Ali-KhameneiThe State Department has recently released their annual report on terrorism. It reveals that in 2014, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training and the facilitation of primarily Iraq Shia and Afghan fighters to support the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown. Terrorist attacks have ratcheted up by more than a third. The number of people killed in these terrorist attacks has increased by 80 percent in 2014. Yet President Obama is still hunting for a legacy in an Iran Deal.

So far, we are lifting sanctions, Iran is getting their gold back and their money back, and Boeing has been there with spare parts for the Iranian air force, and we have looked the other way while they got some used airplanes. Obama is looking ahead to getting approval of his deal from Congress. Iran has given up nothing. Nothing at all.

The White House is targeting progressive Jewish groups to put pressure on Congress to get their approval. The liberal fringe group J-Street  has received millions from the Ploughshares Fund to increase support within the Jewish group. They are told that the Iran deal has been the president’s chief priority in the Oval Office since day one.

Some have believed that a “good deal,” which would dismantle the clerical regime’s capacity to build nuclear weapons, is possible if Mr. Obama would add to diplomacy a serious threat of more sanctions and the use of force. But the Iranian regime is unlikely to respond to threats, or so we’re told.

The Islamic Republic is a revolutionary Islamic movement. They will never bow to America’s economic coercion. They will never allow Westerners access to their 30 years of planning and development and facilities and secrets.

Obama views his Iranian ‘partners in peace’ as the key to “fixing” the Middle East, by propping up the Shiite theocracy as a regional hegemon that will ruthlessly suppress Sunni extremists like ISIS. It is a fundamental belief of the Obama foreign policy brain trust that Iran says a lot of crazy, incendiary things to please domestic audiences and impress Muslim nations it wants to fold into the new Persian Empire, but deep down, the mullahs are trustworthy statesmen and businessmen.

Toby Harnden at the UK Sunday Times says he’s hearing more of this kind of talk openly from U.S. officials, and the deadline keeps moving and moving.

Both present and former American officials describe Obama as being obsessed with carving his mark on history by restoring diplomatic relations with Iran after decades of animosity and possibly even visiting Tehran next year.

Obama wants this as the centrepiece of his legacy, and he believes a peaceful Iran could be a bulwark against ISIS in the Middle East and the key to peace there,” said an American diplomat involved in the negotiations, which face a deadline for agreement on Tuesday.

“The ‘plan’ is not really about nukes. Obama and his foreign policy advisers do not think Iran will nuke anyone, ever, no matter when they get The Bomb. The plan is about building up Greater Iran and making a historic diplomatic opening that will have future historians burbling that peace with the new Middle East began the day Obama gave away the store to smirking Iranian negotiators and signed that nuclear deal.”

The Rockefeller Fund has spent millions to make the Iran Deal happen. It’s a loose coalition of peace groups, think tanks and former U.S. diplomats called the Iran Project. CREDO Action is another dark money group that is working with other groups to threaten any Congressional Democrat who objects to a final nuclear deal with Iran, even before the terms of any agreement have been determined. The organization is a member of the Democracy Alliance, the organization of Leftist millionaires and billionaires who run Democrat policy.

Westerners have long made the mistake of assuming that our enemies are, underneath it all, people just like us, who have families and want the best for them and for their country and have similar goals as we do. They are not. They are religious fanatics, tribal, theocratic tyrants who, as they often tell us, value death while we value life. And when they shout “Death to the little Satan,” “Death to the Great Satan,” which is us, they really mean it. One of the big problems for the regime is that the people of Iran hate them.

Well, the emperor has no clothes, but there is nobody to tell him so, or at least nobody that he will listen to. There are no sanctions to be slapped back on, and at the UN, Russia and China wouldn’t go along anyway.

Iran will not sign a deal, according to Michael Ledeen, who seems to have someone fairly high up in the regime on his speed dial. The Ayatollah Khomeinei has forbidden it. So they will have a ‘framework’ or something of the kind, and continue to talk. Nobody, at least on our side, will walk away. Will they keep talking? Will anyone think Obama has a triumph for his legacy?

The Iranians are reportedly close to having a nuclear weapon, if they don’t have one already. Their military manuals have records of our vulnerability to an EMP attack. Obama proposes to cut the active duty military by 40,000 as the threats to America increase. What could possibly go wrong?



Obama’s Sales Push for His Nonexistent Deal With Iran Reveals His Own Failings by The Elephant's Child
April 7, 2015, 7:44 pm
Filed under: Iran, Islam, Middle East, Politics | Tags: , ,

Continuing his tour of friendly sources to boost the alleged “deal” with Iran, in the face of a very skeptical public, President Obama granted an interview to National Public Radio.  In doing so, he managed to provide some major reasons why Congress should reject the Iran deal out of hand. Steve Inskeep said asked “Do you believe that Iran’s government is capable of changing its ways?”

Obama responded:

My goal, when I came into office, was to make sure that Iran did not get a nuclear weapon and thereby trigger a nuclear arms race in the most volatile part of the world. And prior to me coming into office, we had seen Iran’s program go very quickly and have a whole bunch of centrifuges reduce the timeline in which they could break out and obtain a nuclear weapon if they so chose.

And because of the hard diplomatic work that we did internationally, as well as help from Congress, we were able to impose some really significant sanctions, brought them to the table.

What we are worried about is not a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, but Iran’s religious commitment to the destruction of America and Israel. The Islamic doctrine of taqiyya permits Muslims to deceive non-Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad regularly lied to his enemies. Taqiyya has become second nature to the Shia—the sect that rules Iran.

Obama says Iran could have a nuclear weapon after 12 years. He volunteered that in years 13, 14 and 15, Iran could have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that time the breakout times would have shrunk down almost down to zero. He argues that would be better than the current breakout time of 2-3 months, and the world would know more about the program. I have read 45 days in several places, but our intelligence has been wrong about breakout times in the case of India, Pakistan and North Korea, We are always “surprised.” American Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, one of the Iran negotiators, presided over the deal with North Korea that was to prevent them from becoming a nuclear state. Beside John Kerry, we are represented by Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz, who is a physicist, presumably because he may understand nuclear energy.

Obama admitted that Iran is not going to change, they will not recognize Israel’s right to exist. They will not stop supporting terrorism. There is no way to resolve the differences over sanctions. He believes that if we sign this nuclear deal, we strengthen the hand of the more moderate forces in Iran. Yet Iran has no intention or desire to join the community of nations. They do want to reestablish the Persian empire, and are working on it.

Obama assumes that inspections will be effective and that the threat of slapping the sanctions back on will make sure they are effective, The UN inspectors currently admit that they really don’t know much about what Iran has. They aren’t allowed to really inspect. Sanctions, once removed, will not be slapped back on. That would require a highly unlikely vote from China and Russia.

The Persian people are already banking on economic growth from the lifting of sanctions. France’s Total Oil Company is counting on increased amounts of oil from Iran. German industry sells them all sorts of equipment, as does Moscow. Their economy has been severely weakened, but in the midst of sanctions they have been financing their war operations, and there has been no lessening of their support for Hezbollah or Assad over the last four or five years. Obama has already relaxed the sanctions and returned most of their money.

What it seems to amount to, is that Obama will do anything to avoid military action. He wants the legacy of preventing Iran from immediate acquisition of a bomb, and he’s only in office for another 20 months so he’s willing to kick the problem down the road for the next president.

In his previous interview with Thomas Friedman, Obama said that his “absolute commitment” that if Israel were “attacked by any state, that we would stand by them” and that “should be sufficient” for Israel to take advantage of this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” and accept his Iran nuclear deal as a good step forward. Again, Obama seems to assume that after a nuclear attack there would be something left of Israel for him to “stand by,” or something of America to do the standing. There is a disconnect here that Obama simply doesn’t seem to understand. His casual assumptions do not acknowledge the Shiia view of Armageddon bringing the return of the Mahdi and the eternal bliss that follows. He does not acknowledge Iran’s determination that their efforts to get a nuclear weapon trump any efforts of UN inspectors to attempt to inspect. He assumes that Iranian promises mean something.

This is not a matter of nuclear deterrence, or “mutually assured destruction” or a “nuclear arms race.” It’s a different time, different goals, and deeply different religions, one of which wants an end to America and an end to Israel.




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