Filed under: History, Intelligence, Iran, Israel, Law, National Security, The United States | Tags: President Barack Obama, Presidential Ambitions, The Six Day War
From the Associated Press:
JERUSALEM: Seeking to sell his nuclear deal with Iran to a skeptical Israeli public, President Barack Obama has repeatedly declared his deep affection for the Jewish state. But the feelings do not appear to be mutual.
Wide swaths of the Israeli public, particularly supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have little trust in the American leader, considering him naive and even hostile. One recent poll showed less than a tenth considered him “pro-Israel.”
Such misgivings bode poorly for Obama as he tries to repair ties with Israel in the final year of his presidency, and they would certainly complicate any renewed effort at brokering peace between Israel and its neighbors – once a major Obama ambition.
President Obama believed firmly that one of the great triumphs of his administration would be brokering a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. He thought that all he had to do was make Israel withdraw to their borders before the 1967 Six Day War. Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Israel was taken by surprise. Egypt swept deep into the Sinai Peninsula and Syria struggled to throw Israeli troops our of the Golan Heights. It was a huge victory for the Israelis. a cease-fire went into effect on October 25, 1973.
Obama’s missteps date to his earliest days in office, and the Cairo speech, which demonstrated his naivety and unfamiliarity with the Middle East. He doesn’t understand how the Mideast functions and therefore doesn’t understand the dangers Israel faces. But the biggest issue is the Iran Deal. Iran funds Hezbollah, Hamas, and any other jihadist group firing missiles into Israel. Iran buys and supplies the missiles. Mr. Obama’s views might alter if Washington DC was under daily missile attack from Pennsylvania or Maryland.
President Obama might also reflect on Iran’s drive to obtain intercontinental ballistic missiles. They have no need for ICBMs to eliminate Israel. I don’t think Obama’s professions of “deep affections” for the nation of Israel are going to impress much of anybody. A recent Pew survey of 40 countries indicates that confidence in Obama has slipped from 71 percent to 40 percent.
For his part, Obama has acknowledged feeling hurt. In an address to American Jewish leaders last month, Obama underscored his deep commitment to Israel’s security and likened the debate over the Iran deal to a dispute within the family.
“I would suggest that, in terms of the tone of this debate, everybody keep in mind that we’re all pro-Israel,” he said. “And we have to make sure that we don’t impugn people’s motives.”
The astounding thing is that 40 percent of Israelis still have some confidence in Obama.
Filed under: Iran, Islam, Israel, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Islamic Jihad, Israel's Security, Terrorism Increasing
HAIFA, Israel – An unsettling surge in terrorism by Iranian proxies has many Israelis convinced the release to Tehran of tens of billions of dollars in frozen funds is already putting the Jewish state in danger.
In recent days, rockets have rained down on Israel from Gaza in the south and the Golan Heights to the north, Israeli forces foiled a bomb plot at the tomb of biblical patriarch Joseph, and Gaza-based terrorist groups that also have a presence in the West Bank have openly appealed for aid on Iranian television. Israeli officials fear the terrorist activity is spiking as groups audition for funding from Tehran, which is set to receive the long-frozen funds as part of its deal to allow limited nuclear inspections. They say the international focus on Iran’s nuclear ambitions has left its more conventional methods of attacking regional adversaries unaddressed.
“The nuclear context is just one aspect of the negative Iranian activities in the region,” Emmanuel Nahshon, senior Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, told FoxNews.com. “We can see the demonstration of this on a daily basis in Syria, in Yemen, and in Iraq. We see it also when we see the [Iranian] support of Hezbollah and other groups who operate against Israel.”
Susan Rice, National Security Adviser, admitted last month that some of the money to be released as part of the Iran Deal negotiated by the team headed by Secretary of State John Kerry would go to the Iranian military and could be used for the kind of “bad behavior” that we have seen in the region.
Aside from the release of sanctioned funds, the P5+1 countries are rushing to get trade missions into Tehran, envisioning a horde of major international business.
Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are eager to continue as Iranian proxies, Four rockets were fired into Israel last wee,, from Syria, two into the Golan Heights and two into the Upper Galilee, the first since the start of Syria’s civil war four years ago. There’s a new 2.5 mile tunnel from Gaza into Israel by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Israel thwarted an lethal bomb attack by Islamic Jihad on visitors to Joseph’s tomb in the West Bank.
Filed under: Freedom, Intelligence, Iran, Islam, Israel, Law, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Great Americans, The Iran Deal, Vice President Cheney
Former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke at an event at AEI on September 8, a passionate speech about the nuclear deal with Iran and why it is a complete catastrophe. It’s a long speech, but worth every minute. Mr. Cheney explains clearly why it is such a very, very bad deal.
As for me, I was convinced that we were doomed when I learned that President Obama believes that Iran would never actually use a nuclear weapon. If he actually believes that, no wonder he has been such a complete doormat.
He believes that he can turn the problems of the Middle East over to Iran to solve, and get America out of the region entirely. Iran’s quest for intercontinental ballistic missiles does not concern Mr. Obama who envisions himself making a triumphant trip to Tehran to shake the Supreme Leader’s hand.
The Supreme Leader may not be able to bring himself to sign the deal at all, since he hates Americans so much. Shake hands? Not a chance.
The speech is about 35 minute long, followed by a question and answer period.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iran, Israel, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Fanatical Islamist Radicalism, Iran's Supreme Leader, Obama's "Peace Partner"
The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spoke to a large group in Tehran earlier today. This is how FARS, the more or less official Iran news agency reported it:
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei described Israel as a “fake” regime, and said there won’t be any Israel in 25 years from now.
“Some of the Zionists have said that given the results of the nuclear negotiations (between Tehran and the world powers), they have been relieved of concerns about Iran for 25 years, but we tell them that basically, you will not see the next 25 years and with God’s grace, nothing under the name of the Zionist regime will exist in the region by then,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing a large number of Iranians in Tehran on Wednesday.
According to Reuters, he added:
Meanwhile, the heroic jihadi Islamic spirit will not leave the Zionists in peace for a second.
That’s what they expect to do with their $100 billion in unfrozen money. John Hinderaker added, at Powerline
As for Khamenei’s threat against Israel, my bigger concern is whether the United States will exist in recognizable form in 25 years, given not just Iran’s nuclear program, but its development of ICBMs. As we keep reminding our readers, Iran doesn’t need ICBMs to hit Israel with nuclear weapons. The ICBMs are intended to deliver nuclear payloads to New York, Washington, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Secretary of State John Kerry, The Appalling Iran Deal, Democrats Own This Deal
Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Iran nuclear agreement as “comprehensive, verifiable, effective and of lasting duration.” He dismissed criticisms of the deal as “myths” that must be dispelled, and said the deal would rein in Iran more than sanctions alone could.
Uh huh, and I have a lovely riverfront lot on the Animas River that I’m selling at a real bargain price. We were just reaching the point where sanctions would really start to pinch. Iranian oil, and they have a lot of it, has a break-even price of $151 a barrel, and Brent crude is $51. That puts a lot of pressure on their economy, or it would if we weren’t removing all the sanctions in return for nothing at all.
The people of Israel will be safer with this deal, and the same is true for the people throughout the region. … [H]istory may judge [the Iran agreement] a turning point, a moment when the builders of stability seized the initiative from the destroyers of hope, and when we were able to show, as have generations before us, that when we demand the best from ourselves and insist that others adhere to a similar high standard – when we do that, we have immense power to shape a safer and a more humane world. That’s what this is about and that’s what I hope we will do in the days ahead.
What kind of thinking could possibly allow such a man to make such a statement in defense of anything. Iranians shout “Death to Israel” because their primary intent is to end the nation of Israel. Maps of the Middle East have only a blank spot where Israel is. Iran is the sponsor and funder of Hezbollah, of Hamas, of Lebanon’s Islamic Jihad. The Jordanians and the Saudis know that this is nonsense. The American people oppose the deal by a two to one margin, and two-thirds of the Senate oppose the deal.Obama is doing victory laps because he has won the support of one third of one house of Congress
Kerry repeated the administration’s line that the deal forces Iran to abandon its plans for a nuclear weapon for that time. “It just doesn’t make sense to vote no now for what might happen in 15 years,” Kerry said, arguing that Iran will continue on its path to the bomb if a deal is not reached. What makes him think we have 15 years?
Kerry said earlier that the sanctions on Qassem Solemani, commander of the Quds Force division of the IRGC “will stay forever” as Mr. Solemani was jetting off to Moscow to chat with Vladimir Putin, (he is forbidden to travel) probably to buy some longer range missiles, or perhaps a nuke or two. The IRGC is planning a “massive ballistic missile test” in the near future we have been warned.
The White House has apparently twisted enough arms to get the support of their 34th Democratic senator, which means Republicans cannot override a veto. This legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program, trusts the regime to self inspect. Without a deal, Iran could produce a bomb in two months, but Kerry thinks the deal will slow that process to a year.Why would they abide by the arms embargo?
Depends on whether they want to hit us before a new president is elected, or wait till after. The idea that sanctions could be re-imposed is nonsense. Our European allies are already sending trade missions to Tehran. There is some doubt if the Iranians will sign the deal. Their hatred for America is such that they don’t want to have any ‘agreement’ with us at all.
This one belongs to Obama and the Democrats. They own this one.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, History, Iran, Israel, Law, Middle East, Military, National Security, Politics, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: President Barack Obama, The Ayatollah Khomeinei, The Iran Deal
Barack Obama came to office with a head full of cheering audiences, pre-presidential seals, roman columns, adoring songs and media excitement. Nobody paid much attention to his imitation of the Lincoln trip to the nation’s capital, and taking the oath of office on the Lincoln Bible, but it indicated the height of his self-expectation.
Obama believed that the problems of the Middle East, Bush’s unnecessary and evil war in Iraq, the problems of Afghanistan, the fighting between Sunni and Shiia, were all due to the problem of Israel’s intransigence. Obama intended to force Israel and Palestine to make peace, he would bring about a two-state solution, and we would withdraw from the Middle East, he would become the greatest president in U.S history, the United States would end its bullying interference in the world and we could just settle down to be one happy socialist nation among the nations of the earth — no more exceptional than any other.
Obama has consistently misled us about the concessions he as making to Iran. MEMRI (The Middle East Research Institute) has revealed that according to Iranian officials the secret negotiations with Iran began in 2011 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline “Death to America” official, was still Iran’s president. Claims that the election of Rouhani marked a moderate turn for Iran were bunk.
When the White House emerged from very prolonged nuclear negotiations in Europe with a tentative nuclear deal, President Barack Obama was enthusiastic. The deal he presented to Congress was essentially a settled deal. His administration had already submitted the terms to the United Nations for ratification and Obama was certain that made it a done deal. Then he assumed that the objections were all due to the evil Republicans, but no less a figure than Charles Schumer came out forcefully against the deal, and nine prominent House Democrats representing major constituencies also said they would vote against the deal. Virginia Senator Jim Webb has come out against it.
Barack Obama contends that those who oppose him are making common cause with the Islamic Republic’s theocratic regime hardliners. That, or they are putting the interests of Israel above those of the United States. No president in history has ever made such outrageous claims about the opposition party.
He claims that” This is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated.” It actually rewards decades of covert and illegal nuclear activities by Iran.
He says this deal “permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Yet that agreement is only on paper, and Iran has a long, long record of cheating on every ‘agreement,’ including during the long period of negotiations, when there was clear evidence of their cheating.
Obama says the deal “contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.“ In reality the entire agreement is based on the assumption that Iran will comply with the deal, which is highly unlikely.
“If Iran cheats, we can catch them, and we will.” said the president. Iran says we will have no access to any military site, that inspections will have to give a lengthy advance notice, and they may just not allow any inspections anyway. We didn’t catch the Pakistanis, nor the North Koreans, nor the Libyans (though they voluntarily gave theirs up), we have always misjudged others efforts.
Even worse, we have pledged, in the agreement, to help them develop their “peaceful” nuclear energy, visiting our nuclear plants, and protecting them from sabotage.
President Obama’s speech on the Deal at the American University was mean spirited and downright ugly. His idea, repeated, that the only choice was his deal or war, is nonsense. Iran declared war on America in 1979 and has been waging war ever since.
This president has never seriously attempted to work with Republicans in Congress at any time. He discarded any notion of working with his opponents with respect or showing a willingness to working with them a long time ago.
Monica Crowley, who is a keen observer of the scene in Washington DC. remarked last week that this White House is the most tightly-controlled in history, that Obama is the ultimate control-freak, and that nothing goes forward in his administration without his approval. No investigation is performed without his say-so.
This all seems to be based on a fantasy that Obama can turn the Middle East and all of its problems over to Iran, who will bring peace and order to the region, enabling America to leave the region in their capable hands. He denies the meaning of the “Death to America” cries, has extolled the ancient Persian dynasty, and ignores the extensive descriptions of the dangers of an EMP attack on the United States that are found in IRGC official papers. They just might go for that one, it’s estimated to kill 90% of all Americans. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC, was just discovered visiting Moscow to see Vladimir Putin in complete defiance of Iran Deal prohibitions. Obama has gone into partnership with him.
The Ayatollah Khamenei has written a 426 page guide on how to rid Israel of the Jews. It’s his own version of Mein Kampf, Hitler’s 1925 tract against the Jews. He uses words like “nabudi” which means annihilation. It’s all based, he says, on “well-established Islamic principles.”
So we are giving them the Middle East, all of their sanctioned funds returned, the Ayatollah’s personal slush fund of $900 billion. The mullahs are already scooping up billions in unfrozen assets. Obama has accepted their offer to provide their own nuclear-site samples for examination. They’re back in business with European countries anxious to trade. Nobody is shouting “Death to Germany” or “Death to France.” The IAEA admits that it cannot answer even the most basic questions about Iran’s programs and progress.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Israel, Middle East, National Security, Politics, The United States | Tags: Fantasy and Pipe Dreams, It's Not a Treaty, The Iran Deal
Obama has attempted to declare that the Iran Deal is not a treaty, but some kind of executive agreement. If it were a treaty, there are Constitutional laws about treaties that govern the situation, and he would have to present the agreement to Congress, and if Congress refused to pass it, it would be all over. The only reason he is claiming that this is not a treaty is because he doesn’t want Congress to have any authority over whether it lives or dies. How can he get away with that?
The first problem with the deal is that it gives Iran an undeserved respectability that comes simply from being allowed to sign a significant international agreement, with six world powers.
Any agreement has to begin with the ugly but accurate assumption that Iran will act in bad faith and cheat at every opportunity. Papers captured from the Osama bin Laden raid have confirmed that Iran has partnered with al Qaeda, and has supported the Islamist terrorist group. Richard Epstein says:
The agreement starts off on a grand note: “The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iranˈs nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons.” But it is straight downhill from there.
Worse still, China and Russia should not be understood as adverse to Iran, their present and future ally. They are better understood as a Fifth Column against the West, and Iran’s many other foes, whose role in the negotiations is akin to the role that Vladimir Putin played in the embarrassing negotiations over chemical weapons in Syria that all but destroyed Obama’s credibility in foreign policy. Putin will be happy to take any excess uranium ore off the hands of the Iranians. But at the most opportune time, he might be prepared to return it to Iran if doing so would benefit Russia. The Chinese, for their part, also sense weakness in the United States and the West, as they build up illegal islands in the South China Sea subject to our diplomatic objections that accomplish nothing.
Europe is in need of oil and natural gas to prevent Vladimir Putin from using energy as a club over them. They are also anxious to sell stuff to Iran, because European economies are not healthy. They must see this deal as a retreat from the basic guarantee that the U.S. will provide meaningful guarantees for the security of our allies. That may make them a little less hostile to Russia and China because they fear that they cannot rely on America. And the Saudis and the Israelis face a starker situation.
Iran funds Bashar al-Assad in Syria, backs Hamas, launches terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East. They are quite clear about wanting to annihilate Israel. They are eager to confront their Sunni rivals like Saudi Arabia, and eager to annex Iraq. President Obama still cannot even say “Islamist terrorism.” The whole deal seems to be based on Obama’s odd idea that Iran wants to be a peaceful state, and we can appoint them to be in charge of the Middle East and make everyone else behave — so we can finally remove ourselves from the Middle East entirely — and the disaster of George W. Bush’s very bad and unnecessary war.
There is not the slightest indication that Iran would allow any inspections, nor that they would allow any interference with their program to acquire nuclear weapons and the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them. One might well ask why “intercontinental?”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has cast doubt on whether Iran will abide by the terms of a nuclear agreement between Tehran and U.S. led world powers.
Secretary Kerry says: “Nobody has ever talked about dismantling” Iran’s Nuclear Program, but in 2013, he insisted that dismantlement was the whole point. Kerry insists that the chants of “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel” are just something like PR for the enjoyment of the people, and don’t really mean anything.
When we began our negotiations, Iran had enough fissile material for 10 to 12 bombs. They had 19,000 centrifuges, up from the 163 that they had back in 2003 when the prior administration was engaged in them on this very topic,” Kerry said Thursday. “So this isn’t a question of giving them what they want. It’s a question of how do you hold their program back. How do you dismantle their weapons program? Not their whole program.
“Let’s understand what was really on the table here. We set out to dismantle their ability to be able to build a nuclear weapon, and we’ve achieved that. Nobody has ever talked about actually dismantling their entire program, because when that was being talked about, that’s when they went from 163 centrifuges to 19,000.”
Does that make any sense at all? How have we dismantled their ability to build a nuclear weapon? They have made it clear that they don’t plan to allow any inspections, and we have to give them long advance notice, and we can’t inspect any military sites anyway.
Iran says it will not allow American or Canadian inspectors working for the U.N. Nuclear watchdog to visit its nuclear facilities. My understanding is that they have not formally signed anything. The signing will theoretically take place in 60 days. The Ayatollah Khomeinei has said that Iran will not sign anything.
Abe Greenwald, writing at Commentary magazine’s blog says:
If you think the United States just struck a poor nuclear deal with Iran, you’re right; but if that’s your key takeaway, you’re missing the point. Iran’s nuclear program was last on the list of the Obama administration’s priorities in talking to Tehran. The administration readily caved on Iran’s nukes because it viewed the matter only as a timely pretense for achieving other cherished aims. These were: (1) preventing an Israeli attack on Iran; (2) transforming the United States into a more forgiving, less imposing power; (3) establishing diplomacy as a great American good in itself; (4) making Iran into a great regional power; and (5), ensuring the legacies of the president and secretary of state as men of vision and peace. …
Obama came to office promising to limit American action as well. In his standard progressive view, the United States has been too eager to throw its weight around and impose its norms on other countries without giving sufficient thought to the resentment it might sow. He ended the war in Iraq and sought to remake the United States as a humble power. “Too often the United States starts by dictating,” he told a Saudi news outlet soon after being elected. He, by contrast, would do a lot of “listening.” The Iran negotiations became Obama’s magnum opus on the theme of listening. Americans listened to Iranians dictate terms, shoot down offers, insult the United States, and threaten allies. America has been humbled indeed.
But such humility is necessary if diplomacy is to be made into a nation-defining ethos. And if we could successfully negotiate with theocratic Iran, then surely Americans would see that diplomacy could conquer all. So, for the sake of proving this abstract principle, Obama foreclosed any non-diplomatic approach to Iran before a deal was reached. As he told Tom Friedman in April, “there is no formula, there is no option, to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon that will be more effective than the diplomatic initiative and framework that we put forward — and that’s demonstrable.” So declared, so demonstrated.
Do read the whole article. I think Mr, Greenwald is clear thinking, absolutely correct and positively frightening. Obama seems to be delusional.