American Elephants


When Is a Treaty Not a Treaty? Democrats Like to Re-Name Things. Can They Get Away With It? by The Elephant's Child

It seems to me that the Iran Deal is the most urgent, most important issue before the American people. The administration says that Congress must pass it, and if they don’t, Obama will sign it anyway. Orde Kittrie, writing in the Wall Street Journal says that Congress can Rewrite the Iran Deal. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the Deal is not a treaty because they couldn’t get a treaty through Congress, so it isn’t a treaty.

This is a nonstarter for the administration. Mr. Obama warns that failure to approve the deal as is means that America will lose its “credibility as a leader of diplomacy,” indeed “as the anchor of the international system.” Mr. Kerry asserts that refusing to approve the deal would be inconsistent with “the traditional relationship” that has existed “between the executive and Congress.”
Does just calling it an “executive agreement” make it not a treaty? You can call a pig a dog, but that doesn’t make it a dog, nor make it any less disreputable.

In an interview published Aug. 5  with Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg, John Kerry said of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, that “the ayatollah constantly believed that we were untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them.” And we believed that Iran was trustworthy and that we could negotiate with him? Please! Clearly, we didn’t care that Iran was not trustworthy, so we gave in to them on every issue.

Kerry said that “Congressional rejection of the deal “will be the ultimate screwing,” he added, noting that “the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.”

During two years of negotiations, Obama and his international partners agreed to keep discussions of ballistic missiles out of the nuclear talks after Tehran refused to continue the talks if the issue was not excluded. Did nobody ask why they needed intercontinental ballistic missiles if their nuclear efforts were simply for peaceful energy? Unless they are worried about Venezuela, we are the only folks on a different continent.

Obama clearly did not expect the negative reaction to the Iran Deal.According to Gallup, only one in three Americans approve of Obama’s handling of Iran. Unsurprisingly, even leftist Jewish organizations are lining up to oppose the deal.

In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Obama was asked if he thought it was “appropriate of a foreign head of government to inject himself into an American affair.”That one is laughable. Obama has an extensive history of injecting himself into the affairs and elections of other countries, both by word and deed. He sent his campaign advisors to Israel, and to Britain to help the opposition party, and has injected himself into the affairs of Australia and Canada, without invitation.

America has long had a list of countries designated by us as state sponsors of terrorism. It has been a fairly exclusive club, with states like North Korea and Syria. The Obama administration has, for political reasons, shown remarkable solicitude toward two countries that were on the list when he became president: Cuba and Iran.”Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission,”  was the explanation of the State Department. John Kerry has trekked off to Cuba to raise the flag over a reopened U.S. Embassy there. Nothing has changed. The Castros state firmly that nothing will change, and Cuba hasn’t lost its taste for terrorism and spying.

Iran is a different deal. The Ayatollahs have long had their fingers in every terrorist effort from Iraq to Syria, to Yemen, Georgia,Thailand and India, not to mention a number of other countries around the world.  Unacknowledged is the fact the throughout the negotiations, Iran has continued its work toward a weapon. The Europeans want Iran’s oil, and trade with Iran. Obama wants their good graces and is engaged in the worst kind of wishful thinking. To assume that Havana and Tehran can be reformed by kindness and respectful talk is an unbelievably foolish and dangerous error. Obama is desperately searching for a “legacy,” it will not be found in millions of dead Americans.



The Iran Nuclear Deal by The Elephant's Child

Is the nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran a good or bad deal? Would it be harder or easier for Iran to develop nuclear weapons? Would it make Iran and its terror proxies stronger or weaker? Should the U.S. Congress support or defeat the deal? Dennis Prager answers these questions and more.

The deal releases $150 billion in funds which had been sanctioned to prevent Iran from developing the nuclear weapons they are so intent on developing, along with the intercontinental ballistic missiles they want. To put that in understandable terms, the Marshall Plan for Europe only cost $120 billion in today’s dollars. And just why do they want “intercontinental” missiles anyway? Neither Israel nor Europe are on different continents. Is that what Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iraq Revolutionary Guard Corps, was doing in Moscow?



Compromise and Capitulation by The Elephant's Child

RAMclr-072415-compromise-WS-wide.jpg.cms



Obama’s Humiliating Capitulation to Iran’s Mullahs. by The Elephant's Child

a1900mknPresident Obama is furious about the criticism of his Iran Deal. I don’t think he expected opposition, and now he is afraid that Congress may actually attempt to defeat him.

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.



Republicans Have a Deep, Talented and Accomplished Field. by The Elephant's Child

Republican presidential candidates (L-R), former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and former New York Governor George Pataki, pose before the start of a Fox-sponsored forum for lower polling candidates held before the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. (Photo: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)

I wasn’t really pleased with the debate last night. Republicans have a stunning array of outstanding candidates. The two-tier format relegated some to a lesser tier that everyone is trying to find a better name for, because at this point so early in the campaign this was just the first introduction of many of these governors of ‘other states’ whose faces and ideas were unfamiliar, and polls this early are meaningless. The media, of course, cannot wait to make a dramatic horse race of it.

Republicans have a deep, talented field and it is going to be hard to choose among them. Each of us has some we would eliminate right off, but those might well be someone else’s favorites. I don’t favor the media’s “gotcha” questions. “You said something entirely different last month is Kalamazoo, which statement do you actually mean?” That’s not what I want to know.

I cannot remember a time when there were so many deeply serious questions. The president has decided to ignore our three houses of government and take legislative function into his own hands, what do we do about it? Many believe that President Obama’s “Iran Deal” signs a death warrant for America and Israel, as that is Iran’s clear aim. Our president cannot bring himself to say ‘Islamic terrorism’ or ‘Islamic radicalism’ which has clearly had an effect on our foreign policy?

What does Obama intend by surrendering to Cuba, and what does he hope to gain and why? With so many trouble spots all over the world, why are we attempting to reduce the size and effectiveness of our military forces? With so many cyber-attacks on our national security and government computers, what would you do about it? Is there any other country in the world where the government subsidizes abortion and selling the body parts, or bodies, of aborted babies? Why should we be the leader in this ghoulish practice?

The president’s unilateral “Clean Power Plan” intends to arbitrarily remove more than 30 percent of our electricity-generating capacity from the national grid, for what many believe is completely flawed reasons, in the face of a world that is not warming, but growing colder. Cold kills. What would you do about it? Vladimir Putin has just laid claim to the North Pole. China has claimed the South China Sea and intends to defend their claim with artificial islands it is building. Your response? This has been the worst recovery since World War II. How would you turn it around? Our economy over the last 7 years has been one of exceptional growth of government, and even more, one of excessive regulation. What would  you do about that?

If we are deeply troubled by the problems we face, we want to know which candidates are also troubled, and what they believe are the potential answers. The Democrats got us into this mess.

CLxHWCsUcAABEp-

Moderators seem to believe they must ask hard questions, but those they think of as ‘hard’ are not the ones we’re worried about. And I know I’m leaving out a lot. Trump is whining that the moderators weren’t nice to him.



The Encounter Between 9 Serious Men and One Large Ego. by The Elephant's Child

Donald_Trump__3158264bThe subject of the day is the debates, and Donald Trump. He does seem to suck all of the air out of the room.

My father would have described him with a rather old-fashioned word, “blowhard.” His candidacy can be summed-up as — I am Trump, I am very famous and very rich and you should vote for me.

Trump popped up just in time for the Republican Debates, loudly punching what is a hot button for many on the Right,  President Obama’s personal repeal, on his own “executive authority,” of the United States of America’s immigration laws. They have watched the trains with hundreds of illegals on top of the boxcars, they have watched them arrive, be sent all over the United States, and are inclined to blame it on Mexico.

Trump bellowed that he would build a big wall, a gigantic wall and make Mexico pay for it, and he might put in a big door for legal immigrants. Voilá, problem solved. Except it’s a shallow and superficial answer. Most of the immigrants have not been Mexican. It’s absurd to suggest that the Mexican government would pay for it.

It’s a huge and real problem, and nobody seems to know how to deal with it except to say that we must reform our immigration laws. Democrats want more Democrat voters, and their goal is to get them all registered to vote as quickly as possible. But this is not a column about immigration, but about Trump. He makes no serious effort in behalf of any issue, nor seems to have the discipline to master an issue.

Asked about ruling out a third-party run, he said if you nominate somebody I respect, then maybe he won’t. That sounds like somebody who has only been a Republican for the last few minutes.

(That’s not a nice picture, but I couldn’t resist. People always wonder — ‘What’s with the hair?’)



R.I.P. Robert Conquest by The Elephant's Child

Rob-conquest1_3397269b

The great historian of Russia has passed away at the age of 98. Robert Conquest spent 28 years at the Hoover Institution where he was a Senior Research Fellow. He has, perhaps, been best known for his landmark work The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties. Thirty-five years after its publication, the book remains one of the most influential studies of Soviet history and has been translated into more than 20 languages. It is a detailed log of Stalin’s assassinations, arrests, tortures, frame-ups, forced confessions, show trials, executions and incarcerations that destroyed millions of lives.

Conquest was the author of twenty-one books on Soviet history, politics, and international affairs, including Harvest of Sorrow, which exposed the terror famine in the Ukraine, Stalin and the Kirov Murder, The Great Terror a Reassessment, Stalin: Breaker of Nations and Reflections on a Ravaged Century and The Dragons of Expectation. The last two are treasured books of mine.

He wrote one science fiction novel, and lots of poetry for which he also received awards.

He had no shortage of awards, the Jefferson Lectureship, the highest honor bestowed by the federal government for achievement in the humanities (1930), the Dan David Prize (2012), Poland’s Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit (2009), Estonia’s  Cross of Terra Mariana (2008), and the Ukrainian Order of Yaroslav Mudryi (2005).

Educated at Winchester College and the University of Grenoble, he was an exhibitioner in modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving his BA and MA in politics, philosophy, and economics and his DLitt in history.

Conquest-2005-copyConquest served in the British infantry in World War II and thereafter in His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service; he was awarded the Order of the British Empire. In 1996 he was named a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

( from the Hoover Institution, and Cynthia Haven)




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,313 other followers

%d bloggers like this: