American Elephants


Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) Attempts to Get Some Straight Answers From John Kerry by The Elephant's Child

Secretary Kerry struggled to explain how the nuclear accord with Iran will benefit the United States of America. Questioned about Iran’s continuing commitment to killing Americans and Israelis, Mr. Kerry was unable to explain how the nuclear accord would moderate the regime’s behavior.

“Don’t give me any lessons. Let me make it crystal clear to you. This is America’s interest. Because America is the principal guarantor of security in the region,” Kerry said. “Particularly, with respect to some of our closest friends, we believe Iran was marching towards a weapon or the capacity to have a weapon and we’ve rolled that back.”



A Glimpse Into How the Progressive Mind Works by The Elephant's Child

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From David Horowitz, who knows the Left intimately:

In confronting the Left, conservatives should not make the mistake of assuming that progressives share our understanding of society’s problems, merely differing about the practical steps needed to address them. No one should think that progressives want to see our communities prosper within the framework that has defined America since its inception and provided its blessings. The nature of the progressive outlook inspires contempt for the American past and disdain for America’s social contract, which it regards as tainted by racism, sexism and imperial ambition. …

A defining characteristic of the progressive outlook is its belief in the doctrine of original innocence. The modern source of this belief is the French radical Jean-Jaques Rousseau, who maintained that private property is the cause of social evils and that “Man is born free but is everywhere in chains.” This is a doctrine so obviously false it hardly needs refutation, except that progressives believe it. What they believe is that “society” is the root cause of social problems. In their view, human beings are naturally cooperative and sharing, honest and moral, but are corrupted by social institutions that encourage prejudice and greed and set them against each other. They believe that “social justice” is the model of how human beings naturally relate to each other, that equality and cooperation reflect human nature, and that socialism is therefore the name of a truly human future.

Conservatives believe the opposite. They believe that human beings are the root cause of social problems and that social institutions are corrupt because human beings create and run them. It is the barbarity of the species that requires the intervention of a social order with the disciplines of morality and law to civilize its inhabitants. This is also what the Founders believed. It is why they did not create a pure democracy that would express the popular will, which they regarded as unruly, emotion driven, and dangerous. Instead they devised a system of checks and balances to frustrate the majority’s natural instinct to tyrannize the weak and outnumbered. And they set limits to government. …

 Because Progressives see themselves as social redeemers and their goal as saving the world, they regard politics as a religious war. This is why they are intolerant toward those who disagree with them and who stand in the way of their “solutions.” It is why they exclude conservatives from the educational institutions they control. It is why they can commit character assassinations without regrets. Obama never apologized for accusing his opponent of killing a cancer patient during the [2012] election campaign, because saving humanity means never having to say you’re sorry.

This is why Obama has given away the store in negotiations with Iran. He believes that Iran’s leaders have the same care for their families and concern for their citizens as we do, and that they would never even consider using a nuclear weapon.  He’s wrong.



The Myth of Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Program by The Elephant's Child

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog

Last year Iran was selling gasoline for less than 50 cents a gallon. This year a desperate regime hiked prices up to over a dollar. Meanwhile, Iranians pay about a tenth of what Americans do for electricity.

Unlike Japan, Iran does not need nuclear power. It is already sitting on a mountain of gas and oil.

Iran blew between $100 billion to $500 billion on its nuclear program. The Bushehr reactor alone cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $11 billion making it one of the most expensive in the world.

This wasn’t done to cut power bills. Iran didn’t take its economy to the edge for a peaceful nuclear program. It built the Fordow fortified underground nuclear reactor that even Obama admitted was not part of a peaceful nuclear program, it built the underground Natanz enrichment facility whose construction at one point consumed all the cement in the country, because the nuclear program mattered more than anything else as a fulfillment of the Islamic Revolution’s purpose.

Iran did not do all this so that its citizens could pay 0.003 cents less for a kilowatt hour of electricity.

It built its nuclear program on the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini, “Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”

Iran’s constitution states that its military is an “ideological army” built to fulfill “the ideological mission of jihad in Allah’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of Allah’s law throughout the world.”

It quotes the Koranic verse urging Muslims to “strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah”.

Article 3 of Iran’s Constitution calls for a foreign policy based on “unsparing support” to terrorists around the world. Article 11, the ISIS clause, demands the political unity of the Islamic world.

Iran is not just a country. It is the Islamic Revolution, the Shiite ISIS, a perpetual revolution to destroy the non-Muslim world and unite the Muslim world. Over half of Iran’s urban population lives below the poverty line and its regime sacrificed 100,000 child soldiers as human shields in the Iran-Iraq War.

Iran did not spend all that money just to build a peaceful civilian nuclear program to benefit its people. And yet the nuclear deal depends on the myth that its nuclear program is peaceful.

Obama insisted, “This deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior.” But if Iran isn’t changing its behavior, if it isn’t changing its priorities or its values, then there is no deal.

If Iran hasn’t changed its behavior, then the nuclear deal is just another way for it to get the bomb.

If Iran were really serious about abandoning a drive for nuclear weapons, it would have shut down its nuclear program. Not because America or Europe demanded it, but because it made no economic sense. For a fraction of the money it spent on its nuclear ambitions, it could have overhauled its decaying electrical grid and actually cut costs. But this isn’t about electricity, it’s about nuclear bombs.

The peaceful nuclear program is a hoax. The deal accepts the hoax. It assumes that Iran wants a peaceful nuclear program. It even undertakes to improve and protect Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear technology.

The reasoning behind the nuclear deal is false. It’s so blatantly false that the falseness has been written into the deal. The agreement punts on the military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program and creates a complicated and easily subverted mechanism for inspecting suspicious programs in Iranian military sites.

It builds in so many loopholes and delays, separate agreements and distractions, because it doesn’t really want to know. The inspections were built to help Iran cheat and give Obama plausible deniability.

With or without the agreement, Iran is on the road to a nuclear bomb. Sanctions closed some doors and opened others. The agreement opens some doors and closes others. It’s a tactical difference that moves the crisis from one stalemate to another. Nothing has been resolved. The underlying strategy is Iran’s.

Iran decided that the best way to conduct this stage of its nuclear weapons program was by getting technical assistance and sanctions relief from the West. This agreement doesn’t even pretend to resolve the problem of Iran’s nuclear weapons. Instead its best case scenario assumes that years from now Iran won’t want a nuclear bomb. So that’s why we’ll be helping Iran move along the path to building one.

It’s like teaching a terrorist to use TNT for mining purposes if he promises not to kill anyone.

But this agreement exists because the West refuses to come to terms with what Islam is. Successful negotiations depend on understanding what the other side wants. Celebratory media coverage talks about finding “common ground” with Iran. But what common ground is there with a regime that believes that America is the “Great Satan” and its number one enemy?

What common ground can there be with people who literally believe that you are the devil?

When Iranian leaders chant, “Death to America”, we are told that they are pandering to the hardliners. The possibility that they really believe it can’t be discussed because then the nuclear deal falls apart.

For Europe, the nuclear agreement is about ending an unprofitable standoff and doing business with Iran. For Obama, it’s about rewriting history by befriending another enemy of the United States. But for Iran’s Supreme Leader, it’s about pursuing a holy war against the enemies of his flavor of Islam.

The Supreme Leader of Iran already made it clear that the war will continue until America is destroyed. That may be the only common ground he has with Obama. Both America and Iran are governed by fanatics who believe that America is the source of all evil. Both believe that it needs to be destroyed.

Carter made the Islamic Revolution possible. Obama is enabling its nuclear revolution.

Today Tehran and Washington D.C. are united by a deep distrust of America, distaste for the West and a violent hatred of Israel. This deal is the product of that mutually incomprehensible unity. It is not meant to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. It is meant to stop America and Israel from stopping it.

Both Obama and the Supreme Leader of Iran have a compelling vision of the world as it should be and don’t care about the consequences because they are convinced that the absolute good of their ideology makes a bad outcome inconceivable.

“O Allah, for your satisfaction, we sacrificed the offspring of Islam and the revolution,” a despairing Ayatollah Khomeini wrote after the disastrous Iran-Iraq War cost the lives of three-quarters of a million Iranians. The letter quoted the need for “atomic weapons” and evicting America from the Persian Gulf.

Four years earlier, its current Supreme Leader had told officials that Khomeini had reactivated Iran’s nuclear program, vowing that it would prepare “for the emergence of Imam Mehdi.”

The Islamic Revolution’s nuclear program was never peaceful. It was a murderous fanatic’s vision for destroying the enemies of his ideology, rooted in war, restarted in a conflict in which he used children to detonate land mines, and meant for mass murder on a terrible scale.

The nuclear agreement has holes big enough to drive trucks through, but its biggest hole is the refusal of its supporters to acknowledge the history, ideology and agenda of Iran’s murderous tyrants. Like so many previous efforts at appeasement, the agreement assumes that Islam is a religion of peace.

The ideology and history of Iran’s Islamic Revolution tells us that it is an empire of blood.

The agreement asks us to choose between two possibilities. Either Iran has spent a huge fortune and nearly gone to war to slightly lower its already low electricity rates or it wants a nuclear bomb.

The deal assumes that Iran wants lower electricity rates. Iran’s constitution tells us that it wants Jihad. And unlike Obama, Iran’s leaders can be trusted to live up to their Constitution.

Re-posted with permission from the Sultan Knish blog. If you have not met Daniel Greenfield, add him to your blogroll. He is always provacative, and always interesting. He also blogs regularly at Front Page Magazine.



The More We Learn, the Weirder It Gets! Some Deal! by The Elephant's Child

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On July 15, six days ago, President Obama had a press conference to extoll the “comprehensive, long-term deal that we have achieved with our allies and partners to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon represents a powerful display of American leadership and diplomacy.” It wasn’t really a press conference. He was not interested in questions, but only in getting his spin across. Very little was true, lots of straw men, and the major take-away was about Major Garrett’s question about the four Americans held in Iran on trumped-up charges, a question Obama did not want to address. It’s worth reading the president’s claims to grasp the administration position.

In light of the president’s comments, it is very useful to note that the Iranian negotiators have not signed any agreement, and may not.
Michael Ledeen explains. It seems to be a matter of the Ayatollah Khamenei hating the Great American Satan so much that they don’t want to make a deal — even though they want the concessions. The head of the Revolutionary Guards announced that the Grand Bargain was unacceptable and would be rejected.

John Kerry has been hitting all the media opportunities to try to sell the deal. Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , in the meantime, denounced the United States in a new speech. “Our policies toward the arrogant government of the United States will not be changed at all,” he said, reminding Iranians that “American policies are 180 degrees different from us,” while chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” were heard in the background.

Secretary Kerry admitted that he was troubled by those statements in an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya News.  This is not exactly new, one would think that Mr. Kerry might have noticed before this.

Khamenei also mentioned Iran would never “stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon”— all the same old terrorists.



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

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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.

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




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