American Elephants

Iran’s Supreme Leader to Israel “You Will Not See the Next 25 Years.” by The Elephant's Child

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.

(h/t: Powerline)


A “Deal” But Not The Slightest Understanding by The Elephant's Child

Supreme-Leader-of-the-Islamic-Revolution-Ayatollah-Seyed-Ali-KhameneiObama seems to be feeling victorious. He has got the number of Democrats necessary to cancel Congress’ ability to override his veto of their efforts to derail his Iran deal. He envisions a triumphant trip to Tehran to shake the hand of the Supreme Leader and essentially turn  the Middle East over to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s tender mercies. Some triumph!

The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei probably cannot bring himself to sign any agreement anyway, and he certainly would not shake the hated hand of an American. He said on Friday that there would be no deal unless the U.S. lifts sanctions immediately.

“If the sanctions are not going to be removed, then there will be no deal,” the “Supreme Leader” told Iran’s Assembly of Experts, in remarks broadcast on state-television.

“We insisted (since the beginning of the negotiations) that sanctions ought to be lifted, not suspended,” Iran’s dictator added, before threatening to triple uranium enrichment if the United States did not succumb to his demands.

Two thirds of the Senate oppose the Iran Deal. The American people oppose the ‘agreement by a 2–1 margin. This absurd situation is possible because the president refused to submit the Iran deal as a treaty for the Senate to ratify, as the Constitution requires. Ratification would have required a two-thirds vote, and Mr. Obama has not persuaded much of anyone that this agreement is in the national security interests of the United States. Sixty-four percent believe that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have misled the American people.

President Obama has insisted on bowing to the Iranian dictator, for unknown reasons, despite the fact that Iran is in a very difficult spot. The sanctions are pressing heavily. Iran’s break-even price for oil is $151. per barrel, and Brent crude is well under $50 — which I think means that they can’t sell their oil. And we politely become a doormat.

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who also served as head of the CIA, said on Friday that “the Iran deal provides the United States with an opportunity to define a policy of strength, not ambivalence, in the Middle East.” He added “Let’s face it, given the situation in the Middle East, empowering Iran in any way seems like a dangerous gamble.” The deal, he says, is motivated by a fear of war, not sound strategy.

Panetta advocated several steps: •The deal should be enforced harshly. •The U.S. must keep a strong military presence in the region. •The U .S. should expand its intelligence capabilities. •The U.S. should build ties with regional allies.  Obama is opposed to all of these. The arguments are for someone with a spine.

From the American Enterprise Institute: “Iran’s interpretation of the nuclear deal is not an easy sell.”   Read the whole thing.

Migrants Desperately Seeking Asylum in a Europe That Is Unprepared to Cope by The Elephant's Child

Europe in enduring a massive flow of migrants, fleeing in terror from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, North Africa, Egypt and Libya, from the Islamic countries in Asia and the Middle East to Turkey, the Greek Islands, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary Austria and Germany. They are coming by the thousands, and it is not clear why the sudden exodus. Europe is unprepared. Their economies are not healthy, there is unemployment, yet heartbreaking images such as this strike at the core of compassion in the West.

Certainly many are fleeing ISIS —the terrorist Islamic State — who have made it clear that anyone in their sway who does not pledge allegiance to their cause is in mortal peril. The barbarity of their executions is meant to strike terror in the minds of those who see it.  Look what we do to these people, and what will we do to you? That is the meaning of terrorism, and the purpose.

On the other hand, the preponderance of migrants seem to be young men. Fewer women, no old people; ISIS claims, supposedly, that 4,000 ISIS fighters are among the migrants.The migrants seem to be aiming for those countries with the most elaborate welfare systems. But mostly young men.

The EU has been living in a dreamworld of sorts — formerly warring nations now in agreement on perpetual peace and open borders, one big happy continent. Except that has always been so in the halls of the Union, but not so much in reality. Countries had identities and languages and histories precisely because they shared those particular things. Tribalism is not so far distant. It is, perhaps, the nature of man, and not so easily made over into something else. There has been a lot of pretense there.

The free world has been shaken by the heartbreaking image of a very small Syrian boy, drowned, washed up on a Turkish beach. We are mostly protected from unpleasant sights. Our media is sure that we are not up to facing reality. The horrors that ISIS has dreamed up for mass distribution are blurred or digitized out of recognition. Sorry, you barbarians, your horrors don’t frighten us because we’re not allowed to see them. I suspect that this is a mistake, and it’s better to face reality.

Pictures, however, are often more influential that words. As European nations struggle to decide what they will do about the influx of migrants, that little boy will be there to remind all of empathy and compassion. Some 800,000 newcomers are expected in Germany — about 1% of their population. Even Germany doesn’t have robust economic growth and will have trouble absorbing so many.

Denmark is announcing that they can’t admit any. The Hungarians are building fences. There is talk of using military power to establish safe zones in Syria to contain the exodus. The borders and the fences will return. Europe’s openness has rested on America’s strength. As Bret Stephens says, you can’t have one without the other.

If you are offended by the image, I’m sorry, but I believe our media err in their attempt to “protect” us. It’s not “protective” but just another political lie.

The American People Oppose This Deal By a 2-1 Margin. by The Elephant's Child

KerryYesterday, 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.

Things Aren’t Going Well for Hillary, and She’s Getting Mean. by The Elephant's Child

hillary clintonBack when she was a United States senator, Hillary stated “I am , you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.” She also called for the creation of a national entry/exit ID card to keep track of people who’ve been admitted to the country legally—and maybe not just those people. “Although I’m not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens.”

Well, that was then, this is now—Hillary’s effort to appeal to Hispanics is to compare Republicans to Nazis. Name the issue, and Hillary’s been on both sides of it at one time or another. She has wanted to be president—the first woman president—ever since she tried to be co-president with Bill, and the people had to tell her that she was not elected.

What is inordinately depressing about that is that in the intervening 19 years she has not done any real thinking about the state of the republic and what good governance consists of. Nor did her sojourn in the Senate show any evidence that she had thought long and hard about being an effective senator, nor did she as Secretary of State.

Our chief ambassador to the world departed from that office bragging about her air-miles, and trying to pass off the people’s demand to know why four Americans died at Benghazi as some kind of Republican political attack.  “And I hope that this will be the last effort by some in the Congress to politicize the tragic events of Benghazi. And that we do what all the other investigations, both the congressional ones and the independent one, and press—and others who have examined this—we will do what we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And that’s always been my focus.” Uh huh.

Just before that, she was calling republicans “terrorists.””As well she should have. If the pen is mightier than the sword, the modern digital video camera and the associated editing suite is a thermonuclear warhead, and the Internet is an ICBM traveling at the speed of light. CMP’s investigation was deceitful — it was sneaky as all hell, in fact — and it was excellent journalism, the sort of thing that would win a Pulitzer prize if the Pulitzer committee weren’t manned by the gutless and the intellectually dishonest.” (That’s from Kevin Williamson)

Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be President of the United States, yet espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century for America. We are going forward. We are not going back. (David French)

And sending off boxes of baby heads in the mail is just so 21st century, Hillary? Well, perhaps it is. That’s how ISIS actually trains their children—to decapitate their dolls and stuffed animals—before they graduate to the real thing. Perhaps you should learn to distinguish between those who disagree with you and the real terrorist thing. It’s helpful if you are making policy proposals.

There Is No Iran Deal. It’s All Just a Pretense. They Pretend to Obey the Sanctions. We Pretend to Believe Them. by The Elephant's Child

Sardar-haj-qasem-soleimani-04Iran has never stopped violating the sanctions, never stopped violating the “agreement” that was reached in Brussels, and is continuing to do everything it can to demonstrate that it has the upper hand as a result of the deal it negotiated with the United States and its five partners. It twists understandings of the terms of the deal to justify its ‘misbehavior’ or just goes ahead and does what it chooses anyway.

President Obama and his Secretary of State are so eager for a deal that they are not pushing back, they are only pushing hard to get a veto-proof congressional vote of approval.

Iran plans to sign a contract for four advanced Russian surface-to-air S-300 missiles as early as next week, following a visit to Moscow by Quds force commander Qassem Soleimani (seen above) in violation of an international travel ban. The Quds Force is the designated arm of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to export the revolution abroad —which is just what they have been doing.

The sanctions against Qassem Soleimani “will stay forever” John Kerry said on Tuesday. “He oversaw the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, its efforts to destabilize Iraq, to support Bashar Assad in Syria, and the IRGC’s proliferation of WMD. The Quds Force supports the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah, Shiite militants in Iraq, and Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” Other than that, he’s not apt to pay much attention to sanctions.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is planning “a massive ballistic missile test” in the near future, according to the Fars News Agency.

Earlier this year, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajiadeh said they plan to upgrade and replace Iran’s existing Fateh, Qiyam, and Qadr missiles with a new generation of missiles — despite international sanctions on the Iranian Missile program.

The issue has arisen in the debate over the Iran Deal in Congress. Lawmakers have criticized the agreement for allowing the international arms embargo to be lifted after five years and the ballistic missile sanctions to be lifted after eight years. Perhaps they should criticize the IRGC for ordering new missiles from Russia last week, and having tests “in the near future.” Perhaps they should be arguing, not about what “the agreement says”— but about what Iran is actually doing.

Iranian leaders have declared that their arms shipments to allies in the region, such as their terrorist proxy Hezbollah will continue in spite of the UN Security Council arms embargo that is still in effect for five years.

Secretary Kerry said: “The arms embargo is not tied to snapback. It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms part of it.”

There isn’t any “snapback” anyway, that would require agreement among the other parties to the agreement, and that’s not going to happen. The other parties are busy planning trade negotiations with Iran as soon as they can send them off. With sanctions lifted and money flowing back to Iran, they will be in the market for all the interesting things the western nations produce. Nobody is shouting ‘Death to Germany,’ or ‘Death to France’— the Europeans need to sell more stuff, and they want to buy Iranian oil which will help to lift the energy blackmail that Putin favors. They don’t believe that Iran has any interest in nuking them, it’s our problem. And if Obama wants to be a patsy, that’s our problem too.

Democrats in the House and Senate are lining up to support Obama’s disastrous deal out of blind partisan loyalty to Obama. They are assuming that the inspections will deter Iran for at least another ten years, as Kerry claims. Yet the military sites such as Parchin, where they are working on militarization of nuclear weapons, will not be inspected by the IAEA. Instead the Iranians will inspect their own military sites, and provide soil samples to the IAEA with their own record of the inspection. That should work.

Chief negotiator Wendy Sherman is the one who successfully negotiated the agreement with North Korea —where Kim Jong Un is currently threatening to nuke South Korea. If this was a movie,  you might just walk out because it’s all so completely unbelievable, and sticking around to find out how it turns out is way too uncomfortable.

In spite of all this, President Obama envisions himself flying to Tehran to shake hands on the agreement with the Supreme Leader. He sees it as a triumphant moment when he turns over the Middle East to the sovereignty of the ancient nation of Persia, and brings all Americans home, never to interfere in the nasty world again. Even better than Nixon opening up China. Or something like that. When Iran sets off an EMP attack decimating the East Coast and killing millions of Americans Obama won’t even have finished raising the billion dollars he wants for his presidential library.

Obama Is Not Just Wrong, He Is Dangerously Wrong, And Putting American Lives At Risk. by The Elephant's Child

640x392_63122_187994You have probably heard the old saying about “setting the fox to guard the henhouse”— a parable intended to tell you that the nature of a fox is to eat the hen, and you cannot put someone in charge of a task that they are by nature unqualified to fulfill. Which brings us, of course, to the startling news that Obama’s Iran Deal gives Iran the choice assignment of inspecting their own military sites such as Parchin and then to give the results to the IAEA.

Those old parables handed down from one generation to another are ignored at our peril. They represent hard-learned wisdom and form part of the guardrails of life.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Nuclear Physicist, says that we can tell from soil samples the extent to which Iran is developing a nuke. All very fine, except that Iran gets to  produce the soil sample.

Obama is quite sure that Iran would never actually set off a nuclear weapon. He has said so. He believes that when Iran’s funds are released from the sanctions, the money will be used to fix their economy because there has been a lot of hardship for the people and the Ayatollah will want to fix that. He has said so. He believes that Iran wants to become one among the community of nations, and will take care of the Middle East. defeating ISIS and bringing order to the region. He is wrong.

The American Foreign Policy Council’s Amanda Azinheira wrote of the risks in Defense News on Wednesday: “A nuclear warhead detonated 18 miles off the ground anywhere over the eastern seaboard could collapse the whole eastern grid, which generates 75% of the country’s electricity. The recovery time from a nationwide EMP event might be anywhere from one to 10 years. In the meantime, tens of millions of Americans would likely die from starvation and/or societal collapse.”

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies chairman and former CIA Director James Woolsey and EMP Task Force Executive Director Peter Vincent Pry wrote in the Washington Times about Iran and an EMP attack.

Iran has apparently practiced surprise EMP attacks, orbiting satellites on south polar trajectories to evade U.S. radars and missile defenses, at altitudes consistent with generating an EMP field covering all 48 contiguous United States,” according to Woolsey and Pry. “Iran launched its fourth satellite on such a trajectory as recently as February 2015.”

They also noted that the use of nuclear infrastructure permitted under the Iran deal makes getting an EMP weapon “relatively easy.”

Supposedly, we can harden off the grid to an EMP attack, but it has to be done by individual states, who are waiting for the federal government, but nobody seems to regard it as urgent. I have seen estimates of costs in the low billion range, but my knowledge ranges from scant to not much. No one wants to believe that such a thing could happen, because it sounds too much like a science fiction movie.

“Death to America” has never been, as Mr. Obama has claimed, simply a a public relations thing for public consumption. The Iranian people hate the tyrannical government. The Iranian military is planning to be able to make a nuclear EMP attack.

The urgent thing seems to be letting your representatives in Congress know how important it is that they oppose the Iran Deal in Congress, and override the President’s inevitable veto.


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