American Elephants


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.



The Disastrous Deal of the Century by The Elephant's Child

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Let’s go back to the time when Obama was newly inaugurated. Richard Epstein, noted Law Professor, fellow at the Hoover Institution, who teaches at NYU and University of Chicago, knew Obama at the University of Chicago and through his own next-door neighbor, who is one of Obama’s closest friends. He said that Obama does not change his mind. Once he has accepted an idea, it is fixed in concrete. He does not change his mind.

It was clear, early on, that Obama believes that all of the difficulties in the Middle East arise out of the Israeli/Palestinian animosity, and he believed that obtaining a two-state peace agreement between the two would end the problems in the Middle East, and he had set that as his goal. Palestine has not the slightest interest in a two-state solution, they want Israel gone and continue daily missile attacks.  Obama’s dream of bringing peace about went a-glimmering. A little long-winded, but it helps to explain this irresponsible and dreadful “deal.”

In the present, Obama and his advisors believe that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, they would never use a bomb. They cannot fathom the idea that they would. It is the same mistake all too often made by our diplomats and national security apparatus — that the Iranians are really people just like us who care about their families, and yearn for peace, and want the best things for their people. They do not.

Iran is a tyrannical theocracy, a fanatical end-times theocracy. They have told us that although we worship life, they worship death. They were and are the chief sponsors of terrorism in the world. They really mean it when they call for “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” They believe in Armageddon and the return of the Mahdi.

Iran has never stopped its nuclear work, including during the dealmaking. The deal means Iran keeps its nuclear arms, and we get to remove all sanctions and give them billions with which to accomplish their aims. Iran has cheated on every inspection and every agreement. Their aims are the destruction of Israel and America. The question is whether they rush it to complete before Khomeinei dies, (he has terminal cancer) or wait till they can manage an EMP attack which will purportedly kill 90% of Americans. The deal even signs off on Iran getting the intercontinental ballistic missiles they need for the purpose.

Please watch the talk by Daniel Pipes, explaining the Middle East. It is truly worth your time.

Here is President Obama’s speech this morning. Full of exaggeration, self-congratulation and hooey. Can he possibly not understand what he is doing?

Here’s the White House take on the deal with graphs and color and hooplah.  The idea that they will actually admit inspectors is unlikely. We don’t even know what other facilities they have.

Here’s Claudia Rosett, who has been following this closely.

Here is Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer, speaking at the CUFI Summit on the negotiations. Do read the whole thing. The Israelis,understandably, take this much more seriously than Obama does. He’s just looking for a “legacy.” And if there’s anything that doesn’t work out well, it will fall to his successor. He did a deal to protect the American people, if it doesn’t work out — it’s not his fault.

Here is Daniel Pipes today:”Could the Iran Deal Be the Worst International Accord of All Time”

The Saudis and Egypt will quickly buy nukes, and this will presage a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

There will be plenty of commentary on this mess. Congress must hear often and loudly just what the American people think of this mistake.
The thing to remember is that Obama believes that Iran would never use a nuclear weapon. There is no evidence to believe that to be true.

ADDENDUM:  Daniel Pipes’ today’s piece was added after publication.



How to Think About the Iran Deal by The Elephant's Child

Without getting into all the details, which I will in a moment, here’s a quick and dirty way to understand the whole thing:

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That worked out well. And there is this photo of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif standing on the balcony of Palais Coberg, the venue for the nuclear talks, in Austria, July 13, 2015.

Why is this man laughing?

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(h/t: Powerline)



It’s a Dark Mood, and Getting Darker… by The Elephant's Child

The country seems to be simply — fed up. Fed up with the culture wars, fed up with the biased media, fed up with being lied to, fed up with hypocrisy, fed up with overregulation, fed up with people who are “offended” way too often. Fed up with the language police, and the food police, the thought police, and the opinion police, and fed up with worry and being fed up.

Victor Davis Hanson asked that today. “Is the World Becoming Fed Up?” A great pushback is awakening here and abroad, but its timing, nature, and future remain mysterious. He enumerates the fed-upness that he sees.

At the Federalist, Tom Nichols writes “The New Totalitarians Are Here,” Totalitarians want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining—even if it takes bludgeoning every last citizen who disagrees.”

Ben Domenech and Robert Tracinski write “Welcome to Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach” which explains how we got here, but suggest that we turn the culture war into a culture competition, which is slightly more positive.

Along the same lines, the Z Man posted “The Rachet.” He says “I’m not sure reality ever catches up with Progressives. They simply exhaust themselves and go into a dormant phase for a while. It is the ratchet effect. The Progressive push begins and we get a series of clicks until finally some push-back and the advance is arrested. The core holds for a while and then the advance begins again. Click, click, click and then another pause.”

Glenn Reynolds said the “Declaration should still wake the powerful up at night.”More than complaints about a king, the Declaration of Independence was a justification for rebellion that applies today.

So if you’re feeling irritable and, well, fed up — you’re not alone. There’s a whole lot of us out there.



Pin the Tail On the Donkey! by The Elephant's Child

Over the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago, 30 people were shot in 8 hours overnight. A 7 year-old boy and two men were killed. The Confederate flag has been withdrawn from store shelves and public display because it has suddenly been decided that it is a racist symbol and might offend someone. No one is particularly offended by 30 people being shot in a city with very strict gun control. Chicago has not had a Republican mayor since 1931.

Even before the Baltimore riots, gun violence was up more than 60% compared with last year. Protesters from Ferguson were reportedly sent to Baltimore by a George Soros associated group. There were 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend.  Baltimore has been run by Democrats since 1967.

In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over last year. Shootings in St. Louis were up 39%. robberies 43% and homicides 25%. St.Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro said “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it” in a May City Hall hearing. Milwaukee’s last Republican Mayor left office in 1906, St. Louis’s last Republican Mayor left office in 1949. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid May, Democrat Mayors have run Atlanta since 1942.

What has happened is a relentlessly dishonest campaign against law enforcement, which the Wall Street Journal called “the Ferguson Effect,” beginning with Trayvon Martin, who was pictured as an innocent young boy in a hoodie, instead of the huge violent young man, and extending through one innocent young black man after another, with out-of-control violent policing supposedly at fault.

Shooting incidents were up 500% in East Harlem, 100% in South Central Los Angeles. And in many cities, police are afraid to confront suspects for fear that they will be attacked or wrongly accused of misbehavior. Cops are not perfect. There are bad apples. There are racists, but the majority of police across the country are trying to keep the peace and forestall crime. Attacking the police, making poor neighborhoods believe that they cannot trust the very people who are trying to protect them is a vast disservice. When that protection is lessened or withdrawn because police are fearful for their own lives, crime and murders go up and trust drops even more.



“Damn That Flag!” by The Elephant's Child

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Re-blogged from Never Yet Melted

Seven people were killed this morning when a Confederate flag walked into an Alabama shopping mall and started shooting.

According to local reports, the flag entered Cherrywood Mall outside Huntsville armed with two AK-47 assault rifles, a P 228 handgun and several grenades. It immediately proceeded to unload its ordinance on unsuspecting shoppers.

In addition to those killed, 23 people were injured and are currently being treated in area emergency rooms. Several are in critical condition and not expected to survive.

The flag’s motivations are uncertain at the moment. However, according to witnesses the flag did specifically target White people with Northern accents.

“The flag chased us down the hallway screaming ‘Die, Yankees Die!’, says Justin Anderson, a aeronautical engineer originally from New Hampshire. “Luckily flags don’t move very fast, so my girlfriend and I managed to outrun it.”

Complete story

Hysteria seems to come and go. It was not long ago that Chick-fil-A was being demonized and attacked because of the Christian values of its owners, and there were efforts to boycott the stores. One opened here a few weeks ago in the location of a former Denny’s and the drive-thru and parking lot have been so crowded that long lines of cars are choking up the intersection.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index named Chick-fil-A America’s favorite fast food place. The ACSI asked more than 5,000 customers their opinion on fast-food chains and compiled a list of the best and the worst. Chick-fil-A finished in first place with the highest score ever given to a fast-food chain. Good service and good food apparently trumps hysteria every time.

The one here is still messing up traffic.



There are Always Consequences, You Just Have to Learn to Recognize Them. by The Elephant's Child
June 26, 2015, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Freedom, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: ,

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The Supreme Court has declared the Constitution meaningless, or at least the separation of powers. They are busy making law from the bench, which is not their function. Their job is to decide if a law in question agrees with the Constitution, not make up new and different emanations. In Australia, Canada and Britain, you can go to prison for expressing objectionable speech. Think about that.

The Left has long been at war with free speech. They often have really bad ideas, but they don’t like to be disagreed with, and they really and truly want you prevented from so doing. Hillary has said that when she becomes president, she will have a litmus test for Supreme Court candidates. They have to promise to repeal the Court’s Citizens United decision. Well, of course she would, it was a campaign piece critical of Hillary, but it was about free speech.

The Court has firmly said that corporate money spent on a campaign according to the election laws is free speech. The McCain-Finegold law  that limited spending on political advocacy by corporations and unions was unconstitutional. Lively political debate is supposed to benefit everyone. The Left was sure that Union spending was fine, but not corporate money. It all depends on whose Ox is getting gored.

Our Universities have become hotbeds of liberal thought, and they are teaching the current generation of students that they are little snowflakes who must not be offended. This falls under the “inside every liberal is a tyrant trying to get out” department. Nobody likes to be insulted or enjoys being offended, but suck it up kids.

Tyranny is a lot worse than merely being offended. Eventually that gets around to disposing of those who disagree. Today, it is the attempt to rename any campus buildings that were named for anyone who was a racist, that designation to be supplied by the “offended” kids. Be very careful what you wish for.

That said, the professors and administrators who allow and encourage such things as “microaggressions” and “triggering” should be fired.  You are not engaging in critical thinking (supposedly a goal of higher ed) but destroying clear thought. “Life is hard” our parents or grandparents tried to explain to us. Life gets a lot harder if you cannot distinguish between truth and falsehood, right and wrong, or reality and fantasy.




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