American Elephants


Is It Possible to Make Sense of this Bizzare World? by The Elephant's Child
May 24, 2015, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

From Weasel Zippers:
“US Assistant Secretary of State Pressing Israel to Lose Its Nukes
And Make the Middle East a Nuke Free Zone…”

Assistant US Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, Thomas Countryman, recently visited Israel and held talks with senior Foreign Ministry officials, about the possibility of making the Middle East nuclear-free.

Washington seeks to advance the idea after reaching agreement with Russia about the matter.

The State Department confirmed Countryman’s visit and sources in the US Administration said that Israeli agreement to the idea would be a catalyst for bringing additional countries into discussions on the matter.

The Americans have been attempting to convene an international conference on the subject for some time, without success. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about the idea with pessimism, and said it was “a very tough challenge.”

From Washington Free Beacon:
“Obama Warns Clinton Foundation Donor Not to Get Nukes”

President Obama told Saudi Arabia on Friday that if it chooses to covertly work to build up a nuclear program, it would “greatly strain the relationship they’ve got with the United States.”

“They understand that ultimately their own security and defense is much better served by working with us,” Obama said in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. “Their covert—presumably—pursuit of a nuclear program would greatly strain the relationship they’ve got with the United States.”

The remark came in response to a question from Goldberg regarding the fear that others in the Middle East would attempt to match the nuclear infrastructure that Obama’s deal with Iran would allow it to keep.

“The protection that we provide as [Saudi Arabia’s] partner is a far greater deterrent than they could ever hope to achieve by developing their own nuclear stockpile or trying to achieve breakout capacity when it comes to nuclear weapons, and they understand that,” said Obama.

Hard to comment seriously on that one.



A Petulant President Attacks His Critics in Congress, And Ignores the Ayatollah Who Calls Him a Liar. by The Elephant's Child
April 14, 2015, 6:52 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

In the fading days of his presidency, Mr. Obama clearly believes that he can determine American foreign policy all by himself. At the Summit of Americas in Panama City, the president was bad-mouthing America again, as he so readily does when abroad. But he was particularly annoyed that anyone would disagree with his unilateral outreach on Cuba, Iran and Climate Change. He was especially annoyed that Senator John McCain would dare to point out that the Ayatollah Khamenei disagreed drastically with Secretary of State John Kerry’s interpretation of the “framework” nuclear accord.

In fact it was the Ayatollah Khamenei who accused the White House of “Lying,” being “deceptive.” and having “devilish intentions”, according to multiple published accounts and posts of his own twitter feed.

Khamenei also disputed the key terms Obama administration officials have said were agreed upon in principle. Economic sanctions will not be phased out once Iran’s compliance has been “verified,” according to the Ayatollah. Instead, Khamenei said that if the U.S. wants a deal, then all sanctions must be dropped as soon as the agreement is finalized. Khamenei also put strict limits on the reach of the inspectors who would be tasked with this verification process in the first place.

President Obama held a press conference in Panama City, and announced huffily;

“That’s not how we’re supposed to run foreign policy, regardless of who’s President or Secretary of State. We can have arguments, and there are legitimate arguments to be had. I understand why people might be mistrustful of Iran. I understand why people might oppose the deal—although the reason is not because this is a bad deal per se, but they just don’t trust any deal with Iran, and may prefer to take a military approach to it,” Mr. Obama said.

But when you start getting to the point where you are actively communicating that the United States government and our Secretary of State is somehow spinning presentations in a negotiation with a foreign power, particularly one that you say is your enemy, that’s a problem. It needs to stop.”

It was the Ayatollah who first claimed that the Obama Administration was “spinning” what was in the framework, but Obama dismissed his remarks as posturing to protect his political position, and American critics should just shut up because the only alternative is war.

Secretary of State John Kerry on “Face the Nation” described the nuclear agreement with Iran as a  “global mandate” issued by the United Nations. “Congress assisted by passing sanctions.” Kerry said the State Department didn’t want the Iran talks to fall prey to partisan bickering in Washington.”We’ve earned the right to complete this without interference, and certainly without partisan politics.” Earned the right?

We don’t know how close or far the Iranians are to a nuclear bomb, or if they already have one. Our intelligence has always been surprised when a nation suddenly tests a nuke. They didn’t know it was imminent. The Obama Administration seems to believe that it would be fine for Iran to become a nuclear power. That if so, they would just become another state possessing nukes like us and Britain and France and Israel.We all get along and don’t worry about each other.

If Iran wants to dominate the Middle East, they could just control the warring tribes and we wouldn’t have to worry about interfering. But Iran is not just another country, but the world’s most active sponsor of terrorism around the globe, They are impelled by passionate religious fervor, and believe that Armageddon or the final battle would bring about the return of the Mahdi followed by eternal bliss. The Ayatollah Khamenei is dying of cancer. Does he want to get things settled within his life span?

The UN inspectors know they haven’t seen all the Iranian facilities, and they don’t know for sure if they even know how many there are. A military book talked about an EMP bomb. And there is Death to America Day, and the cry shouted by all every Friday after prayers. Our negotiators don’t seem to understand the basics of negotiation — negotiating from strength, and walking out if you don’t get some cooperation. It seems to be the Iranians who are negotiating from strength. But it is Americans and Israelis who will pay the price of Administration blundering.



“You Can’t Sell The Cow and Still Have the Milk” by The Elephant's Child
April 9, 2015, 6:57 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks about the Ukraine crisis after his meetings with other foreign ministers in Paris

Obama’s sales pitch for his”framework” of a nuclear deal with Iran has not met with universal plaudits and applause. Partially because Iran doesn’t agree in the slightest with what the U.S. delegation claims to have been agreed upon. They seem to have a different idea entirely, which begins with the prompt end to all sanctions and continues with going to work on building their desired weapon without interference. Big words and big ideas slowly turn into farce.

Less than a week following the framework of a nuclear deal with Iran that allows the Islamic Republic to continue operating core aspects of its program, the State Department is looking for a new training course on how to negotiate.

The agency released a solicitation for “Negotiations” on Wednesday, revealing that the State Department is seeking a class for U.S. diplomats on “making and receiving concessions wisely.”

The overall course teaches the essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes for U.S. diplomats to succeed in any of 275 overseas posts performing the full spectrum of political and economic work,” the solicitation said. “This module will focus on the complex art of negotiating across diverse cultures to find common ground for advancing mutual interests.”

One might suggest that their timing was a little bit off, or make reference to “locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.”. It would all be really funny if it weren’t so desperately important.




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