Follow by Email

Thursday, March 26, 2015

John Bolton, "To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran": Sorry, Obama Has Already Surrendered

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran," former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton explains that whatever nuclear "privileges" are granted to Iran pursuant to its pending agreement with the P5+1, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey will demand the same. (In my blog entry yesterday entitled "Thomas Friedman, "Look Before Leaping": Obama Gets Tough With the White House Florist," I suggested that Jordan and the UAE would also seek to begin building their own bombs.) Convinced that Iran will not forgo its nuclear weapons program regardless of the threat or implementation of international sanctions, Bolton concludes:

"The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.

Rendering inoperable the Natanz and Fordow uranium-enrichment installations and the Arak heavy-water production facility and reactor would be priorities. So, too, would be the little-noticed but critical uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan. An attack need not destroy all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.

Mr. Obama’s fascination with an Iranian nuclear deal always had an air of unreality. But by ignoring the strategic implications of such diplomacy, these talks have triggered a potential wave of nuclear programs. The president’s biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East."

War, or even the threat of war, is frightening. I've lived through enough of them. On the other hand, the failure to stop Iran in its tracks is reminiscent of Chamberlain's 1938 "peace for our time" Munich Agreement. Chamberlain could have said no to Hitler and saved the lives of more than 60 million people, but he didn't. Such is human nature.

Yes, Obama's pact with Khamenei is certain to bring about a Middle East nuclear arms race. Moreover, given the regimes involved, these weapons will be used - that's a promise.

Could a bomb hit the US? Absolutely. Obama's agreement does not prevent Iran from developing ICBMs.  But as John Kerry acknowledged yesterday:

"What happens if, as our critics propose, we just walk away from a plan that the rest of the world were to deem to be reasonable? That could happen. Well, the talks would collapse. Iran would have the ability to go right back spinning its centrifuges and enriching to the degree they want, if they want, if that's what they choose. And the sanctions will not hold, because those other people who deem the plan to be reasonable will walk away and say, 'You do your thing, we’ll do ours.'"

Or in other words, American foreign policy is now being dictated by Russia, China and European corporations hungry for renewed trade with Iran, i.e. Obama has already surrendered.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Obama's Schizophrenic Middle East Policy in Yemen and Iraq

If you currently go to the homepages of The New York Times and The Washington Post, you will see lead news articles informing us:

  1. With the support of Obama, the Saudi air force is attacking Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, in Yemen. As reported by WaPo in an article entitled "Saudi Arabia launches air attacks in Yemen," by : "the White House announced late Wednesday that President Obama had authorized U.S. forces­ to provide logistical and intelligence support to the operation."
  2. The US air force is attacking the Iraqi city of Tikrit, which is held by ISIS, in support of an Iranian-led assault. A New York Times article entitled "Opening New Iraq Front, U.S. Strikes ISIS in Tikrit" by Rod Nordland and Peter Bakermarch acknowledges: "For more than three weeks, the Americans had stayed on the sideline of the battle for Tikrit, wary of being in the position of aiding an essentially Iranian-led operation."
Maybe some enterprising reporter would care to ask Josh Earnest about this anomaly.

John Kerry: Sanctions Regime Cannot Be Enforced If Talks With Iran Fail

US Secretary of State John Kerry has effectively admitted that the US is agreeing to all of Iran's demands in its current negotiations over Tehran's nuclear development program, because its P5+1 partners are prepared to agree to Khamenei's demands. As reported by Iran's PressTV, Kerry told the Global Chief of Missions meeting at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday, March 25:

"What happens if, as our critics propose, we just walk away from a plan that the rest of the world were to deem to be reasonable? That could happen. Well, the talks would collapse. Iran would have the ability to go right back spinning its centrifuges and enriching to the degree they want, if they want, if that's what they choose. And the sanctions will not hold, because those other people who deem the plan to be reasonable will walk away and say, 'You do your thing, we’ll do ours.'"

Or in other words, American foreign policy is now being dictated by Russia, China and European corporations hungry for renewed trade with Iran.

Not surprisingly, this dramatic revelation is not being covered by any of America's leading media outlets.

Thomas Friedman, "Look Before Leaping": Obama Gets Tough With the White House Florist

In case you didn't notice, after six years as president of the United States, Obama is finally taking no nonsense. On Tuesday, the White House florist was reportedly "escorted from the building." But wait, there's more! "Senior White House officials" are also letting us know that Israel has been spying on Iran's nuclear talks with the US. Why should it matter that the alleged spying (the information in question was freely handed over to Israel by France, a participant in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran) and was also the product of Israeli espionage involving Iran? Moreover, why should we care that the alleged Israeli spying was discovered by American "intercepts" of official Israeli communications, i.e. US spying upon Israel? And what difference does it make that Israel shared the information in question with Obama's most feared enemy . . . Congress? Netanyahu is not going to prevent Obama from giving nuclear weapons to Iran's mullahs within a decade or less! Israel must be taught that this pussy has claws!

But what about the nuclear deal that Obama is preparing to sign with Khamenei? When Obama acolyte and would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman publicly expresses his doubts about the wisdom of this agreement, beware! In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Look Before Leaping," Friedman writes regarding the negative aspects of such a pact:

"Not enough attention is being paid to the regional implications — particularly what happens if we strengthen Iran at a time when large parts of the Sunni Arab world are in meltdown.

. . . .

The challenge to this argument, explains Karim Sadjadpour, a Middle East specialist at the Carnegie Endowment, is that while the Obama team wants to believe this deal could be 'transformational,' Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, 'sees it as transactional' — Iran plugs its nose, does the deal, regains its strength and doubles-down on its longstanding revolutionary principles.

. . . .

[If sanctions are lifted,] Iran would have billions of dollars more to spend on cyberwarfare, long-range ballistic missiles and projecting power across the Arab world, where its proxies already dominate four Arab capitals: Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus and Sana."

Friedman fails to mention that any such agreement with Iran will ignite a Middle East nuclear arms race. If Obama allows Iran to build it first atomic bombs within a decade pursuant to the proposed agreement's "sunset clause," Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE will all immediately begin their own nuclear weapons development programs. In addition, these weapons, in a region known for its instability, will - I promise you - be used.

On the "plus side," Friedman tells us:

"[T]he ending of sanctions could open Iran to the world and bring in enough fresh air — Iran has been deliberately isolated since 1979 by its ayatollahs and Revolutionary Guard Corps — to gradually move Iran from being a revolutionary state to a normal one, and one less inclined to threaten Israel.

. . . .

Patching up the U.S.-Iran relationship could enable America to better manage and balance the Sunni Arab Taliban[*] in Afghanistan, and counterbalance the Sunni jihadists, like those in the Islamic State, or ISIS, now controlling chunks of Iraq and Syria.

. . . .

For 10 years, it was America that was overstretched across Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it will be Iran’s turn."

An agreement "could" transform Iran "from being a revolutionary state to a normal one"? Isn't that a gamble lacking any rational basis?

Patching up the U.S.-Iran relationship "could" counterbalance ISIS, "now controlling chunks of Iraq and Syria"? Friedman forgets to mention that a tyrannical Iran, which hangs homosexuals and stones to death women accused of adultery, also now effectively controls significant chunks of Iraq and Syria.

And now it will be "Iran's turn" to deal with Iraq and Afghanistan? I opposed involvement of American ground forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but does this mean that the US should acquiesce to Iran extending its hegemony to both these nations?

Perhaps Obama is only capable of getting tough with flower arrangers.

[*I sent the following email to Andrew Rosenthal of the Times:

"In his most recent Times op-ed entitled "Look Before Leaping," Thomas Friedman writes (my emphasis in red):

'Patching up the U.S.-Iran relationship could enable America to better manage and balance the Sunni Arab Taliban in Afghanistan, and counterbalance the Sunni jihadists, like those in the Islamic State, or ISIS, now controlling chunks of Iraq and Syria.'

The Taliban is not 'Arab' (Afghanistan is not an Arab country, although there is a very small Arab minority). In fact, the word "Taliban" means 'students' in Pashto.'

Let's see if Rosenthal responds.

Thank you, "k," for pointing out this error.]

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

David Brooks, "How to Fight Anti-Semitism": It Begins by Saying "No" to Obama's Deal With Iran

Are there three different kinds of anti-Semitism?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "How to Fight Anti-Semitism," David Brooks differentiates between the anti-Semitism of the Middle East, Europe and the United States. According to Brooks, the anti-Semitism of the Middle East is "is a form of derangement, a flight from reality even in otherwise sophisticated people." On the other hand, Brooks would have us know that in Europe, anti-Semitism "looks like a response to alienation" and is "particularly high where unemployment is rampant." Finally, concerning the United States, Brooks says that anti-Semitism "remains an astonishingly non-anti-Semitic place," and in this regard, Brooks declares:

"In the Obama administration, there are people who know that the Iranians are anti-Semitic, but they don’t know what to do with that fact and put this mental derangement on a distant shelf. They negotiate with the Iranian leaders, as if anti-Semitism was some odd quirk, instead of what it is, a core element of their mental architecture."

Brooks, however, fails to ask how a supposedly intellectual American president can ignore this so-called "mental architecture" and seek to provide Iran's mullahs with an arsenal of nuclear weapons within a decade.

Brooks also fails to consider an op-ed entitled “Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir” by fellow Times columinist Thomas Friedman, in which Tom Terrific declared:

"I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby."

Similarly, Brooks ignores the conduct of fellow Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. As was reported in an article entitled "Nick Kristof’s Piggishness," written by Adam Kredo for The Washington Free Beacon:

"New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is facing criticism after retweeting a controversial message that referred to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the National Rifle Association as 'the 2 most pig like lobbies' in America.

Longtime Israel critic M.J. Rosenberg, who was dumped by the liberal Media Matters for America for his use of borderline anti-Semitic language, authored the controversial tweet Wednesday afternoon. It called to mind recently unearthed statements by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi that referred to Jews as 'pigs.'"
 

I would delicately suggest to Brooks that anti-Semitism in the United States, particularly in the media, can be just as sinister as the strains of this disease which exist in the Middle East and Europe. Moreover, American anti-Semitism is far "closer to home" than Brooks believes.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Denis McDonough, "Occupation That Has Lasted for 50 Years Must End": Obama Hatchetman Spews Poison at J Street Conference

Did you ever collect coins as a child? Buffalo nickels? Indian Head pennies? Well, if you scratch the rocky soil of the West Bank, you will find other coins dating back some two thousand years: coins minted by the Hasmonean dynasty following the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire, coins minted by Herod during his rule of the Kingdom of Judea; coins from the first Jewish revolt against the Romans with inscriptions reading "The Freedom of Zion; and coins from the subsequent Bar Kokhba revolt against the Romans, bearing the inscription "Year One of the Redemption of Israel." Yes, the land comprising the West Bank was the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland for millennia.

Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, speaking at a J Street conference in Washington, said of the West Bank:

"An occupation that has lasted for 50 years must end."

But what didn't Obama's hatchetman say?

  • Did he mention historic Jewish ties to the land compromising the West Bank? Not a chance.

  • Did he mention that the West Bank was occupied by Israel after Jordan attacked Israel during the 1967 Six Day? Not a chance.

  • Did he mention that Palestinian suicide bombers crossed from the West Bank into Israel a decade ago and killed hundreds of Israeli civilians? Not a chance.

  • Did he mention the danger of Iranian-made missiles being fired from the West Bank at Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Haifa? Not a chance.

Me? I favor a two-state solution, i.e. the creation of an independent Palestinian state that will live in peace and prosperity alongside Israel. But for there to be such a Palestinian state, both Fatah and Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exist. Hamas must repeal its charter, which rejects a negotiated settlement with Israel and calls for the murder of all Jews, not just Israelis. Fatah, among other things, must make certain that the minds of Palestinian children attending West Bank schools are not poisoned by textbooks expressing incitement against Israel and the foulest forms of anti-Semitism. And without a doubt, the West Bank must be demilitarized.

McDonough? A pity he is not demanding that Iranian calls for the annihilation of Israel must end before any nuclear arrangement with Khamenei is signed. Meanwhile, the Iranian press is gleefully reporting his J Street commentary.

Back in October 2000, Ze'ev Schiff, an Israeli journalist for the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz, said of Arafat in an article entitled "Some Lessons from the Riots," written after the onset of the Second Intifada:

"He has brought us back to recognize our strategic reality: Israel is still a nation at was, and it needs to behave like one when it weighs its options and considers the limits of its concessions."

Sadly, this reality has not changed.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh, "The Iran time bomb": Giving the Lie to Obama's Agreement With Khamenei

In a must read Washington Post opinion piece entitled "The Iran time bomb," Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh explain why the agreement being negotiated by Obama with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei will not prevent the mullahs from building an atomic bomb under the noses of IAEA within a year of contravening the terms of the deal. As explained by the authors of this op-ed, a lengthy "bureaucratic process would be necessary to validate" any such violation by Iran:

  • The US director of national intelligence would only go to the president after the Energy Department and national nuclear laboratories had, over the course of months, "sniff[ed] the data to be convinced that a technical breach had occurred."
  • US determinations would then be submitted to the IAEA, which would then engage in protracted discussion with Tehran to gain access to the offending sites.
  • The IAEA's verdict would then be passed to the UN Security Council, where Russia and China would ensure lengthy deliberations.
  • Subsequent UN sanctions, if any, would be too late in coming to affect the Iranian economy, after trade and investment had returned pursuant to the terms of Obama's agreement.

In fact, the enormous likelihood is that Russia and China would veto at the UN Security Council any attempt to reinstate the sanctions.

Or stated otherwise, Obama is desperately pursuing a sham agreement, which could provide the maniacal Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons long before the pact's sunset clause kicks in at the end of a decade, freeing Tehran to pursue its nuclear weapons development program without obstruction.

Is it any wonder that France is objecting to Obama's giveaway?