… ends with a diabolical act of treachery.
Bret Stephens writes at the Wall Street Journal:
Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.
Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.
Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.
Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.
Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.
Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.
Most betrayed: Americans.
Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.
These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.
The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s.
Now the administration is likely being deceptive about last week’s U.N. vote, claiming it did not promote, craft or orchestrate a resolution that treats the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a settlement in illegally occupied territory. Yet in November, John Kerry had a long talk on the subject with the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of the resolution’s sponsors.
“One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict,” the New Zealand Herald reported last month. “‘It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we’ve spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the U.S. might go on this,’” the paper added, quoting Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
The Israelis claim to have more evidence along these lines. If so, it means the administration no longer bothers to lie convincingly.
Even this might be excusable, if Mr. Obama at least had the courage of his mistaken convictions, or if his deception were in the service of a worthier end. Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand — along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal — in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.
After the Carter administration pulled a similar stunt against Israel at the Security Council in December 1980, the Washington Post published an editorial that does the paper honor today.
“It cannot be denied,” the editors wrote, “that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it.” The editorial was titled Joining the Jackals.
Unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama hasn’t joined the jackals. He has merely opened the door wide to them, whether at the U.N. or in the skies over Syria or in the killing fields in Ukraine.
The United States abstains: What a fitting finish to this ruinous presidency.
Yes. For America, if not for himself, Obama’s presidency has been a colossal foreign policy failure.
If his domestic policy failures – a long list, headed by his failure to achieve even 3% GDP growth in any year of his two terms and his worsening of race relations – are added to the record, he surpasses Jimmy Carter to win the title of America’s worst president.
Donald Trump has said that South Korea, Germany, and Japan should pay for the US troops stationed on their soil.
Bad enough that Americans pay for the defense of allies.
But America also gives money to its enemies; most notably to Pakistan, which, though classed as an ally, is in fact an enemy.
As far back as 2011, Americans were informed that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the Islamic terrorist organization in Afghanistan with which they had been at war since October 2001.
Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taliban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentary series, Secret Pakistan …
A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the program that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by U.S. special forces in May.
Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against U.S. targets including the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group blamed for the September 13 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Pakistan denies the U.S. allegations.
One Taliban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place.
“Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly they provide us with weapons,” he said …
Other Taliban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on Pakistani soil.
According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the experts running the training are either members of the ISI or have close links to it.
“They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said.
Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers.
“I was in the camp for a month … They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialized in … Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.
And, of course, Pakistan was hiding Osama bin Laden from American revenge for 9/11 – though of course the Pakistani government denied it.
A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles from Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon.
Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taliban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another.
“The information we had was suggesting Mansehra was the town where bin Laden was hiding … It happens after so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said.
Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf who, according to Saleh, reacted angrily.
“He (Musharraf) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information so you can go and check it.’,” said Saleh …
Nothing has changed. Pakistan continues to train, equip, and protect the Taliban.
But, we learn from an article by Joe Pappalardo at Townhall, the Republican dominated US Senate intends to give that treacherous Muslim state yet more aid – to “compensate” it for “helping” the US in the war against the Taliban:
A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.
This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.
Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, is just as keen to reward Pakistan:
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.
The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security.
Q: How exactly does America’s national security depend on the security of Pakistan?
The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.
Q: What “anti-terrorism efforts” by Pakistan would those be?
If the recklessness with which the US gives aid to Pakistan looks to you like insanity, you will find your suspicions confirmed when you know that your tax money also goes to aid the extremely wealthy Islamic tyranny of Saudi Arabia, which works night and day to impose Islam upon America and the whole of the Western world.
And the insanity doesn’t stop there.
In the years when the US was supposed to have no ties whatsoever with Communist Cuba – yes! Your tax dollars were going there too.
And while you are still gaping in disbelief, there’s one more enemy you need to know you were aiding – Iran.
You will find Cuba and Iran listed as recipients of US aid here. The list makes interesting reading.
It is more than likely now that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the presidential election this November.
It is therefore very likely that the Republican platform will be what he wants it to be. And many Republicans, especially the go-along-to-get-along pillars of the Grand Old Party, most prominently its leaders in Congress, do not like what he wants. They repudiate him and his ideas. They say he is unfaithful to conservative principles and will alter long-standing Republican policies. But if their choice is between changing principles and policies to those of Trump or breaking the Party asunder by thwarting the will of the millions of voters he attracts, they will accept – are slowly coming round to accepting – Trump and his vision for America. (While probably still planning to knock it into a more familiar and acceptable shape.)
What do his conservative Republican critics object to in particular?
In an article hostile to Donald Trump, but accepting that he is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, Linda Chavez writes at Townhall:
Trump represents a repudiation of the Republican Party’s commitment to smaller government, free trade and an internationalist foreign policy.
Let’s consider these commitments one by one, and assess how far Trump is likely to change them, and how bad the change would be.
Smaller government is certainly a cherished principle of conservative Republicanism. We list it among our core conservative ideals, along with individual freedom, a market economy, and strong defense. Regretfully we admit that government is not likely ever again to be actually small, but does Trump not say anything that suggests he would reduce the hugely overblown bureaucracy oppressing Americans now? He does. He says he will lower taxes. Lower taxes must mean some shrinking of government. And that’s probably the most any conservative Republican could do.
It’s on free trade that we have a difference of opinion with Trump. He has indicated that he would match tariff barriers with tariff barriers. We think that’s counter-productive. But it’s not enough to induce us to call Trump a wrecker of American prosperity. In fact, most of his economic thinking is likely to increase American prosperity very considerably. He would stop foreign aid unless America got something back for it. He would make those countries that want American military protection contribute to the cost of it. And he has plans for job creation which we’re inclined to trust because, as an extremely successful businessman, he has done it.
As for the Republican “internationalist foreign policy” – we’re coming to that.
Here are some points from Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column on Trump’s recent foreign policy speech. Much as we respect Charles Krauthammer, on this rare occasion we disagree with him.
On the Republican side … foreign policy has been the subject of furious debate. To which Donald Trump has contributed significantly, much of it off-the-cuff, contradictory and confused. Hence his foreign policy speech on Wednesday. It was meant to make him appear consistent, serious and presidential. …
Its major theme, announced right at the top [was]: America First. Classically populist and invariably popular, it is nonetheless quite fraught. On the one hand, it can be meaningless — isn’t every president trying to advance American interests? …
On the other hand, America First does have a history. In 1940, when Britain was fighting for its life and Churchill was begging for U.S. help, it was the name of the group most virulently opposed to U.S. intervention. It disbanded — totally discredited — four days after Pearl Harbor. …
The irony is … it is the underlying theme of [Obama’s] foreign policy — which Trump constantly denounces as a series of disasters. Obama, like Trump, is animated by the view that we are overextended and overinvested abroad. …
Both the left and right have a long history of advocating American retreat and retrenchment. The difference is that liberals want to come home because they think we are not good enough for the world. Conservatives want to wash their hands of the world because they think the world is not good enough for us.
That’s nicely put! Our disagreements will come below.
For Obama, we are morally unworthy to act as world hegemon. Our hands are not clean. He’s gone abroad confessing our various sins — everything from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our unkind treatment of Castro’s Cuba to the ultimate blot, Hiroshima, a penitential visit to which Obama is currently considering.
Trump would be rightly appalled by such a self-indicting trip. His foreign policy stems from a proud nationalism that believes that these recalcitrant tribes and nations are unworthy of American expenditures of blood and treasure.
At least Krauthammer calls it “a proud nationalism”. Linda Chavez, in her article, likens Trump’s nationalism to disreputable [?] European nationalist groups which are better described as tribal. She seems to forget that the United States has for centuries been a melting-pot, and the American nation has been – until very recently under Obama – the least tribal in the world. And Trump’s “nationalism” is better described as patriotism. That’s what an American’s “proud nationalism” really is.
This has been the underlying view of conservative isolationism … It is not without its attractions. Trump’s version, however, is inconsistent and often contradictory. After all, he pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)? He attacked Obama for letting Iran become a “great power.” But doesn’t resisting that automatically imply engagement?
More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death. Yet Trump excoriated the Obama-Clinton foreign policy for losing the trust of our allies precisely because of its capriciousness. The tilt toward Iran. The red line in Syria. Canceling the Eastern European missile defense. Abandoning Hosni Mubarak.
Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise.
Is Trump’s patriotism a “version of isolationism”? Is it “inconsistent and often contradictory”? By “unpredictable” did he mean what Krauthammer is taking his words to mean?
What did Trump actually say?
We quote his speech in part (find all of it here):
America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.
In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. …
Does he regret those American involvements? Not at all. He is proud of them.
Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. … We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.
With that we could not agree more strongly. It is not possible to turn states like Iraq and Afghanistan – Arab states, Islamic states – into Western style democracies.
And as for his comment on Obama’s actions – they have been “unpredictable” in that they make no logical sense. Krauthammer chooses them as examples of unpredictability to condemn Trump’s recommendation of it, when in fact Trump means something entirely different – as we shall see.
We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.
They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.
Trump goes on to “identify weaknesses in our foreign policy” and to say how he would fix them. Among them (they are worth reading in full) is this:
We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon …
At the end of his analysis and outline of his intentions he promises:
This will all change when I become president.
To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies. …
Does that sound isolationist?
We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.
Absolutely right! And no other politician, as far as we can recall, has said it before.
He goes on to speak of “working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world”, which is one of the few points on which we disagree. There can be no such thing as an American ally in the Muslim world, precisely because “the philosophical struggle” prohibits it. Islam is ideologically opposed to the West.
… And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.
So that is what Trump means by “unpredicatble”. A commander-in-chief does not announce to his country’s enemy just when its army will stop fighting and when he will withdraw his troops – as Obama has done. It is a military absurdity!
He goes on to say “we have to rebuild our military and our economy”.
The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.
And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.
We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.
Does that sound “isolationist”?
But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again. …
But, he says …
I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.
Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.
Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.
We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. …
To be militarily strong again, and at the same time try to negotiate better relations with an aggressive Russia and China – is that “contradictory” or is it speaking softly while carrying a big stick?
I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. …
Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me. …
My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas … We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing …
No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions … And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. …
I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. …
The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again. … We have to and we will make America great again.
Where are the alleged “inconsistencies”? Where is the “jumble”. (We urge doubters to read the whole speech and tell us if they find any inconsistencies or contradictions that we have overlooked.)
The speech as a whole could be taken as a manifesto of the new Republicanism – what the Republican Party will stand for under the leadership of Donald Trump. He will take the Party forward, but not in the direction it has long wanted to go. It wanted to go, but did not move. He will make both good and bad decisions, as leaders generally do. But he will make them in the interests of a strong and prosperous America, and that is an America that is good for the world.
A world war is being fought, by one side only: Islam.
The other side, the civilized West and its outposts and allies, is letting the invaders into its territory and suffering the enemy’s attacks from within, over and over again.
The West has far greater military and technological strength than Islam. Yet it is choosing not to fight back. Or, where it now and then does, it chooses not to win.
There is surely no precedent for such an irrational, suicidal choice in all recorded history.
Sohrab Ahmari reports in the Wall Street Journal:
Islamic State jihadists staged a triple-bombing in the Belgian capital — two at the Brussels airport and a third at a metro station downtown — that killed [more than] 30 people … It was the latest reminder that Islamic terrorism is now a permanent and ubiquitous hazard to life in every city, on every continent.
In coming days European authorities will level reproaches about the missed warning signs, security lapses and the larger failure to integrate Belgian Muslims. Commissions will be formed. Sympathetic memes will proliferate on social media. Je suis Belge.
This routine has become numbingly familiar. And these habitual responses, while understandable, defer a reckoning with a larger truth: Not a single day now goes by without an Islamist suicide bombing, rocket attack, shooting spree, kidnapping or stabbing somewhere in the world.
Consider the past 10 days [up to March 22, 2016, when the bombings in Belgium were carried out].
On Sunday, March 13, jihadists sprayed gunfire on sunbathers in Grand Bassam, a resort town in the Ivory Coast popular with Westerners and wealthy Ivorians. The attack, which was claimed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, killed 16 people, including Burkinabe, Cameroonian, French, German, Ivorian and Malian citizens.
On Monday, March 14, two Palestinians fired on Israelis waiting at a bus stop in Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank, wounding one soldier before Israeli forces killed both. A third Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into an Israeli army vehicle in the area and was shot dead. Israel has suffered a wave of Arab knife-and-car attacks for six months, known as the stabbing intifada.
On Tuesday, March 15, al Qaeda’s Somali franchise, al-Shabaab, kidnapped three Red Crescent aid workers in the country’s southwest, according to local media. The abductions followed al-Shabaab’s seizure of a village in central Somalia, amid a broader Islamist resurgence in the Horn of Africa. The aid workers were freed a day later after local villagers pleaded for their release.
On Wednesday, March 16, a pair of female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mosque in Nigeria, killing 24. No group has claimed credit, but the bombing took place in Nigeria’s Borno state, the birthplace of Boko Haram, an Islamic State affiliate that is Africa’s most savage terror outfit.
On Thursday, March 17, the stabbing intifada claimed a fresh victim when a pair of Palestinian terrorists jumped and wounded an Israeli soldier with a knife in Ariel, in the West Bank. Israeli security forces killed both assailants.
On Friday, March 18, suspected al Qaeda fighters fired rockets at the Salah gas facility in Algeria. No one was injured, but BP and Norwegian oil giant Statoil, which operate the facility, withdrew some staff and suspended operations.
On Saturday, March 19, a bomb went off in a tony shopping district of Istanbul, killing three Israelis (two of whom were U.S. citizens) and one Iranian, and wounding 39 others. This was the fifth mass-casualty terrorist bombing in Turkey in as many months, most of them claimed by or attributed to Islamic State. The same day, a mortar assault on a checkpoint in El-Arish, Egypt, killed 15 policemen. A Sinai-based Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility.
On Sunday, March 20, al-Shabaab overran a Somali military base just 28 miles from the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least one person and seizing several vehicles. Also on Sunday, the Istanbul governorate canceled a hotly anticipated soccer match after receiving “serious intelligence” regarding a planned terror attack.
On Monday, March 21, Islamist fighters likely affiliated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb targeted a hotel in the capital of Mali, Bamako, that houses a European Union military-assistance mission. EU personnel were unharmed, and one attacker was killed by hotel security.
Brussels was the first major terrorist incident in the West since November’s jihadist killing spree in Paris and December’s in San Bernardino, Calif.
You could create a calendar like this one that stretches back for weeks and months, and the above doesn’t even include the civil wars and humanitarian calamities in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.
The Syrian vortex is especially perilous. It has been drawing the barely stable nations that surround Syria into its spin and spewing out battle-hardened jihadists along with millions of legitimate refugees. The biggest refugee crisis since World War II was bound to pose serious security threats to Europe.
Meanwhile, the longer Islamic State and al Qaeda thrive in Syria and Iraq, the stronger their adherents and affiliates elsewhere will become.
(In fact, there have been even more such attacks in that period. See The Religion of Peace for a more comprehensive list. And see their tally of lethal Muslim attacks world-wide since 9/11 in our margin.)
Here’s a picture of the train bombed by Muslim holy warriors in Brussels yesterday (the dead bodies cut off by the publishers, not by us).
And here’s the scene after one of the Muslim holy warriors’ bombs exploded at Belgium’s international airport.
Islam is invading Europe and will conquer it without firing a shot.
European political leaders not only refuse to resist the Islamization of their countries, increasingly they positively encourage it. Add to this a high Muslim fertility rate and a very low rate among indigenous Europeans, and you may be certain Muslims will become a majority on the continent in this century unless something – civil war, perhaps – interrupts the processes already set in motion.
From Gatestone, by Guy Millière:
The flow of illegal migrants does not stop. They land on the Greek islands along the Turkish coast. They still try to get into Hungary, despite a razor wire fence and mobilized army. Their destination is Germany or Scandinavia, sometimes France or the UK. Some of them still arrive from Libya. Since the beginning of January, more than 620,000 have arrived by sea alone. There will undoubtedly be many more: a leaked secret document estimates that by the end of December, there might be 1.5 million.
Journalists in Western Europe continue to depict them as “refugees” fleeing war in Syria. The description is false. According to statistics released by the European Union, only twenty-five percent of them come from Syria; the true number is probably lower. The Syrian government sells passports and birth certificates at affordable prices. The vast majority of migrants come from other countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Somalia, and Nigeria.
Many do not seem to have left in a hurry. Many bring new high-end smartphones and large sums of cash, ten or twenty thousand euros, sometimes more. Many have no passports, no ID, and refuse to give fingerprints.
Whenever people flee to survive, the men come with whole families: women, children, elders. Here, instead, more than 75% of those who arrive are men under 50; few are women, children or elders.
As Christians are now the main targets of Islamists (the Jews fled or were forced out decades ago), the people escaping the war in Syria should be largely composed of Christians. But Christians are a small minority among those who arrive, and they often hide that they are Christians.
Those who enter Europe are almost all Muslims, and behave as some Muslims often do in the Muslim world: they harass Christians and attack women. In reception centers, harassing Christians and attacking women are workaday incidents. European women and girls who live near reception centers are advised to take care and cover up. Rapes, assaults, stabbings and other crimes are on the rise.
Western European political leaders could tell the truth and act accordingly. They do not. They talk of “solidarity”, “humanitarian duty”, “compassion”. From the beginning, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said that illegal migrants were welcome: she seemed to change her mind for a moment, but quickly slid back. In France, President François Hollande says the same things as Angela Merkel.
After the heartbreaking image of a dead child being carried on a Turkish beach was published, thousands of Germans and French initially spoke the same way as their leaders. Their enthusiasm seems to have faded fast.
The people of Central Europe were not enthusiastic from the beginning. Their leaders seem to share the feelings of their populations. None spoke as explicitly as Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary. He said out loud what many of his countrymen seemed to think.
Orbán decribed the “massive and brutal” entry of the migrants into his country as an “invasion”, and said that “a country has the right to decide who is allowed to enter its territory, and to guard its borders”. He also dared to point out that the invaders are from a “different culture”, and that Islamic values “might not be compatible” with European values.
To which Western European leaders reacted with predictable (and surely irrational or even insane) fury.
Western European political leaders harshly condemned his remarks and the attitude of Central Europe in general. They decided to take a hard line approach, including: forcing recalcitrant countries to welcome immigrants, setting up mandatory quotas that define how many immigrants each EU country must receive, and threatening those countries that declined to obey. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said that Europe was built in a spirit of “burden sharing”, and that EU breakup was a risk that could not be excluded.
An acute division, in fact, is emerging between the leaders of Western Europe and the leaders of Central Europe. Another division is growing between the populations of Western Europe and their leaders. …
Any criticism of Islam in Europe is treated as a form of racism, and “Islamophobia” is considered a crime or a sign of mental illness.
Islam … is creating increasingly distressing problems that are almost never brought to light. Muslim criminality across Europe is high. Consequently, the percentage of Muslims in prisons in Europe is high. In France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, the prison population is 70% Muslim. Many European prisons have become recruitment centers for future jihadis.
Muslim riots may occur for any reason: police upholding the law, a Soccer League celebration, or in support of a cause.
Populations of Western Europe increasingly think that … their leaders speak and act as if they have no awareness of what is happening.
Central European leaders and their people, who have directly experienced authoritarian rule, seem to be thinking that entering the European Union was a huge mistake. When the Soviet Union collapsed, they became members of the EU to join what was called then the “free world”. They do not seem willing to be subjected again to coercive decisions made by outsiders.
After living under the Soviet yoke, they preserved their desire for freedom and self-government, and evidently will not now agree to give them up. They know what submission to Islam could mean. Bulgaria and Romania were occupied by the Ottoman Empire until 1878. Hungary was under the boot of Ottoman rule for more than a hundred and fifty years (1541-1699).
Polls show that a majority of Muslims living in Europe want the application of sharia law and clearly reject any idea of assimilation.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims living in Europe have joined fundamentalist Islamic organizations. Thousands have joined jihadist movements and are now fighting in Syria or Yemen. Many have returned and are ready to act against Europe.
Illegal Muslim migrants are likely to join the Muslims already living in Europe; and they will remain Muslim. They will live on social benefits until the bankruptcy of welfare states. They will reside in the “no-go zones,” and the “no-go zones” will continue to grow. Their occupants come from countries where Christians and women are mistreated; in Europe, they are already mistreating Christians and women.
They come from countries where Western civilization is despised and where hatred of Jews is inescapable — and this remains so among Muslims already living in Europe. For more than two decades, almost all assaults against Jews in Europe were committed by Muslims. …
A project to overwhelm Europe by a huge wave of migration was described by the Islamic State in documents discovered this February. It is hard to rule out that the Islamic State plays a role in what is happening. Turkish authorities are ignoring the massive departures taking place from their coast. If they really wanted the current process to stop, they could stop it. That is clearly not what they do. The Islamic State could not survive without Turkish help. Daily flights on Turkish Airlines bring illegal migrants to Istanbul; they continue unhindered to Europe. …
In all 28 countries of the European Union, birth rates are low and the population is aging. People under thirty account for only 16% of the population, or 80 million people. In the 22 Arab countries, plus Turkey and Iran, people under thirty account for 70% of the population, or 350 million people.
Jews are fleeing Europe in increasing numbers. “Native” Europeans are starting to flee as well.
In 1972, in his book The Camp of the Saints, French writer Jean Raspail described flooding Europe with Muslim migrants crossing the Mediterranean. At the time, the book was a work of fiction. Today, it is reality.
Yes, under the watch of the United States, Afghan commanders may chain boys to their beds and sodomize them, and however loudly the boys scream, US soldiers are ordered not to hear them.
As pigs flew over New York on September 21, 2015, the New York Times – not customarily inclined to sympathize with the US military, or to bring facts to America from Islamic lands – reported (in part):
In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.” …
Some culture! (And Angela Merkel and Barack Obama want to import it into their respective countries.)
The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases …
The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.
“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”
The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.
After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.
Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander.
“The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way (a contention that I believe is nonsense),” Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who hopes to save Sergeant Martland’s career, wrote last week to the Pentagon’s inspector general. …
When asked about American military policy, the spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” …
Afghanistan’s official system of law is Sharia – according to which homosexual practice is a capital offense.
The American policy of non-intervention is intended to maintain good relations with the Afghan police and militia units the United States has trained to fight the Taliban. It also reflects a reluctance to impose cultural values in a country where pederasty is rife, particularly among powerful men, for whom being surrounded by young teenagers can be a mark of social status. …
[A] former lance corporal … recalled feeling sickened the day he entered a room on a base and saw three or four men lying on the floor with children between them. “I’m not a hundred percent sure what was happening under the sheet, but I have a pretty good idea of what was going on,” he said.
But the American policy of treating child sexual abuse as a cultural issue has often alienated the villages whose children are being preyed upon. The pitfalls of the policy emerged clearly as American Special Forces soldiers began to form Afghan Local Police militias to hold villages that American forces had retaken from the Taliban in 2010 and 2011.
By the summer of 2011, Captain Quinn and Sergeant Martland, both Green Berets on their second tour in northern Kunduz Province, began to receive dire complaints about the Afghan Local Police units they were training and supporting.
First, they were told, one of the militia commanders raped a 14- or 15-year-old girl whom he had spotted working in the fields. Captain Quinn informed the provincial police chief, who soon levied punishment. “He got one day in jail, and then she was forced to marry him,” Mr. Quinn said.
When he asked a superior officer what more he could do, he was told that he had done well to bring it up with local officials but that there was nothing else to be done. “We’re being praised for doing the right thing, and a guy just got away with raping a 14-year-old girl,” Mr. Quinn said. Village elders grew more upset at the predatory behavior of American-backed commanders. After each case, Captain Quinn would gather the Afghan commanders and lecture them on human rights.
Soon another commander absconded with his men’s wages. Mr. Quinn said he later heard that the commander had spent the money on dancing boys. Another commander murdered his 12-year-old daughter in a so-called honor killing for having kissed a boy. “There were no repercussions,” Mr. Quinn recalled.
In September 2011, an Afghan woman, visibly bruised, showed up at an American base with her son, who was limping. One of the Afghan police commanders in the area, Abdul Rahman, had abducted the boy and forced him to become a sex slave, chained to his bed, the woman explained. When she sought her son’s return, she herself was beaten. Her son had eventually been released, but she was afraid it would happen again, she told the Americans on the base.
She explained that because her son was such a good-looking kid, he was a status symbol coveted by local commanders …
So Captain Quinn summoned Abdul Rahman and confronted him about what he had done. The police commander acknowledged that it was true, but brushed it off. When the American officer began to lecture about “how you are held to a higher standard if you are working with U.S. forces, and people expect more of you,” the commander began to laugh.
“I picked him up and threw him onto the ground,” Mr. Quinn said. Sergeant Martland joined in, he said. “I did this to make sure the message was understood that if he went back to the boy, that it was not going to be tolerated,” Mr. Quinn recalled.
There is disagreement over the extent of the commander’s injuries. Mr. Quinn said they were not serious, which was corroborated by an Afghan official who saw the commander afterward. …
Sergeant Martland, who received a Bronze Star for valor for his actions during a Taliban ambush, wrote in a letter to the Army this year that he and Mr. Quinn “felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our A.L.P. to commit atrocities,” referring to the Afghan Local Police.
But under the Obama administration, doing the morally right thing is punishable to the full extent of his whim.
This video is titled “Migrant Crisis: The Footage the Media Refuse to Broadcast”. (Some of the scenes have in fact been shown on American news channels, but it is all too likely that they are not shown in Europe or by the BBC.)
The indignation of the woman whose charity is rejected – her donation of food that was “good for three years” thrown away contemptuously – is wonderful to see and hear.
For decades the Left has worked to destroy the “evil” First World in support of the great cause of the “wretched of the earth”, the inhabitants of the Third World “victimized” by Western “imperialism” and “colonialism”. Now that the hellish Third World is pouring into Europe, at least some on the Left are beginning to change their minds, faced with a horror that they themselves have called up, never thinking that such a thing could actually happen to them.
We savor the irony of their discovering their error so late, even as we deplore the event that is bringing them to their senses.
We found this via PowerLine. It was made by Tim Donovan.
And we also enjoyed this, by Andrew Malcolm at Investors’ Business Daily:
On the surface, wannabe president Hillary Clinton is having a no-good, very bad, terrible August. Despite several attempted and ultimately unsuccessful campaign launches to re-introduce herself to Americans who grew tired of her years ago, Clinton’s favorability and trust numbers are seriously declining.
Tuesday came new poll results that New Hampshire’s uppity voters have dramatically shifted their Democrat allegiances since March and now favor what’s-his-name, the ancient socialist from next-door Vermont. That’s got to sting to fall behind a Mr. Magoo.
This week Clinton finally agreed to turn her controversial private email server over to the Justice Department and FBI, which is allegedly looking into her unauthorized use of the unsecured system and the reported presence on it of classified materials from her disappointing days as secretary of State.
This was widely described by mainstream media as a Clinton cave. But it’s a mysterious one. Why give up now after five months of nope-its-mine-I’m-keeping-it stonewalling?
Here’s a News Flash: She and her cronies have had five months to wipe that thing clean, erase every single little byte of anything there. If there’s one speck of anything incriminating left on that thing, then Hillary should be impeached and expelled as incompetent from that conniving clan of Clintons.
Now, we would hope that sufficient professionalism remains in the vaunted FBI that its techs and agents are seriously investigating one of the president’s worst one-time enemies transformed into close political ally, the potential presidential protector of whatever his political legacy is.
But let’s look back at the law enforcement diligence of Obama’s Justice Department during these endless 2,396 days of his reign:
The [lack of] conscientiousness of its agents probing the renegade Fast and Furious gun-running operation and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s stonewalling of the congressional probe.
The inability of agents to find anything worthy of prosecution in the Internal Revenue Service’s obvious intimidation of Obama political opponents and the clearly willful destruction of evidence.
The promised swift application of justice to the murderers of four Americans by a Benghazi mob that resulted, a couple of years later, in the arrest of one whole guy.
Not to mention the State Department’s accountability review of the botched Benghazi business that didn’t bother talking to the woman in charge and conveniently found no one person at fault — just, you know, some systemic housekeeping problems requiring tidying.
So, Clinton could surrender her email server safe in the knowledge that A) it sounds good on TV and B) there’s nothing left there for Justice folks to have to not find.
Remember the 18 missing minutes on the Nixon tapes? Before Ms. Rodham got fired from the Watergate commission, she learned an all-important lesson about destroying evidence.
Her approach follows the Obamafication of political defenses: Drag everything out as long as possible. Make your responses as arcane as humanly possible to deny value to any video replays. Prolong. Prolong. Prolong. With the modern-day need for immediacy by media and its tacit complicity, “news” becomes “old” quite quickly.
And Americans in 2015 seem easily distracted. Look! There’s a Confederate flag!
Conventional wisdom is the chronic Clinton delays will push these messy stories into election year, hurting her 2016 chances. Remember her Benghazi House testimony is Oct. 22.
But wait! How much did stonewalling Fast and Furious, Solyndra, one trillion wasted stimulus dollars and Benghazi, for example, hurt Obama’s reelection in 2012? He concocted a fleeing al-Qaeda and cancer-causing Romney.
Obama’s off golfing again for two weeks. But he’s still president with 525 days left.
So the nation must brace itself – almost certainly, worse is to come to the American people.
And Hillary could still remain above the law.
Yet another “deadline” for the concluding of a deal with Iran passes today, so a new “deadline” will be set, and that one too will pass, and so another …
Or if a deal is made –
The impending deal is an embarrassment: the world’s greatest power prostrate before the world’s most patently expansionist, terror-sponsoring, anti-American theocracy.
So Stephen Hayes writes at the Weekly Standard.
He’s right, of course. It is an embarrassment. But what matters a lot more is that it will be a catastrophe. A huge unprecedented historic catastrophe.
It will ensure that Iran has nuclear weapons and that none of the major powers will do a thing about it.
The article goes on:
One week before the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a series of demands about the final terms. Among them: He called for an immediate end to all United Nations Security Council and U.S. economic sanctions on Iran; he said Iranian military sites would not be subject to international inspections; he declared that Iran would not abide a long-term freeze on nuclear research; and he ruled out interviews with individuals associated with Iran’s nuclear program as part of any enforcement plan.
The New York Times headline read “Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, Seems to Pull Back on Nuclear Talks.” That’s one explanation. The more likely one: Khamenei understands that Barack Obama is desperate for this deal and will agree to just about anything to make it a reality. In private remarks caught on tape, top White House foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes likened the Iran deal to Obamacare in its importance to the administration. And on April 2, the president held a press conference to celebrate the preliminary “historic understanding with Iran” that, he said, was “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.”
But the impending deal is not a good one. It legitimizes a rogue state, shifts regional power to the world’s most aggressive state sponsor of terror, strengthens the mullahs’ hold on power, and guides Iran to nuclear threshold status. Those are not our “core objectives.” They are Iran’s.
A steady stream of news reports in the weeks before the deadline has brought into sharp focus the extent of the administration’s capitulation. Among the most disturbing new developments: the administration’s decision to offer relief on sanctions not directly related to Iran’s nuclear program and its abandonment of hard requirements that Iran disclose previous nuclear activity, without which the international community cannot establish a baseline for future inspections.
From the beginning of the talks, the Obama administration has chosen to “decouple” negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program from the many other troubling aspects of Tehran’s behavior. It was a bit of self-deception that allowed the United States and its negotiating partners to pretend that concerns about the Iranian regime’s possessing nuclear weapons had everything to do with nuclear weapons and nothing at all to do with the nature of the Iranian regime; it was an approach that treated Iran as if it were, say, Luxembourg. The Obama administration simply set aside Iran’s targeting of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, its brutal repression of internal dissent, its provision of safe haven and operational freedom for al Qaeda leadership, and its support for terrorists sowing discord throughout the region and beyond.
Now we learn that the administration is effectively ending this decision to “decouple” nuclear talks from broader regime behavior, not in order to hold Iran to account for its many offenses but as something of a reward for its supporting a nuclear deal. It is a swift and stunning reversal. …
Likewise, the U.S. capitulation on Iranian disclosure of previous nuclear activity is both hasty and alarming. As recently as April, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that Iranian disclosure of past activity was a red line for U.S. negotiators. “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done. It will be part of a final agreement. It has to be.” But on June 16, Kerry cast aside those demands. “We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.”
We can’t yet know all the concessions the United States has made in order to secure a deal, but the list of those that are known is long and embarrassing.
Iran has conceded and will concede nothing. The US administration concedes everything.
On decoupling nuclear negotiations and sanctions relief on nonnuclear items
Then: “We have made very clear that the nuclear negotiations are focused exclusively on the nuclear issue and do not include discussions of regional issues.”
March 10, 2015, Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokesman,
email to The Weekly Standard
“Other American sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, its ballistic missile program, will continue to be fully enforced.”
April 2, 2015, Barack Obama, statement in the Rose Garden
“Iran knows that our array of sanctions focused on its efforts to support terrorism and destabilize the region will continue after any nuclear agreement.”
June 7, 2015, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, remarks to Jerusalem Post conference, New York City
Now: “Administration officials say they’re examining a range of options that include suspending both nuclear and some non-nuclear sanctions.”
June 9, 2015, Associated Press
On the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program and disclosure of past activities
Then: “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done. . . . It will be part of a final agreement. It has to be.”
April 8, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry interview with The NewsHour
“The set of understandings also includes an acknowledgment by Iran that it must address all United Nations Security Council resolutions—which Iran has long claimed are illegal—as well as past and present issues with Iran’s nuclear program that have been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This would include resolution of questions concerning the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program, including Iran’s activities at Parchin.”
November 23, 2013, White House fact sheet, First Step: Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program
Now: “World powers are prepared to accept a nuclear agreement with Iran that doesn’t immediately answer questions about past atomic weapons work. . . . Instead of resolving such questions this month, officials said the U.S. and its negotiating partners are working on a list of future commitments Iran must fulfill.”
June 11, 2015, Associated Press
“We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.”
June 24, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry, remarks at a press availability
On shuttering the secret nuclear facility at Fordo
Then: The Obama administration and its partners are “demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling” of the nuclear facilities at Fordo.
April 7, 2012, New York Times
“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program.”
December 6, 2013, Barack Obama, remarks at the Saban Forum
Now: “Under the preliminary accord, Fordo would become a research center, but not for any element that could potentially be used in nuclear weapons.”
April 22, 2015, New York Times
“The 1044 centrifuges [at Fordo] designated only for non-nuclear enrichment will remain installed, so they could potentially be reconverted to enriching uranium in a short time regardless of technical or monitoring arrangements.”
June 17, 2015, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Olli Heinonen, former IAEA deputy director-general for safeguards, and Simon Henderson, director
of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at WINEP
A draft copy of the final agreement allows Fordo to remain open, “saying it will be used for isotope production instead of uranium enrichment.”
June 24, 2015, Associated Press
On suspension of enrichment
Then: “Our position is clear: Iran must live up to its international obligations, including full suspension of uranium enrichment as required by multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
April 7, 2012, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, New York Times
Now: “Agreement on Iran’s uranium enrichment program could signal a breakthrough for a larger deal aimed at containing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.” The tentative deal imposes “limits on the number of centrifuges Iran can operate to enrich uranium” but allows Iran to continue enrichment.
March 19, 2015, Associated Press
On ballistic missile development
Then: Iran’s ballistic missile program “is indeed-something that has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement.”
February 4, 2014, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
“They have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program that are included in the United Nations Security Council resolution that is part of, explicitly, according to the Joint Plan of Action, the comprehensive resolution negotiation.”
February 18, 2014, White House spokesman Jay Carney, White House press briefing
Now: “We must address long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. So, it’s not about ballistic missiles per se. It’s about when a missile is combined with a nuclear warhead.”
July 29, 2014, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
These specific concessions matter. So do the ones we’ll learn about in coming days. Together they make the path to an Iranian nuclear weapon easier and the prospect of preventing one ever more remote.
But we don’t have to wait until Iran’s first nuclear test to see the damage done by the negotiations. Last week, the New York Times reported that the administration resisted confronting China on its authorship of the hacking of sensitive U.S. personnel information partly out of concern about China’s role as a negotiating partner on the Iran deal.
No doubt the Iran negotiations contributed to Obama’s reluctance to confront Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. And to Obama’s tacit acceptance of continued Iranian support for the Taliban and al Qaeda; his passivity as he watched the unfolding slaughter in Syria; his acquiescence in [Iran’s] expansive role in Syria, Iraq, and beyond; and his refusal to provide arms directly to the Kurds and to the Sunnis.
Obama is begging Iran to sign a deal. He is paying Iran to sign a deal. He is holding Secretary of State John Kerry’s nose to the conference table until Iran signs a deal. Any deal. At any cost.
What will the representatives of the American people in Congress do about it?
Countries trying to be nice help bad countries to do worse.
The people in Third World despotisms are victims for sure – but not victims of the First World. They are the victims of their own tyrants.
By accepting those who flee from them, the successful, prosperous, civilized West is allowing the tyrants to carry on as usual.
This is from an important editorial in Investor’s Business Daily:
At 60 million and rising, the global refugee population has never been larger. But instead of blaming the states that take in the refugees, isn’t it time to demand accountability of the nations that create their misery?
The UN’s refugee agency’s “Global Trends Report: World at War” got virtually no press when it was released Thursday, but it should have. Its stark data signal a global crisis of refugees and a great wrong in the established world order. Fifty-nine-and-a-half million people were driven from their homes in 2014 as a result of war, conflict and persecution, the highest number in history, as well as the biggest leap in a single year. A decade ago, refugees totaled 37.5 million. An average 42,500 are displaced each day, 1 out of every 122 people on earth, or, if placed together, a nation that ranks 24th among world populations.
“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
Guterres rightly sees the scope of the problem, and as a global bureaucrat can be forgiven for his concern about “the response required”. But that focus on the response is precisely why the crummy Third World dictatorships, terrorist groups and corrupted democracies that create the refugees keep getting away with it.
Where is the scorn for the nations whose anti-free market, oligarchical and hostility-to-minority policies are the root of the problem?
It seems that the only criticism and attention that ever comes to refugee issues centers on whether the countries are able to take them in.
Southern Europe, for example, is being browbeaten by the UN, the Vatican and the European Union for not rolling out the welcome mat for the thousands of smugglers’ boats full of refugees from Syria, Niger, Chad, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere fleeing to their shores.
The same can be said of the United States, which is watching a stop-and-go border surge of Central Americans who insist they’re escaping gang violence in their home countries. Australian and Southeast Asian states have been berated by the same actors for not wanting to take in thousands of refugees sailing from Bangladesh and Burma.
The Dominican Republic is taking global brickbats for trying to preserve the integrity of its borders.
Are there any war-crimes tribunals in the works for captured Islamic State members whose terror is the No. 1 reason for refugee flight? Where’s the criticism of the government of Afghanistan, which makes corruption the priority over a livable homeland?
How about the governments of Chad, Niger and Somalia, or the leftist regimes in Central America, that actually encourage refugee outflows so they can live off their remittances instead of developing their economies through free markets?
Are any of these places being kicked out of international organizations for the misery they are responsible for? Has anyone ever been singled out for their failure to make their states livable? Not one.
Colombia was a creator of refugees a decade ago, but no longer. Why? It put itself under the wing of the US through Plan Colombia in 1998 and learned how to take control of its country and initiate free-market reforms.
Which brings up one idea that isn’t being discussed amid so much wretchedness: empire. In a 2014 article in the Atlantic Monthly, geography expert Robert D. Kaplan pointed out that empires are the foremost creators of stability and protectors of minorities. The topic is taboo. But in light of the growing failures of the international community to halt the refugee problem, it belongs on the table just as much as the UN’s solution — throwing more money at it.
With global refugees on the rise, it’s time to talk about the cause of the crisis as well as the cure.