According to the Pentagon:
A ballistic missile launched by Iran on Sunday [March 12, 2017] was North Korean in construction or design. …
This latest test could set Iran on a collision course with the Trump Administration, which has promised to take a hard line on Iran.
Why has President Trump not already torn up the “deal” Obama made with Iran? It really is “the stupidest deal of all time”, as President Trump himself called it.
Is the process of disempowering Iran starting with a warning to Iran’s nuclear-armed ally North Korea?
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday [March 17, 2017] issued the Trump administration’s starkest warning yet to North Korea, saying that a military response would be “on the table” if Pyongyang took action to threaten South Korean and U.S. forces.
Speaking in Seoul after visiting the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean peninsula and some of the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, Tillerson said former President Barack Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” towards Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs was over.
“We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table,” Tillerson told a news conference.
He said any North Korean actions that threatened U.S. or South Korean forces would be met with “an appropriate response,” turning up the volume of the tough language that has marked President Donald Trump’s approach to North Korea.
“Certainly, we do not want for things to get to a military conflict,” he said when asked about possible military action, but added: “If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table.”
Nuclear co-operation between Iran and nuclear-armed North Korea is hastening the day when there will be a nuclear-armed Iran.
But at present, the alliance between Iran and Russia is even more dangerous.
This is from an article at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, by Anna Borshchevskaya, dated February 6, 2017:
It is going to be difficult to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran. Too many interests hold them together …
From Moscow’s perspective, the U.S. has been and will continue to be an enemy, no matter how hard any U.S. president tries to improve relations. Putin needs the U.S. as an enemy to justify domestic problems at home and he sees the current geopolitical order, anchored by the U.S., as disadvantaging him. Nothing short of a rearrangement of that order will satisfy Putin. Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist Svetlana Alexievich observed in October 2015 that Russians “are people of war. We don’t have any other history. Either we were preparing for war or we were fighting one. And so all of this militarism has pushed all of our psychological buttons at once.” Putin needs allies who share this worldview.
President Trump expressed two contradictory policies during his campaign: being tough on Iran and improving relations with Russia. These two goals are incompatible because Putin wants a partnership with Trump in Syria, but Syria is where Putin is most closely allied with Iran. In order to push Iran and Russia apart, Trump needs to resolve this contradiction. The recent Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan only brought Russia and Iran closer together, if anything, given their pledge to fight “jointly” against ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham [aka the al-Nusra Front]. This development will also make it even more difficult for Trump to ally with Russia on Syria.
So far, Putin has succeeded in balancing Israeli and Sunni interests with its growing relationship with Iran. But it is unclear how long Putin can sustain this policy. Certainly, Putin did not hesitate to discount Israel’s interests when it came to selling S-300 weapons to Iran. Indeed, it is not in Israel’s interest for Putin to continue supporting Bashar al-Assad and thereby expand Iran’s influence in the Middle East. The Trump administration could encourage and support U.S. allies like Israel in order to make it more difficult for Putin to maintain his balance of good relations with all sides. It should also step up security cooperation with its allies to demonstrate that it is still committed to the region.
In the long term, Russia and Iran diverge somewhat on Syria. Iran perceives Syria as within its sphere of influence, which is not very different from how Putin views the former Soviet Union countries that he does not consider real states. Iran is interested in exacerbating sectarian divisions in Syria so that the Assad regime becomes an Iranian client-state with no independent decision-making. Iran is also closer to Assad himself than Putin, who simply wants Assad or someone else like him to ensure his interests in Syria. He cares more about how he can leverage Syria in his relations with the West than Syria itself. At the same time, Putin also increasingly perceives the Middle East as falling within the Russian sphere of influence, albeit differently than Iran. Historically, Moscow always looked for buffer zones out of its sense of insecurity, and this is precisely how it feels now.
The Trump administration could emphasize to Putin that Russian and Iranian interests in Syria are bound to clash in the future, and therefore an alliance with Iran can only go so far. But most of all, the U.S. needs to be present in the region and regain its leadership position. Putin preys on weakness and has perceived the U.S. as weak for years. He stepped into a vacuum in the Middle East, especially in Syria, that was created by America’s absence. By taking an active role in the region, the U.S. would limit Putin’s influence, including his alliance with Iran.
The article ends with a statement that seems to contradict the one with which the quotation opens.
Can the US “limit Putin’s influence, including his alliance with Iran”, or is it “going to be difficult to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran”?
The Russian-Iranian alliance is extremely dangerous for the US and the world. Can President Trump weaken it? Can he disengage Russia from Iran? Can he subdue Russia’s intensifying belligerence? Will he tear up Obama’s “deal” and put an end to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear bombs and the missiles to deliver them to the Middle East, Europe, and America?
Is there a plan to achieve all that, a process starting with the much-needed, long-delayed, serious warning to North Korea?
Swedish women in power visit Iran and wear hijabs.
Hypocrisy beyond imagining? Or cognitive dissonance to the point of lunacy?
Sweden has a “feminist government”, it says.
In the present cabinet there are 12 men and 12 women. But considering what it has wrought – the destruction of Sweden – we’d say that the government consists entirely of girls.
From Clarion Project:
In a trade visit to Iran, 11 members of the self-declared “feminist government” of Sweden greeted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other officials dressed in hijabs …
In declaring itself a feminist government, Swedish ministers said, “This means that gender equality is central to the Government’s priorities – in decision-making and resource allocation. A feminist government ensures that a gender equality perspective is brought into policy-making on a broad front, both nationally and internationally…This is a human right and a matter of democracy and justice.”
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian human rights activist who created the Facebook page “My Stealthy Freedom”, where Iranian women post pictures of themselves rebelling against Iran’s modesty laws, asked European female politicians as well as those around the world to reject the mullah’s dictates and realize that this is not a “cultural issue” but “the most visible symbol of oppression”. …
From Breitbart, by Liam Deacon:
Sweden’s “feminist” government has defended its delegation wearing Islamic headscarves in Iran, after receiving widespread accusations of hypocrisy.
Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin recently attacked U.S. President Donald J. Trump for having [only? mainly? some?] men in his top team. However, when her colleagues visited Iran they refused to take a stand against legally enforced female subjugation.
There were 11 women on the trip led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven this weekend … and they were all photographed in headscarves “almost all of the time”, apart from at events in the Swedish Embassy. …
Ann Linde, the Minister for European Union Affairs and Trade from the Social Democrat party, defended the move, arguing they could not violate Iranian law.
What would the Iranians have done about it if they had?
And this is from UN Watch:
Trade Minister Linde, who signed multiple agreements with Iranian ministers while wearing a veil, “sees no conflict” between her government’s human rights policy and signing trade deals with an oppressive dictatorship that tortures prisoners, persecutes gays, and is a leading executioner of minors.
“If Sweden really cares about human rights, they should not be empowering a regime that brutalizes its own citizens while carrying out genocide in Syria; and if they care about women’s rights, then the female ministers never should have gone to misogynistic Iran in the first place,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.
The government has now come under sharp criticism from centrist and left-wing Swedish lawmakers, who said the ministers should not have deferred to “gender apartheid”.
“They go to my country,” said [Masih] Alinejad recently in the European Parliament, “and they ignore millions of those women who send their photos to me and put themselves in danger to be heard. And [the European politicians] keep their smile, and wearing hijab, and saying this is a ‘cultural issue’—which is wrong.”
Trade minister Ann Linde, one of three Swedish ministers who oversees the country’s “feminist foreign policy,” decided voluntarily to go covered in a long black coat, akin to the Chador, in addition to covering her hair with the compulsory Hijab. She is seen below meeting President Rouhani, and then signing one of multiple agreements with representatives of the theocratic regime.
Sweden itself will soon be an Islamic country. Then the whole population can wear hijabs, chadors, and smirks of infinite self-satisfaction for being more politically correct than any other country on earth – against stiff competition from other West European states.
In general, American women are the most free, privileged, protected, cared-for, amply-fed, well-housed, choicely arrayed, luxury-supplied, opportunity-rich group of human beings that has ever existed. They are not excluded from any career. Wealth and power are available to them, and many women achieve both.
Yet millions of American women are discontented with their lot. It’s hard to imagine what they need but haven’t got. However, they invent sad tales of not getting paid as much as men, and complain that they themselves must pay for their own aids and devices to prevent them conceiving children, and for children they do conceive being aborted. They want the state to pay for all that. This, they say, is one of their “rights”. They want to be wards of the state. They do not care to be free.
This was made apparent by the Women’s March for … Well, what it was for was not made clear. But it was certainly against the presidency of Donald Trump, who had been inaugurated the previous day. They hate him, and they wanted to show him, and show the world, that they hate him. That at least can be said with confidence about the purpose of the March.
It was not only an unintelligent affair, reflecting not at all well on the women’s ability to think, it was also a hideous and obscene sight. Many of the women dressed themselves up as giant vaginas. Some carried banners promoting love, as for instance “Love trumps Hate”. But the celebrity women who addressed the multitudes rather contradicted that. One of them, the rock-star Madonna, spoke of “blowing up the White House”.
Linda Sarsour was a chief organizer of the March. She calls herself a “racial justice & civil rights activist”. She is a director of the Arab American Association of New York, and a passionate advocate for sharia law. She tweets about how good it is – eg. “shariah law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense.”
So her remedy for the discontent of American women is to live as Muslim women do in those countries where sharia law is applied.
What would this mean in practice?
A Pakistani woman, a professional writer, Khadija Khan, describes at Gatestone what Muslim women endure:
A bitter truth, often glossed over in the name of “tradition”, is the religious teachings and the responsibilities of a Muslim woman. Most glossed over is the violence that men are still allowed to inflict on their women in the name of their religion and culture on such a massive part of the planet.
This brutality not only takes place in ISIS-held territory but across most Muslim societies. All around you, you see women killed, molested, imprisoned, maimed and incarcerated while their men sugar-coat the abuse as “modesty”, “honor”, “divine law” or even “justice”.
In addition to warning would-be ISIS recruits of the horrors that await them if they jump onto the bandwagon of terrorist organizations, let us take a look into “normal” Muslim societies.
Women in Saudi Arabia, in the name of laws and “traditions”, are kept effectively non-existent. They are forced, outside the house to wear full-body covering, abayas. Most full coverings for women are black, which absorbs heat, and are made of non-porous cloth — not cotton — in the scorching heat.
Women are also not allowed to drive, they cannot leave the house without a male guardian, they are liable to be flogged, stoned to death or beheaded if found guilty of even the smallest infractions, and often, as in being raped, even if they are factually innocent. …
In Iran, women are forced to cover themselves and need a guardian to step outside the home, if they want to be “protected”. Bicycling is prohibited.
Women are also forced to live with an abusive husband, as dictated by abusive marital laws and social taboos.
Moral brigades by the name of Gasht e Ershad (“guidance patrol”) coerce females to behave “decently”. Now Sharia patrols and curbs against women also exist in England and France – an indication where these extremists want to drive the West.
In parts of France, women cannot go out onto the street “unaccompanied” or even enter a café. “Here,” men tell them, “we do things like in our home countries!”
In a province of Indonesia, Aceh, a woman, accused of being intimate with her boyfriend, is caned in front of a jeering crowd. Later, a photograph of the screaming woman is published as a token of pride for the men who had just exacted this “justice” – on her; no consequence for the boyfriend. It was a lesson to remind women to submit to their place in society.
Under the newly proposed Sharia laws, women are also forced to be accompanied by a male guardian to “protect” them. Banda Aceh also banned women from entertainment venues after 11pm unless they are accompanied by a male family member. Aceh district has also banned unmarried men and women from riding together on motorbikes.
Turkey last year presented a bill for tackling its widespread child-marriage issue: the Turkish government introduced a bill that pardons a rapist if he marries his victim. The victim is not consulted. After the rage of the masses, the bill was withdrawn – at least for the time being.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said at a news conference in Istanbul:
We are taking this bill in the parliament back to the commission in order to allow for the broad consensus the president requested, and to give time for the opposition parties to develop their proposals.
The government seems determined to bring it back after making some minor changes.
Many Muslim countries follow similar restraints, effectively keeping women under house-arrest. All forms of exploiting women are presented as divine law, sharia, in which women have no say, which they are unable to use in their own defense, and which they are forced to accept as their fate. …
In Pakistan, the hudood ordinance, promulgated in 1979 to curb outside-of marriage-sex, has actually turned out as a monstrosity for female rape victims.
The ordinance demands, under sharia law, that a rape victim be grilled in a court of law as if she is the perpetrator. She is asked to produce four male witnesses to prove her case or else she is booked as having committed adultery and having already confessed to the crime.
These are countries where men are not only permitted, but invited, to consider woman a pet to be killed, [or] burned with acid … to preserve a family’s “honor”.
These laws, put in place by the governments and the clergy, provide a safe escape for criminals, such as those who kill their women and claim it is in the name of “honor”.
A killer can be pardoned in court by the victim’s next of kin, who, thanks to much clan intermarriage, is usually a family member of the assailant as well. The judge, with the stroke of a pen, therefore lets these criminals walk free. …
Afghanistan remains perhaps the most brutal country in terms of women’s rights violations.
Farkhanda Malikzada, for instance, a 27-year-old seminary student accused by a fortune teller, a custodian of a shrine, of burning a Quran, was simply thrown to a hound-like mob of men who beat and burned her to death – in front of a number of police officers and cameras in broad daylight. Most of the identifiable assailants were never punished, while the fortune teller who unleashed this horror had his death sentence commuted. Investigators also revealed that Farkhanda might have questioned sexual orgies by the shrine’s custodians, who were later found inside the holy place with condoms and Viagra. …
Being covered in black, non-porous cloth in the desert heat; being stoned to death or beheaded; being confined to a house as a brood-mare and servant, effectively enslaved, unable to leave or earn an independent living, are the reality that millions of women are made to suffer every day – supposedly for their “protection”. … These discriminations are imposed by the mullahs as religious obligations. …
The deeper horror is that all these abuses – child marriage, confinement, genital mutilation, rape, torture, and legal discrimination – have accomplices. These enablers are often well-meaning people from the West, “multiculturalists” who are reluctant to pass judgement on other people’s customs no matter how brutal they might be. What they are really doing, however, is providing crucial support for savage injustices either by sweeping them under the carpet or by defending barbarism as “cultural norms”.
Madonna – she who spoke of “blowing up the White House” (the implication being that this would destroy President Trump) – is an admirer of Fidel Castro.
So is the criminal professor, Angela Davis, another leading light of the discontented marching woman.
So they would like to live under a Castro government?
Humberto Fontova, writing at Townhall, depicts the life of women under Castro:
Rock-star Madonna — who headlined the Women’s March while surrounded by women, blacks, and especially black women – has often expressed her affection for Che Guevara. Her fondness for the co-founder of a totalitarian regime that outlawed rock music while jailing and torturing the most blacks and women in the modern history of the Western Hemisphere included Madonna’s tweeting the psychopathic mass-murderer and war-monger a “Happy Birthday!” last year. …
Vintage Stalinist Angela Davis also headlined the Women’s March. Her devotion to the war-mongering mass-murderers Fidel Castro and Che Guevara dates back decades — back to the Peace & Love years , when so many other “peace-niks” and “flower-children” were similarly smitten.
Fidel is the leader of one of the smallest countries in the world, but he has helped to shape the destinies of millions of people across the globe.
And another woman famous in the world of popular music also addressed the marchers:
Yoko Ono – famous peace-nik, women’s rights activist and Beatle-wife — also made the scene at Women’s March. Here you’ll find her worshiping the co-founder a regime that tortured the most women political prisoners in the modern history of the Western hemisphere, that brought the world closest to nuclear war, and that criminalized Beatles music. …
The regime co-founded by the idols of Women’s March headliners jailed and tortured 35,150 Cuban women for political crimes, a totalitarian horror utterly unknown—not only in Cuba—but in the Western Hemisphere until these icons of American “Women’s Rights Activists” assumed absolute power. …
Their prison conditions were described by former political prisoner Maritza Lugo. “The punishment cells measure 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. The toilet consists of an 8 inch hole in the ground through which cockroaches and rats enter, especially in cool temperatures the rat come inside to seek the warmth of our bodies and we were often bitten. The suicide rate among women prisoners was very high.” When suffering their tortures most of these women were in their 20’s. …
Thousands of Cuban women have drowned, died of thirst or have been eaten alive by sharks attempting to flee the horrors imposed on the Cuban people by the icons of the Women’s March.
But the marching women would prefer to live under the dictatorship of Castro than under democratically-elected Donald Trump?
Why yes. That is the only sense that can be derived from what they say so passionately.
They are used to getting what they want. They have everything the cornucopia of America can pour out for them, but their spokeswomen say that they’d be better off under sharia law, or in Cuba.
So why should they not have life under sharia law? Life under the Castro regime in Cuba?
And of course they can.
Nothing is preventing them from going to live under sharia law – in Pakistan, for instance. Nothing is stopping them from moving to Cuba.
We say: go, girls, go!
Only you will have to pay for your own passage to these utopias. Cruel President Trump will not allow the state to give you your fares.
What a shame! What a disgrace! What an oppression! What a tragedy!
Obama paid the mullahs who rule Iran vast sums, whatever they demanded – anything, anything! – to pretend they had a deal with him.
At immense cost to the American tax-payer, he bought a deal that he pretends will keep Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed power, but which in fact permits it to make nuclear bombs after a few years.
The Iranians insisted on payment in dollars and gold, to fund its proxy war in Syria and Iraq.
Adam Kredo reports at the Washington Free Beacon:
The Obama administration has paid Iran more than $10 billion in gold, cash, and other assets since 2013, according to Iranian officials, who disclosed that the White House has been intentionally deflating the total amount paid to the Islamic Republic.
Senior Iranian officials late last week confirmed reports that the total amount of money paid to Iran over the past four years is in excess of $10 billion, a figure that runs counter to official estimates provided by the White House. The latest disclosure by Iran, which comports with previous claims about the Obama administration obfuscating details about its cash transfers to Iran — including a $1.7 billion cash payment included in a ransom to free Americans — sheds further light on the White House’s back room dealings to bolster Iran’s economy and preserve the Iran nuclear agreement.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi confirmed last week a recent report in the Wall Street Journal detailing some $10 billion in cash and assets provided to Iran since 2013, when the administration was engaging in sensitive diplomacy with Tehran aimed at securing the nuclear deal. …
“This report is true but the value was higher,” Ghasemi was quoted as saying. “After the Geneva conference and the resulting agreement, it was decided that $700 million dollars were to be dispensed per month … In addition to the cash funds which we received, we received our deliveries in gold, bullion, and other things.”
Regional experts who spoke to the Free Beacon about these disclosures said that the $10 billion figure offered by the Obama administration should be viewed as “a conservative estimate for what Iran was paid to stay at the table and negotiate“. …
It is likely Iran spent a portion of this money to fund its regional terror operations and military enterprise to bolster embattled Syrian President Bashar al Assad …
One veteran foreign policy insider familiar with the administration’s outreach to Iran told the Free Beacon that the White House has a history of deflating these figures in order to obfuscate details about its contested diplomacy with the Islamic Republic.
“This is how it always happens when the Obama administration secretly sends money to Iran,” said the source … “They deny it until they’re caught, then they lowball it until they’re caught again, then they say it’s old news. In every single case where Iranian officials confirm these transfers while Obama officials denied them, it later turned out the Iranian officials were the ones telling the truth.”
“This money is going to pay for a great deal of jihad terror,” Robert Spencer comments at Jihad Watch.
In reference to the Kredo article, which he quotes, Spencer recalls the definition of Treason:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
And he recommends:
There ought to be an investigation into whether Obama’s actions regarding Iran, where the mullahs have ordered the people to chant “Death to America!” in the mosques every Friday, constitute treason.
Yes, there ought to be.
And he ought to be tried and convicted. And he ought to be executed.
But none of that is likely to happen.
It is a source of joy we can only imagine, never experience.
Pretending to save the world from a nuclear onslaught by Iran’s Islamic regime, Obama went to great lengths to enable it.
It was clear, sheer, obvious treason. Obvious despite the elaborate deceptions attempted by his administration.
The State Department acted vigorously to implement Obama’s furtive plan.
With only a few days before the treasonous administration passes away and a patriotic one replaces it, the State Department continues to help Iran towards its evil goal.
The Tower reports:
Global powers, including the United States, have reached an agreement to provide Iran with nearly 130 tons of uranium — which experts believe would be enough to make 10 nuclear bombs. …
David Albright and Andrea Stricker of the Institute for Science and International Security criticized Iran’s excess heavy water deals in a research paper (.pdf) published last month, pointing out that instead of insisting that Iran abide by the terms of the deal, “the United States tolerated and minimized Iran’s violations and sought to legitimize its international standing as a commercial supplier of heavy water”. Albright told the AP that “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon”, Iran could create more than 10 atomic bombs with the uranium it will receive. …
Iran has not stated what it will do with the uranium. It could store it or process it into low-enriched uranium to be sold as nuclear fuel. But the nuclear deal itself allows Iran to step up approved nuclear enrichment activities even before the 15-year deal expires.
In addition to Iran’s heavy water violations, the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] warned last month that Iran was likely to exceed its cap on low-enriched uranium if it continued producing it at current levels. That warning came just days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered his nuclear agency to draw up plans to develop nuclear-powered engines that would require uranium to be enriched to 20 percent (in violation of the terms of the deal, which only allows Iran to enrich up to to 3.67 percent).
The IAEA publicized documents last month that essentially showed that Iran could violate the deal without receiving penalties. Certain amounts of low-enriched uranium in Iran’s possession are considered “unrecoverable”, and therefore do not count against its cap. “If this whole thing rests on [Iran] promising not to build a facility that they’d probably only build in secret if they were going to actually break out, then this material probably should not be deemed non-recoverable,” Albright wrote.
When serving as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Rouhani agreed to a temporary halt of uranium enrichment as part of the November 2004 Paris Agreement. But Iran backed out of the deal nine months later and began enriching uranium again. The following year, Rouhani boasted to a meeting of clerics that during the time that talks were ongoing in Paris, Iran was able to install equipment for converting yellowcake, a necessary step in enriching uranium.
Omri Ceren explains how dangerous this is, and reveals how the State Department wriggles out of admitting the danger:
As long as the deal is in place, Iran will be able to blackmail the U.S. on non-nuclear issues by threatening to collapse the deal and pocket the uranium — Iran deal advocates have already been making a two-step argument for why the U.S. must not act against Iran’s terrorism, ballistic missiles, etc: 1st, they say the deal was front-loaded to give Iran most of its benefits at the beginning, while the U.S. only benefits from long-term Iranian compliance, so the Iranians win if the deal collapses now, 2nd, they say new non-nuclear pressure would cause the deal to collapse. It’s the blackmail scenario predicted by deal critics in late 2015, and the new uranium will play out the same way: Iran deal advocates will argue the U.S. must not act against Iran because the Iranians will walk away from the deal, and now they have enough new uranium for 10+ nuclear bombs.
Once the deal expires, Iran will be able to enrich the uranium to weapons-grade levels — President Obama told NPR the deal enables Iran to shrink its breakout time “almost down to zero” as soon as 13 years after implementation, which is 12 years from now. Restrictions on enrichment levels expire over that period.
The criticisms came up at yesterday’s State Department briefing. Spokesperson Kirby responded that as long as the deal has not collapsed or expired, the new uranium will be monitored. It’s not clear how that addresses any of the major criticisms of the swap: Iran profits from violating the deal, Iran gets blackmail leverage to prevent U.S. action on non-nuclear issues, and the deal will expire.
Transcript of Q & A, with John Kirby, State Department spokesman:
QUESTION: Well, is it not correct… if they store it away for 25 years, can they then not take this 116 tons and then do whatever they want with it?
MR KIRBY: Well, the – first of all, I really hate – I hate hypotheticals —
QUESTION: Or whatever the quantity —
MR KIRBY: — particularly the ones that go out two and a half decades from now, but —
QUESTION: Look, the – your whole point is that don’t worry, this is going to be subject to inspection and verification… under the JCPOA, but those – that expires at some point… So after those limitations expire, is it not correct that they could do whatever they want with it?
MR KIRBY: I’m not going to speculate one way or another here about something that… may or may not happen 25 years from now, Matt. There’s a strong inspection regime in place —
MR KIRBY: — to – and for well into the future to prevent Iran from —
QUESTION: For 25 years.
MR KIRBY: — to prevent Iran from ever being able to achieve a nuclear weapon, and that’s on page – by the way, not 25 years. The deal says Iran will never achieve nuclear weapons capability, but let’s get beyond that. I’m not going to speculate about what might or might not happen 25 years from now… I just don’t think that’s a useful exercise.
That last part about the deal saying “Iran will never achieve nuclear weapons capability” is not true.
Will the State Department switch sides and become an ally of the United States when Donald Trump is president?
We long to see heads roll at Foggy Bottom!
We continue commentary on the article we discussed yesterday in our post How to defeat Islam (immediately below):
In his well reasoned article recommending that Iran be treated as an enemy of the US – and the world – and utterly defeated, John David Lewis argues:
Given that we should win, how then must our government confront Islamic Totalitarianism? Let us call again upon the defeat of Japan in 1945 as a valid, and vital, historical precedent. …
The basic similarities between the two conflicts begin with the ideas that motivated the attacks. The Japanese were motivated by a politicized religious ideology — Shintoism — that posited an all-powerful deity, indoctrinated their children, infected every aspect of their culture, and drove them to suicidal military actions that killed millions.
Islamic jihad is motivated by just such a “politicized religious ideology”. It too posits an “all-powerful deity” in whose name Islam “indoctrinates its children” with its aggressive, supremacist, totalitarian ideology that “infects every aspect” of Muslim culture, and “drives them to suicidal military actions”.
An educational rescript of 1890 — an Imperial decree, and one of the most influential documents in Japanese history — built this “mytho-religious ideology” into the classroom, making worship of the Emperor and duty to the State into the primary goals of education. Japanese people memorized its tenets, and were inculcated with what one Japanese scholar called “socialization for death’. A Japanese civilian remarked how, when she heard that the Emperor was going to address his people — an unprecedented event — the words she had memorized as a child rose in her mind: “Should any emergency arise, offer yourself courageously to the State.” Such ideas, deeply internalized and mandated by law, motivated suicide bombers — kamikaze — to throw themselves fanatically against superior U.S. forces, and gave them hope for a final battle over weak-willed Americans. This kamikaze fire was extinguished by the crushing American offensive of 1945.
The key to extinguishing this fire, I submit — the sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihad, and suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.
He describes how this was done in the case of Japan:
Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …
When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.
We agree with him that “State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated”. And we agree that war on Iran, the utter defeat of the Iranian Islamic theocracy, would go a long way to achieving that end.
But there is an important difference between Japan then and Iran now.
He makes it clear that the Japanese people were heart and mind, unquestioningly, with the Emperor; with his government and his military in wanting to make war on America and the world.
In the case of Iran, however, it is apparent that the people are not in agreement with the tyrants who rule them. It is not their will that war – ultimately nuclear war – should be waged on America and the world.
The Iranian people rose in rebellion against the regime in 2009. The uprising was called “the green revolution”. [Nothing to do with environmentalism.] Much regret has been expressed that President Obama did not help the protestors. Had he helped them, the reasoning goes, the regime might have been toppled.
But Obama did not want regime change. He wanted to make friends with the Ayatollahs. Why remains a matter of conjecture. The explanation given by his administration was that negotiating a “deal” with the Iranian government would stop the development of Iranian nuclear bombs. But that is belied by the terms of the “deal” itself, which allows Iran to become a nuclear armed power in little more than ten years after the date of the agreement.
To want regime change is to want to save the Iranians from their oppression.
To want regime change is to want the defeat of the Ayatollahs – but not of Islam.
And Lewis’s whole point is that the defeat of Iran would effect crushing defeat on Islam as a whole. It would prove that Islamic state totalitarianism would not be tolerated. It would be a severe deterrent to jihad.
In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran. …
The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole.
So by his well-reasoned argument, war on Iran – not regime change – is essential. War and total defeat.
And the methods he advocates – the methods used on Japan, now capable of being much more quickly applied, including the deployment of nuclear weapons before Iran has them to retaliate with – could achieve the objective.
But unlike the Japanese in the Second World War, the Iranian people are not deserving of retribution. So war cannot be waged on Iran as it was waged on Japan.
The bombing would need to be targeted on nuclear facilities. And Obama stopped Israel doing just that in 2014 with threats of forcefully intercepting Israeli bombers. He would have ordered Israeli planes to be shot down before they could reach their target, according to credible reports (which were neither officially confirmed or denied by the US or Israel).
Lewis makes a strong case that the devastation of Japan, the starvation of the people, the use of nuclear bombs was morally justified, and so too would be the devastation of Iran.
Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them …
But would it be morally right to kill millions of Iranians whose “values and goals” are not those of their government? If not, then only something less than total war would be morally justified.
Iran’s nuclear facilities are now deeper underground and so much harder to destroy. Still, they must be destroyed. Iran must be kept from becoming a nuclear power. May President Trump find a way to achieve that end!
The destruction of Islam will be even harder.
Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …
One of our generals announces his personal goal: to “kill the bastards”. … A force of overpowering magnitude amasses on the enemy’s borders, as thousands of American bombers pulverize his cities. …
We call upon the enemy to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative is prompt and utter destruction.
[Finally] atomic bombs are dropped on [the enemy’s] cities. He surrenders, thus acknowledging the reality of his defeat and making a political decision to cease fighting. …
We tell them, pointedly and publicly, that they are defeated, and that we have no obligations to them. When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.
That’s how America responded to Japan when it attacked Pearl Harbor.
The quotation comes from an article by John David Lewis, adapted by the author from a lecture he presented at an Ayn Rand Institute’s conference on October 21, 2006, published January 2017 by The Objective Standard.
The author urges that Islam, the “militaristic, religious-political ideology that values war as a demonstration of loyalty to a deity, demands obedience to its spokesmen, and imposes its edicts over millions of people” – and that attacked America on 9/11/2001 – be responded to in the same way, the specific Islamic country to be counter-attacked being Iran.
Here is more from the article:
Ayn Rand, in her essay on the nature of government, observed a vital relationship between man’s right to life and his right to self-defense:
The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.
If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.
These words ring especially true in the war against Islamic Totalitarianism. The consequence of our failure to respond forthrightly to these attacks has been precisely to encourage and reward this movement. We have granted it a safe haven, allowed it to claim victory through continued existence, appealed to its apologists who spread anti-American venom, and emboldened those who wish to take up the fight against us. The solution is to renounce altruistic appeasement and pragmatic compromise, to recognize our own value, and to defend our lives by right. We must defeat these enemies, and we can.
Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them — if we want to live. We can and must approach this war with the moral self-confidence of those fighting for civilization itself … because that is precisely what is at stake. …
[T]he sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihad, and suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam —rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.
A vital point about politics and government must be remembered here. Government holds a legal monopoly on the use of force in a geographic area. Governments do not make suggestions — they pass and enforce laws. They must do this in order to protect our freedom to think and speak — but within proper limits, defined by the principle of individual rights and codified in a constitution that is the nation’s fundamental law. The purpose of a proper government is to protect the rights of its citizens — each citizen’s freedom to think and act on his own judgment — by using retaliatory force as necessary against criminals and foreign invaders.
A government that turns its force against its own citizens, especially to impose an ideological doctrine on them, subordinates the rights of individuals to the demands of the State. This is statism — the elevation of the State over the individual, and the inversion of the very purpose of government. Statism is the greatest killer in history — dwarfing all attacks by criminals — precisely because it is motivated by some form of mystical political ideology. Because statists claim an authority that is above the rights of man — whether the Fuehrer’s master race, the communists’ dialectic, or the theocrat’s God — they do not recognize the principle of individual rights or the self-ownership of men on earth; rather, they claim the right to rule men, and to kill with impunity anyone who disobeys the ideology or regime. …
[T]here is no recognition of individual rights, no legitimate constitution, and thus no freedom, under religious law in any form.
The all-encompassing, totalitarian nature of Islamic Law — its claims to divine origin, its commitment to uphold “Allah’s” will, and its ultimate goal of making everyone on earth submit to it — leaves no room for individual rights or freedom. This code is barbaric and tribal, frozen in time for over a thousand years, not open to rational scrutiny but only to unquestioned obedience … To impose this primitive code by force is to inject religion into every aspect of human thought and action — which is the ultimate goal of Islamic Totalitarianism.
To begin to enshrine the inviolability of individual rights as the central principle of government, clerics of all kinds must be stripped of political power. There can be no freedom of thought and speech if those with claims to mystically derived ideas can enforce them coercively. Only by breaking the link between state power and religious belief can the state become a protector of each person’s right to worship or not worship as he wishes; only complete separation of religion and government can enable the government to serve its proper function: to protect each person’s right to think, speak, and act as he chooses. …
Individual religious belief is to be left alone … [but] Totalitarian Islam, an ideology that merges state power with religious belief, must go.
But proponents of Islamic Totalitarianism have political power, to some extent, in dozens of nations. Should we attack them all, immediately? No. We need to aim for the political, economic, and ideological center of this movement — the core that embodies its naked essence and that fuels it worldwide. This does not mean finding the particular people who organized the 9/11 attacks. The question is: In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran. …
The conclusion is inescapable. The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole. …
We must not seek legitimacy for the removal of the Iranian Islamic State beyond the principle of our right to defend ourselves. To pretend that something more than this principle is needed would be to deny the sufficiency of the principle. To base our reasons on the alleged good of others, especially on any alleged benefits to the people of the Middle East, would be to accept a position of moral dhimmitude: the moral subordination of our right to life and self-defense to an allegedly higher principle. …
To remove this cancerous Islamic State loudly and forthrightly will have immediate benefits. We would avenge the thousands of American terror victims since the 1960s. We would reverse the pitiful image we projected when Iranians stormed our embassy in 1979, and when we fled from Mogadishu and from Lebanon — actions that the Islamic Totalitarians claimed as evidence of our weakness. We could even reverse a tremendous injustice by un-nationalizing the oil companies in Iran — stolen from their owners in 1951 — and placing them back into private hands, under government protection. … The pipeline of money into Islamic jihad would be cut.
Most importantly, by ousting the regime in Iran, we would send a clear message to the world: Political Islam is finished. Weaker states and groups would cringe in terror — as they did briefly after 9/11 — and would literally retreat into holes in the ground. Anti-totalitarian forces across the world would be emboldened by the sight of a real defense of life and liberty. Allies we never knew existed would raise their heads with confidence and join the cause of freedom. The land of the free — rejuvenated as the home of the brave — would rejoice as the nation of the secure. …
The Muslim world must be made to understand that any government that provides economic support to jihadists will be summarily destroyed. … Only the clear threat that “you will be next” can break the entangled network of Islamic economic support for jihad that masquerades as “economic development’. There can be no more playing games with Saudi apologists who speak smooth English and describe their work as “charity.” … Such “charity” means raising money to spread the ideas, and tactics, of Totalitarian Islam. It must end. …
America needs a Commander-in-Chief today who can understand and state this simple truth: In war, there is no “right” to free speech on behalf of an enemy. The string of obviously false, contrived, and manipulated “news” by the supporters of jihad — the staging of civilians crying when a home is destroyed, and the throwing about of children’s dolls when a terrorist’s safe house is wrecked — are all part of the enemy’s war effort. In war, the psychological disarmament of the enemy, including the inculcation of terror through vicious propaganda, is part of the fight. American unwillingness to quash such propaganda is seen, by our enemies, not as respect for freedom of speech, but rather as a lack of will and as evidence of weakness. In the present situation, Americans must forcibly prohibit the dissemination of militaristic ideology and propaganda anywhere it rises. To make the point clear, Al-Jazeera — the fountainhead of Muslim taqiyya, or deception — must be shut down. …
This is not a clash between civilizations; it is a clash between civilization and barbarism. Until civilized people assert themselves with a depth of moral confidence exceeding that projected by those who submit to the “will of Allah”, America will remain permanently on the defensive, in a state of moral dhimmitude, and the war will continue to its logical conclusion: a mushroom cloud over America. …
In relative terms, the physical forces facing America and her allies in 1941 were far more formidable than those we face today, and America then was far weaker militarily. In our own day, the technological and industrial superiority of the U.S. over the Middle East is staggering. Islamic warriors can shoot an AK-47, but they cannot build one; all of the arms possessed by Islamic countries come from outside those countries. They are pathetically weak; the American army ended the regime of Saddam Hussein in three weeks, after Iran could not beat him in eight years. Our overwhelming material advantage, however, will be of no help if we lack the will to drop a bomb — or if we use our forces to strengthen our enemies. As it was for Germany and Japan in the 1930s, so it is today: The power of the Islamic Totalitarians grows every day that we wait. The strategic balance will shift — the Islamic Totalitarians will have the capacity as well as the will to bring about the nuclear Armageddon that they so deeply crave — if Iran acquires nuclear bombs. It is not a kindness to wait, knowing that our response will have to be even more lethal after a mushroom cloud rises over American soil. To wait, in light of that knowledge, is irrational — criminally irrational.
We recommend the reading of the whole thing. The author has not revised his article to take account of President Obama’s submission to Iran – his surreptitiously forcing the American tax-payer to pay tribute to that evil regime, and his assisting it to become a nuclear power. These circumstances, into which the worst president in American history has put his country, make the action against Iran which Mr. Lewis recommends all the more urgently necessary.
[Hat-tip to our very valuable commenter, liz, for telling us about the article]
… undoing Obama’s “deal” with Iran?
On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 countries finalized a nuclear agreement with Iran. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced: “Today major world powers recognized Iran’s nuclear program. Our dreams have come true.”
Of all the bad that Obama has wrought upon the world, the worst may be his empowering of the Islamic regime of Iran.
Secretary of State John Kerry, under the orders of Islam-loving President Obama, concluded a “deal” with the Iranian regime.
This is what they brought the United States to agree to.
The quotations and information come from Discover the Networks:
The key elements of the deal were the following:
Iran will be permitted to keep more than 5,000 centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin in perpetuity. (Note: Pakistan created a nuclear bomb with just 3,000 centrifuges.)
Iran will receive $150 billion in sanctions relief. (In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice conceded the following: “Yes, it is real, it is possible, and, in fact, we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”)
Russia and China will be permitted to supply Iran with weapons. Indeed, Russia has agreed to sell Iran S-300 anti-missile rocket systems in exchange for 500,000 barrels of oil. As the InternationalBusiness Times reports, “Russia and China will continue to make weapons deals with Iran under U.N. procedures.” According to political analyst Charles Krauthammer, “the net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf.” “Imagine,” he added, “how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half century.”
Iran will have the discretion to block international inspectors from military installations and will be given 14 days’ notice for any request to visit any site. If Iran in fact denies access to any suspected site, that denial is then adjudicated by a committee on which Iran sits as a member. Next, the matter goes through several other bodies, on all of which Iran likewise sits. All told, the entire process may take up to 24 days.
Only inspectors from countries that have diplomatic relations with Iran will be given access to Iranian nuclear sites. Thus there will be no American inspectors. The embargo on the sale of weapons to Iran will be officially lifted in 5 years, though in reality it has not been enforced at all in recent years under Obama.
Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program will remain intact and unaffected; indeed it was never even discussed as an issue in the negotiations.
The heavy water reactor in Arak and the underground nuclear facility in Fordo will remain open, violating the “red lines” that Obama has repeatedly cited.
Iran will not be required to disclose information about its past nuclear research and development.
The U.S. will provide technical assistance to help Iran develop its nuclear program, supposedly for peaceful domestic purposes.
Sanctions will lifted on critical parts of Iran’s military, including a previously existing travel ban against Qasem Suleimani, leader of the terrorist Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Suleimani was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in the Iraq War.
Iran will not be required to release American prisoners like Iranian-American Christian missionary Saeed Abedini, Iranian-American Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, or U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati. The P5+1 nations “and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices”. This would include “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems“.
Last and worst – we must add – the “deal” allows Iran to make nuclear weapons freely ten years from the date of the “deal”.
What, you may ask, does the US get out of the “deal”?
Answer: Nothing but enmity, hatred, and threats.
The ruler of Iran, [the Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini] Khamenei, is quoted as saying that Iran needs to plan to fight the US regardless of whether there is an agreement. The president of Iran, Rouhani, stands at the head of the march of hatred in the streets of Tehran, in which US and Israeli flags were burned, and in which many chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.
Concessions [were made by the US] even on issues that had been marked as red lines … which is a bad deal in its own right.
It [the deal] paves Iran’s way to many nuclear bombs and gives it hundreds of billions of dollars for its terrorism and conquest machine, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world.
(The full text of the “deal” may be found here.)
Barack Obama thinks that his presidency has been a great success. That if he could have stood for a third term, he would certainly have been elected again.
And yet he is not entirely comfortable in his mind that he has accomplished everything he intended to while he had all that power.
We can reproduce the list if his top four aims with a fair chance of accuracy:
The empowerment of Iran. Okay, done that. Tick it off.
Compulsory health insurance as a step towards a national health service (“Obamacare”). Tick.
The emptying of Guantanamo prison for prisoners of war and terrorists (“Gitmo”) and its closure. Gosh! Not achieved. Try again. Not many prisoners left. Can I do it before January 19? Let them go, let them go, let them go!
The final settlement of the Israel-Palestine problem, to be accomplished to the advantage of the Palestinians, and to the severe disadvantage of Israel, possibly facilitating its ultimate extinction. TICK.
The deal with Iran may be torn up by Trump? My State Department will stop that happening.
Obamacare will be repealed? I doubt it.
Gitmo still open. Damn!
Israel f***ed. Yay!
Now carve my head on Mount Rushmore.
Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall:
President Barack Obama likes to see himself as a moral leader. “The arc of the moral universe is long”, Obama likes to say, quoting Martin Luther King Jr, “but it bends toward justice”. According to Obama, Obama is a genteel representative of decency and good grace, a man pointing America toward a broader vision, a fellow questing for social justice and contextual consideration.
In reality, he’s a narcissistic fool. And like Burgess Meredith’s character in The Twilight Zone, he will be left standing in the ruins, bewailing the fates that abandoned him, leaving no worshipful admirers upon whom to lean.
Obama’s legacy is one of failure all around the world. He leaves office with a genocide in Syria on his record – a genocide he pledged to prevent, then tolerated and finally lamented, mourning the fates while blithely ignoring his own cowardice. Libya, meanwhile, remains a full-scale disaster area, with tens of thousands of refugees from that failed campaign swamping Europe, along with those fleeing Syria, and his leftist European allies paying the political price.
Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, stands on the brink of a nuclear dawn, its pockets filled with billions of dollars, its minions ascendant from Tehran to Aleppo to Beirut. Obama made that happen with nearly a decade of appeasement and a willingness to abandon freedom-minded Iranians to the tender mercies of the mullahs.
Meanwhile, Russia has only expanded its reach and influence, invading the sovereign nation of Ukraine and seizing Crimea to the deafening silence of the Obama administration. Russia has flexed its muscle in Kaliningrad, where it has stocked missiles, and in Syria, where it has assured Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued dominance.
China has grown its sphere of influence across the South China Sea, putting American allies from Taiwan and Japan to the Philippines directly under its thumb. Thanks to Obama’s military cuts, China believes that it can bully American allies into embracing Chinese supremacy in international waters – and it may be right. Simultaneously, Obama continues to drive America into debt, and the Chinese are large buyers of that outstanding debt.
The communist Cubans have been re-enshrined; so have the socialist Venezuelan authorities. The Islamic State group remains an international threat, and western capitals have been struck by Islamic terror time and again, to Obama’s teeth-gnashing and general inaction.
Not so sure about that teeth-gnashing. Does Obama give a damn about Islamic terrorism?
But at least Obama is truly putting his focus where it’s necessary: on declaring that our only ally in the Middle East, Israel, has no historic claim to its own existence and threatening Jews with sanctions for building bathrooms in East Jerusalem.
Right. The sarcasm is necessary. Exasperation is hard to express adequately.
Obama came into office amidst grand promises to restore America’s place in the world.
Did he? If so, he saw its place as lower, not higher. We seem to remember that he desired – perhaps not saying so in exactly these words – to bring America down a peg or two.
Unless our place is the outhouse, he’s failed. But at least he feels good about his accomplishments, even if thousands have died – and thousands more will die – in order to ensure his moral stature in his own mind.
… 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.