Q: When is a terrorist organization not a terrorist organization?
A: When Barry Obama says so.
This is from Front Page, by Daniel Greenfield:
You know the country responsible for killing hundreds of marines, which provided sanctuary to Al Qaeda and whose terrorist proxies helped give Al Qaeda the skills to carry out 9/11? They’re no longer terrorists. Sure their terrorist groups currently control parts of Lebanon and Yemen, but they’re not terrorists.
Because if Iran was a state sponsor of terrorism, then Obama letting them have the bomb might look bad. This way it’s fine.
An annual report delivered recently to the US Senate by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, removed Iran and Hezbollah from its list of terrorism threats, after years in which they featured in similar reports
In describing Iran’s regional role, the report noted the Islamic Republic’s “intentions to dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners, and de-escalate tensions with Saudi Arabia”, but cautioned that “Iranian leaders — particularly within the security services — are pursuing policies with negative secondary consequences for regional stability and potentially for Iran”.
The only time the report mentions Hezbollah is when describing it as a victim of attacks.
Lebanon faces growing threats from terrorist groups, including the al-Nusrah Front and ISIL. Sunni extremists are trying to establish networks in Lebanon and have increased attacks against Lebanese army and Hizballah positions along the Lebanese-Syrian border. Lebanon potentially faces a protracted conflict in northern and eastern parts of the country from extremist groups seeking to seize Lebanese territory, supplies, and hostages.
That clarifies that Obama no longer considers Hezbollah an enemy (not that he ever did). Instead it’s an ally that is classed together with Lebanon, rather than a threat to it.
Here’s what Obama chose to turn his back on.
“The worst part for me is that nobody remembers,” Mark Nevells said last year on the anniversary of the Hezbollah bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut.
A Marine had thrown his body in front of the truck to try and stop the vehicle. And afterwards, for five days, Nevells and other Marines had dug through the rubble for the bodies of the men they had served with.
One of the first Marines on the scene heard voices coming from underneath the rubble. “Get us out. Don’t leave us.”
The Marines lost more people that day than at any time since Iwo Jima and the number of Americans murdered that day by a terrorist group was a record that would stand until September 11.
And more of it still.
The Marines who died in the bombing were lucky. Another Marine did not die as quickly.
Colonel William R. Higgins was captured by Hezbollah, the terrorist group acting as Iran’s hand in Lebanon, and tortured for months until his body was dumped near a mosque.
An autopsy report found that he had been starved and had suffered multiple lethal injuries that could have caused his death. The skin on his face had been partially removed along with his tongue and he had also been castrated.
Fred Hof, a diplomat who had been a friend of the murdered man, said, “I am one of a small handful of Americans who knows the exact manner of Rich’s death. If I were to describe it to you now – which I will not – I can guarantee that a significant number of people in this room would become physically ill.”
Like Higgins, William Francis Buckley, the CIA station chief, was also captured and tortured for months. On video tapes released by his Hezbollah captors, he was incoherent and his mind had been broken by the horrors inflicted on his ravaged body and his soul.
“They had done more than ruin his body,” CIA Director William Casey said. “His eyes made it clear his mind had been played with. It was horrific, medieval and barbarous.”
Robert Stethem, a Navy diver, was brutally murdered when Hezbollah terrorists took over TWA flight 847. The Iranian-backed terrorists, one of whom was Imad Mughniyah, beat and kicked him to death.
“They were jumping in the air and landing full force on his body. He must have had all his ribs broken,” Uli Derickson, the stewardess, described. “I was sitting only 15 feet away. I couldn’t listen to it. I put my fingers in my ears. I will never forget. I could still hear. They put the mike up to his face so his screams could be heard by the outside world.”
Obama wants you to believe that the 47 Senators who stood up to him on Iran are traitors. The truth is he’s the traitor.
And he is a terrorist. To condone acts of terrorism is to co-author them.
It is particularly in the sphere of foreign relations that states need to be conservative. That is to say, they need to be cautious, thoroughly well-informed, and unswervingly realistic. There is no place there for romanticism. Policies must be formed to serve the interests of your State, your own State only, and nothing but its interests. Raison d’État rules supreme. Or should do.
But Sweden is romantic in its politics. Sweden has not been cautious or realistic in its dealings with the Arab and Islamic powers. Most of its politicians seem to have avoided knowing anything about Islam. Sweden welcomes huge numbers of Muslim immigrants – and has a severe rape problem as a direct result. It sells arms to Arab states. It thinks that Israel is being really rotten to those nice peaceful Palestinians who so desperately need a state of their own without any Jews in it. So they told Hamas and Fatah that as far as they, the Swedes, were concerned, there was just such a pretty state already in existence.
Or at least that’s the way it used to think and behave. It might have changed its national mind to some extent now. For the first time one of its bien pensant politicians came up in actuality, and rather surprising circumstances, against Real Arabs of Arabia, and the shock has been severe.
But maybe it has also been salutary.
This is from Gatestone, by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard:
Sweden’s latest attempt to flex its muscles as a humanitarian and feminist superpower ended in a diplomatic disaster last week.
On March 9, the country’s Social Democratic Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, was to address the foreign ministers of the Arab League assembled in Cairo.
Wallström had been invited by Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Araby as a guest of honor. …The unusual offer to listen to a European foreign minister was made in the light of Sweden’s recent decision to recognize [a state of] Palestine.
Wallström never got a chance to speak. According to her own explanation, she was blocked from addressing the meeting after protests by Saudi Arabia. “They have reacted strongly to what we have said about democracy and human rights,” she told Swedish public radio. …
For it seems that Margot Wallström, unusually if not uniquely among Sweden’s leaders, had informed herself to some extent about the nature of Arab regimes:
It is unknown if the text of Wallström’s address was distributed to the Arab foreign ministers before the meeting. They cannot, however, have been unaware that she had previously spoken out against the flogging of the Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, who was convicted of “insulting Islam”, and that she had criticized the status of women’s rights in the Gulf kingdom.
Back in Sweden, Wallström and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven had faced criticism for their decision to continue Sweden’s controversial weapons exports to Saudi Arabia.
On March 10, the Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist announced that Sweden would not extend its agreement to sell arms to Saudi Arabia. The Swedish government claimed that the decision had been made several days before FM Wallström’s unfortunate experience in Egypt.
On Wednesday, March 11, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Stockholm.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström wanted to lecture The Arab League on human rights. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was not amused. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
A copy of what Margot Wallström intended to say to the Arab League has been published on a Swedish government website. In it, she made no specific reference to human rights violations in any particular Arab country. She referred to the predicament of women in particular and human rights in general …
The Foreign Minister appears to have been unaware that “human” and “women’s” rights are anathema in a great number of Arab States including Saudi Arabia. She also seems innocent of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, according to which any human right must be compatible with Islamic sharia law — meaning that there are no “human rights” as thought of in the West, but only human obligations as imposed by Allah and his prophet. Whatever is inside sharia law is a human right. Whatever is outside sharia law is not a human right.
After the diplomatic debacle in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers denounced Wallström in a statement: “Arab countries totally reject Wallström’s statement as irresponsible and unacceptable. … Saudi Arabia’s Constitution is based on the Sharia that protects the right of people and safeguards their blood, wealth and honor.” …
The Swedish government, parliament and mainstream media, as demonstrated throughout decades, seem to have no inkling of what sharia law implies. In their hearts, they evidently believe that we all think the same. As Sweden champions democracy, liberty and equal rights, the Swedish establishment apparently cannot imagine that others would think otherwise.
This belief has been the basis of Sweden’s foreign and immigration policies for many years. The Swedish “humanitarian superpower,” however, has now reached the limits of a policy based on love and understanding. …
Through its recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state, and following years of anti-Israeli propaganda, Sweden has made itself terra non grata in Israel – and now Saudi Arabia does not like it either.
An EU member state that sees itself as the universal purveyor of peace and love, without understanding what is actually going on the world, will of course lose credibility and influence …
One wonders where the Swedish government will go next to find takers for its uninformed, idealistic world policy.
Or maybe it has woken up. Time will tell.
Pat Condell thinks it is already much too late:
(Hat-tip to Frank for video)
Where we part company with Libertarians is over the hugely important matter of defense.
Like them, we want a free market economy, small government and low taxes. And we too hold liberty to be a supreme value.
The article we quote below is by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart of the libertarian Cato Institute in America. It was published by The Guardian in Britain on February 24, 2015.
Libertarians and The Guardian are not on the same side. Libertarians are for the freedom of the individual. The Guardian is for socialism, statism, big controlling government interfering in every individual life.
But The Guardian is also pro-Islam. And that is what brings these Libertarians and the collectivists of The Guardian together. Not that the Libertarians are pro-Islam. We have observed that, as a group, they know nothing about Islam and don’t want to. They obstinately refuse to learn what’s going on politically in the wider world, believe Americans have no need to take notice of foreign affairs, and should never go to war unless America itself is attacked. To them, the aggression of 9/11 did not qualify as a war-provoking attack. That’s why they want the (badly named but ever more urgently needed) “War on Terror” to be stopped. And that’s what got these two into the columns of The Guardian.
Terrorism Poses No Existential Threat to America. We Must Stop Pretending Otherwise
One of the most unchallenged, zany assertions during the war on terror has been that terrorists present an existential threat to the United States, the modern state and civilization itself. This is important because the overwrought expression, if accepted as valid, could close off evaluation of security efforts. For example, no defense of civil liberties is likely to be terribly effective if people believe the threat from terrorism to be existential.
At long last, President Barack Obama and other top officials are beginning to back away from this absurd position. This much overdue development may not last, however. Extravagant alarmism about the pathological but self-destructiveIslamic State (ISIS) in areas of Syria and Iraq may cause us to backslide.
The notion that international terrorism presents an existential threat was spawned by the traumatized in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time, recalls that all “security experts” expected “dozens and dozens and multiyears of attacks like this” and, in her book The Dark Side, Jane Mayer observed that “the only certainty shared by virtually the entire American intelligence community” was that “a second wave of even more devastating terrorist attacks on America was imminent”. Duly terrified, US intelligence services were soon imaginatively calculating the number of trained al-Qaida operatives in the United States to be between 2,000 and 5,000.
Also compelling was the extrapolation that, because the 9/11 terrorists were successful with box-cutters, they might well be able to turn out nuclear weapons.
Who on earth said such a silly thing? What was said is that jihadists might become nuclear armed. And in fact the Islamic theocracy of Iran is becoming a nuclear-armed power, and repetitively threatens Israel, America and Europe with destruction. Why don’t these writers know that? Or do they know it and choose to ignore it?
Soon it was being authoritatively proclaimed that atomic terrorists could “destroy civilization as we know it” and that it was likely that a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States would transpire by 2014.
Many a terrorist attack that could have been devastating (how devastating it’s impossible to know) has been averted because sensible people – which category does not include Obama – have worked hard to prevent them, and so far have largely succeeded.
But no, okay, it is not “terrorism” that threatens Western civilization, it is Islam, using the method of terrorism to an unprecedented extent.
“Atomic terrorists” – namely Iran – could destroy civilization as we know it. Especially as atomic war against us will be accompanied by the Islamization of Europe – which these authors are above noticing.
The sneering scorn they pour on the menace makes their arguments all the more inapposite.
No atomic terrorists have yet appeared (al-Qaida’s entire budget in 2001 for research on all weapons of mass destruction totaled less than $4,000), and intelligence has been far better at counting al-Qaida operatives in the country than at finding them.
But the notion that terrorism presents an existential threat has played on. By 2008, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declared it to be a “significant existential” one – carefully differentiating it, apparently, from all those insignificant existential threats Americans have faced in the past. The bizarre formulation survived into the Obama years. In October 2009, Bruce Riedel, an advisor to the new administration, publicly maintained the al-Qaida threat to the country to be existential.
In 2014, however, things began to change.
In a speech at Harvard in October, Vice President Joseph Biden …
Of all people! A man no one in their right mind would look to for insight, accurate analysis, or the most basic comprehension of what’s happening even if it’s going on under his own nose …
… offered the thought that “we face no existential threat — none — to our way of life or our ultimate security”. After a decent interval of three months, President Barack Obama reiterated this point at a press conference, and then expanded in an interview a few weeks later, adding that the US should not “provide a victory to these terrorist networks by over-inflating their importance and suggesting in some fashion that they are an existential threat to the United States or the world order”. Later, his national security advisor, Susan Rice, echoed the point in a formal speech.
Obama also said that al-Qaida was defeated, when in truth it has grown bigger and has spread further. Obama constantly signals that he loves Islam, so he would say those things. Libertarians ought not to be unaware of that.
And for them to quote Susan Rice, the notorious lie-retailer of the Obama administration, is absurdly ingenuous.
It is astounding that these utterances … appear to mark the first time any officials in the United States have had the notion and the courage to say so in public.
Whether that development, at once remarkable and absurdly belated, will have some consequence, or even continue, remains to be seen. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham have insisted for months that ISIS presents an existential threat to the United States. …
And General Michael Flynn, recently retired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has been insisting that the terrorist enemy is “committed to the destruction of freedom and the American way of life” while seeking “world domination, achieved through violence and bloodshed”. It was reported that his remarks provoked nods of approval, cheers and “ultimately a standing ovation” from the audience.
Thus even the most modest imaginable effort to rein in the war on terror hyperbole may fail to gel.
“Rein in the war on terror hyperbole”? They mean, of course, do nothing about the jihad.
What is most remarkable about the article is that these two believers in the value of individual freedom ignore the tragedy of individuals who have been captured, tortured, and killed by terrorists inside America and in the Middle East – and we are speaking specifically of Islamic terrorists, Islam being the ideology that is posing a serious threat to the Western world and its civilization. They seem to have neither an instinctive nor a rational desire for justice. They consider only the collective of the nation in their assessment of existential danger. Of course the USA is not immediately threatened with destruction as a nation by Islam with its favored method of terrorism.
It is, however, being slowly destroyed by Leftist, statist, collectivist, redistributionist government which puts no value on civil liberties. And jihadis iterate often enough that America is their target, that they will replace the Constitution with sharia law, and that Americans will be given the choice of conversion, subservience, or death. So when Europe, much of Africa, all the Middle East, and a very large part of the Far East are Islamic; and when the US has abandoned its own Constitution, disarmed its citizenry, and allowed the population to be cowed by threats and demonstrations of horrific murders, how long will it take for the jihadis’ aim to be achieved?
Perhaps Mueller and Stewart seem to feel that they themselves are somehow immune from terrorist attacks, such as the one people experienced in Boston when bombs exploded in their midst as they watched a marathon race.
And perhaps an unwillingness to consider such a possibility can explain why they are not concerned about the deaths by terrorist violence of thousands of individuals.
No wonder The Guardian liked their article.
DAILY SABAH WITH AFPBAGHDADPublished 9 hours ago
The ISIS group began bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq on Thursday, the tourism and antiquities ministry said.
The self-proclaimed State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) “assaulted the historic city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy vehicles”, the ministry said on an official Facebook page, the group’s latest attack on the country’s historical heritage.
Not just “the country’s” historical heritage. The past belongs to all of us.
Why is the civilized world not angry about this? Why is it not interfering to stop the vandalism? Nothing can be expected of America under its present Islam-sympathetic leadership. But why are Britain, France, Germany taking no action? Have they totally capitulated to the barbarians?
For readers who missed hearing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress today, here’s the heart of it – the part that is most important for Americans to hear.
Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Backed by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Backed by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply. Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That’s just last week, while they’re having nuclear talks with the United States. But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran’s attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.
Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. … It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C.
In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.
So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.
Now, two years ago, we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation! Rouhani’s government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.
Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I’d like to see someone ask him a question about that.
Iran’s regime is as radical as ever, its cries of “Death to America,” that same America that it calls the “Great Satan,” as loud as ever. Now, this shouldn’t be surprising, because the ideology of Iran’s revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that’s why this regime will always be an enemy of America.
Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America. Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.
In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone. So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs.
We must always remember – I’ll say it one more time – the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.
But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.
Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don’t need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it. Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.
The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short breakout time to the bomb. Breakout time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.
According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.
Because Iran’s nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran’s breakout time would be very short – about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.
And if Iran’s work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that breakout time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.
True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here’s the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don’t stop them.
Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn’t stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.
Now, we’re warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.
Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It’s done that on at least three separate occasions – 2005, 2006, 2010. Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras. Now, I know this is not going to come as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.
… The IAEA said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught – caught twice, not once, twice – operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn’t even know existed.
Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don’t know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, “If there’s no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn’t have one.” Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that’s why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.
But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.
Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It’s a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran’s nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could produce many, many nuclear bombs.
Iran’s Supreme Leader says that openly. He says Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount – 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision. …
Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy.
And by the way, if Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program is not part of the deal – and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table – well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reaching corners of the Earth, including to every part of the United States.
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.
So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?
Well, I disagree. I don’t believe that Iran’s radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would only whet Iran’s appetite for more.
Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?
Why should Iran’s radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both worlds: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel’s neighbors, Iran’s neighbors, know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it’s been given a clear path to the bomb. And many of these neighbors say they’ll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won’t change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that’s supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.
This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.
If anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future.
We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world. Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world. And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel …
If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires. If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn’t change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted. If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country. …
Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.
Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table – and this often happens in a Persian bazaar – call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.
And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.
My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.
Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true.
The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal: a better deal that doesn’t leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short breakout time; a better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in place until Iran’s aggression ends; a better deal that won’t give Iran an easy path to the bomb; a better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country has a greater stake – no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.
Ladies and gentlemen,
History has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war. The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.
The whole speech has been posted by the Prime Minister’s office here.
It’s a great speech, and we do not like having to disagree with any part of it. But in the light of what Netanyahu himself says in it about the nature of the Iranian regime, we cannot believe that the present leaders of Iran will agree to any sort of deal except one that gives them all they want – such as the Obama-Kerry deal at present on the table in Geneva.
And besides, Obama is all too willing to make this bad deal an even worse one in his desperation to get any deal at all. He is surely not prepared to try and make a better deal. (The unintelligent Nancy Pelosi, possibly speaking for all the Democrats who hate Netanyahu, says that the speech is “an insult to Americans’ intelligence”.)
We think the only alternative is war. A pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities needs to be made now. Can, and will, Israel do it?
The Prime Minister implied that his country not only can, but will if it has to:
As Prime Minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel. I know that you stand with Israel. You stand with Israel because you know that the story of Israel is not only the story of the Jewish people but of the human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history’s horrors.
He has said before that Israel would take whatever steps it had to to defend itself, implying the possibility of a military strike when it would have been a somewhat easier undertaking. But it did not happen. Perhaps he sees this as an eleventh hour. Perhaps now it will happen. If it does not, Iran will be a nuclear-armed power, and that will bring those “horrific consequences to all humanity”.
In the picture above, an IS member unsheathes his sword as he prepares to behead an ancient Babylonian statue. His sheath is the Koran and the sword is covered with verses from the Koran. The caption states: “With this sword is civilization and humanity slaughtered.”
We quote Raymond Ibrahim, above and below:
The Daily Mail reports:
Islamic State thugs have destroyed a collection of priceless statues and sculptures in Iraq dating back thousands of years.
Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork as they rampaged through a museum in the northern city of Mosul.
Video footage shows a group of bearded men in the Nineveh Museum using tools to wreck 3,000-year-old statues after pushing them over.
Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artifacts at a museum in the northern city of Mosul
Militant uses a power tool to destroy a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity at the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq. The statue dates back to the 9th century B.C.
A man shown in the video said the items were being destroyed because they promoted idolatry.
“The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him,” the unidentified man said.
The articles destroyed appeared to come from an antiquities museum in the northern city of Mosul, which was overrun by Islamic State last June, a former employee at the museum told Reuters.
The extremist group has destroyed a number of shrines – including Muslim holy sites – in a bid to eliminate what it views as heresy.
Militants are also believed to have sold ancient artwork on the black market in order to finance their bloody campaign across the region.ISIS destroy artifacts with sledgehammers at Mosul museum
Yesterday it was revealed how terrorists had blown up the Mosul Public Library, sending 10,000 books and more than 700 rare manuscripts up in flames.
Leading members of Mosul society reportedly tried to stop the fanatics destroying the building, but failed.
The director of the library, Ghanim al-Ta’an, said that the extremists used homemade bombs in the attack, which took place on Sunday.
He told Middle Eastern website Geran: “ISIS militants bombed the Mosul Public Library. They used improvised explosive devices.”
Presumed destroyed are the Central Library’s collection of Iraqi newspapers dating to the early 20th century, maps and books from the Ottoman Empire and book collections contributed by around 100 of Mosul’s establishment families.
Large segments of the priceless winged-bull Assyrian protective deity are hurled to the ground as militants smash it to pieces
Isis first invaded the Central Library in January. Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books – including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science – into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.
“These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,” a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press.
The enlightened West is doing nothing to stop them.
“Our evening is over us; our night whelms, whelms and will end us.”
- Gerard Manley Hopkins: Spelt from Sibyl’s Leaves. ( He was a Jesuit. But even so, a very good poet.)
The Muslim in this video from the British TV channel Sky News is speaking for an Islamic organization called CAGE.
CAGE, be it well noted, is run by former Guantanamo Bay inmates – and is an affiliate of Amnesty International.
Amnesty International was taken over by extreme lefties decades ago.
Although Amnesty International is not mentioned, this interview illustrates how far the bizarre alliance between Islam and the Left has defiled and contorted a Western institution founded originally to defend the principle of individual freedom.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders were hosted at the State Department, and a White House official was also there to welcome them (and listen to them respectfully, no doubt).
Adam Kredo reports the unsurprising event for the Free Beacon:
A Muslim Brotherhood member who recently was hosted at the State Department along with several of the Islamist group’s key allies now claims that a White House official also was present in that meeting. …
Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member and former Egyptian parliamentarian, was in the United States late last month along with a delegation of fellow Brotherhood leaders and allies. …
Another member of the group, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol.
While the State Department initially misled reporters about the meeting, it was eventually forced to admit that several Obama administration officials — including a deputy assistant secretary for democracy, human rights, and labor — and State Department officials met with the delegation.
Al-Dardery now claims that in addition to these State Department representatives, a member of the White House also participated in the sit-down.
“The trip started for the [Egyptian] community in New York and New Jersey,” al-Dardery said in a recent interview with the Arabic language pro-Muslim Brotherhood El Sharq TV. “Then during the trip we undertook to meet with some from the ‘establishment’, the administration, in the United States. And we met at the State Department and there was a representative there from the White House.”
A State Department official said that it could not speak to the White House’s involvement in any meetings and referred any questions to it. The White House declined multiple requests for comment about the meeting and whether it was involved.
In addition to Al-Dardery, the delegation included Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Waleed Sharaby, a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood.
News of the meeting between the Brotherhood allies and the Obama administration caused anger among many in the Egyptian government, which is fighting furiously to crackdown on the Islamist group and its supporters.
“These statements are incomprehensible to me, we do not understand that there will be such a communication with the elements involved in terrorist acts to intimidate the Egyptians,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was quoted as saying in the regional press following the Free Beacon’s initial report. “The Brotherhood is not a political party,” but “a terrorist organization,” Shukri said.
Could it be more obvious that Obama really, really likes the Muslim Brotherhood? Really, really doesn’t mind if they are major sponsors of terrorism? He has had Muslim Brotherhood advisers in his administration for years now (see here and here). Why else would his policy towards the Middle East be the disaster and cause the catastrophes that it has? What more will he have to do before even students of Politics at major universities will be unable to avoid knowing it?
The Obama administration found itself in more hot water after questions were raised about its initial statements regarding the meeting.
State Department Spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki initially claimed that the Brotherhood-aligned delegation was sponsored by Georgetown University, a claim that turned out to be false.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the accurate information on one small piece. The meeting was set up by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a nonprofit …
“Nonprofit’ is a specially goody-goody word to Leftists. Putting it into her red-faced correction of an earlier lie, was an attempt to put lipstick on Pinocchio’s lengthening nose, so to speak.
… So the visit was not funded, as you know, by us or the U.S. Government, but it was also not funded by Georgetown,” Psaki said last week, under renewed questioning from reporters about the meeting.
Psaki went on to say that the Obama administration remains comfortable entertaining the Brotherhood.
“Are you — is the building comfortable with continuing to do business with this center, this group?” a reporter asked.
“Yes. Yes,” Psaki responded.
With that answer, she was telling the truth.
It is peculiarly horrible to die in some grotesque manner at the hands of Islamic murderers who kill in the name of Allah – as, it is reported, Kayla Mueller probably did. She was an American woman who went to the battlefields of the Middle East to”help” people, some of them Islamic murderers who kill in the name of Allah.
She was a member of an organization called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), whose mission is described by Discover the Networks:
Radical, anti-Israel organization that recruits Westerners to travel to the Holy Land to obstruct Israeli security operations
Justifies Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians
Supports the Palestinian “right of return”
Supports boycott, divestment and sanction campaigns against Israel
According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, some ISM activities are carried out “under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations”
A senior IDF officer says ISM is “a pro-Palestinian organization, set up by Palestinians, funded by Palestinians and linked to Palestinian terror”
Co-founder Huwaida Arraf has acknowledged that ISM cooperates and works with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
… From its inception, ISM realized that if any of its volunteers were to be arrested, injured, or killed in the course of their activities in the West Bank or Gaza, such events could be exploited as major propaganda victories for the PLO. As ISM leader George S. Rishmawi once put it: “When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore. But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”
One of ISM’s most well-known activists was the late Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old volunteer who, in March 2003, was crushed beneath an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah when its operator failed to see her trying to block the destruction of a tunnel through which Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were receiving smuggled weapons.
Another high-profile casualty was Tom Hurndall, a British-born ISM volunteer who was shot in the head by an Israeli solier during a firefight between the IDF and Palestinian terrorists on April 11, 2003. Hurndall’s life was initially saved by a four-hour emergency surgery, but he spent the next nine months in a coma and then died on January 13, 2004.
Both Corrie and Hurndall were lionized as martyrs by pro-Palestinian activists and media outlets. …
For comment on how misplaced such lionizing is, see our post, No, the name’s not Rachel Corrie, March 10, 2010.
In 2004, ISM operative Abe Greenhouse said that the International Solidarity Movement was using Gaza and the West Bank not merely as venues for its anti-Israel activism, but also as training grounds for anti-American campaigns that the American Anarchist Movement was planning to stage along the U.S.-Mexico border.
A Front Page article traced the connection between ISM and the London bombings of 7/7/2005:
Among the less publicized details of the July 7th London bombings is the connection of … Muhammad Sadique Khan to the preeminent group of the pro-terrorist “solidarity” movement, the International Solidarity Movement.
Israel National News reports on the life and death of Kayla Mueller:
The myth that she was a wonderful altruistic young woman should be exposed. This is another Rachel Corrie propaganda story in the making, and the western media is falling for it again, or embracing it on purpose.
Kayla Mueller was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who spent at least two years working with that terrorist support group. She was involved in demonstrations against the Jews in Sheikh Jarrah (part of East Jerusalem) after a 20 year long court decision recognized the Jews’ legal rights to homes they were chased from in earlier wars launched by the Arabs. She also participated in demonstrations to interfere with the IDF demolishing the homes of terrorists and suicide bombers after the courts okayed the demolitions.
Just as with Rachel Corrie, the press tries to paint Kayla as a selfless volunteer helping poor Arab refugees. She may have helped injured Arabs in “refugee” camps, but she was working to support the goals of Palestinian irredentists and to interfere with the IDF on behalf of terrorist groups.
As an ISM activist she was a tool for the worldwide jihad. …
First, she lived and rioted with other ISM activists with an Arab family that refused to vacate a home they were squatting in after a legal case that took 20 years established it was stolen from the Jewish owners. …
She was also a human shield in support of terrorists. …
Another ISM strategy is to try and disable Israeli security tactics. One of the newer ones is to try and suggest that when the IDF uses tear gas to avoid lethality in controlling weekly Arab rioters, the gas is really deadly and must be stopped altogether. The real reason for this inversion about tear gas is the Palestinians and their ISM lackeys hope they can make it impossible for the IDF to control the weekly riots such as in Bi’ilin, riots Kayla was a part of.
[She wrote:] ” … The nature of impermanence is our greatest ally and soon the rules will change, the tide will turn and just as the moon waxes and wanes over this land so too the cycles of life here will continue. One day the cycle will once again return to freedom.”
Freedom? For whom? Another Arab dictatorship. Arabs who are Israeli citizens are free, but Kayla wanted the “free” Palestinian-state-to-be from the “river to the sea” as a good ISM activist. Her writings suggest the classical thought processes of pampered American student “radicals” and “revolutionaries” who can’t get enough of supporting dictatorships and terrorists overseas as liberation movements, the complete opposite of what they are.
“Oppression greets us from all angles”, she wrote. “Oppression wails from the soldiers radio and floats through tear gas clouds in the air. Oppression explodes with every sound bomb and sinks deeper into the heart of the mother who has lost her son. But resistance is nestled in the cracks in the wall, resistance flows from the minaret 5 times a day and resistance sits quietly in jail knowing its time will come again. Resistance lives in the grieving mother’s wails and resistance lives in the anger at the lies broadcasted across the globe. Though it is sometimes hard to see and even harder sometimes to harbor, resistance lives. Do not be fooled, resistance lives,” Kayla concluded in her letter.
This certainly doesn’t sound like a tireless “aid worker”. Instead, it connotes a supporter of Palestinian Arab terrorist groups. …
Kayla Meuller made it clear she was involved in the weekly riots in Bi’ilin. She wrote of … several members of the same [Arab] family whom she roomed with dying. Rachel Corrie did the same thing, creating a story for the ISM of protecting an Arab family from IDF bulldozers. One family daughter Kayla guested with died in her own home, not at a demonstration. The fact was the woman was very ill, with leukemia and other internal infections. As in good ISM tactics, her corpse then became another propaganda tool. But like any good ISM activist, Kayla Mueller didn’t let this stand in the way of her propaganda letter home:
“And now just today, the daughter of the Rahmah family, Jawaher, has been asphyxiated from tear gas inhalation. Jawaher was not even participating in the weekly demonstration but was in her home approximately 500 meters away from where the tear gas canisters were being fired (by wind the tear gas reaches the village and even the nearby illegal settlement often). There is currently little information as to how she suffocated but the doctor that attended her said a mixture of the tear gas from the IDF soldiers and phosphorus poisoned her lungs causing asphyxiation, the stopping of the heart and death this afternoon after fighting for her life last night in the hospital. The following is a clip from today showing hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis and international activist carrying her body to her families (sic) home where they said their final goodbyes.”
The IDF doesn’t use phosphorous in the West Bank. The ISM always claims it does. It’s good for propaganda. …
Kayla Mueller came from Prescott, Arizona where she once volunteered at a women’s shelter. … She chose to take the ISM’s revolutionary path and to embrace part of the worldwide jihad and she died for it … She sought “freedom” working to support fascist groups that provide just the opposite for their people and she paid the ultimate price for that choice.
We think it is appropriate to quote (as we have had occasion to do before) some lines from Joseph Conrad’s scornful portrait of privileged women in his story The Informer. (What he says applies equally well to men from the same secure Western backgrounds.)
For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures. …
She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation …
She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions.
Perhaps she thought the jihadis would love her. Should love her. Should be grateful to her. It was not fair that after all she’d done for them, they killed her.
Why had she not discovered that the ideology of Islam, which holds that it is good and right to subjugate women, cut off limbs, stone adulterers to death, burn up fellow Muslims, throw homosexuals from high buildings, decapitate prisoners, keep slaves, bury children alive, has nothing in it that would prompt its devotees to value a stranger’s self-sacrificing service given with a friendly smile in a spirit of sweetness and light?
Could it be because intense moral conceit makes the mind it conquers impervious to reality?
With his usual perception and wit, Mark Steyn writes:
The Islamic State [IS] released a 22-minute video showing Flight Lieutenant Muath al-Kasasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force being doused in petrol and burned to death. It is an horrific way to die, and Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh showed uncommon bravery, standing stiff and dignified as the flames consumed him. And then he toppled, and the ISIS cameras rolled on, until what was left was charred and shapeless and unrecognizable as human. …
Even by the standards of his usual rote cookie-cutter shoulder-to-shoulder shtick that follows every ISIS beheading of western captives, the President could barely conceal his boredom at having to discuss the immolation of Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh:
Aaand it, I think, will redouble [pause] the vigilance aaand determination on the part of our global coalition to, uh, make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated. Ummmm. [Adopting a whimsical look] It also just indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they’re operating off of, it’s bankrupt. [Suppressing a smirk, pivoting to a much more important subject.] We’re here to talk about how to make people healthier and make their lives better.
The lack of passion – the bloodlessness – of Obama’s reaction to atrocity is always striking. He can’t even be bothered pretending that he means it. …
Given the general halfheartedness of Obama’s “coalition”, King Abdullah [of Jordan] could have been forgiven for also deciding to head for the exit.
Yet he understood the necessity of action. Obama, by contrast … does nothing. His war against ISIS was supposed to be one in which the US would not put “boots on the ground”, but instead leave that to our allies. The allies have the boots, but they could use some weapons, too. Obama has failed to supply the Kurds or anybody else with what they need to defeat our enemies. It’s becoming what they call a pattern of behavior. …
Obama cannot react to atrocities committed by jihadis because he is emotionally (we cannot say intellectually, because unlike his Democratic fans we do not think he has much of an intellect), on their side; which means that, whether he realizes it or not, he is on the side of evil.
Mark Steyn clearly sees that IS is evil. He goes on to consider why it is that tens of thousands of volunteers go eagerly to join its army and help it carry out its atrocities.
You’ll recall Hannah Arendt’s tired and misleading coinage “the banality of evil”, derived from her observation of Adolf Eichmann at his trial in Jerusalem.
We explain when and why she said it, and why it is misleading, in our post The cultivation of evil, the sickness of Europe, July 20, 2010.
Mark Steyn quotes an earlier article of his:
Hitler felt obliged to be somewhat coy about just how final the final solution was. As Eichmann testified at his trial, when typing up the minutes of the Wannsee conference, “How shall I put it? Certain over-plain talk and jargon expressions had to be rendered into office language by me.” Even the Nazis were reluctant to spell it out.
The Germans didn’t have social media, but they had newsreels, and Hitler knew enough not to make genocide available to Pathé or “The March of Time”. He had considerations both domestic and foreign. Pre-Wannsee, in Poland and elsewhere, German troops had been ordered to shoot Jewish prisoners in cold blood, and their commanders reported back to Berlin that too many soldiers had found it sickening and demoralizing. So the purpose of “the final solution” was to make mass murder painless, at least for the perpetrators – more bureaucratic, removed, bloodless.
As for foreign considerations, Germany expected to be treated as a civilized power by its enemies, and that would not have been possible had they been boasting about genocide.
Seventy years on, the Islamic State has slipped free of even these minimal constraints. They advertize their barbarism to the world, because what’s the downside? Let’s say the guys who burned Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh are one day captured by Americans. They can look forward to a decade or two of a soft, pampering sojourn in the US justice system, represented by an A-list dream-team that’ll string things along until the administration figures it’ll cut its losses and ship them to Qatar in exchange for some worthless deserter.
As for the upside, “the banality of evil” may have its appeal for lower-middle-class Teuton bureaucrats, but the glamor of evil is a far more potent and universal brand. The Islamic State has come up with the ultimate social-media campaign: evil goes viral! At some level German conscripts needed to believe they were honorable soldiers in an honorable cause, no different from the British or Americans. But ISIS volunteers are signing up explicitly for the war crimes. The Islamic State burned Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh alive not only to kill him but to inspire the thousands of ISIS fanbois around the globe. …
For many of its beneficiaries, modern western life is bland, undemanding and vaguely unsatisfying. Some seek a greater cause, and turn to climate change or LGBTQWERTY rights. But others want something with a little more red meat to it. Jihad is primal in a way that the stodgy multiculti relativist mush peddled by Obama isn’t. And what the Islamic State is offering is Jihad 2.0, cranking up the blood-lust and rape and sex slavery and head-chopping and depravity in ways that make Osama-era al-Qaeda look like a bunch of pantywaists.
Success breeds success. The success of evil breeds darker evil. And the glamorization of evil breeds ever more of those “recent Muslim converts” and “lone wolves” and “self-radicalized extremists” in the news. That’s a Big Idea – a bigger idea, indeed, than Communism or Nazism.
Islam, as we know, means “submission”. But Xtreme-Sports Hyper-Islam, blood-soaked and baying, is also wonderfully liberating, offering the chance for dull-witted, repressed young men to slip free of even the most basic societal restraints. And, when the charms of the open road in Headchoppistan wear thin, your British and Canadian and Australian and European welfare checks will still be waiting for you on the doormat back home. …
As the world burns, Obama, uh, redoubles his, uh, vigilance, uh uh uh… Whatever.
Mark Steyn reminds us that “civilization is a fragile and unnatural state of affairs”. Its would-be destroyers now, in the early twenty-first century, are: the environmentalists; the world-government advocates and all the rest of the collectivists, whatever they call themselves – progressives or socialists or communists; and, above all, most dangerous, already destroying as much as they can of the heritage of civilization, and winning battle after battle, encountering no effective opposition – Islam.
Obama won’t name it, not even by using the polite form of its name that most politicians and commentators use, “Islamism”.
But be assured that against something or other, he is redoubling his vigilance.