What sense can be made of this story?
Syria flies rockets to Iran: Iran loads them on a ship and sends it sailing down the Gulf, south-west on the Arabian Sea, and north up the Red Sea.
Israel intercepts the ship, commandos board it, find the rockets, re-route the vessel to the Israeli port of Eilat.
Where was it bound for? For whom were the rockets intended? Gaza? How the hell would they get there?
Look at the map showing the path of the arms to the point of interception, search and capture:
Next we are told that the Israelis didn’t accomplish the whole feat alone – gathering the intelligence, setting up the capture. No, suddenly Jay Carney claims that it was a US-Israeli joint venture.
In an unusually frank disclosure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday night, March 5, that US intelligence services and military had worked with Israel to track the Iranian Panama-flagged ship KLOS C, which was apprehended by Israeli naval commandos on the Red Sea earlier that day carrying missiles for Gaza via Sudan. The ship was boarded by the Israeli elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) and found to be carrying dozens of 302mm rockets with a range of 150 km made in Syria. It is now on its way to Eilat.
Just how would they get from Port Sudan to Gaza? Through Sinai? Then through tunnels? Isn’t the Egyptian army patrolling Sinai? Hasn’t Egypt closed the arms-smuggling tunnels? Why would Egypt allow arms to reach Hamas, the rulers of Gaza and a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood when the MB is the present Egyptian government’s enemy?
And even more curious, why would Obama suddenly co-operate with Israel against Iran when his whole policy towards those two countries for at least the last four years has been to co-operate with Iran against Israel?
Has he had a sudden change of heart and mind? If so, what will his party, his base, his hurrah-chorus the mainstream media, say to this 180 degree turnabout?
It’s really very hard to believe.
The White House spokesman said that Washington worked with Israeli through intelligence and military channels, and at the national security adviser level, as soon as it knew the shipment was on the move. He said that President Barack Obama also directed the US military to work out contingencies in case it became necessary to intercept the vessel (therebysanctioning military action).
Obama? Military action?
“Our Israeli counterparts ultimately chose to take the lead in interdicting the shipment of illicit arms,” Jay Carney said. …
This was the first time in four years that the US and Israel have collaborated in an operation against Iran – ever since the Stuxnet virus attack in 2010 on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Until now, the Obama administration steadfastly refused to act against Iran for fear of jeopardizing the international diplomatic track for curbing its nuclear program.
The unusual frankness with which the Obama administration announced its coordination with Israel is both dramatic in itself and a road sign pointing the way to a radical change in its Iran policy.
The US and Israel appear to be lining up – in their military policies as well – against the Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah bloc.
This radical turnabout was most probably the high point of the conversation between the US president and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House Monday, March 3, after which Netanyahu raised comment by showering Obama with praise during his speech to the AIPAC conference in Washington the next day. …
Whereas Obama had shown impatience, irritation, and antipathy towards Netanyahu in an interview just one day before the meeting.
US and Israeli intelligence sources report that both countries are braced for a swift and stinging response from Tehran … As Carney put it: “We will continue to stand up to Iran’s support for destabilizing activities in the region in coordination with our partners and allies.These illicit acts are unacceptable to the international community and in gross violation of Iran’s Security Council obligations.”
Israel’s elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) early Wednesday, March 5, boarded [the] Iranian Panama-registered cargo vessel KLOS C. Concealed in its hold under sacks of cement were dozens of 302mm rockets with a range of 150 kms, manufactured in Syria and destined by Iran for the Gaza Strip after being offloaded in Sudan.
The Israeli commandos seized the vessel in open sea on the maritime border of Sudan and Eritrea, 1500 km south of Israel, and have set it on course for Eilat.
Sudan has [become] in the last two years … a major Iranian weapons manufacturing and logistic depot, which supplies Syria, Hizballah and Hamas. Port Sudan is the hub for the smuggling of Iranian arms to various Middle East locations.
The IDF [Israeli Defense Force] said the Iranian missile cargo was destined for the Palestinian Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip. If this is so, it would mean that Iran had gone back to arming Hamas with missiles and rockets after a two-year pause during which the Palestinian extremists were cold-shouldered by Tehran for their animosity to Syria’s Bashar Assad. …
[But] it is hard to believe the Assad would consent to relay Syrian-made missiles to this antagonist.
Some Middle East military sources believe the shipment was not destined for Palestinian terrorists for use against Israel, but rather for Muslim Brotherhood activists fighting the Egyptian army from their forward base in the Gaza Strip.
They don’t rule out the possibility of Al Qaeda affiliates fighting in Sinai as being the address. Western intelligence has recorded instances of Iran entering into ad hoc operational collaboration with al Qaeda elements when it suits Tehran’s book. …
The rockets were flown from Syria to Iran, then loaded on [the] ship where they were concealed under sacks of cement inside containers. From the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, the ship headed into the Red Sea bound for Sudan where it was intercepted by Israeli commandos.
The Iranian arms ship’s progress was tracked all the way.
By Israel, apparently. By the US, easily if that’s what Obama wanted. But why suddenly does he want to “jeopardize the international diplomatic track for curbing Iran’s nuclear program“?
Will Jay Carney, standing there among the flying pigs, do something he has never done before – tell the truth and explain everything?
That’s not very likely, but then much is not very likely in these bizarre events.
Is an even more radical, more terrifying terror group than Hamas now establishing itself in Gaza and “throwing Palestinians into a panic”?
It seems that ever more “extreme” groups emerge daily or even hourly into our purview out of the chaos of Islam’s internecine strife.
The death-dealing monsters in this picture, belonging to an al-Qaeda affiliate called DAESH, are jittering the master-terrorists of Hamas itself.
The Arabic acronym DAESH stands for the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”. They have produced a YouTube video in which they fiercely announce their plans to wage jihad against “infidels, traitors and Crusaders”.
The picture and our quotations come from a Gatestone Institute article by Khaled Abu Toameh:
The announcement is seen as a challenge to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which has been in control of the Gaza Strip since July 2007.
Palestinian Authority security officials in Ramallah expressed fear that the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group would try to establish terrorist cells also in the West Bank.
[These] 10 heavily-armed masked terrorists declare allegiance to DAESH, whose men are responsible for most of the atrocities in Syria and Iraq over the past few years.
Most? Surely that’s impossible to know. But we can believe they have committed a great many atrocities.
In the video, a spokesman for the group announces that in addition to Syria and Iraq, DAESH now has “lions and armies in the environs of Jerusalem.”
Lions? We guess they mean human beasts of prey.
The spokesman says that the group’s goal is to restore the dignity of Muslims who have been “humiliated” by their enemies. He urges Muslims to rally behind his group and support its members in their jihad against the enemies of Islam and “Arab tyrants.”
Palestinians have reacted with panic to the emergence of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in the Gaza Strip.
According to reports from the Gaza Strip, Palestinians are worried that the DAESH terrorists will perpetrate atrocities against those who oppose their ideology and activities.
“This group is much more dangerous and radical than Hamas,” said a Palestinian journalist from Gaza City. “The presence of Al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip is bad news not only for Hamas, but for all Palestinians. Palestinians see the crimes and massacres perpetrated by Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria and fear that they could be repeated in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Hamas leaders, for their part, have reacted with skepticism to the announcement by DAESH, describing it as another attempt to “distort” Hamas’s image and “resistance”.
Salah Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, said that the Gaza Strip was a “small area with no room for Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups”.
Hamas has not hesitated in the past to confront tiny jihadi groups whose members had openly challenged its rule. Like DAESH, these groups believe that Hamas is too “moderate” and is no longer committed to the “armed struggle” against Israel.
In one of the deadliest confrontations, Hamas security forces killed and arrested a number of jihadi terrorists who found shelter in a mosque in the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. At least 28 jihadi terrorists were killed and 120 wounded during the 2009 raid on members of a group called Jund Allah [Soldiers of God].
It now remains to be seen whether Hamas will be able to crush the new Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, whose members are also operating in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula.
The enemy of Islam is modernity itself. Until Muslims realize that, they will never recover from humiliation.
The Eurozone is busy lurching from disaster to disaster …
It looks clear that 2014 is going to be an “annus horribilis” for the European Union [EU], with voters going to the polls in May 2014 and the recent opinion polls showing not so much Eurosceptic as simply anti-EU parties in the lead in most major European countries.
We cheer every sign that the undemocratic and deeply corrupt EU is failing. For one thing, it squanders money on paying “salaries” to Palestinian terrorists – consequently supporting and encouraging terrorism.
If the EU bureaucrats expect gratitude, they will be continually disappointed.
We quote from an article by Douglas Murray for the Gatestone Institute:
There are many ways in which the EU displays a casual disregard for its distribution of taxpayers’ money. But one of the most outrageous ways by far – with some very stiff competition – is the way in which the EU wastes taxpayers’ money by giving huge lumps of it in aid to the Palestinian Authority [PA]. The laxity with which this is done and the uses to which much of that money is put highlights a problem which ought to make even the EU blush – and any decent taxpayer rebel.
Ignorance can be no excuse. In recent years a number of organizations and individuals have persistently highlighted the manner in which EU funding has been used to facilitate hate-materials and hate-teaching in Palestinian schools. Foremost among the organizations that have highlighted this has been Palestinian Media Watch [PMW], which has systematically and carefully collected and translated for wider English-speaking consumption the sort of language that is used routinely in the education sectors in Palestinian society. And as in the schools, so in the media. For EU money is also used to fund various Palestinian media outfits. And the diet of hatred they spew out is the stuff of legend. …
But it is not just in schools and the media that EU money has been put to such wildly inappropriate use. As highlighted before, perhaps the most appalling misuse of public funds has been the EU payment of salaries to the families of convicted terrorists. This issue of the EU payments of terrorist’s salaries while the terrorists are in prison has been a not yet hot-enough potato for some time now. After the last round of exposure in 2012, some EU officials criticized the PA for using public monies in this way. But as PMW has just shown again, the response of PA officials to this is not only disrespectful towards the EU. It is openly contemptuous, derogatory, scornful and dismissive of the hand that is presuming to feed them.
As Palestinian Media Watch recently highlighted, in November alone the EU donated approximately 11 million euros to pay the salaries of PA government employees. And yet, in that same month, one PA minister has been shown openly to have mocked the uses to which the PA puts the EU money: in one appearance, the minister said about the EU’s weak recent requests, “The Europeans want their money that comes to us to remain clean – not to go to families of those they claim to be “terrorists” … [but] these [prisoners] are heroes.”
Or, as the head of the Prisoners’ Club showed, the salaries to both government workers and prisoners are paid alongside one another:
“What is disbursed to the prisoners is exactly what is disbursed to me and you [a PA civil servant]. These are salaries. Therefore, when the salaries are paid to those working in [government] ministries and institutions, they will also be paid to the prisoners.” …
Paying people to hate you and your values, and paying people to carry out acts of terrorism against your friends, is a strange use to which any private individual might choose to put his money. But for a government – and a supra-government at that – to use taxpayers’ money in such a way is criminal.
Note that the US is doing it too.
UNRWA should go.
(Indeed, the UN and all its agencies should go.)
This is from the Council on Foreign Relations, by Elliott Abrams. (We have cut out the bits where he praises the UN and its agencies, because we consider the UN to be a center of global evil.)
Since the end of the Second World War, millions of refugees have left refugee camps, and refugee status, and moved to countries that accepted them – quickly or slowly – as citizens.
Post-World War II Europe was an archipelago of displaced persons and refugee camps, housing 850,000 people in 1947 – Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and many more nationalities. By 1952, all but one of the camps had closed. …
Hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe went to Israel after 1948, and then hundreds of thousands more arrived from Arab lands when they were forced to flee after 1956 and 1967. The children and grandchildren of these refugees, born after their arrival, were never refugees themselves; they were from birth citizens of the new land, as their parents had become immediately upon their own arrival. …
The exception to this refugee story is the Palestinians. In most of the Arab lands to which they fled or travelled after 1948 they were often treated badly, and refused citizenship (with Jordan the major exception) or even the right to work legally. And instead of coming under the protection of UNHCR [the UN High Commissioner for Refugees] , they had a special agency of their own, UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency. In the decades of its existence, it has not solved or even diminished the Palesinian refugee problem; instead it has presided over a massive increase in its size, for all the descendants of Palestinian refugees are considered to be refugees as well. Once there were 750,000; now there are five million people considered by UNRWA to be “Palestinian refugees.” And UNRWA is now the largest UN agency, with a staff of 30,000. UNHCR cares for the rest of the world with about 7,500 personnel.
The political background to this story is simple: only in the case of Israel was there a determined refusal to accept what had happened during and after World War II, with the establishment of the Jewish state and the increase in its population by the acceptance of refugee Jews. Of all the world’s refugees, whom UNHCR tries normally to resettle, only the Palestinians are an exception. UNRWA presides over generation after generation of additional refugees, and Arab states and leaders make believe that some day they can turn back the clock and send them – and their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – to Israel. …
UNRWA should cease to exist, and Palestinian refugees should be handled by UNHCR with the intention of resettling them. …
Lest that position seem idiosyncratic, consider this: in 2010 Canada cut off its funding of UNRWA, and just now the Netherlands government has said it is considering the same action. How did they explain this? The foreign minister told parliament that Holland would “thoroughly review” its policy and the ruling party called UNRWA’s refugee definition “worrying”. UNRWA, said the party spokesman, “uses its own unique definition of refugees, different to the UN’s. The refugee issue is a big obstacle for peace. We therefore ask the government acknowledge this discrepancy, which leads to the third-generation Palestinian refugees.” Correction: fourth-generation, actually.
It is worth noting that there are many other criticisms of UNRWA: that it overlooks terrorist group activity in some camps, or allows members of Hamas and other terrorist groups to hold UNRWA staff positions. But those are criticisms of how UNRWA is carrying out its mission, while the deeper problem is the mission itself. That mission might accurately be described as enlarging the Palestinian refugee problem forever and thereby making any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement tremendously more difficult if not impossible to achieve.
Closing UNRWA would in the end be a great favor to Palestinians who live outside the West Bank and Gaza … Some of those individuals will [we would say "may" - ed] some day move to the West Bank or Gaza, but they do not need UNRWA to do that. None of them will ever move to Israel, and the existence of UNRWA helps to maintain the cruel myth that they will.
The “peace process” seems stalled today; no negotiated final settlements is on the horizon. … Starting the process of closing down UNRWA would be a move toward peace, as it would replace the permanent perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem with a process designed to reduce it in size and some day solve it.
To most people “Quaker terrorists” may seem a contradiction in terms. So we must explain.
To excuse or defend terrorism is to encourage it; to encourage it is to co-author it.
And what is terrorism? It is not an ideology. It is a method, a tactic. It is the systematic use of violence to create public fear. By the targeting of the innocent the fear is spread. Everyone in a certain place, or of a certain race or calling, or in a certain position, must be given reason by the terrorist to fear that he or she, or his or her spouse or child or parent, can be blown into pieces, or be knifed or beaten or shot to death, by complete strangers at any moment. Terrorism is morally indefensible. Arguably the most morally indefensible form of violence that can be imagined. Nothing can justify it. No cause. Nothing.
For centuries the Quakers were a widely respected sect. They were pacifists on moral grounds. Pacifism was one of their founding religious principles. Their name was synonymous with non-violence. In wars, they would serve their country as doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, stretcher-bearers … They eschewed violence even in self-defense. As a sect, they lived up to their principles. That was what they were respected for.
(For the record – in our view a pacifist upholding his principle of non-violence when the aggressors are Nazis or Communists say, while others risk their lives to save him from them, is not admirable. But our task here is to explain the Quaker view, which many hold in high esteem: that it’s wrong to use violence at all. Ever.)
But now the Quakers are terrorists. They are terrorists in that they excuse, defend, and actively encourage terrorism.
Here is the story of how the change, the reversal of their values, came about. We have taken it from the The Tower, condensing the full account given by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe:
The Quakers — thus named because they tremble or “quake” before God — [is] a Protestant sect founded in England during the mid-17th century. … As part of their beliefs, Quakers oppose violence in all its forms and reject any compulsion in religion. …
The Quakers are also called The Friends. So unthreatening. So simple. So trustworthy. So good.
On April 30, 1917, the Quakers formed The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) “in response to America’s entrance into World War I”.
Challenged by public hostility and government disapproval due to their refusal to be drafted, the Quakers formed the AFSC in order to organize alternative forms of service for its members, such as providing medical aid and other non-violent participation in the war effort.
The AFSC slowly expanded over the years, and by the late 1940s it was an established Christian organization with global experience, recognized by national and international establishments as a major provider of international relief, charity, and aid. …
The dawn of the Cold War, however, proved a turning point in the history of the organization. In April 1947 …
Just thirty years after its founding …
… a faction within the AFSC’s leadership convened a meeting at which the head of the organization, Clarence Pickett, and others argued that tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union had become so intense, and the threat of atomic war so grave, that the AFSC should abandon its long-standing tradition of political neutrality.
The argument was absurd. How by taking one side against the other would they be lessening the tension and preventing atomic war?
It is true that one side of the Cold War was working through agents of influence to get the other side disarmed by public opinion. It paid its agents to organize “Peace” movements. Not because it was for peace, though it pretended to be. Far from being peaceful, it was arming, aiding and abetting proxy wars of “liberation” on five continents. That lying, hypocritical, relentlessly belligerent side was the Soviet Union. And that is the side the AFSC took.
Can there be much doubt that Clarence Pickett, whether personally paid or not, was one of its agents?
Such a stance [of neutrality], Pickett said, could no longer be an article of faith but a crime. The radical nature of this [new] stance was reflected in the words of another participant, who said, “Evolution is too slow. We need revolution in the Society of Friends.”
Hear in that the vocabulary, the phraseology of Marxism.
The organization, Pickett and his supporters felt, should actively spearhead a peace movement that would directly challenge America’s Cold War policies.
Not for a moment did they apparently consider that the American Cold War policies were a direct challenge to the Soviet Union’s hot war ambitions.
This began the AFSC’s transformation from a religious group to, as one Quaker scholar later put it, “just one more pressure group within the secular political community”.
Or in other words, it changed not only from a pacifist to a revolutionary movement, it also changed, effectively, from a Christian sect into a Communist sect.
The AFSC’s newly radical stance took aim at American policies throughout the 1950s and paid little or no heed to repression and terror in Communist countries. This hit its stride during the Vietnam War. The organization bitterly and actively opposed the war throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Its attacks on American policy in Vietnam were furious and wide-ranging, opposing everything from the escalation of military operations to all forms of aid to South Vietnam to the conduct of the war itself. In addition, the AFSC directly violated American embargoes and sent medical aid directly to North Vietnam. These actions proved to be extremely controversial. In one case, the AFSC was accused of revealing to the North Vietnamese that a prominent Buddhist activist was a CIA agent, prompting one prominent Quaker to hold a sit-in at AFSC headquarters in protest.
So some individual Quakers – many, according to the authors – were still true to their founding principles, or perhaps were American patriots.
The AFSC’s activism placed it unquestionably on the side of the American far-Left, where it remains to this day.
The Quakers’ [erstwhile] beliefs in nonviolence have not prevented them from supporting bloody despotic regimes. …
And the hypocrisy was – and remains – blatant:
While still voicing support for pacifism, the organization increasingly aligned itself with violent Left-wing governments and movements, some of which used terrorism to advance their goals.
Many rank-and-file Quakers were appalled at the AFSC’s overt support for such regimes and movements, as well as its double standards … But their protests proved fruitless. The AFSC rejected all criticism as fundamentally illegitimate “red-baiting and McCarthyism”.
“Red-baiting”. Again, the vocabulary of the Communists. Or rather of the Comintern – the Soviets’ ideological club for foreign fans of its appalling system.
… The AFSC’s policy towards Iran is [to demand] the removal of sanctions and [dismiss] concerns about Iranian nuclear weapons.
It is openly, shamelessly supportive of the most terrible regime on earth:
Today the group operates collective farms in North Korea …
And is intimately supportive of at least one of the most savage terrorist groups on earth – Hamas.
Romirowsky and Joffe trace the history of the Quakers relationship to the “Holy Land”, the Palestinians, and Zionism, giving them credit for aiding the refugees more rationally than most other organizations working among them. But …
… after the 1967 Six Day War, the AFSC began to take a more explicit and fervent pro-Palestinian stance, applying its growing radicalism and willingness to accommodate the use of violence to the Middle East conflict.
As the 1970s saw the rise of Palestinian terrorism as a major source of global violence, the AFSC began to take a disturbingly understanding approach to the issue. A 1972 AFSC pamphlet, Nonviolence: Not First For Export told its readers:
… before we deplore terrorism it is essential for us to recognize fully and clearly whose “terrorism” came first, so that we can assess what is cause and what is effect.
It was clear enough that, in regard to Israel the AFSC had no doubts about whose “terrorism” came first. The pamphlet expressed, for example, deep understanding toward the Palestinian Fedayeen — “those who sacrifice themselves” — terrorists whose main purpose was to infiltrate Israel and kill civilians. …
In 1973, the AFSC called for a U.S. embargo on arms and other aid to Israel, and in 1975 adopted “a formal decision to make the Middle East its major issue.” It quickly opened an office in Israel, installed specialized staff members at regional offices in the U.S., and began advocating for the Palestinians in Israeli and international courts. Israeli officials quickly discovered, however, that the new AFSC representative in Jerusalem was attempting to organize on behalf of the PLO. …
The AFSC has moved ever closer to the Palestinian cause since the 1970s. Today, this is expressed through fieldwork, lobbying, and activism, in particular through the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement [against Israel] …
In regard to Hamas’ indiscriminate use of rockets against Israeli civilians, the AFSC simply notes that “it is important to look at the firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups in context”, since this is “intertwined” with “ongoing Israeli military actions in Gaza”. …
Military actions which are rare, targeted, and defensive only. While the rockets are constant, indiscriminate, and aggressive.
The authors suggest that the Quaker movement now clings to its anti-Zionism as a cause to keep it alive.
It may be that a movement like the Quakers, which has seen its numbers dwindle along with other liberal Protestant denominations, sees anti-Zionism as a last resort; a movement with powerful emotional appeal on which it can draw in order to maximize its power. If so, then it has undone a great deal of the good it once did, and substituted hypocrisy and bad faith instead.
Once a byword for humanitarianism … it has now become, in effect, a brand — one on which the AFSC can trade as it exploits the putative neutrality and pacifism it stands for in order to advance hostility toward Israel and, with its promotion of the “right of return”, an end to Israel itself.
In the end, the AFSC’s story reflects the tensions between pacifism and politics, between aid work and political activism … It demonstrates that small religious movements are susceptible to hijacking by radicals, and suggests that pacifism may inevitably engender its opposite. The organization’s slide has been a long one, and at the moment it shows no sign of or interest in reversing it.
All four pictures copied, with gratitude, from Front Page.
See also our post of June 11, 2013, Our need for idols: observations on Mandela and Gandhi.
In addition to allowing Iran to become a nuclear power, Obama is making the mullahs secret promises of power and glory, if this report from DebkaFile is true:
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry secretly agreed to elevate Iran to the status of seventh world power, as a strong inducement for signing the interim nuclear accord in Geneva Sunday, Nov. 24 …
While Iran has always demanded respect and equal standing as a regional power, never in their wildest dreams had the ayatollahs expected to be granted big power standing, with an authoritative role recognized by the six big powers for addressing issues in a broad region spanning the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and Western Asia, including Afghanistan. …
President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif presented this awesome achievement Monday to their hard-line critics at home, who accused them of giving away too much in terms of Iran’s nuclear program for the sake of a deal with the West.
We come home from Geneva with recognition as a world power, they replied.
The small print of Iran’s new rating is not yet in place, but Western sources familiar with the new US-Iranian understandings say they would not be surprised to find President Rouhani sitting in future summits on the same side of the table as the six powers who faced Iran in the Geneva negotiations. Zarif would also attend future foreign ministers’ meetings as an world-class equal.
Jerusalem and Riyadh are aghast at this development. Our Jerusalem sources report that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has kept it back from his cabinet colleagues, has been holding back-to-back confidential consultations with the heads of Israel’s security and intelligence services and the high IDF command to decide how to handle Obama’s sudden replacement of Israel with Iran as America’s No. 1 ally in the region.
Most immediately, a hostile Iran with a role in the ongoing US-sponsored negotiations with the Palestinians does not bear thinking of.
The Saudi royal house is deep in similarly anxious and angry discussions.
The report states that -
Israel and Saudi Arabia both find Iran’s promotion to world status more shocking and deleterious even than its pretensions to a nuclear weapon. Neither had imagined the Obama administration capable of an about face so extreme.
The about face is not conjecture – it has happened.
It has happened because it seems unthinkable to most people that Obama would destroy the West if he could. However naive, incompetent, ignorant, deceitful he is, the very fact that no one would believe that that is what he is hoping to do, has made it possible for him to take such steps as this giant one in Geneva. Iran is obviously more likely to advance Islamic world-power than Saudi Arabia or the Muslim Brotherhood. So with Iran he has negotiated the great betrayal.
On June 7, 2008, we faced with horror the possibility that Barack Obama could become president of the United States with a post titled Obama can only fumble and fail:
We would say to him: ‘Come on, Barry, face the fact that you cannot lead this nation.’
Barack Obama makes flabbergastingly naive statements of intent. He seems to be stuck with adolescent ideals, a view of what is desirable and possible that few sane people over the age of 21 can normally continue to hold. He manifests no knowledge of history, or of political or economic theory. His ideas have the quality of sticky-sentiment greetings cards, but are delivered with the grandiloquence of extreme narcissism. His manner of dropping his voice at the end of every sentence gives everything he says a certainty; an inarguable ‘I say so, so that’s how it is’ finality; an apodictic quality. This manner, combined with the lift of his chin to one side like Mussolini, enchants gullible listeners: makes them think, ‘Ah yes, he is so sure, he must be right, he should lead us!’ Only when he has to answer a question he has not prepared himself for, do we hear him fumbling, stammering, losing the eloquence of the well-rehearsed demagogue.
To elect him to the presidency of the United States at this point in history would be a mistake so devastating that it’s hard to believe sensible voters could even contemplate doing so. Now, just as Europe has learnt too late that socialism does not work, he would bring socialism to America. For make no mistake about it, Obama is a socialist … Just for starters he wants a national health service – a wholly socialist notion – though every example of such a thing everywhere in the world is failing.
Has he brought socialism to America? Yes. Or very much more of it to add to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s start.
Has he imposed a national health service on the nation? Yes. He has begun to do it with a health care act that taxes every citizen and resident of America just for existing, and is proving to be so unmanageable that the only way out of its mess is either to repeal it as Republicans want to do, or go to a full “one-payer system” – the one payer being of course the state – as Obama’s faithful Democrats want to do.
His foreign policy ideas are even more disastrous. He wants to disarm the US in a world of spreading nuclear know-how and capability along with hostile intention.
Is he doing so? Yes. He is defunding the US military and turning servicemen into social workers.
Is the country called ‘the last best hope’ of humanity about to follow the European example and become weak, demoralized, decadent, and slowly subjugated by aliens whose ideas derive from the seventh century?
Yes. In addition to following the European model of socialism, Obama has brought the Muslim Brotherhood into his administration.
What of his world leadership as US president? He has just proved himself incapable of exercising it. Worse, he has broken the Pax Americana on which the world relied – as Caroline Glick explicates:
What happened in Geneva last week was the most significant international event since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The collapse of the Soviet Union signaled the rise of the United States as the sole global superpower. The developments in the six-party nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva last week signaled the end of American world leadership.
Global leadership is based on two things – power and credibility. The United States remains the most powerful actor in the world. But last week, American credibility was shattered.
Secretary of State John Kerry spent the first part of last week lying to Israeli and Gulf Arab leaders and threatening the Israeli people. He lied to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Saudis about the content of the deal US and European negotiators had achieved with the Iranians.
Kerry told them that in exchange for Iran temporarily freezing its nuclear weapons development program, the US and its allies would free up no more than $5 billion in Iranian funds seized and frozen in foreign banks.
Kerry threatened the Israeli people with terrorism and murder – and so invited both – if Israel fails to accept his demands for territorial surrender to PLO terrorists that reject Israel’s right to exist. …
It is hard to separate the rise in terrorist activity since Kerry’s remarks last week from his remarks.
What greater carte blanche for murder could the Palestinians have received than the legitimization of their crimes by the chief diplomat of Israel’s closest ally? Certainly, Kerry’s negotiating partner Catherine Ashton couldn’t have received a clearer signal to ratchet up her economic boycott of Jewish Israeli businesses than Kerry’s blackmail message …
Kerry’s threats were so obscene and unprecedented that Israeli officials broke with tradition and disagreed with him openly and directly, while he was still in the country. Normally supportive leftist commentators have begun reporting Kerry’s history of anti-Israel advocacy, including his 2009 letter of support for pro-Hamas activists organizing flotillas to Gaza in breach of international and American law.
As for Kerry’s lies to the US’s chief Middle Eastern allies, it was the British and the French who informed the Israelis and the Saudis that far from limiting sanctions relief to a few billion dollars in frozen funds, the draft agreement involved ending sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas sector, and on other industries.
In other words, the draft agreement exposed Washington’s willingness to effectively end economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran’s agreement to cosmetic concessions that will not slow down its nuclear weapons program.
Both the US’s position, and the fact that Kerry lied about that position to the US’s chief allies, ended what was left of American credibility in the Middle East. That credibility was already tattered by US fecklessness in Syria and support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
True, in the end, Kerry was unable to close the deal he rushed off to Geneva to sign last Friday. [But] it wasn’t Iran that rejected the American surrender. And it wasn’t America that scuttled the proposal. It was France. Unable to hide behind American power and recognizing its national interest in preventing Iran from emerging as a nuclear armed power in the Middle East, France vetoed a deal that paved the way a nuclear Iran.
Kerry’s failure to reach the hoped-for deal represented a huge blow to America, and a double victory for Iran. The simple fact that Washington was willing to sign the deal – and lie about it to its closest allies – caused the US to lose its credibility in the Middle East. Even without the deal, the US paid the price of appeasing Iran and surrendering leadership of the free world [in this instance] to France and Israel. …
Thus, Iran ended Pax Americana in the Middle East, removing the greatest obstacle in its path to regional hegemony. And it did so without having to make the slightest concession to the Great Satan. …
It was fear of losing Pax Americana that made all previous US administrations balk at reaching an accord with Iran. …
The Obama administration just paid that unsustainably high price, and didn’t even get a different relationship with Iran.
Most analyses of what happened in Geneva last week have centered on what the failure of the talks means for the future of Obama’s foreign policy.
Certainly Obama, now universally reviled by America’s allies in the Middle East, will be diplomatically weakened. This diplomatic weakness may not make much difference to Obama’s foreign policy, because appeasement and retreat do not require diplomatic strength.
But the real story of what happened last week is far more significant than the future of Obama’s foreign policy. Last week it was America that lost credibility, not Obama. It was America that squandered the essential component of global leadership.
And that is the watershed event of this young century. …
Until Obama became president, the consensus view of the US foreign policy establishment and of both major parties was that the US had a permanent interest in being the hegemonic power in the Middle East. US hegemony ensured three permanent US national security interests: preventing enemy regimes and terror groups from acquiring the means to cause catastrophic harm; ensuring the smooth flow of petroleum products through the Persian Gulf and the Suez Canal; and demonstrating the credibility of American power by ensuring the security of US allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia. The third interest was an essential foundation of US deterrence of the Soviets during the Cold War, and of the Chinese over the past decade.
Obama departed from this foreign policy consensus in an irrevocable manner last week. In so doing, he destroyed US credibility. …
[Even] if a conservative internationalist in the mold of Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan is elected in 2016, Obama’s legacy will make it impossible for him to rebuild the US alliance structure. US allies … will not be willing to make any longterm commitments based on US security guarantees.
Obama has taught the world that the same US that elected Truman and formed NATO, and elected George H.W. Bush and threw Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, can elect a man who betrays US allies and US interests to advance a radical ideology predicated on a rejection of the morality of American power. Any US ally is now on notice that US promises – even if based on US interests – are not reliable. American commitments can expire the next time America elects a radical to the White House. …
America’s appalling betrayal of Jerusalem under Obama … is the straw that has broken the back of American strategic credibility from Taipei to Santiago. …
The twice-elected president of the United States has dispatched his secretary of state to threaten and deceive US allies while surrendering to US foes. It is now an indisputable fact that the US government may use its power to undermine its own interests and friends worldwide.
Could a president fail more catastrophically than Obama has? The list of his failures is too long for this space. Enough to say he has had no successes. America under his leadership is more in debt, its government is more corrupt, its position in the world is weaker, its Constitution is voided, its citizens are less free, its enemies are triumphant, its allies are enraged …
And yet … an awful question arises. What if all this represents not failure but success? What if the wrecking of the economy, the collectivization of the people, the weakening of America as the dominant world power, the voiding of the Constitution, the advancement of Islam, the existential crisis of Israel, are precisely what Obama set out to achieve?
Then he would have to be assessed as the most successful president since George Washington. The failure is colossal, but it is not his. It is America’s.
Caroline Glick comments on the ludicrous – no, lunatic resurrection of a long dead and always pointless “peace process”, a masquerade which involves nothing more than deranged Israeli politicians, American under-informed egos, and racist Palestinians with no mandate from anybody saying yet again everything that’s been said a hundred thousand times before.
As always, Israel is “pressured” by powers and the spirits of darkness to “make concessions” – which it always does – while no pressure is brought to bear on the Palestinians to concede anything at all.
The Arabs will concede nothing ever. They want the abolition of the state of Israel nothing less. If they were to accept sovereignty over Judea and Samaria it would be as an interim measure, a stage towards their final goal of taking over the whole region – a “stages policy” having been approved by Yasser Arafat.
What the present powers and spirits of darkness (going this time under the names of “Barack Obama” and “John Kerry”) are trying to achieve is the abolition of the state of Israel. They can bring this about by forcing Israel to shrink very small and into that remnant squeeze a few million Palestinian “refugees”. The Palestinian leaders, openly racist and with an apartheid mentality, say they will not tolerate a single Jew on their territory, and will combine what is at present Israel, plus Samaria and Judea (the ancient land of the Judeans or Israelites), and Gaza to constitute a new state named Palestine. It will be the first time such a state has ever existed. Then the Jews, expelled from the little state they let go to please “Barack Obama” and “John Kerry”, will once again be stateless and at the mercy of host nations who practice their God-enjoined neighborly love of them with periodic pogroms and genocidal massacres. “Barack Obama” and “John Kerry” will be no more pleased with them then than they are now or ever have been. One can only conclude that if Israeli leaders really do let this happen, they are either severely mentally retarded or incurably insane.
Caroline Glick looks far down the road-map and sees with brilliant clarity the insanity of the present talks. She writes (in part):
Kerry visited Israel six times in the four months leading up to the meetings in Washington this week, during which Americans, Palestinians and Israelis discussed the size of the table they will be sitting around in the coming discussions.
During the same four months, the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against its opponents on multiple occasions. Most recently, they gassed Palestinians in Yarmuk refugee camp outside Damascus, killing 22 people.
During those four months, al-Qaida strengthened its control over the Syrian opposition groups fighting the regime.
During those four months, the Syrian civil war became a focal point of a wider Sunni-Shi’ite religious war that has already spread to Lebanon and Iraq. In its post-US-withdrawal role of Iranian satrapy, Iraq has allowed Iran to use its territory and airspace to transfer war materiel to the Syrian regime.
During those four months, the Obama administration decided to begin arming the al-Qaida dominated rebel forces. It has also deliberately raised the risk of a Syrian-Israeli war by informing the media every time that Israel attacks missile sites in Syria.
Also during the four months that Kerry obsessed over convincing PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas to send his representative to Washington, Egypt experienced its second revolution in which, buffeted by millions of demonstrators who filled the squares of Egypt’s cities, the Egyptian military overthrew the US-supported Muslim Brotherhood regime. …
This week … a deeply disturbing report … explained that … Iran will reach “critical capacity” in its nuclear program by mid-2014 … [defining] critical capacity as “the technical capability to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium from its safeguarded stocks of low enriched uranium for a nuclear explosive, without being detected.” …
But for Kerry … the most urgent priority was to convince the Palestinians to sit in the same room as Israelis. …
Which he did, after the Palestinians had insisted that 104 terrorists imprisoned in Israel be released. Kerry pressured Israel to release them, and Israel did.
Its a dance. The steps are prescribed. They are followed in strict order.
The 104 “prisoners” are made up of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. They are not car thieves or pickpockets. They are monsters with human faces. All 104 are serving life sentences for murder or attempted murder. Their crimes were gruesome acts of barbarism marked by demonic cruelty. …
There was nothing even vaguely courageous about Netanyahu’s decision to release these monsters.
There was nothing even vaguely courageous about his cabinet members’ decision to vote for their release. Theirs was an act of utter cravenness. They dishonored the victims, the victims’ families and the nation as a whole.
And they endangered the country. According to the Almagor Victims of Terror organization, from 2000 to 2005, 180 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists released by Israel in previous “deals.” And those terrorists had been imprisoned for non-lethal actions, (i.e., without blood on their hands).
The fact that Netanyahu and his ministers passed this decision simply to provide a sufficient payoff to Abbas for him to send Saeb Erekat to Washington to talk about nothing with (Israel’s leftist Minister of Justice) Livni, makes their actions, not only craven, but insane. …
Kerry said that the talks about the size of the table are going to bring about a situation where Israel will achieve, “not just the absence of conflict, but a full and lasting peace with the Arab and Muslim nations.”
Like Kerry’s demand that Israel free the terrorists, this statement bespeaks an underlying fanatical dementia. …
Because the “Arab and Muslim nations” have given not the least sign, not the faintest hint, that they would make peace with Israel in any circumstances whatsoever.
As for the Palestinians, if they were interested in “lasting peace” with Israel, they wouldn’t demand freedom for terrorist murderers. Moreover, while Kerry was exulting in his brilliant success, Abbas announced that in his version of “lasting peace,” Jews will be wiped off of the map of Palestine.
As Abbas put it, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldiers – on our lands.” …
It is not surprising that Kerry, Obama and Livni are going along with this obscenity. It is not surprising that fanatics who pray to the god of the two-state solution think it is courageous to free Jewish-baby killers. It is not surprising they think the most important thing on the international agenda is to secure Israel’s surrender of land, our legal rights, and our ability to defend ourselves to a terrorist group that hates Jews so much it requires all of us to be gone before it will do us the favor of accepting sovereignty.
What is surprising – and frightening – is that Netanyahu … is going along with this.
Netanyahu knows that Israel cannot survive without Judea and Samaria. He knows what the Muslim Brotherhood is. He knows the nature of the Iranian regime. He knows that the PLO is no different from Hamas. Their goal is the same – they want to destroy Israel.
Netanyahu knows that Obama is hostile to Israel and that he will not lift a finger to block Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
So why is he going along with their insanity? In bowing to US pressure and approving the release of 104 terrorist murderers from prison, Netanyahu behaved like a coward. In bowing to US pressure not to bomb Iran’s nuclear installations, Netanyahu is being a coward.
The most important question for Israel today then is whether our leader is capable of being anything else.
And there is this depressingly accurate commentary on the “peace talks” by Avi Bell, Professor of Law at the University of San Diego, posted at The Augean Stables:
If Israel refuses to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it refuses to negotiate.
If the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see negotiations with Israel are pointless.
If Israel makes preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it is trying to avoid negotiations.
If the Palestinians make preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians have to force Israel to be serious in the negotiations.
If Israel makes no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace.
If the Palestinians make no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see that making offers of peace with Israel are pointless.
If Israel makes an offer of peace and the Palestinians reject it, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because Israel is not willing to make the kind of offer the Palestinians would accept.