Extreme peril 1

Obama, through his lackey John Kerry, continues to woo the hellish regime of the Iranian Ayatollahs. He longs for a “deal” at any cost.

He is doing everything possible to help them become a nuclear-armed power.

This really is, without exaggeration, the worst threat, the gravest danger, the world as a whole has ever faced. The threat of the imposition of world control by Communist Russia was grave, but the Russians were not willing to die in massive numbers when a retaliation to their attack descended on them. The Muslim Iranians “love death”, and reckon that Muslims would be happy to die and go to their brothel in the sky; and that, however heavy the retaliation, there would still be a lot of Muslims left alive to dominate – perhaps exclusively occupy – this world.

Either Obama does not realize that he is putting the world in extremest danger, or he must want what the Ayatollahs want.

What is that? The destruction of Israel, certainly,and he’s cool with that. But he cannot believe that Israel is the Iranians’ only target. They continue to scream “Death to America!” loud and clear while the charade of “negotiations” for the “deal” is in progress. He must be cool with that too. Do his P5+1 claques feel the same way? Seems so.

Their latest move is to HELP Iran get “the bomb”.

George Jahn writes at AP:

Western powers are offering Tehran high-tech reactors under a proposed nuclear agreement, a confidential document says, but a defiant speech by Iran’s supreme leader less than a week before a negotiating deadline casts doubt on whether he’s willing to make the necessary concessions to seal a deal. …

Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday rejected a long-term freeze on nuclear research and supported the idea of barring international inspectors from military sites. Khamenei, in comments broadcast on Iranian state television, also said Iran would sign a final deal only if all economic sanctions on the country were first lifted. The preliminary deal calls for sanctions to be lifted gradually after an agreement is finalized.

Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed Khamenei’s remarks, saying Wednesday they were [only] for “domestic political consumption”. …

In another sign the Islamic Republic may be toughening its stance, Iran’s Guardian Council on Wednesday enacted legislation banning access to military sites and scientists, according to state TV. …

The West has held out the prospect of providing Iran peaceful nuclear technology in the nearly decade-long effort to reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear weapons. But the scope of the help now being offered in the draft displeases U.S. congressional critics who say Washington is giving away too much.

“These continued concessions only emboldened Iran’s leaders to press for more,” Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “The way these negotiations are moving, it is increasingly difficult to see the administration striking a meaningful, lasting agreement that would be acceptable to Congress.” …

[A draft annex] entitled Civil Nuclear Cooperation, promises to supply Iran with light-water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak, which could produce enough plutonium for several bombs a year if completed as planned. …

Outlining plans to modify that heavy-water reactor, the draft, dated June 19, offers to “establish an international partnership” to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in “the leadership role as the project owner and manager.”

The eight-page draft also promises “arrangements for the assured supply and removal of nuclear fuel for each reactor provided,” and offers help in the “construction and effective operation” of the reactors and related hardware. It offers cooperation with Iran in the fields of nuclear safety, nuclear medicine, research, nuclear waste removal and other peaceful applications. …

[But] because isotope production uses the same technology as enrichment and can be quickly re-engineered, the compromise has been criticized by congressional opponents of the proposed deal.

Scott Johnson comments at PowerLine:

This is no longer a deal to stop the Iranian nuclear program. It’s a deal to let the Iranians perfect their nuclear program with international assistance and under international protection.

Some country in the P5+1 will be helping the Iranians develop next-generation centrifuges in a facility impenetrable to American and Israeli bombs. Conversely, any country that wants to sabotage that development will be unable to do so, because the program will be protected and maintained by a major power.

As the centrifuges are being developed they’ll be spinning non-nuclear elements, but once they’re perfected the Iranians will be able to use them to enrich uranium. The international community will literally be investing in helping Iran achieve a zero breakout.

A couple of obvious points. First, it means the P5+1 will be actively providing the Iranians with the tools to break out while a deal is in place. The Iranians will already have 300kg of 3.67% uranium on hand, and they’ll be able to scale up production as they need because the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] lets them keep 5,000 centrifuges enriching uranium at Natanz and lets them keep another 10,000 centrifuges in storage available to be installed. They can bring low enriched material to Fordow and quickly enrich it to weapons-grade levels in the next-generation centrifuges they’ll have developed with P5+1 assistance. Second – again – it means that the P5+1 will be actively ensuring that Iran will have the technology to go nuclear at will the instant the deal expires. The technology the Iranians learn to develop at Fordow will be applied on a mass scale.

To that end, the draft, entitled Civil Nuclear Cooperation, promises to supply Iran with light-water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak … [and]  offers to “establish an international partnership” to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in “the leadership role as the project owner and manager.”

Light-water reactors are significantly more proliferation-resistant than heavy-water reactors (in fact there’s no reason to build a heavy water reactor – of the type that the Iranians have been working on – unless you want to produce plutonium for a nuclear weapon). But even LWRs are not proliferation proof, and a plutonium bomb isn’t the only concern.

Imagine that 15 years from now the Iranians have built a dozen LWRs with help from a P5+1 nation. One concern is indeed that they’ll kick out inspectors, keep the spent fuel, and start reprocessing on the way to creating a plutonium bomb. But a more subtle concern is that they will use the existence of the LWRs as a pretext for industrial-scale uranium enrichment – because they’ll say they need the uranium fuel for their plutonium plants – which can serve as a cover for breaking out with a uranium bomb. The P5+1 would be actively providing the Iranians with diplomatic leverage to use against the P5+1 in the future.

The US government surrenders unconditionally to Iran 6

Iran will concede nothing. Obama will concede everything.

The most reliable and accurate reporter of what is going on at the US-Iranian talks to “prevent” Iran becoming a nuclear power is Omri Ceren. Read his reports here.

This is what went on today when an AP reporter questioned the State Department about the latest news from the scene of -

The Great Humiliation of the US at the Hands of the Mullahs of Iran

The administration is trying to move the goalpost from “the Iranians have to resolve past issues”  to “the Iranians have to provide the access that could be used to resolve past issues”.  And instead of trying to sell the collapse as necessary they’re trying to insist that their stance has never changed. State Department Press Office Director Jeff Rathke tried to convince the State Department press corps at today’s briefing that the Obama administration never promised lawmakers and journalists that the Iranians would have to resolve the PMD issue before they got sanctions relief.

What followed was a 10 minute back-and-forth … 

The videos are here – http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4540775/state-dept-vs-associated-press-iran-disclosure-12 – and here – http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4540777/state-dept-vs-associated-press-iran-disclosure-22. There are 2 parts because at first the discussion sort of ended with Rathke telling the Associated Press’s Matthew Lee that the administration has never changed its position, but then later Lee brought the conversation back to the topic and literally read Kerry’s PBS interview out loud off his phone. 

LEE: But does your unwillingness to even characterize the –you know, where the talks are and that they’re at a difficult phase with 2-1/2 weeks left, does that extend to not commenting on various reports that have come out this week and the last about concessions that the P5+1 appear to be making to Iran in terms of both sanctions relief and on the PMD issue?

RATHKE: Well, I think we’ve spoken a bit to this yesterday. But on the PMD issue, you know, we’re — we’ve seen the reports that — I think that you’re referring to. You know, I think our position on this hasn’t changed. We’ve always made clear to the Iranians that they will have to reach agreement with the IAEA on providing the necessary access to address the concerns about the possible military dimensions of their program. And without that agreement, you know, we will not be able to move forward with sanctions relief. That’s been our position throughout these negotiations.

LEE: Right. But that means — that suggests that the actual questions don’t have to be answered and the concerns resolved in order to get the deal, correct?

RATHKE: Well, again…

LEE: They only have to agree to — at some point, whatever that might be, but at some point — after an agreement is reached, to, to deal with this. Is that correct?

RATHKE: Well, the point is that Iran has to provide the necessary access to the IAEA for them to address these concerns.

LEE: Yeah, but does that have to happen to get to a deal? Or can that happen after a deal?

RATHKE: Without — without — without agreement on the access, we will not — needed to resolve this, we won’t be able to reach, you know…

LEE: So if Iran agrees to give access to the sites that the IAEA wants, but doesn’t actually — but hasn’t actually given the access by June 30th, that’s still OK. Is that correct?

RATHKE: Well, there I think we’re getting into details that I will leave in the negotiating room. I think what I’m trying to convey, though, is that our — our position on the possible military dimensions issue and the necessity of Iran working with the IAEA, that position remains the same and hasn’t changed.

LEE: Is it — is it correct that there is a difference between me, if I’m Iran, saying to you: “OK, you can have access in 50 years,” and me as Iran saying, “OK, come on in now and give — and ask all the questions you want, and we’ll — we’ll address your concerns.” There’s a difference between those two, correct?

RATHKE: But the distinction you’re trying to say is 50 years versus zero?

LEE: Well, when does Iran have to give the access?

RATHKE: Again, those — those are details that…

LEE: Well, they shouldn’t be. They shoudn’t, I didn’t…

(CROSSTALK)

RATHKE: …in the negotiating room, and I’m not going to speak to those.

LEE: Well, but they shouldn’t be up for negotiation, because the whole idea in the JPOA was that Iran would resolve these issues in order to get to — in order to get to a comprehensive deal. And now you’re saying they don’t have to resolve them at all. All they have to do is say, “OK, at some point in the future, and we don’t know when that might be, that we’ll give access.” And giving access doesn’t mean that you’re — that the IAEA or yours — your concerns have been resolved or addressed.

RATHKE: Our position on this hasn’t changed, Matt. And you can go back and look at what we said at the time. But our position remains that, you know, it’s about the access that the IAEA needs to address our concerns.

LEE: But that’s not what it was at the beginning. At the beginning of this, it was they have to resolve the PMD issue to the satisfaction of the IAEA or there isn’t going to be a deal.

RATHKE: Again, I’m saying there’s not a — there’s not a difference.

LEE: Well, that’s a big difference between that and saying that they just have to agree to at some point down the road give access, and not even resolve the concerns.

RATHKE: Again, the…

LEE: There is a difference there. I mean, am I wrong?

RATHKE: Look, the focus is on addressing — addressing these concerns and that’s one of the issues that we’re dealing with in the negotiating room.

QUESTION: So would the IAEA first have to resolve this, well, would the deal have to include that the IAEA has resolved this already before we sign it. I mean, because if you sign the deal without that being resolved, isn’t it just something left open?

RATHKE: Again, I go back to what I said initially in response to Matt’s question. That it has consistently been our position that Iran has to reach agreement with the IAEA to provide the necessary access to address the concerns about the possible military dimensions of their program. That’s been our position throughout the negotiations. And without that agreement, you know, we’ll not be able to move forward with sanctions relief. And, you know, the — the discussions in the room, I will leave in the room. But that’s been our position and that’s — and it remains.

LEE: So it has never been the U.S. position that Iran must resolve the PMD concerns to get to an agreement. That’s never been — that’s never been a condition?

RATHKE: Look, if we want to go back and — and look at what was said at the time, again, our position on this.

LEE: I wish this wasn’t, I mean.

RATHKE: It remains the same.

LEE: It doesn’t remain the same, Jeff. It’s — it’s — it’s changed. I mean, Secretary Kerry even said that it had — they had to be resolved in order for there to be a deal.

RATHKE: You’re trying to draw a distinction between the words address and resolve.

LEE: No. You’re lowering it — you’re lowering the bar even further from address to just agree to give access to, which means, I mean, if they give access…

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: If they give access and the IAEA — your version now says that if they give access, the IAEA goes in and finds some huge secret bomb-making thing, that’s OK. Then — they’ve given access and that’s alright.

RATHKE: I think you were listening to what I said.

LEE: I was.

RATHKE: I said that Iran has to provide the necessary access to address the concerns about the possible military dimensions of their program.

LEE: But what if the concerns aren’t addressed? What if the access that they give doesn’t address the concerns? You’ve already got the deal, they’re already getting sanctions relief. Or are you saying that if the concerns aren’t addressed at some point down the road, then they’re not going to get the sanctions relief that they would’ve gotten for that

RATHKE: I’ve laid out our position clearly, Matt. It hasn’t changed.

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: Alright, well, I’m very confused, because it does seem that — that — that — that the goal posts seem to be moving.

RATHKE: No. The goal posts haven’t moved.

LEE: I want to go back to Iran and this whole PMD thing. All right. In April, the secretary was on PBS Newshour with Judy Woodruff. And she asked him: “The IAEA said for a long time that it wants Iran to disclose past PMDs. Iran is increasingly looking like it’s not prepared to do this. Is the U.S. prepared to accept that?”
Secretary Kerry: “No. They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done.”
Woodruff: “Because it’s not there right now.”
Kerry: “It will be done.”
Woodruff: “So that information will be released before June 30th. It will be available?”
Secretary Kerry: “It will be part of the final agreement, it has to be.”
Now you’re saying that all they have to do is to agree to provide access at some date in the future to address that? That certainly — that’s…

RATHKE: No, that’s…

LEE: That’s a walk-back…

RATHKE: No.

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: Or am I completely misunderstanding what the secretary said?

RATHKE: Our position remains, as Secretary Kerry outlined it, that — and, you know, as you quoted from the secretary’s…

LEE: He said there, in a response to a question, “Does Iran have to disclose its PMDs?”, in other words, do they have to address the — address the concerns or resolve the concerns, and he said, “Yes, before June 30th.” Was he wrong?

RATHKE: He said yes, that’s part of — that would have to be part of the — part of the deal.

LEE: And now you’re saying it doesn’t have to be part of the deal.

RATHKE: No, I’m not saying it’s part of the deal (sic), Matt. You’re trying to draw distinctions here where there aren’t distinctions. What Secretary Kerry in that — in that interview…

(CROSSTALK)

RATHKE: … is consistent with our policy…

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: There is no distinction between them having to open up and…

(CROSSTALK)

RATHKE: No, see — you’re offering your interpretation of what these words […] mean. What the secretary said in that interview, what I’ve said, and what our position’s been throughout these talks is entirely consistent.

The prevarication on the part of the State Department is so obvious and shameful that this exchange should be used as an example of “How to Slither Out of Answering a Question” in all Schools of Diplomacy from now on.

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The shape of things to come 4

From Western Journalism:

The cruise missiles so often used to destroy ISIS installations and other enemy targets descend like a flash out of the sky, traveling up to 600mph as they approach unsuspecting terrorist compounds, hideouts, and ammo storage facilities. But the impressive speed at which a cruise missile is propelled will seem like a proverbial stroll in the park when an awesome new generation of hypersonic “birds” take flight as an operating Air Force weapon system.

The website military.com reveals updated details of the progress the Air Force is making in the development of the X-51, the hypersonic air vehicle that’s expected to be in service within the next decade. Though it’s known as the “Waverider”, the X-51 certainly doesn’t “ride the waves” in a conventional sense — it travels far above water or land as it reaches speeds up to Mach 5 — many times faster than the speed of sound.

The secret to the X-51 Waverider’s remarkable speed lies in its advanced scramjet technology, which has reportedly been in development since at least 2004. According to the Air Force chief scientist working on the program, Mica Endsley, a successful test flight in 2013 showed the technology is workable at an exceptionally high speed. “A B-52H Stratofortress carried the X-51A on its wing before it was released at 50,000 feet and accelerated up to Mach 4.8 in 26 seconds. As the scramjet climbed to 60,000 feet it accelerated to Mach 5.1.”

That kind of speed means the Waverider could conceivably travel across the United States — sea to shining sea — in about thirty minutes. It could scream across the Atlantic in close to an hour.

As military.com reports about the proof-of-concept test flight a couple of years ago:

“It showed that you could get a scramjet engine, launch it off an aircraft and it could go hypersonic. It was able to go more than Mach 5 until it ran out of fuel. It was a very successful test of an airborne hypersonic weapons system,” Endsley said.

The complex challenge that lies ahead for the X-51 program involves producing materials and building equipment that can withstand the tremendous forces and pressures of hypersonic flight. Pentagon officials are said to be enthusiastic about the scramjet technology because the U.S. military would be able to have air delivery systems that cost less and require fewer parts than conventional turbine engines.

An animation recently released by the Air Force shows a conceptual rendering of what the X-51 might look like on a future mission. You can get a glimpse of the possible future of America’s military might by clicking on the video above.

The weapon is not expected to be fully operational until 2023.

Will it ever be used? Not if Hillary follows Obama and his do-America-down policies. She would be more likely to sell it to the Russians, the Chinese, and the Iranians – provided an extra few million from each of them found its way into the gaping jaws of the Clinton Foundation.

But it’s a beautiful weapon. Perhaps a Rubio weapon. Perhaps a Cruz missile.

Posted under Defense, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 7, 2015

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Senator Cruz warns the UN 7

The UN must be destroyed.

The US must stop funding the UN – headquarters of international political evil.

Senator Ted Cruz is serious about it. He has sent this letter to the Secretary-General of Evil HQ:

June 3, 2015

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations

First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Secretary-General:

I write to you to convey my outrage that the State of Israel may be added to your list of “parties to conflict who commit grave violations against children.”[1] This designation would falsely and shamefully equate Israel with some of the most barbaric terrorist organizations around the world. The decision to add Israel is solely your decision to make and, therefore, is entirely in your power to prevent from taking place.

As you are well aware, this list is part of your annual report on Children and Armed Conflict.  It is my understanding that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) may be added for the alleged violations described below.  The 2014 report on Children and Armed Conflict listed more than 59 parties including terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, Taliban, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Al Qaeda who “recruit or use children, kill or maim children, commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, or engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals in situations of armed conflict.”[2]

Such deplorable atrocities rightfully should be condemned by the United Nations. But there is absolutely no legitimate basis for adding Israel to such a list that includes parties which only represent the greatest of evil, honor death over life, and deliberately massacre women and children.  Unlike those parties on your list, Israel cherishes life and goes to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties during a conflict. In fact, Israel’s careful warfare tactics set an example for other nations to emulate, including the United States, which, according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, recently sent a team of senior military officers over to Israel to learn more about these tactics.[3]

As the entire world observed last summer, Israel began its justified military operation in response to the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers by Hamas, two of whom were 16 years old and another 19 years old. As Israel engaged in an operation to find the Hamas terrorists responsible and bring them to justice for this heinous act, the conflict further escalated when Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad began to launch rockets and use underground tunnels deliberately targeting Israeli civilians, in an indiscriminate attempt to murder as many Israelis as possible. These terrorist groups are motivated by the stated desire to destroy Israel within any borders, not by any legitimate interest in making peace with Israel.

Acting in self-defense, Israel targeted only areas in Gaza that posed a threat and where members of Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad were located. The IDF took such steps as dropping leaflets, making announcements, placing telephone calls, and sending text messages directly to residents in Gaza to provide advance warning of an imminent attack to minimize civilian casualties. Members of Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad purposefully hid themselves and stockpiled weapons in densely populated areas including UN facilities, schools, hospitals and mosques.  They used civilians, including children, as human shields. Hamas’ main command center was located underneath the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, which made the primary source of medical care to Gaza residents a legitimate military target if Israel’s objective was to destroy Hamas’ terrorist leadership. These terrorists even encouraged residents in Gaza to ignore the IDF warnings and remain in their homes in an attempt to use them as pawns in their ongoing propaganda war to demonize the Jewish State.  The very lives of Gaza residents are of no concern to Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad, for whom casualties are not an unintended consequence of war, but rather a deliberate objective. The United States Congress unanimously passed a resolution last year condemning their actions.[4]

Meanwhile to Israel’s northeast a civil war wages in Syria. In an action completely alien to the parties on your list, Israel has offered medical care, free of charge, to the casualties of this action.  Israeli physicians have treated and saved the lives of more than a thousand Syrians injured in that conflict, including children.  The contrast could not be more clear: Hamas and other terrorist groups exploit medical facilities as human shields to launch operations against Israel, while Israel uses theirs to provide cutting-edge medical care to people whose government’s avowed goal is to destroy the Jewish State.

Mr. Secretary-General, I submit that, should you determine to add more parties to your list, you should focus on those who actually exploit their own children as human shields, indoctrinate and raise their children to glorify violence and martyrdom, and target the children of others to achieve their destructive goals who should receive priority consideration, such as Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad.  There is absolutely no moral equivalence between radical Islamic terrorists, who are motivated by these factors, and Israel, which is justifiably motivated solely by the defense of her people.

Mr. Secretary-General, under no circumstances should Israel be added to your list. As the largest contributor to the United Nations, Congress will have no choice but to reassess the United States’ relationship with the United Nations and consider serious consequences if you choose to take this action.

Sincerely,

Ted Cruz
United States Senator

 

[1] “Listing Parties to Conflict Who Commit Grave Violations Against Children,” Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Accessed June 2, 2015, https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/our-work/sg-list/.

[2] “Report of the Secretary-General: Children and Armed Conflict,” United Nations, May 15, 2014, http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/68/878&Lang=E&Area=UNDOC.

[3] Lisa Ferdinando, “Chairman Says Israel Acted Responsibly in Gaza Operation,” Army News Service, U.S. Department of Defense, November 7, 2014,http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=123589.

[4] H. Con. Res. 107, Agreed to December 10, 2014, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hconres107enr/pdf/BILLS-113hconres107enr.pdf.

 

The road to nuclear hell 2

An Iranian Guards commander sends a message to Obama and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):   

Gholamhossein-Qeybparavar

You would be wrong to dare to want to inspect our military centers and whoever does look at IRGC centers we will fill his throat with molten lead.- Gholamhossein Qeybparavar, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander, Fars Province, Iran.

And here’s a picture of a pathetic John Kerry (who has now put himself out of the insane negotiations with Iran by “breaking a leg”) bending over to persuade a skeptical, relaxed, unimpressed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif that the US really loves Iran  and wants nothing more than to make it happy (or something along those lines):

02NUKES-master675

Whose problem? 0

The US-Iran “agreement” … “can’t actually be an ‘agreement’ in the normal sense of the word [because] there is no prospect of Iran complying with it, and it’s quite possible that it will be proclaimed by the Obama administration regardless of whether Iran has even ostensibly ‘agreed’ to it .

So writes the splendid military-political analyst, Commander J. E. Dyer here.

The following also comes from her article:

Marie Harf is back, smacking down a mildly critical article in the New York Times about a looming problem with Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU at 3.5% purity), and the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) undertaken in November 2013 as the basis for continued negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

The gist of the concern is that the Iranian stockpile has grown 20% since the JPOA was agreed on.  This is a problem partly because it indicates non-compliance with the JPOA, under which Iran’s stockpile was supposed to be frozen.

But it’s also a significant problem because it’s not clear how Iran will be able to comply, on a meaningful timetable, with the stockpile allowance under a long-term deal.  Iran is supposed to get down to an LEU stockpile of 300 kg, and keep it there.  When IAEA completed its most recent inspection, Iran had 8,714 kg of LEU stock in uranium hexafluoride gas form (the form in which it is fed into centrifuge arrays for enrichment).

Iran thus has to convert to other forms, and/or render non-weaponizable, 96% of her current LEU stockpile in order to comply with the terms of the proposed final “agreement”.  Yet Iran has spent the last 18 months enlarging this stockpile, and has claimed technical difficulties with her plan to turn much of the stockpile into fuel elements for nuclear reactors.

An administration official reportedly acknowledged the issue:

“How are they going to do it?” one senior American official said recently when asked about the negotiations, details of which Mr. Kerry and his team are trying to keep confidential. “We’re not certain. It’s their problem, not ours. But it’s a problem.”

The Institute for Science and International Security, moreover, in its analysis of the latest IAEA report, repeated its warning from April 2015 that Iran still has a substantial stockpile of uranium hexafluoride, in oxide form, enriched to the higher 19.75% purity.  Although it would require re-conversion to be enriched further as weapons-grade material, doing that would more than double Iran’s post-“agreement” stockpile of LEU.

The warning about these real problems came to a head with the NYT article on Monday.  Reporters at the State Department’s daily briefing taxed Marie Harf with it; she described the State Department as “perplexed” by it, claiming that the article’s “main contentions are totally inaccurate”. But she proceeded to both misidentify and misstate one of these “main contentions” in her explanation:

“First, the notion in the story that western officials or U.S. officials involved were unaware of this issue or not understanding of what this entails is just absurd,” Harf said.

The article doesn’t say any such thing, so Harf is just arguing against a straw man here.  Her other comments shed no additional light on the issue.  She merely alludes to Iran’s “commitment” to reducing the LEU stockpile to 300 kg.

“What matters is that they [Iran] have committed already, and we said [it] publicly, to reducing their stockpile whenever this implemented 300 kilograms,” Harf said. “The notion that this is some big issue of concern of negotiation is more manufacturing a controversy than actual reality. Everyone who read that story this morning was totally perplexed by it.”

This comes from PowerLine, written and assembled by Scott Johnson:

Intelligence Squared US arranged one of its excellent debates on the upper West Side of Manhattan this week. The debate had as its subject the merits of President Obama’s pending arrangement with Iran. Addressing the proposition that the deal is good for the United States, the debate matched Philip Gordon and Amb. Thomas Pickering (for the affirmative) with Michael Doran and Mark Dubowitz (for the negative), with moderator John Donovan cracking the whip in impressive fashion. The audience votes on the proposition before and after the debate; the team that maximally moves the dial is declared the winner.

Intelligence Squared has made resources on the debate accessible here. The video is below; the transcript is here.

We think the case for the “agreement” or “arrangement”  as made by Gordon and Pickering is extremely weak.

Doran and Dubowitz bring some strong arguments to the debate, and in our opinion win it overwhelmingly. But then, we start off thinking the “agreement” is merely a cover for Obama’s intention to let Iran become a nuclear-armed power.

The narrow horizon of Libertarians 45

We consider ourselves libertarians with a small “l”: atheist libertarian conservatives.

We are not, however, to be counted among Libertarians because we part company with them on a number of issues that have arisen in our experience.

Some libertarian organizations are historical revisionists – in particular, Holocaust revisionists. One group told us they do not believe the Holocaust ever happened, or if it did, “the numbers of those killed could not have been anywhere near as large as is alleged”. This is not just ignorant, it must be maliciously intended too.

Libertarians have maintained that it’s okay to use children for pornography “if you pay them”. This is so vile, we can only hope most Libertarians do not agree with it.

Libertarians keep themselves under-informed about foreign affairs, and are absurdly pacifist. In America many are isolationist. We believe the US needs to be very strongly defended, and that defense sometimes requires a pre-emptive strike. We also believe in the Pax Americana, which means at present that this single super-power has a duty to protect the non-Islamic world from the forces of savage Islam – with arms if necessary.

Now a well-known Libertarian, a candidate for the presidency, is making a case for isolationism by falsely accusing the Republican Party – of which he is a member – of creating the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL).

We quote from an AP report. (Find it all at the New York Post here.)

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is blaming his own party for the rise of the Islamic State group.

The freshman senator from Kentucky said Wednesday that the GOP’s foreign policy hawks “created these people”. …

“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately,” Paul said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

He continued:

“They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved – they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”

Paul favors less military intervention abroad, wants a dramatic reduction in U.S. money to foreign governments and stands in opposition to the Patriot Act and the US policy behind drone strikes. It all makes him something of an outlier on foreign policy and national security in the GOP field. …

We agree with him that there should be a reduction in money to foreign governments: a reduction to zero. But that is an issue on which he has changed his mind (or says he has):  

Sensitive to being branded an isolationist in the race, he has scaled back some of his positions, no longer calling for deep cuts in the Pentagon budget, for example, and no longer proposing the elimination of foreign aid, including to Israel. …

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Illinois and a possible rival of Rand Paul as a presidential candidate, “described Paul’s comments as ‘a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander in chief'”:

“We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position,” Jindal said. “We should all be clear that evil and radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.”

We don’t think of “evil” as a force separate from human will, but we do agree of course that Islam is the cause of the rise of ISIS, and that Obama and Hillary Clinton have helped it rise.

In his interview earlier, Paul described Iraq as “a failed state”

Which it is …

 … and criticized Republicans who condemn his foreign policy as weak.

Which it is.

Whose misfortune? 3

What is unique about American foreign policy today is not just that it is rudderless, but how quickly and completely the 70-year postwar order seems to have disintegrated — and how little interest the American people take in the collapse, thanks to the administration’s apparent redeeming message, which translates, “It’s their misfortune and none of our own.”

We quote from an article by Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review.

He sets before us a picture of what passes for US foreign policy under Obama, and the disasters that have ensued from it – and continue to get worse.

ISIS took Ramadi last week. …

On a smaller scale, ISIS is doing to the surge cities of Iraq what Hitler did to his neighbors between 1939 and 1941, and what Putin is perhaps doing now on the periphery of Russia. In Ramadi, ISIS will soon do its accustomed thing of beheading and burning alive its captives, seeking some new macabre twist to sustain its Internet video audience.

We in the West trample the First Amendment and jail a video maker for posting a supposedly insensitive film about Islam; in contrast, jihadists post snuff movies of burnings and beheadings to global audiences.

We argue not about doing anything or saving anybody, but about whether it is inappropriate to call the macabre killers “jihadists”.  When these seventh-century psychopaths tire of warring on people, they turn to attacking stones, seeking to ensure that there is not a vestige left of the Middle East’s once-glorious antiquities. I assume the ancient Sassanid and Roman imperial site at Palmyra will soon be looted and smashed. …

As long as we are not involved at the center of foreign affairs and there is no perceptible short-term danger to our security, few seem to care much that western North Africa is a no-man’s-land. Hillary Clinton’s “lead from behind” created a replay of Somalia in Libya.

The problem with Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is not that he is no longer Obama’s “special friend,” but that he was ever considered a friend at all, as he pressed forward with his plan to destroy Turkish democracy in the long march to theocracy.

There was never much American good will for the often duplicitous Gulf monarchies, so the general public does not seem to be worried that they are now spurned allies. That estrangement became possible because of growing U.S. self-sufficiency in oil and gas (thanks to fracking, which Obama largely opposed). Still, let us hope the Gulf States remain neutral rather than becoming enemies — given their financial clout and the availability of Pakistani bombs for Sunni petrodollars.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has it in for Israel. Why, no one quite knows, given that the Jewish state is the only democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. Perhaps it resembles the United States too closely, and thus earns the reflected hypercriticism that so many leftists cultivate for their own civilization.

Theocratic Iran has won more sympathy from the Obama administration. No neutral observer believes that the current policy of lifting sanctions and conducting negotiations will not lead to an Iranian bomb; it is hoped only that this will be unveiled on the watch of another president, who will be castigated as a warmonger if he is forced to preempt its rollout.

The current American foreign policy toward Iran is baffling. Does Obama see the theocracy as a valuable counterweight to the Sunni monarchies? Is it more authentic in the revolutionary sense than the geriatric hereditary kingdoms in the Gulf? Or is the inexplicable policy simply a matter of John Kerry’s gambit for a Nobel Peace Prize or some sort of Obama legacy in the eleventh hour, a retake of pulling all U.S. peacekeepers home from a once-quiet Iraq so that Obama could claim he had “ended the war in Iraq”?

Hillary Clinton has been talking up her successful tenure as secretary of state. But mysteriously she has never specified exactly where, when, or how her talents shone. What is she proud of? Reset with Russia? The Asian pivot to discourage Chinese bellicosity? The critical preliminary preparations for talks with Iran? The Libyan misadventure? Or perhaps we missed a new initiative to discourage North Korean aggression? Some new under-appreciated affinity with Israel and the Gulf monarchies? The routing of ISIS, thanks to Hillary’s plans? Shoring up free-market democracies in Latin America? Proving a model of transparency as secretary? Creating a brilliant new private-public synergy by combining the work of the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Bill’s lecturing –as evidenced by the Haitian renaissance and nation-building in Kazakhstan?

He also considers the administration’s domestic failures:

Meanwhile, no one seems to much care that between 2009 and 2017, we will have borrowed 8 trillion more dollars. Yet for all that stimulus, the U.S. economy still has staggering labor non-participation rates, flat GDP growth, and stagnant household income. As long as zero interest rates continue, the rich make lots of money in the stock market, and the debt can grow by $500 billion a year and still be serviced. Financial sobriety is now defined as higher taxes bringing in record revenues to service half-trillion-dollar annual additions to an $18 trillion debt.

The liberal approach to the underclass continues as it has been for the last 50 years: The elites support huge, unquestioned redistributionist entitlements for the inner city as penance for avoiding it. Minorities are left to run their own political affairs without much worry that their supposed benefactors live apartheid lives, protected by the proof of their caring. The public is left with the lie “Hands up, don’t shoot” as a construct that we will call true, because the made-up last-seconds gasps of Michael Brown perhaps should have happened that way. As an elite bookend, we have a Columbia coed toting around a mattress as proof of society’s insensitivity to sexual violence, which in her case both her university and the New York City police agree never occurred. In theory, perhaps it could have and thus all but did.

As far as scandals go, no one much cares any more about the implosion of the Veterans Administration. In the public’s defense, though, how does one keep straight the multitudinous scandals — Lois Lerner and the rogue IRS, the spying on and tapping of Associated Press journalists, the National Security Agency disclosures, Fast and Furious, the serial lying about needless deaths in Benghazi, the shenanigans at the General Services Administration, the collapse of sobriety at the Secret Service, the rebooting of air-traffic controllers’ eligibility to be adjudicated along racial and ethnic lines, and the deletions from Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, which doubled as her government server.

Always there is the administration’s populist anthem of “You didn’t build that”; instead, you must have won the lottery from President Obama. If his economic programs are not working, there is always the finger pointing at those who are too well off. Michelle Obama lectured a couple of weeks ago on museum elitism and prior neglect of the inner city, in between recounting some slights and micro-aggressions that she has endured, presumably on jumbo-jet jaunts to Costa del Sol and Aspen. I think her point is that it is still worse to be rich, powerful, and black than, say, poor, ignored, and non-black. …

He concludes on a note of despondency not far off from despair:

The center of this culture is not holding. …

More Americans privately confess that American foreign policy is dangerously adrift. They would agree that the U.S. no longer has a southern border, and will have to spend decades and billions of dollars coping with millions of new illegal aliens.

Some Americans are starting to fear that the reckless borrowing under Obama will wreck the country if not stopped.

Racial tensions, all concede, are reaching dangerous levels, and Americans do not know what is scarier: inner-city relations between blacks and the police, the increasing anger of the black underclass at establishment America — or the even greater backlash at out-of-control violent black crime and the constant scapegoating and dog whistles of racism.

Whatever liberalism is, it is not working.

It’s certainly not “liberal” in the real meaning of the word. It is the opposite – dictatorial.

We call it Leftism. It has the Western world in its crushing grip.

As the West goes grey 1

Colonel Richard Kemp, formerly Commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, deplores the abandonment by the Western world of the values that made it strong and great, and explains why he admires and defends Israel. (We have a difference of opinion with him over the expression “Judeo-Christian values”, but heartily agree with everything else he says.)

The emperor of ice cream 0

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Barack Obama … has done more to diminish America’s standing, power, and military than any single figure in American history.

– So Mark Tapson writes at Front Page.

He goes on (in part):

Last Friday, as the week downshifted into the Memorial Day three-day holiday, the official Twitter account of the Democratic Party … tweeted a pic of – whom else? – President Obama lapping at an ice cream cone while media lapdogs zoomed their cameras in to capture the photo op. … For Barack Obama, of course, everything is about Barack Obama.

This all came in the wake of the fall of Ramadi in Iraq to the demonic forces of ISIS – you know, the JV team that has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. In the early years of the war in Iraq, more American lives were lost in the intense fighting to secure the province of Anbar, which includes Ramadi and Fallujah, than anywhere else in the country. Now our warriors who survived that fighting, and the families and friends of those who didn’t, are watching ISIS reclaim Iraq and are wondering what that sacrifice was for.

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Posted under Miscellaneous, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, May 25, 2015

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