The Clarion Project reports:
Two key passage of the Iran deal are being kept secret. As per the agreement, these passages will be negotiated separately between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran and will not be be available for review by Congress.
The first concerns the inspection of the Pachin military installation, which has been under suspicion for years for conducting research on nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles. The second centers on separate negotiations to resolve the issue of possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program.
Two Congressmen released a statement after meeting with the IAEA in Vienna which reads,
“Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) on Friday had a meeting in Vienna with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), during which the agency conveyed to the lawmakers that two side deals made between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will remain secret and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the public.
“One agreement covers the inspection of the Parchin military complex, and the second details how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.”
According to a summary of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which mandates a review of any agreement by Congress (which was signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama), “The bill requires the president to submit to Congress the agreement and all related documents, including specifics on verification and compliance. This ensures Congress will get to see the entire deal and make an independent judgment on its merits.”
One of the authors of the review bill, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn), noted, “The review period does not begin until all documents associated with an agreement are submitted to Congress along with assessments on compliance and non-proliferation.”
Pompeo, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, commented:
The Obama administration has failed to make public separate side deals that have been struck for the inspection of one of the most important nuclear sites — the Parchin military complex. Not only does this violate the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, it is asking Congress to agree to a deal that it cannot review. Even members of Congress who are sympathetic to this deal cannot and must not accept a deal we aren’t even aware of.
Similarly, Cotton, said, “That we are only now discovering that parts of this dangerous agreement are being kept secret begs the question of what other elements may also be secret and entirely free from public scrutiny.”
Why is Obama getting away with betraying America?
It is, of course, a terrifying thought that an elected president of the United States would deliberately strengthen his country’s enemies by helping them arm themselves with nuclear warheads and the ICBM’s necessary to deliver them to America, and at the same time weaken the defenses of his own country.
But isn’t that what Obama is doing?
However terrifying the thought, it cannot be evaded: he is doing it.
And it makes Barack Obama one of history’s worst villains.
Ted Cruz tells it straight:
As more about the US’s terms of surrender to Iran emerge, it becomes ever clearer that despite the big lie told by Obama and the Ayatollah Khamenei – the two Supreme Leaders – that Iran would never use nuclear energy for anything but peaceful purposes, it is in fact a nuclear arsenal that Iran is after.
Is anybody surprised?
In this article at the Wall Street Journal, Jay Solomon names some of the people and organizations behind the intense activity in Iran to acquire nuclear warheads and missiles to deliver them.
What? The Religion of Peace make war?
And against whom? Surely not the country they call “the Great Satan”? Whoever could imagine such a thing!
The Obama administration and European Union agreed as part of the accord last week to lift sanctions over eight years on a network of Iranian scientists, military officers and companies long suspected by the U.S. and United Nations as central players in a covert nuclear weapons program.
The U.S. also agreed to remove a German engineer from its financial blacklist by late 2023 after he was targeted by sanctions for his alleged role in a global black market in nuclear weapons technology run by the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.
The decision to roll back sanctions on these individuals and organizations is detailed in more than 100 pages of documents released last week as part of the landmark nuclear accord reached between Iran and six world powers.
The Obama administration decided to remove Gerhard Wisser from its sanctions list by 2023. The German engineer was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison [suspended] by a South African court in 2007 for his role in supplying centrifuge components to the A.Q. Khan black-market network. … The U.S. and IAEA accuse Mr. Khan and his associates of facilitating the sale of nuclear equipment to North Korea, Iran and Libya during the 1980s and 1990s. The senior U.S. official didn’t provide specifics about why Mr. Wisser was granted sanctions relief as part of the Iran deal. Mr. Wisser could not be located. He pleaded guilty in 2007 in South Africa to manufacturing components that could be illegally used in nuclear technology. …
Republicans said in recent days they were stunned the White House and European allies agreed to lift sanctions on such individuals and expressed concerns about the long-term impact on U.S. and global security. A number of leading Republicans said the issue of sanctions relief will be among those they cite in attempting to block legislative approval of the Iran deal.
Congress started a 60-day review period of the agreement this week.
“This would remove sanctions on those responsible for Iran’s nuclear weapons development at the same time restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program come off,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, referring to the delisting of Iranian scientists, companies and officers. “That’s a deadly combination.” …
Among those [people] to be removed from the U.S., U.N. and EU sanctions lists by 2023 is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi. U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies suspect he oversaw a secret Iranian program to develop the technologies for a nuclear weapon, at least until 2003. He’s been called by American officials the “ Robert Oppenheimer” of Iran’s nuclear efforts, a reference to the American scientist who oversaw development of atomic weapons during World War II. The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has repeatedly attempted to interview the military officer to conclude its investigation into Tehran’s alleged weaponization work, but has repeatedly been rebuffed.
Iran denies it sought to build a bomb and has guarded access to its military sites and leadership. …
The U.S., U.N. and EU also committed in Vienna to remove Fereidoun Abbasi-Davani, a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, from their sanctions lists over the next eight years. … Mr. Abbasi-Davani was promoted to head the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran from 2011-2013.
The military body Mr. Fakhrizadeh allegedly headed, the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, known as SPND, also will be removed from the U.S. sanctions list by 2023. The IAEA has said SPND may have been involved in nuclear weapons research after 2003. The agency has sought to interview officials from the organization but have also been rebuffed.
The U.S. also agreed to remove Kalaye Electric Co. from its sanctions list over the next eight years. The Iranian company was exposed by the IAEA as having secretly run a uranium-enrichment facility in the early 2000s. …
The EU and U.N. also committed to removing Malek Ashtar University from their sanctions lists. The Tehran research center was accused of supplying scientists who participated in secret weaponization work, according to former U.S. and IAEA officials. …
Denials and confusion will continue:
The Obama administration will begin briefing Congress on Wednesday, including with appearances by Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr. Kerry and other administration officials have in some cases added to the confusion over the status of Iranians and others on sanctions lists. According to the Vienna documents, the commander of Iran’s overseas military unit known as the Qods Force will be taken off EU and U.N. sanctions lists in the next eight years. But the secretary of state initially denied that the commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, would be removed from sanctions lists.
Of course he will be removed. He and everyone else on the list will probably be given awards soon by Obama, or the UN, or the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.
Was John McCain far from being a war hero?
Was he even perhaps as traitorous as John Kerry?
This video is intended to show that he was:
(Hat-tip to our Facebook commenter John Bobbitt)
We conservatives have much in common with libertarians. We share a number of important principles and values with them: individual freedom, small government, low taxes, and a free market economy.
The chief political argument we have with libertarians is over foreign affairs and the use of military force.
It is a very good idea for conservatives and libertarians to meet and talk.
But we were disappointed when we read this from Townhall, by Daniel Davis:
Conservatives and libertarians put their love-hate relationship on display today, as a panel of five gathered at the Cato Institute to discuss the issues in Charles Cooke’s new book, The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future. The mood was jovial and upbeat, yet sophisticated and thick with well-reasoned argument. It was an encouraging showcase of big-tent conservatism, and a sign of the future debates that will dominate the GOP.
The panelists included Charles Cooke (National Review), Ilya Shapiro (Cato Institute), Katherine Mangu-Ward (Reason), Ben Domenech (The Federalist), and Trevor Burrus (Cato Institute). The panel spanned the conservative-libertarian spectrum.
Charles Cooke began the event by describing what he means by a “conservatarian”. He said there are really two kinds of conservatarians: (1) A conservative who rejects the big-government, “compassionate” conservatism of the Bush administration, and (2) a conservative who generally embraces the GOP’s party platform, minus the social issues (like same-sex marriage, or marijuana). The GOP’s ranks have swelled with both of these types of conservatives in recent years, particularly in protest to the Obama administration’s overreaches, but also due to a more socially liberal youth population. Cooke said this is not necessarily a new development (same-sex marriage notwithstanding), but is actually a reversion to Republican values from the 1980s and 90s. He said the Bush years were something of an “aberration” in the conservative movement, and that “the center of gravity has moved back” toward the values of Reagan and Gingrich.
Katherine Mangu-Ward described the conservative-libertarian relationship — which developed most fully in the post-WWII era of “fusionism” — as an often “abusive” one. She expressed the libertarian frustration that conservatives seem eager to band with libertarians when Democrats are in power, but when Republicans regain power, they are almost as quick to throw off the libertarians. Mangu-Ward acknowledged the real philosophical divisions between conservatives and libertarians, but stressed that the two can, and must, work together on a host of public policy issues.
Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow at Cato, called himself a “big tent” conservative and a “classical liberal”. Shapiro is a libertarian legal scholar who supports same-sex marriage, but said that “it takes all kinds” in a party like the GOP. He highlighted two criticisms that Charles Cooke makes in his book, one of libertarians and one of conservatives. First, libertarians are often naively eager to strip down important institutions that give order and meaning to society, and they overestimate the ability of logic to satisfy particular needs. But second, conservatives tend to place too much faith in the inherent authority of history and society’s institutions. Ilya strongly backed both of these critiques and maintained that the conservative-libertarian fusion tends to correct the excesses found on both sides.
Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, offered two problems that plague the conservatarian movement. First, the post-WWII “fusionist” movement failed to shore up federalism. Instead, states systematically lost their power to the federal government as “successful” state policies became nationalized. States began to depend on federal grants, largely derived from taxpayers in other states — and this amounted to a simple socialistic form of wealth redistribution. Second, he said that “social liberalism” no longer means what it used to mean. It once meant true tolerance and a negative view of liberty. [What? – ed.] Now, it often denotes positive liberty where true personal “freedom” requires wealth redistribution and personal affirmation. [What again? – ed.] He derided the toxic culture of political correctness, which silences dissent and punishes the dissenters by forcing their conformity. [Agreed – ed.]
Cooke responded by heartily affirming Domenech’s call to focus on restoring federalism, which allows states to act as the founders intended: as laboratories of democracy. Mangu-Ward cautioned that conservatives are rarely full-blooded federalists and that “fair-weather federalism” would likely win the day. Cooke responded that this is largely inevitable, as perfect adherence to federalism is not always practical.
One interesting question came when Trever Burrus, a scholar at Cato, asked why libertarians consider themselves to even be on the right, rather than the left. Mangu-Ward responded that the “power of inertia” is very real, and that fusionist-era conservatism created the political context for libertarians to remain on the right. She also said that libertarians simply agree with conservatives on far more topics than with liberals, though there is a small bit of room for certain libertarians in the Democratic Party.
What a weird question Trever Burrus asked! The Left is collectivist – wanting the very opposite of individual liberty. If libertarians do not stand for individual liberty, what do they stand for? If they are not freedom-lovers to the bone, what are they?
Perhaps the biggest gulf between the panelists could be felt on the issue of immigration. Cooke, a conservative more than a libertarian, noted that it is very difficult to have a big welfare state while having a large, free-moving labor population — namely, the illegal immigrants. He said the U.S. needs stricter immigration policy, not simply out of practical need but also out of a concern for cultural continuity. He noted the uniqueness of the American identity — for instance, the fact that foreigners can truly become “American” after living here and adopting American values. This, he said, is simply impossible in other countries where national identity is primarily ethnic and cultural. He said that America’s immigration policy should be informed, at least in part, by a commitment to maintain this unique identity, and that a libertarian open-border policy would jeopardize that identity. He said we must ensure that this “fragile cultural setup is here for our kids”.
We can see the sense of that argument.
The panel event at Cato was an inspiring show of political unity in the midst of frequent philosophical disagreement. Thankfully, the conservative-libertarian alliance looks stronger than ever. Conservatives can expect it to dominate Republican politics in the decades to come.
Perhaps the report covers too little, or is not accurate. However that may be, we found very little of interest in it.
We do think conservatism should be libertarian (and in our dreams atheist). But how can those who call themselves Libertarian be the allies of Conservatives in a time war?
And this is a time of war.
We want to hear from Libertarians how they propose to stop the jihad, defend us from Iranian nuclear attack, stem the flood of racist hatred released by Obama and the Democrats, restore the universities to forums where ideas are promoted and criticized and debated freely, big government is shrunk, taxes are lowered, the economy is released from government regulation, and the law is enforced.
Today we have posted essay number 14, Mystic Communism: Georg Lukács, in the series by Jillian Becker titled The Darkness of This World (Part Two). (Find it under Pages in our margin.)
Here is part of it. We hope you won’t neglect the footnotes (not added here). They are laden with information.
Georg Lukács (1885-1971)
Georg Lukács was the quintessential revolutionary romantic of the twentieth century, longing to avenge his inner desolation on the civilization that nurtured him. And as an active participant in two revolutions and two despotic regimes, that is what he did.
With this essay we come to the nub of the whole series. Like all the other self-absorbed intellectuals we have talked about, fictitious and real, Georg Lukács advocated the doing of evil as the necessary means to a higher good. But unlike the others, he found himself actually in possession of the power to harm and destroy other lives, and he used it with passion and pride.
He was born in Budapest in 1885. The son of a banker ennobled by the Emperor of Austro-Hungary, he was nurtured in luxury. In his late teens he started writing professionally, reviewing plays for a small circulation periodical. He promoted the staging of avant-garde drama. He also tried to write plays, but without success. He realized and accepted that he “would never be a producer” and regretted that he “was no writer” – by which he probably meant a writer of plays, novels or poetry.
In fact he wrote prolifically. His first book, Soul and Form, appeared in 1910; a collection of essays mostly in literary criticism. Their dominant themes are art, Romanticism, longing, God, love, death, and bourgeois life. The volume was greeted with critical acclaim. No less a judge of literary merit than Thomas Mann – who was later to be the most insightful and devastating critic of Lukács’s character – praised the work as “beautiful and profound”.
One of the essays is about some German and Swiss writers who, Lukács allows, created admirable works despite being bourgeois. “The bourgeois way of life signifies only a denial of everything that is beautiful, everything the life-instinct longs for”, he states with conviction.
This was not the disdain of the aristocrat for a class beneath him. (The von Lukács family, for all its wealth and title, would in any case have been classed as haut bourgeois rather than true nobility.) Nor was it (yet) a revolutionary’s contempt for the established order. It was the romantic artist’s repudiation of the average and ordinary. Lukács deemed himself an artist because, he wrote, “the essay is an art form”, and essays such as his could be “intellectual poems”.
He concedes that a degree of genius is to be found in the works of those ordinary bourgeois men who were nevertheless writers. “This bourgeois way of life,” he wrote, “has no value whatsoever, in itself. For only the works which it brings forth confer value upon a life lived within such a framework and within such a form.”
What makes a life bourgeois, Lukács explains, is “first and foremost by the exercise of a bourgeois profession”. (One of the writers he examines earns his living as a judge, another as a clergyman, another as a government clerk. Lukács himself had no need to earn a living.) “A bourgeois profession,” he goes on, “as a form of life signifies, in the first place, the primacy of ethics in life”. These ethical men “do their duty”. The characters in the stories of one of them are “incapable of evil”; there is “no real sin” in their world. But that, to Lukács, far from being a fine thing, is a fault. The artistic achievement of these merely ethical men is, he declares, “great after its own fashion”. But he himself valued the aesthetic far above the ethical. The highest art could not be achieved by a person who binds himself to duty, but only by one who is capable of sin, intimate with beauty, and whose life-spirit longs for … the unreachable. For years his life-spirit burned with longing, seeking what it could not find; the search, and its frustration, being the tragic fate of such a soul as his.
“This longing is more than just something waiting for fulfillment, it is a fact of the soul with a value and existence of its own; an original and deep-rooted attitude towards the whole of life, a final, irreducible category of possibilities of experience,” he wrote. Such a soul “will always long for something he can never reach”.
In 1911, Lukács wrote a story titled On Poverty of Spirit. It is told in the form of a letter from a woman to the father of a young man who has killed himself. She recounts a conversation they had two days before his death, about the suicide of her sister, who had been the young man’s lover. He talks at length about his ideas and feelings, for the most part philosophically, but he does state plainly that he is guilty of her death “in the eyes of God”, in that he failed to “help” or “save” her. One can discern through the thicket of beautiful profundities, that he had refused to marry her because he wanted to dedicate himself wholly to his work as a writer. Furthermore, “she had to die so that my work could be completed – so that nothing remains in the world for me except my work.” But after all the argument about it and about, Lukacs wants us to understand that the young man did the right thing when he shot himself, because of his guilt and for other sound, if rather obscure and certainly long-winded, philosophical reasons.
On Poverty of Spirit was written after – and about – the suicide of his own lover, Irma Seidler, whom he had not married, being dedicated to his work as a writer. She had married someone else, had not been happy, and had drowned herself. The story he wrote was a confession of his guilt. But he himself did not do the right thing. It was enough that his alter ego did it in the story: the brilliant young man tragically performing an extreme act of penance in fiction rendered it unnecessary for Lukács himself to perform it. Besides, what he, the author, did was something better, higher: he gave the episode a “form” as a work of art. When Lukács spoke of “form” he meant art – always expecting the word to resonate in the minds of his cultured readers with Plato’s theory of “Forms” or “Ideals”. To him, a work of art was a revelation, or representative, or reminder of the “noumenal” reality that – so Plato and Kant have convinced Middle European intellectuals – lies behind, beyond, above this “phenomenal” world in which we live.
When he wrote Soul and Form, Lukács believed that the two worlds were irreconcilable; that a soul belonged to one or the other. (He does not say, but almost certainly knew, that in the creeds of the old Gnostic cults, the souls of the “Perfects” or “Pneumatics” belonged to a transcendent world, while the souls of the common “Hylics” were bound to the earth). His own soul – he knew – belonged to the higher, better, mystical world, the world of “essences”; the unreachable world. Here in this world, “abandoned by God”, he felt he was a stranger, an alien on earth; that humankind did not belong here; and that there was “an antagonism between the soul and the world”. That is what he meant when he asked rhetorically- cried out, so to speak, in his writing – “How can one bring essence into life? How can life become essential?” For years he searched for an answer. Morbidly pre-occupied with death, tragedy, and the condition of the human soul – above all his own – he wrote: “Man is abandoned to immanent meaninglessness.” He longed for “an extinction of selfhood” through “complete absorption of the ego into a higher being”.
Often he conjectured that the only answer was in death, and he brooded on suicide. He declares in Soul and Form: “Life is without value, without significance, and we [presumably he and all those who suffer the same spiritual anguish] would be ready to consecrate it every moment to death.”
His was an intensely religious temperament, but he was drawn neither emotionally nor intellectually to any organized religion; not to the Judaism of his ancestors, nor to Christianity – though his parents had him baptized in the Lutheran church in 1897 so that he could attend a good Lutheran school.
Karl Jaspers – later a famous philosopher – met Lukács in Heidelberg in 1913 and had no difficulty recognizing the nature of his contemporary’s mystical beliefs. He records: “Many came to Heidelberg [University] who were men of letters and potential candidates for Habilitation. Among them was Georg von Lukács from Budapest and Ernst Bloch from Mannheim. … At that time, they were Gnostics who shared their theosophical fantasies in their social circles.” It is probable that Lukács simply announced to Jaspers and all the company that he was a Gnostic. He was calling himself a “gnostic activist” in his writings years before he became in any way active in public life.
By “gnostic” he meant possessed of that intuitive knowledge which is a special gift to the specially gifted. What he intuitively knew which the ordinary (bourgeois) person could not know in the same way, was that there was a higher better world, the “intelligible” world: the “essential” world; the “noumenal” world. What he meant by “activist” is less clear. He seems to have meant that he not only thought philosophically that there is a higher better world, but that he also felt it. The activity was not muscular but emotional. It was not worked out by the intellect but immediately known by “intellectual intuition”, through which one might become “good”.
Become good? But had he not rejected ethical behavior? Certainly he had – and by “goodness” he did not mean anything so bourgeois as ethical behavior. He expounds his idea of what goodness is in Poverty of Spirit:
“Prince Myshkin [hero of Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot] and Alyosha [hero of Dostoyevsky”s The Brothers Karamazov] are good; what does that mean? … [T]heir knowledge [gnosis] became realized in deed, their thinking left the purely conceptual realm of knowledge, their view of mankind became an intellectual intuition: they are Gnostics of the deed.” … “Goodness is the miracle, the grace, and the salvation. The descent of the heavenly realm to the earth. … It is an abandonment of ethic. Goodness is not an ethical category; you’ll find it in no consistent ethical system. And with good reason. Ethics is general, binding, and far removed from men; it is the first – the most primitive – exaltation of mankind over the chaos of everyday life; it is man’s moving away from himself, and from his empirical condition. Goodness, however, is the return to real life, man’s true discovery of his home.” … “Goodness is madness, it is not mild, not refined, and not quietistic; it is wild, terrible, blind, and adventurous. The soul of the good one has become empty of all psychological content, of grounds and consequences; it has become a pure white slate upon which destiny inscribes its absurd command to be followed blindly, recklessly, cruelly to the end.”
In the First World War, Lukács was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian armed forces; but he dodged the draft with the help of a certificate from Karl Jaspers (who was a qualified doctor and psychiatrist), and through the use of his father’s connections – the calling in of a favor owed to the banker by a personage close to the royal and imperial government. Duly declared unfit for active service, Lukács did his patriotic duty as a letter censor in Budapest for a few months in 1915.
It was after the war, when his country was in the abjection and disorder of defeat, that he found the answer to his spiritual search, a solution to his loneliness, despair and longing. He recognized that the “higher being” into which his “ego” might be “absorbed” was the International Communist movement. In December 1918 he joined the newly formed Hungarian Communist Party.
The commitment of his soul to the Party was no less religious for being political. He saw Communism as a cure not only for his own discontent – his despair, or loneliness, or Faust-like boredom with the contemplative life – but for everyone else’s too. He assumed that everyone suffered from the same malaise as he did. As a general social phenomenon he called it “alienation”, and declared it to be the result of capitalism and the bourgeois order. Communism, he believed, was the salvation of all mankind, provided only that each soul had faith enough and submitted utterly to its church. …
Jillian Becker July 19, 2015
Every year The Religion of Peace website publishes a scorecard showing how many people were killed and injured by Muslims pursuing jihad while observing the “holy” month of Ramadan. Here is this year’s tally.
|2015||In the name of
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|By Way of
If the only choice for dealing decisively with Iran in the urgent mission to stop it becoming a nuclear power is the deal Obama has made with the regime or war, then war is by far the better choice.
Obama, Kerry and many Democrats insist that it is the only choice.
This is from the heavily left-biased Los Angeles Times, by Doyle McManus:
The nuclear agreement the U.S. and its allies concluded with Iran on Tuesday isn’t perfect; diplomatic compromises rarely are. The deal allows Iran to continue enriching uranium within limits, but the limits begin to phase out after 10 years. It lifts the international arms embargo on Iran after five years. And it relies heavily on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency to make sure Iran doesn’t cheat.
All of those provisions are worrisome, and not only to the mostly Republican critics who lined up to denounce the 159-page deal before they had time to read it. There are skeptics in both parties, and many of their concerns are legitimate.
But President Obama and his aides are relying on a three-word question to protect the agreement from congressional interference: “Compared to what?”
“That’s the killer argument,” one of the U.S. participants in the negotiations told me.
They’re right. Anyone who proposes rejecting this nuclear deal should be required to lay out an alternative course, and to show clearly that the alternative is both feasible and better.
The deal’s opponents haven’t really done that — because there are no easy alternatives. They called on Obama to halt the talks, but they never quite spelled out what he should do on Day Two. Now that Obama has concluded a deal, they want Congress to block it — but they rarely talk about the real-world consequences.
“I think we should have walked away from the table a long time ago and pressed the pause button to get back to that original goal of stopping Iran from developing any nuclear weapons capabilities,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Okla.) said this week. And just how would we achieve that goal? Beyond imposing more U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, Cotton and his colleagues haven’t gotten very specific.
Here’s the main problem, one many American politicians hate to acknowledge: The sanctions that prodded Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, into a deal were imposed by a huge international coalition — one that included Russia, China and India as well as traditional U.S. allies. If the U.S. walks away from an agreement its allies have enthusiastically embraced, that coalition will almost certainly collapse.
Obviously, they could have been maintained and increased instead of negotiating a deal.
“Sanctions are only effective if we are able to bring the world with us,” an Obama aide said Tuesday. “A vote to kill this deal could potentially be a vote to kill the sanctions regime.” Yes, Congress could maintain or even escalate U.S. sanctions — but Iran could shrug them off and sell its oil to China, India and other buyers. Sanctions imposed by only one country rarely work; they certainly can’t cripple an economy that has oil to sell.
A second potential consequence of walking away from the table was outlined by Obama on Tuesday morning. “Without this deal, there would be no agreed-upon limitations for the Iranian nuclear program,” he said. “Iran could produce, operate and test more and more centrifuges…. And we would not have any of the inspections that allow us to detect a covert nuclear weapons program.”
That doesn’t mean Iran would sprint toward a nuclear weapon; most Iran-watchers think Tehran would probably be cautious, if only to avoid provoking new sanctions.
But without inspections, fear of Iran’s nuclear capabilities would inevitably grow in Israel and the United States — and eventually lead to renewed pressure for military action against Tehran. In 2010, the last time nuclear negotiations hit a dead end, Israeli officials openly discussed the possibility of launching airstrikes to prevent Iran from building a bomb.
“Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,” Obama said.
Or, in Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s phrasing: “What’s the alternative? Go to war now?”
Answer: Yes. Go to war now. Bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities with the new deep-penetrating bunker bombs that the US has developed and could easily deploy.
One Democrat who gives this same answer is Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey.
We quote an editorial at Investors’ Business Daily:
Critics of the nuclear pact with Tehran are exposing what should have been in the forefront of Americans’ minds all through these misguided negotiations: the ultimate need for a military solution.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey, appearing on ABC News on Sunday, pointed out, “We have gone from preventing Iran having a nuclear ability to managing it.”
When President Obama announced a deal to negotiate a deal with Iran in November 2013, the press treated it as if the hard part was done and what lay ahead were just formalities. Obama called it “a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon”.
Secretary of State John Kerry and America’s P5+1 negotiating partners, of course, have caved on that requirement. This deal very much leaves Iran with the ability to build a nuclear weapon. …
Iran still gets to have a plutonium reactor, and “we have uranium enrichment deep inside of a mountain”, as Menendez said. “That doesn’t happen for a peaceful civilian program.”
Even under a deal, the senator said, he hopes that Obama “makes a very clear statement to Iran that as it relates to the future, we cannot accept Iran having a nuclear weapon, period. That’s the premise we started on. That’s the premise we should finish on.”
Does he really hope that? Does he really understand so little about Obama? We doubt it.
Which means we’re likely back to where we were before any talks or deal — having to attack Iran sooner or later before the world’s foremost terrorist client state becomes the world’s sole nuclear-armed terrorist state.
These negotiations have been a colossal bait and switch. The people of the United States and the other P5+1 countries were under the impression that their negotiators would bring home a deal that would, as Obama claimed, “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon”, a viable alternative to a “rush towards conflict”.
The infamous White House “fact sheet” after the 2013 announcement promised “a comprehensive solution that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program over the long term, provide verifiable assurances to the international community that Iran’s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful, and ensure that any attempt by Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon would be promptly detected”.
Like so much else promised by this president, it was too good to be true. If we can detect violations, a big if, any serious attempt to re-impose sanctions would mean exposing the deal as a failure — an admission that roughly 18 months of talks were a dangerous waste of time. It won’t happen.
We have foolishly delayed the inevitable. A pre-emptive military operation to prevent a future atomic 9/11 that would incinerate millions of innocents is one of the few options left.
We emphatically agree.
Actually, we don’t think there is or ever was a real choice. The Iranian nuclear facilities need to be bombed out of existence.
There is no alternative if nuclear war in the near future is to be avoided.
There can only be liberty under the rule of law.
When government is unconstrained by law, everyone is a potential victim of confiscation of property, imprisonment, or any other arbitrary action of the dictators.
We quote from an article at Townhall, by Kurt Schlichter.
Trigger warning: sarcasm coming up.
We conservatives have spent far too long playing by the old rules when liberals have completely changed the game. There was a time when laws meant what they said, when individual rights were important, when the government did not make it its business to oppress the executive’s ideological opponents, and when principles mattered. But that time has passed.
There’s a new set of rules, and while we don’t have control in Washington right now, we do have control most everywhere else – and someday a conservative will be president again. So there is no reason not to get going right now playing by the same rules the liberals do!
Of course, first we need to understand the basis of the new rules – it’s about having the moral courage to obtain and keep power. Until now, we conservatives have been guided by “principles” and “values” that only serve to distract us from what’s really important. Under the new rules, we will no longer let arbitrary ideas about how America should work get in the way of maximizing our ability to exercise our authority over others. After all, our supremacy is a moral imperative.
We will step beyond obsolete notions about process and embrace the primacy of results. We will stop treating “means” and “ends” like they are distinct and different – as 1984 (Read it – lots of great tactics, techniques and procedures!) teaches, “Power is not a means; it is an end.” Means and ends will flow together seamlessly, and we will stop getting hung-up on how we do things and focus on the real goal under the new rules – consolidating our power for the greater good.
Take the law. Under the old rules, judges were constrained by the plain meaning of the text, but that is far too restrictive. Words must mean what we need them to mean, no more and no less. We have to appoint judges who won’t prattle on about “judicial restraint” and “not legislating from the bench,” and who will reliably rule exactly how we need them to rule on each and every case. Let’s appoint judges, who understand that their purpose is to rationalize rulings that support our policy priorities, not seek some “legally correct” decision that might not. The law of the land is whatever we want it to be!
We should celebrate Judge Roberts’s recent Obamacare decision – it was liberating! He made it clear that when we want a different result, we don’t have to be deterred by the fact that the law means exactly the opposite. He affirmed that judges should interpret statutes – and the Constitution too – based upon a subjective desire for a particular outcome. Think of the possibilities for conservative progress if we aren’t hamstrung by some inconvenient text in a statute or the literal meaning of the words on some ancient parchment!
Where we have control of law enforcement, we have another great opportunity to play by the new rules. There are all sorts of liberal organizations out there shamelessly advocating policies and ideas we disapprove of. As we have learned, we can turn the power of the government upon them to root out this wrongdoing. We do not need to bother with accusing them of any kind of specific crime – why should we restrict our investigations to clear violations of laws? Instead, we can launch fishing expeditions to see what we can dig up – and even if there’s nothing, well, remember that the process is the punishment. Regardless, it’s important to establish that our political opponents will pay a price for presuming to oppose us.
And, naturally, when our allies are accused of breaking the law, we just ignore it. There needs to be two sets of laws – one for us, and one for everyone else. Otherwise, we might be constrained from doing what we please.
And there are other opportunities a huge government can provide us. Beyond audits and blocking vital certifications, the IRS has plenty of juicy information on every American – we can selectively release it to intimidate those who do not support us. And when we get a hold of everyone’s medical records under Obamacare – wow! What an opportunity!
Of course, there will not be any Obamacare. Oh, technically it might be hard to repeal (though getting rid of the filibuster entirely will make it much easier!), but who needs to repeal it when we can just choose not to enforce it? Our next president simply has to instruct the rest of the executive branch that they will not be taking any action with regard to implementing Obamacare, not collecting any of its taxes (they are taxes this week, right?) and not enforcing any of its mandates. Understand that we won’ be refusing to carry out the law – we’ll just be focusing on different executive priorities!
Perhaps the mainstream media will speak up, at least at first. But, you know, the New York Times, NBC and the rest really seem to have way too much power over our national conversation. It just isn’t fair how these big companies drown out the voices of regular people. Heck, these corporate entities are not even people and certainly should not have rights like people do to speak freely and so forth. They are more of a public utility, and frankly, they have not been serving the public good. That’s why we will use the FCC to take charge and oversee the shamefully deregulated mainstream media. …
A 40% surcharge on all Hollywood and Silicon Valley windfall profits would go a long way towards making things fairer – and this has nothing to do with the fact that most Hollywood and Silicon Valley political money goes to our opponents. But don’t worry about our conservative allies in those two fields – if they don’t pay we just won’t prosecute them! But if you’re liberal, watch out! …
This is only the beginning – the new rules liberate us from the constraints that for so long kept us from truly making conservative progress. All those “principles” and “ideals” about right and wrong and all that only served to take our eyes off of the real prize – our power, which we would only use for the common good.
Sure, we were all sad to see the old rules go, but gone they are. Our liberal friends made sure of that. So let’s make the best of it!