Two foreign policies 3

The US government has two foreign policies: one is President Trump’s, the other is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s.

In the case of US policy towards Iran, for instance, President Trump abominates the “deal” Obama made with that evil regime and wants to tear it up, while the Secretary of State wants to preserve it.

The “deal” (it is not a treaty, it isn’t even signed by either side) requires the president of the United States to certify, every 90 days, that Iran is complying with it.

Iran is not complying with it.

Against his better judgment, for reasons we have to assume were sound at the time, President Trump has re-certified it twice. He must have done so with great reluctance, such a horrible thing it is, giving the America-hating mullahs the right to start building a nuclear arsenal in a few years from now. Under its cover, Iran isn’t even waiting the few years; it is working constantly towards its nuclear goal.

So President Trump cannot certify for a third time that it is in compliance.

And according to AP, he won’t.

AP reports:

President Donald Trump could announce his secret decision on the future of the Iran nuclear deal next week.

U.S. officials familiar with the president’s planning said Wednesday he is preparing to deliver an Iran policy speech in which he is expected to declare the landmark 2015 agreement contrary to America’s national security interests. …

Trump faces an Oct. 15 deadline to tell Congress if he believes Iran is complying with the seven-nation pact and if it advances US interests.

The president has called the 2015 deal, which forced Iran to scale back its nuclear program in exchange for broad relief from international economic sanctions, one of the nation’s “worst and most one-sided transactions” ever. But many of his top national security aides don’t want to dismantle the deal, and America’s European allies have lobbied the Trump administration heavily not to walk away from the agreement.

Even AP – which cannot conceal which of the two US foreign policies it favors – cannot claim more for the “deal” than that it “forced Iran to scale back its nuclear program”. But it is not scaling it back much, if at all. So much for the “forced”.

“We’re going to give him a couple of options of how to move forward to advance the important policy toward Iran,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Wednesday. He said the Iran deal comprised “only a small part” of the government’s approach to Iran, a traditional US  adversary in the Middle East that Washington considers the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

President Trump’s Secretary of State is going to give him, the president, a couple of options.

Tillerson will preserve the deal, but will do it in such a way that the president doesn’t lose face!

The Iran deal’s future may hinge on a face-saving fix for Trump so he doesn’t have to recertify the Islamic republic’s compliance every 90 days …

Several officials familiar with internal discussions say the periodic deadlines have become such a source of embarrassment for Trump that his aides are trying to find ways for him to stop signing off on the accord without scuttling it entirely.

So having to certify that Iran is in compliance when it isn’t, is only a source of embarrassment to President Trump? Not a lie to America and the world against his own will and principles? Those officials should not be in the White House or the State Department or wherever they are lurking!

Trump has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to certify Iranian compliance again after having done so twice already, declaring last month he even had made his mind up about what he’ll do next. “Decertification” could lead Congress to reintroduce economic sanctions on Iran that were suspended under the deal. If that happens, Iran has threatened to walk away from the arrangement and restart activities that could take it closer to nuclear weapons.

That last sentence is one of many in the report which shows AP’s bias. A warning to the president. “Walk away from the deal?” It is walking away from it. “Closer to nuclear weapons”? It is close to them now.

The UN (along with Europe) is on the side of keeping the deal. Because (like Europe) it is on the side of Iran. Its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently admitted that it cannot verify that Iran is implementing the most important part of the “deal”, Section T – the part that prohibits Iran from developing nuclear weapons for 10 to 15 years from the time the “deal” was agreed.

The plain fact is  that the IAEA is not just useless in keeping Iran from becoming a nuclear power, it is helping it on the excuse that if it asked for the permission of Iran to inspect its  military bases – which according to the stupid “deal” it must – it knows Iran will not give it. And that would confirm President  Trump’s criticism of the deal. “We just don’t want to give them [the US] an excuse” to “bring down the deal”, an IAEA official said.

Since the IAEA cannot inspect the sites, and so cannot say that Iran is not keeping to the “deal”, AP declares that the agency has found Iran in compliance:

Because the UN nuclear watchdog has found Iran in compliance, it’s difficult for the US administration to say otherwise. However, Trump and other officials, including Tillerson, have said Iran is violating the spirit of the agreement because of its testing of ballistic missiles, threats to US allies in the Middle East, and support for US-designated terrorist organizations and Syria’s government.

So Tillerson does at least admit that Iran is “violating the spirit of the agreement”.

But he and US Defense department officials, including the Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, still want to keep itSince the IAEA has not certified that Iran is in breach of it, they pretend that means it is not in breach of it.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that Iran “is not in material breach of the agreement”.

Why do they pretend this?  Because –

At the same hearing, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he believed the deal is still in the US national security interest.

For US officials involved in the decision-making process, the focus on finding a way for Trump to avoid anything looking like approval for the accord has become a source of frustration. Various options are in play to resolve the problem, but none are clean solutions, according to officials.

And they will  not consider simply accepting President Trumps wish to scrap the useless “accord”. So all their difficulties are of their own making – finding a way to implement their own policy rather than the president’s, while making the president think that they are implementing his!

The most likely strategy centers on Trump not certifying Iran’s compliance. Below the president, diplomats and officials would then strive to manage any fallout with Tehran and US allies by emphasizing that Washington isn’t leaving the deal or immediately applying new nuclear sanctions on Iran. After that, Trump wouldn’t have to address the certification matter again, officials said.

And as long as the issue doesn’t come before him for his signature, they can merrily proceed with their own plans?

Whether AP is aware of it or not, its report reveals a contempt for President Trump on the part of Tillerson and the generals. It suggests that they regard the president as so naive that he can be hoodwinked by a trick which removes the need for him to certify that Iran is keeping the deal, but yet preserves the deal

Mattis hinted his boss may try to decertify without breaking the deal.

His boss may try? He, Mattis – along with Tillerson – will try.

“You can talk about the conditions under one of those, and not walk away from the other,” he said.

While Mattis described the issues of certification and upholding the deal as “different pieces”, they overlap.

How can Iran’s breaking of the deal – which is what decertifying means – not cancel it? The breaking cannot just be a “different piece” which “overlaps” the deal as a whole. It is the essence of an agreement that it must be kept by both sides or it is invalidated. By a “different piece” they can only mean that the clause calling for certification is not the whole of the agreement. By saying it “overlaps” the clauses, they are tacitly acknowledging that declaring the agreement broken by Iran does affect the whole thing.

They are trying to preserve a broken deal!  Of course it’s a strain even on the skills of an equivocating diplomat to reconcile “broken” with “not so broken we have to discard it”.

Why are they straining to keep it?

In January, Tillerson must waive multiple sets of sanctions on Iran for the US to uphold its part of the deal. The issue of US national security interests is relevant to those decisions.

How “US national interests” are protected or advanced by the “deal” is not explained. It has never been explained.

Obama’s “deal” makes it possible for the belligerent, America-hating theocrats of Iran,  who believe absolutely in Shia Islam and its centuries-long ambition to subdue the world under Shia Muslim rule, to become a nuclear power. How is that in the interests of the United States?

President Trump sees that it is not. As AP itself reports: President Trump “is expected to declare the landmark 2015 agreement contrary to America’s national security interests”. 

May he do so! Then let’s see by what contorted argument the resistance within the administration tries to justify preserving the abominable “deal”.

The racist party and its war against America 5

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has published a new booklet by David Horowitz himself titled The Left’s Racist War Against Trump and America.

Here are some extracts which we have selected because they provide the gist of his argument – with which we completely agree:

[The] creed of the Democratic Party – “identity politics’ – is … the antithesis of the American idea. It regards diverse origins – color, ethnicities, genders and classes – as primary, and proposes a hierarchy of privilege based on them, which it justifies as a reversal of past oppressions. …

For the second time in its history, the Democratic Party has opted to secede from the Union and its social contract. The first time was over the issue of slavery [the Democrats were for it]; this time it is over the issue of whether Americans are to be divided by race, gender, sexual orientation and class.

But chiefly RACE.

This time there will be no actual civil war … The passions of an irreconcilable conflict are still present but they are channeled into a political confrontation over the executive power. …

[T]he animus behind Democratic assaults on Republicans and their support for law and order as “racist” is the direct consequences of viewing all social disparities through the distorted lens of oppression politics. Thus, the “over-representation” of African –Americans in the prison system is not because of systemic racism. Police forces have been integrated for decades, as has the entire criminal justice system. African-American are “over-represented” in the prison population because they are “over-represented” in the commission of actual crimes. Democrats’ embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement and its efforts to cast career criminals as civil rights victims and law enforcement officials as villains is an inevitable consequence of ignoring the specifics of cases and forcing them into the melodramatic framework of “racism” and “oppression”. …

The ideology that drives the left and divides our country is “identity politics” – the idea that the world consists of two groups – “people of color” who are guiltless and oppressed, and white people who are guilty and oppressors. This is the real race war. Its noxious themes inform the mindless, hysterical hatred for President Trump, and the equally mindless support for racist mobs like Black Lives Matter and Antifa. It is a war from which no good can come. …

In a nation which for eight years was headed by a black president, had two chief law enforcement officers who were black, has recently had two black secretaries of state and three black national security advisers, and has elected more than 10,000 black government officials; in a nation that has been governed for fifty years by statutes that outlaw discrimination by race and whose national culture is saturated with non-white heroes and icons – in such a nation, people who refer to America as “white supremacist” would normally be dismissed as an oddball fringe …

In contrast to the trivial representatives of organized Nazism, there are … tens of thousands of members of the American Communist Party, also a defeated totalitarian foe. Yet no one seems alarmed. There have been “Million Man” marches led by black racists Farrakhan and Sharpton. But “white nationalists” and Klan members can’t attract a sufficient number of supporters to even constitute a “march”. Black Lives Matter is an overly racist and violent group that is led by avowed communists and has allied itself with Hamas terrorists. It is an organization officially endorsed by the Democratic Party and lavishly funded by tens of millions of dollars contributed by Democratic donors like George Soros. But the self-congratulating denouncers of Nazism and white racism find nothing wrong with them. …

Democrats not Republicans were the principal resistors to the Civil Rights Acts. …

Who is oppressed in America? There are an estimated 65 million refugees in the world today fleeing oppression, but none of them are fleeing oppression in the United States. Why do Haitians and Mexicans risk life and limb to come to America? To be oppressed? They come because in America they have more rights, more privileges and more opportunities than they would in Mexico or Haiti, which have been governed by Hispanics and blacks for a hundred years and more. … America is the least racist most tolerant multi-ethnic, multi-racial society in the history of the world. America has outlawed racial supremacies of any kind. …

[W]hat the anti-Trump movement comes down to [is] the racist accusation that white supremacists, backed by 63 million American voters, have seized control of the American government and need to be overthrown.

But this is not really about Trump. It is about America, and beyond that it is the central theme of the attack on the democratic societies of the West, in particular their foundations in individual rights rather than group identities. This was evident in the reactions to the major foreign policy address Trump delivered in Poland on July 6 [2017]. His speech was a … defense of the West and its values … above all [the value] of individual freedom – that the wars against Nazism and Communism had been fought to defend. …

Trump issued a call to the people of the West to rally again to the defense of these values in the face of the new totalitarianism that confronts us: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? … Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” …

Trump’s speech was immediately attacked by the political left. The common theme of these attacks was once again the left’s race war against Trump and the country he leads.. …

The left is simply relentless in its commitment to identity politics … This animus is rooted in a racial and gender collectivism that is antagonistic to the fundamental American idea of individual rights applied universally and without regard to origins – to race, ethnicity or gender. The war to defend this idea is what created Trump’s candidacy and has shaped his political persona.

An American patriotism – which is precisely not about blood and soil, [and] which is the antithesis of racism and collectivism – is what drives Trump and his presidency. … Patriotism – a specifically American patriotism – is the loyalty that unites us and makes us equal. It is this patriotism with which the political left is at war, and the reason they hate this president and are determined to destroy him.

The Democratic Party is a racist party – now, still, as it always has been. And it is increasingly collectivist and totalitarian. 

It also aids and abets the advance of militant Islam, which is supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, anti-Semitic, savagely cruel and  murderous – and totally intolerant of all ideas that are not part of its primitive ideology. 

A major diplomatic victory 2

President Trump may have actually persuaded China to stop all financial transactions with North Korea.

According to the Washington Times –

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin called the head of China’s central bank very early Thursday to alert him that Mr. Trump was preparing an executive order to sanction any financial institutions doing business with North Korea.  He asked for the cooperation of China, the main source of North Korea’s cash. Hours later, the People’s Bank of China announced it was directing all other banks in China to halt financial transactions with North Korea.

China is complying with US demands?

Will it really happen? Will the freeze last as long as it needs to?

Mnuchin said the sanctions will be more effective than previous efforts because Treasury now has the authority to “freeze or block any transactions, with any financial institution, anywhere in the world”. 

If the US Treasury now has that power and uses it fully, then this is, as the Washington Times report says, “a major diplomatic victory” for President Trump.

It will surely be impossible for Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian Communist regime to survive such sanctions. The regime has been almost wholly dependent on China, and only able to fund its missile and nuke arsenals because China supported it.

So this is an enormously important – as well as extremely dramatic – development in world affairs. Not only because it can defeat Kim Jong-un, but perhaps even more importantly, because it has brought China into compliance with America’s wishes.

If it really happens, it is a towering achievement of President Trump. 

Posted under China, North Korea, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, September 22, 2017

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President Trump descends upon Evil HQ 3

We have posted many articles about the United Nations Organization and its corruption. (Put “United Nations UN” into our search slot to find them.) And we have routinely ended them with these words: The U.N. must be destroyed.

Is there a possibility that President Trump will fulfill our wish and banish the U.N. from Turtle Bay? It could find refuge in some dying European country or Third World hellhole, there to pant for a while on life-support, exuding its stink of corruption, until it finally expires, dissolving in its own putrescence.

From Investor’s Business Daily:

President Trump will present a set of wide-ranging reforms for the United Nations this week that will actually force the dysfunctional organization to begin living up to its lofty ideals. This may be the corrupt, badly disorganized U.N.’s final chance at survival.

Trump had harsh things to say about the U.N. during last year’s election. Sadly for the U.N., none of them was fake news or an exaggeration. The U.N. is corrupt. The U.N. is ineffective. The U.N. is wasting billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Trump — and his able ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley — have proposed a 10-point reform plan that could be the last chance for the U.N. to ditch its legacy of failure and actually become a responsible global organization. Right now, the U.S. is footing the bill for the U.N.’s ongoing extravaganza of waste and corruption. American taxpayers fork out 22% of the U.N.’s operating budget, and an estimated 28% of its peacekeeping tab. There are 193 members of the U.N., virtually all of the world’s nations. The U.S. spends more than 176 of them combined on the regular budget, and more than 185 on the peacekeeping budget.

The U.N.’s reliance on the U.S. must end. The U.N. likes to say its budget is just $9 billion or so. In fact, it’s vastly larger than that. As it admits in its own budget documents, in 2016 it spent nearly $49 billion, which represented a rise of $10 billion during the Obama years. The U.S. is putting up about $10 billion of the total. And what do you get for your money? Let’s just say that incompetence can be very expensive.

There are over 22,000 U.N. workers, most of whom get tax-free money, lavish benefits and such perks as immunity from parking tickets in New York. U.N. employee crimes are almost never prosecuted. The perpetrators are usually just sent home.

The average U.N. employee makes about a third more than others doing the same job. These are cushy positions, with virtually no accountability.

This theme shows up in how the U.N. does its own job. As has been noted elsewhere, the U.N.’s poor performance as an organization is well-documented. An academic study that looked at the best and worst practices by aid organizations ranked the U.N. near the bottom. OK, but how about the peacekeeping function, for which the U.N. often comes in for praise? To be polite, it’s not exactly keeping the peace. For instance, studies and audits have discovered rampant mismanagement, fraud and corruption in U.N. peacekeeping procurement. And in a study conducted by the U.N. itself, eight of nine peacekeeping operations charged with protecting civilians didn’t even respond to 406 of 570, or 80%, of incidents “where civilians were attacked”.

As Heritage Foundation Fellow Brett Schaefer, who has documented these and other U.N. excesses in damning detail, noted back in 2015: “U.N. personnel have been accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in Bosnia, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. [See this appalling report from South Sudan dated April 2016 – ed] Recent news stories from the Central African Republic and Haiti indicate the problem is still far too common and the U.N. is more interested in concealing the issue than in confronting it.”

Given all this, it’s pretty clear this is not an aid organization. It more resembles a criminal enterprise.

It didn’t start this way. It began its institutional life with the highest of ideals and the loftiest of ambitions in the aftermath of World War II. But an organization is only as good as its members and its leadership. Given that many members of the U.N. are corrupt dictatorships, and that the body’s own top leadership has included both former Nazi war criminals and far-left apologists for terrorists, it should be no surprise that the U.N. is as bad as it is. In recent years, the U.N. has shown a bizarre fixation with condemning Israel, the only true democracy in the Mideast, as an impediment to peace. 

This shouldn’t, and can’t, go on. That’s where Donald Trump comes in. Along with greeting world leaders and delivering a much-anticipated speech to the U.N. on Tuesday, he’s meeting behind the scenes with leaders on his 10-point reform plan. Among other things, the plan seeks to end the needless duplication of various U.N. functions by others, while pushing more action away from the U.N. itself and into the field. It will also give U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres authority to reform and streamline the U.N.’s bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, the Trump White House also has let it be known that it would like the fiscal burden to be spread more evenly among members. The U.S. can’t be the world’s Sugar Daddy forever. Maybe it’s a positive sign that more than 100 of the U.N.’s 193 members have signed on to Trump’s reforms. Maybe they too see this as a last chance. Maybe. And if nothing happens? In the past, Trump has suggested that, absent action by the U.N. to reform, he might cut U.S. contributions sharply. Carrot and stick. Whether this will work or not isn’t clear. Anne Bayefsky, a longtime critic of the U.N., is skeptical. At Fox News she wrote: “It’s an old U.N. game trotted out whenever Americans get fed up with throwing money down the U.N. drain or paying for a global platform used to trash the USA’s best interests and spew anti-Semitism. It goes by the name of ‘U.N. reform’.  And President Trump appears to have taken the bait — hook, line and sinker.”

Perhaps so. But Trump says he wants to “make the U.N. great”. He’s giving the U.N. the chance to reform.

If it refuses — or goes back to its anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Western ways — don’t be surprised to see Trump defunding the U.N. and asking it politely to leave.

What a splendid surprise it would be! And although the U.N. does not deserve politeness, smiles and waves would be fine just so long as the filthy thing keeps moving away over the far horizon.

The U.N. must be destroyed.

Posted under Africa, Haiti, Sudan, United Nations by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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The Left’s obsession with race 6

The Left is not interested in economic prosperity, the protection of individual freedom, maintaining the rule of law, the security of property rights, or the strong defense of the nation, as we conservatives are.

What then?

Leftists now – which is to say Democrats – are all hit up about race. They are obsessed with race. 

“Racist-sexist-homophobe-islamophobe-xenophobe-whitesupremacist-fascist-nazi.”

That is what you are if you do not loudly and insistently support Black Lives Matter, the Black Panthers, jihadis, Antifa, and Bernie Sanders or at least Hillary Clinton.

It will be a white man speaking, likely as not. But if you are white and male you are evil because you are white and male. He is excepted because he stands with BLM etc.

You may be a woman. It is still you who are sexist.

You may be black and born a Muslim (like the great Ayaan Hirsi Ali). You are still a racist and an Islamophobe.

You may be a homosexual (like Milo), but you are still homophobic.

You may have fought a war against supremacists and fascists and nazis, but if you are not loudly supportive of BLM etc. you are still a “racist…whitesupremacist-fascist-nazi”.

They are inseparable, those accusations. The words are always spoken together. Hillary Clinton reels them off when she recites what’s wrong with President Trump (who is not, of course, any of those things.)

The accuser is plainly none too bright, but he thinks he is much smarter than you. What he has done to be proud of is collect benefits from big mommy government, and march in protests against the police, the Republican president, and conservative lecturers.

He is also plainly arrogant and ignorant (he has been taught nothing worth learning at school or at university if he got that far), and also uncivil, violent when he feels he can get away with it, and deeply emotional. The Left is the side of the emotions in politics. Leftism is a religion, and like every religion, it eschews reason.

The Leftist thinks about little else than race to the extent that he thinks at all. He is a true, out-and-out-racist. Yet it’s the worst word he can think of to fling at you. The other accusatory labels just follow on like the words of an advertising jingle. You are first and foremost a racist if you aren’t on his side, and if you’re a racist you’re all those other things too.

He has one other issue besides race-sex-etc. that he will foam at the mouth over, and that is man-made global warming. If you are not with him on that, if you are unconcerned about the weather in a hundred years time, he believes you deserve to be shot.

You deserve to be shot anyway, because you are a racist-sexist-etc.

Don’t try arguing with him. He cannot follow an argument. He will just shout louder than you can or care to. He may also hit you.

Just go on voting for Donald Trump and conservatives.

And hit back, harder.

Posted under Race by Jillian Becker on Sunday, September 17, 2017

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Bitter disappointment? 6

If President Trump:

Grants amnesty to illegal aliens

Does not build the Wall

Does not reduce taxes for all

Does not get Congress to repeal Obamacare

Does not tear up the Iran deal

Does not crush ISIS

Does not continue to call Islamic terrorism by its name

Does not move the US embassy in Israel to its capital Jerusalem

Does not put an end to Kim Jong-un

Does not put a stop to the investigation of his non-existent collusion with Russia

Does not insist that his Department of Justice indict known felons of the Clinton Foundation

Ditto of the IRS

Does not stop the State Department continuing Obama policies

Allows himself to continue being putty in the hands of McMaster and Kelly

Does not protect free speech

The 63 million people who voted for him, the thousands who applaud him at his rallies, and all who have put their hopes in him, will be bitterly disappointed.

 

Ann Coulter on amnesty at Townhall:

Donald Trump is being told that amnesty for “Dreamers,” or DACA recipients, will only apply to a small, narrowly defined group of totally innocent, eminently deserving illegal immigrants, who were brought to this country “through no fault of their own” as “children.” (Children who are up to 36 years old.)

Every syllable of that claim is a lie, and I can prove it. …

In 2005 — nearly 20 years after the 1986 amnesty — the Ninth Circuit was still granting amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who claimed they had been unfairly denied because they were not in the country for the first amnesty. Seriously.

No matter how the law is written, as long as anyone is eligible for amnesty, everybody’s getting amnesty.

President Trump is the last president who will ever have a chance to make the right decision on immigration. After this, it’s over. The boat will have sailed.

If he succeeds, all the pussy-grabbing and Russia nonsense will burn off like a morning fog. He will be the president who saved the American nation, its character, its sovereignty, its core identity. But if he fails, Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who killed America.

Breitbart on the Wall:

President Donald Trump admitted that he wasn’t actually going to build a great new wall on the southern border but repair existing fences and build selective strategic border structures.

[Yet] “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.

Politico on no tax relief for “the rich”:

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the rich won’t be getting richer under his administration’s tax plan and even signaled a willingness to raise taxes on the wealthy.

“The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan,” he told reporters ahead of a meeting with a bipartisan group of House members at the White House.

NBC reports on Obamacare repeal failure (so not the president’s fault?):

Obamacare stays. For now.

Senate Republicans failed to pass a pared-down Obamacare repeal bill early Friday on a vote of 49-51 that saw three of their own dramatically break ranks.

Three Republican senators — John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski — and all Democrats voted against the bill, dealing a stinging defeat to Republicans and President Donald Trump who made repeal of Obamacare a cornerstone their campaigns.

The late-night debate capped the GOP’s months-long effort to fulfill a seven-year promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

ABC News reports on maintaining the Iran deal: 

The Trump administration is poised to extend sanctions relief to Iran, avoiding imminent action that could implode the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

But the move expected Thursday comes as the White House seeks ways to find that Tehran is not complying with the agreement. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal, but has yet to pull out of it.

Trump is working against a Thursday deadline to decide whether to extend the sanctions waivers, which were first issued by the Obama administration.

In exchange for Tehran rolling back its nuclear program, the U.S. and other world powers agreed to suspend wide-ranging oil, trade and financial sanctions that had choked the Iranian economy.

Administration officials say Trump is ready to extend the waivers and that no serious alternatives have been presented.

The American Center on Law and Justice reports on the spread of ISIS:

ISIS is spreading, just like they promised.

Six months ago we warned that “the need to defeat ISIS is not a problem isolated to Iraq and Syria. It is, indeed, an international concern.” As Iraqi President Fuad Masum observed in 2014, “the whole world is realizing that this is not an ordinary enemy with small ambitions. ISIS is a cancer that can spread very quickly.” And spreading it is.

ISIS is on the move and is expanding into Southeast Asia.  One U.S. intelligence official explained that ISIS “harbors global ambitions and seeks to expand its influence in Southeast Asia by cultivating a network of adherents and supporters”.

Breitbart deplores President Trump’s failure to use the word “Islamic” to describe Islamic terrorism:

On the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist attacks, President Donald Trump did not once mention the terms “radical Islam” or “Islamic terrorism” during a commemoration ceremony at the Pentagon.

The Financial Times reports on President Trump’s failure to move the US embassy to Jerusalem:

Donald Trump has decided not to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, marking a reversal of one of the president’s core campaign pledges. Mr Trump issued a waiver to a congressional requirement to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Congress in 1995 mandated that the US diplomatic mission in Israel be moved to Jerusalem, but Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama all signed repeated six-month waivers postponing the move for national security reasons.

On regime change in North Korea:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka – Trump Not Interested In Regime Change In North Korea (video).

USA today reports that trump will not fire “special counsel” Robert Mueller:

President Trump said he does not intend to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, whose federal investigation into Russia’s election meddling he frequently denounces as a “witch hunt” or a “hoax.”

Breitbart reports on FBI investigations of the Clinton Foundation (on this one there seems to be some cause for hope, but it is not strong):

Fox News Special Report anchor Bret Baier reports that two sources with “intimate knowledge” of the Clinton Foundation FBI investigation say that an indictment is “likely” down the road in the case.

“I pressed again and again on this very issue, and these sources said, ‘Yes, the investigations will continue,’” if Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump on election day, Baier said Wednesday night. His sources added, as he said, “There is a lot of evidence.”

“And barring some obstruction in some way, they believe they’ll continue to likely an indictment,” Baier said.

Baier made the bombshell announcement in an appearance with his fellow anchor on Brit Hume’s program On The Record, after earlier on his own program breaking the news that the FBI was indeed investigating the Clinton Foundation and the investigation was expansive, wide-reaching, and has gone on for a year.

PowerLine comments on the DIJ’s decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner for her IRS crimes:

The Trump Justice Department has decided not to prosecute Lois Lerner for her leading role in the IRS targeting scandal. The Obama Justice Department made that call in 2015, but House Republicans asked the Trump administration to take a fresh look.

Having done so, the Justice Department today notified members of Congress that it will not alter the Obama administration’s decision.

Breitbart reports on Tillerson’s State Department continuing Obama’s policies:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has presided over a department … eager to contradict statements out of the White House or other agencies of the executive government. Below are seven of the strangest, most contradictory, and often baffling statements and actions from the State Department and the nation’s top diplomat.

U.S. Denies Millions in Funding to Egypt over ‘Human Rights’ Concerns [offends President al-Sisi who opposes the Muslim Brotherhood and is regarded as a friend by President Trump].

State Department Welcomes Muslim Brotherhood-Linked Group [to the State Department]

Tillerson Soft on Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran During Confirmation Hearing

Tillerson Signs Climate Change Provisions, Including Commitment to Paris Agreement [from which President Trump withdrew]. 

State Department Refusing to Withdraw Presence in Cuba After Sonic Attacks

Tillerson to North Korea Following Missile Test: ‘We Are Not Your Enemy’

Tillerson: “Trump and I Have Differences of Views on Iran Deal”

PJ Media reports that McMaster yells at Israeli defense officials and denies Hizbollah is a terrorist organization:

During the week of August 27, an Israeli delegation met with members of the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House to discuss the current threat to Israel by the terror group Hezbollah.

Israel believes this threat is currently dire. This meeting preceded a two-week long Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) exercise to rehearse for possible war with Hezbollah. The Jerusalem Post described this exercise, which commenced on September 4 and is ongoing, as the IDF’s largest in 20 years.

Hezbollah has been a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997. However, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster brought NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism Mustafa Javed Ali to the White House meeting with Israel. Ali, a McMaster appointee, is described by a senior administration source as being “opposed to Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist organization”. 

What then transpired at the meeting has been confirmed to PJ Media by several administration sources, by members of non-governmental organizations involved in national security, and by a source within the Israeli government.

The Israeli delegation demanded that Mustafa Javed Ali leave the room.

This demand was made despite the clear likelihood that Ali would later be privy to the meeting’s materials and discussion. As such, sources speculated that Israel intended the demand to serve as a message to President Trump that McMaster’s behavior has constituted a subversion of Trump’s stated Middle East policy. None of the several sources were aware if Trump had been made aware of the incident.

As has been widely reported, Trump’s Chief of Staff General Kelly has instituted tight restrictions on information and contacts reaching the president. Additionally, Kelly has been said to be working closely with General McMaster on issues related to the flow of information within the administration.

Friction between General McMaster and the Israeli delegation did not end with Israel’s demand that Ali leave the room.

Sources reported that McMaster went on to explicitly dismiss the Israelis’ specific concerns about Hezbollah.

In particular, the Israelis expressed concern that the “safe zone” currently being established within Syria — an idea that had been vociferously supported by Hezbollah’s sponsor, Iran — would immediately become a safe zone for Hezbollah to operate.

McMaster was said to “blow off” this major Israeli concern, and to be “yelling at the Israelis” during the meeting. …

I put the responsibility on Mr. Trump. With regard to radical Islam, he simply seems to have lost interest.

Yet senior administration sources are far less charitable about McMaster and his appointee Mustafa Javed Ali. … They described Ali as taking the breathtaking position that Hezbollah should not be a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizationThey described Ali as holding the same view regarding the Muslim Brotherhood.

They claimed Ali’s work within the NSC essentially amounts to her attempting to prevent the Trump administration from using any of the means at its disposal to target Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood as organizations. …

These are recognizable as Obama-era policies – the “smart set” foreign policy strategies behind the Obama administration’s disastrous “Countering Violent Extremism” programs. This is the thinking that marched the Middle East to bloody catastrophe: a half-million dead in Syria.

Yet General McMaster appointed Ali as NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism, and purged the NSC of voices supporting President Trump’s Mideast agenda. Then McMaster reportedly sat Ali in front of an Israeli delegation visiting the White House to share its concerns about Hezbollah.

Raheem Kassam on free speech and Trump being overMcMastered at Breitbart:

Many Americans don’t seem to appreciate as much as outside admirers do, that the United States is the only country in the world with a commitment to free speech enshrined in the nation’s Constitution. Many nations do not even have codified constitution of which to speak.

Which is why it is almost more egregious to the outsider than the American that such protections are under assault, not just on the streets of Berkeley or Charlottesville, but in your legislature — and soon in your Oval Office.

This afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmedPresident Trump would “absolutely” be signing a resolution drafted by Republican and Democrat lawmakers “condemning” hatred.

“He and Senator Tim Scott talked about that and discussed that and agreed that that was the appropriate place to be,” Sanders said. “In terms of whether or not he’ll sign the joint resolution, absolutely, and he looks forward to doing so as soon as he receives it.”

But the resolution is manifestly a ruse — the first line of attack in a new wave of assaults against free speech in America.

Let’s examine what the motion, passed by both legislative chambers early this week, says.

The preamble, in addition to expressing “support for the Charlottesville community,” demands of the President that he rejects “White nationalists, White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups” and urges him and his cabinet to “use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups”.

From the outset this is disingenuous and troublesome.

The President has already disavowed these groups, including Neo Nazis and the KKK. Why are elected members, alongside the White House, wasting time virtue signaling over it?

Perhaps because it backs POTUS into a corner, especially when you consider many establishment media organizations call his former Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon — who has mocked and derided ethno-nationalists — a “white nationalist” or “white supremacist”. This week, ESPN even let one of its hosts off with no more than a slapped wrist for suggesting the President himself was a “white supremacist”.

So by whose definitions are we going? And what exactly does “use all available resources” mean?

The President and his cabinet ostensibly have all resources available to them. The U.S. military, trillions of dollars, three and a half years of power. To what is the President subscribing? …

The U.S. Constitution is perfectly clear on this too. No matter how vile your views — as those of the KKK and Neo Nazi groups are — you still have a right to express them in America.

The five page document the President is now committed to signing refers to violence on the side of Neo Nazi protesters, but fails to mention Antifa, or any other leftist-inspired violence, including but not limited to the Bernie Sanders supporter who recently attempted to murder Republican congressmen.

It demands signatories “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy” — laudable aims were it not for the fact that the political left has abused and debased these terms, effectively stripping them of all meaning.

Today, a “racist” is someone who believes in legal immigration. An “extremist” is someone who doesn’t believe in mass, state-funded abortion. A “xenophobe” is someone who takes pride in their nation. An “anti-Semite” is — curiously — someone who supports the State of Israel, and “white supremacy” now occupies the Oval Office. …

Speaking of Islamophobia, why has that been left out of this resolution? Will there be — as Islamic supremacists often demand — a special case and motion for Muslims alone, to go before the President later this year? Will the White House be equally excited to sign what would effectively be a blasphemy law?

Perhaps the most insidious part of this document comes right at the end, where the President will accede to ensuring “the heads of other Federal agencies… improve the reporting of hate crimes and… emphasize the importance of the collection, and… reporting to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, of hate crime data by State and local agencies”.

Given the precedent set in Europe for the monitoring and prosecution of so-called “hate crimes”, it should be of gravest concern that the White House has been so readily bounced into endorsing the idea of limiting speech and the freedom of assembly.

Has President Trump given up?

Does he not want a second term?

Have the Left and Islam won?

Is Trump “killing America”?

But the injustice goes on and on! 1

Many of us looked to President Trump to right the glaring injustices of the Obama era.

But the months since his inauguration pass, and Hillary Clinton, whom everyone knows to be not just corrupt but felonious, is still not indicted.

And the Department of Justice has announced that Lois Lerner will not be prosecuted for the crimes everyone knows she committed.

President Trump himself is being investigated for obstruction of justice which everyone knows he is not guilty of. He could stop the stupid investigation into Russian connections he did not have and obstruction of justice suspicions that are unjustified, but he isn’t doing so.

Everyone knows that Obama obstructed justice and nobody is calling for his prosecution.

He it was who obstructed the justice that should have come down hard on Hillary Clinton.

From National Review by Andrew C. McCarthy:

On the right, the commentariat is in full-throttle outrage over the revelation that former FBI Director Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in April 2016 – more than two months before he delivered the statement at his now famous July 5 press conference.

The news appears in a letter written to new FBI Director Christopher Wray by two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham.

Pundits and the Trump administration are shrieking because this indicates the decision to give the Democrats’ nominee a pass was clearly made long before the investigation was over, and even long before key witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed. It shows, they cry, that the fix was in! …

[But] this is not news.

No, but the letter provides proof of what everyone already knew.

Let’s think about what else was going on in April 2016. …

On April 10, 2016, President Obama publicly stated that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the criminal statutes relevant to her e-mail scandal). The president acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, its importance had been vastly overstated.

This is precisely the reasoning that Comey relied on in ultimately absolving Clinton. …

On July 5, 2016, FBI director James Comey publicly stated that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in using a private email server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the relevant criminal statute). The director acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, it was just a small percentage of the emails involved.

Obama’s April statements are the significant ones. They told us how this was going to go. The rest is just details. In his April 10 comments, Obama made the obvious explicit: He did not want the certain Democratic nominee, the candidate he was backing to succeed him, to be indicted.

Conveniently, his remarks (inevitably echoed by Comey) did not mention that an intent to endanger national security was not an element of the criminal offenses Clinton was suspected of committing – in classic Obama fashion, he was urging her innocence of a strawman crime while dodging any discussion of the crimes she had actually committed.

As we also now know – but as Obama knew at the time – the president himself had communicated with Clinton over her non-secure, private communications system, using an alias. The Obama administration refused to disclose these several e-mail exchanges because they undoubtedly involve classified conversations between the president and his secretary of state.

It would not have been possible to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information without its being clear that President Obama had engaged in the same conduct. The administration was never, ever going to allow that to happen.

What else was going on in May 2016, while Comey was drafting his findings (even though several of the things he would purportedly “base” them on hadn’t actually happened yet)?

Well, … the Obama Justice Department was leaking to the Washington Post that Clinton probably would not be charged – and that her top aide, Cheryl Mills, was considered a cooperating witness rather than a co-conspirator.

Why? Well, I know you’ll be shocked to hear this, but it turns out the Obama Justice Department had fully adopted the theory of the case announced by President Obama in April. The [Washington] Post explained that, according to its sources inside the investigation, there was “scant evidence tying Clinton to criminal wrongdoing” because there was “scant evidence that Clinton had malicious intent in the handling of e-mails”.  Like Obama, the Post and its sources neglected to mention that Mrs. Clinton’s felonies did not require proof of “malicious intent” or any purpose to harm the United States – just that she willfully transmitted classified information, was grossly negligent in handling it, and withheld or destroyed government records. …

The Obama Justice Department was simultaneously barring the FBI from asking Mills questions that went to the heart of the e-mails investigation – questions about the process by which Clinton and her underlings decided which of her 60,000 e-mails to surrender to the State Department, and which would be withheld (it ended up being about 33,000) as purportedly “private” (a goodly percentage were not).

This was the start of a series of Justice Department shenanigans we would come to learn about: Cutting off key areas of inquiry; cutting inexplicable immunity deals; declining to use the grand jury to compel evidence; agreeing to limit searches of computers (in order to miss key time-frames when obstruction occurred); agreeing to destroy physical evidence (laptop computers); failing to charge and squeeze witnesses who made patently false statements; allowing subjects of the investigation to act as lawyers for other subjects of the investigation (in order to promote the charade that some evidence was off-limits due to the attorney-client privilege); and so on.

And never did a single Republican in Congress call for a special investigator into these despicable persons’ crimes and corruption.

The establishment Right does not know how to fight these political battles. Or it does not want to.

But once President Trump was elected, we looked to him and his Department of Justice under new management to apply the law and deliver actual justice.   

There is a way – a notoriously aggressive way – that the Justice Department and FBI go about their business when they are trying to make a case. Here, they were trying to unmake a case. …

The main issue is not that witnesses hadn’t been questioned; it is that by April 2016, restraints were already in place to ensure that witness interviews would be fruitless, and that any incriminating information they accidentally turned up would be ignored or buried.

The decision not to indict Hillary Clinton was not made by then-FBI Director Comey. It was made by President Obama and his Justice Department – Comey’s superiors.

If you want to say Comey went along for the ride rather than bucking the tide (as he concedes doing when Lynch directed him to call the Clinton probe a “matter,” not an “investigation”), that’s fair. But the fact that Comey already knew in April what he would say in July has long been perfectly obvious. The Obama administration was going to follow its leader. What Comey ultimately stated was just a repeat of what Obama was openly saying in April, and what Obama’s Justice Department was leaking to the press in May.

Bottom line: In April, President Obama and his Justice Department adopted a Hillary Clinton defense strategy of concocting a crime no one was claiming Clinton had committed: to wit, transmitting classified information with an intent to harm the United States.

With media-Democrat complex help, they peddled the narrative that she could not be convicted absent this “malicious intent”, in a desperate effort to make the publicly known evidence seem weak. Meanwhile, they quietly hamstrung FBI case investigators in order to frustrate the evidence-gathering process. … It was not Comey’s plan. It was Obama’s plan.

So now, in the United States of America, the law is not  applied equally to all.

Everyone knows that to be the case.

So why isn’t everyone outraged and protesting? 

Everyone knows the answer to that.

Posted under corruption, Crime, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 11, 2017

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How to shrink the government 4

We are often challenged on our Facebook page to explain how we are conservative – the prejudice behind the question being that all conservatives in America are religious Christians so “atheist conservative” is “an oxymoron”.

Our reply is that our principles, values, political aims are conservative, in that we are for: individual freedom, small government, low taxes, a free market economy, strong defense. We add that there is nothing about conservatism that requires belief in the supernatural.

Lower taxes should mean smaller government. Small, limited government is essential for individual freedom. Freedom requires and would naturally produce a free market.

A government should do only what only a government can do: protect the liberty of the people, and of the nation as a whole. Little more.

But is it possible to shrink a government that has grown enormously too big, doing far more than a government is necessary for, having far too much power?

Kris Kobach writes at Breitbart:

For more than eighty years, beginning with FDR’s New Deal, Americans have witnessed a constant increase in the size and scope of the federal government. This expansion has continued unabated during both Democratic and Republican administrations. 

Whether measured in terms of dollars spent, or in terms of percentage of Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) consumed by the federal government, big government has become inexorably bigger.

In 1940, federal spending was a relatively modest 9.6% of GDP – or $9.5 billion out of $98.2 billion. In 2009 under President Obama, federal spending hit a high water mark (excluding the World War II years) of 24.4% of GDP – or $3,517.7 billion out of $14,414.6 billion.

The growth of the federal civilian workforce has slowed since 1960 – leveling off between 2.5 and 3 million – but this has masked the transfer of federal programs to state and local bureaucracies. Since 1960, the number of state and local government employees has tripled to over 18 million. This growth has been driven by a tenfold increase in federal grants to cities and states. For conservatives, this trend has been depressing. We plead for smaller government, but our cries have been futile as Congress and state legislatures refuse to make significant or lasting cuts in the size of government. The growth of the Leviathan has seemed unstoppable.

The forces pushing the expansion of government are powerful. Bureaucrats justify their existence by spending every dime appropriated to their agencies and then asking for more. Politicians of both parties find it easier to win votes by serving up pork than by offering austerity. Congresses deals with every crisis by spending money. And the progressive Left continually pushes the growth of entitlements for its own political advantage.

Fortunately, there is now hope in the fight against big government. There is a demographic sea change at work – something that has the potential to shift the forces in favor of conservatives who are serious about shrinking government. The baby boomers are retiring.

The baby boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1964 – includes 76 million Americans. Over a 19 year period that started approximately in 2011, virtually all of them will retire. That’s an average of four million people retiring every year, or nearly 11,000 every day.  And a large percentage of them are working for the government. Government agencies across the federal government, as well as in state and local governments, are seeing a slew of retirements.

Take the Social Security Administration. Starting in 2011, the SSA began seeing 4,000 retirements a year. The same is happening throughout the federal government. The bureaucrats see this as a crisis. Conservatives should see it as an opportunity.

Attrition through retirement is causing federal and state workforces to turn over. Many of these retirees need not be replaced. The size of government can be dramatically reduced simply by making the decision not to fill every vacancy. And it doesn’t take an act of Congress to do it.  All it takes is political will in the executive branch not to fill vacancies. The only exceptions should be law enforcement agencies and the military.

But can it really be done in practice? The answer is yes, it can. I know because I’ve done it. Shortly after I became Kansas Secretary of State in 2011, I saw baby boomer retirements occurring in my own agency. Realizing this opportunity, I directed my deputies to reassign the duties of retiring employees to those who remained. Wherever possible, the open positions were not to be filled. We left approximately 1/3 of the vacancies unfilled.

Over the course of six years, I was able to shrink my agency’s workforce by 18 percent. We did it through natural attrition, without massive layoffs. The smaller payroll, along with other cuts, also allowed me to reduce agency spending by over 30 percent. And the agency is still carrying out all of the same responsibilities that it was back in 2011.

The same must be done in the federal government and in state governments across the country. President Trump has already taken the first steps.  In January he imposed a freeze on hiring. And in March he issued an executive order directing agencies to find redundancies and other ways to make cuts.  Looking at the bloated federal bureaucracy, he pointed out, “Today there is duplication and redundancy everywhere.” Consequently, “Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted.”

When the hiring freeze is lifted, as it eventually will be, President Trump should order the relevant departments to fill no more than 2/3 of the vacancies that exist. Without such an order, the career bureaucrats will carry on as before, deeming every position necessary to be filled.

The baby boomers are creating those vacancies by the thousand as they retire. Fortunately, this historic opportunity coincides with a President who is serious about cutting the size of government. If he declines to fill those vacancies and if state governors do the same, we could witness the first substantial reduction in big government in our nation’s history. But it will take political will to make it happen.

It would be a start, but there would still be a long way to go to small government.

One helpful measure would be to deny government employees the right to vote. While they have it, they are all too likely to vote in their own interest – of course – and that means voting for the Party of Big Government.

It is not very likely to happen, even under a Trump administration. But it’s a good conservative idea.

Posted under Economics, government, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

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Protecting Iran from President Trump 3

The US president is required to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is “transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing” the 2015 nuclear deal. President Trump has done so – reluctantly – for the last period of 90 days. He is strongly against certifying it again.

Luckily for the theocrats who rule Iran, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), while insisting on its absolute impartiality, is plainly protective of Iran and its dangerous secrets, as can be seen through a Reuters report – though Reuters is “impartial” in the same way:

The United States is pushing U.N. nuclear inspectors to check military sites in Iran to verify it is not breaching its nuclear deal with world powers. But for this to happen, inspectors must believe such checks are necessary and so far they do not, officials say.

Last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is scrutinizing compliance with the 2015 agreement as part of a review of the pact by the administration of President Donald Trump. He has called it “the worst deal ever negotiated”.

The IAEA is not an agency of the U.N., but it reports to that Islam-favoring organization.

After her talks with officials of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Haley said: “There are numerous undeclared sites that have not been inspected. That is a problem.”

Iran dismissed her demands [to inspect the undeclared sites] as “merely a dream”.

The IAEA has the authority to request access to facilities in Iran, including military ones, if there are new and credible indications of banned nuclear activities there, according to officials from the agency and signatories to the deal. But they said Washington has not provided such indications to back up its pressure on the IAEA to make such a request.

“We’re not going to visit a military site like Parchin just to send a political signal,” an IAEA official said, mentioning a military site often cited by opponents of the deal including Iran’s arch-adversary Israel and many U.S. Republicans.

Reuters really doesn’t like the fact that Israel is against the deal; Israel is irrationally antagonistic to Iran, standing as its “arch-adversary”. Reuters does not mention that the Iranian regime frequently threatens to destroy Israel – before going on to destroy the United States, presumably with nuclear weapons

The deal … allows the IAEA to request access to facilities other than the nuclear installations Iran has already declared if it has concerns about banned materials or activities there. But it must present a basis for those concerns.

Those terms are widely understood by officials from the IAEA and member states to mean there must be credible information that arouses suspicion, and IAEA officials have made clear they will not take it at face value.

“We have to be able to vet this information,” a second IAEA official said, asking not to be identified because inspections are sensitive and the agency rarely discusses them publicly. …

Under U.S. law, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days of Iran’s compliance with the deal. The next deadline is October. Trump has said he thinks by then Washington will declare Iran to be non-compliant – a stance at odds with that of other five world powers including U.S. allies in Europe.

Right. The “other world powers”, including Russia and the EU, are all protective of the deal which permits Iran to become nuclear armed in a few years time.  

The IAEA has not visited an Iranian military facility since the agreement was implemented because it has had “no reason to ask” for access  

The deal’s “Access” section lays out a process that begins with an IAEA request and, if the U.N. watchdog’s concerns are not resolved, can lead to a vote by the eight members of the deal’s decision-making body – the United States, Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union.

Five votes are needed for a majority, which could comprise the United States and its Western allies. Such a majority decision “would advise on the necessary means to resolve the IAEA’s concerns” and Iran “would implement the necessary means”, the deal’s Access section says.

But such a decision is very unlikely to be taken even by five votes.

That process and wording have yet to be put to the test. Iran has reiterated commitment to the terms of the deal despite Trump’s stance, but has also said its military sites are off limits, raising the risk of a stand-off if a request for access were put to a vote.

Iran – Reuters implies – is faithfully sticking to the deal’s terms. It is President Trump who is at fault for taking a (skeptical) “stance”.

“If they want to bring down the deal, they will,” the first IAEA official said, referring to the Trump administration. “We just don’t want to give them an excuse to.”

During its decade-long impasse with world powers over its nuclear program, Iran repeatedly refused IAEA visits to military sites, saying they had nothing to do with nuclear activity and so were beyond the IAEA’s purview.

And in any case the IAEA doesn’t want to give the Trump administration an “excuse” to bring down the deal.

Even if Iran is cheating on it? The IAEA repeatedly finds excuses not to do its duty and inspect the sites where cheating may be taking place.

(The United Nations must be destroyed!)

Posted under Iran, United Nations, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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North Korea & Iran 1

What will President Trump do now to stop North Korean aggression?

The Daily Mail declares that –

South Korea and the US are now planning “military action” to be taken against North Korea “as soon as possible”, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Are the words “military action” and “as soon as possible” in quotation marks to indicate authenticity, or that they are said but not fully believed?

The hydrogen bomb [detonated in a test yesterday] – which is powerful enough to destroy a city – sparked a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake amid an “escalating” nuclear crisis. …

Or maybe not escalating?

The terrifying tremor was detected in the northeast of the country where the Punggye-ri test site is located – but was so strong that it shook buildings in China and Russia.

But the raw power of the bomb – which has a 100 kiloton yield, around five times bigger than that dropped on Nagasaki – isn’t the only threat it [presents] to the US.

North Korea’s state news agency warned that the weapon “is a multifunctional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack“. …

An EMP – electro-magnetic pulse – is a wave emitted from nuclear explosions that scrambles electronics, much like a sudden power surge can overload a power outlet.

But an EMP is far, far worse; a nuclear bomb detonated high in the atmosphere could knock out the power grid across a swathe of the continental US – or even all of it.

North Korea has threatened an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the US. A nuke detonated high above the ground could produce an EMP that would knock out all electrics within a vast radius – the higher the detonation, the wider the effect. (The miles on the map are measurements of height.)

That would leave hospitals without power, civilian and government agencies unable to coordinate, and the fabric of society unraveling fast. …

The regime frequently flaunts its intercontinental ballistic missile technology and has repeatedly tested hydrogen bombs – but has so far been unable to combine the two into a lethal weapon.

However, Jong-un claims the latest explosive – which seismologists calculated to be eight times as damaging as the Hiroshima nuclear bomb dropped by the US in World War II – could be packed into a warhead and fired towards US territory.

We would say – not keeping calm at all – that if US military intelligence knows (and surely it does!) where the nuclear and missile facilities are in that nasty little country, bomb them now.

And it seems President Trump is thinking along those lines:

He has threatened Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury, such as the world has never seen”. The world needs to see it now.

To wait is to let the danger become far worse.

If Kim Jog-un, the chubby little dictator of North Korea, has these lethal weapons to play with, it won’t be long before the mullahs who rule Iran have them too.

Iran has the money to buy them – thanks to Barack Obama.

The two regimes are already in alliance:

Last month North Korea’s nominal “president” Kim Yong Nam whose official title is Chairman of the People’s Assembly was given red carpet treatment during a 10-day visit to Tehran at the head a 30-man military and political delegation. He was granted a rare two-hours long audience with Khamenei. During his stay, he inaugurated North Korea’s new embassy which includes an expanded military cooperation section.

From Gatestone, by Amir Taheri:

Seen by Khomeinists, who pretend to be sole custodians of “The Only True Religion”, the Kimists, who regard religion as “confused mumbo-jumbo”, must be regarded as adversaries if not outright enemies. And, yet, such is their mutual attraction that the little matter of religion seems to have had no effect on their love fest. The Kimists have even allowed the Khomeinists to set up a mosque in Pyongyang provided they do not try to convert North Koreans.

In the spring of 1979, Kim Il Sung, the founder of the dynasty and grandfather of the present Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, was among the first to congratulate Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini on the seizure of power by mullahs.

A few weeks later, Khomeini, then stationed in Qom, broke his rule of not talking to foreign emissaries by receiving North Korean Ambassador Chabeong Uk for a long session during which the ayatollah dictated a message of friendship to Kim Il Sung, in which, he invited “the masses of Korea” to expel the Americans from the peninsula.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in September 1980, Kim Il Sung was the first to offer assistance to the Islamic Republic by supplying its version of the Soviet SCUD missiles. In January 1981, invited by Iran, the North Koreans set up a military advisory mission in Tehran to help the newly created Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops (IRGC) develop tactics and strategies in the war against Iraq.

One tactic quickly adopted by the Iranians was the sue of “swarm attacks” by masses of teenagers sent to clear Iraqi minefields at the cost of thousands of lives, a tactic that Kim Il Sung had developed in the Korean War against the Americans.

North Korea became one of only two nations to sign a military pact of sorts, including joint staff conversations, with Iran. (The other is  Syria which signed in 2007.)

Iran’s top contact man with the North Korean military mission was Khamenei, then a mid-ranking mullah operating as Deputy Defense Minister. The new friends started “military cooperation” in 1982 with special emphasis on helping Iran develop a range of missiles.

Getting to know the North Koreans, Khamenei developed a profound admiration for their “discipline and readiness to sacrifice for their struggle”. But it was not until six years later that Khamenei, by that time named President of the Islamic Republic, could express that admiration directly in a state visit to Pyongyang.

According to those who accompanied Khamenei in the visit, the future “Supreme Guide” saw North Korea as the “ideal state” that only lacked religious faith.

“Khamenei was impressed by how everything (in North Korea) worked like the clockwork,” says Hassan Nami, a member of the entourage. “The fact that in North Korea the individual was dissolved in the collective symbolized by the Supreme Leader overwhelmed Khamenei.”

“Overwhelmed” him with admiration, is implied.

Khamenei’s visit to North Korea, in May 1989, was the first to give him the feeling that he was the rising leader of a rising new power on the world scene. The North Koreans declared a holiday for schools and factories to mobilize a million people to line the streets to greet Khamenei. In a rare gesture, Kim Il Sung himself went to the airport to greet the visitor. The North Korean despot then chaired a special session of the People’s Assembly to hear Khamenei’s speech which included a thinly disguised invitation to Koreans to return to religious belief.

In the end, however, the North Koreans adopted nothing from Khomeinism while Khamenei adopted much of Kim Il Sung’s ideology.

What did the Muslim learn from the Communist?

Kim’s “juche” (self-reliance) shibboleth became Khamenei “eqtesad muqawemati” (Resistance Economics). Khamenei also adopted Kim’s reliance on missiles, caused by the fact that North Korean had no access to modern warplanes, as the main plank of his defense doctrine. The revival of the Shah’s nuclear program, scrapped by Khomeini but revived under Khamenei, was also inspired by Kim who believed a weaker nation enhances its position by owning “the ultimate weapon“.

When it comes to Khamenei’s rejection of compromise with domestic or foreign adversaries, again Kim was the teacher.

Reports of the Kims’ manner of dealing with “domestic adversaries” reaches the West from to time, and “ruthless” describes it. They have them killed.

Kim preached “absolute independence” which meant total disregard for international law, something that Khamenei has made an article of faith for the Islamic Republic.

Going down the list of Khamenei’s beliefs, including his reliance on the military for the survival of the regime, one could see that in many cases the real teacher was Kim Il Sung, not Khomeini.

And now there is open military co-operation between the two regimes.

If ever the might of the American superpower was needed to be brought to bear on an axis of evil while there was yet time to crush it, it is surely now.

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