Accepting the unacceptable depends on what IS is 3

Is the religious war in the Middle East likely to stay in the region or spread over the globe?

Secretary of State John Kerry, who now definitely proves himself to be even stupider than Vice President Joe Biden, has somehow pondered his way to the conclusion that what the Islamic State (IS) is doing in Iraq  - waging war, cutting off heads and displaying them on poles, slicing children in half, raping and enslaving women and children or burying them alive, imposing all the cruelties of sharia law on the territory it controls across Iraq and Syria – is “unacceptable”. Like a proposition that doesn’t suit one’s plans.

But only to a degree. Though maybe a degree too far. He has announced … to whom? The American people? The world? His barber? … that whoever it is who hears him must “come to grips” with this degree. The degree, that is, to which an immense upsurge of savagery threatening to spread further through the Middle East and into the West including America, is “unacceptable”.

What he said exactly was this:

This is serious business. I think the world is beginning to come to grips with the degree to which this is unacceptable.

The Obama administration, however, will accept it. It will let the Muslim savages carry on with what they’re doing. They’ve conquered territory? Let them keep it.

The Washington Post reports:

Ongoing U.S. airstrikes are equally notable for what they have not tried to do. U.S. military officials have emphasized that the strikes are not designed to reverse the gains Sunni extremist fighters have made. …

The limited nature of the airstrikes has drawn criticism from more hawkish Republicans and some former U.S. military officials who have said that the Obama administration is squandering an opportunity to deliver a crippling blow against the insurgents.

“Time is of the essence,” said Adm. James Stavridis, a former supreme allied commander of NATO … “The longer the airstrikes drag on, the more time Islamic State fighters will have to learn how to survive them. Without a fast and serious response, including Special Operations forces on the ground, the chances of reversing IS gains or even breaking their evident momentum is very low,” he said. …

The administration is apparently confident that -

U.S. spy agencies will be in position to detect when the organization crosses the threshold from regional problem to transnational terrorism threat. …

So it is actually taking that development into account. Not that it’s planning to do anything when it happens.

Most terrorism experts said the threat posed by the Islamic State is likely to increase as fighters with Western passports return home.

And one at least predicts that the US will have to eventually come to grips, not with “a degree of unacceptability”, but with IS itself.

“Bottom line: We are likely to have a confrontation with IS in the future … The threat will almost certainly grow.”

The clown sent in 2

This story strikes us as painfully funny.

With the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) advancing rapidly through Iraq and posting images of their brutal mass executions, plans have begun to evacuate America’s embassy in Baghdad. In Washington, however, Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a conference on the world’s real “vital security issue”: climate change.

We quote from Breitbart:

Kerry, who has remarked intermittently in interviews on the current crisis in Iraq, spent the morning hosting the State Department’s “Our Ocean” conference– a summit of 80 countries and academic experts designed to engage global leaders in a discussion on how to save the world’s oceans from the effects of climate change. There, Secretary Kerry announced that the world had a “shared responsibility” to keep the seas clean, and encouraged global leaders to see climate change and the protection of the seas as a national security issue, not an environmental one. …

[He] opened the conference with warnings that climate change poses an immediate threat to the world, one that requires addressing before he works to remedy the situation in Iraq.

Currently, ISIS jihadists are believed to be within 300 miles of Baghdad, and American military have been sent to protest the embassy in the capital. Partial evacuations have begun, and Kerry has said in an interview previously that the United States will not discount the possibility of working with Iran on the issue.

It’s not enough for Obama and Kerry to lift sanctions on Iran and allow that rogue regime to continue acquiring a nuclear arsenal; they are considering strengthening it still further by making it an American ally.

So when Iran fires its nuclear bombs at Israel, would Obama’s America still be partnering it? We confidently reply to our own question: quite possibly!

Iran has already … sent in 2,000 troops to reinforce the Iraqi military, which, while grossly outnumbering ISIS fighters, have been unable to quell their invasion of towns and imposition of Sharia law.

And the US has sent in the clown, John Kerry.

Deutsche Welle reports:

Washington’s top diplomat, John Kerry, flew in to Baghdad on Monday for a face-to-face meetingwith Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki.  …

[Kerry] told journalists afterward that Iraq’s leaders faced a “moment of decision”.

“Iraq faces an existential threat and Iraq’s leaders have to meet that threat,” Kerry said

That must have come as a surprise to Iraq’s leaders. If Kerry had not drawn their attention to it, would they have even noticed the threat, let alone prepared to meet it?

While Kerry was in Baghdad, the ISIS militants and those aligned to them tightened their grip on the north and west of Iraq.

Neighboring Jordan has boosted security along its frontier after Sunni tribes took the Turaibil desert border crossing between the two countries from Iraqi government forces.

The tribal leaders were reportedly in negotiations to hand the crossing over to ISIS, which already controls several main crossings with Syria. With ethnic Kurdish forces in control of a third border area with Syria to the north, it leaves an 800-kilometer (500 miles) stretch of Iraq’s western frontier outside the control of government troops.

Chances are, the Iraqi government was aware of all that.

But maybe Kerry meant that Iraq’s leaders “have to meet the threat” of “climate change”?

Breitbart concludes its report with this information:

While the situation continued to worsen over the weekend, President Obama too delivered a speech on climate change at the University of California, promoting an extreme weather fund to help states allegedly hurt by the advancement of climate change. After the speech, President Obama traveled to Palm Springs for Father’s Day, where he spent the day playing golf.

Obama can claim an historical precedent. Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

The man who came in from the not-so-cold 3

No secretary of state has ever had to cope with problems as complicated and difficult as those the world now presents to John Kerry.

If one craves a little light relief in these days of continual vexation, one can always turn to him.

This video clip and comment by Steven Hayward come from PowerLine. 

The short video below captures our alleged secretary of state John Kerry in full. He speaks about the “bipolar” world of the Cold War, but it really isn’t a very good idea for a person of his limited mental capacities to use the word “bipolar.” More to the point: it takes a lot of moxie to talk about how foreign relations during the Cold War were “easier” or “simpler” than today. Back in the day, it was left-liberals like Kerry who complained endlessly that the Cold War was “complicated,” and disdained Ronald Reagan for his supposed simplicity in pointing out the simple fact that we were dealing with an evil empire that needed to be put in the course of ultimate extinction.

You need to see this, not to believe it:

 

 

And, to judge by his gesture, he seems to think “quashed” means “squashed”. Though how “many things were squashed”  back in the “bipolar” Cold War days is so obscure an idea, he might as well mean “quashed” for all the sense it makes.   

Posted under Commentary, Russia, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 28, 2014

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Where to turn? 1

You may find it hard to believe this, but Secretary of State John Kerry’s  “peace talks” for Syria have failed.  

This is from the (Kerry-sympathetic) New York Times:

The first round of the Syria peace talks ended on Friday without achieving even its most modest goal: easing the Syrian government’s blockade on the delivery of food and medicine to besieged communities.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia raised expectations in January at a joint news conference in Paris that a way would be found to open humanitarian aid corridors and possibly establish local cease-fires in Aleppo and other cities and towns.

But to the dismay of the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations, even those basic steps proved elusive.

What a surprise!

Now what? Can anything at all be done for non-combatant victims of the Syrian civil war?

There is this:

Physicians for Human Rights urges Israel to allow wounded Syrian refugees to stay for continued care.

Wounded Syrians are treated at this Israeli field hospital on the Golan Heights. Photo: REUTERS

Humanitarian help pleaded for from the “Nazi-like”, “apartheid state” of Israel?

This is from the Jerusalem Post:

With the collapse of peace talks on Friday between President Bashar Assad’s regime and the opposition, the prospect of more wounded Syrians seeking treatment and refuge in Israel will continue to rise.

UN special representative Lakhdar Brahimi delivered a harsh verdict for Syrian civilians confronted with spectacular levels of violence: “We’ve had just eight days of negotiations in Geneva…. I’m sorry to report there was no progress.”

The Jerusalem Post obtained Israel Health Ministry correspondence showing the tensions and dilemmas among medical professionals and advocates for the refugees.

In one letter from the ministry, the agency defended its care of Syrians, but added that “the medical establishment does not have the tools to ensure continuity of care after discharge, nor to protect patient from risk to his life.”

The NGO Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)-Israel has urged Israeli governmental agencies to ensure “availability of continuity of care” following the discharge of hospitalized Syrians.

Israeli medical centers, including a military field hospital in the North, have provided healthcare services to roughly 700 refugees since 2013. The Post reported last week the first known case of a Syrian – a 17-year-old female – requesting asylum. The High Court of Justice rejected her petition and sent her back to Syria in late January. All of this helps to explain the growing involvement of Israel’s legal and medical personnel on the edges of the Syrian civil war.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 136,227 people have been killed since protests broke out against Assad in 2011. More than 2.4 million Syrians are defined as refugees.

Yossi Melman, a leading national security analyst who has written extensively about Syria, told the Post, “Zionism would not collapse if we accept 200 refugees. Why not?’”

Only 200? And then stop? The population of Syria is about 22 million.

Hadas Ziv, public outreach director for PHR-Israel, told the Post last week that Israel should press the UN to set up a safe haven in Syria, near the Israeli border, to create a humanitarian escape corridor.

Gerald Steinberg, a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, told the Post that the Syrian refugee crisis is “another example of the bankruptcy of the international humanitarian system.” There is “no UN mechanism” to address the problem, he stressed. The UN is “entirely politicized and has nothing to offer.”

Steinberg, who has an expertise in the inner workings of NGOs in the Middle East, said the Syrian refugee situation “leaves Israel completely on its own without the capacity to deal with the issues in a coherent manner. Israel would not get international assistance [even] if it would increase aid.”

Israel is in a “very complex position,” because it is technically in a state of war with Syria and the potent presence of al-Qaida there has added another threat, he said.

Well, maybe John Kerry will come up with a solution.

Obama and Kerry make war necessary 2

A stupid and disastrous agreement has been reached between the Great Powers and Iran, led by Secretary of State John Kerry. Sanctions were working. They forced Iran to negotiate. Now the sanctions will be eased, and Iran will continue to enrich uranium, and build a reactor to make plutonium bombs.

 

The Prime Minister of Israel comments:

We hope Israel will at last take military action to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity.

John Bolton, the excellent former US ambassador to the UN, calls the agreement “abject surrender”.

He writes at the Weekly Standard:

Negotiations for an “interim” arrangement over Iran’s nuclear weapons program finally succeeded this past weekend, as Security Council foreign ministers (plus Germany) flew to Geneva to meet their Iranian counterpart. After raising expectations of a deal by first convening on November 8-10, it would have been beyond humiliating to gather again without result. So agreement was struck despite solemn incantations earlier that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

This interim agreement is badly skewed from America’s perspective. Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement. Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.”

This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States.

In exchange for superficial concessions, Iran achieved three critical breakthroughs. First, it bought time to continue all aspects of its nuclear-weapons program the agreement does not cover (centrifuge manufacturing and testing; weaponization research and fabrication; and its entire ballistic missile program). Indeed, given that the interim agreement contemplates periodic renewals, Iran may have gained all of the time it needs to achieve weaponization not of simply a handful of nuclear weapons, but of dozens or more.

Second, Iran has gained legitimacy. This central banker of international terrorism and flagrant nuclear proliferator is once again part of the international club. …

Third, Iran has broken the psychological momentum and effect of the international economic sanctions. While estimates differ on Iran’s precise gain, it is considerable ($7 billion is the lowest estimate), and presages much more. Tehran correctly assessed that a mere six-months’ easing of sanctions will make it extraordinarily hard for the West to reverse direction, even faced with systematic violations of Iran’s nuclear pledges. Major oil-importing countries (China, India, South Korea, and others) were already chafing under U.S. sanctions, sensing President Obama had no stomach either to impose sanctions on them, or pay the domestic political price of granting further waivers.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s earlier warning that this was “the deal of the century” for Iran has unfortunately been vindicated. Given such an inadequate deal, what motivated Obama to agree? The inescapable conclusion is that, the mantra notwithstanding, the White House actually did prefer a bad deal to the diplomatic process grinding to a halt. This deal was a “hail Mary” to buy time. Why?

Buying time for its own sake makes sense in some negotiating contexts, but the sub silentio objective here was to jerry-rig yet another argument to wield against Israel and its fateful decision whether or not to strike Iran. Obama, fearing that strike more than an Iranian nuclear weapon, clearly needed greater international pressure on Jerusalem. And Jerusalem fully understands that Israel was the real target of the Geneva negotiations. How, therefore, should Israel react?0

Most importantly, the deal leaves the basic strategic realities unchanged. Iran’s nuclear program was, from its inception, a weapons program, and it remains one today. Even modest constraints, easily and rapidly reversible, do not change that fundamental political and operational reality. …

Moreover, the international climate of opinion against a strike will only harden during the next six months. Capitalizing on the deal, Iran’s best strategy is to accelerate the apparent pace of rapprochement with the all-too-eager West. The further and faster Iran can move, still making only superficial, easily reversible concessions in exchange for dismantling the sanctions regime, the greater the international pressure against Israel using military force.

Iran will not suddenly, Ahmadinejad-style, openly defy Washington or Jerusalem and trumpet cheating and violations. Instead, Tehran will go to extraordinary lengths to conceal its activities, working for example in new or unknown facilities and with North Korea, or shaving its compliance around the edges. The more time that passes, the harder it will be for Israel to deliver a blow that substantially retards the Iranian program.

Undoubtedly, an Israeli strike during the interim deal would be greeted with outrage from all the expected circles. But that same outrage, or more, would also come further down the road. In short, measured against the expected reaction even in friendly capitals, there is never a “good” time for an Israeli strike, only bad and worse times. Accordingly, the Geneva deal does not change Israel’s strategic calculus even slightly, unless the Netanyahu government itself falls prey to the psychological warfare successfully waged so far by the ayatollahs. That we will know only as the days unfold.

Israel still must make the extremely difficult judgment whether it will stand by as Iran maneuvers effortlessly around a feckless and weak White House

And what can critics of the Geneva deal, in Washington and other Western capitals, do? They can try to advance the sanctions legislation pending in the Senate over administration objections, for the political symbolism if nothing else. Unfortunately, they’re unlikely to succeed over the administration’s near-certain opposition. Tehran judges correctly that they have Obama obediently moving in their direction, with the European Union straining at the bit for still-more relaxation of the sanctions regimes.

Instead, those opposing Obama’s “Munich moment” in Geneva (to borrow a Kerry phrase from the Syrian crisis), should focus on the larger and more permanent strategic problem: A terrorist, nuclear Iran still threatens American interests and allies, and almost certainly means widespread nuclear proliferation across the Middle East. A nuclear Iran would also be essentially invulnerable, providing a refuge that al Qaeda leaders hiding in Afghan and Pakistani caves could only dream of.

So in truth, an Israeli military strike is the only way to avoid Tehran’s otherwise inevitable march to nuclear weapons, and the proliferation that will surely follow. Making the case for Israel’s exercise of its legitimate right of self-defense has therefore never been more politically important. Whether they are celebrating in Tehran or in Jerusalem a year from now may well depend on how the opponents of the deal in Washington conduct themselves.

By which he means Congress.

Is there any choice for Israel now but military action?

Look who’s become Death, the destroyer of worlds 5

 Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. - Valerie Jarrett?

This is from Investor’s Business Daily:

Reports resurface of Obama aide Valerie Jarrett forging a secret deal with Tehran as Saudi Arabia reportedly mulls helping Israel destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Unlike the U.S., the Saudis recognize the threat.

Israeli television reported Sunday night that Iranian-born White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett negotiated a one-year-in-the-making deal with the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi. That would render the Geneva talks now taking place between the so-called P5-plus-one group ( the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany) and Tehran a meaningless facade.

The White House denies the report, made by anonymous senior Israeli officials who claim Jarrett has traveled to a number of Persian Gulf states to meet with Salehi, and describes the U.S. as making concessions to Tehran as “confidence-building measures.”

But everyone knows that this White House lies by reflex.

Valerie Jarrett is the one-who-decides, not Obama.

Whether fact or rumor, it aggravates the fears not only of Israel but of the Mideast’s saner Islamic regimes.

For years, the Israelis, the Saudis and the Egyptians have seen a U.S. president conduct an Iran policy based on applying economic sanctions to fanatics who care little about the well-being of their countrymen, and on the notion that Islamofascists who await the coming of the 12th imam to lead an apocalyptic war against Israel can be reasoned with.

So it isn’t tremendously surprising to read the London Sunday Times report that Riyadh would let Israel fly over its airspace to bomb Iran, plus help out on rescue helicopters, tanker planes and drones.

No sooner had the Sunday Times published this information than Saudi Arabia denied it – of course. And perhaps the  Saudis will now disallow Israel to use its airspace. The chances of the strange co-operation between these enemy states continuing are, however, quite good.

A diplomatic contact told the British newspaper, “The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs.” The Saudis indicated several weeks ago that their relations with the U.S. had been breached by President Obama’s overture to Iran.

According to the Times, “Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is working with Saudi officials on contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran” if a deal in Geneva doesn’t do enough to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

Both Israel and the Sunni royal rulers of Saudi Arabia believe the Geneva talks with Shiite Iran “amount to appeasement and will do little to slow its development of a nuclear warhead”, the paper said. … But it should be appreciated what a risk it is for the regime to assist Israel. …

The Saudis and the Israelis understand that Iran cannot be appeased out of becoming nuclear-armed. Unfortunately, we have a president intent on doing just that.

And this is from Front Page, by Noah Beck:

According to a recent news report, President Barack Obama has for over a year secretly conducted negotiations with Iran (through his adviser Valerie Jarrett) and the Geneva talks on Iranian nukes now appear to be just a facade providing international legitimacy for Obama’s secret deal with Iran.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s contradictory criticism of Israeli objections to that deal only suggests more bad faith by the Obama administration.

Kerry claims that Israel has been kept fully apprised of the negotiations with Iran but then argues that Israel has never seen the terms of the proposed deal with Iran and therefore shouldn’t question it. The Obama administration apparently wants to present the nuclear deal as a fait accompli that Israel must simply accept as is. …

On the issue of Iranian nukes, France has effectively replaced the U.S. as Israel’s strongest ally and as the most sober-minded advocate of caution when negotiating over the single greatest threat to global security. Incredibly, Saudi Arabia is reportedly replacing the US in providing logistical support for an Israeli strike on Iranian nukes.

Now comes some really good news – or at least some promising information:

Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser, recently indicated that the Israeli Air Force has been preparing for a potential strike on Iran. According to Amidror, such a strike could set back Iran’s nuclear program “for a very long time.” So Israel can go it alone, if it must, although the results will be far messier than those produced by a stronger U.S. approach.

While the Obama administration has suggested that critics of the current Geneva deal are “on a march to war,” it is that very deal — which gives Iran a nuclear breakout capacity — that will force the states most threatened by Iran to take preemptive military action.

If they do not …

An Iranian nuclear weapons breakout capability will produce catastrophic consequences

1) The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will effectively be finished. The world’s most volatile region will become even more explosive as other regional players scramble to establish their own nuclear arsenals to counter Iran’s. And rogue nations will realize that by following Iran’s deceptive playbook, they too can develop a nuclear capability.

2) The force of U.N. Security Council Resolutions will be further diluted, as Iran will continue flouting six of them with impunity.

3) Iran-backed terrorist organizations — including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah — will grow emboldened by the nuclear umbrella of their patron.

4) Terrorism could go nuclear, should Iran share some of its nuclear materials with the terrorist groups that it supports.

5) U.S. influence in the Middle East will erode even more, as Obama further damages U.S. relationships and influence in the region.

6) U.S. credibility throughout the world will plummet. If the U.S. cannot be trusted to provide strong leadership on the national security issue of greatest concern to the free world, where U.S. interests are directly at stake, what does that mean for U.S. credibility more generally?

7) Global instability and oil prices will skyrocket. If Israel, with Saudi assistance, strikes Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranian retaliation that follows could spark World War III. Will Iran attack Saudi oil fields or otherwise pour more fuel onto the Sunni-Shia fire in Syria? Will Iran and Iran-backed Hezbollah (estimated to have at least 45,000 missiles) launch a massive attack killing thousands of Israeli civilians? Will some of the Syrian chemical weapons held by Assad (another Iranian ally) end up hitting Israel? How would Israel respond?

Is this how Armageddon happens?

8) U.S. interests will be attacked. Obama may think that his policy of appeasement will shield the U.S. from Iranian reprisals, but the opposite is true. When the U.S. appears so weak and ready to abandon allies (as with Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia), Iran has less fear of attacking the U.S. and more reasons to do so, as a way to exacerbate U.S. tensions with Israel.

Will attacking U.S. interests be yet another Obama “red line” that gets crossed with impunity? If so, then whatever is left of U.S. deterrence and credibility will have been destroyed. If not, then the U.S. will get sucked into another Mideast war but on terms dictated by the adversary, and without any first-strike advantage.

The catastrophic consequences outlined above would all directly result from Obama’s disastrously weak policies on the Iranian nuclear threat.

Obama should know by now that if he forces Israel’s hand, then Israel alone will neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat, regardless of how messy the aftermath may be.

We wish we knew that!

What we perceive is that if “Armageddon” develops from this chain of events, its mastermind is one Valerie Jarrett. And religious doom-predictors should note that nobody ever prophesied a 57-year-old woman, elected by nobody and representing no constituency, will launch the destruction of  the world.

Crisis of identity 1

Who is the woman in the purple garment?  (No prizes for correct answer.)

 

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 9, 2013

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The work of a teensy-weensy grey cell 0

Posted under Arab States, Civil war, middle east, Syria, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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To turn, turn ’twill be our delight 2

“Gentlemen, these are my principles. And if you don’t like them, I’ve got others.”

The origin of those immortal words is disputed, but it’s the motto inscribed on the heart of every political turncoat.

We take the following extracts from that valuable resource, Discover the Networks.

They are about John Kerry, who married the widow of Republican Senator H. John Heinz III. (She spends his colossal fortune lavishly on far Left causes – one of them being John Kerry.)

On August 30 [2013],  Obama dispatched Secretary of State Kerry to make a passionate speech in support of a swift U.S. response to Syria’s “moral obscenity”. In that speech, Kerry called Assad “a thug and a murderer” and held him accountable for the 1,429 people who allegedly had died from the recent chemical attack. “My friends,” Kerry added, “it matters here if nothing is done. It matters if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens.”

A passionate speech indeed on the moral necessity of this foreign intervention.

Just hours after Kerry’s speech, however, Obama …  decided to reverse course. The following day, the President announced that he would seek congressional approval before taking any military action. Kerry, for his part, praised this decision.

Praised it, praised it. He had been made to look the fool he is, but he was unaware of that it seems. He has a long history of turning with the political winds of the Left.

Forty years ago he made passionate speeches on the immorality of foreign interventions.

In a 1971 interview with William F. Buckley, Kerry delivered this broadside against American arrogance and “moralism”:

I don’t think that the United States, and I think this is the biggest problem about Vietnam, can necessarily apply moral, moralisms to its commitments around the world.And I think this is one of the great fallacies of our foreign policy at the present moment. Interventionism as well as globalism both stem from the same kind of moralism. And in a certain sense I think that moralism can be very defeating for the United States in its undertakings. It gets us into a sort of messianic enterprise, whereby we have this impression that somehow we can go out  and touch these other countries and change them. …

Okay, that was years and years ago. A man can change his mind as he grows older. It’s only natural that he should. Mature thoughts are better than those of callow youth.

So let’s set aside for the moment what he said about America’s “immoral” engagement in the Vietnam war.

Let’s come on to recent history, current events, Syria in particular. It is important to remember that Syria under the Ba’athist dictators, Bashar and his father Hafez Assad, has always been a harsh dictatorship. This is from another source.*

In November 1976, [Yasser] Arafat supplied  arms to the Muslim Brotherhood in the Syrian city of Hama. They rose in rebellion in February 1982. … President Assad … put down the Hama rebellion with the utmost ruthlessness. [His brother] Rif’at Assad’s storm troopers massacred the people of the town in vast numbers.  … A report issued by Amnesty International, in September 1983, reckoned that the number of of citizens killed may have been as high as 25,000: investigators received unverified information that cyanide gas had been piped into the buildings through rubber hoses to kill all inhabaitants indiscriminately. Other reports tell of people being lined up in the streets and shot … Part of the city, the fourth biggest in Syria, was razed by tanks and artillery.

Now to return to Discover the Networks:

Since the early 2000s, Kerry has been the federal government’s highest-ranking apologist for Syrian President Bashar Assad. Indeed it was Kerry who made numerous efforts to undermine the Bush administration’s attempt to isolate the Syrian dictator after its courtship of him ended in failure in 2003; after Bush repeatedly accused Syria of supporting terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere; and after the United States withdrew its ambassador to Syria following the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former premier Rafiq Hariri in a car bombing most likely orchestrated by the Assad regime.

In February 2009, just days after Barack Obama’s inauguration, Kerry was sent to Syria as part of a policy review by an Obama administration looking to establish new relationships with countries the Bush administration had considered hostile. (This was the first of five trips Kerry would make to Syria between 2009 and 2011.)

During the February 2009 trip, Kerry listened to Bashar Assad advise him that Washington must “move away from a policy based on dictating decisions,” and that future relations between the U.S. and Syria should be based on a “proper understanding” by Washington of Middle East issues and interests. In return, Kerry used the occasion to bash the former administration. “Unlike the Bush administration that believed you could simply tell people what to do and walk away and wait for them to do it, we believe you have to engage in a discussion,” he said. “I believe very deeply [haha- ed.] that this is an important moment of change, a moment of potential transformation, not just in the relationship between the United States and Syria but in the relationship of the region.” Emphasizing his belief that Assad would aid the so-called peace process in the Middle East, Kerry stated that “Syria could be, in fact, very helpful in helping to bring about a unity government” between Fatah and Hamas.

A year later, Kerry, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sat down once again with Assad. “Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region,” said the senator in April 2010. “Both the United States and Syria have a very deep interest … in having a very frank exchange on any differences [and] agreements that we have about the possibilities of peace in this region.” Kerry added that the Obama administration’s effort to appoint the first U.S. ambassador to Damascus in five years was “evidence that engagement with Syria is a priority at the highest levels of our government.” …

In November 2010, disclosures of diplomatic cables by the WikiLeaks website revealed that Kerry had been busy undermining Israel as well: He had told leaders in Qatar that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria, and that the capital of a Palestinian state should be established in East Jerusalem, as part of the “peace process.”

Some honest broker he in the endless pointless “peace process”!

By March 2011, as the anti-government protests in the Middle East begin to include Syria, France and the U.S. nixed another trip by Kerry to Damascus, concerned that it would signal “Western weakness”.  That decision may have been precipitated by an appearance Kerry had made before a think tank audience twelve days earlier, where he:

• contended that the United States had a crucial role to play in facilitating the “democratic transitions” in the Middle East, including Egypt;

• asserted that “the people of Egypt liberated themselves in eighteen days without a single IED or suicide bomb”;

praised President Assad for having been “very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have had”; and

• predicted that “Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West and economic opportunity that comes with it and the participation that comes with it.”

Oh, what a man of peace he was. For a while. And so convinced that Bashar Assad was too. That is, until the “moral obscenity” Assad committed – according to Obama and Kerry – in August 2013. What a shock it must have been to poor John! However could he have been so mistaken in his judgment? Not once, not twice, but always.

 

* From The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization by Jillian Becker, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1984, p.224

The bad, the bad, and the sickening 2

We have often wondered how the staffers of the New York Times could stomach the poisonous ideas they swallow, digest, and apparently enjoy.

Now we learn there is something they have gagged on at last: this video. The maidens at The Times have blacked out half of it, being considerate of the public’s susceptibilities. We have seen worse, but apparently The Times staffers have not.

The result of their shock and horror seems to be that, at this late date, they find fault with the jihadist rebels in Syria, although their hero, Barack Obama, is keen on supporting them with American military might.

We have taken the video and text from The Daily Beast:

The raw video was so grisly, and so barbaric, that the New York Times staffers who watched and edited it for online publication were made “physically ill”, according to the newspaper’s spokeswoman. …

The scene of Syrian rebels standing over seven soldiers of the Syrian regular army while the rebel commander recited a bloodthirsty poem — and pointing rifles and a pistol at the heads of their prostrate, shirtless, and badly beaten prisoners — was shocking enough. Times video editors tactfully blackened the screen as the rebels — who, just like the United States government, oppose the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad — began to execute the soldiers; the only indication of the slaughter taking place was a noisy fusillade of 10 seconds in length. Then an image flashed of the broken bodies in a mass grave. …

The video — which the Times reported was obtained a few days ago from “a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings” and smuggled it out of Syria — is suddenly haunting the Obama administration, and it could not have surfaced at a more inopportune moment. For the past six days, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other officials have been waging an all-hands-on-deck public-relations and lobbying campaign to gain congressional authorization next week to punish the Assad regime with a military strike for its [alleged - ed.] illegal use of poison gas against thousands of Syrian civilians, including young children.

The potential U.S. action, probably a cruise-missile attack, is also being marketed as an early step to help the Syrian opposition — an inchoate agglomeration that apparently includes Islamic jihadists, al Qaeda members, and other avowed enemies of America [including the Muslim Brotherhood much beloved by President Obama - ed.— and ultimately drive Assad from power. But the president’s plan is widely unpopular domestically, and in terms of sheer impact, the Times video is not doing any favors for the campaign to sell it. It hardly matters that the executions reportedly occurred more than a year ago, in the spring of 2012—not this past April, as the Times initially claimed, while offering no explanation for its embarrassing mistake and correction.

“Because the White House and, more broadly, those arguing for direct U.S. military intervention are portraying this as a battle between ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’, to put it in crude terms, this video demonstrates that there are bad guys on both sides,” said Ed Husain, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It does make a mockery of Secretary Kerry’s praise on Wednesday [before the House Foreign Affairs Committee] for the Syrian opposition.”

But the brain-challenged Secretary of State John Kerry, who is making Obama’s pitch to Congress and the nation for interference on the rebels’ side, knows of quite another rebel army, having nothing to do with this vile lot, and insists – by implication – that the guys he and the President are supporting would never do anything like that.

Kerry, appearing Thursday night on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes, was at pains  to minimize the video’s influence on the debate in Washington and beyond. “No,” he insisted when Hayes asked if the killers in the video “become, by definition, our allies.” Kerry argued: “In fact, I believe that those men in those videos are disadvantaged by an American response to the chemical-weapons use because it, in fact, empowers the moderate opposition.” Kerry added that “they [the killers in the video and their co-fighters] are not part of the opposition that is being supported by our friends and ourselves”. 

And so does the other war advocate with special mental needs, John McCain:

Similarly, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the leading congressional voice in support of a more robust U.S. military intervention in Syria than even President Obama is proposing, all but ignored the video.

“He hasn’t put a [statement] out on it, except to point out that the moderate opposition and their military council immediately condemned it,” a McCain spokesman emailed me, citing a press release from the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces declaring that “they, and all mainstream opposition groups, condemn in the strongest possible terms any actions that contravene international law. Additionally,” the press release continued, “killing or mistreating captured soldiers, or those who have surrendered, is an affront to the hopes and principles [? -ed.] that fueled the initial popular uprising against the Assad regime.”

Oh yeah! How many people are members of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces? Our guess? Fewer than there are words in their grand-sounding name.

But Husain said the video presents a compelling argument against such reassuring boilerplate. “The implications are that Senator McCain and others leading the charge that the Syrian opposition seeks democracy are mistaken,” he said. “Time and again, opposition fighters have shown callous disregard for human life in the same way as the Assad regime … These images ought to be a wakeup call for those who think Syria is headed for a better future under the rebels.”

No Arab state is headed for a better future. None foreseeable even with that most powerful of telescopes, wishful thinking.

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