My reaction to the letter was utter disbelief. During my 29 years here in the Senate, I have never heard of – nor even heard of it being proposed – anything comparable to this. If I had, I can guarantee that no matter what the issue was and no matter who the president was, I would have certainly rejected it.
That was what Secretary of State John Kerry said to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today about the letter forty-seven Senators wrote to the Iranian government telling them that no deal made with a president of the United States is legally binding unless and until the Senate ratifies it.
Some are calling the letter an act of treason.
John Kerry would have us know that he cannot even believe it happened.
Can we believe his “utter disbelief”?
“Outrage that my negotiations may be all for nothing”, would ring more true.
But more importantly: when Kerry was a Senator …
Daniel Greenfield recalls and comments at Front Page:
Only months after he was sworn in [as a Senator in 1985], Kerry joined [Senator] Harkin on an infamous trip to Managua, to meet with Comandante Ortega… The trip, moreover, occurred a few days before a key vote in Congress on Contra aid — the bill proposed to send $14 million in humanitarian assistance to those anti-Communist rebels.
Said Kerry, “Senator Harkin and I are going to Nicaragua as Vietnam-era veterans who are alarmed that the Reagan administration is repeating the mistakes we made in Vietnam. Our foreign policy should represent the democratic values that have made our country great, not subvert those values by funding terrorism to overthrow governments of other countries.” Note that, certainly by implication, the senator characterized the Contra resistance as “terrorism”.
Those fits of outrage that lefties are suddenly having over the GOP Iran letter, the argument that Senators have no right to interfere in foreign policy, all of those were made up in the last 5 minutes.
Kerry didn’t merely send a letter. He worked with a foreign enemy Marxist government to subvert President Reagan’s policy.
Senators Kerry and Harkin returned to Washington with a kind of peace plan — Ortega was saying, Cut off all aid to the Contras, engage in bilateral talks with us, and we’ll call a cease-fire and restore civil liberties. Kerry hailed this as “a wonderful opening”.
The Reagan administration was not impressed — in fact, it fumed. The State Department made clear that the Sandinistas had to talk to the Contras themselves, not to Washington: “Without such a dialogue, a cease-fire is meaningless — essentially a call for the opposition to surrender. The opposition is asked to accept Sandinista consolidation of a Marxist-Leninist order in Nicaragua.”
[Then Secretary of State] Shultz decried “self-appointed emissaries to the Communist regime” in Managua, and said, “We cannot conduct a successful policy when [such people] take trips or write ‘Dear Comandante’ letters with the aim of negotiating.”
Henry Kissinger added, “If the Nicaraguans want to make an offer, they ought to make it through diplomatic channels. We can’t be negotiating with our own congressmen and Nicaragua simultaneously.”
In the end, the trip backfired. Not long after the senators left him, Ortega flew off to Moscow, to affirm his alliance with the Soviets. …
The Sandinista anthem called the “Yankee” the enemy of mankind and a year before Kerry’s visit, Daniel Ortega had threatened the United States with war while crowds of his supporters had chanted, “Here or There, Yankees Will Die Everywhere”.
“Here or There, Yankees Will Die Everywhere” is also coincidentally the foreign policy of the Obama administration.
And we’re not even getting into Kerry undermining President Bush by chatting up Assad.
We could just do a coffee table book of photos of Kerry committing treason. …
But Kerry, like Biden, is amping up the fake outrage and pretending to be upset that Senators sent a warning letter to a foreign government …
John Kerry first became notorious when he bad-mouthed his country during the Vietnam war, and lied about atrocities being committed by his fellow soldiers.
He was on the Steering Committee of an organization called Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and as such he did this:
John Kerry has admitted to meeting in 1970 in Paris with Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, the Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government, the “waiting-in-the-wings government” ready to take over South Vietnam once the Communists won. The Viet Cong operated as the military arm of the PRG. Kerry also met with representatives of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the official name of the North Vietnamese communist government in Hanoi. North Vietnam’s lead delegate at that time was Le Duc Tho, who along with Ho Chi Minh was one of the original founders of the Communist Party of Indochina and one of North Vietnam’s chief strategists. …
The now public FBI record clearly indicates that the VVAW of November 1971 had come under communist influence and was acting directly with the enemy to work against US military objectives in the war. Not only was the VVAW continuing to undermine support for the war in the United States through its false claims of war crimes and atrocities, but now the VVAW was negotiating with America’s enemies to effect the release of POWs to enhance their credibility as an organization, and actively encouraging soldiers in the field to refuse orders to engage the enemy in combat.
This appears to violate US Code 18 USC 953, which directly forbids US citizens from negotiating with foreign powers, as well as Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution, which defines treason as giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war. …
It is clear that the VVAW leaders understood the seditious nature of their activities – they relocated twice to avoid surveillance by government authorities. That turned out to be a vain hope, since the FBI had multiple informers inside the meeting.
They then debated and voted down a proposal to assassinate several pro-war US Senators. John Kerry, who until recently claimed to have resigned from the VVAW the previous June, was also present for this session according to the FBI files and a number of eyewitnesses. Senator Kerry now says he remembers nothing of the Kansas City meeting.
John Kerry would continue to serve as the VVAW’s primary spokesman for several more months. Newspaper reports indicate that he represented the VVAW in public appearances at least as late as April 1972.
The FBI files on the VVAW raise many questions, but one thing is clear: John Kerry and his VVAW comrades were welcome guests of the Vietnamese communists in both Paris and Hanoi, guests who could be counted on to actively support the leadership of America’s wartime enemy.
But this same John Kerry is stunned that Senators should have written that letter to the Iranian government. He says he “has never heard of anything comparable” to it, and that he could “guarantee that no matter what the issue was and no matter who the president was” he “would have certainly rejected it”.
He’s right that the Senator’s letter, which treats an enemy of the US as an enemy, is not comparable to his giving aid and comfort to an enemy in war time.
What Kerry himself did exactly fits the definition of treason.
And in addition to all that, the deal itself that Obama and Kerry are “negotiating” with the Iranian enemy is a sell-out of American interests. What’s going on in Geneva is better described as collusion than negotiation. It’s a display, a performance, to make it seem as if something is being done to prevent Iran “getting the Bomb”, when the real purpose is to put “the Bomb” in its claws. It is a process of treason.
And what has the whole presidency of Barack Hussein Obama been but just such a process?
Yet more lies from the Obama administration.
Kerry said on Monday, November 24, in Vienna – the “deadline” for the negotiations with Iran over it’s nuclear program:
I would say to those who are skeptical. Those who wonder whether we should rush ahead down a different course. I believe the United States and our partners have earned the benefit of the doubt at this point. Many were quick to say that the Joint Plan of Action would be violated; it wouldn’t hold up; it would be shredded. Many said that Iran would not hold up its end of the bargain. Many said that the sanctions regime would collapse. But guess what? The interim agreement wasn’t violated. Iran has held up its end of the bargain. And the sanctions regime has remained intact.
The following is by Omri Ceren from The Israel Project:
Violations of Nuclear Restrictions – Advanced Centrifuges
Under the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), Iran had committed to freeze its centrifuge activities at Natanz. Nevertheless, the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quarterly report noted that Iran was feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into it’s IR-5 centrifuges at Natanz.
Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, said Iran considered the activities Research and Development (R & D) and said that it would continue feeding UF6 into its advanced centrifuges.
Violations of Nuclear Restrictions – Uranium Stockpiling
While Iran is allowed to continue enriching uranium to 5% under the JPA, it is not allowed to increase its overall stockpile of uranium during the JPA period. The IAEA’s report, released earlier this month, however, notes that Iran’s stockpile of LEU “has grown by 8 percent to nearly 8.4 tonnes in about two months.”
With the advanced IR-5 centrifuges that Iran continues to test, low-enrichment uranium (LEU) could easily be enriched up to 90%, making it usable for nuclear weapons.
Violations of Sanctions Restrictions – Oil Export Caps
The IEA reported this spring that Iranian crude exports were far exceeding the 1 million barrel-per-day limit set by the P5+1* as a key condition for the JPA. In reality, Iran was exporting more than 1.65 million barrels per day. While administration officials insisted that, on average, Iranian exports would remain around 1 million barrels per day, shipments of oil and condensate continued to increase throughout the summer.
Even though Asian importers bought less Iranian crude in October, shipments were still above the 1 million barrel per day limit, violating Iran’s JPA commitments.
*P5+1 = the five permanent members of the UN security Council (US, UK, France, Russia, China) plus Germany.
President Obama does not want to take action agains the Islamic State. But opinion polls have forced him to utter some platitudes about keeping America safe and the Islamic State being a bad thing (though “not Islamic”, he says), and to make a military gesture or two by sending a few American personnel to Iraq and having the US Air Force bomb a few IS sites. But you mustn’t call it aggressive war, what he’s doing. If it must be called “war” at all, then it must be something the whole world wants to do so the US has no choice but to go along with the wish of so overwhelming a community.
He has sent that great negotiator John Kerry. who has a record of success in his diplomatic ventures (being sarcastic here), to form a coalition.
And it looks as if Kerry will be as successful as ever he was. He has not managed to form a coalition. Not with Arab states. Not with Islamic states. Not with European states.
Iraq might say it will join, but it has only a diminished and intimidated army.
Egypt and Jordan have refused to join.
Turkey has not only refused, but has denied airbases on its territory for US or any other airstrikes against IS.
Britain and Germany will send arms to the Kurdish peshmerga forces to fight IS, but will not take part directly in the fighting.
France … Ah, France! President Francois Hollande is as eager to lead the chimerical coalition as President Obama is reluctant to do it. Last Friday he personally accompanied a vast amount of materiel to Baghdad. He plans to host the occasion in Paris on Monday when – if – a coalition will be formed. And he has invited Iran to participate.
Our information comes largely from DebkaFile, from which we quote the following:
Friday, Obama appointed Gen. John R. Allen, former commander in Afghanistan and western Iraq, to lead the coalition forces in the war on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levan.
It is hard to see what combat forces he will lead, in view of the mixed international responses so far to Washington’s appeals for a global coalition to combat terror.
In the years 2006-2008, Gen. Allen commanded the US II Marine Expeditionary Force, which successfully fought Al Qaeda under Musab Zarqawi’s leadership in western Iraq’s Anbar province. He led what was then dubbed the “Awakening” project, which rallied the region’s Sunni tribes to the fight.
President Obama appears to be hinging his campaign against the new Islamist scourge on Gen. Allen repeating that success. …
The prospects of this happening in 2014 are fairly slim, because the circumstances are so different:
1. To support the Sunni Awakening venture, President George W. Bush authorized the famous “surge” which placed an additional 70,000 US troops on the Iraqi battlefield. However, Obama has vowed not to send US combat troops back to Iraq in significant numbers, and has approved no more than a few hundred American military personnel.
2. In 2006, Iraqi Sunnis trusted American pledges. They agreed to turn around and fight fellow Sunni Al Qaeda after being assured by Washington that they would not lose their status and rights in Baghdad, and that the US would give them weapons and salaries. In 2009, they realized that the Obama administration would not stand by the Bush administration’s assurances. Their disillusion with America and the rise of a Shiite-dominated regime in Baghdad pushed them into the arms of ISIS.
3. Since then Iraq’s Sunni leaders have learned not to trust anyone. Today, they are hedging their bets, their tribal leaders split into two opposing camps between Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and the Islamic State, on the other. For the first time since the US invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein 11 years ago, Iraq’s Sunni leaders feel they are in the saddle and in a position to set a high price for their support.
All this leaves President Obama and Gen. Allen on the threshold of a war on Islamist terrorists, which everyone agrees needs to be fought without delay, but without enough political leverage for going forward or much chance of mustering the right troops to lead – even into the first battle.
Let’s interpret what Obama said yesterday about dealing with the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL), now waging war in Iraq and Syria and threatening to bring terror and destruction to the United States. Dig out what he really meant. It’s not difficult. We’ll also comment on what his spokesman said in a hopeless effort at damage control.
We take the text for our comments from the report of the speech at Time online, which – interestingly for a left-leaning organ – takes a dim view of it:
President Barack Obama seemed to commit the worst of Washington gaffes Thursday when he updated the American people about the ongoing threat from Islamist militants wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse: we don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said of the effort to combat the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in its safe haven in Syria. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”
Meaning: “I have no idea what to do. I’d rather not do anything. Don’t urge me to do something. I’m not ready to do anything. I really don’t want to make a decision. I really don’t want to act. Don’t bully me.”
Obama’s comment that “we don’t have a strategy,” delivered to reporters at the White House before the Labor Day holiday weekend, prompted immediate mockery from Republicans — not to mention quick damage control from the White House. “In his remarks today, [Obama] was explicit — as he has been in the past — about the comprehensive strategy we’ll use to confront [ISIS] threat,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a series of Twitter posts. “He was referring to military options for striking [ISIS] in Syria,” Earnest added in a hastily scheduled CNN appearance.
Obama was not explicit. That is the whole point of all the criticism. The minions of the Left typically mis-describe their statements and actions as the opposite of what they actually are. “I/he made it clear” is the regular cover for being muddled and foggy and evasive.
Obama was set to meet with the National Security Council on Thursday evening, and he said his Administration is working hard to develop a plan for stemming ISIS’s spread from Iraq to Syria.
He is not working at all to develop a plan for anything. He has no wish to stem ISIS’s spread.
“We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them,” he said.
Big giveaway there. He needs to make sure he’s got plans. Clear plans, mark you, comrade. Or he needs to make sure that he’s developing them. Will he actually make plans, or develop them, so that he can make sure that that’s what he’s doing? What has he, Lord of the Planet Earth, done already?
Obama said he’s ordered Secretary of State John Kerry to begin …
“Ordered John Kerry.” John Kerry the Chief Bungler. So we know that whatever it is that must be begun will be a failure.
… assembling a coalition to strike back at ISIS …
Meaning: Won’t do it on my own. Like Bush did (even though he didn’t). I’m not going to be held responsible for going to war. If lots of other countries do it then maybe okay. And no, I’m not resigning leadership. As always, I’ll be leading from behind, while they follow in front. So be still, My Base, I’m doing the least I can.
… while he has tasked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to present him with military options.
Lots of options. So many that it will be impossible to choose one. Unless there’s one that is “unbelievably small”, to use John Kerry’s terrifyingly belligerent expression.
“We’re gonna cobble together …
“Cobble together”. Stitch up a ramshackle kinda co-operational thing. Nothing so decisive and leader-like as “organize a coalition”. And incidentally, wasn’t NATO created for the common defense of the West? Well maybe, but it was frightfully anti-Russian. And – I mean – it’s armed and everything, and it might really do damage, you know.
… the kind of coalition that we need for a long-term strategy as soon as we are able to fit together the military, political and economic components of that strategy,” Obama said. “There will be a military aspect to that.”
It’s sooo complicated. Like a jigsaw puzzle. There’s the political aspect. We haven’t even begun to think about that. And there’s the economic aspect. I mean, how much is it going to cost ISIS if we – our cobbled-together coalition – were to go to war against ISIS? Think of the reparations we’ll have to pay afterwards! And then okay there’s also – did I say “military”? Well, yes. There would be a military aspect to that. Not something to be undertaken lightly, a military aspect.
Yes, in a way, you could say that military strikes, from the air, have already been made. You absolutely have to understand that those were only done to protect Americans in Erbil. I mean, it was urgent and essential. I acted decisively, you see. Urgently. Americans were under immediate threat. The only way to protect them was by bombing some munition sites in the territory held by the Islamic State. It was so urgent, I was being so decisive, I didn’t want to waste time asking Congress to authorize the attacks. (The Constitution says? What Constitution? ) Besides, you know, that wasn’t making war. Not really. You see, folks, I was protecting our folks.
The President defended his decision not to seek authorization from Congress before beginning strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq three weeks ago, saying the urgency of the threat to the U.S. consulate in Erbil required immediate action. “I can’t afford to wait in order to make sure that those folks are protected,” Obama said.
Since Aug. 8, the military has conducted 106 air strikes in Iraq, according to U.S. Central Command.
It will all be different, you see, when plans have been developed, and when he’s made sure that plans have been developed. Doing anything before that would be putting the cart before the horse. When the time comes that the horse can be put before the cart, then I may go to Congress – for the funds. It’s a suggestion I may consider. Because Congress must not be totally ignored. After all, those are the representatives of the American people, so I intend to allow them some buy-in in this enterprise, whatever it may turn out to be.
Obama suggested that once he has a strategy for tackling ISIS, he would seek authorization from Congress, particularly since it may require additional funding. “It is my intention that Congress has to have some buy-in as representatives of the American people,” he said.
First the plans and the cobbled-together coalition, then the strategy, then going to Congress for the money … With any luck ISIS will have won the war by then, conquered the whole of the Middle East, and John Kerry can be despatched to start talks with President Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on exchanging American land for peace.
Next comes the supremely important task of separating ISIS from Islam.
“This should be a wake-up call to Sunni, to [Shi‘ite], to everybody, that a group like ISIS is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people,” Obama said. “And as a consequence, we’ve got to all join together — even if we have differences on a range of political issues — to make sure that they’re rooted out.”
If I can get enough Muslim forces into the cobbled-together coalition, and let them do the fighting, I can make it seem as if the Islamic State is not Islamic at all.
Oh why am I burdened with all this! I’d much rather talk about a Big Question, like the meaning of life. My own view is that Muhammad found the right answer. I only hope there are splendid golf courses in paradise.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.