Iran and the Bomb 3

The International Atomic Energy Agency has written a report stating that Iran can now make the bomb and is now developing a missile delivery system.

VIENNA — Experts at the world’s top atomic watchdog are in agreement that Tehran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead, according to a secret report seen by The Associated Press.The document drafted by senior officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency is the clearest indication yet that the agency’s leaders share Washington’s views on Iran’s weapon-making capabilities.It appears to be the so-called “secret annex” on Iran’s nuclear program that Washington says is being withheld by the IAEA’s chief.The document says Iran has “sufficient information” to build a bomb. It says Iran is likely to “overcome problems” on developing a delivery system.

A Daily Telegraph report has more:

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has always publicly denied any ambition to build a weapon. But the IAEA report says that he wanted to acquire nuclear weapons as long ago as 1984, when he served as president. He allegedly told a meeting of senior officials that a “nuclear arsenal would serve Iran as a deterrent in the hands of God’s soldiers”.

Emanuele Ottolenghi also writes in Standpoint about the Iranian nuclear programme and the West’s possible response:

The American report was a game changer. It declared that Tehran had “halted its nuclear weapons programme” in autumn 2003. It suggested that Iran had suspended its military programme “primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure resulting from exposure of Iran’s previously undeclared nuclear work.”

There were many caveats to this judgment, buried in the footnotes and intervening text, but the headline was that Iran no longer pursued nuclear weapons. The report undermined any residual credibility to the threat of US military action. Diplomacy was the only option left. George W. Bush endorsed it — and a new proposal was delivered to Iran with the signature of the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, in June 2008. President Obama picked up where Bush left off, and made engagement with Iran a centrepiece of his new foreign policy. Then, recently, Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a nuclear umbrella to US allies in the region, as if to suggest that the US was now resigned to a nuclear Iran.

The answer came recently, in two separate reports that were leaked to the press. Last March, a German intelligence report was submitted to Germany’s Constitutional Court to back the conviction of a German-Iranian businessman accused of supplying Iran with technology for its nuclear programme. The defence had cited the NIE to suggest that the transaction, which occurred in 2007, could not have been used to supply Iran’s military programme, given that the latter had been halted four years before. The court upheld the conviction based on the intelligence, which contradicted the NIE — the weapons programme, the German spies said, had never been suspended. A more recent report, published in July in The Times, cited Western intelligence sources as suggesting that Iran had indeed halted its weapons programme in 2003 but only because by then it had been successfully completed.

If the report is accurate, it answers the question the NIE did not address. Iran stopped its nuclear weaponisation programme in 2003 because its strides had far outpaced the enrichment programme. The decision to suspend had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq or with the much-vaunted secret negotiations between the US and Iran that were ongoing in Paris at the time. It mattered little that IAEA inspectors had started snooping around the recently exposed nuclear installations. Rather, Iran had finished the weaponisation part of the programme before it had completed perfecting a delivery system and mastering the enrichment process.

Iran’s decisions have never been influenced by offers and incentives. The only thing that has ever mattered to Tehran was time. The only reason Iran might still be willing to negotiate is again time: if it still needs time to complete its goal of nuclear weapons capability. US engagement will not change this. Iran can build a bomb, has been busy building one and has never even considered changing its mind.

There are some analysts who believe that the theory of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) will prevent war between Israel and Iran. IMED believe this to be completely untrue. Iran’s autocratic regime is not rational, and the concept of self-destruction in the name of religious self-sacrifice is not just likely; it is expected. After all, praise and encouragement of suicide bombers is not an uncommon sight in Iran.

This excellent article by Shmuel Bar explains the need to negate the (apparently) comforting theory of MAD:

The countries of the Middle East will probably be more predisposed than the Cold War protagonists to brandish their nuclear weapons, not only rhetorically but through nuclear alerts or nuclear tests, leading to escalation. Once one country has taken such measures, the other nuclear countries of the region would probably feel forced to adopt defensive measures, leading to multilateral escalation. However, such multilateral escalation will not be mitigated by Cold War-type hotlines and means of signalling and none of the parties involved will have escalation dominance. This and the absence of a credible second-strike capability may well strengthen the tendency to opt for a first strike.

True, we may safely assume that the leaders and peoples of the Middle East have no desire to be the targets of nuclear blasts. However, the inherent instability of the region and its regimes, the difficulty in managing multilateral nuclear tensions, the weight of religious, emotional and internal pressures and the proclivity of many of the regimes in the region towards military adventurism and brinkmanship do not bode well for the future of this region once it enters the nuclear age.

For news on Iran and the nuclear programme, visit IMED’s blog – also look out for our campaign against the Iranian nuclear programme, coming soon in the UK.

By his fans ye shall know him 1

Yesterday at the UN (Hell’s headquarters), Colonel Qaddafi of Libya praised President Obama:

“We Africans are happy, proud, that a son of Africans governs the United States of America,” the Libyan leader said. “This is a historic event. … This is a great thing.” “Obama is a glimpse in the darkness after four or eight years,” said Qadhafi, who referred to Obama as “my son.” “We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as president of the United States.”

And Fidel Castro thinks he is pretty good stuff:

The former Cuban leader on Wednesday called the American president’s speech at the United Nations “brave” and said no other American head of state would have had the courage to make similar remarks…

Admission of America’s past errors “was without a doubt a brave gesture,” Castro wrote in comments published by Cuban state-media Wednesday. “It would only be fair to recognize that no other United States president would have had the courage to say what he said,” the former Cuban leader continued…

And Vladimir Putin likes what he’s done:

Obama also was praised by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier this month for canceling parts of a missile defense system that Moscow had viewed as a threat to its security. Putin called the move a “right and brave decision.”

At Power Line they think differently. Paul Mirengoff writes:

Conservative commentary on President Obama’s U.N. speech has correctly taken note of the extent to which Obama once again has apologized for America. What struck me as new, though, was the extent to which he begged his audience to award the U.S. brownie points for his good acts. The one form of supplication follows from the other. Obama isn’t just saying that the U.S. has been a bad boy in the past; he’s also saying that we’re a good boy now …

Obama then listed a series of decisions that he hoped might placate the assembled thugs, dictators, and hypcrites — a crowd from which he feels compelled to seek approval on behalf of the United States. Obama noted that he has banned torture, closed Gitmo, moved to end the war in Iraq, moved towards disarmament, attempted to advance the ball on creating a Palestinian state, “re-engaged the United Nations, paid our bills, joined the Human Rights Council.”

So here was the president of the United States doing everything but getting down on his hands and knees before the representatives of every wretched regime in the world to plead that the U.S. has turned over a new leaf and, in effect, become harmless.

Does Obama believe that anything positive will come of this stomach-turning spectacle. Or does he just like to bask in the glow of applause for the proposition that the U.S. was a pretty rotten place until he assumed control, without worrying about who it is that’s applauding?

Our guess is that the Russians, the Arabs, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the mullahs of Iran, and all the despots of the Third World are secretly sniggering.

Posted under Commentary, Diplomacy, Libya, Russia, United Nations, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, September 24, 2009

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Altogether now 1

Here‘s a link to the AP report on Obama’s speech at the UN today.  It links to videos of him making the speech.

We interpret the speech as one promoting a new world order through an increase of powers of the UN, and a demotion of America as the world’s watchdog and policeman (but no change in its being the world’s community chest, unless to become even more of a global sugar-daddy).  His usual hectoring tone gave the impression that he was ticking off the rest of the world for expecting America to be a superpower, while he was actually ticking off America for being one. Cunning, that!

Here‘s Abe Greenwald’s take on the speech:

Barack Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly was much more than some feel-good, can’t-we-all-get-along pep rally for the multi-culti set. It was a straightforward explication of a worldview that seeks to redefine international relations along frighteningly utopian lines. It is a glimpse into the ideological stew that has produced the dangerous real-world policies toward our one-time allies that we now see unfolding everywhere, from Israel to Poland and the Czech Republic to Honduras…

“In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero sum game.” Ideally, there is to be no more competition among nations.

“No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.” It follows that there is to be no hierarchy among nations.

“No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed.” There is no exceptionalism, American or otherwise. And no nations are to play favorites. That means, among other things, the U.S. will not extend special privileges to democracies or other free societies.

“No balance of power among nations will hold.” With no competition, no hierarchy, and no favored-nation status, states that have found themselves in a fortunate position as the result of dated rivalries and alliances can no longer be relied upon to impose balance on a region from the outside. (Like all utopian fantasies, this is propped up by a contradiction: balance will exist, but any attempt to maintain or impose that balance will, by definition, constitute a violation of that balance.)

“The traditional division between nations of the south and north makes no sense in an interconnected world.” There will be no distinctions between developing and developed nations.

“Nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long gone Cold War.” An incontrovertible renunciation of our long-held alliances.

The next time some democratic leader is woken up in the middle of the night with a phone call from the U.S. State Department telling him that he’s on his own, he would do well to refer back to today’s speech as he scratches his head and tries to figure out what happened to his friends, the Americans.

Posted under Commentary, United Nations, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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POTUS impotent 0

He signals a pacifist frame of mind to aggressive Russians, Iranians, and North Koreans. He threatens the CIA and protects captured  terrorists. He packs his administration with radical revolutionaries and scofflaws. He’s failed to turn Congress into his echo-chamber. Even in his media hooray-chorus some are choking on the songs he wants them to sing.

When the devoutly left Guardian newspaper admits to being disappointed in him and finds that he is failing at everything, his weakness must be too obvious to be spun into anything else.

But the relief we feel that he has not – or at least not yet – turned America into a collectivist state, does not mitigate our fear of the danger he has put the country into, by loading it with an unimaginable burden of debt, and, in dereliction of his highest duty,  rendering it vulnerable to its foreign enemies.

From Redstate:

If “weak” doesn’t suit your fancy, how about “impotent”? That’s where the left-leaning UK Guardian goes with Steven Hill’s piece, Obama the impotent. Mr. Hill notes that Obama is not accomplishing very much.

A sinking feeling is arising among many that President Obama may not be up to the task, that he may not possess the artful skills needed to accomplish even his own goals.

The Guardian of course worries that Obama will be unable to socialize our health care system, or cripple the U.S. economy with “green” measures, or otherwise bring the U.S. in line with the more enlightened European Left. While we on the right might be pleasantly relieved to find that Obama is incompetent at accomplishing his agenda, the day will come when we wish we did not have an incompetent president. But as is becoming clear to both friends and enemies, foreign and domestic, that’s what we have.

Posted under Commentary, government, Progressivism, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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The UN must be destroyed! 1

David Horowitz endorses our warning in the post below about the Left’s intentions for the UN, writing on his website FrontPage magazine:

Neo-communism is a view whose members consider themselves “citizens of the world,” not of America, and who therefore agitate for open borders and want the morally repulsive collection of autocracies, slaveocracies and kleptocracies called “the United Nations” to reign over us and the world.

A neo-communist is someone who believes that America is ruled by corporations who put “profit over people” — and thereby show that they don’t understand either profit or people. A neo-communist is someone who is convinced that race, class, and gender hierarchies make it not only legitimate but necessary to describe America as a “white supremacist” society. Neo-communists believe that a revolution is necessary (if not opportune at the moment), that the Consitution is a disposable document, and that America’s communist and Islamo-fascist enemies (Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Hizbollah, the PLO and Hamas), are freedom fighters or at least on the right side of the armageddon that faces us.

These are views shared by The Nation magazine, by, by the Indymedia crowd, by the social justice movement, by the majority of the Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus on the Democratic side in Congress, and by tens of thousands of university professors who indoctrinate their students in these pernicious ideologies every day. They are the views held by the leaders of ACORN, the SEIU, AFCSME and other leftwing unions, by radical feminists, by organizations like MALDEF and La Raza, by the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights who are working to support the Islamo-fascist agenda in America, by the major Muslim organizations including the Muslim Students Association, CAIR, and the Islamic Circle of North America…

He lists many more in his book Unholy Alliance.

The UN must be destroyed!

UN delenda est! 0

The Roman Senator, Cato the Elder, repeated and repeated, in every speech he made, no matter what his subject was, and however irrelevant the iteration:

‘Carthago delenda est!’ –  ‘Carthage must be destroyed’  – until it eventually was destroyed  by Rome in 146 B.C.

He set an example for us. We must repeat and repeat:

The United Nations must be destroyed!

It should be shouted at every protest rally;  written on placards and carried high;   printed on T-shirts; emblazoned on billboards.

The UN must be destroyed!

It is a den of despots, a coven of conspiracy, the engine of evil.

Watch this week as Qaddafi of Libya, Ahmadinejad of Iran and all the other monstrous tyrants gather at the UN to spew their poison.

The International Socialists want to develop the UN into a World Government. They are proposing a universal currency to be issued by the United Nations. They propose United Nations regulation of financial institutions world-wide. They propose that the United Nations enforce controls over the lives of people in all countries to ‘protect the planet’. They propose, in other words, global totalitarianism.

And if the United Nations should became the Kremlin of the whole planet, who might be craving to be its supremo, its Stalin?

Can we think of his name?  Yes, we can.

And we must not let this happen.



Trouble in Paradise 0

A fascinating article by Nick Cohen on the horrific oppression of women in the Middle East.

“If this sounds harsh, consider that Sharia adultery laws state that
a raped woman must face the next-to-impossible task of providing four
male witnesses to substantiate her allegation or be convicted of
adultery. When rapists leave Pakistani women pregnant, the court takes
the bulge in their bellies as evidence against them. In Nigeria, Sharia
courts not only punish raped women for adultery, but order an extra
punishment of a whipping for making false accusations against
“innocent” men. In Israel, ultra-Orthodox gangs in Jerusalem beat up
women seen in the company of married men. In the United States, the
Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints give teenagers to old men in arranged
marriages and tell them they must completely submit to their wishes.
In Saudi Arabia, women live in a theocratic state that stops them
walking unaccompanied in the street, driving a car and speaking to men
outside the family. After unwisely taking a sprig of the bin Laden
family to be her husband, Carmen Dufour described the consequences.

‘At first, I wasn’t even aware of what seemed so strange about this
country, but then it hit me: half the population of Saudi Arabia is
kept behind walls, all the time. It was hard to fathom, a city with
almost no women. I felt like a ghost. Women didn’t exist in this world
of men.’

To move from ghosts to corpses, if the Taliban
retake power in Afghanistan, they will once again ban women from public
spaces, thus depriving them of employment, and thus closing the health
and education services. Any teacher who presumes to teach them to read
and write will be executed. Meanwhile the Islamic Republic of Iran has
almost certainly renewed its terror tactic of raping women prisoners
before killing them. Because religious law declares it illegal to
execute a virgin, the guards arrange a “wedding” ceremony and rape the
prisoner once it is over.”

There was an appalling case in Israel recently of an Orthodox women who was cruelly starving her child. When the police intervened, there was a strong and horrifying backlash from the Orthodox community. The Jerusalem Post correspondent Alisa Ungar-Sargon speaks of the divide between some of the orthodox Jewish community and the secular majority.

“With the haredi woman suspected of starving her three-year-old son,
the evidence from doctors, social workers, and police appears to leave
little room for doubt regarding the severity of the situation. The
woman was allegedly a danger to her child, and thus measures were taken
to protect him from further harm.

The facts are presented; the evidence is concrete. Yet there
are people rallying to her defense who are convinced of her innocence.
They call the whole situation a blood libel, a condition of malicious
slander and a vengeful nature. Whether or not her actions were
intentional does not change the effects, yet the haredim purport to be
certain. How can a community be so confident that she is not guilty
when everyone else is resisting their every claim?

The general animosity between the haredi and secular communities is
rooted in the State of Israel itself. While none of the haredim support
the state, the mainstream sects at least cooperate with it and agree to
participate in the elections.

Dr. Yehuda Goodman, a lecturer and anthropologist at Hebrew University,
explains that the tendency to riot is a part of the haredi identity.
“They feel it’s invading and corrupting and fighting to break down
their way of life,” he says. The haredi community is not just a ghetto,
set up to keep out those who would threaten their way of life, Goodman
says, it must also fight and maintain the superior stand they feel that
they have over the secular world. He explains that the haredim need
these fights as a part of the formation of their identity, in finding a
symbolic place to fight the social other.

Whether or not the haredim actually believe in the woman’s
condemnation is irrelevant at this point. They can testify for her
character and they can portray her doctor as evil incarnate, but it is
immaterial since their loyalties would not allow them to operate any
other way. They will argue for her since to them, she represents their
community to the outside world.”

There is a perilous inclination in the Western World to tolerate immorality on the part of others on the grounds that there is a cultural divide that cannot be infringed upon. Although this case in the more liberal and democratic Israel is of less notoriety than the more systematic problem of ‘gender apartheid’ of Saudi Arabia and the countless numbers of unpunished rape in Iran, it is just as horrifying.

The definition of tolerance in the West, Israel included, now seems to include turning a blind eye to depravity, in an attempt to avoid being seen as interfering and imperialistic.

The plight of women in the Middle East is just the tip of the iceberg, but where is the condemnation from the West? And as Nick Cohen concludes in his Standpoint article: ‘I accept that this may seem an odd thing to wish for, but what the
world needs now is an uncompromisingly militant feminist movement.’

Further reading:

Clive James on honour killing

Asad Abu Khalil on US policy and the suffering of Arab women

Some exercepts from female Saudi writers on the subjugation of women (Provided by MEMRI)

The stupidest reason for a war – ever? 3

From General McChrystal’s assessment of the Afghan war:

The people of Afghanistan represent many things in this conflict–an audience, an actor, and a source of leverage–but above all, they are the objective. … [The government of Afghanistan] and ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] have both failed to focus on this objective. … ISAF’s center of gravity is the will and ability to provide for the needs of the population “by, with, and through” the Afghan government. (2-4)

Obama is going to have to make a (pause and shudder) decision – whether to send tens of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan, as McChrystal advises, or not to send them. Obama does not do decisions. No doubt he thinks choosing between victory and defeat is ‘a false choice’.

If victory means providing the Afghans with whatever they need, he may for once be right.

Posted under Afghanistan, Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Islam, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 21, 2009

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America disgraced by its own president 2

From Redstate:

You are probably not surprised to find that Poland and the Czech Republic are not the only loyal and faithful American allies getting screwed by the Obama Administration these days. The ongoing drama in Honduras is an outrage and a disgrace, but not because the Hondurans have done anything wrong. It’s because the Obama administration is actively intervening on behalf of a thug would-be dictator whom the Hondurans properly and legally drove from power.

Shame on you, Barack.

Follow closely, because this is an extremely important and telling example of the kind of foreign policy we are getting from Barack Obama. Let’s review what’s been going on in Honduras this year, and how the Obama administration has come down completely on the side of tyrants, cheaters, and marxists They’ve done it deliberately, and in keeping with their overall global policy of rejecting freedom and snuggling up to the thugs and bandits of the world [remember Iranian protesters after the fraud election? remember soldiers shooting them? remember Obama’s reaction?]…

Honduras is one of the most impoverished countries in central America, but it has been and remains a democratic republic in a region currently overshadowed by several evil dictators who are intent on spreading the evils of drug-money fueled marxism and tyranny to the entire region: Fidel & Raul Castro of Cuba, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, and most of all, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. [A cynic like me might add Daniel Ortega in neighboring Nicaragua to the list, as he’s lobbying to change their constitution to allow him to run for president again.]

Morales, Correa, and Chavez were ALL elected in free elections, then seized power by one means or another, and turned republics into their personal tin-pot dictatorships. In the crisis currently underway, Zelaya tried to do the same thing…

Read the rest of it here.

Will America defend Iran against Israel? 1

The Blog (of the Weekly Standard) brings us this piece of dumbfounding news:

In a little noticed interview with the Daily Beast (presumably little noticed because serious people don’t read the Daily Beast), Zbigniew Brzezinski suggests that Barack Obama do more than just refuse to support an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites — the American president must give the order to shoot down Israeli aircraft as they cross Iraqi airspace:

DB: How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in America’s worst interest?

Brzezinski: We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?

DB: What if they fly over anyway?

Brzezinski: Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse.

The reference here is to the USS Liberty which was fired on by Israel during the Six Days’ War in June 1967. It was a friendly fire error. (See Michael Oren’s article on the incident here.) Brzezinski is implying that Israel attacked the ship deliberately, and that the US should avenge it. To him, Israel is America’s enemy and not Iran.

Contrary to Brezinski’s half-hearted disclaimer that no one wishes for such an outcome, there are plenty on the left who would delight in a pitched battle between the United States and Israel. Democrats in Congress routinely support resolutions affirming Israel’s right to take whatever steps it deems necessary to assure its own national defense. And Obama has at least paid lip service to the concept. But hostility to Israel among the rank and file is very real on the left — and among “realists.”

So conjure the image — the Obama administration sending U.S. aircraft up to protect Iran’s airspace and it’s nuclear installations from an attack by a democracy that is one of America’s closest allies. Unfortunately, this may not be so hard to imagine in Israel, where the number of people who believe Obama is pro-Israel is at just 4 percent — and falling. And given Obama’s (literally) submissive posture to the Saudis, his indulgence of the Iranians, and his simultaneously hard-line approach to Israel, it seems even some of Obama’s supporters can savor the possibility of a “reverse Liberty.”

Zbignew Brzezinski , who was National Security Adviser (1977-1981) to that 0ther anti-Semite Jimmy Carter, is now influential again as adviser to Obama.

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, jihad, middle east, News, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, September 20, 2009

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