Fueling Iranian nuclear power 1

Pretending to save the world from a nuclear onslaught by Iran’s Islamic regime, Obama went to great lengths to enable it. 

It was clear, sheer, obvious treason. Obvious despite the elaborate deceptions attempted by his administration.  

The State Department acted vigorously to implement Obama’s furtive plan.

With only a few days before the treasonous administration passes away and a patriotic one replaces it, the State Department continues to help Iran towards its evil goal.

The Tower reports:

Global powers, including the United States, have reached an agreement to provide Iran with nearly 130 tons of uranium — which experts believe would be enough to make 10 nuclear bombs. … 

David Albright and Andrea Stricker of the Institute for Science and International Security criticized Iran’s excess heavy water deals in a research paper (.pdf) published last month, pointing out that instead of insisting that Iran abide by the terms of the deal, “the United States tolerated and minimized Iran’s violations and sought to legitimize its international standing as a commercial supplier of heavy water”. Albright told the AP that “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon”, Iran could create more than 10 atomic bombs with the uranium it will receive. …

Iran has not stated what it will do with the uranium. It could store it or process it into low-enriched uranium to be sold as nuclear fuel. But the nuclear deal itself allows Iran to step up approved nuclear enrichment activities even before the 15-year deal expires.

In addition to Iran’s heavy water violations, the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] warned last month that Iran was likely to exceed its cap on low-enriched uranium if it continued producing it at current levels. That warning came just days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered his nuclear agency to draw up plans to develop nuclear-powered engines that would require uranium to be enriched to 20 percent (in violation of the terms of the deal, which only allows Iran to enrich up to to 3.67 percent).

The IAEA publicized documents last month that essentially showed that Iran could violate the deal without receiving penalties. Certain amounts of low-enriched uranium in Iran’s possession are considered “unrecoverable”, and therefore do not count against its cap. “If this whole thing rests on [Iran] promising not to build a facility that they’d probably only build in secret if they were going to actually break out, then this material probably should not be deemed non-recoverable,” Albright wrote.

When serving as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Rouhani agreed to a temporary halt of uranium enrichment as part of the November 2004 Paris Agreement. But Iran backed out of the deal nine months later and began enriching uranium again. The following year, Rouhani boasted to a meeting of clerics that during the time that talks were ongoing in Paris, Iran was able to install equipment for converting yellowcake, a necessary step in enriching  uranium.

Omri Ceren explains how dangerous this is, and reveals how the State Department wriggles out of admitting the danger:

As long as the deal is in place, Iran will be able to blackmail the U.S. on non-nuclear issues by threatening to collapse the deal and pocket the uranium — Iran deal advocates have already been making a two-step argument for why the U.S. must not act against Iran’s terrorism, ballistic missiles, etc: 1st, they say the deal was front-loaded to give Iran most of its benefits at the beginning, while the U.S. only benefits from long-term Iranian compliance, so the Iranians win if the deal collapses now, 2nd, they say new non-nuclear pressure would cause the deal to collapse. It’s the blackmail scenario predicted by deal critics in late 2015, and the new uranium will play out the same way: Iran deal advocates will argue the U.S. must not act against Iran because the Iranians will walk away from the deal, and now they have enough new uranium for 10+ nuclear bombs.

Once the deal expires, Iran will be able to enrich the uranium to weapons-grade levels — President Obama told NPR the deal enables Iran to shrink its breakout time “almost down to zero” as soon as 13 years after implementation, which is 12 years from now. Restrictions on enrichment levels expire over that period.

The criticisms came up at yesterday’s State Department briefing. Spokesperson Kirby responded that as long as the deal has not collapsed or expired, the new uranium will be monitored. It’s not clear how that addresses any of the major criticisms of the swap: Iran profits from violating the deal, Iran gets blackmail leverage to prevent U.S. action on non-nuclear issues, and the deal will expire.

Transcript of Q & A, with John Kirby, State Department spokesman:

QUESTION: Well, is it not correct… if they store it away for 25 years, can they then not take this 116 tons and then do whatever they want with it?

MR KIRBY: Well, the – first of all, I really hate – I hate hypotheticals —

QUESTION: Or whatever the quantity —

MR KIRBY: — particularly the ones that go out two and a half decades from now, but —

QUESTION: Look, the – your whole point is that don’t worry, this is going to be subject to inspection and verification… under the JCPOA, but those – that expires at some point… So after those limitations expire, is it not correct that they could do whatever they want with it?

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to speculate one way or another here about something that… may or may not happen 25 years from now, Matt. There’s a strong inspection regime in place —

QUESTION: Now.

MR KIRBY: — to – and for well into the future to prevent Iran from —

QUESTION: For 25 years.

MR KIRBY: — to prevent Iran from ever being able to achieve a nuclear weapon, and that’s on page – by the way, not 25 years. The deal says Iran will never achieve nuclear weapons capability, but let’s get beyond that. I’m not going to speculate about what might or might not happen 25 years from now… I just don’t think that’s a useful exercise.

That last part about the deal saying “Iran will never achieve nuclear weapons capability” is not true.

Will the State Department switch sides and become an ally of the United States when Donald Trump is president?

We long to see heads roll at Foggy Bottom!

Posted under Iran, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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The highest treason 4

Is there any precedent in history for this?

Has any other head of state ever done what President Obama is doing to help empower an enemy?

Far from preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, as he and Hillary Clinton glibly claim to the nation, Obama goes to extreme lengths to make sure that Iran WILL BE ARMED WITH NUCLEAR WARHEADS AND THE MISSILES TO DELIVER THEM. 

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

As another part of the secret ransom deal with Iran, [Obama]  lifted UN sanctions on Bank Sepah … [which is] owned and operated by Islamic terrorists.

Bank Sepah is an IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] bank. The IRGC, despite Obama’s denials, is an Islamic terror group with American blood on its hands. It is to Shiite Islam what ISIS is to Sunni Islam. And even the Democrats know it.

[And it ]  had been sanctioned for something bigger than terrorism … . It had helped Iran buy ballistic missile technology from North Korea.

Iran’s nuclear weapons program would only be halfway complete if it gets the bomb. It also needs missiles to be able to strike Israel, Europe and eventually America. That’s where North Korea and Bank Sepah come in. Bank Sepah helps keep Iran’s ballistic missile industry viable. By delisting it, Obama aided Iran’s ballistic missile program just as he had earlier aided its nuclear program.

Obama’s holistic approach to the Iranian bomb is to help the terror state assemble the physical components it needs to become a nuclear power.

[He has claimed that] “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is now closed off.” … [But]  under his deal, in 13 years Iran’s breakout time will, “have shrunk almost down to zero”. …

[A] secret document revealed earlier this year by the AP showed that Iran would be able to get its uranium enrichment in gear after 11 years and more than double its enrichment rate. What happens by the thirteenth year? Then Iran gets a blank check on centrifuges … [and] breakout time to the bomb drops from a year to six months. Or even less. Until it hits zero.

But Ernest Moniz, Obama’s sniveling Secretary of Energy, assured the AP that it wouldn’t be a problem because Iran would only be allowed to store 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium.

He lied. …

Obama wanted to lift sanctions on Iran. But Iran was not in compliance with even his mostly worthless agreement. So Obama decided that it was time to help the terror state fake it.

Iran was only allowed to keep 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. Obama agreed to upgrade that amount to “unknown quantities”. How much is an “unknown quantity”? Like the rest of Iran’s nuclear program, we don’t know. Low-enriched uranium, even in unknown quantities, doesn’t sound that scary. Except that according to a former U.N. weapons inspector,it can be used to produce highly enriched uranium. And that’s how you go from zero to a mushroom cloud over your city.

And then there are the large hot cells that Iran was allowed to keep running.

Secretary of Energy Moniz didn’t just lie to the AP. Lying to the media is practically an Obama indoor sport. He told the same lie in his testimony to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Senators were assured that Iran would be allowed to keep “only 300 kilograms of low (3.67 percent) enriched uranium hexafluoride, and will not exceed this level for fifteen years”.

Iran didn’t have to wait 15 years to exceed that amount. Or even 15 minutes. Obama gave them a pass on it right out of the gate.

But Moniz wasn’t a rogue liar. He was telling the lie that he had been told to tell.

Obama has lied about the Iran deal from the very beginning. And that’s not about to change.

The fairy godmother of Iran’s enrichment was Hillary Clinton. The “breakthrough” in the negotiations took place when she accepted some Iranian nuclear enrichment. And then it was just a matter of determining how much enrichment would take place officially and how much would take place unofficially that would be officially ignored or covered up by our own government.

That is how we got to the ticking atomic time bomb.

Obama hasn’t just turned a blind eye to Iran’s race to the bomb. He has empowered and enabled all elements of it from its nuclear program to its ballistic missile program. He has ensured that Iran would have the money, the manpower and the resources to become a nuclear power. He directed elements of our intelligence services and military to prevent Israel from striking Iran’s nuclear program. He even aided its core terrorist organization and its ballistic missile program.

This isn’t an error. It’s not cowardice. It’s treason.

A coldly calculated plan to turn Iran into a nuclear power is coming together. On the other end of it lies the horrifying death of millions.

Why would Obama and Hillary do such a horrifying thing? The American scientists and spies who helped the Soviet Union get the bomb believed that they were making the world a better place by limiting our ability to use nuclear weapons. Their treason almost led to the end of human life on earth.

The Iran deal is the second great wave of nuclear treason of the left. And the full truth is yet to be told.

What motive can Obama possibly have?

The only way to to guess the answer to is to look at what Iran is likely to do when it has its nukes.

Will Iran use them against America? The threat has been made.

Is Iran likely to use them against Israel? Iranian leaders have said repeatedly that they want to destroy Israel. (See here and here.)

So the harming of America and the destruction of Israel are Obama’s objectives?!

Is there any other possible explanation?

Posted under Iran, Islam, jihad, Muslims, North Korea, Treason, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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The US pays Iran to pretend to negotiate 4

There is no deal, and the evidence suggests there isn’t going to be one.

Michael Ledeen writes at the Weekly Standard:

He did it again, as we should have expected.  Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei walked us right up to the finish line, spat on us, and walked away. Months and months of secret and public talks, letters, back channels, and gestures produced nothing of the sort the president, assorted foreign ministers, pundits, and politicians had been predicting. Instead we are to keep talking, and keep paying the Islamic Republic for the pleasure and privilege.

It’s not Barack Obama’s unique failure; the same thing happened to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Both of them came to believe they had a deal with Khamenei, and both of them were rudely disabused of their error when the Iranians walked away. Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, was so sure it was a done deal, and so intent on getting it signed and sealed, that she issued three hundred visas over a single weekend in September 2006, for passengers to travel on Ali Larijani’s plane to New York for a signing ceremony at the UN.  She then flew to New York to await the Persians. But Larijani’s plane sat on the tarmac in Tehran, and neither he nor the 300 ever came. …

The basic conclusion: Khamenei does not want a deal with the United States (aka “The Great Satan”). Obama has been pursuing a strategic alliance with Iran since 2008, well before his inauguration and even before his election. During the election campaign he quietly dispatched retired Ambassador William Miller to Tehran to inform the mullahs that a new era in Iranian-American relations was about to begin, and the “dialogue” between Washington and Tehran has continued for more than six years.  No sensible person doubts Obama’s willingness to be generous to the Iranians.

His “willingness to be generous to the Iranians”? We would say his longing to give them everything they want, including – or above all – the capacity to destroy Israel.  

And if the US itself were to be attacked by a nuclear-armed Iran, is Obama more likely to hit it back or try to appease it?

 Any lingering skepticism should be definitively eliminated by the latest “extension,” which reportedly bestows $700 million on Khamenei every month for continuing to talk.

So Iran is not continuing to seem to negotiate only in order to buy time to become a nuclear-armed power. It is also being paid to seem to do so by the US!

Khamenei could certainly have had a very good deal if he wanted it. If he didn’t take one, it’s because he doesn’t want it.

Why? Because it’s all about core convictions: he hates us, and he doesn’t want to go down — possibly quite soon, if reports of the gravity of his prostate cancer are accurate — as the ayatollah who came to terms with Satan.

Moreover, he doesn’t need to get in bed with the devil in order to achieve his basic objectives. The interim agreement gives him plenty of nuclear wiggle room, as we see from the rude treatment of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.  They insisted on visiting the suspected nuclear facilities at Parchin, the Iranians told them to go to hell, and nothing happened.

On the sanctions front, Khamenei certainly hates them, but he’s grinding down their enforcement, finding myriad ways to avoid them, and getting cash money in the bargain.

On the battlefield, he’s doing quite well, thanks in no small part to American cooperation in support of his (and his Russian ally’s) prime regional objective, namely the survival of the Assad regime in Syria. …

And the new Iraqi government leaders, whom we purport to trust and support, zipped off to Tehran within days of taking office. …

I can’t prove it, but I suspect that Zarif and Rouhani convinced Khamenei to approve the talkathon with The Great Satan because they had understood that Iran could get most anything it wanted from Obama.  I don’t think they were dragged to the negotiating table by “biting sanctions”, even though the sanctions hurt the Iranian people and sensitive parts of the economy.

Their nuclear activity has increased as sanctions tightened, and Iranian military activity in Iraq and Syria is mounting. These matter much more to Khamenei than a chicken shortage in the markets.

Posted under Commentary, Iran, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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A boom or three in Iran 7

An underground site deep in the Zagrod mountains of western Iran, the Imam Ali Base where Shehab-3 medium-range missile launchers are stored, was struck last Tuesday, October 12, by three explosions.

According to the official report, 18 members of the Revolutionary Guards were killed and 14 were injured.

In its official statement on the incident, Tehran denied it was the result of “a terrorist attack” and claimed the explosion “was caused by a nearby fire that spread to the munitions storage area of the base.” In the same way, the regime went to great lengths to cover up the ravages wrought to their nuclear and military control systems by the Stuxnet virus – which is still at work.

Read more about it here at DebkaFile, whose own “military sources” report:

Iran’s missile arsenal and the Revolutionary Guards have … suffered a devastating blow. Worst of all, all their experts are at a loss to account for the assailants’ ability to penetrate one of Iran’s most closely guarded bases and reach deep underground to blow up the missile launchers.

The number of casualties is believed to be greater than the figure given out by Tehran.

The soldiers’ funerals took place Thursday, Oct. 14, at the same time as Ahmadinejad declared in South Lebanon that Israel was destined to “disappear”.

So far, what with Stuxnet and the explosions, it’s Iran that’s looking sick.

Preparing to bomb Iran? 6

What was the Israeli Air Force doing in Romania when one if its helicopters crashed on July 26, killing six of its airmen?

The crash itself is distressing, but the answer to the question is good news: the IAF was rehearsing for an attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

This report comes from DebkaFile:

The Israeli Air Force had been drilling high-risk attacks on precipitous cliff caves similar to the mountain tunnels in which Iran has hidden nuclear facilities. The crash occurred in the last stage of a joint Israeli-US-Romanian exercise for simulating an attack on Iran. Aboard the helicopter were six Israeli airmen and a Romanian flight captain. …

Iran has given up on adequate air and missile defense shields for its nuclear sites and in the last couple of years has been blasting deep tunnels beneath mountain peaks more than 2,000 meters high for housing nuclear facilities. There, they were thought by Tehran to be safe from air or missile attack.

The American and Israeli air forces have since been developing tactics for evading Iranian radar and flying at extremely low-altitudes through narrow mountain passes so as to reach the tunnel entrances for attacks on the nuclear equipment undetected. The drill in Romania took place at roughly the same altitude and in similar terrain that a US or Israeli air attack would expect to encounter in Iran.

For such strikes, special missiles would be used that are capable of flying the length of a tunnel, however twisty, and detonating only when its warhead identifies and contacts its target.

The entire maneuver is extremely hazardous. The pilots must be exceptionally skilled, capable of split-second timing in rising from low-altitudes to points opposite the high tunnel entrances without crashing into the surrounding mountain walls.

The Israeli helicopter is reported to have flown into a cloud patch hanging over its simulated target and crashed into a steep mountainside, while the second helicopter flying in the formation avoided the cloud and continued without incident. Israeli and American Air Force pilots are instructed, when encountering cloud cover of the target, to go around it. At all times, they must have eye contact with their target.

The accident revealed to military observers that the Israeli Air Force is practicing long-distance flights not only by bombers, but also heavy helicopters, such as the “Yasour” CH-53, which would require in-flight refueling. These practice flights have been taking place in cooperation with Greece and Bulgaria as well as Romania, whose distance from Israel of 1,600 kilometers approximates that of Iran. American air bases in Romania and Bulgaria participate in the drills.

Good to know, but the information that the US is participating in the exercise, and the fact that it is being reported – albeit through news of a disaster – makes us wonder if the point of publishing it is to frighten Ahmadinejad and the mullahs rather than actually prepare for a strike. Is it really likely, we wonder, that Obama has decided to take military action against Iran?

Charles Krauthammer seems to think it possible and even probable. The administration, he says, is “hardening its line”. And he sees a growth of determination among Western states and Arab states to stop Iran forcibly from becoming a nuclear power.

He gives these reasons in his column in Investor’s Business Daily:

Passage of weak U.N. sanctions was followed by unilateral sanctions by the United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union. Already … Iran is experiencing a sharp drop in gasoline imports as Lloyd’s of London refuses to insure the ships delivering them.

Second, the Arab states are no longer just whispering their desire for the U.S. to militarily take out Iranian nuclear facilities. The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington said so openly at a conference three weeks ago.

The UAE ambassador[‘s] … publicly expressed desire for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities speaks for the intense Arab fear approaching panic, of Iran’s nuclear program and the urgent hope that the U.S. will take it out.

It is true that the UAE ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, was heard to be pleading or at least arguing for military action by “an outside force”, but his government hastily denied that he meant it. There was no denial, however, that his country regards Iran’s nuclear program as a grave and imminent threat.

There is also a rumour, not mentioned today by Krauthammer, that Saudi Arabia would be willing to look the other way while Israeli planes flew through its airspace on a mission to bomb Iranian nuclear installations.

But what of American participation in such a raid? Krauthammer goes on to say:

Third, and perhaps even more troubling from Tehran’s point of view, are developments in the U.S. Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden suggested last Sunday that over time, in his view, a military strike is looking increasingly favorable compared with the alternatives. Hayden is no Obama insider, but Time reports (“An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table,” July 15) that high administration officials are once again considering the military option.

Here is part of what Time had to say:

[Secretary of Defense] Gates … told Fox News on June 20. “We do not accept the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons.” In fact, Gates was reflecting a new reality [sic – shouldn’t it be “realism”?] in the military and intelligence communities. Diplomacy and economic pressure remain the preferred means to force Iran to negotiate a nuclear deal, but there isn’t much hope that’s going to happen. “Will [sanctions] deter them from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability?” CIA Director Leon Panetta told ABC News on June 27. “Probably not.” So the military option is very much back on the table. …

Intelligence sources say that the U.S. Army’s Central Command, which is in charge of organizing military operations in the Middle East, has made some real progress in planning targeted air strikes — aided, in large part, by the vastly improved human-intelligence operations in the region. “There really wasn’t a military option a year ago,” an Israeli military source told me. “But they’ve gotten serious about the planning, and the option is real now.” Israel has been brought into the planning process … because U.S. officials are frightened by the possibility that the right-wing Netanyahu government might go rogue and try to whack the Iranians on its own.

There’s a lefty explanation! If whacking the Iranians is now considered a good thing to do, why would it be bad, or “going rogue”, for the Israelis to do it? Note the insistent mention that Netanyahu’s government is “right-wing”. Right-wings are, of course, on the edge of roguery at all times in the assumptions of the left.

One other factor has brought the military option to a low boil: Iran’s Sunni neighbors really want the U.S. to do it. When United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba said on July 6 that he favored a military strike against Iran despite the economic and military consequences to his country, he was reflecting an increasingly adamant attitude in the region. Senior American officials who travel to the Gulf frequently say the Saudis, in particular, raise the issue with surprising ardor. Everyone from the Turks to the Egyptians to the Jordanians are threatening to go nuclear if Iran does. That is seen as a real problem in the most volatile region in the world: What happens, for example, if Saudi Arabia gets a bomb, and the deathless monarchy there is overthrown by Islamist radicals?

Message to Time: The “deathless monarchy” IS radically Islamist. The Saudis are, however, Sunni radicals who fear the hegemony of Iranian Shia radicals. So their ardor is not really surprising at all.

For the moment, the White House remains as skeptical as ever about a military strike.

Ah, we thought so!

Most senior military leaders also believe … a targeted attack on Iran would be “disastrous on a number of levels.” It would unify the Iranian people against the latest in a long series of foreign interventions. It would also unify much of the world — including countries like Russia and China that we’ve worked hard to cultivate — against a recowboyfied US. [There’s a coinage for you!- JB].  There would certainly [?] be an Iranian reaction — in Iraq, in Afghanistan, by Lebanese Hizballah against Israel and by the Hizballah network against the U.S. and Saudi homelands. A catastrophic regional war is not impossible.

Of course, it is also possible that this low-key saber-rattling is simply a message the U.S. is trying to send the Iranians: it’s time to deal. … But it is also possible that the saber-rattling is not a bluff, that the U.S. really won’t tolerate a nuclear Iran and is prepared to do something awful to stop it.

So our question remains: is it likely that Obama will even consider the bombing of Iran?

We hope with ardor that Iran’s nuclear capability is knocked out soon by military force. It would be best of course if the US and Israel acted together. But if the US under Obama’s weak leadership holds back, may Israel strike alone – soon, and to devastating effect.

Something to rely on 0

How stupid does a person have to be to serve in the US (or for that matter any) intelligence services?

Or the State Department?

In a 2010 State Department report on arms-control compliance, requested by Senate Republicans as part of the START ratification debate (see our post below, Raising big red flags), it is revealed (surprise, surprise!) that Russia violated its 1991 START agreements on arms reductions and limitations “to the end”.

If the Washington Times report of the State Department’s report is to be relied on, it also contains this gem:

On Iran’s nuclear program, the report to be released Wednesday reveals that U.S. intelligence agencies still think that Iran halted work on its nuclear-weapons program in 2003, but provides new details showing that Tehran has failed to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency controls on its extensive nuclear program.

Specifically, the report said Iran has not explained evidence showing that it is working on a nuclear warhead for the Shahab-3 missile, and tested detonators and explosives for nuclear arms.

The report said the evidence showed Iran worked on casting uranium metal into hemispheres, like those used in the pit of a nuclear bomb; evidence of work on detonating a high explosive in “hemispherical geometry,” also for a nuclear bomb; and the modification of a warhead for the Shahab 3. Iran also did underground explosives testing that appeared to be nuclear arms, the report said.

But as Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, there’s nothing to worry about. No need to take action to prevent Iran becoming a nuclear power.

No evidence, however ample, however strong, can change the resolute minds in the State Department once they’re made up.

That’s something to rely on.

The wrong war 0

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somehow, between now and July 2011 when American forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan, the Afghans could be made over into enlightened, fair-minded, peaceable people, free of old tribal conflicts, filled with a thirst for righteousness, respectful of women, eager to become law-abiding free-marketeers, and enthusiasts for establishing the customs and institutions that embody and support true democracy?

It would be more than wonderful, it would be a miracle.

But if that miracle could be worked, wouldn’t the achievement be worth the cost in blood and treasure of the long war America has been waging against the Taliban?

Some think so.

But what is actually happening among these backward, feuding, misogynistic, deeply ignorant people is a continuation of what has always been happening: feuding, subjugation of women, and savage cruelty – of which this is a very recent example from Afghan sources:

Taliban fighters have hanged a seven-year-old boy, claiming he was passing information to foreign soldiers in the volatile southern province of Helmand.

(“Volatile” is good. We like “volatile”.)

And of what is about to happen we are being nervously forewarned by US military commanders, according to this report from the Washington Post:

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that the civilian-military offensive scheduled to begin in the southern city of Kandahar this spring would take months longer than planned. The Afghan government has not produced the civilian leadership and trained security forces it was to contribute to the effort, U.S. officials said, and the support from Kandaharis that the United States was counting on Karzai to deliver has not materialized.

When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them,” Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said … in explaining why the Kandahar operation has been pushed back until at least September.

“It’s a deliberative process. It takes time to convince people,” he told reporters at a meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels.

But time is short. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said this week that the U.S.-led coalition has until the end of the year to prove to the United States and its allies that their forces have broken a stalemate with the Taliban. …

In Marja, in western Helmand province, where Marines launched a major operation this year, U.S. efforts have been hindered by the absence or incompetence of Afghan officials and security forces and by the Taliban’s enduring resistance. …

Many  officials are despairing behind the scenes.

“Washington is making nice with [the corrupt President of Afghanistan] Karzai, but what good has that done?” a U.S. official in Afghanistan said. … “We need him to step up and take a leadership role, to get his government to support what we’re doing. But he’s either unwilling or unable to do it. …

In Kandahar, U.S. military officials said a complex web of official and unofficial power brokers stands to lose if efficient government and rule of law are imposed. “There are generations of families that have lived off corruption,” said 1st Lt. James Rathmann … who leads a platoon in Kandahar city …

The operational plan drawn up for Kandahar last spring began with U.S. Special Operations forces raids against individual insurgent leaders within the city and in the Taliban-heavy “bands” in surrounding districts. At the same time, U.S. civilians were to help organize shuras, or meetings of local leaders and elders, to offer development aid and encourage them to take political control. By June, more than 10,000 newly deployed U.S. troops were to begin clearing the Taliban from the outlying districts, up to 80 percent of which the military estimates is controlled by insurgents. …

McChrystal  … acknowledged that winning support from local leaders was tougher than expected. Some see the Taliban fighters as their Muslim brothers rather than oppressors; others are afraid of assassination by Taliban hit squads that target government supporters or see no advantage in challenging the existing political power structure.

“There’s no point in clearing an area until you have the capacity to do the hold, to bring governance” that does not now exist, one military official in Afghanistan said. “Without the Afghan government civilian capacity — without a district government that can provide some basic services — you’ll end up with what we’re experiencing in Marja right now.” …

Asked whether the delay leaves time for a decisive outcome by the end of the year, McChrystal was noncommittal. “It will be very clear by the end of the calendar year that the Kandahar operation is progressing,” he said. “I don’t know whether we’ll know whether it’s decisive. Historians will tell us that.”

Decisive? Changing Afghanistan forever? We don’t think so. Even if the Taliban fighters are wiped out in the forthcoming Battle of Kandahar, there will be no lasting change.

The war in Afghanistan is being fought for nothing.

The Taliban were whacked with the first offensive. The US should have withdrawn then, with a warning that if terrorists from Afghanistan attacked American targets again, they’d be whacked harder. The continuing campaign has been tragically pointless.

What American – or “coalition” – forces ought to be fighting is the urgently necessary war against the Iranian regime before it launches its nuclear attack.

A success story 1

At last the day came when China and Russia agreed to support a US resolution in the UN Security Council that would make Iran regret it had defied the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, promise never to make nuclear bombs, stop threatening to destroy Israel, and utterly renounce its wicked ways.

As you can imagine, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton felt immensely triumphant – not so much because Iran would now be forced to do all that, but because getting Russia and China on their side had been really hard. It was especially great for Hillary, as she hadn’t achieved anything else to boast about since becoming Secretary of State.

What dire punishments, what unendurable difficulties, will the resolution impose on the Iranian regime?

Sorry, we can’t tell you. The draft of the resolution has not been made public.

However, some information about it comes from unofficial sources.

One report claims that it will ban Iran from building ballistic missiles. (Which it has already done, without permission.)

And what penalties will it impose if Iran disobeys? These:

It “calls on countries to block financial transactions, including insurance and reinsurance, and ban the licensing of Iranian banks if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe these activities could contribute to Iranian nuclear activities.”  And it “recalls the need for states to exercise vigilance over all Iranian banks, including the Central Bank, to prevent transactions contributing to proliferation activities.”

“Calls on them to”, and “recalls the need to”, but does not require them to do so.

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, says it will give “greater teeth” to some sanctions already imposed which haven’t proved effective, and “add strong new measures to intensify pressure on the Iranian government to resolve concerns that its nuclear program is peaceful and not aimed at producing nuclear weapons.”

And that seems to be the most that can be hoped of it.

“The draft resolution is weaker than the original Western-backed proposal, especially on financial and energy-related measures. Rather than place sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, the proposed resolution simply notes the potential connection between Iranian energy revenues and funding for the country’s nuclear program and calls on U.N. members to be aware of it.”

The draft was introduced into the Security Council last Tuesday. (It was urgent, Ambassador Rice said, but she “wouldn’t speculate on when the resolution will be put to a vote”.)

On the day before, Iran announced an agreement it had made with Turkey and Brazil [?] to send some if its low-enriched uranium to Turkey (which has as yet no enrichment facility), in exchange for higher-enriched fuel rods – which Iran will use only in an innocent medical research reactor, built long ago for Tehran by the United States. (And meanwhile, of course, it will continue with its own high-enrichment program.)

But if Iran had hoped that this little ruse, this piece of side-play with Turkey and Brazil, would thwart the resolve of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, it was underestimating the stuff they’re made of! They pressed on, confident that Russia and China were right behind them.

That is, if those two powers stuck to their side of the bargain.

The US had had to pay a price for their co-operation.

First, various provisions had to be stripped from the draft before either of them would even consider giving their nods to it.

Chiefly, the one sanction that would really hurt Iran, aimed at its oil and gas industries, had to be removed. Both China and Russia had invested too heavily in them to allow anything like that.

Next, according to another report, they had to drop sanctions against three Russian organizations that had aided Iran’s nuclear program (and that until now the Russian government had denied were giving any support at all to Iran). And “penalties against a fourth Russian entity previously accused of illicit arms sales to Syria were also lifted” as part of the deal. So were “US sanctions imposed in October 2008 against Russian state arms trader Rosoboronexport for … illicit assistance to Iran’s nuclear program.”

Now Iran may expect aid from Russia to resume or continue. (And so may Syria.)

Then China had to be paid. Part of China’s demand was that America should take no notice of certain nuclear-related transactions it has made with Pakistan, in particular its contracts to build two reactors in that country, which is already a nuclear power.

Pakistan in its turn is providing nuclear and ballistic missile technologies to both Iran and North Korea.

And North Korea has announced that it is developing a hydrogen bomb – a claim that the Obama administration refuses to believe. (North Korea recently torpedoed a South Korean ship, and warned that any retaliation will mean all-out war.)

So let’s say well done Barack, Hillary, and Susan! And thank you for keeping us safe.

Too big to see 0

A shift of power from the United States to its enemies – chief among them China, Iran, and Russia – is being deliberately carried out by Obama and his gang.

China now wields economic power over America. Iran is being allowed to develop a nuclear arms capability. Obama has concluded a treaty with Russia whereby America will weaken itself while Russia will strengthen itself militarily.

What’s more, America will pay Russia to do it.

Why is there no protest, no outcry about this?

Is it too dreadful for most Americans to notice, so they turn their eyes away from it?

Is it too big to see?

Frank Gaffney at Canada Free press explains just how the new START treaty is to Russia’s advantage and America’s detriment:

President Obama announced last Thusday that he had concluded a follow-on to the 1989 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia. He characterized the cuts that it would make in the two nations’ nuclear arsenals as a major step towards his goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. In practice, however, the so-called “New START” accord will contribute primarily to the denuclearization of the United States and to making the world a more dangerous place. Accordingly, it would be more accurate to call it “False START.”

The first thing to note about the Obama treaty is that it confers real advantages on the Russians. For starters, the Kremlin will have to make essentially no cuts in the numbers of its deployed strategic launchers, whereas the United States will have to destroy several hundred of ours.

It is unclear at this writing whether such reductions by the U.S. will, as a practical matter, make it difficult – if not impossible – for America to preserve its strategic “Triad” of land- and sea-based ballistic missiles and long-range bombers. If so, there could be serious implications for strategic stability as the confidence of friends and foes alike in the robustness of our deterrent declines markedly.

What is clear, though, is that we will be obliged to cut back our arsenal to match the lower levels that the Russians can afford to maintain at the moment. The advisability of such a step would be debatable even if it produced a genuine equality between the two parties.

Unfortunately, the seeming equality thus established is deceptive in at least three respects:

First, the Russians are aggressively modernizing their strategic forces with both new missiles and warheads. They claim that by 2015 roughly 80% of their long-range arsenal will have been upgraded – an activity we are subsidizing by paying to dismantle their old weapon systems, freeing up funds for Moscow’s modernization programs.

By contrast, the United States has not introduced a new nuclear weapon in over fifteen years. Its missiles, submarines and bombers are, by and large, even older, with some dating back to the 1950s and ’60s. Today, the Nation has no capability to produce new nuclear weapons and could not manufacture them in quantity for many years – the only nuclear power of whom that can be said.

Second, the Russians are reintroducing multiple, independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) on their land-based ballistic missiles. This step could enable a break-out capacity that would allow Moscow rapidly to deploy far more weapons than its forces are allowed to have under the new START treaty. By contrast, the United States decided back in the 1980s that such a capability was “destabilizing”; it has systematically de-MIRVed its underground silo-launched intercontinental-range ballistic missiles ever since.

Third, the newly unveiled START accord fails to take into account or otherwise limit several thousand Russian “tactical” nuclear weapons. The Kremlin has focused for twenty years on such low-yield devices; some with the explosive power of the Hiroshima weapon and fitted on submarine-launched cruise missiles are deployed off our coasts today. While the administration says such armaments could be the subject of a future, bilateral treaty that makes still deeper reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear stocks, don’t count on it. In any event, they will constitute a real, asymmetric advantage for Russia for many years to come. This is a particularly worrisome prospect to American allies in Europe who have long relied on America’s “extended deterrence” to counteract such threatening Kremlin capabilities.

Then, there is the matter of missile defense. The Obama administration tried to finesse Russian insistence on including in the new accord language that would capture American defenses against missile attack by confining to the preamble an acknowledgement of a “relationship” between such systems and offensive forces. The United States claims that, by its nature, such preambular language is not binding. Yet, a Kremlin spokesman has already served notice that Moscow will feel free to abrogate the START follow-on treaty if it believes that U.S. missile defenses in Europe are a threat to its deterrent.

The biggest problem of all with the New START treaty, however, is that it is a product of President Obama’s fixation with “devaluing nuclear weapons” and ridding the world of them. On these grounds, he refuses to take the steps necessary to modernize America’s deterrent. Even though he professes that a nuclear-free globe will not be realized any time soon, he is condemning the nation to unilateral disarmament by allowing the steady and unavoidable obsolescence of the U.S. stockpile, and the dissipation of the workforce and infrastructure needed to maintain it, to continue unabated.

The acuteness of this obsolescence has reached a point where the directors of the nation’s nuclear laboratories have felt compelled to express strong concerns about the continued reliability of the arsenal. …

These factors ensure that the New START treaty will contribute to U.S. nuclear disarmament alright, but do nothing to advance the ostensible purpose of the exercise – namely, enhancing the security of this country or the world.

The world on fire 2

Obama is doing nothing effective to stop Iran becoming a nuclear armed power.

At the same time as he is allowing Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal, he is weakening America’s nuclear capability with the expressed aim of ultimately abandoning it completely.

Does he understand what can happen as a result of these policies?

If so, he is intentionally bringing about Armageddon.

James Carafano writes at the Washington Examiner:

Recent research suggests that nuclear weapons are much more destructive than previously thought because of the effect of mass fire. At the moment of detonation, the heart of an atomic fireball is four to five times hotter than the sun. It generates a firestorm of hurricane-force winds. Air temperature soars above the boiling point.

Both Washington and Tehran have much to learn from this. The people of Iran should realize the terrible price they may pay due to their president’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons. For Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nukes are more than a status symbol. He views them as a useful tool. He publicly yearns to bring about the “death of Israel” and live in “a world without America.”

Nukes are the way to reach these goals. Give this delusional dreamer a nuclear weapon and a missile to deliver it, and he’ll be only too eager to threaten his enemies with nuclear holocaust.

That, of course, would only invite atomic retaliation … the type that would obliterate Iran…

The lesson for Washington is that the United States, a long-established nuclear power, must act like a responsible one. President Obama has started a mad dash down the “road to zero” — with the announced goal of eliminating our nuclear arsenal. It’s a path more likely to end in a nuclear firestorm than in peace.

Why? The danger starts with the administration’s refusal to fully modernize our nuclear weapons. Our aging inventory is increasingly less usable and reliable. The continuing erosion of a credible deterrent force will only invite aggression.

Moreover, slashing U.S. arsenals may well spur a new arms race. It may encourage emerging atomic enemies such as Iran and North Korea to “pick up the pace” to become our nuclear equals. That in turn could spark other nations wary of these rogue regimes to fast-track their own nuclear programs. Instead of easing tensions, our nuclear drawdown could ratchet up worldwide instability.

The administration has compounded its nuclear error by hobbling our missile defense program. War gaming exercises consistently show missile defenses not only deter attacks, they deter others from even building up their arsenals. Why build missiles when they’ll just be shot down?

A world on fire is an horrific vision of the future. The Iranian administration views it as glorious, while our administration steadfastly averts its gaze…

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Iran, Pacifism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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