Chris Cuomo’s Attack Netanyahu – And His Word Gaffes
CNN’s Chris Cuomo conducted a largely belligerent interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his New Day program on Tuesday in which the CNN host repeatedly interrupted and spoke over the Israeli leader, going so far as to confront Netanyahu about Israel’s suspected nuclear arsenal.
During the interview, Cuomo suggested that the international nuclear accord with Iran is “better than nothing” and charged that Netanyahu’s speech revealing a secretive Iranian nuclear weapons archive “has been described as an unusually theatrical display for you.”
Yet Cuomo may have betrayed his own grasp of the subject matter when he tried to state the long form name for the international nuclear watchdog that reports to the United Nations, referring to the agency as “the IAEA, the International era – whatever.”
Clearly struggling to recall the full name, Cuomo looked down at his desk, likely at a piece of paper.
His co-host, Alisyn Camerota, chimed in to try to help him out. “The Atomic,” Camerota stated.
Cuomo then stated, “The Atomic Energy Agency. OK, they’re the watchdog that’s supposed to be doing the monitoring under the 2015 deal.”
The full name is actually the International Atomic Energy Agency. Cuomo’s mishaps didn’t end there. About two minutes into the interview, Cuomo mistakenly referred to Iran as Israel.
“Even the U.S. statement from the White House changed from “has” to “had,” that Israel has an active nuclear program to had. And it seems to be that the message is, we knew this already,” Coumo stated.
He clearly meant to say Iran and not Israel. The White House on Monday altered an initial statement sent out by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that Iran “has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program,” changing the word “has” to “had” in an online version of the statement.
Later on his program, Cuomo again fumbled the full name of the IAEA, stating: “Now, there is pushback to this notion. The International Atomic Agency — Energy Agency — says that there is no evidence that Iran was trying to develop nuclear weapons after 2009.”
AP Is Too Quick To Denounce Trump
In an article published by major U.S. newspapers, the Associated Press last Sunday claimed Donald Trump was inaccurate when he tweeted that day that North Korea had agreed to “denuclearization” ahead of a future summit between himself and Kim Jong Un.
One week later, Trump’s tweet was proven to be true when the North Korean leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in both signed a joint statement that specifically agreed to “complete denuclearization.”
The statement was vague and did not offer specifics on “complete denuclearization,” but the declaration nonetheless represents the shifting of the tectonic plates on the Peninsula after nearly six decades of war. And the specific phraseology proves Trump’s tweet about “denuclearization” to be accurate.
Failing to recognize that Trump may have been tweeting about commitments not yet released to the public, the Associated Press last Sunday released a widely-published article charging Trump’s “denuclearization” claim was untrue. The piece, datelined in West Palm Beach, where Trump was staying at the time, was authored by Jill Colvin.
The New York Times picked up the AP story, titling the piece, “Trump Says North Korea Agreed to Denuclearize. It Hasn’t.”
“Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearize. It hasn’t,” was also the title of the Chicago Tribune version of the piece.
ABCNew.com used the same title.
Time picked up the wire under the slightly modified title, “President Trump Says North Korea Agreed to Denuclearize. It Hasn’t.”
Besides the AP, PolitiFact used general headlines on Sunday to pronounce of Trump’s now provably accurate “denuclearization” tweet: “We rate this claim False.”
Russian Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Syria
Would Hampen Israel’s Ability To Strike
Russian plans to possibly supply Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s regime with new air defense systems can only be viewed as defiance of the West and an expression of Moscow’s willingness to aid Iran in solidifying its military infrastructure in Syria.
On Monday, the Kommersant newspaper in Russia cited military sources saying that Russia might supply anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria at an unspecified date. Russian Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi said such deliveries could begin “in the nearest future.”
In response to the reports, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying that Russia had not made any decision about whether to deliver the game changing advanced S-300 anti-missile systems to Assad. He further claimed that U.S.-led Western strikes targeting alleged Syrian chemical facilities earlier this month had removed any “moral obligations” regarding the withholding of the S-300 system.
Fearful the S-300 could impede its ability to strike targets in Syria, Israel has reportedly petitioned Russia against supplying the advanced system to Assad and has already purchased a fleet of F-35 stealth fighter jets that may be able to avoid detection.
Russia has been playing a dangerous game in Syria. Seeking to expand its influence, Moscow has been working with Iran and Assad to quell the years-long insurgency targeting Assad’s regime while protecting its own military sites in the country. At the same time, Moscow has not directly interfered in Israeli or Western airstrikes inside Syria. The transfer of advanced anti-missile systems to Syria would mark a strategic change in Russia’s approach, enabling Assad and his Iranian controllers to more seriously confront Israeli or U.S.-led strikes.
Israel remains largely free to act in Syria to protect against Iranian designs.
Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein claimed to the Ynetnews website that Israel is not the intended target of any military deliveries to Syria.
While that may be technically accurate, such deliveries protect Assad against Israeli or Western strikes and by extension aid Assad’s Iranian puppet masters in securing their significant military infrastructure to Israel’s north in Syria. Already, Russia in 2016 completed delivery of the S-300 to Iran for homefront protection despite Israeli and Western concerns.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the reports of the possible S-300 transfer by warning, “One thing should be clear – if someone fires on our planes, we will destroy them.” Russia reacted with an unnamed military source telling state-run media, “If Israel decides to carry out rocket strikes on the deployment locations of the S-300, the consequences will be catastrophic for all sides.”
Actually, it is Russian actions that may result in catastrophic consequences. Russia’s potential defense system transfers could lead to American or Israeli warplanes shot down in the future by Syrian forces acting with Iranian guidance and utilizing Russian defense systems.