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February 13, 2016 / 4 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’

Five Former Advisers to Obama Publish Warning on Iran Deal

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

The proposed deal with Iran to supposedly prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon “falls short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good’ agreement,'” five of President Barack Obama’s former senior advisers said in a public letter.

They published their warning just before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif are to meet in Vienna for negotiations to come up with a final agreement by next week, President Obama’s self-imposed deadline.

The ex-advisers are big time sluggers:

Dennis Ross, a semi reformed Oslo Accords architect;

David Petraeus, the former CIA director who once claimed that solving the Palestinian Authority Israel conflict was the key to all Middle East problems;

Robert Einhorn, a former member of the U.S negotiating team with Iran;

James Cartwright, a former vice-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff; and

Gary Samore, a former Obama adviser on nuclear policy.

The letter, published in full below, states:

The agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability. It will not require the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

It will however reduce that infrastructure for the next 10 to 15 years. And it will impose a transparency, inspection, and consequences regime with the goal of deterring and dissuading Iran from actually building a nuclear weapon.

The former advisers to President Obama urge him to reinstate a previous condition that Iran come clean on its previous research on nuclear weapons and allow international inspectors at military sites, which the regime in Tehran has repeated over and over the past two months it will not permit.

The letter, which is backed by a larger group that includes former Sen. Joe Lieberman, also calls on President Obama to take steps that would weaken Iran’s influence in the Middle East considering the huge economic boost Tehran would receive with the lifting of sanctions.

“Without these features, many of us will find it difficult to support a nuclear agreement with Iran,” the letter states.

A White House sources insisted that a “large part” of the letter is on the same page as the American “negotiating position inside the negotiating room.”

Maybe so and maybe not,, but what about the ‘small’ part?

Here is the entire letter, as posted on the website of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: 

The Iran nuclear deal is not done. Negotiations continue. The target deadline is June 30.  We know much about the emerging agreement. Most of us would have preferred a stronger agreement.

The agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability. It will not require the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear enrichment infrastructure. It will however reduce that infrastructure for the next 10 to 15 years. And it will impose a transparency, inspection, and consequences regime with the goal of deterring and dissuading Iran from actually building a nuclear weapon.

The agreement does not purport to be a comprehensive strategy towards Iran. It does not address Iran’s support for terrorist organizations (like Hezbollah and Hamas), its interventions in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen (its “regional hegemony”), its ballistic missile arsenal, or its oppression of its own people. The U.S. administration has prioritized negotiations to deal with the nuclear threat, and hopes that an agreement will positively influence Iranian policy in these other areas.

Even granting this policy approach, we fear that the current negotiations, unless concluded along the lines outlined in this paper and buttressed by a resolute regional strategy, may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a “good” agreement.

We are united in our view that to maximize its potential for deterring and dissuading Iran from building a nuclear weapon, the emerging nuclear agreement must – in addition to its existing provisions – provide the following:

Monitoring and Verification: The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (the “IAEA”) charged with monitoring compliance with the agreement must have timely and effective access to any sites in Iran they need to visit in order to verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement. This must include military (including IRGC) and other sensitive facilities. Iran must not be able to deny or delay timely access to any site anywhere in the country that the inspectors need to visit in order to carry out their responsibilities.

Possible Military Dimensions: The IAEA inspectors must be able, in a timely and effective manner, to take samples, to interview scientists and government officials, to inspect sites, and to review and copy documents as required for their investigation of Iran’s past and any ongoing nuclear weaponization activities (“Possible Military Dimensions” or “PMD”). This work needs to be accomplished before any significant sanctions relief.

Advanced Centrifuges: The agreement must establish strict limits on advanced centrifuge R&D, testing, and deployment in the first ten years, and preclude the rapid technical upgrade and expansion of Iran’s enrichment capacity after the initial ten-year period. The goal is to push back Iran’s deployment of advanced centrifuges as long as possible, and ensure that any such deployment occurs at a measured, incremental pace consonant with a peaceful nuclear program.

Sanctions Relief: Relief must be based on Iran’s performance of its obligations. Suspension or lifting of the most significant sanctions must not occur until the IAEA confirms that Iran has taken the key steps required to come into compliance with the agreement. Non-nuclear sanctions (such as for terrorism) must remain in effect and be vigorously enforced.

Consequences of Violations: The agreement must include a timely and effective mechanism to re-impose sanctions automatically if Iran is found to be in violation of the agreement, including by denying or delaying IAEA access. In addition, the United States must itself articulate the serious consequences Iran will face in that event.

Most importantly, it is vital for the United States to affirm that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from producing sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon – or otherwise acquiring or building one – both during the agreement and after it expires. Precisely because Iran will be left as a nuclear threshold state (and has clearly preserved the option of becoming a nuclear weapon state), the United States must go on record now that it is committed to using all means necessary, including military force, to prevent this.

The President should declare this to be U.S. policy and Congress should formally endorse it. In addition, Congressional review of any agreement should precede any formal action on the agreement in the United Nations.

Without these features, many of us will find it difficult to support a nuclear agreement with Iran.

We urge the U.S. administration not to treat June 30 as an “inviolable” deadline. Stay at the negotiating table until a “good” agreement that includes these features is reached. Extend the existing Joint Plan of Action while negotiations continue.

This will freeze Iran’s nuclear activity and international sanctions at current levels. While the United States should extend the Iran Sanctions Act so it does not expire, it should not increase sanctions while negotiations continue. U.S. alternatives to an agreement are unappealing, but Iran’s are worse. It has every incentive to reach an agreement and obtain relief from sanctions and international isolation well in advance of its elections next February. If anyone is to walk out of the negotiations, let it be Iran.

Some argue that any nuclear agreement now simply further empowers bad Iranian behavior. And there is a lot to this argument. This is why we believe that the United States must bolster any agreement by doing more in the region to check Iran and support our traditional friends and allies.

This does not mean major U.S. ground combat operations in the Middle East. But it does mean taking initiatives like the following:

In Iraq: Expand training and arming not only of Iraqi Security Forces but also Kurdish Peshmerga in the north and vetted Sunni forces in the West. Allow U.S. Special Forces to leave their bases and help coordinate air strikes and stiffen Iraqi units. Sideline Iranian-backed militia and separate them from Shiite units (“popular mobilization units”) that are not under Iranian control.

In Syria: Expand and accelerate the U.S. train and equip programs. Work with Turkey to create a safe haven in northern Syria where refugees can obtain humanitarian aid and vetted non-extremist opposition fighters can be trained and equipped. Capitalize on Bashar al-Assad’s increasing weakness to split off regime elements and seek to join them with U.S. trained opposition elements. Interdict the transshipment of Iranian weapons into Syria in coordination with the Kurds and Turkey, and consider designating as terrorist organizations Iranian-backed Shiite militias responsible for egregious atrocities.

In Yemen: Expand support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE in pressuring the warring parties to the negotiating table while seeking to split the Houthi elements away from Iran.

Regionally: Interdict Iranian arms bound for extremist groups and continue to counter its efforts to harass commercial shipping and our naval forces. Reaffirm U.S. policy to oppose Iran’s efforts to subvert local governments and project its power at the expense of our friends and allies.

Collectively, these steps also strengthen U.S. capability against Daesh (the misnamed “Islamic State”). Acting against both Iranian hegemony and Daesh’s caliphate will help reassure friends and allies of America’s continued commitment. And it will help address Israel’s legitimate concerns that a nuclear agreement will validate Iran’s nuclear program, further facilitate its destabilizing behavior, and encourage further proliferation at a time when Israel faces the possible erosion of its “qualitative military edge.”

We urge the U.S. administration to create a discreet, high-level mechanism with the Israeli government to identify and implement responses to each of these concerns.

Taking the actions we propose while the nuclear negotiations continue will reinforce the message that Iran must comply with any agreement and will not be allowed to pursue a nuclear weapon. This will increase, not decrease, the chance that Iran will comply with the agreement and may ultimately adopt a more constructive role in the region. For the U.S. administration’s hopes in this respect have little chance so long as Iran’s current policy seems to be succeeding in expanding its influence.

W’s Private Remarks to RJC Reveal Disagreements with Obama (SHOCKER)

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

At a Republican Jewish Coalition dinner that was closed to the press and at which the attendees were reportedly told repeatedly not to transcribe his remarks, George W. Bush did something he was refrained from doing since leaving public office. He shared his views on the way his successor has handled foreign policy.

It happened at a dinner given by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson at a Republic Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas.

But at least one of the 800 people in the room, despite the repeated importunities to refrain, transcribed portions of what the former president said, and then shared them with the media. Both the New York Times and Bloomberg View published accounts based on those transcripts.

You ready to hear the big secret? That former president doesn’t think much about this current president’s decisions.

Really.

Take Obama’s foreign policy track record. Please. On Iraq, on Iran, on ISIS, on America’s role on the world stage, Bush was critical.

According to the press reports of the leaked “transcripts,” Bush thought Obama was too trusting of Iran’s intentions and to quick to relax sanctions on Tehran. Admitting that the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is certainly smoother than was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bush was doubtful that there has been any real change in ideology or in plans.

Bush did not have positive things to say about the rapidity with which U.S. troops were pulled out of Iraq in 2011, nor about Obama’s hands-off approach to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

As far as the ascent of ISIS, the former president described this barbaric terrorist group as “al Qaeda’s second act.”

The former president also took a shot at making some predictions regarding the upcoming U.S. presidential campaign. About former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bush said she will have to make a choice as to whether she will run on the Obama administration’s policies or against them.

“If she defends them, she’s admitting failure,” he reportedly said, “but if she doesn’t, she’s blaming the president.”

On the Republican side, Bush said that foreign policy is going to be very important, and that “the test for Republicans running will be who has got the ‘courage’ to resist isolationist tendencies.”

Ted Cruz is Running for President as the anti-Obama [video]

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

In a midnight twitter announcement, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made it official: he is running to become the next president of the United States of America.

Cruz is, like all things iconically Texan, larger than life.

The son of a Cuban activist who was imprisoned and tortured, Ted Cruz is an ardent Evangelical Christian, and a huge supporter of Israel.

A captivating orator, Cruz has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and was the Solicitor General of Texas. He worked in the U.S. Justice Department and at the Federal Trade Commission.

Cruz’s father was an immigrant who washed dishes for 50 cents an hour and spoke no English upon his arrival in the U.S. His mother was the first in her family to attend college.

Cruz graduated with honors from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Alan Dershowitz, the former Harvard Law School professor, said of his former student, that Cruz was “off-the-charts brilliant,” and one of the smartest students ever from Harvard Law School.

On the other hand, the State Department briefings often sound like an elitist jock club chortling at the mention of an initiative or query issued by Sen. Cruz – with both the reporters and the State Dept. spokesperson acting as if Cruz is the team doofus. This isn’t surprising, given Cruz’s unabashed conservativism, his religiosity and his ardent support for Israel, all traits belittled by those progressive elites.

Cruz made his candidacy announcement in a midnight tweet, followed the next day by a formal speech at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia.

His speech Monday morning, March 23, in Virginia hammered out his core message: with Cruz you’ll have the antidote to all that has gone wrong under the Obama administration. The Texas senator intended to repeal “every word” of the Obamacare legislation and to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service, as well as rescind illegal immigration amnesty.

Cruz also lambasted the educational curriculum standard “Common Core,” which is not only strongly supported by the Obama administration, it is supported by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is considered the front runner in the field of Republican presidential hopefuls.

Cruz elicited the longest and loudest applause from the Liberty University audience when he urged them to “imagine a President who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel” according to CNN.

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Cruz is the first of several who are expected to seek the Republican nomination. The others, who will be announcing their own candidacies soon, include Bush, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Florida’s Marco Rubio, as well as Congressmen Scott Walker of Wisconsin and New Jersey’s Chris Christie.

The Democratic field is expected to be dominated by former New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Vice President Joe Biden.

Of all the current front-runners, Cruz is also the standard-bearer for positions on Israel and Middle East policies that run counter to this administration’s. He has repeatedly criticized the administration for its own criticisms of Israel and for pandering to the behemoth terrorists in the Islamic Republic of Iran and ISIS, as well as the more moderate in execution – though no less so in hatred – terrorists of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Authority.

 

US High Court Hears Whether US Passport Can Say Jerusalem, Israel

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

On Monday, Nov. 3, the United States Supreme Court heard argument on the claim of a young American citizen who was born in Jerusalem to have his passport identify the place of his birth as Jerusalem, Israel.

That such a request is the subject of a lawsuit, let alone one which has endured for more than a decade, might be more of a surprise were the case not about Israel.

As most people who pay attention are aware, everything about Israel is complicated – or is treated that way.

Seventeen days before Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky was born, on Sept. 30, 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for fiscal year 2003.  A subsection of that law was intended to prevent exactly the kind of litigation that was argued before the United States Supreme Court today, in Zivotofsky v. Kerry.

The relevant subsection of that law states that for “purposes of the registration of birth, certification of nationality, or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.”

But when plaintiff’s mother went to the U.S. Embassy in Israel and asked to have her then two month old baby registered as a United States citizen and have a passport issued to him stating that his place of birth was Jerusalem, Israel, the request was refused.

Instead, a passport was issued to Baby Zivotofsky which indicated his place of birth was Jerusalem. Just Jerusalem.

On Sept. 16, 2003, the Zivotofskys filed a Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asking the court to direct the defendant – the secretary of state – to register the child’s birthplace as Jerusalem, Israel, have the child’s passport reissued reflecting that fact, and instructing all U.S. consular officials to comply with the law signed by Pres. Bush in Sept. 2002.

That did not happen.

The reason that did not happen is that, according to the U.S. Constitution, the Executive branch of the U.S. government has a great deal of control over what U.S. foreign policy should be.

The state department, of course, is part of the Executive branch. The Constitutional clause relevant here (Article 2) says that the President of the United States has the exclusive right to “receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers” from other countries.

Over the years the Supreme Court has read that clause to mean that the President has the sole right to decide which government in any country is the legitimate one, and to decide what the U.S. is going to say when it speaks to the representatives of other countries.

The section of the law passed by Congress in the 2003 Authorization Act that is relevant to this lawsuit, therefore, forces an important separation of powers discussion.

If the question is understood to be about whether Congress or the Executive branch decides what American policy is about Israel, then Congress, and therefore Zivotofsky, is unlikely to prevail.

The case has now gone from Zivotofsky’s complaint in the federal district court all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Zivotofskys are on one side, the Executive branch, on the other side, is represented by the head of the state department, Secretary of State John Kerry.

There are also many “friends of the court” known as amicus curiae, who have filed briefs as well. These amici offer their understanding of how the Supreme Court should think about and decide the issues presented in this case.

The parties, and most of the amici, have argued as if the issue in the case is whether Congress or the State Department gets to decide the foreign policy issue which they believe is central to the case.

ADL Honors George W. Bush

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

The Anti-Defamation League awarded its highest honor to former President George W. Bush.

The ADL presented its America’s Democratic Legacy Award to the former president during a Thursday night gala dinner that opened the its national executive committee meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

“We will never forget, Mr. President, how the vision you laid out of ‘two states, living side by side, in peace and security’ still informs our consciousness and our parlance today,” said the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman. “You solidified an unbreakable affinity between two democracies challenged by extremists and terrorists — and an ironclad shared understanding — that security is one of the most important foundations for peace.”

Foxman also hailed Bush’s support for immigration reform and his leadership after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“When you were called on to respond to unspeakable terror, hate and violence, you refused to let America give into stereotypes,” Foxman said. “You answered calls for anti-Muslim revenge with calls for respect and understanding.”

Bush spoke at the dinner, which was held at The Breakers resort and was reportedly closed to the press.

Previous recipients of the award, which the ADL has been giving out for more than half a century, have included American presidents as well as other government, business, literary and religious figures.

Iran Owes Terror Victims Billions of Dollars, Says Activist Lawyer

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

An Israeli lawyer who has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims has asked Obama administration officials why they are discussing letting Iran off the hook on sanctions while it owes American relatives colossal sums of money.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Israel Law Center, has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims in lawsuits against the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organization as well as banks and other agencies that aid terrorists or act as a pipeline for funds for them.

She wrote Under Secretary Wendy Sherman last month, “Iran must not be allowed under any circumstances to avoid making payment of reparations and due compensations to the families of those whose lives they have destroyed through terrorism…and through the terror organizations it supports: Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.”

In a blog posted this past week on The Hill website based in Washington, Darshan-Leitner noted that Sherman did not respond, and she added, “As a result of lawsuits taken by American victims of terror in U.S. courts, the Iranian regime currently owes billions of dollars from decades of terrorist activity resulting in dozens of victims and severed families. This debt has yet to be recognized or paid by the Iranian government with no sign of an intention to do so.”

She called on Congress to ensure that the U.S. government is working to keep the interests of the terror victims’ families on the table.

Darshan-Leitner pointed out that when George W. Bush was President, he conditioned repealing of any sanctions against Libya on payment of reparations to the victims of Libyan terror. “This move resulted in the payment of $1.5 billion dollars to the victims’ families,” she wrote.

On the other hand, Bush also removed North Korea from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in 2008, without compensation being paid to American families, she added.

“We fear this lack of response not only portends a potential Iranian exemption from paying reparations and giving due compensation to families affected by terror in return for normalization of relations, but that it also signals a softening of Sherman’s position on the proliferation of terrorist activity and most significantly, creates difficult implications for the United States’ reputation as a pillar of justice in the war on terror,” according to Darshan-Leitner.

Her blog continued, “As lawyers for American, Canadian and Israeli victims of Iranian terror, we call on Congress to take action and place a check on Under Secretary Sherman in this current round of negotiations… We call on all members of Congress to ensure that victims of terror are not forgotten and to help make the Iranian regime provide the proper reparations and due compensation for the innocent lives taken at the hands of terrorist activities and not to gain a free pass in the name of diplomatic maneuverings.”

GW Bush Fundraising for Proselytizers of Jews in America and Israel

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Former President George W. Bush will headline a fundraiser in Texas for a group that seeks to convert Jews to Christianity, JTA reported.

Dubya follows in the footsteps of Glenn Beck, who was the star of the group’s fundraiser last year at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Bush is scheduled to appear Nov. 14 in suburban Dallas to raise funds for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a Texas-based group that says its mission is “to bring Jewish people into a personal relationship of faith with Yeshua the Messiah, knowing their acceptance will eventually mean life from the dead.”

Tickets for the event at the Irving Convention Center start at $250 and rise to as high as $100,000.

According to Mother Jones, which first reported the fundraiser, the $100,000 tickets include a VIP reception with Bush and a tour of Israel guided by the institute’s president, Wayne Wilks.

The MJBI mission is “to boldly proclaim Yeshua as Messiah, train leaders for Jewish ministry around the world, and educate the Church on God’s heart for the Jewish people, as it eagerly awaits the promise of Romans 11:15 that the acceptance of the Jewish people will mean ‘life from the dead.’”

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI) was formed in 1995 and launched in 1996, through the cooperative efforts of both Messianic Jewish and Gentile Christian leaders, according to the group’s website. After initially targeting Jews in Russia and eastern Europe, in 2002 the MJBI began to sponsor banquets, events, and training sessions in the United States for the purpose of proselytizing Jews there and in Israel.

In 2006, the group’s co-founder Dan Juster immigrated to Israel, where he oversees the MJBI programs directed at Israeli Jews. Their major emphases are producing teaching materials in Hebrew, a two-year bible school program intended to establish a Christian Ethiopian Israeli “leadership,” and seminars for messianic leaders.

Mother Jones reminded its readers that “last year, Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League, told Politico that former Sen. Rick Santorum’s appearance at an event hosted by another Messianic Jewish organization, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, was ‘insensitive and offensive.'”

Reform Rabbi (nebech) David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, told Mother Jones about the Bush appearance: “It’s disappointing that he would give his stamp of approval to a group whose program is an express effort to convert Jews and not to accept the validity of the Jewish covenant.”

At last year’s MJBI fundraiser, Glenn Beck received a “Defender of Israel” award. On his now defunct FOX News show, Beck once said: “One of the reasons why I love Israel so much is I’m a guy who’s for the underdog. I’m a Mormon, which is kind of the Jew of the Christian world.”

Now, that’s a disheartening thought…

According to Mother Jones, Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, which Beck attends, introduced Beck as a “prophet” at the event. Morris told the crowd that his church has supported MJBI because “when we do this, the Bible tells us, it’s going to change the whole world. That it’s going to hasten the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it’s going to bring about worldwide revival.”

A spokesman for Bush and a spokeswoman for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum did not respond to requests for comment.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gw-bush-fundraising-for-jewish-proselytizers-in-america-and-israel/2013/11/08/

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