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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran deal’

Analysis: The Costly War on the Hearts and Minds of 232 Democrats

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) There are 188 Democrats in the House and 44 in the Senate, and over the next two months millions of dollars and unprecedented lobbying efforts will be invested in courting their votes on the Iran nuclear deal.

The math is relatively simple: both Republican-led houses of Congress are expected to pass a resolution rejecting the deal, some time in early September. President Obama will then veto the resolution, which will return to Congress. Starting at that point, Congress will have 10 days during which to try and overturn the veto with a two-thirds majority.

This is when the Democrats in both houses will become the most important people on the planet, because the Republicans cannot overturn the Presidential veto on their own.

And as is often the case in such competitions, the discussion is not so much about the validity of the deal itself—which has both strengths and very obvious weaknesses—but about conflicting loyalties. Many Democratic lawmakers will have to decide between their President and their pro-Israel voters.

And as there are significantly more Jewish voters backing Democrats than Republicans, the President has a serious challenge on his hands.

In this context, it’s important to note that the NY Times, that bastion of pro-Obama politics, is not a big supporter of the deal, regardless of the exclusive access to the President it has enjoyed. This week, the Times published its own version of The Iran Deal for Dummies, or, as they headlined it: “The Iran Deal in 200 Words.”

Here are some of the key assertions in that article—redacted for effect:

Can Iran keep enriching uranium? Yes.

Will inspectors have access to military facilities? The provision is short of “anywhere, anytime,” because the inspectors first need to present evidence.

How can the US be sure Iran won’t cheat? It can’t.

AIPAC’s newly hatched Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, is reported to be spending close to $5 million on an ad campaign in a large number of Democrat-leaning markets. Their first ad, titled “The Iran nuclear deal. Good deal or bad deal?” states a short list of talking points against the deal:

Iran gets to keep its 18 nuclear facilities, its 50 military facilities remain out of reach for inspectors, Iran has cheated the UN 20 times in the past, Iran is the Number 1 sponsor of terrorism.

According to sources cited by The Jewish Voice, AIPAC’s full media buy breakdown for the anti-Iran deal campaign includes:

Baltimore: $167,600; Boston: $263,850; Charleston-Huntington: $56,275; Chicago: $114,675; Dallas: $251,625; Denver: $158,200; Detroit: $222,700; Fresno: $16,965; Hartford: $128,055; Honolulu: $44,605; Houston: $234,750; Indianapolis: $110,735; Laredo: $28,904; Las Vegas: $132,770; Los Angeles: $415,350; Miami: $179,050; New York City: $474,700; Omaha: $66,045; Panama City: $23,960; Philadelphia: $151,400; Phoenix: $181,840; Pittsburgh: $91,500; Portland: $98,818; Providence: $60,105; Richmond: $41,319; San Antonio: $100,575; San Diego: $142,525; Seattle: $202,975; Tallahassee: $26,800; Tampa: $168,240; Washington, DC: $444,900; West Palm Beach: $96,300.

The White House has begun its own, massive media campaign in favor of the deal, with briefings by Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz, and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. All three senior officials are also scheduled to appear on Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the first open hearing on the deal.

Israel’s US ambassador Ron Dermer has been meeting with conservative House Republicans, asking them to “derail the accord,” as the NY Times has put it.

Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) has already called on Democrats to choose “whether to vote to protect the national security of this nation, to stand with our friend and ally the nation of Israel and to protect the lives of millions of Americans, or in the alternative, whether to value partisan loyalty to the White House above the most solemn responsibility each and every one of us has.”

Did Kerry Lie About ‘Anytime Anywhere?’

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) Did Secretary of State John Kerry lie when he told the press and a number of legislators that the coming Iran nuclear deal involved “Anytime Anywhere” inspections? Did he offer this version of the truth while knowing too well the most the Iranians were going to accept was a 24-day warning before an inspection could be carried out?

Some Congressional leaders have told Bloomberg that they had been under the impression that Kerry was pressing Iran to allow UN inspectors access “anytime, anywhere” to sites suspected of nuclear activity.

Kerry denies it. When John Dickerson, host of Face The Nation asked him point blank on Sunday: “What happened, Mr. Secretary, with anytime, anywhere?” Kerry answered: “Never — this is a term that honestly I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating. It was not on the table.”

Kerry proceeded to lecture that “there’s no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere. There isn’t any nation in the world, none, that has an anytime, anywhere. And the truth is, what we always were negotiating was an end to the interminable delays that people had previously [imposed].”

In other words, in Kerry’s view, the 3-week span between requesting access to a facility and the inspectors being let in, is a victory of sorts. There will be no more delays — after those 3 week notices. Now “we have a finite time period. That’s never happened before. And we have one nation’s ability to take this to the Security Council to enforce it. That is unique. And we think it was a huge accomplishment to be able to get this finite period,” Kerry insisted.

Dickerson asked, “Just to check the record here, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, said in April “you will have anywhere, anytime, 24-7 access.”

Kerry responded: “Well, we do, but — we have access to Fordow, access to Natanz, access to these places.”

“I don’t know if he was referring everywhere, but an access resolution of an IAEA challenge for a suspected facility that’s undeclared, this is a breakthrough agreement which has a finite period that our intel community, and our scientists — and here is one of the foremost nuclear scientists in the country telling us that that is — there is no way for them to hide that material or do away in 24 days,” Kerry repeated.

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker told Bloomberg: “I could have sworn that he had said that, but I know it’s been a topic of discussion for a long, long time.”

Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Richard Burr told Bloomberg: “I think I heard Secretary Kerry use that term once.”

“Any lack of access, delay in time, or lack of being able to verify should be a concern to us,” Burr added.

Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-Ca) holds that the deal should assure “anytime, anywhere” inspections.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Ca) told the House in June: “The goal of the ongoing P5+1 negotiations is to guarantee that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. As Congress assesses the final deal, I am going to draw upon a recent publication which is entitled, ‘Negotiations with Iran: Five Requirements for a Good Deal,’ which details the following five components: one, mechanisms supporting strong verification, including anytime, anywhere inspections of all Iranian nuclear and military facilities…”

Back in April, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who negotiated the technical details of a framework nuclear accord, told Bloomberg: “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access.”

On Sunday, Dickerson asked Prime Minister Netanyahu: “President Obama once said that he had Israel’s back. Do you think that he’s betrayed you here with this deal?”

Arab League Presses for Israel to Disclose Nuclear Development

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

The other shoe has fallen.

The Arab League has used the “ObamaDeal” nuclear agreement as a lever to exert diplomatic pressure on Israel to “join the non-proliferation agreement (NPT) as a non-nuclear state.”

Israel, assumed to have stockpile nuclear warheads, has maintained a position of “nuclear ambiguity” whereby it clams up about any nuclear weapons.

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said:

It’s time for the international community… to stop its policy of double standards and to undertake its responsibilities by pressuring Israel.

The U.N. General Assembly last year adopted a resolution calling for Israel to join the NPT and open the Dimona nuclear reactor to IAEA inspection.

Israel also possesses five German-made Dolphin-class submarines that reportedly can carry cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.

Obama to Push Iran Deal on ‘Daily Show’ Tuesday

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) Jon Stewart will interview President Obama for the last time on next Tuesday’s “Daily Show.” It will be Obama’s seventh appearance on Stewart’s show, third as president.

Obama was also one of the last guests on David Letterman’s Show in May, and on The final Colbert Report last December.

Stewart’s last show will be on August 6, and Trevor Noah, his replacement, will start hosting the show on September 28.

Bloomberg speculated that the president will take advantage of his appearance to push the Iran deal.

Back in March, Stewart described Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech against the Iran deal, before a joint session of Congress the day before, as a “festival of slights,” and ” the State of the Union address the Republicans wanted, delivered by the leader they wished they had.”

Stewart also told one Hanukkah-related joke, saying “it was a miracle. Standing ovation that was to last for one minute miraculously lasted eight.”

Will Stewart be hard hitting in this final interview with the President?

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recalled in an interview that the 2012 Obama reelection campaign had been eager to get the President on with Jon Stewart, “because the young voters we were trying to reach are more likely to watch The Daily Show than some other news shows.”

Carney also said that “probably the most substantive, challenging interview Barack Obama had in the election year was with the anchor of The Daily Show.”

Stewart was tongue-in-cheek critical of Obama when the President did not come to Paris to show solidarity with the victims at the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January:

“How could Obama not be there, look how many world leaders he could have bowed down to and apologized to,” Stewart wailed. “He missed an opportunity. How could the US not be there when representatives of such beacons of freedom and lack of censorship as journalist-punishing Russia, journalist-jailing Turkey, Egypt, enough said. Palestinian cartoonist-jailing Israel was there. And of course our greatest ally Saudi Arabia, having just days ago flogged a blogger. Couldn’t Obama have at least sent a friend?”

Regarding the Iran nuclear program, Stewart had one of his rare diatribes on this topic last April, pointing the finger at none other than former Vice President Dick Cheney:

Stewart argued Cheney was responsible for letting Iran expand its nuclear program. Before he became Vice President, Cheney was chief of Halliburton, seeking to open contracts with Iran, but was unable to do it because of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Stewart showed how the Bush administration took down the Iraq government, which kept Iran in check, and put in a leader who is friendly with Iran like former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. And it only cost $1.5 trillion.

Overall, despite his obvious affinity for the President, Stewart has not held back his criticism of the Obama White House over the years, slamming it for numerous failures, lies, repression of civil rights, you name it. But will the Daily Show Host be critical of the Iran deal in this parting interview, or will he serve the President the softballs he needs to deliver his points on the deal?

We’ll know in a couple of days.

Iran Celebrates ObamaDeal with Chants of ‘Death to America

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led tens led tens of thousands of Iranians to scream “death to America” and “death to Israel chants Saturday, five days after  the United States and five other world powers reached agreement on a nuclear deal.

Khamenei did not specifically criticize or praise the agreement, leading American pundits to conclude that he was just letting off steam to please the hard-liners., and so what if President Barack Obama hailed an agreement with a country that loves to hate?

Khamenei spoke on national television on Saturday, during the Eid a-Ftir celebrations concluding the daily fasts in the Muslim month of Ramadan, and poured salt on the fresh wound President Barack Obama has suffered in his weak defense of the deal.

Khamenei told throngs in Tehran:

Our policy regarding the arrogant U.S. government will not change. We don’t have any negotiations or deal with the U.S. on different issues in the world or the region.

Whether [the deal is] ratified or not, we will not give up on our friends in the region.

And who are his friends? For starters there is Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who owes his life to Iran for remaining alive, at least for the time being. And then there is Hezbollah, for which ObamaDeal is a multi-billion bonanza for buying even more missiles to aim at Israel and to fund terrorist attacks against Jews around the world.

Khamenei’s appearance dispels reports that he is about to die from cancer. His performance Saturday was at least par for the course in his making President Obama look like a dishrag. Congress may confirm the agreement, but Khamenei is going to embarrass the president as much as possible.

The Supreme Leader of Iran bragged that the United States has no other choice “but to tolerate the spinning of a few thousand centrifuges” in Iran.

President Obama last week admitted that the United States made foreign policy mistakes by backing a coup in 1953 and backing Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in the eight-year with Iran in the 1980s.

The admission gave Khamenei an opening that he stretched, saying:

He [Obama] mentioned two or three points but did not confess to tens of others. I am telling you, you are making a mistake now, in different parts of this region, but especially about the Iranian nation. Wake up, Stop making mistakes. Understand the reality.

Isn’t it interesting that Obama is getting the same message from Israel, Saudi Arabia and more than half of Congress?

Below is a video from CNN of Khamenei’s speech and the hate chants.

Here’s How Israel Could Use US Bombers to Strike Iranian Nukes

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Israeli needs U.S. B-52 bombers that can carry “bunker buster” bombs in order to attack Iran if is about to developed a nuclear weapon under the camouflage of the ObamaDeal, according to an Israel strategic expert now living in the United States.

Dr. Ehud Eilam, a former private contractor for the Defense Ministry and who has written a book on the “next war: between Israel and Egypt, wrote in Israel Defense that the United States should either attack Iran or give the green light to Israel to do so if Iran cheats on the agreement.

He maintains that Israel’s F-16 warplanes cannot do the job because they cannot carry 30,000-pound buster bombs being developed by the United States.

The Israeli Air Force has been training with the F-16 and F-15 aircraft for years in simulated attacks on Iran, which would require re-refueling.

Israel’s current stockpile of smaller bunker bombs may not be able to smash through nuclear sites protected by thick cement and buried underground, Dr. Eilam wrote.

He said Israel needs the American upgraded Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), commonly called a bunker buster.

Dr. Eilam added:

Israel’s fighter-bombers…are too small to carry the MOP. The United States could give its Israeli ally the B-52 Stratofortress bombers, capable of carrying up to 32,000 kg of weapons….

Israeli air and ground crews should be sent now to the United States, to study how to operate both the MOP bomb and the B-52 bomber. The IAF does not possess heavy bombers like the B-52. The last time the IAF had similar weapon systems was in the 1950s, when it used a handful of B-17 bombers….

The Israeli personal would learn the B-52 as fast as they can. A special crash course should be created for them so they could return to Israel, with the B-52, as early as possible. This process might last up to a year, but it might end much sooner.

Israel used American fighter planes to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1991.

If Iran is suspected of getting its hands within in arm’s reach of a nuclear weapon, Israel could strike again – with U.S. weapons – first by attacking key Iranian bases with F-16s , jamming Iranian radar and then deploying the B-52s to bomb nuclear sites.

Perhaps more important than carrying out a strike would be Iran’s knowledge that Israel has the capability to do so.

The biggest deterrent to an Iranian nuclear weapon might not be ObamaDeal but rather an overt Israeli capability to strike.

 

State Dept. Ignores Question on Iran’s Wanting to Wipe Out Israel [video]

Friday, July 17th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. fumbled a golden opportunity Thursday to ask, beg or insist that Iran stop threatening to wipe Israel off the map.

Indian Globe reporter Raghubir Goyal asked State Dept. spokesman John Kirby:

In the past, Iranian president said that Israel will be wiped off the world map. Are they going to turn back this and – this as far as this renouncing Israeli – Israel’s existence?

Kirby asked, for clarification, “Who going to turn back what?,” and Goyal, as he is called in Washington, asked again, until he was cut off, “If they are going to denounce terrorism and also what they said in the past that Israel will be wipe –”

Kirby answered by not answering:

Will Iran? Well, I think you’d have to – I mean, that’s a question for Iran’s leaders.

It would seem that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry never asked Iran during the marathon talks with Iran if the Islamic Republic might at least tone down, just for a bit of good public relations, its constant threat to annihilate Israel, as was reiterated on the eve of the agreement.

But Kirby reassured everyone that the United States is “not going to turn a blind eye to Iran’s other destabilizing activities in the region, to include the state sponsorship of terrorists and terrorist networks. Nothing’s going to change about our commitment to continuing to press against those kinds of activities through a broad range of methods, whether it’s our unilateral sanctions, UN sanctions which will stay in effect, or U.S. military presence in the region.”

He is right. The United States is not turning a blind eye to Iranian terror. It is looking at it straight in the eye and figuring it will go away by freeing up to $150 billion for Iran.

President Barack Obama said at his press conference Wednesday night:

Do we think that with the sanctions coming down, that Iran will have some additional resources for its military and for some of the activities in the region that are a threat to us and a threat to our allies? I think that is a likelihood that they’ve got some additional resources. Do I think it’s a game-changer for them? No.

They are currently supporting Hezbollah, and there is a ceiling — a pace at which they could support Hezbollah even more, particularly in the chaos that’s taking place in Syria.

Out of $150 billion, President Obama says Iran will have “some” additional funds. Then he assumes there is a “ceiling” of how much Iran can support Hezbollah.

ObamaDeal raised the ceiling sky-high.

But President Obama is not worried that Iran will “only” pocket “some” of $150 billion to wipe out Israel, which makes its procurement of a nuclear weapon less urgent.

The video below. at 0:42 seconds, shows Goyal and Kirby’s exchange:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-ignores-question-on-irans-wanting-to-wipe-out-israel-video/2015/07/17/

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