web analytics
July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘National Security Council’

Erdogan Declares Three-Month State of Emergency Across Turkey

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday announced a nationwide three-month state of emergency after Friday’s failed coup. Speaking at the presidential complex in Ankara after back-to-back National Security Council and Cabinet meetings, Erdogan said the three-month state of emergency was being declared under Article 120 of the Turkish Constitution, which states that in the event of serious, widespread acts of violence aimed at the destruction of the free democratic order, a state of emergency may be declared in one or more regions or throughout the country for a period not exceeding six months, the Anadolu state news agency reported.

“The purpose of the state of emergency is to most effectively and swiftly take steps necessary to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens,” Erdogan said.

The president said the move was aimed at “eliminating coup-plotter terrorist group,” which he insists is led by followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen. Gulen has denounced the coup, saying he believed only in change through democratic means, but Turkey has demanded his extradition from the US nonetheless, citing incriminating documents associating him with the plot to unseat Erdogan.

At least 246 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed during the failed coup, and more than 1,500 were wounded.

“Never be worried,” Erdogan told Turks Wednesday night. “There is nothing to worry about.” He said that “it is out of the question” for the armed forces to seize power. “Quite the reverse, the authority and will of the [civilian] leaders will grow more in this process,” he said, adding, “We never compromise on democracy, and we will not compromise.”

Erdogan blasted Standard & Poor’s downgrading of Turkey’s rating in the wake of the failed coup. “Why are you even interested in Turkey? We’re not part of you… Don’t ever try to mess with us,” he said.

Turkey’s lira fell to an all-time low after the S&P downgraded its debt, slumping to 3.0973 against the dollar, then falling another 1.5 percent to 3.0898 on Wednesday.

International rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s have so far kept Turkey’s investment-grade rating where it had been before the coup attempt, but both agencies are also considering a downgrade. Turkey’s current rating with Fitch is already a troubling BBB.

But Erdogan insisted that S&P’s assessment does not adequately reflect the Turkish economy, which grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period last year. He vowed that Turkey will maintain fiscal discipline. “Turkey will continue its economic reforms without any interruption… There is no liquidity problem,” he said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim tweeted: “This [state of emergency] decision is not for the daily life of our people, but rather is for the proper and swift functioning of state mechanisms.”

What those state mechanisms may be was left up to the Twitter followers’ imagination.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters in Ankara: “The conditions of the state of emergency will only be used for fighting the parallel structure.” The term is part of Erdogan’s accusations of his arch-rival Gulen, whom he says is running a “parallel state” inside Turkey’s state institutions and media that poses a threat to his rule.

A National Security Council and Cabinet statement said, “Our body has once again confirmed its commitment to democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the rule of law. The steps to be taken afterward were also discussed.” The statement added that the state of emergency was declared in order to implement measures to protect “citizens’ rights and freedoms, our democracy, and the rule of law.”

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Meets With Putin in Moscow 1 Day Before Passover

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow Thursday morning for a quick pre-Passover meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

According to the prime minister’s office, on the agenda were advanced weapons sales to Iran, and the situation in Syria, continued coordination between the military forces of the two nations in Syria, a discussion about the peace efforts in the country, and prevention of advanced weapons access for the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group.

During his visit to Moscow last month, President Reuven Rivlin asked Putin to help re-establish the presence in the Golan Heights, between Israel and Syria, of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. The reason: a developing vacuum is making it easier for Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies to infiltrate the former no-man’s-land and set up a base for attacks against the Jewish State.

Rivlin told Putin that such activity was a red line for Israel, according to Channel 2 news. Putin extended an invitation to Netanyahu to visit Moscow during that visit with Rivlin.

Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin, born in Ukraine, accompanied the prime minister. Other members of the delegation included Israel Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, National Security Council Director Avriel Bar Yosef, Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Col. Eliezer Toledano and the head of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Hana Levi Julian

New US ISIS Czar was Bumped From Obama Election Team as too Pro-Terrorist

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

While President Obama was in Paris for the past few days cavorting with other world leaders on the dire global threat of climate change (never a junior varsity issue in his book), his spokesperson made the announcement that Obama’s new ISIS czar will be none other than Robert Malley.

For a president who thinks that world leaders meeting in Paris to discuss climate change is the equivalent of a body blow to ISIS after the Nov. 13 Paris Terror Attacks, the appointment of Malley makes perfect sense.

Malley is the kind of new-age negotiator who thinks there is no tyrant too awful to shun – unless, of course, you are talking about Israel – and is always eager to play up the “positive” aspects of genocidal terrorist regimes as the justification for allowing them right there in the tent, seated next to you.

An early wet noodle in Malley’s public career was a 2001 New York Times op-ed in which he blamed Israel for the Camp David Peace Talks. Malley’s recollection squarely conflicted with every other major player present at the talks, including President Bill Clinton and Clinton’s Middle East Envoy, Dennis Ross.

In a 2007 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Malley expressed strong support for trusting Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, ridiculing the idea that the Syrian tyrant should be treated as a pariah.

In 2008, Malley was booted from the Obama election committee when it was discovered that he had met with Hamas members. Although removed from the public stage, Malley was still one of Obama’s most trusted advisers on Middle East issues.

In an article in Foreign Policy in 2012, Malley castigated Obama for failing to consider the option of containing a nuclear-armed Iran. He thought Obama was too hawkish on Iran!

In 2013, Malley predicted that Hamas and Fatah would unite so that they could bargain effectively against Israel.

In the last few years Malley did finally gain entrance to the citadel of strength, serving on the National Security Council. Earlier this year Malley was elevated to the NSC position of Middle East Coordinator, where he was actively engaged in the Iran Deal negotiations.

With a history of dissing Israel, snuggling up to Hamas, shielding Assad, and promoting the containment of a nuclear-armed Iran, is it any surprise that Malley is Obama’s choice to spearhead the U.S. response to ISIS?

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Obama Trying to Make US Leftist Jews “Mainstream’

Monday, July 6th, 2015

A recent meeting between National Security Council officials and the left-wing Breaking the Silence group barely made headlines but was a significant move in President Barack Obama’s agenda to justify his view that Israel is an “occupier.”

It was President Obama who succeeded in removing AIPAC as the default representative of what is called the “pro-Israel lobby” by opening the Oval Office to J Street, the left-wing group that thinks being “pro-Israel” means accommodating Hamas, expelling 600,000 Jews from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and granting statehood Palestinian Authority inside Israel’s borders.

Calling itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” and with generous funding from far-left billionaire George Soros, J Street’s launch in 2008 coincided with the campaign and election of President Obama.

Since then, Obama has shifted farther and farther to adopt the Palestinian Authority view of Israel as an occupier, and of Jews in settlements and even half of Jerusalem as “illegal” and “illegitimate.” Listening to leftist Jews telling him what he wants to hear has strengthened his belief that the “peace process” is the panacea for the Middle East.

Obama also has grabbed every opportunity to twist Judaism into his vision of a religion that can used to support his agenda, and he has plenty of support from Reform Jewish leaders to become a modern Korach, the Biblical figure who rebelled against Moses’ authority by claiming that the entire Jewish community is just as holy as he is.

The end of the story is that Korach and his 250 followers were swallowed up in the ground, which opened up to bury them alive, and that seems to be the same fate for President Obama’s foreign policy, especially when it comes to any place in the Middle East.

Instead of accepting reality, he is trying to hold on to an illusion. Breaking the Silence is a new pawn for President Obama to use in his chess game to check Israel, and particularly Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Senior White officials welcomed Breaking the Silence, which was formed by a disgruntled Israeli-American soldier whose agenda is the same as Obama’s. Both of them have adopted the Palestinian Authority  term  “occupation” to describe the presence of approximately 300,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria and another quarter of a million or so in half a dozen Jerusalem neighborhoods. Tens of thousands of the residents are from the United States.

Reform Jewish leaders , who call themselves rabbis, do not represent Judaism, J Street does not represent the pro-Israel lobby, and Breaking the Silence does not represent the views of more than a tiny minority of Israelis.

But President Obama is playing magician to try to show that all three groups are the Jewish establishment.

The meeting  between White House officials with Breaking the Silence was the first ever and was held only days after the anti-IDF organization staged an anti-IDF exhibition  with the sponsorship of the Swiss government.

The President shrewdly made sure the meeting would not be held in the White House, making it easier for him to get smart and drop Breaking the Silence before it costs him support from the real mainstream Jewish community that knows the Israeli Defense Forces separate Israel from annihilation.

Haaretz reported that the meeting took place “at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital.” A good guess – and it’s only as guess – would be that those offices belonged to J Street or perhaps more likely the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, whose president Matt Duss arranged the meeting.

The group’s website states:

The Foundation for Middle East Peace was created in 1979…to promote a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through education and advocacy…. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [is] at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict….

In 1992, in view of the growing threat of Israeli settlements to peace, the Foundation introduced the bimonthly Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Breaking the Silence is trying to go mainstream. Obama’s “shared values” are more with the left-wing group than they are with the real mainstream in Israel and in the United States.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US: Strict Policy Against Civilian Casualties Not for ISIS Attacks

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

In an astonishing revelation made by a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, the standard set last year by President Obama barring U.S. drone strikes unless there is a “near certainty” there will be no civilian casualties will not apply to the U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, reports Michael Isikoff for Yahoo News.

Last year the president announced the “near certainty” policy, which he said was “the highest standard we can meet.”

The U.S. administration was asked about its application of the “near certainty” policy following a much-publicized and criticized Sept. 23 U.S. Tomahawk missile which hit and destroyed a home for displaced civilians, resulting in at least a dozen casualty deaths, including women and children. That strike destroyed buildings in the Syrian village of Kafr Daryan.

Caitlin Hayden, an NSA spokesperson, explained that the “near certainty” standard was only intended to apply “when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities.'” Hayden wrote this explanation in an email responding to a Yahoo News query.

“That description – outside areas of active hostilities – simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now,” she wrote.

Hmmm. Kind of like the active hostilities the Israel Defense Force encountered in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. And the active hostilities the IDF encountered during Operation Pillar of Defense. And the active hostilities the IDF encountered during Operation Cast Lead. And so on.

In response to further questions along similar lines, the NSA spokesperson explained that the U.S. military operations against ISIS in Syria, “like all U.S. military operations, are being conducted consistently with the laws of armed conflict, proportionality and distinction.”

All right then. It will be fascinating to hear how the U.S. State Department spokesperson handles tomorrow’s press briefing. At nearly every press briefing this summer during the course of Operation Protective Edge the press corps dutifully pressed the spokesperson to state whether Israel was doing all it could to avoid civilian casualties.

The state department spokesperson always said – day after day – that the U.S. insisted Israel had to do more than it was doing because civilians were still being harmed, as if that was proof Israel was not doing enough.

The Israeli government’s claims that the IDF operations are “conducted in accordance with the laws of armed conflict, proportionality and distinction” were consistently rejected out of hand.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

White House Picks Israel Foe for National Security Council

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The White House is hiring Robert Malley, whose past writings on the Middle East have stirred controversy, as a senior member of the National Security Council.

NSC officials confirmed Malley’s appointment on Tuesday to The New York Times. His area will be the Middle East.

Malley disassociated himself from the Obama campaign in 2008 because of controversy over his meetings with Hamas officials and over his writings, which assigned some blame to Israelis for the failure of peace talks.

Malley, who had been working as the International Crisis Group’s program director for the Middle East and North Africa, was an adviser to President Bill Clinton at the failed Camp David peace talks in 2000.

The Times quoted Obama administration officials as saying that they did not anticipate controversy.

“I can’t think of anybody outside government who has a stronger set of relationships with the Israelis, as well as with people throughout the region,” Tony Blinken, a deputy national security adviser, told the newspaper.

JTA

Dem Whip: WH Aide ‘Out of Line’ Calling Congress ‘Warmongers’

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Last Thursday, a junior member of the White House administration publicly took an extremely impolitic swipe at certain members of Congress, including members of her boss’s own party.

She called them warmongers.

Bernadette Meehan is a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.  Meehan is someone who, until last month, showed up in Google searches more often for her role as a mentor to graduates of Boston College, her alma mater, than for her role as a policy spokesperson.

Less than two years ago, Meehan was writing a blog for the Boston College Career Center, telling BC students about her career as a Foreign Service Officer.

But last week Meehan blasted members of Congress who are actively supporting the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act – more than a dozen of whom are Democrats – labeling them the equivalent of warmongers. She attacked them for daring to proceed towards enacting legislation that cannot trigger sanctions on Iran unless Iran defaults on the alleged commitments it has made with the United States and the rest of the P5+1 (The United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany) in what is known as the Geneva Interim Agreement,  an attempt to ensure that Iran ceases to enrich materials which can be used to make nuclear weapons.

And then this week, Congress’s Democratic party Whip Steny Hoyer got into the act.

Hoyer was none too pleased to have members of the White House staff criticizing his home team.  The specific legislation Meehan attacked is in the Senate, but Hoyer took umbrage not only because members of his party were castigated, but also because the House already passed legislation many months ago which would increase sanctions on Iran.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, Hoyer gave Meehan a tongue lashing, without naming any names, of course.

“There have been some that have suggested in the White House that those folks were more interested in war than they were in the resolution by peaceful means,” Hoyer said.

In addition to declaring such a position unequivocally false, Hoyer also referred to Meehan’s statement as “irresponsible” and said it should be “clarified and retracted” by those who made it.

Stating what should not have to be said out loud, but which was demanded by the situation, Hoyer flatly announced: “Nobody believes, as far as I know, that going to war with Iran is anything but a dangerous objective that none of us would seek.”

This is Meehan’s full statement about the Iran Nuclear Weapons Free Act, which was released on Thursday, Jan. 9. The language upon which most critics focused is underlined:

This bill is in direct contradiction to the Administration’s work to peacefully resolve the international community’s concerns with Iran’s nuclear program. We know that this proposed legislation would divide the international community, drive the Iranians to take a harder line, and possibly end negotiations. This bill would have a negative bearing on the sanctions regime too. Let us not forget: sanctions work because we convinced our partners to take the steps that we seek. If our partners no longer believe that we are serious about finding a negotiated solution, then our sanctions regime would suffer.

If Congress passes this bill, it will be proactively taking an action that will make diplomacy less likely to succeed. The American people have been clear that they prefer a peaceful resolution to this issue. If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/white-house-aide-calling-congress-warmongers-is-out-of-line/2014/01/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: