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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Eleventh D in Congress Opposes Nuclear Iran Deal

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

And now there are 11.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL-10) announced Thursday, Aug. 13, that he opposes and will vote against the Nuclear Iran deal when it is placed before Congress in September.

The Florida Democrat also seeks to make it clear to Iran that should that nation cheat on the Agreement if it is implemented, the military option will not only be on the table, it will be poised for immediate use.

Hastings, currently serving his 12th term in Congress, is a senior member of the House Rules Committee and co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation. He raised the same troublesome details of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that have been repeatedly criticized as unacceptable by many of his colleagues.

The acronym for those primary pitfalls, NASM24, may help to remember that the deal allows Iran to become a Nuclear threshold state; it lifts bans on conventional Arms and ICBMS in eight years or fewer; that the Snapback of sanctions will be cumbersome and time-consuming, if possible at all; that it funnels into Iran, the number one supporter of global terrorism, billions of dollars (Money); and it allows Iran up to 24 days before suspected but unconfirmed nuclear weapons sites can be inspected. These concerns were all raised by Hastings as the bases for his opposition to the JCPOA.

And if the Agreement is approved, over his and his colleagues’ objections, Hastings informed the public about two acts he has taken.

First, Hastings made it known that a month ago he sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, urging him to appoint a “high-ranking military official” to oversee the implementation of the deal, should it be approved. He did this, Hastings explained, because “Iran needs to understand that our commitment to ensuring compliance with this deal would be unwavering.”

The second thing Hastings has done is to draft legislation which he will introduce on Sept. 8, “that authorizes the sitting president or his successors to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state.”

Hastings joins his Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives who have announced they will vote against the JCPOA: Rep. Grace Meng (NY) Rep. Juan Vargas (CA), Rep. Albio Sires(NJ), Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY), Rep. Nita Lowey (NY), Rep. Steve Israel (NY), Rep. Ted Deutch (FL), Rep. Eliot Engel (NY), Rep. Brad Sherman, (CA) and Rep. David Scott (Georgia), who came out quietly but unequivocally against the deal in mid-July.

Obama Asks NYC’s US District Court Judge to Waive Bond for PA, PLO

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

The Obama administration asked a United States judge on Monday (Aug. 10) to “carefully consider” the size of the bond he sets for the Palestinian Authority while it appeals an award for damages in the deaths and injuries of Americans in six terror attacks in Israel.

Both the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority were determined to be financial liable for the attacks in the civil trial that ended in a New York court in February.

Under U.S. anti-terrorism law, the jury’s award of $218.5 million was automatically tripled to a total of $655.5 million.

Attorneys for the defense argued the PA could not afford to post the bond for the appeal, typically 111 percent of the judgement. They asked the judge to waive the bond requirement altogether instead.

The Obama administration concurred, and took the highly unusual step late Monday night of filing a formal “Statement of Interest of the United States of America” with Justice George B. Daniels of the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The plaintiffs, who were opposed to the request, included ten families of victims of terror, comprising some three dozen members, eight of whom were physically injured in the attacks and others who were related to those who were murdered in the attacks that took place between 2002 to 2004.

The attacks left a total of 33 dead and more than 450 injured, including a number of U.S. citizens. They were carried out by terrorists from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas.

“The United States strongly supports the rights of victims of terrorism to vindicate their interests in federal court and to receive just compensation for their injuries,” the Department of Justice wrote in the brief.

However, requiring the Palestinian Authority to pay “a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the PA’s ability to operate as a governmental authority,” wrote deputy secretary of state Antony J. Blinken.

“A PA insolvency and collapse would harm current and future U.S.-led efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In court last month, Judge Daniels made it clear he intended to set the bond as a “significant demonstration” that the Palestinian Authority and PLO were both “willing and able to pay a judgment, if a judgment is entered and affirmed on appeal.” The families have taken the position that the defendants should deposit at least $30 million per month with the court as a show of good faith.

Blinken added in the DOJ’s brief Monday that the government was not taking a position on the merits of the case; only the impact of the bond itself.

There has been some friction over the case – and over the issue of intervening on behalf of the PLO and PA for the bond – between the State Department and the DOJ.

Iraq Vets Oppose Nuclear Iran Deal

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

There is a new group working to defeat the Nuclear Iran deal agreed to by the U.S. and its partners in the P5+1 and Iran. It is called Veterans Against the Deal.

This group takes issue with U.S. President Barack Obama’s position that those who do not support the Iran deal are choosing war. These are Iraq war veterans who, unlike President Obama, have seen war up close and definitely do not want more of it.

The Iraq war vets started Veterans Against the Deal last month, and it has begun its rollout. On Monday, Aug. 10, Veterans Against the Deal released its first video.

The first of the group’s ads features medically retired staff sergeant Robert Bartlett, and it is directed at Montana’s Senator Jon Tester (D).

Bartlett tells us that in 2005 he was blown up by an Iranian bomb. Half of his face was blown off, and his gunner lost both his legs.

“Every politician who is involved in this will be held accountable, they will have blood on their hands,” he says in the ad. “A vote for this deal means more money for Iranian terrorism. What do you think they are going to do when they get more money?”

Later ads will air in North Dakota and West Virginia, and will go on from there.

In an interview with Bloombergview’s Josh Rogin, VAD executive director Michael Pregent said “We are going to challenge those people who are on the fence.”

According to Pregent, “veterans know Iran better than Washington, D.C., does. You’ve got a lot of veterans out there who are pretty upset about this, so we are looking to capture their voices and make sure they are heard.”

The new group is composed of Republicans and Democrats.

“We don’t want to make this a partisan issue,” Pregent said. “We’ll have Democratic vets who voted for Obama participating in this as well.”

He said the veterans and families who are involved are motivated only by their own experiences and views.

“These guys want to be heard. They know this enemy. They have a constant reminder of permanent loss because of Iran,” he said. “If someone said to me, ‘Aren’t you exploiting these veterans and families?’ I would say, ‘No, aren’t you ignoring these veterans and families?’”

In the first ad, Bartlett says “every politician involved in this will be held accountable – they will have blood on their hands.”

Report: Israel Refusing US Invite to Joint Military Exercises

Friday, August 7th, 2015

(JNi.media) The first operational consequences of the bitter dispute between Israel and the White House on the Iran agreement have begun to pop their ugly heads, as Israel is refusing extensive US offers of military and security cooperation, IsraelDefense and Makor Rishon columnist Amir Rapaport reported.

At this point, Israel is refusing to participate in a massive joint training exercise with the US military, scheduled for 2016.

The exercise, code-named Juniper Cobra 2016, was expected to include a long list of cooperative activities, and to include the US-financed Israeli missile defense system, which is partially based on American capabilities.

Over the past few weeks, Rapaport says Israel, in an unprecedented manner, has been doubtful as to its willingness to participate—compared to previous times, when the IDF went out of its way to take part in joint exercises, and, in 2012, complained bitterly that it was being kept out of a key NATO summit meeting in Chicago because of Turkey’s objection.

Now, paradoxically, according to Rapapaort, the Americans are all too eager to cooperate with Israel, while the Israeli political leadership has decided that the IDF will not cooperate with the Americans.

“This has given rise to the absurd situation where the Americans are willing to offer us more than we want to receive,” Rapaport writes.

Last month, immediately following the signing of the Iran deal, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Israel to discuss a security compensation package the Americans were offering. But Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon politely declined. That was the first hint the Israelis considered the White House’s betrayal too fundamental to be paved over with dollar bills.

But the seeds of rancor were sown even earlier, according to Rapaport, when, during the 2014 Protective Edge operation in Gaza, the White House decided against sending Israel urgently needed supply of arms and ammunition which were vital to the IDF because of the unexpected length of the war (it ended up lasting 51 days).

That decision was nothing short of traumatic to the Israeli defense apparatus, states Rapaport, and that wound is yet to heal, even a year later.

One of the immediate results of that American military embargo (which extended to the UK, as well) was an Israeli decision to keep its ammunition production in local Israeli manufacturing plants, even when it is a project involving cooperation with the US, to prevent such an embargo from ever happening again.

Rapaport believes much depends on the outcome of the Iran deal vote—veto—override process in the US Congress. If the deal fails, recovery of the relationship between the Pentagon and the IDF will come sooner. Which means that, in typical Israeli fashion, this thing will remain unresolved until “after the holidays.”

Alan Dershowitz Says Obama Checkmated by Iran Deal

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

(JNi.media) Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz in a recent book claims that President Obama changed the focus of the Iran nuclear deal after he was re-elected and allowed himself to be “checkmated,” because he gave Iran hope of developing a nuclear weapon and took the US military option off the table.

In an exclusive interview with the Observer, Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat, staunch supporter of Israel and author of “The Case for Israel” and “Chutzpah,” spent a sleepless night after the Iran deal was announced. He emailed his eBook publisher and asked if it was possible to have a book written about the Iran deal in time for the Congressional debate. His publisher gave Dershowitz two weeks, but it was finished in eleven days. A day after it was released, “The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran From Getting Nukes” was rated the number one Kindle international best seller just a day after it was released.

If President Obama seems to be saying something different about Iran as a potential nuclear power than what he said in previous years, it isn’t just memory playing its tricks. Dershowitz points out that the President’s statements about the Iran deal changed dramatically after his re-election. Previously, Obama was emphatic that Iran would not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, calling the move a “game changer” and promised to do “whatever it takes” to prevent Iran, which has stated its desire to destroy Israel, from becoming a nuclear power.

There is a cynical explanation, and a more straightforward one, as to why the President changed his mind, Dershowitz suggests. He could have sincerely reconsidered his position in the process of negotiating with Iran. The other explanation that includes certain suspicions, but which “seems to be supported by the data,” is that once Obama was re-elected for a second term and the Republicans dominated the Senate “he was going to do what he always wanted to do and was less completely candid with those of us whom he told that the military option was on the table and Iran would never be able to develop nuclear weapons.”

Obama’s main mistake, explains Dershowitz, was dealing with Iran as an equal, which was the result of his taking the military option off the table.

“That was an extraordinarily naive and wrong thing to do,” said Dershowitz, who insists that position is supported not just by Obama’s political opponents, but other liberal Democrats.

Supporters of the deal say it prevents war and they challenge opponents to come up with a better version of a deal. Dershowitz thinks war is a greater possibility now that Iran has been strengthened financially, given credibility and the military avenue has been dispensed with.

He thinks sanctions could have been removed if the US negotiated with Iran from a position of strength, demanded 24/7 inspections capability, the complete scrapping of Iran’s nuclear program, and military consequences if the deal was violated. “Now the problem is we negotiated as equals and are playing checkers against the people who invented chess, and they checkmated our President and our Secretary of State,” he says.

A way out for the next administration is not to acknowledge the Iran deal, which Dershowitz, a constitutional scholar, thinks may not have authority. Dershowitz explains that the Iran deal likely falls under the definition of a treaty the Framers said would need 2/3rds approval in Congress. “It is unlikely that they would have allowed the President alone to make an enduring and international agreement.”

It is possible that, with the next Administration, “the Iran agreement won’t have the force of law,” Dershowitz says.

Nearing Double Digits in the Democrat Defection from Bad Iran Deal

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Yesterday’s count had four Congressional Democrats coming out against the Iran Nuclear Deal.

But since yesterday, that number has nearly doubled. And, amazingly, the latest three are all Jewish members of Congress. That’s a surprise because in their effort to appear impartial, many Jews in public office bend over backwards to avoid the appearance that they are voting a particular way because they are Jewish, regardless of their actual assessment of the matter. Few if any other minority group members act this way.

So who are these Congress members?

Both Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) and Steve Israel (D-NY-03) represent New York congressional districts. Lowey’s district is just north of New York City, including parts of the Hudson Valley, and Westchester and Rockland counties. Cong. Israel represents northeastern Queens into the beginning of Long Island.

Ted Deutch (D-FL-21) represents a southern east coast section of Florida that includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Deutch is a senior member of the  all-important House Foreign Affairs Committee, which deals with economic sanctions and diplomacy. He is also the Ranking Democrat on that Committee’s Middle East and North Africa’s subcommittee.

In announcing that he opposes the Iran deal, Deutch ticked off the list of reasons for his decisions. They included Iran’s role as the central supporter of terrorist groups and the nearly universal agreement that Iran will seek to cheat on the deal “in any way it can.”

The Florida three-term congressman is appalled that the deal “makes it nearly impossible to reinstate sanctions” commensurate with those currently in place.

While Deutch says the deal may temporarily slow down Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons capability, the giveaways included in the deal “speeds up the enrichment of the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian terror proxies that endanger security and stability in the Middle East.”

Lowey, who has been representing New Yorkers in Congress since 1989, serves on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

As with all the other members of Congress who have thus far publicly stated their opposition to the JCPOA, Lowey believes there are not sufficient safeguards to counter the grave risks it embraces.

In her statement of opposition to the deal, Lowey mentions the sanctions relief as well as relaxing of bans on conventional arms and ballistic missiles, and the release of billions of dollars to a terrorist and terrorism-supporting regime. Like her colleagues, Lowey is also wary of the lack of full disclosure of previous military work which may have included nuclear activity, and a less than robust inspections regimen.

The”agreement will leave the international community with limited options in 15 years to prevent nuclear breakout in Iran, which will be an internationally-recognized nuclear threshold state, capable of producing highly enriched uranium,” Lowey wrote.

“I am greatly concerned that the agreement lacks a crystal clear statement that the international community reserves the right to take all military, economic, and diplomatic measures necessary during the course of the deal and beyond to deter Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon.”

Rep. Israel disclosed to Newsday that he would not support the deal. Calling the Iran deal “one of the most important foreign policy and national security issues” the Congress is going to vote on, Israel said he was not satisfied with the safeguards in the deal.

The New York Congressman’s concerns were primarily the likelihood that Iran will cheat – he called that a high likelihood that Iran would “exploit ambiguities in the deal”; the lifting of the arms embargo; and the ability of Iran to so quickly attain nuclear capabilities at the termination of the deal.

US Bribing Saudi Arabia with $5.4 Billion Missile Sale after Iran Deal

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Saudi Arabia may buy $5.4 billion worth of PAC-3 missiles as part of an effort by the Obama to soothe Riyadh’s anger over the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The State Dept. approved the Lockheed missile sale, which also would be another plum for the military-industrial complex.

Lockheed stated, “Lockheed Martin is supporting the US government and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as they discuss the potential sale of additional PAC-3 Missiles as part of the upgrade of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-bribing-saudi-arabia-with-5-4-billion-missile-sale-after-iran-deal/2015/07/31/

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