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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Khamenei Mocks Obama Officials’ Silly Bluffs’

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Ayatollah Seyed Khamenei mocked the Obama administration for “silly bluffing” and charged the United States with creating a “myth” of nuclear weapons to portray Iran as a threat.

The most “vital threat” to the Middle East really is the United States and the “Zionist regime,” declared Iran’s highest authority.

While he belittled the White House, Iran’s senior military commander insisted that there is no way that Iran ever will agree to inspections of its military facilities.

Open inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities is one the biggest holes in the framework agreement with Iran that was approved by President Barack Obama. He stated after the P5+1 concluded the framework deal with Iran:

Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history.  So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards deputy-commander Gen. Hossein Salami said on Sunday:

We would not allow such demands [for inspections] even in their dreams to be realized; military centers should be protected against any such violations; a foreign inspector in our garrison would mean occupation of our soil, since it has all our defensive secrets. This would mean national humiliation as well.

So much for “robust and intrusive inspections.”

The word “humiliation” is a key, a term that you will not find in any agreement between the West and Iran because it is something that the United States simply does not understand.

The White House conveniently shoves away Iranian hate language, such as “Death to America” as nothing more than hot air for the “domestic audience.”

The Obama administration psychologists figure that if they let Iran spout off, it will please the folks back home while the Islamic regime secretly plays by Western rules and agrees to what it signs.

“Humiliation” is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – obstacle to any agreement with any Islamic country.  The obvious example is that accepting Israel as a country is humiliation.

Iran has to sell to its citizens a deal that humiliates the United States. The more Iran’s leaders scream “no inspections” and “no sanctions,” the harder it will be for it to lie to the “domestic audience.”

Khomeini’s latest rant rejects the idea that Iran even dreams of having nuclear weapons. Instead, he charged that “the most vital threat posed to the world and the region is the US and the Zionist regime which meddle and kill people anywhere they deem to be necessary without any control or commitment to conscience or religious principles.”

Khamenei’s belittling of the Obama administration works to the favor of Republicans  and makes some Democratic Congressmen feel a bit silly, to use Khamenei’s word, by backing  the president.

Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker, who helped initiate and draft the bill to give Congress the right to review any final deal with Iran, told CNN on Sunday that lifting sanctions will be phased, a concept that Iran has totally rejected before the ink was dry on the April 2 temporary agreement.

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio warned on Face the Nation that the United States might have to take military action if Iran does not toe the line.

“We don’t want that to happen, but risk of a nuclear Iran is so great that option must be on the table,” Rubio said.

Obama’s Creativity: Signing Bonus Substituting for Sanctions Lifting

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Are Americans going to let the administration off the hook for pretending a significant infusion of money as a reward for signing whatever deal the western allies present to Iran is different from the immediate lifting of sanctions?

You see, the western negotiators are stuck.

That’s because the Ayatollah and his team have begun demanding that, as a reward for coming to any agreement with the great Satan (the United States) and its buddies regarding its own nuclear program, the economic sanctions imposed upon it for violating years of United Nations resolutions against it immediately be lifted.

But the U.S., at least, began this latest round of negotiations by promising its people that those economic sanctions connected to Iran’s nuclear program will only be lifted when Iran has met its obligations under the new deal, not simply when it promises to do so.

Iran is driving a hard bargain. It is insisting that those negotiating with it actually respect its demands, even if Iran has not, and continues to give every reason to believe it will not, respect the terms demanded by others.

So what is an administration, hell-bent on achieving a foreign policy success at any cost, going to do?

Apparently the answer to that question is “be creative.” And that is just what U.S. President Barack Obama promised to be, in an effort to give Iran what it says it needs and still allow the American negotiating team and its supporters to insist that the sanctions on Iran will not be lifted immediately.

Instead, Obama suggested at a news conference on Friday, April 17, that it would be willing to provide a “good will gesture” of significant economic relief upon the signing of the nuclear agreement. Think of it as a signing bonus given to desired major league players just for agreeing to come join the team, without ever having to even pick up the ball to play.

And at the same time the administration can continue to state – mostly with a straight face as they’re already pretty adept at this kind of thing – that there will only be a phased-in relief to sanctions, pegged to compliance with the signed agreement.

In other words, as described in Friday’s Wall Street Journal:

The Obama administration estimates Iran has between $100 billion and $140 billion of its oil revenue frozen in offshore accounts as a result of sanctions. U.S. officials said they expect Tehran to gain access to these funds in phases as part of a final deal. Iran could receive somewhere between $30 billion and $50 billion upon signing the agreement, said congressional officials briefed by the administration.

The president presented this word game as something that is intended to dupe Iranians while allowing their leadership to save face, “get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable,” of course the Iranians can make the same exact claim to their constituents.

The difference, of course, is that all the West gets is, maybe, a signed deal with the Iranians, while the Ayatollah and the Iranian political leaders gain enormous and immediate financial relief for their people.

Now you’ll be hearing lots of emphasis on the importance of sanctions being able to “snapback” if there is any backsliding by Iran on the nuclear agreement. But given the chance that Iran will get, free and clear, large infusions of money simply for signing the agreement, the already heavily criticized as unworkable snapback concept becomes less significant.

ISIS Expands To Afghanistan and Kills 35 in Suicide Attack

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed its first “success” in Afghanistan by staging a suicide attack on Saturday that killed at least 35 people and wounded 125 others.

The motorcycle bombing at a bank branch was aimed at soldiers and civilians who were lined up to receive their monthly salaries.

Afghanistan is trying to keep the Taliban terror organization under control following the US Army invasion of the country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The United States’ mission, later joined by NATO, was to destroy Al Qaeda and remove Taliban from power.

President Barack Obama declared “victory” over Al Qaeda with the assassination of its leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.

The victory was illusory. Despite all the headlines focusing on the Islamic State, Al Qaeda also has gained large swaths of territory in Syria and Yemen.

The Islamic State’s expansion into Afghanistan, following attacks in Libya and Egypt, follows a warning to the Obama administration last month by President Ashraf Ghani:

If we don’t stand on the same line united, these people are going to destroy us.

A White House statement said:

This visit…was an opportunity to review the remarkable strategic, political and economic achievements of this partnership and the successful completion of the security transition in Afghanistan.

He has said the same thing about Yemen and Iraq.

Who’s next?

Obama Saves ‘Never Again’ but Steers Clear of Mentioning Iran

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

President Barack Obama recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day that was marked in Israel on Thursday with a  splendid statement against anti-Semitism while ignoring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks last night  that noted that Iran is preparing to murder 6 million Jews in Israel with a nuclear weapon.

Obama dutifully said, “Never Forget” and “Never Again” and added:

Yet, even as we recognize that mankind is capable of unspeakable acts of evil, we also draw strength from the survivors, the liberators, and the righteous among nations who represented humanity at its best.

With their example to guide us, together we must firmly and forcefully condemn the anti-Semitism that is still far too common today. Together we must stand against bigotry and hatred in all their forms. And together, we can leave our children a world that is more just, more free, and more secure for all humankind.

Netanyahu has asked that if President Obama is so sure his deal with Iran can stop the regime in Tehran from procuring a nuclear warhead to be aimed at Israel, all Iran has to do to signal its peaceful intentions is to recognize Israel as a country.

Obama rejected the idea out of hand, explaining  that  it is not practical because it would ruin his deal with the Islamic Republic.

PI-INOs (Pro-Israel In Name Only) Continue to Give Cover to Obama

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama held two meetings with American Jews last week. They were the best of meetings, they were the worst of meetings. In reverse order.

The worst part of the worst meeting – from the perspective of Americans who care about regional stability in the Middle East and the continued existence of the Jewish State – was an offer made by J Street-esque Jews who promised to “do the leg work” for Obama if he decides to remove the “veto protection of Israel” at the United Nations, as reported in the Algemeiner.

At the first meeting, the Jewish organization heads represented the concerns of pro-Israel Americans regarding this administration’s recent actions, particularly regarding steps to allow Iran to come out from under the yoke of international sanctions regarding its nuclear program.

Participants in this meeting included representatives from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the World Jewish Congress, The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, AIPAC, B’nai Brith, the ADL, the Jewish Federations, representatives of the three major streams of Judaism, and partisan and leftist groups such as the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Israel Policy Forum, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, J Street and the National Council of Jewish Women, according to the JTA.

At the second meeting, the one with those who claim to be pro-Israel when it suits them, but who are first, last and always pro-Democratic party policies (we’ll call them PI-INOs: Pro-Israel In Name Only), encouraged Obama in his belief that he “is a member of the tribe” because they, like he, understand his far-leftist orientation to be really a form of Social Justice Judaism.

Those present at this meeting included major Jewish Democratic party donors and fundraisers, including ones associated with AIPAC and J Street. They included the Israeli-American Haim Saban, who is believed to be, unlike others present, at least somewhat critical of Obama’s Middle East policies.

But a theme, originally laid out in a lengthy, glowing New York Times magazine about J Street when it was first launched, was played out again at this second meeting. This theme is, at least for those most closely associated with J Street, they serve as Obama’s “blocking back” for American Jews, presenting his adverse position on matters typically of great concern to American Jews, softening up the crowd, and taking the initial body slams.

Obama was encouraged, according to sources present at the meeting who shared what transpired with the Algemeiner, to “take steps against Israel and remain steadfast in his approach to Iran negotiations.” A “J Streeter” went so far as to have “pushed Obama to remove the veto protection of Israel at the UN in the event that a Security Council resolution called for the creation of a Palestinian State.”

This “J Streeter” reportedly said “if you decide to go against Israel at the UN, ‘let us know first, and we’ll do the legwork for you in the community.” The conversation described at least that participant as actively pushing the president to work against Israel’s concerns on the world stage.

Another participant at this second meeting reportedly encouraged Obama to continue with his negotiations with Iran and remain firm against Congress’s efforts to intervene.

The president later changed course on the Congressional initiative known as the Corker bill, fueling speculation that it actually ended up being a net positive for the administration’s efforts. There are conflicting views that the administration caved because it recognized a tidal wave was going to wash over them anyway, but careful analysts such as former U.S. Naval intelligence officer J.E. Dyer suggest that is too optimistic a view.

Obama Gift List to Former Enemies Continues: Cuba Plucked from Terrorism Sponsor List

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

So, let’s see. He “reset” with Russia’s Putin – ask the Crimeans what they think of that move -, he sent loving happy new years notes to Iran, and that produced a warm and loving feelings towards America. He drop-kicked Egypt’s Mubarak from the buddy league but snuggled up with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi. That did not do much for Morsi, and he spit in the eye of Israel’s Netanyahu whom everyone agrees actually benefitted from Obama’s animosity.

So to whom is U.S. President Barack Obama now handing out party favors? Why, it’s none other than Raul Castro, el jefe of Cuba.

That’s right. The happy dictator to our immediate south either was granted this gift or was simply rewarded, unbidden, with the imminent delisting of Cuba from the U.S.’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

First, the punishments which will be lifted if Cuba is removed from the terrorism list include: a ban on arms-related exports and sales; 30-day Congressional notifications for exports of goods or services deemed “dual use,” meaning they could have peaceful uses but they also could have be used to support terrorism; and prohibitions on economic assistance.

Unless Congress acts to prohibit the delisting, 45 days after the President issues the report making that recommendation, Cuba goes off the list.

How did this happen?

We learn from a press release issued by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday, April 13, that Obama directed the State Department to launch a review and then provide him with a report to determine whether Cuba should continue to be designated as an official terrorism sponsor this past December. The president did that as a “critical component of establishing a new direction for U.S.-Cuba relations.”

Well, perhaps not surprisingly, the State Department recommended “based on the facts and the statutory standard” that Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism be rescinded.

To be sure, it might have been possible for the State Department to determine Cuba was ineligible for removal from the designated list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Why, according to the State Department’s statement, if Cuba had “provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six months,” or if it had refused to provide “assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” those naughty boys would remain on the terrorism list. But the answers to the questions being asked were such that the president was able to give one of his new best friends, Raul Castro, the good news.

In issuing its statement recommending the removal of Cuba from the state terrorism listing, the State Department carefully pointed out that the narrow requirements it focused on constitute the qualifications set by Congress for what countries can be removed from the terrorism sponsors list. That statement also pointed out that the criterion for review was a narrow and Congressionally-determined one.

The basis for removal from the list does not mean that American authorities have determined Cuba, a Communist nation with one political party, is no longer engaged in repression or human trafficking or any other significant departures from modern democratic societies, but those issues are not part of the calculation for terrorism sponsoring de-listing.

“While the United States has had, and continues to have, significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these concerns and disagreements fall outside of the criteria for designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” is how the State Department couched it.

“Circumstances have changed since 1982, when Cuba was originally designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism because of its efforts to promote armed revolution by forces in Latin America. Our Hemisphere, and the world, look very different today than they did 33 years ago. Our determination, pursuant to the facts, including corroborative assurances received from the Government of Cuba and the statutory standard, is that the time has come to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” the statement continued.

Corker-Menendez Bill So Bipartisan that Even Obama No Longer Objects

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

In what looks like a complete reversal, the proposed legislation intended to impose tough Congressional oversight of the Iranian nuclear deal has been the subject of so much compromise that rather than simply gaining enough Democrats to override President Barack Obama’s threatened veto, it has gained the support of the President himself.

The President said that so long as the legislation passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, April 13, is not the subject of further amendments, the President will not veto the bill but instead will sign it.

The vote in the Committee in favor of the bill was 19-0. The zero may represent the teeth remaining in the legislation, or it may simply mirror the rounded mouths of the president’s advisers who told him Congress would not dare insert themselves into his foreign policy prerogatives.

At this point some of the details of the compromise legislation have been revealed: the original Corker-Menendez Congressional review period was 60 days after the negotiators concluded their deal, the amended bill which was approved Tuesday afternoon provides for 52 days of Congressional review.

The way it works, according to Omri Ceren of The Israel Project, is this: once the President’s team of negotiators (and their counterparts from the other P5+1 countries) arrive at a deal, Congress then has 30 days to review the details. “If Congress acts to block the deal,” it is expected that the President will veto the blocking legislation, and then Congress will have the additional 22 days to assemble a large enough group of lawmakers to override the veto. They will need 67 senators to join on to a veto override.

A change the White House wanted which was removed from the proposed legislation was requiring the President to certify that Iran was not supporting or itself engaging in terrorism against Americans or the United States.

Two things that Israel supporters wanted that they did not get was, first, language in the bill that would require the Islamic Republic of Iran to recognize Israel as a fellow nation, and two, have the deal between the U.S. and Iran be treated as if it were a treaty rather than an executive agreement. Had that been the case, it would have had to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

The next stage is for the House of Representatives to consider the Corker-Menendez bill.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/corker-menendez-deal-so-bipartisan-that-even-obama-no-longer-objects/2015/04/15/

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