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October 5, 2015 / 22 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Rubio’s ‘Poison Pill’ May Force Democrats to Get Off the Fence on Israel

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio’s insistence  on amending the proposed Senate bill for review of a deal with Iran by requiring  the Islamic Republic to recognize Israel is beginning to make Democrats squirm.

Iran has repeatedly stated that Israel should be wiped off the map. It is building Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and by all accounts, except Tehran’s, is not far from being able to obtain a nuclear warhead.

It doesn’t take an evangelist Republican to connect the dots despite Iran’s position that it would never never even dream of obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Iran never would accept Rubio’s proposal that it recognize Israel, at least not in Ayatollah Khamenei’s lifetime, and Rubio knows it.

So does President Barack Obama, who warned on Wednesday he would veto a Congressional bill if it makes negotiations with Iran impossible.

Democrats, especially the Jewish ones, also know that supporting the president and voting against the suggestion that a Muslim country recognize the Jewish state will be recorded in the history book on warped thinking, with the notion the way to peace is to allow an enemy to scheme to destroy an enemy instead of dismantling the scheme, admitting defeat and recognizing that the enemy is its own hallucinations.

Where is Shimon Peres when we need him? Peres has said dozens of times that “one makes peace with enemies, not with friends.” The cliché is more ridiculous than it is trite, but if that is his philosophy, why isn’t he out there backing Rubio?

The Senate began on Tuesday to debate the proposed law that any deal with Iran on its nuclear development must be submitted to Congress for review.

President Obama originally said he would veto such a law, but after Republic Sen. Bob Corker toned down its original language so that the legislation would have a veto-proof majority, he changed his mind.

That was until Rubio, who has announced he is running to be the GOP’s presidential nominee next year, came up with seven amendments,  known as the “poison pills” because there is no chance Obama and Iran would accept them.

Besides demanding that Iran recognize Israel, the Florida Republican wants Iran to release American it is holding. He also demands that sanctions having nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear development be retained on Tehran.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, Jewish and strongly identified with Israel, blocked Rubio’s effort on Wednesday to bring the “recognize Israel” amendment to a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“I appreciate the senator from Maryland’s passion,” Rubio said, “but I want a vote on the amendment,” and he intends to do so when the bill comes to the floor of the Senate.

Rubio has managed to scare Republicans as well as Democrats.

Several GOP Leaders are angry with Rubio because his “poison pill” amendments would destroy the bi-partisan support for a watered-down bill for Congressional review of a deal with Iran.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a strong backer of Israel, said he would vote against Rubio’s amendments.

Graham explained:

I don’t think anybody is going to accuse Lindsey Graham of being anti-Israel. I’ve been working for a year … to put this coalition together. And failure is not an option.\

Politico reported that “GOP leaders appear to siding with Rubio [and] so far, they have not moved to orchestrate Republicans to vote against problematic amendments.”

Rubio has the Democrats in a tight corner. He said, “Do Democrats not support Israel?”

The oddity is that Democrats are holding their collective breath for Corker, a Republican, to convince Rubio to back off or convince his colleagues to vote against the amendments.

Iran Legislative Compromises may Cause Nuclear Explosion in Washington

Monday, April 27th, 2015

This week the U.S. Senate will meet to discuss what input Congress will have before sanctions imposed on Iran for violating a slew of U.N. Resolutions regarding its nuclear program can be lifted.

The offerings of amendments by various senators – whether for wholly ideological reasons, for presidential campaign purposes, or a combination and perhaps other factors – may result in a nuclear explosion of a whole other sort than the one the entire process was created to circumvent, and this one entirely within Washington, D.C.

The legislation formally known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, and informally as the Corker or the Corker-Menendez bill, was unanimously approved and voted out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month.

The INARA which came out of committee imposed a change on the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Until then, Congress played no role.

With the passage of Corker’s bill in its current form, Congressional sanctions against Iran could not be lifted even following a signed agreement with Iran, for 30 days, while Congress reviews the Agreement.

Congress could vote against lifting sanctions if it votes down the final deal, although this would require the vote of a significantly higher number of Senators than most think is likely, and led some critics to say the final version was actually helpful to the administration, despite their feigned annoyance.

The bill in its current state would also require this administration and all future ones to certify that Iran was following the terms of the agreement.

Corker, with the assistance of Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin (D), successfully maneuvered the bill out of the SFRC without any of the threatened amendments which they claimed would kill the deal, and leave Congress with no voice at all.

But, as Corker himself admitted, anything can happen in the “Wild West” of the full Senate floor.

And it looks like quite a few gunslingers are loading up their barrels with various amendments, any one of which may force a serious showdown between the administration and the Senate, between the Democrats and the Republicans in the Senate, and even, perhaps, amongst the Republicans themselves.

Florida’s presidential contender Marco Rubio (R) is busily showing the gathering crowd what ammunition he plans to unload, and he has quite an array in his arsenal. Each of these amendments, if passed, would constitute a condition Iran would have to meet in order for the U.S. to lift the current Congressional sanctions on Iran.

Rubio wants to require Iran to recognize the state of Israel. He also wants Iran to release American prisoners being held, such as Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) wants the administration to certify that Iran is not supporting terrorism targeting Americans at home or abroad.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) want a provision which would require Congressional approval of the deal, rather than simply the right to defeat it.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has said he will introduce an amendment that will require the administration to treat this deal with Iran as a treaty and not simply an executive agreement. The difference, of course, being that Congress plays a full partnership role with respect to a treaty, and almost no rule in an executive agreement.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-ARK), prime mover behind the Congressional Republican’s open letter to Rouhani, which supporters of the administration claimed was treasonous, said he agrees with Johnson. “A major arms control treaty with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism should be treated as a treaty,” Cotton said.

“The president should have to get 67 votes for a major nuclear arms agreement with an outlaw regime,” said Cotton. He wants to lower the number of votes needed to reject a deal from 60 to 51.

All those packing amendments are Republicans. “I have not heard of a single amendment on the Democratic side,” said Foreign Relations ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who worked closely with Corker to keep the SFRC members in line during the vote in that committee.

One option being discussed which would appease the opponents of the current bill, and still avoid incorporating language that may prove insurmountable for the Iranians, is to allow the inclusion of a “sense of the Senate” provision. This means the concerns would be raised in the narrative portion of the bill, but those points do not become an enforceable part of the legislation.

Debate in the Senate will begin on Tuesday, April 28. Once the bill is voted out of the Senate, it then has to be taken up in the House of Representatives.

President Obama’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Russian Hackers Reading Obama’s Personal E-mails

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Russian hackers who invaded President Barack Obama’s personal e-mail last year were far more successful than previously reported, The New York Times reported Sunday.

No classified information was hacked, but the invaders were able to read President Obama’s personal correspondence with diplomats and e-mails concerning policy and legislation.

The hackers penetrated the State Dept.’s unclassified e-mail system and Obama’s unclassified account.

The invasion, although it did not reach classified information, could be extremely embarrassing for the Obama administration. It is assumed that the hackers were working with or for the Kremlin.

“This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen,” one senior American official told the newspaper. “It’s the Russian angle to this that’s particularly worrisome,” another senior official said.

The president reportedly writes on personal emails about subjects ranging from his golfing to efforts by Republican Congressmen to hamper his proposed deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

If the mails reach the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin, he might learn secrets about how President Obama missed an easy putt on the 17th hole, or perhaps what he really thinks about Sen. Bob Corker, who initiated the bill that would require Obama to submit to Congress for review any final deal with Iran.

If President Obama wrote to a diplomat about what he really thinks about Putin, the Russian president will read some unflattering remarks, assuming Obama does not see him as a “warm friend.”

And what does Obama write about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his emails? He also is probably not described as a “warm friend.”

The White House is not revealing the content of the material that was hacked in order not to hint to the Russians how much investigators know about the computer invasion.

And perhaps the Russian hackers now know what many Americans would like to know about Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal account for State Dept. correspondence.

President Obama not only knew about Clinton’s routine of using her personal account for government business but also wrote to her on her private account, “hdr22@clintonemail.com.”

After Obama told CBS News that it was “through news reports” that he’d learned that Clinton was using her personal account, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “The president — as I think many people expected — did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with the secretary of state.”

The Republican National Committee accused Obama of misleading the American public by having said he knew of Clinton’s practice “through news reports.”

Any questions about Obama’s correspondence with Clinton can be directed to the Russian hackers.

President Rivlin’s Independence Day Message Thanks Jews in the Diaspora

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut message to Jews in the Diaspora thanked them for contribution to the Jewish state but did not even whisper a hint that they should make Aliyah and come home.

Israel and Jews around the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day Wednesday night and Thursday, one day before the usual date of the 5th of Iyar in order to avoid desecration of the eve of the Sabbath and celebrating through Friday evening.

This also is President Rivlin’s first year in office, and he did not even tiptoe the issue of Aliyah. He simply ignored it.

Suggesting Jews in the Diaspora to move to Israel usually is an itchy subject. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu angered some French leaders and especially the French government last year when he flatly stated after a terrorist attack on Jews at a kosher deli in Paris, “The State of Israel is not just the place to which you turn in prayer. The State of Israel is also your home.”

David Ben-Gurion, when he was Prime Minister in 1961, hit a brick wall in Baltimore when he told rags-to-riches millionaire Jacob Blaustein he expected several thousand American Jews to move to Israel every month.

Blaustein told Ben-Gurion, “American is our home.”

President Rivlin played it safe and patted American Jews on the back without ruffling any feathers.

He told them in the video that can be seen below:

Israel will forever be indebted to our friends and supporters abroad. Those who have contributed and continue to contribute to charities and foundations, those who have volunteered in the Israel Defense Forces even at times of war, those who stand up for Israel in the media – you are all part of the Israeli family, and should take joy and pride in Israel’s independence celebrations….

Together, we can work to ensure that Israel fulfills its promise of a Jewish and democratic country, with equality and freedoms for all its citizens.

I wish you all Chag Atzmaut Samayach and may we all enjoy a successful and prosperous Israel.

Americans, especially Jews, love to hear about “equality and freedom” in Israel. It makes them feel proud to be Jewish Americans – and not American Jews – so the non-Jewish community can huff and puff that the United States of America is the model for Israel.

America, the country where church is church and state is state and never the twain shall meet.

America, the melting pot.

America, where the assimilation rate among Jews is 70 percent.

If the Obama administration has not convinced American Jews to move to Israel, maybe Hillary Clinton can succeed.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obamas-creativity-a-signing-bonus-for-iran-rather-than-lift-sanctions/2015/04/19/

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