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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Answer This American Jewish Poll: Should Bibi Speak to Congress?

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

The American Jewish Congress is asking people to respond to a poll that asks if  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speaking to Congress ” is a good idea or a bad idea.”

“House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak during a special joint Congressional session on March 3. This invitation has stirred some controversy between Republicans and Democrats, in Israel and among the American Jewish community,” AJC wrote in an e-mail.

It continued:

We’re surveying our supporters about this issue and would like to know if you think the speech is a good idea or a bad idea. Take the survey by March 1 and share it with your network on Facebook and Twitter.

AJC explained that Netanyahu “plans to speak in opposition to a nuclear agreement that the United States is currently negotiating with Iran. PM Netanyahu believes the deal puts Israel at risk and does not protect and ensure the security of Israel and other American allies in the region. Some lawmakers see this as an attempt by a foreign government to interfere in U.S. foreign policy…..

“What’s your opinion? We want to know. Take our poll, then share and retweet it to your social network.”

Click here to vote.

Obama on Collision Course with Senate Bill on Iran Deal

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties are co-sponsoring a bill that would require President Barack Obama to submit to the Senate for review any deal with Iran on its nuclear program.

Obama immediately responded with a threat to veto the bill if passed into law.

Tension between Congress and President Obama will be heightened even more on Tuesday, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivers a speech to a joint session of Congress that Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and nearly two dozen Democrats are boycotting.

The Senate and the Prime Minister ostensibly are threats to Obama’s presumed privilege  to determine foreign policy. Beneath the surface, they are threats to exposing Obama’s approach to Iran as a total failure.

Globalization does not allow any country to remain quiet when it is under a threat because of the actions of another country.

The Senate already has passed a resolution, reported here by The Jewish Press, stating that it welcomes Netanyahu’s speech at a time when “the Government of Iran’s ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a tremendous threat both to the United States and Israel.”

The new Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 bill was submitted on Friday. It would delay implementation of a deal with Iran for 60 days while senators review it, leaving the possibility for it to vote on it.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, told Bloomberg, “Before sanctions begin to be unraveled, this gives us our rightful role to weigh in and keeps us involved as things move along — if a deal is reached.”

Senator Robert Menendez told Bloomberg in a statement:

If a nuclear deal is reached, Congress will have an opportunity to review the agreement and, more importantly, ensure its compliance after it goes into effect. This legislation establishes that vital review and oversight process.

The White House stated on Saturday, “The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran.  If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it.”

However,  several Democrats have co-signed the bill, setting up a possible  full-scale confrontation between the Obama and the Upper House.

Democratic Senator  Tim Kaine told Bloomberg, “I believe Congress should weigh in on the content of the deal given the centrality of the congressional sanctions to the entire negotiation and the significant security interests involved. This legislation sets up a clear and constructive process for Congressional review of statutory sanctions relief under a standard that is appropriately deferential to the executive branch negotiating the deal.”

Netanyahu’s speech on Tuesday is going to be more dramatic than anyone has imagined. He is stepping into a fray that is becoming crystal clear is not only between him and Obama but also between the American people and the president.

Polls show that an overwhelming majority of Americans consider a nuclear Iran as a major threat to the United States – not to Israel, but to the United States.

As in Israel, major establishment media are backing the “diplomatic process,” which on every front in the Middle East, and also elsewhere, has resulted in one-sided concessions by Israel and the United States or agreements that the other side – usually Middle East countries and the Palestinian Authority – have not honored.

Netanyahu Visits Western Wall before Leaving for US

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the Western Wall (Kotel) Saturday night, hours before flying to the United States for a speech to AIPAC and to a joint session of Congress.

Netanyahu said:

On the eve my trip to the US, I came here to the Western Wall. I would like to take this opportunity to say that I respect U.S. President Barack Obama.

I believe in the strength of the relationship between Israel and the US and in their strength to overcome differences of opinion, those that have been and those that will yet be.

As Prime Minister of Israel, it is my obligation to see to the security of Israel; therefore, we strongly oppose the agreement being formulated with Iran and the major powers, which could endanger our very existence. In the face of this danger we must unite and also explain the dangers stemming from this agreement, to Israel, to the region and to the world.

Netanyahu is scheduled to address Congress in Tuesday. As for now, approximately 20 Democrats will boycott the speech, which will be highly significant for relations with Obama and for the Knesset elections campaign.

Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni of the merged “Zionist Camp” party, with the help of Israeli adamantly anti-Netanyahu establishment media, have tried to make the housing crisis and the Netanyahu’s family lifestyle the major issues of the campaign.

They will have no choice other than to cover Netanyahu’s’ speech on the Iranian nuclear threat.

Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely

Friday, February 27th, 2015

An agreement that limits the number of centrifuges Iran can possess makes them useless for nuclear energy but very useful for producing a nuclear weapon, according to a former CIA director who now is an analyst for CBS. Michael Morell said on Charlie Rose:

If you are going to have a nuclear weapons program, 5,000 is pretty much the number you need. If you have a power program, you need a lot more. By limiting them to a small number of centrifuges, we are limiting them to the number you need for a weapon.”

Iran has about 19,000 centrifuges, 10,000 of which are operating. The Obama administration’s proposal for a deal with Iran reportedly offered to let Iran enrich uranium with around 6,500 centrifuges. The Obama administration has countered the numbers, some of which are supplied by the Netanyahu administration, by arguing that the type and size of centrifuges are no less important than the number when it comes to enriching uranium.

President Barack Obama thinks that he can negotiate a deal that will keep Iran from making a nuclear weapon for two decades. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says Iran simply is buying time, cannot be trusted to honor any agreement, and that any deal to which it agrees will be a “bad deal.”

Obama supposedly wants to cut the number of centrifuges to approximately 5,000, which Morrell said is enough to produce a nuclear weapon.

PunditFact verified Morell’s claim with several experts, including Georgetown Associate Prof. Matthew Kroenig, who has little faith that Iran will honor any agreement; Arms Control Association official Daryl Kimball; David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security; and Harvard Prof. Matthew Bunn. Bunn told PunditFact:

People think surely you must need a bigger enrichment system to make 90 percent enriched material for bombs than to make 4-5 percent enriched material for power reactors. But exactly the opposite is true. A nuclear reactor, which Iran claims it is building for peaceful purposes, requires tons of uranium. A nuclear bomb can be produced with only 50 pounds of highly enriched uranium.

Bunn explained that producing low-grade uranium makes it possible to produce the enriched stuff, even though it is harder.

That is why Netanyahu told the United Nations three years ago Iran must be allowed zero percent uranium. Once Iran has 5 percent grade uranium, “you’ve already done more than 2/3 of the work of going all the way to 90 percent U-235 for weapons,”

Bunn said. “So the amount of work needed to make bomb material is only a modest amount more per kilogram, and the number of kilograms you need for bombs is 1,000 times less.”

Kimball is more dovish than Kroenig and thinks that since it would take Iran a year to produce enough enriched uranium for one bomb, “That would give you enough time to detect that activity.”

That means the deal, if one is made, comes down to inspections, something which Iran has circumvented for years. Either it allows inspections after removing evidence that its nuclear development is aimed at building a nuclear weapon, or it simply allows them after it has moved its operations to another unknown facility.

The National Coalition of Resistance of Iran insists that the Iranian regime has systematically lied to United Nations nuclear inspectors and has built and is running a secret “Lavizan-3″ underground enrichment operation near Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a report last week that was obtained by Reuters and the Associated Press, stated that Iran is living up to its commitment to reduce enrichment activities but did not erase suspicions that it is carrying out research for making a nuclear bomb. The IAEA report said:

Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures.

Obama apparently thinks Iran can be trusted, and that is why he is so incensed that Netanyahu is trying to convince Americans that the president is letting himself be conned – again.

State Dept. Admits Even Obama Is not ‘Infallible’

Friday, February 27th, 2015

U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not infallible and therefore may be wrong in opposing a potential “bad” deal with Iran.

Pressed by Associated Press reporter Matt Lee if the pope and President Barack Obama also are not infallible, she admitted everyone is.

The questioning was in response to Secretary John Kerry’s testimony at Congress where he questioned Netanyahu’s judgment for supporting the 2003 war in Iraq.

Lee asked, “I’m wondering if you can explain a bit more about what he[Kerry] meant since there were a lot of people, including himself at one point, who were supporters of that war, and why this makes Prime Minister Netanyahu’s judgment suspect and does not make anyone else’s judgment suspect….. I’m sure that there may be other things that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been wrong about.”

Psaki performed some fancy verbal acrobatics and said that Kerry’s”point was about where we are with the Iran negotiations, and that we have to look at all of the options, look at all of the information that’s available, to – and have an open mind about how to approach this. And that’s what he’s asking from the prime minister.”

When Psaki agreed with Lee that “no one is infallible,” not even the pope or the president, he persisted:

if no one is infallible, how is it possible that Prime Minister Netanyahu here in his opposition to a potential Iran deal is wrong and you guys are all right?….

It’s the approach that the prime minister has an issue with, not the goal that you both – that I think he would say that you share with him. Psaki said the Obama administration does not agree that its approach to the Iranian nuclear threat is the problem. She adds that Netanyahu is wrong because he is part of an “effort to prejudge an outcome when the details are not yet known.”

But enough of the details are known.

There is a scary parallel between the “negotiations” with Iran and the U.S.-led negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Technically, details of a final agreement were not known, but the Palestinian Authority gradually ruled out compromise on virtually all issues, leaving as “details” its demands that were evolving into a de facto final agreement.

Netanyahu finally drew the line after his own administrations, as well as those under Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, caved in time after time.

Instead of a “bad deal, there was no deal, forcing the Palestinian Authority to go to the United Nations to try to force an agreement on Israel and prove to the world that Ramallah really was not interested in negotiations.

Kerry and Obama failed in the “peace process.” They blamed Mahmoud Abbas, no less than Netanyahu, for the failure.

They proved that they, even more than Netanyahu, are not infallible.

Poll: One out of Three Americans Thinks Obama Does not Love America

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Only 47 percent of American adults think that President Barack Obama loves the United States, and 35 percent said he does not, according to a new poll published by Huffington Post in coordination with the British-based YouGov poll.

This was not a popularity poll. It was a survey concerning the leader of the country’s love for the nation he is supposed to be leading. It would be shocking if even 10 percent of American citizens thought their president does not love the United States.

The poll showed extremely sharp differences of opinion along party lines, with 85 percent of Democrats not questioning Obama’s love for America, while only 11 percent of Republicans do no question it.

The survey also revealed that most Americans – 52 percent – have an unfavorable view of President Obama.

The poll was carried out one week after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s said a dinner in New York:

I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.

He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up, and I was brought up through love of this country.

He later clarified that he was not questioning Obama’s patriotism and wrote in The Wall Street Journal this week, “I didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart. Irrespective of what a president may think or feel, his inability or disinclination to emphasize what is right with America can hamstring our success as a nation.

He told Fox News, “I’m not questioning his patriotism — he’s a patriot, I’m sure. What I’m saying is, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear him say the things I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things I used to hear Bill Clinton say about all the things he loves about America. I do hear him criticize America much more often than other American presidents…”

“It sounds like he’s more of a critic than he is a supporter. You can be a patriotic American and be a critic, but then you’re not expressing that kind of love that we’re used to from a president.”

The former mayor explained that Obama’s anxiousness to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear development indicates that he does not love and understand Western civilization.

Obama Asks Congress to Declare War on Islamic State

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for authorization to declare war on Islamic State with a limit of three years but no limit on geographical boundaries.

It took him more than four months since the Islamic State executed American hostage James Foley to ask for an official declaration of war.

If Congress approves the request, it will be the first time the United States goes to war against an organization and not a country.

The proposed authorization for military force against the Islamic State would:

Target the Islamic State and associated persons or forces, defined as those fighting with the Islamic State “in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners;”

Provide no geographic limits on the battle;

Limit ground troops by banning “enduring offensive ground combat operations;” and

Expire after three years unless renewed by Congress.

The authorization also would do away with the Congressional approval from 2002 for military force in Iraq. The president said in his letter to Congress that he hopes to be able to repeal the same authorization on which he has been relying for military operations force against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

President Obama composed his letter with explanations, each one beginning with “whereas,” to define the ISIS as an enemy threat to the United States.

He declared that the Islamic State, which he referred to as ISIL for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant , “poses a grave threat to the people and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, regional stability, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners.”

He pointed out that the Islamic State, more commonly known as ISIS, “holds significant territory in Iraq and Syria and has stated its intention to seize more territory and demonstrated the capability to do so” and that its leaders have stated intentions to attack the United States.

His fourth “whereas” appeared to be designed to further his premise that ISIS is not a part of Islam. He stated:

Whereas ISIL has committed despicable acts of violence and mass executions against Muslims, regardless of sect, who do not subscribe to ISIL’s depraved, violent, and oppressive ideology;

Whereas ISIL has threatened genocide and committed vicious acts of violence against religious and ethnic minority groups, including Iraqi Christian, Yezidi, and Turkmen populations;

President Obama seems to be afraid that Muslim countries will think that he wants to wage war against radical Islam, which would get him in a lot of trouble in certain Middle East countries that do not behead people willy-nilly but also do not tolerate anyone who does not obey Islamic law.

His carefully crafted letter, having stated that the ISIS is supposedly anti-Muslim, focused on the Islamic State’s “horrific acts of violence” that included “the deaths of [four] innocent United States citizens.”

Obama then brought the international community under the umbrella of a global alliance and noted the announcement last September at a NATO Summit “that ISIL poses a serious threat and should be countered by a broad international coalition.”

Congress is not totally happy with the idea, and Obama tried to make it easier to obtain authorization by writing:

The authority granted in subsection (a) does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations.

The obvious problem with the language is the word “enduring,” something Congressmen will have to thrash out in discussions on the request for war on ISIS.

President Obama put the ball in Congress’ court and implied it is will bear the price if it does not declare war on ISIS.

He wrote.

If left unchecked, ISIL will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-asks-congress-to-declare-war-on-islamic-state/2015/02/11/

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