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April 20, 2015 / 1 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Obama Espouses his Iran Strategy: If, If, If and Blind Hope

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Unofficial presidential spokesman and New York Time columnist Thomas Friedman interviewed President Barack Obama Saturday and unwittingly revealed a presidential strategy towards Iran that is based on plain hope and lots of conditional “ifs.”

In the interview under the title “The Obama Doctrine and Iran”, President Obama elevated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the clear leader in the campaign to bury the emerging deal that is supposed to make sure Iran cannot get its hands on a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Netanyahu already has led off a media blitz with interviews on several American television networks on Friday, a strong follow-up to his candid speech to a joint session of Congress last year in which he warned of a bad deal.

President Obama’s defense of last week’s temporary framework for a final agreement with Iran in June expressed his optimism and hope but did little to convince anyone who is undecided whether the emerging deal is worthwhile.

His assumption – giving it the old college try for diplomacy is better than trying force that cannot force Iran into submission – is the underlying difference in views between Israel and the president.

Obama assumes nothing can stop from getting a nuclear bomb if it wants it, and therefore it is best to try to engage it, change its personality, culture and character and maybe, just maybe, it will become a new creature.

Netanyahu and Israel, with more experience than the entire world when it comes to negotiating with the Muslim world, know that force, whether economic or military, is the only language it understands and that there is such a thing as Iran or an Arab country surrendering, even if they call it a cease-fire in order to uphold their honor.

One of President Obama’s weakest arguments in his interview with Friedman was that the policy of “engagement” has succeeded. After pointing out that Cuba does not threaten the United States but Iran does, he nevertheless compared them.

Obama said:

You take a country like Cuba. For us to test the possibility that engagement leads to a better outcome for the Cuban people, there aren’t that many risks for us. It’s a tiny little country. It’s not one that threatens our core security interests, and so [there’s no reason not] to test the proposition. And if it turns out that it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, we can adjust our policies.

The same is true with respect to Iran, a larger country, a dangerous country, one that has engaged in activities that resulted in the death of U.S. citizens, but the truth of the matter is: Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us. … You asked about an Obama doctrine. The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.

His entire defense of engagement with Iran is based on the defense budget. It is not clear why he even mentioned Cuba since he admitted there is no comparing the tiny country with Iran.

Friedman, Obama’s favorite interviewer, did not bother the president with nuisance questions, such as what followed the Obama administration’s engagement with Syria, for starters.

Netanyahu Warns Iran-Yemen-Nuclear Deal Axis ‘Dangerous to Humanity’ [video]

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the deal shaping up with Iran on its nuclear program is “even worse than feared” and that the “Iranian-Lausanne talks-Yemen axis is dangerous to humanity and must be stopped.”

He told the Cabinet:

Even as meetings [in Lausanne] proceed on this dangerous agreement, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are overrunning large sections of that country and are attempting to seize control of the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb straits which would affect the naval balance and the global oil supply.

After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is carrying out a pincers movement in the south as well in order to take over and conquer the entire Middle East.

Talks are dragging on in Lausanne, and it is not clear if the P5+1 will strike an agreement. Reports of concessions include Secretary of State John Kerry’s willingness to allow Iran retain 6,000 centrifuges at is main nuclear site, where it can continue to enrich uranium.

Netanyahu has become Public Enemy Number 1 to the Obama administration for his defiant speech in Congress earlier this month, where he warned of a “bad deal” with Iran.

He is winning more backing, not only from Congress but also from The Washington Post and even the London Economist, which is far from friendly to Netanyahu.

The Post wrote in an editorial Friday:

Negotiators — including the supposedly hard-line French, who have taken the lead on the ‘military dimensions’ issue — have reportedly agreed to let Iran’s noncompliance slide. The IAEA’s unanswered questions will be rolled over and rebundled into the new agreement, with a new time line. That means that Iran will have some sanctions lifted before it complies with a commitment it first made eight years ago.

The question this raises was articulated months ago in congressional testimony by nuclear weapons expert David Albright: ‘If Iran is able to successfully evade addressing the IAEA’s concerns now, when biting sanctions are in place, why would it address them later when these sanctions are lifted? In its rush to complete a deal, the Obama administration appears eager to ignore the likely answer.

The Economist wrote on Saturday, “Mr. Obama was right to chastise Mr. Netanyahu over Palestine. But he should not ignore him altogether. This is a vital moment in the Middle East. Mr. Obama may this week embrace Israel’s greatest foe, Iran, by agreeing on the outline for a nuclear deal. As cynical as Mr. Netanyahu may be about Palestine, he deserves to be heard on the risk that a deal will turn Iran from a pariah into a legitimate and overbearing regional power.”

Iran Says ‘Don’t Believe the Headlines’ that Deal is Imminent

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Iranian media warned on Saturday that reports of a draft for a deal on its nuclear program are totally incorrect.

Reuters reported on Friday that the French Foreign Minister said an agreement is “close” for a two of three-page agreement, while more cautious voices said it is not certain.

The news agency stated:

‘The sides are very, very close to the final step and it could be signed or agreed and announced verbally,’ a senior Iranian official familiar with the talks told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Other officials echoed the remarks while warning that several crucial issues were still being hotly debated.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the parties were “better than halfway” to a deal, according to the Associated Press.

Iran, just like the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League, have a knack for squeezing anyone who even begins  to compromise, which they consider a sign of weakness.

The Western mentality of setting a deadline is a two-edged sword. It acts as a threat that Iran may be punished if it does not sign on the dotted line, but it also works to Iran’s advantage, which knows very well that President Obama is shivering in his White House boots at the thought of having to use muscle.

Iran’s regime-controlled Fars News Agency reported Saturday that a source “dismissed the Reuters’ report as groundless and media hype.”

That could mean that the West thinks Iran is ready to agree to terms. Iran, as usual, will try make U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the rest of the P5+1 leaders sweat it out and possibly score a point for its ego by forcing the West to wait until after the “deadline” to sign a deal.

“Intensive negotiations with the P5+1 are continuing at all levels to achieve solutions to different issues,” a source” told Fars.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday night:

We are not close to a deal as reaching a comprehensive agreement needs political will and choosing between pressure and agreement. We are proceeding, we still have work to do and we are trying hard.

Deputy negotiator Abbas Araqchi said. “All differences are serious and we are trying to reduce these differences…..  We are still hopeful and optimistic, but it is still soon to state if we will be able to obtain a solution on all issues or not.”

Zarif tweeted, “Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity. It’s high time that the US and its allies were to choose between pressure and agreement.”

 

‘Arab-Israel Alliance’ Leaving Obama Isolated

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jabbed President Barack Obama with a stinging remark that although Israel and the United States are friends, fears of Iran and the ISIS have forged a “new partnership” of Israel and “many of our Arab neighbors.”

Netanyahu took the opportunity of being charged with the responsibility to form a new government to say:

We very much appreciate, and will take care to preserve, our alliance with the best of our friends, the United States; however, we will continue to work to prevent the agreement with Iran, an agreement that endangers us, our neighbors and the world. We see eye to eye with many of our Arab neighbors regarding the danger posed by Iran and we also view positively the benefit that this new partnership could have for the region.

The chaos in Yemen has once again embarrassed the Obama administration by exposing another colossal foreign policy failure that has made President Obama increasingly isolated in the region.

Obama and his foreign policy gurus still hold on to the delusion that if Israel simply would agree to surrender every inch of territory that was restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 1967, the sky would be filled with doves of peace, pooping on Jews, instead of rocks and rockets aimed at Jews.

The biggest problem with that policy, which to be fair has been fostered by every administration in the past 40 years thanks to the State Dept., is that the Arabs world couldn’t care less about the Palestinian Authority.

Mahmoud Abbas was supposed to be the messenger for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab League to force Israel into submission and prepare the way for a Muslim takeover over “Palestine.”

Instead, corruption, mismanagement and the failure to accept the word “compromise” have left the Palestinian Authority a sorry welfare state.

When it comes to keeping the Palestinian Authority alive, it is the European Union that has forked over most of the money while the oil-rich kingdoms pledge billions of dollars and end up giving a few shekels.

Abbas has become nothing but a depreciating tool for the Arab League to use to pay lip service to the masses that Jerusalem will be the capital of a Muslim country.

One big exception has been Qatar, but its money has gone to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization, which has been boycotted by Egypt but endeared by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan.

Given events in Yemen, both Qatar and Erdoğan, must be fretting and sweating at the idea of Iran’s adding Yemen to its real estate portfolio, which includes a good slice of Lebanon and is trying to move in on Syria.

While the Obama administration and its media groupies try to prove themselves that Prime Minister Netanyahu is isolating Israel, it is the president who is finding himself increasingly alone.

Saudi Arabia was unhappy with Obama last year after he backed off his threat to directly fight the Assad regime, which has begun using chemical weapons against opposition forces.

Add the failures of the Obama administration in Libya, Afghanistan Iraq and now Yemen, and throw in growing signs that he will call a “bad deal” with Iran a “good deal,” and it is no wonder that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Muslim allies feel more comfortable with Israel than with Washington.

White House Insists Chaotic Yemen a ‘Model’ for Obama’s War on Terror

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest left journalists scratching their heads Wednesday after refusing to deny that the chaos in Yemen means the country is not a model in President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy.

Jon Karl of ABC asked Earnest:

Now that we have essentially complete chaos in Yemen, does the White House still believe that Yemen is the model in counterterrorism strategy?

Keep in mind that the American-backed president of Yemen, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has fled the country while the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels control most of the Yemini military.

Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia has carried out aerial strikes against the Houthi rebels in what is looking like a proxy war between the Sunni Muslim world and Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim regime.

Keep in mind that the United States evacuated 125 Special Operation advisers last week because of the chaos in Yemen, Obama’s partner in the war on terror, especially Al Qaeda.
 
Keep in mind that the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility last week for bombing Shi’ite mosques in Yemen.
 
Keep all that in mind, because President Obama and his apologist Earnest are not keeping it in mind.

Here is Earnest’s reply to Karl’s question Wednesday:

The White House does continue to believe that a successful counterterrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government to have local fighters on the ground take the fight to extremists in their own country….

There are no longer U.S. officials in Yemen because it’s become a — because the security situation there has deteriorated.

But he is not listening to himself, and President Obama once again passes Foreign Policy Theory 101 while failing Foreign Policy On the Ground 101.

The central government that Obama’s strategy built up in Yemen does not exist, but the Obama administration is holding on for dear life, such as it is in Yemen.

Earnest insisted, “We do continue to enjoy the benefits of a sustained counterterrorism security relationship with the security infrastructure that remains in Yemen.”

Security infrastructure? Much of the military is siding with the Houthi rebels, the American advisers have fled, and Earnest is talking about the “security infrastructure.”

Here is the clip from the White House Press Briefing.

Iran Talks Stuck Over What Stops First, Nukes Or Sanctions

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

by Ilan Shavit

The timing for lifting international sanctions on Iran is now a major hurdle before an agreement can be reached on limiting its nuclear program by the deadline, March 31 deadline, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing American, European, and Iranian officials.

The Iranians now insist that UN backed sanctions on their energy, finance, and transportation sectors are terminated as the first phase of the deal. The other side wants a gradual removal of the sanctions over several years, depending on Iran’s compliance, especially in its cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections.

A senior European diplomat told the WSJ the Iranians “say it’s a deal breaker. They don’t want it at all,” adding that “there’s no way that we would give up on that…. No way.”

Stalemate.

The same official said the U.S. and the Europeans expect the process of lifting the restrictions on Iran to last at least one year, more likely two.

However, the process of lifting the sanctions could start as early as a few weeks following the signing of the deal, the WSJ notes. This would include Iran starting to reclaim its frozen assets in Western banks, to the tune of $100 billion.

According to Bloomberg, the IAEA is willing to accelerate the assessment of the Iranian program, but expects Iran to significantly improve its cooperation with monitors.

“We are prepared to assist them in the resolution of all outstanding issues,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on March 2. “Iran needs the confidence of the international community.”

The IAEA says Iran is yet to turn over key documents and permit them access to key sites as well as face time with scientists who have worked on the nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, bolstered by his decisive victory in Tuesday’s national elections, on Thursday demanded the broadening of the sanctions on Iran, to force its leadership to give up not just its nuclear program, but also end its support for Hezbollah and Hamas.

Netanyahu told NBC News: “The most important thing is that the lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program would depend on Iran’s change of behavior, that it would stop supporting terrorism, stop its aggression against just about every country in the region, and stop calling [for] and threatening the annihilation of Israel.”

Any Deal Is a Bad Deal

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Any deal that President Barack Obama and the rest of the P5+1 make with Iran will be a bad deal because the regime in Tehran cannot be trusted to keep its end of the bargain.

That is a lesson that the West still has not learned from decades of fruitless efforts to create a “New Middle East,” in the words of then-President Bill Clinton.

Boy, he sure did create a new Middle East, and it’s one helluva mess.

He got plenty of help from the bleeding heart liberal establishment that includes major media conglomerates in Israel and elsewhere, the Labor party administrations under Rabin and Peres, and their corporate sponsors in Israel and abroad that count their money while appeasing a menace instead of challenging the axis of evil that it feeds to become a Frankenstein.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the previous president of the Islamic Republic also known as Iran, once said that President Barack Obama does not understand Iran because they do not speak the same language. He didn’t mean Farsi or English. He meant the culture.

American foreign policy for decades has been guided by State Dept. experts who can’t see past Foggy Bottom.

The Palestinian Authority has proven that any agreement is only the basis for another crisis until it can achieve is demands, which were written in stone by the so-called Saudi Peace Initiative of 2002. All Israel has to do is to surrender every inch of land that was restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 1967, including the Golan Heights and the Temple Mount, and open its borders for UNRWA’s Doomsday weapon it created in the guise of millions of Arab “refugees,” and there will be peace with the Arab world.

Since then, the Bush administration, and more emphatically the Obama administration, have whittled away at Israel’s existence by allowing Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to repeatedly break agreements signed with Israel.

Iran, like Abbas, has a one-track mind. It wants to develop nuclear power for “peaceful purposes.”

But “peace” in Iran does not mean the same as in Jerusalem or Washington. “Peace” for fundamentalist Islamists is a world without Israel.

Therefore, Iran needs a nuclear wean to bring “peace” via an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East, where Israel is an obstacle.

Saudi Arabia understands that. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu understands that. The Gulf States understand that. Egypt understands that.

But Obama does not because he does not understand the language of other cultures. He thinks that the world is one big American melting pot.

Obama has not learned his lessons from the colossal American foreign policy failures in the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Russia and almost any crisis in a country where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has visited.

He has not learned the lesson from the Kennedy-Johnson governments’ disastrous war in Vietnam.

That is why Netanyahu is going to speak in Congress today.

The problem is not whether or not Iran promises to stop making centrifuges. The problem is not that Iran may or may not promise to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Israel’s problem, and it also is America’s problem, is not that Iran will agree to anything under the sun and will continue to use secret underground installations, or employ Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, to continue to develop nuclear capability.

The problem is that Tehran cannot be trusted. Period.

The minute Obama started dealing with Evil. He lost.

Any deal with evil is a bad deal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/any-deal-is-a-bad-deal/2015/03/03/

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