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May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘State Dept.’

Most US Citizens Believe Terrorists Are Within the Borders of their Poor, Incompetently Run Country

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Here’s a news update from the US, where the Leader of the Free World is making peace with our Persian neighbors.  According to a new FOX news poll, President Obama’s constituents – that would the population of the United States – have the following opinions:

• Six in ten Americans think it likely – and almost a third think it “very likely” that terrorists live in their home town. No word on whether these are Mennonite terrorists or some other, more unusual, kind.

• Sixty percent also think the United States is in a recession.  That’s down from 74 percent last year, but still a clear majority.

• Just over half – 53% — think the Obama administration is neither “competent” nor “effective” in managing the federal government.

In related news, 57% think it likely that Hillary Clinton was influenced in her work, while she was Secretary of State, by donations made to her family’s foundation.

No word on whether that number would go up if the Russians who bought uranium with the State Department’s authorization, and who also made donations to the Clinton Foundation, had been able to find the receipt issued by the Foundation.

Israel ‘Disappoints’ US with 900 New Homes for Jews in Jerusalem

Friday, May 8th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. has expressed “disappointment” and “concern” over Jerusalem’s final approval for 900 new housing units for Jews in northeastern Jerusalem, near the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat.

The homes for Ramat Shlomo have gone through several stages of bureaucratic approvals, giving the impression to foreign readers that seven approvals means 6,300 homes are being built instead of 900.

The 900 units are the same ones that caused a storm of protest in the Obama administration when the project passed another bureaucratic step just about the same minute Vice President Joe Biden landed at Ben Gurion Airport for a visit in 2010.

The Obama administration still spouts the “peace process” and “two-state solution” but in effect has not taken any actions to punish Israel for building or the Palestinian Authority for inciting terror and ditching the “peace process” that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry espouse.

The policy of benign neglect made the job of State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke a bit difficult at Thursday’s briefing.

He went through the usual routine of saying:

 We strongly oppose steps by the Israeli authorities to advance construction in East Jerusalem. This is a disappointing development, and we’re concerned about it just as a new Israeli Government has been announced. Israel’s leaders have asserted that they remain committed to a two-state solution.

Let’s stop right there. None of the journalists at the daily State Dept. briefing, not even ace Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, has thought of asking why building homes for Jews (and in Jerusalem too) means the end of the concept of “two states.”

If they would stop and think about what the Palestinian Authority wants, they would realize that the “two states” would mean that no Jews can live in half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria but that Arabs can live in whatever is left of Israel.

If a Jew-free Palestinian Authority country is not racist, what is?

But let’s assume that for the sake of peace, the Obama administration really is not out of its mind and that two states will mean the lion and lamb can sleep side by side – if only Israel would stop building homes for Jews.

That is when things get sticky for the spokesmen became reporters start asking why Washington does not put a stop to Israel’s insistence that Jews have a right to live in all of Jerusalem.

Rathke said, “We need to see that commitment in the actions of Israeli” and that  “construction of housing units in East Jerusalem is damaging and inconsistent with that commitment. We continue to engage with the highest levels of the Israeli Government, and we continue to make our position clear that we view this as illegitimate.”

A couple of reporters wondered about action instead of words. One asked:

Well, then what is the point of saying we need to see that commitment? If it becomes the case that you don’t ever see that, or you don’t see the commitment and you don’t do anything about it, what good is saying that we need to see that commitment?

Rathke sang and danced like this:

Well, this is a longstanding U.S. policy. We’re reiterating that policy in relation to this specific development that Said asked about. This is our view and it hasn’t changed.

Every time Israel builds another home for Jews in areas that cause the Obama to express “disappointment” and “concern,” Obama and Kerry lose more credibility among the Arabs.

President Barack Obama has created for himself a trap that was born with his predecessors Carter, Reagan, Clinton and the junior Bush.

Instead of standing by his word that it is up to the Arabs and Israel to make war or peace as they see fit, he went against his own stated common sense that he would not set the conditions for a peace agreement.

State Dept.: Iran ‘Hoodwinked Countries but This Time It’s Different

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

An assistant Secretary of State has said that Iran “hoodwinked” Latin American countries and did not honor agreements, but Foggy Bottom says nuclear talks are a separate issue, so don’t worry.

Following are remarks from Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere to retirees on Foreign Service Day Friday:

The involvement of Iran in the Western Hemisphere is never benign. I want to underscore that: it is never benign. Iran signed an enormous number of agreements with countries in the region, almost none of which have come to any real fruition or benefit for those – for the countries of the hemisphere….

I do think that there are fewer countries that get kind of – that kind of get hoodwinked by Iran.

She also said that economic sanctions on Iran have made it difficult for it to follow through with several agreements and that Iran’s desire to be a greater influence in the West requires close monitoring.

First of all, sanctions work. Second of all, Iran cannot be trusted.

The third statement would seem to be that the United States cannot trust Iran to honor an agreement on its nuclear activity and should not lift sanctions, but the State Dept. differs.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke on Friday to explain otherwise, and here is how he tried to wiggle out of Logic 101:

That is a separate issue from the nuclear talks which are focused on Iran’s nuclear program…: I think there’s a difference between the types of agreements you’re talking about.  You’re referring to agreements …on economic cooperation and other such things.

What we’re talking about in the nuclear context is, first of all, a situation where there is a unified international community where there are international sanctions, a wide variety of them, UN sanctions, United States sanctions, European Union sanctions, as well as others, that put pressure on Iran and also that make it in Iran’s interest to deal with those sanctions and to negotiate on the nuclear program.

And how about the billions of dollars that would flow into Iran’s coffers when sanctions are lifted in return for a deal? “Are you not concerned at all that what you don’t see now in terms of a growing Iranian threat in the Western Hemisphere will become a concern if Iran suddenly has a windfall of billions and billions of dollars in money? Lee asked.

No problem, Rathke answered.

“We have separate ways of dealing with other problematic behavior by Iran, whether it’s in regional context, whether it’s support for terrorism, and so forth.  So that’s why we’re focused on the nuclear issue.  And if Iran meets all of its required steps under an eventual joint comprehensive plan of action, then the world will be a safer place because of it.” he said.

Note the two-letter word “if.”

But didn’t Asst. Sec. of State Jacobson say Iran’s presence in the west is “never benign”? So this time it will be different?

“Well,” Rathke said, “we remain concerned about those – about Iran’s activities and we will remain vigilant about them and we retain the tools to deal with them.”

Vice-President Joe Biden is very concerned, or at least that is what he said last week to a Washington think tank, to wit:

“Despite good reasons to think that most of it [money] will go to urgent domestic needs, some or all of it may fund further mischief in the region.”

Rathke reiterated “we are vigilant.”

Therefore, so the “logic” goes, Obama won’t get hoodwinked.

 

US Ignores Linking the ‘Deal’ with Russian Sale of S-300s to Iran

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Tuesday charged that Russia’s lifting a five-year ban on the sale of critical S-300 anti-missile systems is a “direct result of the framework agreement reached in Lausanne, but the United States is ignoring any connection.

Ya’alon’s “analysis” was overly obvious. Anyone who can add 1 and 1 and come up with 2 already has connected the dots between the temporary agreement with Iran on its nuclear program and Russia’s announcement Monday to allow the sale of one of the most advance anti-missile systems in the world.

Iran’s deployment of the S-300 systems would make an aerial attack on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites very improbable.

Voice of America quoted Jane’s Terrorism and Security Monitor editor Jeremy Binnie as saying:

The Iranians desperately want a new long-range [surface-to-air missile] system to form the centerpiece of an integrated air defense network that will deter anyone who might want to enter its airspace. I think it would be fair to say it [the S-300] would complicate a strike against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

Ya’alon raised the obvious point that if Russia lifted the ban on the sale of the S-300 two weeks after the temporary deal was reached between P5+1 and Iran, what will happen when the United States lifts sanctions?

He said:

[Iran] continues to arm itself, and arm others, which we have been warning about even before the details [of the deal] were concluded. It was clear, even then, that sanctions will be lifted, and that of course this will influence and strengthen the Iranian economy.

The outgoing defense minister also pointed out that the deal did not even mention Hezbollah, Iran’s military proxy in Lebanon and which military sources lately have warned is over-loaded with heavy-duty missiles for an attack on Israel.

The reaction of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to the Russian sale to Iran is most curious.

His spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “We think given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon, that this isn’t the time to be selling these kinds of systems to them.”

She offered an amazing analysis that disconnects Ya’alon’s dots:

We think given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon, that this isn’t the time to be selling these kinds of systems to them, [but] we don’t think this will have an impact on unity in terms of inside the negotiating room.

Harf’s incredible denial continues the Obama administration’s policy that makes a deal with Iran an end it itself and not a means to stop Tehran for acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Adding 1 and 1 and getting 2 is simple, but adding another 1 and getting 3 may be too complicated for the White House, which only said it is “concerned” over the sale of the S-300 anti-missile systems.

The first “1” is that Iran can retain its nuclear infrastructure and continue to enrich low-grade uranium while simply promising it will open its sites for inspections. There are no provisions in the deal against Iran’s operating a secret nuclear site outside the country, such as in North Korea. Even if Iran balks at open inspections, it would take months before the West can get its act together and agree to clamp sanctions on Iran, especially since Russia is one of the P5+1 countries.

The second “1” is Hezbollah’s huge army and missile stockpile, along with Iran’s filling up the money pipeline to Hamas in Gaza, where the terrorist organization is busy re-building terror tunnels.

The third “1” is the S-300 systems.

Once Israel cannot penetrate Iran’s air defense systems, Tehran has nothing to fear when it comes to making a nuclear weapon.

Pakistan Frees Terrorist behind Murder of Mumbai Chabad Rabbi

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Israel, France and the United States have sharply criticized Pakistan’s surprise release of the alleged mastermind terrorist allegedly behind the 2008 attacks on a Mumbai hotel and Chabad Center, where Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife were among six Americans and 160 others killed, including six Americans.

Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said:

Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack in which, as part of the horrific attack, also Israeli nationals and a Jewish centre – the Nariman [Chabad] House – were targeted.

This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror in which India and Israel are close partners.

The United States said it was “gravely concerned:” after Lakhvi walked out of jail on Friday. French President Francois Hollande, was hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the reelease was “deeply shocking.”

Modi said: “There is a need for global action to deal with terrorism. All nations should commit that they will not provide shelter to terrorists but punish them.”

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at the daily news briefing Friday, “Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives.”

Lakhvi was released after a Pakistani court suspended his detention. He had been arrested one week after the attacks.

‘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.

State Dept. Takes Foot Out of the Mouth of John ‘Talk with Assad’ Kerry

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

State Dept. spokeswoman have been working overtime trying once again to extricate the foot of their boss John Kerry out of his mouth after he responded to a question on CBS if the United States would negotiate with Syrian President Assad:

We have to negotiate in the end…. What we’re pushing for is to get him to come and do that, and it may require that there be increased pressure on him of various kinds in order to do that.

His comments, an apparent dramatic reversal of Obama administration policy, set off alarm bells in France, which insists Assad will not be part of a negotiated solution.

But here come Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf and her senior, Jen Psaki, to the rescue.

After Assad specifically said he was referring to Assad, Harf said he was not and that the policy stands – a negotiated settlement with the Assad regime but not with him.

Psaki continued to foot-extraction operation in the daily briefing with reporters on Monday and explained:

By necessity, there has always been a need for representatives of the Assad regime to be a part of this process. It has never been and would not be Assad who would negotiate — and the secretary was not saying that today….

It would not be and would never be, and it wasn’t what Secretary Kerry was intending to imply, that that would be Assad himself.

In plainer English, Kerry did not imply what he said.

The reporters at the briefing did not miss a beat and still expressed their confusion of what the man really says, implies and thinks, if that is the right word.

After Psaki insisted that the opposition parties sitting at a negotiating table by themselves “wouldn’t result in a political process or the conclusion of a political process that would bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people,” a journalist asked:

Almost all the statements by all the different opposition groups basically were critical of the Secretary’s statement, and basically saying there’s no way that they would negotiate with Assad. Do you see any other way…?

Psaki reiterated that what Kerry did not say what he said and answered, “Well, I just stated that’s not what we’re indicating. Obviously, there would need to be representatives of the regime. That’s always been the case. But I think it’s also important to remember, for everyone, unfortunately there’s no process that’s ongoing right now, so we’re purely talking about how it would work potentially if there were to be a process in place.”

One reporter tried to help Psaki and asked, “Can you say that he [Kerry] was imprecise and that he perhaps should have answered the question, ‘Will you negotiate with him’ in a little better – in a little more precise fashion to say that he means the regime?”

Psaki jumped at the opportunity and reasoned that Kerry simply used the name “Assad” as “shorthand, obviously, representative of the regime.”

How exactly Kerry expects to convince Assad’s associates to come to the table with the demand that Assad must go is another question that one the Secretary of State can answer, but he is good at making up insolvable riddles to keep him busy, when he not busy saying what he doesn’t mean.

For example, he still pursues the “two-state” solution through negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which has said that there is nothing to be negotiated. All Israel has to do is sign on the dotted line on a document he has written.

Reporters at the media briefing on more or less on the same page. One of them told Psaki, “I’m trying to understand the wisdom behind casting some sort of an element of finality, saying that he cannot be a part of Syria’s future and so on, when in fact – I mean, I saw the envoy to Syria, and he said we think that Assad was serious, he wants an end to the violence. …. Whether like him or not like him, he is part of Syria. So in that sense, why cast the finality that we will not negotiate with him under any conditions?”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-takes-foot-out-of-the-mouth-of-john-talk-with-assad-kerry/2015/03/17/

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