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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Maureen Dowd, "Joe Biden in 2016: What Would Beau Do?": Empress Hillary Has No Clothes

Empress Hillary has no clothes. You don't believe me? Read Maureen Dowd's latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Joe Biden in 2016: What Would Beau Do?" Savaging the former secretary of state, Dowd declares:

"A PATTERN of cutting corners, a patina of entitlement and inevitability, has led to this.

Destroying digital messages and thwarting official investigations while acting all innocent about wiping out sensitive material.

Avoiding reporters after giving disingenuous explanations at uncomfortable news conferences. Claiming egregious transgressions are a private matter and faux controversy while sending out high-power lawyers and spin doctors to deflect and minimize.

. . . .

[I]n the case of Hillary, problems of style and substance are starting to scuff her sheen of inevitability."

Who's preparing to step up and take her on in the Democratic primaries? Dowd points to Joe Biden. And although Biden is, on occasion, a clown - you will of course recall Biden's recommendation to a mother to buy a shotgun for protection - his antics do not rival those of Donald Trump.

Be it at Beau's behest or otherwise, Joe, welcome to the race.

My advice to Hillary: Get dressed, get divorced (What's all this talk about the Energizer, who brings cookies to the Secret Service detail?) and get yourself a new life.

Stephen F. Hayes and William Kristol, "Demand the Documents": Iranian Ties to al-Qaeda Hidden by Obama Adminstration

"I think they have a policy of opposition to us and a great enmity, but I have no specific knowledge of a plan by Iran to actually destroy us."

- John Kerry, response to Congressman Ted Poe, July 28, 2015

Kerry was obfuscating the truth.

In a Weekly Standard article entitled "Demand the Documents," Stephen F. Hayes and William Kristol tell us that the Obama administration is hiding documents that link Iran with al-Qaeda. Hayes and Kristol write:

"We have been told by six current or former intelligence officials that the collection of documents captured in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound includes explosive information on Iran’s relationship with al Qaeda over the past two decades, including details of Iran’s support for al Qaeda’s attacks on Americans.

. . . .

Among the most significant were documents that shed new light on the complicated relationship between Iran and al Qaeda. Even the Obama administration has acknowledged the relationship. In 2011, the administration designated six al Qaeda operatives who were responsible for what officials described as al Qaeda’s lifeline. The network was based in Iran. 'This network serves as the core pipeline through which al Qaeda moves money, facilitators, and operatives,' according to the Treasury Department’s designation. In an interview with The Weekly Standard at the time, a senior Obama administration official involved in the designation said, 'Without this network, al Qaeda’s ability to recruit and collect funds would be severely damaged.'

. . . .

Contacted about the status of al Qaeda’s Iran network earlier this spring, two intelligence officials confirmed that it was still functioning and still critical to al Qaeda operations.

. . . .

The Obama administration does not want the bin Laden documents released. To date, the administration has made public fewer than 150 documents out of more than a million, despite a statutory requirement to expedite the release of the collection."

Would this information impact upon public perception of Obama's legacy-creating nuclear deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei? Of course. Would this information impact upon the upcoming Congressional vote on the nuclear deal? Absolutely. However, Obama's legacy-creating deal must come first, regardless of the danger.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Roger Cohen, "One Congressman’s Iran": Shame on Sander Levin!

Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan, who decided to support Obama's nuclear deal with Khamenei, should be concerned when he receives the blessing of Roger ("Iran is not totalitarian") Cohen. In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "One Congressman’s Iran," Cohen begins:

"Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan and the longest-serving Jewish member of the House, said something important this week: 'In my view, the only anchors in public life are to dig deeply into the facts and consult broadly and then to say what you believe.'"

Levin dug deeply into the nuclear deal with Iran? Heck no! He couldn't even bother waiting to learn what appears in the secret side agreements between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, never seen by John Kerry or Ernest Muniz, which lay out the terms for IAEA inspections of Iranian military sites, such as Parchin, where nuclear detonator tests were conducted. And those terms are not pretty: Iran itself will be relied upon to supply requested soil samples to the IAEA.

Cohen continues:

"Levin’s reflection led him to the sober, accurate conclusion that the agreement is 'the best way to achieve' the goal of preventing Iran from advancing toward a nuclear weapon, an outcome that will make Israel, the Middle East and the world 'far more secure.' Not the ideal way, the perfect way, or a foolproof way, but, in the real world of ineradicable Iranian nuclear know-how, the best way attainable. That is also the view of other parties to the deal — the not insignificant or unserious powers of Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany."

Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany all wish to "make Israel, the Middle East and the world 'far more secure'"? I suppose that is why China will now be selling 150 J-10 fighter jets to Iran and Russia will now be selling 100 refueling aircraft to Iran, allowing the mullahs to attack any other country in the Middle East, including, of course, Israel.

I suppose that a 60-member German trade delegation, which visited Iran earlier this month, was also concerned with the security of Israel.

France? As reported by Josh Rogin in a Bloomberg article entitled "Top French Official Contradicts Kerry on Iran Deal":

"Jacques Audibert, is now the senior diplomatic adviser to President Francois Hollande. Before that, as the director general for political affairs in the Foreign Ministry from 2009 to 2014, he led the French diplomatic team in the discussions with Iran and the P5+1 group. Earlier this month, he met with Democrat Loretta Sanchez and Republican Mike Turner, both top members of the House Armed Services Committee, to discuss the Iran deal. The U.S. ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, was also in the room.

According to both lawmakers, Audibert expressed support for the deal overall, but also directly disputed Kerry’s claim that a Congressional rejection of the Iran deal would result in the worst of all worlds, the collapse of sanctions and Iran racing to the bomb without restrictions.

'He basically said, if Congress votes this down, there will be some saber-rattling and some chaos for a year or two, but in the end nothing will change and Iran will come back to the table to negotiate again and that would be to our advantage,' Sanchez told me in an interview. 'He thought if the Congress voted it down, that we could get a better deal.'"

Shame on you, Sander Levin! You might be a friend of Obama, and true blue to the Democratic Party, but you are no friend of Israel at a time when the Jewish State is again being threatened with extinction by a country being handed a nuclear arsenal within 15 years at most!

Nicholas Kristof, "Why the Naysayers Are Wrong About the Iran Deal": Is Kristof a Liar or an Idiot?

You will recall Nicholas Krisof's retweet of the message, "OBAMA Told the 2 Most Pig Like Lobbies, AIPAC & NRA, to Drop Dead in Same Month." Kristof never explained why he disseminated this anti-Semitic tweet to his admirers.

And then there was Kristof's "famous" New York Times op-ed, "In Iran, They Want Fun, Fun, Fun," which described a 1,700-mile, magical mystery tour across Iran in 2012, accompanied by his son and daughter. In a journey akin to Borat's excursion across the US, Kristof relayed profound anecdotes from his chance meetings with ordinary Iranians. Discussions with members of Iran's persecuted Baha'i minority? None. Exchanges of views with Iran's oppressed Kurds? No way. Dialogue with Iranian homosexuals (homosexuality is an offense punishable by hanging in Iran)? Nada. A visit to Evin Prison to check the well-being of political dissidents languishing in its dungeons? Nope. Not even an off-the-beaten-track side trip to witness the stoning to death of a woman accused of adultery.

Well, today Kristof is back with a New York Times op-ed entitled "Why the Naysayers Are Wrong About the Iran Deal," seeking to offer support for Obama's nuclear deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei. Kristof writes:

"The U.S. didn’t get all it wanted (and neither did Iran) in an imperfect compromise. True, we didn’t achieve anywhere, anytime inspections, yet the required inspections program is still among the most intrusive ever."

Oh really? It never occurred to Nick to mention that John Kerry has no idea what is written in Iran's side agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Instead of inspections, these agreements allow Iran to provide the IAEA with soil samples purportedly from the  Parchin military site, where Iran has been experimenting with triggers for nuclear weapons. Trust Iran to provide real soils? Yeah, right.

On the basis of the abovementioned trip to Iran with his children, Kristof would further have us know:

"I would guess that after the supreme leader dies, Iran will begin a process of change like that in China after Mao died."

Got it. On the basis of Kristof's "guess," the US should risk allowing Iran to build a nuclear weapons arsenal within another 15 years - much less time if the mullahs cheat, which they will. Combine that capability with an end to the prohibition on Iran's purchase or building of ICBMs within eight years and what have you got? A nuclear threat against Washington and New York.

Re unlocking "tens of billions of dollars in frozen assets and new oil revenues" which will pass to extremist groups, Kristof writes:

"True, but that will happen anyway. Remember that this agreement includes Europe, Russia and China as parties. Even if Congress rejects the agreement, sanctions will erode and Iran will get an infusion of cash."

Why will it happen "anyway" if the US maintains the sanctions regime and demands that those seeking access to the American banking system also toe the line? In fact, it wouldn't happen "anyway." On the other hand, the first invertebrate ever to occupy the Oval Office has another year and a half as president, and he has amply demonstrated that he is not capable of saying no to Khamenei.

Concerning Iranian calls for the extermination of Israel, Kristof writes:

"If I lived in Tel Aviv, would I be nervous? Sure. But I’d be even more nervous without this deal, which reduces the chance that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon in the next decade. That’s why five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel endorsed the accord. (It’s also notable that American Jews are more in favor of the agreement than the American public as a whole.)"

Kristof, however, makes a point of ignoring the fact that 78 percent of Israelis believe the nuclear deal will "endanger Israel;" 71 percent think the deal will "bring Iran closer to a military nuclear capability;" and 47 percent "support an Israeli military strike on Iran if it would be necessary to prevent the Islamic state from getting nuclear weapons." Believe me, Israelis know more than a little about what's good or bad for them, particularly when it involves their continued existence on this planet. Regarding American Jews, a new poll shows that "A plurality of American Jews now say they oppose the Iran nuclear deal, 45% to 40%–and a majority oppose the deal after they learn more about what is in it, according to a new poll."

Enough said. Is Kristof a liar or just an idiot? Decide for yourself.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Iran: Kerry Misleads Congressman Ted Poe

As reported today by The Times of Israel in an article entitled "In Congress, Kerry unsure if Iran wishes to destroy US":

"US Secretary of State John Kerry told a Republican lawmaker on Tuesday he did not know whether Iran sought to destroy the United States.

The exchange, during Kerry’s latest testimony to Congress on the July 14 nuclear accord between world powers and Iran, appeared to catch Kerry off-guard.

'Is it the policy of the ayatollah, if you can answer for him, that Iran wants to destroy the United States?' Texas Republican Lloyd 'Ted' Poe asked Kerry during the latter’s Tuesday appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 'Is that still their policy, as far as you know?'

Kerry responded: 'I don’t believe they’ve said that. I think they’ve said ‘Death to America,’ in their chants, but I have not seen this specific.'

'Well, I kind of take that to mean that they want us dead,' Poe replied. 'That would seem like that would be their policy. He said that. You don’t think that’s their policy? I’m not mincing words. Do you think it’s their policy to destroy us?'

'I think they have a policy of opposition to us and a great enmity, but I have no specific knowledge of a plan by Iran to actually destroy us.'"

However, as reported in a May 27, 2014 Algemeiner article entitled "Iran Supreme Leader Vows to Destroy America, Says Promoting Negotiation is Treason" by Joshua Levitt:

"In a speech to parliament, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday vowed to destroy the U.S., which he held responsible for distorting the world’s values and starting indiscriminate wars.

According to semi-official news agency Fars, Khamenei said,'Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. … This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides.'"

Nice try, John.

Thomas Friedman, "For the Mideast, It’s Still 1979": Lost in Space

Would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman is still lost in space. In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "For the Mideast, It’s Still 1979," Friedman writes of Obama's nuclear deal with Iran:

"Will the nuclear deal empower the more moderate/pragmatic majority inside Iran rather than the hard-line Revolutionary Guards Corps? The reason to be worried is that the moderates don’t control Iran’s nuclear program or its military/intelligence complex; the hard-line minority does. The reason to be hopeful is the majority’s aspiration to reintegrate with the world forced the hard-liners to grudgingly accept this deal."

Well, as usual, Friedman is wrong on all counts. Although the Revolutionary Guards indeed control Iran's nuclear program, their power over Iran is far greater than that. As we are informed by The Council on Foreign Relations in a June 2013 article entitled "Iran's Revolutionary Guards" by Greg Bruno, Jayshree Bajoria, and Jonathan Masters:

"Political clout and military might are not the only attributes of today's Revolutionary Guard Corps; it is also a major financial player. The Los Angeles Times estimated in 2007 that the group, which was tasked with rebuilding the country after the Iran-Iraq War, now has ties to more than one hundred companies that control roughly $12 billion in construction and engineering capital. CFR Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh has linked the Guards to university laboratories, weapons manufacturers, and companies connected to nuclear technology. And [the Carnegie Endowment's Frederic] Wehrey writes that 'the IRGC has extended its influence into virtually every sector of the Iranian market.' The Guards-controlled engineering firm Khatam al-Anbia, for instance, has been awarded more than 750 government contracts for infrastructure, oil, and gas projects, he says."

And as stated in a July 6, 2015 Reuters article entitled "Iranian nuclear deal set to make hardline Revolutionary Guards richer" by Parisa Hafezi and Louis Charbonneau:

"Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have done very well out of international sanctions -- and if a nuclear deal is done in Vienna this week under which those sanctions are lifted, they are likely to do better still.

The Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), created by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, is more than just a military force. It is also an industrial empire with political clout that has grown exponentially in the last decade, benefiting from the favor of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, himself a former guardsman and, most recently, from the opportunities created by Western sanctions.

. . . .

"They control major companies, and businesses in Iran such as tourism, transportation, energy, construction, telecommunication and Internet,' said an Iranian official in Tehran who asked not to be named.

'Lifting sanctions will boost the economy; it will help them to gain more money.'

. . . .

'Boosting the economy will increase the IRGC's influence over politics and the economy because it will strengthen the hardline establishment,' said one Iranian oil executive."

Or simply stated, Friedman's contention that "The reason to be hopeful is the majority’s aspiration to reintegrate with the world forced the hard-liners to grudgingly accept this deal" is pure rubbish. The IRGC stands to benefit mightily by partially accepting this deal (they still do not accept inspections of "military" sites), which will enrich its coffers with tens of billions of dollars that had been impounded by sanctions and enhance its power throughout Iran.

Nice try, Tom.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chris Cillizza, "What not to say if you're running for president: Mike Huckabee on the Iran deal": Even If It's the Truth?

"If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

- Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General, Hezbollah, October 2002

Today, in a video entitled "What not to say if you're running for president: Mike Huckabee on the Iran deal," The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza pokes fun at Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for declaring:

"This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven." 

Sorry, Chris, but I agree with Mike Huckabee.

Chris, are you even aware that Iran has supplied Hezbollah in Lebanon with 130,000 missiles, all pointed at Israel, which is approximately the size of New Jersey? Sure, they are not nuclear-tipped, but over the past several years, Iran was forced to cut back on aid to Hezbollah owing to budgetary constraints stemming from international sanctions. Thanks to Obama, those sanctions will now be removed, and as even acknowledged by Susan Rice, significant funds for arms will once again be flowing to Hezbollah when Iran receives more than $120 billion for signing Obama's nuclear deal. Those Hezbollah missiles will not be used against Israel? Nasrallah will launch them in a blink of an eye if he receives instructions to do so from Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei.

Hezbollah, i.e. "The Party of God"? That's the same organization used by Iran to bomb a Jewish community center in Argentina, killing 87 people and wounding more than 100.

And what about Iran itself, which is being given the right to acquire or manufacture a nuclear arsenal within 15 years pursuant to Obama's nuclear deal - if the mullahs don't cheat before that time, which they will?

Sadly, Chris's video fails to relate to weekly threats from Iran to eradicate Israel. Relevant to the issue of a second Holocaust? You bet!

Also not a word from Chris about Iran's annual International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, which awards prizes for the "best" cartoons denying that the Holocaust ever occurred.

Nor does Chris's video mention that Iran hangs gay men, stones to death women accused of adultery, savagely persecute Baha'is, Christians, Kurds and Sunnis, jails and brutalizes journalists and political opponents, backs Shiite militias in Iraq that are engaged in ethnic cleansing, and executes poets for "waging war on God." Or stated otherwise, Iran is crazy enough to use atomic weapons.

Mutually assured destruction will prevent Iran from launching a nuclear-tipped missile against Israel? I don't think so. None other than Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the fourth president of Iran, declared: "Israel is much smaller than Iran in landmass and therefore far more vulnerable to nuclear attack." As reported earlier this month in a Times of Israel article entitled "Ex-Iran president: Israel a fake, temporary regime" by Tamar Pileggi:

"Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told a Hezbollah-affiliated outlet that he was confident that the 'forged and temporary Israeli entity' would be wiped off the map, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. According to the report, Rafsanjani, often described by Western media as a moderate in Iranian politics, said that Israel was an alien existence forged into the body of a nation which would eventually be destroyed."

No mention of Rafsanjani by Chris.

By the way, Chris, did you happen to notice that US Secretary of State John Kerry is avoiding a stopover in Israel next week, when he visits Egypt and Qatar? That's because of overwhelming disapproval of the nuclear deal among Israelis and the likelihood that he would be met in Israel with massive protest demonstrations. As recently reported by The Jerusalem Post, 78 percent of Israelis believe the nuclear deal will "endanger Israel;" 71 percent think the deal will "bring Iran closer to a military nuclear capability;" and 47 percent "support an Israeli military strike on Iran if it would be necessary to prevent the Islamic state from getting nuclear weapons." You see, Israelis know more than a little about what's good or bad for them, particularly when it involves their continued existence on this planet.

In short, before shooting off his mouth at Mike Huckabee, Cillizza would have done well to learn some basic facts.