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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nicholas Kristof, "The Two Israels": Good Jews and Bad Jews

Nicholas Kristof is back to his old tricks.

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Two Israels," Kristof writes:

"[Israel is] also a democracy with contradictions. West Bank Jews vote, but not West Bank Palestinians. A Jewish kid in Chicago has a birthright to Israel, but not a Palestinian child next door whose roots are in Haifa.

. . . .

On my visit here to the Negev, I faced two Israels. One is the thriving democracy that many of us admire, the one that gives disgruntled Arab citizens free speech and ballots, that treats the wounded Syrians brought across the border, that nurtures a civil society that stands up for the Bedouin. This is the Israel that anyone can support without risking harm to Arabs. Any of us would plant a tree in this Israel. (Indeed, Rabbis for Human Rights has its own tree-planting program.)

Yet the other Israel has been gaining ground. It’s more nationalistic, more militaristic, more determined to push Palestinians off land in the West Bank, more eager to dispatch the United States to bomb Iranian nuclear sites. This is the Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will represent in his address to Congress scheduled for this week."

Where to even begin?

West Bank Palestinians don't vote? Kristof avoids telling us that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is currently in his tenth year of a four-year term of office as president of the Palestinian Authority. Abbas and his friends in the West Bank refuse to hold elections for fear that they would not fare well for his Fatah party. Israel never once prevented Abbas from holding these elections or postponed such elections.

"A Jewish kid in Chicago has a birthright to Israel, but not a Palestinian child next door whose roots are in Haifa." Implicit in this statement is that Jews do not have their origins in Israel, and Israel is denying Palestinians statehood. A pity that Kristof doesn't take the trouble to examine the multitude of ancient Jewish coins scattered in the soil and sands throughout Israel, attesting to the existence of the Hasmonean Kingdom of the Maccabees, a thousand years before the Arab conquest of this land.

Kristof also makes certain not to mention that in 2008, when Israeli Prime Minister Olmert offered Palestinian Authority President Abbas an independent state along the 1967 lines with agreed upon land swaps and Palestinian control of east Jerusalem, Abbas refused. Krisof also ignores the fact that several years earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Barak similarly offered to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank and tear down 63 Israeli settlements. In exchange for the settlements that would remain part of Israel, Barak said he would increase the size of Gaza by a third. Barak also agreed to Palestinian control of much of East Jerusalem, which would become Palestine's capital, and Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Arafat, however, also refused.

And Kristof makes a point of ignoring the fact that some 800,000 Jews from the Muslim Middle East were forced to abandon their homes and property, and make their way to Israel. The same thing happened during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, but Kristof would never want to allude to this.

The "other Israel" is "more nationalistic, more militaristic, more determined to push Palestinians off land in the West Bank, more eager to dispatch the United States to bomb Iranian nuclear sites," and will be represented by Netanyahu in his speech before Congress on Tuesday? Well, I favor a two-state solution, and I have never voted for the Likud Party; however, Israel is facing a nuclear holocaust owing to Obama's refusal to abide by his 2012 promises to dismantle Iran's nuclear weapons manufacturing capability, and I very much want Congress to know of the threat facing my family.

Nice try, Nicholas.

Maureen Dowd, "Dirty Words From Pretty Mouths": Lalaland's Flavor of the Month

I'm much in need of comic relief from the efforts of the Brookings Institution to rebuke Bibi Netanyahu for daring to get in the way of Obama's great nuclear weapons giveaway, and fortunately for me, Maureen Dowd is not writing today about the Israeli prime minister's speech before Congress. (Whoops, my serenity was just interrupted by Nicholas Kristof's inane "The Two Israels," i.e. good Jews and bad Jews.) Instead, in her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Dirty Words From Pretty Mouths," Dowd preoccupies herself with the flavor of the month in Lalaland:

"But, more and more, women are bringing the raunch to the screen on their own. Hollywood is still all about the dumb testosterone tentpoles and parched when it comes to women filmmakers. Yet there is a small but significant trend of women writing, directing and producing more sexually explicit movies and TV shows.

. . . .

In 'Sleeping With Other People,' written and directed by Leslye Headland, who also wrote the ribald 'Bachelorette,' Jason Sudeikis instructs Alison Brie on the art of pleasuring herself, using an empty green tea bottle as a stand-in for lady parts.

And, in the dark indie 'I Smile Back,' written by Amy Koppelman and Paige Dylan, Sarah Silverman plays a sex-and-drug-and-vodka drenched suburban mother who masturbates with her daughter’s teddy bear as she lies on the floor next to the sleeping child."

How gratifying to know that the world of motion pictures is reaching for new artistic heights! How morally and aesthetically uplifting!

Meanwhile, here I am trying to get someone to read my screenplay about a CIA operative captured by ISIS in Syria (you can download, read and rate "The Hannibal Protocol" via The Blacklist), and now I learn that female raunch is all the rage.

As I've told my children a million times, timing is everything, and "almost" is not enough.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Robert Kagan, "At what price Netanyahu?": Who Cares If Obama Gives an Atomic Bomb to a Maniacal Regime Intent Upon Israel's Destruction?

In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "At what price Netanyahu?," Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, again lashes out at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's upcoming speech before Congress. Telling us that enough contrary opinion has already been expressed in America's media, Kagan declares:

"Even the most eloquent speech by Netanyahu will not add more than marginally to what has already been said and heard. But even if the drama of the situation and the prime minister’s eloquence were to highlight the already well-articulated case against a bad deal, the question is: at what price?"

An "already well-articulated case against a bad deal"? Netanyahu has no information concerning the Iranian nuclear development program that has yet to be revealed by the media? If so, why is the Obama administration attempting to orchestrate a boycott of Netanyahu's speech, and why is it so busy attacking his so-called interference with the conduct of American foreign affairs? More to the point, why are Obama and friends so afraid of this speech?

Arguing that Netanyahu's speech is a bad precedent which is apt to damage Israel's relationship with the US, Kagan concludes:

"Those who favor having Netanyahu speak may imagine this is an extraordinary situation requiring extraordinary measures, that one side is so clearly right, the other so clearly wrong. Yet that is often how people feel about the crisis of their time. We can be sure that in the future the urgency will seem just as great. The only difference between then and now is that today, bringing a foreign leader before Congress to challenge a U.S. president’s policies is unprecedented. After next week, it will be just another weapon in our bitter partisan struggle."

Next week, Netanyahu's speech will "be just another weapon in our bitter partisan struggle"? Maybe for Kagan, but not for those who live in Israel. Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei repeatedly threatens to annihilate Israel, and Obama is about to allow Iran to build its first nuclear weapon - perhaps not during what remains of Obama's second term as president, but certainly during the next decade, when all of the restrictions are removed pursuant to Iran's draft agreement with the P5+1.

Israelis should ignore Iranian threats of annihilation in order to avoiding establishing a bad precedent involving a foreign leader making the case in Washington for his/her country's very existence?
Netanyahu must deliver the speech, and if "progressives" from the Democratic Party such as Betty McCollum decide that they do not wish to learn about a decision that imperils Israel's life, so be it.

[Yesterday, The New York Times published an op-ed written by Robert Einhorn, also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, which makes the case for a deal with Khamenei. Interesting . . .]

David Brooks, "Converting the Ayatollahs": Only a Naif Such as Obama Would Not Take Khamenei at His Word

Some 80 years ago, Hitler told anyone who would listen that he was intent upon annihilating world Jewry. No one listened, including Europe's Jews, two-thirds of whom would be killed by Nazi Germany during the ensuing decade. Today, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, busy holding competitions to mock the Holocaust, is repeatedly telling us that he intends to annihilate Israel. Should we believe him? I do. Obama doesn't.

Today, in an important New York Times op-ed entitled "Converting the Ayatollahs," David Brooks concludes:

"If the Iranian leaders believe what they say, then United States policy should be exactly the opposite of the one now being pursued. Instead of embracing and enriching Iran, sanctions should be toughened to further isolate and weaken it. Instead of accepting a nuclear capacity, eliminating that capacity should be restored as the centerpiece of American policy. Instead of a condominium with Iran that offends traditional allies like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel, the U.S. should build a regional strategy around strengthening relations with those historic pillars.

It’s hard to know what’s going on in the souls of Iran’s leadership class, but a giant bet is being placed on one interpretation. March could be a ruinous month for the Middle East. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel could weaken U.S.-Israeli relations, especially on the Democratic left. The world might accept an Iranian nuclear capacity. Efforts designed to palliate a rogue regime may end up enriching and emboldening it."

Convert Khamenei? Make this monster a friend and ally of the West? Cause him to love his neighbors as himself? Compel this leopard to change his spots? I don't think so.

As I stated earlier today, given that Iran stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, persecutes Baha'is, oppresses Kurds, abuses Sunni Muslims, funds Hezbollah, supports Assad, brutally quashes political opposition, and perpetrated the bombing of a Jewish community center in distant Argentina resulting in the deaths of 87 persons, only a fool would not take Khamenei at his word.

Betty McCollum, "Why I won’t be attending Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress": The Stupidest Member of Congress?

On January 9, 2009, Ugly (in character) Betty McCollum, in a speech before the House of Representatives, declared:

"Despite the fact too many Israeli citizens are under great stress from Hamas rockets, these weapons do not represent an existential threat to Israel. Rather than a serious military challenge, these rockets are like a drug gang that uses drive by shootings as a tactic to terrify a neighborhood. When is the solution to this type of terror for authorities to lay waste to the neighborhood?"

Thousands of Hamas rockets and missiles fired at Israeli towns and cities are no more than a "tactic" intended to terrify a neighborhood? I don't know another member of Congress who is so vile and immoral.

Well, it's six years later, and McCollum is now telling us in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Why I won’t be attending Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress" that she will refuse to listen to Israel's prime minister on March 3. McCollum writes:

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the midst of a heated reelection campaign. Yet he is traveling 5,900 miles to give a speech before a joint meeting of Congress on March 3 — just two weeks before Israelis go to the polls. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), working with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, a former Republican political operative who renounced his U.S. citizenship, extended the invitation in a clear effort to undermine the president while the United States and its five partners engage in tough negotiations with Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons — a national security priority I strongly support."

"Tough negotiations with Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons"? In fact, Obama has consistently given in to Khamenei in order to obtain an agreement described by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes's as "probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy." Rhodes went on to characterize such a deal as the equivalent of healthcare for the president.

However, as observed today by Charles Krauthammer in a must-read Washington Post opinion piece entitled "The fatal flaw in the Iran deal," Obama is in fact conceding to the Iranians the right to manufacture atomic weapons and ICBMs:

"News leaked Monday of the elements of a 'sunset clause.' President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

. . . .

Meanwhile, Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program is subject to no restrictions at all. It’s not even part of these negotiations."

Apparently, Obama is gambling that Khamenei will not attempt a covert break out under his watch, which ends in two years. From 2017, it becomes someone else's mess. And then, just maybe, Khamenei, who is ill with cancer, might be replaced by someone more "moderate." But given that Iran stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, persecutes Baha'is, oppresses Kurds, abuses Sunni Muslims, and brutally quashes political opposition, this is a gamble that even a fool would not accept.

McCullom further states:

"[T]he speaker of the House has provided the Israeli prime minister with a global platform to both attack our president and deliver a campaign message to voters at home."

It just doesn't occur to McCullom that Netanyahu does not intend to "attack" Obama. Rather, at a time when Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei continues to call for Israel's annihilation, Netanyahu has no choice but to address Congress and protest Obama's willingness to offer Iran the opportunity to manufacture nuclear weapons on a silver platter. But then what should we expect from a congresswoman who believes that Grad missiles aimed at Israeli civilians are not a "serious military challenge"? Maybe she believes that ICBMs with nuclear warheards aimed at Israel are just another nuisance?

A "campaign message to voters at home"? I know many Israelis who detest Netanyahu and would never vote for him, but still want him speaking before Congress. After all, their lives and those of their children are very much at stake.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Robert Einhorn, "Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout": Ignoring Parchin, ICBM Development and Human Rights Abuses

Yesterday, in an editorial entitled "An Emerging Nuclear Deal With Iran," The New York Times claimed that "Iran’s major nuclear installations are already monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and watched by the United States." Iran, however, is refusing access to the Parchin military base outside Tehran. I informed Andrew Rosenthal of The Times of this "error" by email, but he didn't bother responding.

Today, Robert Einhorn, serves up more nonsense in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout," also intended to persuade us to accept Obama's pending deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei. Einhorn, who, according the op-ed, is "a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution" and "served on the U.S. delegation to the Iran nuclear negotiations from 2009 to 2013," writes:

"Fortunately, even if an agreement cannot eliminate Iran’s capability to enrich uranium to weapons grade, it can prevent Iran from exercising that capability. It can do so by deterring Iran’s leaders from making the decision to break out of the agreement and produce nuclear weapons. To deter such a decision, a deal should meet three requirements.

First, it should have rigorous monitoring measures to convince Iran that any attempt to violate and break out of the agreement at either declared or covert sites would be detected very quickly. This would require intrusive verification provisions that go beyond the measures contained in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s additional protocol, including frequent access to centrifuge production facilities, detailed reporting of nuclear-related procurement and robust inspection procedures."

Ah, yes, "the rigorous monitoring measures." However, as reported by the IAEA last Thursday, the agency "remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile." And meanwhile, Iran continues to bar the IAEA from inspecting the Parchin military base outside of Iran.

Is Einhorn naive enough to believe that the Iranians will not attempt to circumvent "monitoring measures" and thereby reduce break out time to months or even days? And then, who is going to stop them if they do this? Obama, already famous for his "red line" warning with regard to the use of chemical weapons against civilians by Assad? I don't think so.

Einhorn continues:

"One alternative is to try to ratchet up sanctions dramatically in the hope of pressuring Iran to make concessions it has been unwilling to make. But it may be very difficult to persuade states that have supported sanctions at considerable cost to themselves to adopt much tougher measures, especially if Iran is successful in portraying itself as not to blame for the negotiating impasse. And even if the United States could persuade others to adopt stronger sanctions, it is questionable whether they would produce the desired Iranian flexibility, given Iran’s ability so far to withstand punishing sanctions and the repeated assertions by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Iran can make do economically without an agreement."

"Iran’s ability so far to withstand punishing sanctions"? This is pure rubbish. With Iran on its knees in 2012, Obama eased the sanctions in order to bring Khamenei to the negotiating table. Now, with the dramatic decline in oil prices over recent months, reinstatement of the sanctions (if this can still be done after Obama let the genie out of the bottle) would severely destabilize the Iranian economy.

"[R]epeated assertions by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Iran can make do economically without an agreement"? Khamenei is also repeatedly calling for the annihilation of Israel, but I suppose Einhorn believes that these declarations should be ignored.

In a must-read Washington Post opinion piece entitled "The fatal flaw in the Iran deal," Charles Krauthammer observes today:

"News leaked Monday of the elements of a 'sunset clause.' President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

. . . .

Meanwhile, Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program is subject to no restrictions at all. It’s not even part of these negotiations."

Apparently, Obama is gambling that Khamenei will not attempt a covert break out under his watch, which ends in two years. From 2017, it becomes someone else's mess. And then, just maybe, Khamenei, who is ill with cancer, might be replaced by someone more "moderate." But given that Iran stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, persecutes Baha'is, oppresses Kurds, abuses Sunni Muslims, and brutally quashes political opposition, this is a gamble that no rational person would accept.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Trita Parsi, "Netanyahu has crossed the point of no return on Iran": CNN's Latest Anti-Israel Propaganda Piece

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, in a CNN "opinion" entitled "Netanyahu has crossed the point of no return on Iran," which is now being given a prominent place on CNN's home page, writes:

"But over the course of the past 18 months, the Netanyahu government has made Iran all about Israel. While virtually the entire world is eager for a peaceful nuclear deal, Israel stands alone (bar a few Arab states in the Persian Gulf) in opposing the talks. While Israel helped shape international consensus about Iran's nuclear program in the years past, Israel is today decisively outside of that consensus."

Israel stands alone? I wonder why? I guess it never occurred to darling Trita that Israel is the only country in the world being threatened with annihilation by Iran. Consider, for example, the following recent tweet from Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei calling for the destruction of Israel:

"This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated."

Not sufficient reason for Israel to be concerned by Obama's hand over fist concessions to a maniacal Iranian regime that stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, persecutes Baha'is, oppresses Kurds, abuses Sunni Muslims, and brutally quashes political opposition? Not for Trita . . .

By the way, have a look at the advisory board of the National Iranian American Council. Listed first is former US ambassador Thomas Pickering, who co-authored a critical report concerning security arrangements at the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, but which let Hillary Clinton off the hook. Charming . . .

New York Times Editorial, "An Emerging Nuclear Deal With Iran": Toeing the Administration's Line

In an editorial entitled "An Emerging Nuclear Deal With Iran," The New York Times today claims that "Iran’s major nuclear installations are already monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and watched by the United States." This is a lie. Iran is refusing the IAEA access to the Parchin military base outside Tehran. I have informed The Times of this "error," and let's see if they respond.

The Times also tells us (my emphasis in red):

"Bombing Iran might delay the nuclear program for a couple of years but it wouldn’t eradicate it, and the blowback — provoking Iran to speed up production of a nuclear weapon, fueling regional tensions — would be severe."

Surprisingly, David Ignatius writes today in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "A compelling argument on Iran" (my emphasis in red):

"If the current talks collapsed, all these safeguards would disappear. The Iranians could resume enrichment and other currently prohibited activities. In such a situation, the United States and Israel would face a stark choice over whether to attack Iranian facilities — with no guarantee that such an attack would set Tehran back more than a few years."

The Times editorial concludes (my emphasis in red):

"Even if the deal is not perfect, the greater risk could well be walking away and allowing Iran to continue its nuclear activities unfettered."

By chance, David Ignatius concludes (my emphasis in red):

"The Iran deal is imperfect. As Count Metternich observed in 1807 about negotiations with the rising powers of his day, 'Peace does not exist with a revolutionary system.' But U.S. officials make a compelling case that this agreement is a start toward a safer Middle East."

Neither The Times nor Ignatius make mention of the fact that Iran stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, and persecutes Baha'is, Kurds, Sunnis and Christians. Both fail to observe that Iran and several of its current leaders were responsible for the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994, which killed 84 people. Also no reference by either of them to Iran's control over Hezbollah, its support of Hamas or its backing of Houthi rebels who have overrun Sana'a, the capital of Yemen.

Great minds obviously think alike . . .

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

David Ignatius, "A compelling argument on Iran": Suicide for Israel Will Be Painless

In his latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "A compelling argument on Iran," David Ignatius attempts to sell us Obama's latest concessions to Iran involving Tehran's nuclear development program. Concluding that the Iran deal is "imperfect" (as if Obama's proposed pact is ready for signature), Ignatius would have us know that "U.S. officials make a compelling case that this agreement is a start toward a safer Middle East." Safer? Yeah, right.

Needless to say, Ignatius makes no mention of the fact that Iran stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, and persecutes Baha'is, Kurds, Sunnis and Christians. He also fails to observe that Iran and several of its current leaders were responsible for the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994, which killed 84 people. Also no reference to Iran's control over Hezbollah, its support of Hamas or its backing of Houthi rebels who have overrun Sana'a, the capital of Yemen.

But wait, there's more. Ignatius writes, "Netanyahu rejects any concessions that allow Iran to enrich uranium; he thinks the U.S. goal of a one-year 'breakout' period before Iran could build a bomb isn’t enough." A one-year breakout period? There are many experts who believe that the breakout period is being reduced by Obama to mere months.

Ignatius goes on to say:

"The administration’s response is that the agreement is better than any realistic alternative. Officials argue it would put the Iranian program in a box, with constraints on all the pathways to making a bomb. Perhaps more important, it would provide strict monitoring and allow intrusive inspection of Iranian facilities — not just its centrifuges but its uranium mines, mills and manufacturing facilities. If Iran seeks a covert path to building a bomb, the deal offers the best hope of detecting it."

In a word, bullshit! As reported by Reuters in an article entitled "Iran still stalling U.N. nuclear inquiry as deal deadline looms: IAEA" by Shadia Nasralla:

"'Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures,' the IAEA said, referring to allegations of explosives tests and other activity that could be used to develop nuclear bombs."

Or in other words, Obama is intent upon signing a deal at a time when Iran refuses to cooperate with IAEA investigators. What does this tell us about Iran's intentions regarding any future commitments to the US?

Obama's forthcoming deal with Khamenei is "imperfect"? Indeed. So was Chamberlain's 1938 deal with Hitler.


Obama's New Proposed Deal With Iran: Can You Keep a Secret?

As reported by The Times of Israel in an article entitled "Phased Iran nuke deal starting to take shape as sides convene" by Bradley Klapper and George Jahn:

"The United States and Iran are working on a two-phase deal that clamps down on Tehran’s nuclear program for at least a decade before providing it leeway over the remainder of the agreement to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make weapons.

. . . .

One variation being discussed would place at least 10-year regime of strict controls on Iran’s uranium enrichment program. If Iran complies, the restrictions would be gradually lifted over the last five years of such an agreement."

Okay, you already saw this article, but what is the logic underlying the American proposal? Can you keep a secret? No? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. The expectation is that Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, ill with prostate cancer, will not be around in another few years and that he will be replaced by someone more moderate.

And if Khamenei's successor is not more moderate? Well, that will be Israel's problem and not that of Obama, who will be busy puttering around America's most prestigious golf courses.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fred Hiatt, "A credibility gap": A Pact Might Limit Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Breakout Time to a Few Years? How About a Few Months?

In a must-read Washington Post opinion piece entitled "A credibility gap," Fred Hiatt asks, "Can President Obama sell an Iran deal at home?" Hiatt proceeds to describe Obama's "record of foreign-policy assurances," including past declarations that:

  • Iraq would be "stable, secure and self-reliant."
  • his bombing campaign in Libya was an accomplishment.
  • the US would not "turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries."
  • Assad must resign as president of Syria after using chemical weapons.
  • his anti-terror policy in Yemen had been successful.
  • his Ukraine policy was a triumph.

Given Obama's record, is it any wonder that Israel doubts Obama's resolve to prevent Iran from building its first nuclear weapon? Recall how in September 2012, Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly and declared:

"And make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

Well, Obama is now ready to allow Iran to operate 6,500 centrifuges for spinning enriched uranium, thus purportedly limiting its  nuclear weapons "breakout" time to a year. Or in other words, "containment" has become Obama's policy of choice for restraining Iran. In this regard, Hiatt writes:

"If [Obama's] negotiators strike an agreement next month, we already know that it will be far from ideal: Rather than eradicating Iran’s nuclear-weapons potential, as once was hoped, a pact would seek to control Iran’s activities for some limited number of years."

However, there are experts who believe that Obama's concessions will provide Iran with a breakout time of no more than several months.

Will Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu mince his words when he addresses Congress in another eight days? Let's hope not.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Maureen Dowd, "Jeb Bush’s Brainless Trust": The Revenge of King George III

While talking with my 90-year-old father the other day, he irately declared that he will never vote for "Hope" and "Change" again. I quietly explained to him that he will not have another opportunity to vote for Obama, who in another two years will be hitting the lecture circuit and the golf course, and passing the unsightly mess he made over to some new narcissistic opportunist.

New opportunists? In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Jeb Bush’s Brainless Trust," Maureen Dowd expresses her disdain for the Republican and Democratic 2016 front runners, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Dowd writes:

"Like the Clintons, the Bushes drag the country through national traumas that spring from their convoluted family dynamic and then disingenuously wonder why we concern ourselves with their family dynamic.

Without their last names, Hillary and Jeb would not be front-runners, buoyed by networks of donors grateful for appointments or favors bestowed by the family."

Unfortunately, Dowd fails to make reference to a Wall Street Journal article entitled "Foreign Government Gifts to Clinton Foundation on the Rise" by James V. Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus, which last week disclosed:

"The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency.

Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline."

Hillary is being funded by the UAE, Oman and the Saudis? From whom won't she take money?

Incidently, Dowd is not the only Times columinist criticizing Jeb and Hillary today. In an op-ed entitled "Hillary, Jeb and $$$$$$," Frank Bruni concludes:

"We articulate misgivings about how much of Clinton’s or Bush’s thinking may be rooted in the past. But the bigger issue, given the scope of not just their own political histories but also their relatives’, is how heavy a duffel of i.o.u.s each of them would carry into office.

Their prominence is commensurate with their debts. And only so many of those can be forgotten."

But are Jeb and Hillary to blame? Or is it a system that has spun out of control, and notwithstanding the fact that the nation is faced with crushing debt and escalating international savagery, it foists such nauseating choices upon the populace?

King George III most certainly is guffawing from his grave.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Obama to Meet With Emir of Qatar on Tuesday: Obama Seeks Modus Vivendi With ISIS and al-Qaeda

President Obama will meet at the White House with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, on Tuesday. Yes, that's right: Obama will meet with the leader of Qatar, a country that has funded ISIS, al-Nusra and al-Qaeda; however, he remains unwilling to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in another two weeks.

Apparently, this meeting is in keeping with a new Obama policy to explore avenues of discourse and understanding with Middle East terror organizations.

Yesterday, I wrote:

"The US State Department's Marie Harf declared three days ago, 'We can not kill our way out of this war' and went on to say that we must 'go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs.' So is it now Obama's policy also to reach a negotiated settlement with ISIS?"

Obviously, there was nothing accidental about Harf's comments. Obama is indeed seeking a modus vivendi with ISIS and the other monstrous terror organizations that plague the Middle East and the rest of the world. Maybe he intends to offer jobs to their memberships in order to restore order in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and a host of other countries.

Meanwhile with Netanyahu's speech before Congress drawing near, a Wall Street Journal article entitled "Obama Parries Questions on Iran Deal From Arabs as Well as Israelis" by Jay Solomon is informing us that Arab governments are also placing Obama on notice of their disapproval of any deal with Iran that would allow Tehran to keep its nuclear weapons development capabilities. Saudi Arabia has placed America's president on notice that they will develop technologies equivalent to those of Iran, i.e. a Middle East nuclear arms race is in the offing.

Can it get any worse?

David Brooks, "The Nationalist Solution": Dream on!

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Nationalist Solution," David Brooks ponders what might draw young Muslim men away from the spiritual "ennoblement" and "purification" offered by ISIS. Deriding Obama's suggestion that schooling and economic opportunity could serve this purpose, Brooks suggests nationalism as an alternative:

"Young Arab men are not going to walk away from extremism because they can suddenly afford a Slurpee. They will walk away when they can devote themselves to a revived Egyptian nationalism, Lebanese nationalism, Syrian nationalism, some call to serve a cause that connects nationalism to dignity and democracy and transcends a lifetime."

Egyptian nationalism notwithstanding a significant Christian Copt minority (some 10-20 percent of the population), which has been persecuted for centuries? Lebanese nationalism in a country whose Shiite, Sunni, Maronite Christian and Druze communities have forever been at one another's throats? Syrian nationalism in a country in which its Alawites have been busy oppressing its Sunni majority and Kurdish minority for many decades?

Sorry, David, it's just not going to happen, particularly in a savage region of the world whose artificial boundaries were drawn by Britain and France 100 years ago.

But it's nice to dream . . .

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Roger Cohen, "The Great Jewish Exodus": Cohen Should Return to London!

Some three and a half years ago, Roger Cohen wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled "Jews in a Whisper," concerning his departure from the UK for the US, where he took on citizenship, and the insidious anti-Semitism which permeates all levels of British society. Well, today Cohen is back with a new Times op-ed entitled "The Great Jewish Exodus," in which he imagines a Europe whose Jews have left for Israel:

"Israel is indeed the home of every Jew, and that is important, a guarantee of sorts. It is equally important, however, that not every Jew choose this home. That is another kind of guarantee, of Europe’s liberal order, of the liberal idea itself. So it was shattering when millions of Jews, every one of them in fact, as if entranced, upped and left their homes in Milan and Berlin and Zurich.

The leader himself was overcome: Where was he to house them? Many of the liberal Jews of Europe, long strangers in strange lands, knowing statelessness in their bones, mindful of Hillel’s summation of the Torah — 'What is hateful to yourself, do not to your fellow man' — refused to be part of the spreading settlements in the West Bank, Israeli rule over another people.

The prime minister awoke, shaken. It had been such a vivid nightmare. Too vivid! To himself he murmured, 'Careful what you wish for.'"

"Spreading settlements in the West Bank"? Cohen fails to mention that built-up settlements amount to less than two percent of the West Bank.

"Israeli rule over another people"? Cohen forgets to say that Palestinian President Abbas is responsible for refusing to allow democratic elections in the West Bank. Cohen is also unwilling to tell us about Palestinian honor killings against women and Palestinian persecution of homosexuals.

Netanyahu should be careful about what he wishes for? Israel did a marvelous job of providing homes for more than a million Russian and Ethiopian Jews over the past decades, and there is no shortage of land within Israel to house Europe's surviving Jewry.

Jews must remain in Europe to guarantee its "liberal order"? Cohen should lead by example and return to London!


New York Times Editorial, "Egypt’s Crisis Across the Border With Libya": Is Obama Seeking a Negotiated Settlement With ISIS?

You will recall that I wrote in my previous blog entry:

"After ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya, Cairo sent its air force to bomb ISIS bases in Libya, and Qatar, which funds ISIS, expressed its dismay over the attack. A brouhaha between Qatar and Egypt resulted."

Well today, The New York Times is weighing in on this controversy in an editorial entitled "Egypt’s Crisis Across the Border With Libya":

"[T]he [Egyptian] airstrikes marked a significant expansion of Egypt’s direct military involvement in Libya, and there is little evidence that the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has thought through its response or coordinated it with other nations, including the United States.

. . . .

For some time, Arab states have taken sides in this civil war, turning it into a proxy fight and fostering the very chaos in which the Islamic State thrives. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have covertly backed General Hifter’s campaign to drive out the Islamists and their allies, while Qatar and Turkey reportedly have been backing Libya Dawn.

. . . .

Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, cannot afford to get bogged down in a war in Libya; there are staggering challenges at home, including reviving a battered economy and combating a domestic insurgency."

Qatar and Turkey - the two countries that Obama demanded that Israel accept as mediators in its most recent war with Hamas - are backing Libya Dawn? Just what is Libya Dawn? In fact, it is a group of Islamic militias that fly the flag of ISIS.

Or in other words, The New York Times is asking that Egypt not attack a branch of ISIS in Libya that beheaded 21 of its Christian citizens, because any such actions must be coordinated with the United States, which is conducting airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq.

Coordinate strategy against ISIS with the United States? Maybe someone would care to inform me exactly what is Obama's strategy regarding ISIS. The US State Department's Marie Harf declared three days ago, "We can not kill our way out of this war" and went on to say that we must "go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs." So is it now Obama's policy also to reach a negotiated settlement with ISIS?

If only we could know who wrote this editorial for The New York Times . . .

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Qatar Dismayed by Egyptian Strike Against ISIS

You will recall how Obama attempted to force Israel to accept Qatari mediation involving its last war with Hamas. Well, tiny, oil and gas rich Qatar is back in the headlines. After ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya, Cairo sent its air force to bomb ISIS bases in Libya, and Qatar, which funds ISIS, expressed its dismay over the attack. A brouhaha between Qatar and Egypt resulted, and Aljazeera reports today in an article entitled "Qatar recalls ambassador to Egypt over ISIL row":

"Qatar has recalled its ambassador to Egypt 'for consultation' after a row over Cairo's air strikes on targets of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Libya, Qatari state media said.

A foreign ministry official said Doha was recalling its envoy over a statement made by Egypt's delegate to the Arab League Tariq Adel, according to Qatar News Agency.

Adel accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, according to Egyptian media, after Doha's representative expressed reservations over a clause in a communique welcoming Cairo's air strikes on ISIL targets."

Indeed, as well known to Egypt, Qatar funds ISIS and al-Qaeda, but that didn't stop Obama from selling to the Qataris $11 billion worth of Apache helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defense systems last July.

However, I suppose that's peanuts compared with Obama's willingness to allow Iran to become a nuclear weapons threshold state. How much more damage can Obama do before he leaves the White House? Personally, I'm counting the days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Obama's Secret Negotiations With Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei

The Wall Street Journal's recent revelation that Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei sent a secret "respectful" but noncommittal letter to Obama in response to the American president's overtures seeking cooperation in the fight against ISIS should come as no surprise. In 2013, secret meetings were held in Oman between ranking Obama administration personnel and Iranian officials in an effort to jump-start the P5+1's negotiations with Tehran over the Iranian nuclear weapons development program. These stealthy communications and discussions are just further proof of Obama's willy-nilly determination to reach agreement with Khamenei no matter what the price.

The most recent communications between Obama and Khamenei come at a time when Iranian-backed Houthis have taken control over much of Yemen, a country which had been viewed by Obama as a successful cornerstone in his fight against ISIS.

Iranian-backed militias are indeed battling ISIS in Iraq; however, they do not want American bombing assistance. Moreover, these militias are also committing atrocities against Sunni Muslims in Iraq.

But most troublesome is Obama's insistence upon reaching agreement with a regime that stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, persecutes Baha'is, oppresses Kurds, abuses Sunni Muslims, and brutally quashes political opposition, while threatening to annihilate Israel. Is the Khamenei regime any better than ISIS? Answer: No.

We can only hope that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in his March 3 speech before Congress will expose Obama's furtive negotiating channels and obscene concessions, e.g., 6,500 centrifuges spinning enriched uranium, intended to facilitate detente with the Islamic Republic of Iran without consideration of the long-term consequences.

Monday, February 16, 2015

David Ignatius, "A perfect storm brews in the Middle East": Obama's Great 2015 Giveaway to the Islamic Republic of Iran!

It's no longer a secret: Obama plans to provide Iran with breakout capacity for the construction of its first atomic weapon.

As I wrote several days ago:

Given the controversy surrounding his address and the enormous worldwide attention it will now attract, Netanyahu should travel to Congress and explain in detail how Obama's insistence upon reaching a conciliatory agreement with Iran threatens Israel's existence. Netanyahu should spell out how Obama's willingness to allow 6,500 Iranian centrifuges to continue to spin enriched uranium will permit Khamenei to build his first atomic bomb within months. Netanyahu should shed light upon Tehran's refusal to allow IAEA inspectors to visit Iran's Parchin weapons development complex. If there are Democrats who refuse to listen and are willing to standby and watch as Obama tries to do to Israel in 2015 what Neville Chamberlain did to Czechoslovakia in 1938, so be it.

Well, the "secret" matter of the 6,500 centrifuges is now out in open for all to see and the source of enormous controversy between the Obama administration and the State of Israel.

As reported by The Times of Israel in an article entitled "Netanyahu: If Iran nuclear deal is good, why hide it from Israel?" by Tamar Pileggi, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated on Monday:

"Just as Iran knows what deal is being outlined in the negotiations, it’s only natural that Israel also know the agreement being drafted. But if there is anyone who thinks that this is a good agreement, why should it be hidden?

. . . .

The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to break out to its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years. A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims."

In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "A perfect storm brews in the Middle East," Obama's friend David Ignatius provides the White House's viewpoint regarding this controversy (my emphasis in red):

"Mistrust between the Obama administration and Benjamin Netanyahu has widened even further in recent days because of U.S. suspicion that the Israeli prime minister has authorized leaks of details about the U.S. nuclear talks with Iran.

The decision to reduce the exchange of sensitive information about the Iran talks was prompted by concerns that Netanyahu’s office had given Israeli journalists sensitive details of the U.S. position, including a U.S. offer to allow Iran to enrich uranium with 6,500 or more centrifuges as part of a final deal.

. . . .

This latest breach in the U.S.-Israeli relationship began around Jan. 12 with a phone call from Netanyahu. Obama asked the Israeli leader to hold fire diplomatically for several more months while U.S. negotiators explored whether Iran might agree to a deal that, through its technical limits on centrifuges and stockpiles, extended the breakout period that Iran would need to build a bomb to more than a year. But Netanyahu is said to have responded that a year wasn’t enough and to have reverted to Israel’s hard-line insistence that Iran shouldn’t be allowed any centrifuges or enrichment."

Fascinating! Iran continually threatens Israel with annihilation, yet Israel's "insistence that Iran shouldn’t be allowed any centrifuges or enrichment" is "hard-line"!

A question for David: Why not also provide ISIS and al-Qaeda with breakout capabilities of a year or less for the construction of their first atomic weapons? Hard to swallow? You're damn right!

Obama Plays Golf While the Middle East Burns

February is not quite over yet, but just look what has transpired over the past two weeks in the Muslim Middle East . . .


What does Obama have to say about all this? Not much. You see, he's busy pressuring Democrats to boycott Netanyahu's upcoming speech before Congress, when he's not playing golf and fundraising in California . . .

Have a nice day!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Maureen Dowd, "Call Off the Dogs": Mo Declares Thermonuclear War on the Clintons

Maureen Dowd's simmering hostilities with the Clintons have just been escalated by a notch . . . to thermonuclear war. In a New York Times op-ed entitled "Call Off the Dogs," Dowd paints a less than sympathetic picture of journalist and author David Brock, who founded Media Matters for America:

"Once the Clintons had a War Room. Now they have a Slime Room.

Once they had the sly James Carville, fondly known as 'serpenthead.' Now they have the slippery David Brock, accurately known as a snake.

. . . .

With the understood blessing of the Clintons, Brock runs a $28 million cluster of media monitoring groups and oppo research organizations that are vehicles to rebut and at times discredit and threaten anyone who casts a gimlet eye at Clinton Inc."

But wait, the best is yet to come! Dowd concludes:

"Money-grubbing is always the ugly place with the Clintons, who have devoured $2.1 billion in contributions since 1992 to their political campaigns, family foundation and philanthropies, according to The Old (Good) New Republic.

. . . .

[W]hat Republicans say about government is true of the Clintons: They really do believe that your money belongs to them.

Someday, they should give their tin cup to the Smithsonian. It’s one of the wonders of the world."

Ouch!

Although a cowardly, brainless and heartless (actually, he loves himself very dearly) Obama still has two more years in office and appears determined to leave the world in chaos, nobody seems to give a damn, except Valerie Jarrett. Everyone else is abandoning ship.

The Islamic Republic of Iran equipped with nuclear weapons? Who gives a damn! It's so much more fun awaiting the inevitable announcement of Granny's candidacy.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Hillary decides to do regarding Netanyahu's upcoming speech before Congress. Will Hillary thumb her nose at Obama by attending?

And then, there is the issue of Bill's infidelities, which again appears to be raising its ugly head.

But back to the matter at hand, will Dowd, the sole Times columnist with moxie, survive this crazy frontal, perhaps suicidal, assault on the Clinton juggernaut? Stay tuned . . .

Jonathan Tobin, "Iran Sanctions Can Change History, Not a Netanyahu Speech": Wrong Again

As previously stated, it is rare that I disagree with Jonathan Tobin. However, I was not in accord with Jonathan's Commentary opinion piece entitled "Must Netanyahu Give That Speech?," in which he took the position that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should not address Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner. And I also do not agree with Jonathan's follow-up opinion piece, "Iran Sanctions Can Change History, Not a Netanyahu Speech," in which he doubles down on his opposition to Netanyahu's speech. Jonathan now writes:

"I have argued that in accepting House Speaker Boehner’s invitation, Netanyahu has walked into a trap and that the net effect of that decision is to lessen the chances that Congress will pass more sanctions. But his supporters and other opponents of Obama’s policies argue that the extreme nature of the danger presented by Iran and a U.S. policy of appeasement require that Netanyahu speak in spite of the controversy over his appearance. These points, made both by Rick Richman and in numerous comments from readers, deserve an answer.

. . . .

When faced with the horrible prospect of an Iranian bomb, some pro-Israel activists seem to embrace the emotional satisfaction of a direct rhetorical challenge to Obama rather than the hard practical political work of passing a bill that might do more to change history for the better than a speech. The prime minister should be smart enough to pass on this sort of immature and magical thinking. So should his American friends."

Well in this instance, the answer to Jonathan is to be found in a Fars News article of today's date entitled "Iran's Oil Revenues Soaring," which informs us:

"TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's oil revenues considerably increased in the first ten months of the current Iranian year (March 21-January 22) as compared with last year's corresponding period, a senior energy official announced.

'Iran earned over $2.3 billion from sales of oil products in the first ten months as the country is applying innovative methods to sidestep US-led sanctions,' Head of Commercial Department of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) Mohammad Reza Mazloumi said on Friday.

In July, Iran's Economy Ministry announced that the country’s oil revenues rose by 43 percent during last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2014) in comparison with the previous year.

In December, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said exports of crude is just one of Iran's sources of revenue and the country can live up without oil sales and through exports of its rich mineral resources, modern industries, and talented people.

'We have different methods and scenarios to run the country under different circumstances.'"

Overriding an Obama veto of the Kirk-Menendez Bill, intended to impose additional sanctions on Iran, will prevent Khamenei from obtaining atomic weapons? Not a chance. Khamenei is hell-bent upon obtaining such weapons, and to ignore his intention threatens Israel and the rest of the world. Sorry, Jonathan, this is neither "immature" nor "magical" thinking. The threat is real and imminent.

Netanyahu needs to provide Congress with details of the threat now, before Obama agrees to a disastrous conciliatory deal!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Charles Krauthammer, "Crusaders and appeasers": "Lassitude and Passivity" or Ineptitude and Depravity?

You would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to understand that Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East is unraveling. As reported yesterday by Katie Pavlich in a Townhall article entitled
"Yemen Falls Apart: Marines Forced to Destroy Weapons, U.S. Embassy Evacuated, Al Qaeda Seizes Military Base":

"Despite President Obama claiming in September that U.S. strategy used to combat terrorism in Yemen has been a 'success,' so successful in fact that it should be used to defeat ISIS, the country continues to fall apart. Late yesterday the United States evacuated the U.S. embassy in Yemen and Marines were bizarrely ordered by the State Department to destroy issued weapons on their way out. The British and French also closed and evacuated their embassies yesterday citing safety and security concerns."

Meanwhile, as Yemen is divided up by al-Qaeda and the Iranian backed Houthis, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and his minions are voicing open contempt for Obama. As you will recall, in November 2014, the P5 + 1 and Iran announced that they would extend their "Joint Plan of Action" for reaching agreement over Iran's nuclear program. It was determined that the parties would conclude an understanding of general principles for a deal by March 24, 2015 and then finalize the details by July 1, 2015. However, in a speech earlier this week before Iranian air force commanders, Khamenei declared that he was not interested in reaching a framework agreement in March:

"I do not favor remarks that we should agree on some principles and later on details. I dislike it when they say that there should be a deal on general principles at one stage and then we can talk about details. Given our experience with the other side, they will use this as a tool for repeatedly making excuses regarding details. If they want a deal, they should cover both generalities and details in a single session, instead of leaving details for later and separating generalities which are vague and leave room for different interpretations. This is not logical."

Ouch!

And then there was the statement made last Wednesday by the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri:

"Iran's missile programs and defense capability, irrespective of their purpose, are not negotiable in any foreign circle.

. . . .

Gone are the days when the US was a superpower, but some still haven't realized it."

General Jazayeri's comments came in response to Jen Psaki's claim two weeks ago that Iran's ballistic missile program was also being negotiated.

In a cogent Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Crusaders and appeasers," Charles Krauthammer observes:

"His secretary of defense says, 'The world is exploding all over.' His attorney general says that the threat of terror 'keeps me up at night.' The world bears them out. On Tuesday, American hostage Kayla Mueller is confirmed dead. On Wednesday, the U.S. evacuates its embassy in Yemen, a country cited by President Obama last September as an American success in fighting terrorism.

Yet Obama’s reaction to, shall we say, turmoil abroad has been one of alarming lassitude and passivity.

. . . .

The Islamic State burns to death a Jordanian pilot. Iran extends its hegemony over four Arab capitals — Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and now Sanaa."

"Lassitude and passivity" or, in fact, ineptitude and depravity?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jonathan Tobin, "Must Netanyahu Give That Speech?": The Answer, Absolutely!

It is rare that I disagree with Jonathan Tobin. However, I am not in accord with Jonathan's Commentary opinion piece entitled "Must Netanyahu Give That Speech?," in which he takes the position that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should not address Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner. Jonathan writes:

"It’s time for Netanyahu to come to grips with the question of what his real goal is here. If it’s to help the Republicans and Democrats who are working hard to pass this bill, he should know it’s time for him to find an excuse to back down and not give the speech. His is a powerful and eloquent voice, but what Congress needs to hear now is the sound of Democrats like Menendez and his colleagues making the case for sanctions, not a foreign leader, albeit from a country that most members of the House and the Senate regard with affection. It is only when he removes himself as a distraction from this debate that sanctions advocates will have a chance to get the focus back on Obama’s indefensible policies rather than Netanyahu’s supposed chutzpah."

As many of those who read this blog already know, I am not a member of the Likud, and by Israeli standards my views are centrist. However, I am of the belief that Netanyahu must give that speech.

Yes, I know: It would be preferable not to do anything that might undermine the chances of the bill sponsored by Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Robert Menendez, which would impose additional sanctions on Iran if agreement is not reached with the P5+1. But Obama's opposition to this bill is intense, and those same Democrats, whose support of the bill hangs in the balance, will face sledgehammer pressure from the White House regardless of whether or not Netanyahu speaks before Congress. As Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes's declared last year about reaching an agreement with Tehran:

"This is probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy. This is healthcare for us, just to put it in context."

The stark reality is that Israel at some time in the future will be facing a war with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Assad's forces in Syria - a situation much akin to that faced by Israel in 1967. Israel's survival is at issue, and Iran's repeated calls for Israel's destruction must not be ignored. Yesterday, even as Iranian President Rouhani, a so-called moderate, addressed crowds in Tehran celebrating the 36th anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution and called for a "constructive interaction" with the world, the crowd chanted "Death to Israel" in response.

Given the controversy surrounding his address and the enormous worldwide attention it will now attract, Netanyahu should travel to Congress and explain in detail how Obama's insistence upon reaching a conciliatory agreement with Iran threatens Israel's existence. Netanyahu should spell out how Obama's willingness to allow 6,500 Iranian centrifuges to continue to spin enriched uranium will permit Khamenei to build his first atomic bomb within months. Netanyahu should shed light upon Tehran's refusal to allow IAEA inspectors to visit Iran's Parchin weapons development complex. If there are Democrats who refuse to listen and are willing to standby and watch as Obama tries to do to Israel in 2015 what Neville Chamberlain did to Czechoslovakia in 1938, so be it.

Czechoslovakia could not oppose Hitler alone. Israel will be forced to fight and win. Never again!

Monday, February 9, 2015

David Ignatius, "Proceed with caution on Iran diplomacy": Ignorance and Ignomy

In his latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Proceed with caution on Iran diplomacy," David Ignatius asks what should the United States and Iran do if their negotiations over Iran's nuclear development program should fail. Ignatius tells us that nothing should be done:

"[A]t least initially, both sides would be wise to do nothing. It’s like a labor negotiation where both parties conclude that it’s in their interest to keep working by the old rules even after a contract has expired."

Why should the US do nothing? Apparently, Ignatius thinks that by doing "something," the US might undermine Iran's so-called moderate president, Hassan Rouhani:

"That raises another delicate question for Washington if talks break down: how to avoid collapsing the authority of President Hassan Rouhani, who has favored negotiations, and reinforcing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s suspicion that the talks were just a U.S. trick."

Or in other words, Ignatius is buying into Iran's "good cop/bad cop" routine. But in reality, Rouhani would not dare to contradict the desires of Khamenei. And if anyone seeks evidence of Rouhani's true intentions, he/she need only have a look at the pre-election interview in which Rouhani boasted how, in the past, he had lulled the West into complacency while radically expanding Iran's nuclear weapons development program.

Ignatius claims that Iran would control its nuclear weapons ambitions even in the event that a deal is not reached:

"Iran must also reckon with the dangerous prospect that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and perhaps Turkey would begin their own bomb-making programs, in a post-negotiation world."

But Ignatius is ascribing rational thinking to a regime that hangs homosexuals, stones to death women accused of adultery, discriminates against its Kurdish minority, commits atrocities against Baha'is, and continues to threaten Israel with annihilation. Does David really think that Tehran is concerned that the Saudis might build their own atomic weapons many years hence? Khamenei would also threaten the House of Saud with extinction.

By now it should be clear to all, except Obama and his die-hard friends, that Western rules do not govern the behavior of radical Islam. Oops, I used the words "radical Islam." Pardon my faux pas.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Maureen Dowd, "Anchors Aweigh": She That Is Without Sin Among You, Let Her First Cast a Stone at Him

In case you didn't know it already, reporters are a bit strange. Some 32 years ago, I was "escorting" a journalist from a leading US newspaper around southern Lebanon, and toward the end of the day, he complained that he had not witnessed any "action." I explained to him that the thud in the background was from artillery in the Chouf Mountains, but politely refrained from inquiring if he would feel any better if I were to position him under an exploding shell.

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Anchors Aweigh," Maureen Dowd makes light of Brian Williams's tales of valor while reporting from Iraq. Dowd writes:

"Although Williams’s determination to wrap himself in others’ valor is indefensible, it seems almost redundant to gnaw on his bones, given the fact that the Internet has already taken down a much larger target: the long-ingrained automatic impulse to turn on the TV when news happens."

Hey, Maureen, since when are journalists expected to report honestly? Moreover, if columnists can plagiarize the work of others and retain their positions, why shouldn't reporters be allowed to embellish their exploits?

And to take this one step further, if future presidential candidate Hillary Clinton can tell the world how her helicopter came under fire in Bosnia, why should anyone give a damn about poor Brian?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

President Obama Compares the Crusades With ISIS

Several quotations which you might wish to contemplate:


"Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ."

- President Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, February 5, 2015


"Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader and kill him."

- Dabiq, Fourth Edition, ISIS online magazine for recruitment


"The Zionists and Crusaders final objective is to turn your world, your palaces and the very spot where your feet stand into their dream of 'Greater Israel'."

- The Tropoli Post, January 9, 2009


Somehow it seems lost on Obama that the First Crusade was launched a thousand years ago. Okay, I know: Given past injustices, we need to give Islam a little time to catch up with Western morality, and meanwhile we should suffer the abominations of radical Muslims, of which there are no small number, in silence.

After all, in the grand scheme of things, what's another beheading or immolation?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fethullah Gulen, "Turkey's Eroding Democracy": No Mention That Turkey Is Now Hosting Hamas

Given that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has been declared by Obama, a foreign affairs puddinghead, to be one of his best overseas friends (see: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/world/2013/05/16/Erdogan-and-Obama-Best-friends-no-more.html), the content of today's guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Turkey’s Eroding Democracy" by Fethullah Gulen, should come as no surprise. Mr. Fethullah states:

"It is deeply disappointing to see what has become of Turkey in the last few years. Not long ago, it was the envy of Muslim-majority countries: a viable candidate for the European Union on its path to becoming a functioning democracy that upholds universal human rights, gender equality, the rule of law and the rights of Kurdish and non-Muslim citizens. This historic opportunity now appears to have been squandered as Turkey’s ruling party, known as the A.K.P., reverses that progress and clamps down on civil society, media, the judiciary and free enterprise.

. . . .

Turkey has now reached a point where democracy and human rights have almost been shelved."

Mr. Fethulla forgets to mention that Turkey now serves as a headquarters for Hamas.

Elsewhere in the news today, we are told that Zacaria Moussaoui is claiming that members of the Saudi royal family supported al-Qaeda. But why should that have prevented Obama from visiting Saudi Arabia last week, while avoiding Israel, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Riyadh?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Richard Cohen, "Anti-Semitism’s ugly and enduring appeal": Yet Netanyahu Should Not Address Congress?

You will recall that exactly one week ago, Richard Cohen condemned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for accepting US Speaker of the House Boehner's invitation to address Congress in March concerning the Iranian nuclear threat. Well, today Cohen is back with an opinion piece entitled "Anti-Semitism’s ugly and enduring appeal," which focuses on the reawakening of anti-Semitism in Europe. After alluding to the anti-Semitism of Europe's Muslim minority, Cohen concludes by declaring:

"But non-Muslim Europe needs work as well. Especially on the left, discussions and denunciations of Israel feel like a snowball with a rock in the center: Something aside from protest is being aired. Anti-Zionism may be legitimate, but it too often seems like a way of expressing anti-Semitism.

In researching my book ["Israel: Is It Good for the Jews?"], I came away in awe of anti-Semitism. It may be more durable than most of our current religions — it is older than most — and it made me wonder when it would stage one of its periodic revivals. That now seems underway, and, sadly, makes my book title almost irrelevant. The question is not whether Israel is good for the Jews, but whether it is necessary. That answer, increasingly, is yes."

Okay, with anti-Semitism again spiraling out of control in Europe, Cohen understands the need for the State of Israel. Yet one week ago, he took the position that Israel's prime minister should not address the American Congress concerning a very real existential threat to that country, owing to the opposition of a US president who is unwilling to acknowledge the existence of radical Islam.

Go figure.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fareed Zakaria Asks President About Radical Islam: Obama's Delusional Answer

In an interview with Obama for CNN, Fareed Zakaria asks the president:

"Are we in a war with radical Islam?"

Obama's answer (my emphasis in red):

"I think that the way to understand this is there is an element growing out of Muslim communities in certain parts of the world that have perverted the religion, have embraced a nihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam, and they're doing a lot of damage in a lot of countries around the world. But it is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war, because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don't even recognize it as being Islam. And I think that for us to be successful in fighting this scourge it is very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we're looking for - order, peace, prosperity."

Obama actually believes that 99.9 percent of Muslims reject radical Islam? Fascinating!

In fact, 24 percent of Palestinians view ISIS favorably.

Even more remarkable, an overwhelming majority of Muslims in London support ISIS.

So is Obama lying or is he delusional? Decide for yourself.