Alan Baker has a long and impressive list of credentials: He is an international lawyer; former Ambassador of Israel to Canada; member of the Levy Committee; Director, Institute for Contemporary Affairs, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Director, International Action Division, The Legal Forum for Israel.
On November 8, Baker sent a letter to Kerry in response to Kerry’s statement about the settlements.
I reproduce it here in its entirety and urge you to share it widely.
The Hon. James Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State,
The State Department,
November 8, 2013
Dear Secretary Kerry,
After listening to you declare repeatedly over the past weeks that “Israel’s settlements are illegitimate”, I respectfully wish to state, unequivocally, that you are mistaken and ill advised, both in law and in fact.
Pursuant to the “Oslo Accords”, and specifically the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement (1995), the “issue of settlements” is one of subjects to be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. President Bill Clinton on behalf of the US, is signatory as witness to that agreement, together with the leaders of the EU, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and Norway.
Your statements serve to not only to prejudge this negotiating issue, but also to undermine the integrity of that agreement, as well as the very negotiations that you so enthusiastically advocate.
Your determination that Israel’s settlements are illegitimate cannot be legally substantiated. The oft-quoted prohibition on transferring population into occupied territory (Art. 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention) was, according to the International Committee Red Cross’s own official commentary of that convention, drafted in 1949 to prevent the forced, mass transfer of populations carried out by the Nazis in the Second World War. It was never intended to apply to Israel’s settlement activity. Attempts by the international community to attribute this article to Israel emanate from clear partisan motives, with which you, and the US are now identifying.
The formal applicability of that convention to the disputed territories cannot be claimed since they were not occupied from a prior, legitimate sovereign power.
The territories cannot be defined as “Palestinian territories” or, as you yourself frequently state, as “Palestine”. No such entity exists, and the whole purpose of the permanent status negotiation is to determine, by agreement, the status of the territory, to which Israel has a legitimate claim, backed by international legal and historic rights. How can you presume to undermine this negotiation?
There is no requirement in any of the signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians that Israel cease, or freeze settlement activity. The opposite is in fact the case. The above-noted 1995 interim agreement enables each party to plan, zone and build in the areas under its respective control.
Israel’s settlement policy neither prejudices the outcome of the negotiations nor does it involve displacement of local Palestinian residents from their private property. Israel is indeed duly committed to negotiate the issue of settlements, and thus there is no room for any predetermination by you intended to prejudge the outcome of that negotiation.
By your repeating this ill-advised determination that Israel’s settlements are illegitimate, and by your threatening Israel with a “third Palestinian intifada” and international isolation and delegitimization, you are in fact buying into, and even fueling the Palestinian propaganda narrative, and exerting unfair pressure on Israel. This is equally the case with your insistence on a false and unrealistic time limit to the negotiation.
As such you are taking sides, thereby prejudicing your own personal credibility, as well as that of the US.
With a view to restoring your own and the US’s credibility, and to come with clean hands to the negotiation, you are respectfully requested to publicly and formally retract your determination as to the illegitimate nature of Israel’s settlements and to cease your pressure on Israel.
Alan Baker, Attorney, Ambassador (ret’),
Former legal counsel of Israel’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
Former ambassador of Israel to Canada,
Director, Institute for Contemporary Affairs, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,
Director, International Action Division, The Legal Forum for Israel
When Netanyahu made his statement about Iran and the very bad deal that was about to happen, he also addressed the issue of negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs:
He will never, he said, compromise on the security and national interests of Israel, no matter how much international pressure is brought to bear. This was a direct response to Kerry’s horrific statement about incitement, etc. if Israel did not do more for “peace.”
Wendy Sherman, an Undersecretary of State, was just here in Israel with a small delegation and has now left without achieving her goal of “reaching an understanding with Israel on Iran.”
Well, of course she wouldn’t be successful. Those days are gone. But we see that the US is trying to put a good face on matters.
One American official said the disagreement between the US and Israel was “merely tactical,” as both had the same goal of preventing Iran from going nuclear: “we absolutely agree on the objective.”
But that line doesn’t work any longer.
At one point, Kerry suggested that Netanyahu was off base because he didn’t even know the details of the proposed deal with Iran, to which Netanyahu responded that he is kept very well informed and most certainly did.
Kerry also says that criticism of the projected plan is premature, as what is being discussed is only a first stage, with a “reversible” relief in sanctions in place, to buy time for negotiations on a full deal to prevent Iran from going nuclear.
And so I want to most vigorously reiterate the fact that once this “interim” decrease in sanctions were put in place, it would be impossible to reverse this again. As I’m reading it, from one expert after another, the entire sanctions program would disintegrate, with corporations lining up to do business with Iran and the economic pressure on the Iranians substantially decreased.
A senior Israel official quoted today said: “There’s no doubt that if they sign now, Iran will turn into a threshold state and there won’t be any deal that could stop Iran from developing its nuclear plan.” (Emphasis added)
I think those here in Israel who say that Obama was willing to accept any deal with Iran in order to avoid having to attack have it right.
The handwriting was on the wall once we saw how Obama handled Syria. After preparing to hit Syria with a few cruse missiles as a response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Obama precipitously changed course and signed on to a Russian-initiated deal to remove weapons of mass destruction from Syria. It is a very flawed deal, with Syria most certainly hiding some weaponry, increased Russian influence in the area, and the built-in necessity for Assad to stay in power because he knows where the weapons are.
Now we have Syria redux — or would if not for Netanyahu and then France. What will happen in coming days remains to be seen.
What I’m learning is that – while Netanyahu certainly seems to have had an influence on France’s turn-around on the Iranian deal – there are multiple other factors that were likely in play:
Tsilla Hershco, a senior research associate at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, who specializes in France’s involvement in the Middle East conflict, points out that, “France has initiated strong sanctions against Iran. They define the Iranian nuclear program as the number one threat to world peace, so they themselves have an interest in this.” (Emphasis added)
Additionally, France – which, after the US, “has the highest number of diplomatic offices across the globe,” with the Middle East seen as “high priority” – is eager to play a larger role in world affairs. The French, watching the waning US involvement in international affairs, see an opportunity to wield greater influence.
Then there is the fact that Saudi Arabia, which is fiercely opposed to a nuclear Iran, is a major economic partner of France. The Saudis – the foremost buyers of French arms – recently signed a $1.34 billion defense contract with France, and are heavily invested in French agriculture.
With all of this, we can consider that France also has major defense cooperation and trade relations with Israel.
Actually, this whole incident regarding Iran seems to have warmed relations between Israel and France. This may be a silver lining — considering the grief that the EU brings us, improving our ties with a major EU nation can only serve us well.
French president Francois Hollande is due here for a visit next week.
Two weeks ago, he refused an invitation to speak to the Knesset plenum, raising the ire of Israeli leaders who felt they were being snubbed.
Yesterday, Hollande officially informed the office of the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, that he had decided he would address the plenum. Responded Edelstein:
“I am happy and proud that President Hollande has decided to speak to the people of Israel from the platform of the Knesset,” he said. “I believe the visit will be significant for both countries.”
I had written yesterday about Netanyahu’s options with regard to attacking Iran, and the difficulties that would be encountered if the P5 + 1 struck a deal with Iran, thus reducing Israel to the position of maverick warmonger. I had suggested that Netanyahu – while preferring the opportunity to act under other circumstances – would still do what he had to. I wrote that because of all I’ve learned about how important Netanyahu believes his mission is, to protect the people of Israel from Iranian attack.
Here you have an article in which several experts discuss this:
“’Practically speaking, [a deal] shuts the [Israeli military] option down,’ said Maj. Gen. (res) Giora Eiland, who served as head of the National Security Council under prime minister Ariel Sharon.
Credit: Flash 90
Maj. Gen. (res) Uzi Dayan, who was Eiland’s predecessor an national security advisor, thought that a deal, protested by Israel, would still allow some maneuverability: “The probability of the military option would be reduced, but not erased.”
Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90
And then we have Dore Gold, “a Netanyahu confidant, who traveled with him to New York and Washington in October,” Gold, who “stated that he did not wish to directly address the matter of military capabilities, nonetheless indicated that Israel would ultimately retain the right and ability to act. ‘Obviously, Israel is not signatory to any of these deals and the prime minister has said so,’…
“‘If Israel comes under threat from Iran after the deal, then certainly we will have to do what is necessary to protect ourselves.'” (Emphasis added)
Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90
I think it’s not a coincidence that the expert quoted here who remains most convinced Israel would act even after a deal was signed is also a Netanyahu confident. Understanding the prime minister’s thinking is key to assessing the situation.
And in closing, this:
“Don’t Say It Can’t Be Done,” by Israel Hayom editor-in-chief, Amos Regev (emphasis added).
There is only one way to avoid a nuclear Iran: to attack it • Any deal, bad or somewhat bad, won’t change that • The IDF has already proved it can do the impossible; it can also do the unthinkable…
Regev’s concluding paragraphs:
“If we are left with no choice, we will defend ourselves. True, it is much more convenient being an armchair strategist. It is also much simpler to take the easy way out by stating that ‘the mission is impossible,’ or by trying to accuse Israel’s leaders of pointing an ‘unloaded gun.’ The U.S. has awesome power that could be used for an air campaign. But it has not shown any willingness to tap its resources. The U.S.’s order of battle dwarfs that of Israel; but the quality of Israel’s forces matches or even exceeds that of Uncle Sam’s.
“The capabilities exist; they have been drilled. It is just a matter of willingness, determination, leadership and above all — a deep conviction that the butcher’s knife is at our throats. We cannot trust anyone but ourselves.”
It is worth noting – I do not consider this irrelevant — that Israel Hayom is a staunchly pro-Netanyahu publication.
By: Susan Knowles
I am saddened this Veterans Day as I think about the freedoms we are losing in this country because of the Administration that is currently in the White House. We are losing freedoms that our military veterans have valiantly fought and defended for more than two hundred years so that all in this country could remain free.
First, former U.S. Navy Seals (and others) were left to die in Benghazi as they courageously fought the enemy to their dying breaths, while this President and his Administration seemingly did nothing to protect them. The United States Military would never leave their own to die without at least trying to save them. How could this President? I can’t remember a time in U.S. history when any president allowed his warriors to be slaughtered without even an attempt to send in reinforcements.
Secondly, Obama further dishonored veterans during the recent government shutdown by putting up barricades to keep them out of their own war memorials; memorials which honor fallen soldiers. Obama appeared to intentionally single out the military to deny them what they have bravely earned while making sure to keep the military golf course open where he plays. What principled American President would ever do that?
Obama has also “honored” our current military veterans by dismissing high-ranking officers at an alarming rate. While some dismissals may have merit, others are suspiciously reprehensible. To be fair, other U.S. Presidents have fired some military personnel during their time in office. However, I have not been able to find a president who has dismissed as many military personnel and as many high-ranking military officers. It has been suggested that the firings may be Obama’s attempt at “Thinning the Military Herd” for less than noble purposes.
Finally, it was recently rumored that Obama was ordering the U.S. Navy to remove the Navy Jack from their uniforms. The Navy Jack insignia is a rattlesnake with the words “don’t tread on me” under it. The wearing of the Navy Jack hales from a long history of tradition in the U.S. Navy beginning when Colonel Gadsden presented them with the Gadsden flag or the “don’t tread on me flag” before they went into battle with the U.S. Marine Corps against the British. It was rumored recently that Obama was trying to separate the U.S. Navy from “radical” groups like the Tea Party who fly the “don’t tread of me” flag. The Navy Times, however, refuted that Obama ordered the removal of the Navy Jack. One has to wonder if the rumor was indeed false or if Obama wasn’t prepared for the amount of fallout that occurred once the general public became aware of the “rumored order.”
What has happened to the presidents of the past who respected the military veterans and sung their praises at every opportunity they could get?
President Abraham Lincoln once said of the veterans that, “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”
President John F. Kennedy, expressing his appreciation, said of our veterans that, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
And finally, President Ronald Reagan may have said it best, when he said during a Veterans Day ceremony in 1988, that “We remember those who were called upon to give all a person can give, and we remember those who were prepared to make that sacrifice if it were demanded of them in the line of duty, though it never was. Most of all, we remember the devotion and gallantry with which all of them ennobled their nation as they became champions of a noble cause.”
He even left a personal note at the Vietnam War Memorial after indicating that he and Nancy wanted to leave the note at the wall. The note, which expressed their love for veterans, said, “Our young friends — yes, young friends, for in our hearts you will always be young, full of the love that is youth, love of life, love of joy, love of country — you fought for your country and for its safety and for the freedom of others with strength and courage. We love you for it. We honor you. And we have faith that, as He does all His sacred children, the Lord will bless you and keep you, the Lord will make His face to shine upon you and give you peace, now and forever more.”
In one of Barack Obama’s past Veterans Day speeches he said, “It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America.”
I would have to agree with Obama. It is about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about honoring them, not disrespecting them. It is about praising them for their service, not leaving them to die. It is about rewarding service in the military, not firing them for personal goals.
It is about serving them as well as they’ve served the United States, Mr. President. That begins with knowing who they are, the history behind why they have served this country, and their allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and one nation under God. President Ronald Reagan knew that!
Happy Veterans Day all men and women who are serving in the U.S. Military, have served in the military, and those that have died while serving our country! We as citizens of this sovereign nation proudly salute you and honor you for your service. May God bless you!
Susan Knowles is an author, psychotherapist and former practicing attorney. Her latest book, a political fiction, is entitled, “Freedom’s Fight: A Call to Remember” available on Amazon.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com, where this article may also be seen.
Hat Tip: BB
By: Nelson Abdullah
Conscience of a Conservative
GOCE came and went over the weekend. Everyone in the news was talking about the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer. Launched in March 2009 by the European Space Agency, GOCE performed flawlessly during its lifetime. Placed in orbit two months after the American inauguration of our first and hopefully last Muslim raised, Communist mentored, Marxist/Socialist leader Barack Hussein Obama, GOCE, the European Space Agency gravity measuring satellite, disintegrated and burned up in the atmosphere yesterday after running out of fuel. Meanwhile, the seemingly flameproof reputation of Dear Leader has been protected from burnout by an indestructible heat shield made up of leftist reporters and news media, in spite of the disastrous disintegration of ObamaCare. Once again, everyone was talking about it, but no one made the connection.
It was also reported over the weekend that our Dear Leader Barry Soetoro a.k.a. Barack Hussein Obama, messianic deity of the Democratic Socialists of America, managed to play his 150th round of golf since assuming residence in The White House. One wonders how he manages to find the time to muck up the country in between his frequent and elaborate globe traveling vacations. He must have a very capable staff running the government when he is away from his desk.
The European Space Agency reported that the GOCE satellite disintegrated in the high atmosphere and no damage to property has been reported and no one on the ground was hurt. Back at home, the fallout from the imploded ObamaCare fiasco has already caused over 50-million casualties with more to come and uncountable financial losses in the healthcare industry and overall job market as businesses across the country seek sanctuary in the loop holes in the law. But Dear Leader brushed off the disastrous statistics by reminding everyone it was their own fault that their health insurance was cancelled for not reading the disclaimers printed in small type at the bottom of the commercials he made. Like a magician performing his magic act we were all distracted by trying to read his lips instead of watching his hands. Hopefully, we should do better next time.
Hat Tip: BB
All of us at NoisyRoom.net want to thank each every person who has served or is serving — you mean the world to us and we can never thank you enough! Veterans are the ultimate American heroes; you risk your very lives to keep us free and safe. Thank you for your service and for all you do.
The Eagle’s Watch
By: J. R. Cook of New Mexico
In a quiet river valley,
Lies a green and peaceful place,
Where warriors come to rest,
Having honorably met their fates.
No more do they stand the watch
Their worthy service done,
They’ve passed their duties on
To other Fathers’ sons.
Yet flying high above them,
On silent wings spread wide,
Soars freedom’s embodiment
And a country’s sign of pride.
The mighty Eagle watches o’er all
And guards their well-earned rests.
For he like they, knows the feel
Of Freedom in his chest.
And though he does his best to guard
The fallen warriors’ sleep.
Still at times he grows so weary
And must rest his wings a-beat.
So slowly he glides his way
To where the fallen rest,
And there he bides his time a bit
Among the honored Vets.
And though he knows no words
Of the valiant warriors’ speech,
Still they communicate
In a way that words can’t reach.
Having communed with those who lie
Among the rows of stone,
The Eagle takes to flight again
And resumes his post alone.
In endless soaring circles,
He surely makes his rounds,
Guarding the fallen heroes
Who make this hallowed ground.
Mansions of the Lord
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Cross-Posted at Right Wing News
Photo: MARTIAL TREZZINI / POOL
It would seem the French have scuttled the Iran deal — briefly, much to John Kerry’s and Barack Obama’s chagrin. Kerry is woefully and angrily stating that the Iran nuclear deal has collapsed and Iran has stomped off into the Islamic weeds. Wahhh! But never fear — Progressive Kerry is here to wreck the day! He’ll be back finishing what he started on November 20th if all goes according to his evil agenda. But damn those moral Conservatives protecting Israel – damn them, he says:
Iran failed to sign up to an agreement which would have settled the long standing dispute over its nuclear programme, John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, has said.
Mr Kerry said he remained optimistic that a deal could be reached through the Geneva talks with Iran despite the last-minute collapse of a deal at the weekend. Israel and hawks in the US Congress have spoken out against a short-term agreement that would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium at low levels which could be used in power stations but not as part of a nuclear arms programme.
“What we are doing will protect Israel more effectively,” Mr Kerry said during a visit to the United Arab Emirates.
According to Mr Kerry the P5+1 group, representing the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, were united when the proposed deal was presented to the Iranian negotiating team on Saturday.
“But Iran couldn’t take it, at that particular moment they weren’t able to accept,” Mr Kerry said.
Curses, foiled again! But, he’s not done trying to tie Israel to the Iranian nuclear tracks just yet:
“Our hope is that in the next months we can find an agreement that meets everyone’s standards.”
According to officials in the Obama administration, Washington had been prepared to relax economic sanctions and free some of the Iran’s assets if Teheran was prepared to freeze its nuclear programme for six months.
The Mullahs are busy little terrorist bees and with Obama’s help, they have come up with a road map to hell:
Meanwhile Iran was taking other steps to show its willingness to compromise. An Iranian news agency reported that the country and International Atomic Energy Agency had agreed a “roadmap for co-operation’’.
The agreement with the UN nuclear watchdog was announced at a joint press conference in Tehran.
However the remarks by Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s nuclear head, appeared to be in stark contrast to those made by Mr Kerry.
“The joint statement that was signed today details a roadmap for cooperation that determines mutual steps to resolve remaining issues,” he said.
Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, described the deal as an important step” but added “much more must be done”.
So, the American government keeps on spouting lies that they will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons, while doing everything but helping with the launch codes against Israel. America seems to have lost her moral compass and has grown silent and passive in the face of stopping her Marxist dictator. What ever happened to ‘never again?’ Israel will not submissively stand by and quietly wait to be obliterated by Iran. But it would appear that America will as a road map for cooperation to destroy Israel moves forward.
AFP Photo/Jason Reed
Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: What is your reaction to the news of the pending deal with Iran?
Bookworm Room: I am disgusted, but not surprised. Obama made it clear from his first day in office that he wanted to pander to Iran and destroy Israel. Now that he doesn’t have to worry about reelection anymore, he’s got the flexibility he wanted and needed to strike this disgraceful bargain.
Even if one assumes that Obama genuinely believes that he’s got a deal with Iran (rather than assuming that Obama enjoys being in bed with genocidal maniacs), that “benefit of the doubt” reveals him to be insanely stupid and lacking in any self-awareness. By secretly lifting sanctions months ago, he told the Iranians that they could do anything to him and get anything from him. He’s so convinced of his own wonderfulness that they can bribe him simply by feeding his ego.
All around, as Netanyahu said, this is “a very, very bad deal.” Israel’s only hope is… Israel. I pray daily that she’s up to the task of dealing with whatever comes her way. I have great faith in Israel, though, and in Netanayu too, so that helps.
Liberty’s Spirit: I have always said that Obama wanted Iran to develop a bomb. The Left has always seen Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons as the threat to Middle East peace. The Left sees a threatened Israel as a nation forced to do as the USA and the EU want. A fait accompli, as it were, that a now vulnerable Israel has to accede to the Left’s demands to pull back from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan, or the world will let a nuclear armed Islamist nation commit genocide. As if a weakened Israel, both militarily and territorially, wouldn’t signal the same genocidal event on the part of the Arab and Moslem world.
It is also quite interesting to note, that at no time does the Obama administration or the EU hold the Palestinian Leadership and the Arab/Moslem world to any level of decency and requirements for peace. The raging meltdown of the Arab states surrounding Israel, the human rights violations in the Arab world, the misogyny, Jew-hatred and virulent anti-freedom agenda in these Arab nations also seems to play no part of the equation in how to approach the peace process. Apparently the only nation that is causing trouble in the Middle East is Israel because she refuses to comply with the demands of these tyrannical, dictatorial, and antisemitic Arab leaders to commit suicide.
The question that needs to be asked is whether the USA administration and the EU are so inept in their understanding about how the Middle East works, that they truly appear to not comprehend what constitutes honor, power and strength in that part of the world. Or on the other hand, are these “world leaders” truly so antisemitic that their goal is the murder of another 6 million Jews. Sadly, it appears perhaps to be a bit of both. As the renowned author, Howard Jacobson recently lamented, “When will the Jews be forgiven for the Holocaust?”
Obama’s betrayal of Israel is stunning and completely predictable. It’s right on schedule along with the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. I don’t know how anyone could be surprised by this. Whispers are on the wind that a nuclear deal is within reach between the US and Iran, but the US has already been quietly lifting financial sanctions, enabling the terrorist Islamic state. While Obama and his Muslim acolytes have been busy emboldening, financing and arming Iran to destroy tiny Israel, he has distracted America with a myriad of emergencies and shiny objects all of which spell death to Israel and eventually death to America. The infidels have been duped and Iran is now simulating missile attacks on Israel, getting ready for the big show to come.
Obama and the Progressives screamed to high heaven over cross-hairs being used on targets in connection to guns and Sarah Palin — Iran attacking Israel, not so much. The Obama Administration began softening sanctions on Iran right after the election of Iran’s new president in June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the phone chats between the two power brokers in September. That was five months ago and long before that, all of this was already a foregone conclusion. Obama never intended to stop Iran or protect Israel. Quite the opposite. We all saw it coming and no one did a thing to stop it. Shame on all of us. All of the feigned pressure on Iran’s banks, the squeezing of their coffers has been for show. Like everything else to do with Obama, it is a lie… a show for the masses and merely gauze covering his true intentions. Obama wants a Caliphate; he wants a worldwide Islamic supremacy and he kneels before Islam.
Netanyahu and Israel are stating that the US negotiating with Iran is a mistake of historic and epic proportions. I would call it apocalyptic. While Kerry clownishly plays at diplomacy, he just can’t hide his evil, smirkish glee at sticking it to the Little Satan. Selfish, globalist, wealthy elitist that he is, Kerry believes he is above the fray. But just like Obama and the rest, when they have served their purpose, they will most likely meet their end as all despotic tyrants do — violently. If not, they will be protected while others die which they are fine with and their fate will be determined by God who, I wager, will have a thing or two to say to them.
In the meantime, Israel will not go as a lamb to the nuclear slaughter and will not be bound with deals with the devil.
The US is on the wrong side. We have gone to bed with evil and are actively assisting it. This will not end well for America. It is becoming more and more obvious that we have learned nothing from history and we have turned our back on God. If so, He will surely turn His back on us for betraying His people. America has allowed Islamists and Marxists to infiltrate her government and positions of power. We have willingly submitted to Progressive diktats and humbled ourselves before a dictator, eschewing our Founding Principles and our Constitution in the name of security and equality. What does one call self-induced slavery and national suicide? When does the freest nation the earth has ever known, slip over the edge into totalitarian darkness and did anyone even notice?
Israel’s mistake was even bothering to listen to Obama and his cohorts. They should have known better. But they wanted to show the world that they were better than the tyrants; that they made every effort to avoid war and bloodshed. For their attempts, they are being rewarded with lies, deception and betrayal. They may be rewarded with war and death. In the end, God walks with Israel and I’ve got to tell her enemies, I wouldn’t want to be you guys. No way. ‘Vengeance is mine,’ sayeth the Lord.
Netanyahu’s protestations fall completely on deaf ears and blind bureaucrats. While Netanyahu slams Obama and Kerry on their groveling before the Mullahs, Israel girds her loins for war. She will stand alone. Obama’s betrayal of Israel and arming of Iran is almost complete.
Simply Jews: Foreboding mixed with frustration.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: News that the nuclear Iran P5 plus 1 hook up are close to a deal is mindnumbingly scary. And totally uncool. After all, Iran has such a weak hand and giving up stuff to hope for the best seems – well, retarded – in the classical sense no less – of limited intellectual and emotional development.
And, unless the West totally caves in and gives Iran everything she wants – it’s a total bust.
So far – believe it or don’t – France is the hardliner here against cutting any deals.
See, under 44′s trip – Great Satan semi sorta stopped her eons long goal of Regime Changing the illeget Preacher Command in Persia to one of containment via the pocketbook.
The administration and Congress are gambling that sanctions will be enough to overcome the regime’s chronic dishonesty. Economic pain will be so intense, the theory holds, that eventually Persia will play by Western rules.
In other words, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Revolutionary Guards and Rouhani — who had a not-insignificant role in developing Iran’s nuclear program in the 1990s — would be willing to admit that “evil incarnate” (Khamenei’s update to “Great Satan”), against which Iran’s very identity has been built, has defeated their nuclear aspirations.
Every country has an economic breaking point. Tho achieving that moment in the Islamic Republic will be extraordinarily difficult because such compromise is tantamount to spiritual suicide.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, remain firmly in control of the country and have given no indication they are prepared to compromise on Iran’s illicit nuclear program.
The IRGC is Iran’s political, military and economic powerhouse. It sponsors and commits terrorism in its ongoing efforts to export the Islamic Revolution. It arrests, imprisons, tortures and executes domestic dissidents to protect the regime at home. The Guards also stand to benefit most from the nuclear program, which would make Iran a dominant regional power overnight.
This is why its leaders have been adamant that, contrary to Rouhani’s public assertions, there is no room for a nuclear compromise.
Iranian leaders probably are entering these negotiations for one reason: to test 44′s mettle.
They want to see whether Iran can have the bomb and sanctions relief.
The strategy for doing so isn’t complicated. The regime could suspend work at the Arak heavy-water facility, the regime’s plutonium path to a bomb, and stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, the big step in processing it to weapons-grade.
Yet sans a verifiable end to centrifuge production, the regime could continue to manufacture centrifuges, shrinking the time required to convert unprocessed uranium to bomb-grade stock. With enough advanced centrifuges, a 20 percent stockpile becomes operationally much less relevant given the increased speed of processing.
The only real compromise Khamenei would be making here is with the nuclear calendar. More time would be needed to develop a rapid, undetectable “breakout” capacity, which is estimated will happen by mid-2014. If the regime could trade heavy-water processing and uranium enriched to 20 percent in return for weakening of the interbank transfer sanctions, regaining the right to trade in gold or loosened restrictions on using euros, then it could easily gain $50 billion — a big sum for a regime that has only $20 billion in fully accessible hard currency.
Iran still has about $50 billion of locked-up cash that can be used for barter trade in a handful of countries. Given Iran’s currency reserves, even without a lessening of economic pressure, nuclear physics is still outpacing sanctions and diplomacy.
Supreme Leader can’t allow the West to stop centrifuge manufacturing. He cannot allow Great Satan to know where all of the centrifuges are being built or how the regime has avoided sanctions on “dual-use” imports. Such knowledge could massively delay or even end the weapons program, either through a preemptive strike or better sanctions enforcement.
Nor can Iran’s supreme leader implement any additional protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty that would allow U.N. inspectors to track centrifuge plants, search military bases (where the regime probably hides its most sensitive nuclear-weapons research) or debrief all of Iran’s nuclear scientists.
Until Iran has agreed to comply with its most basic international obligations — related to nuclear, terrorism, and human rights issues — the West and especially 44 must unite in applying unrelenting pressure on the regime.
Otherwise, there is little chance of success in the impending negotiations.
The Right Planet: Feels like a betrayal to me. For an administration that seems so willing to cede American sovereignty over to the UN, they seem more than willing to ignore the fact that the UN Security Council’s has called for Iran to quit enriching uranium for the past seven years. And now the Obama Administration is going to unfreeze billions in Iranian assets? Why? Why would the administration reward Iran now? Allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon–and ignoring all the “death to America,” “wipe Israel off the map, and “here come da Mahdi” rhetoric–is beyond foolish; it’s dangerous. It’s utter insanity to stand idly by allow a nuclear arms race to spiral out of control in the Middle East. I completely understand Benjamin Netanyahu’s outrage at the machinations of the Obama Administration in regard to Iran’s nuclear aspirations. Perhaps the administration should spend less time spying on our allies and putting more effort pressure on “Preacher Command” in Tehran. But we’re doing just the opposite. No good will come from it. How can it?
The Glittering Eye: I’ve put most of my thoughts on this subject here. In summary, IMO our foreign policy has been seriously misguided, especially WRT the Middle East, for at least the last 30 years and after so many missteps there aren’t a lot of good alternatives left. I further think that a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is not in our interests and we should be prepared to go to fairly extreme lengths to prevent one. Nuclear weapons would not merely be regime insurance for the mullahs, as some have suggested. I strongly suspect they would use them to cement what they believe is their rightful role not only as the Middle East’s regional superpower but as a viable alternative to the KSA as the leading voice of Islam.
All of that having been said, it’s darned hard to comment intelligently on an agreement whose contours aren’t really known as yet. I’m just glad that the French are playing Bad Cop this time around. It would be nice to think it was a role mutually agreed-upon for them, but I suspect they’re just enjoying throwing a monkey wrench into a White House production.
He is the Communications Policy Director for Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler.
Scholes went to high school in Decatur, Georgia and was involved in the anti-Vietnam movement. The Socialist Workers Party and the Young Socialists Alliance were organizing primarily around Emory University. As a high school student, Scholes went to Socialist Workers Party events and subscribed to The Militant, the Socialist Workers Party newspaper. He started reading Trotskyist takes on the Vietnam War and economics in his last year in high school, 1971.
When the Portland chapter of the New American Movement merged with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee to form Democratic Socialists of America, in 1982, a majority of its members remained active in the new organization and, through it, successfully engaged in regional and national politics.
Five Oregonians — Rhys Scholes, Marcia Barrentine, Nancy Becker, Scott Bailey and Beverly Stein were central to the chapter’s life throughout its existence. They also worked together beyond the life of the organization.
According to Scholes, Portland NAM was very influenced by Maoist thought:
Part of it was that one Mao Tse-tung essay on theory and practice. I think we were really influenced by Maoist thought on theory and practice.
It worked to NAM’s advantage that the word socialist wasn’t in their name. According to Scholes:
It was a weird thing, the fact that “socialist” wasn’t in the name, but not necessarily in a bad way. I remember in 1980, I was representing Portland NAM on the Citizen Labor Energy Coalition to stop big oil, which we were real enthusiastic about. I was sitting at a table with guys from the Carpenters’ Union and the Machinists’ Union, and we’re talking about the coalition, and the New American Movement is right in there and they were really glad to have us.
But the Democratic Socialists Organizing Committee was also there, and the labor folks were a little concerned that those people were too radical. I knew that they [DSOC] were a lot less radical than NAM, but the funny thing is that we were more popular because we didn’t have the word “socialism” in our name. (all laugh) I believe that that actually helped us a lot in our organizing. People got to know us not through a stereotype, but as “the New American Movement,” which really had a generic ring to it.
According to Scholes, Portland NAM helped to change the culture of their host city:
In a lot of ways, we were winning. There was a liberal trend in Portland that was triumphing over the previous kind of machine politics. We weren’t really supportive of that, but it created a room for us to be further out, and created our sense of possibility. We saw things changing. We believed that if this much is possible, we can just push it forward. And we definitely saw a lot of the old orthodoxy falling away.
Building into about 1980, we had a collective momentum, and the merger prolonged it because it created a critical mass of two groups. Or in the case of the Red Rose School, the work totally flowed into the project, and the project kept going for a long time. But I think if you trace the activists, you’d find a dispersal, largely to other kinds of progressive causes and to other sorts of things.
By 2001, Rhys Scholes was a senior policy analyst for Multnomah Interim County Chair Bill Farver.
In 2004, Rhys Scholes was executive director of Citizens for Oregon’s Future.
Rhys Scholes told a 2008 interviewer:
I think about it a lot, and I hold lots of those values. And I would probably say that I’m still a socialist. But I think that there’s a lot that’s going on in politics today that’s socialistic. The discussion on national healthcare is now once again moving in a more socialistic direction. The movement for single payer healthcare is growing again.