03/13/15
Israel

Revisiting Last Summer’s Conflict Between Israel and Hamas

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The conclusions of a high-level group of military men and legal scholars examining the details of last year’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas run counter to many of the media assertions made at the time. The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) report’s authors concluded at a recent event I attended that Hamas effectively used an “information campaign” during the Gaza War to convince the public that it was the victim, not the aggressor, causing Israel to adopt rules of engagement that may continue to bind the hands of policymakers for future wars.

“Hamas thinks they won this thing, and a lot of people in the world think Israel lost this thing, and a lot of people in the world think the Israelis were the aggressors and Hamas was the aggressed upon—and they had the narrative,” said Retired General Charles Wald, former Deputy Commander of United States European Command.

To win a military battle is to save lives by reestablishing peace. But the peace won by the Israelis is unstable if the aggressors continue to believe that their attacks secured them a public relations victory.

The media bear some responsibility for this outcome. As I pointed out last July, during the conflict, “The Washington Post and CNN have been reporting on the Palestinian death toll in a causal vacuum.”

“What should be reported is that the deaths are the responsibility of Hamas, which is committing the double war crime of targeting civilians with their missiles, and using their women and children as human shields,” I wrote. Similarly, these experts found, after examining primary source material and meeting with “senior Israeli, Palestinian and United Nations (U.N.) officials,” the central issue should not have been the presence of civilian casualties, but who was responsible for these deaths. Israel went to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties and was very casualty aware, South Texas College of Law Professor Geoffrey Corn argued.

Professor Corn said he thought the report “does a wonderful job of highlighting” the difficulties of confronting an enemy who “views your compliance with the law or your commitment to comply with the law, as a tactical and strategic enabler for its own objectives.”

When examined in the context of responsibility, it is more than clear who bore the blame for the disproportionate number of casualties on the Palestinian side. The responsibility lies with Hamas, which used civilians as human shields, and was attempting to kill Israeli civilians.

The media were made aware of this evidence during the Gaza War, but ignored it because such conclusions didn’t fit their own preconceived narrative about this conflict.

These experts conclude that Hamas adeptly manipulated the international community as part of an information campaign to exert pressure on the Israelis for attacking Hamas at all, even if it originated as self-defense. “And it was interesting to me that it was almost as if the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] was fighting a combat campaign with a supporting information effort, whereas, for Hamas, they were fighting an information campaign that was enabled by military operations,” said Retired U.S. Army Major General Michael Jones, Former Chief of Staff at U.S. Central Command.

He suggested that Hamas adeptly used social media to get its message out while sending different messages to Western and Middle Eastern audiences. But it was also the mainstream media that were taken in by these claims, spreading Hamas’ assertions far and wide.

For example, as I previously noted, the civilian casualty numbers fed to the media came from the Gaza Health Ministry, historically run by Hamas, or the United Nations, which was partially relying on this ministry’s numbers. In other words, the media allowed one side of the conflict to dominate its headlines by controlling and feeding them data about the casualties.

At the event I raised the question of why the media weren’t giving the same treatment to the war against ISIS, in terms of focusing on civilian casualties, and these experts made some revealing conclusions.

Jones noted that you have to be in Iraq to see the collateral damage against ISIS, and the “history of western journalists with ISIS is not good.” In other words, since the media have experienced their own casualties they may be more hesitant to champion this particular set of aggressors.

Jones found that the Israeli military seemed to have the attitude “almost as if they’d given up on the information domain, feeling having been treated unfairly for so long it was almost an attitude of why bother, we know that people have written this story before they’ve gotten the facts, and that kind of thing.” But, he concluded, you still have to fight.

There are reliable reports that very little reconstruction is taking place in Gaza, largely because of a deadlock between Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls Gaza. Hamas is rebuilding its tunnels, and rockets, apparently in preparation to go to war with Israel again. In the meantime, the false media narrative continues in The New York Times this week through a column by Nicholas Kristof, who puts most of the blame for the Gazan’s plight on Israel. Not completely, but he leaves little doubt how he feels about it. But CAMERA, the pro-Israel media watchdog, takes Kristof to task for the many facts that he ignores, including significant efforts Israel has made to help alleviate the suffering in Gaza.

Given the status of our corrupt, biased media on this issue, it may be necessary for Israel to engage more aggressively in the information campaign by taking its message directly to the people and largely circumvent the mainstream media.

03/13/15
Hillary Clinton Doll

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/13/15

The Watcher’s Council


From the Genius of The Right Planet

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

One of the critical issues that we have to confront is illegal immigration, because this is a multi-headed Hydra that affects our economy, our health care, our education systems, our national security and also our local criminality. – Allen West

Illegal immigrants are to immigration what shoplifters are to shopping. – Jerry Agar

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. – President Theodore Roosevelt

A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation. – President Ronald Reagan

https://askmarion.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/right2bplanet.jpg?w=500

This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’sA Strong Warning from Trevor Loudon on Illegal Amnesty, is an in-depth look at amnesty for illegal aliens, the radical roots of many of its activists and how it is being used as a tool to subvert the basic fabric of the country. Here’s a slice:

For the past three years, Trevor Loudon, author of the book “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within,” has been trying to warn Americans about the Marxist takeover of the Democratic Party. If you listen to the video above, you can hear Trevor is losing his voice from all the rallies he’s been attending lately. He is trying, with every fiber in his being, to warn Americans of the dire consequences of ignoring the ominous slide toward pure socialism occurring now in the American body politic.

A little while back I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down and talking to Trevor Loudon at length when he visited Indianapolis. Many of the points he is making in his presentation to the Leadership Institute were the same ones he made during his visit to Indy.

I want to focus on some key points regarding illegal immigration Trevor made in his presentation.

Before 1995, the AFL-CIO labor union was lead by alleged anti-communists like Lane Kirkland and George Meany. But, in 1995, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Gramcsiist communists kicked out Lane Kirkland, replacing him with DSA member John Sweeney. Sweeney is currently President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO. He was president of the organization for four terms, from 1995 to 2009. Richard L. Trumka is the current AFL-CIO President.

The radical leftists took over every major labor union in the country, and purged the Democratic Party of all the moderates, dixiecrats, centrists and bluedog democrats—with Sen. Joe Lieberman being the last to go.

Today, there is not a single policy embraced by the Democratic Party that can be distinguished from the platform of the Communist Party USA or the Democratic Socialists of America. This is full-on Marxism-Leninism, ladies and gentlemen. I have been warning about this for years—Trevor, even longer. Now we have a situation where some twenty-thousand Marxists own the unions, and the unions own the Democratic Party. It was Vladimir Lenin who once wrote that the labor unions are “the transmission belts from the Communist Party to the masses.”

Trevor mentioned some key individuals worth noting in his presentation that have been major driving forces behind the “immigration reform” movement (i.e. amnesty) in the United States.

The first organized effort to bring Latinos into the Democratic Party started with hardcore communist Bert Corona in the 1950’s. It was Corona who set up the Viva Kennedy clubs that, for the first time, brought large numbers of Mexican-Americans into a Presidential campaign.

The former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa—a hardcore Marxist, who cut sugar cane in Cuba for the Castro brothers—turned L.A. into a sanctuary city, and forbade the LAPD from enforcing immigration. The illegals flooded into California by the hundreds of thousands.

Communist Party supporter, and former head of the California senate, Gil Cedillo, pushed through the DREAM Act in California about three years ago, giving so-called “rights” to the children of illegal immigrants—euphemistically called “undocumented workers.”

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with The Enemy Of My Enemy submitted by The Noisy Room. This is Steyn’s take on Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress… and as usual with Steyn, he gets to the heart of the matter with his customary wit and brilliance. Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Rhymes With Right was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

03/13/15
The Founding Fathers

The Founders Didn’t Fail—We Are Failing The Founders

By: Benjamin Weingarten
The Federalist

Conservatives are understandably depressed in the wake of Speaker Boehner and the Republican-controlled Congress’ predictable caving on executive amnesty.

Let me stop right there by emphasizing that I only said conservatives. Were our republic healthy, every single American would be depressed that President Obama’s amnesty—which on dozens of occasions he said he did not have the authority to enforce—will continue apace to the benefit of lawbreakers at the expense of American citizens.

Americans would be further demoralized at the notion that our president politicized the sovereignty of our nation represented by failing to protect its borders, all in a transparent attempt to win a permanent Democratic majority—which the shortsighted Republican establishment seem perfectly fine with, since they want immigration and the idea of “those racist Republicans” to become non-issues.

Some are lamenting the cowardice of our representatives, and to that I quote a former NFL Coach: “They are who we thought they were!

I have even seen one article arguing that the Constitution itself has failed. But the Constitution and our Founders did not fail. Human nature has not changed between 1787 and 2015. There were undoubtedly plenty of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century booze-swilling, cigar-smoking iterations of John Boehner lumbering around Capitol Hill.

What has changed is the size and scope of government, the number and composition of people who are voting, and the public’s general indifference to and acceptance of the greed, graft, lying, and all matter of corruption that have become commonplace in public life. There is also a heck of a lot more bread and circuses to keep us fat, happy, and distracted from what our supposed leaders are doing.

Government Is Too Big to Control

Entitlement reform is not going to capture the imagination of the American people like a llama chase or the color of a dress. And it bears noting that many of the Founders themselves were involved in sordid activities, and even willing to accept a king.

But that king’s powers would have looked downright puny compared to those President Obama wields today; and what corrupt politicians did way back when feels less offensive than the systemic abuse and political malpractice on display now, in part because the nation our founders—exceptional citizen legislators—entrusted us with was substantially smaller and less intrusive.

Today, when you have hundreds of agencies and millions of pages of laws, when the federal government is among the largest employers in the world, hyper-regulating almost every aspect of our society, creating arcane and byzantine rules designed to reward one set of constituents or another over and above the American people, not to mention the rule makers, rule interpreters and compliance officers themselves—this naturally creates not only an unwieldy and unaccountable federal government, but one that will invite and reward people willing to pull the kinds of shenanigans we see today.

To the percentage of the public that is actually informed as to what is going on in government, there are simply too many egregious things occurring on a daily basis, not to mention again the Siren song of bread and circuses, for anyone to keep track of it all or know where to focus one’s energies and pitchforks.

The Failure Is Our Fault

What defines an informed voter itself is of course open to interpretation, given what the majority of people are taught in our hallowed Democrat-controlled community organizing institutions, also known as schools; and given that one can read The New York Times, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Vox, and watch “The Daily Show” each day to qualify as informed by today’s standards, without knowing anything about what the other half of the country thinks and believes.

On amnesty specifically, as a lame-duck president without control of either house of Congress, Barack Obama is completely unchained, simply running roughshod over our laws. That a supposed constitutional scholar is rendering the system of checks and balances and separation of powers meaningless; that the executive branch is usurping the legislative branch, while congressmen say one thing and stand by idly doing another, is not a reflection that the Constitution or founders failed.

Rather, these travesties reflect that the American people are failing the founders.

We elected Barack Obama twice, in spite of his words, actions, and associations, which have unsurprisingly led to these disastrous six-plus years. The presidents who preceded him were not much better, though no one would have posed the question of them as Mark Steyn recently dared: “If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?”

We elected the congressmen who with rare exceptions (see Lee, Sen. Mike) continue to stand by while Rome burns, and who are derelict in their duty to defend and protect the Constitution, including against its brazen violator who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Welfare Versus Defense: Who Wins?

We have failed to persuasively enough make the case that we cannot thrive as a nation just by slowing government’s rate of growth and hiring smarter technocrats, but must literally be slashing the federal budget by 50 percent, abolishing agencies en masse, allowing Americans to opt out of the welfare state (including programs which can only pay my generation back in devalued dollars like Social Security), ensuring that we have not small deficits but massive surpluses to pay down our debt so the interest alone does not consume all the money we pay to the feds each year, and demanding a massive devolution of power back to the states and the people where it rightfully belongs.

And if our fellow Americans choose to live in socialist basket-case states, they are free to do so without reaching into your and my pockets at the point of a gun.

At root and underlying all of these issues, we have allowed the Left to control the media, academia, and the rest of America’s key cultural institutions, such that the vast majority of our fellow citizens are reflexively progressive and cannot even conceive of the types of changes I just mentioned. This is how the radical, morally and economically bankrupting leftist policies can be considered mainstream, while freedom can be considered fascistic.

This inherent progressivism narrowly underlies Republican acquiescence to the growing leviathan, and dictates the type of leaders that America broadly finds palatable, which has led us to this perilous place in our history in which all of our worst enemies are ascendant, while we are fast on the road to bankruptcy and serfdom, with our only choice between welfare and defense.

When entitlements and our armed forces are sitting side by side on the chopping block, which do you think a war-weary, economically pummeled American public is going to choose?

We Need a New Generation of Savvy Statesmen

No, the Constitution hasn’t failed, and our founders haven’t failed. We the people have failed during the hundred-year progressive march. So now we are burdened with the doubly difficult task of trying to win the long game of culture and the short game of politics.

I have much more faith in the latter over the former—that over time the chances are greater that we develop the strategy and tactics to beat an establishment incumbent class than win America’s cherished cultural institutions, which form our national soul.

Our national soul determines whether the Constitution is a piece of parchment or enshrines principles like equal rights for all and special privileges for none, that law resides above man, that men are not angels and that we must compel government’s non-angels to control themselves, and that the most important thing in America is protecting the rights of the minority, the most important of which is the individual.

And the inspiration for our national soul should reside not in our Constitution but in the Declaration of Independence that breathes life into it, a majestic document that we have ignored for far too long.

Don’t Blame Boehner—Blame Us

In any event, we the people have all the leverage in the world. The Boehners and Mitch McConnells will listen to us when the political cost of siding with the Chamber of Commerce is so great that their political lives depend on it.

Using the power of the purse as a lever to control the president, or threatening let alone bringing forth articles of impeachment are political remedies, and they are not being used not only because the Republican establishment that makes up the majority of the majority in Congress are risk-averse and often spineless, but because the majority of the American people are not demanding it.

That impeachment brings howls of racism alone shows a failure of our culture to separate the original sin of slavery from the demerits of the job done by this president, to separate identity politics from the individual.

Until and unless we devote all of our efforts to winning the long and short games with a constant, strategic, relentless full-court press, we are going to see amnesties ad nauseum, Obamacare not only not abolished but metastasizing, the federal budget and debt continue skyrocketing, comparatively small things like the Export-Import Bank chugging along and, yes, the welfare state expanding and our defenses shrinking while Islamic supremacists, Russia, China, and their proxies grow ever-bolder and more confidently bellicose.

We the people have much work to do if we want to keep any semblance of our republic, as Benjamin Franklin challenged us to do. And we hold the power in our hands.

But do we have the will and capability to exert it?

Ben Weingarten (@bhweingarten) is publishing manager and editor of TheBlaze Books. Ben is a graduate of Columbia University, where he majored in economics-political science and contributed to outlets including the Breitbart sites and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

03/13/15
CEC

CEC Calls on Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide

By: Christian Empowerment Council (CEC) Research Department
CEC Israel
Tal E. Ben-Shlomo – CEC Media Director

“I was shocked,” expressed Raphael Lemkin, the architect of the term “genocide”. “Why is a man punished when he kills another man? Why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of a single individual?”

As a teen, Lemkin had heard news reports of the mass slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman soldiers, and was astonished at the scale of the horror he heard about. Lemkin would later lose 49 members of his family during the Holocaust, and coined the word “genocide” to describe the attempt to exterminate the Jews as a people, drawing on his knowledge of what happened to the Armenians beforehand.

Hitler himself infamously retorted “Who remembers the Armenians?” before he launched his plan to exterminate Europe’s Jews.

From 1915 until 1917, Ottoman authorities committed massacre upon massacre against ethnic Armenians within their crumbling empire. Armenians were variously tortured, raped, drowned, drugged, burned alive and taken on death marches into the Syrian desert, as 1.5 million Armenians perished.

Since then, the successor to the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey, has embarked upon a cynical campaign of denying the Ottomans ever committed genocide. Turkey is a NATO member state, as well as a prospective EU member nation. The West views Turkey as vital for security in the Middle East; a fact which Turkey exploits ruthlessly, to blackmail its allies never to recognise the Armenian Genocide for what it was.

Israel too has been paralysed by Turkish threats, so that it too refuses to refer to the Armenian Holocaust by its proper name. As a Likud politician, Reuven Rivlin called for Israeli recognition of the genocide, but when he became President of the state, Rivlin quietly dropped this stance. Something is rotten when the closer you get to the top in Israel, the less you can speak about the Armenian Medz Yeghern that preceded the Jewish Shoah.

Article II of the Genocide Convention of 1948 defines genocide as; killing, causing harm, inflicting harsh conditions, preventing births within that ethnic group, and forcibly moving the group – all of which were well documented in sources from the time. Diplomats, journalists and missionaries attested to Ottoman crimes against the Armenians.

When Western officials pleaded with the Ottomans to stop their ongoing brutality, the Grand Vizier Talaat Pisha told the American Ambassador Henry Mortgentheau: “Let us do to these Christians as we please.”

Today in Israel, the Christian Empowerment Council is calling for the Jewish State to finally recognise the Armenian Genocide. Father Gabriel Naddaf says that Israel should do so urgently:

“What happened to the Armenians has many similarities to what happened to the Jews under the Nazis. Armenians and Jews must stand together, on the right side of history, as voices of evil try to deny the crimes of the past.”

Father Naddaf also stated “Before the Armenian genocide, the Ottomans committed genocide against the Greeks and against the Assyrians too. What did the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians have in common? They were all hated as Christians by the Ottomans. But Israel is a beacon of hope for Christians today, so we should acknowledge where anti-Christian hatred has led to in the past.”

Father Naddaf added a word of warning: “Turkey is no friend to Israel. Hamas arranged to murder 3 teenagers last summer from their office in Turkey. Not Armenia! We must do justice to the Armenian people and to the indigenous Christians of the Jewish state. This way, we stop a future Hitler asking “Who remembers the Armenians?”

03/12/15
Trevor Loudon

Trevor Loudon tells enthralled Marin County audience that victory in 2016 requires uniting and inspiring conservative base

Bookworm Room

Trevor_Loudon_2_smallTrevor Loudon spoke today to a sold-out room of Marin County conservatives anxious to hear the truth about the Democrat party and to get a prescription for the path to victory in 2016. Trevor, a dynamic speaker from New Zealand, loves America both because of gratitude and hope. He’s grateful to America because it was American sailors and Marines who fought so valiantly against the Japanese at Midway, Guadalcanal, and so many other battles in the Pacific, saving New Zealand from being conquered by Japan.

Trevor also believes that, as Reagan said, America is “the last best hope for a mankind plagued by tyranny and deprivation.” With America gone, the world’s dictators, from oligarchs, to communists, to Islamists, will divvy the world up amongst them, leading to a thousand years of darkness for people who once unthinkingly and rather ungratefully enjoyed the benefits of an enlightened world.

Looking at the inroads these tyrants have made under the Obama administration, only a fool would believe that Trevor is exaggerating. Indeed, Trevor reminded us that, from practically his first day in office, Obama has relentlessly abandoned America’s allies to make way for her enemies. As you may recall, Obama immediately began to withdraw the missile defense systems that protected our middle European allies from Russian aggression on the Eastern fronts. Not surprisingly, giving Obama’s tacit permission, Russia has now been aggressive.

Likewise, even though Ukraine gave up its missile defense in exchange for an explicit American promises of meaningful aid should the Russians cause trouble, Obama has contributed nothing meaningful to Ukraine’s defense in the face of Russian depredations. Indeed, the only thing we’ve given it is John Kerry, whom Trevor likened to Jane Fonda, only with less testosterone. Trevor noted that Obama’s accelerating active and passive abnegation of America’s long-time role as protector of smaller democratic (or democratically-inclined) nations could be seen predictable outcomes of Obama’s secret promise to Russia, made known only through a hot mic that, after the election, he’d have more “flexibility.”

It’s not just Eastern Europe that Obama has abandoned. He also turned his back on Egypt and other Arab nations tearing themselves away from theocracy and struggling towards democracy.  Don’t forget that Obama was the Muslim Brotherhood’s staunchest ally.  And we won’t even start talking about his frantic, angry efforts to isolate and abandon Israel, while handing Iran the keys to the nuclear kingdom.

Obama has waged a war on the US at home too. He’s in the process of gutting our military, he’s working to destroy our southern border, he’s kept us in the longest, weakest economy since the Great Depression, he’s strengthened Cuba’s dictatorship, and his justice system is systematically creating race and class warfare while destroying American’s constitutional protections. With regard to the military, Trevor asked rhetorically if any of us thought that Russia would have invaded Ukraine or if the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS would have been ascendant if Reagan had been president.

Looking at Obama’s conduct, Trevor said that people who claim Obama is stupid are wrong. After all, he said, if Obama were just stupid, wouldn’t he sometimes make mistakes in America’s favor? The reality is that, if Obama were a fully paid Russian agent, he would be doing exactly the same things he’s doing today.

I agree with Trevor. I’ve concluded that Obama, while uneducated, is extremely intelligent and adept at manipulating the American political system, with a lot of help from media ideologues.  (Which raises the question of what you call a nation under the tyranny of the press.  A mediagarchy?  When the history books are written, assuming America has a history after Obama, our president will be rightly identified as one of America’s most consequential presidents.  The problem for those of us who love a constitutional America is that Obama’s very real successes are all aimed at turning America into another Venezuela, complete with a broken marketplace, despite vast natural and human resources, ruled over by a corrupt cabal of party insiders and crony capitalists.  And now back to Trevor….

What makes Obama tick? Communism, says Trevor — and Trevor, the man who outed Van Jones and the Obama/Frank Marshall Davis connection, knows communists.

You know what’s really funny? Trevor knows communists because they leave a huge bread crumb trail.  Old communists, wanting to preserve their legacies, turn their photos and documents over to university libraries in Berkeley, and Ann Arbor, and Madison, and all sorts of other Leftist bastions. It is, says Trevor, kind of like the Mafia leaving its records to the local library.

Trevor has visited these library collections and found hundreds of contemporaneous records: essays, photographs, correspondence, membership cards in various communist entities, political platforms, five- and ten-year plans . . . everything, all of which Trevor has photocopied. He joked that, despite their donating their stuff to libraries, it seems that the old commies are so arrogant they think that no one will ever actually use the information against them.

Trevor’s research has brought him to two primary conclusions:

  1. Like the Devil, the communists’ greatest feat is convincing people that they don’t exist.
  2. It takes only a very, very small cadre of Marxists to influence and ultimately control legislators.  As a result, they write the laws and administrative codes that dictate our country’s and our people’s future.

The communists’ big moment came in 1995 when no one was looking.  That was the year that the Democratic Socialists of America, a communist group, put one of their own — John Sweeney — in as head of the AFL-CIO. Overnight, the AFL-CIO, an organization that was once ferociously anti-communist and that opposed amnesty because it would hurt working Americans, turned into a pro-communist, pro-amnesty group.

More than that, through the AFL-CIO, communists suddenly owned Congress. After all, unions (headed by the SEIU, which outspends the next two donor organizations which are also Leftist) are the largest contributors to Democrat politicians.  These politicians, in exchange for money and political “guidance” turn around and shovel funds directly to government unions and indirectly to private-sector unions.  The unions then reward the politicians whom they own, and so it goes. The spigot of taxpayer money flows directly to the groups that are working to destroy our constitutional system.  The only people who aren’t at the table for these negotiations are the taxpayers whose money ultimately funds the unions’ hard-Left game plan.

Over the past 20 years, the unions’ biggest push has been for amnesty, something that, as I noted, the old unions viewed with revulsion as a job destroyer. The new guard, however, understands that amnesty is the pathway to a permanent Democrat majority. Keep in mind the fact that Mitt lost the presidency by only 2.5 million votes, while amnesty promises 8 million or more permanent Democrat votes. (And yes, while Hispanic family values ought to make them side with conservatives, the fact is that they overwhelmingly vote for the same Democrats that slice and dice them by race and create financial incentives that keep them locked in the ghetto.)

Sadly, when it comes to amnesty, the communists and Democrats don’t act alone.  They get way too much help from the Chamber of Commerce, which owns Boehner and Co.  Thus, in a marvel of shortsightedness, the Chamber of Commerce types see these new immigrants as a source of cheap labor that maximizes profits, without understanding that they’re also the socialist wedge that will destroy capitalism.  As Lenin presciently said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

Lest you think that Trevor is connecting imaginary dots with invisible lines, remember the treasure troves in the library.  he’s got first person data to support every one of his allegations.

Thanks to his research, Trevor can name the five most powerful forces in the amnesty movement. The godfather of the movement was the late Humberto Noé “Bert” Corona, a Stalinist and Democrat who started the amnesty movement in Los Angeles in the 1950s. He was also the one who brought the wealth and moral suasion of the Catholic Church  — which was already being moved Left by the Liberation theology movement — to back amnesty. Corona’s goal wasn’t to save souls, though.  He wanted to and did grow a permanent Democrat voting base in California.

The next important person in the amnesty movement was Antonio Ramón Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, and the one who turned L.A. into a sanctuary city that no longer worked to deport illegal aliens (which was still something of a novel idea as little as a decade ago). Approximately 1/10 of all Los Angeles residents are now illegal aliens and beneficiaries of amnesty. (I’ve also been told by a reliable source that, thanks to this influx, a significant number of American-born L.A. Unified School District teachers test positive for TB, although they’re not actively ill.)

The third person behind amnesty is Gilbert Anthony Cedillo, the major player in California’s Democrat Senate. It was Cedillo who got the DREAM Act passed in California.  It put California taxpayers on the hook for funding college education for illegal aliens, all while squeezing students in America legally out of the education system.

California also boasts the fourth amnesty powerhouse, Marie Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO. She is the person behind “get out the vote” efforts for Latinos — legal or illegal.

These four people have made sure that California, which brings the largest number of electoral votes to the table in presidential elections, will be solid blue for the indefinite future. Looking outside of California, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina is on Obama’s Latino Advisory Committee and was the most aggressive proponent of amnesty (not that Obama was hard to convince).  Medina is one of those working to get Hispanics the vote in Texas.

If Texas goes as blue as California, thanks to all those reliable Democrat votes, Democrats will have a permanent lock on the electoral college and, through that, a lock on the White House. Moreover, that permanent lock will come after Obama has set the precedent for unilateral executive action without regard for Congressional powers.

Incidentally, the union chiefs are open about their goals, although most of the rank and file are ignorant of this. Contrary to what ordinary union members assume, which is that their unions are looking out for them, the union movement, having been taken over by hard-core socialists, has only one goal: a permanent, hard-Left Democrat political majority. Three years ago, Medina was caught on tape telling supporters that the amnesty movement is the top priority of the Progressive movement. Note that the union’s priority isn’t the American worker, who’s getting screwed by amnesty. The union’s priority is permanent Leftist dominant.  Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your freedom and the road to prosperity.

Soft-headed Liberals, those who claim to be the heirs of Truman and Kennedy, envision a sort of loving Leftism, kind of like Europe during the heyday of the 1970s.  Think again, says Trevor. What we should expect is Venezuela-style socialism.

(Note from me, Bookworm: Europe’s socialism worked for only one reason and it wasn’t that it was such a wonderful deal helped along by morally superior Europeans.  It worked because Americans funded it. Not only did we relieve the European nations of having to front a military to defend themselves against the Soviet Union, we sent them a lot of cold, hard cash. They were socialists because we wrote the checks. With the official Cold War over and America out of the picture, you can see in Spain and Greece and Italy and throughout Europe just how well non-American socialism is working.)

This is depressing, really depressing, but Trevor said be of good cheer. We’re at one of those turning points in history where things are worse than most of actually realize but, if we make the right choices, we’re trembling on the brink of making things better than ever — even better than when Reagan was president.

Think back to 2008, he said. Back then, the Left had a slam dunk. The party owned everything in Washington. In theory, it should have gotten every single one of its agenda items. But it didn’t. Even Obamacare was a bizarre crony-capitalist compromise, rather than the full socialized medicine the Left wanted.

What stopped the Left in its tracks was “We, the People.” The Tea Party movement, a true grass-roots movement, was the voice of the people saying “We still want to be free. We don’t want to be cogs in the government’s wheel.” Amateurs and novices all over America spoke out and stopped the fruition of a decades’ long agenda. As Trevor says, “I think the Tea Party saved America.”

So, what next? Trevor says that 2016 is our last chance. If the Democrats take back Congress and keep the White House in 2016, especially with Obama’s executive overreach as precedent, we can expect the quick legalization of every illegal immigrant followed by the destruction of the Bill of Rights. Venezuela here we come. (Incidentally, Trevor says the Left is committing a terrible fraud against Hispanics. It entices them here with the American promise, but it’s actually using their presence to turn America into precisely the same poverty-stricken dictatorships the Hispanics thought they were escaping.)

History, however, offers a useful precedent for conservatives in America. In 1976, the mandarins of the GOP looked at Ronald Reagan, an up-and-coming California politician, and decided he was toxic. Too extreme, they said. We need someone moderate, someone like Gerald Ford (a good man, but a lousy conservative politician). And so it was that Jimmy Carter became president — or, as Trevor said, Carter became the second-worst president in American history.

Reagan, however, didn’t give up, nor did his supporters. Rather than abandoning the GOP, which has a very useful infrastructure, conservatives took it over, just as the Leftists have taken over Truman’s and Kennedy’s Democrat Party. By 1980, the man who was considered so toxic the GOP wouldn’t touch him won 48 states.

What made the difference was that Reagan bypassed the media and, with his incredible oratorical gifts, spoke directly to the American people. Nor did he just pick and choose which conservatives ought to support him. He was truly a Big Tent guy, making all traditionally patriotic, conservative Americans feel welcome in his coalition.

Nowadays, the conservative base is incredibly divided — and you can’t win an election without your base. Currently, the GOP machinery is throwing itself behind Jeb Bush, someone loved only by the Chamber of Commerce, the same group backing Boehner’s amnesty sell-out. While Jeb is almost certainly a good human being, he can’t even spark a fizzle in the base. Conservatives hate his politics.

Trevor envisions a coalition in the coming election. His dream ticket is

  1. Ted Cruz as President, with Allen West as his Vice President.
  2. Rand Paul as Treasury Secretary, with permission to shackle the IRS and free the US economy.
  3. Sarah Palin as Energy Secretary, with a mandate to drill, baby, drill.
  4. Scott Walker as labor secretary, working to de-fang the unions that have become so hostile to the American workers.
  5. Michelle Bachman as Commerce Secretary, tasked with deregulation so that rules exist to police bad behavior, not to drive all market behavior.
  6. Mike Lee as Interior Secretary, charged with giving back to the states all the land the federal government has seized.
  7. John Bolton as Secretary of State, which would be a whole lot of fun.
  8. Ben Carson as be Secretary of Health and Human Services, freeing Americans from the moral horrors of unlimited welfare.
  9. Trey Gowdy as Attorney General, bringing justice back to our electoral process and the Bill of Rights back to our politics.
  10. Thomas Sowell as Secretary of Education, un-ringing the Common Core bell and leaving home schooling families alone.

Oh, and Ambassador to the UN? No one, said Trevor, to laughter and applause.

People raised concerns, of course. I pointed out that we have a primary system that will see many of these same people standing in a circular firing squad against each other, as each tries to grasp the gold ring of the presidency himself (or herself). Trevor acknowledged this, but said that, if one person isn’t polling well, wouldn’t it be a huge thing if someone who is in the lead — say Cruz — went up to him and said, “Give up this quixotic quest. Instead of running for president, join me.  I’m going to give you this incredible power to change the thing most important to you.”

Someone else pointed out that Scott Walker has governing experience and is currently riding high amongst conservatives. Trevor agreed that Walker is a great guy and said that, if Walker gets the Republican party nomination, he’ll back him all the way. But this election, said Trevor, isn’t about issues, it’s about INSPIRATION. And Walker, for all his many virtues, doesn’t rouse a room. The only one who does that is Ted Cruz, with Allen West standing right behind him in that regard. (Note from me: Sarah Palin also rouses a room, but I think her day is gone.)  You know that I think well of Cruz.

Imagine, Trevor said, a barnstormer like Cruz who has in his wake 15 or 20 rock-solid conservatives, all of whom will willingly serve in his administration, and whom are advocating the same ticket. The media would go crazy because it would destroy their ability to isolate, freeze, and destroy the target. Instead, they’d be aiming pop guns at a battleship.

Most importantly, this ticket would play beautifully to the broad spectrum of the conservative base. Just as their leaders — the libertarians, and Christians, and homeschoolers, and free-marketers — are pulling together, so would the voters. In this regard, said Trevor, keep in mind the fact that in the last election millions of evangelicals, as well as a few million others disgruntled conservatives, stayed home.

Of course, some people are worried about making common cause with others.  They needn’t be, because true conservativism says that the government shouldn’t put its thumb on the scales for any one group.  For example, those libertarians who are worried about making common cause with evangelicals can relax.  The new breed of evangelicals don’t want to change the world; they just want to be left alone to educate their children, without having them forced into Leftist run public schools, and run their own business, without being forced into state-mandated education for the crime of holding onto their traditional moral beliefs.

Importantly, Trevor said to the conservatives in the room, stop trying to convert Leftists. You can’t make enough difference to change the 2016 outcome. Work on your own base. Conservatives have a much larger base than Leftists do but, lately, we have a lousy track record at getting them to the polls.

Trevor made a few other important points that I want to share with you. When someone asked why the Left so desperately wants to destroy America’s wealth and beauty, and drag it towards a Venezuela outcome, he said some are ideologues, but many are all about the power of Leftism. They like being able to control people and feel superior to them. They are, he said, the bullies almost all of us hated back in high school — yet many Americans are willing to cede them power today.

And speaking of power, Trevor said that there’s been an important and dangerous power shift emanating from the Justice Department. He noted that Ferguson is a trial run for the Left, and that we need to prepare for much, much worse every time another black kid gets killed at a white person’s hands — and that’s true no matter the reason for the kids’ death.

America has seen race riots before, of course, but there’s a significant difference now: In the 1960s and 1970s, the government supported law and order. Under Holder, the government supports the radicals and the rioters. Think about that next time you wonder whether it’s even worth bothering to vote in 2016.

Here’s something else that will cheer you up: Trevor is making a movie called “Exposing the Enemy Within.” It will be a hard-hitting, factually-supported movie based upon his book, THE ENEMIES WITHIN: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress. It will come out in Fall 2015, and should be available in Netflix. Trevor’s hope is that it will make people see the abyss in front of them and inspire them to act. Again, there are more conservatives in America than not — they’re just not voting!  if you’re interested helping bring that movie to theaters and home videos, you can donate here.  (Don’t be dismayed by the small amount of  money on display there.  Trevor has already started the project with the help of a few big donors.)

When Trevor finished his speech, the room gave him a standing ovation. Our own Charles Martell [sic] was there, and he clapped so hard his armor rattled! It’s time for us all to start clapping now. This election isn’t about the Leftist drone on your Facebook page; it’s about your lovely evangelical next door neighbor who hopes that, if he ignores elections, elections will ignore him. That’s not how it happens. If he really wants to be left alone, he needs to vote for the Republican candidate, or he’ll have the dubious pleasure of becoming yet another martyr to his faith in the Leftist-led culture wars.

ADDENDUM:  If you get word that Trevor’s coming to your town, make the time to attend his talk.  You won’t regret it.  Also, if you’d like to have at your fingertips the same facts on which Trevor relies, check out his KeyWiki (or even make a donation to its upkeep).

03/12/15
Duty

Duty to Country Is Deadly Business

By: Frank Salvato

I awoke to the news that 7 Marines and 4 Army soldiers went missing, all presumed dead, after a special operations training mission helicopter crashed not far from where I live; not far from the pristine beach where I took the picture that sits atop my Facebook page. It is a sober reminder that those who volunteer to place themselves in harm’s way; between the evil and the innocent, face dangers even as they train to protect the nation they serve and the innocent they swear to protect.

ABC’s WEAR Channel 3 in Pensacola reports:

“Seven Marines and four soldiers went missing early Wednesday after an Army helicopter crashed during a night training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in Navarre.

“Defense officials say the military members aboard the aircraft are presumed dead. Heavy fog is having an impact on recovery efforts. Human remains have washed up on shore but the number of remains has not be released at this time. This is still considered a search and rescue mission…Pentagon officials say the heavy fog played a role in the crash.”

In a time when the chattering class demands that we debate the ideological genesis of the deadly threat to our nation – and Western Civilization – emanating from the Middle East, it would well serve our nation’s collective soul to personalize not only the seriousness of the threat, but the guardians of our nation; the rough and ready men and women who step into the coarse void between the way of life afforded us by the American dream and the oppression and cruelty many around the world would love to inflict upon us.

When we have the courage to confront and accept the truth, it is undeniable that there are vicious zealots committing atrocities; crimes against humanity, in the name of Islam. Yet, some among us in the West; some whose ideological addictions force them to see everything through a morally relativistic lens, seek to designate our nation as one of many among equals; our military personnel as simple countermeasures to enemies who have equal claim to ideological and moral legitimacy. But this stunted line of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth and, in fact, serves as a smear against the brave men and women of the US Armed Forces; our sentinels who stand between “the barbarians and the gate.” I know this to be true because my wife and I live among them; we know them and love them like family.

Our enemies, those who willingly join the ranks of Daesh (the Islamic State, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al Shabab, etc.), execute barbaric acts of tyranny in the name of their religion, committing unspeakable acts of ferocious cruelty in an effort to either convert the un-Islamic or cleanse the earth of those who refuse their dictate, all in an aggressive pursuit of global domination.

The men and women of the United States Armed Forces, in extreme contrast, step into the ugly void of a no-man’s land where the weak and oppressed suffer at the hands of tyrants; a land where the cowardly fear to tread. They inject themselves into situations to free the oppressed, to preserve the liberty of the innocent and to vanquish the tyrannical. And as they do they carry with them the moral clarity that understands “good versus evil”; “right verses wrong”; “duty, honor, country,” lessons gleaned from the righteousness of the American dream, not the ideological clap-trap of theorists hell-bent on believing in the impossibility of global utopia, or the manipulation of political creatures questing for power, influence and fame.

Our military men and women are sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, and neighbors. They go to the store for food, they fill-up their cars with gas, they help their children with their school work, they laugh, and the cry, just like those who do not serve. They cut their grass, they take out their garbage, they pay their taxes and they socialize. The live, laugh and love. But sometimes when they kiss their spouses goodbye at the door; sometimes when they kiss their children good night; sometimes when they promise to be back in a few days, sometimes those kisses are their last and those promises to return are broken, not of their own commission, but because their call to duty, their call to serve, sent them on a path that does not return home.

So it is with the 7 Marines and 4 US Army soldiers who kissed their loved ones goodbye with every intention of returning in a few days. So it is with many military families who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

A close friend of mine who teaches at a military special operations school wrote me after I queried him about the training accident. He closed by saying, “This business is a dangerous business.” Indeed it is. It is dangerous and it is necessary. It is necessary for the longevity of liberty and freedom. And it is rightly necessary for all of us to thank and honor them for their sacrifices; honor them like family, because they protect us like we are family.

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, The Jewish World Review, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, Townhall.com and are syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is the author of six books examining Islamofascism and Progressivism, including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. Mr. Salvato’s personal writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com.

03/12/15
Barack Obama and the Pope

Catholic Church Captured by “Progressive Forces”

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Armando Valladares, Castro’s political prisoner for 22 years, said his Catholic faith was strengthened behind bars by hearing young Catholics shouting “Viva Cristo Rey,” for “Long Live Christ the King,” and “down with communism!” as they faced the firing squad. It has been his hope that Cuba would one day be free of communism. But he is far less hopeful now that Pope Francis has taken measures that he says “objectively favor the political and ecclesiastical left in Latin America” and could undermine the “Christian future of the Americas.”

Meanwhile, Marxist writer Richard Greeman has written an extraordinary article, “Catholicism: The New Communism?,” arguing that “progressive forces” have  “captured” the Vatican, and that Francis is conducting a “purge” of traditional elements, such as those loyal to anti-communist Pope John Paul II.

Valladares, author of Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag, was the United States Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission under the Reagan and Bush administrations. He writes in a recent column that Francis was the “most eminent architect and mediator” of the Obama administration deal with Cuba that will “now provide the repressive apparatus of the Cuban regime with rivers of money and favorable publicity.”

He goes on, “We are witnessing one of the greatest examples of media sleights-of-hand in history: From a well-deserved image of aggressor, a regime which for decades spearheaded bloody revolutions in Latin America and Africa and continues to spread its tentacles in the three Americas, has been craftily made to look like a victimized underdog.”

He says the responsibility lies with the unexpected rise of a Francis-Obama “axis” in foreign affairs that benefits Marxist governments throughout Latin America.

Valladares, who received the Citizen’s Presidential Medal from President Ronald Reagan, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in communist Cuba in 1960 for being philosophically and religiously opposed to communism. He was tortured and kept in isolation for refusing to be “re-educated.” He was released after 22 years in prison, in 1982, when international pressure was brought to bear on the regime.

Valladares says it’s not just the Cuba betrayal that concerns him. He notes that Francis overturned the suspension of Nicaraguan priest Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, a former communist Sandinista foreign minister and a leading pro-Castro figure in liberation theology.

Despite his credentials as a political prisoner turned human rights activist and powerful voice for freedom, his column on the Obama-Francis “axis” has received very little attention. An associate says it seems “too politically incorrect,” an apparent reference to the fact that Francis is a global media star for identifying with the poor, and that liberals and conservatives alike are reluctant to criticize him.

Valladares, however, says the pope has gone far beyond taking up the cause of poor people. His column notes that Francis personally attended something called the World Meeting of Popular Movements last October in Rome. “It gathered 100 revolutionary world leaders, including well-known Latin American professional agitators,” Valladares points out. “The meeting turned out to be a kind of marketing ‘beatification’ of these Marxist-inspired revolutionary figures.”

One of the participants in the Vatican event was Evo Morales, the Marxist President of Bolivia who dedicated his election victory last year to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and the late Venezuelan Marxist ruler, Hugo Chávez.

The Vatican’s own description of the meeting referred to changing “an economy of exclusion” and “an idolatrous system of money.” The statement went on, “Together we want to discuss the structural causes of so much inequality (inequidad) which robs us of work (labor), housing (domus) and land (terra), which generates violence and destroys nature. We also want to face the challenge Francis himself sets puts [sic] to us with courage and intelligence: to seek radical proposals to resolve the problems of the poor.”

Valladares isn’t the only one to notice the “radical” or leftward drift of the papacy. Greeman’s article wondering if Catholicism is the “new communism” appears in New Politics, a socialist magazine “committed to the advancement of the peace and anti-intervention movements” and which “stands in opposition to all forms of imperialism…”

New Politics has strong links to the Democratic Socialists of America, a group that backed Barack Obama’s political career from the start. Its “sponsors” include Noam Chomsky, Frances Fox Piven, Michael Eric Dyson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West and the late communist historian Howard Zinn.

Greeman notes that the world’s Catholic Bishops have “explicitly pointed to capitalism as the basic cause of impending global catastrophe,” in the form of climate change, and have “called for a new economic order.” He was referring to a group of Catholic Bishops who met at the U.N. climate talks last December and blamed “the dominant global economic system, which is a human creation,” for global warming. They argued for “a new financial and economic order” and the phasing out of the use of fossil fuels.

Greeman says the Bishops’ attack on capitalism was generally ignored, even on the left, and he understands why. There have been so many “rapid changes” coming out of Rome “since the ascension to the Throne of Saint Peter” by Pope Francis that it is hard to keep up with them, he says.

Francis will issue a Vatican document, known as an encyclical, on climate change in June or July.

Greeman writes that these “radically anti-capitalist Catholic positions” have got him wondering whether Catholicism is “the new Communism,” Rome “the new Moscow,” and the church “the new Comintern.” The term “Comintern” refers to the Communist International, an association of national communist parties started by Lenin.

Growing up as a “red diaper baby” during the Cold War, Greeman writes, Catholicism was “synonymous with militant anti-Communism.” But changes that started coming years ago in the church have been accelerating under Francis, he writes. He attributes some of this “change” to Francis, who is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Jesuit, which is a “progressive” religious order whose “solid organization and discipline” and “attempts to take over the Church” go back centuries.

Greeman refers to the Catholic or “universal” Church as “the only actually existing organized world-party,” whose “vast wealth and influence are now in Francis’ hands.” He writes about “the capture” of the church by “progressive forces,” a development which opens up “huge possibilities for human liberation and perhaps a chance for the planet to avoid climate catastrophe.” He believes Francis “and his allies” are now conducting a “purge of the apparatus” in the Vatican.

Writing in Links, an international socialist journal, Canadian activist Judith Marshall discusses meeting the pope during the World Meeting of Popular Movements and witnessing his presentation to the group. “Pope Francis’ forthright statements on the social ministry of the church hearken back to the 1960s and 1970s when liberation theology was such a dynamic force in promoting struggles for social justice, particularly in Latin America,” she wrote. “The symbolism of a World Meeting of Popular Movements which brought a multitude of the poor right into [the] heart of the Vatican has not been lost on those looking for a resurgence of liberation theology.”

Liberation theology was manufactured by the old KGB to dupe Christians into supporting Marxism.

She also insisted that Francis “has arguably made the Papacy the most radical and consistent voice in pointing to the profanity of global inequality and exclusion. He has also repeatedly named the inordinate power of multinational corporations and finance capital as key factors in reproducing global poverty and destruction of the planet.”

She says Francis met with several Marxist activists from Latin America and even met privately with President Morales of Bolivia who “stressed how Mother Earth had become ill from capitalism,” and that “under the prevailing global economy, the planet would actually do better without humans—but humans need the planet.”

In a previous meeting Morales told the pope, “For me, you are brother Francis.” The pope responded, “As it should be, as it should be.”

03/12/15
John Kerry, Mohamed Morsi

John Kerry’s ‘Nonbinding’ Agreeability with Iran Demonstrates our Conspiracy-Incompetence Maxim

Gulag Bound

Never ascribe to only conspiracy, that which may also be incompetence,
and vice versa.

Or, said another way…

Never presume that conspiracy and incompetence are mutually exclusive,
without due evidence.

Kerry-John-3-1-12

DougRoss@Journal

BECAUSE, CRUSADES: Kerry, State Department Agree That any Iran Deal Would Be “Non-Binding”

By The Tower

Over the past two days, both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki have admitted that the current nuclear deal being negotiated with Iran is “non-binding.”

Speaking at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, Kerry said that the deal is not “legally binding.”

“We’ve been clear from the beginning we’re not negotiating a legally binding plan. We’re negotiating a plan that will have a capacity for enforcement,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“We don’t even have diplomatic relations with Iran right now.”

Kerry made his remarks in the context of addressing what he called the “misconceptions” contained in the open letter released earlier this week that was signed by 47 Senators.

In an exchange with reporters at yesterday’s daily State Department press conference, Psaki was asked how the deal could be non-binding if the United States does not trust Iran. The video is embedded below the transcript.

QUESTION: The problem is is that you’ve stressed over and over again this is not about trusting, right? This is about verifying. But then you’re saying that these are political commitments but not necessarily binding. It would seem to me that if this wasn’t about trust, you would want them to be binding, not political commitments, which are your word. That’s what a political —

MS. PSAKI: Well, Brad, we’re talking about specifically how pieces —

QUESTION: Political commitment just means “I will do this.”

MS. PSAKI: It is not that. We’re talking about how specifically pieces would be agreed to between the parties. In terms of the implementation of it, I’m sure we will talk about that at the time we would have an agreement.

QUESTION: Since I don’t understand then what a political – as I understand a political commitment, it means a person or a political entity saying, “I will do this; I commit to doing this.” How is that not anything other than giving your word?

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, Brad, if we get to the point where we have a framework, where we have an agreement, I’m sure we will have a discussion about how things will be implemented.

QUESTION: I’m just asking for the concept of political commitment. What does that mean, beyond giving your word?

MS. PSAKI: I just gave you additional examples of how that has been implemented and how it has worked in the past.

QUESTION: The Iranians have talked about this, whatever it is, that if anything happens, that it being – the idea that the UN Security Council would at least endorse it if not enshrine it in some kind of a resolution. Is that something that you think would be useful?

MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to get ahead of how this would be implemented at this point in time.

QUESTION: So —

MS. PSAKI: Obviously, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done between now and then.


Last week, Armin Rosen of Business Insider reported that the non-binding nature of the deal was “one of the more curious yet least commented-upon aspects” of the nuclear negotiations with Iran.

In October, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration was pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran that would avoid the Senate altogether. That means that the deal would technically be an “executive agreement” in which the president reaches an understanding with a foreign government that doesn’t require any changes in US law — rather than a treaty, which requires a 2/3 majority in the Senate and could supersede certain laws.

The trouble is that Congress has passed numerous sanctions bills relating to Iran. And while Obama has the right to grant sanctions waivers under certain circumstances, he doesn’t have the power to just take them off the books by decree.

“An executive agreement never overrides inconsistent legislation and is incapable of overriding any of the sanctions legislation,” says David Rivkin, a constitutional litigator with Baker Hostetler, LLP who served in the White House Counsel’s Office in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations. “A treaty that has been submitted for Senate’s advise and consent and if it’s self-executing could do that.”

There is strong bipartisan support for Congressional oversight of any nuclear deal reached with Iran, both within Congress and among voters. The non-binding aspect to the deal is a way to bypass that oversight.

[Photo: Senate Foreign Relations Committee ]

Read more at TheTower.org

——GB——

One more note from the Gulag: Remember, we’re talking about this guy.

Kerry-Taylor-friend

Well… and this one.

Obama-shooter

Meanwhile, back in reality…

Iran Declares Pre-emptive Victory in Nuke Talks

H/T for this Free Beacon story: Denise Simon, @spongedocks