01/10/17

Report on Russian Hacking is a Political Hoax

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

The CIA says that Russian hackers released true information about Hillary Clinton. Horrors! Cliff Kincaid and Jerry Kenney analyze the “Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” in order to show how the CIA and other intelligence agencies are trying to subvert the Trump presidency with bogus claims. The CIA report proves the validity of what Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer meant when he said, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

putin

08/12/15

Sinking Low

Arlene from Israel

It has been my practice, when writing about the Iran agreement, to deal as much as possible with facts.

But in some respects this is no longer possible, as the case being made by the Obama administration has sunk to a shameful and despicable low.  If you pay attention to Obama’s words, and those of his flunkies, what we hear is a position that maintains that the deal is so obviously good that anyone coming out against is, in one fashion or another, being disloyal to America.  There is less than no respect for the patriotism and the intellectual integrity of those who oppose the deal out of deep concern for America.

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We see that he is doing this with regard to Republicans, whom he claims are putting party politics ahead of the good of the nation, and – far worse! – making common cause with the hardliners in Iran.  He first leveled this charge in a speech last week.  Yesterday, he was challenged on it by Fareed Zakaria on CNN, and rather than back down said it is absolutely true.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2015/08/11/obama-why-yesmy-republicans-are-like-iranian-hardliners-claim-is-absolutely-true-n2037065

A point being made by critics of the president is that since some Democrats are also against the deal, according to Obama’s logic, they must also be making common cause with the Iranian hardliners – although Obama neglects to address this.  The Democrats who are opposed certainly cannot be charged with being negative on the deal simply out of “party loyalty.” Those who have come out against the deal include:

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Members of Congress Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ted Deutsch (D-FL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Juan Vargas  (D-NY).

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But let us move on, as we are seeing behavior from the administration that is even more reprehensible.  An editorial in Tablet Magazine – “Crossing a Line to Sell a Deal” – describes what is going on (emphasis added):

“What we increasingly can’t stomach—and feel obliged to speak out about right now—is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple.Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.

This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/192751/crossing-a-line-to-sell-a-deal

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Just as some on the editorial board of Tablet Magazine, who are “generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal…have been shaken by” the “anti-Jewish incitement that is being used as a political tool,” we must hope that members of Congress who might have been predisposed to the deal will begin to wonder if in the end there is any legitimate rationale for accepting it.  Why would the president have to resort to innuendo and slander against opponents, if he could make a strong case based on the agreement’s merits?

Perhaps Obama is overplaying his hand, and will end up defeating precisely what he imagines he is defending.

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See further details on what is going on with regard to the old anti-Semitic canard of “dual loyalty”:

“…anti-Schumer campaigners refer to him repeatedly as a ‘traitor,’ suggest that his loyalty lies only with Israel and not the United States, and accuse him of receiving his ‘real paycheck’ from nefarious sources — which they characterize as Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) or other pro-Israel bodies.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/a-jewish-senator-faces-disloyalty-charge-over-opposition-to-iran-deal/

Those who make such blatantly prejudicial judgments are missing the point in several respect:

They are positing that the deal is bad only for Israel, when in fact it is a disaster for the US.  What is more, an accord that threatens the only reliable ally the US has in the Middle East is bound to put America at a disadvantage.

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It is a major issue, that the accord with Iran provides no brakes on Iran’s support of terrorism or on its aggressive hegemony in the Middle East.  Quite the contrary, that agreement is doing two things that will strengthen Iran’s ability to foment violence in our part of the world:

It is providing a fortune in sanctions relief that Iran will utilize in some part to strengthen terrorist elements.  And it is lifting sanctions against Iran’s acquisition of conventional weaponry, including, in time, ballistic missiles.

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Now, please, note what Kerry said yesterday, at a Reuters Newsmaker event.  If Iran violates the arms embargo, there will be no “snapback” of sanctions against Iran (emphasis added):

“The arms embargo is not tied to snapback…So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”

But we should not worry, explained Kerry, because the US has “ample tools at our disposal” if Iran violates the arms embargo.

“There is a specific U.N. resolution outside of this agreement that prohibits them from sending weapons to Hezbollah. There is a separate and specific U.N. resolution that prohibits them from sending weapons to the Shia militia in Iraq.”

That will do it, you think?

Myself, I think that even Kerry, who is dumb, is not that dumb.  I think the US does not care.

As Reuters reports:

“Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi made clear last month that Tehran had no intention of complying with the arms embargo and missile sanctions.

’Whenever it’s needed to send arms to our allies in the region, we will do so,’ he said. ‘We are not ashamed of it.’”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/11/us-iran-nuclear-kerry-sanctions-idUSKCN0QG22M20150811

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I share here a video of Kerry testifying before an Armed Services Committee hearing, with Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) questioning.  I recommend the entire six minutes: very enlightening in terms of how the chief American diplomat conducts himself. But most pertinent here is the portion that begins at slightly past minute 4, as it addresses Iranian weaponry and what the US will do to prevent Iran from sharing it.

Kerry speaks about US laws in place to block Iranian distribution of lethal weapons. But please keep in mind that he negotiated a deal that will make it easier for Iran to acquire and distribute such weaponry. Heaven help us all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS_vLTTIZL8

(With thanks to Moti G. on this.)

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About two weeks ago, Kerry was testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  He was questioned by Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), who asked:

“Let’s say Congress doesn’t take your advice, we override a veto, and the law that is triggered then imposes certain sanctions. Will you follow the law even though you think this violates this agreement clearly, and even if you think it’s terrible policy?”

Kerry: “I cannot begin to answer that at this point, without consulting with the president and determining what the circumstances are.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421698/john-kerry-iran-deal-obama-could-defy-law-congress

 

Credit: Olivier Douliery/Getty

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For those who might doubt the implications of the above exchange, there is this information from MEMRI (emphasis added):

”Iranian officials recently began to reveal details from the nuclear negotiations with the U.S. since their early stages. Their statements indicate that the U.S. initiated secret negotiations with Iran not after President Hassan Rohani, of the pragmatic camp, was elected in 2013, but rather in 2011-2012, in the era of radical president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The disclosures also indicate that, already at that time, Iran received from the U.S. administration a letter recognizing its right to enrich uraniumon its own soil. Hossein Sheikh Al-Islam, an advisor to the Majlis speaker, specified that the letter had come from John Kerry, then a senator and head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Iranian vice president and top negotiator Ali Akbar Salehi said that Kerry, while still a senator, had been appointed by President Obama to handle the nuclear contacts with Iran.”
http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=68099

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United Against Nuclear Iran is an American organization that is seeking “to educate and inform the American public regarding the serious shortcomings” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. To that end, it is planning to run advertisements against the accord.

It is good news that former Senator Joe Lieberman has just accepted the position of chairman of this organization.  Senator Lieberman has solid name recognition and a reputation for integrity. Coupled with this, as CEO Mark D. Wallace has pointed out, is “Senator Lieberman’s foreign policy and national security expertise.” In the Senate he was on the Committee on Armed services and chaired the Committee on Homeland Security.

Credit: Getty

It should be noted that, while the Senator identified as an “independent” at one point in his career, he was in the main associated with the Democratic party – and ran as the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, on a ticket with Al Gore.  Also a plus in this context.

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The following key Democratic Senators are still undeclared with regard to the Iran deal, at least according to information I have. Some might be pre-disposed to opposing the deal, even if they haven’t declared their opposition formally yet.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.); Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.); Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.); Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.); Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.); Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.); Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

If you are a constituent of one of the Senators, please, write to express your strong opposition to the agreement. If you know others who are their constituents, even if you are not, please urge them to do the same.  The votes of these Senators may be critical.

08/9/15

Steadfast

Arlene from Israel

No other way for us to be:  Heads up, eyes on what matters, resolve undiminished.

But oh, is it tough these days.

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I want to return to Obama’s talk of last week, to consider a couple of additional matters. He does not simply provide a position, he attacks. And his attacks are crude, devious and low:

He implied, first, that on the issue of Iran, it was the whole world against Israel. His goal – to make Israelis feel isolated, to delegitimize what he chooses to represent at “the Israeli position” rather than as the position opposing the deal.

Consider:  “…because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support.”

Please note the qualifier “every nation in the world that has commented publicly…”  That is hugely different from saying the whole world is with him, but undoubtedly he is betting most people won’t notice.

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It is regrettable in the extreme that the Sunni Arab nations, which to a one detest this Iran deal, have not been more forthright in speaking out.

This is what commentator Yoram Ettinger has just written on the subject (emphasis added):

“Irrespective of Western attempts to portray Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Jordan and Egypt as supporters of the Iran nuclear deal, leaders of these countries, especially the House of Saud, consider the accord a colossal, lethal threat. They see it as a reckless, short-sighted and self-destructive policy, which will initially plague the Arab world and subsequently the Western one, including the US

“While Saudi leaders are restrained in their official reaction to the Iran nuclear agreement, they voice their authentic concerns and assessments via the House of Saud-owned media, which has traditionally served as a convenient venue, providing the element of deniability, sparing diplomatic inconvenience.

“During a recent visit to Capitol Hill, I was told by legislators in both chambers, on both sides of the aisle: ‘While Israel is concerned about Iran’s nuclearization, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are panicky.’

“Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, the House of Saud-appointed general manager of Al Arabiya TV and former editor-in-chief of the leading Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat, dismissed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that ‘once fully implemented, the Iran deal will contribute to the region’s long-term security.’

“According to the daily voice of the Saudi king, the ayatollah regime ‘is like a monster that was tied to a tree and has been set loose. We are on a threshold of a bloody era … expecting the worst-case scenario. … Tehran does not intend to drop its aims of regional dominance and destabilizing neighboring Arab countries. The lifting of sanctions will facilitate the transfer of funds and the purchase and shipment of arms [to terror organizations]. … Tehran will become more dangerous.’”

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=13423

Consider using this, when you write to your representatives in Congress and do your letters to the editor and Internet talk-backs.

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But it is not just Israel that Obama tries to isolate and delegitimize.  He goes after Republicans in the same manner. As Caroline Glick pointed out in her latest column, he also said:

“It’s those [Iranian] hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.”  An incredibly vile accusation.

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Please do read Glick’s entire column, for she also discusses other ways in which the Iran deal will generate a danger to the US (emphasis added):

The terrorist threat to the US emanating from Iran’s terrorist infrastructure in Latin America will rise steeply as a consequence of the nuclear deal.

”As The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote last month, the sanctions relief the deal provides to Iran will enable it to massively expand its already formidable operations in the US’s backyard. Over the past two decades, Iran and Hezbollah have built up major presences in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Iran’s presence in Latin America also constitutes a strategic threat to US national security..

Through its naval aggression in the Strait of Hormuz Iran threatens the global economy. While the US was negotiating the nuclear deal with Iran, the Revolutionary Guards unlawfully interdicted – that is hijacked – the Marshall Islands-flagged Maersk Tigris and held its crew hostage for weeks.

”Iran’s assault on the Tigris came just days after the US-flagged Maersk Kensington was surrounded and followed by Revolutionary Guards ships until it fled the strait.

”A rational take-home message the Iranians can draw from the nuclear deal is that piracy pays.

Their naval aggression in the Strait of Hormuz was not met by American military force, but by American strategic collapse at Vienna

Then there is Iran’s 20-year partnership with Al-Qaeda…”

http://www.jpost.com/landedpages/printarticle.aspx?id=411390

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We are seeing a growing number of Democrats in Congress who are declaring that they will vote against the Iran deal, and yet it is still not clear that numbers are sufficient to overturn Obama’s veto.

Of particular note are the declarations to stand against the deal of Congressman Eliot Engel (D- NY 16th), ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Brad Sherman (D-CA 30th), second ranking Democratic of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), currently the third most powerful Democrat in the Senate, and widely anticipated to become Senate Minority Leader in 2017.

It is because of the position of influence that Schumer has that his declaration against the deal was widely sought – the assumption was that he would bring other Senate Democrats along with him.  And so, his announcement is being widely celebrated.

Credit: WashingtonPost

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But I must express my unease.

Senator Schumer laid out his reasons for deciding to vote against the Iran agreement:

“Using the proponents’ overall standard — which is not whether the agreement is ideal, but whether we are better with or without it — it seems to me, when it comes to the nuclear aspects of the agreement within ten years, we might be slightly better off with it. However, when it comes to the nuclear aspects after ten years and the non-nuclear aspects, we would be better off without it.”

https:[email protected]/my-position-on-the-iran-deal-e976b2f13478

But then he qualified the role he would play in working for the deal’s defeat (emphasis added):

“While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/two-top-jewish-democrats-say-they-will-oppose-iran-deal/

As an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily declared (emphasis added):

“Sorry, senator, not good enough. And those who support you because of your past support for Israel will know it’s not good enough.”

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/080715-765718-chuck-schumer-isnt-fooling-his-pro-israel-supporters.htm

If he truly believes this is a bad deal – bad for America, and Israel and the Western world, and he knows he has influence, why would he not use it?

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I note the difference between Schumer’s qualified statement and that of David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee.  After explaining why it was decided that the deal is a bad one, Harris wrote: “Therefore, AJC opposes the deal and calls on Members of Congress to do the same.” (Emphasis added)

But, of course, David Harris does not have to contend with a disgruntled Obama in the same way Schumer does. The senator is balancing the need to keep his constituency happy so that he can be re-elected, against the need to avoid so enraging his party’s leaders that he risks his political future as the most powerful Democrat in the Senate.  Schumer’s position seems a qualified one of political expediency, and not a courageous one of determined conscience.

Yes, courageous decisions of conscience are rare in politics, but these are extraordinary times calling for extraordinary courage.

Mike DeBonis, writing in the Washington Post, observed that (emphasis added):

“…his decision came not in an impassioned floor speech, not in a private entreaty to his Democratic colleagues, not even in a YouTube video, but in an written statement posted online after the Senate has gone home for its month-long summer break

“…there is little sign thus far that Schumer himself intends to participate in a broader public relations campaign against the deal, whether by lobbying against it on Sunday talk shows or holding town hall meetings or participating in rallies during the recess. If Schumer were dead-set on killing the deal, he would have made his intentions known weeks, if not months, ago.”

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I have heard the rumors: That Obama – who is making much, publicly, of Schumer’s declaration – had agreed to give him the nod to vote against the deal so that he could protect his Senate seat, as long as there seemed indication that the deal would pass in Congress without Schumer’s support.  I have heard other rumors indicating that Schumer will vote against the deal when the primary resolution comes before the Senate, but will not vote to override the veto of that resolution when the second, critical vote comes up.

Explanation: Congress, after consultations and deliberations for a period of 60 days, will bring forth a resolution regarding the deal.  It is understood widely that this resolution will be for rejection of the agreement (with 60 votes required in the Senate to override an anticipated filibuster).  But the president will veto it, and a 2/3 super-majority of the Congress will be required to override that veto.  It is this second vote that matters.

(I’ve seen reports that Schumer will vote to override the veto, but these come from spokesman Matt House – the senator himself was not clear on this in his own public statement.)

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Do I know with certainty that these rumors are true?  I do not. And normally I am reticent about citing unsubstantiated rumors.  But the senator’s tepid position gives pause. And the issue at hand is one of overwhelming significance. I am aware that there are other reports – that Obama deliberately announced Schumer’s decision before the senator could do so himself, to undercut him, and that Obama is very angry, etc.  Could be.  But politicians are not adverse to play-acting.

I want to advise Schumer supporters, who have so eagerly thanked him for his declaration, to let the senator know that they are disappointed that he is not working energetically to bring other Senate Democrats along, and to make it clear that his opposition to the deal absolutely must include voting to override the veto and that they would appreciate a public statement to that effect.

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It is good news that two major donors to the Democratic party have now announced against the Iran deal. Most significant is Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban.  Money of the sort provided by the likes of Saban speaks very loudly.  Saban said it was a “very bad deal” and said “we still need to fight it.” Right on!

Credit: Saban.com

Billionaire Jack Rosen has also come out against the deal.  He chairs the American Jewish Congress, which has now announced against the deal as well.

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I appreciate a report on the Iran situation by Major General (res.) Ya’akov Amidror, who has served in significant roles that include director of the Intelligence Analysis Division in Military Intelligence, and National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu.  He is clear-eyed and realistic without being apocalyptic.

Amidror wrote his detailed paper for the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, where he serves as a senior research fellow.  The Jerusalem Post has summarized main points (emphasis added):

“[The Vienna agreement signed between world powers and Iran will] likely and necessarily lead to the use of force against Iran, at some stage or another, in order to halt its race toward a nuclear weapons program

“It is clear that the agreement was signed in order to delay the Iranian nuclear bomb program, not to end it. And thus, when the program rears its head again it will be a problem several times more serious and far harder to deal with….

“[However] there is no cause for hysteria. The agreement will not bring about Israel’s downfall, and in the best case scenario may even buy Israel some time to better prepare for confronting the Iranian challenge. Nevertheless, the map of reality should be read correctly, and not through rose-tinted glasses… The reality facing Israel (and the world) following the signing of the agreement is significantly more threatening than before…

“The Vienna agreement has made the situation more complex and dangerous, not less so. Even if Iran completely abides by the terms of the agreement, when restrictions and sanctions come to an end fifteen years hence, it will emerge much stronger, militarily and economically. This situation will almost assuredly lead to the use of force against Iran, because Iran undoubtedly will try to produce nuclear weapons; be much better able to withstand foreign pressures; and hold significant sway across the Middle East. The conflict that will ensue will take place in conditions far worse from a Western perspective than before the agreement, pitting the West (and/or Israel) against a much-stronger Iran…

“As a basis for discussion it is important to emphasize that the Iranian nuclear program has no civilian element, and no justification other than as a military program. This is the consensus of all the international experts, some of whom will only say so privately, but most of whom are explicit in this. There is no serious expert who thinks that Iran is developing its capabilities for civilian purposes.

“On the basis of this understanding, which was accepted by the American experts as well, American policy was initially clear: the agreement should dismantle Iran’s nuclear capabilities. This was the term used by the Americans themselves. But at some stage the US decided to move from a policy aimed at dismantling Iran’s nuclear capability, to a policy aimed at delaying Iran’s ability to achieve nuclear weapons by ten to fifteen years

As soon as the US decided to make do with delaying Iran’s getting the bomb, by a fixed time period, then Israel was left on the outside – not because of the strained relations between the president and the prime minister, but because of significant differences of opinion. Subsequently, although the American negotiators did make use of Israeli experts, Israel was not involved in the central deliberations

The fact that the powers signed an agreement must not be allowed to paralyze Israel. The country’s security is at stake, and on this issue we should take the advice of the current president of the US:  ‘Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself;  even if the agreement makes this a more complex proposal.”

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran/Iran-nuclear-agreement-likely-will-lead-to-use-of-force-Israeli-defense-expert-says-411343

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Amidror predicts that for a year or two Iran, eager for sanctions relief, will abide by the agreement.

“The removal of sanctions will allow Iran to rebuild and significantly strengthen its economy as billions will flow into Iran, even though a proportion will be lost to the dark abyss of entrenched Iranian corruption.

“The lifting of sanctions will also serve to release a great amount of Iran’s energy and money which can be redirected toward furthering its interests in the Middle East and beyond. Here, the beneficiaries will be Iran’s allies – Hezbollah, Hamas, the Alawites in Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen.”

Following this, the Iranians may decide to wait until the sunset clause kicks in after 10 – 15 years, in the meantime strengthening their knowledge or capabilities.

Or, they may begin to cheat, “initially on peripheral issues, and then as they gain confidence, on more substantial issues.”

At the same time, “the quality of intelligence about Iran will deteriorate. After a while, once it is seen that Iran is indeed keeping to the agreement, there will naturally be a slow but steady transferal of intelligence resources to other burning problems…

The result will be potentially disastrous for the agreement.

It is clear that Iranian cheating will not take place at the declared facilities which are under IAEA inspection, but at sites unfamiliar to the international community, whose location can only be discovered through gathering high-quality intelligence. The combination of the American concession on surprise inspections of such sites, and the inevitable decline in intelligence quality, offers an excellent foundation for successful Iranian cheating.

The IAEA, for its part, will be as unwilling as in the past to make use of external intelligence (even when presented with it) in order to conduct non-agreed inspections of sensitive facilities, out of fear of being accused of acting as an agent of Israel or the US. Hence it will need to invest a great deal of time and effort in order to build an independent dossier that will stand up to scrutiny, which will be sufficient for it to conduct more confrontational inspections at undeclared facilities. It is difficult to see how the IAEA might develop such capabilities.”

For all of these reasons, Amidror is seriously dubious of the American claim that “a year will be sufficient in order to respond appropriately” to Iranian cheating.

“It is not difficult to imagine US intelligence staff presenting information about Iranian violations and being rebuffed by decision-makers, using learned explanations. This would continue until they provide the impossible ‘smoking gun,’ or until it is simply too late. In most similar cases intelligence services have needed more than a year from the moment at which a violation begins in order to identify it, understand it, and persuade the decision makers about it, and for these to then decide and act.”

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The General talks straight and provides information and insights you likely have not seen before.  His words should be considered carefully and shared broadly.

Credit: Jwire

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The good news for today has to do with medical developments.

A team of researchers from Tel Aviv University, Israel’s Technion, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Sheba Medical Center have discovered what causes melanoma cells to turn into aggressive tumors.  The scientists are convinced that it will soon lead to a breakthrough treatment.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/melanoma-cure-may-be-within-reach-tel-aviv-u-study-shows/
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Dancing can treat Parkinson’s.  When Professor Rafi Eldor was told that he had Parkinson’s disease, seven years ago, he felt that the sky had fallen on him.  Two years later he took up dancing and now watch him dance to the theme tune of the movie “Skyfall”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cBYGh2E6t4

07/24/15

Thousands Rally in Times Square to Stop Iran Deal

The American Report

In response to Barack Hussein Obama’s unprecedented capitulation to Iran, the world’s most prolific sponsor of terrorism, more than 12,000 people gathered in Times Square to protest the deal.

Holding signs that read “No Nukes for Iran,” “Don’t Trust Iran,” and “Urge Congress to Stop Iran from Going Nuclear,” protesters were sounding the alarm bell for a deal that does effectively nothing to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. Indeed, it encourages the rogue nation to develop ever more destructive methods of killing innocents.

The civilized and respectful crowd gathered for more than six blocks, from 42nd St into the Fashion District. With the exception of a single counter-protest that was intentionally provocative, there was no detectable acrimony in the crowd. Instead, they focused their concerns and anger at Senator Chuck Schumer, who could potentially prove the decisive vote to approve, or derail, the deal.

stop iran

The rally featured an all-star cast of speakers, including retired military, national security experts, politicians, and journalists. Among the speakers were Admiral James ‘Ace’ Lyons, Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney and Clare Lopez, Major General Paul E. Vallely, Colonel Allen West, and Caroline Glick, who presented via television from Israel.

Col. West’s speech, delivered without notes, electrified the crowd as he spoke from the heart about the greatness of America and the smallness and treachery of Obama and Kerry. This deal is yet another betrayal to the military veterans who fought in Iraq, only to have Obama intentionally lose the war and hand over parts of the country to ISIS.

Gaffney ended his speech calling this “deal” with Iran what it actually is – “TREASON!”

If it Walks like a Duck, and Quacks like a Duck…

Why would Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry hand a carte blanch deal to Iran? A deal that allows inspections only after a lengthy appeals process and 24 days between inspection requests and actual inspections?

Extensive research has shown conclusively that the Obama administration is filled with agents of the Muslim Brotherhood, the mothership of all Islamic terrorism. In Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria, the United States backed Muslim Brotherhood rebels to overthrow stable governments. This plan was made explicit in a secret presidential directive, PSD-11.

Once the Muslim Brother Mohamed Morsi was elected President in Egypt, he traveled to Tehran to establish a closer relationship with the terror master Mullahs.

Kerry, who like Obama is desperate for a legacy, is personally close to the Iran because his daughter is married to an Iranian man with family there. Moreover, Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, who many believe to be the true force behind this calamitous presidency, was born in Shiraz, Iran.

The rally was organized by a large and diverse coalition of organizations that included activists and concerned citizens who are anti-terrorism, pro-Israel, and for a strong national defense of America and American values.

03/25/15

Exposed

Arlene from Israel

Before we take a look at the broader situation, I share two announcements:

This Friday, March 27th, at noon, there will be a press conference and a “Keep Iran Nuclear Free” rally, at 780 Third Avenue (between 48th & 49th Streets) in Manhattan. This is in front of the offices of the Manhattan offices of New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to urge these Senators to commit to overriding President Obama’s expected veto of two important pending bills on the issue of Iran.

The Bipartisan Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015, sponsored by Senators Kirk and Menendez, imposes new sanctions on Iran if international negotiators fail to reach a deal by June 30 on Tehran’s nuclear program.  Fourteen Senators, including Senator Schumer co-sponsored the bill.

The Bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, sponsored by Senators Corker, Menendez, Graham and Kaine, mandates that the president must submit the text of any agreement with Iran to Congress; prohibits the administration from suspending congressional sanctions for 60 days, during which Congress would hold hearings and review the agreement; provides for Congressional oversight; and requires assessments and certifications of Iranian compliance.

Every vote is needed.

It is best if you can attend, but in any event, if you live in NY state, you are encouraged to reach Senator Schumer via: http://www.schumer.senate.gov/ and Senator Gillibrand via: http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/

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And then, for Israelis and those planning to be in Israel over the Pesach week:

I have written about the illegal building for Arabs that the EU is sponsoring, and the excellent report about this that the organization Regavim has released.  Now Regavim is sponsoring a bus tour to allow you to actually see this massive illegal building in Area C and Jerusalem. In the end, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself.

Date and time: Wednesday, April 8th, Hol Hamoed Pesach, from 1:30 to 4:30 PM.

Location: Buses will depart from and return to the Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem.

Cost: 100 NIS or $25.

An expert will accompany each bus; detailed maps will be provided, as will water.  Bring your own food.

For information: Dr. Jan Sokolovsky, [email protected]

To Register: by April 3, www.regavim.org.il/en/events/Pesach

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As to what has been exposed (if you haven’t already guessed), it is Obama’s hatred for our prime minister and his paranoid vindictiveness.

However supporters of Obama (particularly Jewish supporters) have, over the past years, tried to convince themselves that Obama was a friend of Israel, it has never been the case.

If you doubt this, please take the time to see this video (with thanks to Michael Widlanski for calling it to my attention):

“Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wbH5KVPrPo&feature=youtu.be

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What has happened now is that Obama’s antipathy for Israel has grown enormously.  The president does not like to lose and is not fond of compromise.  If he does not achieve what he wants, he goes after those whom he sees as stumbling blocks.


Credit:  Telegraph (UK)

It was bad enough for him that, in spite of his efforts to block Bibi, our prime minister came to the Congress – to a resounding welcome that must have been galling for the president – to speak against the deal with Iran that is close to completion.

Clearly, he resolved to “fix” Bibi after this, by making sure that he was not re-elected.  We know that there were American funds invested in the effort to defeat Bibi at the polls, as well as assistance provided to the Buji campaign by former Obama advisor Jeremy Bird and the team he brought with him.

An official here in Jerusalem has charged that the White House was directly involved in the attempt to unseat the prime minister:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/officials-white-house-was-part-of-bid-to-oust-netanyahu/

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But there is even worse: There are reports from a Likud strategist of an effort “’to organize the [Israeli] Arabs into one party and teach them about voter turnout.

“’The State Department people in the end of January, early February, expedited visas for [Israeli] Arab leaders to come to the United States to learn how to vote,’ McLaughlin exposed.

“He added, ‘there were people in the United States that were organizing them to vote in one party so they would help the left-of-center candidate Herzog, that the Obama administration favored.’” (emphasis added)

This, my friends, was the source of Bibi’s concern during the election that the Arabs were coming “in droves.”  He knew it was a set up, but Obama then turned this into a “racist” statement, which it was not.

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In the end, all of the dirty tricks didn’t work, and Netanyahu secured a victory.  Oh, how galling this must have been for Obama.

I’ve already written about his overheated response, with the decision to “re-evaluate” the US relationship with Israel.

But since I last wrote, it has gotten worse still.  The latest accusation is that Israel “spied” on negotiations with Iran and then leaked information to members of Congress.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4640317,00.html

Spied?  What does this mean?  There is no evidence offered, simply an empty (silly) charge.  Does Obama imagine that Israel designed little robots that look like flies and were able to sit on the wall of the negotiating room, recording information? What?

The information I do have is that Israeli officials are in touch with some of those who are in the negotiating process – primarily from France – and have been thus kept informed. This is not “spying.”

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And then there is the whole issue of Netanyahu “sharing” information with members of Congress.

Please understand what sort of siege mentality the president has, that he considers it inappropriate for members of Congress to know what’s going on. This is at the core of Congress’s battle with him:  Its members believe they must be informed and involved, and he’s fighting them every step of the way.

What is more, there is no evidence, either, of Bibi having shared information with members of Congress.  Speaker of the House John Boehner said he was “shocked” by this accusation, for he has never received any information about the Iranian negotiations from Israel, and he was unaware of other members of Congress having received such information.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/03/24/boehner-%e2%80%98shocked%e2%80%99-by-reported-israeli-spying-on-iran-talks-denies-receiving-information/

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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, and Defense Minister Bogie Ya’alon have all categorically denied the accusation of spying.

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What we have here, then, is a very sick situation.  Exceedingly nasty.  Dangerous, certainly. But it seems to me beyond the bounds of what is rational. This is Obama becoming unhinged.

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And you know what?  In some respects, I see this as not a bad thing. For, many who supported Obama – who believed him when he said he had Israel’s back – have now had their eyes opened. There is a significant shift in how Obama is being seen in several quarters within the US.  Consider (with emphasis added):

’The fact that the outcome of a democratic election in Israel seems to be of great concern [to the Obama administration] is cause for deep anxiety and puzzlement,’ said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee.’

“’Whatever the failings of the prime minister, the way this is unfolding runs completely contrary to the spirit of US-Israel relations,’ Harris said. ‘The US appears to have a reasoned interest in prolonging the crisis’

”’As someone who was critical of several steps by [Netanyahu] during the campaign leading up to his reelection, I am even more troubled by statements now coming out of the White House,” said Abe Foxman, longtime national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

What we are hearing from the Obama administration raises deeper questions about their intentions and perspectives,’ he said, adding that ‘from the beginning of the Obama years, there was a disturbing indifference to the mind-set of the Israeli public.’”

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Jewish-establishment-sounds-alarm-as-White-House-rhetoric-intensifies-394978

OK, so now we have establishment Jewish leadership – which has pretty much toed the line for Obama – looking askance at him.  Good.  Hopefully there is a body of Jews within the American electorate that is now also revisiting the issue of Obama as friend of Israel.

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But there is also a troubling side to this situation: That is Netanyahu’s MO – his propensity for seeming to play the game rather than being confrontational.  We had reason to hope there had been a shift away from this tendency of his.  He demonstrated a strong conviction and was willing to buck the president when it came to his talk in Congress.  This was the Bibi to be admired and supported. He showed he could do it – as he has shown before.  I remember his lecture to Obama in the White House, as to why we cannot return to the ‘67 lines.

But now?  Now I have picked up news that – if accurate – is greatly unsettling:

According to YNet, Israel is freezing construction of 1,500 new housing units in Har Homa:

“The massive construction plan in Har Homa has been suspended ‘for neither planning nor professional reasons.’

“The Ministry for Construction and Housing and Jerusalem municipality confirmed that two critical planning discussions set for the coming week on advancing the construction have been canceled for unknown reasons.

“Planning officials familiar with the details of the plan told YNet that the program is not being advanced due to the political sensitivity and that there had been no approval from the Prime Minister’s Office to hold the planning discussions.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4640852,00.html

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Har Homa (officially Homat Shmuel) is outside the Green Line and often referred to as a “settlement” in “east (sic) Jerusalem.”  In fact, it is in the south of Jerusalem, within the municipal lines of a united Jerusalem, and a strategically important neighborhood.  Founded in 1997, under the watch of Netanyahu, it is located only about a kilometer from Bethlehem.  Netanyahu has indicated that this neighborhood serves as protection for “the southern gateway of Jerusalem.”  The area is being constructed in stages – reportedly there is a master plan; the current population is 25,000.

New housing units in Har Homa
Credit: European Press Photo Agency

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Just days ago, before the election, Netanyahu stood in Har Homa and pledged to continue building in Jerusalem.  He knows that it is possible to continue in spite of international uproar, for he faced an uproar when approving the construction of the first stage of Har Homa 18 years ago.

Yesterday, at a  press conference, Obama declared that Netanyahu’s words have made the possibility of a “two state” deal unlikely:

“Netanyahu, in the election run-up, stated that a Palestinian state would not occur while he was prime minister.  And I took him at his word that that’s what he meant.

“Afterwards, he pointed out that he didn’t say ‘never,’ but that there would be a series of conditions in which a Palestinian state could potentially be created. But, of course, the conditions were such that they would be impossible to meet any time soon.”

Obama said that in light of Netanyahu’s comments, the “possibility seems very dim” for the Israelis and the Palestinians to reach an agreement.

“’We can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy on something that everybody knows is not going to happen, at least in the next several years,’ the president said.”

http://news.yahoo.com/israel-denies-spying-us-134204766.html

It is hardly necessary for me to say much about how dishonest and low Obama’s approach is.  As if everything was in place, and peace was going to burst out any second – but Netanyahu destroyed it.  As if Netanyahu’s conditions were anything but reasonable.

This statement by Obama followed a speech by his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, in which he declared that “an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”

Bibi knows full well how correct he is about the impossibility of a “Palestinian state” now – because of the terrorism in the region, and because of Abbas’s total intransigence as well (never mind because of our legal rights).  But there remains great unease that Obama’s approach may put him on the defensive and motivate him to “prove” his intentions.

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As far as I can determine at present, the report about the stoppage for political reasons is coming only from YNet – which has a distinctly leftward tilt. The prime minister’s office, referring more to bureaucratic process, denies the stoppage was motivated by politics.

This is a situation that must be watched closely. Within days we should have a more definitive picture.

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We might hope that Bibi Netanyahu would take the advice of Brett Stephens, writing on “The Orwellian Obama Presidency” (emphasis added):

”Here is my advice to the Israeli government, along with every other country being treated disdainfully by this crass administration: Repay contempt with contempt. Mr. Obama plays to classic bully type. He is abusive and surly only toward those he feels are either too weak, or too polite, to hit back

The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance…Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now, all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months.”
http://www.wsj.com/articles/bret-stephens-the-orwellian-obama-presidency-1427153308?mod=hp_opinion

AMEN!