07/13/15

A Lethal Farce

Arlene from Israel

For days, I have delayed writing because the situation regarding negotiations with Iran has been so much in flux.  I was waiting, waiting, for some outcome or closure.  My own feeling for some time has been that there is the possibility that there will be no deal, as the Iranians in the end might balk at signing.

No deal would be the best we might hope for now. Great damage has already been done.  But at least this way, Obama’s insanity would be exposed and he wouldn’t be able to claim “victory.”  And then, if/when Israel were to attack Iran, there would be no charge that an agreement that would have brought “peace” had been sabotaged.

In truth, the Iranians pretty much have what they want already – insofar as much sanction relief has been provided upfront, European nations are clamoring to trade, and the international community has conceded the Iranian “right” to operate centrifuges.  Why mess things up by signing an agreement that calls for inspections, however limited, or other controls?

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The problem, of course, is that, while Iran hasn’t come to terms with signing, neither have the mullahs said negotiations were at an end.  They have been willing to play the game, on and on and on, all the while advancing their nuclear agenda.

While the American administration – in spite of Kerry’s feeble claims that he wouldn’t stay at the table forever – has been reluctant to be identified as the party that called an end to proceedings. Then, of course, the Iranians would charge that it was the US that was refusing to cooperate on a deal.

Thus have the negotiations gone past one deadline after another.  I came to refer to this process, in my own head, as “faux negotiations.” These are not legitimate negotiations, for there is no real give-and-take.

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This is how journalist Daniel Greenfield described the situation in “Obama’s Infinite Nuclear Deadlines for Iran” (emphasis added):

“’We are certainly not going to sit at the negotiating table forever,’ John Kerry said. That was last year around the time of the final deadline which had been extended from July 2014.

“’New ideas surfaced’ in the final days, he claimed and ‘we would be fools to walk away.’ That’s also the theme of every sucker caught in a rigged card game, MLM scheme and Nigerian prince letter scam.

Smart people walk away after getting cheated. Only fools stay.

“The final deadline was extended to March. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in March that, ‘I think it’s fair to say that we’ve reached our limit, right now, in as far as the conversations have been going on for more than a year.’

“The March deadline was extended until the end of June.

“Earnest said earnestly that the Obama Squad was ready to walk away even before June 30. An official claimed, ‘No one is talking about a long-term extension. No one.’

“The Iranians had a good laugh and sent the US negotiators out to fetch them some coffee and smokes.

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“…But Kerry was almost coherent compared to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini who stated that, ‘We are continuing to negotiate for the next couple of days. This does not mean we are extending our deadline.’

“When you don’t treat a deadline as final, that means it’s being extended. A deadline that isn’t kept, isn’t a deadline. It’s an ex-deadline pining for the peaceful Iranian fjords.

“But Federica explained that the deadlines weren’t being extended, they were being ‘interpreted… in a flexible way.’ A flexible deadline is a good metaphor for the Obama negotiating posture.

If the negotiators can’t even make one of many deadlines stick, who really believes they’ll stand their ground on nuclear inspections or sanctions snapback?

“…Obama’s people have admitted that they will negotiate until doomsday. And doomsday is likely to be the date that Iran detonates its first bomb.

“…The deadline concession officially puts Iran in the driver’s seat.”

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259412/obamas-infinite-nuclear-deadlines-iran-daniel-greenfield

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And so… yesterday it was announced that a deal was very imminent and would likely be announced on Monday. (Monday midnight – tonight – is the latest deadline.) Hearts sank, stomachs clenched, at this possibility.

But here it is, Monday evening, and still no deal.  AP, reporting this afternoon, says a deal is still elusive (emphasis added):

Disputes over attempts to probe Tehran’s alleged work on nuclear weapons unexpectedly persisted at Iran nuclear talks on Monday, diplomats said, threatening plans to wrap up a deal by midnight

“The diplomats said two other issues still needed final agreement — Iran’s demand for a lifting of a U.N. arms embargo and its insistence that any U.N. Security Council resolution approving the nuclear deal be written in a way that stops describing Iran’s nuclear activities as illegal…”

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-talks-hit-final-stage-announcement-expected-064307157–politics.html

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The UN arms embargo has to do with conventional weaponry and impinges directly on Iranian plans for hegemony in the region.  But it has implications even beyond this.  As Andrew Bowen writes, in “Give the Mullahs Ballistic Missiles?” (emphasis added):

Ending an arms embargo on Iran will only destabilize the Middle East and threaten U.S. national security

“Advocates of this policy have three main arguments.

“First, that the U.S. shouldn’t get preoccupied by this small snag…

“Second, Washington’s concessions on the embargo aren’t a big deal because these negotiations are focused on Iran’s nuclear program…

Finally, there’s a claim that Iran simply needs advanced weapons to help defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria….

“Matthew McInnis, a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former senior expert on Iran at the CENTCOM, argues, ‘these are all red herrings. They distract from Iran’s real threat to U.S. national security interests: an unfettered Iranian armed forces’

It is one of the great ironies with this potential deal that in trying to constrain Iran’s nuclear program for ten to 15 years, we may actually help create an Iranian military that puts the lives of American sailors, soldiers, and airmen at serious risk.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/13/give-the-mullahs-ballistic-missiles.html

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Omri Ceren’s observations on this:

“…it just doesn’t seem possible that the Americans can give ground on this. What’s the sales pitch to Congress going to be? ‘Not only are we giving Iran $150 billion to bolster its military, but we’re also lifting arms restrictions to make it easier for them to buy next-generation cruise missiles they’ll use against the U.S. military and our allies.’

“…yes of course lifting the arms embargo would detonate American national security

“…If Kerry agrees to drop the arms embargo, it’s difficult to see Congress accepting the agreement. If Kerry gets the Iranians to give up on the demand, Congress will want to know what he had to trade away to do it.”

But (see below), Khameini is saying all his red lines have to be met, if there is to be an agreement.  If the Americans cannot accept it, is this a genuine sticking point? Or, if they do, the kiss of death in Congress?

Whatever the case, it is imperative that all Americans be aware of what is going on here, and hold Congress accountable.

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Perhaps by midnight tonight there will be a deal.  But do not count on it. There is talk of extending negotiations into Tuesday. In fact, there are reports that hotel rooms have been booked again in Vienna by the US delegation.

While Iranian media outlet PressTV cites Iran’s nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi (emphasis added):

“…certain issues still remain. As long as these issues are not settled, one cannot say we have reached an agreement. I cannot promise that the issues will be resolved by tonight or tomorrow night.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/july-13-2015-liveblog/

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If there is a deal, it will be the stuff of nightmares, beyond horrific.

Yesterday we saw photos of the overwhelming crowds in the streets of Tehran, waiting to celebrate the agreement.  Horrendous.

Aerial view of Tehran

Credit: Reuters

Hey folks, if the Iranians are that pleased, something is very very wrong.

According to the semi-official news agency Fars, the anticipated agreement complies with all the “red lines” set out by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Khamenei had put forth these “red lines” last month, in talks with Iranian president Rouhani.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/07/12/iran-state-media-says-final-nuclear-agreement-includes-all-khameneis-demands/

Providing a somewhat different take, a Khamenei advisor, going by the name Velayati, has tweeted that: “Any deal in Vienna will be provisional, subject to approval by ‘Supreme Guide.’”

Iran's supreme leader and pivotal political figure has used a vast financial empire to secure his power, according to an investigation.

Credit: AFP

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Also a signal of something very wrong is the readiness of the Obama administration to continue negotiations even as Khamenei calls for a continuing struggle with the US – which he refers to as an “arrogant power” – regardless of what deal is signed.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4678652,00.html

Last Friday, in Tehran, “Al Quds Day” was observed by crowds of tens of thousands shouting, “Down with America,” “Death to Israel.”

Iranian protesters mark 'Al-Quds Day' in Tehran, July 10, 2015.

Credit: AP

Not even the specter of a burning American flag prompted Obama or Kerry to protest, or gave them pause regarding the wisdom of the negotiations.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it clear again and again that Israel will not be bound by a bad deal with Iran.  Yesterday at the weekly Cabinet meeting, he showed a video of President Clinton, in which he praised a nuclear deal with North Korea, which would make the world safer.  We all know how that turned out.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/12/blasting-world-negotiators-for-parade-of-concessions-to-iran-netanyahu-drives-home-his-point-with-a-bill-clinton-video/

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In an interview with The Times of Israel yesterday, Dr. Dore Gold, who is currently serving as Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, let it be known that (emphasis added):

“Israel won’t be shy about making its views on the Iran deal heard on Capitol Hill…While Israel needs to express its concerns with civility, he stressed, the government is gearing up to firmly advocate its position in discussions with all the relevant players in the US government. ‘We’ll do it respectfully, but we have to tell the truth,’ he said.”

Reports The Times:

“According to other Israeli diplomats, never before has a Foreign Ministry director-general been as close to the prime minister as Gold is to Benjamin Netanyahu, who also happens to be serving as interim foreign minister. Unlike his predecessors, Gold, who immigrated to Israel in 1980, can pick up the phone and call Netanyahu at any time. It is quite clearly Gold, rather than Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who is calling the shots in Israel’s diplomacy, these diplomats say, acting as Netanyahu’s trusted emissary.”

’The story of Iran’s nuclear capability is not over,” said Gold, the author of a 2009 book on the Iranian regime’s bid for the bomb.

“…he hailed Netanyahu, whom he has advised since the mid-90s, as the courageous defender of the entire region, single-handedly bearing the burden of opposition to a deal that all Sunni states loathe but don’t dare to publicly criticize.

“’They can afford a strategy of silence when there is one player in the region who is defending not just itself but the entire Middle East,’ Gold said. ‘When Prime Minister Netanyahu stands up and attacks Iran, he’s not just defending Israel. He’s defending Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and all the other Sunni countries.’”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/battle-to-thwart-the-iran-nuke-deal-is-not-over-foreign-ministry-chief-vows/

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Gold’s role here is important not only because of his close relationship with Netanyahu.  It is also because he carries a certain prestige as an academic, author and diplomat.

Dr. Dore Gold

Credit: Flash 90

In truth, we do not yet know how this will play out.

06/18/15

UAE Port Agreement: More Clinton Pay for Play?

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media often asks whether the news media would have covered a story the same way under President George W. Bush as it does under President Barack Obama. The lease provided to Gulftainer USA, a subsidiary of a United Arab Emirates (UAE) conglomerate called Crescent Enterprises, at the vital national security hub of Port Canaveral, Florida, once again confirms the media double standard.

Is this more Clinton shenanigans and conflict of interest? What was Obama’s role, and why are the media ignoring this story?

While in 2006 a multiple port purchase with links to a government with ties to terrorists incited controversy and outrage among the media and in Washington, a UAE terminal lease starting this month has been met with a virtual media blackout.

“In 2006, that concern was over port security and was centered on President George W. Bush approving a deal with Dubai Ports World to operate shipping operations in six major American cities,” writes columnist Ellen Ratner for WorldNetDaily. “The media and the political establishment went ballistic over the revelation.”

Hillary Clinton, then a Democratic senator from New York, was one of the leaders of the successful effort to ultimately block the Dubai Ports World from happening.

“Nine years later, however, a similar announcement is being met with relative silence.”

Ratner points out that Port Canaveral is home to, among other things, a “U.S. Air Force base, a submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space center,” making it a national security target. Yet, as Jerome Corsi wrote for WND, “Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, a former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, approved the Gulftainer deal without seeking the formal approval of the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, CFIUS.”

“U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who played a key role fundraising for Barack Obama’s 2008 successful presidential run, appears to have signed off on the Gulftainer deal with Port Canaveral,” reports Corsi.

The Wall Street Journal did report on Gulftainer’s terminal opening on June 12. However, the very short article reads more like a press release, merely repeating the statements of the company’s managing director without including alternative perspectives.

Yet even managing director Peter Richards acknowledges the 2006 parallel. “He said the company had been apprehensive about entering the U.S. market since the controversy surrounding a…deal to give management contracts for terminals at six major U.S. ports, including Miami, to Dubai Ports World, a state-owned enterprise that is, like Gulftainer, based in the United Arab Emirates,” reports Robbie Whelan for the Journal. “The deal was ultimately scuttled after public outcry and politically-charged debate among policy makers in Washington.”

But that’s where The Wall Street Journal’s superficial attempt at reporting ends.

Majid Jafar, the brother of the head of Crescent, is Co-Chair of a program called Business Backs Education launched with Bill Clinton in March 2014. The Gulftainer deal was negotiated under the codename “Project Pelican” for a year until signed in June 2014.

The UAE was also a first-time donor to the Clinton Foundation in 2014, and gave between $1 million and $5 million, according to The Washington Post’s searchable database.

Did the Clintons’ contacts help to seal the deal? Ratner calls the speculation at least “out there,” despite being a “large stretch.” Given the Clintons’ scandal-filled history the media might want to at least look into this one. It actually isn’t much of a “stretch,” but rather just more evidence of the type of pay for play that characterizes much Clinton activity.

“A quick Google search reveals that conservative blogs have suggested the company may have shipped weapons through its ports to terror groups in Iraq and may have help helped Iran ship weapons to Gaza,” reports Ratner. This was “acknowledged by Florida Today,” she writes, and has “prompted protests at the site of Gulftainer’s terminals.”

The mainstream media’s decision to look the other way on more Obama administration malfeasance, and possible backroom deals, should incite outrage equal to, if not greater, than the Dubai Port Worlds incident. “Whether or not Gulftainer is cause for alarm is beyond my judgment, but there is nevertheless a stunning level of hypocrisy in Washington, D.C., over the issue,” commented Ratner, who is definitely not a conservative.

There is more than political hypocrisy here. This is part of the concerted mainstream media attempt to preserve President Obama’s legacy at all cost by not pursuing stories, by not investigating angles, and by not reporting any news that might possibly damage the Obama administration or presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

06/12/15

Why Are TPA & TPP Being Referred to as Obamatrade?

By: Nancy Salvato

In an article by Connor Wolf called This Is The Difference Between TPP And TPA (Hint: They Are Not The Same Thing), he explains that these two bills are linked together because Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is a means to fast track passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I am confused by this line of reasoning because as a stand-alone bill, TPA is intended to provide transparency to all trade negotiations by soliciting public and congressional input throughout the process, however, TPP as a stand-alone bill, is a behemoth and most of the information to which the public has access has been leaked. Furthermore, it was negotiated behind closed doors. According to the verbiage of TPA, if TPP is not negotiated using TPA guidelines, the fast track option is negated. So why do news outlets and a wide range of legislators portray these two bills disingenuously? Bundling the TPA and TPP as one idea called Obamatrade is no different than bundling immigration reform and border security, which are two separate issues. One is about drug cartels and terrorism and the other is about how we manage people who want to immigrate to the United States.

Challenges TPA hopes to remedy throughout the negotiating process and in resulting trade agreements have parallels to challenges facing the US and its allies when agreeing to make war on the foreign stage. While one president may assure allies that US troops will assist in gaining and maintaining freedom, i.e., Iraq, a new administration or congress may change the terms, leaving a foreign country abandoned, with the understanding that the US cannot be relied upon to meet its agreed upon obligations. When negotiating foreign trade agreements, this same realization comes into play when negotiations that took place in good faith are undermined by a new administration or congress that change the terms. TPA hopes to create a set of consistent negotiating objectives when hammering out trade agreements, allowing agreements to transcend administrations and congresses.

The following excerpts from a letter written to President Obama from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R, AL) would alarm any person who understands the division of powers and checks and balances built into our rule of law.         Posted in Exclusive–Sessions to Obama: Why Are You Keeping Obama Trade’s New Global Governance Secret? Sessions explains:

“Under fast-track, Congress transfers its authority to the executive and agrees to give up several of its most basic powers.”

“These concessions include: the power to write legislation, the power to amend legislation, the power to fully consider legislation on the floor, the power to keep debate open until Senate cloture is invoked, and the constitutional requirement that treaties receive a two-thirds vote.”

Understanding that Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Representative Paul Ryan have gotten behind TPA, it would be short sited and irresponsible not to probe further into why they aren’t exposing these violations of our rule of law.

According to The Hill’s Daniel Horowitz in TPA’s ‘Whoa, if true’ moment, Cruz and Ryan have explained, “most of the content of the bill is actually requirements on the executive branch to disclose information to Congress and consult with Congress on the negotiations.” Congress would be informed on the front end, as opposed to debating and making changes to what was already negotiated. This is important because as Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome and K. William Watson explain in Don’t Drink the Obamatrade Snake Oil:

Although trade agreements provide a mechanism for overcoming political opposition to free trade, they also create new political problems of their own, most of which stem from the inherent conflict in the U.S. Constitution between the power granted to Congress to “regulate commerce with foreign nations” (Article I, Section 8) and that granted to the president to negotiate treaties (Article II, Section 2) and otherwise act as the “face” of U.S. international relations. In short, the executive branch is authorized to negotiate trade agreements that escape much of the legislative sausage-making that goes in Washington, but, consistent with the Constitution, any such deals still require congressional approval—a process that could alter the agreement’s terms via congressional amendments intended to appease influential constituents. The possibility that, after years of negotiations, an unfettered Congress could add last-minute demands to an FTA (or eliminate its biggest benefits) discourages all but the most eager U.S. trading partners to sign on to any such deal.

TPA, also known as “fast track,” was designed to fix this problem. TPA is an arrangement between the U.S. executive and legislative branches, under which Congress agrees to hold a timely, up-or-down vote (i.e., no amendments) on future trade agreements in exchange for the president agreeing to follow certain negotiating objectives set by Congress and to consult with the legislative branch before, during, and after FTA negotiations. In essence, Congress agrees to streamline the approval process as long as the president negotiates agreements that it likes.

For a really good argument for fast tracking, watch the video that can be found here:

Here’s why the TPP is such a big deal 03:24

K. William Watson explains in What’s Really in the New Trade Promotion Authority Bill? TPA will actually bring more transparency to the negotiating process:

The current bill would require the administration to provide public summaries of its negotiating positions. This will give the public something concrete to debate without having to resort to conspiracy claims or wild theories. It will also help everyone see more clearly how negotiators intend to implement the negotiating objectives of TPA.

It will also require that every member of Congress has access to the full text of the negotiations from beginning to end.

If TPA actually does what it is intended, a bill like TPP could not possibly be held to an up or down vote because it would not have been negotiated using the processes as outlined. Or could it? This administration passed Obamacare, which is a tax; they wanted comprehensive immigration reform and secure borders yet they openly courted Latin American countries to bring their kids to the border; they said they’d be the most transparent administration but there has been a dramatic lack of transparency, one must pass the bill before knowing what’s in it.

Perhaps what it all boils down to is what Rick Helfenbein writes about in Trade promotion authority, a Washington drama:

There are other conservatives like Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) who remain adamantly opposed to giving the president (presumed) additional authority. Jones said of Obama and TPA: “Given his record, I am astonished that some of my colleagues are so eager to fork over even more of their constitutional authority to the [p]resident for him to abuse.”

While this article addresses the issue of TPA, it doesn’t begin to address the arguments against TPP, for example The Guardian’s C. Robert Gibson and Taylor Channing’s conclusion that, “Fast-tracking the TPP, meaning its passage through Congress without having its contents available for debate or amendments, was only possible after lots of corporate money exchanged hands with senators.” That is an article for another day.

Nancy Salvato directs the Constitutional Literacy Program for BasicsProject.org, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country. She is a graduate of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Academy for Civics and Government. She is the author of “Keeping a Republic: An Argument for Sovereignty.” She also serves as a Senior Editor for NewMediaJournal.us and is a contributing writer to Constituting America. Her education career includes teaching students from pre-k to graduate school.  She has also worked as an administrator in higher education. Her private sector efforts focus on the advancement of constitutional literacy.

06/12/15

Dubai-based Gulftainer and Its Terrorist Ties

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Gulftainer, a Middle East-based company, is opening its first American cargo terminal today at
Port Canaveral. The new terminal is expected to have a $630 million impact on the local economy.
(VIDEO STILL/Gulftainer)

Gulftainer Co. Ltd., an Emirati container terminal operator, opened its first US terminal today in Port Canaveral, Florida. A number of staunch conservatives showed up to protest the opening and with good cause.

The terminal, which has leased land at Port Canaveral for 35 years, marks the first significant containerized cargo operation there and has the potential to expand to other ports. With two gantry cranes and 20 acres of container storage space, Gulftainer estimates that terminal could handle up to 200,000 TEUs—or the equivalent of 200,000 20-foot-long shipping containers—each year.

Gulftainer hopes to capitalize on Central Florida’s growing role as a logistics hub, with inland warehouses, rail access to the Northeast and Midwest and land for infrastructure development. Periodically docked at Port Canaveral are nuclear assets for the US military and NATO, so this is also a national security issue.


PORT CANAVERAL, FL April 22, 1994 A port quarter view of the British nuclear-powered
ballistic missile submarine HMS Vanguard (SSBN-50) arriving in port. NASA’s giant Vehicle Assembly
Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center and various space launch pads can be seen in the distance.
UAE’s Gulftainer is building an intermodal container terminal on the same side of the port as the
U.S. Navy submarine base. (Image credit: U.S. Navy/OS2 John Bourvia/Wikimedia Commons)


Map of Port Canaveral, Florida showing Gulftainer’s area of operations, US Navy Trident
submarine base and Canaveral Air Force Station.

Peter Richards, Gulftainer’s managing director, said he has been trying to bring Gulftainer, which operates container terminals in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, North Africa, Brazil and elsewhere, to the US for about two years. Founded in 1976, Gulftainer is a subsidiary of privately-held conglomerate, Crescent Enterprises, based in the United Arab Emirates. Notice that the countries where this company operates have terrorist ties and/or are hostile to the US. Since Dubai Ports World created a ruckus in 2005 when trying to take control of a number of US ports, Gulftainer has been hesitant to enter the market in the US. But with the Progressive/Marxist atmosphere of the Obama Administration and the blatant colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood here in our government, the time seemed just about right for allowing an Islamic entity to move in and control a major US port, I guess.

Gulftainer is a $100 million investment and simply put, should not be allowed. Since we are in military conflicts across the globe with radical Islamists and countries such as UAE and Qatar are known to have deep terrorist ties, this company should have been thoroughly vetted before allowing them in as an owner of a strategic port. Instead, few have looked into them and they are heralded as an outstanding company.

The promise of new jobs should not overshadow the fact that this company is a security risk. And with nuclear subs docking there, can we afford that kind of gamble? Port leaders expect the new business to create 2,000 jobs with an impact of more than $630 million on the local economy of Port Canaveral.

Perhaps we should listen to those there that are questioning the sanity of allowing a Middle Eastern company to control a port that is of huge significance to the US:

But some opponents, including a California congressman, have raised concerns that the company’s ties to [the] Middle East make it a bad choice to be located near the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and other military installations.

“We’re not bad people as I try to emphasize,” said Peter Richards, Gulftainer’s managing director. “We’re good people here for the good of the community (and) the good of the port. And I think in the next six months, they’re going to see that. We’re going to actually generate Canaveral into a good logistics hub.”

Some bloggers have even claimed Gulftainer helped ship weapons to terrorist groups, but the company said that’s not true.

“The garbage that they put about us being linked to terrorist groups, where do they come off?” Richards said. “I don’t understand how anybody can do that. We’re trusted by 15 governments worldwide. We actually cooperate with your own military. We actually provide the logistics for the American forces in the Middle East.”

Port Canaveral leaders are coming to the defense of the company.

“We’ve selected them because they are good, quality people,” said John Walsh, CEO of Port Canaveral. “They are one of the best terminal operators in the world, and then to have members of our community say things that are inappropriate, racist and profiling. To me, that’s not OK.”

And exactly how do you know they are such ‘good’ people? And is it really racist to question the terrorist ties of a company moving into your community? Sounds like those so-called leaders are telling residents to just shut up and go away – that they should know their place and leave big business to the elites as it should be. I don’t think so. Must of been a lot of silver that crossed the palms of leaders and business icons there in Port Canaveral. They’ve been blinded by the shiny light of corruption.

Gulftainer is adjacent to a US Navy nuclear submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It has allegedly been shipping weapons through the Port of Umm Qasr to two Iranian-backed terrorist militia groups in Iraq, the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), according to a leak from Iraq General Port Company officials in Basra to Iraqi media.

According to the 1776 Channel, who has done yeoman’s work on this subject, Port Canaveral is home to critical national security operations and infrastructure. A plethora of space and defense installations and programs, many of them highly classified, are situated either inside the port or within the immediate vicinity:

• NASA Kennedy Space Center and Visitor Complex
• Patrick Air Force Base
• Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
• US Navy Trident submarine base (Trident Turning Basin)
• Top secret Air Force space plane
• National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) spy satellites
• Department of Defense/Boeing GPS satellites
• SpaceX resupply missions to the International Space Station
• SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket
• NASA Orion deep space capsule project and test launches
• United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy Rocket
• United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket
• Nuclear submarines resupply operations
• Lockheed Martin Fleet Ballistic Missile Eastern Ranger Operations
• Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) – Seismic, hydroacoustic and satellite monitoring of nuclear treaty signatory nations
• Air Force Space Command/45th Space Wing
• Air Force 920th Rescue Wing (Combat Search and Rescue)
• Craig Technologies Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center
• Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
• US Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral
• Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection
• Numerous defense contractors (too many too list)

This deal has actually alarmed the military and is raising the eyebrows of a number of security experts. It was approved by Treasury Secretary Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew, a former senior adviser to President Clinton. Gulftainer’s exclusive arrangement with Port Canaveral was negotiated in secret under the code name ‘Project Pelican.’ Evidently, you have to sign the deal before you can know what is in it there in Port Canaveral. Sound familiar? And when all else fails, pull the race card to shut people up.


THE RED SEA – MARCH 5, 2014 – IDF forces seized an Iranian weapons shipment intended for
terrorists in the Gaza Strip during the early morning hours of March 5, 2014. Israel Navy Commander
Maj. Gen. Ram Rothberg led the operation from aboard the Israeli ship and Chief of the General Staff
Lt. Gen. Benjamin “Benny” Gantz oversaw it from the Israel Navy operations room.
(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Flikr/Israel Defense Forces)

Gulftainer USA (GT USA) is a unit of UAE’s privately-held intermodal container terminal operator Gulftainer, which in turn is a unit of Crescent Enterprises, part of the Crescent Group conglomerate. The Jafar family owns both of these and has close ties to former President Bill Clinton. The UN is also tied to Gulftainer and just recently it was strongly suspected that Gulftainer was involved with Iran in shipping rockets to Gaza. The shipment were seized by Israel and the reports are classified, so it cannot be proven (yet) that this is the case. But there is an excellent chance that Gulftainer is involved in smuggling weapons and arms for and to terrorists.


The course of the Iranian weapons shipment. (Image credit: Israel Defense Forces)

It would seem that not only do we have people in the US in the highest levels of government that could not pass a background check to clean toilets… we also have Middle Eastern countries being waived into sensitive ports without so much as the most minor of security checks. That’s like sitting on a ticking time bomb and praying that it won’t blow up like a jihadist in a Palestinian work accident. It’s insane. Port Canaveral might want to consider their hasty decision before a nuclear weapon glides into that port that could be used against the US. Just sayin’.

There are brave folks in Florida standing up to this and protesting. I’d like to close with a few pictures from this morning, courtesy of Andrea Shea King of the Radio Patriot:

06/3/15

Unity

Arlene From Israel

Because first things must come first, I begin by marking National Unity Day.

As Michelle Napell of One Family Fund wrote in a message:

“We prayed for them, we cried for them and now we remember them.

“It has been one year since terrorists kidnapped and murdered Israeli teenagers, Gil-ad Shaer z’l, Eyal Ifrach z’l and Naftali Fraenkel z’l. As thousands of Israelis searched for them last summer, Jews from around the world united in an unprecedented way to support the boys’ families as they coped with uncertainty, pain and loss.

“Today, the 16th of Sivan 5775 – June 3rd 2015, Unity Day has been designated to remind us that regardless of our challenges, there will always be far more that unites us than divides us.”

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A video:

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/this-is-how-the-jewish-people-respond-to-tragedy/

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We, the people of Israel, are indeed remarkable in how we respond to tragedy.

My prayer – and let it be the prayer of everyone – is that we come together like this, by the hundreds of thousands, the millions, ultra-Orthodox and secular, Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrachi, young and old, to celebrate peace and blessings upon the nation.

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A clarification, prompted by questions from a couple of readers:

I did not write yesterday that the US has never sold bunker busters to Israel.  Indeed, it has.  But those bunker busters are smaller ones, such as BLU bunker busters.  The BLU 109 weighs 2,000 pounds and the BLU 113 weighs 5,000 pounds.  Both of these munitions, were, I believe, recently acquired by Israel from the US to augment existing stores, but are a very far cry from the MOP, which weighs 30,000 pounds.

What the US has provided cannot break into the underground reinforced nuclear facilities of Iran, or pierce through the mountain at Fordow.  The MOP, which can, the US will not sell to Israel.

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The full interview of Obama, which I wrote about yesterday based on highlights, was released last night. When I wrote, I discussed what he said about Iran. But there was a second major theme he touched upon: “the peace process.”  I had hoped to come back to this today even before the full interview was released.  Now what he said about negotiations has been featured in news stories, and a response is even more important.

I find it fascinating, that some sources refer to Obama’s interview as a “charm offensive.”  But I?  I do not find him charming at all.  (Major understatement.) He spoke about being there for Israel, and understanding how Israelis feel, and having concern for Israeli wellbeing, etc.  Facile words. Let’s look a bit closer.  He said (emphasis added):

I think Netanyahu is someone who is predisposed to think of security first; to think perhaps that peace is naïve; to see the worst possibilities as opposed to the best possibilities in Arab partners or Palestinian partners. And so I do think that, right now, those politics and those fears are driving the government’s response.”

He was concerned, he said, about Israel having a “politics that’s motivated only by fear,” which could stand in the way of “peace” with the Palestinians Arabs.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4664266,00.html

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What motivates Netanyahu is a prudent and highly realistic assessment of the situation. Regrettable – no, despicable – that Obama chooses to demean this realism.

Every time Israel has withdrawn from territory, radical terrorist groups have moved it.  This is not “fear;” it is historical fact.

Hamas, which overthrew Fatah (the PA) in Gaza eight years ago, is itching to do the same thing in the Arab areas of Judea and Samaria. There is a strong Hamas presence there, and the only thing that prevents them from pushing over Abbas – who is extraordinarily weak and unpopular – is the presence of the IDF.  The IDF does operations daily (actually, nightly) – uncovering weapons caches and exposing places where weapons are manufactured; arresting wanted terrorists and foiling plans for terror attacks.

Were we to pull out of Arab areas of Judea and Samaria, we would have a terrorist entity in our midst.  A fact that is of no concern to Obama, obviously.  Obama, who cares for Israel.

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There is more: the terror entity at our border in the end might not be Hamas, but jihadist groups that make Hamas operatives look like peaceniks.

Take a look at this map:

Jordan

Credit: lonelyplanet

Jordan is to Israel’s east.  At Jordan’s north and north-east are Syria and Iraq – hotbeds of instability and fierce violence, home to ISIS and other savage jidhadist groups.

The king of Jordan sits uneasily on his throne, for there are radical elements in his nation already. Should he fall, and radicals take control, they would quickly move into Judea and Samaria, if that region, or part of it, was controlled by the PA.  No way PA forces could repel them.  Only the IDF could stand against them.  If radical jihadist were to move into Judea and Samaria, they would bring with them rockets that could easily reach the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. And life as we know it in a thriving, vibrant Israel would come to a halt.

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Obama demonstrates unmitigated gall to suggest that it is an inappropriate and unconstructive “fear” that prevents Netanyahu from risking this scenario by “taking a chance on peace.”

As Obama exposed his intentions towards the Iranian negotiations by taking the military option off the table, so does he here expose his true disregard for Israel.

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And still there is more, as Obama also said that Israel is losing its “credibility” with its “intransigence” – “so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions will be met anytime in the near future.”

When asked about maintaining anti-Israel vetoes at the UN, he hedged:

“Well, here’s the challenge. If in fact there is no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there is a peace process, then it becomes more difficult to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation.

“It is more difficult for me to say to them, ‘Be patient, wait, because we have a process here.'”

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This is a veiled (or not so veiled) threat: go back to the table or I may not support you at the UN.

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Obama’s entire representation of the situation is distorted.  He puts the onus on Israel, ignoring the many compromises that have been made by Netanyahu over time – compromises not in Israel’s best interest, such as release of prisoners, and freezing of construction in Judea and Samaria. At the same time, he fails to mention the enormous intransigence of Abbas, and that it was Abbas who walked away from negotiations the last time around.

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You can see the text of the entire interview here:

http://www.vosizneias.com/205071/2015/06/02/jerusalem-obama-netanyahu-stance-on-palestine-endangers-israels-credibility-entire-tv-interview/

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Having said this about Obama, I now make comments about Netanyahu, as well:

Just the other day, I wrote about this, as I have many times before.  It is not enough, to refuse to negotiate a state with the Palestinian Arabs because of the security risk – as legitimate as this reason is.

Now is the time: Our government must declare the fact of Israeli rights to the land.

The message Obama delivered in his interview was, undoubtedly, the motivating factor for Netanyahu’s recent statement that “two states for two people” is the only possible solution.  It is time to stop appeasing, to stop turning into a pretzel in order to demonstrate how willing Israel is to negotiate.  We cannot win this way.  We simply weaken ourselves.

It is time to start telling Obama and the greater Western world:

  • that Abbas doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he refers to “the 1967 border”
  • that there never was a Palestinian state
  • that we are not occupiers in Judea and Samaria
  • that international law gives this land to the Jews
  • that Judea and Samaria represent the historical Jewish heartland

It is time to go on the offensive. And to start talking about alternatives to “the two state solution.”

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Abbas repeatedly refers to his intention to seek statehood via the UN.  But what he is doing abrogates the Oslo agreements.  Israel has simply chosen not to call him on this.  The fact that we have no obligations under Oslo any longer also needs to be said loud and clear.

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I close here with on remarkable statement by Abbas that should be sent to Obama by about 10,000 people.

Abbas was in Amman, to smooth over some tensions.  In the course of statements he made, Abbas, cited directly by Al Quds, said that the relationship between Jordan and Palestine is the relationship of “one people living in two states.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196194#.VW9DEZuJjIV

How about that? Then there is no “Palestinian people” after all, huh?  Abbas ought to know.

05/26/15

The Jihad Caucus

By: James Simpson
DC Independent Examiner

Turban Durbin

Strange Politics

The United States allows 70,000 people from all over the world to obtain legal permanent residence through our Refugee Program–one of the most generous in the world. We also bring in another 40,000 or so through the Asylum program. Then there is the Special Immigrant Visa for people from Iraq and Afghanistan–about 10,000 in FY 2014–and a Cuban/Haitian Entrant program bringing in another 20,000 annually. That adds up to about 140,000.

Many of these “refugees” come from Islamic countries like Somalia, Iraq and Iran, bringing with them at least the potential for terrorism, in many cases a contempt for our country and the almost universal edict among Muslims to dominate. Islamic supremacist Mega Mosques are being erected all over the country, vigorously supported by the Obama Justice Department, which runs interference for them over the objections of local citizenry.

It’s about to get worse. The Syrian civil war–enabled at least partially by Obama’s insane foreign policy–has created a refugee crisis, with approximately 2.9 million Syrians now living in refugee camps in surrounding countries. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees wants the U.S. to accept 130,000 Syrians by the end of 2016. We have only taken 700 so far, but given the FBI’s warning that it cannot guarantee ISIS or other terrorists are not among the refugees, even that is too many.

Not to be dissuaded from such silly national security concerns, a group of 14 U.S. senators, led by the indefatigable Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, have written a letter to Obama urging him to allow 65,000 Syrians in as refugees. This would require a dramatic expansion of the refugee program, and virtually guarantee that a sizable number of ISIS fighters would slip in among them. Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy has given them the moniker “Jihad Caucus” because practically speaking, Jihad is what this request will bring.

The 14 senators demanding this massive influx of Syrians are:

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Al Franken (D-MN)

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Patty Murray (D-WA)

Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Christopher Coons (D-DE)

Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Edward Markey (D-MA)

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

These same 14 sent another letter in April Demanding action on the Syrians. These senators have truly earned the name Jihad Caucus. A few years back, Dick “Turban” Durbin, as he has been called, said U.S. troops guarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners, were Nazis. Sounds like a bit of projection to me.

05/24/15

Brigitte Gabriel at UN 4/17/15

About 500 people managed to squeeze into the room to see Brigitte Gabriel’s keynote speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on April 17th. It was a historic opportunity to speak directly to leaders who have the power to put a stop to the systematic slaughter of non-Muslims.

Brigitte gave an impassioned speech, drawing from her own experiences growing up in Lebanon. She urged the UN and its member states to recognize the horrors being inflicted on Christians by the Islamic State and other radical groups, while calling to action the thousands watching. “We must take action,” she said. “As a nation if we can, as individuals if we must.”

We must not close our eyes to this modern day holocaust, as the massacre of Christians across the Middle East is a perilous threat to our civilization as a whole.

05/21/15

“Commencing” Climate Change – POTUS Warns Coast Gards Grads At Commencement