Arlene from Israel

I’ve long known that Daniel Greenfield – who formerly posted as “Sultan Knish” – is an incisive, politically-incorrect, “tell-it-as-it-is” writer.  In his latest piece – “Time to Call Obama and Kerry What They Are: Traitors” – he does not disappoint.

Credit: FrontPage Magazine

Greenfield is not one to dance around reality, excusing Obama as someone who just doesn’t get it, or who is too idealistic, or…  He presents facts straight on, and draws his conclusions (emphasis added):

“The last time a feeble leader of a fading nation came bearing ‘Peace in our time,’ a pugnacious controversial right-winger retorted, ‘You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.’ That right-winger went on to lead the United Kingdom against Hitler.

“The latest worthless agreement with a murderous dictatorship is being brandished by John Kerry, a man who instinctively seeks out dishonor the way a pig roots for truffles…

“John Kerry betrayed his uniform and his nation so many times that it became his career. He illegally met with the representatives of the North Vietnamese enemy in Paris and then next year headed to Washington, D.C. where he blasted the American soldiers being murdered by his new friends as rapists and murderers ‘reminiscent of Genghis Khan’…

“Kerry revolted even liberals with his gushing over Syria’s Assad. Now he’s playing the useful idiot for Assad’s bosses in Tehran.

“For almost fifty years, John Kerry has been selling out American interests to the enemy. Iran is his biggest success. The dirty Iran nuke deal is the culmination of his life’s many treasons.

It turns America from an opponent of Iran’s expansionism, terrorism and nuclear weapons program into a key supporter. The international coalition built to stop Iran’s nukes will instead protect its program.

And none of this would have happened without Obama.


“Obama began his rise by pandering to radical leftists on removing Saddam. He urged them to take on Egypt instead, and that’s what he did once in office, orchestrating the takeover of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and across the region. The Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, but Obama had preserved the Iranian regime when it was faced with the Green Revolution. Now Iran is his last best Islamist hope for stopping America in the Middle East.

“Obama and Kerry had both voted against designating Iran’s IRGC terrorist ringleaders who were organizing the murder of American soldiers as a terrorist organization while in the Senate…

Throughout the [negotiating] process they chanted, ‘No deal is better than a bad deal.’ But their deal isn’t just bad. It’s treason.

Obama isn’t Chamberlain. He doesn’t mean well. Kerry isn’t making honest mistakes. They negotiated ineptly with Iran because they are throwing the game. They meant for America to lose all along.

“When Obama negotiates with Republicans, he extracts maximum concessions for the barest minimum. Kerry did the same thing with Israel during the failed attempt at restarting peace negotiations with the PLO. That’s how they treat those they consider their enemies. This is how they treat their friends.

A bad deal wasn’t just better than no deal, it was better than a good deal.

Obama did not go into this to stop Iran from going nuclear. He did it to turn Iran into the axis of the Middle East.

Obama made this deal to cripple American power in the Middle East.

“Iran get[s] to keep its nuclear facilities, its reactors, including the hidden underground fortified Fordow facility which Obama had repeatedly stated was, ‘inconsistent with a peaceful program.’

“The deal gives Iran a ‘peaceful’ nuclear program with an equally peaceful ballistic missile program. It puts into place a complicated inspection regime that can be blocked by Iran and its backers. It turns Iran into the new North Korea and the new Saddam Hussein, lavishing money on it while running future administrations through a cat and mouse game of proving violations by the terrorist regime.

“And Obama made sure the Iran deal was written to make the proof as hard to obtain as possible.

“That hasn’t stopped Obama from lying and claiming that ‘Inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities.’ Meanwhile France’s Foreign Minister, somewhat more accurately put it, ‘The IAEA will be able to gain access to Iran’s military sites, if necessary, under certain conditions’…


“One of the first items on Iran’s shopping list will be Russia’s S300 missile system to keep Israel or a future American administration from taking out Iran’s nuclear program. But Iran is also pursuing ICBMs that can strike at Europe and America. Obama’s decision to phase out the ballistic missile sanctions on Iran will make it easier for Iran to build weapons that can destroy major American cities.

And Iran’s new cash will empower it to fund terrorism in Israel, America and around the world.

“Obama claims to ‘have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons’ by allowing Iran to keep enhancing its nuclear program and rewarding it with ballistic missiles for its ‘peaceful’ intentions. He claims to have negotiated ‘from a position of strength and principle’ when in fact he surrendered to the Iranians on position after position. Tehran negotiated from strength and principle. Obama sold out America

“Obama and Kerry have not made this deal as representatives of the United States, but as representatives of a toxic ideology that views America as the cause of all that is wrong in the world. This is not an agreement that strengthens us and keeps us safe, but an agreement that weakens us and endangers us negotiated by men who believe that a strong Iran is better than a strong America

“Their ideology is not America. It is not American. It is the same poisonous left-wing hatred which led Kerry to the Viet Cong, to the Sandinistas and to Assad. It is the same resentment of America that Obama carried to Cairo, Havana and Tehran. We have met the enemy and he is in the White House.”



I’m not going to pursue a great deal of analysis now on how the Israeli government will make the case against this deal, or how Congress is likely to vote.  It’s too soon for that.  But this must be shared, immediately:

“Aside from removing UN conventional arms embargo on Iran after five years, the nuclear deal signed Tuesday by the P5+1 powers and Iran grants several other questionable concessions to the leading state sponsor of terror, unrelated to its controversial nuclear program.

“The most glaring of these concessions is seen by some as the inclusion of the name Qassem Soleimani on a list of companies and individuals who will have sanctions against them removed as expressly detailed in the deal, reports Yedioth Aharonoth.

Someimani is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander who leads the elite Qods Force, which conducts foreign operations outside of Iran’s borders and directs the Islamic regime’s terrorist activities throughout the world.

“While no clear reason was given as to why Soleimani – who is on the official American terrorist list, and whose Qods Forces have murdered American soldiers in Iraq – had individual sanctions against him removed, the move apparently comes due to the shared fight against Islamic State (ISIS) that Soleimani has been leading in Iraq in parallel to American efforts.

“Indicating the willingness to bend on principles in order to secure an Iranian alliance against [ISIS], US President Barack Obama was revealed to have sent secret letters last October to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenmei asking for cooperation against ISIS, in addition to asking for help in sealing the nuclear deal.

Thanks to the removal of sanctions, the arch-terrorist Soleimani will now be able to travel freely throughout the world, advancing Iran’s terror interests.”


IRGC Quds force head Qassem Soleimani
Credit: Reuters


If there is a glimmer of positive news here, it is that Prime Minister Netanyahu and head of the opposition Yitzhak Herzog have agreed that on the Iran issue it is important to show a united front:

Herzog and Netanyahu (archive)
Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90



Here we have incisive cartoon commentary from Ya’akov Kirschen, creator of Dry Bones:

 Dry Bones cartoon, Kirschen, Iran, agreement,Nukes,America,


I want to remind my readers in America how much depends on you.  You must stand up and be counted in the course of the next 60 days, with regard to your opposition to the Iran deal.  The situation is deadly serious and passivity is not an acceptable option.

For those in the NY area:

Watch for rallies in other parts of the country, as well.


EMET – The Endowment for Middle East Truth – which does lobbying in Congress, is urging contacts with Senators and Congresspersons.  You are being asked by EMET to fill out a form that will allow them to arrange crucial meetings in the Capitol.



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?


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.


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.


“…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.”



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…”



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.”



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.


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.”



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.


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


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.


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.


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.



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.’”



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.


How Many?

Arlene from Israel

How many times can I write about the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and demonstrate how Obama has caved even further?  How outrageous and terrifying and jaw-droppingly perverse it all is?

The new deadline for completion is tomorrow, July 7th.  And so I must return to this subject once again.  I will not belabor details of how the US administration has backed off in the face of Iranian intransigence, or has misrepresented the situation.  Unless you are deeply into those negotiating details, you are likely to find your mind spinning when confronted with yet more of them.

Here, I prefer to provide an overview, beginning with commentator Charles Krauthammer, who calls this upcoming deal “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history”.

Krauthammer says we don’t even need to focus on those details in order to understand the depth of the problem (emphasis added):

The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.

“In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized ‘successful regional power,’ Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling — the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting — under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.

“Then, instead of welcoming Congress’ attempt to tighten sanctions to increase the pressure on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by loosening sanctions, injecting billions into the Iranian economy (which began growing again in 2014) and conceding in advance an Iranian right to enrich uranium.

It’s been downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared essential to any acceptable deal.


“Inspections. They were to be anywhere, anytime, unimpeded. Now? Total cave..Nuclear inspectors will have to negotiate and receive Iranian approval for inspections. Which allows them denial and/or crucial delay for concealing any clandestine activities.

“To give a flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran’s lawyer on this one, explaining that, after all, ‘the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate’…the absurdity of morally equating America with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism…

“Coming clean on past nuclear activity. The current interim agreement that governed the past 19 months of negotiation required Iran to do exactly that. Tehran has offered nothing. The administration had insisted that this accounting was essential because how can you verify future illegal advances in Iran’s nuclear program if you have no baseline?

“After continually demanding access to their scientists, plans and weaponization facilities, Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago airily dismissed the need, saying he is focused on the future, ‘not fixated’ on the past. And that we have ‘absolute knowledge’ of the Iranian program anyway — a whopper that his staffers had to spend days walking back.

Not to worry, we are told. The accounting will be done after the final deal is signed. Which is ridiculous. If the Iranians haven’t budged on disclosing previous work under the current sanctions regime, by what logic will they comply after sanctions are lifted?

“Sanctions relief. These were to be gradual and staged as the International Atomic Energy Agency certified Iranian compliance over time. Now we’re going to be releasing up to $150 billion as an upfront signing bonus. That’s 25 times the annual budget of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Enough to fuel a generation of intensified Iranian aggression from Yemen to Lebanon to Bahrain.

“Yet three months ago, Obama expressed nonchalance about immediate sanctions relief. It’s not the issue, he said. The real issue is ‘snap-back’ sanctions to be reimposed if Iran is found in violation.

Good grief. Iran won’t be found in violation. The inspection regime is laughable and the bureaucratic procedures endless. Moreover, does anyone imagine that Russia and China will reimpose sanctions? Or that the myriad European businesses preparing to join the Iranian gold rush the day the deal is signed will simply turn around and go home?

“Nonnuclear-related sanctions. The administration insisted that the nuclear talks would not affect separate sanctions imposed because of Iranian aggression and terrorism. That was then. The administration is now leaking that everything will be lifted.


“Taken together, the catalog of capitulations is breathtaking….

What’s left? A surrender document of the kind offered by defeated nations suing for peace. Consider: The strongest military and economic power on earth, backed by the five other major powers, armed with what had been a crushing sanctions regime, is about to sign the worst international agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.

“How did it come to this? With every concession, Obama and Kerry made clear they were desperate for a deal.

“And they will get it. Obama will get his ‘legacy.’ Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will get the bomb.”


Credit: Real Clear Politics


Kerry has been making noises about how “We are close, but will not ‘shave margins’ to clinch an Iran deal.”

Do not believe him.  This is the one thing that we know will not happen.  After all of the concessions, all the work of pseudo-negotiations, Kerry is not about to throw up his hands and say, We tried, but we couldn’t reach an agreement and we declare negotiations failed.

Not only does the Obama administration want an agreement at all cost, they want it now:  According to the Corker-Cardin bill (the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015), if an agreement is sent to Congress by July 9, the House and Senate have 30 days to review it.  If it is submitted later, there is a period of 60 days provided for review.


So, it is possible that the parties will announce a full agreement that can be implemented immediately.  But, in light of the present situation, this is not likely to actually happen.

It is also possible that negotiations might be extended yet again, all the way through the summer.  It seems that if negotiations continue throughout the summer, the review time permitted to Congress reverts to 30 days again.  Seems a bit confusing, but this may have something to do with the fact that there is a Congressional recess involved in this timing.

What may be the most likely scenario is that “there will be a non-agreement agreement. The parties will announce they’ve resolved all outstanding issues but they still have to fill in some details.” This is how Omri Ceren of The Israel Project (TIP) sees it.


And then, my friends, once the “outstanding issues” are resolved, the matter will be referred to Congress.

Which means a great deal rests with each of you in the US.

Please, see and share this short and very powerful video.  At its end, a mechanism is provided for you to contact your elected members of Congress:


“Indifference is never an option,” says Eli Wiesel, in this video.

Credit: Bloomberg


I’ll pick up with other highly important issues next posting. Here I close with links to some matters directly relevant to the Krauthammer article:

“Oil-rich Iran is poised to benefit from an explosion of business from the west after a nuclear deal is signed and France has already taken its place on the starting line to get a piece of the pie…

“Since the start of tortuous nuclear negotiations with Iran, France has been seen as taking the toughest stand. Now as a deal nears, Paris must be ready to dash in and grab a slice of the long untapped market.

’The first repercussions of any deal will be the opening of the Iranian market. That’s what all the Western countries are waiting for,’ a top western diplomat said recently.  (Emphasis added)

“’They are jostling as if they’re at the start of a marathon, and are keeping a close eye on one another.’”


This solidly puts the lie to any claim by Obama that “snap-back” sanctions would work.


“Ram Ben Barak, director general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry and a leading candidate to be the next head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, told the Makor Rishon newspaper that ‘the deal which is about to be signed will allow Iran to decide by itself when it will be nuclear [armed], and that is the most problematic.’

“He said the lifting of sanctions would give Tehran ‘an ocean of money,’ allowing it to buy influence across the Middle East and ‘advance to a position where no one will be able to threaten it and it will acquire control wherever it pleases.’”  (All emphasis added)


Indifference is never an option.


Today is the sixth of July, which means I have passed the Fourth of July.  Once upon a time, I noted this day in my postings, and marked it with a graphic of fireworks.  The US is the land of my birth, and I still have a strong connection to her.  But mostly these days I worry about America.

It does not seem to me to be a time for fireworks (although I am sure many did enjoy the celebrations).  Instead, it seems to me a time for prayer: that America might grow strong again and reach her former grandeur, based on her traditional values.


Happy 4th of July

Credit: theedesign


Bone Weary

Arlene from Israel

Anyone who is tracking the news these days, and genuinely cares for the security of Israel and the future of the US – not to mention Europe and the Mideast – has got to have an extremely heavy heart.  We are facing some very dark times.

With regard to Israel, serious thinkers are pondering the best way to survive the 22 months until Obama is out of office.  But the problem is actually a great deal bigger than the issue of how Obama is behaving towards Israel – as much as this remains huge for us here.


Obama.  In addition to his irrational and venomous attacks on Israel, there is his courting of Iran.  One is the flip side of the other: Alienate Israel, buddy up to Iran.

We are now a mere two days away from the presumed deadline on a signed framework deal between Iran and P5 + 1.  (In reality this is a negotiation between Iran and the US, as the other negotiating partners, with the exception of France, have largely pulled back.)  How likely it is that a deal really will take place depends on whom you ask.  What is clear is that Obama – and Kerry, operating in his stead – are doing all they can to achieve this “diplomatic success.”

Because of Obama’s eagerness, what we are seeing is the stuff of nightmares.  Definitely nightmares, as it’s hard to believe this could be happening in the light of day.  The Iranians – recognizing very well with whom they are dealing – have consistently stonewalled on US demands.  Last Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal broke with a story on yet another US pullback, each in turn design to conciliate the Iranians (emphasis added):

Talks over Iran’s nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations.

“In response, these people say, the U.S. and its diplomatic partners are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before they agree to finalize a nuclear deal, which would repeal U.N. sanctions against the country.”


The issue is “possible military dimensions” (PMD).  As Omri Ceren of The Israel Project has explained (emphasis added):

“PMD disclosure is about base-lining all of Iran’s nuclear activities – not just its known civilian parts – as a prerequisite for verifying that those activities have been halted under a nuclear deal. Iran has uranium mines; some are civilian and some are military. It has centrifuges; some are operated by civilians and some by IRGC personnel. It has uranium stockpiles; some are maintained by civilians and some by the military. There’s no way for future inspectors to verify that Iran has shuttered its mines, stopped its centrifuges, and shipped off its stockpile – for instance – unless the IAEA knows where all the mines and stockpiles are.

“No PMDs mean no verification.”


And there’s more.  On Thursday, AP reported (emphasis added):

The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites…”


As Ceri explains here (emphasis added):

“Allowing the Iranians to enrich at Fordow means they could kick out inspectors at any time and have a fully-functioning enrichment facility hardened against military intervention. Since sanctions will be unraveled by design at the beginning of a deal, that means the West would have literally zero options to stop a breakout…

“The White House started out promising that Fordow would be shuttered, then that it would be converted into an R&D plant where no enrichment would take place, and now they’ve collapsed.”


Add to the above the fact that the US is ignoring the violent hegemonic encroachment of Iranian proxies across various areas of the Middle East – as if it were only the issue of nuclear capacity that must be dealt with.

There are, of course, Syrian president Assad, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon (and Syria).  But most recently what we’ve seen is the takeover of Yemen by the Shiite Houthis, also supported by Iran.  Houthi control of Yemen has enormous importance because of its strategic location, adjacent to Saudi Arabia.  From the Yemenite port city of Aden, the straits of Bab el-Mandeb, which are only about 20 miles wide, can be controlled.  The straits constitute a major chokepoint – so the party that controls the area has the capacity to block marine traffic from the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.8 million barrels of oil and refined petroleum products pass through the straits daily on their way to destinations in Asia, Europe and the US.

This is before we mention that increased Iranian backed presence in the Middle East is worrisome to Israel.

But the US is not paying a whole lot of attention. US special forces fled Yemen a while ago, and US negotiators are not raising this issue.  There are commentators who believe that the US should have walked out on negotiations until Iran withdrew support for the Houthis.  But that might have jeopardized the deal, which has first priority for Obama – the rest of the world be damned.


You want to know how crazy it is?  While Obama is promoting diplomatic ties with Iran and “reaching out” to the Iranians, we can see in a MEMRI video that Iranian leader Khamenei cries “Death to America.”



Amir Hossein Motaghi is an Iranian journalist who was supposed to be covering the negotiations, but has defected because he could not longer tolerate Iranian demands that he write his reports according to their specifications.

In a TV interview, he has now said:

The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”


If this does not blow your mind, you are not getting it.


What I really cannot grasp – even beyond the question of how a man such as Obama secured two terms in the White House – is why the other negotiating nations are being so passive, when Iran is a threat to them, or why the American people are not truly up in arms (meant figuratively here).


There are just a small number of possible recourses with regard to this situation:

The first is the US Congress, many of whose members – Republicans, but a handful of Democrats as well – indeed are grievously distressed by what is going on.  What is required is a sufficient number of votes in the Senate to over-ride a veto by Obama, so that sanctions to weaken Iran can be put in place appropriately. We are seeing signs that this may be possible.

“The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Thursday for a non-binding amendment to a budget bill intended to make it easier to re-impose sanctions if Iran violates a nuclear deal.

“The vote was 100-0 for the amendment, sponsored by Republican Senator Mark Kirk, which would establish a fund to cover the cost of imposing sanctions if Tehran violated terms of an interim nuclear agreement now in effect, or the final agreement negotiators hope to reach before July.”



And then there is Israel.

According to Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) there is time between the signing of a framework agreement now and the final agreement in June – at which point details would be factored in – when diplomatic maneuvering can still be done.  This would involve, it seems to me, key communication with France first – as France has the greatest unease about what is taking place.

Beyond this, there is the military option, with the moment of truth advancing rapidly.  We are now probably past the 11th hour, perhaps at about 15 minutes to midnight.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, again and again, that he will never permit Iran to become a nuclear power. He has also made it clear that Israel is not bound by the terms of a very bad P5 + 1 deal with Iran.

Just today, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a close Netanyahu associate, declared on public radio that Israel “will not be bound by an accord concluded by others and will know how to defend itself.” (Emphasis added)


What our government will do in the end, and what our military is capable of doing, remains to be seen.  Israel cannot take out Iran’s capacity for nuclear development entirely – but can, as I understand it, do considerable damage.

The scuttlebutt is that Netanyahu wants to attack, although I know people who are convinced he never will. (Please, do not write to share opinions on this.)  Some months ago, information was revealed indicating that at one point Defense Minister Ya’alon was opposed to an attack but has now changed his mind.

A key factor here is the readiness of Saudi Arabia, which is absolutely enraged with Obama’s inaction on Iran, to lend passive assistance, at a minimum, should Israel decide to attack. The Saudis would be delighted – make no mistake about this.  This assistance might make a difference in the end.  Because the other piece of the story is that Obama is trying his best to track Israeli intentions and to block us.


Leon Panetta – former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense under Obama, gave an interview to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC three days ago that merits mention here. Put simply, what he said was that he learned at the CIA and Defense that “The Iranians can’t be trusted.”

This is the bottom line.  Said Panetta (emphasis added):

“…the real test is going to be, and the whole world will be looking at it — the test will be have we truly made sure that Iran can be stopped from developing a nuclear weapon. And to do that in my book demands transparency and it demands accessibility so that we have a firm inspection regime that will guarantee they cannot do this.”


Precisely! And that is never, ever going to happen.


I recently encountered an article that asked, in its lead: Which side is Obama on?  That, my friends, is a rhetorical question.  It is clear that he is on Iran’s side.

That being the case, it is inevitable that the president would come down on Netanyahu in every way possible.  He wants to discredit him, and weaken him, and delegitimize his position, for Netanyahu is the key stumbling block to what he is trying to achieve.  There is no way for Bibi to make it “right” with Obama. It’s not really about the negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs or other related issues.

And facing the truth straight on also helps explain why Obama worked so hard behind the scenes to defeat Netanyahu in the elections, and why he is so frustrated now.


Just a moment here, then, to look at what is happening at home.  I wrote last week about the apparent halting of building scheduled for Har Homa in Jerusalem (and indeed I’ve received no information that it was anything else such as a bureaucratic mix-up).  That did not sit well.  Since I wrote about that, information has surfaced about Israel agreeing to release to the Palestinian Authority tax monies that had been collected – with some held back against money owed to Israel for electricity and other services.  On top of this, there is apparently a deal for Israel to sell gas to Gaza, with Qatar paying the bill.

This did not sound good.  Really not good. Certainly at first blush it looks like a caving to Obama under pressure, because there is so much talk about Israel’s “readiness’ for a “two state” deal.

But that’s at first blush, and I’ve been struggling with this long and hard over the last couple of days. Because there is another way to look at this.  If Netanyahu is making concessions to please Obama it is the height of foolishness, a terrible weakness, as nothing will please Obama where we are concerned.  The only way to respond to him is with strength.  Anything that smacks of weakness will simply invite more pressure.

But suppose Netanyahu is doing this to remove some of the poison spewed by Obama (Netanyahu is a racist, he does not want peace, etc.), in order to deal more placidly with others? Suppose he wants to approach Democrats in Congress conveying the image of someone who is willing to compromise for peace, so that they will hear him on Iran?  Suppose he wants to speak with French leaders – who are eager for “two states” – from a position that will make them more amenable to his message? Or with other European countries?  Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz suggests several nations are uneasy about the deal.

In light of the enormous weight of what our prime minister has to deal with, I prefer to cut him some slack here, for the moment, and see how the situation evolves. Today he told the Cabinet:

“This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that.”



I had hoped to discuss some matters related to the formation of the coalition here, but will table this.  Before closing, I want simply to look at a couple of relative bright spots in an otherwise grim picture.

Saudi Arabia, alarmed by the Houthi take-over in Yemen, and absolutely furious at Obama for opting out of involvement, decided to act, in concert with other Sunni allies.  This was promising, as the Iranian takeover by proxy in Yemen is being pushed back as a result of Saudi airstrikes that are being hailed a success. There is further talk of ground forces in Yemen, although my information is that it will not be necessary, as there are tribal groups in Yemen that are ready to act on the ground against the Houthis.

Even further, the Arab League, at the closure of a meeting in Egypt, has announced in principle the creation of a joint Arab rapid response force. Egypt, which would be a prime mover in the establishment of such a force, declared that it would consist of some 40,000 elite troops, backed by jets, warships and light armor.  What this means is that even though the US has totally abdicated its role of confronting Iranian regional aggression, there are Sunni Arab states presumably ready to step up, lest the feared and detested Iran take over the region.



Then see this report that says Hezbollah – operating at the behest of Iran – has been stopped by paramilitary rebel forces from establishing a major presence on the Golan directly adjacent to the Israeli border.




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/


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


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


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:



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.


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.


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.”


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.



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


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.


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.’”


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.


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.”



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


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.”


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.


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.


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.”



White House Takes Out Two Democrat Critics of its Insane Iran Deal in One Week: Hillary and Menendez

Doug Ross @ Journal

It would appear that the Obama back office is far more competent than its front office.

Lee Smith asks a logical question: We’ve Known About Hillary’s Email for Years. Why the Hoopla This Week?

Hillary Clinton…the public first became aware that Clinton was using her personal email two years ago, in March 2013, when a Romanian Internet activist using the nickname Guccifer hacked into Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL account and uncovered a trove of work emails between the two from and to her personal account…

So, why did it take the Obama Administration two years to admit to what was already known and to then suggest that Clinton’s behavior was reckless and may have even been criminal? And why did it take so long for a major news organization like the New York Times to come up with the big “scoop” it published earlier this week?

Or to put the question another way, why did Hillary Clinton become the Obama Administration’s bête noire this very week, the same one during which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled all of the world’s focus onto the issue of the administration’s negotiations with Iran?

The answer is that the two are related: This week’s tarring of Hillary Clinton is part of the White House’s political campaign to shut off debate about its hoped-for deal. It’s not hard to see why they’re anxious. With Netanyahu’s speech forcing lawmakers and editorial writers to face up to the proposed agreement’s manifest problems, the administration fears the prospect of Democrats jumping ship and signing on to Kirk-Menendez sanctions legislation that also would give Congress oversight on the deal. So far, the White House has managed to keep Democratic lawmakers in line, no matter how much they seem to question the wisdom of the proposed deal. Hillary Clinton, gearing up for a 2016 run in which she is likely to put some distance between herself and Obama’s dubious Middle East policies, is the one major national Democratic figure who can give Democrats in Congress cover.

Did someone say Menendez?

Via CNN:

The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.

People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors’ request to proceed with charges, CNN has learned exclusively.

Back in January, Sen. Menendez made headlines for blasting the Obama administration’s handling of the Middle East, saying that the White House sounds as if their talking points “come straight out of Tehran.”

The “timing” was noticed:

Let’s see. The DOJ has ignored a series of egregious felonies committed by Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, Steven Miller, Lisa Jackson, and a host of others.

Why then, would it now attack Robert Menendez, Democrat Senator from New Jersey?

Well, just four days ago, the National Journal reported that “At AIPAC, Sen. Menendez Goes Head-to-Head With the Obama Administration on Iran”</strong>.

March 2, 2015 Sen. Bob Menendez takes joy in being on the wrong side of Tehran, and he’s not afraid of being at odds with his own party’s White House.

“When it comes to defending the U.S.-Israel relationship, I am not intimidated by anyone—not Israel’s political enemies and not by my political friends when I believe they’re wrong,” Menendez declared to an energized crowd at the AIPAC policy conference Monday evening… A call to action for his fellow members of Congress, Menendez vowed never to back down from a brawl to defend the U.S. and Israel’s “sacrosanct” and “untouchable” relationship.

Menendez’s speech marked a crescendo in a long and—at times—tense relationship with the Obama administration. As the White House seeks to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, Menendez has been the leading Democrat questioning the process. While President Obama has demanded cooperation from Congress, the Foreign Relations Committee’s top Democrat sponsored legislation in December that aimed to bog Iran down with more economic sanctions. His intent was to put more pressure on the country to cooperate with the United States, but the White House claimed it undermined its months-long discussions.

Gee, but I’m sure all of these revelations and criminal charges are just a coincidence.

Hat tip: BadBlue News.


America—You be the Judge

By: Retired Adm. James A. Lyons
Accuracy in Media

President Obama’s adamant refusal to link the barbaric atrocities committed by the Islamic State and affiliated al-Qaeda militias to Islam is an insult to the intelligence of all thinking Americans.  His insistence that these atrocities are the result of “violent extremism,” not associated with Islam, lessens his already diminished credibility. The Quran and Islamic Law (Shariah) prove him wrong since there are 109 verses in the Quran that can be considered to sanction violence. Furthermore, chapter 2, verse 106 (on abrogation) makes it clear that the later violent verses take precedence over the earlier, less violent ones.

In February, President Obama hosted a White House Summit on countering “violent extremism.”  As it turned out, it was essentially a public relations media event that had nothing substantive to offer in terms of countering the Islamic State’s barbaric acts of terrorism. Instead, it was more of a leftist, progressive agenda sympathetic to “Islamic sensibilities and grievances.” It cited lack of education and job opportunities as part of the root cause that enables IS to attract young Muslims. Mind boggling, particularly when Christians, women, and children are having their heads chopped off and are being buried alive.

If it were to have been a serious summit, you would have expected the Director of the FBI and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be full participants. However, they were not invited. Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its front organizations were full participants, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), both unindicted co-conspirators for funding terrorism from the 2008 Dallas, Texas Holy Land Foundation Trial. Another MB front organization, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was also represented.

The question must be asked: how can the Obama administration continue to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood when its declared creed, verified by the FBI, is to destroy the United States from within by our own “miserable hands,” and replace our Constitution with Islamic “Seventh Century” Shariah Law?

The MB today, with its deep penetration of all our national security and intelligence agencies, has now been institutionalized. With its carte blanche entry into the White House, it has, in effect, become a defacto cabinet member. All Americans should understand that there is no difference between the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Their objectives are all the same, it’s only the methods they use to achieve it that may be different. It is a totalitarian ideology bent on world domination (same as Communism), with Islam the dominant religion and Shariah the law.

The policies of the Obama administration in countering the Islamic jihadists of IS are clearly confusing to our allies. To understand President Obama’s strategy, everything this administration does must be viewed through the prism of his stated objective:  to “fundamentally transform America.” This strategy is clear. It is anti-US and anti-Western—but pro-Islam, pro-Iran and pro-Muslim Brotherhood. With his Marxist background, it can be assumed that Obama does not view American power and influence as a force for good in the world. Otherwise, why would he want to fundamentally transform America? Therefore, anything that undercuts US military power and influence is viewed as being “objectively progressive.” President Obama’s refusal to provide legitimate defensive weapons to Ukraine falls under this category. The net result is the emasculation of NATO.

The “leading from behind” strategy announced at the start of the Libyan war, and the unilateral disarmament of our military forces, also fall under this category. A defining moment in the Libyan war was when the Obama administration switched sides in the global war on terror and provided weapons and material support to al-Qaeda and MB-controlled militias. Furthermore, as we now know, the Libyan war was unnecessary since Muammar Gadhafi was prepared to abdicate.

The Middle East today is a disaster area with failed states in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and now Yemen. What’s astonishing is that we are now a de facto partner with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran. By so doing, we are enhancing the expansion of Iran’s hegemony throughout the Middle East at the expense of our long term allies—Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The Obama administration’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq gave Iran a clear signal that we would not contest their influence over Iraq. It was a foolish, or worse, attempt to obtain a nuclear weapons agreement with the evil Ayatollah Khamenei regime. Today, Iran is already a nuclear threshold state that has sufficient enriched uranium to make 8 to 12 nuclear weapons within a few months. Furthermore, a reliable source has informed me that Iran secretly bought four nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Muslim Republic of Kazakhstan in 1992. They were said to have been transferred to Iran and stored in the Lavizan military site near Tehran.

More recently, it was reported by Jerome Corsi of WorldNetDaily, on 26 February, 2015, that Iran is operating another secret advanced, uranium underground enrichment site northeast of Tehran that was previously unknown to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

With thousands of American lives lost due to Iran’s more than 35 years of aggression against the United States, it is inconceivable that any American administration would agree to enter into such a critical agreement, like the one currently being negotiated with such an evil regime.

When you consider all of the above, as well as the Obama administration’s abuse of power and the many scandals including Benghazi, the IRS, Operation Fast and Furious, Obamacare, and the immigration fiasco, any other administration would be brought up on charges of threatening the security of the United States. America, it’s up to you to influence your representatives to hold President Obama accountable.


Obama’s Dangerous Iran Nuke Deal

By: Alan Caruba
Warning Signs

Iran NukesThe Feb 10 Wall Street Journal editorial asked

“Has the U.S. already conceded a new era of nuclear proliferation?” and concluded that “Mr. Obama is so bent on an Iran deal that he will make any concession to get one.”

As we should know by now, President Obama has no negotiating skills and even less understanding of the world the U.S. used to lead by virtue of its military power and democratic values.

If he succeeds in getting a deal, absent Congress doing anything about it, the Wall Street Journal says it will result in “a very different world than the one we have been living in since the dawn of the nuclear age. A world with multiple nuclear states, including some with revolutionary religious impulses or hegemonic ambitions, is a very dangerous place.”

Yes, but. We already live in such a world and the real question is whether, absent their “revolutionary” rhetoric, shouting “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” do those at the top levels of the Iranian ruling structure want to risk having their nation destroyed if they were ever to use nuclear weapons?

No nation on Earth has done so since the U.S. ended the war with the Japanese Empire with two atom bombs rather than put at risk the lives of our troops in an invasion. Why do we think Iran would use their nukes if they acquired them?

The short answer is that the United Nations has passed six resolutions to deny Iran the capability of developing a military nuclear program and the current negotiations, the P5+1, while led by the U.S., are joined by Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

irannukes1Nations in the Middle East and around the world are inclined to think the Iranian leadership would use such weapons. Obama is intent on ignoring their judgment.

If you want to know why Iran continues to be involved in negotiations to restrict its nuclear weapons agenda, you need to know that the U.S. will release $11.9 billion to Iran by the time the talks are concluded in June. That’s the figure cited by our own State Department.

On January 21, the U.S. released $490 million, the third such payment since December 10. For sitting at the negotiations table, Iran will secure $4.9 billion in unfrozen cash assets via ten separate payments by the U.S. It had received $4.2 billion in similar payments under the 2013 interim agreement with the U.S. and was given another $2.9 billion by the Obama administration last year in an absurd effort to get them to agree to end their effort to become a nuclear power.

In a sense there are several Iran’s. There is the Iran of the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guard, both committed to the Islamic revolution that brought the present day Iran into being in 1979. They value having a nuclear weapons capability no less than the U.S. or other nations do.

Then there are the Iranian realists who would far prefer a detente between the U.S. and Iran because they believe it would be in both our interests. These are the voters who elected Hassan Rouhani in 2013 to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has served in office from 2005. They represent some 70% of its citizens would want peace, trade and normal relations with the U.S. Their leaders, however, have thoughts of hegemonic power in the Middle East to advance Shiite Islam.

The problem is that many of the Iranian leadership do not speak in terms other than an utter contempt for the U.S. and with an outspoken enmity for any nation that opposes the expansion of Islam. In late January, one of its newspapers, Kayhan, reported that “Professors, students and employees at the Imam Sadeq University, condemning the insults against the prophet of Islam by Charlie Hebdo…demand closure of the French embassy in Tehran.”

The demonstrators carried placards read, “I am not Charlie, I am the innocent child of Gaza”, “Death to America”, “Death to Israel”, “Death to Britain”, “Death to France”, ‘Death to Wahabism” and comparable signs all indicative of Iran’s hostility to any response to the terrorism it has sponsored for decades since the Islamic Revolution was initiated there in 1979.

On January 23, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying “I do not believe that ten years of confrontation will have had any benefits for anyone. Ten years of sanctions has yielded 19,800 centrifuges, exactly that which the sanctions wanted to halt.”

There is no question that sanctions and the long negotiations have reduced Iran’s capacity to create nuclear weapons agenda. The current negotiations, however, are signaling an abandonment of that policy.

At Friday prayers in late January, Hojjat al-Eslam Zazem Sediqi told those in attendance “Our statesmen should know the enemy, should know with whom they are dealing and negotiating with…You are speaking with wild beasts which do not show mercy to (anyone) young or old, and who insult the Prophet, the most sacred of sacred.”

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDC) maintains a constant monitoring of Iranian news media and government outlets. The reported news out of Iran paints a picture of fire-breathing zealots against a moderate political class and population. The question is whether the zealots will have the final word.

On January 28, Ali Alfoneh, a FDC senior fellow, authored a policy brief that concluded that “Even in the unlikely event that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his negotiating team reach a nuclear agreement with international negotiators, its implementation may well fall to the Islamic Revolutionary Corps…The IRGC’s vociferous opposition to nuclear concessions and improving ties with the West raises serious questions over whether future Iranian governments will uphold any nuclear deal that the current one signs.”

There are two major power centers in Iran, the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and the IRGC. Rouhani is routinely referred to as “a moderate.” As Alfoneh noted, “Meanwhile, Rouhani’s cabinet is torn between public demands for jobs and human rights, the creeping infiltration of the IRGC, and the Supreme Leader’s dogged attempts to maintain the status quo at all costs.”

In late January, the Democrats on Capitol Hill, led by Robert Menendez (D-NJ) gave Obama another two months to reach a deal before they vote for new sanctions. In the House, progressives are urging their colleagues to hold off moving any legislation that would tighten economic penalties on Iran. At this point, the only thing that has worked has been sanctions and the return of frozen funds, a form of bribery.

Meanwhile, Iran has taken credit for the training and arming of Shiite rebels who overthrew the leadership in Yemen. Iran also supports the Hezbollah in Lebanon that is threatening Israel from the area of the Golan. In reprisal for a recent attack, Israel responded with an air strike that killed an Iranian general. None of this helps position Iran as a potential peaceful partner.

This is why John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, has invited Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to address a joint session of Congress. He did so without consulting the White House, but we should keep in mind that Obama released five Taliban generals from Gitmo without consulting Congress.

Netanyahu will spell out what he has said in the past. A nuclear Iran is an existential and a potentially catastrophic threat to Israel. He will likely point out that it is a threat to Saudi Arabia and all the other nations in the Middle East and worldwide.

The question is whether we are dealing with rational people leading Iran or not. In the end, we are asked to assume that even the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards want to live, want their children and grandchildren to live, and want their nation to continue. That is what Obama is betting on. The problem with that is that Islam puts a high value on martyrdom.

© Alan Caruba, 2015



Arlene from Israel

There is a colossal danger to the world coming down the road:  A nuclear Iran.  It’s scary as hell because of the radical jihadist intentions of the Iranian mullahs.

Right now the president of the United States and the Congress of the United States are at odds regarding how to respond to Iran.  Currently there is a “Joint Plan of Action” (JPOA) in place – an agreement between Iran and P5 + 1 (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – those nations in negotiations with Iran). This is a temporary agreement, scheduled to end on June 30, 2015 (having been extended from its prior expiration date of November 24, 2014).

JPOA outlines restrictions placed on Iran, and sanctions relief provided to Iran, for the course of negotiations regarding final understandings on Iran’s nuclear status.  It is theoretically the case that all negotiations are to be completed by that June deadline.


Obama, in his State of the Union address, pledged to veto any legislation that imposes sanctions on Iran – a statement which is a direct challenge to the Congress. The president claims that such sanctions would be destructive to negotiations.  What he has done is to misrepresent the position of Congress – for the legislation that is being advanced calls for additional sanctions ONLY IF and ONLY AFTER negotiations had failed.

The bill –  sponsored by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) – has bi-partisan support.  In fact, it was Menendez, ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has voiced the most vociferous criticism of the administration position.  Addressing administration officials in the course of a hearing on Iran, he said:

“I have to be honest with you, the more I hear from the administration…The more it sounds like talking points coming out of Tehran. And it heeds to the Iranian narrative of victimhood, when they are the ones with original sin: an illicit nuclear weapons program over the course of twenty years that they are unwilling to come clean on. I don’t know why we feel compelled to make their case…They get to cheat in a series of ways, and we get to worry about their ‘perceptions.’”

You can see him making this statement in a video here:



Against the background of this Congressional frustration with Obama, Speaker of the House Boehner invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress.

Why Netanyahu?  It’s obvious.  He is the world leader, bar none, when it comes to speaking out on the dangers of a nuclear Iran and the importance of sanctions.  What an honor, that the Congress wants to hear what he has to say on the matter.  Israel is not a minor league player here.  How significant, that he should speak out.

But do commentators notice any of this? Nahh…

In the US, the charge is that Boehner is “using” Netanyahu to “get back at” Obama.  Here, the criticism is that Bibi is “using” Boehner to help him get re-elected (as he will get a boost in the elections from this talk before Congress).  What a furor has ensued.

In the course of all of these charges and counter-charges, forgotten is the possibility that Netanyahu might help keep Congress strong – perhaps even strong enough to over-ride a veto.  Overlooked is the fact that stopping Iran is the ikar – the heart of the matter.


The left here in Israel is accusing Bibi of “destroying” our relationship with Washington.  However, “Washington” also includes the Congress.

What is more, I have noticed that already the Obama administration is backtracking on this matter: The US has an “unshakable” alliance with Israel, the White House has declared. And on Meet the Press today, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said that:

”Our relationship with Israel is many-faceted, deep and abiding.  It’s focused on a shared series of threats, but also on a shared series of values that one particular instance is not going to overwhelm.”


Well now… Can we please go back to talking about Iran and sanctions?


From Omri Ceren of The Israel Project, I offer the following information:

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano spoke on Friday at the University of Indonesia.  His talk included this statement (emphasis in the original):

“As far as Iran is concerned, the Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared to us by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. But we are not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

The Obama administration has made two basic arguments about the success of the JPOA interim agreement.

The first is that Iran’s program has been “halted” and its nuclear stockpile “reduced.”  But this simply is not the case. The JPOA allows Iran to enrich to 3.5% purity, which is about 60% of the effort needed to get to weapons-grade levels, provided the new material is stored as oxide. They’ve used the last year to create at least one bomb’s worth of enriched uranium and will use the rest of the extension to enrich enough for another one.

The second claim is that the JPOA provides “unprecedented” access/insight/monitoring/inspections into Iran’s nuclear facilities.  But the statement above from the IAEA Director General makes it clear that this is not the case.


On January 15, 2015, Iranian president Rouhani announced that Iran was building two new reactors.  The State Department clarified that this is not prohibited by any Security Council resolutions, and is not in violation of the JPOA agreement.


Clarified Omri Ceren:

The JPOA was supposed to freeze the Iranian program to prevent them from improving their position as talks proceeded. It failed. Instead the Iranians spent the last year building up their nuclear program – and their leverage – across all areas.


Fervently do I wish that those who claim to be serious thinkers on the issues would get as excised over the dangers of Iran and the damage that Obama is doing to his own nation, Israel, and the world, as they do over imagined political intrigues.

Much more to come.

I close here with Caroline Glick’s latest piece on this issue, “Iran, Obama, Boehner, and Netanyahu.”

“The role of an Israeli leader is to adopt the policies that protect Israel, even when they are unpopular at the White House. Far from being ostracized for those policies, such an Israeli leader will be supported, respected, and relied upon by those who share with him a concern for what truly matters.”



The Shadow of Crisis Engulfs the United States

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

In case anyone missed it, the worst case scenario – a trifecta from hell – just occurred. Yemen has fallen to the rebels; the King of Saudi Arabia just passed away and Iran now has the capability to drop nuclear missiles in our laps. The shadow of crisis hasn’t passed… it’s engulfed us in its stormy, dark depths.

On Tuesday, as Obama bloviated on about how, “The shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the Union is strong,” Iran was testing their new toys and Yemen was coming apart at the seams. You remember Yemen… that success story that Obama touted last fall, just like Biden clucked on about Iraq. The shining example for all the world to see on how Obama’s fight against terrorism was working. Except, as with every other lie Obama has put forth on the foreign policy front, it has failed. Now we are evacuating the embassy in Yemen – in fact, during Obama’s speech, we had three US Naval warships off the coast of Yemen ready to evacuate the embassy. Think about that. Just like Libya, another embassy is being emptied. At least this time, no dead American bodies are being left in its wake.

The Yemeni government fell to the Houthis, who are big on death to America and Israel just like all of these murderous Jihadists are. Tens of thousands are in the streets protesting and chaos reigns. The really fantastic part of all this is that they are Shiite and backed by Iran, with whom Obama has been spooning ever since he got into office. Why wouldn’t he, when he’s got an Iranian Valerie Jarrett calling the shots? Yemen is home to the most vicious sect of al Qaeda on the planet – al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). These are the same Jihadists who were linked to the Paris attacks two weeks ago. With the death of the King of Saudi Arabia and the fall of Yemen – the door to Iran seizing more territory and power has swung wide open and it is a very real possibility. Al Qaeda will have a field day as well.

And it gets worse. ISIS is now expanding into Yemen and al Qaeda has pledged their allegiance to ISIS. It is widely said that the Houthis and al Qaeda don’t get along, but in the violent furtherance of Islam, I wouldn’t count on that score if I were you.

From Allen West:

And the Obama administration just announced it would send 400 advisors/trainers to Syria. But we’re allowing Iran to pursue its nuclear program, 10,000 centrifuges,– and the Washington Post just gave President Obama three more Pinocchios for his SOTU assertion that Iran’s nuclear program has slowed down. And as you know, Obama threatened to veto congressional action to sanction Iran.

Why should we kinda care? The Yemeni government was pro-American and was aiding in the fight against Islamists within their borders. Now, not only has the Yemeni government been toppled, it has been replaced with the specter of Iranian influence in the vicinity of a chokepoint entering the Red Sea — and not far from Somalia — yet another hot bed of Islamism.

Now, add on top of this hot fudge sundae the fact that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia just passed away. Yemen is the southernmost country on the Arabian Peninsula where chaos now abounds at a time of a transition of leadership in Saudi Arabia.

Faced with upheaval and self-preservation, the Saudis could very well step up their support of Sunni Islamic terrorists to combat Iran and the Houthis.

Iran is now the big boy on the block and he’s packing heat. With the new Axis of Evil formed between Iran, Russia and China, I would not be surprised — at all — if Iran already has the bomb.

Iran’s latest coup de gras came this week:

Iran has apparently produced an intercontinental ballistic missile whose range far exceeds the distance between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and Europe.

On Wednesday night, Channel 2 showed satellite imagery taken by Israel’s Eros-B satellite that was launched last April. The imagery showed new missile-related sites that Iran recently constructed just outside Tehran. One facility is a missile launch site, capable of sending a rocket into space or of firing an ICBM.

On the launch pad was a new 27-meter long missile, never seen before.

The missile and the launch pad indicate that Iran’s ballistic missile program, which is an integral part of its nuclear weapons program, is moving forward at full throttle. The expanded range of Iran’s ballistic missile program as indicated by the satellite imagery makes clear that its nuclear weapons program is not merely a threat to Israel, or to Israel and Europe. It is a direct threat to the United States as well.

So, tell me again why our President is threatening to veto any new sanctions against Iran? Why our Marxist leaders are insisting that Iran has a right to nuclear power, which in reality is nuclear warfare capability? Are we on the wrong side, suicidal or both? Obama is knowingly releasing the worst of the worst from Gitmo to go back and actively command and assist these terrorists. This isn’t some far off battle that doesn’t affect us. Iran’s missiles can now reach the United States! And it isn’t just them – it’s Russia and China too. They are literally salivating at the thought of taking us down and Obama is helping them. Please give me one shred of evidence he is not aligned with our enemies, given that he is gutting our military at a time when the world is on fire and an Islamic Caliphate is rising, waging global war and conquest. Weakness is sensed by all our enemies around us and it acts like an aphrodisiac in wartime. I might also remind everyone that there is a Russian naval warship docked in Cuba, while our diplomats are over there cuddling with dictators. You are known by who you associate with. You might ask yourself why Obama has such a fondness for Islamo-fascists and dictators.

Syria has basically fallen apart. Assad has a nuclear program and it could easily fall into the hands of ISIS or the Iranians. We all know how brutal and barbaric ISIS is, but try to imagine those monsters with nukes. This development is significant in light of the Iranians’ announcement two weeks ago that they intend to build two new nuclear reactors and the Obama Administration’s insistence that such a clear expansion of the Iranian nuclear program does not constitute a violation of the Joint Plan of Action to “freeze” the program while its ultimate status is being negotiated. Take that along with this:

The P5+1, AKA The U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany came up with something even worse. As Reuters and other sources are reporting, not only did they they give the Ayatollahs another 4 months to ‘negotiate’ while the centrifuges spin, but they actually bribed them with a further release of $2.5 billion in frozen funds just to keep the faux negotiations going. So not only does Iran get another 4 months for weapons development, they get the badly needed funds to continue!

If you throw into the mix that Israel took out an Iranian Revolutionary Guard General and some Hezbollah scum to boot, you have the makings of Armageddon. Next, Iran’s parliament has started to draft a law that would allow the country’s nuclear scientists to intensify their uranium enrichment, a step that could complicate ongoing talks with world powers. That’s tit for tat because of threatened sanctions from the US they say. It wouldn’t matter, any excuse will do… Iran would step up enrichment regardless because they are looking to bring the apocalypse on, pure and simple. And Obama, of course, is proclaiming he will steamroll Democrats (that’s right – Democrats) who get in his way and try to impose sanctions on Iran. Democrat Robert Menendez said during a committee hearing: “The more I hear from the Administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.” That’s because they do, Bob.

This comes to light as Obama and the White House claim that John Boehner was out of line by inviting Netanyahu to speak before Congress in March without clearing it first. Then the White House lied about a Mossad report and said that Israel had spat in their face. See where this is going? Obama will stand against Israel all the way and do all he can to make sure that Iran finishes becoming a nuclear power and a world threat.

The shadow of crisis is now engulfing the US. If you pray, now is the time. Two years is a long time for Obama to finish destroying us. I keep reflecting on the fact that you don’t see the US mentioned in end times eschatology. I really hope that is an oversight, because the path Obama is taking us down leads right into the arms of our worst enemies.