Chris Muir – Day by Day Cartoon
Pesach is over and it’s back to “normal,” such as that may be. Posting after posting, I have focused on Iran, and Obama. With good reason: It is a most critical issue. But I would like to at least begin with a look at the PA today. I feel I have been “neglecting” Abbas.
Actually, Mahmoud Abbas has been playing the game every which way that he thinks might work. If you recall, about two weeks ago, the Israeli government announced that it would be releasing collected PA tax funds that had been withheld because of Abbas’s declared intentions of joining the ICC and bringing charges against Israel. This looked like a regrettable Israeli concession. But then, Abbas announced that because of the taxes that were to be released, no action against Israel would be pursued in the ICC. And, more than a concession, this began to look like an action against the PA that actually netted results.
What Israel said was that funds withheld through February would be released, and determination regarding release of taxes collected in March would depend the PA.
Ah, but this state of affairs did not last very long. For Abbas quickly learned that Israel was going to retain a percentage of the tax money to cover some part of funds owed to Israel by the PA for services provided to the Palestinian Arab population.
This is what Abbas said last week:
”The Israelis have begun punishing us by withholding the money they collect on our behalf.
“They told us they would release our funds and they did, but after deducting one-third of the sum. Why? Are these debts? Who decides? We told them this is our money and you are not doing us a favor. This is not a donation. We insist on receiving all that belongs to us.” (Emphasis added)
What we have here is a sterling example of Abbas’s total disregard for facts. As it happens, Israel turned over to the PA 1.37 billion shekels in withheld tax money. Only 160,000 shekels was held back against the gargantuan PA electric bill of over 2 billion shekels. Had we kept the entire sum of withheld tax funds it still would not have covered the outstanding PA debt to Israel. And he complains?
It is Israel that should be saying, “Our electrical services are not a donation – we insist on full payment that belongs to us.”
Abbas threated to return the sum that was given to the PA, but I have no information that he has done so. The PA needs that money, and it is likely no more another threat.
But let us take a moment to examine WHY the PA so badly needs that money, according to the Palestinian Media Watch, as of October 2014 (emphasis added):
“The number [of public employees] currently registered in the [PA] General Workers’ Office comes to approximately 175,000. Yet the total number of recipients of government salaries exceeds 200,000 – if one includes the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and wounded, as well as the prisoners’ and released [prisoners’] pensions – [whose total stipends] constitute approximately 65% of the Palestinian government’s monthly expenditure.
“The tax money [the PA] gets back from Israel, which represents two thirds of the Palestinian monthly income…constitutes the basis for the government’s ability to continue paying the salaries…”
Do the math: families of “martyrs,” prisoners, etc. receive stipends that are far more generous than what is paid to ordinary workers.
At the beginning of April, Othman Abu Gharbieh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, declared that Oslo was dead and that there would be no more peace negotiations. The PA, he declared, would be seeking Security Council recognition of a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines.
Yes, that again…
However, last Thursday, according to AFP, announcement was made by Russian officials of a visit to Russia by Abbas that is expected to take place this week. He will be meeting with Putin, and on the agenda will be “ideas on the process of Israeli-Palestinian talks.”
Israeli-Palestinian talks? These are the same talks that Abu Gharbieh recently said were dead, but never mind.
Abbas refers to the Russians as friends, and all together this is bad news. The Soviets had a long-standing relationship with the PLO, and Russia today would be glad for a more significant foothold in the Middle East.
Hamas-Fatah relations are growing increasingly tense (after a recent bid to try again to re-establish a unity government). Just two days ago, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar charged that Abbas has no legitimacy as president of the PA. I will skip over matters such as PA security cooperation with Israel, which Hamas considers “treachery,” and go to the heart of the matter.
Al-Zahar says that Abbas’s term expired years ago. And he is absolutely correct. Abbas’s term as president expired in January 2009. It is a mark of international hypocrisy that Abbas is treated as an official who represents the PA. Everyone just ignores the fact that new elections have not been held.
And now, before closing, just a brief overview of the latest with regard to the Iran nuclear issue. The situation has deteriorated into one of absolute farce, with the two major issues being the matter of sanctions relief and inspections/verification.
Last Thursday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei gave a speech.
The entire translation can be found here: http://defenddemocracy.org/iran-press-review-9-april Significant highlights shared by Omri Ceren of The Israel Project:
“Politically, the most damage will probably come from Khamenei’s declaration that nothing was agreed to at Lausanne, and that White House claims otherwise are ‘incorrect and contrary to the substance of the negotiations.’
“Substantively, Khamenei’s new red lines – if US negotiators ultimately accept them – would detonate the possibility of a verifiable, enforceable deal…
“On verification, he blasted inspections of military sites and ruled out any ‘unconventional inspection or monitoring’ in general. The military sites demand would gut the IAEA’s ability to ensure the Iranians aren’t enriching at military bases like Fordow (which they’ve done) or developing nuclear warheads at military bases like Parchin (which they’ve also done). Administration officials have been talking about ‘managed access’ to such sites, which is less than what former IAEA officials say the agency needs and less than the ‘snap inspections’ lawmakers were told negotiators would bring home – but still more than Khamenei is willing to give. The ‘unconventional’ demand would prohibit the unprecedented inspection regime President Obama has emphasized is necessary to prevent the Iranians from cheating.”
Eli Lake has written an article for Bloomberg that Ceren quotes:
“Now [Senator] Kirk feels that there isn’t much of an agreement at all. As he told me Thursday, ‘Because Iran refuses to agree to the same framework for a final deal as the United States, and because Iran still strongly disputes basic issues like how a final deal will address comprehensive sanctions relief, uranium enrichment, and coming clean on Iran’s military nuclear activities, I believe the full Senate should vote, sooner rather than later, on the bipartisan Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015.’”
The issue is not even one of who is telling the truth in the dispute between the US and Iranian version of the agreement. It is, rather, that if Iran has not signed on to the US version, and is determined to get its way, there is no agreement.
Let’s close with some good news:
“British Christian groups are circulating a declaration expressing appreciation for Israel as a safe haven for Middle East Christians, support for bolstering ties with the Jewish state, and a call to combat anti-Semitism.
“Called the ‘Shalom Declaration,; the document states, ‘We deeply appreciate that Israel is the only country in the Middle East which extends freedom of worship to all its citizens and where the Christian community is growing.’”
Hat Tip: BB
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
I wrote some time ago on how John Kerry went to Latin America and declared the Monroe Doctrine dead. Obama just finalized it in Cuba. The Monroe Doctrine has been in place since 1823 and has long warned America’s enemies to not even THINK about using South America as a back door to bring Communism and aggression to our doorstep. Well, Obama has thrown that proverbial door wide open to South America and has invited in every enemy we have. Hell, he’s thrown our door at the borders open inviting them into the US as well. He wants America at war and brought to her knees and he’s really going for it now.
As Doug Ross pointed out, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 brought us to the very brink of nuclear war. The Monroe Doctrine stopped that apocalyptic nightmare from becoming a reality. Kennedy “cited the Monroe Doctrine as a basis for America’s ‘eyeball-to-eyeball’ confrontation with the Soviet Union that had embarked on a campaign to install ballistic missiles on Cuban soil.” That was before the Democrats went full blown Marxist and decided to destroy America from within her own shores. Obama has now stated for the world that the US will no longer act to resist overseas influence in the Western Hemisphere.
During the seventh Summit of the Americas, our enemies took turns swinging at American foreign policy. From 19th century territorial raids on Mexico to US support for the overthrow of Chile’s socialist government in 1973 and the 1989 invasion of Panama that removed Gen. Manuel Noriega, Washington’s interventions in Latin America were targets of rebuke during long speeches by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his allies. Obama quipped, “I always enjoy the history lessons that I receive when I’m here.” I’ll bet he does. He’s also meeting with Maduro and cuddling with him while he’s there. Dictators of a feather. Next, it will be Obama’s ongoing bromance with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who is a hardline Leftist and a long time ally of South American socialists Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales. Last week Correa tweeted “¡Heil Hitler!” in response to a Twitter user posting an article reporting that ex-Ecuadorian President Osvaldo Hurtado had called him a “fascist” for his repeated crackdowns on journalists. I’m sure Obama can relate. Remember, no matter the propagandic rhetoric from Correa on Obama being an “afro American,” Obama held hands with the Ecuadorian president to bring in as many illegal immigrants as he could and the two were aligned on common agendas. Things are never what they appear.
From the White House Dossier:
Obama, who spoke Friday during a “civil society” forum in Panama City, Panama, disparaged past efforts by the United States to forestall the spread of Communism in Latin America and suggested similar missions would no longer be undertaken.
“The days in which our agenda in this hemisphere so often presumed that the United States could meddle with impunity, those days are past,” Obama said.
Civil Society forum? How very George Soros… how very Progressive/Marxist. This condones Communism in our hemisphere – here on our turf, for our neighbors with our blessing. Virtually every country in South and Central America is now controlled by Communists and dictators because we decided to stay out of it. Regardless of the threat to America. Now, you’ve got Russians, Chinese and Iranians down there and I very much doubt they are on a goodwill tour. We are blatantly inviting an attack on America and Obama is welcoming it. He is not naive or clueless to the evil down there – he revels in it. He just apologized for the US’ intervention over the last 200 years – that intervention kept us safe and free, but no more.
James Monroe was a wise man who has now been undone by the enemy within here in America:
The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.
We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety . . .
With the Governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.
The US now finds itself the one restricted in the Americas – but our enemies are free to roam, plot and attack. This is a recipe for suicidal disaster of historic proportions and Obama knows it.
Obama is about to remove Cuba from the list of states sponsoring terrorism:
Sometime during this weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Panama, President Obama is expected to grant one of Cuban President Raul Castro’s top demands and remove his country from the Unites States’ list of governments that sponsor terrorism.
That, as Sen. Robert Menendez warns, not only flies in the face of all evidence, but removes critical leverage in Washington’s efforts to bring scores of fugitive American terrorists to justice.
The latest State Department report on state sponsors of terrorism — a list that has included Cuba since 1982 — notes that Cuba’s longstanding ties to the Basque terrorist group ETA “have become more distant,” though it still provides “safe haven” to its members.
Havana also harbors terrorists who struck in the United States, such as cop-killers Joanne Chesimard and Charles Hill (who also hijacked a plane), FALN bomber Guillermo Morales and scores of others who’ve avoided accountability for their crimes. (Many of those crimes, incidentally, were committed in the tri-state area.)
Weasel Zippers calls it his “reach out to terrorists” initiative. That’s right on the money.
Obama never lets a political platform go to waste and this Summit of the Americas in Panama City was no exception. President Obama expressed his anger and frustration over Iran with those “trying to short-circuit the actual negotiations,” insisting that “it needs to stop” and pointing the finger squarely at the GOP. I’m sure his aggressive sentiments were roundly approved of by all the dictators in attendance.
Castro, whose country was invited to the gathering for the first time this year, received an ovation when he began his speech by saying the “time had come for him to speak here” on Communist-ruled Cuba’s behalf.
He referred to the United States’ “wars, conquests and interventions” in the region, saying through an interpreter that the country has been a “hegemonic force that plundered territories throughout the Americas.”
Castro recalled that the U.S. Congress authorized military intervention in Cuba in the late 19th century and that led to the establishment of a military base in Guantanamo that still “occupies our territory.”
In the 20th century, the United States carried out a series of “interventions to overthrow democratic governments” in Latin America, where “dictators were installed in 20 countries, 12 of them simultaneously.”
“In South America alone, hundreds of thousands of people were killed,” Castro said, adding that the most “brutal” episode was the 1973 U.S.-backed coup that toppled Chilean President Salvador Allende’s democratically elected socialist government.
But after finishing his review of Latin American history, Castro issued an apology to his U.S. counterpart.
“The passion comes out of my pores when the revolution is involved, but I want to apologize to President Obama because he doesn’t have anything to do with all of that,” Castro said, eliciting another round of applause.
“All (of the previous U.S. presidents) are indebted to us, but not President Obama,” who is an “honest man … with a manner about him that speaks to his humble origins,” the Cuban leader said.
So, Obama strangles the Monroe Doctrine and embraces Latin dictatorships, Communists and fascists, while decreeing long live Communism in the Western Hemisphere. Is there anyone out there that still laughably thinks Obama is not an enemy from within? Once again, I join with Doug Ross in longing for a true conservative president. The question is, will we make it to the next election before the Communist crap hits the fan? How can our military leaders not see the impending attack on America that is all but certain when you throw our borders wide open and actually bring in massive amounts of illegal aliens, kill off the Monroe Doctrine, then cozy up to every Communist dictator and fascist in Latin America and as a finale, invite in the Axis of Evil: Russia, China and Iran into your midst… just what do you think is going to happen? Is America truly that suicidally oblivious to our enemies?
Obama, his lieutenants and minions have spent months — even years — crafting a narrative of harm done to Cuba by our embargo of trade with them. What’s missing from this narrative is this almost-never-mentioned fact: “Despite the Spanish term bloqueo (blockade), there has been no physical, naval blockade of the country by the United States after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The United States does not block Cuba’s trade with third parties: other countries are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. domestic laws, such as the Cuban Democracy Act […]. Cuba can, and does, conduct international trade with many third-party countries; Cuba has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995.” (Quote from above link.) So, ponder that for a moment. Cuba is today and has been for decades a cesspool of human rights denial, a commercial and industrial failure, and a place from which natives fled to have any chance of a decent life. This despite the fact that Cuba has been free to trade with the entire rest of the world. It is clear from this that Cuba’s problems do not, even in the smallest degree, originate with America’s refusal to support or endorse the tyranny enforced by the brothers Castro. They did this entirely to themselves.
Obama said of his critics of a potential Iran deal: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of narrow minds.”(*see footnote) So, chaos would be the justice warrior of an open society? Obama is pumping his fist in the air and a la Che Guevara is shouting “Viva la revolucion!” while proclaiming the Monroe Doctrine is dead, long live the dictator.
*(Obama’s familiar sounding “quote” is actually a misquote of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous statement:
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
Emerson’s actual quote illuminates the small-mindedness of the man who, in an effort to project sophistication, instead utters the bland, repetitious and fallacious consistencies so thoroughly woven through the fabric of his life and administration: that socialism will cure all of Man’s ills. Obama’s attempt to appear the scholar reflects instead Emerson’s “little statesman,” as he dissembles once again.)