10/2/15

A Posting Written in Pain

Arlene from Israel

I had no intention of writing now, before Shabbat. But I must. Because I have no confidence that the international news agencies will put this out.  And people must know:

Last night, a young couple from Neria was driving between Itamar and Elon Moreh, in Samaria, with four of their children, when they were attacked by drive-by terrorists, and killed.

Their children, ages four months, and four, seven and nine years, were not physically injured in the shooting.  But I shuddered at the irony of reading reports that said, “The children were unhurt.”  Unhurt??  Their parents were killed before their eyes.

Security officials are speculating that the terrorists may simply not have seen the children in the back seat, which is why they are still alive.

The pain of absorbing this sort of information makes it difficult to breathe.

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The identity of the parents caused a jolt:  They were Rabbi Eitem and Naama Henkin.  Henkin is a well known and greatly respected name here in Israel.  Eitem’s mother is  Rabbanit Chana Henkin, founder of the Nishmat Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies for Women in Jerusalem; his father is Rabbi Yehuda Henkin, well known posek (decisor in Jewish law).

Rabbi Eitam Henkin and Naama Henkin
Courtesty family

It is a phenomenon that I cannot comprehend: time and again the people who suffer in these attacks are of the very finest.

The Henkins have two other children who were – blessedly – not with them. There are six orphans.

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The terrorists have not yet been caught as I write.  Four battalions of the IDF have been called up to track them.  They will be caught.

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The cries of anguish, and fury, have gone up in Israel and the question is what will be done next.  Security procedures have been tightened recently in the face of increasing Arab violence. But it is not enough yet.  Not nearly enough. We are at war, though some do not see it.  And the question is how we will proceed.  This becomes a topic, then, which I will come back to after the holidays.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, in New York after his speech to the UN, blames PA incitement – and particular the incitement ongoing on the Temple Mount. The message is being put out that Jews are the enemy, to be defended against.  It creates a climate of obscene hatred.  PA incitement?  Incitement by Abbas at the podium of the UN this week.

An arm of Fatah – Abbas’s Fatah – known as the Martyr Abdul-Qader al-Husseini Brigades, associated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, which is Fatah, claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Abu al-Walid, a spokesperson for the Martyr Abdul-Qader al-Husseini Brigades, told the Lebanese Al-Akhbar in an interview last August during the war that Iran plays a direct role in funding and training his terrorist organization.

’There is always contact between the Palestinian resistance and Hezbollah and Iran,’ he said. ‘This is no longer a secret.’ (Emphasis added)

“’These contacts take different forms, such as training, preparation, equipment, logistical support and developing the resistance and its weapons.’”
Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed praised the attack.

Abbas has remained mum, as he usually does in these situations.  No expressions of horror. No condolences. But wait, he will be told by advisors that his silence does not look good and he will mumble something insincere.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/201330#.Vg4tDZuhfIU

We are at war.  And soon there will come the Quartet, telling the world that this can be solved via a “two-state solution.”

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Netanyahu’s speech at the UN was wonderful.  He gets it.  And now we will see have he translates this into policy.  Policy that would require us to stand alone in the world, as indeed we do now in any event.

I mentioned that the holiday of Simchat Torah begins Sunday night. This Dry Bones by Yaakov Kirschen exquisitely reflects our truth.  May we have the wisdom to recognize it:

(1999) Dry Bones cartoon: Kirschen, Jewish holiday, holidays, Torah, Jewish culture,Simhat Torah,

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May there be peace for Shabbat, and may our people know no more pain.

09/3/15

One Messy Affair

Arlene from Israel

I am referring, of course, to the whole business of the votes in Congress on the Iran deal.

Netanyahu has come out with a statement, echoing what I and others said yesterday, that things can still change, and we must keep fighting.

Those who oppose the deal have already achieved a major goal in publicizing its various faults and weaknesses – its dangers.  At this point, the majority of the American people understands those dangers and is opposed to the deal.

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As there seems some confusion, I want to clarify once again: there are two votes anticipated. The first on whether to accept the deal.  In that case, a simple majority of members of Congress suffices., as it will be couched in the negative: we do not accept.  And if that vote is taken, those opposed to the deal should hold sway – it should be rejected.

It is with regard to this vote that I wrote yesterday about the “moral majority” – the more reject the deal, the greater the moral and political impact.  Whatever happens subsequently, a majority of Congress will be on record as having declared against the deal.

Remember this, and use it: If Obama wins, it will not be because a majority of the Congress was with him.  It will be because of the games that have been played,  games that make it possible for Obama to win with a minority of the Congress voting with him.

For a better understanding of this, see Andrew McCarthy on the Corker Bill, which set the current process in place:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/421349/congress-must-ditch-corker-bill-and-treat-iran-deal-either-treaty-or-proposed

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There is talk that the acceptance of the deal might never come to a vote – because a filibuster might be instituted: The rules of the Senate permit members to speak for indefinite lengths of time, thus preventing a vote from being called.  I say there is “talk” about this, but it is not at all clear that it will happen.  Senate rules require at least 2/3 of its members – or 60 Senators – to vote for cloture, to close debate.  Reversing the numbers, that means Obama would need 41 Senators to vote against cloture, so the filibuster could continue.  He does not have nearly that number now.

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If the deal is rejected by a vote of Congress, the president will veto it.  And this is where Mikulski’s declaration in support comes in: it means that – right now – the opposition does not have the necessary number to override the veto.

We will continue to work, in hopes of a change in this situation.

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It was my dear friend Sharmaine who advanced the most important suggestion in this regard, one I am remiss for not having mentioned sooner:

“…the timing for the vote is perfect after Rosh Hashana…We need to pray ….. For heavenly intervention on the vote!”

Amen on this.  Please!

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There have been a good many other suggestions as well that have been sent to me, broadly in line with the McCarthy piece from July, cited above. There are multiple suggestions that this deal is really a treaty, and illegal or unconstitutional as currently structured.  There is the suggestion (advanced in American Thinker by Skloroff and Bender) that the Senate must sue the executive, “triggering a confrontation between the judicial [Supreme Court] and the executive branches.”

I do not intend to consider these various thoughts – which have merit – in any detail, however.  This is because it is my perception that there are a good many wimps among the Republicans in the Senate. They failed the nation in the first place, when they agreed to the current configuration for voting, which puts the onus on those who are opposed to the deal, rather than the other way around.  And I simply do not believe that they are about to take on Obama in any seriously confrontational fashion.

In the exceedingly unlikely event that they would do so, it has to be because some Republicans of courage in the Senate have considered various legal ramifications and have decided to move forward.  It must come from within the Republican ranks of the Senate.  It SHOULD come from their ranks, but…

What I do see as a possibility is that a scheme may be devised by the Republicans that is less confrontational. but has the effect of at least partially blocking what Obama intends to advance.  For example, there may be a push for reinstatement of sanctions.

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I speak of Republican wimps, and I would like to use this opportunity to enlarge on this comment.  Many of us celebrated when Republicans gained control of the Congress. Today, many of us mourn the way in which that Republican majority has failed the nation.  I am not saying that there are no Republicans in Congress who have courage and integrity; I am saying the Republican majority bloc has not moved with determination and strength – in pursuit of a clear-eyed vision for the nation.

Just as there was unconscionable game-playing with regard to how the vote on the Iran deal would be structured, so have there been multiple other instances in which Obama has secured the upper hand when he should not have been permitted to.  Now I hear that the deal should have been a treaty, and that what Obama has done is not legal. But the Republicans agreed to it!  Just as they acquiesced in a dozen other instances in which the president has played fast and loose with the rules.

Is it that the president has the nation in his thrall?  Or that he plays such hardball that there is hesitation to move against him?  One matter is very clear: he plays the race card, which makes opponents uneasy about taking him on, lest they be charged with racism.

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What we see again and again is that the president has no compunction about dancing around the truth, and evading direct promises that have been made.  All politicians do this to some extent, but he is an all time master.  We’ve seen this with “absolute” assurances he offered on the Iran deal, which have turned out to be no assurances at all.  Yet somehow, he has managed to get away with it, when Congress should have called a halt.

Add to this the telling of bold-faced lies.  I mention this here because only days ago, he did a webcast for the American Jewish community.  “We’re all pro-Israel,” he declared.  “We’re all family.”

Can anyone really believe this, after seeing that he agreed to a situation for Iran that will increase terrorism against Israel by Iran’s proxies?

“Nothing in this agreement prevents us from continuing to push back forcefully against terrorist activity,” he offered reassuringly.

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/LIVE-STREAMING-Obama-gives-special-Iran-deal-address-to-North-American-Jews-413590

Right… give Iran access to increased numbers of conventional weapons and huge sums of money, all of which will serve to bolster Iran’s terror proxies such as Hezbollah, and then provide assurance that there will be action against terrorism.

I am not sure how he says all of this with a straight face.  But he does, and manages without eliciting wholesale outrage.  I have not read of anyone who asked him, “What do you take me for, a fool?”

This tells me that America is in a very bad place.

08/20/15

They’re Joking, Right?

Arlene from Israel

Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the UN agency that normally carries out such work…”

This? Surely a joke.  But it is not!

The above is according to a document seen by the Associated Press (AP) and exposed on Wednesday.

This is how low the situation has sunk.  Beyond anything even remotely rational, and making a total mockery of everything that is decent and ethical.  See more, continuing (emphasis added)

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The agreement, for an investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is linked to persistent allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear-limits deal, the news agency said.

“The agreement was worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers with whom Iran negotiated were not party to it but were briefed by the IAEA andendorsed it as part of the larger package, according to AP.

The agreement diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied – trying to develop nuclear weapons.

“The While House has repeatedly denied claims of a secret side deal favorable to Tehran.  IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told Republican senators last week that he was obligated to keep the document confidential, and Iran has declared that the Senate must not be allowed to review the agreement due to its secret nature.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/199676#.VdXr65sVjIU

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Got it?  Iran has been accused of having worked on developing nuclear weapons at its secret military compound at Parchin.

And so, in a confidential side agreement worked out between the IAEA – which is responsible for monitoring possible nuclear weapons activity by Iran as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action –and Iran, Iran is going to be permitted to monitor itself.

The P5+1 nations were not privy to the negotiation of this agreement, but they were briefed on it, and and endorsed it.  This, in spite of the fact that the Obama administration has denied there are any secret side deals.

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So, maybe this is a joke.  A very very sick joke levied at all of us.  For sure the Iranians are collapsing with laughter at what they have accomplished.

Run, my friends, do not walk. Run to the nearest telephone.

Place a call to every single one of your Congresspersons and Senators who has not declared publicly against the Iran deal.  Share the above information and demand that they take a stand to stop the deal, which is a cruel farce that will bring no good.

For your Congresspersons:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

For your Senators:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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According to one of my readers (thank you!  Fred E.), this critical information did not even make it into the NY Times.

And so, clearly, if the news is being buried, it falls to all of us to get it out.  Share this posting with everyone you can. Put it up on Facebook and on your website.  Share it with discussion lists. Write letters to the editor. Talkbacks on the Internet.  No need for anything extensive.  Simply cite the information above.

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In a statement yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner referred to the briefings that have been provided as “totally insufficient.” “…it still isn’t clear whether anyone at the White House has seen the final documents.” he said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/19/politics/iran-nuclear-deal-inspections-parchin/index.html

My best guess is that the White House has not seen the documents.  I ran a video recently of a hearing in the Senate with Kerry testifying.  When asked if he had read certain documents connected to the deal, he hemmed, and hawed, and said no, he had not, but maybe someone on the negotiating team had – he wasn’t sure, maybe it was just a summary.
He wasn’t sure?

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And in case the above is not enough, allow me to share more information about secret deals:
“Two leading U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to release secret letters to foreign governments assuring them that they will not be legally penalized for doing business with the Iranian government, according to a copy of a letter sent Wednesday to the State Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

“Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) disclosed in the letter to the State Department that U.S. lawmakers have been shown copies of several letters sent by the Obama administration to the Chinese, German, French, and British governments assuring them that companies doing business with Iran will not come under penalty.”

‘The Obama administration is purportedly promising the foreign governments that if Iran violates the parameters of a recently [concluded] nuclear accord, European companies will not be penalized, according to the secret letters.”
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/senators-obama-admin-hiding-secret-iran-deal-letters/

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Guaranteed, we have not seen the end of this.  There’s a whole lot more that we do not know about yet, I am confident: Because it’s “secret.”

08/12/15

Sinking Low

Arlene from Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That will do it, you think?

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

As Reuters reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

(With thanks to Moti G. on this.)

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

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

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

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

 

Credit: Olivier Douliery/Getty

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

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

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

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

Credit: Getty

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

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

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

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

08/6/15

Running Scared

Arlene from Israel

Perhaps to the casual observer President Obama appears cool and in control – confident of his positions and the success of his “diplomacy.”  But it doesn’t take an advanced degree in psychology to figure out that he’s worried – really, really worried – about what’s going to happen at the end of the day, when Congress votes on the Iran deal, and votes again after he vetoes the Congressional rejection of the accord.

He has never been one who was, shall we say, scrupulous in presenting matters with factual accuracy.  But now he has moved so far from the truth that I hope even his supporters are saying, “Wait a minute, that’s not how it is.”  Just possibly, in his attempt to paint a rosy picture he is overplaying his hand – distorting reality in a way that works against him.


Credit: Theblaze

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On Tuesday evening, he met with some 22 leaders of American Jewish organizations, in order to make his case.  In the course of his presentation, he said that if Congress rejected the Iran deal, the US might be forced to attack Iran militarily. But Iran would not respond military against the US, which has superior power. Instead: “That means more support for terrorism, more Hezbollah rockets falling on Tel Aviv.”

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/08/05/obama-rejecting-iran-deal-will-ensure-rockets-falling-on-tel-aviv/

There are a good number of things wrong with this scenario – in addition to the implied threat to Israel. The first is that it is an attempt to advance Obama’s position that it’s either acceptance of this deal with Iran or war, there are no other alternatives.  But this is absolutely not the case – which fact Prime Minister Netanyahu continually points out:

The alternative is not between this deal and war – it’s between this deal and another deal or another way of handling Iran.  What should be done if the deal is rejected, is that the US should not only keep current sanctions in place, it should increase them – tightening the economic screws.  It is hoped that this would bring Iran back to the table in time, as the Iranians are desperate for sanctions relief. (Remember, sanctions brought Iran to the table in the first place.) But if they do not return, they will have been rendered less able to advance their aggressive intentions – actually less able to advance their aggression than they would be with the deal.

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For him to talk about the US attacking Iran is a joke. For Obama has made it absolutely clear that he has no intention of attacking Iran.  How cheap scaremongering talk is.

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As to “more terrorism” and “more rockets from Hezbollah falling on Tel Aviv” as Iran’s way of responding indirectly to an attack by the US, this is also ludicrous.  I’d be laughing hard if this situation were not so serious.  Consider:

The accord was supposed to be about controlling Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons.  Obama rejected any suggestion that sanctions relief be tied to Iran reigning in its support for terrorist groups and its aggressive hegemony in the region.  That’s not what this deal is about, he responded.  Thus, Iran was essentially told, don’t worry about the terrorism – we don’t care.

This, you will note, is how Obama has Israel’s back.

And then, it was agreed that there would be tremendous sanctions relief up front once the deal was in place, so that some millions if not billions – of the roughly $150 billion it is estimated Iran is likely to see – might be directed to groups such as Hezbollah.  This is not going to result in “more terrorism”??

Add to this the inclusion in the deal of a lifting, over time, of sanctions on conventional weapons for Iran.  It would enable Iran to acquire such goodies as ballistic missiles.  (THIS element, which is not about nuclear issues, Obama felt it was OK to put in the agreement.)

It is Obama’s deal that would render the Middle East a more dangerous region than it already is.

It is the opinion of Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the deal would have the effect of emboldening Iran with regard to striking Israel.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran/Iran-nuclear-deal-gives-it-confidence-to-strike-at-Israel-McCain-warns-411177


Credit: Businessinsider

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Two nights ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a webcast message that was designed to summarize his opposition to the deal for Americans.

Last night, in a direct counter, Obama gave a talk at American University.  Let’s try for key points:

He said: “In July, we reached a comprehensive of plan of action that meets our objectives. Under its terms, Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon.” (emphasis added)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/05/text-obama-gives-a-speech-about-the-iran-nuclear-deal/

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But here is what the NYTimes (normally an Obama supporter) had to say on this issue recently:

“American officials said the core of the agreement… lies in the restrictions on the amount of nuclear fuel that Iran can keep for the next 15 years. The current stockpile of low enriched uranium will be reduced by 98 percent, most likely by shipping much of it to Russia.

“That limit, combined with a two-thirds reduction in the number of its centrifuges, would extend to a year the amount of time it would take Iran to make enough material for a single bomb should it abandon the accord and race for a weapon — what officials call ‘breakout time’…

“But American officials also acknowledged that after the first decade, the breakout time would begin to shrink. It was unclear how rapidly, because Iran’s longer-term plans to expand its enrichment capability will be kept confidential.

The concern that Iran’s breakout time could shrink sharply in the waning years of the restrictions has already been a contentious issue in Congress. Mr. Obama contributed to that in an interview with National Public Radio in April, when he said that in ‘year 13, 14, 15’ of the agreement, the breakout time might shrink ‘almost down to zero, as Iran is expected to develop and use advanced centrifuges then.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/15/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-deal-is-reached-after-long-negotiations.html?_r=0

~~~~~~~~~~

Obama also said:

“First, there’re those who say the inspections are not strong enough, because inspectors can’t go anywhere in Iran at any time with no notice.

“Well, here’s the truth. Inspectors will be allowed daily access to Iran’s key nuclear sites.

“If there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious undeclared site anywhere in Iran, inspectors will get that access even if Iran objects. This access can be with as little as 24 hours notice.

“And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/05/text-obama-gives-a-speech-about-the-iran-nuclear-deal/

~~~~~~~~~~

How simple and fool-proof he makes it sound.  While in point of fact that business about 24 days is huge.  Actually, on top of everything else, Iran will sit on the committee that makes a final decision about whether inspectors will be provided access to a disputed site.

Please consider the following (emphasis added):

The U.S. intelligence community has informed Congress of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin, in broad daylight, days after agreeing to a nuclear deal with world powers.

“For senior lawmakers in both parties, the evidence calls into question Iran’s intention to fully account for the possible military dimensions of its current and past nuclear development. The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have a side agreement meant to resolve past suspicions about the Parchin site, and lawmakers’ concerns about it has already become a flashpoint because they do not have access to its text.”

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-05/iran-already-sanitizing-parchin-nuclear-site-intel-warns


Credit: JPost

~~~~~~~~~~

And this (emphasis added):

“President Obama says his nuclear deal with Iran depends on verification, not trust. But what if Iran has a very different interpretation of what verification entails than does Mr. Obama?

“Take Ali Akar Velayati, a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who appeared on Al-Jazeera on July 31 and was asked about U.N. inspections of Iran’s military sites. Here’s how he replied, according to the Memri translation service:

’Regardless of how the P5+1 countries interpret the nuclear agreement, their entry into our military sites is absolutely forbidden. The entry of any foreigner, including IAEA inspectors or any other inspector, to the sensitive military sites of the Islamic Republic is forbidden, no matter what.’

“Interviewer: ‘That’s final?’

“Mr. Velayati: ‘Yes, final.’”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/no-military-site-inspections-1438642038

~~~~~~~~~~

And finally, the latest from Omri Ceren of The Israel Project (emphasis in the original):

“Administration spokespeople spent the last several years assuring lawmakers and the public that uncertainties related to Iran’s past military-related nuclear work – the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program – would have to be resolved in any deal.

“’Access’ in the context of Iran PMDs is divided into access to information/documents, sites, and people. The WSJ revealed on July 26 that the administration had given up on forcing to provide the necessary information/documents detailing their past weaponization work. The AP revealed two days later that instead of the IAEA getting access to sites like Parchin, where they conducted experiments relevant to warhead detonations, the Iranians would be allowed to take their own samples and hand them over [h], which Congressional lawmakers believe will now be established as a precedent.

“And last night the WSJ confirmed that inspectors aren’t getting access to the people they want either. IAEA director-general Amano is now hoping that maybe the Iranians will give the agency access to other people who might be able to clarify their concerns some other way…

That completes the trifecta: no access to information/documents, no access to sites, and no access to people.”

~~~~~~~~~~

So, the president lies and he misrepresents and he twists facts.  What else is new?

The final issue I will address here is the matter of Iran cheating – something that is a given in light of Iran’s history.

Michael Makovsky, writing recently in The Weekly Standard, said (emphasis added):

“…integral to Obama’s argument is his claim that this deal ‘provides the best possible defense against Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon in secret. .  .  . If Iran cheats, the world will know,’ and ‘If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it.’ But the promised inspections regime will not be intrusive enough to detect Iranian cheating or to thwart any breakout attempts in time…

Iran has a long and proud history of cheating on its international nuclear agreements. Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who once monitored Iran’s nuclear program, observed in 2013: ‘If there is no undeclared installation today .  .  . it will be the first time in 20 years that Iran doesn’t have one.’ Indeed, Iran’s main enrichment facility at Natanz was a covert facility that was only discovered in 2002, by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian opposition group

“’While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran,’ wrote Iran’s nuclear negotiator and now president Hassan Rouhani, ‘we were installing equipment in parts of the [uranium conversion] facility at Isfahan. .  .  . In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.’  In 2009, the world learned of yet another clandestine enrichment plant, under a mountain at Fordow, that Iran was trying to construct.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/iran-s-cheating_914654.html#

~~~~~~~~~~

I reported recently that polls indicate that the more information members of the electorate have about the deal, the higher the percentage against it. And this, of course, is true as well inside Congress.  The fact that questions are being asked in Congress is an excellent sign, for those asking the questions are not likely to be pleased with the answers.

~~~~~~~~~~

We are receiving news of additional Democratic members of Congress who have come out against the deal, and of increasing pressure on Senator Schumer to announce his opposition.

It is extremely good news that the influential American Jewish Committee has come out against the agreement and urges Members of Congress to do the same.  This is especially the case as AJC was at the Obama briefing I referred to above, and obviously not convinced by it.  Apparently, this information was released as Obama was speaking at American University.

Please see the statement by Executive Director David Harris (emphasis added):

“…until recently, we were told by P5+1 negotiators: ‘The alternative to a bad deal is no deal.’ What happened to that formulation, and why did it suddenly change?

“We understand that opposing this deal raises important questions about the future that no one can answer today with certainty…But we know with greater certainty that this deal raises still more ominous questions about the future.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/05/iran-deal-american-jewish-committee-opposes/

~~~~~~~~~~

But it is not enough yet, my friends. What happens still depends on each of you.

Obama is making phone calls to supporters and asking them to got the word out to Congress. He has hardly given up and Pelosi is putting out statements indicating that they believe they will achieve the numbers they need.

There is a reasonable chance of defeating this horrorLet this inspire you to step up the pressure.

Each of you needs to continue to contact your members of Congress and voice your strong opposition to the deal, while letting your elected representatives on the Hill know that the way they vote on this will affect how you vote the next time around.

And please, call on others to do the same.

Continue your letters to the editor, your talk-backs on the Internet, your statements on FB and websites, your sharing on lists. Stay cool and reasoned, rely on facts.

07/27/15

Revelations du Jour

Arlene from Israel

As the news keeps coming with regard to the horrors of the Iran deal – and the horrors of how Obama and Kerry are conducting themselves – I have no choice but to continue to write on the subject.

This issue remains number one in importance for Israel, and for the Western world.  It must be taken with dead seriousness, and yet the the unfolding of revelations has become something of a self-parody.  One is tempted to respond, “Nah, this cannot be happening…”  But it is.

Consider:

During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last week, a mind-boggling issue was raised by Senator James Risch (R-Idaho) and then pursued by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The question at hand: Does Iran get to collect its own soil samples from the military site at Parchin for analysis by IAEA?  Senator Risch’s understanding was that the IAEA will be monitoring Iran’s soil collection by video.

As Fred Fleitz, “a former intelligence analyst experienced in the collection of environmental samples for investigations of weapons of mass destruction,” explained in National Review (emphasis added):

“The revelation that Iran will collect samples concerning its own nuclear-weapons-related activity makes the whole agreement look like a dangerous farce. This is not just an absurd process; it also goes against years of IAEA practice and established rules about the chain of custody for collected physical samples.”

From where I sit, there could have been only one acceptable response by Kerry to these queries on process: “Of course Iran will not collect its own samples.”  But instead Kerry let it be known that this issue was covered in a side agreement and was confidential.  Would confidentiality be necessary if it were a straight up process structured with integrity and an eye to keeping Iran accountable?

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421550/iran-nuclear-bombshell-Iran-police-itself

~~~~~~~~~~

Kerry then followed up with a statement on Friday at the Council of Foreign Relations in NY that was a pathetic mix of attempted intimidation and postured self-pity (All emphasis following here added):

As to intimidation, he said: “[if Congress rejects the Iran agreement] our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated, and more blamed.”

MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) responded thus:

If American legislators reject the nuclear deal, they will do so exclusively on the basis of US interests. The threat of the secretary of state who, in the past, warned that Israel was in danger of becoming an apartheid state, cannot deter us from fulfilling our national duty to oppose this dangerous deal.”

While Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) countered that:

Israel will make its views clear on the Iranian nuclear issue, which is relevant to its security and its existence, and no one has the authority to intimidate us.” What is more, Steinitz pointed out, objections are not coming exclusively from Israel: “Criticism of the agreement in the United States in general and Congress in particular is due to the serious flaws and loopholes displayed in the deal.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-minister-rejects-kerrys-intimidation-on-iran-deal/

I have a strong aversion at this point to having Kerry refer to Israelis as “our friends in Israel.”  I think not. His statement is a follow-up to an earlier one – that any military action by Israel would be an “enormous mistake.”

~~~~~~~~~~

But this argument by Kerry as to why Congress had to vote to accept the accord perhaps wins the prize for offensive and ludicrous positions (emphasis added):

“…it would be embarrassing to him and a blow to US credibility on the world stage if Congress rejects the deal.

“It would be a ‘repudiation of President Obama’s initiative and a statement that when the executive department negotiates, it doesn’t mean anything anymore because we have 535 secretaries of state.’

’I mean please. I would be embarrassed to try to go out. What am I going to say to people after this as secretary of state.’”

~~~~~~~~~~

Tears out your heart, does it not? The prospect that John Kerry might be embarrassed before the ayatollahs.

Credit: atlasinfo

For members of Congress not already angry, this statement should make them furious.  Kerry is negating the Congressional role mandated by the Constitution, and claiming unilateral prerogative to make earth-shaking agreements.  What would he say to people? That the US is a democracy, and has a due process by which he must abide. That it was understood when he got up from the negotiating table that agreements would not be final until after a Congressional review.

Kerry’s attitude here is a reflection of that of his boss.  Obama behaves in an autocratic fashion that is not consistent with the role of the president of a democracy.

~~~~~~~~~~

“A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed Saturday that the Islamic Republic would deny International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors any access to the country’s military sites, contradicting remarks by US officials following the signing of a nuclear agreement with Tehran last week.

’The access of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency or from any other body to Iran’s military centers is forbidden,” Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s adviser for international affairs, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera satellite TV. Velayati further stressed that the directive will be enforced regardless of interpretations by the P5+1 world powers to the contrary.’”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-says-inspectors-to-be-barred-from-military-sites/

Two points to make here: First, and most importantly, this signals the futility of striking an agreement with Iran – for Iran will not adhere by it in any event, as its leaders will do as they please.

And then, the refusal to allow inspectors into Iranian military centers rather confirms the charge that at Parchin Iran will be doing its own soil collection.

~~~~~~~~~~

I want to share here a video of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).  The Senator was speaking at a rally against the Iran deal – and for the release of American hostages held by Iran – in front of the White House last week and was harassed by leftists calling themselves “Code Pink.”  The senator’s method of handling the hecklers is a pleasure to watch – a class act.  But I am sharing this because he responds rationally to their charges, and this is precisely what we need: rational answers when all sorts of off-the-mark charges are leveled against those battling the Iran accord.

There is, to provide one example, the charge that those for the accord, which offers a “diplomatic resolution,” are for “peace,” while those against it are “for war.”  The critical point that the Senator makes is that peace comes with strength, and that the accord makes war more likely.  (More on this below.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QCbpafD3Pw

~~~~~~~~~~

What was left out of mainstream media coverage of this rally was background on who the Code Pink hecklers are.  Code Pink is an NGO led by women, which claims to be “pro-peace.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, talks to a Code Pink member after the antiwar group interrupted his speech during a demonstration in Washington against the proposed Iran nuclear deal because it doesn't address Americans held in Iran, July 23, 2015.

Credit: AP

According to Gateway Pundit:

“Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans was an early fundraiser and bundler for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Evans has met with several times over the years with President Obama and his most trusted White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. Code Pink has acted as a messenger between terrorists and Obama.

“Code Pink travels to Iran as guests of the regime. Code Pink leaders are regulars on the Iranian government’s PressTV propaganda outlet. Code Pink did Iran’s bidding in an effort to undermine the government of U.S. ally Bahrain in 2012.”

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/07/code-pink-ties-to-obama-iran-not-reported-in-ted-cruz-debate-coverage/

This is information that ought be shared.

~~~~~~~~~~

Let me close with this outrageous exchange between a journalist and White House spokesman Josh Earnest, held right after that rally (shared by The Gateway Pundit, with my emphasis added):

Q Secondly, I wondered if you were aware that, just before the briefing, Senator Cruz was across the street at Lafayette Park. It was a protest against the nuclear deal. Among other things, he was very vocal about how, because of the sanctions being lifted eventually, that there would be so much money flowing into the country that the country would use the money to ‘kill Americans.’ Do you have any thoughts about that?

“MR. EARNEST: Well, Anita, I was aware that Senator Cruz was planning to hold a pro-war rally in front the White House today. I didn’t see actually how many people turned out for the rally, but it doesn’t sound like he said anything there that he hasn’t said anywhere else.

“Q Pro-war rally? Is that what you just called it?

“MR. EARNEST: I did.

“Q You have no other thoughts about it?

“MR. EARNEST: I think that pretty much says it all.”

Really low.  It is what happens when there is no good argument for a position one has embraced: Rely on insults and innuendoes. Senator Cruz’s rally was NOT “pro-war.”

~~~~~~~~~~

David Greenfield, writing in FrontPage, described part of the exchange between Cruz and Code Pink – with regard to being “pro-war” – this way:

“One CODEPINK member responded to Cruz by saying that he does not like ‘war mongers’ and asking Cruz, ‘Why are you so aggressively violent?’

“’I recognize that the folks in CODEPINK like to hold up signs saying, “Peace with Iran.” You know who doesn’t reciprocate those views? Iran,’ Cruz said, to cheers.

“’In the midst of this negotiation, the Ayatollah Khamenei led thousands of Iranians in chanting death to America while they burned American flags and Israeli flag,’ Cruz continued to more applause. ‘Iran has stated its objective to murder as many Americans as possible. They are not seeking peace with us.’”

http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/259572/white-house-code-pink-attack-ted-cruz-rally-us-daniel-greenfield

07/22/15

An Endless Litany

Arlene from Israel

I have been trying to provide you, my readers, with sufficient solid information on the Iran deal so that you can grasp its horrors – without overwhelming you with enormous technical minutiae, which can make the head spin.

However, every time I think I have provided enough, some other fact is exposed that simply must be written about.  And here we are again today.  Here, once more, we have Omri Ceren of The Israel Project, who cites BBC:

Zarif said that restriction on Iran’s missile programme has been removed from Chapter 7 of UN Resolution 1929 and ‘has turned into a non-binding restriction.’”

And, says Ceren, “he’s absolutely right about how the new United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR)…turns what used to be a total ban on ballistic missile development into a ‘non-binding restriction.’” (“Emphasis added here and following)

“Here is the now-outdated UNSCR 1929, which used mandatory language that ‘Iran shall not undertake’:

Decides that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities;’

“Here is the new UNSCR 2231, which uses non-binding language that ‘Iran is called upon not to undertake’:

Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.’”

Try to wrap your heads around this, my friends.  It was already a disaster that Obama went along with removing the UN sanctions against Iranian use of ballistic missiles. The point has been made repeatedly that this should not have been part of the deal at all, because the negotiations were about nuclear development not conventional weapons. In the end, Obama tried to soften this by representing it as a victory because there was an eight-year delay in Iran’s ability to use ballistic missiles.  But as it turns out, this is a lie. Iran just may have the leeway to start now.

~~~~~~~~~~

ZOA (Zionist Organization of America) picked up similarly hedged wording yesterday.  In a press release, ZOA asks, “Deal Repeatedly Refers to Iran’s ‘Voluntary Measures.’ Does Iran Have No Real Obligations?” (emphasis added):

”Virtually every treaty and agreement contains language clearly binding the parties to definitive terms, such as ‘the parties agree to the following terms.’  However, the Iran deal – formally called the ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’ (or JCPOA) – is different.   Strangely, supposed obligations are merely called ‘voluntary measures.

It is frightening and of great concern that even the minimal supposed obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this disastrous, lopsided deal may not be binding on Iran.

“Right at the outset, the introduction to the Iran deal’s provisions calls these provisions ‘voluntary measures.’  At the end of the introductory ‘Preamble and General Provisions,’ which is immediately prior to key Section A (entitled ‘Nuclear’), the JCPOA states:

“’Iran and E3/EU-3 [that is, P5 + 1] will take the following voluntary measures’ within the timeframe as detailed in this JCPOA and its Annexes.

“The phrase ‘voluntary measures’ is also repeated elsewhere in the JCPOA….

“The JCPOA also uses the terms Iran’s ‘intention’ and ‘plan’ and ‘voluntary commitments’ in other key paragraphs.  ‘Intentions’ and ‘plans’ and “voluntary commitments” do not have the force of binding agreements.  For instance:

“The very title of the deal, “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” – merely indicates a plan – not a binding agreement.   The term JCPOA is used throughout.

http://zoa.org/2015/07/10291044-zoa-deal-repeatedly-refers-to-irans-voluntary-measures-does-iran-have-no-real-obligations/

~~~~~~~~~~

I have the feeling that this whole fiasco is imploding. What P5 + 1 has is not a “deal” with Iran, a binding accord, but a whole lot of words that sound technical but are merely cover to present to the world, while allowing Iran to do pretty much as it pleases.

And Iran is not even pretending to be conciliatory – not playing the game. Yesterday, for the first time, Kerry alluded to the hostile tone of the statements of Iranian leaders, and declared himself bewildered:

“I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy,” he said, referring to a recent statement by Khaminei that “Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant US will not change.”

“It’s very disturbing,” admitted Kerry.

Well…hello?

~~~~~~~~~~

Then we have the comment yesterday by Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Commander of Iran’s paramilitary Basij Force, that, “Any Iranian who reads the Vienna documents will hate the US 100 times more…All paragraphs of the resolution that the US proposed to the UNSC are full of enmity towards Iran and show the US deep grudge against the Iranian nation.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/198456#.Va-IcZsVjIU

Obama and Kerry have shown endless readiness to make concessions to Iran, likely assuming that this would bring them closer to Iranian officials, in a spirit of goodwill.  But here is the lesson, writ bold: Concessions made in the Persian bazaar invite contempt, not gratitude.  Big concessions yield huge contempt.

Will Congress tolerate this attitude? The American people?

~~~~~~~~~~

I want to remind one and all to contact their elected members of Congress, if they have not done so yet, and to attend a “Stop Iran” rally, if possible.  More information follows below.

In speaking with your Congresspersons and Senators, or their aides, remind them that the Founders of the United States envisioned three branches to the government, so that there would be checks and balances.  If the elected officials on Capitol Hill merely cave to what the man in the White House wants, they are failing to fulfill their responsibilities as outlined in the Constitution.  If America is to stay strong, this cannot be allowed to happen.

~~~~~~~~~~

Carolyn Glick, in her column today, expresses the opinion that it may be possible for Congress to kill the Iran deal.  What she writes ties directly to the issues I’ve been raising (emphasis added):

”As far as the Obama administration is concerned, now that the UN Security Council has anchored the agreement in a binding resolution and so given the force of international law to a deal that guarantees Iran will receives the bomb and $150b., the deal is done. It cannot be walked back.

”But this is not necessarily true. Congress may have more power than it realizes to kill the deal before Iran gets the money and before its other provisions are implemented.

”Over the months leading up to the conclusion of negotiations last Tuesday, Obama refused to acknowledge that he was negotiating a treaty. Rather he said it was nothing more than an executive agreement.

”Consequently, he argued, the US Senate’s sole authority to ratify treaties by two-thirds majority would be inapplicable to the deal with Iran.

”Obama also said he would further sideline Congress by anchoring the deal in a binding UN Security Council resolution. This resolution would force Obama’s successor to uphold the deal after he leaves office.

”Obama mitigated his position slightly when Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, drafted the Corker-Cardin bill with veto-proof majorities in both houses. The bill, which Obama reluctantly signed into law, requires Obama to submit the deal to an up or down vote in both houses. If more than two thirds of Senators and Congressmen oppose it, then the US will not abrogate its unilateral sanctions against Iran.

”In other words, Obama agreed that if Congress turned the Constitution on its head by replacing the two-thirds Senate majority required to approve a treaty with a two-thirds bicameral majority necessary to disapprove his executive agreement – then he wouldn’t go to the Security Council until after Congress voted.

When Obama betrayed his pledge and went to the Security Council on Monday, he gave Congress an opening to reconsider its position, ditch the restrictive Corker-Cardin law and reassert the Senate’s treaty approving authority.

As former US federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued in National Review last week, by among other things canceling the weapons and missile embargoes on Iran, the six-power deal with Iran went well beyond the scope of the Corker-Cardin law, which dealt only with nuclear sanctions relief. As a consequence, Congress can claim that there is no reason to invoke it.

Rather than invoke Corker-Cardin, Congress can pass a joint resolution determining that the deal with Iran is a treaty and announce that pursuant to the US Constitution, the Senate will schedule a vote on it within 30 days. Alternatively, Congress can condition the Iran deal’s legal stature on the passage of enabling legislation – that requires simple majorities in both houses.

”Dan Darling, foreign policy adviser to Republican Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul wrote Monday that senators can use Senate procedure to force the Foreign Relations Committee to act in this manner. Darling argued that House Speaker John Boehner can either refuse to consider the deal since it is a treaty, or insist on passing enabling legislation under normal legislative procedures.

”Monday Netanyahu explained that by keeping US sanctions in force, Congress can limit Iran’s capacity to move beyond the current sanctions regime even after it is canceled. Every state and firm considering business opportunities with Tehran will have to weigh them against the opportunity cost of being barred from doing business with the US.

”Iran for its part may walk away from the deal entirely if Congress acts in this manner. If it does, then the US will not be obligated by any of the deal’s requirements. The continued viability of the Security Council resolution will be something for the lawyers to argue over.

”The devil in Obama’s deal with Iran is not in the mind-numbing details, but in the big picture. The deal guarantees Iran will get the bomb. It gives the Iranian regime $150b.

”To secure these concessions, Obama has trampled congressional authority.

If the American people think this doesn’t advance their national interest, they should encourage their congressional representatives to ditch Corker-Cardin and use their full authority, as a co-equal branch of the government, to scupper it.”

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/How-and-why-to-kill-the-deal-409725

Caroline Glick

Credit: CarolineGlick

~~~~~~~~~~

I have asked New Yorkers to contact their Senator Chuck Schumer, and urge him to oppose the Iran deal.  Now I have acquired phone numbers, to simplify the process for you:

New York:
212-486-4430

Washington, D.C.:
202-224-6542

~~~~~~~~~~

There are two rallies scheduled in California for Sunday, which is Tisha B’Av:

Los Angeles:
July 26, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm at the Federal Building (Veteran and Wilshire)


San Diego:
July 26, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm at Balboa Park (Park Boulevard and President`s Way Lawn)

~~~~~~~~~~

I was particularly glad to share information today that had been put out by ZOA, for yesterday I mentioned EMET and AIPAC, which are both doing lobbying on the Hill with regard to the Iran deal, and inadvertently left out ZOA, which has been doing this work of lobbying on behalf of Israel longer than either of the other organizations.  For this omission  – startling because my co-chair in Legal Grounds Campaign is Jeff Daube, who heads the ZOA office in Israel – I sentenced myself to ten lashes with a wet noodle.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I close here with two items that are more upbeat in perspective:

Here we have Shabtai Shavit, who was director of the Mossad director from 1989 to 1996, voicing the opinion that the current situation brings with it the possibility of enhanced relationships with the Sunni Arab states of the region – notably Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt.

“I believe that in the present time there is a widow of opportunity for Israel in order to try and pursue a new order in the Middle East.”

He’s not the only one saying this. Perhaps a glimpse of a silver lining in the morass we must currently contend with.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-nuclear-deal-opens-window-for-Israel-to-join-new-Mideast-order-409462

~~~~~~~~~~

And then, a most interesting perspective from Shoshana Bryen, who is currently Senior Director of the Israel Policy Center, and formerly served as Senior Director for Security Policy at JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs).   This is “Israel: Security Asset for the United States” (emphasis added):

“…there is a reason military-to-military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel has remained almost untouchable, and the American military proudly touts its relationship with Israel.

“With the President of the United States behaving as if Iran can be an ally and a pro-Western player, it might help to recall the ‘quick reference guide’ to the capabilities Israel brings to U.S.-Israel security cooperation, first published by JINSA in 1979…”

I am not going to reproduce the entire list here, but suggest you look at it.  It will boost your morale.  Included are such items as:
[] A secure location in a crucial part of the world

[] A well-developed military infrastructure

[] The ability to maintain, service, and repair U.S.-origin equipment

[] Multilingual capabilities, including facility in English, Arabic, French, Farsi and the languages of the (former) Soviet Union

[] Combat familiarity with Soviet/Russian style tactics and equipment

[] The ability to assist U.S. naval fleets, including common equipment

[] The ability to support American operations and to provide emergency air cover

Noting that “In 1996, R&D capabilities and intelligence cooperation were added. Post 9-11, urban counterterror training was added….Nothing has been deleted,” Bryen shares something she wrote in 20016:

In a volatile region so vital to the U.S., where other states cannot be relied upon, it would be foolish to disengage — or denigrate — an ally such as Israel. The war against terrorists and the states that harbor and support them will be long and hard, and success will depend in no small measure on the allies who stand with us and with whom we stand.”

She says “the message is better yet in 2015.”

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6178/israel-us-security-asset

Credit: steelonsteel

07/21/15

THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE

Arlene from Israel

It is Obama himself who has primary responsibility for having moved – traitorously – to empower a dangerous and radical terrorist entity (and more on this below).

But Obama doesn’t operate in a vacuum: Those members of Congress who truly know better, but hesitate to stand up to him (because as Democrats they believe they must ally themselves with a Democratic president or for other political reasons) certainly also have responsibility for the current situation.

And lastly, there are those American citizens who also know better, but have been too busy with their own lives, or too apathetic, to stand up and make their voices heard.  The  United States is a democracy, and so the people must assume a measure of responsibility. There is much to be done – and no time to be lost!  Elected representatives in Congress must hear from their constituents, calling for a resolute stand against the accord with Iran. They must know that they will be held accountable for what transpires.

America, my friends, has lost her way.  I do not write this lightly.  I grieve.  Lose sleep.  But I face the reality.  And so must each of you.

The reality is that only the people of America can redeem the situation, which has gone beyond horrendous.

Only the people can instill in hesitant members of Congress the motivation to act, when they are focused on what they perceive to be politically expedient.  They must understand what is expected of them – starting, but not ending, with a vote against the Iran accords.

As for those elected representatives who have had the courage to stand up, they must be supported and encouraged: They must be urged on to ever greater strength and acts of leadership.

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Please, share this with everyone you know, and in every possible venue – on FB, on websites, on discussion group lists.  Now. Because if you decide to do it later, you run the risk of forgetting to do it at all.

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Contact your Senators.  You can locate them here:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

 Contact your Congresspersons.  You can locate them here:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Emails work.  Phone calls are much better. Go for it. Now. Because if you put it off for later, you may forget.

Keep your communication short and polite, but deliver a message that is strong and clear.

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I want to urge everyone living in New York to contact Senator Chuck Schumer:

http://www.schumer.senate.gov/.

I have read several reports indicating that he may be waffling on his challenge to Obama.  Let him hear from you.

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Also for those in the NYC area and those prepared to travel to NYC tomorrow:

The STOP IRAN NOW RALLY -Times Square, 7th Avenue and 42 Street in Manhattan. Wednesday, July 22, 5:30 PM.

A huge turnout is needed and you are urged to do your best to make it.

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In conjunction with the NYC rally, there will be a rally in Broward County, Florida:

Federal Courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale, corner of Broward Boulevard and 3rd. Avenue, Wednesday, July 22, 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

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Bring your signs to these rallies, please!

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In Phoenix, Arizona:

An Emergency Meeting on the dangers of the Iran accord and what you can do to stop it.

Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, Room 101-102, Wednesday, July 22, 6:30 PM.

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In Toronto, Canada:

A rally opposite the US Consulate, 360 University Avenue, Wednesday, July 22, Noon – 1:30 PM.

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Additionally in NYC:

TODAY, Tuesday, July 21, 7:00 PM

STOP IRAN FROM GOING NUCLEAR – Bipartisan Iran Education Campaign

Featured Speaker: Josh Block, President & CEO of The Israel Project

Community-Wide event at Lincoln Square Synagogue, 180 Amsterdam Ave., NYC

_______________
Wednesday, July 22, 1:00 – 2:30 PM.

Analysis of the Iran Deal & Global Islamic Jihadism Featuring Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, sponsored by EMET.

Lunch (dietary restrictions observed)

For more information and to register: [email protected] . $10 entrance fee, bring an ID for security clearance.

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I have previously mentioned EMET, which is working hard at lobbying Congress.  Here I also want to note AIPAC, the largest lobby group for Israel – which is working overtime to deliver the message to Congress about the dangers of the Iran deal.

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For clarity on some of the major issues regarding the accord, see this column by Charles Krauthammer, “Worse than we could have imagined” (emphasis added):

“When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined ‘The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history,’ you don’t expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then on Tuesday the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. I was wrong.

Who would have imagined we would be giving up the conventional arms and ballistic missile embargoes on Iran? In nuclear negotiations?

“When asked Wednesday at his news conference why there is nothing in the deal about the American hostages being held by Iran, President Obama explained that this is a separate issue, not part of nuclear talks.

“Are conventional weapons not a separate issue? After all, conventional, by definition, means non-nuclear. Why are we giving up the embargoes?…

“Obama claimed in his news conference that it really doesn’t matter, because we can always intercept Iranian arms shipments to, say, Hezbollah.

“But wait. Obama has insisted throughout that we are pursuing this Iranian diplomacy to avoid the use of force, yet now blithely discards a previous diplomatic achievement — the arms embargo — by suggesting, no matter, we can just shoot our way to interdiction.

“Moreover, the most serious issue is not Iranian exports but Iranian imports — of sophisticated Russian and Chinese weapons. These are untouchable. We are not going to attack Russian and Chinese transports.

The net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but also to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf. Imagine how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half-century.

The other major shock in the final deal is what happened to our insistence on ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections. Under the final agreement, Iran has the right to deny international inspectors access to any undeclared nuclear site. The denial is then adjudicated by a committee — on which Iran sits. It then goes through several other bodies, on all of which Iran sits. Even if the inspectors’ request prevails, the approval process can take 24 days.

And what do you think will be left to be found, left unscrubbed, after 24 days? The whole process is farcical.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/worse-than-we-could-have-imagined/2015/07/16/aa320b42-2bf0-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html

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Krauthammer wrote this before the vote was taken on the accord in the UN Security Council. Anticipating the vote, he said:

“Approval there [in the U.N.] will cancel all previous U.N. resolutions outlawing and sanctioning Iran’s nuclear activities.

“Meaning: Whatever Congress ultimately does, it won’t matter because the legal underpinning for the entire international sanctions regime against Iran will have been dismantled at the Security Council. Ten years of painstakingly constructed international sanctions will vanish overnight, irretrievably.

“Even if Congress rejects the agreement, do you think the Europeans, the Chinese or the Russians will reinstate sanctions? The result: The United States is left isolated while the rest of the world does thriving business with Iran.

Should Congress then give up? No. Congress needs to act in order to rob this deal of, at least, its domestic legitimacy. Rejection will make little difference on the ground. But it will make it easier for a successor president to legitimately reconsider an executive agreement (Obama dare not call it a treaty — it would be instantly rejected by the Senate) that garnered such pathetically little backing in either house of Congress.

It’s a future hope, but amid dire circumstances. By then, Iran will be flush with cash, legitimized as a normal international actor in good standing, recognized (as Obama once said) as ‘a very successful regional power.’ Stopping Iran from going nuclear at that point will be infinitely more difficult and risky.”

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Weep for this, my friends, and then let your elected representatives in Congress know that they must not give up.  That you expect better of them.

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You might also like to see Jennifer Rubin on 17 ridiculous things the president said at the Iran news conference.  Her counter to Obama’s major misrepresentations is helpful.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2015/07/15/17-ridiculous-things-the-president-said-at-the-iran-news-conference/

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There are matters I did not get to today, which will keep for yet another time.  I want to close here with analysis by Omri Ceren of The Israel Project. Along with Krauthammer’s column, what Ceren tells us is the stuff of nightmares (emphasis added):

“[The political debate] is about how dropping the arms embargo will enable Iran to push the U.S. out of the Gulf, about how giving the Iranians $150 billion will bolster their terror and military programs, about how putting Iran on a 10 year glidepath to zero breakout will trigger Sunni nuclear proliferation, about how coziness between the Obama administration and Iran has detonated American alliances in the region, about how an economically resurgent Iran will become a hostile regional hegemon, and so on. The criticism is that even if the deal successfully prevents Iran from building a nuclear weapon for 10 years, the Obama administration will be funding and boosting Iran’s conventional military capabilities.

“The JCPOA introduces an additional wrinkle… The agreement commits the international community to actively helping Iran perfect its nuclear program over the life of the deal (!) On a policy level, it means Iran’s breakout time will be constantly shrinking. On a political level, it means that the deal will be seen as accomplishing the exact opposite of what the Obama administration promised Congress: instead of rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, it will commit the U.S. and its allies to funding and boosting it.”

07/21/15

Impossible

Arlene from Israel

Impossible to have predicted that the current world situation would have devolved into something quite as vile as it has.  The more we know about that Iran deal, the greater our understanding of how truly awful it is.

The concessions to Iran have been mind-boggling, but in the end, a demand that the US should have made was not made:

Iran holds four Americans.  Not only did Obama’s negotiating team not tell Iran that there would be no sanctions relief until they were released – Obama has chosen not to speak about them or their plight.  The four are:

Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post correspondent who disappeared a year ago and is accused of “subverting” the Islamic State.

Credit: CNN

Saeed Abidini, a Christian pastor converted from Islam, he was in Iran to establish an approved orphanage.  Has been held for three years, convicted of being “a threat to Iran’s national security.”  His health has deteriorated.

Credit: ecumenicalnews

Amir Heckmati, a former US marine of Iranian heritage, who was in serving as a language and cultural liaison to US military in the Middle East.  He had gone to Iran – for the very first time – to visit family, and was grabbed and ultimately convicted of “treason.”  He has been held for four years.

Credit: NYTimes

Robert Levinson, with the FBI for 33 years, and after retirement a private investigator.  Was detained while in Iran eight years ago, charged with being on a CIA mission.  There is some confusion here – as different sources are checked – as to whether this is so, or he was operating as a private investigator when grabbed on Kish Island, an Iranian free-trade zone which is visa-free.

Credit: wn

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/2015/03/01/why-are-american-hostages-still-held-in-iran/

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It is no accident that three of the four are Iranian Americans.  The first question to be asked is why every American is not familiar with these names.

When challenged three days ago at a press conference by reporter Major Garrett, as to why the release of the Americans was not demanded by the US, Obama was very coy.  Tying the release of these Americans to the deal would have given the Iranians an advantage, he claimed – they might have demanded even more.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/07/17/our-hostages-in-iran-are-more-important-than-obamas-feelings-major-garrett-was-right-to-be-aggressive.html

But Obama has it exactly backwards, and the fact that he said what he did is one more indication that the Iranians called the shots in the negotiations.  What if the US had played hardball, and had tied sanctions to the release of the Americans?  Sanctions relief was at the heart of why Iran stayed at the table.

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I may have alluded to this before, but I also wanted to mention here the clause in the agreement – in article 10, page 142 – that Western nations signing will offer “cooperation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to, nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=26999

Israel has relied to some extent on sabotage to slow down Iranian nuclear development.  The US will now be party to making this more difficult.  But what is more, reference to physical protection systems” might mean that a military attack on Iran will now also be more difficult.

“Sources privy to the negotiations said Article 10 did not appear in the interim deal inked between world powers and Iran in April, but was added to the final agreement at the last minute.”

Israeli officials call this “inconceivable.”  In a sane world, indeed.  But that’s not where we are.

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The clock is now ticking on the 60 days Congress has to review the terms of the accord with Iran and indicate acceptance or rejection of its terms. This is in accordance with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 – frequently referred to as the “Corker Bill,” for Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who co-sponsored the bill with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

This bill provided a major concession to the president – we might say a caving to the president – because of how it is structured.  The Iran deal is not being regarded as a treaty, which would – according to Article II of the US Constitution – require 2/3 of the Senate for approval.  Rather, the White House is treating the accord as matter of “executive prerogative.”

Thus, a simple majority of the Congress can reject the accord, but then a 2/3 vote is required to over-ride that veto.  This is the reversal of what would be the case were the agreement being treated as a treaty.

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In an act of blatant disregard for the will of the American people and disrespect for the people’s elected representatives, Obama brought the agreement to the Security Council of the UN, where it passed unanimously.  My information is that the American government proceeded here under pressure from Iran and other nations involved in the negotiations, but it has acted in the face of multiple calls from key members of Congress that he not proceed with this.

United Nations Security Council members vote on the Iran resolution at the UN headquarters in New York on July 20, 2015. (AFP/JEWEL SAMAD)

Credit: Jewel Samad/AFP

The resolution formally endorses the Iran deal and paves the way for lifting UN (not US) sanctions against Iran.

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The big question now is whether this resolution is binding on the Congress in the short term, and whether it will be binding on future US presidents.  This is what Iran claims; Kerry has made similar claims, although this is not the official position of the Obama administration.

The answer is not so simple. One international lawyer with whom I consult calls the situation “complicated,” and right now there is no consensus on this.

I point out here that the UN resolution reads so that the “adoption date” comes 90 days after the Security Council endorsement vote — presumably so that Congress has time to complete its review before the resolution kicks in.

But this fact, offered in multiple articles I’ve now read, does not seem to me to address the core question.  OK, the UN resolution gives Congress time to review the agreement.  But if Congress rejects it, and the resolution kicks in, then what?

~~~~~~~~~~

“Some international legal experts say that…the UN resolution doesn’t make adhering to the entire nuclear pact obligatory for all parties.  [That is, the US could sustain its sanctions on Iran if Congress so decides.] At the same time, they said the resolution would require all signatories to the deal — including United States and Iran — to comply with key provisions like the lifting of the UN arms embargo and ballistic missile ban in five and eight years, respectively.”

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/15/obama-turns-to-u-n-to-outmaneuver-congress-iran-nuclear-deal/

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Consider this:  The deal with Iran was supposed to be unanimous – that is, it was not supposed to kick in unless all parties (P5 + 1) agreed.  The US agreement at this point, however, is only tentative, because the administration has signed off on a Congressional review of the deal.  In theory, if Congress rejected the accord – and was able to override a veto by Obama – then the deal should have been considered failed, because then the US would then not be on board.

But Obama – who was not about to sit still for this possibility – has done an end-run around it.  Now that the deal has been endorsed by the Security Council, it exists in international law.  It may well be that Congress will still have options regarding whether to lift US sanctions on Iran, but its clout has now been considerably reduced.

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What I know with certainty is that many members of Congress are infuriated, enraged, by what is going on.  From a key Senatorial aide, with whom I remain in touch, I received this today: “We are brainstorming right now as to what creative things we can do. We are NOT just rolling over and giving up. We will fight!”

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Walter Russell Mead, writing before the Security Council vote, had this to say (emphasis added):

“…Dissing Congress is a risky move for American presidents. There have been widespread reports that many Democrats on Capitol Hill would like to support the President’s Iran policy, but are worried about the political fallout among voters back home. In the end, many of these waverers would probably support the President on the Iran deal in a straight up Congressional vote, but if the President does an end run to the Security Council, the waverers could—and many will—oppose him on procedural grounds. Both the Senate and the House are jealous of their Constitutional prerogatives, and voting to uphold the powers of Congress is a much easier vote for Democrats than voting against the President on an important foreign policy issue

This is not likely to end well. President Obama was stretching both his Constitutional powers and his political mandate when he decided to short circuit the treaty process for one of the most important decisions that American foreign policy has taken in many years. There is precious little doubt that the Founders would have considered this a threat to the system of checks and balances they wrote into the Constitution…”

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/07/17/obama-lights-firestorm-on-capitol-hill/

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Andrew McCarthy, in a speech reproduced by Frontpage Magazine, says:

So the two checks that the Framers essentially gave to Congress to reign the president in were the power of the purse [blocking funding] and impeachment.”

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259458/andy-mccarthy-obamas-shredding-constitution-frontpagemagcom

Is Congress sufficiently furious, at long last, to consider impeachment?

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The US Secretary of Defense is in Israel now, but I will close here and write about this next time.

07/15/15

Indictment

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’…

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“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.”

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259466/time-call-obama-and-kerry-what-they-are-traitors-daniel-greenfield

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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.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/198156#.VaY9OZsVjIV

IRGC Quds force head Qassem Soleimani
Credit: Reuters

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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

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/198146#.VaaCRJsVjIV

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

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

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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.

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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.

http://emetonline.org/meet-with-or-call-your-senators-congressmen/