Friday, November 29, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: The West's Great Betrayal


 

by Mordechai Kedar


Read the article in the original עברית
Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)
Read the article en Español (translated by Shula Hamilton)

Since the signing of the Geneva agreement between Iran and the group of six countries at the end of last week, media outlets the world over have been discussing the agreement and the easing of sanctions, what Iran will give in return and the ability - which exists or does not exist - to oversee whether the Iranians, who have lied and cheated the world for many years, will faithfully carry out what they agreed to and signed on. There were those who wondered about the absence of the demand for Iran to dismantle the plutonium reactor in Arak, whose purpose is only military, and there were those who calculated the time that would be required for the Iranians to renew the activity toward producing a bomb. The media outlets of the world dealt quite a bit with Israel's concern, the rage of the Saudis' and people in the Gulf Emirates, and everyone wonders what Israel will do, who is not part of the agreement.

The common element among most of those who have been discussing the matter is that everyone sees only two sides, Iran and the West, and ponders which of these two sides has gained more from the agreement. Most of the commentators ignore the third party, large but silent, in pain but obedient, who experienced a major defeat as a result of the agreement. This party is the majority of eighty million Iranians. It is no secret that the great majority of Iranian citizens hate the regime of the Ayatollahs with all their hearts, and from time to time express this hatred with demonstrations and street disturbances, such as those that swept the streets of Iran after the "elections" for presidency in June of 2009 and which brought about the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators who were champions of liberty and hungry for freedom.


They, the restless young men and women, secular up to their ears, aspiring to freedom but living under oppression, educated but unemployed, suffering from the terrible corruption that the regime of the ayatollahs is immersed in, hoped that the economic sanctions on the dark regime would suffocate it and bring it to its end. This was not a wild hope: in the past it was learned that at the height of the wave of protest demonstrations about the stealing of the elections in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "reelected" in 2009, the rulers of Iran had two jets
prepared in order to leave the country and escape from the raging masses.

Now, after the agreement that was signed in Geneva, the sanctions are eased and the regime is beginning to breathe more easily. The Iranian Rial - which had lost about half of its value in recent years - rose last week by two percent. The economic optimism causes new blood to flow in the clogged veins of the regime, and all of the freedom seekers in Iran feel that the historic opportunity to rid themselves of the dark fanatics who rule their lives and deaths has been squandered. The sanctions, which were a non-violent weapon, could have subdued one of the most violent regimes in the world, if the Western countries had only maintained them.


But the West has again shown its ugly face and the fact that money is more important in their eyes than values: the deals with the regime of the ayatollahs have so blinded the leaders of the western countries that they don't see the rights of the Iranians to live in freedom like the citizens of the West. For a handful of Iranian petrodollars the politicians prefer to remove from
the list of demands, the right of the citizens of Iran to enjoy the values of democracy that the citizens of the West enjoy. In the past the West would have examined the behavior of countries with a long series of matters related to human rights and civil political freedoms, and they would reach economic conclusions in accordance with a country's compliance with ethical standards.

The Geneva agreement tore the mask from the face of hypocrisy that characterizes the political behavior of many politicians in the West today. From their point of view the eighty million Iranians can continue to live lives of misery, oppression and degradation under an illegitimate, cruel and bloodthirsty regime that spreads terror and death all over the world and is directly or indirectly responsible for the murder of many thousands in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Israel and in many other countries. The West of today has lost its faith in the values that sustain it and upon which its culture was founded, and it is willing today to do business with mass murderers for economic gain that will result from these deals. The ayatollahs' money is what is important, and therefore their regime is too, and to hell with eighty million Iranians and their right to live a life of freedom.


 Western hypocrisy has proven itself again recently, with the European Union forcing Israel to sign the "Horizon 2020" agreement for academic participation with the condition that Israel will submit to the dictates of the Europeans who do not recognize the right of the People of Israel to live in all parts of its historic land, that was promised to it again in the resolutions of San Remo, which have been in effect since 1920 and are still relevant. The European Union is not interested in the Moroccan occupation in western Sahara, and despite the fact that Europe does not recognize the annexation of the territory to Morocco, the Europeans do not see any problem in signing an agreement with Morocco, the purpose of which is to take advantage of the natural resources of the western Sahara. Money blinds European eyes so that they do not see the Moroccan occupation.


The Europeans also do not see the Turkish occupation in Cyprus, and sign with Turkey on thousands of agreements that do not relate to companies and bodies connected with this occupation that began in 1974. Only the Israeli "occupation" in Judea and Samaria, the historical homeland of the Jewish People, bothers the Europeans. They have forgotten that the people of Israel lived in Judea and Samaria when the forefathers of the Europeans were wandering westward from the wilderness of Asia and seized the European continent from its residents.


But the Geneva agreement brings Western hypocrisy to a new extreme: despite the fact that the experience of the Second World War still lives in historical memory, despite the fact that the entire world knows that submission to a dictator causes him to raise  his demands and will not satiate his lust for power, despite the fact that "peace in our time" when it is based on concessions to a bloodthirsty tyrant brings "war in our time", despite the fact that the West says that it is guided by its values, the bitter truth must be said: the right of the Iranians to free themselves of the oppressive regime does not really matter to any of the politicians who are responsible for decision-making in the West
today, and the Jews' right to live in the land of their forefathers also does not interest them. Money is the answer to everything and to Hell with truth and values.




===============

Dr. Kedar is available for lectures


Dr. Mordechai Kedar
(Mordechai.Kedar@biu.ac.il) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.


Additional articles by Dr. Kedar

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.

Emboldening Iran



by Arnold Ahlert


In the last few days, an Obama administration desperate to turn Americans’ attention away from the ObamaCare disaster has been touting its “historic” deal with Iran. Toward that end they released a document Saturday entitled, “Fact Sheet:  First Step Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program,” outlining the details. Those “facts” have been rejected–by the Iranians themselves.

“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham explained Tuesday.

Iran released its own version of the agreement, with Afkham contending that it was based on language chosen with regard to the considerations of all parties to the talks. She further insisted that the reason negotiations took so long between Iran and the G5+1 “pertained to the accuracy which was needed for choosing the words for the text of the agreement,” and “that the Iranian delegation was much (sic) rigid and laid much emphasis on the need for this accuracy.”

The key sticking point? The White House fact sheet claims “Iran has committed to halt progress on its enrichment capacity” with bullet points laying out the details. On the other hand, the Iranian fact sheet indicates that their nation can “fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the NPT in conformity with its obligations therein.”

Both fact sheets do contain almost identical statements revealing one over-arching fact. The Iranian version: “This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” The American version: “With respect to this comprehensive resolution:  nothing is agreed to with respect to a comprehensive solution until everything is agreed to.”

In other words, despite all the triumphal posturing by this administration and their media cheerleaders, no actual deal exists.

Thus, despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the Iranian interpretation of the agreement was “not accurate,” and President Obama telling his supporters at a Beverly Hills fundraiser that easing economic sanctions on Iran is better than going to war, absolutely nothing has been finalized–including the start time of the six-month timetable during which a longer-term accord is supposed to be worked out.

The State Department acknowledged that reality Tuesday, when spokeswoman Jen Psaki  admitted that the six-month interim program had yet to begin. Moreover, she had no idea when it would begin. “The next step here is a continuation of technical discussions at a working level so that we can essentially tee up the implementation of the agreement,” she told reporters.

Even more embarrassing, Psaki conceded there was no mechanism in place that would stop Iran from continuing its current pursuits. “In terms of what the Iranians are or aren’t doing, obviously our hope would be, given we are respecting the spirit of the agreement in pressing for sanctions not to be put in place and beginning the process of figuring out how to deliver on our end of the bargain, that the same would be coming from their end in the spirit of the agreement,” she said.

If Iranians are “respecting the spirit” of the agreement, they have a peculiar way of showing it. On Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, insisted the status quo would remain just that, including further construction on the Arak heavy-water reactor. Western powers fear Arak is a source of plutonium used as the core of a nuclear weapon. ”Work at the Arak reactor will continue,” Salehi said. “Enrichment to 5 percent will continue. Research and development will continue. All our exploration and extraction activities will continue. There are no activities that won’t continue.”

Tuesday didn’t bring any better news. Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, doubled down, insisting that “Iran’s uranium enrichment right cannot be granted or limited by another countries,” (sic) and claiming that Kerry’s assertion to the contrary constituted a “misunderstanding.” Also, Iranian administration spokesman Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht was quoted as saying some $8 billion of Iran’s frozen assets were released by the United States.

Not to be outdone, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) revealed that Tehran had developed “indigenous” ballistic missile technology. “Many countries may have access to cruise missiles technology, but when it comes to ballistic missiles, I am confident that only the US and the Soviet Union could master this technology, and now we can announce that we own this technology as well,” he told Iran’s Fars News Agency. Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, head of the IRGC Public Relations Department, also took an opportunity to bash the United States and Israel, insisting that America’s power has become “seriously shaky in the world, specially in the Middle-East,” and that Iran has brought the criminal regime of Israel to its knees.

Obama administration critics were plentiful. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal “an historic mistake.” Former UN ambassador John Bolton characterized it as “abject surrender by the United States,” one that grants the Iranian regime “time to continue all aspects of its nuclear-weapons program the agreement does not cover,” undeserved “legitimacy,” and the ability to break “the psychological momentum and effect of the international economic sanctions.” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer labeled it the “worst deal since Munich,” further noting that allowing Iran to enrich uranium “undermines the entire idea of nonproliferation and it grants Iran a right it’s been lusting for for a decade. That’s why there was so much jubilation in Tehran over this.”
While Tehran was jubilant, there was bipartisan consternation in Congress. Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), characterized the deal as disproportional. ”Iran simply freezes its nuclear capabilities while we reduce the sanctions,” he said. Lindsey Graham (R-NC) noted it let Iran completely off the hook. “The sanctions actually worked but this interim deal gives the Iranian’s $7 billion in cash and leaves in place one of the most sophisticated enrichment programs around,” he contended. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menedez (D-NJ) contended he was willing to give the administration some breathing room, but that additional sanctions will be available “should the talks falter or Iran fail to implement or breach the interim agreement,” he said.

Yet it was former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman who cut to the chase. ”Iran is an enemy, there is American blood on Iranian hands” he explained, further noting that the Iranians ”have a terrible record of not keeping agreements and frankly of lying.”

President Obama remains undeterred. ”We cannot close the door on diplomacy,” he said Monday. “We cannot commit ourselves to an endless cycle of conflict.”

We can however, commit ourselves to and endless cycle of meaningless diplomacy, unless one considers an entire decade of fruitless efforts that have yet to produce a single meaningful breakthrough, progress. In another stunning development, a White House official explained Wednesday that while the United States does not recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium, President Obama believes the world’s foremost exporter of Islamic terrorism ”should have access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.” ”However, the history of the Iranian nuclear program has raised serious and legitimate concerns in the international community as to whether Iran’s enrichment program–which it pursued in secret–is truly for peaceful purposes,” the official added.

As of now, nothing in this non-deal deal does anything to stop Iran from pursuing its quest for nuclear weaponry. Even more remarkably, sanctions, as in the only thing that was putting actual pressure on Iran short of military action have already been eased–beginning five months ago. Daily Beast columnist Eli Lake reveals that the Treasury Department “all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June.”

Thus, the president has once again bypassed Congress in pursuit of his “noble” agenda. It is an agenda based on little more than hubris, in that Obama believes he possesses a level of charm and intelligence that will win the Iranians over, in spite of a decade of evidence to the contrary–and in spite of the reality that absolutely nothing, other than a promise to make a deal leading to a deal ostensibly leading to peace in our time, has been achieved. “Trusting Iran to deliver on its promises is nearly as risky as trusting Obama to deliver on his,” writes the NY Post’s Michael Goodwin. Empty promises by both sides equals more time for Iran to pursue its nuclear agenda. If that’s not an outright victory for them, one is hard-pressed to imagine what is.


Arnold Ahlert

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/arnold-ahlert/emboldening-iran/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Geneva Deal does not Prohibit Construction on Arak Reactor



by Yoni Hirsch, Dan Lavie, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


U.S. State Department spokeswoman: "There will be no work on the reactor itself, no work to prepare fuel for or additional testing of the reactor. ... If he [Iran's FM] is referring to a road here or an out-building there, that's something different."


The nuclear facility in Arak
|
Photo credit: Reuters

The U.S. State Department has confirmed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's statements that under the interim deal signed in Geneva on Sunday, Iran is still allowed to carry out construction on its plutonium reactor in Arak. Zarif had said that "construction on the reactor will continue."

State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that while she was not sure exactly to what Zarif was referring, construction and paving work are allowed in the interim deal signed with Iran in Geneva on Sunday.

"What he [Zarif] said specifically was: 'The capacity of the Arak site is not going to increase. It means no nuclear fuel will be produced and no installations will be installed. But construction will continue there.' We're not sure exactly what he means by construction in the comments that he makes, but there will be no work on the reactor -- in the comments he made -- but there will be no work on the reactor itself, no work to prepare fuel for the reactor, or do additional testing of the reactor," Psaki told journalists.

"If he's referring to a road here or an out-building there, that's something different. Obviously, there are specific requirements. He repeated many of them in his public comments as well, as in that no nuclear fuel will be produced and no installations will be installed," she said.

The uncompleted heavy-water research reactor emerged as one of several crucial issues in negotiations in Geneva last week, when Iran agreed with six world powers to curb Tehran's nuclear program for six months in return for limited sanctions relief.

Israel has continued campaigning to show the international community the negative aspects of the interim deal with Iran and lifting of some of the sanctions against it.

Former National Security Council Chairman Maj. Gen. (res) Yaakov Amidror expressed his views on the Iran deal in a New York Times op-ed titled "A Most Dangerous Deal."

"Iran made only cosmetic concessions to preserve its primary goal, which is to continue enriching uranium. The agreement represents a failure, not a triumph, of diplomacy," Amidror wrote. " With North Korea, too, there were talks and ceremonies and agreements -- but then there was the bomb. This is not an outcome Israel could accept with Iran."

Amidror claimed that the lifting of certain sections would "send companies from around the world racing into Iran to do business, which will lead to the eventual collapse of the sanctions that supposedly remain." 

According to Amidror the interim deal and lifting of sanctions will only serve to make Iran more unrelenting in its goals. 

"The deal will only lead Iran to be more stubborn. Anyone who has conducted business or diplomatic negotiations knows that you don't reduce the pressure on your opponent on the eve of negotiations. Yet that is essentially what happened in Geneva," he said.

"After years of disingenuous negotiations, Iran is now just a few months away from a bomb. ... The West has surrendered its most effective diplomatic tool in exchange for baseless promises of goodwill. I pray its gamble pays off, for if it does not there will be only one tool left to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. The Geneva agreement has made the world a more dangerous place. It did not have to be this way." 

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for bringing Iran to its dire economic position. 

"Not all problems are tied to the sanctions," Rouhani said. "In my predecessor's term inflation reached 40 percent due to poor management."

The head of the British negotiating team in the Geneva talks, Simon Gass, stated on Wednesday that Iran was required to do what was signed in the deal on Sunday in addition to all previous restrictions placed on the country. Gass' statement came after officials in Israel claimed that the Iranians felt the Geneva deal cleared them of all former restrictions."

Meanwhile, Washington Post senior foreign affairs editor David Ignatius detailed on Wednesday what would likely be the U.S. negotiating team's agenda for a final deal with Iran. Among the objectives listed, the United States and its negotiating partners would seek to "dismantle parts of the Iranian [nuclear] program, rather than simply freeze them," and there would be "no heavy-water reactor at Arak, rather than just a halt in supplies for it," he wrote. 

In addition, he said the U.S. was urging the "closure of Iran's enrichment facility at Fordo, dug into a hillside near Qom, arguing that this fortified location isn't consistent with the civilian effort that Iran insists is its only goal. The Iranians may seek to convert Fordo to some other use, which would present tricky monitoring issues."


Yoni Hirsch, Dan Lavie, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=13647

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Israel must Defend Itself



by Dr. Gabi Avital



The storm clouds began gathering half a year before the outbreak of the First Gulf War. It took the U.S. that long to respond to Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. This is not a criticism of America's military capabilities or strategy at the time. Rather, it is meant to point out the fallacy of the belief held by some that, even after the signing of the Geneva deal with Iran, America can be relied upon in a pinch.

During the height of the Iraqi Scud missile attacks on Israel in 1991, Professor Dan Miron wrote an article, the essence of which was that "if there is an Israel Defense Forces, it must stand up." In other words, from the depths of Jewish existence, Miron felt that if Israel did not defend itself, no passing superpower or promise on a piece of paper would. Israel's existence cannot depend on U.S. President Barack Obama or whoever will take his place in the White House in three years.

Israel's existence is based, in part, on the fundamental belief that, like any other nation, it did not come into the world to be a pawn on a chessboard. Israel has built up impressive military capabilities, which deter war. These capabilities were proved time and time again, and this resulted in the Arab states abandoning the military option after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Due to our own foolishness, however, we have given them what they want anyway.

Yet there are certain scenarios, including some playing out now, in which Israel's military strength might actually have to be used, rather than just serving as a deterrent. The bad and dangerous Geneva agreement with Iran has made it so that even if there was a will to reach diplomatic understandings via economic pressure, the military option must be put on full display.

A very similar scenario took place in the past. On Sept. 30, 1980, two Iranian Phantom fighter planes bombed the Tammuz nuclear reactor in Iraq, causing only minor damage. Attempts by the Israeli Mossad to sabotage the reactor also failed. So then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who realized that Iraq was on the verge of equipping itself with nuclear weapons, decided to order the Israel Air Force to bomb the reactor. Begin faced opposition from Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and others. Begin's decision also followed three years of failed diplomatic efforts with the U.S. on the issue.

And today, when the stakes are a few dozen, or at most a few hundred, Israeli deaths in a potential Iranian response to an Israeli strike, compared to 20,000 Israeli deaths (and this with the best preparations) in an Iranian nuclear attack, great America and enlightened Europe are telling the Jews, "It is best for you to sit quietly."

History is full of evidence that when Israel defends itself, it is good for the Jews, particularly in the long run. The IDF is very capable. Israel has significant military capabilities on the ground, in the air and at sea, with which it could push back by several years Iran's plans to remove Israel from the global chessboard. Perhaps the Hanukkah holiday will remind the naive among us about Jewish heroism.



Dr. Gabi Avital

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=6489

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obamabomb: Iran can keep its Weapons Program



by Frank Gaffney, Jr.


The president who promised us that his health care legislation would allow us to keep our insurance plans and doctors now insists that his agreement with Iran will not allow it to keep a nuclear weapons program.  What the two pledges have in common is that they are both lies.  No matter how many times such statements are repeated and seconded by President Obama’s partisans and the press, they amount to fraud – serial, intentional and potentially fatal fraud.

Here’s the difference:  Thousands of Americans may die as a result of Team Obama’s domestic policy misrepresentations concerning Obamacare that former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has correctly described as “criminal fraud.” But many times that number are at risk as a result of the Obamabomb deal with Iran that amounts to national security fraud.

For starters, there is no reason to disbelieve the Iranian mullahs when they whip crowds into a frenzy with the phrase “Death to America.”  To the contrary, there is plenty of evidence that they are intent on achieving their stated goal of “a world without America.”

Among the most alarming such evidence can be found in the series of steps the Iranian regime has taken to operationalize its capability to deliver without warning a devastating, strategic electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack upon this country. Tests involving the launching of missiles off of barges in the Caspian Sea confer an ability to fire them from vessels off America’s coasts.  Other experiments included the simulated delivery of a warhead to the missile’s apogee – precisely the scenario a congressional commission warned could be used to unleash EMP from high above the United States, inflicting catastrophic damage on the highly vulnerable electric grid and society below.

We are told that all that is missing is a nuclear warhead to place atop such missiles.  Far from pushing that ominous day into the future, let alone foreclosing it altogether, Mr. Obama’s deal with Iran can only make its arrival more certain, and probably more near-term.

For one thing, Iran has not been compelled to reveal the full extent of its nuclear infrastructure.  Iran secured this agreement by stealth, getting Washington to negotiate for months behind the backs of its allies and present them with more or less a fait accompli worked out in secret bilateral talks brokered by the Emir of Oman. And the easiest way for the Iranians to deny us any actual benefit from the resulting deal would be by continuing to acquire nuclear weapons via the network of still-undeclared facilities, centrifuges, testing grounds and other infrastructure the regime is widely believed to have established.

For another, the sanctions that are being eased will give Iran greater wherewithal to achieve the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions.  And they are unlikely to be reimposed no matter how badly the “interim” deal goes: Iran’s veto-wielding patrons, Russia and China – who had previously done everything possible to stave off serious multilateral sanctions – are unlikely to go along with re-imposing them.

In short, the Obamabomb deal with Iran exemplifies this president’s doctrine: Embolden our enemies. Undermine our friends. Diminish our country.

Far from eliminating, or even appreciably interfering with, the mullahs’ decades-long pursuit of nuclear weapons, the agreement leaves in place every facet of the Iranian program painstakingly put into place for that purpose. As a result, the Iranians have been confirmed in the belief that President Obama will ultimately accede to their having nuclear weapons, emboldening them to declare victory and proceed accordingly, at least covertly.

The deal undermines our allies by abandoning those known to be in the mullahs’ crosshairs. Topping that list is Israel. That would be the country whose population the real power in Tehran, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini, vilified again just last week.  He said the Jews “cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them” described their country as “the rabid dog of the region.”  That’s a reminder, if any were actually needed, of why Israel and her friends have rejected Obama’s deal and are unmoved by his dubious promises Sunday of greater consultations as he engages Iran in the future.

The Obamabomb fraud has gone beyond endangering Israel, however.  It has also terrified Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states within striking distance of Iran’s growing arsenal of ballistic missiles. The repercussions – notably, the likelihood that the Saudis will buy their own nuclear arsenal from Pakistan – can only be aggravated by Team Obama’s reported warning to them and Israel not to do anything to enter Iranian airspace “without U.S. permission.”

Finally, the deal worked out by Secretary Kerry and his minions has diminished America’s standing internationally.  It furthers President Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of this country, intensifying the perception by friends and foes alike that United States is no longer the powerful, reliable or at least fearsome leader of the Free World.

It is an axiom of negotiations that if you want it bad, you get it bad. President Obama’s deal with Iran is a case in point. Unfortunately, “getting it bad” in this case – like so much of the serial national security fraud being perpetrated pursuant to the Obama Doctrine – will translate into mortal peril for millions.


Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Source: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2013/11/25/obamabomb-iran-can-keep-its-weapons-program/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

US B-52's Defy Chinese no-Fly Zone



by Rick Moran


Interesting by-play between the Chinese and US militaries yesterday. China has recently declared air space over and around the Diaoyutai and Senkaku islands in the East China Sea as a no fly zone. U.S. and allied forces are required to identify themselves and their mission to Chinese forces before entering the zone.

But two B-52's - unarmed and with no fighter escort - overflew the no fly zone without identifying themselves.

The Hill:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday said the new no-fly zone was another example of aggressive Chinese expansion that "increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations" between Washington and China. 
"The United States is conveying these concerns to China through diplomatic and military channels, and we are in close consultation with our allies and partners in the region, including Japan," Hagel said in a statement.
The Pentagon has vowed not to comply with the restrictions set by China, saying the new no-fly zone will only inflame simmering regional tensions between China and other Asian nations. 
A majority of American operations flown in the area consist of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations and large-scale training missions with U.S allies. 
The Diaoyutai and Senkaku islands in the East China Sea have frequently been a flashpoint between China and U.S. allies in the Pacific. The area had been considered international airspace.
Last August, the Pentagon began flying unmanned surveillance missions over the small Pacific island chains as part of a defense security agreement with Japan. 
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto agreed to the drone operations after a bilateral meeting in Washington.
The point has been made, but I wouldn't push it. The next time, China may scramble some fighters or perhaps even take a shot at our planes. The latter isn't likely but China has shown itself to be dead serious about their claim to these islands. They apparently see the issue as an opportunity to flex their military muscle, threatening both Japan and the Philippines in the process.

Signal sent and received.


Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/us_b-52s_defy_chinese_no-fly_zone.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Common Core third grade book goes full Dear Leader on Obama



by Thomas Lifson


The ground is being laid for future racial strife over Barack Obama once he is out of office. His fanatical supporters, especially in the African-American community which has remained solidly in his camp despite all his demonstrated incompetence and lies, are being set up to see him as a martyr. 

I will be accused of all sorts of grievous offenses, from racism to judging too hastily, but I think it is becoming clear that Obama's two terms will be regarded as a failed presidency. His "signature achievement," Obamacare, is a mess, and it won't be fixed by any of the remedies proposed. The website problems are the least of it. The Big Lie on keeping your insurance and keeping your doctor now looks as though it will reach about half the population of the United States, once employers start dumping their insurance.


It is axiomatic that a president who screws over half the population of the country in the most personal way cannot be regarded tenderly by history. By in effect imposing a massive tax increase disguised as health insurance cost increases, after promising that health care costs would go down, he risks what I have dubbed the Obamacare Recession hitting the country hard next year. Families are going to have cut spending on all sorts of discretionary purchases,  restaurants, hard goods producers, housing, and almost all other sectors of the economy are going to be hit hard.


Then there is the matter of families losing their trusted physicians and access to first rate treatments. Cancer patients and others with life threatening illnesses are going to die. Obama lied, people died. The formerly sycophantic media cannot ignore these stories, for they will be legion, they are compelling, and people are interested in them. The old media monopoly is shattered. The blogosphere, Fox News, and social media will spread these compelling human tragedies no matter how assiduously the New York Times averts its gaze.


We are now seeing the type of blatant messianic portrayals of Obama offered through government schools that can only feed future strife. Behold Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope:




Kyle Olsen of EAGNews (hat tip: Gateway Pundit) writes:

On the heels of a controversial children's book about Barack Obama - which stated "white voters would never vote for a black president" and that "Barack's former pastor" said "God would damn the United States for mistreating its black citizens" - comes a new lesson that casts America's 44th president in a messianic light. Literally.
And - surprise - it's Common Core-aligned.

The lesson plan and accompanying visual presentation were authored by Sherece Bennett, and is for sale onTeachersPayTeachers.com. It's all based on a book titled, "Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope," by Nikki Grimes. (snip)
In one passage, a young Obama sees beggars and wonders, "Will I ever be able to help people like these?"
"Hope hung deep inside of him," the book adds.
Another excerpt from the book reads: "Before dawn each morning, Barry rose - his mother's voice driving him from dream land. 'Time for learning English grammar and the Golden Rule. Be honest, be kind, be fair,' she taught him."
The story continues: "One morning, he slipped on the name he'd been born with. The name of his father, Barack. For the first time in his life, he wore it proudly - like a coat of many colors."
Uh oh - another Obama-inspired Biblical reference in a government school! But there's no controversy here. Leftists will use God and the Bible, in instances such as these, when it appropriately fits their propaganda purposes.

The book is so over the top that reviewers on Amazon.com are all over it. Here are the first two reviews:

I took a look at this book at my local bookstore a few days before November 4, and at that time I giggled at the very bright, technicolor pictures of the book. I also winced a little at the dangerously-close-to-hubris conceit of writing such a book before the election results were known. How could you tell a complete story about a historical figure unless you knew what the ending was? At the time, though, I thought this was a harmless book, and was still giddy (and terrified) at the thought of Election Day coming up.
Now, after the euphoria has subsided a bit, I took a second look at this book.

I didn't laugh at it much this time around. I still winced when I read it, and not in a good way.



And

I don't know if it's possible to condescend to a five year old, but...

...if it is, then this book manages to. I'm pretty neutral about Barack Obama as a person and a candidate, but the messianic message in this utterly insipid book makes me roll my eyes over and over again. The language is decent enough on a technical level for that age group, though patronizing. When he starts seeing the ghosts of JFK and MLK and references are made to Langston's Harlem, I'm not sure that the kids that the book is aimed at are going to pick up on the references. The illustrations are passable in the beginning, but as it continues, they become more and more over-the-top (Barack Obama crying in church, Barack Obama praying with a butterfly perched on his clasped hands, Barack Obama glowing with a heavenly aura). Cramming this political tripe into a children's book is bad enough, but the heavy-handed treatment and political sloganizing makes it unbearable.

Despite the adults' revulsion, no doubt teachers will be cultivating young black students to believe this tripe. And as history delivers its just verdict on Obama and his work as president, they will become embittered, and there will be no shortage of Democrat leaders anxious to portray those who criticized Obama (which is now portrayed as the reason for his failures) as Judases.


Obama worship is dangerous to the Republic because religious strife is the worst and most divisive form of social conflict.


I pray for Obama's survival in and out of office. If some deranged idiot (or worse) should assassinate him, the consequences would be horrific.


Thomas Lifson

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/common_core_third_grade_book_goes_full_dear_leader_on_obama.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

FBI Stats Again Belie Islamophobia Myth



by Jonathan S. Tobin


When it comes to the question of America’s alleged Islamophobia, there is a consensus in the American media: American Muslims have been under siege since the 9/11 attacks. Every attempt on the part of law-enforcement agencies to probe the growth of homegrown terrorism and the possible incitement to hate and violence being conducted at some mosques, as well as by community groups influenced or controlled by Islamists, is branded as more proof of the allege persecution of Muslims and Arabs. The fact that no proof of discrimination or systematic violence other than anecdotal claims is ever brought forward is disregarded so as not to impinge on the need for Americans to feel guilty about the treatment of Muslims.

But with the annual release of the FBI’s hate crime numbers, statistical proof is once again available for those who are interested in the real answer as to which groups are subjected to the most attacks. This year’s numbers, like those of every other previous year since they began compiling such statistics, are clear: Jews remain the No. 1 target of hate crimes in America and no other group comes even close. Incidents involving Muslims, who are, according to the unchallenged meme that is central to every story or broadcast about the subject, the prime targets actually suffer only a fraction as much as Jews. Is it too much to ask reporters who regurgitate the same tired, unproven story lines about Muslims in the coming year to take these facts into account?


As in previous years, Jews top the figures for hate crimes, which the FBI claims are down from previous years. Of the 1,340 incidents of anti-religious hate crimes reported, 674 or 62.4 percent were anti-Jewish in nature. Only 130 incidents or 11.6 percent involved Muslim victims. These figures are not much different from those assembled by the government for previous years. In virtually every year, the number of anti-Semitic incidents is a multiple of those involving Muslims.

It is possible that some anti-Muslim attacks might be categorized as an ethnic issue involving Arabs rather than a religious one. But even if we were to try and take some attacks involving national origins, again the enormous gap between the anti-Semitic incidents and those about Muslims is not bridged. The total number of those attacks involving that category that were not about targeting Hispanics (which make up over 60 percent of that total) was 283 and it is likely that, at best, only some of those were about Muslims or Arabs.

It is true that the Anti-Defamation League has criticized the FBI report for trumpeting the overall decline in hate crimes. The ADL rightly points out that hate crimes reporting isn’t mandatory in parts of the country and that the number of agencies funneling figures to the FBI actually declined from 14,500 to 1,322 in 2012. So it’s likely that there wasn’t any real decline in the number of hate crimes.

But there is no proof or any logical reason to believe that this flaw would lead to any underreporting of anti-Muslim crimes since the percentage of such incidents in 2012 is essentially the same as in previous years.

What does this all mean?

First, as much as we should decry all hate crimes and urge those responsible to be prosecuted and harshly punished, no matter who their victims might be, there is no epidemic of such incidents directed at any single group.

Though Jews are the most likely victims of religious crimes, no reasonable person can claim that they are under siege or that Jewish life is under attack in any manner in this country. Indeed, as the Pew Survey on American Jews that I discussed in the November issue of COMMENTARY reported, less than 20 percent of Jews have even experienced an anti-Semitic remark, let alone an attack. 

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and particularly in Europe, but in a nation where a tenth of the U.S. Senate and a third of the U.S. Supreme Court are Jews, its impossible to argue that there are any genuine obstacles to Jewish achievement, let alone a wave of Jew-hatred.

Yet, we are asked by the mainstream media to believe that a group which claims to have roughly the same small slice of the national population as the Jews but which, at best, suffers only a fifth of the hate crimes incidents as Jews, is actually laboring under a grievous and discriminatory wave of bias attacks. It not only makes no sense, it is not even remotely congruent with the facts.

America isn’t perfect. Hate still exists against religious and ethnic groups, and religious minorities. Yet once again the annual release of FBI statistics debunks the notion of a post 9-11 backlash against Muslims. But don’t expect the liberal mainstream media to notice this or to take it into account when they resurrect the same misleading story lines in the coming year.


Jonathan S. Tobin

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/11/26/fbi-stats-again-belie-islamophobia-myth/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Revisiting Obama’s Complaints About Press “Equivalence”



by Seth Mandel


During the 2012 presidential election, President Obama was becoming increasingly agitated by the press coverage. Something was different this time around: reporters were occasionally writing stories that legitimized the Republicans, as if their opinions were, from time to time, worth hearing out. It manifested in a misleading balance, the president told a gathering at the Associated Press luncheon in April of that year.

The press-critic-in-chief lectured, bordering on exasperated: “I guess another way of thinking about this is — and this bears on your reporting.  I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally.”

In fact the president, in telling the mainstream media to be even more biased in his favor, was repeating an opinion that had become popular among many in the media as well. The sentiment gave rise to the so-called “fact checkers,” who were liberal opinion columnists masquerading as referees. In one of their most famous rulings, the “fact checker” PolitiFact rated the conservatives’ talk of “death panels” in ObamaCare as its 2009 “Lie of the Year.” The president’s “keep your plan” falsehood was, by contrast, labeled “half true.” Yet now some mainstream journalists are singing a slightly different tune:
Mark Halperin raised the specter of the notorious Obamacare “death panels” during an interview on Monday.
Halperin was speaking to Newsmax host Steve Malzberg when the subject came up.
“You believe there will be rationing, aka death panels?” Malzberg asked.
“It’s built into the plan,” Halperin said. “It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.”
Halperin clarified, tweeting:
In Mon intv I did not say “death panels” nor do I believe ACA contains them. Was speaking of political/policy challenge of IPAB cuts. My bad
Of course there won’t be anything actually called “death panels,” but Halperin isn’t backing off the inevitable rationing to help control costs while at the same time his magazine has a cover story on ObamaCare’s “Broken Promise.” It’s a good indication that were the press to really push back against a supposed false balance, it might have challenged obviously false claims by the president as much as it did the theatrical critiques of his health-care plan by Republicans.

And the recent exposure of all these falsities explains why this White House has been so obsessive in its attempts to control the press, and so paranoid as to spy on reporters’ parents. The press is now pushing back not only by reporting more honestly about ObamaCare but also by confronting the president over his controlling, propagandist impulses.

Those impulses tend to spiral out of control if left unchecked–which they were. And so they resulted in, as Jonathan noted last week, the White House deciding it didn’t need pesky press photographers hanging around when the administration could simply take and distribute its own propaganda photos. National Journal’s Ron Fournier described the moment of confrontation:
New York Times photographer Doug Mills strode into Jay Carney’s office Oct. 29 with a pile of pictures taken exclusively by President Obama’s official photographer at events the White House press corps was forbidden to cover. “This one,” Mills said, sliding one picture after another off his stack and onto the press secretary’s desk. “This one, too–and this one and this one and …”
The red-faced photographer, joined by colleagues on the White House Correspondents’ Association board, finished his 10-minute presentation with a flourish that made Carney, a former Moscow correspondent for Time, wince.
“You guys,” Mills said, “are just like Tass.”
Comparing the White House to the Russian news agency is a hyperbole, of course, but less so with each new administration.
The protest has picked up momentum. Noah Rothman reports that USA Today is joining Tacoma’s News Tribune in a new policy: outside of “extraordinary circumstances,” no White House handout photos.

It seems ironic that the president who galvanized millennial support by utilizing social media while mocking his 2008 opponent’s lack of computer skills (due to his war injuries–a particularly low moment for the Obama campaign) would work so hard to lock out the press, but in fact it’s appropriate. Obama revels in going around the media and delicately managing his image, aware of the way new media can magnify any photo or sound bite.

It may be petty to shut photographers out of routine events, but when it comes to an overwhelming distrust of anyone not on the payroll, nothing is too petty for this administration. As the reporting on ObamaCare and the photographers’ rebellion indicate, Obama may wish for the days of “equivalence” and regret asking the media to cast a more discerning eye on the events of his presidency.


Seth Mandel

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/11/26/revisiting-obamas-complaints-about-press-equivalence/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.