Archive for Nuclear Weapons

That Didn’t Take Long

What a historic agreement! What a victory for peace! What a diplomatic triumph!

What a dip-[bleep]:

The euphoria over the signing of a historic nuclear agreement with Iran gave way to sober realism Sunday as the parties clashed over a key element of the deal and congressional skeptics threatened to thwart it.

In Tehran, officials welcomed the deal as the beginning of a new era for the Islamic Republic, with President Hassan Rouhani asserting that language in the agreement affirmed Iran’s right to enrich, which he and other top officials had demanded as an element of any agreement.

“Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before,” Rouhani said on live television Sunday morning.

Kerry and other US officials — who had sought to find language that would satisfy Iran without implying legal recognition of a right to enrich — disputed that interpretation.

“There is no inherent right to enrich,” Kerry said on ABC’s “This Week,” in an apparent reference to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is silent on whether a country’s right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes also allows for the enrichment of uranium. “Everywhere in this particular agreement it states that they could only do that by mutual agreement, and nothing is agreed on until everything is agreed on.”

Why, John, it’s almost as if they didn’t respect you.

There’s a lot of that going around:

China has told the United States to butt out of a territorial dispute with Japan in the East China Sea after Washington warned that a military claim by Beijing to airspace in the region raises the risk of “misunderstanding and miscalculations.”

The creation of an “Air Defense Identification Zone” by China comes amid increasing tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over competing claims to disputed islands in the sea, which are believed to be situated near large reserves of natural resources.

“We have urged China to exercise caution and restraint, and we are consulting with Japan and other affected parties throughout the region,” Kerry said. The United States has thousands of troops stationed in Japan as part of a security treaty between the two allies.

But Chinese officials dismissed the U.S. comments as unjustified interference.

American criticism of the air zone announcement is “completely unreasonable,” Col. Yang Yujun, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman, said Sunday.

The United States should stop taking sides on the issue, cease making “inappropriate remarks” and not send any more “wrong signals” that could lead to a “risky move by Japan,” he said.

Beijing demands that the United States respect Chinese national security, stop making “irresponsible remarks” about the air defense identification zone and make “concrete efforts” for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, Yang said.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had lodged a representation with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke asking the United States “to correct its mistakes immediately.”

Maybe if we told them this was our “red line”, they’d heed our warnings. John Kerry and the namesake of ObamaCare command the respect of a substitute teacher in high school remedial English.

But then, what do they care—it’s all about distracting from the Abortable Care Act. And what’s more distracting than a glowing yellow mushroom cloud?

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Speeches in Berlin, Concessions Like Munich

Daniel Pipes on Obama’s concession:

“For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted parts of Iran’s nuclear program” announced a jubilant Barack Obama after the news of the just-signed Geneva six-month interim agreement with Iran.

But the American goal for the accord was that the Iranians not “advance their program” of building a uranium nuclear bomb (and perhaps a plutonium bomb too); the apparent deal exactly permits such advancement, plus sanctions relief to Tehran worth about $9 billion.

This wretched deal offers one of those rare occasions when comparison with Neville Chamberlain in Munich in 1938 is valid. An overeager Western government, blind to the evil cunning of the regime it so much wants to work with, appeases it with concessions that will come back to haunt it. Geneva and Nov. 24 will be remembered along with Munich and Sep. 29.

Barack Obama has made many foreign-policy errors in the past five years, but this is the first to rank as a disaster. Along with the health-care law, it is one of his worst-ever steps. John Kerry is a too-eager puppy looking for a deal at any price.

With the U.S. government forfeiting its leadership role, the Israelis, Saudis, and perhaps others are left to cope with a bad situation made worse. War has now become a much more likely prospect. Shame on we Americans for reelecting Barack Obama.

Barack Hussein Obamam. Mm-mm-mm.

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Dangerous When Cornered

I’m not sure what kind of animal the namesake of ObamaCare is—he calls himself a mutt—but any animal, from the lowly rat to the lower community organizer, is dangerous when cornered:

While the EU and the United States cheered a deal that world powers reached with Tehran over its nuclear ambitions, Israel was fierce in its criticism Sunday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the agreement a “historic mistake” that his country isn’t bound by.

“What was achieved last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake,” Netanyahu said in a statement Sunday morning. “This agreement and its significance there of threatens many countries and of course Israel among them. Israel is not obliged to the agreement.”

His ministers went much farther in their criticism.

“If in five years, a nuclear suitcase explodes in New York or Madrid,” Naftali Bennett, the Israeli minister of trade and industry, said, “it will be because of the agreement that was signed this morning.”

To be sure, there is no love lost between Iran and Israel: neighbors and archrivals.

Iran, which in the past has questioned Israel’s right to even exist, continues to push Tel Aviv’s buttons with incendiary statements.

Archrivals? Push buttons?

You mean like this?

Khamenei said Israeli officials “cannot be even called humans” and referred to Netanyahu as “the rabid dog of the region.”

And this?

“Israel is much smaller than Iran in land mass, and therefore far more vulnerable to nuclear attack.”
— Former Iranian President Ali Rafsanjani

“Surely, the day will come when the nations of the region will witness the destruction of the Zionist regime… when the destruction happens will depend on how the Islamic nations approach the issue.”

[E]enmity toward the Zionist octupus are among the [chief] mottos of the Iranian people.”
— Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran

Israel has managed — by means of violence, force, intimidation, satanic plots and widespread propoganda — to impose itself upon the region and to create a myth that the Zionist regime is invincible. But today, the Islamic resistance [Hamas, Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad] has shattered this false myth… As Khomeini said, if every Muslim pours a bucket of water over Israel, it will be washed away.”
— Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki

“Our position against the Zionist regime is to the benefit of all nations, because this regime is a shameful stain on the body of mankind, and its crimes in Palestine are a disgrace to humanity at large. That is why we want to put an end to the [Zionists’] crimes. Today, after 60 years, the time had come to open up the black box of the Zionist regime’s crimes and expose the facts…

With God’s grace, your wish will soon be realized, and this germ of corruption will be wiped off the face of the world.”

“Israel’s days are numbered.”
“The people of the region would not miss the narrowest opportunity to annihilate this false regime.”

Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury (while) any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world….As the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] said, Israel must be wiped off the map.”

Those who think that they can revive this stinking corpse by celebrating its anniversary are totally wrong. … Having received a slap in the face from the Lebanese people, this regime is now coming to its end like a dead fish.
— Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran

Gosh, I haven’t heard such virulent genocidal language by a criminal regime (Iran’s, not Obama’s) run by rabid zealots (Obama’s, not Iran’s) seeking to arm themselves for Armageddon (Iran, not Obama) since … I can’t remember when!

As historians (in the shape of cockroaches, the only survivors) pick through the rubble of what’s left of civilization, they will debate which of Obama’s spasms of fear and anger did the most damage. Cornered by the dismal failure of ObamaCare (and its implications for the doctrine of liberalism), the trapped mutt has let slip the tyranny of the majority in the Senate and the demons of messianic Islam in Iran. He has used ObamaCare enrollment to register new Democrat voters, and will, by hook or by crook, turn illegal aliens into voting citizens before his time is done.

I’ve long wondered why the namesake of ObamaCare has been so hostile and divisive with his rhetoric. As a relatively young man, doesn’t he know that he’ll live to see his work undone, his vision of a diminished America painted over? It implied to me that he had no intention of leaving, that he would create a crisis to exploit, a national emergency that would render elections too dangerous to risk. What I did not understand is that he could keep his promise to “fundamentally transform America”. We are circling the drain, and we’re taking others down with us.

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Is Rouhani Gorbachev? [UPDATED]

Subtract the beard and glasses (and turban), add a birthmark in the shape of the Malay Peninsula.

Whaddya think?

Thanks to firm and resolute measures by Western democracies, a fierce and aggressive dictatorship has been brought to the edge of bankruptcy and collapse. Suddenly a new leader arises. He looks different from his predecessors: warmer, more human. He speaks and acts differently.

And, sure enough, he elicits warmth in Western capitals, especially Washington. We mustn’t forfeit this opportunity, politicians and pundits declare. We must help this promising leader to achieve for his country—and for the sake of world peace—the difficult transition from confrontation to cooperation. The path he travels is perilous; he is surrounded at home by figures who want him to fail. If he seems unprepared to meet our demands today, we must meet him more than halfway so he can meet them tomorrow. We must not let the promise of this moment slip from our fingers.

Such are the voices giving the benefit of the doubt to Hasan Rouhani, the new president of Iran, and branding those less trustful of the regime’s intentions as shortsighted enemies of peace. They remind me of the voices I heard—that we all heard—in the first years of Mikhail Gorbachev’s tenure in the 1980s as the new leader of the ailing Soviet Union.

That’s Natan Sharansky (Anatoly as was), who’s seen this act before. He wasn’t buying then, and he’s not buying now:

Sure enough, these moves—instituted not to reform the communist system, but to rescue it from collapse—were met with near-ecstatic cheers from Western pundits and politicians, followed by calls for reciprocal “confidence-building” measures: most prominently, the cancellation of economic sanctions and an immediate halt to missile-defense programs like the Strategic Defense Initiative. Anyone urging a contrary policy was branded a warmonger.

Fortunately, one of those alleged warmongers was Ronald Reagan, who along with knowledgeable and tough-minded senators like Henry Jackson (who died in 1983), had long understood that lifting sanctions without any concrete evidence of Soviet reform was precisely the wrong way to proceed. Under the policy known as linkage, famously embodied in the so-called Jackson Amendment of 1974, the U.S. government tied economic concessions to real, verifiable reforms.

There were other alleged warmongers. In 1987, I and others in the movement for Soviet Jewry were planning a massive demonstration in Washington timed to coincide with Mr. Gorbachev’s first visit to this country. We were warned not to go ahead. Mr. Gorbachev had become popular in the United States—admired not least for having released the Nobel physicist Andrei Sakharov from exile and some “Prisoners of Zion,” myself included, from imprisonment. Mounting a huge demonstration against him would surely be deemed in poor taste by Americans and received by Mr. Gorbachev and his people as an insult.

Yet far from considering the demonstration an irritant, those welcoming it included the American president, who two months beforehand had assured me of his tacit approval, and Vice President George H.W. Bush, a featured speaker at the event itself. It gave President Reagan an opening: You see, he could explain to Mr. Gorbachev, my people will not allow me to ask anything less from you than to open the iron gates.

Nor did many Soviet citizens perceive the rally as an insult. To the contrary, it gave heart to tens of millions. While Western elites regarded Mr. Gorbachev as a reformer, many in his country knew he was already working to retard or reverse the reforms he himself had initiated.

The U.S., to its eternal credit, held firm. The Americans were not ready to accept a bad ballistic-missile deal like the one proposed by Mr. Gorbachev in Reykjavik. They were not ready to cancel the sanctions. And they continued to support public pressure. Four years later, the evil Soviet empire collapsed without a shot having been fired.

Mr. Sharansky is chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the author of “The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror”.

Think Obama’s read it? Doubtful, as Bill Ayers didn’t write it.

Israel’s trying to get their message across:

Amid Netanyahu’s repeated warnings that Israel will not be bound by a “bad” agreement with Iran, former national security adviser Yaakov Amidror said Sunday that Israel has the ability to strike Iran, and is willing to do so alone.

Amidror, in a Financial Times interview obviously timed and placed to send a message to the world, said Israel could halt Iran’s nuclear capability “for a very long time,” and that the air force has conducted “very long-range flights… all around the world” in preparation.

“We are not the United States of America, of course, and believe it or not they have more capabilities than us,” Amidror said. “But we have enough to stop the Iranians for a very long time.

“We are not bluffing,” he said. “We are very serious – preparing ourselves for the possibility that Israel will have to defend itself by itself.”

Amidror said Israel could not, nor would it want to, “count on others to do the job if the others don’t want to do the job.”

Though others are more than willing to help:

The Mossad is working with Saudi officials on contingency plans for a potential attack on Iran in the event that Tehran’s nuclear program is not sufficiently curbed in the deal that may be concluded between Iran and world powers in Geneva this week, The Sunday Times reported.

Both Jerusalem and Riyadh have expressed displeasure at the deal being formulated between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers that they see as doing little to stop Tehran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon.

According to the Times, Riyadh has already given its consent for Israel to use Saudi airspace for a potential attack on Iran.

The paper quoted a diplomatic source as saying the Saudis were willing to assist an Israeli attack by cooperating on the use of drones, rescue helicopters and tanker planes.

If politics makes strange bedfellows, what do survival politics make? Existential politics? Perhaps the only benefit of Obama leading with his behind is that Israel has been forced to find more reliable soulmates… like Saudi Arabia.

UPDATE
Speaking of strange bedfellows:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Sunday, 17 November 2013), accompanied French President Francois Hollande and his partner Valerie Trierweiler on their visit to Yad Vashem. At their later press conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu told President Hollande:

“We just came back from Yad Vashem. I’m always moved when I’m there.

We understand exactly when somebody says that they’re out to destroy you, we’ve learned in our Jewish history to take them seriously. And I think from humanity’s point of view, there should be another lesson. When somebody starts by attacking the Jews, they generally don’t end there, and the fire soon catches and burns many lands.

Now in Yad Vashem, I was moved by the fact that you were so visibly moved, and you said, when you came out, you said that the experience of the Holocaust places a very special responsibility on all of us. François, I want to tell you the burden it places on me, as the Prime Minister of Israel. It is my duty to prevent anyone from credibly threatening or executing another holocaust against the Jewish people. This is my obligation, but I also believe it’s our common obligation for the sake of mankind, for the sake of our common future.”

And John Neville Kerry says “don’t listen to Israel on this”.

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Call Forwarding

Your civilization is very important to us. Please wait on the line until the next cabinet secretary is available. Your wait is approximately… eternity… minutes.

US President Barack Obama has refused to answer phone calls from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “more than once,” according to Kuwaiti news source Al-Jarida.

In a deliberate snub, Netanyahu’s calls have instead been forwarded to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

An American source told Al-Jarida that Jewish American politicians have been keen to fix the situation, which has steadily been deteriorating over the past month, and are attempting to set up a meeting between the two world leaders at the White House.

The news is the latest in a series of public spats between the two nations, whose differences about the handling of a nuclear Iran threaten the traditional US-Israel alliance.

Obama has also reportedly been in the process of lifting the sanctions for over 5 months – without a deal with Iran or express Congressional approval.

The statements follow controversial remarks by Kerry last Wednesday, who told Republican senators who were briefed about recent talks with Iran to “ignore anything the Israelis say” about the issue.

Naturally, such damning news comes with its own denial:

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a flat denial, saying, “The report in Al Jarida is wrong.”

Which then leads to this counter to the denial:

The Kuwaiti paper’s exclusive reports on what’s going on behind the scenes of the Prime Minister’s Office have raised the question of whether Netanyahu’s bureau is intentionally using the paper to release information to which it doesn’t want to be directly linked.

If those are the rules of the game, play on.

We have surmised before that Obama and Kerry are using the ObamaCare fiasco as a smokescreen to carry out this spineless, disgraceful betrayal of Israel. Never let a crisis go to waste is the mantra. If I were to surmise further, I would say that Obama is behind this most of all; he’s just using Kerry’s unbridled ego and measureless stupidity as his battering ram. As long as it doesn’t mess with the hair.

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Iranian Think Tank Heads Say the Darnedest Things!

Learn something new every day:

Following are excerpts from a public address delivered by Mahdi Tayeb, head of the Iranian Ammar think-tank advising Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei,which was posted on the Internet on February 1, 2013:

Mahdi Tayeb: If you pay attention to the Star of David on the Israeli flag, you may understand what the Jews want. It embodies all the desires of the Jews. The one thing that the Jews want is to take over the entire world, but they have to do it in three stages.

The Star of David symbolizes this. It has six points, each of which is an arrow. This star must rise in Jerusalem. When it appears, the two blue lines above the star will assume their positions. They respect the Nile and the Euphrates. They will assume their positions, and then the six arrows of the star will move in different directions around the globe, until they meet again.

I’m confused. John Kerry just told us not to listen to Israel (see below); we’re supposed to listen to this moron instead?

The Jews, or the Israelite race, are the first-class people. God created the world for them. He awarded the world to them.

Oh, my mistake. He’s a fan.

He told them to take over the world.

[...]

The second-class people are people who do not belong to the Israelite race – they are not the descendants of Jacob – but who accept the Jews to be first-class people. They do not belong to the Israelite race, but they accept that the Jews rule the world. These are second-class people. They have the right to live, but they must serve the Israelites.

[...]

Who are the third-class people? They are the ones who do not belong to the Israelite race, and do not accept Jewish supremacy.

[...]

What do they deserve? They deserve [to be buried] one meter under ground.

[...]

Therefore, all the Muslims must be killed because they do not accept Jewish supremacy. They must all be killed.

So… he’s not a fan. Definitely not:

In order to become global the Jews must kill Muslims en masse.

So they need means of mass killing, which can kill 500,000 people in one go. They need the means to kill 400,000 people in one go. [Hey, where'd those 100,000 Muslims go?! -BTL] Only the atomic bomb can achieve this.

[...]

Do you know who invented the atomic bomb? Einstein. Einstein was a respected mathematician, but in the history of world politics, he was one of the most despicable figures. He was a Zionist, a Jew, one of the founders of the state of Israel.

Jew, yes; Zionist, yup. Founder of Israel, not really. Inventor of the atom bomb, hardly.

The hatred these people spew is utterly delusional. Yet John Kerry would listen to them, rather than the Israelis. So weird.

As others are noticing:

Sen. John McCain said he is “very disappointed” with the administration – and especially Kerry – on the issue of nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Kerry is “a good friend of mine,” McCain said. But when it comes to Iran, “this guy has been a human wrecking ball.”

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Our Woman in Tehran

A natural follow-up to our Kissinger post (two below):

When the history of the Obama administration’s foreign policy is written 20 or so years from now, the career of Wendy Sherman, our chief nuclear negotiator with Iran, will be instructive.

In 1988, the former social worker ran the Washington office of the Dukakis campaign and worked at the Democratic National Committee. That was the year the Massachusetts governorcarried 111 electoral votes to George H.W. Bush’s 426. In the mid-1990s, Ms. Sherman was briefly the CEO of something called the Fannie Mae Foundation, supposedly a charity that was shut down a decade later for what the Washington Post called “using tax-exempt contributions to advance corporate interests.”

From there it was on to the State Department, where she served as a point person in nuclear negotiations with North Korea and met with Kim Jong Il himself. The late dictator, she testified, was “witty and humorous,” “a conceptual thinker,” “a quick problem-solver,” “smart, engaged, knowledgeable, self-confident.” Also a movie buff who loved Michael Jordan highlight videos. A regular guy!

Later Ms. Sherman was to be found working for her former boss as the No. 2 at the Albright-Stonebridge Group before taking the No. 3 spot at the State Department. Ethics scolds might describe the arc of her career as a revolving door between misspending taxpayer dollars in government and mooching off them in the private sector. But it’s mainly an example of failing up—the Washingtonian phenomenon of promotion to ever-higher positions of authority and prestige irrespective of past performance.

This administration in particular is stuffed with fail-uppers—the president, the vice president, the secretary of state and the national security adviser, to name a few—and every now and then it shows.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius publicly objected to what he called a “sucker’s deal,” meaning the U.S. was prepared to begin lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for tentative Iranian promises that they would slow their multiple nuclear programs.

Not stop or suspend them, mind you, much less dismantle them, but merely reduce their pace from run to jog when they’re on Mile 23 of their nuclear marathon. It says something about the administration that they so wanted a deal that they would have been prepared to take this one. This is how people for whom consequences are abstractions operate.

Speculation about why Mr. Fabius torpedoed the deal has focused on the pique French President François Hollande felt at getting stiffed by the U.S. on his Mali intervention and later in the aborted attack on Syria. (Foreign ministry officials in Paris are still infuriated by a Susan Rice tirade in December, when she called a French proposal to intervene in Mali “crap.”)

But the French also understand that the sole reason Iran has a nuclear program is to build a nuclear weapon. They are not nonchalant about it.

Under Mr. Obama, there’s been a role reversal. The tragedy for France and its fellow members of its Axis is that they may lack the power to master a reality they perceive so much more clearly than the Wendy Shermans of the world, still failing up.

This must be especially “gauling” to the French-looking Secretary of State! It’s one thing to be scolded by Israel—this administration isn’t happy if Netanyahu is—but to have the French call you a sucker… well, if the Berluti fits.


“We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid.”

Hmm.

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Meanwhile, Back in Iran

I wondered the other day (can’t remember when, doesn’t matter) if Obama had effed up ObamaCare so bad to take our eyes off a bigger eff-up.

I think I was right:

Eight questions about the dramatic events of the past 24 hours: Iran and the P5+1 (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany) seem ready to strike an interim deal that would loosen sanctions on the Iranian economy in exchange for … It’s hard to tell at the moment. With any luck, a total suspension of uranium enrichment, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. At best, a commitment from the Iranians to limit enrichment, slow down work at the Arak plutonium facility and continue tweeting holiday greetings to Jewish people.

So, my questions:

1. Does the Barack Obama administration realize quite how good the Iranian regime is at this game?

As Robert Satloff, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, points out, Iran may be hitting a trifecta. It seems as if (1) it’s going to see the sanctions currently crushing its economy loosened without having to halt uranium enrichment. (2) Its Iraqi client is going to get U.S. help to defeat its radical Sunni adversaries. (3) Its other main client, the Assad regime in Damascus, recently got a free pass from the West to kill its citizens with conventional weapons well into the future. Pretty good for a pariah state.

2. How does the deal, as it is currently being understood, divert Iran from its goal of building a nuclear-weapons infrastructure?

I asked Mark Dubowitz, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and a (hawkish) expert on the Iranian program. He said: “This deal would allow Iran to keep in place its entire nuclear infrastructure and maintain a still dangerous uranium breakout capacity with more than sufficient centrifuges to move, at a time of its choice to weaponize uranium. It does nothing to address centrifuge manufacturing, which is the key element to Iran’s secret enrichment program.” The deal — again, we haven’t seen official details yet — would also allow Iran to “to continue work on its plutonium nuclear pathway.”

3. Does an interim deal remove pressure on Iran to reach a final deal, one that presumably shuts down for good key elements of the Iranian program?

It would seem that an interim deal would both weaken the world’s commitment to sanctions and the West’s leverage in negotiations, except if President Obama is stalwart about reapplying sanctions should Iran veer from the straight path.

6. What the hell is John Kerry thinking?

In a fit of frustration brought on, presumably, by jet lag combined with too much exposure to Netanyahu combined with being John Kerry, the secretary of state suggested to an interviewer that Israel would be facing a third Intifada, or uprising, if it didn’t compromise on settlement growth on the West Bank. “If we don’t end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually within the West Bank,” he said, “then there will be an increasing feeling that if we cannot get peace with a leadership that is committed to nonviolence, you may wind up with leadership that is committed to violence.” This is a dangerous thing to say (and condescending to Palestinians as well). It also reads as extortion. These sorts of threats don’t make Israelis compromise; they make them hunker down and wait for Hurricane Kerry to leave the State Department.

Having written all that, however, he then writes this:

7. What the hell is Benjamin Netanyahu thinking?
I wrote yesterday that Netanyahu might find the international community more receptive to his worries about Iran if his peers in Washington and in the capitals of Europe didn’t think he was irrational and unmovable on the subject of the Palestinians. The issues aren’t linked in reality, but they are in the minds of much of the world. Netanyahu’s refusal to acknowledge this reality has hurt his cause.

8. What the hell is Benjamin Netanyahu thinking? (Part II)

I realize that Netanyahu is now functioning as the principal spokesman for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (which wants to see Iran go nuclear even less than Israel does), but really, throwing public tantrums about U.S. policy only makes a prime minister look impotent (the same goes for Saudi tantrums). Netanyahu should watch the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, if he wants to learn how to manipulate public opinion.

Jeffrey Goldberg has just described in chapter and verse how Obama and Kerry are selling Israel (and Saudi Arabia, and America, and the West) down the river. But then blames Israel for speaking up about it?

Forget the politics; where’s the sense? Netanyahu knows what the stakes are: Iran itself, and its proxy jihad army, Hizb’allah (the Party of God), have been at war with Israel and the Jews for decades. Decades. It’s an existential battle, as in Israel’s very existence is at issue. Be it from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamass, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, Al Qaeda, you name it.

But not just Israel’s existence, as the Saudis’ panicked behavior suggests. Yet Obama and Kerry look at Iran and see only Rouhani’s smiling face.

What Goldberg callously dismisses as Netanyahu’s “tantrums” might better be likened to Jeremiah’s lamentations.

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Oh [Bleep]

How do you really feel, Bibi?

You can see and hear the anger, unless it’s fear, at this administration’s reckless naivete. (Did I make that up—not quite.)

I’m already scouting for a location for the war crimes trial for Obama, Kerry, Susan Rice, Samantha Power et al. I’m thinking Branson, MO, for their ultimate discomfort.

Netanyahu is not laughing:

“I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be because they got everything and paid nothing,” he said, speaking as if a deal had already been done. “They wanted relief of sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime, they got that, they are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability,” he said.

“So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal, this is a very bad deal. Israel utterly rejects it,” he said, “Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and the security of its people.”

Meaning…

Whatever the hell you think it means.

PS: As Aggie reported the other day, Saudi Arabia has taken matters into its own hands, having arranged with Pakistan to take delivery of an H-Bomb or three at any time of its choosing. To think that John Kerry’s arrogance once amounted to just having a fire hydrant relocated from the front of his Beacon Hill mansion. Now look what he’s done.

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Clueless Kerry

That’s what we call a standing headline:

The United States will not accept North Korea as a “nuclear state,” Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Tuesday, just hours after Pyongyang announced plans to restart a nuclear reactor it shut down five years ago.

North Korea’s decision comes as tensions on the Korean peninsula escalate over Kim Jong Un’s threats to wage war against the United States and South Korea.

“The bottom line is simply that what Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative. It is dangerous, reckless. The United States will not accept the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) as a nuclear state,” Kerry said during a joint briefing in Washington with South Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

I don’t quarrel with the administration’s policy toward North Korea. We have appeased that criminal regime for far, far too long.

But North Korea is a nuclear state. They tested a bomb only seven weeks ago!

But then, empty rhetoric is the language of diplomacy:

The announcement was followed by a plea for calm from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is South Korean.

“The current crisis has already gone too far,” he said in a statement from Andorra. “Nuclear threats are not a game. Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counteractions, and fuel fear and instability.

“Things must begin to calm down, as this situation, made worse by the lack of communication, could lead down a path that nobody should want to follow.”

Ban said dialogue and negotiations are “the only way to resolve the current crisis.”

One question: what’s the hell’s he doing in Andorra? Where the hell is Andorra? And why is it in desperate need of his diplomatic ministrations?

Gotta say this in favor of the Commies in Korea: they don’t mince words.

Who you callin’ “boiled pumpkin”, dumpling?

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North Korea Not Responding To Unclenched Fist

The government released this video of North Korea bombing the US.

- Aggie

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What Do You Say, Dear?

A hostile entity sworn to your destruction persists in shelling you with ever more—and ever more powerful—rockets and missiles.

The doctrine of proportionality does not require some sort of a balance between Israel and Hamas dead, or some equivalence between the deeds of Hamas and those of the Israel government.

Rather, in the context of international humanitarian law, there must be proportionality between what the Israel government actually does and what is reasonably required to prevent the firing of Hamas rockets at Israel civilians and soldiers.

Specifically, if the Israel government would be reasonably able to prevent the firing of those Hamas rockets via measures that fall well short of using nuclear weapons to obliterate Gaza, then the Israel government is legally obliged to use those less drastic means that are likely to be kinder to the civilians in Gaza.

However, international law certainly does not require the Israel government to sit back and accept the firing of rockets at Israel civilians and soldiers, just because measures to prevent that firing would likely result in some collateral civilian injury and death in Gaza. And here the reasoning is obvious: The Israel government has to choose between (A) some Israel deaths (civilian and military) resulting from Hamas missiles hitting Israel; and (B) some Hamas deaths (civilian and military) from Israel preventive measures. In this context, the Israel government has to opt for (B) to prevent (A). Any other decision would irrationally privilege the lives of Muslim Arabs in Gaza over those of civilians and soldiers in Israel.

And here the ancient rabbis would probably have agreed, because morally it is better for the wicked to die than for the innocent to perish.

As the legal scholars would say, duh!

But I’m still troubled. If Israel is the victim of these random and immoral attacks, why shouldn’t it employ any method it sees fit to protect its innocent civilians? Because the innocent of Gaza will die?

At least the author calls into question the very idea:

The civilian adult population of Gaza is probably directly or indirectly to some degree morally complicit in the willful aggression of Hamas, which the Muslim Arabs of Gaza clearly supported in the 2006 Palestinian elections, and which they probably continue to back even today. For example, pollsters tell us that Gaza’s adult population specifically endorses the notion that rockets be targeted at Israel civilians, which is a flagrant war crime.

A population elected to power a political party dedicated to the annihilation of a neighboring state. Furthermore, that population has served at the very least as a cover for the attacks (willfully or not), and often as an abetter of them.

And we’re talking about the morals of the victim?

I am aware of no formula that calculates how many innocent victims of terror must die before one “innocent” on the side of terrorism may be put at risk. Given the duration of the conflict so far, given the failures of negotiation and withdrawal, given the eliminationist language of Ham’ass’ founding charter—not least its racism and Jew-vilification distilled from Nazism—why shouldn’t the use of “nuclear weapons to obliterate Gaza” be considered? The USA dropped two on Japan and stopped the war on a dime. The unimaginable destruction and unspeakable horror were different only in degree from what had preceded Fat Man and Little Boy, and from what would have followed. Those two body blows, as horrific as they were to endure and disturbing as they are to recall, put an end to Imperial Japan. With American help, Japan recovered and rebuilt to become the economic powerhouse and peaceful nation it is today. (Even after a decade-plus long slump, Japan has the 3rd largest GDP, after America and China.)

Let me fire the first Qassam in the discussion. The green and pleasant land of Gaza comprises 141 square miles of prime Mediterranean beachfront property. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima destroyed 4.7 square miles of the city. You do the math. If Israel had nuclear weapons, it would need 30 of them to “obliterate” Gaza. But that hardly seems necessary. If mighty Japan fell after two mushroom clouds, surely one glowing shitake would do the trick in Gaza. Especially if it were strategically placed over Ham’ass HQ.

I’m a monster? I should be ashamed of myself for making light of nuclear annihilation?

I didn’t bring it up, some moralist did. I’m just pursuing the argument. And I’ve never bombed anyone (save rigging a paper cup of water above an ajar door). But the issue becomes a little more personal and less theoretical when it’s your kids on the line. The only thing that separates Ham’ass from Adam Lanza, the butcher of Newtown, is aim and proximity. Both fired on schoolchildren, both had the same intent. What would you have done to stop Lanza? What would you forbid Israel to stop Ham’ass?

The floor is yours.


Thank you.

Oh yeah, Happy Holidays!

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