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Friday, February 27, 2015

Have members of Congress seen this Bernard Lewis clip from 2009?



video




Transcript:

That is extremely important for another, not immediately related reason. That is the question of Iran’s nuclear weapon. The Soviet Union had nuclear weapons right through the Cold War, but neither side used them because both sides were aware that if either one did  the other would do the same and this would lead to mutual destruction - MAD as it was known at the time. Mutual assured destruction was the main deterrent preventing the use of nuclear weapons by the Soviets   For most of the Iranian leadership MAD would work as a deterrent, but for Ahmadinejad and his group with their apocalyptic mindset mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it's an inducement 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Krauthammer: The fatal flaw in the Iran deal




By Charles Krauthammer February 26 at 8:06 PM




A sunset clause?

The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the “right to enrich.” It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was Iran stonewalling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that just last Thursday the IAEA reportedits concern “about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed . . .development of a nuclear payload for a missile.”

Bad enough. Then it got worse: News leaked Mondayof the elements of a “sunset clause.” President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

Sanctions lifted. Restrictions gone. Nuclear development legitimized. Iran would reenter the international community, as Obama suggested in an interview in December, as “a very successful regional power.” A few years — probably around 10 — of good behavior and Iran would be home free.

The agreement thus would provide a predictable path to an Iranian bomb. Indeed, a flourishing path, with trade resumed, oil pumping and foreign investment pouring into a restored economy.
Meanwhile, Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program is subject to no restrictions at all. It’s not even part of these negotiations.

Why is Iran building them? You don’t build ICBMs in order to deliver sticks of dynamite. Their only purpose is to carry nuclear warheads. Nor does Iran need an ICBM to hit Riyadh or Tel Aviv. Intercontinental missiles are for reaching, well, other continents. North America, for example.

Such an agreement also means the end of nonproliferation. When a rogue state defies the world, continues illegal enrichment and then gets the world to bless an eventual unrestricted industrial-level enrichment program, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is dead. And regional hyperproliferation becomes inevitable as Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others seek shelter in going nuclear themselves.

Wasn’t Obama’s great international cause a nuclear-free world? Within months of his swearing-in, he went to Prague to so declare. He then led a 50-party Nuclear Security Summit, one of whose proclaimed achievements was having Canada give up some enriched uranium.

 Having disarmed the Canadian threat, Obama turned to Iran. The deal now on offer to the ayatollah would confer legitimacy on the nuclearization of the most rogue of rogue regimes: radically anti-American, deeply jihadist,purveyor of terrorism from Argentina to Bulgaria, puppeteer of a Syrian regime that specializes in dropping barrel bombs on civilians. In fact, the Iranian regime just this week, at the apex of these nuclear talks, staged a spectacular attack on a replica U.S. carrier near the Strait of Hormuz.

Well, say the administration apologists, what’s your alternative? Do you want war?

It’s Obama’s usual, subtle false-choice maneuver: It’s either appeasement or war.

It’s not. True, there are no good choices, but Obama’s prospective deal is the worst possible. Not only does Iran get a clear path to the bomb but it gets sanctions lifted, all pressure removed and international legitimacy.

There is a third choice. If you are not stopping Iran’s program, don’t give away the store. Keep the pressure, keep the sanctions. Indeed, increase them. After all, previous sanctions brought Iran to its knees and to the negotiating table in the first place. And that was before the collapse of oil prices, which would now vastly magnify the economic effect of heightened sanctions.

Congress is proposing precisely that. Combined with cheap oil, it could so destabilize the Iranian economy as to threaten the clerical regime. That’s the opening. Then offer to renew negotiations for sanctions relief but from a very different starting point — no enrichment. Or, if you like, with a few token centrifuges for face-saving purposes.

And no sunset.

That’s the carrot. As for the stick, make it quietly known that the United States will not stand in the way of any threatened nation that takes things into its own hands. We leave the regional threat to the regional powers, say, Israeli bombers overflying Saudi Arabia.

Consider where we began: six U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding an end to Iranian enrichment. Consider what we are now offering: an interim arrangement ending with a sunset clause that allows the mullahs a robust, industrial-strength, internationally sanctioned nuclear program.
Such a deal makes the Cuba normalization look good and the Ukrainian cease-fires positively brilliant. We are on the cusp of an epic capitulation. History will not be kind.

In Israel’s hour of need

Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him no choice.



It is hard to get your arms around the stubborn determination of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. For most of the nine years he has served as Israel’s leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009, Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure. He signed deals with the Palestinians he knew the Palestinians would never uphold in the hopes of winning the support of hostile US administrations and a fair shake from the pathologically hateful Israeli media.

In recent years he released terrorist murderers from prison. He abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these things in a bid to accommodate US President Barack Obama and win over the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy.

For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly.

He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence, embracing the jihadist lie that Israel’s existence is the product of post-Holocaust European guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.

He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating that the application of economic sanctions against Israel – illegal under the World Trade Organization treaty – are a natural response to Israel’s unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian demands.

Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.

And yet, despite Obama’s scandalous treatment of Israel, Netanyahu has continued to paper over differences in public and thank Obama for the little his has done on Israel’s behalf. He always makes a point of thanking Obama for agreeing to Congress’s demand to continue funding the Iron Dome missile defense system (although Obama has sought repeatedly to slash funding for the project).

Obama’s policies that are hostile to Israel are not limited to his unconditional support for the Palestinians in their campaign against Israel. Obama shocked the entire Israeli defense community when he supported the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, despite Mubarak’s dependability as a US ally in the war on Islamist terrorism, and as the guardian of both Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and the safety and freedom of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.

Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow despite the fact that the only political force in Egypt capable of replacing him was the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is the ideological home and spawning ground of jihadist terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and Hamas. Obama then supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime even as then-president Mohamed Morsi took concrete steps to transform Egypt into an Islamist, jihadist state and end Egypt’s peace with Israel.

Israelis were united in our opposition to Obama’s behavior. But Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama’s destructive, dangerous policy.

He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.

He held his tongue, because he believed that the damage Obama was causing Israel was not irreversible in most cases. And it was better to maintain the guise of good relations, in the hopes of actually achieving them, than to expose the fractures in US-Israel ties caused by Obama’s enormous hostility toward Israel and by his strategic myopia that endangered both Israel and the US’s other regional allies.

And yet, today Netanyahu, the serial accommodator, is putting everything on the line. He will not accommodate. He will not be bullied. He will not be threatened, even as all the powers that have grown used to bringing him to his knees – the Obama administration, the American Jewish Left, the Israeli media, and the Labor party grow ever more shrill and threatening in their attacks against him.

As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama administration where accommodation is no longer possible.

Obama’s one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.

Since Obama’s earliest days in office, Netanyahu has warned openly and behind closed doors that Obama’s plan to forge a nuclear deal with Iran is dangerous. And as the years have passed, and the lengths Obama is willing to go to appease Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been left their marks on the region, Netanyahu’s warnings have grown stronger and more urgent.

Netanyahu has been clear since his first tenure in office in the 1990s, that Iran’s nuclear program – as well as its ballistic missile program – constitutes a threat to Israel’s very existence. He has never wavered from his position that Israel cannot accept an Iran armed with nuclear weapons.

Until Obama entered office, and to an ever escalating degree since his reelection in 2012, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons has been such an obvious imperative among both Israelis and Americans that Netanyahu’s forthright rejection of any nuclear deal in which Iran would be permitted to maintain the components of its nuclear program was uncontroversial. In some Israeli circles, his trenchant opposition to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear capabilities was the object of derision, with critics insisting that he was standing strong on something uncontroversial while buckling on issues like negotiations with the Palestinians, where he should have stood strong.

But now we are seeing that far from being an opportunist, Netanyahu is a leader of historical dimensions. For the past two years, in the interest of reaching a deal, Obama has enabled Iran to take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. For the first time since 1974, due to Obama’s policies, the Golan Heights is an active front in the war against Israel, with Iranian military personnel commanding Syrian and Hezbollah forces along the border.

Iran’s single-minded dedication to its goal of becoming a regional hegemon and its commitment to its ultimate goal of destroying the US is being enabled by Obama’s policies of accommodation. An Iran in possession of a nuclear arsenal is an Iran that can not only destroy Israel with just one or two warheads. It can make it impossible for Israel to respond to conventional aggression carried out by terrorist forces and others operating under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.

Whereas Israel can survive Obama on the Palestinian front by stalling, waiting him out and placating him where possible, and can even survive his support for Hamas by making common cause with the Egyptian military and the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the damage Obama’s intended deal with Iran will cause Israel will be irreversible. The moment that Obama grants Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal – and the terms of the agreement that Obama has offered Iran grant Iran an unimpeded path to nuclear power – a future US administration will be hard-pressed to put the genie back in the bottle.

For his efforts to prevent irreparable harm to Israel Netanyahu is being subjected to the most brutal and vicious attacks any Israeli leader has ever been subjected to by an American administration and its political allies. They are being assisted in their efforts by a shameless Israeli opposition that is willing to endanger the future of the country in order to seize political power.

Every day brings another serving of abuse. Wednesday National Security Adviser Susan Rice accused Netanyahu of destroying US relations with Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry effectively called him a serial alarmist, liar, and warmonger.

For its part, the Congressional Black Caucus reportedly intends to sabotage Netanyahu’s address before the joint houses of Congress by walking out in the middle, thus symbolically accusing of racism the leader of the Middle East’s only liberal democracy, and the leader of the most persecuted people in human history.

Radical leftist representatives who happen to be Jewish, like Jan Schakowsky of suburban Chicago and Steve Cohen of Memphis, are joining Netanyahu’s boycotters in order to give the patina of Jewish legitimacy to an administration whose central foreign policy threatens the viability of the Jewish state.

As for Netanyahu’s domestic opponents, their behavior is simply inexcusable. In Israel’s hour of peril, just weeks before Obama intends to conclude his nuclear deal with the mullahs that will endanger Israel’s existence, Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog insists that his primary duty is to defeat Netanyahu.

And as far as Iran is concerned, he acts as a free loader ad a spoiler. Either he believes that Netanyahu will succeed in his mission to derail the deal with or without his support, or he doesn’t care. But Herzog’s rejection of Netanyahu’s entreaties that he join him in Washington next week, and his persistent attacks on Netanyahu for refusing accommodate that which cannot be accommodated shows that he is both an opportunist and utterly unworthy of a leadership role in this country.

Netanyahu is not coming to Washington next Tuesday to warn Congress against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, because he seeks a fight with Obama. Netanyahu has devoted the last six years to avoiding a fight with Obama, often at great cost to Israel’s national security and to his own political position. 

Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him no choice. And all decent people of good will should support him, and those who do not, and those who are silent, should be called out for their treachery and cowardice.


***


Historians in the future will look at Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3, 2015 as the turning point. The day the world was told that it cannot live in an illusion of peace, when apocalyptic, eschatology driven fanatics want to destroy it. The day it was told that the Jewish people will not permit that a third of its population be annihilated twice in a century.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Labor vs Likud priorities in the coming elections in Israel



Explanation for non Israelis:  the red sign is the sign for Shekels - i.e. the price of cheese 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why Obama Won’t Call the Jihadis Islamic




Barack Obama aroused controversy over his affinity with Islam yet again in February 2015, when a photo surfaced from the U.S.-African Leaders’ Summit in August 2014, showing Obama passing by a group of African delegates with his right index finger raised in a gesture strongly reminiscent of the Islamic State’s now notorious one-finger salute.

For the Islamic State and other Muslims, this gesture signifies allegiance to Islam’s absolute monotheism. Whatever Obama may have meant by it, the revelation that he had made the gesture — coming so soon after his renewed refusal at his “Countering Violent Extremism” summit to identify Islamic jihadists as Islamic — raised new questions about Obama’s relationship with Islam. Why won’t Obama identify Islam as having anything to do with the jihadis, when they themselves consistently explain and justify their actions solely in Islamic terms? Why won’t he do anything about mosques in the U.S. with ties to jihad terror? Why does he coddle the Muslim Brotherhood? Why, in sum, does he seem to love Islam so much, even if he isn’t a practicing Muslim?

And it does seem most likely that Obama is indeed not a practicing Muslim, despite the remarkable persistence of rumors and suspicions to the contrary. It is extremely unlikely that a Muslim would publicly proclaim himself a Christian over and over, as Obama has. While it is possible that this would be justified under Islam’s doctrines of deception, there is no evidence that Muslims have ever behaved this way. Ground Zero Mosque imam Faisal Abdul Rauf did say several years ago, “I am a Jew,” but he only said it once, in the context of ecumenical generosity; he didn’t try to pass himself off as one. There is a way in which a Muslim could say he is a true Jew or true Christian because he follows the true teachings of the Torah and the Gospel, but there is no known case of a Muslim behaving this way in a sustained manner. If Obama were a secret Muslim, he would be the first Muslim to carry out such a sustained deception of claiming not to be a Muslim.

There is little doubt, however, given his consistent policies throughout his presidency, that Obama holds Islam in high regard, for whatever mix of personal affection (his father and stepfather were both Muslims) and political calculation (he may believe that calling the jihadis Islamic will alienate Muslim allies of the U.S., such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan, however unreliable those alliances have been). His Administration backed the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt with such loyalty that Egyptian protesters held signs accusing Obama of supporting terrorism. He aided Islamic jihadis to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya and continues to aid those trying to overthrow Assad in Syria. (He insists that those he is backing in Syria are “vetted moderates,” but they have ransacked churches, terrorized Christians, and collaborated with the Islamic State too often for that to ring true.) He has repeatedly called for self-censorship to conform with Islamic blasphemy laws, most memorably declaring at the United Nations, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

And while his Justice Department aggressively pursues businesses and educational institutions to compel them to grant special privileges and accommodations to Muslims, it has shown no similar energy regarding terror-tied mosques in the U.S. Not only do these mosques remain open and their leaders uninvestigated and unprosecuted, but all too often the only contact law enforcement officials have with them is for “outreach.”

Only Obama knows what he may be thinking in all this, but a few conclusions seem obvious: he is afraid that speaking honestly about the jihadis’ motives and goals will alienate actual and potential Muslim allies. Since he believes Islam to be a peaceful religion, he doesn’t accept the idea that Muslims become jihadis because the Qur’an and Sunnah exhort them to do so. That leaves only the grievances that Islamic advocacy groups (and jihad groups) endlessly retail as the fundamental engine of the “radicalization” of Muslims – so Obama apparently sees redressing those grievances as the primary means of preventing Muslims from becoming terrorists.

This has led to foreign and domestic policies of accommodation and appeasement, along with an ominously cavalier stance at best toward the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of speech. Coupled with a dogmatic refusal to identify properly those who have vowed to destroy the United States and address their belief system and ideology, Obama’s stance toward Islam is a recipe for catastrophe. The United States is weaker and more vulnerable for it

Monday, February 23, 2015

Phased US-Iran nuclear deal taking shape - Is the Obama administration really this crazy?

Is this reality or am I reading MAD magazine?

"One variation being discussed would place at least 10-year regime of strict controls on Iran’s uranium enrichment program. If Iran complies, the restrictions would be gradually lifted over the last five years of such an agreement"









By Associated Press February 23 at 10:44 AM

GENEVA — The United States and Iran are working on a two-phase deal that clamps down on Tehran’s nuclear program for at least a decade before providing it leeway over the remainder of the agreement to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make weapons.
Officials from some of the six-power talks with Iran said details still needed to be agreed on, with U.S. and Iranian negotiators meeting Monday for the third straight day ahead of an end-of-March deadline for a framework agreement. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined the negotiations after arriving Sunday.
A breakthrough was not expected before Kerry returns to Washington later Monday. Still, Western officials familiar with the talks cited long-awaited progress on some elements that would have to go into a comprehensive deal. They described the discussions as a moving target, however, meaning changes in any one area would have repercussions for other parts of the negotiation.
The idea would be to reward Iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement, gradually lifting constraints on its uranium enrichment program and slowly easing economic sanctions.
Iran says it does not want nuclear arms and needs enrichment only for energy, medical and scientific purposes, but the U.S. fears Tehran could re-engineer the program to another potential use — producing the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.
The U.S. initially sought restrictions lasting for up to 20 years; Iran had pushed for less than a decade. The prospective deal appears to be somewhere in the middle.
One variation being discussed would place at least 10-year regime of strict controls on Iran’s uranium enrichment program. If Iran complies, the restrictions would be gradually lifted over the last five years of such an agreement.
Iran could be allowed to operate significantly more centrifuges than the U.S. administration first demanded, though at lower capacity than they currently run. Several officials spoke of 6,500 centrifuges as a potential point of compromise, with the U.S. trying to restrict them to Iran’s mainstay IR-1 model instead of more advanced machines.
It would also be forced to ship out most of the enriched uranium it produces or change it to a form that is difficult to reconvert for weapons use. It takes about 1 ton of low-enriched uranium to process into a nuclear weapon, and officials said that Tehran could be restricted to an enriched stockpile of no more than 300 kilograms (about 700 pounds).
The officials represent different countries among the six world powers negotiating with Iran — the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the negotiations.
The U.N. nuclear agency would have responsibility for monitoring, and any deal would depend more on technical safeguards than Iranian goodwill to ensure compliance.
But the accord will have to receive some sort of acceptance from the U.S. Congress to be fully implemented. That is a tough sell given the hostility to any Iranian enrichment from most Republican and many Democratic lawmakers.
For the United States, the goal is to extend to at least a year the period that Iran would need to surreptitiously “break out” toward nuclear weapons development.
In exchange, Iran wants relief from the various layers of trade, financial and petroleum sanctions crippling its economy and the Americans are talking about phasing in such measures.
Several steps would come immediately through executive action by President Barack Obama, the officials said. Other penalties would be suspended, but not lifted, as Iran demonstrates its compliance with its obligations. A lesser amount of restrictions would stay in place until Congress acts to remove them permanently.
Progress also is being made on the status of Iran’s underground enrichment facility at Fordo and heavy water reactor at Arak, which potentially could produce enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons a year. Fordo could be turned into a research lab and Arak, which is close to completion, could be reconfigured to produce much less plutonium, officials said.

More rounds of negotiations are needed for a framework, officials said, with Kerry likely to return to Geneva as soon as next week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Economist censors




The last two days I got two twice censored by the Economist. I sent them the following email, to which I got no reply:

Could you please elaborate what comment policy rule have I violated in informing the readers of the 'sunset clause' in the Iran deal, something that The Economist did not find important enough to mention?     


Dear Mladen Andrijasevic,


The attached comment, posted under the pen name Mladen_Andrijasevic, has been deleted from The Economist online.  The comment was removed because it breaks our comments policy:

http://www.economist.com/legal/terms-of-use#usercontent

We remind you that repeated violation of our comments policy may result in your being blocked from posting comments on The Economist online.


Yours sincerely,

Comments Moderator The Economist online


Your comment:

Daniel Greenfield: Aiding Islamic Terrorists Is Our Foreign Policy
http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2015/02/daniel-greenfield-aiding-isl...
[1]

Bush tried to build up civil society to choke off terrorism. Obama builds
civil society around terrorists.

Obama does not believe that the terrorists are the problem. He believes that
we are the problem. His foreign policy is not about fighting Islamic
terrorists. It is about destroying our power to stop them.

He isn’t fighting terrorists. He’s fighting us  



Dear Mladen Andrijasevic,


The attached comment, posted under the pen name Mladen_Andrijasevic, has been deleted from The Economist online.  The comment was removed because it breaks our comments policy:

http://www.economist.com/legal/terms-of-use#usercontent

We remind you that repeated violation of our comments policy may result in your being blocked from posting comments on The Economist online.


Yours sincerely,

Comments Moderator The Economist online


Your comment:

The “Sunset Clause” in the Iran deal – the quintessence of the
Obama-Netanyahu rift almost nobody talks about

http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2015/02/the-sunset-clause-in-iran-de...

[1]

Among all the reporting on the Obama-Netanyahu feud in the last three months
I have come across only two articles which explain what is the serious
disagreement actually about. The first was in in Jerusalem Post on November
22, 2014 by Michael Wilner JP Exclusive: Cornered but unbound by nuclear
pact, Israel reconsiders military action against Iran and the second was in
the Washington Post on Feb 19, 2015 by David Ignatius Why Netanyahu broke
publicly with Obama over Iran

What does the “sunset clause mean? - It means the after 10 years Iran will
be bound by no restrictions and will be 0 days away from the bomb.

This is an appalling neglect of the media to report on what really matters.

Even worse is the media’s analysis of what would happen if Iran did get the
bomb.

Ask yourselves a simple question. How many times did you read in the world
and Israeli press Bernard Lewis’s statement - “For people with this
mindset, M.A.D. is not a constraint; it is an inducement... " ?

Netanyahu must not give in. He has to quote Bernard Lewis in front of US
Congress.