Is everything is going to be fine with this Iran deal? Because judging from their willingness to violate previous orders from the international community, they are not really serious about honoring international agreements.
The terrorist state of Iran over the weekend successfully test-fired the Emad — which means pillar — its first precision-guided, long-range surface-to-surface missile. As the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ Anthony Cordesmannotes, the Emad “is essentially a Shahab-3, but with a maneuvering re-entry vehicle to improve system accuracy and complicate missile defense.”
Iran’s Shahab-3 is based on North Korea’s Nodong-1, which in turn is based on the Soviet Scud — a tactical missile that was adapted to carry a nuclear warhead of up to 80 kilotons. Its range exceeds 1,000 miles — meaning it can reach Israel, Saudi Arabia and NATO member Turkey — and its accuracy is within 600 yards of the target.
The Obama administration reacted by complaining that the test violated the 5-year-old U.N. Security Council resolution 1929, prohibiting Iran from any activities related to ballistic missiles, and the State Department warned it will raise the issue at the United Nations.
Anyway, it’s not a big deal because Obama complained, and that should fix it. Well, he thinks it will.
Anyway, this whole “nuclear missiles in the hands of terrorists” thing is just a distraction from the more pressing problem of global warming. That’s the real threat we need to be worried about.
Global warming is a lot hotter than a nuclear missile detonation. Pretty sure. The science is clear on this.
The liberal Huffington Post reports that Pew Research says that Americans don’t agree with Obama on his threat assessment:
Americans are less concerned about climate change than they are about the Islamic State, Iran’s nuclear program and other threats, according to a new study released by the Pew Research Center on Tuesday.
[…]Pew asked respondents in 40 nations whether they were “very concerned” about climate change and six other major global issues, giving them the option to respond either “yes” or “no.” The study was conducted from March to May 2015.
The Islamic State topped Americans’ list of concerns, with 68 percent of Americans reporting that they were “very concerned” about the militant group in Iraq and Syria. More than half of American respondents were also worried about Iran’s nuclear program (62 percent), cyber-attacks (59 percent), and global economic instability (51 percent).
It’s a good thing we have such a smart President, because he is able to focus on the real problems that are an immediate threat to our survival.
Other than Weekly Standard, my two favorite places to read about foreign policy are the Wall Street Journal and the UK Telegraph. And my favorite writer from all three of these is Bret Stephens, columnist at the Wall Street Journal.
Here is his latest article (click through to WSJ), then we’ll go to the UK Telegraph after.
David Petraeus testified last month to the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. policy in the Middle East. Regarding Syria, the former general and CIA director urged a credible threat to destroy Bashar Assad’s air force if it continues to bomb its own people. He also recommended “the establishment of enclaves in Syria protected by coalition air power, where a moderate Sunni force could be supported and where additional forces could be trained, internally displaced persons could find refuge, and the Syrian opposition could organize.”
But Barack Obama does not agree. At his Friday press conference, the president described such views as “mumbo-jumbo,” “half-baked ideas,” “as-if” solutions, a willful effort to “downplay the challenges involved in the situation.” He says the critics have no answers to the questions of “what exactly would you do and how would you fund it and how would you sustain it.”
America’s greatest living general might as well have been testifying to his shower drain for all the difference his views are going to make in this administration.
So it is with this president. It’s not enough for him to stake and defend his positions. He wants you to know that he thinks deeper, sees further, knows better, operates from a purer motive. His preferred method for dealing with disagreement is denigration. If Republicans want a tougher line in Syria, they’re warmongers.
Yes. Every time the President gives a speech on policy, you can count on him to present alternatives to his own very left-wing views as incredibly evil, incredibly stupid or both. He thinks that he knows everything, and that talking to people who disagree with him, no matter how qualified they are (e.g. – General Petraeus) would be a waste of time. Everyone who opposes his fact-free, pot-smoking, college dorm discussion view of reality is stupid or evil or both. And this man is President.
For a relatively trivial investment of some jet fighters and a brigade-sized support force, Moscow extends its influence in the eastern Mediterranean, deepens a commercially and strategically productive alliance with Iran, humiliates the U.S., boosts Mr. Putin’s popularity at home, and earns a geopolitical card he can play in any number of negotiations—Ukraine, gas contracts, Mr. Assad’s political future, you name it. If things don’t work out, he can pull up stakes within a week without much loss of money, lives or prestige. It’s a perfect play.
Russian warplanes began bombing American-backed Syrian opposition strongholds on Wednesday, a move that can be viewed as the latest example of American humiliation abroad.
As was the case when Russians invaded Ukraine, the Russians cloaked their activity in lies.
In the former example, Russian soldiers didn’t wear uniforms, a thinly-veiled move meant to create the impression the fighters were merely Ukrainian “separatists.”
Likewise, Wednesday’s bombings ostensibly targeted Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil); in fact, the strikes were aimed at moderate rebels and civilians – part of a plan to take out any opposition to their client, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
[…]This all comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s drawing of a “red line” regarding the use of chemical weapons, only to back down when the Assad regime – by most accounts – used them.
Weakness invites provocation, and – never one to miss an opportunity to outmanoeuvre Mr Obama – Mr Putin provided a self-serving opportunity that would also allow the president to save face: Moscow would push Syria to put their chemical weapons under international control.
[…]It’s also important to note that in the wake of the red line being trampled, Russia invaded Crimea. President Obama’s legacy may be mixed, but one thing is for sure: Vladimir Putin is much more powerful and provocative than he was before Mr Obama took office, and Russia has only expanded its sphere of influence.
[…]For those paying attention, Mr Obama’s foreign policy world-view has failed.
Russia is our enemy, and they are trying to undermine us everywhere they can. Obama is meeting this challenge with the typical weakness he has shown in negotiations and stand-offs since he went on his Worldwide Bow Down To Dictators tour. His priorities seem to be to cut military spending and impose political correctness on the armed services. His latest great achievement in that regard is to nominate a gay civilian who has never served in the military to be head of the entire U.S. Army. That’s what he is most concerned about, political correctness. Not national security and not foreign policy.
Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.
[…]The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons.
[…]The Parchin agreement was worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers were not party to it but were briefed by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.
Everything is fine, stop worrying. Obama and Kerry and Clinton think that there is nothing wrong with this side deal. We can trust Iran to inspect themselves, it’s not like they’ve cheated on any agreements in the past. Oh wait, they have.
Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hasn’t read the side deal, though his negotiating deputy Wendy Sherman told MSNBC that she “saw the pieces of paper” but couldn’t keep them. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has told Members of the U.S. Congress that he’s bound by secrecy and can’t show them the side deals.
That secrecy should be unacceptable to Congress—all the more so after the AP dispatch. The news service says it has seen a document labelled “separate arrangement II.” The document says Iran will provide the IAEA with photos and locations that the IAEA says are linked to Iran’s weapons work, “taking into account military concerns.”
In other words, the country that lied for years about its nuclear weapons program will now be trusted to come clean about those lies. And trusted to such a degree that it can limit its self-inspections so they don’t raise “military concerns” in Iran.
Foreign policy expert Charles Krauthammer is not pleased:
But let’s just trust Iran again, because Obama needs a legacy. What are you, a racist? You better shut up before the IRS audits you.
From the radically leftist New York Times, of all places. They must be pretty pissed about this story.
Senator Chuck Schumer, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a lengthy statement. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”
Mr. Schumer had spent the last several weeks carrying a dog-eared copy of the agreement in his briefcase and meeting with Mr. Obama and officials like Wendy R. Sherman, the deal’s chief negotiator. With his decision, he paves the way for other Democrats on the fence to join Republicans in showing their disapproval.
“There are some who believe that I can force my colleagues to vote my way,” Mr. Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion.”
[…]Mr. Schumer said that the inspection regime in the first 10 years of the agreement would be too weak, and that provisions to reimpose sanctions if Iran cheated were too onerous. He said his most serious concerns were with the freedom that Iran would have after 10 years to quickly build a nuclear weapon.
“To me, after 10 years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it,” he said.
Now, Chuck Schumer is as blue as you can get, so this opposition to the nuke-Israel-via-Iran deal is quite striking. Most Democrats do want to nuke Israel via Iran, and that’s why they want to give Iran between $100 to $140 billion of oil revenue to start the terrorism against us and our allies as quickly as possible. But I guess Schumer is an exception to that.
Here are the key points about the Democrats’ deal with Iran from foreign policy expert Nile Gardiner:
[…][T]his is a disastrous agreement that leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure largely in place, with only limited “managed” access to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In effect the Iranian regime will be able to deny unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities. Iran has never cooperated with good faith with the IAEA in the past – there is no reason to believe it will do so now.
[…]Under the proposed arrangement, Iran would be in a position to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon within a year – the “breakout” time – if it chose to renege on the agreement. Even if Iran sticks to the deal, which is highly unlikely, the sunset restrictions on uranium enrichment will expire in a decade. In the meantime there are no restrictions put in place to limit Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or its conventional weapons capability.
[…]With the impending lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, which had been painstakingly put together by the UN Security Council over the course of many years despite Russian and Chinese resistance, Tehran will have potentially hundreds of billions of additional dollars to invest in its nuclear facilities, conventional weapons capability, and its state sponsored terror network, including Hamas and Hezbollah.
[…]There can be no doubt that the Iran nuclear deal will spark a dangerous arms race in the Middle East, with Iran’s Arab neighbours seeking to defend themselves in the event that Tehran becomes a nuclear weapons power. The prospect of a nuclear war in the Middle East will be dramatically raised as a result of this agreement.
[…]The end result can only be an emboldened Iran that grows ever more aggressive as it seeks to establish regional dominance. For Israel… the deal threatens its own long-term survival. In the face of a genocidal tyranny that has vowed its destruction, the people of Israel are nervous for their own future.
Is that threat to Israel real, or am I just exaggerating? Well, it’s no secret that Iran has made the threat many times in the past to annihilate Israel. But what’s striking is that they have been making it during the negotiations as well.
A photograph posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official website–as the Obama administration was finalizing negotiations on a deal intended to prevent Iran from building a nulcear weapon–shows the walking stick-waving supreme leader striding across, and apparently glaring at, a painted representation of Israel’s national flag.
The caption on the photo, according to a translation by American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin, reads, “The Zionist Regime is Condemned to Vanish.”
Now, if you ask Obama and Clinton, Israel has nothing to worry about from a nuclear-enabled Iran. Does that seem reasonable in view of the facts, though? I would not be surprised to see Israel nuked the day after the 2016 presidential election… with the United States as the next target, of course.
Finally, let’s close with a sobering recap of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s disastrous string of foreign policy blunders, courtesy of Ben Shapiro:
America used to worry about its allies being targeted for destruction. Obama’s new deal with Iran contains zero restrictions on their terrorist activity across the Middle East and the world, and relieves sanctions on figures including Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, a group responsible for the murder of hundreds of American troops. The deal also enriches Iran massively, and Iran has made clear that it will use those increased resources to help its terrorist allies like Hamas and Hezbollah.
[…][Obama] has purposefully hollowed out America’s military, and fully embraces Iran’s regional aspirations.
[…]Obama wants Iran to take over large sections of the Middle East. Like most Europeans, Obama sees America and Israel as greater threats to world peace than Iran or North Korea. His top priority in the Iran deal was forestalling action by the United States and Israel. He achieved that, at the cost of Saudi Arabia and Egypt seeking nuclear weapons, Hamas reinforcing its position as a terrorist cancer in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah retrenching as the controlling force in Lebanon, Bashar Assad ensuring his continued leadership, Iraq turning into an Iranian client state, Afghanistan preparing for Iranian-influenced sectarian violence, and Houthi-caused chaos in Yemen, for a start.
It’s the foreign policy blunders that will be the hardest to fix. The domestic stuff we can fix, the foreign policy – it’s going to almost impossible to roll that back. And if we do see a nuclear weapon within a year, Obama will veto anyone who tries to stop Iran from using it on Israel – or on us. Iran is not kidding when they say “death to Israel” and “death to America”. We are about to find out, and sooner than you think.
Now the big question is this – will that make any difference to Democrat voters? Sometimes I think that Democrat voters have their heads so far up their asses that no amount of facts can break in. Maybe the only thing that will wake them up is the mushroom cloud over Israel… or maybe over New York or Los Angeles. But honestly, they will probably just blame Bush or something. It’s invincible ignorance. Prove me wrong, Democrats. Because this time, it’s life and death serious.