Tag Archives: Iran

Obama administration sent $400 million cash ransom to Iran for hostage release

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people and our allies?

Why do civilized countries have a policy of not paying ransom to terrorists for hostages? Because if you pay them once, then it emboldens them to kidnap again and again. Anyone who knows anything about national security and foreign policy knows this: we do not negotiate with terrorists.

But what happens if you elect a drugged-up community organizer who never released his college grades to be the first “affirmative action President”?

The Wall Street Journal explains:

The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.

[…]“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17—without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.

[…]Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment. The Iranian foreign ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

[…]Since the cash shipment, the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard has arrested two more Iranian-Americans. Tehran has also detained dual-nationals from France, Canada and the U.K. in recent months.

[…]The Obama administration has refused to disclose how it paid any of the $1.7 billion, despite congressional queries, outside of saying that it wasn’t paid in dollars. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the cash would be used by Iran to fund regional allies, including the Assad regime in Syria and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization.

[…]Iran has acknowledged providing both financial and military aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and deploying Iranian soldiers there.

Of course. Because appeasement of tyrants emboldens tyrants to be more aggressive. Anyone with the basic moral sense of a functioning adult knows this.

Republicans called the entire $1.7 billion Iran deal a ransom for hostages:

Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a fierce foe of the Iran nuclear deal, accused President Barack Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”

“This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans, he said.

[…]Members of Congress are seeking to pass legislation preventing the Obama administration from making any further cash payments to Iran. One of the bills requires for the White House to make public the details of its $1.7 billion transfer to Iran.

“President Obama’s…payment to Iran in January, which we now know will fund Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of executive branch governance,” said Sen.James Lankford (R., Okla.), who co-wrote the bill. “Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”

Republicans are trying to get answers, but the Democrats are hiding everything – just like they did with the gun-running to Mexican drug cartels, the unsecure Hillary e-mail server, the Benghazi cover-up, the IRS persecution of conservatives, and so on.

The Washington Free Beacon explains:

“It has been seven months since President Obama announced that he was giving the Islamic Republic of Iran almost $2 billion,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Free Beacon on Wednesday.  “And we are just now finding out damning details about how $400 million, which is less than half of the total, was sent to Iran using foreign aircraft and foreign currencies.”

Pompeo led several unsuccessful inquiries into the cash payout. He said the administration has been stonewalling efforts to obtain a full readout of the exchange in both classified and unclassified settings since January.

[…]“That is far too long of a timeline, especially as it is in the face of the Obama administration totally stonewalling congressional inquiries into this matter since January,” Pompeo said.

None of this is surprising, given Obama’s other anti-American actions. We’ve already seen Obama release dozens of known Islamic terrorists who were captured on the battlefield – many of whom returned to battlefield to kill more Americans and innocent civilians.

Obama spokesman admits that the money is being given to a nation that supports terrorists:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during Wednesday’s press briefing it is possible the $400 million that the Obama administration airlifted to Iran could have been spent on funding terrorism.

“The president was quite forward-leaning in advance of the nuclear deal even being completed in acknowledging that we know that Iran supports terrorism,” Earnest said. “We know that Iran supports Hezbollah and the Assad regime, and it is certainly possible that some of the money that Iran has is being used for those purposes, too.”

What does Obama care? It’s not his money, it’s your money. Pass the selfie stick and the golf clubs.

Satellite missile launch proves that North Korea can hit United States with ICBM

This story is from the Daily Signal.

It says:

North Korea has again successfully put a satellite into orbit, demonstrating the same technology needed to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and showing that its long-range missile program is becoming increasingly reliable.

In 2015, the U.S. commanders of U.S. Forces Korea, Pacific Command, and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) publicly assessed that North Korea has the ability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon.

Preliminary assessments indicate that the satellite was approximately 450 pounds, twice as heavy a payload as the previous successful satellite launch in Dec. 2012, and that the missile may have a range of 13,000 km, an increase from the previous estimated 10,000 km range.

The longer range would put virtually the entire continental United States within range. Even at 10,000 km, approximately 38 percent of the United States, comprising 120 million people, was already within range.

It is clear that North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests are serious, irreparable violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions. This while the North Korean regime remains openly defiant of the international community despite countless attempts to reach a diplomatic resolution.

How did North Korea get nuclear weapons?

Hot Air explains how the North Korea deal was presented to the American people by Bill Clinton and his allies in the left-wing news media (note how similar it is to the way that Obama raved about his deal with Iran):

“This is a good deal for the United States,” said President Clinton. “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”

This whole agreement collapsed in 2002, when the CIA discovered that North Korea was secretly enriching uranium for further weapons production. The country, which also carried the title of virtually being the world’s largest prison, not only kept the nuclear weapons it already had at the time–which estimates said was to be just one–but they built more (shocker) and the geopolitical situation in Asia hasn’t changed.

You can read about the full chronology for Clinton’s North Korea deal, the subsequent CIA discoveries, and the missile launches that violated the United Nations resolutions. It’s important for young people to know the history of the efforts by Democrats to give goodies to bad actors in the world. It never works, but young people are often not taught about these things in liberal schools. And they don’t do much on their own to find the truth about these issues.

Where do Republicans stand on the threat from North Korea?

Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Texas Senator Ted Cruz

Texas senator Ted Cruz reacted to the North Korea missile launch in the ABC News debate last Saturday night, connecting it to the Democrat Party’s previous deal with North Korea.

CNS News explains what Ted Cruz said about the missile launch:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), asked to respond toNorth Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, called for an expanded missile defense capacity and a “hardened” electrical grid.

But first, he noted that President Bill Clinton relaxed sanctions against North Korea, just as President Obama has relaxed sanctions against Iran: “So, what we are seeing with North Korea is foreshadowing of where we will be with Iran.”

At Saturday’s Republican debate in New Hampshire, moderator Martha Raddatz asked Cruz how he would respond as commander in chief to the North Korean missile launch:

“Well, I would note initially, the fact that we’re seeing the launch, and we’re seeing the launch from a nuclear North Korea, is the direct result of the failures of the first Clinton administration. The Clinton administration led the world in relaxing sanctions against North Korea. Billions of dollars flowed into North Korea in exchange for promises not to build nuclear weapons. They took those billions and built nuclear weapons.

“And, I would note also the lead negotiator in that failed North Korea sanctions deal was a woman named Wendy Sherman who Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton promptly recruited to come back to be the lead negotiator with Iran. So, what we are seeing with North Korea is foreshadowing of where we will be with Iran.”

Cruz said one of the first things the U.S. should do is expand its missile defense capacity: “We ought to put missile defense interceptors in South Korea. South Korea wants them.

“One of the real risks of this launch, North Korea wants to launch a satellite, and one of the greatest risks of the satellite is they would place a nuclear device in the satellite. As it would orbit around the Earth, and as it got over the United States, they would detonate that nuclear weapon and set of what’s called an EMP, and electromagnetic pulse, which could take down the entire electrical grid on the Eastern seaboard, potentially killing millions.

“We need to harden the grid to defend ourselves, and we need missile defense to protect ourselves against North Korea.”

One of the first things that Barack Obama did when he became president was kill a deal to deploy missile defense interceptors to Poland and other European countries. He wouldn’t protect America from missile launches from nations that hate us, but he did release $100-150 billion dollars to Iran to continue their arms development. We can see where that leads by looking at where the Bill Clinton deal lead North Korea. We need to learn from history. Democrats don’t do foreign policy to protect America. Democrats do foreign policy so they can congratulate themselves on achieving “world peace” by giving away everything to aggressive regimes who want to destroy us.

Iran test fires “Emad” long range surface-to-surface missile

Iran fires a C-802 anti-ship cruise missile (SSM)
Iran fires a C-802 anti-ship cruise missile (SSM)

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.

Investors Business Daily explains:

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.

Global Warming

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.

What Putin is teaching us about foreign policy: Obama’s weakness provokes aggression

Vladimir Putin and the Clown of the United States
Vladimir Putin and the Community Organizer of the United States

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.

Stephens writes:

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.

More:

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.

Now let’s go to the UK Telegraph, and Matthew K. Lewis.

He writes:

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 side deal allows Iran to inspect its own nuclear weapons site

He's better at golf than foreign policy
He’s way better at golf than foreign policy, and he sucks at golf

Everything is awesome!

The normally-leftist Associated Press explains how awesome everything is:

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.

The Wall Street Journal points out:

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.