Category Archives: Obama

Surviving the Obama Presidency and the Iranian Bomb

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When, in 2012, I authored a cautionary tale about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, I never imagined a U.S. president who would, just a few years later, actively try to strengthen Iran’s geopolitical and financial position while providing international legitimacy to the Iranian nuclear program. But sometimes truth is scarier than fiction.

In my thriller, 35 Israeli submariners must decide what to do after Iran gets the Bomb. In an unexpected twist on fiction, a small group of undecided members of Congress may similarly have to determine the course of history. They represent the last chance for a democracy to reject the nuclear appeasement of the Ayatollahs. There are reportedly 26 Senate Democrats currently in favor of President Obama’s Iran deal, so eight more are needed to sustain Obama’s veto of a Congressional resolution disapproving of the Iran agreement.

But as ineptly negotiated as the Iran agreement is, defeating it would probably be worse, given the political realities. The best possible outcome, at this point, would be a Congressional resolution that rejects the Iran deal but then gets vetoed by Obama. Why? Because if Congress overrides Obama’s veto and defeats the deal, Iran will likely use that as an excuse to abandon whatever limited and temporary constraints it accepted under the agreement. Iran can then – at a time of its choosing – race towards nukes while Obama is still in office, secure in the knowledge that Obama wouldn’t dare to stop Iran militarily. If Obama cowered from enforcing his no-chemical-weapons “red line” against the far weaker Syrian regime in 2013, there is no chance that Obama would militarily confront Iran over its nuclear program (and he essentially admitted as much in an Israeli television interview). Lest anyone doubt Obama’s enforcement laxity, he has already accepted Iran’s brazen violations of existing sanctions.

Incidentally, Obama claimed that “diplomacy” could handle the Syrian chemical weapons threat more effectively than force could, but now ISIS is gassing the Kurds with impunity, which undermines any notion that diplomacy will prevent nuclear abuses. In the Middle East, strength is far more respected than diplomacy, and it’s clear that Obama projects weakness to foes and friends alike. Indeed, senior Iranian military leaders have openly laughed at the emptiness of Obama’s military threats.

Not only will Obama fail to take any military action against Iranian nukes, he will probably thwart any Israeli operations to that effect. The Obama administration reportedly floated the idea of attacking Israeli jets en route to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. Incredibly, Obama’s Iran deal arguably obligates the U.S. to help Iran protect its nuclear program from an Israeli attack.

The Islamic Republic couldn’t have a greater ally in the White House, and therefore would probably exploit a Congressional defeat of the Iran deal in order to race towards a nuclear weapon with impunity.

American Jews would also be harmed by the defeat of Obama’s Iran deal: Obama and his supporters would fuel anti-Semitism by alleging excessive Jewish power even more than they already have, and Jews and Israel would be blamed if Iran abandoned the agreement and dashed towards nukes – particularly if any military conflagration ensued.

As dangerous and risky as it is for Israel to undertake a unilateral military strike on Iran’s hardened and dispersed nuclear sites, such an operation is effectively impossible as long as Obama is in office. During Operation Protective Edge last summer, Obama reminded Israel that he could endanger the tiny state in the middle of war by refusing to resupply its military, and his FAA isolated Israel by imposing a ban on flights to Israel after just thirteen days of conflict (it took about three years of war in Syria for the FAA to take the same action there).

On the diplomatic front, Obama has already threatened to withhold diplomatic support for Israel at the UN on the Palestinian issue, so on the Iranian nuclear issue – his legacy foreign policy “achievement” – he would be far more dangerous to Israel at the UN.

The Obama administration has also leaked highly sensitive information to Israel’s detriment, from Israel’s attacks on Syrian weapons transfers to Hezbollah, to details about Israel’s nuclear program.

In addition to the already abundant evidence of Obama’s anti-Israel animus, Michael Oren, Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.S., detailed Obama’s hostility towards Israel in his recently published memoir, Ally.

Given the Obama administration’s willingness to harm Israel, the Jewish state simply cannot risk a major military operation as long as Obama is in office. Thus, the pro-Iranian nuclear deal is now, thanks to Obama, the only way to stop Iranian nukes until Obama leaves office.

56% of Americans think Congress should reject the deal with Iran, and 60% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the U.S. relationship with Iran, according to the latest CNN/ORC poll. Congressional rejection of the deal will officially reflect these sentiments and undermine the deal’s legitimacy (despite Obama’s subsequent veto) – particularly because Obama purposely rammed the accord through the U.N. Security Council in order to make it a fait accompli that deprives Congress of any meaningful constitutional role in the process.

But if Congress officially rejects Obama’s disastrous deal and it survives only by Obama’s veto, the next president can more legitimately rescind it and – with the help of traditional Mideast allies – stop Iranian nuclear ambitions and hegemony.

Unfortunately, Obama’s policies have made the job of his successor much harder. The next president will face a far stronger and less isolated Iran, economically empowered by a world rushing to do business with the Ayatollahs. Iran’s $150 billion post-sanctions windfall will increase Iranian financial support for terrorist groups (as Obama officials now concede) and boost Iran’s military capabilities (Russia just agreed to sell Iran its advanced, S-300 long-range, surface-to-air missile systems, complicating future missions to destroy Iranian nukes).

Until the 45th president assumes office on January 20, 2017, those concerned about Obama’s reckless and feckless foreign policy and his increasingly imperial presidency need to keep him on the defensive by focusing public attention on Obama administration controversies, many of which involve abuses of power that should interest the mainstream media.

The busier Obama is defending his prior excesses, the less he can commit new ones during the rest of his tenure.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

Obama comfortable with IAEA deal with Tehran to self-inspect nuke site

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The White House on Wednesday said it was “confident” in the abilities of the International Agency for Atomic Energy to monitor and inspect the possible military dimensions on Iran’s past nuclear work and was “comfortable” with confidential arrangements between the IAEA and Tehran to ensure compliance with the nuclear deal signed on July 14.

“As the administration has said before — including in classified briefings for both chambers of Congress — we are confident in the agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s former program, issues that in some cases date back more than a decade,” White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday in response to an Associated Press report that revealed the IAEA would cede investigative authority of a suspected nuclear site to Tehran.

“Just as importantly, the IAEA is comfortable with arrangements, which are unique to the agency’s investigation of Iran’s historical activities. When it comes to monitoring Iran’s behavior going forward, the IAEA has separately developed the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated to ensure Iran’s current program remains exclusively peaceful, the overarching objective of the JCPOA. Beyond that, we are not going to comment on a purported draft IAEA document,” Price said.

The revelation, based on a document seen by AP, was also shrugged off by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who said, “I truly believe in this agreement,” after announcing that House Democrats have the votes to uphold President Barack Obama’s veto of a resolution against his Iran nuclear deal, if needed.

According to the document obtained by AP, the agreement worked out between the IAEA and Iran allows the Islamic Republic to use its own experts to inspect the Parchin nuclear site. The IAEA’s concession is unprecedented, according to a former senior IAEA official.

Iran has refused access to Parchin for years. Based on US, Israeli and other intelligence and its own research, the IAEA suspects that the Islamic Republic may have experimented with high-explosive detonators for nuclear arms at that military facility. The IAEA has also repeatedly cited evidence, based on satellite images, of possible attempts to sanitize the site since the alleged work stopped more than a decade ago.

The revelation was met with furious cynicism by Israel and US Republican leaders, with a leading senator calling the agreement to have Iran inspect its own suspect site “remarkably naive and incredibly reckless.”

Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz immediately issued a caustic response. “One must welcome this global innovation and outside-the-box thinking,” he said in a statement dripping with sarcasm. “One can only wonder if the Iranian inspectors will also have to wait 24 days before being able to visit the site and look for incriminating evidence?”

Steinitz, the Israeli government’s point man on Iran, was alluding to the complex clauses in the agreement reached last month between world powers and Iran aimed at curbing its nuclear program, one of which provides Iran with 24-days notice of efforts to inspect suspect sites.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 24, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

Republican senators were also furious. “This side agreement shows that true verification is a sham, and it begs the question of what else the administration is keeping from Congress,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader. McCarthy also complained that Congress learned of the IAEA deal from the AP report and not from the administration.

John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said, “Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the UN in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep-seated concerns the American people have about the agreement.”

The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, called the agreement a “dangerous farce,” and accused the world powers who brokered the deal of acquiescing to Iran’s every demand.

“International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period. The standard of ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections – so critical to a viable agreement – has dropped to ‘when Iran wants, where Iran wants, on Iran’s terms,’” Royce said Wednesday. “For weeks, Congress has been demanding access to this document to assess the viability of the inspections measures. Congress must now consider whether this unprecedented arrangement will keep Iran from cheating. This is a dangerous farce.”

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush also used the term “farce,” writing Wednesday on Twitter that “Nuclear inspections of state sponsors of terrorism can’t work on the honor system.”

Israel has slammed the deal concluded by the P5+1 powers and Iran, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branding it a historic mistake that will both pave Iran’s path to the bomb and, by lifting sanctions, cement the Islamist regime in power and allow it fund more terrorist activity and other dangerous regional activities.

Netanyahu has lobbied Congress to reject the deal when it votes on it next month.

The AP report on the separate IAEA-Iran side-agreement relating to Parchin dryly termed the self-inspection clause “an unusual arrangement.”

It said news of the agreement would be “sure to roil American and Israeli critics of the main Iran deal signed by the US, Iran and five world powers in July.”

The investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the International Atomic Energy Agency is linked to a broader probe of allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear deal.

The Parchin deal is a separate, side agreement worked out directly between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers that signed the Iran nuclear deal were not party to this agreement but were briefed on it by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.

Without divulging its contents, the Obama administration had previously described the document as nothing more than a routine technical arrangement between Iran and the IAEA on the particulars of inspecting the site.

Iran: Already Violating the Nuke Deal #Irandeal

Will enough Democrats put country over party and defy Obama?

Joseph Klein// As the congressional vote on President Barack Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran draws closer, the Iranian regime appears to be doing everything it can to show that it has the upper hand as a result of the deal it negotiated with the United States and its five partners. It is either dishonestly twisting certain terms of the deal to justify its misbehavior or simply defying the terms outright. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not pushing back. Instead, they are pushing hard to avoid a veto-proof congressional vote of disapproval.

For example, Iran is planning to sign a contract for four advanced Russian surface-to-air S-300 missiles as early as next week, following a visit to Moscow by Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in violation of an international travel ban.

There have been whimpers of objection from the Obama administration, but no forceful statement that such activities by the Iranian regime will jeopardize the agreement from the get-go.

Iranian leaders have also declared that their arms shipments to allies in the region, such as their terrorist proxy Hezbollah, will continue despite the United Nations Security Council arms embargo still in effect for the next five years.

The Obama administration’s response is staggering. According to Kerry, “The arms embargo is not tied to snapback. It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”

That is all the encouragement the Iranian regime needed to up the ante. According to Debkafile, “Al Qods commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, acting on the orders of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week set up a new Iranian command to fight Israel.” This newly named “Eastern Command” is reportedly set “to start handing out weapons, including missiles, to any Palestinian West Bank group willing to receive them.” This is the same Soleimani with American blood on his hands who recently visited Moscow in violation of the current international travel ban, but who will eventually have sanctions and freezes against him lifted as part of the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, to make matters even worse, the Associated Press is reporting that “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.” In other words, the UN international inspection team that President Obama has pointed to as the chief verification safeguard will now give way at least in part to Iranian inspectors investigating their own alleged nuclear weaponization development work at a military site declared off limits by Iran to international inspectors. The White House remained “confident” in the viability of the inspection regime despite the confidence game the Iranian regime played with the UN to permit Iran to self-inspect.

Nevertheless, Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives are lining up to support President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. They are willfully ignoring clear evidence that Iran, post-deal, is continuing its pattern of cheating and violating international sanctions and embargoes still in place. Like lemmings jumping over the cliff, these Democrats are willing to ease the Iranian regime’s path towards becoming a threshold nuclear armed state in a little over a decade, out of blind partisan loyalty to Obama.

To date, the Obama administration has the declared support of 23 Democratic and nominally “independent” senators it will need to sustain an expected veto by President Obama of any resolution passed by Congress to disapprove the deal. This tally is according to The Hill’s Senate whip list compiled as of August 18th. The administration needs at least 34 senators on Obama’s side to sustain a veto. Six Democratic senators are said to be leaning towards a favorable vote, including Senator Richard Blumenthal (Conn.). Fifteen Senate Democrats are still undecided.

So far, only two Democratic senators have shown the courage to serve the public interest, rather than narrow partisan interests. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) became the second Democratic senator to announce his willingness to vote against the president from his own party in opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran. Senator Chuck Schumer had announced his opposition on August 6th.

On the House side, according to The Hill’s Whip List as of August 19th, 55 Democratic representatives have indicated that they are planning to vote in support of the deal. Fourteen more Democrats are leaning in favor. Twelve have declared their opposition to the deal so far. Three are leaning against and 57 are listed as undecided. Obama will prevail on a vote to sustain his expected veto of a disapproval resolution that passes both houses of Congress if he loses no more than 43 House Democrats (assuming the Republicans in the House all vote to override the veto).

Speaking at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations on August 18th when he announced his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, Senator Menendez provided a very detailed explanation of his decision.  He characterized the fundamental flaw in the deal this way: “The agreement that has been reached failed to achieve the one thing it set out to achieve – it failed to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state at a time of its choosing. In fact, it authorizes and supports the very road map Iran will need to arrive at its target.”

Senator Menendez objected to the exchange of permanent sanctions relief for Iran in return for “only temporary – temporary – limitations on its nuclear program – not a rolling-back, not dismantlement, but temporary limitations.” The deal, the senator added, “is based on ‘hope.’ Hope is part of human nature, but unfortunately it is not a national security strategy.”

Senator Menendez also took a swipe at President Obama’s attempt to tie opponents of his deal to supporters of the 2003 war in Iraq. “Unlike President Obama’s characterization of those who have raised serious questions about the agreement, or who have opposed it,” the senator said, “I did not vote for the war in Iraq, I opposed it, unlike the Vice President and the Secretary of State, who both supported it.”

The New Jersey senator reminded his audience that the purpose of the negotiations from the U.S. perspective had been “to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time.  Not shrink its infrastructure. Not limit it. But fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”

Senator Menendez cataloged examples of early assurances from the Obama administration of red lines that were later wiped away. For example, Secretary of State John Kerry had declared in the early days of engaging with Iran that Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, would be dismantled. That is not the case under the deal Obama and Kerry signed off on.  The underground Fordow enrichment facility was to be closed. That too was not part of the final deal. The Iranians, Senator Menendez said, were supposed “to come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin [their military facility] and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.” That too, in Senator Menendez’s words, “fell by the wayside.” Now we have learned that the Iranians will be able to self-inspect.

In addition, not even one existing centrifuge will be destroyed. Some are just being disconnected. Thousands will remain in operation. Research and development on centrifuges will be permitted to continue even during the first ten years of the deal.

“While I have many specific concerns about this agreement, my overarching concern is that it requires no dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and only mothballs that infrastructure for 10 years,” Senator Menendez explained. “We lift sanctions, and — at year eight — Iran can actually start manufacturing and testing advanced IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges that enrich up to 15 times the speed of its current models.  At year 15, Iran can start enriching uranium beyond 3.67 percent – the level at which we become concerned about fissile material for a bomb.  At year 15, Iran will have NO limits on its uranium stockpile.”

Under the deal, Iran will get significant sanctions relief within the first year, while its obligations stretch out for a decade or more. And there is a major concession in the deal that has gotten very little attention to date. Iran’s negotiators out-maneuvered Secretary of State Kerry’s team into conceding away the right to re-impose or extend U.S. sanctions beyond their expiration date. Senator Menendez noted that “we will have to refrain from reintroducing or reimposing the Iran Sanctions Act I authored – which expires next year — that acted significantly to bring Iran to the table in the first place.”

Iran has agreed only to provisionally apply the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that is supposed to ensure continuing access to suspect sites in a country, and only formally adopt it when Congress has abolished all sanctions.

Senator Menendez, like Senator Schumer, dismisses the either-or choice between Obama’s deal and war, which Obama and his supporters are offering as a red herring. “If there is a fear of war in the region,” said Senator Menendez, “it is fueled by Iran and its proxies and exacerbated by an agreement that allows Iran to possess an industrial-sized nuclear program, and enough money in sanctions relief to continue to fund its hegemonic intentions throughout the region.”

The senator suggested offering Iran some limited inducements to return to the negotiating table, and outlined some parameters that the Obama administration should follow in seeking better terms. These include “the immediate ratification by Iran of the Additional Protocol to ensure that we have a permanent international arrangement with Iran for access to suspect sites,” closing the Fordow enrichment facility, resolving the ‘possible military dimensions’ of Iran’s program” before there can be any permanent sanctions relief, banning centrifuge R&D for the duration of the agreement, and extending to at least 20 years the duration of the agreement.

Senator Menendez also wants to extend the authorization of the Iran Sanctions Act beyond its expiration in 2016 “to ensure that we have an effective snapback option.” And he wants a clear declaration of U.S. policy by the President and Congress that “we will use all means necessary to prevent Iran from producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, as well as building or buying one, both during and after any agreement.”

Unfortunately, the procedure for congressional involvement with the nuclear deal has turned the Constitution’s treaty ratification process on its head. Instead of requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate to ratify the nuclear deal if had been handled as a treaty, President Obama will get his way unless both houses of Congress override his veto of a disapproval resolution by a two-thirds vote. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that opponents of the nuclear deal will likely lose in a vote to override an Obama veto. Why the Republican majority in the Senate ever agreed to such a legislative trap is beyond comprehension.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, at the very least the leaders of the House and Senate must insist that a resolution of disapproval be voted upon on the merits. Each representative and senator should be required to go on the record in a roll-call vote, indicating his or her vote of yea or nay. This means that Democrats in the Senate should not be permitted to hide behind a filibuster to avoid an up-or-down vote. If the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster and allow a majority of the Senate to pass or reject a disapproval resolution is not attainable, Senate Majority Leader McConnell must stand up and take a page out of former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s playbook. Senator McConnell should deploy the so-called “nuclear option.” This would mean eliminating the filibuster that could otherwise be used by Democrats to block a vote on what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime agreement with life and death consequences for national security.

If the Democratic senators supporting President Obama’s deal believe that it is the only realistic alternative to war, then they should have the backbone to put their names on the record in support of the deal. If they try to duck their legislative responsibility to their constituents and the nation, then Senator McConnell must act promptly to take away their filibuster fig leaf. If Senator McConnell does not move aggressively in this direction as and when necessary, he will show as much cravenness as the Democrats exploiting the filibuster.

 

When Obama Adopts the Mullahs’ Style

Amir Taheri, Asharq Al-Awsat// Those who are sucked into big adversarial situations in history always run a number of risks. However, the biggest risk, I believe, is to have an evil adversary and end up looking, behaving and even thinking like them. If that happens to anyone, they could be sure that even if they win many battles, they would end up losing the war. In contrast, one might be lucky enough to end up resembling an adversary that is better than oneself.

The effect that “the other” has on one has been observed throughout history, even at the level of great empires. When ancient Rome and Iran became adversaries each learned a number of things from the other. Rome was a republic in conflict with Iran, a monarchy. When Marcus Licinius Crassus, in his time the greatest of Roman generals, was killed by the Persians in the battle of Harran in 53 BC, the Roman elite started thinking of adopting the monarchic system which they eventually did under Julius Caesar. At the other end of the spectrum, unlike the Romans, Iranians did not have a standing army. In time, however, they decided to imitate their adversary by creating precisely such a war machine.

In more recent times, the Soviet Union and the United States, two great powers engaged in the Cold War, reciprocally adopted aspects of each other’s system. The Soviet defense doctrine has been built on the deployment of mass armies, scorched earth and prolonged fighting on land that had been tested with success during the Napoleonic wars. The American doctrine was woven around the motto: Get in, Kill the enemy, Get out! It found its most tragic expression in the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan. Six years later, the Soviets had built their own atom bomb.

The Soviets had a vast and brutal intelligence-security system built around the KGB, itself heir to the Tsarist Okhrana and the Leninist Cheka. In 1945, having disbanded the OSS, their wartime intelligence service, the Americans had nothing of the sort. Soon, however, they created the CUA which was to imitate the KGB in as many ways as America’s open society could tolerate. The Soviets practiced the black arts against their opponents in Eastern and Central Europe. Americans did similar things in Latin America.

Trouble for the Soviets started when more and more of their people, including some in the leadership, started to talk like the Americans. In 1989 together with four European newspaper editors we held a number of meetings in Moscow with Soviet leaders, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Alexander Yakovlev and Yevgeny Primakov. We were all surprised how all of them talked like western Social Democrats, especially when they held forth about “universal values.”

“They have been contaminated by the Western bug,” I wrote at the time, only half in jest. “Let’s see if they really mean what they say.”

All that came back to my mind when reading the speech that US President Barack Obama gave in Washington the other day in defense of his “nuke deal” with the Islamic Republic. The first thing that struck me was how his discourse echoed that of the mullahs. He started by building a metaphysical heaven-and-hell duality about a very this-worldly issue. He warned that the choice was between accepting his deal (Heaven) and war (Hell). The beauty of life, however, lies in the fact that it is full of endless possibilities, including doing nothing when doing anything else could cause more harm.

Next, he imitated the mullahs by practicing “taqiyah” (dissimulation). He diligently avoided delving into the details of a convoluted “deal” every part of which is designed to deceive. He also hid the fact that his much advertised “deal” has not been officially accepted by the Iranian state.

More broadly, he practiced another mullahs’ trick known as “mohajah” which means drawing your adversary into the simulacrum of a battle which, even if they won, would offer them nothing but the simulacrum of a victory. Having already committed his administration through his sponsorship of a United Nations’ Security Council resolution endorsing the “deal”, Obama pretended that his fight with the Congress might end up conjuring some meaning.

Another mullahs’ tactic he used is known as “takhrib” which means attacking the person of your adversary rather than responding to their argument. Those who opposed the “deal”, he kept saying, were the same warmongers that provoked the invasion of Iraq and the “Death to America” crowd in Iran. The message was simple: Those are bad guys, so what they say about this good deal does not count!

He was repeating a favorite dictum the mullahs say: Do not see what is said, see who is saying it!

That dictum has generated two immense branches of knowledge: The Study of Men (Ilm Al-Rejal) and the Study of Pedigrees (Ilm al-Ansab).

Prove that someone is a good man with a good pedigree and you could take his narrative (hadith) on the most complex of subjects at face value. On the contrary, he who is proven to be a bad man with an inferior pedigree should be dismissed with disdain even if he said the most sensible thing.

Obama forgot that among the warmongers who pushed for the invasion of Iraq were two of his closest associates, Joe Biden, his vice president, and John Kerry, his secretary of state, along with the entire Democratic Party contingent in the Congress.

On the Iranian side, he forgot that President Hassan Rouhani and his patron former President Hashemi Rafsanjani built their entire career on “Death to America” slogans. Rouhani and his “moderate” ministers till have to walk on an American flag as they enter their offices every day.

The official Iran Daily ran an editorial the other day in support of Obama’s “campaign for the deal.”

“Obama is the nightmare of the Republicans because he wants to destroy the America they love,” it said. “His success will be a success for all those who want peace.” In other words, the Tehran editorialist was echoing Obama’s Manichaean jibe.

In any case, name-calling and accusing critics of harboring hidden agendas is another tactic of the mullahs known as “siahkari” (blackening) of the adversary.

I am embarrassed to talk of myself, but I have been more of “Long Live America” crowd than the “Death to America” one. And, yet I think the Vienna deal is bad for Iran, bad for America and bad for the world.

I also think that it is possible to forge a deal that is good for Iran, good for the US and good for the world.

I have also never asked the US or anybody else to invade Iran or any other country. I have also never been a Republican if only because I am not a US citizen, and never studied, worked or resided there.

I could assure Obama that, as far as I can gauge public opinion, the majority of Iranians have a good opinion of America and a bad opinion of the “deal”.

This is, perhaps, why, like Obama, the Rafsanjani faction, of which Rouhani is part, is trying to avoid the issue being debated even in their own ersatz parliament. This is also why Iranian papers critical of the deal are closed down or publicly warned. Rather than depending on the Khomeinist lobby in Washington, or even assertions by people like myself, Obama should conduct his own enquiries to gauge Iranian public opinion. He might well find out that he is making an alliance with a faction that does not represent majority opinion in Iran. His “deal” may disappoint if not anger a majority of Iranians who are still strongly pro-America.

Rouhani’s Cabinet is full of individuals who held the American diplomats hostage in Tehran for 444 days. Yet, they support Obama. Those who oppose the “deal”, however, include many Iranians who genuinely desire the closest of ties with the US.

Finally, another mullah concept, used by Obama, is that of “End of Discussion” (fasl al-khitab) once the big cheese has spoken. That may work in the Khomeinist dictatorship; it is not worthy of a mature democracy like the United States.

US: Just 1 in 3 Approve Obama’s Iran Policy

President Barack Obama at the Pentagon

President Barack Obama at the Pentagon
Reuters//By Gil Ronen// Only one in three Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the situation in Iran, according to a new Gallup poll. This is his lowest rating among eight issues measured in the survey.

These data are from an Aug. 5-9 Gallup poll, conducted as Congress debates the Iran nuclear deal. In February, noted Gallup, Americans gave Iran the lowest favorable rating of 22 countries, and a strong majority felt its development of nuclear weapons posed a “critical” threat to the US.

While 56% of Democrats approve of Obama’s handling of the situation in Iran, only a small minority of Republicans – 10% – do so.

“If Congress signs off on the nuclear deal with Iran, it is possible that Obama’s approval rating on that front could improve,” estimated Gallup. “But if Congress votes the deal down, Obama’s leadership will have suffered a major blow that could further diminish his rating on Iran, and perhaps his overall job performance rating.”

Race relations remains the issue Obama receives the greatest approval on, at 46%. However, this is down five percentage points from when Gallup last measured it in 2013.

Aside from Obama’s handling of Iran, his approval is low on immigration, at 36%. However, this score is up four points from the last reading in August 2014.

About four in 10 Americans approve of the president’s performance on the economy and foreign affairs – similar to the approval he received on these issues in February. His economic approval rating is “essentially the same as the average throughout his presidency.”

At 39%, his foreign affairs approval rating is among the lowest of his administration, though it is improved from last fall, when it was 31%.

Obama Moves to Block Restitution for US Victims of Islamic Terror

obamas islamic tears

BY:

The Obama administration has intervened in a landmark legal case brought by the American victims of Palestinian terrorists, urging the court to limit restitution for the victims out of fear that a sizable payout could collapse the Palestinian government, according to a copy of the court filing.

Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken argued in a filing to a New York City court that a hefty payout to the victims of Palestinian terror crimes could burden the Palestinian Authority (PA) and interfere in Obama administration efforts to foster peace in the region.

The victims are entitled to as much as $655 million from the PA following the conclusion of a decade-long lawsuit that exposed the Palestinian government’s role in supporting and paying for terror attacks in Israel.

The administration’s intervention in the case has drawn criticism from U.S. lawmakers and some of those affected by the decision.

While the administration supports the right of terror victims to sue in U.S. courts, it remains particularly concerned about the PA’s solvency.

“The United States respectfully urges the Court to carefully consider the impact of its decision on the continued viability of the PA in light of the evidence about its financial situation,” Blinken writes in his “statement of interest.” “An event that deprives the PA of a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the PA’s ability to operate as a governmental authority.”

Blinken goes on to warn that the case could impact U.S. security interests and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“A PA insolvency and collapse would harm current and future U.S.-led efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Blinken writes.

Representatives to the PA had been lobbying the Justice and State Departments to get involved in the case for some time. The PA maintains that it does not have enough funds to pay a bond requirement and has petitioned the judge in the case to drop it.

However, a lawyer representing the victims argues that if the Palestinian government can continue paying terrorists currently imprisoned in Israeli jails, it can pay the victims of these terror acts.

“We are gratified that the Department of Justice supports the rights of survivors of international terrorism to enforce their rights and collect the judgment, but disappointed that the State Department failed to take any stand against the PLO and PA’s policy of putting convicted terrorists on their payroll as soon as they are jailed,” lawyer Kent Yalowitz was quoted as saying in a statement. “If the PA has enough money to pay convicted terrorists, it has enough to pay the judgment in this case.”

Ron Gould, a plaintiff in the case, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview that there was no reason for the Obama administration to intervene.

“There was really no reason for them to even get involved,” said Gould, whose daughter Shayna was shot in the chest and nearly killed by Palestinian terrorists. “For the Obama administration to stick their fingers where they don’t belong is unconscionable.”

The PA “still seems to have the money to pay the families of the terrorists on an ongoing basis,” Gould said. “They do have the money to pay the piper for losing the court case.”

Shayna Gould welcomed the administration’s filing in the case, saying it reaffirms the rights of terror victims to have a fair day in court.

However, she called the argument that the PA could be bankrupted as a result of the suit “ironic, considering they pay terrorists on a monthly basis.”

Shayna Gould said the PA had been hinting that the U.S. government would get involved for quite some time

“It was a fear. It was a huge fear,” she said, adding that the PA should be forced to finally pay up.

“They, with pride, give money and rank of the highest honor to terrorists and people who commit murder,” Gould said. “Does that sound like clipping coupons and saving pennies?”

“I have to deal with [the impact of their violence] in my life on a constant basis,” Gould added, explaining that she deals with physical pain on a daily basis since the attack. “There is no limit to our suffering.”

Jewish human rights group B’nai B’rith was also critical of the administration’s intervention.

“There needs to be a price paid for committing acts of terror and the means available to prosecute those responsible,” the group said in a release. “While the victims’ families cannot bring their loved ones back, they can go to the courts to achieve redress.”