Posts Tagged 'Iran'

This Is A Sad Day

The US and Iran have agreed to a deal, one that will ease sanctions and effectively remove all military options from the table.  In return, Iran will promise…something (yet to be determined).

No surprises here.  It sounds essentially like the deal Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton made with the North Koreans in 1994, after which the North Koreans went ahead and developed their nuclear weapons.

The Washington Post story reporting the deal included this astonishing comment:

“The Obama administration has been seeking to quickly finalize an agreement in the face of threats by Congress to impose additional economic sanctions on Iran.”

In other words, the threat of stricter sanctions on Iran put pressure on…Obama!

(I thought the whole idea was to put pressure on Iran. I guess I really don’t understand this negotiating business after all.)

The only remaining question is whether Kerry will carry an umbrella and wave a piece of paper when he arrives back in the US. Continue reading ‘This Is A Sad Day’

Iran, Obama, Munich, and the US Senate

My friend David Smith is keeping the heat on Montana’s isolationist senators. Here is his latest letter.

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WHERE ARE BAUCUS AND TESTER ON IRAN?

Last August, 76 of the 100 members of the US Senate sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to act resolutely to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons development. The letter stated:

“We believe there are four strategic elements necessary to achieve resolution of this issue: an explicit and continuing message that we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, a sincere demonstration of openness to negotiations, the maintenance and toughening of sanctions, and a convincing threat of the use of force that Iran will believe. We must be prepared to act, and Iran must see that we are prepared.” (1)

Our Senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, were among the small minority that refused to sign the letter. Continue reading ‘Iran, Obama, Munich, and the US Senate’

“We believe…Iran,”

Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN and the world, decrying Iranian President Rouhani’s “charm offensive” as more deceit and stalling.  This has been going on since the US and others first imposed sanctions on the Mullah’s regime, to get them to stop developing nuclear weapons in 1996 (in Bill Clinton’s first term!) Eighteen years of world protest and Iranian stalling!

Netanyahu demolished the Iranian claim that they are only planning “peaceful uses”; if so, he asked, why are they also building ICBM missiles capable of reaching New York?

In response, President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney yesterday said:

We believe that the Iranian leadership has very publicly…changed their approach to resolving this issue with the international community.”

The Iranian regime says it has changed; so our president believes them.

I am speechless.

 

76 Senators Oppose Iranian Nukes; What about the Other 24?

Just when I am about to give up all hope that the US may finally stand up to the Iranian regime and their full-speed development of a nuclear Holocaust weapon, something positive happens.

Led by Democrat Bob Menendez (NJ) and Republican Lindsey Graham (SC), no fewer than 76 US Senators have signed and sent a letter to President Obama, urging him:

to bring a renewed sense of urgency to the process. We need to understand quickly whether Tehran is at last ready to negotiate seriously. Iran needs to understand that the time for diplomacy is nearing its end.”

The letter is commendably specific:

“Iran must cease installing centrifuges, agree to the removal of 20 percent enriched uranium from Iran, and cease work on the heavy water reactor being built in Arak.”

Further, the Senators identify

“four strategic elements necessary to achieve resolution of this issue: an explicit and continuing message that we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, a sincere demonstration of openness to negotiations, the maintenance and toughening of sanctions, and a convincing threat of the use of force that Iran will believe. We must be prepared to act, and Iran must see that we are prepared.”

Altogether a clear, concise, and reasonable summary of US policy as stated (but, so far, not enforced) by the president.

So here is my question.  Apparently 24 Senators refused to put their name on this letter. Why?  Which part of the letter do they find objectionable?  Are they foreign policy “realists” who think that the world will just have to learn live with a nuclear Iran?  Or are they “anti-Zionists” of the sort who blame Israel for all such problems? (Note: Chuck Hagel would have been a certain non-signer, so there is one good by-product of his recent job change.) Or are they just old-school appeasers and isolationists who think we should avoid conflict with foreign regimes no matter what they do to us or our allies? (Note: Republican Rand Paul did not sign.)

Or what?

I am writing this while summering in the beautiful state of Montana, and I notice that neither Democrat Max Baucus (retiring at the end of this term) nor Democrat Jon Tester (presumably planning to stay on) are signatories.  I’d like to know why.  And I’d like to know the same about the other non-signers.

Wouldn’t you?

 

Many People Believe They Are Only Sacrificing Israel

Faced with the unmasking of the neo-isolationist Obama and his Chamberlain-esque foreign policy (appeasement of enemies, abandonment of friends, and underfunding of defense), I cannot help but think back to the last time world peace was threatened by such fuzzy-brained pacifism: the 1930′s.

Then, too, building strong defenses was anathema, because it was the easiest place to cut costs, and also to avoid worrying our enemies. Then, too, the concern was that our edgy ally (then France) would get us into big trouble with its extreme demands.  And, then, too, we worried that the seemingly aggressive (to judge them by their deeds and their words) upstart nation with the seemingly irrational leader were really only trying to correct past injustices and imbalances; appeasing their demands while uttering soothing reassurances was the best way to settle them down.

So the current Obama foreign policy farce has already had a full dress rehearsal and tryout on the road; it was…less than a hit.

Much has been made of the possibility of a nuclear Iran contemplating an intentional genocidal attack on Israel’s 6 million Jews (now conveniently gathered together in an area smaller than New Jersey).  The apocalyptic nutcases who hold power in Iran have in fact talked about doing just that, many times over the past dozen years.  Fortunately, the wise “realists” of the foreign policy establishment have always known it was just talk.  “You know how kids are.”

The other worry (as if Holocaust II were not enough to get your attention) is that a nuclear Iran will be the undisputed power center of the Middle East.  Here we ought to heed the warning given by Winston Churchill after the 1938 Munich sellout of Czechoslovakia.

“It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi power

“In fact, if not in form, it seems to me that all those countries of Middle Europe… will, one after another, be drawn into this vast system of power politics – not only power military politics but power economic politics – radiating from Berlin, and I believe this can be achieved quite smoothly and swiftly and will not necessarily entail the firing of a single shot.

Many people, no doubt, honestly believe that they are only giving away the interests of Czechoslovakia, whereas I fear we shall find that we have deeply compromised, and perhaps fatally endangered, the safety and even the independence of Great Britain and France.”

How chillingly familiar it rings.  Already we see Egypt making its obeisance to the new regional power.  “It must now be accepted that all the countries of [the region] will make the best terms they can with the triumphant…power.”   It may not “entail the firing of a single shot” – just a few successful nuclear weapon tests.

In the 1930′s, inflated and premature fears of German military power paralyzed French and British (and American) action when it might have succeeded, and put off the showdown until Hitler was actually ready.   Excuses for inaction are always plentiful.

Of course, “Many people, no doubt, honestly believe that they are only giving away the interests” of our ally - isolated, democratic, freedom-loving Israel.  But here, as in 1938, they may find themselves mistaken.

The uncomfortable deja vu of all this brings to mind Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Bullwinkle: “Hey, Rocky; watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!”

Rocky: “That trick never works.”

Bullwinkle: “This time for sure.”

Bullwinkle (after trick fails): “I gotta get a new hat.”

Last Chance to Stop Hagel

It looks like President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary is unstoppable, despite Hagel.  But we must try.

After one of the lamest congressional hearing performances in memory, Hagel is still standing.  There are still plenty of senators claiming that Obama has the right to any lame-brain isolationist anti-Semite he wants for his cabinet.

(And Obama has, especially in his “more flexible” second term, packed the cabinet with pretty mediocre minds.  This is one way  to be “the smartest guy in the room.”)

Continue reading ‘Last Chance to Stop Hagel’

So who says Hagel is anti-Israel?

So who says Hagel is anti-Israel?  The regime in Iran, that’s who.

On the Iranian government-run channel Press TV, the headline (from last week) was:

Obama to name anti-Israeli Hagel as Defense Secretary

“All signs indicate that US President Barack Obama is poised to nominate anti-Israel ex-Senator Chuck Hagel as the next defense secretary soon, informed sources say…

“Hagel’s nomination is expected to spark a row in the Senate. Many pro-Israeli groups and neo-conservatives have spouted diatribe against Hagel over his criticism of Washington’s anti-Iran policies and Israel’s sway over the US political arena.  ” Continue reading ‘So who says Hagel is anti-Israel?’


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