Posts Tagged 'national security'

Iranian Moderates, Then and Now

We are hearing much these days about negotiations with the new “moderate” Iranian leadership. What is an “Iranian moderate”?

Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

December of 2001, shorty after the 9/11 attacks, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 4th President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, spoke at Teheran University.

“RAFSANJANI SAYS MUSLIMS SHOULD USE NUCLEAR WEAPON AGAINST ISRAEL”

Nuclear Weapons Can Solve the Israel Problem

Rafsanjani said that Muslims must surround colonialism and force them [the colonialists] to see whether Israel is beneficial to them or not. If one day, he said, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession [meaning nuclear weapons] – on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This, he said, is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.  [MEMRI.org, citing three Iranian newspapers] Continue reading ‘Iranian Moderates, Then and Now’

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’

Israel’s critics need to face facts

Every critic of Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians must (apparently) be reminded of several basic facts.

First, a historical fact: Israel did not start the war.  In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine between Israelis and Arabs. Israel accepted the Partition Plan and announced its intention to live within its borders, in peace with its Arab neighbors.  Those same Arab neighbors rejected the plan, declared war, and vowed to wipe Israel off the map and sweep the Jews into the sea.  The borders have changed with every Arab failed attempt to accomplish this, but the aims of both parties have remained the same.

Second, another historical fact:  Israel has voluntarily withdrawn from territory occupied by its armies, sometimes unilaterally, several times in the past (Lebanon in 2000, Gaza in 2005).  In almost every case, the territory has then been used as a base for attacks on Israel, resulting in the murder of Jewish civilians.

Now, some current facts.

First, Israel is prepared to meet with the Palestinian Authority anywhere, at any time, without pre-conditions, to discuss peace.  This offer is frequently repeated by Israel, and consistently rejected by the Palestinians. (See most recent offer here.)

Second, Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinians to a state of their own.  In contrast, Palestinian leaders refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist within ANY borders.  Here is the Palestinians’ most “moderate” leader, Mahmoud Abbas:

“They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state,” Abbas said in a meeting with some 200 senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the US, shortly before taking the podium and delivering a speech at the United Nations General  Assembly.”

If Israel’s critics wish to be taken seriously, they need to admit these facts and explain how these problems can be addressed by Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.  If not, they stand exposed as anti-Semites demanding that Israel commit national suicide.

What Would the Second Obama Do?

by David Smith

With all due respect to my friend Moleman, I say: Forget the 12th Imam.  Consider the Second Obama.

In one of those “I didn’t know the mic was hot” moments, President Obama was overheard reassuring the Russians that “After the election I will have more flexibility.”  He was asking them to be patient in their demands that we back off from building our long-promised missile defens shield.

You should read the ABC News story here.  You really should.

Obama has often been accused of “kicking the can down the road” by putting off controversial decisions until after he is re-elected.

The Keystone pipeline?  Sorry, I need more time to think about it.  Check with me in late November.

Action against Iran’s nuclear weapons program?  Sorry, I’m still not sure they really want to make warheads.  I’ll keep my eye on it.  Maybe by December the picture will be clearer.

Building a missile defense shield so no other country (or insane militant America-hating theocracy) can attack us?   Let’s talk about that next year.

This pattern raises a question.  How does this flexibility work?  What would he like to do but feels it unwise to do prior to the election?

The answer: Anything to lose votes.

Yes, but whose votes?

Hard-core Democrats will vote for him even if he allows oil drilling in the NPR building.

Hard-shell Republicans will vote against him even if he pilots the first bomber over the Iranian warhead factories.

So who decides elections?  Moderates and Independents, that’s who. Continue reading ‘What Would the Second Obama Do?’

Barry Rubin is wrong!

I never thought I would write these words, but Barry Rubin over at Pajamas Media is wrong in his effort to reassure us that Israel will not attack Iran’s nuclear program.  Rubin is a perceptive and courageous analyst of the Middle East and its problems.  But this piece is merely a rehash of “realist” pap about how Iran is so well protected that an Israeli or US attack “will not stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”  There is also the usual stuff about how Iran’s leaders can’t really be as crazy as they sound, and how deterrence just might work on these 12th-Imam fanatics.

Now, we’ve been hearing about Iran’s invulnerability for years.  Yes, we know that some of Iran’s facilities are deep underground.  We’ve been hearing that for years from those urging inaction.

Fact:  In May of 2006, James Fallows wrote in the Atlantic: “Now that Iran unquestionably intends to build a nuclear bomb, the international community has few options to stop it—and the worst option would be a military strike.”

Fact: In 2009,  Defense Secretary Gates, obviously speaking at the president’s direction, has announced that the US has no military ability to destroy the fast-developing Iranian nuclear program.  All we would do would be “send it further underground.”

Fact:  In May of 2011, The AP reports thatIran has moved some of its centrifuge machines to an underground enrichment site that offers better protection from possible airstrikes, the country’s vice president said Monday.”

Questions:  If they’ve been so bloody invulnerable for so long, why are the Iranians suddenly burying them? Continue reading ‘Barry Rubin is wrong!’

It’s a Big War, and Iran is the Urgent Front

Michael Ledeen, over at Pajamas Media, has an excellent post entitled “It’s a Real War, Stupid. A Big War. A Worthy Challenge for America”.  You should read it.

His point is that we need to recognize the uncomfortable reality that radical Islam has declared war on us, and that we must confront this as a worldwide war rather than a series of unrelated regional and local conflicts.

His analysis is correct and perceptive.  Unfortunately, it is hard to muster much hope for our success, given the general collapse of Western resolve.  It is hard to see the West facing up to ANY of its problems, denialism having become our operative mode. 

 But the need is clear: We must mobilize all of the West’s resources in the struggle against Radical Islam, as Truman did in 1948 against communism.  Support for friends, non-support of enemies, active propaganda, and direct force when and where needed.

Syria is indeed a critical battlefield.  But we must not forget the most dangerous threat we face:Iran’s drive to become a nuclear power. 

We have dropped the ball on Iran long enough.  The recent reports of their uranium centrifuges being moved to “bombproof” subterranean sites suggest that the door is fast closing on our options.  A Syrian revolution, no matter how successful, will not stop Iran’s centrifuges.  Even an Iranian uprising might not do it.

A worldwide war must be waged simultaneously on many fronts.  But right now, no front is more pressing than Iran.

The Arc of Appeasement: Germany and Iran

Once again, a rising military aggressor is bent on domination of its neighbors and holocaust of the Jews.  And once again, the nations (in this case, one nation) which could stop them fails to act.

The arc of the Iran story is so redolent of the 1930’s British appeasers (not just Baldwin and Chamberlain, but a genuine broad-based political consensus, except for Churchill) that both stories can be told in the same words.

Stage One:  “(Germany/Iran) may be arming for war, but it is not strong enough to threaten peace anywhere. The real danger is posed by our ally (France/Israel).”

Stage Two: “(Germany/Iran) may be arming for war and getting stronger every day, but they are not irrational.  They may threaten the peace, but their fear of our ally (France/Israel), backed by their fear of us, will be sufficient to deter them.”

Stage Three: “(Germany/Iran) is a threat to peace.  They are already too strong for us to stop them militarily.  We must rely on diplomacy to make the best deal with them we can.” Continue reading ‘The Arc of Appeasement: Germany and Iran’


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