Read More About:

Share This Post

Obama’s Racial Blind Spot

The nuclear deal with Iran’s fanatical anti-Jewish regime will fuel racism on a global scale.

By PROFESSOR RUTH R. WISSE

Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2015

Barack Obama’s election to the presidency represented to many Americans this country’s final triumph over racism. Reversing the record of slavery and institutionalized discrimination, his victory was hailed as a redemptive moment for America and potentially for humankind. How grotesque that the president should now douse that hope by fueling racism on a global scale.

The Iranian regime is currently the world’s leading exponent of anti-Jewish racism.

Comparisons to Nazi Germany are always a last resort, since even with all the evidence before us it is hard to fathom the evil the Nazis perpetrated. Yet Iran’s frank genocidal ambition dwarfs its predecessor’s. Whereas Adolf Hitler and Reinhard Heydrich had to plot the “Final Solution” in secrecy, using euphemisms for their intended annihilation of the Jews of Europe, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweets that Israel “has no cure but to be annihilated.” Iran’s leaders, relishing how small Israel is, call it a “one bomb state,” and until the time arrives to deliver that bomb, they sponsor anti-Israel terrorism through Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militias.

President Obama takes some forms of racism seriously. (Black, that is) Without waiting for a judgment to be rendered, he leaped to the defense of my Harvard colleague Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., who in 2009 was involved in a confrontation with Cambridge police investigating a reported break-in at his house. In the disputed shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., in 2012, the president identified with the victim of the alleged racism to the point of saying the 17-year-old “could have been my son.”

Yet, when it comes to the world’s most widespread and ideologically driven racism, President Obama seems to have a blind spot – initiating a nuclear deal with the fanatical anti-Jewish regime in Tehran, despite what he calls Iran’s “bad behavior.” The euphemism this time is his, not that of the perpetrators, and it camouflages their intentions even if they won’t.

Perhaps Mr. Obama is oblivious to what the scholar Robert Wistrich (who died in May) called “the longest hatred” because it has been so much a part of his world as he moved through life. Muslim Indonesia, where he lived from age 6 to 10, trails only Pakistan and Iran in its hostility to Jews. An animus against Jews and Israel was a hallmark of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago that Mr. Obama attended for two decades.

And before he ran for office, Mr. Obama carried the standard of the international left that invented the stigma of Zionism-as-imperialism. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama felt obliged to repudiate his pastor (who had famously cursed America from the pulpit), and muted his far-left credentials.

Mr. Obama was voted into office by an electorate enamored of the idea that he would oppose all forms of racism. He has not met that expectation.

Some Jewish critics of Mr. Obama may be tempted to put his derelictions in a line of neglect by other presidents, but there is a difference. Thus one may argue that President Roosevelt should have bombed the approach routes to Auschwitz or allowed the Jewish-refugee ship St. Louis to dock in the U.S. during World War II, but those were at worst sins of omission. In sharpest contrast, President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran is an act of commission. This is the first time the U.S. will have deliberately entered into a pact with a country committed to annihilating another people—a pact that doesn’t even require formal repudiation of the country’s genocidal aims.

As a Jew I know that the appeal to history is about as effective as the child’s threat of punishment against the bully the child cannot hope to defeat. Nonetheless, Jews do “write” history, thanks to the outsize evils marshaled against them.

Because the most repressive and aggressive regimes continue to organize against the Jews, the Jewish people have become the “true north” of toleration and concern for human rights. Those who defend the Jews are necessarily on the side of peace and brotherhood, those who attack them invariably on the side of evil. Depending on the outcome of the Iran deal, this outreach to an anti-Jewish regime may one day rival the blot of slavery on the American record. Israel will strive to protect its citizens, but Mr. Obama has increased the odds against them.  

(And, may he rot in hell for it.) jsk

What of American Jews in all this? It is sometimes mistakenly assumed that those who are passionately for Israel are therefore less for America. It is just the opposite: Anti-Jewish aggression is always aimed at the self-accountable way of life that the Jews represent. “Death to the Jews!” is a call to arms against Western liberal democracies; that is why in Iran the cry is often accompanied by “Death to America!”

Americans intent on stopping Iran are not against the president but in favor of the hope he once embodied for an end to racism. They hope for respectful treatment of blacks and Jews alike. They believe that America stands for humanity’s better nature.

(Ms. Wisse, a former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard, is the author of “Jews and Power” (Schocken, 2007) and “No Joke: Making Jewish Humor” (Princeton, 2013).)

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Fresh from eight months of house confinement dictated by the Democratic Party Justice System (Under Barack Obama’s hatchet man, Attorney General Eric Holder)  filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza jumps back into the fray and advises in a video interview what the American people still have ahead of them in 2016.

Published on July 28, 2015

Interview by Greg Campbell,  www.politistick.com

Redacted by Jerome S. Kaufman

Campbell: What are your plans now, Mr. D’Souza?

D’Souza: My immediate project is a new book called, “Stealing America” due out November, 2015.

The theme of the book is that the Democratic Party with the Progressive movement have become a strategy of cleverly organized theft using government agencies and authority to invade private property and wealth in the most sophisticated of measures claiming these actions are for the public good and the government knows best in all matters. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. The Democrats  are indeed the Party of Theft with shakedown artists like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), IRS. other Federal Agencies and Obama’s carefully chosen Czars brazenly and openly leading the way.

Also, next summer I will be producing a film titled, “Hillary and a Secret History of Progressivism in the Democratic Party.”

The Democratic Party  has been hugely successful and fallacious in presenting itself as the Party of civil rights, equal opportunity, human rights and liberation which have brought great progress and success to the citizenry.  Unfortunately, none of that is true.

The Party  has a long well documented seedy, blood stained history that includes slavery, segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, destruction of human life, forced unsuccessful integration, bankrupt housing projects, bank failures, the departure of American industry abroad, a huge increase in the cost of education with diminished capability of the graduates to compete on the world scene and an increase in the national debt well over 18 trillion (whatever that is?) dollars with a debt service rapidly approaching our Gross Domestic Product — not at all unlike bankrupt Greece, “dependent upon the kindness of strangers.” Is this to be the future of the United States of America?

Campbell:  What about the film and what do you expect from Barack Obama at this late date and Hillary Clinton, if she were elected?

D’Souza: I don’t believe Barack Obama has much more in store for us. He is confident in simply passing the baton to someone who, in his eyes, is a worthy successor.

Many people do not realize that Hillary Clinton has been a fellow revolutionary with Barack Obama since her college days. They are both dedicated followers of Saul Alinsky. Who is Saul Alinsky?

(Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his book “Rules for Radicals.”

Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals. A very brief summary:

* RULE 1 “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from two main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

* RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”  

* RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.”

* RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to his own book of rules. If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.” 

* RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.”

* RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy. They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more.” 

* RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Don’t become old news. ” 

* RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up. Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance.”

* RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.”

* RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive. Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.” 

* RULE 11:   Activist organizations have an agenda and their strategy is to hold a place at the table to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.”

* RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

What with Hillary and Bill’s past history of tax evasion, actual crime, gross theft, political intimidation, a Clinton Foundation to aggrandize and a source of bottomless, additional wealth, world wide political favors for cash in hand and Saul Alinsky as Hillary’s primary mentor, what different could we expect from the Clintons, G-d forbid, once again in the White House?

Redacted by Jerome S. Kaufman

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

STATEMENT OF ELIOT LAUER AND JACQUES SEMMELMAN

ATTORNEYS FOR JONATHAN J. POLLARD

NEW YORK, NY (July 28, 2015) The U.S. Parole Commission has issued a Notice of Action granting parole to our pro bono client Jonathan J. Pollard.

Mr. Pollard is scheduled to be released on parole November 21, 2015. He has been in prison since November 21, 1985. We are grateful and delighted that our client will soon be released.

The decision to grant parole was made unanimously by the three members of the Parole Commission, who make their decisions independently of any other U.S. government agency.

The decision is not connected to recent developments in the Middle East. Had parole been denied, Mr. Pollard would have been required to serve an additional fifteen years in prison.

The Notice of Action follows a parole hearing that took place July 7, 2015 at the Federal Correctional Center in Butner, North Carolina, where Mr. Pollard has been incarcerated. He has been serving a sentence of life in prison for conspiracy to deliver classified information to the State of Israel.

This was Mr. Pollard’s second parole hearing. At his first hearing, in July 2014, parole was denied. At that time, the Parole Commission informed us that nine months before the two-thirds mark of Mr. Pollard’s life sentence (deemed for this purpose to be 45 years), the Parole Commission would perform a “record review” and assess whether, in its discretion, Mr. Pollard should be released on parole at the two-thirds mark of the 45-year term, i.e., on November 21, 2015.

The Parole Commission performed a “record review” but, to our great disappointment at the time, declined to consider granting parole without first conducting an adversarial hearing, at which representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would be present. The issues for the hearing, as set forth in the federal parole statute, were (a) Mr. Pollard’s record in prison, and (b) whether there was a “reasonable probability” that Mr. Pollard would commit any further crimes if released.

Over the next several months, in advance of the hearing, we engaged in dialogue with the DOJ, and submitted extensive written materials to the Parole Commission and the DOJ in support of parole, demonstrating that Mr. Pollard had an exemplary prison record, and that there was no possibility that he would commit any further crimes if released. We also secured employment and housing for Mr. Pollard in the New York area, and made that information available to the Parole Commission as well as the DOJ.

On July 1, 2015 the DOJ finally informed us that it agreed not to urge denial of parole at the hearing scheduled for July 7, 2015.

The Notice of Action requires Mr. Pollard to remain in the United States for five years. President Obama, who has the constitutional power of executive clemency, has the authority to release Mr. Pollard before November 21, 2015, as well as the authority to allow Mr. Pollard to leave the United States and move to Israel immediately. We respectfully urge the President to exercise his clemency power in this manner.

Mr. Pollard has asked us to communicate the following on his behalf:

– Mr. Pollard is looking forward to being reunited with his beloved wife Esther.

– Mr. Pollard is deeply grateful to his longstanding pro bono lawyers Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, and their law firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, who stood by him for so many years, and whose perseverance, creativity, and forceful advocacy were instrumental in securing his release on parole.

– Mr. Pollard is also extremely thankful to the National Council of Young Israel, especially Rabbi Pesach Lerner, who worked tirelessly for many years on Mr. Pollard’s behalf, as well as Farley Weiss, President of the National Council of Young Israel, for his ongoing dedication and support.

– Others who Mr. Pollard wishes to thank publicly include David Nyer, Kenneth Lasson, and George Leighton, for their work on his behalf in the United States; and Larry Dub, Nitsana Dirshan-Leitner, Effi Lahav, Asher Mivtari, and Adi Ginsburg for their work on his behalf in Israel. Mr. Pollard is mindful that others have helped as well, and he thanks them all.

-Finally, Mr. Pollard would like to thank the many thousands of well-wishers in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world, who provided grass roots support by attending rallies, sending letters, making phone calls to elected officials, and saying prayers for his welfare. He is deeply appreciative of every gesture, large or small.

We look forward to seeing our client on the outside in less than four months.

II Caspar Weinberger Lies 1999 – Justice for Jonathan Pollard

www.jonathanpollard.org/1999/100099.htm

Middle East Quarterly – Fall 1999

Justice for JP Introduction:

In a recent interview with Middle East Quarterly, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger became very agitated when questioned about Jonathan Pollard. (Text of the interview follows below).

If the 1987 Weinberger memorandum were declassified and released today, in 1999, it would reveal that Caspar Weinberger is still peddling all of the same old lies that he used then to secure a life sentence for Jonathan Pollard, in spite of a plea bargain to the contrary.

The Weinberger memorandum was submitted to the sentencing judge at the last moment. Pollard and his attorney saw the document for only moments before sentencing, and were never given the opportunity to challenge the false charges it contains in court. No one on Pollard’s defense team has ever been able to access the classified document again – not even attorneys who have all of the necessary security clearances. Even though denying Pollard the opportunity to challenge the document in court is a clear violation of his constitutional right to due process, the Weinberger memorandum remains secret and inaccessible to this day.

In the MEQ interview that follows, Weinberger made strong and patently false statements about Pollard in an apparent attempt to quickly dispense with the topic, and became ever more agitated when the interviewer would not retreat from the subject.

What makes Weinberger’s statements below all the more stunning is that he still tries to peddle all the same old lies about Pollard, as if his audience were as gullible and uninformed now as it was when the case first broke 15 years ago. See Google article for complete text.

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

North Korea Won’t Trim Nuclear Program

BY JEYUP S. KWAAK
Wall Street Journal
July 22, 2015

SEOUL—North Korea has ruled out talks on de­nu­cle­ariza­tioz quashing hopes that Iran’s landmark accord with the US and other world pow­ers would inspire Pyongyang to follow suit.

North Korea called com­par­isons be­tween it­self and Iran “il­log­i­cal” and said it wasn’t in­ter­ested in freez­ing or dis­man­tling its nu­clear pro­gram uni­lat­er­ally, a for­eign min­istry spokesman said Tues­day. The coun­try says it is de­vel­op­ing nu­clear weapons to fend off U.S. threats.

In May, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry said the U.S., South Korea and other mem­bers of a fo­rum that had pre­vi­ously tried to per­suade Py­ongyang to de­nu­cle­arize were co­or­di­nated in their at­tempts to en­gage the iso­lated coun­try in pre­lim­i­nary talks. Other mem­bers of the group in­clude China, Rus­sia and Ja­pan. But Py­ongyang hasn’t re­sponded to over­tures made by the U.S. and South Korea in re­cent months, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials from the two coun­tries.

The fo­rum, known as the six-­party talks, be­gan in 2003 to ne­go­ti­ate for North Korea’s de­nu­cle­ariza­tion in ex­change for eco­nomic aid and se­cu­rity guar­an­tees. Talks have been stalled since late 2008.

China es­ti­mates North Korea had an ar­se­nal of 20 nu­clear war­heads at the end of last year and it could dou­ble the count by next year. That fig­ure ex­ceeds U.S. as­sessments. North Korea con­ducts reg­u­lar tests of rock­ets, in­clud­ing bal­lis­tic mis­siles that are banned un­der United Na­tions sanc­tions. Py­ongyang has car­ried out three nu­clear-det­o­na­tion tests, the most re­cent in early 2013.

North Korea and Iran have been al­lies since Iran be­came an Is­lamic re­pub­lic fol­low­ing a 1979 rev­o­lu­tion. Both coun­tries have at­tracted in­ter­na­tional scru­tiny and have faced eco­nomic sanc­tions over their nu­clear pro­grams.

Early last week, the U.S. and five other world pow­ers (nevertheless) struck a deal with Iran to pre­vent it from pro­duc­ing nu­clear weapons in ex­change for sanc­tions re­lief. U.S. Un­der­sec­re­tary of State Wendy Sher­man said Thurs­day that Iran’s com­pliance, fol­lowed by the lift­ing of sanc­tions, “might give North Korea sec­ond thoughts.” But she cau­tioned against mak­ing di­rect com­par­isons.

The U.S. Em­bassy in Seoul couldn’t im­me­di­ately com­ment on the lat­est state­ment from North Korea.

(Is this not all pathetic? The Iranians, with Obama’s enablement and outrageous major assistance, has made a mockery of the US government, its vaunted power and its naive people.

Furthermore, to my mind, if the American public is stupid enough to elect Hillary Clinton just as we were stupid enough to elect Manchurian Candidate, Barack Hussein Obama, our own eventual demise is in the offing.) jsk

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Brief Excerpts from an excellent, in-depth 6000 word plus article that should be read in its entirety.

BY DAN MCLAUGHLIN

The Weekly Standard

JULY 20, 2015

For political observers, the story of the Supreme Court’s recently concluded term was the clash of two great colliding forces. On one side stood the Court’s always-unified liberal bloc, fortified by the apostasies of Republican-appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy and sometimes Chief Justice John Roberts —most prominently in cases involving same-sex marriage and Obamacare.

On the other side stood Justice Antonin Scalia, a lion in winter, caustic and witty in his dissents. But for close watchers of the Court, another theme ran through this term: the breadth and depth of Justice Clarence Thomas’s institutional critique of the Court itself for straying from the Constitution, failing to apply its own precedents evenhandedly, neglecting the separation of powers and federalism, and allowing itself to be manipulated by runaway executive agencies.

Behind the slings and arrows of politics and punditry, Justice Thomas has been this term’s workhorse, and not for the first time. According to SCOTUSBlog, he wrote more opinions than any other justice this term, 37 (Justice Samuel Alito was second with 30, Justice Elena Kagan last with 11); the most concurring opinions, 11 (Alito was second with 9, Roberts and Kagan last with 2 each); the most dissenting opinions, 19 (Scalia was second with 15, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last with just 1); and the most total pages of opinions, 432.

This is the second time in three years that Thomas has written the most opinions, and they are not filled with breezy rhetoric, but thick with citation to the roots of our constitutional system, from the Magna Carta to John Locke to Blackstone’s Commentaries.

But mere volume is not the measure of Thomas’s jurisprudence. For that, one must take a closer look at the many times he has stood against the prevailing winds, warning his colleagues that the Court should consider its own errors and limitations. The cases in which he has split from Scalia—his closest colleague philosophically—are telling.

Justice Thomas’s opinions this term reflect his preoccupation with the administrative state’s tendency to transfer an ever-growing share of authority from Congress’s power to make the rules, the courts’ power and duty to say what the rules mean, and the president’s power and duty to enforce them. And that sometimes puts him in the seemingly surprising position of defending the courts. 

… This accumulation of governmental powers allows agencies to change the meaning of regulations at their discretion and without any advance notice to the parties. .  .  . To regulated parties, the new interpretation might as well be a new regulation. .  .  .

… Thomas often stands up for clear lines of separation of powers and consistent application of individual rights even when the outcomes may not be “conservative.”

… Thomas’s history as a son of Jim Crow-era Georgia may also explain his joining the majority (breaking with the Court’s other conservatives) in Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., in which the Court held that Texas could properly refuse to sell Confederate flag vanity license plates. Thomas has a history of weighing in on one particular symbol, the burning cross in the hands of the Ku Klux Klan; he spoke up uncharacteristically at oral argument during 1995 and 2003 cases involving the Klan and the cross and wrote separately in both cases to emphasize the particular meaning of that symbol as a political statement of racist terror.

… Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth.

That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built. The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

Clarence Thomas is an affable man, if one who does not forget his scars, and by all accounts he gets on well enough with his colleagues. But given that few of them other than Scalia bother responding to his lone opinions, one wonders if some of them look at him a little funny—“that guy who keeps going on about the Constitution.” He is known to prefer the company of almost anyone to the company of his fellow judges and lawyers; he meets more often than any other justice with groups of visitors to the Court and travels the country in his RV during the Court’s recesses.

But that distance makes him uniquely suited among the justices to look at this country not from the perspective of a member of the judicial high priesthood, but as a citizen ruled by it. Some critics suggest that he may be biased by the fact that his wife is active in Tea Party groups, but after his nearly quarter of a century on the Court, suggesting that Thomas’s view of the Constitution is influenced by the Tea Party is rather like suggesting that Newton’s physics were influenced by Einstein.

Thomas’s opinions this term form a coherent whole, one that places no trust in institutions—in the wisdom of judges, the expertise of bureaucrats, or the evenhandedness of either—but depends instead on clear, written rules and structural checks and balances. And his philosophy, while grounded in the same principles as our Constitution itself, should not surprise us. Thomas is not so far removed from his upbringing in segregated Georgia that he cannot remember what it was like to live in a place and time in which the government was staffed and run by people who had no intention of treating you fairly.

Two strategies are available to a citizen confronted by such a government. One is to keep for himself as large a space as possible free of the government, in which to exercise true liberty. The other is to insist on the punctilious observance of the letter of the law. The whims of administrative agencies and the discretion of judges to fashion new rights and rules according to their own policy preferences threaten both of these strategies, to the detriment of whomever the people in power regard as beneath their concern. It is perhaps a supreme irony, but a fitting one, that the man most concerned with keeping alight the flame of these old concepts of liberty and dignity is the justice of the Supreme Court who grew up under a government that wished to accord him neither liberty nor dignity.

Dan McLaughlin is a lawyer in New York City.

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

II WORST POLITICAL BLUNDER OF ALL TIME?

By Thomas Sowell

I  “Strategic Failure”

By Mark Moyar

Review by SOHRAB AHMARI
Wall Street Journal

July 19, 2015

White House staffers have summed up Barack Obama’s foreign-policy doctrine as “Don’t do stupid s—.” Six years and change into his presidency, however, the stupid stuff has piled up so high—in Ukraine, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and beyond—that some Team Obama alumni are now trying to subtly dissociate themselves from this charming formulation and its legacy.

Chief among these is Hillary Clinton. “Great nations need organizing principles,” she told the Atlantic last August. “ ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” Translation: Don’t blame me for the stupid stuff or hold it against me as I seek the presidency. Through leaks and interviews, the Clinton camp has tried to portray the former secretary of state as an administration dissident, pushing for tougher measures against Iran and greater support for the moderate Syrian opposition.

Not so fast, says historian Mark Moyar in “Strategic Failure,” an account of the half-baked concepts and politicized decision-making that created the great foreign-policy unraveling of Mr. Obama’s second term. As Mr. Moyar shows, the administration’s failures abroad had many fathers (and mothers), including Mrs. Clinton and, especially, Vice President Joe Biden. The missteps, says Mr. Moyar, began in the president’s first term, the main focus of the book; it was merely the delay between cause and effect that prevented the worst of the outcomes from surfacing before voters had re-elected Mr. Obama.

The bulk of the book is devoted to the Middle East and North Africa, the main theater of the War on Terror. Starting out his public career as an antiwar progressive, Barack Obama gradually modulated his foreign-policy ideas as he entered national politics. Iraq became the “dumb war,” whereas Afghanistan was a worthy fight. The motivation for this shift to the center was political. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama needed a good war to counterpose George W. Bush’s (and Mrs. Clinton’s) bad war.

Mr. Obama’s commitment to the war in Afghanistan as president was as un-strategic as his opposition to the Iraq War. When it came time to implement his Afghan “surge” in 2009, he set arbitrary deadlines and troop limits that would soon undermine his stated aims. Brushed off were the warnings of his generals and the more serious administration principals, most notably Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who urged more troops and a longer timeline.

Such figures were excluded from the president’s cocoon, to which only campaign loyalists—the likes of David Axelrod, Denis McDonough, Benjamin Rhodes and Valerie Jarrett—were admitted. These were the figures, Mr. Moyar writes, behind the White House’s “subordination of policy to politics.” Filtering every decision through the prism of domestic polls, they pressed for a rapid departure from Iraq. Mr. McDonough said at the October 2011 press conference about the withdrawal of U.S. forces: “One assessment after another about the Iraqi security forces came back saying these guys are ready, these guys are capable.”

The Islamic State would beg to differ: Less than four years later, Mosul and Ramadi are under its control. Meanwhile, the administration sold regional retreat as a triumph and even provided a pseudo-doctrine justifying it. Known as “counterterrorism-plus,” the concept was invented by Mr. Biden as an alternative to the heavy-footprint prescriptions of eminent counterinsurgency practitioners like Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

It emphasized drone warfare and the use of special forces to target jihadists with little to no presence on the ground. Counterterrorism-plus was counterterrorism on the cheap. Missing from counterterrorism-plus was a coherent regional strategy and a willingness to use “overwhelming and permanent force” when necessary, as Mr. Moyar puts it.

Robots raining fire from the sky have failed to check the rise of al Qaeda in Yemen and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Yet as recently as March, the White House continued to tout the model’s success in Yemen, even as the Yemeni state was collapsing. The lesson of Mr. Obama’s catastrophic foreign policy, Mr. Moyar says, is that there is no cheap-and-easy substitute for a “proactive global strategy and the robust defense spending required to sustain it.”

The market for book-length critiques of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is saturated, but Mr. Moyar’s effort is distinguished by his measured tone, analytic sobriety and scholarly approach. The author, who has taught at the Marine Corps University and the Joint Special Operations University, is one of our ablest strategic thinkers, and he has a gift for letting the facts speak for themselves—or rather, drop like hammer blows.

As for Mrs. Clinton’s attempt to distance herself from Mr. Obama’s foreign policy, Mr. Moyar doesn’t buy it. In his telling, Mrs. Clinton at the State Department was a happy executor of such signature flops as the Russian reset. And she embraced the Obama-ian vision of small footprints, always acting multilaterally and encouraging second-tier states like France and Britain to supplant U.S. leadership.

That vision culminated in the 2012 terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and Mrs. Clinton found herself digging out of a hole after it was revealed that she was complicit in White House efforts to play down or even hide the failures underlying the security breach. “At this point, what difference does it make?” she asked in congressional testimony on Benghazi. But the bigger question was why we were in that situation in the first place. It all does make a difference.

“Strategic Failure” won’t make for soothing reading in Washington this election season, and perhaps that is its greatest virtue.

Mr. Ahmari is a Journal editorial-page writer based in London.

II  WORST POLITICAL BLUNDER OF ALL TIME?  

From an article by Thomas Sowell

Iran deal causes us to ‘think the unthinkable’ about Obama

The United States seems at this moment about to break the record for the worst political blunder of all time, with its Obama administration deal that will make a nuclear Iran virtually inevitable.

… During the years when we confronted a nuclear-armed Soviet Union, we at least realized that we had to “think the unthinkable,” as intellectual giant Herman Kahn put it. Today it seems almost as if we don’t want to think about it at all.

Our politicians have kicked the can down the road – and it is the biggest, most annihilating explosive can of all, that will be left for our children and grandchildren to try to cope with.

Back in the days of our nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union, some of the more weak-kneed intelligentsia posed the choice as whether we wanted to be “red or dead.” Fortunately, there were others, especially President Ronald Reagan, who saw it differently. He persevered in a course that critics said would lead to nuclear war. But instead it led to the peaceful conclusion of the Cold War.

President Barack Obama has been following opposite policies, and they are likely to lead to opposite results. The choices left after Iran gets nuclear bombs – and intercontinental missiles that can deliver them far beyond Israel – may be worse than being red or dead.

The Obama administration’s leaking of Israel’s secret agreement with Azerbaijan to allow Israeli warplanes to refuel there, during attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities, was a painfully clear sabotage of any Israeli attempt to destroy those Iranian facilities.

But the media’s usual practice to hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil in the Obama administration buried this news and allowed Obama to continue to pose as Israel’s friend, just as he continued to assure Americans that if they liked their doctor they could keep their doctor.

Some commentators have attributed Barack Obama’s many foreign policy disasters to incompetence. But he has been politically savvy enough to repeatedly outmaneuver his opponents in America. For example, the Constitution makes it necessary for the president to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate to make any treaty valid. Yet he has maneuvered the Republican-controlled Congress into a position where they will need a two-thirds majority in both Houses to prevent his unilaterally negotiated agreement from going into effect – just by not calling it a treaty.

If he is that savvy at home, why is he so apparently incompetent abroad? Answering that question may indeed require us to “think the unthinkable,” that we have elected a man for whom America’s best interests are not his top priority.

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice


Twitter: @israelcomment

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

Subject: Amazon’s Political Involvement.

Notice to Amazon:

Just this moment I removed my Amazon credit card from my wallet, as much as I truly love using it. But, until you correct all the policies and accusations of the correspondence below, I will no longer do business with you of any kind. Not that this will bother you one bit but, it will make me feel a whole lot better.

Jerome S. Kaufman

PS I also am placing this correspondence on my website, www.israel-commentary.org,  which will contact about 30,000 readers between the webpage, Facebook and Twitter.

The reason for this action reads below:

A Sacramento rabbi has formally requested that Amazon stop selling books or propaganda that support the conspiracy theory that the Holocaust didn’t happen.

According to a report last year, a surprising amount of people either deny the Holocaust or weren’t even aware of what it was. The Anti-Defamation League discovered that half the people in the world have never heard of the Holocaust, and a third of the other half were under the impression that it didn’t even happen, according to US News.

Amazon’s Children’s “Game”?

Amazon has been blasted over a Nazi camp puzzle /AFP

Online retail giant comes under fire over sale of jigsaw puzzle depicting ovens at Dachau crematorium. ‘This is a real slap in the face for concentration camp survivors and relatives of victims,” says German politician.

There is even a subreddit called, “Holocaust Deniers” … 

(Reddit is a social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the form of either a link or a text (“self”) post. Other users then vote the submission  “up” or “down”, which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages and front page. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”)

… that gathers conspiracy theorists together to deny the Holocaust. Books such as “Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last” by Richard Harwood and “Breaking the Spell: The Holocaust Myth and Reality” by Nicholas Kollerstrom remain ready for purchase on the site.

The American electronic commerce website has already come under fire from the Jewish community for continuing to sell Nazi paraphernalia such as flags and phone cases with swastikas on them. Hamas pendants and flags are also available on the website.

By contrast however, Amazon, has joined other major corporations, such as Walmart and Sears, to ban selling any items with the Confederate flag on them.  (Somehow,  Jews, as usual, don’t count. They  have never been confident or destructive enough to burn buildings, perpetrate  flagrant, blatant acts of theft, attack and beat innocent civilians, kill police officers and organize other outrageous illegal protests — all, in this sad era, under the benign gaze and active participation of Obama’s previous Attorney General, Eric Holder and Obama’s own right hand point man, Al Sharpton.)

Unfortunately, to just stop using a credit card will not do a damn thing unless hundreds or thousands of others also send that message  and make Amazon understand that:  

“To deny the Holocaust is another mask of blatant anti-Semitism,” says Rabbi Mendy Cohen, whose great grandfather was burned alive in a synagogue with 500 other Jews.

Yours truly,

Jerome S. Kaufman

Editor/Publisher Israel Commentary,  (www.israel-commentary.org)

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

PM Netanyahu’s Statement at his Meeting with Netherlands Foreign Minister Bert Koenders

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

July 14, 2015

“I will refer later to the details of the agreement, but before that, I would like to say here and now – when you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result.

Far-reaching concessions have been made in all areas that were supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. In addition, Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe.

One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America.’

We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything, and therefore we did not commit to preventing an agreement.

We did commit to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and this commitment still stands.

I say to all the leaders in Israel, it is time to put petty politics aside and unite behind this most fateful issue to the future and security of the State of Israel.”

II  Israel’s channel two reports, “US negotiators have reportedly given in to an Iranian demand that military inspections be “prearranged”, that is to say that inspections would only be carried out following approval by the Iranian regime.” In other words the U.S. has agreed that Iran will have time to “clean up” any site before inspectors arrive. This is only slightly better than no inspections.

Between now and any announcement details will be leaked so we will see if the above is true, or what other U.S. capitulations were made to seal a deal.

Congress will now have 60 days to review the agreement, and lawmakers will be specifically looking for how the Obama administration managed to overcome the final issues that held up a deal over the last two weeks: anytime/anywhere inspections including access to military sites, the IAEA’s concerns over the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, and the Iranian/Russian demand that the United Nations arms embargo against Tehran be lifted.

Based on how negotiations have progressed since mid-March – Iranian intransigence followed by repeated American collapses on nearly every core issue – it’s unlikely that Congress will like what it finds. Mitch McConnell predicted this morning on Fox News Sunday that the deal will be “a very hard sell in Congress.”

II  Speaker Boehner was on Face The Nation Sunday. He said:

No deal is better than a bad deal. And from everything that’s leaked from these negotiations, the administration’s backed away from almost all of the guidelines that they set up for themselves. And, I don’t want to see a bad deal. And so if, in fact, there’s no agreement, the sanctions are going to go back in place. And at some point, the Iranian regime, they’re going to have to change their behavior. Abandon their efforts to get a nuclear weapon, and stop being the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

A congressional resolution of disapproval would carry all of the symbolism of a failed resolution of approval, but it would also prohibit the President from lifting some sanctions. The real question however is whether or not McConnell and Boehner can rouse a 2/3 majority to override a veto. If the deal is as lousy as it seems will Democrats go with what is best for the future of America or continue to kiss the presidential posterior (lets face it the President is still the most powerful force in the Democratic party).

III  The Iranian Reading of the Deal is the polar opposite of what Kerry and Obama are telling the Congress and the American people.

Iran’s Fars News has released what it says is terms of the deal, but remember Fars is a tool of the Iranian Govt. so it may not be totally accurate although their reports about the Framework deal in April were pretty spot on:

“In case the opposite side shows political will and the final agreement is signed, the text of the agreement will include the following points,” the source said.

“According to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, all sanctions against Iran are terminated and Iran will no more be recognized as a sanctioned nation,” the source said, and added, “The JCPA only envisages a set of temporary restrictions that will be removed after a limited and logical period of time, as stated earlier by the Iranian Supreme Leader.”

“All economic, financial and banking sanctions against Iran will be terminated for good on day one after the endorsement of the deal, again as the Iranian Supreme Leader has demanded.”

“Iran will no more be under any arms embargo, and according to a UN Security Council resolution that will be issued on the day when the deal is signed by the seven states, all arms embargoes against Iran will be terminated, while its annex keeps some temporary restrictions on Iran for a limited period,” the source disclosed.

He said the JCPA is, in fact, a collection of multiple agreements that all fall within the redlines specified by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, and includes a set of temporary and limited measures that will remain valid for different periods of time.

“The upcoming UN Security Council resolution – that will call all the previous five resolutions against Iran null and void – will be the last resolution to be issued on Iran’s nuclear program and withdraws Iran’s nuclear dossier from under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This last resolution will remain valid and will be implemented for a specifically limited period of time and will then automatically end at the end of this period,” the source added.

“This is the first time that a nation subject to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter has managed to end its case and stop being subject to this chapter through active diplomacy,” he concluded.

IV  PM Netanyahu Meets with Opposition Chairman MK Isaac Herzog
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Tuesday, 14 July 2015), in his Jerusalem office, met with opposition chairman MK Isaac Herzog and updated him on the briefings that were given at the Security Cabinet regarding the security significance of the nuclear agreement with Iran.

MK Herzog reiterated his afternoon remarks and said that this is a bad agreement. He added that he would do his utmost on behalf of the security of the State of Israel in the new situation that has been created.

________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

By SOHRAB AHMARI

Editorial Page Writer, The Wall Street Journal.

July 10, 2015

On Thursday, Western diplomats in Vienna missed another deadline in the years-long Iranian nuclear negotiations. The latest snag is Iran’s demand for immediate sanctions relief and the lifting of a United Nations arms embargo. The next day in Tehran, the regime issued other demands—namely, that the U.S. and Israel cease to exist.

Thousands of regime supporters on Friday marked Quds Day, an annual hate festival established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini. (Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.). Braving a stifling heat wave, the Quds Day celebrants burned the American flag and displayed a caricature of what appeared to be King Salman of Saudi Arabia—a U.S. ally and detested Middle East rival—with his head morphing into a Star of David, topped by a Stars and Stripes yarmulke. All accompanied by the holiday tradition of chanting “Death to America!”

Quds Day is fun for the whole family. As one father told the semiofficial Fars News Agency in a video interview, “Our children who are less than a year old are tomorrow’s soldiers against Israel.” The infant son he held in his arms was dressed in camouflage gear, with a Yasser Arafat-style kaffiyeh around his neck.

Regime leaders joined in the festivities. The government’s representatives included the reputedly moderate President Hasan Rouhani, not-so-moderate former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, his brother Sadeq, the head of the judiciary, and Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Iranian army’s ground forces.

Mr. Rouhani said in a Persian-language statement on his website: “With unity, resistance, jihad and sacrifice, the Muslims, including the Palestinian people, will reach their lofty goals.” He didn’t specify those goals, but the “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” banners held up by marchers around him, seen in photographs published by regime media outlets, drove home the point. Mr. Rouhani went on to blame “the Zionist regime and the Global Arrogance”—a favorite regime nickname for Washington—for “bankrolling the strife” roiling the Muslim world.

Tehran’s Kayhan newspaper also weighed in. Iran’s 1979 revolution, the newspaper wrote in an English-language editorial, “busted the myth of the holocaust which the Zionists and their godfathers allege happened in Europe during World War II.” The editorial predicted that the U.S., “which currently terrorizes humanity as the sole superpower, will one fine day cease to be visible on the map of the world.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appoints Kayhan’s editor in chief, and the newspaper is widely seen as the leader’s main mouthpiece. The leader’s top military aide, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, echoed the paper. According to an English-language Fars News report, Gen. Safavi told Quds Day attendees: “Muslims unity and continuation of armed jihad (struggle) and the Islamic resistance of the Palestinian nation constitute the only strategy for saving and liberating the Holy Quds.”

Since 2013 the Obama administration has permitted the Iranians to enrich uranium in defiance of six U.N. Security Council resolutions. Washington has backed away from the requirement that Tehran come clean about the military dimensions of its program before a deal can be signed. Seeking anytime, anywhere inspections has given way to trying to obtain “managed access.” Since Secretary of State John Kerry and his fellow negotiators seem to be having so much trouble getting concessions from Iran on large matters, maybe it would be better to start small: See if the regime would agree to knock off the calls to destroy the U.S. and Israel.

Sohrab Ahmari is an editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal Europe, based in London.  He joined the Journal in New York as an assistant books editor after serving as a Robert L. Bartley fellow in 2012. Prior to joining the Journal, he earned a law degree from Northeastern University and was a nonresident fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. Mr. Ahmari is co-editor of “Arab Spring Dreams,” an anthology of essays by young dissidents in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  at the Knesset, issued the following statement:

“The report on Operation Protective Edge (Israel’s retaliation against Hamas,  in Gaza, attempting to eliminate the thousands of rockets deliberately fired under the cover of residential areas by Hamas into Israeli population centers) issued by the commission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council is biased.

The commission that wrote this report was appointed by a council that calls itself the ‘Human Rights Council.’ In effect, it does everything but look after human rights. This is a body that condemns Israel more than Iran, Syria and North Korea combined.

It first appointed to head the commission, a man who was caught inciting against the State of Israel and who also took money from the Palestinians. It first began to investigate events in the region from the day after – the day after – the kidnapping of the three youths, who were murdered. It is on this basis that one needs to consider its findings, conclusions and recommendations.

Israel is defending itself and is doing so in accordance with international law. We are not the only ones who say this. Last week we issued a detailed, professional report that evaluated our actions, in accordance with international law, against terrorists that fire at civilians and hide behind civilians.

Israel does not commit war crimes. Israel is defending itself from a murderous terrorist organization that calls for its destruction and which has perpetrated many war crimes. Any country that wants to live would have acted this way. But the commission expects a country, the citizens of which have been attacked by thousands of missiles, to sit idly by.

We will not sit, and have not sat, idly by. We will continue to take strong and determined action against all those who try to attack us and our citizens, and we will do so in accordance with international law.”

“Israel is a democracy committed to the rule of law. Time and again it is forced to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists who commit a double war crime: They deliberately target civilians while deliberately hiding behind Palestinian civilians. The Palestinians civilians they use as human shields include children, and they deliberately target our civilians while deliberately putting their civilians in harm’s way.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has a singular obsession with Israel. It has passed more resolutions against Israel than against Syria, North Korea and Iran combined. In fact, it has passed more resolutions against Israel that against all the countries of the world combined.

So, Israel treats this report as flawed and biased, and it urges all fair-minded observers to do the same. Such fair-minded observers recently investigated Israel’s conduct in the Gaza campaign. They include senior generals from the United States and NATO countries. They found that not only did Israel uphold the highest standards of international law, in the laws of armed conflict, they said that Israel exceeded the highest standards.

II  USA:  Take note of the new Israel Policy concerning it’s priceless natural gas resources.

The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting today (Sunday, 28 June 2015), approved transferring to itself the Economy Minister’s authority under Article 52 of the 1988 Restrictive Trade Practices Act, regarding actions necessary to increase the quantity of natural gas produced at the Tamar field and to quickly develop the Leviathan, Krish, Tanin and other natural gas fields.

Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the Cabinet meeting:

“Last week, the Cabinet unanimously approved the expedited development and expansion of the natural gas fields that have been discovered off Israel’s coast. I am determined to advance a realistic solution that will bring gas to the Israeli economy. I will not capitulate to populist proposals that will leave the gas deep underground. We have already seen enough countries that succumbed to these pressures and the gas has remained in the ground. This cannot be allowed to happen here.

The outline that has been formulated breaks up the monopoly. In the coming decades it will put hundreds of billions of shekels into education, culture, health and many other things for the benefit of all Israeli citizens. After years of discussions, the time has come to decide so that the gas will emerge from the ground and reach the Israeli economy and the citizens of Israel.”

________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice


Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Iran Deal Worst in United States History

Charles Krauthammer
July 6, 2015

The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve détente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.

In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized “successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling – its rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting – under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.

Then, instead of welcoming Congress’ attempt to tighten sanctions to increase the pressure on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by loosening sanctions, injecting billions into Iran’s economy (which began growing in 2014), and conceding an Iranian right to enrich uranium.

It’s been downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared essential to any acceptable deal.

Inspections. They were to be anywhere, anytime, unimpeded. Now? Total cave. Unfettered access has become “managed access.” Inspectors will have to negotiate and receive Iranian approval for inspections. Which allows them denial and/or crucial delay for concealing clandestine activities
.
To give a flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran’s lawyer on this one, explaining that, after all, “the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate.”

Apart from the absurdity of morally equating America with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, if we were going to parrot the Iranian position, why wait 19 months to do so – after repeatedly insisting on free access as essential to any inspection regime?

Coming clean on past nuclear activity. The interim agreement that governed the last 19 months of negotiation required Iran to do exactly that. Tehran has offered nothing. The administration had insisted that this accounting was essential. How can you verify illegal advances in Iran’s nuclear program if you have no baseline?

After continually demanding access to their scientists, plans, and weaponization facilities, Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago airily dismissed the need, saying he is focused on the future, “not fixated” on the past. And that we have “absolute knowledge” of the Iranian program anyway – a whopper that his staffers had to spend days walking back.

Not to worry, we are told. The accounting will be done after the final deal is signed. (Shades of Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare) Which is ridiculous. If the Iranians haven’t budged on disclosing previous work under the current sanctions regime, by what logic will they comply after sanctions are lifted?

Sanctions relief. This was to be gradual and staged as the International Atomic Energy Agency certified Iranian compliance over time. Now we’re going to be releasing up to $150 billion as an upfront signing bonus. That’s 25 times the annual budget of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Enough to fuel a generation of intensified Iranian aggression from Yemen to Lebanon to Bahrain.

Yet three months ago, Obama expressed nonchalance about immediate sanctions relief. It’s not the issue, he said. The real issue is “snapback” sanctions to be reimposed if Iran is found in violation.

Good grief. Iran won’t be found in violation. The inspection regime is laughable and the bureaucratic procedures endless. Moreover, does anyone imagine that Russia and China will reimpose sanctions? Or that the myriad European businesses preparing to join the Iranian gold rush the day the deal is signed will simply turn around and go home?

Nonnuclear-related sanctions. The administration insisted that the nuclear talks would not affect separate sanctions imposed because of Iranian aggression and terrorism. That was then. The administration is now leaking that everything will be lifted.

Taken together, the catalog of capitulations is breathtaking: spot inspections, disclosure of previous nuclear activity, gradual sanctions relief, retention of nonnuclear sanctions.

What’s left? A surrender document of the kind offered by defeated nations suing for peace. Consider: The strongest military and economic power on Earth, backed by the five other major powers, armed with what had been a crushing sanctions regime, is about to sign the worst international agreement in American diplomatic history.

How did it come to this? With every concession, Obama and Kerry made it clear that they were desperate for a deal.

And they will get it. Obama will get his “legacy.” Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will get the bomb.

II Salt in the wound addendum:  As to UN (inspections) – Ha, Ha!

Tehran, July 9, IRNA – Head of the IRGC’s Public Relations Office Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif said on Thursday that the Iranian officials along with IRGC would never allow access to the country’s military sites by IAEA inspectors.

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

‘It’s Never Anyone’s Turn to Be President’

By Claire Kozak, Editor in Chief

Brearley Prep School Newspaper

Manhattan, New York

From THE SCRAPBOOK

The Weekly Standard

JUL 6, 2015, VOL. 20, NO. 41 •

The Scrapbook’s faith in the younger generation has just spiked upwards. A reader emails us an editorial from the Zephyr, student paper of the Brearley School, the very liberal prep school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A tip of The Scrapbook’s homburg to author and editor in chief Claire Kozak for the cogently argued and gracefully written piece, which we reproduce here:

Claire Kozak:

I am, without question, a feminist. I have attended an all-girls school for nearly ten years, and I have had the remarkable opportunity to grow up in an environment that is dedicated to educating and empowering women.

However, Hillary Clinton’s popularity seems to be based on her identity as a woman. Since she announced her candidacy in a video where she claimed to be the voice of the “everyday American,” she has answered very few questions on substantial issues. She’s spoken about a small number of key issues including campaign reform and immigration—topics where her opinion will be popular among the Democratic community.

But mainly, her selling point is speaking for the American people. This might be a noble cause, but it is a campaign strategy that doesn’t tell us much about her plans. And yet, she continues an unusually smooth and silent glide towards the White House. In early February, President Obama’s former campaign manager Jim Messina voiced the phrase that many have now made their own, “It’s Hillary’s Turn.”

This phrase has a complicated history. In past years, it has actually referred to the political tradition of the vice president or vice presidential candidate becoming the party’s nominee. However, the phrase has been appropriated by many of Hillary’s fans to signify her rightful claim to the oval office because it’s time for a woman president.

But the fact is, it’s never anyone’s turn to be president. The presidency is one of the most complex and demanding positions in the world, and when someone is chosen to lead the United States of America, it should be because they are the most qualified person for the job. Gender, race, socio-economic status, or religion should not factor into a presidential election.

Margaret Thatcher did not become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom because of her gender. She earned the votes of the British people with the clarity of her positions. She made it very clear what her policies were, and she won that office three times.

Benazir Bhutto did not serve two terms as the Prime Minister of Pakistan because she was a woman—she led her country because voters thought she was the most equipped person to do so at
the time.

Golda Meir was elected as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel because of her politics and previous experience as the Minister of International Affairs. All of these women leaders were highly qualified and clear in their positions.

If anyone “deserves” to be president, it should be because of his or her policies, promises, plans for the country, and political record. It shouldn’t be because the government needs to diversify. Feminism and gender equality are relevant and highly important issues, without a doubt.

And when we do elect a female president, it should be because she is the most qualified person for the job, because she has won the hearts and minds of the American people with her promises and positions on national and international issues.

As of now, Mrs. Clinton has barely campaigned. She has steered clear of major issues like America’s war on terror or her plans for the conflict in the Middle East, focusing instead on the feel-good notion of representing Americans. She has spoken only on issues of little substance, and has avoided controversial and personal topics that need to be addressed.

So, Mrs. Clinton, start answering questions. Start telling us your policies, instead of making general statements about how you want to be the voice of the American people. Show us why you are the most qualified person for the job. Once you can do that, you might get my vote. But you need to earn it, first.

 

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

(Every time I see that word “entitlements” it occurs to me that I never heard that word while I was growing up or well into my adult years. We were always taught you were given the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  How and when this new order of business came about, I don’t know — but it is not working out so well. Greece here we come)  jsk 

Greece Will Close Banks to Stem Flood of Withdrawals

Redacted from article by LANDON THOMAS Jr. and NIKI KITSANTONIS

JUNE 28, 2015

ATHENS — Greece will keep its banks and stock market closed on Monday and place restrictions on the withdrawal and transfer of money, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address on Sunday night, as Athens tries to avert a financial collapse.

The government’s decision to close banks temporarily and impose other so-called capital controls came hours after the European Central Bank said it would not expand an emergency loan program that has been propping up Greek banks in recent weeks while the government was trying to reach a new debt deal with international creditors.

Mr. Tsipras said on Sunday night that the European Central Bank’s decision was an attempt to “blackmail’’ Greece. (Huh? I had the impression the Greeks did that to themselves?)

The debt negotiations broke down over the weekend after Mr. Tsipras said he would let the Greek people decide whether to accept the creditors’ latest offer. That referendum vote is to be held next Sunday, after the current bailout program will have expired.

People lined up Saturday at an Athens bank. Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels, trying to salvage a Greek bailout plan.Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies as Extension Request Is Denied. By closing banks and imposing other controls on the movement of money, Greece is taking steps similar to those by Cyprus in 2013 to avoid a bank collapse.

But in that case, the Cypriot government acted in concert with other European governments as part of a new bailout program. In Greece, the emergency banking measures were be a result of a breakdown in talks with other eurozone countries. The breakdown has intensified pressure on cash-poor banks as jittery Greeks withdraw their savings.

There is still a chance that Greece and its creditors — the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the other eurozone countries — can come to terms before its current bailout program expires on Tuesday. On Sunday, the European Commission and I.M.F. issued statements indicating the door to further discussions might still be ajar.

And in Washington, the White House issued a statement saying that President Obama and the Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany had spoken by phone Sunday. “The two leaders agreed that it was critically important to make every effort to return to a path that will allow Greece to resume reforms and growth within the eurozone,’’ the White House statement said.

But the European Central Bank, for its part, declined on Sunday to raise the limit on its emergency funding for Greek banks — a level currently said by banking officials and analysts to be around 89 billion euros, or about $100 billion — even though businesses and consumers have withdrawn billions of euros in recent weeks.

That rate of withdrawals appeared to increase over the weekend, as long lines formed at A.T.M.s around the country, threatening a bank run that the Greek government could try to avoid by imposing capital controls. But at the same time, the European Central Bank did not cut off support entirely, giving the Greek government some extra flexibility in the coming days.

Before negotiations broke off on Saturday between Athens and its creditors, the Tsipras government had been hoping to reach terms that would free up a €7.2 billion allotment of bailout money that the country needs to meet its short-term debt obligations.

Because European officials said on Saturday that Greece’s €240 billion bailout program would not be extended, the big question had been whether the central bank’s president, Mario Draghi, would continue financing the country’s depleted banks.

Guidelines of the European Central Bank dictate that it can keep supporting troubled banks as long as there is a possibility that the country in question will come to terms with its creditors on a bailout — as was the case with Cyprus.

If Athens and its creditors do not resume talks before Tuesday, the promise of European support for Greece may no longer be on the table. But the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union and a key broker in the debt talks, seemed on Sunday to reach out to the Greek people, unexpectedly publishing the offer made to Greece before Mr. Tsipras ended the negotiations and announced a national referendum.
Addressing their financial problems in their usual manner:  In January 2015 Greek voters choose an anti-austerity party. Alexis Tsipras becomes prime minister.

May 2015:  Greece quells fears of an imminent default, authorizing a big loan payment to the I.M.F.

June 2015:  Greece defers a series of debt payments until the end of the month.

A publication was presented  to show the lengths to which the creditors, including the I.M.F. and the European Central Bank, had gone to satisfy Athens’s demands for a deal that avoided hurting ordinary Greeks, said one European Union official with direct knowledge of the decision to publish the offer. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the institutions had not ruled out a resumption of talks with Mr. Tsipras on the sensitive issue of extending the bailout.

Andrew Higgins and James Kanter contributed reporting from Brussels.

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Mark Twain, Eretz Yisrael, And The Jews

By: Saul Jay Singer

The Jewish Press

June 19th, 2015

Albert Bigelow Paine (1861-1937), a respected member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee, was himself a prolific writer of novels, stories, children’s books, travel volumes and, perhaps most famously, a definitive three-volume biography on Twain (1906).

As Twain’s literary executor, he was singularly responsible for controlling both the publication of Twain’s posthumous works and protecting his public image and reputation. As an interesting side note, the title of his novel The Great White Way  (1901) came into general use as the name for Broadway and New York’s theatrical district.

Twain was already a famous author and American icon when he undertook a journey from the United States to Europe and the Middle East and published his accounts of his travels as the semi-autobiographical and partly fictional The Innocents Abroad (1869), which was the best-selling of his works during his lifetime and, even to date, remains one of the best-selling travel books of all time.

He was among the first notables in the nineteenth century to travel to Eretz Yisrael and provide a description of the Holy Land and its people, and his descriptions provide a bleak picture of a desolate and miserable land only eighty years before the rebirth of the state of Israel.

Twain: “We traversed some miles of desolate country, a silent, mournful expanse; a desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We never saw a human being on the whole route. The further we went, the more repulsive and dreary the landscape became. No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem…. At last, away in the middle of the day, ancient bite of wall and crumbling arches began to line the way – Jerusalem!

Perched on its eternal hills, white and domed and solid, massed together and hooped with high gray walls, the venerable city gleamed in the sun. We dismounted and looked across the wide intervening valley for an hour or more; and noted those prominent features of the city that pictures make familiar to all men from their school days till their death….

The appearance of the city is peculiar. It is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt heads. The streets are roughly and badly paved with stone, and are tolerably crooked…. The population of Jerusalem is composed of Moslems, Jews, Greeks, Latins, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians, Greek Catholics, and a handful of Protestants. It seems to me that all the races and colors and tongues of the earth must be represented among the fourteen thousand souls that dwell in Jerusalem.

Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound. Lepers, cripples, the blind, and the idiotic, assail you on every hand. To see the numbers of maimed, malformed and diseased humanity that throng the holy places and obstruct the gates, one might suppose that the ancient days had come again, and that the angel of the Lord was expected to descend at any moment to stir the waters of Bethesda. Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land…. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.”

Twain observed that not a solitary village could be found throughout the Jezreel Valley for 30 miles in either direction; that the desolation in the Galilee was beyond description; that Bethlehem is “untenanted by any living creature,” and describes the Kotel as that portion of the ancient wall of Solomon’s Temple which is called the Jew’s Place of Wailing, and “where the Hebrews assemble every Friday to kiss the venerated stones and weep over the fallen greatness of Zion; any one can see a part of the unquestioned and undisputed Temple of Solomon.”

Twain’s book, “Innocents Abroad” remains particularly important to Zionists because it proves that the Palestine visited by Twain was nothing but a colonial Ottoman Empire backwater whose few wretched residents lacked any sense of national identity or attachment to the land. Many properly cite “Innocents” as evidence that the Arab presence in Eretz Yisrael was so inconsequential before the arrival of the Zionist pioneers as to defeat any modern Arab claim to the land.

After the Civil War, when a majority of Americans held negative stereotypical opinions of the Jewish people, Twain defended them. In Stirring Times in Austria, published by Harper’s Magazine (March 1898), he wrote that although no Jew had even arguably participated in the Austrian riots, the one constant was the uniformity of the animosity of the Austrian people against the Jews: “In all cases the Jew had to roast, no matter which side he was on.” An American Jewish lawyer wrote to him asking why the Jews have always been “the butt of baseless, vicious animosities” even though “for centuries there has been no more quiet, undisturbing, and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than that same Jew.”

In “Concerning the Jews”  (Harper’s, September 1989), an original copy of which is displayed with this column, Twain penned his well-considered answer, in which he begins with the observation that the Jew, a well-behaved citizen, “is not a loafer, he is not a sot; in the statistics of crime his presence is conspicuously rare, in all countries” and comments on the beauty of the Jewish home and how honestly and charitably the Jews conduct their affairs.

He argues that, in light of the outstanding moral character and monumental intellectual achievement of the Jewish people and their contributions to society, it cannot be mere ignorance and fanaticism that fuels anti-Semitism, but that the “hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian’s inability to compete successfully with the average Jew in business.”

In an intriguing conclusion, Twain suggests that the Jews can improve their situation by organizing politically and by acting together to enact a Jewish agenda, and he cites with approval “Dr. Herzl,” who “wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own.” However, the most significant passage in Concerning the Jews is the author’s oft-quoted conclusion, which never fails to move me to tears:

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

Indeed, words to be treasured for all time.

About the Author: Saul Jay Singer, a nationally recognized legal ethicist, serves as senior legal ethics counsel with the District of Columbia Bar. He is a collector of extraordinary original Judaica documents and letters, and his column appears in The Jewish Press every other week.

Subscribe: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

If He Only Had a Heart

Redacted from an editorial by John Podhoretz

COMMENTARY

JULY/AUGUST 2015

I DON’T KNOW that I’ve ever read a book quite as eye opening as  Michael Oren’s “Ally”— the best selling historian’s stunning new memoir of his four years as Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

For what Oren has written is an account of serving as a diplomat during a Cold War — the Cold War the Obama administration launched against Israel upon coming into office. It turns out that as bad as things looked between the Obamans and the Israelis from the outside, was even worse on the inside.

The sheer unfriendliness of the administration is startlingly present on nearly every one of his memoirs 374 pages of text and runs far deeper than the problematic relationship between the President and Oren’s boss, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Oren’s first meeting at the State Department with then Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg sets the tone: “He was a dedicated angler renowned for tying flies in his spare time. Fittingly, Steinberg’s attitude toward the Jewish state called to mind the old Israeli adage, “He loves us like a fisherman loves fish.”

Oren is later verbally abused and irrationally so, by another State Department official, Tom Nides, when Palestinian efforts to seek recognition of UN statehood threaten to trigger long-standing legislation passed by Congress to shut down Palestinian diplomatic and economic relations with the United States.

“You don’t want the f-king UN to collapse because of your f-king conflict with the Palestinians and you don’t want the f-king Palestinian Authority to fall apart either,” Nides rages at Oren.

Even the administration’s gestures of affection or acts of support were often loaded. Oren uses the Hebrew word for hug, “chibbuk” to describe cynical efforts to “keep us close” and thus restrain Israeli freedom of action: “American contributions to the IDF’s missile defense, for example, diminished Israel’s case for striking Iranian nuclear plants preemptively, and generated more time for talks.”

His dealings with the elite media are likewise unpleasant. “We called the New York Times editorial-page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, after the paper published an op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas claimed the Arabs startlingly had accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947.”

The conversation went thus:

Rosenthal: “When I write for the Times, fact checkers examine every word I write.”

Oren:  “Did anybody check that Abbas has his facts exactly backward?”

Rosenthal: “That’s your opinion”

Oren: “I’m an historian, Andy, and there are opinions and there are facts. That the Arabs rejected partition and the Jews  accepted it is an irrefutable fact.”

Rosenthal: “In your view.”

Oren: “Tell me, on June 6, 1944, did Allied forces land or did they not land on Normandy Beach?”

Rosenthal replied:  “Some might say so.”   (!)

There are elements of “Ally” I found discomfiting — especially Oren’s frequent protestations about how much certain politicians and media types with whom he developed friendly personal relations care about Israel when they display no such case or concern in their public words or actions.

(And I seriously doubt that the actor/director Ben Afleck has “a statesman’s knowledge of the Middle East which he studied in college.”)

Still, “Ally” makes it nerve-jangingly clear just how difficult  a job it has been for anyone to serve as a guardian of the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States with a President and a team who are either by default or by ideology effectively hostile toward the Jewish state itself or the very idea of a Jewish state.

Oren’s recount shows he himself fell for the Obama Romance in 2008. But this was before he understood the deep and profound coldness within Barack Obama — a “chill” that distanced him from traditional American allies —not only Israel — whose ambassadors complained to him of the administration’s unprecedented aloofness.

‘Obama’s problem is not a tin ear,’ one of my European colleagues lamented, ‘it’s a tin heart.”‘

But it is not his tin heart that has led Obama to engage in this Cold War with Israel. It is his tin pot ideology.

John Podhoretz, Editor of COMMENTARY

(Excuse me, but what is the big surprise with all these supposed political “experts”?

Dinesh D’Sousa (http://israel-commentary.org/?p=4) told the world exactly who Obama is almost four years ago in his book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”, October 4, 2011.

Obama is simply fulfilling the anti-Colonialist, anti-American, anti-British, anti-French, anti-Israel, anti-West “Dreams” of his father.  He told us as much in his own book —  believed to have been written for him by his anarchist friend, Wm.  Ayers.    

And, Obama is doing a helluva a job destroying us!  Tragically,  the victims of this helluva  job  have yet to fully awaken to their own peril  and yet to fully  address  the obvious  direction and motivation of their mortal enemy!)  

Jerome S. Kaufman

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments