PM Netanyahu speaks to the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) laying out Israel’s position.

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8461

Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs Newsletter

Redacted from a much longer, and his usual eloquent address, by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
January 28, 2014

Speaking at the seventh conference in The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) annual series “Security Challenges of the 21st Century,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed three principal issues: Iran, the Palestinian issue, and the global economic challenge.

“Thank you for the opportunity to discuss several of the larger challenges we face, some of the largest ever faced by the state of Israel. There are three such challenges, or at least three which I wish to discuss: Iran, the political process vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the global economy.

With regard to Iran, although there is internal dissent in Iran about the allocation of resources — how much comes in, how much goes out — there is no dissension in the Iranian regime, which continues to be controlled by Ayatollah Khamanei. There is no dissension, first about its aspirations to obtain military nuclear capability and there is also no dissension regarding the goal of erasing the State of Israel from the Earth. They say it all the time domestically of course, and occasionally also internationally.

Iran “remains close to nuclear weapons,” it must be understood that there are three stations when producing nuclear weapons, in manufacturing the fissile material needed for nuclear weapons: producing enriched uranium at a level of 3.5%, uranium enriched to 20% and finally a quick jump to uranium enriched to 90%, which is the level needed for a weapon.

What the Iranians did, and this is what the agreement determined is that they would return the train to the first station, but at the same time, they are upgrading the engine and strengthening it so that they will be able to break through all at once, without any stations in the middle, straight to 90%.

The agreement made in Geneva is not a good agreement — it is a bad agreement. In our estimation, this agreement delayed Iran by six weeks — no more — from where they were before, and therefore the test was and remains the final agreement, if such an agreement is achieved, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Of course, Iran is trying to fool the West; it makes all kinds of statements and claims. You heard Rouhani in Davos recently. He said, for example, that they object to any intervention in Syria at a time when they are up to their necks in Syria. In fact, they are propping up Assad’s regime. They actively participate in the mass slaughter there. He said they object to harming the innocent; in Iran hundreds of people every year are executed. Most of them are innocent, including dozens of people who were hung there last week. You would undoubtedly define most of them as innocent. They were executed.

He speaks of free access to technology; that’s what Rouhani said in Davos at a time when Iran is denying its citizens to surf on the internet freely. And of course, he repeated his statement that Iran does not seek to obtain nuclear weapons, that it only wants nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Iran has directly invested at least 40 billion dollars in its nuclear facilities and nuclear program, and an additional 140 billion dollars as the cost of the sanctions. A country does not invest nearly 200 billion dollars in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes when it is so rich in other sources of natural energy.

Now of course the Iranian threat is not just an unconventional threat; it is also a conventional threat which mainly focuses on missiles and rockets brought to the Iranian enclave which surrounds us, in an attempt to strangle us from two sides, from Lebanon and from Gaza.

We want to ensure that in the political negotiations with the Palestinians, we achieve two goals: one, we don’t want, I don’t want a binational state. I think that in this, I reflect the will of most citizens of Israel. And second, we do not want another country to be established here under Iran’s sponsorship that fires missiles and rockets at us or that launches terror attacks on us. We need to achieve both these goals, not just one of them — both of them.

The Americans are working to formulate the American positions. But I would like to emphasize that they are not Israeli positions, but rather American ones. Israel does not have to agree to anything the Americans present, but we insist on two fundamental things. The first is, of course, recognition of the Jewish State or the nation-state of the Jewish people. I would like to explain the reason for our insistence on this issue, because it is at the root of the conflict. This conflict has gone on for nearly 100 years. The date I choose to mark for its beginning is 1920, 1921 – one year after my late grandfather arrived in Jaffa. When he arrived, he made his way to the Jewish immigration office. In 1921, rioting Palestinian Arabs attacked that office; they attacked in Jaffa. There were no settlers there; there were no settlers as they are defined today. There were no territories. There was a basic objection to any Jewish presence, an opposition that grew and resulted in the attacks in 1929 in Hebron and of course the great riots of 1936-1939.

This struggle, which continued through the War of Independence and afterwards until 1967 – this struggle was not over the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Those were in Arab hands. This struggle was against the very existence of the Jewish state, against Zionism or any geographic expression of it, any State of Israel in any border.

The conflict is not over these territories; it is not about settlements; and it is not about a Palestinian state either. The Zionist movement agreed to recognize a Palestinian state during the partition plan, and various governments also agreement later on to recognize a Palestinian state. But this conflict has gone on because of one reason: the stubborn opposition to recognize the Jewish state, the nation-state of the Jewish people. To end the conflict, they must recognize that in our land, this land, in the Jewish homeland, there are two peoples.

We cannot be sure that this recognition would take root in Palestinian society which has experienced and continues to experience methodical incitement against Jews and the Jewish state. And that is why there must also be robust security arrangements. These security arrangements must also include long-term Israel Defense Forces (IDF) presence along the Jordan River and other security arrangements that fundamentally rest on the State of Israel, the IDF and Israel’s defense system.

The most condensed version of the formula for a peace agreement with the Palestinians is a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. I cannot tell you this arrangement will take place.

I said there was a third challenge and that was the global economy. We are in the age of knowledge, in an outburst of knowledge, and the economy is globalized. This provides the State of Israel with a tremendous opportunity. Not only do we produce more knowledge-based products per capita at the highest level in the world, we can do more. Even in absolute terms, our technological product is large, even very large. For example, in the cyber field, we create approximately 50 times more than our relative size. That means that the State of Israel has the same weight as a country with a population of 400 million in terms of these products, and that provides us with an opportunity, alongside the development of the global economy, to reach many more markets that would have been very hard to reach if it were not for these two trends, globalization and technology, especially the internet.

I do not know how many of you were at the cyber conference we held yesterday. It was pioneering. There were 1,500 people there, including the most advanced companies in the world in this field — and they did not come here because of our beautiful eyes, nor did they come because of any kind of political consideration. They came, they told me, for three reasons — those same three reasons I am given with I meet with the leaders of China or of Mexico or of other countries, as I did recently.

They want three things: Israeli technology, Israeli technology and Israeli technology. They know what they want. Our advantage in this field, I believe, results from unique reasons that created a crystal of tremendous technological capabilities here, and we must continue to nurture it.

The reasons are, first of all, our military needs which created special capabilities in the ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES (IDF) and the security branches; our excellent universities – I am at one of them — our research institutions; our special culture, which is connected to the fact that we always ask questions. This tradition burst forth after the French Revolution and the fall of the ghetto walls into new fields, fields like science, mathematics, physics and chemistry. The results of this are clear.

Let me touch on China. China is very interested in Israeli technology, to say the least. We think we can gain a small share of a huge market, which for a country with eight million citizens can help us a great deal. This is an opportunity which exists and there are other opportunities with China.

China must still move a significant portion of its goods for the next 20 years to central markets in the West, including Europe. These goods still must move there physically. 95%-98% of them come by sea, a significant portion of that through the Suez Canal, and we are building a valve in the form of a train that would connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, between Eilat, Aqaba to Ashdod and Tel Aviv. This is a land connection between Asia and Europe and between Europe and Asia, and then there will be a passenger train that will allow you to travel from here, from Tel Aviv to Eilat in two hours.

If there are two huge engines driving the global economy today, the first is the rise of Asia, first and foremost China; and the second is the rise of the internet. I made the decision to ease the exportation of Israeli cyber companies. There are now several hundred and their numbers continue to increase — half of them didn’t even exist four years ago. We are in a position where we can transform Israel into a world power in technology.

Let me say a few words about the Israel Defense Forces, especially about the members of the regular army. Everything we are describing: these tremendous opportunities alongside dealing with the dangers lurking at our doorstep and the desire on the one had to prevent the dangers of a nuclear Iran and terror, while on the other hand ensuring a stable agreement with the Palestinians – our entire existence depends on the IDF. It also depends on many other factors, but first and foremost it depends on the IDF, and the core that leads the IDF is the regular army and the regular army has recently suffered irresponsible attacks.

In order to sustain a regular army, in order to achieve the goals of repelling the threats we face and advancing the secure peace at the same time — this obligates a very strong army. I do not see a situation in which we will not need a very strong army and an additional security system — including the Mossad and the Shin Bet – in the coming years. We will also need special cyber capabilities. All this necessitates a great deal of money. We will not get this money through contributions and handouts. It will come from the development of that same economic capability in a global economy and the economy of tomorrow. We are developing it with the goal of reaching our main target: the Jewish state.

Thank you very much.”

Complete speech at:
http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2014/Pages/PM-Netanyahu-addresses-INSS-Annual-Conference-28-Jan-2014.aspx

Another Manchurian Candidate, Barack Obama, Success – The Destruction of American Foreign Policy

World learns to manage without the US

Another Manchurian Candidate, Barack Obama, Success – The Destruction of American Foreign Policy

From an article by David P. Goldman
Asia Times
August 19, 2013

The giant sucking sound you here, I said on August 15 on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report, is the implosion of America’s influence in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin’s August 17 offer of Russian military assistance to the Egyptian army after US President Barack Obama cancelled joint exercises with the Egyptians denotes a post-Cold-War low point in America’s standing. Along with Russia, Saudi Arabia and China are collaborating to contain the damage left by American blundering. They have being doing this quietly for more than a year.

The pipe-dream has popped of Egyptian democracy led by a Muslim Brotherhood weaned from its wicked past, but official Washington has not woken up. Egypt was on the verge of starvation when military pushed out Mohammed Morsi. Most of the Egyptian poor had been living on nothing but state-subsidized bread for months, and even bread supplies were at risk. The military brought in US$12 billion of aid from the Gulf States, enough to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. That’s the reality. It’s the one thing that Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel agree about.

America’s whimsical attitude towards Egypt is not a blunder but rather a catastrophic institutional failure. President Obama has surrounded himself with a camarilla (A group of confidential, often scheming advisers; a cabal), with Susan Rice as National Security Advisor, flanked by Valerie Jarrett, the Iranian-born public housing millionaire. Compared to Obama’s team, Zbigniew Brzezinski was an intellectual colossus at Jimmy Carter’s NSC. These are amateurs, and it is anyone’s guess what they will do from one day to the next.

By default, Republican policy is defined by Senator John McCain, whom the head of Egypt’s ruling National Salvation Party dismissed as a “senile old man” after the senator’s last visit to Cairo. McCain’s belief in Egyptian democracy is echoed by a few high-profile Republican pundits, for example, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Robert Kagan, and Max Boot. Most of the Republican foreign policy community disagrees, by my informal poll. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld blasted Obama for undermining the Egyptian military’s ability to keep order, but his statement went unreported by major media.

It doesn’t matter what the Republican experts think. Few elected Republicans will challenge McCain, because the voters are sick of hearing about Egypt and don’t trust Republicans after the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Neither party has an institutional capacity for intelligent deliberation about American interests. Among the veterans of the Reagan and Bush administrations, there are many who understand clearly what is afoot in the world, but the Republican Party is incapable of acting on their advice. That is why the institutional failure is so profound. Republican legislators live in terror of a primary challenge from isolationists like Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and will defer to the Quixotesque McCain.

Other regional and world powers will do their best to contain the mess.

Russia and Saudi Arabia might be the unlikeliest of partners, but they have a profound common interest in containing jihadist radicalism in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular. Both countries backed Egypt’s military unequivocally. Russia Today reported August 7 that “Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to buy arms worth up to $15 billion from Russia, and provided a raft of economic and political concessions to the Kremlin – all in a bid to weaken Moscow’s endorsement of Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

No such thing will happen, to be sure. But the Russians and Saudis probably will collaborate to prune the Syrian opposition of fanatics who threaten the Saudi regime as well as Russian security interests in the Caucasus. Chechnyan fighters – along with jihadists from around the world – are active in Syria, which has become a petrie dish for Islamic radicalism on par with Afghanistan during the 1970s.

The Saudis, meanwhile, have installed Chinese missiles aimed at Iran. There are unverifiable reports that Saudi Arabia already has deployed nuclear weapons sourced from Pakistan. The veracity of the reports is of small relevance; if the Saudis do not have such weapons now, they will acquire them if and when Iran succeeds in building nuclear weapons. What seems clear is that Riyadh is relying not on Washington but on Beijing for the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons. China has a profound interest in Saudi security. It is the largest importer of Saudi oil. America might wean itself of dependence on imported oil some time during the next decade, but China will need the Persian Gulf for the indefinite future.

A Russian-Chinese-Saudi condominium of interests has been in preparation for more than a year. On July 30, 2012, I wrote (for the Gatestone Institute):

The fact is that the Muslim Brotherhood and its various offshoots represent a threat to everyone in the region:

The Saudi monarchy fears that the Brotherhood will overthrow it (not an idle threat, since the Brotherhood doesn’t look like a bad choice for Saudis who aren’t one of the few thousand beneficiaries of the royal family’s largesse;
The Russians fear that Islamic radicalism will get out of control in the Caucasus and perhaps elsewhere as Russia evolves into a Muslim-majority country;
The Chinese fear the Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people who comprise half the population of China’s western Xinjiang province.

But the Obama administration (and establishment Republicans like John McCain) insist that America must support democratically elected Islamist governments. That is deeply misguided. The Muslim Brotherhood is about as democratic as the Nazi Party, which also won a plebiscite confirming Adolf Hitler as leader of Germany. Tribal countries with high illiteracy rates are not a benchmark for democratic decision-making … As long as the United States declares its support for the humbug of Muslim democracy in Egypt and Syria, the rest of the world will treat us as hapless lunatics and go about the business of securing their own interests without us.

The Turks, to be sure, will complain about the fate of their friends in the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is little they can do. The Saudis finance most of their enormous current account deficit, and the Russians provide most of their energy.

Apart from the Egyptian events, American analysts have misread the world picture thoroughly.

On the American right, the consensus view for years held that Russia would implode economically and demographically. Russia’s total fertility rate, though, has risen from a calamitously low point of less than 1.2 live births per female in 1990 to about 1.7 in 2012, midway between Europe’s 1.5 and America’s 1.9. There is insufficient evidence to evaluate the trend, but it suggests that it is misguided to write Russia off for the time being. Not long ago, I heard the Russian chess champion and democracy advocate Gary Kasparov tell a Republican audience that Russia would go bankrupt if oil fell below $80 a barrel – an arithmetically nonsensical argument, but one the audience wanted to hear. Like it or not, Russia won’t go away.

American analysts view Russia’s problems with Muslims in the Caucasus with a degree of Schadenfreude. During the 1980s the Reagan administration supported jihadists in Afghanistan against the Russians because the Soviet Union was the greater evil. Today’s Russia is no friend of the United States, to be sure, but Islamist terrorism is today’s greater evil, and the United States would be well advised to follow the Saudi example and make common cause with Russia against Islamism.

In the case of China, the consensus has been that the Chinese economy would slow sharply this year, causing political problems. China’s June trade data suggest quite the opposite: a surge in imports (including a 26% year-on-year increase in iron ore and a 20% increase in oil) indicate that China is still growing comfortably in excess of 7% a year. China’s transition from an export model driven by cheap labor to a high-value-added manufacturing and service economy remains an enormous challenge, perhaps the biggest challenge in economic history, but there is no evidence to date that China is failing. Like it or not, China will continue to set the pace for world economic growth.

America, if it chose to exercise its power and cultivate its innate capabilities, still is capable of overshadowing the contenders. But it has not chosen to do so, and the reins have slipped out of Washington’s hands. Americans will hear about important developments in the future if and when other countries choose to make them public.

Mr. Goldman, president of Macrostrategy LLC, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and the London Center for Policy Research.

Obama destroys decades of US dominant global power in just four years. How could we possibly afford four more?

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=4774

Redacted from an article BY JAMES KIRCHICK

COMMENTARY, October, 2012

…PRESIDENT OBAMA is not the wildly popular international leader that so many Americans (and foreigners) assumed he would be. On the contrary, far from improving global attitudes toward America across the board, his seeming similarity to President Bush has made a world already resentful and suspicious of American power even more cynical. After all, if the man who proclaimed himself a “citizen of the world” will carry out drone strikes against suspected terrorists and fail to close Guantanamo Bay, who could do otherwise?

The more important question for Americans remains: Does any of this matter? Bruce Stokes of the Pew Global Attitudes project thinks it does. In a commentary for CNN.com, he flatly declared: “Experience shows that the success or failure of [a president’s] foreign policy may depend, in part, on how it is perceived abroad but he provides no evidence to suggest that foreign perceptions of American foreign policy have anything to do with its success or failure.

Citing Obama’s enormous popularity with Europeans as a potential stumbling point for a President Romney, Stokes writes: “In the long run, if Romney wins, none of this may matter, as Europeans get to know him. But, in the short run, it could matter. A 2005 Pew Research Center survey found that in Britain, France, Germany; Spain and the Netherlands, strong majorities said the 2004 reelection of George W. Bush led them to have a less favorable opinion of the United States.” All right – but so what? Did the British, French Germans, Spaniards, and Dutch stop buying America products because they were so angry with George W Bush? Did they cancel vacations to the United State or, more gravely, take up arms against it?

Four years after he was first elected president, Obama’s global popularity (at least in contrast to his Republican opponent’s), has once again been marshaled as a decisive argument in his favor. Former New Mexico governor and United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson, citing his frequent overseas travels, told CBS’s Face the Nation at the beginning of September that, “The international community wants to see this president re-elected.”

(Why not, as he continues to deliberately and maliciously weaken our military and economic power throughout the world and empowers our enemies?) jsk

Appeals to the inherent wisdom of the “international community” are always problematic, since no such constituency exists – but here it was factually in error, considering that a plurality of people in the world’s most populous country, China, opposes Obama’s reelection. But such nitpicking belies the real point, which is that it is Americans who choose their President, not “the international community.”

To people who obsess about being popular, the persistence of negative attitudes about the United States must be dispiriting. But as in high school, there are things more important than popularity. A foreign policy predicated upon the opinion of “global publics whose views are often informed by false or insufficient information and whose values are often entirely different from those of many, if not most, Americans – risks jeopardizing the central role America has played in stabilizing the international order since the end of Worid War II.

The “humility” that foreigners often insist America (and only America) display is really just a call for a far greater redistribution of American-generated and earned wealth, a lessening of American economic power, thus ensuring the comparative rise of authoritarian challengers such as Russia and China, not to mention Iran and Venezuela.

A closer look at the polling data, however, reveals some important findings that are often overlooked by those who like to use such surveys for domestic partisan political attacks. In 16 countries polled by Pew in both 2007 and 2012, a median of 65 percent embrace American music, movies, and television today — up six percentage points from five years ago.

While much of American popular culture is loathed by many Arabs and Muslims, our way of doing business is not: In the four Arab Muslim – majority countries surveyed by Pew, most people said they think American entrepreneurship is something to emulate. (Not surprisingly, Europeans, with their dying welfare-state model, found little to like in American business practices.) And among the cohort of 18-to-29-year-olds, “American ideas about democracy” are admired by 72 percent of Tunisians, 59 percent of Chinese, 52 percent of Poles, and 51 percent of Lebanese.

Economic opportunity, cultural liveliness, and a vibrant democracy: These are the American qualities the president of the United States, whoever he will become November 7, should commit himself to preserving and strengthening. It is only icing on the cake that they happen to be the American qualities the rest of the world admires the most.

JAMES KIRCHICK, based in Berlin, is a fellow with the Foundation/or Defense of Democracies and a contributing editor to the New Republic.

Please see the movie, 2016 Obama’s America. It is a wake-up call.

Based upon the NY Times Best Seller by Dinesh D’Souza

President of King’s College in New York City, NY

Review by Jerome S. Kaufman

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=4518

Dinesh D’Souza has written, produced and narrates a documentary that every voter must see. It is not emotional. It is not a diatribe against Barack Obama. Instead, it is an accurate well documented history of his life, including interviews with his family and acquaintances in Kenya, Indonesia, Hawaii and the United States. D’Souza makes no big deal of Obama’s birth certificate. He says records show he was born in Hawaii and leaves it at that.

It so happens that Israel Commentary reported on D’Souza’s original discussion in an article written March 25, 2011. Please read it now. It gives you background for the information presented in the film.

Barack Obama – A Terrifying Analysis

Unfortunately, every fear that D’Souza anticipated in his lectures and books have been realized under Barack Obama. Obama’s motivation and driving force is well described. He is the worshiper of his father, a life long time political radical, revolutionary and anti-colonialist. Immersed in this philosophy, Obama has been unbelievably successful wreaking havoc upon this country. He believes the US is the successor to all the big bad colonialists that his father despised. We, according to this misguided simplistic philosophy, are the source of all evil in the world.

Consequently, Obama spends a great amount of his time apologizing to the world and our enemies, for our success. He resents, with his whole being, our exceptionalism, our international prestige and the overall contentment and national pride of our citizenry. His wife, Michelle Obama, had the obscene temerity to state that, when her husband was elected to office was the first time she had any pride in this country!

An associated irony is that Barack’s half brother who has spent his life in Kenya, in abject poverty, firmly believes that the people of Kenya were far better off when the British, the “awful” colonial power, was in charge of the country! Many aware and honest citizens of other African countries say exactly the same thing. The glaring history of the many rapacious home grown African dictators is undeniable affirmation of this conclusion.

During the film, D’Souza gives an explicit list of Obama’s frightening success in initiating the destruction of this awful colonial power of which he happens to be the President.

The first thing he did was alienate our longest, most reliable ally in the world – the United Kingdom. He returned the bust of Winston Churchill that had been gifted to us by the British as a gesture of thanks for the work we had done together making the world safe for democracy – destroying Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany.

The next act in his foreign policy portfolio was to alienate another of our key allies, Israel and its PM Benjamin Netanyahu on several different occasions – not to mention the luke warm support Obama has offered to Israel against our mutual enemy, Ahmadinejad and Iran’s nuclear weapon development. As a result, Obama’s approval rating in Israel hovers around a robust 10%.

Obama arbitrarily engineered the abandonment of our space program leaving us in the benign hands of the Russians and the Chinese. What does that do to our power in the world and our ability to protect US and world interests? He also somehow placed his own heritage into the mix by thanking the Muslims for their great contributions to the space program. Huh?

He has crippled our energy program by refusing to complete the Canadian Oil Pipeline in our backyard giving Canada no choice but to make a deal with the Chinese – the greatest threat to our military power. This, while we are trying desperately to curtail Chinese threats against our own key allies in Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and the rest of the Pacific.

With his hand picked Secretary of the Interior, Kenneth Salazar and his Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, he has crippled our ability to reverse our great dependency and that of our European allies, on Middle East oil. Along with the delusional Environmental Protective Agency, Obama’s fellow socialists have stifled drilling for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast, off of the Florida coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, thus increasing our Middle East dependency and national debt and keeping thousands of people out of work.

Inexplicably, unless one understands Obama’s basic destructive goal, with U.S. oil exploration and drilling slowed to a crawl, the president has given billions of US taxpayer money to Brazil to further their own off shore oil development!

D’Souza goes on to discuss Obama’s project of deliberately weakening our great economic power from within by drowning us in a sea of debt. Such a sea of debt makes economic progress virtually impossible. We are about to surpass our own Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In other words, we will shortly be spending more money than all the money this nation takes in on a yearly basis.

On September 4, 2012, the US national debt passed $16 trillion. On President Barack Obama’s watch, the debt has increased by 50 percent, in a sea of federal spending. That means he is on track to triple Bush’s debt increase in just eight years. Within a few years, at this rate, we will be in the same boat as Greece, Portugal, Spain and the rest of the European Union – unable to stay afloat.

Over 5 million workers have been added to the disability rolls since President Obama took office, January 2009. The number of Americans receiving disability is up by 23 percent. Less than one percent of the disabled ever return to work, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Why should they when their benefits about equal their normal wages?

National Unemployment 8.3%

145,000 more Federal employees paid for by the American taxpayer.

14.6 million Americans receiving government food stamps.

Obamacare costs, fully activated, will push our national debt through the roof.

$716 billion taken from Medicare to finance Obamacare and its thousands of pages of rules, regulations that I am sure Nancy Pelosi still has not read.

Gasoline prices were $1.95 a gallon. This price has now doubled in less than 4 years of Obama’s reign.

Above is just a fraction of the damage that has been done. But, please don’t believe me. Please go see the movie. It tells the story so much better plus beautiful scenes in India, Indonesia, Hawaii and a revealing interview with Barack Obama’s half brother in Nigeria.

“Effective Sanctions” against Iran an Oxymoron

Sanctions against Iran – Not an Option
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought”
“Israel Hayom” newsletter, February 21, 2012

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=2851

The term “effective sanctions” against Iran on the one hand and global political reality on the other hand, constitute an oxymoron, playing into the hands of Iran.

Effective sanctions require the full cooperation of Russia and China, two strategic rivals of the US, as demonstrated by their UN Security Council double-veto of the October 2011 and February 2012 anti-Assad resolutions.  They do not fully cooperate with sanctions invoked against Iran, and assist the Tehran regime, as do some European countries.  Furthermore, Japan, India and Turkey have subordinated compliance with sanctions to their trade relations with Iran, as have some countries in Latin America and Europe.

Each new sanction against Iran requires several months for effectiveness assessment. Thus, it extends the time available to Iran to develop its nuclear capabilities, as well as to acquire critical technologies and systems from North Korea, Pakistan, Russia or China.

Forty years of US economic sanctions against North Korea – which does not harbor Iran-like megalomaniac aspirations – have failed to topple the regime or prevent its nuclearization. Fifty years of sanctions against Cuba has, also, reaffirmed the constraints of sanctions against rogue regimes, which subject their people to ruthless dictatorships and ideological brainwashing.

Sanctions have, usually, been employed in order to avoid the tougher – and more effective – options, which are required to produce regime-change or dramatic policy-alteration. Sanctions express loudly and clearly disapproval of certain regimes and policies, but generally fail to achieve their goal.

The preoccupation with “effective sanctions” and diplomacy ignores the gravity and immediacy of the clear, present and devastating threat to the US, posed by a nuclear Iran, independent of Israel’s existence and policies.

Just as Bin-Laden, who had ample opportunities to hit Israel, but preferred to hit the US and Western Europe, so does Iran consider the US and NATO (and Saudi Arabia) its top enemies, and most formidable obstacles in the way of assuming domination of the Persian Gulf, and therefore its top targets.

A nuclear Iran would cause a meltdown of pro-US Gulf regimes through a violent regime change, and/or via a dramatic policy change by the currently pro-US Gulf regimes. Iran’s nuclear intimidation of Central Asian (former USSR) countries would tilt them toward Teheran or Moscow and against the US.

A nuclear Iran would accelerate nuclear proliferation in the Mid-East, the role model of instability, unpredictability and violent regime change – a nightmare scenario for global sanity. According to former Vice Chairman of the US Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff Marine Corps General James Cartwright, and such a scenario would be “my number one proliferation concern globally…extremely, extremely dangerous.”  Saudi Arabia is currently registering its Iran-driven panic with US Senators and House Representatives, pleading for military preemption, while expediting its own nuclear initiative.  It could acquire nuclear capabilities from Pakistan, which has been a closely-aligned beneficiary of crucial Saudi financial support for its own nuclear facilities. Hence, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Founding Father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, has recently visited Saudi Arabia, which has concluded a series of civilian nuclear cooperation agreements with China, France, South Korea and Argentina. Egypt would not lag behind Saudi Arabia, its intra-Arab rival, stepping-up its already advanced nuclear program, as would Turkey, which aspires to hegemony in the Muslim World.

A nuclear Iran would intimidate Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing Gulf States, threatening the normal operations of their oil infrastructure, dramatically influencing oil quota and price, interfering with – and possibly disrupting – the supply of oil, directly impacting the price at the pump and the level of unemployment in the US and the West.

A nuclear Iran would bolster its existing beachheads in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico, which host Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran’s elite extraterritorial Quds Force.  It could transfer some nuclear systems to its Latin American allies, which recently hosted six visits by Ahmadinejad, who is systematically enhancing Iran’s security profile on the American continent.

A nuclear Iran would provide a significant tailwind to scores, or hundreds, of sleeper cells in the US and Canada, as well as to anti-US global Islamic terrorism.

The highly exaggerated cost of military preemption – by the US or by Israel – would be dwarfed by the aforementioned threats of a nuclear Iran, in addition to the nuclear threat which would hover above US soldiers in the Gulf and above the US mainland. A regime which sacrificed 500,000 of its own children in order to clear minefields, during the 1980-1988 war against Iraq, is capable of launching nuclear warheads, irrespective of the cost.

An effective preemption should not be limited to critical nuclear facilities, but should simultaneously devastate Iran’s missile and air defense capabilities, thus minimizing the scope of Iran’s retaliation. An effective preemption would not include the occupation of Iran, thus distinguishing itself from Iraq’s 1980 invasion of Iran, which coalesced all Iranians against the threat to their sovereignty. An effective preemption is a prerequisite to regime-change through domestic opposition, which was disillusioned by the lack of Western support in 2009.

Refraining from preemption would gravely destabilize the Mid-East and beyond. The only effective way to prevent (Iran’s nuclearization and its devastating cost) is to preempt!

The Proven Cost of Weakening American Military Defenses

Lessons never learned

 

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=2519

Today’s defense cuts are recreating conditions that led to Pearl Harbor

By Adm. James A. Lyons

The Washington Times

December 12, 2011

As we mark the 70th anniversary of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor of Dec. 7, 1941, America is on the verge of committing the same mistakes that helped plunge our nation into its most grievous war. The first mistake then was to impose the strategic restraints of “political correctness” on our Hawaiian military commanders. Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, was ordered by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold R. Stark to prepare the fleet for deployment but not do anything provocative that might offend the super-sensibilities of the Japanese. Lt. Gen. Walter G. Short, commanding general of the U.S. Army Force in Hawaii, who was responsible for the air defense of the Hawaiian Island including Pearl Harbor, was ordered not to take any offensive action until the Japanese had committed an “act of war.”

Does it sound familiar? The political correctness imposed on our commanders leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, regretfully, resonates in today’s military, including the war on terrorism and our efforts to defend ourselves from China.

A second mistake then – about to be committed again – is the gutting of our military readiness, which, at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was a national disgrace. It was so bad that Gen. George C. Marshall, chief of staff of the Army, and Adm. Stark wrote a joint letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, asking him not to issue any “ultimatum” to the Japanese because they knew the U.S. Pacific Fleet was numerically inferior to the Imperial Japanese Navy. Compounding the problem, Gen. Short was not provided with basic resources, including adequate surveillance and fighter aircraft. He was given only three mobile radar stations with coverage out to 120 miles that could only be operated between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. each day due to lack of personnel and power.

Fortunately, over the years we have learned the hard lesson that unpreparedness invites aggression. President Reagan’s “Peace through Strength” is as valid today as it was 30 years ago. The Cold War was won based on that strategy. Today, however, with fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our military as well as our resources have been severely strained. While we still have the resources to protect our national security and achieve our objectives, political correctness has imposed restricted “rules of engagement” on our warfighters, resulting in many unnecessary fatalities.

No enemy has been able to defeat our military. Our forces represent the best of America and guarantee not only our national security but provide the recognized military underpinnings to support our friends and allies against aggression.

The threats we face today cannot be ignored. We are being challenged by China not only in the western Pacific but globally. Their spread of nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, Pakistan and Iran has been destabilizing. Nor can their transfer of weapons and missiles to Iran be swept under the rug. A resurgent Russia, plus an unstable Middle East with a nuclear-equipped Iran, must be factored into any threat equation. Since we have not displayed political will when directly confronted by Iran, a nuclear Islamic Republic will be uncontrollable in the Middle East and possibly elsewhere.

While our military has always had the conventional resources to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapon infrastructure, that capability will be severely constrained in the future as a result of the supercommittee’s budget stalemate. This failure in deficit reduction will now trigger debt “sequestration.” The military is currently struggling to manage $450 billion in mandated cuts. Sequestration, if enacted, will cut another $600 billion for a total reduction of more than $1 trillion to support our military forces. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta has stated that such severe cuts will “gut the military.” With the threats we now know exist, our national security will be in danger.

There are some members of Congress who have suggested that the mandatory cuts to defense should be modified. In a recent Politico-Battleground poll, the American people by an overwhelming 82 percent reject further cuts to our national defense. However, that sentiment does not appear to resonate with President Obama, who has categorically stated that he will veto any change to the mandated defense cuts. Clearly, such draconian cuts place our national security in jeopardy. One of the president’s key duties under our Constitution is “to provide for the common defense.” A presidential veto would raise the question: What is the real objective? What lesson do we have to learn over again?

Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

Commentary from a brilliant, erudite Viet Nam veteran


This letter to me is just too full of factual material, much of it beyond my knowledge or comprehension, to simply discard. Many of you will get far more out of it than I.

Enjoy.

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Dear Dr. K:

Commentary from a brilliant, erudite Viet Nam veteran

Hoi An, south of Danang middle of N/S at mouth of Cua Dai River (discovered in 15th-16th century by Portugal), would be worth seeing it any time but I have not gone back to Asia even to Hong Kong in South China Sea (also home of Paracels and Spratly Islands – specks for which the People’s Republic of China bullies Philippines and Vietnam and all countries resource-hungry for oil that we never discovered before 1975 American pull out from RSVN).

Carmen and I watched the film, Exodus again on PBS and remembered Otto Preminger for his boldness then in casting Paul Newman with Eve Marie Saint romantically and Ben Caanan(sp?), actor Lee J. Cobb, as Paul’s father of Irgun brother(—–) against Haganah brother (Paul). (The book, Exodus was written by Leon Uris.)

It was emotional how Israel was re-formed from the British Mandate by Zionists as a country after WWII from (erroneously – designated ) “Arab” land of a Palestine leader/land owner of a nearby Kibbutz, who was killed by orders of the Grand Mufti (with crypto-Nazi help) for dealing with the Jews.

The British were well remembered by General Allenby and his aide, Peter Lawford, an American playing anti-Semitic U.K. general’s aide. Lawford says to Newman that he can spot a Jew from afar as Newman asks Lawford to help remove cinder from Newman’s eye. (Who could blame Peter Lawford for not figgering Paul Newman was a Jew – jsk). So you have two Americans – Newman and Lawford – playing respectively, a Sabra and a Britisher.  The Sabras won.

I have now integrated my views of Obama by stories of Dinesh D’Souza (see Israel Commentary, A Terrifying Analysis – http://israel-commentary.org/?p=4) and Jack Cashill and Janny Scott. You know of him first and his logical connection of son to father.  

Second is author of thesis that Bill Ayres was author of Obama’s “auto” biographies, another researched Cashill theses.  Janny Scott takes NYT feminist research approach to mother of Obama. She (Scott) gives her devotee friendly perspective of Obama’s mother. I think you will find an interesting composite of the three with what you obviously know/see/think evidenced by the large amount of pertinent material found on your Israel Commentary blog.  I still have Netanyahu’s powerful address to Congress as televised from your blog. ( http://israel-commentary.org/?p=595)

An octogenarian friend introduced me to Louis L’Amour and I accepted after resisting.  This is to my benefit as it prevented me becoming an Obama/Anthony curmudgeon.  I recommend Louis L’Amour’s memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, after you have read any other work by him.  Daniel Boorstin writes preface to L’Amour’s memoir so even academia recognizes L’Amour. I would speak of Shakespeare and Michener and L’Amour in the same paragraph except that I find myself being presumptuous and limiting by my own praise.

In any event, I am smiling not crying, notwithstanding the gripping (to whom?) Casey Anthony saga, overwhelming our misguided except commercially, media. The Anthony family lends new meaning to the term, ‘dysfunctional,’ making it an understatement from hyperbole.

Best,
Dan Corbett