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Why Democrats are conspiring with the Russians to discredit President Trump

The Democrats keep yelling “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.” Why?

There have been many theories about the sudden interest on any and all connections between President Trump and his cabinet with the Russians by Democrats. Among these are: the Russians hacked the election, the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton, any contact with any Russian official or surrogate is grounds for dismissal or even impeachment.

Perhaps we should look back at what the Obama administration did to appease, if not become a surrogate for, Russia:

  1. Obama abandoned the missile defense system in Europe shelving deployment of U.S. missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, citing new intelligence that the missile threat from Iran was minimal. Victory: Russia and Iran.
  2. Obama called for a “reset” of Russian/U.S. relations. On 6 March 2009 in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the English word “reset” and the Roman alphabet transliteration of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet word перегрузка (“peregruzka”.) Victory: Russia and Iran.
  3. Obama tells Russian President Dmitry Medvedev more flexibility after the 2012 election. Obama stated that Vladimir Putin should give him more “space” and that “[a]fter my election I have more flexibility.” Victory: Russia, Iran, Syria
  4. Obama’s “red line” in Syria if Assad used chemical weapons. Red line policy ignored when Assad uses chemical weapons a second time. Victory: Russia and Syria.
  5. Finally, Obama’s deal with Iran on development of nuclear weapons. Victory: Iran, Russia and ISIS.

Democrats consider Obama’s Iran deal his signature foreign policy success. Here are Obama’s remarks on the Iran deal:

Obama’s foreign policy has emboldened Russia as the key force in the Middle East and at the same time given Iran the cover it needs to continue its nuclear program. Iran is now the hegemonic power in the Middle East, with the help of Russia, and is training and exporting radical Islamists to do its bidding globally.

As former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said July 28, 2009, after the latest of six trips to the Gulf in the last 18 months, that “what I hear is, there is greater fear of Iran than there is animus toward Israel.” He added, “So that is almost a predominant sentiment that I’ve noticed throughout most, if not all, of the Gulf states” (Washington Times, July 29, 2009).

pelosi schumer putinThis is the reason that Democrats have tried to tie President Trump’s hands when it comes to Russia.

For if President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are successful in engaging Russia in the fight against ISIS and if President Trump can decouple Russia from Iran then the Obama foreign policy legacy will be gone. The Iran deal will be no more. Iran will be de-fanged and will not be the threat that it currently is to its Gulf state neighbors such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Democrats working with the Russians are doing everything they can to put President Trump into a box when it comes to negotiating with Russia. That is good for Russia, Iran and Syria’s Assad.

Democrats want America to be weak in its foreign policy and weak even before President Trump meets with Russian President Putin.

The Democrats, along with Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are hurting President Trump’s foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East and with Russia. That is the goal.

That is why the Democrats, and perhaps the “Axis of Evil” Republican Senators McCain, Graham and Rubio, are in effect conspiring with the Russians.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Mark Levin to GOP: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump

Hold Iran accountable for terrorism: Sen. Cruz and Rep. McCaul

RELATED PHOTOGRAPHS:

pelosi with russian president medvedev

schumer putin 3

Iran: ‘Humiliating the United States, with no consequences’

american sailors captured by IranYesterday, when we posted on the IRGC hostage taking of U.S. Navy sailors and their riverine patrol boats to Farsi Island, we wrote of the prior incidents of Iran’s hostage taking in the Persian Gulf.

Shoshana Bryen of the Jewish Policy Center and I commiserated about the seizure of six British Royal Marines in June 2004 by the IRGC naval contingent. The Royal Marines were taken to land, blinded and demanded to apologize for entering Iranian waters. They were then taken out onto the desert and blindfolded while weapons were chambered in a mock execution. They were released three days later in what was billed as a “misunderstanding.”  The Royal Marines were operating in Iraqi waters when seized by Iran.

As noted in a Reuter’s report on today’s seizure of U.S. patrol boats and arrest of U.S. Navy personnel, there was another seizure of British naval and marine personnel by Iranian Revolutionary guards that created a diplomatic crisis in 2007:

In March 2007, Iranian forces seized 15 British servicemen – eight Royal Navy sailors and seven marines – in the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway that separates Iran and Iraq, triggering a diplomatic crisis at a time of heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. They were held for 13 days.

Look at Iran’s track record over the last several months since the JCOPA was endorsed by the UN Security Council. Iran fired off two ballistic missile tests in October and November 2015 in violation of UN Res. 1929. Last week, IRGC missile boats hailed the USS Harry Truman giving it and an accompanying destroyer, the USS Bulkley and a nearby French frigate a 23 minute warning before firing rockets in a live fire exercise 1,500 yards away. The Administration has been humiliated time and again by the Ayatollah and will continue to be held in contempt for being weak, even after the, Administration releases $100 billion in sequestered funds in foreign banks, perhaps as early as this week.

Meanwhile the spin at the White House was that the crews of the two patrol boats may be released by daylight to return to their base in Bahrain. Think, also, of those other American hostages held by the Islamic Regime in Tehran, an ex-FBI agent, a former Marine, a Christian Pastor, two American Iranian Businessmen and a convicted Washington Post reporter.

15 hours after the 10 U.S. Navy sailors and their boats were returned, but not before they were put through a humiliating process of being forced to kneel at gun point and ultimately forced to apologize for how the boats found their way into Iranian waters. That awaits a U.S. Navy investigation  into what occurred and possible Iranian violations of the Geneva Convention over treatment of the detained U.S. Sailors and use for propaganda purposes. Both they and their boats returned to the Fifth Fleet base in Bahrain. What the IRGC learned of any technology on board the riverine patrol boats is another matter.

Nonetheless, this was the latest episode of U.S. humiliation by the Ayatollah Khamenei and the IRGC of President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif and President Obama, bound and determined to close the nuclear deal with Iran by releasing $100 billion of sequestered funds early next week on compliance day to this state sponsor of terrorism.

WATCH this Wall Street Journal video of the detention and apology by a possible U.S. Navy riverine boat commander:

us sailors captured by iran

Photo montage by the UK Daily Mail.

The Jerusalem Post published commentary by  Harold  Rhode, former Islamic and Turkish Affairs expert with the Pentagon Office of Net Assessment,  Tony Badran  and Ali Afoneh of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute  on this latest humiliating episode perpetrated by the IRGC navy, Former Pentagon official to ‘Post’: ‘Iran humiliating US with no consequences.’

See our December 2014 New English Review interview with Dr. Rhode, “China’s Islamist Threat”  and March 2014 interview with Dr. Michael Rubin, The Peril of Engaging Rogue States.

The Jerusalem Post opinion article noted:

Iran’s capture and release of 10 US sailors demonstrated that “moderates” such as President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have no real weight, while the real power continues to be wielded by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his hard line allies, such as the Revolutionary Guard, several commentators said Wednesday.

Propaganda videos of the soldiers blindfolded and kneeling released by Iranian media humiliated the world’s superpower and shows that Iran can continue its aggressive behavior with no consequences.

The Obama administration will not allow anything to get in the way of the nuclear deal’s implementation and the lifting of sanctions on Iran, they said.

“Test fire ballistic missiles. Check. Fire missiles near US ships. Check. Torch US ally’s missions. Check. Seize US sailors. Check. Get paid,” tweeted Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Iran’s continued aggressive behavior since the nuclear deal was agreed upon last summer gives it, and other rogue actors, the impression that it can act with a rather free hand.

Such a message must be terrifying to Israel and other US-Arab allies in the region.

Besides the question of whether there was a US apology to Iran, which administration officials deny, it remains unknown whether there was a secret deal or promise that facilitated the release of the sailors.

“Detainment of the US sailors was short, but the IRGC achieved its goal: The IRGC communicated the message to the domestic and the international audience that it calls the shots in Tehran, and humiliated the US,” Ali Alfoneh, an Iran expert and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington- based think tank, told The Jerusalem Post.

Harold Rhode, a distinguished senior fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute and a former adviser at the Pentagon, told the Postthat much of the equipment on the US boats was probably previously unavailable to Iran.

“Did Iran take US equipment? Will it share what it learns with North Korea, Russia and China?” “There is no concept of good will in the Middle East,” said the former Pentagon official.

The fact that until to now the US has not reacted on numerous issues – such as Iran’s testing of a ballistic missile in October in violation of a UN Security Council resolution and the firing of rockets near US naval ships – “demonstrates America’s weakness to Middle Easterners,” Rhode said.

“This is another case of America demonstrating that it is an unreliable ally and a harmless enemy,” he added.

“In the Middle East, when people smell weakness, they pounce,” said Rhode.

“Most amazingly from the Iranian point of view,” he continued, “is that they captured these sailors right before Obama’s State of the Union speech, and the president didn’t even mention it.”

“Did the Iranians do that on purpose to further humiliate Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry? From an Iranian cultural point of view, the answer is yes!” exclaimed Rhode.

This is a huge win-win situation for Iran, he continued, as Iran gets US advanced technology, it humiliates America, and it gives the US administration – so desperate to implement the unsigned Iran-US nuclear agreement – the excuse to say that Iran is cooperating with the US as a result of the agreement.

“A grand-slam for Iran, and a huge defeat for the US. Now Iran can continue advancing its ultimate goal of gaining nuclear weapons,” said Rhode.

Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, told the Post the incident benefited the IRGC and other hardliners.

“They humiliated the United States. They received a groveling apology. They broadcast photos of the captured Americans.”

Rubin recalled a similar incident involving the UK in 2007, and how the photos and footage of the detained sailors made their way into the campaign commercials of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“To credit diplomacy for their release is like giving a slap on the back to an arsonist who started a fire and then wants credit for putting it out,” said Rubin.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Iran: Boat seizure “should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress”

Biden: Iran saw US boats in distress, acted “like ordinary nations would do”

After hours of interrogation, Iran says 10 captured U.S. sailors “released in international waters after they apologized”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Exposed: Anti-Israel J Street Cabal behind Rabbis letter supporting Iran Nuclear Deal

Kenneth Bob Ameinu

Kenneth Bob, President of Ameinu and J Street Treasurer.

When we posted yesterday about the Ameinu open letter from 340 “leading American Rabbis” supporting the President’s Iran nuclear pact we noted the progressive socialist alliance anti-Israel background.  Late yesterday, the Zionists of America (ZoA) put out a news release revealing the usual suspects; the interlock with J Street, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), BDS-supporting Jewish Voice for Peace and Rabbis for Human Rights, “ZOA: Majority of 340 Pro-Iran Deal Rabbis are from J St & Other Israel-Hostile Groups.”   While  the ZoA claims that the signatories of the open letter in support of the Iran nuclear pact represent less than 6% of the roughly 5,000 American Rabbis, we note  that there  more than 600 rabbis in the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet. Further, the leaders of the Reform Movement in America are also allied with the J Street Rabbinic group.

The ZoA news release reported:

The majority of the Iran Deal Rabbis come from the Soros-funded J Street. (George Soros is a self-described anti-Zionist billionaire.) Liberal Professor Alan Dershowitz explained that J Street “always seems to be taking positions that are anti-Israel.” J Street U’s new student board president is an anti-Israel Muslim.

Ameinu (which is the group promoting the “340 Rabbis for Iran Deal”) is closely tied to J Street. Ameinu appears to be serving as a front group for J Street here – since J Street has been so discredited. Ameinu National President Kenneth Bob doubles as J Street’s Treasurer. Ameinu Vice President and Executive Committee Chair Judith Gelman is a member of J Street’s Montgomery County, MD steering committee. Ameinu and J Street recently ran together on the same election slate.

Other “340 Iran Deal Rabbis” include a board member of Jewish Voice forPeace (JVP). JVP is featured on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) list of the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America,” and actively promotes anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

The Iran Deal Rabbis also include over a dozen significant contributors to the so-called “Rabbis for Human Rights” (RHR). RHR participates in
anti-Israel demonstrations and, along with other anti-Israel groups,launched a website with false testimonies accusing Israel of human rights
violations in Gaza. ZOA members witnessed an RHR Rabbi invent and widely publish false stories to demonize pro-Israel young people at the Israel Day  Parade Concert in New York several years ago.

187 (the majority) of the Iran Deal Rabbis are members of the “J Street Rabbinic Cabinet.”

12 of the Iran Deal Rabbis are members of the “J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Executive Council”

The Iran Deal Rabbis also include 2 (out of 3) of the J Street cabinet’s co-chairs

13 of the Iran Deal Rabbis are significant donors to the falsehood-purveying”Rabbis for Human Rights.”

Iran Deal Rabbi Linda Boltzmann is on the Board of Directors of the anti-Israel BDS group, “Jewish Voice for Peace.” Rabbi Boltzmann is known as a “pioneer lesbian Rabbi.” As a homosexual, she should be the first to condemn Iran’s horrendous human rights record, which includes Iran’s brutal executions of hundreds of innocent individuals for the sole reason that they are gay. Incredibly, she is fostering a deal that will give the Iranian regime hundreds of billions of dollars to continue its brutal oppression of gays and minorities.

Iran Deal Rabbi Arthur Waskom states that the people at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are “people I trust and admire and respect.” CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case (the case against groups that sent funding to Hamas). CAIR is also
among the top groups that ADL has frequently condemned for its anti-Israel activities.

The ZoA also cited the J Street, NIAC connections, that we have noted in previous posts:

J Street has financial and other ties to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), an apparent arm of the Iranian regime. Dissident journalist
Hassan Daioleslam revealed that NIAC serves as a lobbying group for Iran, and that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has a long-term close relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. J Street’s financial filings revealed that J Street’s initial funders included NIAC board member Genevieve Lynch. J Street’s first national conference held an Iran panel with NIAC head Trita Parsi and Iran apologist Hillary Mann  Leveret, who insisted that no sanctions be placed on Iran. At the J Street event, Leveret also condemned anyone who did not trust the Iranian regime as “reinforcing stereotypes of Iranian duplicitousness” and asserted that such “stereotypes” of Iran’s Mullahs were “fundamentally racist.” Leverett also compared Iran’s mullahs to Israeli rabbis.

FlyntLeverett_HillaryMannLeverett-300x187

Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett

Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett were a husband wife national security team during the Bush era.  He originally worked at the CIA and met her while they both worked on the National Security Council Middle and Near East Staff. Flynt broke with the Bush Administration over the Iraq War. While both originally opposed to Iran, they suddenly flipped for the dark side becoming boosters for the theocratic Khomeinist revolutionary dictators in Tehran. Check out her bio at The Race for Iran and Raveling to Iran.com.   Back in January 2010, we posted these comments from Ken Timmerman about this ‘power couple” in a C-Span Washington Journal interview:

When Timmerman was asked about the Leverett Times op Ed by the Washington Journal moderator he told the callers about the ‘real’ Leverett.  Flynt Leverett is an ex-CIA analyst who served in the Bush White House National Security Council as senior director of Middle East affairs. He broke with the Bush Administration over the Iraq war and alleged failure to conduct comprehensive negotiations with Iran. Timmerman dismissed that notion as being the ‘fiction’ of the Swiss ambassador to Tehran. Leverett is now a professor at the Penn State University School of International Affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative in the American Strategy Program at the Soros-funded New America Foundation.

Timmerman pointed out to the moderator that Leverett had promoted the false impression that Iran was supporting the US in Afghanistan back in 2001 to 2002. Timmerman noted that at that time there was satellite imagery of vehicles and aircraft crossing the Afghan Iranian border extracting al Qaeda foreign fighters and their families and as we now know bin Laden’s  extended family. The moderator went out of her way to note that Flynt Leverett had appeared several times on Washington Journal, as if that gave him some measure of credibility.

This episode illustrates the astounding cupidity of American mainstream media, who long ago lost the requisite due diligence conducting fact checking of the backgrounds of progressive groups that allege they represent the majority views of American Jews. But then the mainstream media appears to have become the megaphone for broadcasting the disinformation of the Administration. American media have abandoned what were traditional editorial standards of investigation into the representations by authors of what effectively is agit-propaganda. Our congratulations to the ZoA for disclosing the anti-Israel cabal of J Street, Ameinu, NIAC bankrolled by George Soros.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Progressive Labor Socialist Rabbis Back Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal

The International Business Times (IBT), The Hill  and  the wire services highlighted a letter issued yesterday and signed by American rabbis of Ameinu, the US wing of the extreme leftist Labor Socialist  Alliance, supporting the President’s  Iran Nuclear Deal: “340 Rabbis Sign Letter Calling on Congress to Endorse Nuclear Accord“.  The IBT reported:

Hundreds of American rabbis have signed an open letter to the U.S. Congress in which they endorse the Iran nuclear agreement reached last month in Vienna. The letter urges lawmakers to approve the agreement when it comes up for a congressional vote next month, and seeks to counter voices in the American Jewish community that have been fiercely critical of the tentative accord.

“For the Jewish people, the pursuit of peace is a fundamental religious duty,” the letter reads. “Our tradition implores us to ‘seek peace, and pursue it’.”

The letter was distributed by Ameinu, a progressive North American Jewish organization. It said signatories came “from all streams of Judaism.”

“In light of this agreement, we are deeply concerned with the mistaken impression that the current leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement,” the letter read. “Despite what has been portrayed, these leaders do not represent the majority of Jewish Americans who support Congress’ approval of this deal.”

Signatories of the letter said they took seriously the regional threat posed by Iran, but said they trusted the agreement would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that the deal’s success would be based on inspections conducted through unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and not mere trust in Iran’s good will.

“As Jews, we are deeply committed to the welfare of the State of Israel,” the letter reads. “We believe that this deal is our best available option at halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

What is  this progressive Jewish Labor Socialist group, Ameinu?

Ameinu, the group that authored this letter backing the President’s Iran nuclear deal signed by 340 rabbis, is the ‘progressive’ Labor Socialist Zionist Alliance in the US. These are the radicals who supported the faux Geneva Initiative funded by the Swiss Foreign Ministry. 10 years ago they backed the disastrous Gaza withdrawal. They backed the Israeli version of the Occupy Movement They are very committed to a Palestinian peace plan that would cede Judea and Samaria to a corrupt Palestinian Authority. Why they are included in the big tent of the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization is beyond my ken. They are no better than those Satmar chasidic Naturei Karta Jews who live in their own complex in New York, Kiriyat Joel. We would see them at Israel Day Parades in Manhattan and at UN protests cheer leading for a nuclear Iran. They despise anything to do with Israel because Ha Shem has not sent the Messiah, Moschiach, to found a theocratic state.Yet, their Israeli counterparts are unstinting for accepting welfare and family allowances from the secular State of Israel. They were ‘friends’ of the late Yassir Arafat and even traveled to Tehran to make common cause with the holocaust denying Mullahs in exchange for mezumeh in der tish ( money in hand).

It is natural for the liberal press in the U.S. to promote Ameinu and the Neturei Karta as allies of the President, without really explaining what they are, misguided American Jews who consort with  enemies of America and Israel.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The feature image is of Progressive Jews holding a rope of Israeli flags during the 51st annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, May 31, 2015. Source:  Reuters/ Eduardo Munoz.

Obama ally General Barry McCaffrey states ‘Iran deal deeply flawed’

Yesterday, when we posted on the September 9th Washington March to Save America opposing the Iran Nuclear deal, we drew attention to a letter  approving  the deal  signed by 33 former senior military officers, “The Time Has Come for a March in D.C. to Stop the Iran Nuclear Pact.” Alana Goodman has an expose in today’s Washington Free Beacon (WFB) about the White House manipulations behind the scene by a retired Navy rear admiral, now a lawyer with the Venable law firm  in Washington, who authored the letter,  White House Played Role in Iran Deal Letter Signed by Former Flag Officers.” The Obama operative got his comeuppance when he solicited retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey. who opposes the pact. He made the wrong pick.

McCaffrey retired as a four star general who served 32 years in the US Army following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. At his retirement McCaffrey  “was the most highly decorated serving General, having been awarded three Purple Heart medals for wounds received in his four combat tours – as well as twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest award for valor. He also twice was awarded the Silver Star for valor.”  Before establishing his consulting firm, BR McCaffrey Associates LLC, McCaffrey was the Cabinet Officer in charge of U.S. Drug Policy.  After leaving government service, McCaffrey was “the Bradley Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies from January 2001 to May 2005; and then as an Adjunct Professor of International Security Studies from May 2005 to December 2010” at West Point. McCaffrey has also been a frequent media commentator on national security issues. Watch this NBC Meet the Press segment in January 2015 and McCaffrey’s comments on the Obama war strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Goodman of WFB wrote:

James “Jamie” Barnett, a retired rear admiral who now works at the law firm Venable, drafted the letter. Barnett reached out to retired senior officers earlier this month, asking them to sign on and touting the White House’s involvement.

“I am working with the White House on a letter for retired General Officers and Flag Officers to sign, supporting the U.S.-Iran accord on nuclear armament,” Barnett wrote in an Aug. 4 email to one potential signatory. “Are you in a position, and of such a mind, to consider such a letter?”

Barnett indicated that those who signed on could attend a meeting or conference call with White House officials, and said organizers wanted to finalize the list of signatures by last Friday.

Barnett told the Free Beacon on Thursday that the letter was his idea and that he did not write it due to a request from the White House. He said he did ask for a meeting with the National Security Council staff for retired admirals and generals who wanted to attend.

He also said Venable, whose roster of past clients includes Russia’s state gas company Gazprom, had no involvement with the letter.

“I thought of it on my own and started talking to my retired flag officer friends, who in turn brought others in,” said Barnett.

General McCaffrey replied:

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey was one of the officers who declined to participate when asked to sign the letter.

“In my view the Iran nuke deal is a deeply flawed agreement,” McCaffrey replied to Barnett in an email last week. “Cannot sign your letter of support by retired senior officers to support the White House position.”

McCaffrey blasted the nuclear agreement, saying it was opposed by America’s Middle Eastern allies, did not provide for adequate inspections, legitimizes Iran, and would encourage a nuclear arms race in the region.

“The option was not war. The option was walling Iran off for another decade—and threatening nuclear retaliation if they attacked their Sunni neighbors [with] nuclear weapons,” wrote McCaffrey.

“This agreement will likely accelerate nuclear proliferation in the region,” he added. “The Sunni Arab states will want a nuclear deterrence to the Persian Shia capability.”

We salute Gen. McCaffrey for his clear-eyed rejection of the Iran nuclear pact. We hope that those wavering Democrats in the Senate and House get McCaffrey’s message from their constituents who oppose the Iran deal in recent polls by 2 to 1. Perhaps they may if a multitude shows up on the back lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in The March to Save America on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Kerry: No Sanctions Against Conventional Arms and Missile Technology in Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of State Kerry appeared on a Reuters Newsmaker interview today with the apt title of Iran: Moment of Truth. He dropped another bombshell, this time about the lifting of UN sanctions barring Iran’s purchase of conventional arms and missile technology. Kerry indicated there would be snap back of arms sanctions. However, during a recent House Armed Services Committee Hearing, he admitted lifting of financial sanctions would enable deliveries of arms to terror proxies in the Middle East threatening both Americans and Israelis.

Iran demanded and the Administration negotiating team consented to lift bans on Iranian purchases of conventional arms and missile technology adopted under 2010 UN Security Resolution 1929. At the time of the adoption of those UN sanctions both Israel and the US had objected to the sale of the Russian S-300 system to Iran. This comes in the wake of a trip to Moscow on July 24th by Qod’s Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani to expedite the delivery of the advanced Russian S-300 air defense system . Russian’s Putin had lifted the ban in mid- April 2015 following the announcement of the framework for the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  The JCPOA was announced in Vienna on July 14th and unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council on July 22nd. This was just prior to Gen. Soleimani’s trip to Moscow to meet both Putin and Russian Defense Minister Shogui. Add to that the announced $10 billion dollar oil barter deal with China for stealth fighter jets and it would appear that once again, Iran has been allowed to breach conventional arms sanctions. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov had suggested that expediting lifting these arms sale bans would enable sales would enable Iran and Syria to combat the Islamic State.

Reuters reported these latest revelations by Kerry:

Violations of an arms embargo by Iran or restrictions on its missile program would not force an automatic reinstatement or “snapback” of United Nations sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal, although other options would be available, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

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

“There is a specific U.N. resolution outside of this agreement that prohibits them from sending weapons to Hezbollah. There is a separate and specific U.N. resolution that prohibits them from sending weapons to the Shia militia in Iraq,” he said.

Kerry added that similar U.N. restrictions banned arms sales to the Houthis in Yemen, North Korea and other potential recipients of weapons from Iran.

Tehran has consistently violated the U.N. arms embargo and missile sanctions. Since 2010, those breaches have been documented by the U.N. panel of experts on Iran.

Kerry said a new U.N. monitoring mechanism would have to be created to replace the panel of experts, suggesting that much of the monitoring work could be done by the United States and its allies on their own.

“We’re not dependent on the U.N. to do that and I think Israel and others are much happier that we’re not,” he said. “We will depend on our own intel community, on our own military, on our own information, we will work with Israel, and we will work with others.”

Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi made clear last month that Tehran had no intention of complying with the arms embargo and missile sanctions.

“Whenever it’s needed to send arms to our allies in the region, we will do so,” he said. “We are not ashamed of it.”

Watch the Washington Free Beacon YouTube video of Secretary Kerry’s Reuters Newsmaker interview:

Watch this response by Kerry to this issue in this C-Span video clip during a House Hearing Armed Services Committee Hearing:

Syrian made M-302 missiles captured by Israeli Naval Commandos from Klos-C March 2015  Ariel Schalit AP

M-302 missiles captured by Israeli Naval commandos on display in Eilat March 2014Source:  AP/Ariel Schalit.

Notwithstanding and even before the 2010 UN conventional arms sanctions were adopted, Israel has unilaterally intercepted shipments attacked arms deliveries to Iranian proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel is not waiting around for implementation of UN arms control and missile technology sanctions or any Presidential executive orders by the Obama Administration to defend against Iran violations. Israel naval commandos intercepted Iranian shipments of conventional arms and missiles in both the Mediterranean off Gaza and in the Red Sea.  In March 2014 the Klos C  was boarded by Israeli Naval commandos in the Red Sea and brought to the Port of Eilat.  Multiple IAF attacks on missile and other weaponry  prevented deliveries for proxy to Hezbollah in both Syria and Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

In an NER/Iconoclast post yesterday on” Obama’s Dangerous Spin on Iran Nuclear Deal,” this writer suggested the latest conventional arms sanctions by Iran with the connivance of both Russia and China may have jeopardized any military option by the U.S. or Israel. I suggested that this was a breach of both UN travel bans on the Quds Force Commander as well as the UN Resolution 1929 sanctions against purchase of conventional weapons and missile technology precluded by both five and eight year  sunsets under the JCPOA.  It makes any military option harder by orders of magnitude. While both the U.S. and Israel aren’t without resources of their own, Iran’s  breaches of sanctions makes the decision to use American of Israeli military power more complicated.  Kerry’s Reuters Newsmakers interview comments today virtually confirmed that assessment.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in New York August 11, 2015. Source: Reuters/Brendan McDermid.

Obama’s Dangerous Spin on the Iran Nuclear Deal

There was a spirited panel discussion on  the August 9, 2015 Lisa Benson Radio Show for National Security stemming from President Obama’s  remarks on the Iran nuclear deal  during  his interview on CNN’s Farid Zakaria’s Global Public Square (GPS) Sunday morning program.  Panelists Barry Shaw in Israel, Shoshana Bryen of The Jewish Policy of the Washington, D.C. based Jewish Policy Center and this writer. The interview was recorded last Thursday following the President’s speech at American University and contentious meeting with a select group of American Jewish leaders. It was alleged that he told them that “if they left  off criticizing his deal, he would leave off criticizing them. That was a warning to the major American Jewish lobby group , the American Israel Political Action Committee. (AIPAC) and an affiliate, Concerned Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran have funded a multi-million ad campaign opposing the President’s Iran nuclear deal up for a vote in Congress in  Mid-September.

President Obama  also asserted during the interview that the Republican opposition to the Iran nuclear deal was ideological and political and not dissimilar from so-called hardliners in Iran. In response to a question on this from Zakaria he said:

The reason that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the folks in his caucus who oppose this jumped out and opposed it before they even read it, before it was even posted, is reflective of an ideological commitment not to get a deal done. And in that sense they do have a lot in common with hard- liners who are much more satisfied with the status quo. What I said was that there are those who, if they did not read the bill before they announced their opposition, if they are not able to offer plausible reasons why they wouldn’t support the bill or plausible alternatives in preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon other than potential military strikes, then that would indicate that they’re not interested in the substance of the issue, they’re interested in the politics of the issue.

Zakaria asked, “Is it appropriate for a foreign head of government ( a reference to Israeli Pm Netanyahu] to inject himself into a debate that is taking place in Washington?“  The President  responded:

You know, I’ll let you ask Prime Minister Netanyahu that question if he gives you an interview. I don’t recall a similar example. Obviously the relationship between the United States and Israel is deep, it is profound, and it’s reflected in my policies because I have said repeatedly and, more importantly, acted on the basic notion that our commitment to Israel security is sacrosanct. It’s something that I take very seriously, which is why we provided more assistance, more military cooperation, more intelligence cooperation to Israel than any previous administration.

But as I said in the speech yesterday, on the substance, the prime minister is wrong on this. And I think that I can show that the basic assumptions that he’s made are incorrect. If in fact my argument is right that this is the best way for Iran not to get a nuclear weapon, then that’s not just good for the United States, that is very good for Israel. In fact, historically this has been the argument that has driven Prime Minister Netanyahu and achieved consensus throughout Israel.

So the question has to be, is there in fact a better path to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon than this one? And I’ve repeatedly asked both Prime Minister Netanyahu and others to present me a reasonable, realistic plan that would achieve exactly what this deal achieves, and I have yet to get a response. So, as I said yesterday, I completely understand why both he and the broad Israeli public would be suspicious, cautious about entering into any deal with Iran.

Notwithstanding the President remarks in the CNN Zakaria interview, New York Democratic Senator Charles E. Schumer and Bronx New York House Member, Elliott Engel, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Relations Committee and several other leading Democrat members of both the New York and California delegations have also opted to oppose the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action announced in Vienna on July 14th and unanimously endorsed by the UN Security on July 22nd.  Congress will reconvene after Labor Day for more Hearings and a vote to either approve or reject the Iranian nuclear deal. President Obama has threatened veto it if a majority of both the Houses of Congress vote to reject it.

Watch these CNN Video clips of President Obama interview with Farid Zakaria on August 9, 2015

On Israeli PM Netanyahu

On Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei

On his American University Speech

LBS Soundcloud August 9 correctedThe following were important takeaways from  the August 9th Lisa Benson Radio Show:

Israel’s History of Unilateral Actions against Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs despite US Objections.

Barry Shaw speaking from Israel drew attention to Israeli attacks on the Osirak reactor in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1981 and Syria’s al-Kibar reactor in September 2007. He noted that Israeli PM Menachem Begin suggested that  his order for the so-called Raid on the Sun in Iraqi would set a precedent for future similar actions by his successors.  Shaw noted the objections by the Reagan Administration and even US media  characterizations of Israel’s actions  as state sponsored terrorism . However a decade later in the 1990’s Dick Cheney , then Secretary of Defense expressed  the thanks of the US  for Israel’s action in 1981 during the Gulf War in 1991.  Following, the 2007 Syria reactor raid, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel for not exhausting diplomatic efforts. Shaw noted that following the raid Syria let in the IAEA to inspect the reclaimed site of the former Al-Kibar nuclear bomb factory Shaw also reflected the views of a  significant majority of Israelis backing PM Netanyahu’s intervention criticizing the Iran nuclear pact.

The Dangers of Obama’s Withdrawal of US Assets in the Region.

Shoshana Bryen drew attention to the dangers of withdrawal of US military assets in the Persian Gulf abetting the hegemonic objectives of Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei  and the Islamic Regime IRGC. As of the fall, the US will have no carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf for the first time in decades. She went to note  the President postulated that Saudi Arabia and Iran might find themselves coming closer on certain issues. If the Gulf States see their future with Iran, rather than with the US, we will not have a base in the Persian Gulf. The US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain and US facilities in Kuwait and Oman may not be able to use those facilities to attack Iran if, in fact, their governments see Iran as the key power for the future.

Military Option  may have been  taken Off the Table with Iran Weapons Purchases from Russia and China.

This  writer  drew attention to the Moscow trip of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani to meet with Russian President Putin and Defense Minister Shogui to speed up deliveries of the S-300 air defense system and the $10 billion oil barter deal with China for delivery of stealth fighters.  He suggested that this was a breach of both UN travel bans on the Quds Force Commander as well as the UN resolution 1929 sanctions against purchase of conventional  weapons and missile technology precluded on both five and eight sunsets under the JCPOA.  It makes any military option harder by orders of magnitude. While both the US and Israel  aren’t without resources of our own, Iran breaches  of  sanctions  makes the decision to use American military power more complicated.

Iran North Korea Nuclear and ICBM Development Cooperation may already have developed a bomb

Host  Lisa Benson drew attention to a recent American Thinker article co-authored by Bryen and her husband,  Stephen, “Does Iran Already Have Nuclear Weapons?”  The Bryens suggest that Iran may already have developed a nuclear weapon in cooperation with North Korea.  This writer interviewed analyst Ilana Freedman regarding the same issue in a March 2014  NER article, “Has Iran Developed Nuclear Weapons in North Korea ?”   The Bryens postulate that Iran may already have a small nuclear bomb that might be used  as a threat in the region to provide a nuclear cover for hegemonic objectives. The motivation on the part of the North Korean, who earn hard currency through illicit transactions is receipt of funds from Iran, a member of the same original A.Q. Khan network that provided techno logy for the North Korean bomb making and Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges.

Plan B –Restoring Military Funding in support of National Security Objectives in the Middle East and NATO Allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States Threatened by Putin’s Russia

Notwithstanding , a possible veto of a Congressional  resolution rejecting the Iran nuclear deal, Bryen and Gordon suggested that the Congress has to stop the hollowing out of our military capabilities under sequestration. That should be addressed in September when National Defense Act Appropriation bills come up for approval in both chambers.  Bryen noted Plan B is precisely to end sequestration – which has to happen for American national security reasons including Iran and beyond Iran. The size of the Army has to increase (it is projected to decrease by another 40,000) and the drain of mid-level officers (Captains, Majors and LT Colonels) has to stop. Our Navy has to begin to restore ship building. She noted the fleet size is he smallest since WWI.

Poland and the Baltic States have requested a stronger NATO presence out of fear that Russia will do to them what it did to Ukraine. Ukraine was NOT a member of NATO, so there were mixed ideas about what to do, but Poland and the Baltic States are. If Russia thinks it can intimidate or even occupy parts of those states, simply because it sees the US as a waning power, NATO will be finished. With that, the remnants of American influence will be finished. We have to put troops in those places and do exercises in those places and we should reconsider installing the radars that President Obama declined to place in Poland and the Czech Republic when he first took office.

Listen to the Soundcloud of the August 9, 2015 Lisa Benson Radio Show

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Israeli Sanhedrin (Assembly) Issues Summons Calling Obama for Trial on ‘criminal offenses’

Flash! Breaking Israel News (BINreports that the reconstituted Sanhedrin in Israel has issued a summons calling President Obama for trial on charges of “criminal offenses” against the Jewish people resulting from the announced Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action, unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, Monday, July 20th, 2015 and announced by the P5+1 in Vienna on July 14th.

The Sanhedrin trial has been scheduled for September 9, 2015, four days prior to the onset of the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah. This is also the 60th day under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 for a possible vote by the U.S. Congress on the Iran nuclear pact.

BIN cites the charges brought against President Obama:

According to a letter obtained exclusively by Breaking Israel News that was sent to the president, the Sanhedrin calls out Obama for “deliberately promoting genocide for the Jewish people.” The judges of the Sanhedrin call on the president to “immediately announce that you are repealing and suspending the agreement.”

The Sanhedrin, which has been active in Israel for over a decade, recently made news when it announced that it would be putting Pope Francis on trial in absentia for his recognition of a “State of Palestine”.

“We are here for matters great and small, those that pertain to Israel, and those that pertain to other nations as well,” said Rabbi Dov Stein, secretary of the Sanhedrin, to Breaking Israel News. “It is part of the process of Geula (redemption) and of the Nation of Israel coming back to the Land of Israel, reestablishing the Sanhedrin and restoring the nation as it once was, ‘For out of Zion shall the Torah go out, and the world of God from Jerusalem.’”

The original Hebrew letter, with its English translation, sent to the U.S. leader by the Sanhedrin can be read below.


16/07/2015

To His Honor:
President of the United States
Mr. Barack Hussein Obama
Secretary of State John Kerry
The White House, Washington DC
Permanent Members of the UN Security Council

Summons to Trial:

A Demand for the Immediate Cancellation of the Nuclear Deal with Iran

Unfortunately, despite international experience in negotiating with totalitarian countries with aggressive imperialist aspirations and abilities throughout history, and especially in the 20th century, you have failed to prevent the agreement with destructive consequences that are inevitable for Israel, the Jewish people, all people of the region, to the United States, and to the West.

On the contrary, the evidence of progress in negotiations toward a desired and expected outcome increase every day. Empowering Iran to the level where it would constitute a complete and immediate threat would thrust the entire region into a state of instability including extreme weapons of mass destruction.

These actions range from criminal offenses to malicious intent and gross negligence.

Despite your claims and the contentions of the United States Secretary of State that the agreement is for the benefit of peace, the very negotiations with a country that for at least 30 years has declared that their aim is to destroy Israel and for that it needs nuclear weapons, as well as their expressed desire to attack ‘the Great Satan, USA’ are cause for concern to suspect that there is serious impairment to the reasonable discretion of any moral / responsible leader who refuses to negotiate with a country that declares their goal is to destroy a UN member state, or genocide of any kind.

The current agreement has released many of the leaders of incitement from responsibility for their words and action, and this with the full knowledge and consent of the United States and its allies.

Obama sanhedrin letter-page-001
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.