Why on Earth are we selling spare aircraft parts to Iran?

April 8, 2014
No way!!

You did what??

This is an unbelievably stupid decision. I’ll let my friend Michael Ledeen explain why:

Somebody on Twitter posted an upbeat message saying the US delegation to the latest round of talks with Iranian officials was quite optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a born optimist and I love optimism, but I’d rather revel in victory than hope for good news, and the Iranians have every reason to revel. The Obama crowd has just ok’d something the Tehran tyrants have desperately wanted since the eighties: spare parts for their long-grounded American passenger aircraft. Boeing and General Electric were given export licenses by the Treasury Department and everyone involved has been chanting “we take aircraft security very seriously,” in order to cloak this latest gift to the Khamenei-Rouhani regime in humanitarian hues.

Frankly I’d rather they took national security very seriously. Iran uses its commercial aircraft for military purposes (one of the reasons that eery flight between Tehran and Caracas is so worrisome), and the mullahs have been limited by the degradation of the national fleet. The Boeing planes and GE engines date to the 1970s, and very few of them are in service. Back in the mid-eighties, when I spent quite a bit of time with Iranian officials, they repeatedly asked for spare parts, both for the passenger planes and for the aging military craft, the F4s and F5s. Secretary of Defense Weinberger of course vetoed any such discussions, and the embargo has held until just now.

Now we’re arming Iran.

Emphases added.

The idea that a state-sponsor of global terrorism like Iran would adhere to understandings to keep the civilian and military functions of their aircraft separate is self-delusional nonsense. They’ll no more do that than they have to keep their civilian and military nuclear programs apart. (Really, I have a bridge for anyone who believes they’re honoring the recent nuclear agreement.)

What these fatuous dunderheads at State and in the White House refuse to see is that Iran has regarded itself as being at war with the United States since 1979. A deal like this, when Iran could easily ferry troops or equipment on “civilian” flights is tantamount to selling them the rope they’ll use to hang us.

This is part of a larger, global war of tyrannies against democracies. George W. Bush was mocked for his “Axis of Evil” comment, but he was right. The players have changed a bit since then, but still include Pyongyang, Moscow, Beijing, Havana, Caracas — and Tehran. And they’re taking advantage of the openings we’re giving them. More Michael:

And so it is, indeed the war has been on for some time, and it’s a bit hotter than Cold War 1.0 was for most of the twentieth century.  Kiev burned, and may burn again soon.  Caracas is burning, as are many of Venezuela’s cities and towns.  Crimea has been annexed, and Syria is still aflame, as is Iraq, and also Yemen.  Estonia and Finland are seriously frightened, as well they should be.  If we pull back from the crisis du jour, we can see it’s a global conflict.  Iran and Russia are fighting in Syria, sometimes with and sometimes against the jihadi marauders.  Cuba is fighting in Venezuela, a country the Castros largely command, and Hezbollah is in there, too.  And for those of you who follow Africa, know that the Iranians are up to their necks in Nigeria, buying influence and supporting the mass murderers in Boko Haram.

The West needs to wake up and smell the smoke from the fires starting to burn all around it, before it turns into a real conflagration. Our foes are vulnerable, and the West can win, but only if with American leadership. The US government is the only one that can convince the other nations to take the steps necessary to push back against Putin, Khamenei, and the others. As John Schindler recently wrote:

We will have many allies in resisting Russian aggression if we focus on issues of freedom and sovereignty, standing up for the rights of smaller countries to choose their own destiny.

It would help if we had leaders who saw themselves as the heirs to Churchill, rather than Chamberlain.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Iran tests U.S. maritime borders

February 8, 2014
"Iranian Navy in action"

“Iranian Navy in action”

Oh, how cute! The Iranian Navy is trying to show the Great Satan (1) that it’s all grown up, now!

A senior Iranian naval commander says his country has sent several warships to the Atlantic Ocean, close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time.

The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying Saturday that the vessels have already begun the journey to the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa.

The “task force” sending us this message consists of a destroyer and a helicopter carrier.

I’m sure U.S. Fleet Forces Command will be sure to be duly impressed, once they’re done laughing and pointing.

Seriously, Iran says this is in response to us for stationing the 5th Fleet in and near the Persian Gulf. Hey, Afshin! Buddy! It’s called “freedom of the seas,” and we take it very seriously. If you weren’t periodically threatening to close a lifeline for much of the world’s oil, we wouldn’t have to stand ready to knock some much-needed sense into you.

Schmucks.

Footnote:
(1) For those without a program, that’s us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In which Barack Obama resembles James Buchanan

November 26, 2013
"Obama's true predecessor"

“Obama’s true predecessor”

Not in the sense of “after him, a civil war,” of course. That line of thinking, which I’ve occasionally seen, is a bit overwrought. But something Stanley Kurtz wrote today made me think of Jimmy B.

Discussing what may have motivated Obama to ink this bad deal with Iran, Kurtz discounts the idea that it was done to give the administration a win after the Obamacare debacle. Rather, Kurtz thinks that Obama did this because his support has shrunk to his hardcore base, and that base hates the very idea of violent conflict with Iran. To keep from losing this last group, which is already angry over Obamacare’s problems, Obama is willing even to sign an agreement that wreaks havoc on the US position in the Middle East, as long as it postpones conflict with Iran. Kurtz writes:

Americans are weary of war and few on any political side were inclined to bail Obama out of his Syrian “red line” misadventure. Yet there is still a strong constituency for taking action when core American interests are threatened. That constituency, unfortunately, stands largely outside of Obama’s base.

To the extent that this analysis is valid, it means that as long as Obamacare is on life-support (for the next three years, by most accounts), Obama’s policy inclinations and political survival alike will conspire to dictate American weakness on the world scene. With Obama down to his dovish core supporters, we are paralyzed abroad.

And it’s this that makes me think of the hapless Pennsylvanian. Faced with a potential crisis, trapped by his ideology and party supporters who loathed the idea of federal intervention against the states, Buchanan sat there and temporized and let the problem fester until he could hand it off to Lincoln and say “You deal with it!”

And so it is with Obama and whoever succeeds him.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#IranDeal: It wasn’t just the Israelis and the Saudis Obama backstabbed

November 26, 2013
"Left to rot."

“Left to rot.”

There’s been a lot of talk since the weekend about the deal brokered between Iran on the one hand, and the US and its European partners on the other, that supposedly somehow represented a breakthrough in the quest to prevent the Iranian mullahs from getting their hands on nuclear weapons. Discussions have centered around diplomacy and grand strategy, and the motives of the Iranian and US governments. Matter of “high politics,” as they might have said in the 19th century.

But the agreement touches people on a very personal level, too. Left unmentioned in any of the negotiations are Americans trapped in Iranian prisons, men such as Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor from Idaho who was accused of the horrid crime (in Iran, under Islam) of preaching the Gospel and helping to establish home churches (1). Abedini was yanked off a bus, his passport taken from him, and he was consigned to Iran’s notorious Evin prison.

And, in the negotiations leading to this wonderful deal, the US never mentioned him once:

Two words are nowhere to be found in the pages of text that spell out a new interim nuclear deal with Iran: Saeed Abedini.

Now some supporters of the American pastor, who’s been detained in Iran for more than a year, are accusing U.S. officials of betraying Abedini by signing off on an agreement that doesn’t get him out of prison.

“We were across the table from the Iranians, and we did not bring home Americans. To me that’s a tragedy and that’s outrageous,” said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Abedini’s family in the United States.

While analysts debated the nuclear agreement’s pros and cons, Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, said she was trying to comfort her two young children.

“It’s very painful,” she told CNN’s “The Lead” on Monday. “My kids were crying this morning, saying, ‘God, don’t let Daddy die. Bring him home.’ “

One would think an American government, leading a nation founded on principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, would have raised a stink about Abedini at these negotiations, something along the lines of “You want sanctions lifted and your sequestered cash released? Give us Abedini and we’ll talk.” (2)

But then one would remember Barack Obama is in charge. Defending Americans in danger abroad is a bit alien to him, as we learned in Libya.

Via Bryan Preston, who connects Abedini’s abandonment to his Christianity and draws a parallel to the Obama administrations attacks on religious liberty here. I disagree with Bryan on this: nations have often sacrificed individuals for “reasons of state” when a higher goal was at stake. In the Obama administration’s case, the nuclear deal with Iran was paramount, and if the government was willing to blindside Jewish Israel and Muslim Saudi Arabia with this, they weren’t going to let the fate of Saeed Abedini (or Robert Levinson) stand in the way. It’s shameful and cynical, to be sure, but not religiously motivated.

RELATED: There are several good articles explaining why this deal stinks. At The Weekly Standard, John Bolton calls this “abject surrender.” Writing at PJM, Michael Ledeen points out, among other excellent observations, that the Iranian treasury was almost empty, but we’ve now agreed to give them billions. Genius. Eli Lake at The Daily Beast quotes an expert who says this comes close to a “nuclear 1914 scenario.” How fitting, with the hundredth anniversary of World War I approaching. James Carafano calls this a deal based on a dangerous fantasy — Munich II. My own observation is this: Regardless of the restrictions placed on the Iranian public nuclear program by this deal, if you think there isn’t a secret program run in parallel by the military that is still going full-speed, you’re high.

This deal makes war more likely, not less.

PS: There’s a support page for Pastor Abedini at Facebook, and a web site for Robert Levinson.

Footnote:
(1) Abedini’s offense was compounded by being himself a convert to Christianity from Islam. Under Islamic law, that is the crime of apostasy and is punishable by death. I suppose the Iranians thought they were being merciful for just sticking him in jail for eight years.
(2) Not that I’m a religious person, but I believe very strongly in the natural right of all humans to freedom of speech and religion, and, within very broad bounds, government should stay the heck out. No law is legitimate that oppresses those rights, and an American government that won’t stand up for its citizens’ rights in the face of a tyranny that tramples both is craven.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Kerry: Nuke deal doesn’t give Iran right to enrich; Iran: World recognized our right to enrich

November 24, 2013

This is an awful deal that, at best, kicks an eventual confrontation down the road a ways. Not quite Munich, but a feckless diplomacy of a weak administration has made war more likely, not less.


Delusional: Obama admin thought they could convince Iran to abandon #Syria

September 7, 2013

Top Obama foreign policy adviser

Top Obama foreign policy adviser

I think this is final proof that The One and his band of happy progressives have been into the wrong mushrooms.

According to Samantha Power, our UN Ambassador and key mind behind the fatuous “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine of humanitarian intervention (1), thought that a UN report on Syria’s use of chemical weapons could convince Iran (and Russia) to abandon Bashar Assad:

Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, hoped that a team of UN investigators — many of whom, presumably, have a longstanding relationship with Iranian leaders — could write a report that would convince Iran to abandon its ally at the behest of the United States.

“We worked with the UN to create a group of inspectors and then worked for more than six months to get them access to the country on the logic that perhaps the presence of an investigative team in the country might deter future attacks,” Power said at the Center for American Progress as she made the case for intervening in Syria.

“Or, if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran — itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 — to cast loose a regime that was gassing it’s people,” she said.

This isn’t merely “detached from reality,” this is foreign policy as a psychotic break. Where do I begin? Iran? Syria is their key client in the region, essential to their influence along the Eastern Mediterranean and a vital conduit to their “foreign legion,” Hizbullah. When the protests first started a couple of years ago, they loaned Assad snipers for use against the demonstrators, a tactic they employed in their own country. They’ve even dispatched their elite troops, the Revolutionary Guard, to help Assad because, let me say this again, Syria is vital to them.

The idea that Iran, which is seeking nuclear weapons to fulfill their fondest dream of wiping Israel from the map and bringing about the Islamic “end times,” would be intimidated by a report from the United Nations is beyond laughable.

And Russia? That same Russia run by Vladimir “I leveled Grozny” Putin, who’s publicly slapping Obama, taking his lunch money, and is happily planning to supplant the US in the Middle East? That Russia? The one that blocked us at the Security Council? They’re going to say “Oh, well. A UN report. That’s different!”?

I think I’ve figured it out. “Smart Power” was one big joke all along. On us.

I’m with Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s naive blundering is reminiscent of JFK’s mishandling of the Vienna summit, which lead Khrushchev to think he could get away with putting nuclear missiles in Cuba, which in turn almost resulted in World War III. It worries me that , with more than three years left to go, one of our major foes is going to think he can similarly test Obama.

Oh. Hi, China!

via Twitchy

Footnote:
(1) That worked so well in Libya.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


About that “moderate” new Iranian president

June 20, 2013
"Another moderate"

“Another moderate”

“Moderate” in post-Khomeini Iranian dictionaries must mean “Cool with blowing up Jews in foreign countries:”

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rowhani was on the special Iranian government committee that plotted the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, according to an indictment by the Argentine government prosecutor investigating the case.

The AMIA bombing is considered the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history, killing 85 and wounding hundreds more. The Argentine government had accused the Iranian government of planning the attack and Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah of carrying it out. Numerous former and current Iranian officials are wanted by Interpol in connection with the bombing.

Former Iranian intelligence official Abolghasem Mesbahi, who defected from Iran in the late 1990s, testified that the decision to launch the attack was made within a special operations committee connected to the powerful Supreme National Security Council in August 1993.

According to the 2006 indictment, Mesbahi testified that Rowhani, who was then serving as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, was also a member of the special committee when it approved the AMIA bombing.

A committee that included Supreme Leader (1) Ali Khamenei, the hardliner’s hardliner and real ruler of Iran. If Rowhani didn’t meet his approval, Khamenei wouldn’t have allowed him on the committee, nor would he have allowed him to run for president this year.

What? You didn’t know that Khamenei, ostensibly through the clerical Guardian Council, picks who’s even allowed to run for president in the first place?

That’s why referring to this guy as a “moderate” is nothing more than a bad joke. If he had been a genuine moderate, interested in improving relations in the world, ending Iranian state support for terrorism, and reining in Khamenei’s beloved nuclear program, the “Supreme Leader” and the Guardian Council would never have let him run in the first place. If he’s a moderate, it’s in the same way Rudolf Hess was a “moderate Nazi.”

What’s disheartening is to see again just how desperate many in the West are to find a moderate Iranian leader, someone with whom we can cut a deal. (See, for example, this piece in the leftist Guardian and this in the nearly-as-leftist New York Times) They’re nothing more than the spiritual grandchildren of the fools and appeasers who thought one could deal with Hitler.

The plan fact is that Iran has been at war with the United States and on a mission from Allah to destroy Israel and kill Jews since 1979. The people in charge, quite possibly including Rowhani, see it as their mission to bring about the Islamic “end times.” They have been stringing the US and the West along for decades, dissembling and dissimulating and pretending to be reasonable enough that they can always find suckers (including each new American administration from Carter to Obama) who think they’ll be the one to strike the “Grand Bargain.”

And I bet it will turn out the same way with Rowhani  and Obama, only the ending here will not just be egg on an American president’s face, but Khamenei in possession of a nuclear bomb.

PS: Michael Ledeen has written a great book on the difficulty the West has calling evil for what it is and facing it directly until great damage has been done and it’s almost too late. By our willful blindness and failure to take meaningful steps early, we become “Accomplices to Evil.” Highly recommended.

Footnote:
(1) One sign of possible Fascist infestation — a liking for grandiose, ego-stroking titles.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


If Assad falls, will Iran try to govern Syria directly?

May 6, 2013

That’s the speculation of a retired Israeli general, on what would amount to annexation:

  • In mid-April, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah paid a secret visit to Tehran where he met with the top Iranian officials headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Gen. Qasem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Suleimani prepared an operational plan named after him based upon the establishment of a 150,000-man force for Syria, the majority of whom will come from Iran, Iraq, and a smaller number from Hizbullah and the Gulf states.
  • Suleimani’s involvement was significant. He has been the spearhead of Iranian military activism in the Middle East. In January 2012, he declared that the Islamic Republic controlled “one way or another” Iraq and South Lebanon. Even before recent events in Syria, observers in the Arab world have been warning for years about growing evidence of “Iranian expansionism.”
  • An important expression of Syria’s centrality in Iranian strategy was voiced by Mehdi Taaib, who heads Khamenei’s think tank. He recently stated that “Syria is the 35th district of Iran and it has greater strategic importance for Iran than Khuzestan [an Arab-populated district inside Iran].” Significantly, Taaib was drawing a comparison between Syria and a district that is under full Iranian sovereignty.
  • Tehran has had political ambitions with respect to Syria for years and has indeed invested huge resources in making Syria a Shiite state. The Syrian regime let Iranian missionaries work freely to strengthen the Shiite faith in Damascus and the cities of the Alawite coast, as well as the smaller towns and villages. In both urban and rural parts of Syria, Sunnis and others who adopted the Shiite faith received privileges and preferential treatment in the disbursement of Iranian aid money.
  • Iran is also recruiting Shiite forces in Iraq for the warfare in Syria. These are organized in a sister framework of Lebanese Hizbullah. Known as the League of the Righteous People and Kateeb Hizbullah, its mission is to defend the Shiite centers in Damascus. It is likely that Tehran will make every effort to recruit additional Shiite elements from Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and even from Pakistan.

Click through for much more.

I’ve said before that Syria is Iran’s lynchpin on the Western side of the Fertile Crescent, without which the position of its proxy army in Lebanon, Hizbullah, becomes almost untenable, and one of the arguments for Western intervention in Syria has been that it would gravely weaken Iran’s influence in the region. So, it’s at least plausible.

But, would they? It would truly be a desperate act, greatly increasing the danger in the area. It’s hard to imagine Israel tolerating what in essence would be a Persian satrapy on its border, when said “Persian Empire” has promised to rain nuclear fire on Israel.

And could they? The effort to control Syria, even with remnants of the Syrian Army and Hizbullah to help, would be a tremendous drain on Iranian resources of manpower and wealth, and it would certainly mean ratcheting up the pressure on Iraq, passage through whose territory Iran would need to resupply its forces. I have trouble believing they could maintain such a long-distance operation.

I’ve no idea how reliable General Shapira’s analysis is, but dictatorships have done crazier things in the past.

via Jews for Sarah and Michael Ledeen, who has a good article on the larger war.


Canadian train plot: RCMP asserts an al-Qaeda connection

April 23, 2013

I mentioned this in yesterday’s post, but there’s a bit more information on the terrorists and their connection with al-Qaeda:

Canadian police officials have linked the plotting of two Muslim men to destroy a Toronto passenger train to al Qaeda’s network inside Iran. The two suspects, neither of whom are Canadian citizens, were taken into custody yesterday and are facing terrorism charges. One of the suspects had placed an image of al Qaeda’s banner in a social media site. The image has since been removed.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said yesterday that the two suspects, identified as Chiheb Esseghaier, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, of Toronto, received “support from al Qaeda elements located in Iran,” in the form of “direction and guidance.” The two men’s plot called for the destruction of a train bound from the US to Canada in an effort to sow terror and harm the economies of both countries.

Esseghaier, a doctoral student at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, has a bachelors degree in Industrial Biology and a masters degree in Industrial Biotechnology, according to his Linkedin page. He lists Nanotechnology as one of his “Skills & Expertise.” He attended college in Tunis and is thought to be a Tunisian.

Before the image was taken down sometime last night, Esseghaier’s Linkedin page displayed in image of al Qaeda’s black flag. This flag was first used by al Qaeda in Iraq but has been adopted by other al Qaeda affiliates.

The remainder of the article is a good backgrounder on the Iran-al Qaeda relationship, including at least a couple of “secret agreements” that allow al-Qaeda transit through Iran.

While the above quote doesn’t claim a direct Iranian role in the plot, unlike the statement quoted in the Washington Examiner piece yesterday, I think it’s reasonable to assume the Iranians at some level knew and approved of what the two were planning and the encouragement al-Qaeda gave them.  Al-Qaeda is in the country on their sufferance, and there is no way Tehran is not going to keep tabs on what they’re doing, lest they unexpectedly find themselves the targets of retaliation after, say, another 9/11-style attack. So, while there’s no direct evidence of Iranian foreknowledge, it’s a safe bet they did.

Which should make the next meeting Canada and Iran’s diplomats quite… interesting.

Also, while there’s a coincidence in time, there’s no evidence I’ve seen of a connection between the train plot and the Boston Marathon attacks. What I do think it hints at, however, is just how many jihad plots there are “out there,” waiting to be put into action. Again, if Esseghaier and Jaser were a pair of “lone wolves” encouraged by al-Qaeda, similar to what may be the truth about the Tsarnaevs, how many others are out there?

Comforting thought, no?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Breaking: Canadians foil Iranian/al Qaeda New York-Toronto train attack

April 22, 2013

They love hitting mass transportation. Breaking in The Washington Examiner:

Canadian security officials announced today that they thwarted a terrorist attack on a passenger train reportedly traveling from New York City to Toronto, planned by two men allegedly tied to al Qaeda.

“I commend our Canadian counterterrorism partners, particularly the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for their efforts in stopping a major terrorist plot which was intended to cause significant loss of human life including New Yorkers,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said in a statement today.

The attack had Iranian backing. “They are elements of al Qaeda in Iran,” a Canadian police official told reporters during the press conference while identifying the al Qaeda affiliate that was involved in the attack. “What the investigation has demonstrated is that the support being received was in the form of direction and guidance.”

Emphasis added. Say it after me, folks:

This is war, and they’re still trying to kill us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Did an Iranian nuke facility go boom? I think so…

January 29, 2013
"Seen over Fordow?"

Seen over Fordow?

The key is found not in what governments are saying, so much, but in what they are doing, which in turn lends perspective to their words.

Background: A few days ago, a report appeared on World Net Daily that there had been a massive explosion at Fordow, one of Iran’s major nuclear facilities, where centrifuges enrich uranium to a level at which it could be used as a warhead on a missile. I ignored the story, largely because WND has as much credibility for news as Timothy Geithner does for economics.

Then again…

Lee Smith has weighed in on Israeli actions around the time of this possible event, and his analysis has me saying “Hmmm…”:

Over the weekend there was news of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet’s “intense” consultations. According to reports, Jerusalem has deployed two Iron Dome missile defense batteries to the north—one near the port city of Haifa, and another in the Galilee region—a move that Israeli spokesmen explain is only part of a regular, scheduled rotation all over the country. However, taken in tandem with Jerusalem’s public concerns that Bashar al-Assad’s beleaguered regime may itself use chemical weapons against Israel or transfer them to Hezbollah or that the arsenal may fall into the hands of Islamist rebels, the speculation is that the Iron Dome batteries have been moved to intercept Syrian missiles carrying chemical weapons.

However, there is no obvious reason why Assad is more likely to use or transfer those weapons now more than any other time during the last two years since the uprising began; or why the rebels are more likely now to appropriate them and divert resources from their existential war with the regime to tangle with Israel. Perhaps more to the point, the Iron Dome is not designed to intercept the kind of missiles that can carry chemical weapons payloads. The likelier scenario is that Israel is girding itself in the event that Hezbollah is called upon to retaliate for the Fordow operation, using the Iranian-supplied rockets and missiles that Iron Dome is designed to stop.

Add to this Iranian denials that anything happened (1), American doubts that anything happened (2), and the Israelis mostly keeping quiet (3), and the astute reader is left with one conclusion:

Something happened. Something big. And a good thing it is, too, for the Iranian leadership is far too dangerous to ever let have nuclear weapons.

And lest you think this is too big and too far away for the Israelis, bear in mind that they and we were also behind  Stuxnet.

As I like to say in situations like these: “Oh, those wacky Jews!” (4)

via Power Line

Footnotes:
(1) Of course they would. If you were them, would you admit your archenemy had just broken one of your favorite toys?
(2) Of course we would. Publicly. If we were involved, or if the Israelis warned us. If they didn’t involve us, which may be wise, then our doubts would serve to confuse Tehran.
(3) Of course they would. Not only does Israel rarely talk about intelligence operations, but, if this really happened, the last thing they want to do is rub Tehran’s nose in it and force them to retaliate.
(4) It’s the First Rule of Mideast Politics: “Do not [mess] with the Israelis!”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Religion of Misogyny Watch: Iran bans women from college courses

August 20, 2012

Can’t have women getting an education; they might get uppity and think they’re men’s equals.

In a move that has prompted a demand for a UN investigation by Iran’s most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 36 universities have announced that 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year will be “single gender” and effectively exclusive to men.

It follows years in which Iranian women students have outperformed men, a trend at odds with the traditional male-dominated outlook of the country’s religious leaders. Women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year’s university entrance exam.

Senior clerics in Iran’s theocratic regime have become concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women, including declining birth and marriage rates.

Under the new policy, women undergraduates will be excluded from a broad range of studies in some of the country’s leading institutions, including English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and business management.

Now there’s a smart way to develop your country — if your goal is to march boldly into the 12th century, that is.

The Iranian Minister for Science and Higher Education claimed the move was necessary to restore “gender balance” in the universities. How progressive of him. But an observation at the end of the article hints at the real reason for the imbalance, and therefore the ban:

Iran has highest ratio of female to male undergraduates in the world, according to UNESCO. Female students have become prominent in traditionally male-dominated courses like applied physics and some engineering disciplines.

Sociologists have credited women’s growing academic success to the increased willingness of religiously-conservative families to send their daughters to university after the 1979 Islamic revolution. The relative decline in the male student population has been attributed to the desire of young Iranian men to “get rich quick” without going to university.

In other words, too many Iranian boys are cocksure, lazy dummies, while the women are willing to work hard to get ahead. So the answer, of course, is to close the doors on the most energetic and ambitious of your people.

It was Muhammad’s favorite wife, his child-bride Aisha, who once said:

“I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women” (Bukhari 72:715)

Over 1,400 years later, not much has changed.

via PJM

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


What’s “sieg heil!” in Farsi?

June 4, 2012

In what is, when you think about it, a natural alliance, Iran’s fascist, Jew-hating, millenarian Islamic government is allowing a site serving Nazi propaganda to run under their domain, despite otherwise heavy Internet censorship:

A pro-Nazi association now operates a Persian-language website in Iran, promoting anti-Semitism and memorializing Adolf Hitler, apparently with the approval of the Iranian government and its censors.

The site, Nazicenter.ir, features videos of Nazi leaders and pictures of Hitler, and praises the Third Reich for nearly conquering the Western world. It also includes a public forum whose members routinely discuss their hatred of the Jewish people.

The site’s primary goal, its administrators write, is to confront the “story of the Holocaust, which without a doubt has been taken advantage of in contemporary history.”

Iran’s Islamic regime strictly regulates all forms of communication. Hundreds of websites have been banned, and Iranians’ online access to the free world is severely restricted. But a Nazi propaganda website is consistent with the proclamations of Iran’s military and political leaders, who have both denied the existence of the Nazi Holocaust and called for the destruction of Israel.

The chief commander of the Iranian armed forces, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, announced the doctrine of the Islamic regime in a recent speech. “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause,” he said, “and that is the full annihilation of Israel.”

Lovely. Goebbels would be so proud. As would Muhammad.

President “Look at Me!” blows our national secrets — again

June 1, 2012

This time about Stuxnet, the super-virus that’s been wreaking havoc with the Iranians’ “peaceful” nuclear program. The New York Times Obama Marketing Department has the story:

Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran

From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm’s “escape,” Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America’s most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised.

“Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.

Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.

This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

What was it I said in another post about keeping one’s mouth shut with national secrets? Oh, yeah…

One of the greatest secrets you can have in intelligence work –especially when dealing with a deadly enemy– is that you’ve compromised their security. That you’ve cracked their codes, found their safe houses, planted a bug in their meetings, slipped a mole deep inside… so many things. You want them kept secret because you can exploit the advantage again and again, disrupting and demoralizing your enemy because they can’t figure out how you’re always one step ahead. These are secrets you go to your grave with, because, once blown, they’re useless.

Again, this is great news, and the article is a fascinating read, but does anyone really believe that its publication on the same day as a horrific, recession-foreboding jobs report is just a coincidence?

No, I didn’t either.

Yeah, I know they said they interviewed a bunch of people (Do you really think they talked without Washington’s permission?) and said some secrets were kept secret, but… give me a break.

The danger of an article like this is that the Iranians (or their patrons in Russia and China) might be able to deduce from what is said and not said crucial information — about Stuxnet itself, about how it was inserted into Iran, about who may have helped us from the inside… who knows?

And that’s the point. We don’t know what they know, and thus we don’t know if anything in this article might provide them with a valuable clue or a key to a defense. Remember, it was a series of small, seemingly obscure clues that lead us to the big secret of Osama bin Laden’s location. Who knows what tidbit useful to Tehran might be found in this article?

Thus the correct thing to do would have been to shut the Hell up.

After WWII, the British kept the truth about Ultra secret for 29 years. With a national secret of comparable importance, Obama can’t wait 29 months to brag about it.

This is an administration so self-absorbed, so puerile, that it values the security of American strategic secrets lower than the president’s reelection chances.

November can’t come fast enough.

PS: Romney 2012, because he’s an adult and can keep his mouth shut.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In an honest world, this would mean war

May 29, 2012

Iran plotting to kill US diplomats? Yeah, I’d call that a casus belli…

In November, the tide of daily cable traffic to the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan brought a chilling message for Ambassador Matthew Bryza, then the top U.S. diplomat to the small Central Asian country. A plot to kill Americans had been uncovered, the message read, and embassy officials were on the target list.

The details, scant at first, became clearer as intelligence agencies from both countries stepped up their probe. The plot had two strands, U.S. officials learned, one involving snipers with silencer-equipped rifles and the other a car bomb, apparently intended to kill embassy employees or members of their families.

Both strands could be traced back to the same place, the officials were told: Azerbaijan’s southern neighbor, Iran.

The threat, many details of which were never made public, appeared to recede after Azerbaijani authorities rounded up nearly two dozen people in waves of arrests early this year. Precisely who ordered the hits, and why, was never conclusively determined. But U.S. and Middle Eastern officials now see the attempts as part of a broader campaign by Iran-linked operatives to kill foreign diplomats in at least seven countries over a span of 13 months. The targets have included two Saudi officials, a half-dozen Israelis and — in the Azerbaijan case — several Americans, the officials say.

But, let’s be honest. Iran has been at war with the US since 1979, but we’ve refused to see it, or, if we did, to ignore it and try instead to reach chimerical “grand bargain.” Iran was responsible for the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. They were behind the Khobar Towers attack in 1996. They’ve trained and supplied Iraqi insurgents against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in American deaths. They are the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

And now they’ve been caught plotting to kill our diplomats and their families.

I don’t expect it under this administration, and both Republican and Democratic presidents have refused to see the problem, but, eventually, we have to face the truth and treat Iran as an enemy who has declared jihad on us.

But, until then, how many more Americans have to die?

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama White House: Who’s responsible for high gas prices? The JOOOOZ!!

April 3, 2012

Oh, honest to Pete! Once again, it’s “hug your enemies and slap your friends:”

The Obama administration is blaming Israel for the recent rise in global crude oil prices, according to a Sunday report in The World Tribune. The rise in fuel prices is deemed as harming the U.S. economy and has also hurt Obama in the polls as he seeks re-election in November.

The report cited a leading U.S. analyst, Robert Satloff, who returned from talks with Israeli officials.

Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said, according to The World Tribune, that the Israeli leadership saw Washington as attributing the higher gas prices to “Israel’s posturing” on Iran.

This is ridiculous. Blaming Israel for high gas prices is like blaming a man for finally standing up to the gang of thugs who’ve been threatening his neighborhood and family — “if only he wouldn’t provoke them, they’d leave us alone!” his spineless, querulous neighbors cry.

Iran’s government and military are dominated by the followers of a militant strain of Islam who see it as their duty to bring about the Islamic End Times in order to institute a global theocracy. Part and parcel of this is eternal hatred of and war against the Jews. They are developing nuclear weapons. Their leaders have openly speculated about how one bomb could destroy the Jewish state and have called for wiping Israel from the map. Recently, a high-ranking Iranian official produced an analysis justifying the annihilation of Israel under Islamic law.

And yet Israel is to blame for increased gas prices and harming the president’s reelection chances (1) because, for some strange reason, they make it clear they’re not going to let their people be slaughtered again and they take steps to do something about it.

How dare they??

Now, I’m not one of those who think the government has total control over fuel prices; external factors, such as the law of supply and demand the progressives so wish they could ignore, play a huge role. China’s appetite for oil is enormous, and they’re buying a lot. And the threat of disruptions to global supply –created by Iran’s maniac actions– also drive up prices because of the increased risk in extracting and transporting oil from the Gulf.

BUT…

The administration’s policies still have a major effect: the open hostility toward exploration and extraction on federal lands; the slow-walking of permits already in the works; the refusal to issue new ones; and the refusal to obtain oil from friendly, stable, next-door neighbors. All these affect fuel prices because the price is as much about expectations of future supply as it is about current stocks. A more liberal, rational, and intelligent resource-development policy that would use safe modern technology would inevitably cause a dampening of prices because of the expectation of greater, more secure future supply.

BUT…

We can’t do that, because Obama is dependent on radical environmentalists for donations and campaign help, and his administration has invested too much (literally) in “alternative energy” to back away.  So, the president needs a scapegoat. Now, who’s handy? Hmmm…

Enter the Jews Israelis. Tailor-made for President Short-Pants’ needs.

via Evan Pokroy

UPDATE: This must be Israel’s fault, too: “Thanks to Obama’s “no” on Keystone, the price of Canadian crude will go up for the U.S.

Footnote:
(1) Which is, of course, the most important consideration in the world. He’s even enlisting the Russian’s help.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Saturday Links Fiesta

March 3, 2012

Time to clear out some backlogged links; I think you’ll find something worth reading under each category:

MEDIA:

If you’ve ever doubted that the MSM is full of hypocritical cowards, this should clear things right up: BBC Chief admits Christianity treated worse than other religions. And by “other religions,” I don’t think they mean Judaism… (via Howie)

ECONOMY:

I’ve said before that the Democrats’ policies (“Quantitative easing,” aka “printing money;” a devotion to radical environmental agendas) will cause inflation, for example in the cost of gasoline. But the Consumer Price Index (CPI) pegs inflation at a modest 3.1%. So, was I wrong? No, I wasn’t. Real inflation for the things you buy everyday is at more than 8% for the previous year. And it will get worse. (via Fausta)

Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis rips into Treasury Secretary Geithner’s arrogance and financial ignorance. I’m so glad Turbo-Tax Timmy is watching our money. Aren’t you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

The One has warned Iran not to call his bluff over his opposition to their development of nuclear weapons. Ed Lasky asks “Why shouldn’t they?” Hey, it’s worked so well in the past!

In light of the coming election, George Will has argued that Republicans should concentrate on capturing Congress, making Obama a relative lame-duck with a limited opportunity to do harm for the next four years. While I agree we need to take Congress to implement much-needed reforms, I strongly disagree that Obama would be a gelded president. So does Bryan Preston, in a must-read article. Three words: Supreme Court appointments.

As part of his class-warfare campaign to get reelected, Obama likes to excoriate oil companies for the supposedly obscene profits they rake in. And gullible people lap it up. At Power Line, John Hinderaker shows how much ExxonMobil puts back in to the American economy, making them a good corporate citizen, not evil.

OPERATION FAST & FURIOUS:

Here’s an excellent summary of what we know about “Gunwalker’ and the scandalous behavior of the administration, so far. Long, but very worthwhile. (via Moe Lane)

In what is one of the better examples of chutzpah I’ve seen in a while, Attorney General Eric Holder wants credit for stopping Fast and Furious. Really, this guy knows no shame.

CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few MSM reporters giving Gunwalker serious coverage, reports that the gun used to kill ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico in 2010 also came from an ATF undercover operation. That is, it was ultimately supplied by our Department of Justice. That makes two US federal agents and over 300 Mexicans killed by “walked” guns.

I wonder if Eric Holder wants credit for that, too?

Oh, and as Mary Chastain points out, the gun that killed Mr. Zapata came from a second Gunwalker-style operation. Just how many of these fiascoes lie waiting to be discovered? Well…

MEXICO:

A potentially larger problem than Operation Fast and Furious is the danger of our southern neighbor becoming a failed state, or, at the least, the Mexican government losing control of large swathes of its territory on our mutual border. Some say that’s overstating the problem. But, what if the warning is coming from the governor legislators of a Mexican state bordering Texas? “Nuevo Leon on the verge of collapse.”

But, that’s okay. Obama and Napolitano say the border is more secure than ever.

I feel reassured, don’t you?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Iran to US: “Please to sink our navy!”

December 28, 2011

Time for more blustering from the millenarian loons who run Iran. This time, it’s yet another threat to close the Straits of Hormuz if the world imposes more sanctions on Iran. It’s not a threat to laugh off; more than 15,000,000 barrels of oil per day from Gulf nations (not just Iran) pass through them on their way to the West and other destinations. As The Telegraph reminds us, that’s about one-third of all the oil shipped every day. Cutting it off would be disastrous for industrial economies, and this map shows that closing the Straits wouldn’t be that difficult:

(Click the image for a larger version.)

Anyway, Iran is upset that  Western nations, lead by the Great Satan (that’s us), are considering sanctions aimed at their oil exports. In reply, they’ve threatened that, to paraphrase, “if our oil doesn’t get out, no one’s does:”

Iran’s navy chief said Wednesday that it would be “very easy” for his country’s forces to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the passage at the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which about 15 million barrels of oil pass daily. It was the second such warning by Iran in two days, reflecting Tehran’s concern that the West is about to impose new sanctions that could hit the country’s biggest source of revenue, oil.

“Iran has comprehensive control over the strategic waterway,” Adm. Habibollah Sayyari told state-run Press TV, as the country was in the midst of a 10-day military drill near the strategic waterway.

To which the offices of our Fifth Fleet, based in the Gulf, said “oh, really?

“The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity,” said a spokeswoman for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. “Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated.”

That, Dear Readers, is polite Navy-talk for “bring it.”

Now, I’m not minimizing the potential for danger in such a situation; the Navy itself war-gamed such a situation in 2002 and the results were scary. But that was ten years ago, and I’ve no doubt Navy planners have been working on ways to counter Iran’s expected swarming attacks. We’re not as incompetent as we sometimes like to think, and neither is the (latest) enemy as tough as he likes to pretend. (In fact, the mullahs have a history of backing down when confronted by force.)

Freedom of the seas is one of the oldest and most enduring principles of American foreign policy, and, as a commercial republic dependent on foreign trade and free passage for our ships, we’ve several times shown ourselves willing to go to war to prevent a hostile power from threatening that freedom. Indeed, we’ve faced and taken down nations a lot tougher than Iran. Ask Japan about it, sometime.

So, I have a message for the medieval lunatics rulers of Iran:

Go ahead, try to block the Straits. Send out your swarms of suicide boats and loft your planes with their missiles. You’ll certainly disrupt traffic and you may close the Straits for a few days. You may even sink a couple of our ships. Go ahead, high five each other and shout “Allahu akbar” to your hearts’ content. Enjoy it while you can.

Because, I guarantee you this: within a week, the USN will have cleared the Straits and sunk every single ship you have, including Admiral Sayyari’s dinghy. Not only that, but your planes will be shot down, your missile launchers destroyed, and your own naval bases reduced to rubble.  The oil will flow again, and you will have nothing to show for it but ruin and humiliation.

As they used to say on an old TV show, No brag, just fact.

via Jammie-Wearing Fools

PS: This situation also points out why the next president, assuming he’s a Republican and a sensible adult, in both cases unlike our current fourth-greatest president ever, should as one of his first acts unclog the exploration and drilling permitting process the Obama administration has so gummed up. We are sitting on vast resources.

PPS: Yeah, I know. Obama does not exactly have a sterling record of defending American interests abroad. But, in this case, I argue he would have to act or see his reelection chances destroyed.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Another Iranian peaceful nuclear facility goes *BOOM!*

December 1, 2011

Once is an accident. Twice may just be a coincidence. But when bad things happen over and over?

Someone’s gunning for you. Someone who plays for keeps:

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran’s military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident”.

The explosion at Iran’s third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile defence program.

Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was intentional and part of an effort to target Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Gee, I wonder how the Israelis would know it was intentional and part of a larger plot? They couldn’t have anything to do with it, maybe by helping internal resistance groups, could they? Just because someone’s also been whacking Iranian atomic scientists and unleashing targeted computer viruses at the Mullah’s pet weapons program, and now has escalated to blowing up their missile bases just when the program chief and his North Korean advisers were visiting? And just because Iran has frequently threatened to rain nuclear fire on Israel? Surely it’s a coincidence.

As I like to say, “Oh, those wacky Jews.”

Go, Mossad!

PS: a word of caution about the source from Michael Totten.

A source I trust just told me that the journalist who broke this story has a dubious track record. That doesn’t necessarily mean the story is wrong, but these kinds of stories are sometimes goofed at the outset even by journalists with good records, so we shouldn’t assume we have this all figured out yet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Iranian base go *BOOM!* — Updated

November 12, 2011

Nope. We haven’t starting bombing Iran, nor have the Israelis… yet. But something bad happened at a Revolutionary Guard base outside Tehran:

A massive explosion at a military arms depot near the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday killed 17 Revolutionary Guards and wounded 15, a spokesman for the elite fighting force told the semi-official Fars news agency.

Officials said the blast was an accident which happened as troops were moving munitions at a base in Bidganeh, near the town of Shahriar, some 45 km (28 miles) west of Tehran.

The explosion shook homes and rattled windows for miles around, at a time of mounting tension with Israel over Iran’s nuclear program.

“Today at 13:30, (0900 GMT), an explosion happened in one of the Revolutionary Guards’ bases while a consignment of explosive devices was being moved out from the arsenal, besides that some munitions in the arsenal exploded which created a terrifying sound,” Revolutionary Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif told state TV.

Darn. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of terrorist-sponsors.

Iranian sources immediately denied this was an airstrike by Israel or the US, and I believe them. Munitions are dangerous things and accidents do happen (1). But, this isn’t the first incident at an Iranian government facility, and Michael Ledeen isn’t quite buying the explanation:

Just like the repeated failures of landing gear on their aircraft, and explosions on their trains.  I was told in advance to watch for a “big bang,” and I do not believe it was an accident,  any more than the fires and explosions in the pipelines are accidents, or the ongoing strikes are accidents.  I think it’s part of the ongoing war against the regime waged by the opposition.  You know, the one that doesn’t exist.  The one that’s been crushed. 

I lean toward Michael’s view: once is an accident, but there have been too many “accidents” to just brush them off as coincidences.

And this is one illustration why, if the US and Israel (and maybe Britain) attack Iran, it will have to be regarded as the fruit of failure on the part of US and other Western policymakers. Not because we didn’t try hard enough to talk to the mullahs — far from it. Every US administration since Carter has thought it could reach a “grand bargain” with Tehran, and each has been played for a fool. Obama and Hillary are only the latest.

No, an attack on Iran, as necessary as it may become, will represent a failure because there has been another route to attack the regime and bring about its downfall without invasion: by supporting the peoples of Iran, the vast majority of whom hate the mullahocracy. We did it in Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union by consistently and loudly backing democratic regime foes and giving them clandestine aid, and brought down the “Evil Empire” without firing a shot.

There’s no reason the same pressure couldn’t work against the Tehran government, which is brittle and frightened of its own people. And the Iranian people have shown their willingness to stand up and fight their own battles.

And this latest “work accident” may well be another example.

Footnote:
(1) I went through the explosion of an Air Force ammunition train in Roseville, CA, in 1973. That did millions in damage (as well as scaring the tar out of us) and was started by a boxcar brake that failed and caught fire.

UPDATE: Ryan Mauro’s WorldThreats.com says this explosion may indeed have been the result of an accident, one that happened while a nuclear warhead was being fitted to a missile. But the source is Israel’s Debka File, a source I’d advise taking with more than a few grains of salt.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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