Putin, Trump, and False Moral Equivalence

February 6, 2017

Regardless of what the President says, there is no moral equivalence between the US and Putin’s Russia.

International Liberty

Back in the 1980s, I would get very agitated when folks made excuses for brutal communist regimes by asserting that the United States also did bad things. This “moral equivalence” argument is now being recycled by Donald Trump, who basically excuses Putin’s brutality because America supposedly isn’t in any position to throw stones.

Here’s the interview, set to start at the point where Trump discusses Putin.

This is wrong. Absurdly wrong.

Though let’s start by acknowledging that the United States is far from perfect. Our history includes black eyes such as slavery, mistreatment of native populations, incomplete legal rights for women, internment of Japanese-Americans, Jim Crow laws, persecution of gays, and other sins.

Even today, we have plenty of bad policies that restrict human liberty, often exacerbated by examples of thuggish actions by government.

But, at the risk of sounding jingoistic and patriotic, the United States began with a…

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Did Hillary Clinton consider fomenting unrest against Israel in 2011?

January 11, 2016
Above the rules.

You can trust me.

That is, did our then-Secretary of State and current Democratic front-runner for the presidency contemplate inciting Palestinian unrest as a club against our closest ally in the region?

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the answer is yes:

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton considered a secret plan created by her then-advisers to foment unrest among Palestinian citizens and spark protests in order to push the Israeli government back to the negotiating table, according to emails released as part of the investigation into the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s private email server.

In a Dec, 18, 2011, email, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering suggested that Clinton consider a plan to restart then-stalled peace negotiations by kickstarting Palestinian demonstrations against Israel.

Pickering described the effort as a potential “game changer in the region,” recommending that the United States undertake a clandestine campaign to generate unrest. Clinton requested that his email be printed.

“What will change the situation is a major effort to use non-violent protests and demonstrations to put peace back in the center of people’s aspirations as well as their thoughts, and use that to influence the political leadership,” Pickering wrote.

“This is far from a sure thing, but far, in my humble view, from hopeless,” he continued. “Women can and ought to be at the center of these demonstrations. Many men and others will denigrate the idea. I don’t and I don’t think that was your message.”

Palestinian women, he noted, are less likely than men to resort to violence.

“It must be all and only women. Why? On the Palestinian side the male culture is to use force,” Pickering wrote, comparing the effort to the protests in Egypt that deposed former leader Hosni Mubarak. “Palestinian men will not for long patiently demonstrate — they will be inclined over time and much too soon to be frustrated and use force. Their male culture comes close to requiring it.”

Pickering noted that the administration must keep its role in the demonstration a secret, so as not to aggravate ties with Israel.

Gee. Oh, gosh. I do so wonder why the might think the Israelis might object, just because we had a hand in inciting demonstrations against them with utterly unpredictable consequences and with a huge potential to blow up in everyone’s face?

This is one of those revelations that shows how dangerously incompetent Clinton and her team of clowns is, and why she should come nowhere near the presidency.

Just what in Heaven’s name were they thinking? This was near the start of the so-called “Arab Spring,” with demonstrations against secular dictatorships launched in the name (ostensibly) of liberal reform. Instead, what we got was a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, the most important Arab state and a key US ally, which had to be removed in a military coup. Other countries fell into turmoil and even civil war. It has, so far, been an almost-unmitigated disaster for the region, with consequences spreading globally.

And yet Clinton and her advisers thought they could safely harness this to “shame’ the Israelis into making peace? (Newsflash: It’s not Israel that’s been the big obstacle to peace, here.) Did they seriously think for one moment that such demonstrations wouldn’t be hijacked by radical organizations? Did it not occur to them that an “honor and shame” culture such as the Arabs’ could never let their women take the lead for long? That violence would be almost inevitable and that implementing this cockamamie plan risked a new intifada — or worse? Did they think they could control all the forces they would be stirring up?

Against an ally??

How well did the Clinton-Obama war in Libya go, again?

Who’d they get this plan from? The Underpants Gnomes?

PS: Homework question for the House and Senate foreign relations committees — Was any part of this plan ever implemented?


Good News! Israeli and Russian fighter jets confront each other over Syria

October 5, 2015
Leadership

We’re in the best of hands.

You have to love the Obama Administration’s Smart Power(tm) foreign policy: by being as non-confrontational as possible and always leading from behind, we’ve opened the door to the Chekist (1) gangsters in Moscow to move in and start shoving around our closest allies, with the risk of starting World War III.

Well done, President Obama. Well done!

Six Russian fighter jets type Multirole Sukhoi SU – 30 SM have intercepted 4 Israeli McDonnell Douglas F-15’s fighter bombers attempting to infiltrate the Syrian coast. The Israeli F 15 warplanes have been flying over Syrian airspace for months and in particular the coast of Latakia, which is now the bridgehead of the Russian forces in Syria.

The Israeli jets would generally follow a fairly complex flight plan and approach Latakia from the sea

On the night of 1 October 02, 2015, six Sukhoi SU-30 Russian SM fighters took off from the Syrian Hmimim airbase in the direction of Cyprus, before changing course and intercepting the four Israeli F-15 fighters off the coast of Syria, that were flying in attack formation.

Surprised by a situation as unexpected and probably not prepared for a dogfight with one of the best Russian multipurpose fighters, Israeli pilots have quickly turned back South at high speed over the Lebanon.

(…)

This ‘incident’ between the Russian and Israeli combat aircraft struck with amazement the command of the Israeli air force, which has estimated that a possible dogfight between F-15 Israelis and the Russian Su-30 would have led to the destruction of the four aircraft Israelis.

The Obama administration has created a not-unjustified impression of weakness on our part, and Moscow, determined to regain its status as a world power to be reckoned with, has moved in to exploit the situation. Not just to protect its client regime in Damascus and aid its ally in Tehran, but to inform the rest of the world who the new boss is. Intimidating the IAF is one good way to do it, a message no one will miss.

Except the clown-show in D.C., which thinks we can win Moscow over if we keep showing we’re no threat.

One wonders if Putin has stopped pinching himself to see if he’s dreaming, yet.

Meanwhile, in the world away from fundraisers and golf courses, this situation is fraught with danger for everyone: what if the next confrontation between Israel and Russia turns “hot” and IAF and/or Russian jets are shot down? Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East (and one of the few we have left): Will Obama risk a face-off with Moscow to show that we stand by our clients and thereby risk a broader war with Russia? Our angry-at-Israel and possible antisemitic president, whose words at a dinner for a Palestinian activist were so inflammatory the LA Times has hidden the tape? Hardly likely.

Will he stand for our interests in the Middle East?

Don’t bet on it.

via Godfrey of Bouillon


White House Blames GOP For $500 million Syrian Rebel Training Fiasco

September 29, 2015

But of course. Having craftily plotted to destroy Obama’s genius-level Syria strategy, Speaker John Boehner could retire a happy man.

Nice Deb

We’ve had seven years now of Obama screwing things up and not taking responsibility for it, so it should come as no surprise that he is blaming the GOP for his latest fiasco.

Obama’s $500 million program to train and arm the Syrian rebels has flopped in spectacular fashion,so naturally the craven Obama regime is pretending they had nothing to do with it – it was all the Republicans’ fault.  Obama never thought it would work. He just went along because John McCain and Lindsey Graham were just so goshdarn insistent he couldn’t say no. He didn’t want to hurt John McCain’s feelings, so he magnanimously let him try something big.

It’s offensive frankly, that anyone would point fingers at this president, when the fault so clearly lies with the Republicans in Congress. Obama’s fighting to make the world a better place for you and me, and other people…

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Obama’s “war” against Isis falls apart

September 23, 2015

These guys would be an improvement.

Writing in the liberal New York Observer, national security analyst John Schindler paints a bleak picture of the Obama administration’s efforts against the Islamic State, which all but concede Syria to Russia:

For the Obama administration, the news from the Middle East keeps going from bad to worse. Vladimir Putin’s power play, moving significant military forces into Syria to support his ailing client, Bashar al-Assad, caught the White House flat footed and unsure how to respond.

Although the administration gave the Kremlin de facto control over American policy in Syria some two years ago when it walked away from its own “red line,” granting Russia a veto on Western action there, President Obama and his national security staff nevertheless seem befuddled by this latest Russian move.

The forces Mr. Putin has just deployed to Syria are impressive, veteran special operators backed by a wing of fighters and ground attack jets that are expected to commence air strikes on Assad’s foes soon. They are backed by air defense units, which is puzzling since the Islamic State has no air force, indicating that the Kremlin’s true intent in Syria has little to do with the stated aim of fighting terrorism and is really about propping up Russia’s longtime client in Damascus.

The White House is left planning “deconfliction” with Moscow—which is diplomatic language for entreating Russians, who now dominate Syrian airspace, not to shoot down American drones, which provide the lion’s share of our intelligence on the Islamic State. The recent meeting on Syrian developments between Mr. Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who clearly finds dealing with the Russian strongman preferable to parleying with President Obama, indicates where power is flowing in today’s Middle East.

Did you catch that last part? After seven years of being pimp-slapped by an at-best indifferent (1) American administration, our strongest enemy in the Middle East feels a need to protect its own interests by “reaching out” to the new power in the area, since we can no longer be counted on.

Team Obama’s foreign policy (and that includes former Secretary of State Clinton) has been an accelerating avalanche since the day it took office and, in the last couple of years, we’ve started seeing the bitter fruit of “smart power.” From the Russian reset and the backstabbing of Poland and the Czech Republic on missile defense, to the withdrawal from Iraq and the total misreading of the Arab Spring and the monumentally bad deal with Iran, I don’t believe our foreign policy has ever been lead by such a toxic mixture of leftist dogmatism and sheer incompetence. What we’re witnessing in the Middle East is the utter –and perhaps deliberate— destruction of an American position built up over 40 years by administrations of both parties.

Go ahead and read the whole thing. And have a stiff drink handy.

Footnote:
(1) And, arguably, anti-Israel or even antisemitic.


Video: Carly Fiorina links Iran and Planned Parenthood

September 17, 2015

From last night’s debate. I didn’t watch, but it sounds like it was a good night for her and Senator Rubio, and not so good a night for Donald Trump. Back to Fiorina, this was impressive. She’s clearly earned her place in prime-time debates.

Leadership. I’d almost forgotten what it sounded like.

 


Quote Of The Day: 2015 is the new 1938 edition

September 12, 2015
x

The fruit of appeasement

National Review’s David French on Democrats voting for the Iran deal:

It’s entirely appropriate that the Democrats filibustered Republican efforts to block the Iran Deal on September 10. After all, the Democrats — now fully the party of jihadist appeasement — are the primary political repository of September 10 thinking, but without the excuse of ignorance. We know what jihadists are capable of. We know their war aims. And yet the Democrats overwhelmingly voted to grant the world’s most powerful terrorist state a $150 billion economic stimulus, access to international arms markets, and access to ballistic missile technology – without even stopping their nuclear program or establishing a viable inspection program

Remember that. Democrats know just how bad a deal Obama and Kerry have crafted: that’s why they filibustered the cloture motion — the cowards didn’t want to be on record voting to let genocidal maniacs in Tehran get their hands on nuclear weapons. It doesn’t matter, however; the public knows the Democrats own this fiasco-in-the-making.

And for those who forget, we’ll make sure to remind them. This is unforgivable.

To paraphrase Cato the Elder: Factio Democratica delenda est.

PS: Click through to the original post for video explaining the subject line.


Hillary’s Sources, Methods, and Lies

September 9, 2015

An interesting discussion of how the same piece of information can wind up assigned different levels of classification by different agencies: it depends on how the information is obtained.

The XX Committee

I’ve been doing my best to explain the complex intelligence realities behind Hillary Clinton’s on-going #EmailGate scandal for months now, and we’re still far from the end of this messy saga.

Hillary’s take on what happened with her State Department “unclassified” email and her “private” server has see-sawed with the customary Clintonian lawyerly evasions, untruths, and now something approaching half-truths.

First it was: everything done was legal and acceptable.

Then came: mistakes were perhaps made, but not by me, and I’m not apologizing.

Followed by: the inevitable Clintonian sorry-not-sorry.

Now, having seen her polls dropping in rock-like fashion, we’re at: I’m kinda sorry but still nothing I emailed was “marked” classified.

The last is a particularly dishonest evasion, given that the Intelligence Community has twicedetermined that in fact TOPSECRET//SCI information was included in Hillary’s “private” email on at least two occasions. Given that’s from a sample of just forty…

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(Video) How the #IranDeal is worse in some ways than even the Munich Agreement

August 3, 2015

From Praeger University:

I have nothing to add, save that you can assume my total agreement.


Diplomacy: Iran already accusing us of breaking Obama’s Big Deal

August 2, 2015
Supreme Thug

Next, we give him our lunch money.

Oh, sure. This will keep them from getting a bomb. As if the agreement wasn’t farcical enough as it stands, Iran is already laying the groundwork for walking out:

The Iranian complaint cited White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s press briefing from July 17. (The annotation is taken from the complaint.):

“The military option would remain on the table, but the fact is, that military option would be enhanced because we’d been spending the intervening number of years gathering significantly more detail about Iran’s nuclear program. So when it comes to the targeting decisions that would be made by military officials either in Israel or the United States, those targeting decisions would be significantly informed, and our capabilities improved, based on the knowledge that has been gained in the intervening years through this inspections regime.” [Emphasis added].

After quoting Earnest’s statement, the complaint explained:

The threat or use of force under any circumstances except in self-defense is a violation of the fundamental principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, and such statements constitute a breach of erga omnes obligations under Article 2(4) of the Charter. Moreover, at a time when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is successfully concluded between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1, such a statement is totally unwarranted and seriously undermines the very basic principles required for its implementation that is expected to begin soon. These statements amount to a material breach of the commitments just undertaken by all JCPOA participants …

This was no threat issued by Earnest but rather a hypothetical. Earnest was responding to a question about what would happen if Iran was found to be cheating and he answered that the information the United States (and the P5+1 nations) would obtain by the monitoring would give it the means to strike at those parts of Iran’s illicit nuclear program that had been discovered.

Given that the complaint is total nonsense, why would Iran lodge it?

Read the rest at Legal Insurrection for four plausible reasons why Iran is doing this. I’ll add a fifth:

Because they can.

Iran long ago realized that Obama will do anything to reach an agreement so he can claim a foreign policy legacy (well, something more than the ruin of Iraq…) and that Kerry will do almost anything to make his boss’ dream come true. Honestly, with the American willingness to humiliate itself so plain, I’m surprised Khamenei hasn’t demanded Obama fly to Tehran to prostrate himself like a good dhimmi. I half think he might agree, so strong is Obama’s belief that, if you show nothing but good intentions, the other guy just has to come around, eventually. (1)

Not only is this a warning to the Obama administration that Iran could walk away from this deal at any time (2), but they’re also doing this because it feels so good. It’s human nature: America is your greatest enemy, so why not pluck a feather from the eagle and wave it in his face. What’s he going to do about it?

Nothing, and we all know it.

Footnotes:
(1) “Kupchanism,” a school of thought in foreign affairs highly influential in Obamite circles. I really have to write about this one day.
(2) After they’ve had the UN sanctions lifted, of course, and they have their hands on all that lovely European money. The “snap-back” talk of reimposing those sanctions is a bad joke by the administration. They’ll never be put back in place.


Obama to Islamic terrorists: hostage-taking season is now open!

June 24, 2015
x

Not to put it *too* strongly…

One of the worst things one can do with people engaged in bad behavior is to give in to it in the hope that a concession will satisfy them. Instead, concessions just tell them that bad behavior works and gets rewards, encouraging them to do it again.

This is exactly what our president has done, putting in danger every American traveling overseas:

The White House is set to release the results of its hostage policy review, which will make clear the U.S. will not stop American families who are willing to negotiate with or pay ransoms to terror groups holding their loved ones hostage.

The administration will create a new office that will work with the American families of hostage victims, but will not change the law regarding the U.S. ransom policies, administration officials said today. A senior official said the hostage interagency fusion cell will be physically housed at FBI headquarters and initially will be run by a senior FBI official. Officials from other agencies and departments may rotate in to run the program in the future.

President Obama is set to meet on Wednesday with the families of hostages held overseas and make a statement on the review.

Though the excerpt doesn’t say so, the “terror groups” alluded to are ISIS and other Islamic jihadist organizations.

Look, I understand and sympathize with the families’ position here: having loved ones held hostage by maniacal, murderous terrorists must be a living Hell. If I were in that boat, I’d want the law to get out of my way, too, as I try to arrange their release.

I even get Obama’s position: he’s had a hostage rescue go bad in the past, resulting in the deaths of the hostages. The victims’ families are terribly sympathetic, and it’s a natural human urge to want to do something to help. So, if action on our part does no good –or even harm– then why not clear the way (1) by not enforcing the law against negotiating with terrorists?

Because the president, any president, has much more to worry about than the peril of one or a few individuals. His responsibility is to the nation as a whole, including the safety of Americans not yet taken hostage. By telling these families it’s okay to pay ransom, he has also told the jihad organizations that hostage-taking works. Kidnap an American, get some money, US won’t interfere… rinse and repeat. Robert Spencer explains why this will only encourage jihadists:

I would be very happy if this were true [that hostage-taking is against Islamic law. –PF], but I have to ask: if it is only an “extreme radical fundamentalist element” that believes this, why does it show up in Islamic legal manuals? Why does Al-Azhar University, the most respected institution in Sunni Islam, endorse ‘Umdat al-Salik, a manual of Islamic law that says this: “When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled” (o9.13)? If the capture of non-combatants is forbidden by Islam, are we to believe that these captured women and children were acting as soldiers? If the vast majority of Muslims reject this sort of thing, why does Al-Azhar say that ‘Umdat al-Salik “conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community (ahl al-Sunna wa al-Juma’a)”?

If the killing of these hostages is likewise forbidden, why does the same manual stipulate that prisoners can be killed, exchanged for ransom (why exchanged for ransom, if they are not hostages?), enslaved, or released, depending on what is best for the Muslim community (o9.14)?

I have the Umdat al-Salik on my bookshelf and can attest the above quotes are accurate. Jihad-terror groups know this, too. It can reasonably be argued that their religion endorses hostage-taking.

It’s said the road to Hell is paved with good intentions; this is an on-ramp. By making this decision, I fear Obama has declared it open season on Americans all through the Middle East and across the globe.

And yes, I know Reagan negotiated for the release of hostages in Lebanon back in the 80s. We’ve done it since, too. It was a mistake then and a mistake ever after. Harsh as it may be to say “no ransom” knowing full well the possible consequences, it is still a decision that has to be made for the safety of others.

The proper course is to let hostage takers know two things: first, that they will never be paid ransom. Second, that if they harm our people, we will hunt them down and kill them, no matter how long it takes. Let them know there is no reward, but instead a terrible price to pay for kidnapping Americans.

They’ll learn.

via Biased Girl

Footnote:
(1) By unilaterally deciding to not enforce a law passed by the legislature, in defiance of his constitutional duties. Again.


Move over, Nicolas Cage; Hillary Clinton is the real “Lord of War.”

May 27, 2015
"Obama loan officer at work."

Clinton Foundation staff at work

No, there’s no direct evidence that reveals bribery or other corruption, but the pattern of large donations to the Clinton Foundation occurring roughly at the same time as the Clinton-lead State Department awarded favorable decisions to the donors is pretty suspicious. Maybe not a “smoking gun,” but definitely a lot of shell casings lying around.

Which is fitting, since it seems Hillary was one of the most accommodating arms-dealers on the planet:

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure — derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) — represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.

Now, I’m not one of those who’s squeamish about selling arms to unsavory governments; sometimes the interests of the United States will make this necessary in pursuit of a greater goal. This happened a lot during the Cold War. And let’s not forget the Great Progressive, FDR, sold untold amounts of arms to Stalin, one of the true monsters of history, in order to defeat Hitler in World War II. The needs of foreign affairs and war often make for strange bedfellows.

But, somehow —call me “crazy!”— I don’t think FDR’s Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, was taking note of Russian gold going to the “Hull Foundation” while shipping planes to Uncle Joe.

Let this sink in:

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

There’s much more at the IBT article. Be sure to read it all.

By any standard of public decency and good government, Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be running for president. She should be hiring defense attorneys to represent her (and Bill!) in a federal bribery investigation.

But, I suppose it’s too much to expect the leading and sole serious candidate for a major party’s nomination to be held to the same rules as the rest of us. Especially under Obama, and especially when it’s a Clinton.

via The Washington Free Beacon

Related: Why am I not surprised? Read all about Bill Clinton’s “shell corporation.” I can almost hear the money-laundering machines whirring away. (h/t Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt newsletter)


(Video) Should the US be the world’s policeman?

May 26, 2015

It’s a question that’s vexed Americans ever since the end of World War II, when maintaining the world order fell to us after the exhaustion and devastation of the European Great Powers. In the following video, The Wall St. Journal’s Bret Stephens answers this question in the affirmative because, in his view, the alternatives are much worse.

For what it’s worth, as an admitted foreign policy hawk, I tend to agree with Stephens.

via Prager University


Sleep easy: If Iran gets the Bomb, so will Saudi Arabia

May 18, 2015
x

Some deal, Barack.

Of the many fatuous reasons President Obama has offered in support of his nuclear giveaway deal, one of the big ones has been an exercise in scaremongering that runs something like this: “Congress has to approve this deal because, if we don’t, it will set off a nuclear arms race in the region.”

As with almost everything else our president says, he gets it all backwards:

Saudi Arabia telegraphed further opposition to the Obama administration’s ongoing push for the nuclear deal with Iran this week. This took place only days after the nation’s leader “snubbed” the president’s Persian Gulf Summit at Camp David.

The nation’s former head of intelligence argued the Sauds would match Iran’s nuclear capabilities as a matter of national security: “We can’t sit back … as Iran is allowed to retain much of its capability…” Further, Prince Turki bin Faisal has said they will not fall behind: “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” he declared at a recent conference in South Korea.

Emphasis added. Keep something in mind: Saudi Arabia may be famously corrupt; the Saudis may hypocritically enforce a particularly retrograde interpretation of Islamic law; they may tolerate slavery and treat their women like cattle; and they certainly export that same aggressive Islam and jihadism and have played a key role in the rise of the modern jihadist movement. They are all that. But they are also something else.

They are damn scared of Iran and they have all the wealth required to buy whatever weapons technology they feel they need to protect themselves against their hated Shiite foes.

Prince Turki is a very serious man and he sees the United States abandoning its traditional patronage of Saudi Arabia to appease the Saudis’ mortal enemies. If he says the Kingdom will have whatever the Iranians have (1), bank on it.

Barack Obama and John Kerry are creating the very thing they wanted to avoid in the Middle East: a nuclear arms race.

Footnote:
(1) And so will the Gulf states and Egypt, at a minimum.


(Video) At last: Andrew Klavan explains the Iran nuclear deal

May 1, 2015

I think this gets to the heart of it:

For their next condition, Iran will demand our lunch money.


Putin’s Balkan Offensive

April 27, 2015

Bismarck once said that “Some damn foolish thing in the Balkans” would set off the next general war, and now we see Vladimir “Let me vivisect your country” Putin taking an interest in a part of the Balkans the West left in sorry shape 20 years ago. Worth reading.

The XX Committee

On the weekend, the leader of Bosnia’s Serb Republic threatened secession if he did not get reforms, proposing to hold a referendum on leaving the country if his demands are not met by the end of 2017. Milorad Dodik, who has ruled over the Bosnian Serbs, on and off, for most of the twenty years since the United States forced a peace settlement to end Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, has toyed with secession before, but his weekend announcement represents the most direct threat ever to the country’s postwar political system.

In fairness to Dodik and the Bosnian Serbs, almost nobody in Bosnia is happy with the current system, which when it was hashed out in Dayton, Ohio in the autumn of 1995, under Clinton administration pressure, was never intended to be more than a temporary political solution to Bosnia’s political conflicts, yet here we are two decades later, and that short-term…

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Iran: lying suckweasel administration admits it’s full of lying suckweasels

April 21, 2015
Liar.

Liar.

A couple of weeks ago I reported on the news that, regardless of the ten-year framework proposed in the so-called nuclear deal with Iran, US intelligence estimates showed that Iran was about 2-3 months from having The Bomb, making a mockery of Obama’s precious agreement. At the time, I thought this was a relatively new estimate that the administration was stubbornly refusing to accept, since Obama’s “legacy” was at stake.

How wrong I was . That’s been the case for years — and the administration has known all along:

The Barack Obama administration has estimated for years that Iran was at most three months away from enriching enough nuclear fuel for an atomic bomb. But the administration only declassified this estimate at the beginning of the month, just in time for the White House to make the case for its Iran deal to Congress and the public.

Speaking to reporters and editors at our Washington bureau on Monday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged that the U.S. has assessed for several years that Iran has been two to three months away from producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. When asked how long the administration has held this assessment, Moniz said: “Oh quite some time.” He added: “They are now, they are right now spinning, I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000. Plus all the . . . . R&D work. If you put that together it’s very, very little time to go forward. That’s the 2-3 months.”

Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed to me Monday that the two-to-three-month estimate for fissile material was declassified on April 1.

Read the rest of Eli Lake’s report for the various flip-flops the administration has done on its estimates, including calling the Israelis liars when they reported that same 2-3 months estimate. One can only conclude that the purpose behind the deception was to hide the true state of Iran’s program from the American people, since the administration knew, the Iranians knew, and the Israelis knew. We –and Congress– are the only ones who didn’t know and in whose faces Obama, Moniz, Kerry, and the rest of Team Suckweasel would need to blow smoke. Which they did. For years.

Suckweasels.

Via Jim Geraghty, and I have second the question he asked in today’s Three-Martini Lunch podcast: with the Obama administration effectively running cover for Tehran’s nuclear program, who the Hell is representing the interests of the American people?


Dear New York Times, put down the race card and back away slowly

April 12, 2015

Liberal tolerance racist

I swear by all that’s holy, I am so sick of the Left branding any criticism of their policies or philosophy as “sexist,” “racist,” “homophobic,” or whatever that I nearly break out in a rash when it happens these days. It demonstrates their barrel-scarping intellectual bankruptcy that they have to resort to smears, since their ideas have long since been shown to be miserable failures. And it’s not just the loony Left engaging in these nauseating campaigns, but supposedly respectable people and institutions.

The latest is The New York Times, which has an error-filled editorial accusing the Republicans of, naturally, racism in their opposition to President Obama, the latest case being criticism (1) of the nuclear “deal” with Iran.  Here’s an excerpt:

It is a line of attack that echoes Republicans’ earlier questioning of Mr. Obama’s American citizenship. Those attacks were blatantly racist in their message — reminding people that Mr. Obama was black, suggesting he was African, and planting the equally false idea that he was secretly Muslim. The current offensive is slightly more subtle, but it is impossible to dismiss the notion that race plays a role in it.

Perhaps the most outrageous example of the attack on the president’s legitimacy was a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leadership of Iran saying Mr. Obama had no authority to conclude negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Try to imagine the outrage from Republicans if a similar group of Democrats had written to the Kremlin in 1986 telling Mikhail Gorbachev that President Ronald Reagan did not have the authority to negotiate a nuclear arms deal at the Reykjavik summit meeting that winter.

This is such bull-waste that I think I should have put on my hip waders before reading it.

Joel Pollack of Breitbart has a point by point rebuttal of this farce. Here’s what he has to say about the above quote on questioning Obama’s citizenship:

Another attempt to rewrite history. The first questions about Obama’s citizenship, and the first attacks on his faith, came directly from the Hillary Clinton camp in 2008. (2) No doubt the Times feels uncomfortable acknowledging that fact on the day that Hillary Clinton announces her new run for the presidency. The fact that a fringe of the GOP later embraced the Birther movement did not change the fact that it started with Clinton, nor make it the basis for Republican opposition.

Then, regarding the Republican open letter to the Iranian leadership, authored by Senator Cotton (R-AR)

The charge of racism is ridiculous, made more so by the example the Times chose. The Times also distorts the content of the letter. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and his colleagues did not say Obama “had no authority to conclude negotiations.” It said he shared that authority with Congress, such that any agreement he did conclude would only be an “executive agreement” and would not be binding on future presidents. The fact that the Times has to lie about the letter is telling.

…The difference between Reykjavik and Lausanne is that Reagan was willing to walk away from talks at Reykjavik! And the fact is that Democrats in Congress undertook many actions that undermined President Reagan and other Republican presidents. There were Ted Kennedy’s overtures to the Soviets, John Kerry’s outreach to the Sandinistas, Nancy Pelosi’s coddling of Assad, and other examples. Does the Times really want to go there? No problem!

Read the rest to see the Times’ editorial thoroughly dismantled.

So, in the effort to support the president’s policies and convince people that they should support Democrats, all America’s once-premier newspaper has left are lies and slanders.

Pathetic.

Footnote:
(1) Odd that there’s no mention of the strong resistance from Democrats, such as Senators Menendez and Schumer. Are they racists, too, O editorial board?
(2) So, the likely 2016 Democratic nominee is racist, n’est-ce pas?


(Video) Obama’s clown-car diplomacy

April 10, 2015

You know, this really does explain things:

Hey, it’s Friday. We could all use a laugh. smiley rofl

Lest we cry, instead. smiley crying


Why the ten-year period of the Iran “deal” is meaningless

April 9, 2015
"It's all good. No worries!"

“It’s all good. No worries!”

The President recently gave an interview to NPR in which he explained the reasoning behind the deal framework whatever-it-was reached with Iran over its nuclear program. Most analysts concentrated on Obama’s comments about the possible situation in the years just after the ten-year period (1) expires:

Under the framework announced last week, Iran would be kept at least one year away from a bomb for the first decade of the deal, Obama said as he sought to sell the deal to skeptics. Yet that constraint would stay in place only for 10 years, at which point some restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities would be eased.

“Essentially, we’re purchasing for 13, 14, 15 years assurances that the breakout is at least a year,” Obama said in an NPR News interview. “And then in years 13 and 14, it is possible that those breakout times would have been much shorter. But at that point we have much better ideas about what it is that their program involves.

Analysts have pointed out several legitimate reasons for concern: Iran has already said it will deploy improved centrifuges, meaning they can generate more enriched uranium even with the fewer devices allowed under the agreement. Iran will not permit inspection of military facilities, meaning all sorts of secret work could go on in those. (And what happens if Fordow and other sites are declared “military?”) They are not giving up their ballistic missile program. And though Obama and Kerry assure us that sanctions can be reapplied in the event Iran is caught cheating (not “if,” but “when,” in my opinion), the fact is that sanctions would take months of negotiations with our allies (and the Russians and Chinese) to reapply –if they can be reapplied– and then about another year to actually bite. Under Obama’s forecast, then Iran would then have plenty of time to build a bomb even after the ten-year wait, just by having everything else ready to go.

So, yes, there are many, many major problems with this agreement no one agrees on. ( I pointed out a few others here)

But there’s another flaw few seem to be commenting on, even though, if true, it renders the whole process not just meaningless, but a farce. From that same AP article, see if you can spot the problem:

Breakout time refers to how long it would take to build a bomb if Iran decided to pursue one full-bore — in other words, how long the rest of the world would have to stop it. U.S. intelligence officials estimate Iran’s breakout time is currently two to three months.

I made it too easy, didn’t I?

Hello? Anyone home? The arrangement reached in Lausanne is supposed to lead to a final deal in –ahem– roughly two months. Who here doesn’t think Iran will find ways to stretch that to three, four, or five or more months? It will be easy, because the Obama administration wants a deal more than a junkie wants his next fix, and Tehran knows this. And yet our intelligence services estimate they are no more than three months from a nuclear weapon, should they give the final order to build one?

Who the hell gives a damn about ten years from now when we’re talking potentially of a matter of weeks?

The Obama administration has conceded that Iran will get a bomb, and these negotiations are just a clown show to keep us distracted until it’s a fait accompli.

And there will be Hell to pay because of it.

via Jim Geraghty, who also noticed that little detail.

RELATED: Why the deal isn’t a deal, by Jonah Goldberg.

Footnote:
(1) If you don’t know why it’s significant that Islamic hardliners would agree to a ten-year deal, I suggest you read up on something called “hudna.”