Quote Of The Day: 2015 is the new 1938 edition

September 12, 2015
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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.

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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.


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

May 18, 2015
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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.


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.”


Why the P5+1 deal guarantees Iran a nuclear bomb

April 3, 2015
Supreme Thug

What’s the Farsi for “winning?”

I said yesterday that the interim agreement (1) guaranteed Iran would get “the Bomb.” I also wrote that the apparent Iranian concession regarding their underground, fortified research facility at Fordow was possibly a sign that Iran had backup facilities somewhere else, such that they could afford to “sacrifice” the publicly known one.

Turns out I was right about the first, but at least partially wrong (2) about the second. They will get the bomb, but because we’ve allowed them to keep sufficient centrifuges at Fordow to do the job. Via Power Line, blogger Omri Ceren, who’s followed the negotiations closely, explains:

But instead of spinning uranium, the centrifuges would be spinning germanium or similar non-nuclear elements. That’s the administration’s talking point: that there will not be any “enrichment” going on at Fordow. The claim is – bluntly – false. Centrifuges spin isotopes into lighter and heavier elements, thereby “enriching” the material. That’s what they do. In fact that’s all they do. The administration has gone all-in on a talking point can be defeated by a Google search for “centrifuges enrich germanium” (if you’re fastidious you can set the Google search to before the AP scoop, to make sure you’re not getting Fordow-specific articles).

This isn’t a minor point. The concession has the potential to gut the whole deal:

(1) Allows N-generation centrifuge R&D beyond the reach of the West – since the process is the exact same process, Iran will have a hardened facility where it will be able to research and develop N-generation centrifuges. Zarif bragged from the stage in Lausanne that Iranian R&D on centrifuges will continue on IR-4s, IR-5s, IR-6s, and IR-8s, and that the pace of research will be tied to Iranian scientific progress. The development of advanced centrifuges would give the Iranians a leg up if they decide to break out, and will put them instantly within a screw’s turn of a nuke when the deal expires.

(2) Leaves Iranian nuclear infrastructure running beyond the reach of the West – if the Iranians kick out inspectors and dare the world to respond, the West will have zero way to intervene. The Iranians will have a head start on enrichment, and a place to do it beyond the reach of Western weapons. The administration’s early pushback has been that the breakout time will still be a year, so they could in theory reimpose sanctions, but it takes more than a year for sanctions to take an economic toll. So: zero options to stop a breakout.

In other words, we’re allowing them to develop better and better centrifuges that would require a trivial effort to switch to uranium enrichment, all in a hard to attack facility.

But do they have enough centrifuges? The agreement allows them 6,000, far fewer than what they’re running now, roughly 20,000. But, according to former CIA deputy director Michael Morrell, that’s all they need:

“If you are going to have a nuclear weapons program, 5,000 is pretty much the number you need,” Morell, now a CBS analyst, said on Charlie Rose. “If you have a power program, you need a lot more. By limiting them to a small number of centrifuges, we are limiting them to the number you need for a weapon.”

Morell told PunditFact he said 5,000 because that was lowest number he had heard was in play. The number of centrifuges in place today is a hair over 20,000, and a likely goal is to cut that to about 5,000.

They decided to check his claim:

The consensus among the experts we reached is that Morell is on the money. Matthew Kroenig at Georgetown University told PunditFact the Morell is “is absolutely correct.” Ditto for Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association and David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security.

Matthew Bunn at Harvard agreed with his colleagues.

“People think surely you must need a bigger enrichment system to make 90 percent enriched material for bombs than to make 4-5 percent enriched material for power reactors,” Bunn said. “But exactly the opposite is true.”

Bunn said there are two reasons. First, you need tens of tons of material to fuel a power reactor for a year, but just tens of kilograms to make a bomb. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the threshold amount for a bomb is about 25 kilograms of the most highly enriched U-235.

And while yes, it’s harder to make 90 percent enriched uranium (bomb) than 4-5 percent enriched uranium (power), it’s not that much harder, Bunn said.

So, while the administration is trying to sell the Fordow portion of the agreement as proof that they’re stopping Iran from getting a bomb because no uranium will be enriched there under the agreement, it turns out that is irrelevant; they will have all the technology they need when (not if) they decide to “break out.”

This just gets better and better.

Footnotes:
(1) Turns out this is a rough agreement on the way to a final one, the deadline for which is in June. The difference is minimal, though; today’s agreement sets the parameters for the final agreement. They can only get worse from here.
(2) It’s of course possible Iran has a parallel facility in North Korea — I would, if I were them. But they’re obviously not sacrificing Fordow.