Syria: You know it’s bad when your allies have to execute your own officers

June 9, 2015
x

Soon to be an ex-dictator

Via Anne Bayefsky:

Iranian commanders overseeing the Assad regime’s fighting efforts on the frontlines south of Idlib have reportedly executed three Syrian army officers.

London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi said that the three officers were Sunnis who were among the regime troops that withdrew from the Mahmbel and Bsanqoul checkpoints following rebel advances in the southern Idlib province area on Saturday.

The three officers, who were also accompanied by several soldiers, were accused deserting their duty and “betraying the homeland,” the daily reported Sunday.

According to the report, none of the other Syrian officers or soldiers present at the time were able to prevent the execution as “officers responsible for military operations in the Jourin area are under the command of Iranian officers.”

A Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander told the paper that “the regime has handed over the operations room to Iranian officers and leadership.”

“The recent execution has caused a state of fear and terror among remaining regime troops,” the FSA commander added, saying he expected “more defections and more field executions.”

“There are still Sunni soldiers and officers bearing arms in the ranks of the regime’s army who will receive humiliating treatment during the coming period.”

Activists in the Latakia region also spoke to the paper about the impact the Iranian takeover of the operations room has had on morale among regime troops.

“Morale is very low among regime soldiers; in fact, it has become non-existent since the Iranian officers took over the operations room,” according to an activist identifying himself as Abu Said.

“Syrian officers, among them Alawites, have become secondary members, whose tasks can sometimes be reduced to handing out tea and coffee.”

Assad’s position is crumbling, and the only thing keeping him afloat is Iranian aid. And that means the Iranians are the senior partners and call the shots. And shoot people, even their “allies.”  One reason Iran is taking this hard line, aside from being refugees from a medieval lunatic asylum, is that they cannot afford to lose Syria, which gives them a strategic foothold in the Levant and the Eastern Mediterranean, and also serves as a conduit through which to send money and supplies to their Hizbullah cats-paws in Lebanon. Wouldn’t want to lose that opportunity to strike at the Zionist Entity (1), would we?

Meanwhile, Assad can surely escape; dictators like him usually have a few million dollars stashed in Europe and a jet on standby somewhere close. But, for his minions left behind? They’d better hope the Iranians like the tea and coffee they serve.

Footnote:
(1) That’s Israel, for those lacking an Islamic-Fascist to English dictionary.


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.


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?


Hezbollah expects payday from Iran deal

April 16, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

More fallout from Team Smart Power’s “diplomacy” with Iran: enabling the terrorist group that blew up our Marines in Beirut in the 80s. #genius

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

Excerpts follow from an IPT report regarding the effect of a nuclear deal with Iran that would lift sanctions against them.  Iranian catspaw terror groups stand to benefit from the money that will flow their way.  Hat tip to El Grillo:

The framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is set to refill Iran’s coffers and enable the Islamic Republic to invest considerable treasure in its regional network of terrorist and guerilla proxies…

They include the Shi’ite Lebanese organization Hizballah – the most highly armed terrorist entity in the world, active in the Syrian civil war – the Shi’ite Houthi forces currently seizing and destabilizing Yemen, a plethora of militant Shi’ite militias in Iraq, the Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza and the West Bank, and Hamas, with which Iran has recently mended relations. Iran has begun sending Hamas, which rules over Gaza, tens of millions of dollars for its…

View original 273 more words


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.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,511 other followers