(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

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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.”


(Video) In which Marco Rubio tac-nukes Obama

March 19, 2015

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I haven’t seen the Senator from Florida this fired up since he roasted now-retired Senator Harkin (D-IA) over Cuba. And Rubio has every reason to be angry: Obama’s petulant and childish refusal to call (1) and congratulate Israel’s prime minister on his election victory is a disgrace and embarrasses the United States. Even Iranian President Rouhani received the courtesy of a call soon after his win, and he heads an enemy state!

Of course, this is only the latest in a string of insults against Netanyahu and Israel that demonstrate Obama’s antipathy toward the Jewish state, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. I have to suspect that’s why the LA Times hides (or has disposed of) the Khalidi tape: if it were to come to light, it would expose for all to see the antisemitism  I suspect Obama harbors in his heart.

Anyway, enjoy:

You know, if he keeps this up, he’s going to make a lot of people forget his “Gang of Eight” immigration debacle.

Footnote:
(1) Apparently he finally did, but the delay was unconscionable.

 


I weep: our foreign policy has been reduced to hashtags

April 25, 2014
Your Obama foreign policy team

Your Obama foreign policy team

Well, I weep and I mock.

For those not familiar with Twitter, “hashtags” are labels preceded by a number sign, as in “#politics.” They were developed to make it easier for people to search for related messages on the system, though people also use them as asides to provide commentary, humor, or snark.

A few weeks ago, the United States Department of State, faced with the slow-motion dismemberment of Ukraine by Russia, apparently decided that hashtags were also effective tools of superpower diplomacy. Thus we saw this from State’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki:

My reaction, you’ll be surprised to learn, was one of dismay and disgust. This is hardly the serious diplomacy one would expect from a department once headed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Hay, Dean Acheson, and George Schultz. One would think that, having been roundly mocked here and overseas (You mean you didn’t hear the giggling from Moscow?), the State Department would have given up on managing our foreign affairs like it was a popularity contest, complete with cheerleading. But, no. No, some genius at State decided this was a winning strategy and deployed it again, only this time with an exhortation to Putin:

“Promise of hashtag??” You have got to be kidding me. “Yes, Vlad, be nice to Ukraine. You wouldn’t want to fail the spirit of the hashtag, would you?” Someone last night speculated that an intern forgot to substitute the real hashtag in place of the placeholder word “hashtag,” but that’s immaterial. The whole idea that anyone should think that using catchy social media slogans as a tool of diplomacy would be seen as anything other than self-inflicted humiliation is laughable. That the “strategy” originated at the highest levels of State is infuriating.

And so I couldn’t resist commenting:

And then I offered examples of the promise of hashtag and its power in US foreign affairs:

Others pointed out that the promise of hashtag was global. For example:

Indeed, Lincoln ended the Civil War with it:

But this one, I think, summed up the depth and gravity of State’s strategic thinking in this crisis:

While this baby speaks for me:

But I did offer Ms. Psaki and her co-workers a friendly and much-needed hint:

No, they do not, and it’s in part because people who think they do are in charge of our foreign policy that the world has become a much more dangerous place. It’s a common joke that both sides make to wish for the day “when the adults will be in charge, again,” but, in this case, it’s no longer a joke.  We’re facing foes around the globe who operate via the calculus of power, will, and national interest, while we are represented by community organizers who treat serious matters of state as occasions for virtual rallies.

Argh.

RELATED: More at Twitchy here and here. Jonah Goldberg on Obama’s foreign policy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The proper way to apologize to President Karzai

February 25, 2012

You may have heard of a recent ruckus in Afghanistan after American forces burned some Qurans that prisoners were using to transmit coded messages. (1) In the ensuing demonstration of Muslim maturity and Afghan civility, two Americans were killed. So, President Obama did the proper thing (2) and apologized abjectly and profusely to Afghan President Karzai. (3)

This inspired YouTube user KiraDavis422 to issue her own apology. I think it’s something we Americans need to hear and think deeply about.

(Mild language warning.)

Food for thought, isn’t it?

via jkinlosangeles

RELATED: Max Boot, an analyst and writer I deeply respect, thinks Obama’s apology was proper. I respectfully disagree, at least with the groveling nature of it.

Footnotes:
(1) In violation of proper procedure, meaning they did it where the savages could find out.
(2) From a self-abasing, American-declinist, “smart power” point of view, at least.
(3) Whom we put in power and only remains in power (and alive) because of us. We apologize for that.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The fruits of Smart Power: Syria attacks US embassy

July 11, 2011

Since coming into office in 2009, the Obama administration has emphasized a policy of “reaching out” to the Syrian government, sending an ambassador there for the first time in four years. When the “Arab spring” revolts reached Syria and the Assad regime responded by shooting unarmed protesters in the streets, Secretary of State Clinton deployed Smart Power and called Assad a “reformer.” Despite Syria’s status as an Iranian ally and client, despite its support of terror (It’s even on Clinton’s list), and despite its pursuit of nuclear weapons, the Obama administration has shown remarkable restraint. Today, Team Smart Power got their reward.

Our embassy attacked by a mob:

Protesters loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad briefly broke into the U.S. embassy in Damascus on Monday and security guards used live ammunition to prevent them storming the French embassy, diplomats said.

No casualties were reported in the attacks but a U.S. official said Washington condemned Syria’s slow response and its failure to the prevent the assault on its embassy.

The attacks followed a visit by the U.S. and French ambassadors to the city of Hama last week in support of the hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators who have been gathering there despite attacks by Syrian forces.

“We are calling in the Syrian charge (d’affaires) to complain,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We feel they failed (in their responsibility to protect U.S. diplomats). We are going to condemn their slow response.”

Well, that’s showing them. I bet the Syrian charge is even now quaking in his oxfords as he heads for his meeting with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Outreach and Apologies — quaking from laughter, that is.

And I’m dead serious in the subject line: this attack on our and the French embassies was not a spontaneous expression of outrage on the part of people who just love Boy Assad. Syria attacked our embassy. The country a mafia-ocracy with the Assad clan at the top, and nothing happens without their say-so. You can bet this originated with the Mukhabarat, Syria’s intelligence service, who did the same thing in 2006. Assad was angered by the visit the US ambassador paid to Hama, a center of anti-Assad sentiment (1), and so, just like the little thug he is, he sent his boys around to trash our embassy.

And our response is to stamp our foot and whine “stop it!”

There was a time when this garbage would have been met with a different kind of protest: a warship and a barrage by naval artillery, sending its own message: “Don’t make us angry.”

But that was long ago, before the era of Hope, Change, and Smart Power.

Here’s how a “Phineas administration” would handle it. Since no American lives were lost, we can start with just a nice, little chat: the charge would come into this meeting and sit down before the desk of the Secretary of State. The Secretary would then quietly lay out a series of satellite photos — Mukhabarat headquarters, the Presidential Palace, Assad’s favorite summer home on the Mediterranean coast, you get the idea.

And in case the Syrian diplomat didn’t quite catch the drift, the Secretary would make the implied message clear: “That embassy is sovereign US territory. If this or anything like this ever happens again, I guarantee you President Assad will wake up to something far worse than an angry mob.” To put the punctuation on this, there would be small news items about the redeployment of (cruise missile carrying) US naval assets to the Eastern Mediterranean for “exercises.”

And that’s how you deal with Capone Assad.

LINKS: More at Hot Air and Legal Insurrection. Bryan Preston at PJM’s The Tatler blog sees the nature of the attack the same way I do and says the 3AM phone is ringing. Moe Lane has advice for Democratic administration appointees. As usual, Barry Rubin has sharp, hard-headed analysis.

Footnotes:
(1) The Assads have “a history” with Hama. A bloody one.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The fruits of Smart Power: Czechs walk out on missile defense

June 16, 2011

It may come as a surprise to the Smartest President Ever(tm) and his brilliant foreign policy team, but when you pull the rug out from under an ally in order to appease the guys they fear, they aren’t likely to want to play with you anymore:

The Czech Republic is withdrawing from U.S. missile defense plans out of frustration at its diminished role, the Czech defense minister told The Associated Press Wednesday.

The Bush administration first proposed stationing 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an advanced radar in the Czech Republic, saying the system was aimed at blunting future missile threats from Iran. But Russia angrily objected and warned that it would station its own missiles close to Poland if the plan went through.

In September 2009, the Obama administration shelved that plan and offered a new, reconfigured phased program with an undefined role for the Czechs. In November 2009, the Czech Republic was offered the possibility of hosting a separate early warning system that would gather and analyze information from satellites to detect missiles aimed at NATO territory.

Defense Minister Alexander Vondra told the AP that the Czech Republic wanted to participate but “definitely not in this way.”

“Shelving the plan” is much too antiseptic a description for what really happened. As I wrote at the time:

This is an utter, craven appeasement of Moscow, which has never wanted this system installed in its former empire, making ridiculous claims that it somehow threatened Russia. As originally conceived, the radar stations and roughly a score of interceptor missiles were to protect Europe from a growing Iranian threat. They represented no threat to Moscow. In fact, the Bush administration offered to cooperate in a partnership with the Russians on a European missile shield. Russia’s outrage was in fact a cover for their fear of a continuing loss of influence over their former subject peoples in Central and Eastern Europe.

Poland and the Czech Republic saw this in a similar manner. They cooperated with the US over Afghanistan and Iraq (even sending troops to both places) and agreed to the missile-shield proposal. This was done not just out of a sense of interests shared between fellow democracies, not just out of a sense of worry over Iranian ambitions, but out of a very real geopolitical calculation that closer military ties to the world’s remaining superpower would protect them from a resurgent Russian bear. For the last eight years they have stuck their necks out to help us, and now President Obama has made fools of them.

And Washington expected Prague to accept a consolation prize? Seriously? Why not give them some DVDs, too?

Way back when, Ed Morrissey points out, the Obama Office of the President-Elect (1) transition team promised to “restore our standing in the world.” This is just the latest example of how that’s working out in practice.

The building of alliances and friendships between states is the result of painstaking diplomacy in which each side not only seeks to meet its own best interests, but to assure the other side that such an alliance is in their best interests, too. It’s a mutual exercise in trust-building that includes confidence that one party won’t stick a knife in the other’s back.

And like the husband who comes home to find someone else in his bed, it only takes one betrayal to wreck all that effort. As with Britain, as with Israel, and as with Poland, Obama administration foreign policy seems to be all about pimp-slapping our friends to appease our rivals, going out of its way to betray that trust, as if telling these nations “you won’t leave us; you’ve got nowhere else to go.”

Except the Czech Republic decided otherwise and left. As Team Obama pursues the “Welcome Back Carter” (2) style of diplomacy, don’t be surprised to see other nations decide their best interests are served elsewhere, too.

Footnotes:

(1) I’d forgotten about this bit of egoism.

(2) Glenn Reynolds famously worried that “Jimmy Carter, part two” might be the best-case scenario. I’m worried he’s right. Though, while reading Schweizer’s book “Reagan’s War,” the resemblance between Carter and Obama’s approach to national security is stunning.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)