I think this gets to the heart of it:
For their next condition, Iran will demand our lunch money.
I think this gets to the heart of it:
For their next condition, Iran will demand our lunch money.
Heckuva busy day today, but I can’t let this one go by unremarked. It looks like the US and its negotiating partners have reached an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. Based on Bridget Johnson’s reporting at PJMedia, it looks as bad as I suspected it would be. Here are some key points:
The P5+1 agreed to the “key parameters” of a nuclear deal with Iran after marathon talks in Switzerland, including “ceasing application” of all sanctions — a must-have demand of Iran at the negotiating table.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, appearing at a press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, said parties agreed to a “comprehensive lifting of all sanctions” in the deal that is “laying the agreed basis for the final text for the Joint Plan of Action.”
So we give up our strongest card before Iran gives up anything.
The deal will be for 10 years and allow Iran to keep about 6,000 centrifuges.
So they can keep enriching.
Mogherini said the agreement leaves “no other enrichment facility than Natanz” and allows International Atomic Energy Agency inspections that are “mutually agreed” upon.
Oh, I can’t wait to see the negotiations over that schedule. Should be the best since they argued over the shape of the table at the Paris Peace Talks.
Fordow will become “a nuclear physics and technology center,” she said. “There will not be any fissile material at Fordow.”
Fordow is a fortified underground site, and inspections have to be on an agreed upon schedule. I wonder if the Iranians were giggling when they agreed to that.
Construction of the Arak heavy water reactor will continue; Mogherini said it “will not produce weapons-grade plutonium.”
They agreed on a “set of measures to monitor provisions” of the deal, including “announced access” to permit IAEA inspections.
Announced access? Is that part of the schedule they have to mutually agree on? Oh, yeah. We can rely on that.
The European Union and the United States “will cease the application of all sanctions,” Mogherini said, upon verification by IAEA of implementation.
Oh, yeah. We’ll stick to that. I predict more negotiations with a “compromise” to follow.
“None of those measures include closing our facilities; the proud people of Iran will not accept that. We will continue enriching,” Zarif declared. “…We will focus our enrichment in Natanz” and “focus on other activities” at Fordow while keeping centrifuges there.
“When we implement our measures, there will be no sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
And for that we agree to lift all sanctions. No word on if Kerry left without his pants, too.
Notice what wasn’t mentioned? Any prior declaration of the extent of Iran’s program. This “deal” covers only what we know about — who knows if the mullahs have nuclear research facilities elsewhere in Iran that they aren’t mentioning? And if we suspect a location? Oh, sure, they’ll let us inspect it.
This deal guarantees Iran will get a nuclear weapon. It also certainly means a nuclear arms race in the Middle East (You think the Saudis, the Gulf States, and the Egyptians are going to sit still over this? Think again.) and hugely increases the risk of war. It is an absolute sellout of our allies, especially Israel, the one lone liberal democracy in the region. One can only hope the opposition in Congress has the brass to wreck this deal, which would be far better than letting it stand.
What Churchill said about Chamberlain after Munich in 1938 could apply as well to Barack Obama and John Kerry:
“You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.”
I fear so.
PS: Remember what I wrote the other day about Iran perhaps having a backup program in North Korea? The promise to keep Fordow clear of weapons research, after Iran had insisted they be allowed to run centrifuges there, makes me wonder if I was right. Let’s see if they allow inspections at Fordow. If they do…
I used to think our national dignity couldn’t sink any lower, nor our embarrassment get any worse, after our foray into “hashtag diplomacy.”
After enduring a firestorm of criticism for failing to send a high-ranking official to last Sunday’s massive anti-terror rally in France, Secretary of State John Kerry finally made it to Paris on Thursday — where he immediately cemented his reputation as an international laughing-stock.
In perhaps the most pathetic diplomatic apology ever enacted without actually saying “I’m sorry,” Kerry offered a “big hug” to a room full of survivors, family members and first responders involved in the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
And then he trotted out James Taylor, looking on proudly as the 70s-era guitarist serenading the shell-shocked survivors with a soulful rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend.”
I… I… I’ve got nothing. There are no words to describe how monumentally stupid and farcical a move this was. It’s bad enough that we didn’t send any high-ranking official to the rally in Paris, but then to compound our mistake by trotting out a 70s retread singer to lead everyone in a group therapy session? Nearly a score of people were massacred by Muslims waging jihad against everything we stand for, and this buffoon thinks the right response from the Western World’s leading nation is to relive the Summer of Love? Forget “incompetence.” John Kerry should be impeached for humiliating us.
France lies bleeding, and we offer it… a song.
We’ve become an international joke.
RELATED: Leslie Gelb is right: If we’re to get through the next two years without experiencing major disaster, Obama has to fire everyone. Starting with the James Taylor groupie at Foggy Bottom.
I have no words left, I think, to describe what a fatuous buffoon this man is, so I’ll let the Secretary of State of the United States speak for himself:
Secretary of State John Kerry said the threats posed by climate change should be addressed with as much “immediacy” as confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Ebola outbreak.
During a meeting with foreign ministers on Sunday, Kerry said global warming is creating “climate refugees.”
“We see people fighting over water in some places. There are huge challenges to food security and challenges to the ecosystem, our fisheries and … the acidification of the ocean is a challenge for all of us,” Kerry said.
“And when you accrue all of this, while we are confronting ISIL and we are confronting terrorism and we are confronting Ebola and other things, those are immediate,” he added, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.
“This also has an immediacy that people need to come to understand, but it has even greater longer-term consequences that can cost hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars, lives, and the security of the world,” Kerry continued.
Let’s see. Ebola is a hideous hemorrhagic disease that has already killed thousands in West Africa, may well spread further –and beyond Africa– and could become a nightmare if somehow it mutates into an airborne form.
And then we have ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State, a more virulent form of al Qaeda that has claimed the mantle of the defunct caliphate and a divine mission to force Islam and sharia law on the rest of the world. It has killed thousands of people –men, women, and children– by shooting, beheading, crucifixion, and God knows how else. It has declared that Yazidis must convert or die. It has oppressed, killed, and stolen the property of Christians and Muslims of the “wrong sort.” It has sold women into sex slavery. It has promised to wage war on the West. (All of this is in accordance with Islamic law, btw.) If it obtains nuclear or biological weapons, there is no doubt they will use them wherever they can be deployed, inside or outside the Middle East.
Oh, and don’t forget a newly aggressive Russia, slowly dismembering Ukraine and now rattling sabers at NATO members in Eastern Europe, raising the specter of a continental war that would inevitably involve us.
But Secretary of State Kerry thinks the imaginary monster under the bed, human-caused catastrophic warming that leads to devastating climate change, is as great a threat. A bogeyman warming that has not occurred for over 215 months. Anthropogenic climate change that exists only in computer models that have trouble accurately modeling the past. (1)
Is it any wonder our (former?) allies in the Middle East have written him off as useless? This guy makes Thurston Howell III look like Klemens von Metternich.
We have over two years left of this car-clown administration. I’d better stock up on the Tylenol.
(1) Of course, the Earth’s climate is a dynamic, changing system. A series of natural cycles. It’s the misuse of science to perpetrate a huge fraud, man-caused catastrophic climate change, that I’m objecting to.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
(Image via Greg Nash / Getty Images)
Looking across the landscape of world affairs, from sectarian carnage to Middle East instability, from climate change that threatens the earth to a Russian dictator who threatens security in Europe, from the bellicosity of China to nuclear issues with North Korea and Iran, if there is a Winston Churchill of modern times who issues warnings and offers solutions, it is Secretary of State John Kerry.
Since the founding of Israel in 1948, Israel has had no better friend than John Kerry. His aspirations and efforts for Middle East peace might soon be dead, and if they are, historians will long condemn the intransigent and small-minded Israeli and Palestinian leaders who will force young Israelis and Palestinians to pay the price of their pettiness for generations to come.
While commentators grow impatient with Kerry’s Churchillian warnings about the consequences of failure in the Middle East peace process, the world might sadly witness how right Kerry is.
As Vladimir Putin escalates his war against Ukraine, employs lies as an instrument of invasion and subversion, and wages war against the sanctity of sovereignty and borders that has kept the peace in Europe since Hitler fell and the Berlin Wall tumbled, Kerry calls on a timid Europe to demonstrate resolve with the moral force with which Churchill addressed Neville Chamberlain.
Winston Churchill, for all the mistakes he made in World Wars I and II, got one thing, the Big Thing, right: there could be no alternative but absolute, unbending resistance to Hitler and the Nazis, even if it meant war. He knew that diplomacy not backed up by the credible threat to use force would only encourage civilization’s enemies. He was also an eloquent, masterful speaker and writer.
In my opinion, Winston Churchill saved Western Civilization.
John “Christmas in Cambodia” Kerry, on the other hand, is a fatuous dunderhead who has been serially, perennially wrong about our enemies. Far from having “Churchillian foresight” about the Middle East, Kerry’s obsession with a two-state process is doomed because he refuses to recognize (1) the strength and depth of Islam’s rejection of Israel’s very existence; you can’t negotiate peace with someone who thinks it’s a commandment from God to kill you. As for Ukraine, it’s hard to take Kerry’s moral force seriously when his first reaction is to say “don’t be so 19th century, Vlad.” The fact is that no one in the broader world takes Secretary of State Kerry seriously, because he’s a stuffed shirt who knows nothing except how to spew empty platitudes. As for his speaking and writing… Well, I challenge you to try to get through one of his speeches without laughing or yawning.
This man is like Churchill??
Nah. I must’ve clicked on The Onion.
Like I said this morning on Twitter:
Churchill’s bust was cast in bronze. Kerry’s will be molded in Jell-o.
— Phineas Fahrquar (@irishspy) May 1, 2014
(Thanks to a friend for the idea.)
(1) Or he’s intellectually incapable of it, which is also possible.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Because, as we all know,
Man-caused climate change the Dread Demon Carbon Dioxide is the “world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” a threat we have to deal with now and with all our efforts. Not nukes in the hands of Iranian mullahs yearning to bring about their version of the Apocalypse. Not jihadist terror groups also jonesing for a few kilotons of their own. Not H-bombs and rockets in the possession of Kim Jong Un, who, when not feeding relatives to the dogs and ordering the execution of Christians, might decide to restart the Korean War. Not Vladimir Putin, who, with thousands of nuclear weapons at his disposal, has decided to start dismembering neighboring states and daring the West to do something, anything about it. Not a rising, hyper-nationalist, aggressive, nuclear-armed China, which is rattling sabers at its island neighbors and looking to challenge American supremacy in the western Pacific.
Nope. Global warming is the greatest threat to America, and so Secretary Kerry has ordered our ambassadors around the world to make that their top priority:
US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on American ambassadors around the world to make the fight against climate change a top priority ahead of new UN talks next year.
In his first department-wide policy guidance statement since taking office a year ago, he told his 70,000 staff: “The environment has been one of the central causes of my life.”
“Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat,” Kerry said in the letter issued on Friday to all 275 US embassies and across the State Department.
“It’s also a critical mission for all of you: our brave men and women on the frontlines of direct diplomacy,” he added in the document seen by AFP.
He urged all “chiefs of mission to make climate change a priority for all relevant personnel and to promote concerted action at posts and in host countries to address this problem.”
Note that the environment has been one of the “central causes” of John Kerry’s life, his personal mission. Thus the Department of State, charged with conducting the nation’s diplomacy, is now at the service of John Kerry’s personal tilt at the windmill. Silly me for thinking State’s job is to pursue the nation’s interests, not one dull man’s obsessions.
Of course, Kerry probably thinks his cause is the nation’s. It’s solipsism as foreign policy.
I ask again: Have we ever had a more fatuous, dunderheaded bore as secretary of state than John Kerry?
Via Doug Powers, who provides illustrative examples of the Kerrys’ “Green lifestyle.”
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Really, all that seems able to come out of that mouth of his is an endless stream of meaningless blather that would make Sir Humphrey Appleby proud.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that “all options are on the table” when it comes to steps the U.S. can take to hold Russia accountable for its military movements in Ukraine, including economic sanctions and potentially military action.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos today on “This Week,” Kerry said Russian troops moving into the Ukrainian region of Crimea was “a military act of aggression” and that the U.S. will move swiftly to impose penalties if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not withdraw his troops.
While military force is among the options President Barack Obama is considering, Kerry said the U.S. and its allies hope they can avoid such action.
“The hope of the U.S. and everybody in the world is not to see this escalate into a military confrontation,” he said.
The indirect language of diplomacy uses phrases that convey very specific messages without putting the other side publicly on the spot, in a situation where he cannot back down without being humiliated. And when you say “all options are on the table,” John, that includes military action. You’re essentially telling the other side that, should we not get satisfaction, we’re willing to go to war. This is the kind of talk you do not engage in lightly, especially when dealing with another nuclear power. The very idea of a “military option” in Ukraine is insane for any number of reasons.
I wonder if Kerry even knows what the words he’s saying actually mean. If he doesn’t, he’s a bigger dunce than I thought, which would be impressive. If he does and somehow thinks that will intimidate Vladimir Putin, then he’s dangerously incompetent. Putin has taken the measure of the Obama administration after years of watching it in action, and he knows darn well their threats are meaningless. After abandoning Poland and the Czech Republic over missile defense, after the laughable reset button, after cutting and running in Iraq and Afghanistan, and after the disaster of Obama’s Syria policy, Putin knows any threats from this American administration are empty. He probably rolled his eyes and laughed when Kerry said all options were on the table.
Then there was this:
Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “stunning, willful” choice to invade Ukrainian territory and warned of possible sanctions.
“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” one of several appearances on network interview shows.
“It’s serious in terms of the modern manner in which countries resolve problems,” Kerry said.
“That’s not the act of somebody who’s strong,” Kerry added, saying Putin is acting out of “weakness” and “desperation.”
I can think of many ways to describe President Putin, but “weak” and “desperate” wouldn’t even occur to me.
On the contrary, Vladimir Putin is a revanchist thug who, seeing that Washington won’t do anything meaningful (1) to oppose him, is going to push as hard as he can until someone dares to make him stop. His goal is not just to rebuild the Russian/Soviet empire, but forge a Eurasian Union (2) as an alternative bloc against the US and the EU. The bleatings of a Boston Brahmin about Putin being out of step with the times are meaningless to him
Secretary of State John Kerry (3) embodies the ideals of liberal internationalism, and brutal realist Vladimir Putin is showing just how empty they and he are.
(1) For a sketch of the meaningful things we could do to stand up to Putin’s thuggery, check out Tom Rogan’s recommendations, especially that to, borrowing a phrase, “drill, baby, drill.”
(2) This is some scary stuff.
(3) To think he almost became president in 2004. I may have nightmares.
UPDATE: Speaking of Putin’s “weakness and desperation”…
Those, my friends, are Russian mobile artillery pieces. On Ukrainian territory. Don’t they look weak and desperate? (h/t Jim Geraghty)
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed the Senate two days ago on on the question of raising America’s debt limit, making pointed references to the Democrats’ shifting positions and penchant for name-calling at concerned citizens. Senator Kerry (D-MA) thought he’d be smart and take Rubio on with a couple of questions.
Bad move, John:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When you watch Marco Rubio, you are looking at a future president.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Politico is reporting that the Kerry-Lieberman bill to fight anthropogenic climate change (You know, the problem that doesn’t exist), which only a few days ago looked like it was heading for a vote in the Senate, may instead be dead:
The Senate climate bill has been at death’s door several times over the past year. But with the days before the August recess quickly slipping away, the case may truly be terminal now.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has wanted to introduce a sweeping energy and climate bill by next week, and Reid even told POLITICO on Monday night that the package was almost ready to go.
But by Tuesday afternoon, Reid was noncommittal about when a bill would come or what it would contain.
“We’re going to make a decision in the near future,” Reid said, describing plans for a Democratic caucus on the issue Thursday. “We’re really not at a point where I can determine what I think is the best for the caucus and the country at this stage.”
Key advocates for legislation to cap greenhouse gases emitted by power plants are pleading for more time as they try to cut a deal with the industry, but it’s time that Reid doesn’t have as he races to finish other Senate business — including the confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan — while girding for a bruising midterm election.
Meanwhile, swing-vote Democrats and Republicans are still clinging to the fence, if not saying no outright. And President Barack Obama has yet to deploy the kind of whip operation his allies think is necessary if the bill has any chance of notching 60 votes.
“The clock is our biggest enemy,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) told reporters Tuesday, shortly after a meeting with several major electric utility industry CEOs who asked for a delay in the floor debate. “Some people know that. We have to figure out what is doable in this short span of time. That’s the test, and we’re going to take a look at that.”
The article goes on to detail the problems: comprehensive regulation was too difficult to get through thanks to political and business opposition, so the bill was scaled back to “just” the electrical industry. (Which would mean your rates would still skyrocket.) But the utilities want concessions the environmentalists hate, and coal-state senators (coal being a fuel for power plants) complain their constituents would be hurt disproportionately. With all these obstacles to get past in the short time left in the legislative session, and with the prospect of a greatly reduced majority in the Senate and the very possible loss of the House after the next election, not to mention the reluctance of some vulnerable senators to further annoy their already angry voters, there doesn’t seem much likelihood this or any version of cap and tax going through this year or next.
Lucky for us.
(via Watt’s Up With That)
RELATED: Senator Kerry (D-Botox) says his bill is not dead yet.
Only in a Wonderland tea party could this be considered a good idea: Senator John Kerry (D-Boor) wants to go to Iran, and the White House won’t oppose it:
Sen. John Kerry has suggested becoming the first high-level U.S. emissary to make a public visit to Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a move White House officials say they won’t oppose.
The offer comes as mass protests against Iran’s regime are resurfacing and a U.S.-imposed deadline nears to broach international sanctions against Iran.
“This sounds like the kind of travel a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee would — and should — undertake,” said a White House official, adding it would be at Sen. Kerry’s own behest.
Obama said he’d meet without preconditions, but I don’t recall anything about “without sense.” Just what in Heaven’s name is Kerry, a former presidential nominee and current chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, thinking? Is he thinking? Or is this just another item to buff up the wanna-be Boston Brahmin’s resume? Iran is an avowed enemy of the United States that has considered itself at war with us for 30 years. It has supplied weapons to our enemies that have killed American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has threatened a nuclear attack against one of our closest allies and waged a terror-war against Jews around the world. It rigged its most recent election in defiance of every democratic norm. The regime has never shown any interest in serious negotiations with us.
Rather, it wants us dead.
And Kerry wants to reward this same millenarian, fascist regime in Tehran with a visit from the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, the highest-ranking visit in three decades? John, just what do you hope to accomplish?
A trip by Sen. Kerry could provide the Obama administration a last-minute chance to directly convey its views to Iranian leaders before the U.S. moves to increase financial pressure on Tehran in an effort to derail Iran’s nuclear programs.
Brilliant. As if we haven’t tried time and again since 1979 to “convey our views” to Tehran, all to the same effect: bupkis. Every administration from Carter through Bush the Younger tried to reach a grand bargain with Iran, and all wound up with egg on their faces. Iran is only stringing us and the rest of the West along until it can achieve what it wants: nuclear weapons, dominance in the Middle East, and the furtherance of global jihad.
And John Kerry wants to be the next to play.
Kerry’s potential visit won’t be without effect, however. No, it will have an effect, alright: the betrayal and demoralization of the democratic resistance in Iran, which has the regime so worried that they have had to declare a state of emergency in Isfahan, one of their most important cities:
Iran security forces and opposition protesters stepped up clashes on Wednesday in the city of Isfahan, the birthplace of Iran’s top dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Montazeri’s death this past weekend, and the rituals marking his passing, coincide with a new push by regime opponents during a 10-day religious commemoration.
The government has responded by harassing two reformist clerics who could replace Montazeri, as well as stripping the opposition’s top political figure – Mir Hossein Mousavi – of his sole official post.
In Isfahan, pro-regime basiji militiamen used batons, chains, and stones to beat mourners who gathered at the city’s main mosque to remember Montazeri, the spiritual mentor of the Iranian opposition, whose websites reported the clashes.
“While people were reciting the Quran [in the mosque], plainclothed forces attacked them and threw tear gas into the mosque yard and sprayed those inside with pepper spray after they closed the doors,” reported the reformist Parlemannews. “They severely beat the people inside,” then doused the clerical speaker with pepper spray and arrested him.
“Tens of thousands gathered outside for the memorial but were savagely attacked by security forces and the basijis,” witness Farid Salavati told the Associated Press. He said that dozens were injured as riot police and vigilantes clubbed and kicked men and women alike – some in the face – and arrested 50 people who had gathered to mourn the grand ayatollah.
Montazeri – the chosen successor of Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, until a falling out in 1989 – had been unrelenting in his criticism of the officially declared reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June, as well as of Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Khamenei is a murderer, his rule is invalid,” protesters shouted on Wednesday, referring to violence since June, in which severe force has been used against Iranians who marched to reverse the official result. They wanted to see the “Green Movement” presidential candidate, Mr. Mousavi, elected. Scores died in June and thousands were arrested; protests have flared repeatedly around the nation since then.
So, naturally, Kerry’s visit, if it happens, will be interpreted as a willingness to work with the current regime and a stamp of legitimacy from the American government, as well as a big, bright signal that the resistance cannot count on the world’s most important democracy in its hour of need. Genius. Sheer genius. Just what I’d expect from that pompous jackass Kerry and an administration that would rather vote “present” than tell him to sit down and shut up.
Or maybe this will the the first for 2010!