Mr. Obama, we have a strategy for victory over global jihad

CSP, by Fred Fleitz, April 24, 2015:

The United States cannot defeat ISIS as long as its leaders continue to deny its nature as promoting a violent radical ideology of Islamist supremacism worldwide. Why the White House spokesman would downplay the growing global reach of ISIS and dispute the US intelligence community on this issue is baffling.

It is also dangerous. Earnest’s statements are the latest indications that the Obama administration continues to be clueless about the threat from global jihadist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS and still has no strategy to confront this threat.

Working with a group of leading American national security experts, the Center for Security Policy unveiled a comprehensive strategy to defeat the global jihad movement in January. Titled “The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement,” our strategy defines the threat from the global jihad movement, discusses the record of the United States in confronting the threat, and describes how the US government must be re-organized to defeat it.

The secure freedom strategy is designed after the Reagan Administration’s National Security Directive 75 (NSDD 75), a strategy to defeat the totalitarian threat of President Reagan’s time: the Soviet Union. Similar to NSDD 75, the Secure Freedom Strategy is a plan on how the United States can best employ diplomatic, military, economic, cyber, intelligence tools to understand the threat doctrine of global jihadist groups like ISIS and defeat them.

More information on the Secure Freedom Strategy is available here. You also can purchase a copy on Amazon.com.

SecureFreedomStrategySidebar (2)

Drone Strike Kills Two Hostages and Two American Al Qaeda Terrorists

drone-srtoke-victimsCSP, by Sean MacCormac, April 23, 2015:

President Obama made an open, heartfelt apology for the deaths of two hostages in an airstrike conducted in January on an Al Qaeda compound near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, taking full responsibility for the actions which lead to their deaths. The two hostages were Warren Weinstein, an American director for J.E. Austin Associates who was captured in Lahore, Pakistan by Al-Qaeda in 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker kidnapped in 2012. President Obama declassified the information about the attack, claiming transparency and the need for the families of the two hostages to know the information. Both hostages were not known to be in the area when the air strike, conducted via unmanned aerial vehicle, was carried out.

Adam Gadahn and Ahmed Farouq were two other Americans confirmed to have been killed in the two drone strikes, albeit these individuals were Al Qaeda terrorists. Neither were specifically targeted in the attack. Adam Gadahn was infamous for being the American mouthpiece for Al-Qaeda, having left for Pakistan to join Al Qaeda in 1998 after his conversion to Islam in 1995. After becoming estranged from his Christian parents in the mid 1990s, then-teenaged Gadahn left for his grandparents in Santa Ana, California where he started studying Islam at the Islamic Society of Orange County. The Islamic Society of Orange County once invited Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman to speak in 1992, and it was here that Gadahn fell in with a group of fundamentalists. This group grew displeased at the society’s president, Haitham Bundakji, and his interfaith outreach, referring to him as “Danny the Jew.” Adam Gadahn would later assault Bundakji, making his first trip to Pakistan a few months after being convicted. Though Ahmed Farouq is much less well known, sources indicate that he was a deputy emir of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. Farouq was killed in the same drone strike that killed the hostages, while Gadahn was killed in a separate drone strike in the same month.

Though the White House stated that it believed the drone strike was lawful, an investigation will be carried out in the hopes of making sure that errors such as the accidental killing of hostages will not occur again. Though the US military plans to draw down its operations in Afghanistan, the CIA wishes to keep several bases in Afghanistan active in order to gather intelligence for drone strikes in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Certainly, UAVs are an effective intelligence gathering and surgical strike tool, and will continue to be used as such for the foreseeable future.

***

CSP’s Kyle Shideler appears on Newsmax’s American Forum to discuss the incident (at 3:30 in the video)

Also see:

The Baathist Phoenix

iraq-al-douri-450x253Frontpage, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, April 23, 2015:

1]The alleged killing on Friday of a former henchman of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by Shiite militiamen loyal to Iran could have far reaching consequences for the United States.

was one of a handful of survivors from Saddam’s inner circle. Labelled the King of Clubs in the famous deck of cards that guided U.S. capture efforts after the 2003 liberation of Iraq, ad-Douri evaded traps a sand fly.

Three times he was pronounced dead. Three times he returned to give video-taped speeches and make public appearances, leading an insurgency against the United States and, more recently, against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Ad-Duri supporters tell me that he has done so again – although pro-Iranian militiamen claim to have conducted DNA sampling on the beard of the man they killed in a raid on Friday andproclaimed it [2] to be ad-Duri.

Why is ad-Duri’s fate so important?

Because as new documents uncovered by Der Spiegel show [3], it was ad-Duri’s Baathists who provided the military know-how, strategic thinking, and intimate knowledge of Iraqi society that allowed the Islamic State to stage its dramatic takeover of a large swathe of Iraqi territory last year.

They also provided a vast pool of manpower from the former Iraqi army that, in a monumental strategic blunder, former U.S. Viceroy Paul “Jerry” Bremer cashiered without pay just days after arriving in Baghdad in May 2003.

The unholy alliance between mostly secular Baathists and the Islamist thugs of al Qaeda in Iraq – now known as the Islamic State, or Daesh – has presented the greatest challenge to the U.S. and Iranian-backed government in Baghdad since the surge in 2007-2008.

Unlike that time, there are not 130,000 U.S. troops on the ground to combat them. This time, it is the Iranians who are providing boots on the ground, led by the commander of the Quds Force – Iran’s equivalent of the Special Forces – Major General Qassem Suleymani.

And that’s where ad-Duri becomes even more important.

Sources close to the Baathist leader tell me that ad-Duri has broken with Daesh, and is seeking to lead the growing Baathists forces into some form of détente with the United States, to counter Iran’s growing influence in his country and the region.

They are calling themselves the Iraqi Forces Coalition, and have issued a manifesto [4] proclaiming their goal of driving a wedge between Iran and the Islamic State.

The group includes moderate Islamic groups in Iran and represents major Sunni and Shiite tribes.

When representatives of the new Coalition first broached the idea of a split with Daesh to CIA contacts last year, no one took them seriously. So they staged a dramatic show of force. As Islamic State forces seized Mosul and began targeting Kurdish forces in the north, the Baathist Coalition launched rockets [5]against the most heavily guarded site outside the Green Zone: Baghdad International Airport.

“We reached the airport with military vehicles and shut it down for one hour. And then we left,” a source close to the Coalition leadership told me.

The U.S. and the Baghdad government attributed the attack to Daesh. “But they knew it wasn’t Daesh. They knew it was carried out by professional military people,” the source said.

A large number of the Daesh fighters in Iraq are former al Qaeda fighters who have been trained and equipped by Iran.

For years, Iran has claimed it was “detaining” al Qaeda fighters who fled to Iran from Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks on America.

Iran’s support for al Qaeda is one of the deep dirty secrets of an Iranian regime that operates in many ways like the former Soviet Union: lighting fires around the region, then offering its services to put them out.

The United States Treasury Department ultimately exposed [6] Iran’s sponsorship of al Qaeda in a series of press releases identifying al Qaeda’s clandestine financial networks based in Iran.

In December 2011, a U.S. federal court judge ruled that Iran was behind the 9/11 attacks [7] and that the Iranian government had provided extensive material support for the hijackers and to al Qaeda in general.

Ad-Duri and his supporters – Sunni and Shia alike – are fighting to staunch the spread of Iranian influence, first in Iraq, then across the region.

Where are America’s strategic interests? The Obama administration appears to be conflicted.

As White House press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted on Tuesday, the U.S. has an interest in preventing Iran from arming Houthi rebels in Yemen and has dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Teddy Roosevelt to waters off the Yemeni coast to potentially intercept Iranian weapons shipments.

And yet, the United States appears to sit back and allow Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi hand his country over to Iranian-backed militias, such as those who claimed to have killed ad-Duri on Friday, and to their commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleymani.

That is where ad-Duri comes in. Can the former Baathist and the non-sectarian Coalition he has formed provide a viable alternative to Iranian control of Iraq and the Persian Gulf region?

“We are not pretending to be your friends,” a source close to the Coalition leadership told me. “But we are not your enemies. The Iranians are our enemies. And they are your enemies.”

If only the President of the United States understood affairs so clearly.

Also see:

Allen West ➠ We’re Making Excuses In Face Of Horrific Genocide

Egypt-Christians

h/t @LuvGodncountry

Why is the Iran Framework Deal Classified Secret and Locked Up in the Senate Security Office?


classifiedCSP, by Fred Fleitz, April 21, 2015:

A Senate staff member told me yesterday there is a classified version of the nuclear framework with Iran that members of the Senate are having difficulty assessing because it has been classified secret and is locked up in the Senate security office.  I was told that few Senate staffers are being allowed to read this classified version of the framework.

This revelation raises several serious questions about President Obama’s desperate effort to get a nuclear deal with Iran.

First, this classified version of the framework agreement must be different from the fact sheet on the framework released by the State Department on April 2.  We already know, based on a revelation by the French, that the Obama administration withheld from the fact sheet a controversial provision of the framework on advanced centrifuges.  Were other controversial provisions withheld?  Did Obama officials selectively release parts of the framework to block congressional action against a nuclear deal?

Second, since Iranian officials have denounced the fact sheet as a lie, does the classified version show what was actually agreed to?  Does it show major differences in areas where Obama officials are claiming the United States and Iran are in agreement?

Third, the U.S. government classifies information to prevent disclosure to our adversaries.  Who is the adversary here?  Not Iran, since the classified framework document reflects discussions and agreements with Iranian diplomats.  It is pretty clear that the framework documents have been classified to keep them from the American people, not hostile foreign governments, and to make it as difficult as possible for members of Congress and their staffs to access them.

With Iran rejecting U.S. claims that a final nuclear deal will have strong provisions on verification and lifting sanctions, and a new report that President Obama has offered Iran a $50 billion “signing bonus” for agreeing to a nuclear deal, opposition to the president’s dangerous nuclear diplomacy with Iran is growing on Capitol Hill.  Every member of Congress must review the classified documents on the framework with their staffs to determine the full extent of the Obama administration’s concessions to Iran in the nuclear talks and how to respond if important U.S. concessions have been kept from the American people.

Also see:

State Department Won’t Rule Out $50 Billion ‘Signing Bonus’ For Iran

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, April 20, 2015:

The State Department on Monday would not rule out giving Iran up to $50 billion as a so-called “signing bonus” for agreeing to a nuclear deal later this year, according to comments made to journalists following reports that the Obama administration had formulated a plan to release tens of billions of frozen Iranian funds.

Experts have said this multi-billion dollar “signing bonus” option, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, could be the largest cash infusion to a terror-backing regime in recent memory.

A cash release of $30 to $50 billion upon reaching a final nuclear agreement would come in addition to the more than $11 billion in unfrozen assets that Iran will already have received under an interim nuclear accord reached in 2013.

When asked to address these reports on Monday, State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf attempted to dodge the issue and then accused reporters of getting “spun up” on the issue.

Asked whether Iran could receive $50 billion “on day one after signing” or verbally agreeing to a nuclear deal, Harf told reporters that she would “look into it.”

When pressed to provide an answer about the Journal’s initial report, Harf declined “to go line by line in the story.”

Harf said sanctions relief to Iran will continue through June 30.

“They’re getting access to money throughout this period as well,” she said. “Throughout the extension they’re now getting some sanctions relief, which will continue through June 30.”

Jonathan Schanzer, a top terrorism-funding expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said such a cash release to Iran would enable the regime to continue backing various terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

“This could be the largest cash infusion to a state sponsor of terrorism in modern history,” Schanzer said.

Reports of this “signing bonus” come following concessions to Iran—which range from sanctions relief to continued nuclear work at military sites—during the most recent round of negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lawmakers and experts critical of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran have warned that a slew of recent concessions in the talks would enable Iran to continue many aspects of its nuclear program.

Iran is pushing to prohibit international inspectors from accessing possible military sites until after the United States provides substantial relief from economic sanctions.

Nuclear experts such as David Albright, founder of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), have warned that premature sanctions relief could gut the tough inspections and oversight regime on Iran promised by the Obama administration.

Under the framework agreement, Iran also would be permitted to store around 1,000 advanced nuclear centrifuges at an underground and fortified one-time military site known as Fordow, according to the Associated Press.

By keeping Fordow active, Iran would potentially be able to produce weapons-grade material in just a few weeks, according to Albright.

The New York Times reported that Iran is refusing to give up its stockpile of enriched uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb. Under previous conditions, Iran would have had to ship these materials out of the country.

These stockpiles would also give Iran the ability to produce highly enriched weapons-grade uranium in less than six months, according to experts.

One congressional aide apprised of the ongoing talks with Iran said the administration continues to relent on key demands in order to keep Iran at the bargaining table.

“This is a disturbing yet unsurprising development in a failing series of negotiations,” the source said. “Once again, it seems the administration is prepared to make drastic concessions to Tehran in its desperate attempt to reach a deal. As a result, the United States will gamble away its remaining negotiating leverage with nothing to show for it.”

Also see:

PART II: Michael Rubin on Obama: ‘He is Constructing an Imaginary Iran’

unnamed1-640x480Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, April 17, 2015:

Breitbart’s Adelle Nazarian had the opportunity to speak with renowned Middle East expert and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Dr. Michael Rubin recently. Dr. Rubin provided his analysis on U.S.-Iran relations under the Obama Administration and provided a look into the future through the periscope of the past.

This is Part II of a two-part series. For the first installment, click here.

BREITBART: Why didn’t the Obama administration look back at Khomeini’s letter from 1988 calling for nuclear weapons and compare it to Khamenei’s supposed nuclear fatwa today when approaching the nuclear talks?

RUBIN: You’ve got a situation where the Obama Administration is cherry picking dishonestly. And frankly, if Obama acted this way as a university professor, he would be dismissed. He is constructing an imaginary Iran. Take the case of the fatwa.

Does the fatwa actually exist? According to open source center there was something delivered in 2014 that purports to  be the text of the fatwa to the United Nations. But in that text — according to the open source center of the United States — it doesn’t use the word “never.”

Here’s another problem. It’s Diplomacy 101 to know that you don’t rely on anything that’s not written down. Even with North Korea, we got the North Koreans and the Americans to agree on a piece of paper.

I’m not sure John Kerry is even competent to negotiate with a 5-year-old over chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I mean how could you not get something in writing? It’s the same thing with Obama and the fatwa. Get it in writing. How come Obama can’t put this up on the White House website? He puts up everything else.

BREITBART: Is it true that a fatwa, either verbalized or written, can be changed at any time?

RUBIN: Yes. It can. And Obama is operating in a vacuum.

It’s like Groundhog Day. In 2003, Mohammaed Javad Zarif negotiated with the Americans with regard to non-interference in Iraq. According to the Iranian press, the Iranians proceeded to break that agreement and inserted 2,000 Revolutionary Guardsmen into Iraq.

Now the question is, did Zarif lie? Or was he sincere but he didn’t have the power to ensure that all aspects of the Iranian government would abide by the agreement? And why is it that, 12 years later, we’re having the same discussion about the same man? Either Zarif is a liar, in which case we never should have sat down with him again. Or he’s powerless and a conman, in which case we should have never sat down with him again.

There is a major misconception under the current administration– with Obama and Kerry– that it was due to a lack of diplomacy under the Bush Administration that the number of centrifuges skyrocketed in Iran.

#1: Between 2000-2005, the European Union almost tripled its trade with Iran and sat down with them regularly. That directly corresponds to the rapid increase in Iranian centrifuges. It was because of diplomacy, not because of coercion.

#2. During that same period, the price of oil almost quintupled and the bulk of hard-currency windfall went into Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. That was under the so-called “reformists,” and this is why the so-called reformists like to claim that they are responsible for the success of the nuclear program. But this raises questions about why Obama would again repeat the same issue.

The Iranian economy, according to Iran’s Central Bank, had declined 5.4% in the year before we sat down to negotiate the joint plan of action. Now, Iran’s economy is in the black because we’ve given them an infusion of cash. But if we hadn’t given them that infusion of cash in conjunction with the halving of the price of oil, then we could literally force Iran to drink from the chalice of poison.

Those were the words that Khomeini said when he ended the Iran-Iraq War after swearing he would never do it until Jerusalem was liberated.

Giving someone $12 billion is not forcing them to drink from a chalice of poison. What Obama did was the equivalent to giving a five-year-old dessert first and then asking him to eat his spinach.

BREITBART: What has to be done strategically to stop Iran from expansion?

RUBIN: It’s the same thing with Putin and any other expansionist dictators. The more you appease, the more you show that your red lines are drawn in pink crayon and the more they are going to test you. What we forget is when Iran tested the U.S. under Reagan, Reagan responded with Operation Praying Mantis. He sank the Iranian Navy which gave way to a joke from that time. “Why does the Iranian Navy have glass bottomed-boats? So they can see their air force as well.”

Operation Praying Mantis was the largest surface naval engagement since WWII and it taught the Iranians that you don’t mess with the United States. Obama doesn’t understand that the Middle East isn’t a neighborhood to organize. He doesn’t understand that he’s the leader of the free world and not a zoning commissioner. In effect, the bad guys are running all over him. And the problem is, he’s too naive or too arrogant to care.

BREITBART: Should the next President of the United States of America be an expert on Iranian issues?

RUBIN: What you need in a presidential candidate is not someone that knows the Iran issue inside and out. What you need is someone that is true to their values, can provide moral leadership, is not afraid of moral clarity and understands the following:

#1. The importance of individual liberty, because individual liberty is a character which no dictatorship can withstand. You need someone who isn’t afraid of understanding that we should not live in a morally and culturally equivalent world.

#2. The United States is not the equal to countries like Iran or Russia. We are their moral superiors and as such it is important that we win and our adversaries lose. It’s important that freedom and liberty triumph.

You don’t need to be an expert in Iran to understand that. But you need to be someone who is not going to calibrate their foreign policy to the latest poll. Principles have to trump polls and I think that’s where Bush and Clinton are going to be disasters.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz

US Analyst Admits: “Moderate” Syrian Rebels Have Been Working With Al-Qaeda All Along

syrian-rebels-terrorists-400x294PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On April 16, 2015:

One of the most closely guarded secrets in Washington DC about US involvement in the Syrian war is that he “moderate” rebels that the Obama administration (and many Republicans) backed were closely aligned with Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, and at times with the Islamic State.

For regular PJ Media readers this will come as no surprise as I’ve repeatedly documented the ties between the State Department’s “vetted moderate” rebel groups and designated terrorist groups based on snippets of reporting that challenged the administration’s official narrative.

But with the “moderate” rebels on their heels and in retreat from internecine pressure from Jabhat al-Nusra, Brookings Institute-Doha Syria analyst Charles Lister, who has probably had as much direct contact with “rebel” leaders as any other US analyst, has finally admitted to the long-time cooperation between “moderates” and “extremists”.

In an article published last month on the Brookings website, Lister states:

This latter alliance with Jabhat al-Nusra has been a consistent facet of insurgent dynamics in Syria, but not only in terms of conservative Salafist groups like Ahrar al-Sham. In fact, while rarely acknowledged explicitly in public, the vast majority of the Syrian insurgency has coordinated closely with Al-Qaeda since mid-2012 – and to great effect on the battlefield. But while this pragmatic management of relationships may have secured opposition military victories against the regime, it has also come at an extraordinary cost. The assimilation of Al-Qaeda into the broader insurgency has discouraged the U.S. and its European allies from more definitively backing the ‘moderate’ opposition. That, by extension, has encouraged the intractability of the conflict we see today and the rise of jihadist factions like Jabhat al-Nusra, IS, and many others.

A year-and-a-half ago, uttering this outside of the polite company of the DC foreign policy “smart set”, where the official narrative of administration and the McCain/Graham “war at any cost” wing of the GOP was that the vast majority of rebels were moderate as expressed in John Kerry’s testimony before McCain’s committee in September 2013, would have gotten you branded a heretic. Such deep and complex truths were unworthy of the unwashed American masses at a time when many in DC were openly calling for more heavy weapons to be sent to the “vetted moderate” rebels.

But with the sudden surge of ISIS last June and the announcement of the re-establishment of the Islamic State the narrative was getting harder to publicly maintain even as the Obama administration did in fact begin sending heavy weaponry to the “vetted moderate” rebels.

The DC “smart set” and the establishment media then began to drop hints that the “vetted moderate” rebels were not so moderate after all, but certainly nothing so candid to give the whole game away. Hence why Lister notes that the rebel cooperation with Jabhat al-Nusra going back to mid-2012 (Nusra announced its formation in January 2012) was “rarely acknowledged explicitly in public”.

Now with things going very badly in Syria and Iraq the “smart set” is divided between walking back their support for the rebels or doubling-down by saying the US needs to begin backing “moderate Al-Qaeda”.

The media too has been more forthcoming about our “vetted moderate” allies since American reporters began losing their heads under Islamic State knives.

In late October, American journalist Theo Padnos, who was captured by the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and then given over to Jabhat al-Nusra told the story of his two-year captivity in the New York Times Magazine. At one point Padnos says he escaped from his Al-Qaeda captors and found himself back in the hands of the FSA, who then again promptly turned him back over to the terror group.

Padnos also relates this exchange with some US-trained FSA fighters that exposes the glaring weaknesses of the CIA’s vetting system:

I returned to the F.S.A. troops. One told me that his unit had recently traveled to Jordan to receive training from American forces in fighting groups like the Nusra Front.

“Really?” I said. “The Americans? I hope it was good training.”

“Certainly, very,” he replied.

The fighters stared at me. I stared at them.

After a few moments, I asked, “About this business of fighting Jebhat al Nusra?”

“Oh, that,” one said. “We lied to the Americans about that.”

The treatment of Padnos by the FSA is important to recall in light of the revelations yesterday and today that that a NBC News crew taken captive in Syria in December 2012, and who later repeatedly claimed they had been held by an Assad regime militia, now admit following a New York Times investigation that they were in fact held by a FSA criminal network. Even more, there’s evidence that NBC News executives knew from the time of the crew’s capture that they were held by US allies, but allowed the blame to fall on Assad since that didn’t conflict with the Obama administration’s position at the time.

An example of this new-found openness on the part of the establishment media was an Associated Press report in late November that noted the close cooperation of US-backed rebels with Al-Qaeda in southern Syria:

The gains are a contrast to northern Syria, where U.S.-backed rebels are collapsing in the face of an assault by Islamic militants. Notably, in the south, the rebels are working together with fighters from al Qaeda’s Syria branch, whose battle-hardened militants have helped them gain the momentum against government forces. The cooperation points to the difficulty in American efforts to build up “moderate” factions while isolating extremists.

Over the past year I’ve reported here at PJ Media on the slow cracks emerging in the official “vetted moderate rebel” narrative:

July 7: US ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State

Sept 3: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra

Sept 9: Fighter With ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Tells L.A. Times They Fight Alongside Al-Qaeda

Sept 10: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

Sept 24: U.S.-Backed Syrian Group Harakat al-Hazm Condemns U.S. Strikes on ISIS as ‘Attack on the Revolution’

Nov 2: U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Nov 3:  How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

Nov 24: More Defections of ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Rebels to ISIS

Dec 2: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with Al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Dec 14: Report: Al-Qaeda Using CIA-Supplied TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Northern Syria

Dec 28: NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective Al-Qaeda Control

March 3: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands

March 24: Video Shows Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra Using U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Syria

So it’s refreshing to see the DC “smart set” and the establishment media finally fessing up to what has been going on in Syria, but “rarely acknowledged explicitly in public,” but the damage done by the Obama administration’s policy (backed up by the McCain/Graham GOP chorus) and the hundreds of thousands dead is irreversible.

Who in DC or the media will be held to account for this failure?

Obama: Islam’s Most Powerful Friend

Screen-Shot-2015-02-21-at-10.47.14-AM-610x329

Published on Apr 16, 2015 by Eric Allen Bell

Barack Hussein Obama is the most powerful friend Islam has ever known. Islam means “submission”. And Islam has been at war with the world for the past 1,400 years. The goal of Islam is to force the world to submit to Islam.

Guest Column: President Obama’s Passover Seder

by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
April 16, 2015

1145President Obama’s recent statement saying that requiring Iran to recognize Israel would not be part of the agreement with Iran did not surprise Israelis, many of whom feel that the more he tries to assuage their fears, the more they have to worry about. As president of the United States, his first commitment is to the welfare of his country, but it would not have been out of place for him to demand that Iran publicly declare it would not destroy Israel, one of America’s closest allies.

Obama is clearly aware of Israel’s concerns, promising the United States would “be there” for Israel, but where is “there?” When the time comes and Iran does in fact have the bomb, what will his promises be worth, and who will be responsible for keeping them? In the shadow of the agreement, which in any case is full of contradictions and mutual accusations, lies and fraud, and still includes centrifuges, long-range missiles, yellowcake uranium, heavy water facilities and underground bunkers, Iran will continue its military and nuclear buildup without even a nod to retreating from its plan to destroy Israel.

Congress is making a rare bipartisan attempt to pick up the pieces and get a majority to vote down the curious agreement and even override a presidential veto. While Obama persists in deluding himself and others, there are many who in fact take Israel’s warning about the danger posed by a nuclear Iran seriously. In the meantime, to the American administration’s displeasure, Congress is proposing means for oversight and a way to re-impose sanctions on Iran, extracting itself from the straitjacket Obama wants it to wear.

So far, that effort includes defining a time frame for inspection to ensure that the Iranians are fulfilling the minimum requirements as conditions for confirming the agreement along with the possibility of calling it a less-binding “convention.” Those tentative steps, praiseworthy as they may be, do not take into consideration the skill of the Ayatollahs and their agents to manipulate, conceal and distort, as well as their endless patience in finding ways to dupe the hapless inspectors, who will wander around Iran like lost sheep.

Are there any practical implications for Obama’s promise to “be there” for Israel if it is attacked? If the entire Middle East, Iran, the Arabs, the Israelis, share one sentiment, it is their unwavering skepticism regarding the Obama administration’s willingness to intervene in regional crises. In light of the damage done to America’s economy and in light of the losses suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is generally conceded that Obama will not fling himself headlong into any Middle Eastern military confrontation in the foreseeable future. The violence and terrorism his new Iranian partners have employed in the Middle East without provoking any reasonable American response indicate that Obama has taken a backseat.

Obama inherited a series of American failures, such as the North Korean nuclear bomb and the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, but he has his own personal collection: he failed by not understanding the essence of Islamism and by fantasizing about a “moderate” Islam; he made a disastrous speech in Cairo in 2009, making him the laughing stock of the Middle East; he failed in Iraq where the Americans and the Iranians support the Shi’ite militias as they slaughter Sunnis. His measures against ISIS and the other Islamists indirectly strengthen Iran, Hizballah, and the Assad regime and its Russian allies.

Obama failed to stop the slaughter in Syria and the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. He failed when he overthrew Mubarak, replaced him with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, and then did not support the more moderate Sisi when he took control of the government. He failed by not understanding that Turkey’s Erdogan was an Islamist dictator with an imperialist agenda and supported Hamas and ISIS. He failed when he did not stop Putin in the Ukraine and the Middle East, when he did not support his Arab allies in Yemen and other regional crises, and did not even stand by the criteria he himself instituted for dealing with the Iranians. It is hard to know on which side Obama stands, with America’s veteran allies such as Israel and the moderate Arab states, or with Iran, the force coming to power at their expense. His frenzied measures, some of which damage American interests, are a riddle for many.

And now Obama is moving toward failure yet again, this time by forcing Israel to establish another Palestinian terrorist state in addition to the one thriving in the Gaza Strip. The outcome will be a replication of the military-terrorist conditions of the Strip, which threaten Egypt as well as Israel, in Judea and Samaria, where most of the Palestinians support Hamas. The consequence will be that ISIS will find it to pour into Jordan from Syria and Iraq and from there to the West Bank to attack Israel. Simply put, the Palestinians will be menaced, Israel will be menaced, and Jordan will be menaced.

Even the many contradictions in the proposed Iranian agreement indicate that its remaining nuclear capabilities will allow it to build a bomb, this time with the sanction of the Western powers, over the next ten years. The gun is on the table, it just isn’t smoking yet. Clearly, it is no longer a question of whether the Iranians will develop a nuclear bomb, but when.

Time is not important for the Obama administration, which wants only to finish its term with something, anything, to justify the mysterious Nobel Peace Prize Obama received. For Israel and the Sunni Arab states, the next 10 or 15 years given Iran to build its bombs will pass like nanoseconds. Action that puts off the inevitable until Obama leaves the Oval Office is a classic case of “après moi le déluge,” abandoning the Middle East to the tender mercies of Iran and an inevitable nuclear arms race and confrontation.

That being the case, the euphoria oozing from the various op-ed pieces hailing Obama as a brilliant poker player who brought Iran to the finish line at the negotiating table with an American victory is misplaced. The victors were not the Americans, not the Arabs and not the Israelis, but rather the Iranians, laughing all the way to the bomb.

During the White House Passover Seder, Obama sent his blessings to the Jews around the world. He said that the Exodus from ancient Egypt, the journey of the Israelites to freedom, meant choosing “faith over fear, courage over complacency.” It reminds us, he said, that “there is always a reason to hope,” and he somehow managed to wedge the civil rights movement into the picture.

Such exalted humanistic declarations applied to the agreement with Iran are ludicrous. In the Biblical account Pharaoh was overcome and the Jews were saved. In contrast, the agreement with Iran gives the Ayatollahs, the Iranian Pharaohs, international license to manufacture bombs to destroy the Jews. Moreover, the Exodus occurred only after Pharaoh paid no attention to the first plagues sent by God, warning of what would happen if he did not free the Jews and allow them to return to their homeland, Israel. What should be learned from the Exodus is the wisdom of Netanyahu’s proposal for increasing the sanctions on Iran. They are the culmination of the necessary warnings sent to any evil entity and certainly to Iran. Thus, as it is written in both the Old Testament and the Passover Haggadah, only when Pharaoh refused, regardless of the warnings, to free the Jews, did God bring the tenth plague on the Egyptians, and all the firstborn of Egypt were killed.

If Obama had gradually increased the sanctions on Iran, now would be the time to use the lesson of Egypt. According to the Bible, only if Khamenei hardened his heart would bunker-penetrating bombs be launched against Tehran. Even today, that is still possible. The Exodus of the Israelites to the Promised Land was not a matter of concession, fear or appeasement, like Obama’s mistaken interpretation. It was strong-willed, fearless, and determined, and the Israelites smote those seeking to kill them, down to the last one.

Obama’s twisting of the account reveals the extent of his ignorance of both the true nature of the Iranians and how determined and deadly they are, and, unfortunately, of the real history of his Israeli allies. The Obama administration has not yet understood that the Iranians plan to develop a nuclear bomb and to use it to realize their ambition to achieve regional expansion and hegemony. The Islamist clerics sanction the use of chemical and biological warfare, relying, irony of ironies, on the 10 plagues, and on Islamic history, according to which Muhammad used vermin, snakes and scorpions to attack the “infidel” city of Taif. According to Islamic doctrine, Islam should always pay its enemies back in kind, so its twisted logic decrees that if the Americans used the atomic bomb against Japan, Iran can use it against the Americans.

The American administration has deluded itself into thinking that the Iranians, who already are denying or falsifying the details of the agreement, will abort their pan-Middle Eastern imperialistic ambitions. The administration is trying to sell the entire Middle East the fairy tale that the Iranian regime, which invested billions – if not trillions – of dollars in bunkers, centrifuges and uranium, had its nuclear scientists assassinated, had its population starved through sanctions, developed missiles, weaponry and an army, and stands poised to buy cutting-edge Russian anti-aircraft missiles, is now willing to toss it all away to justify Obama’s next Nobel Peace Prize or because Obama and Kerry were such charismatic dinner companions in Lausanne.

Israel has yet to be convinced.

Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel’s top experts on Arab affairs.

The Reverse Iran Deal Ratification Process

obamawinkingap_600.jpg.cms_Commentary Magazine, by Jonathan S. Tobin, April 15, 2015:

The day after the White House waved the white flag on the Corker-Menendez bill that would force President Obama to submit a nuclear deal with Iran for congressional approval some of his press cheering section is still lamenting this defeat.The New York Times editorial page continued to rage about the spectacle of Democrats uniting with Republicans to force some accountability on the president. Meantime, congressional critics of the president were likewise still celebrating and denouncing the administration’s claims that the amendments Corker allowed to be added to the bill substantially modified it as nothing more than cheap spin. But in a classic example of how our political class—both on the left and the right—can be equally mistaken despite holding opposite views, both the Times and conservative Obama critics are wrong. By embracing the Corker bill, the White House has more or less assured that a terrible Iran deal will be ratified.

Let’s pause a moment to note that the Times’s argument against congressional review of the Iran deal is yet one more example of the shameless and utterly unprincipled partisanship of the Democrats’ paper of record. Had this been a Democratic-controlled Congress seeking to force a Republican president like George W. Bush from concluding a foreign agreement without observing the constitutional niceties in which the Senate must approve such documents, the Times would be invoking the need to defend the rule of law and inveighing against a GOP imperial presidency. But since this is a Democratic president facing off against a Republican Congress, they take the opposite point of view and say Congress is meddling in the president’s business. Need we remind the editors of the Times about what The Federalist Paperssay about the dangers of a president acting as if he is an “hereditary monarch” rather than an “elective magistrate” again?

But instead of wasting time pointing out the obvious, it might be just as important to tell the president’s critics to stop patting themselves on the back for forcing him to back down on Corker-Menendez. The more you look at what this bill accomplishes, the more likely it seems that Obama will get his way no matter how bad the final version of the Iran deal turns out to be.

Even if we dismiss the concessions Corker made to the president’s Democratic Senate allies as not significant, the basic facts of the situation are these. Instead of the Iran deal being presented to the Senate as a treaty where it would require, as the Constitution states, a two-thirds majority to pass, Corker-Menendez allows the deal to be voted upon as a normal bill. That means that opponents need only a simple majority to defeat it. That’s good for those who understand that this act of appeasement gives Iran two paths to a bomb (one by cheating on it via huge loopholes and one by abiding by it and patiently waiting for it to expire) and needs to be defeated, right? Wrong.

By treating it as a normal act of legislation, the president will be able to veto the measure. That sets up a veto override effort that will force Iran deal critics to get to 67 votes, a veto-proof majority. If that sounds reasonable to you, remember that in doing so the bill creates what is, in effect, a reverse treaty ratification mechanism. Instead of the president needing a two-thirds majority to enact the most significant foreign treaty the United States has signed in more than a generation, he will need only one-third of the Senate plus one to get his way.

By allowing pro-Israel Democrats a free pass to vote for Corker-Menendez the president is giving them a way to say they voted to restrain the president before also granting them a path to back him by either voting for the deal or failing to vote to override the president’s veto. That gives plenty of room for inveterate schemers such as Democratic Senate leader-in-waiting Chuck Schumer to make sure the president gets his 34 votes while giving some Democrats, including perhaps himself, impunity to vote against him.

What has happened here is that despite furious effort and hard legislative work all critics of Obama’s pursuit of détente with Iran have accomplished is to allow him the opportunity to legally make a historic and disgraceful act of betrayal of Western security with the least possible support. They may have had no better options and I’ll concede an ineffectual vote on an Iran deal might be better than no deal at all, but please spare me the praise for Corker’s bipartisanship or the chortles about how the White House was beaten. What happened yesterday actually advanced the chances for Iran appeasement. And that’s nothing to celebrate.

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Rubin: Obama Enabling Iran in Middle East, Economic Coercion Is the Answer

unnamed1-640x480Breitbart’s Adelle Nazarian had the opportunity to speak with renowned Middle East expert and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Dr. Michael Rubin recently. Dr. Rubin provided his analysis on U.S.-Iran relations under the Obama Administration and provided a look into the future through the periscope of the past.

He is the author of Dancing With the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes and a former Pentagon official. With a June 30 deadline for a final nuclear deal swiftly approaching, Rubin draws upon heightened concerns surrounding President Obama’s destructive handling of this most pivotal moment in international relations and national security with regard to U.S.-Iranian relations.

BREITBART NEWS: Do you think President Obama, John Kerry and the American team of negotiators were aware of how the Iranians operated?

RUBIN: No. I honestly think they were in a bubble and they were also blinded by their own personal ambition. Obama is arrogant. He thinks that all the problems with diplomacy were because of his predecessors rather than with his adversaries. Therefore, he has repeatedly gotten us into trouble with dictators and rogue regimes like Russia ad now Iran. They play the United States.

Obama is willfully naive and he doesn’t understand that evil exists in the world and that it wants to destroy the United States.

BREITBART: Considering he has former NIAC employee Sahar Nowrouzzadeh and Valerie Jarrett advising him, wouldn’t you think he would be better prepared to deal with the Iranians?

RUBIN: He surrounds himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear. But a low-level and a c-staffer is hardly someone that you could say advises the president accurately.

BREITBART: Many in the media and on the left have suggested that the conservatives see war and bombing Iran as the only option should the nuclear deal fail. What viable alternatives could you offer?

RUBIN: That’s just such nonsense and what we see is that, when it comes to diplomacy, the only people who you can trust are the conservatives. President Obama likes to credit sanctions — both United Nations sanctions and otherwise — despite the fact that he was consistently against sanctions whenever he had the chance. He’s too busy making John Bolton into a straw cartoon to recognize that John Bolton was the man who crafted the Untied Nations sanctions.

And whether it was John Bolton as under secretary of state or ambassador to the United Nations, it was Bolton who rallied the international community and gave us unanimous or near-unanimous U.N. security council resolutions that ultimately brought Iran to its knees.

BREITBART: So what do we do with Iran?

RUBIN: Economic coercion. When Hillary Clinton came into office as secretary or state she almost lectured Republicans and said, if you’re not going to talk to your enemies, who are you going to talk to? And she cited Ronald Reagan who sat down with Mikhail Gorbachev to end the Cold War. But she didn’t understand the importance of leverage to Reagan.

Reagan had prefaced his diplomacy with Gorbachev with a military buildup in order to negotiate from a position of strength. In order to bring Iran to the table and have them adhere to their international agreements, you have to maximize your leverage. Obama agreed to give Iran $11.9 billion in sanctions relief in unfrozen assets just to sit at the table and talk to the American team.

To put this in perspective, the annual, official budget of the Revolutionary Guard is about $5.6 billion. In order to get the Iranians to sit at the table, Obama gave Iran enough money to pay the salaries of a group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans for two years.

BREITBART: It has been suggested that up to $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets could be released to the Iranian regime. Would this guarantee the regime’s longevity?

RUBIN: Yes. The Soviet Union ultimately fell due to an unstable economy. The analogy would be that, instead of bankrupting the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan decided to flood them with cash. What Obama is doing with the potential release of those funds, is taking a hateful, racist regime and throwing it a lifeline.

The IRGC dominates the Iranian economy. The revolutionary foundation and what’s called Khatam al-Andia control perhaps 40% of Iran’s economy, including anything involved with import and export. So rather than allowing reformism to flourish inside of Iran, the net impact of the rush to do business inside Iran and to bring Iranian oil into the market will be to empower the Revolutionary Guard even further. It would allow them to consolidate control.

The IRGC is involved with the military aspects of the nuclear program, which of course aren’t included in this framework yet. And they are also in charge of export of revolution. And we see that this isn’t mere rhetoric when we look at what is happening in Gaza and Yemen. Simply put, if Obama and his national security team were to sit down and ask themselves what a strategy to enable Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East would look like– I hate to say it, but it would not look any different from the strategy they are now pursuing.

BREITBART: What are the Iranian mullah’s plans in the region? Now that not only Tehran but Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and even Sanaa are under their control, what is their ultimate goal?

RUBIN: This is something else Obama simply doesn’t understand or he ignores. Iran is not a status quo state. It is an ideological revisionist state. Its goal is to export revolution. Ordinary Iranians may not subscribe to this, but in any dictatorship it’s the guys with the guns that matter. And in this case, the Iranians used to describe themselves as a regional power. Then about four years ago, they began describing themselves as a pan-regional power, meaning the Persian Gulf and the North Indian Ocean.

Well, this past November they started talking about themselves in terms of having strategic boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aden. And again, we see that this wasn’t mere rhetoric when we look at the weapons shipments to Syria and to Hamas. And when we look at Iranian activities in Yemen.

BREITBART: Is it then safe to say that Iran’s goal is not very different from the goal of ISIS, which is to establish an Islamic Caliphate and regional hegemony, except that they have two different fundamental Islamic ideologies?

RUBIN: Correct.

BREITBART: What do you think will happen when Khamenei passes away?

RUBIN: We only have one example of this happening before and that was when Khomeini died. On paper, you have an 86-member particle body called the Assembly of Experts which decides who replaces him. In reality, from 1989 we know thats not the case. What happened in 1989 with Khomeini’s death was that all the power centers got together and basically came to a consensus. That consensus was Khamenei.

Now who that consensus figure will be, I don’t know. But it is possible to have a council. And that is the Iranian way of kicking the can down the road. But this is what concerns me; and this is also where Obama’s outreach is so short-sighted. Any strategy which empowers the Revolutionary Guard gives the Revolutionary Guard additional powers to impose its will as the next choice. After all, if they’re powerful, they’re not going to subordinate themselves to someone with whom they disagree.

The important thing about this is you have a cycle of radicalization in which the supreme leader picks the most radical, ideologically pure officers to staff the highest levels of the Revolutionary Guard. Those same officers then have predominant influence in choosing the next supreme leader. And so President Obama is not only pursuing a deal which is bad for the United States and Iranians in the short term. He is pursuing a deal which is going to perpetuate this radicalization for at least another generation or two.

Obama Administration Knew of Illegal North Korea Missile Technology Transfers to Iran During Talks

North Korean Sohae Launch Station November 2012 Source Space.com

North Korean Sohae Launch Station November 2012
Source Space.com

NER, by Jerry Gordon, April 15,2015:

Bill Gertz has a blockbuster expose in today’s Washington Free Beacon  of something we have been hammering away for years: the technology transfer of  missile  and nuclear technology  between  North Korea and the Iran, “North Korea Transfers Missile Goods to Iran During Nuclear Talks.”  The stunning disclosure was that US intelligence has known about the illegal transfer in violation of UN arms sanctions, as apparently did the Obama Administration.   You recall the statement that Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman made before a Senate hearing in early 2014. Sherman said, “that if Iran can’t get the bomb then its ballistic missiles would be irrelevant.”

In a March 2014 NER article “Has Iran Developed Nuclear Weapons in North Korea In March 2014, we wrote a New English Review article, we interviewed my colleague Ilana Freedman about her sources on Iran North Korean nuclear cooperation. She noted:

According to my sources, Iran began moving its bomb manufacturing operations from Iran to North Korea in December 2012. Two facilities near Nyongbyon in North Pyongan province, some 50 miles north of Pyongyang, have become a new center for Iran’s nuclear arms program.

Over the last year, Iran has been secretly supplying raw materials to the reactor at Nyongbyon for the production of plutonium. At a second facility, located about fifteen miles north and with a code name that translates to ‘Thunder God Mountain’, nuclear warheads are being assembled and integrated with MIRV platforms. MIRVs are offensive ballistic missile systems that can support multiple warheads, each of which can be aimed at an independent target, but are all launched by a single booster rocket. Approximately 250-300 Iranian scientists are now reported to be in North Korea, along with a small cadre of IRGC personnel to provide for their security.

According to the reports, the Iranian-North Korean collaboration has already produced the first batch of fourteen nuclear warheads. A dedicated fleet of Iranian cargo aircraft, a combination of 747′s and Antonov heavy-lifters, which has been ferrying personnel and materials back and forth between Iran and North Korea, is in place to bring the assembled warheads back to Iran.

Gertz’s WFB reported:

Since September more than two shipments of missile parts have been monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies as they transited from North Korea to Iran, said officials familiar with intelligence reports who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Details of the arms shipments were included in President Obama’s daily intelligence briefings and officials suggested information about the transfers was kept secret from the United Nations, which is in charge of monitoring sanctions violations.

While the  CIA declined to comment on these allegations claiming classified information, others  , Gertz queried  said that “such transfers  were covered by the Missile Technology Control Regime, a voluntary agreement among 34 nations that limits transfers of missiles and components of systems with ranges of greater than 186 miles.”

One official said the transfers between North Korea and Iran included large diameter engines, which could be used for a future Iranian long-range missile system.

The United Nations Security Council in June 2010 imposed sanctions on Iran for its illegal uranium enrichment program. The sanctions prohibit Iran from purchasing ballistic missile goods and are aimed at blocking Iran from acquiring “technology related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

U.S. officials said the transfers carried out since September appears to be covered by the sanctions.

In a June 2014 Iconoclast post  we drew attention to Iranian/ North Korean joint development of large rocket boosters sufficient to loft nuclear MIRV warheads and the likelihood that Iran might have that capability within a few years. In June 2014, The Algemeiner reported an Iranian official announcing that it possessed a 5,000 kilometer (approximately 3,125 miles) range missile that could hit the strategic base of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean:

“In the event of a mistake on the part of the United States, their bases in Bahrain and (Diego) Garcia will not be safe from Iranian missiles,” said an Iranian Revolutionary Guard adviser to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Majatba Dhualnuri.

Gertz cites 2009 State Department Classified cables revealed by Wikileaks  confirming the Freedman analysis:

North Korea also supplied Iran with a medium-range missile called the BM-25 that is a variant of the North Korean Musudan missile.

“This technology would provide Iran with more advanced missile technology than currently used in its Shahab-series of ballistic missiles and could form the basis for future Iranian missile and [space launch vehicle] designs.”

“Pyongyang’s assistance to Iran’s [space launch vehicle] program suggests that North Korea and Iran may also be cooperating on the development of long-range ballistic missiles.”

A second cable from September 2009 states that Iran’s Safir rocket uses missile steering engines likely provided by North Korea that are based on Soviet-era SS-N-6 submarine launched ballistic missiles.

That technology transfer was significant because it has allowed Iran to develop a self-igniting missile propellant that the cable said “could significantly enhance Tehran’s ability to develop a new generation of more-advanced ballistic missiles.”

“All of these technologies, demonstrated in the Safir [space launch vehicle] are critical to the development of long-range ballistic missiles and highlight the possibility of Iran using the Safir as a platform to further its ballistic missile development.”

Gertz quotes  former US UN Ambassador John Bolton,  former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz and former Senate Foreign Relations Committee arms control expert Thomas Moor  raising concerns about  Administration suppression of  missile technology transfers between North Korea and Iran.

Ambassador Bolton said:

“And if the violation was suppressed within the U.S. government, it would be only too typical of decades of practice,” Bolton said. “Sadly, it would also foreshadow how hard it would be to get honest reports made public once Iran starts violating any deal.”

Fleitz said:

“While it may seem outrageous that the Obama administration would look the other way on missile shipments from North Korea to Iran during the Iran nuclear talks, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” Fleitz said.

“The Obama administration has excluded all non-nuclear Iranian belligerent and illegal activities from its nuclear diplomacy with Iran,” he said. “Iran’s ballistic missile program has been deliberately left out of the talks even though these missiles are being developed as nuclear weapon delivery systems.”

“Since the administration has overlooked this long list of belligerent and illegal Iranian behavior during the   Iran talks, it’s no surprise it ignored missile shipments to Iran from North Korea,” he added.

Moore said:

“If true, allowing proliferation with no response other than to lead from behind or reward it, let alone bury information about it, is to defeat the object and purpose of the global nonproliferation regime—the only regime Obama may end up changing in favor of those in Tehran, Havana and Pyongyang,” Moore said.

These stunning disclosures about missile component transfers between North Korea and Iran with the knowledge of the Administration and intelligence echelon confirms  the conclusion of our several NER and Iconoclast posts. To wit:

“Who will be able to stop that dangerous development taking place in North Korea’s hermit Kingdom? Who is best able to counter these threats in both Iran and North Korea?”   That appears to be foremost from the minds of Secretary Kerry, Undersecretary Sherman and the President intent on perfecting a new paradigm of relations in the Middle East by pivoting to Iran.  They appear not bothered by the facts and the national security implications of Iran with nuclear tipped ICBMs courtesy of North Korea.

Add this latest Gertz, WFB reports to the stack of  increasing evidence to quote Israeli PM Netanyahu that the nuclear deal with Iran “ is a very bad deal”.  Now we have to wait the delivery of a final agreement with Iran may or may not eventuate. Thus  raising the question of whether yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee  unanimous approval of  the Iran Nuclear Review agreement legislation, if passed  by both chamber and signed into law by President Obama,  will ever be triggered.

Shameful Corker “Compromise” Is a Triumph For The Obama Administration’s Iran Negotiations Strategy

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Corker talks to reporters before meeting with Secretary of State Kerry on Iran nuclear negotiations in WashingtonBy Andrew Bostom, April 15, 2015:

Yesterday, April 14, 2015 a much ballyhooed “compromise” regarding S.615, “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.” was unanimously agreed upon within the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Independent Politico.com, and Washington Post assessments of critical aspects of the lauded compromise brokered by Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, and Democrat Ben Cardin helped eliminate my own cautious optimism about what in fact transpired.

Politico noted:

Though it gives Congress an avenue to reject the lifting of legislative sanctions that will be a key part of any deal with Iran, it explicitly states that Congress does not have to approve the diplomatic deal struck by Iran, the United States and other world powers… nor does it treat an Iran agreement like a treaty

This claim is substantiated on p. 32 of the updated bill, under a section entitled, “EFFECT OF CONGRESSIONAL ACTION WITH RESPECT TO NUCLEAR AGREEMENTS WITH IRAN,”which states in lines 16-19,

16‘‘(C) this section does not require a vote by

17 Congress for the agreement to commence;

18 ‘‘(D) this section provides for congressional

19 review,

Moreover, as Karen DeYoung and Mike DeBonis added in their Washington Postreport:

Obama retains the right to veto any action to scuttle an Iran pact. To override, a veto would require a two-thirds majority of both House and Senate.

Accordingly, the Corker-Cardin compromise validates the Obama Administration’s negotiations strategy. That “strategy” is contrary to almost all past arms control agreements of consequence, which have been Senate Advice and Consent Treaties, whose approval requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate. The Obama Administration, in contrast, is hell-bent on giving legitimacy to Iran’s uranium enrichment program, and waiving economic sanctions on Iran, while not submitting the fruits of its masterful negotiations to a Congressional vote for initial approval, prior to implementing the agreement. These developments should be a tocsin of looming calamity given that the framework fiasco for this pending deal includes an inadequate/“hotly contested” inspections process, while also fully ignoring Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear weaponization programs.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) commented wistfully that although the bill “created” the role of post-hoc “congressional review,” it remained “a long way from advice and consent” for an agreement which “rises to the level of a treaty.” But Iran—a self-proclaimed jihadist state with global hegemonic aspirations—remains in an open-ended, “fierce” jihad war with the U.S. “at all levels,” as one “moderate” Iranian adviser to former moderate Iranian President Khatami recently explained. Notwithstanding Sen. Johnson’s rueful acknowledgment, Senate Republicans have shirked their Constitutional, and moral responsibility, rather than confront the implications of Iran’s religiously-inspired bellicosity. With the exception of a gimlet-eyed young Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)—who speaks candidly about tactical destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which is the only rational way to thwart Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons capability—Senate Republicans have cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama Administration bullying so as not to be labeled “warmongers.”

***

A Formula for Rubber-stamping Obama’s Iran Deal by Frank Gaffney

On the surface, yesterday’s insistence by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Congress get a vote on a nuclear deal with Iran appears to be a victory for what is left of our constitutional republic.

Two clues suggest otherwise: First, the panel’s legislation was adopted unanimously. And second, the White House says Mr. Obama is willing to sign such a bill.

The President and his partisans on Capitol Hill are on board for a simple reason: Instead of this deal facing the high hurdle the Constitution requires for treaties – in which the executive branch must persuade two-thirds of the Senate to approve it, the mechanism set up by the proposed legislation will require opponents to come up with that super-majorityin both houses of Congress.

This arrangement serves Iran’s interests, not America’s.

***

Obama’s One-Man Nuclear Deal – WSJ

President Obama says he wants Congress to play a role in approving a nuclear deal with Iran, but his every action suggests the opposite. After months of resistance, the White House said Tuesday the President would finally sign a bill requiring a Senate vote on any deal—and why not since it still gives him nearly a free hand.

Modern Presidents have typically sought a Congressional majority vote, and usually a two-thirds majority, to ratify a major nuclear agreement. Mr. Obama has maneuvered to make Congress irrelevant, though bipartisan majorities passed the economic sanctions that even he now concedes drove Iran to the negotiating table.

The Republican Congress has been trying to reclaim a modest role in foreign affairs over Mr. Obama’s furious resistance. And on Tuesday afternoon the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed a measure that authorizes Congress to vote on an Iran deal within 30 days of Mr. Obama submitting it for review.

As late as Tuesday morning, Secretary of State John Kerry was still railing in private against the bill. But the White House finally conceded when passage with a veto-proof majority seemed inevitable. The bill will now pass easily on the floor, and if Mr. Obama’s follows his form, he will soon talk about the bill as if it was his idea.

Mr. Obama can still do whatever he wants on Iran as long as he maintains Democratic support. A majority could offer a resolution of disapproval, but that could be filibustered by Democrats and vetoed by the President. As few as 41 Senate Democrats could thus vote to prevent it from ever getting to President Obama’s desk—and 34 could sustain a veto. Mr. Obama could then declare that Congress had its say and “approved” the Iran deal even if a majority in the House and Senate voted to oppose it.

Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker deserves credit for trying, but in the end he had to agree to Democratic changes watering down the measure if he wanted 67 votes to override an Obama veto. Twice the Tennessee Republican delayed a vote in deference to Democrats, though his bill merely requires a vote after the negotiations are over.

His latest concessions shorten the review period to 30 days, which Mr. Obama wanted, perhaps to mollify the mullahs in Tehran who want sanctions lifted immediately. After 52 days Mr. Obama could unilaterally ease sanctions without Congressional approval. Mr. Obama has said that under the “framework” accord sanctions relief is intended to be gradual. But don’t be surprised if his final concession to Ayatollah Khamenei is to lift sanctions after 52 days.

Mr. Corker also removed a requirement that the Administration certify to Congress that Iran is no longer supporting terrorism. This sends an especially bad signal to Iran that Congress agrees with Mr. Obama that the nuclear deal is divorced from its behavior as a rogue state. One of Mr. Obama’s least plausible justifications for the nuclear deal is that it would help to make Iran a “normal” nation. But if Tehran is still sponsoring terrorism around the world, how can it be trusted as a nuclear partner?

***

Our own view of all this is closer to that of Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who spoke for (but didn’t offer) an amendment in committee Tuesday to require that Mr. Obama submit the Iran nuclear deal as a treaty. Under the Constitution, ratification would require an affirmative vote by two-thirds of the Senate.

Committing the U.S. to a deal of this magnitude—concerning proliferation of the world’s most destructive weapons—should require treaty ratification. Previous Presidents fromJFK to Nixon to Reagan and George H.W. Bush submitted nuclear pacts as treaties. Even Mr. Obama submitted the U.S.-Russian New Start accord as a treaty.

The Founders required two-thirds approval on treaties because they wanted major national commitments overseas to have a national political consensus. Mr. Obama should want the same kind of consensus on Iran.

But instead he is giving more authority over American commitments to the United Nations than to the U.S. Congress. By making the accord an executive agreement as opposed to a treaty, and perhaps relying on a filibuster or veto to overcome Congressional opposition, he’s turning the deal into a one-man presidential compact with Iran. This will make it vulnerable to being rejected by the next President, as some of the GOP candidates are already promising.

The case for the Corker bill is that at least it guarantees some debate and a vote in Congress on an Iran deal. Mr. Obama can probably do what he wants anyway, but the Iranians are on notice that the United States isn’t run by a single Supreme Leader.

***

Ignatius: WH Left Kerry Like a ‘Beached Whale’ When They Realized They’d ‘Get Clobbered’ on Iran Washington Free Beacon

***

Also see:

Tom Friedman’s Iran Ignorance

maxresdefault (1)Commentary Magazine, by Michael Rubin, April 14, 2015:

Jonathan Tobin highlights well some problems with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s defense of President Barack Obama’s empathy with Iran. Perhaps a greater irony, however, is how wrong Friedman gets Iranian history. Friedman describes how:

We, the United States, back in the ’50s, we toppled Iran’s democratically-elected government. You know, there might be some reason these people actually want to get a weapon that will deter that from happening again.

Three problems with this conventional wisdom:

  • Firstly, Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq was not much of a democrat. Or, if he was a democrat, then he was a democrat in the mold of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide: he was democratic so long as you agreed with him; Iranians who voiced opposition might easily find themselves lynched.
  • Second, while Kermit Roosevelt wrote the main English-language account of the 1953 coup in Countercoup, he exaggerated his own and the United States role in what was a much broader operation. The idea for the coup was British because Mosaddeq had nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (a predecessor of British Petroleum) and then refused to negotiate. The United States was more concerned by Mosaddeq’s pro-Soviet proclivities. So too were the Iranians themselves, especially the military and the clergy. That’s right, the folks who run the Islamic Republic today were co-conspirators with the United States and deeply opposed to Mosaddeq’s anti-clerical attitudes. So when Friedman self-flagellates, he essentially is apologizing to the Iranians who supported the coup.
  • Third, Friedman gets the shah wrong. Mohammad Reza Shah was a deeply problematic figure, and he grew far more dictatorial after the 1953 coup, but at the time of the coup, he was a popular head of state whom Mosaddeq was seeking to force out in order to assume dictatorial power himself. Then again, he was a dictator in the mold of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Turkey: he sought dictatorial powers to modernize Iran, making Iranians equal under the law regardless of religion and enfranchising women. Still, the shah’s regime was brutal at time, and there were no angels in this story. But the idea that the 1953 coup motivates the Iranian nuclear program is bizarre. While the shah had a nuclear program himself, the resurrection of the Iranian nuclear program after the Islamic Revolution can be traced more to Iraqi chemical weapons attacks on Iran.

There’s also a broader problem underlying both Obama’s and Friedman’s assumptions about Iranian motivations, and that is the assumption that grievance motivates the Iranian nuclear drive. That’s lazy thinking and belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic. At its heart, the Islamic Republic is an ideological state. The reason why Obama’s interpretation that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s statements can be discounted because he’s playing to a political constituency are so bizarre is that such an explanation suggests ignorance of the fact that the supreme leader derives legitimacy from God rather than from the Iranian public. The Islamic Republic simply isn’t a normal, status quo state; it’s a revisionist, ideological power. Iran’s nuclear behavior is rooted not in grievances real or imagined, but rather in a desire to export its revolution. [emphasis added]

Also see: