#BringBackOurRebels: Statement Confirms Arrest of U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels By Al-Qaeda After Pentagon Denial

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 30, 2015:

Earlier this week I reported here at PJ Media that the first class of Obama’s U.S.-trained “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels – 50 in all – had left Turkey for Syria and had not been heard from since, based on a McClatchy report.

Then yesterday I posted a follow-up report that 18 of the newly trained U.S. rebels, including some of its leaders, had been arrested/kidnapped by Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

In response to that report, Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr. Elissa Smith denied the claim:

daily sabah

Reports have claimed that the al-Qaida linked Al-Nusra Front has detained 18 opposition members, including Syrian Turkmen Colonel Nedim Hassan, -who is the leader of the U.S train-and-equip program-, and field commander Farhan Jasim near the Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, which was refuted by the Pentagon.

“While we will not disclose the names of specific groups involved with the Syria Train and Equip program I can confirm that there have been no New Syrian Force personnel captured or detained.” Pentagon spokeswoman or Cmdr. Elissa Smith told Daily Sabah.

It was claimed that the opposition members who were returning from the train-and-equip program from Turkey were cut in by the Nusra militants, and were allegedly detained on the grounds that they are cooperating with the U.S.

But that flat-out denial by the Pentagon on the matter is refuted this morning in a report by Reuters and a statement issued by the group itself:

reuters tweet

From the Reuters report:

The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front has abducted the leader of a U.S.-backed rebel group in north Syria, opposition sources and a monitoring group said, in a blow to Washington’s efforts to train and equip fighters to combat Islamic State.

A statement issued in the name of the group, “Division 30″, accused the Nusra Front of abducting Nadim al-Hassan and a number of his companions in a rural area north of Aleppo. It urged Nusra to release them.

A Syrian activist and a second opposition source said most of the 54 fighters who have so far completed a U.S.-led train and equip programmed in neighboring Turkey were from Division 30.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that reports on the war, said the men were abducted while returning from a meeting in Azaz, north of Aleppo, to coordinate efforts with other factions. The opposition source said they were abducted on Tuesday night.

The Telegraph is also reporting:

Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists kidnapped the commanders of a US-trained rebel faction operating in northern Syria on Wednesday, sources said, in another blow for the Pentagon’s train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels.

A statement issued Wednesday by the Division 30 Infantry group accused the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, of taking the Division’s commander, Colonel Nadim Al-Hassan, and his companions in the northern countryside of Aleppo province.

“[The Division] demands that the brothers in the Nusra Front release the colonel… and his companions with the utmost speed so as to preserve the blood of the Muslims and… so as not to weaken the frontlines with side disputes between the brothers of one side,” said the statement, which was released on Division 30′s official page on social media.

Lister tweet2

Lister3

So now the Obama administration and the GOP leadership that pushed thru the $500 million in funding for the program are now embarrassed on multiple levels:

  • The program was supposed to train 5,000 rebels to fight the Islamic State this year, but Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted to Congress earlier this month that only 60 had completed the program.
  • To train those 60 fighters, the Pentagon has burned one half of the funds allocated for the training, with $4 million spent per fighter so far.
  • No sooner had that first class of 54 been sent off to Syria on July 12, the Pentagon reportedly lost contact with them.
  • Then yesterday the initial reports were that 18 of those members had been arrested by Jabhat al-Nusra, prompting the Pentagon denial.
  • Now the Division 30 statement and the Reuters report flatly contradict the Pentagon denial yesterday, meaning they did not know or they lied about the embarrassing report.

As I stated in concluding yesterday’s report, does anyone still want to talk about a JV team?

***

Also see:

Intel expert: Obama admin framing arms dealer

Hillary Clinton testifying on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack

Hillary Clinton testifying on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack

WND, by Jerome Corsi, July 27, 2015:

NEW YORK – A member of the independent Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi believes the Obama administration positioned arms dealer Marc Turi to take the fall for illicit arms deals to Libya orchestrated in 2011 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department.

The Justice Department has charged Turi with lying on an export-license application, alleging he hid his intent to ship weapons and ammunition to Libya in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 170. The Feb. 26, 2011, resolution imposed an arms embargo on all member states to prevent “the immediate prospect” of a Gadhafi-led attempt “to slaughter rebel forces in Benghazi that would likely result in massive civilian casualties.”

“We have ample evidence the Libyan gun-running operation was a White House operation and that the State Department under Hillary Clinton ran the show,” said Clare Lopez, a member of the Citizens’ Commission who served as a career operations officer with the CIA and is currently vice president for research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.

Lopez made it clear she was speaking for herself and not for the commission.

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi is a group of 17 retired admirals and generals, former intelligence agents, counter-terrorism experts, media specialists and former members of Congress organized in 2013 by Roger Aronoff, editor of Accuracy in Media. The founding members are retired U.S. Navy Adm. James Lyons and retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely.

Find out what really happened: Aaron Klein’s “The REAL Benghazi Story” exposes the ongoing cover-up

The commission has been working behind the scenes for the past two years to ensure Congress uncovers what really happened in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

As WND reported Thursday, defense filings in the Department of Justice prosecution of Turi allege the Obama administration is willing to prosecute an innocent man to cover up the role Hillary Clinton played shipping weapons to Libya.

Lopez told WND the “key point is that Marc Turi, despite receiving written approval from the U.S. government to broker weapons to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, never actually went through any weapons purchases or shipments to Qatar, to the UAE or to Libya.”

She pointed to the Citizens’ Commission’s April 2014 interim report, which concluded it was Clinton’s State Department that was shipping the guns to Libya.

“Marc Turi was set up and framed for something he didn’t do, while others, who actually did collaborate with Qatar and the UAE to deliver the weapons under U.S. and NATO protection and supervision, are not only not prosecuted like Marc Turi, they’re not even mentioned,” Lopez said.

The official story

On Dec. 5, 2012, New York Times reporters James Risen, Mark Mazetti and Michael Schmidt, without citing a source, clearly implicated Turi as the arms dealer at the center of the 2011 redirection of weapons from Qatar that was interdicted by Libya and shown to world media by then-Gadhafi officials spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, as reported by WND.

In their article, titled “U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands,” they wrote: “The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.”

The Times story said the “case of Marc Turi, the American arms merchant who had sought to provide weapons to Libya, demonstrates other challenges the United States faced in dealing with Libya.”

“A dealer who lives in both Arizona and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turi sells small arms to buyers in the Middle East and Africa, relying primarily on suppliers of Russian-designed weapons in Eastern Europe,” the Times said.

From there, the Times account of Turi’s involvement in the Qatar-Libya arms deal bears close resemblance to the “statement of facts” provided the U.S. District Court in Arizona in the Turi criminal indictment brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Phoenix.

“In March 2011, just as the Libyan civil war was intensifying, Mr. Turi realized that Libya could be a lucrative new market, and applied to the State Department for a license to provide weapons to the rebels there, according to e-mails and other documents he has provided,” the Times article continued.

The newspaper noted American citizens are required to obtain U.S. approval for any international arms sales.

“Mr. Turi’s application for a license was rejected in late March 2011,” the Times reported. “Undeterred, he applied again, this time stating only that he planned to ship arms worth more than $200 million to Qatar.”

Then, the newspaper reported that in May 2011, Turi’s application was approved.

“Mr. Turi, in an interview, said that his intent was to get weapons to Qatar and that what ‘the U.S. government and Qatar allowed from there was between them.’ Two months later, though, his home near Phoenix was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security.”

The Times reported administration officials said he remained under investigation in connection with his arms dealings.

The Justice Department would not comment, the Times said.

The paper said: “Mr. Turi said he believed that United States officials had shut down his proposed arms pipeline because he was getting in the way of the Obama administration’s dealings with Qatar. The Qataris, he complained, imposed no controls on who got the weapons. ‘They just handed them out like candy, he said.”

‘Zero footprint’

As WND reported, Fox News analysts Andrew Napolitano, in a nationally syndicated column published July 1, said an interview with Turi conducted by Fox News intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge and Fox News Senior Executive Producer Pamela Browne led him to review emails to and from State Department and congressional officials sent when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

The correspondence caused him to conclude “beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty” that Hillary had conducted a “secret war” shipping arms to Libya illegally in 2011.

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John Kerry Is Blowing the Iran Nuke Deal

john_kerry_senator_from_ma-2Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, July29, 2015:

It’s hard to imagine a worse salesman for the Iran deal than John Kerry. Kerry couldn’t sell himself to Americans as a presidential candidate. Now he has to sell a nuclear Armageddon to Americans.

National security was Kerry’s undoing during his presidential campaign. He had shot American soldiers in the back during Vietnam to build a base for his own political future. He had eagerly pandered to Marxist-Leninist terrorists who massacred native peoples and burned their churches. He had been for the Iraq War before he was against it and for Assad’s Syrian dictatorship before he was against it.

Now Kerry is supposed to sell the most controversial and explosive national security issue since the Cold War to a skeptical nation. And he’s doing just about as well as you would expect.

John Kerry’s tour of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations came with all the nervous tics, the stumbling statements and erratic claims that everyone has come to expect from the only man who could have possibly made Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State tenure look good.

Asked whether he really believed that Iran, which is sitting on a mountain of oil and gas, just wants a peaceful nuclear program “to generate electricity”, Kerry admitted that it already has a military program.

Then he insisted that we had to go through with the deal anyway so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of the ayatollah.

“I mean, do you think the ayatollah is going to come back to the table if Congress refuses this and negotiate again?… I mean, please. I would be embarrassed to try to go out—I mean, what am I going to say to people after this as secretary of State?,” Kerry whined.

The Secretary of State for the greatest nation in the world had been reduced to complaining that he would be too embarrassed to renegotiate the deal. Congress had to play it cool and stop embarrassing him in front of his cool new ayatollah friends.

Kerry couldn’t offer a direct answer to the question because he had already argued that Iran “believed deeply that they had a right to… have a peaceful nuclear program; because they resented the fact the United States had supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq”. Iran did restart its nuclear program during the war with Iraq, and, like most nuclear programs during wartime, it was as peaceful as a bomb.

“O Allah, for your satisfaction, we sacrificed the offspring of Islam and the revolution,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote after the Iran-Iraq War. The letter quoted the need for “atomic weapons” and evicting America from the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader had told top officials that Khomeini had reactivated Iran’s nuclear program, vowing that it would prepare “for the emergence of Imam Mehdi.”

Imam Mehdi was never going to be impressed with a slightly lower electric bill.

Kerry had contradicted himself in a single response, admitting that the nuclear program had reemerged during the Iran-Iraq War while claiming that it was peaceful.

But Kerry’s real focus was always on empathizing with the enemy.

“I know, the degree to which Iran felt isolated by that and the sort of impact of the choices that were made during that period of time. So we’re trying to make up for that now. We’re where we are. We’re not blaming anybody,” he offered in his new role as the Ayatollah’s infidel therapist.

He insisted that 24 days was plenty of time just to get access to an Iranian rogue nuclear site while admitting that, “The breakout time goes down to always somewhere in the vicinity of a month or two.” And he suggested that Iran would become peaceful because he had “friends” who had been to Tehran and told him it was “teeming with young people who all have smartphones.”

And Kerry just wanted to go to Tehran and hang out with all the teeming cool young people and their smartphones.

The need for approval from enemies of the United States was quintessential Kerry. Utterly unwilling to acknowledge that there was a different worldview on the other side of the table, he namedropped his opposite number as “Foreign Minister Zarif, who lived here in New York” as if a man who lived in the city couldn’t possibly be a fanatical enemy of the United States.

That would have come as a surprise to Mahmud Abouhalima or Leon Trotsky.

But Kerry had just begun embarrassing himself.

Challenged on welcoming back a terrorist state to the international arena, Kerry claimed that he had told the Iranians that their chants of “Death to America” were not helpful. Asked about other states getting nuclear weapons to compete with Iran, Kerry quipped that, “You can’t just go out and buy a nuclear weapon. You don’t ship them FedEx, you know.”

If Kerry had been paying attention in the Senate, he would have known that the Khan nuclear network which shipped kits of nuclear equipment and bomb plans, had been caught by Bush shipping crates to Libya. It wasn’t FedEx, but it was close. Bush had managed to achieve a complete shutdown of Libya’s nuclear program, while Kerry had legalized the other beneficiary of the Khan network in Iran.

This would have been a month’s worth of gaffes for any other politician, but for John Kerry, it was just one question and answer session gone wrong.

Kerry had already told PBS that Iran isn’t “allowed” to transfer any of the $140 billion in sanctions relief to terrorists because of a UN resolution, before admitting that Iran would probably do it anyway. Then he had backpedaled by claiming that money wouldn’t make much of an impact on terrorism anyway.

When asked about Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s threats to America and announcement that he would continue funding terrorists, Kerry spluttered that he doesn’t “know how to interpret it at this point in time”.

“Death to America” can be surprisingly nuanced when analyzed by a master of nuance like John Kerry.

Kerry had managed to torpedo a plan for air strikes on Syria through his own inept statements. Now he’s sabotaging another administration policy goal.

The more Kerry talks, the more he comes off as a car salesman pushing the latest gently used nuclear Armageddon. He stumbles unconvincingly from one rationalization to another, revealing more about his insecurities than his policies.

Every Kerry argument is a thread and it doesn’t take much tugging on it for the whole dirty garment to come apart in a snarl of rationalizations and half-truths. Like a bad liar, he instinctively contradicts himself. And like a worse liar, he follows it up with false choices and false accusations.

His every argument comes down to some version of “Well what’s your alternative” or “If we walk away now, we lose all credibility”. It’s the argument you expect to hear from a man who has sent his fortune off to a Nigerian prince, not the Secretary of State of the United States.

The conclusion to every Kerry argument is the desperate pessimism of, “We have no other choice.” While Iran’s leadership gleefully celebrates, Kerry tells us that there are no other options. The more he talks, the more he convinces everyone who listens that the United States lost.

Underneath it all is a persistent whine. It’s the tone of an overgrown teenager who just wants to hang out with all the cool Marxist-Leninist rebels, Islamic terrorists and Viet Cong bosses. Somewhere in his mind, Kerry is still a petulant teenager resentful that he has to justify his fun times with Zarif, who used to live in New York and probably knows lots of teenagers with smartphones, by testifying to Congress.

Kerry doesn’t care about Iran’s nukes or its breakout times and he resents having to memorize this stuff. What excites him is giving the finger to America and meeting up with enemies of this country. It’s how he began his career and it’s how he’s ending it now. The more questions he has to answer, the more flustered he becomes because we’re the mean parents embarrassing him in front of the cool ayatollah. 

***

John Kerry Struggles to Explain How Iran Nuclear Deal Benefits U.S.

Ret. Admiral Stavridis: ‘You Can Drive a Truck Through’ Holes in Iran Deal

Also see:

The Guantanamo Non-Answer That Says a Whole Lot

gitmo2Center for Security Policy, by Ben Lerner, July 28, 2015:

Over the weekend, Lisa Monaco, Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, announced some details of the plan that the White House is presently crafting to shut down detainee/interrogation operations at Guantanamo Bay.

The Hill reports:

…There are currently 116 detainees at the facility, and under the new plan some of them would be moved to the U.S.

Monaco said the plan was to transport the 52 detainees deemed eligible for transfer to countries with appropriate security arrangements.

According to Monaco, those who are deemed “too dangerous to release” would be subject to periodic review boards for transfer eligibility. In 10 instances, 13 review boards have already resulted in individuals being moved to the so-called “transfer bucket.”

“So we are going to whittle down this group to what I refer to as the ‘irreducible minimum’ who would have to be brought here,” Monaco said.

“That group, who either can’t be prosecuted, or are too dangerous to release, we are going to continue to evaluate their status.”

Under the law of war, Monaco said, those remaining after review would be transferred to U.S. military prisons or supermax security prisons, and be subjected either to prosecution in military commissions or Article III courts…

The White House is crafting this plan ostensibly in response to Sen. John McCain’s inclusion of provisions in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that require the Obama administration to submit a Gitmo closure plan to Congress for approval.  By contrast, the House does not open the door for Gitmo’s closure as the Senate does, and instead tightens existing restrictions on the transfer of Gitmo detainees.  The NDAA is presently undergoing conference negotiations, and it remains unclear whether McCain’s provisions on this subject will survive that process.

But the fate of these provisions in Congress may not matter.

The Hill observes further:

…When asked if the president would take executive action to transfer detainees to the U.S. if Congress did not work with the administration, Monaco twice avoided a direct answer, drawing a stir from the crowd…

It’s easy to see why Monaco is ducking such questions.  Look at the Obama administration’s record when it comes to working with Congress, and acting within the parameters of our constitutional system, on national security matters.

The Obama administration already previously cut Congress out of the loop in a high-profile Gitmo detainee release — there were no consultations with Congress regarding the transfer of five senior Taliban detainees held there in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, despite a clear statutory requirement that Congress receive thirty days notice of such transfers.  More recently, the administration took its ill-conceived Iran deal to the United Nations Security Council for a vote, before Congress has a chance to review it and vote to approve or disapprove, per the agreement hammered out in the Corker-Cardin legislation that Obama himself signed into law.

And who could forget Obama’s amnesty end-run around Congress and immigration laws in November of 2014, showing total disregard for Congress’s fundamental role in determining who gets admitted to the United States?

Make no mistake, President Obama is in full legacy mode – and one piece of his legacy may well be that he ran over Congress, the Constitution, and the will of the American people on his way to facilitating the release of some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

Exit question: If 52 of these remaining detainees are perfectly good-to-go for transfer to other countries, why aren’t other countries jumping at the chance to take them in and help President Obama put that nasty George W. Bush-era stain of Gitmo to bed?  Could it be because of stuff like what happened in Belgium just last Friday?:

Belgium has arrested two former detainees of Guantanamo prison on charges of terrorism, saying the men are suspected of seeking recruits to fight in Syria, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Friday.

“The two men, who were held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval base in Cuba between 2001 and 2005, were under police surveillance and were arrested in the early hours of Thursday in the Belgian city of Antwerp along with three others.

“”They were in a car, we believe waiting to commit a robbery,” said Jean-Pascal Thoreau, a spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecutor…

Obama Admin Backs NATO Ally Turkey’s Double Game with Islamic State After Turks Bomb Anti-ISIS Kurdish Groups

1436985867gory-23PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 26, 2015:

A bizarre situation unfolded this past week, one that could possibly drag the U.S. into a new war in the Middle East.

On Monday, a suicide bomber attacked a rally in Suruc, Turkey, targeting a news conference of the Kurdish Federation of Socialist Youth Associations, killing 32. The suicide bomber was identified by Turkish authorities as an Islamic State supporter who had returned from Syria.

NYT tweet

In response the Islamist government in Ankara, led by Obama’s pal Recep Erdogan (one of Obama’s top five international friends), launched airstrikes targeting not the Islamic State, but Kurdish groups in Iraq.

CNN Turk

CNN Turk m2

This comes as more evidence emerges that Turkey has been playing a double game with the Islamic State. The evidence was obtained in a U.S. special forces raid of a senior ISIS leader in Iraq.

The Guardian reports today:

When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.

The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.

As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world.

This comes as more evidence emerges that Turkey has been playing a double game with the Islamic State. The evidence was obtained in a U.S. special forces raid of a senior ISIS leader in Iraq.

The Guardian reports today:

When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.

The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.

As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world.

Turkey oil link t0 ISIS

 

This is not the first time that Turkey has been caught double-dealing against their U.S. NATO ally. There was the “gas for gold” scheme with Iran that allowed the Islamic Republic to skirt international sanctions, and Erdogan and the Turkish intelligence chief had a photographed meeting with U.S. designated Al-Qaeda global terror financier Yasin al-Qadi.

Curiously, shortly after those reports showing photographs of Erdogan meeting with al-Qadi appeared in the Turkish media, the Treasury Department under Obama removed al-Qadi’s terror designation.

The preferred route of thousands of foreign fighters now in the ranks of ISIS appears to have been mostly coming from Turkey and crossing the border into Syria, bringing complaints that Turkey was not doing enough to combat the group’s growth and that the border was becoming “a two-way jihadist highway.”

But a series of published reports going back to last year seem to show direct and indirect Turkish support for the Islamic State.

  • In April 2014, Turkish media reports showed photographs of ISIS commander Abu Muhammad being treated at the Hatay State Hospital after being injured fighting in Syria. Opposition politicians also claimed that fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, were allowed to stay at the guesthouses of the government’s Religious Affairs Directorate.
  • Last November, Newsweek published an interview with a former ISIS fighter who said that ISIS fighters faced no obstructions entering from Turkey. Meanwhile, ISIS commanders bragged about the “full cooperation with the Turks,” while anti-ISIS Kurdish fighters were blocked by Turkish authorities.
  • This account seems to be confirmed by a report from Aydınlık Daily, which reported in July 2014 that the Turkish intelligence service, the MIT, had transported members of Syrian terrorist groups and their weapons across the border.
  • Two weeks after that report, at an event site approved by Erdogan’s ruling AKP Party and sponsored by a publication known for its ISIS sympathiesa rally was held in Istanbul where video showed speakers openly calling for jihad. There were also reports that recruiting for ISIS fighters took place.
  • In January, Turkish military documents from the Gendarmerie General Command leaked online showed that Turkish intelligence were transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition for Al-Qaeda and actively obstructed the military from documenting the transfers.
  • The New York Times reported in May that massive amounts of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer used for making bombs, were being prepared in a Turkish town near Syria and transported across the border. The report quoted an opposition politician who admitted that the fertilizing was not for farms, but for bombs.
  • Reuters reported exclusively in late May that court documents and prosecutor testimony revealed that Turkish intelligence had transported weapons across the border in 2013 and early 2014, aiding the offensive push by ISIS into Iraq in June 2014. Erdogan himself had said that the shipments were aid.

And then there’s this, though it’s unlikely that it’s much of a secret…

Turkey recruting IS

Read more

Also see:

Come the F*ck On: al Qaeda Is Not Our Ally!

Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Daily Beast, by Robin Simcox, July 24, 2015:
A new argument among jihad analysts has it that the makers of 9/11 are now a handy bulwark against ISIS. Um, no.
Enemies becoming friends is seemingly all the rage these days. First Cuba. Then Iran. Now, there are those arguing that al Qaeda must also be brought into the fold. That’s right: the same group which fly planes into our buildings, blows up our tube networks, embassies and longs for the return of the Caliphate.

The argument seems to be catching on. The journalist Ahmed Rashid has recently taken to the pages of the New York Review of Books (“Why we need al Qaeda”) and the front cover of The Spectator (“Al Qaeda to the rescue”) to question whether al Qaeda “might be the best option left in the Middle East for the US and its allies.” The argument goes that the U.S., regional Arab powers and Turkey have a shared enemy in Bashar al-Assad, Iran and its proxies. Al Qaeda not only shares these enemies, it is at the frontline of this fight in Syria and Yemen.

Rashid also says that al Qaeda is going through “dramatic changes” and are now taking a “soft line” on certain issues. Charles Lister from Brookings has also explored potential al Qaeda moderation—with the headline used in his May article for the Huffington Post, “An Internal Struggle: Al Qaeda’s Syrian Affiliate is Grappling with its Identity,” making the group sound more like a 16 year-old goth from Portland than a murderous terrorist organization.

Other, less savory figures have spoken out on other ways in which al Qaeda may be useful. Moazzam Begg—the former Guantanamo Bay detainee—cites Rashidwhile arguing that “the most credible voices against IS have been Islamic clerics traditionally associated with al Qaeda”: Abu Qatada and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. These two jihadist theologians’ fatwas have been used to justify barbaric violence for decades. Yet Begg laments the UK government’s reluctance to reach out to such figures, arguing that it would help avert a repeat of the massacre of British tourists that just occurred in Tunisia.

This is largely unsurprising coming from Begg, who has long argued the Islamist cause. Yet as others view al Qaeda as a potentially constructive partner, it is worth exploring this thesis on its merits.

The examples of moderation cited by the likes of Rashid are anything but. A statement from Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, the head of al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, saying that he was under instructions not to use Syria “as a base to launch attacks on the West or Europe” is highlighted as a sign of progress. However, even this concession—as deeply generous as it is—is not because of a lack of desire to kill more Westerners; it is “so as not to muddy the current war” in Syria. A change in tactics should not be confused for a change in strategy.

The al-Nusra Front also remains proud of al Qaeda’s past successes when it comes to mass murder. A propaganda video they just released is heavy on video footage from 9/11—an attack described in the video as “the most effective solution”—and speeches by Osama bin Laden.

Rashid also mischaracterizes the nature of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s behavior in Yemen. He describes AQAP’s capture of territory in Hadhramaut, southeast Yemen, as “remarkably tame,” arguing that they “inflicted little damage, executed nobody, declined to run the local government and instead installed a council of elders to govern.” The residents of Hadhramaut—especially those in Mukalla—seem to remember things differently. Last month, they saw two Saudis murdered in public by the group and then strung up from a bridge, accused of being ‘spies’. There has also been recent reports from those living under AQAP rule in Mukalla that they have burned down markets; intimidated local residents and blown up local mausoleums.

Step outside the Middle East and there are a host of other examples demonstrating that al Qaeda is as brutal as it ever was. Look at the intensity of al-Shabaab’s attacks in Somalia, or the six UN peacekeepers killed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali earlier this month. The families of the “blasphemers” murdered by al Qaeda’s newest branch in the Indian Subcontinent also probably do not see much evidence of the group’s supposed “soft line”.

After the wars we have waged against the group over the past fourteen years and the blood that has been shed across the world by al Qaeda, it is remarkable to have to argue that they are not a constructive partner in anything the U.S. would ever want to achieve in the Middle East. Then again, we live in strange times. Who would have thought that the U.S. would be willing to militarily partner with the very same Iranian militias in Iraq that were killing their soldiers in the same theater ten years ago?

Something similar cannot be allowed to happen again. Al Qaeda is not our ally. It remains as committed as ever to our destruction and we should never forget it.

U.S.-Funded Free Syrian Army Unit Shows Off Its Kidnapping Skills in New Training Video

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 23, 2015:

A training video released today by Liwa Fursan al-Haqq (Knights of Justice Brigade) of the “vetted moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) opens with the group’s special forces practicing their abduction and kidnapping skills. And yet FSA units, funded, supported and armed by the U.S., have been repeatedly implicated in the abduction and kidnapping of U.S. citizens in Syria.

Here you can see them putting their U.S.-funded training to practice:

vlcsnap-2015-07-23-18h11m41s955

Also shown are critical military skills, such as standing on the back of a motorcycle while shooting two U.S.-funded AK-47s one-handed:

vlcsnap-2015-07-23-18h27m21s069-1024x576

Of course no jihadist training video would be complete without the requisite traversing of the monkey bars:

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Or the “Fiery Ring of Death”:

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Delta Force and the Navy SEALs have nothing on Liwa Fursan al-Haqq. Yet all three elite units are funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars!

You can watch the whole 10 minute video in all of its glory:

What makes the video of U.S.-funded FSA units being trained in kidnapping and abduction so important to note is that FSA units have repeatedly been implicated in the abduction of American citizens who were later traded to Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, as well as the Islamic State.

That would include American journalist James Foley, beheaded by the Islamic State last year in its first such grisly video, who reportedly came into ISIS custody when the FSA-aligned Dawud Brigade that kidnapped and held Foley pledged allegiance to ISIS and delivered him to ISIS as a token of their submission.

That, however, is not the only such documented incident of FSA units abducting Americans.

In late October, American journalist Theo Padnos — who was captured by the U.S.-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 U.S.-trained FSA fighters that exposes the glaring weaknesses of the CIA’s vetting system:

I returned to the FSA 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.”

An NBC News crew taken captive in Syria in December 2012, and who later repeatedly claimed they had been held by an Assad regime militia, later admitted – following a New York Times investigation – that they were in fact held by an FSA criminal network.

Also, there is evidence that NBC News executives knew from the time of the crew’s capture that they were held by U.S. allies, but allowed the blame to fall on Assad since that didn’t conflict with the Obama administration’s position at the time.

The chief Washington D.C. cheerleader for the Syrian rebels, Charles Lister of the Brookings Institution, happily announced the Liwa Fursan Al-Qaqq video release earlier today:

Lister tweet

As I noted back in April here at PJ Media, Lister finally admitted what he and most of the other Western supporters of the Syrian rebels have well known for a long time — that vast majority of Syrian rebel groups have been associated with Jabhat al-Nusra, a fact mostly concealed by the D.C. “smart set”:

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.

In fact, it was just a year ago yesterday that Liwa Fursan Al-Haqq announced they were separating from Jabhat al-Nusra. Nusra had been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in December 2012.

As a result of that separation, that gave the U.S. the go-ahead to begin supplying them with heavy weaponry, such as TOW anti-tank missiles, which you can see them using in the video below:

So the next time that an American citizen finds himself kidnapped by a FSA unit, possibly ending up starring in the Islamic State’s latest beheading video, he can take comfort that his captors have received the best training and received the most advanced weaponry courtesy of his own country’s support.

Your U.S. taxpayer dollars hard at work!

Iran Is Working with al Qaeda

‘FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF, IS YOUR GOVERNMENT STILL HARBORING AL QAEDA OPERATIVES?’

‘FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF, IS YOUR GOVERNMENT STILL HARBORING AL QAEDA OPERATIVES?’

So why are we working with Iran?

Weekly Standard, by Thomas Joscelyn, August 3, 2015:

On July 21, the Pentagon announced that Muhsin al-Fadhli, an al Qaeda operative who had been wanted for more than a decade, was killed in an airstrike in Syria earlier in the month. Fadhli has been dead at least once before. In September 2014, the United States launched airstrikes against his so-called Khorasan Group (a cadre of al Qaeda veterans plotting attacks against the West), and some officials told the press that Fadhli had perished. That wasn’t true. Still, Defense Department officials are confident they got their man on July 8. The DoD doesn’t usually issue formal press releases for this sort of thing unless there is significant intelligence backing up its claims. The department wasn’t fully forthcoming, however. Its short biography of Fadhli was missing a key word: Iran.

Before relocating to Syria, Fadhli led al Qaeda’s network in Iran. The Treasury Department revealed this fact in a terrorist designation issued October 18, 2012. Fadhli, Treasury reported, “began working with al Qaeda’s Iran-based facilitation network in 2009 and was later arrested by the Iranians.” But he was “released by the Iranians in 2011 and went on to assume the leadership of the facilitation network.”

“In addition to providing funding for al Qaeda activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Treasury said, Fadhli’s network was “working to move fighters and money through Turkey to support al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Syria.” Fadhli leveraged “his extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors to send money to Syria via Turkey.”

Iran didn’t simply turn a blind eye to Fadhli’s activities. The Treasury Department explained that a deal requires al Qaeda’s men to report to the regime. “Under the terms of the agreement between al Qaeda and Iran, al Qaeda must refrain from conducting any operations within Iranian territory and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities informed of their activities.” Al Qaeda benefits from this relationship. “In return” for accepting Iran’s terms, Treasury continued, “the Government of Iran gave the Iran-based al Qaeda network freedom of operation and uninhibited ability to travel for extremists and their families.” Iranian authorities enforce these terms, which were negotiated “with the knowledge” of Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man, by detaining al Qaeda members who do not comply.

There has been surprisingly little discussion of this during the debate over President Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran, even though al Qaeda’s presence on Iranian soil greatly complicates Obama’s vision of a post-deal world.

It is no secret that the president believes the deal with Iran could open the door to a better relationship between the regime and its “Great Satan,” America. “Iran may change,” Obama told the New York Times’s Tom Friedman in an interview published in April, though he tried to tone down his optimism by “emphasizing that the nuclear deal that we’ve put together is not based on the idea that somehow the regime changes.” Still, Obama said Iran could be “an extremely successful regional power” and a “responsible international player,” as long as “it did not engage in aggressive rhetoric against its neighbors,” “didn’t express anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish sentiment,” and “maintained a military that was sufficient to protect itself, but was not engaging in a whole bunch of proxy wars around the region.” Of course, a “responsible” Iran wouldn’t support al Qaeda either.

President Obama and his advisers like to pretend that critics of their Iran deal are warmongers who don’t want a diplomatic resolution or have otherwise been compromised by “lobbying.” But opponents of the deal are rightly concerned about Iran’s clear record of illicit nuclear activities and its decades of anti-Americanism (including killing U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan), antisemitism, and revolutionary fervor, which the regime zealously exports throughout the region. (Iran has actually increased its support for proxy wars during Obama’s tenure in office.)

Iran’s agreement with al Qaeda—exposed by Obama’s own administration, not critics of the Iran deal—puts these concerns into stark relief. It is the administration, after all, that declared Muhsin al-Fadhli a threat to Americans who needed to be killed.

Since 2011, Obama’s Treasury and State Departments have repeatedly said that Iran works with al Qaeda. On July 28, 2011, Treasury unmasked “Iran’s secret deal with al-Qaeda,” saying it allows al Qaeda “to funnel funds and operatives through [Iranian] territory” and is “another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism.” Yasin al-Suri, the head of the Iran-based network at the time, and several of his al Qaeda colleagues were designated terrorists. On December 22, 2011, the State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Suri’s capture—one of the richest rewards offered for any terrorist. “Iranian authorities maintain a relationship with al-Suri and have permitted him to operate within Iran’s borders since 2005,” State said.

On February 16, 2012, the Treasury Department designated Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for its support of al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq. According to Treasury, the “MOIS has facilitated the movement of al Qaeda operatives in Iran and provided them with documents, identification cards, and passports.” In addition, it “provided money and weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) .  .  . and negotiated prisoner releases of AQI operatives.” (AQI evolved into the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot that controls significant territory in Iraq and Syria.)

As the Obama administration continued to shed light on al Qaeda’s operations inside Iran, Suri was sidelined. The Iranians placed him under some form of arrest in late 2011. At this point, as Treasury explained in the aforementioned October 18, 2012, designation, Fadhli took over.

Suri wasn’t in Iranian custody for long, however. In January 2014, State and Treasury Department officials interviewed by Al Jazeera warned that Suri was back on the street and “more active than ever.” Curiously, according to these officials, Iran allowed Suri to funnel cash and fighters to the Nusra Front, an official branch of al Qaeda that is engaged in a vicious fight against Iran’s proxies in Syria; it is not clear why. On February 6, 2014, Treasury officially confirmed that Suri had “resumed leadership of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network after being temporarily detained there in late 2011.” Treasury also designated one of Suri’s subordinates inside Iran.

Then, on August 22, 2014, the Treasury Department designated yet another al Qaeda leader who had operated in Iran, a Saudi known as Sanafi al-Nasr. Treasury said that Nasr served as the “chief of al Qaeda’s Iran-based extremist and financial facilitation network” in early 2013. (This was just after Fadhli left for Syria and before Suri resumed his leadership position.) Like Fadhli, Nasr relocated to Syria, where he became a senior member of the Nusra Front. He is also part of the Khorasan Group.

It is likely that Iran had the power to stop terrorists such as Fadhli from leaving Iranian soil. He had been imprisoned in Iran before and could have been again. The regime chose not to, for whatever reason.

Obama’s State Department has repeatedly pointed to this collusion in its annual Country Reports on Terrorism. Previous editions, such as the one published last year, referred to al Qaeda’s network inside Iran as a “core facilitation pipeline” that enables al Qaeda “to move funds and fighters to South Asia and also to Syria.” However, State’s most recent report, published earlier this year, says that Iran “previously allowed” al Qaeda to maintain this network. The implication is that Iran’s deal with al Qaeda is a thing of the past, although the department did not explicitly state this.

Has Iran changed its policy with respect to al Qaeda? There is no clear indication it has, despite the fact the two are at loggerheads in countries such as Syria and Yemen. Iran’s ally, the Assad regime, certainly wants al Qaeda terrorists like Fadhli taken out. And CNN reported last year that Syrian forces had captured Fadhli’s bodyguard, who supposedly offered up intelligence on his boss’s anti-Western plotting. But U.S. intelligence officials contacted by The Weekly Standard in recent months say they think the Iranians continue to allow al Qaeda jihadists to operate inside their country. If the Obama administration has evidence the situation has changed, they should present it.

In the meantime, congressmen and senators worried that the influx of cash Iran will receive under the nuclear deal will make it easier for the regime to sponsor terrorism should be asking some pointed questions. Do Iran and al Qaeda still have a deal in place? Is Yasin al-Suri still facilitating al Qaeda’s operations from inside Iran, as the administration itself warned just last year? Why should we trust the Iranian regime to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal if it is working with al Qaeda terrorists who threaten us?

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Anti-Iran Rally Expected to Draw Thousands in Times Square

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http://stopiranrally.org/video-stream-tune-in-live-on-wednesday-in-times-square/

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, July 21, 2015:

Thousands of people are expected in New York’s Times Square on Wednesday evening to protest a “bad deal” with Iran, and to urge Congress to vote down the new nuclear accord.

The “Stop Iran Rally” will take place between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. Over 100 organizations are sponsoring the rally which will be live-streamed via Breitbart News here.

Prominent international experts from military, government, academic and media backgrounds will be addressing the crowd. Featured speakers include Caroline Glick (Jerusalem Post Columnist), Alan Dershowitz (Harvard Law professor emeritus), George Pataki (former Governor of New York and current Republican Candidate For President), Monica Crowley (Fox News Political Commentator), James Woolsey (former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency),

, Former Congressman Allen West (R-FL), and Col. Richard Kemp, Ret. (former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan).

The Iran deal will exclude U.S. nuclear inspectors from international teams inspecting Iran’s nuclear sites. The deal will allow Iran to delay some inspections by at least 24 days, and may not allow access to “undeclared” nuclear sites on military bases. After several years, the deal will it allow Russia and China, among others, to supply Iran with conventional weapons and, later, ballistic missile technology. The deal also leaves four American detainees in limbo, as Obama has not negotiated for their release.

According to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll, 77% of Americans believe U.S. sanctions against Iran should be kept in place.

The deal has already been approved, 15-0, by the UN Security Council – bypassing Congress, despite the understanding that Congress would have the final say in the matter. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 will effectively remove international sanctions–which are separate to those imposed by the US and EU–within 90 days.

Obama has said time and again that he would veto any rejection of the deal by Congress; the question is whether both houses of Congress can muster the two-thirds majority needed to override the president.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Pataki lambasted President Obama’s decision to bypass Congress, saying it might “be a violation of his oath in office…He signed the law allowing Congress to reject this deal in 60 days and had not even provided Congress with five days to review the terms of the deal before going to the UN.”

Following years of calls for “death to America” and “death to Israel,” Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei again took to the airwaves this week to reiterate his government’s unwavering hostility towards “the arrogant government of the United States,” assuring his countrymen that even after the nuclear deal is solidified, Iran’s policies toward America “will not be changed one bit.”

Khamenei declared that Iran’s support for terrorists in the region would remain,unwavering. “We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.” Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and part of the $150 billion in frozen assets that the Obama Administration has promised to release into their hands will go towards supporting Iran’s military and terrorist proxies.

Pataki told Breitbart News that the nuclear accord is no “deal” at all, and likened it to “a one-sided surrender [rather] than an actual agreement. There’s no question in my mind that his benefits Iran which calls for death to Israel and America.”

Col. Richard Kemp told Breitbart News that “Iran is well-known to be sponsoring terrorism through its proxies in the Middle East,” adding that the additional $150 billion it receives “will undoubtedly go towards sponsoring terrorism” along with a newfound “confidence” with which to carry out militaristic endeavors against the West.

Kemp said he has no doubt that the nuclear technology could be transferred to terrorist groups by Iran, noting that “the deal cannot fail. It will enable it to do whatever it likes in the region….All [Iran] needs to do is to threaten to rescind from the deal which will be catastrophic for Obama” and his legacy.

“Iran will now have the ability to up its funding of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah which are set on the destruction of Israel.”

Similar rallies are planned this week in cities nationwide, listed here.

Also see:

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Watch This TV Host SCHOOL Obama… Says What We’re ALL Thinking

CKUoDT5VEAEQYymAllen B. West,  written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor on July 19, 2015:

In just over two minutes, this young woman sums up perfectly what we’ve all been thinking and saying for some time now about all that’s wrong with our national discussion and focus. All that, sadly, was brought into high relief with last week’s killing, on American soil, of four Marines and one U.S Navy sailor at the hands of an Islamic terrorist.

In closing out yesterday’s “On Point with Tomi Lahren” show, host Tomi Lahren absolutely and eloquently SCHOOLS President Obama and the left for misguided priorities and distractions — from climate change and wage inequality to gay marriage, “white racism” and more.

Ms. Lahren, who herself comes from a family of Marines, calls out radical Islam — now a reality at home — as the real problem in no uncertain terms. It’s two minutes well worth watching — and sharing.

Ms. Lahren’s clearly had enough of President Obama’s lack of strategy for dealing with the real and present threat, now on our own shores, of radical Islam. She channels so many of us in closing:

I’ve had it with this failed strategy, this halfway, half-baked, tiptoe, be-friendly-to-jihadis mentality pushed by this administration.

A Time To Confront Our Enemies At Home

obama (1)Frontpage, by David Horowitz, Daniel Greenfield, July 20, 2015:

The killing of five unarmed military servicemen at two military recruiting centers is an omen and a warning: The “war on terror” has come home.

Thanks to Obama’s retreat from Iraq and the Middle East, the jihad waged by Islamic terrorists is now being fought on American soil, instead of on a battlefront in Fallujah and Anbar. Thanks to the borders Obama has destroyed and the tens of thousands of legal immigrants the White House has decided to import from terrorist regions, the enemy is among us. Thanks to Obama’s denial that we are at war at all, the Islamic jihad is now being waged in Chattanooga and Fort Hood, the fly over country that liberals and progressives have always despised.

This is not the first time that a military recruiting office in the South was attacked by a Muslim terrorist. In 2009 – Obama’s first year in office – Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad opened fire on a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas, under orders from Al Qaeda in Yemen, and killed Private William Long.

It was the shot that should have been heard around the country but wasn’t, because America’s Commander-in-Chief told us that Muhammad was a lone crazed assassin, not a vanguard Islamic soldier. According to Obama, there was no war with Islamic fanatics. The fanatic himself rejected the lie.  “This is not the first attack, and won’t be the last,” Muhammad warned. “I’m just one Muhammad. There are millions of Muhammads out there. And I hope and pray the next one will be more deadlier than Muhammad Atta!”

The next one—the attack this time– was certainly deadlier than his. Mohammad Youssduf Adulazeer’s attack in Chattanooga copied Muhammad’s tactic of opening fire from a car on a recruiting center before driving on to the next target. In 2009 Abdulhakim Muhammad was not charged with terrorism. The Commander-in-Chief called him “a lone gunman” and a pliant media dutifully dismissed his military mission as a product of personal depression and mental instability rather than an act of service to Allah’s war.

Barack Obama’s first year in office was also the year of the Fort Hood massacre, when a self-declared Islamist warrior, shouting “Allahu Ahkbar,” gunned down 13 American soldiers – also unarmed by order of their government. The Obama administration officially labeled his act of war “workplace violence” and refused to identify the enemy or take steps to defend his targets.

Four unarmed Marines and an unarmed sailor died this week because of the refusal of our Commander-in-Chief to learn from the 2009 attacks or prepare for the next. Instead he covered it up with psychobabble, and continued to deny our servicemen the weapons that could have saved their lives. Obama’s strategy in this war to destroy us, target by target, is to lull Americans into believing that there is no war, that Islamic terrorists are “not Islamic,” and that “the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” The result of Obama’s denial is that the war has come home and we are fighting blind in our own country with our hands tied behind our backs.

Every Muslim attack in the last decades has been made possible because the apologists for terrorism among us have done everything they could to deny the plain and obvious, to tie the hands of our first responders, and to make the tasks of our would be destroyers that much easier. While the Muhammads and Mohammads kill Americans in a holy war for Allah, the liberal apologists for Islamic fanatics wage a holy war against their critics. They have been doing this since 9/11, beginning with President Bush. For eight years the Bush administration kept our Islamic enemies on the run in Afghanistan and Iraq but thanks to the appeasement of Obama and the Democrats, they have finally succeeded in shifting the terror front from Tikrit to Tennessee.

Our military cannot defend our shores against the Islamic holy war when their commander-in-chief will not allow it. By withdrawing from Iraq and tying the military’s hands, Obama has allowed the homeland to become a target. By abandoning the Iraqis to the mercies of the mullahs, he has created chaos and a vacuum in the region that stretches from Afghanistan to the Levant. The results are horrific: hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims slaughtered by ISIS with barely a mention from the Obama White House, let alone a response; two million Christian and Muslim refugees driven from their homes by fear of crucifixion and beheading, murder and rape; ISIS savagery instantiated in an “Islamic State.” Obama’s response? “The Islamic State is not Islamic.”

Obama is the leader of America’s fifth column – the domestic abettors of America’s destroyers. The column itself is the danger we face. Even as the ashes of 9/11 smoldered, Saudis and Kuwaitis were rushing to buy up American law firms and PR outfits to defend the killers and transform them into victims; longstanding anti-American parties like the ACLU got to work persuading hundreds of American cities to make pledges of non-cooperation with Homeland Security the Patriot Act; Democrat run “sanctuary” cities sprang up to provide safe havens for criminal aliens seeking a base in the American homeland; a coalition of civil rights groups set out to sabotage America’s defenses, claiming that a totalitarian state was around the corner if Americans dared to confront terrorism with beefed up security.  With the imprimatur of the White House, the Muslim Brotherhood and its fronts manufactured a crisis of Islamic “persecution” and worked to expunge the words “Islamist” and “jihad” from the manuals and pronouncements of the federal government. Their goal? To handcuff law enforcement’s first responders as they dealt with the terrorist threat.  With the connivance of the White House they reached the goal.

So where do we stand? The holy war against Americans – against atheists and believers, against Christians and Jews – grows more dangerous by the hour while the president and his followers find every excuse to promote a nation’s denial and make it more and more difficult to defend itself. Defense of America is condemned as “Islamophobia” – and this by liberals at the Center for American Progress and the New America Foundation as well as by agents of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is actually responsible for inventing the term.

The battle flag of our internal attackers is green and red. The green side of the unholy alliance is the political arm of the Islamic jihad, the Brotherhood and its offshoots. The red side is the political left encompassing the spectrum from liberal to progressive (but excluding patriots like senators Lieberman and Menendez). The apex of this unholy collaboration is in Washington D.C. where the president finds ever more innovative ways of promoting Islam as the victim and denying the obvious threat. He withdraws our military ground forces from frontline battlefields safely distant from America’s shores. He wags his finger at Christians, drawing diagrams of moral equivalence between Islamic fanatics and their infidel victims. He turns his back on allies in Israel and Egypt, while offering his political support to the Brotherhood in Cairo and the Islamists in Teheran. The Democrats have become a party of collaborators and their leader the Petain of a Vichy America that provides a stealth cover to the enemy’s attempts to destroy us.

It is time to stop pretending that Obama and his minions really care when Christians are slaughtered without mercy or Jews are threatened with extinction. What is being done to stop these genocides?

When the Commander-in-Chief occasionally drones a terrorist leader this is not an act of war or reprisal but a feint to draw attention away from the fact that he is disarming America, degrading our military even as the threat to our citizenry grows and grows.

It is time to recognize that Obama does not love America enough to confront our enemies and defend our shores.

It is time for the patriots among us to wake up and step forward. It is time to call the actors by their right names. Islamist are Islamists and terrorists are terrorists. But that is only a beginning.

It is time to hold accountable all those who are helping to bring the war home. This is essential in order to defend ourselves against the next round of terrorist attacks. Let us begin by calling them by their right names:

A denier is a denier.

An appeaser is an appeaser.

An enabler is an enabler.

A betrayer is a betrayer.

And President Obama is all of these.

And so are those who follow his lead.

Obama Makes the Worst Trade in US History: Israel for Iran

iran-oabmaThe Blaze, by Benjamin Weingarten, July 14, 2015:

On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, a despicable and disastrous betrayal has become clear: President Barack Obama has traded Israel for Iran.

In the annals of the history of American foreign policy filled with pages of willful blindness, amorality and often State Department-led folly, there are few things more substantively and symbolically egregious than this fundamental transformation.

Consider the two nations of which we are speaking: One is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world, run by genocidal jihadist theocrats who in their Twelver Shiite theology seek to bring on the apocalypse by destroying the cradle of world civilization. The other is a bastion of liberty, plurality, dynamism, creativity and innovation, despite being surrounded by myriad hostile regimes.

In a sane world, it would be unthinkable, unconscionable, and un-American for us to turn on the state of Israel – the front line of Western civilization against barbarians who seek to take us, and who are fast taking themselves, back to the seventh century.

But then we are in year seven of the Obama presidency, an “Alice in Wonderland” world in which the seemingly perverse has become the norm, all in the name of regressive progressivism.

While Americans focus on the seen of beheadings or the destruction of ancient artifacts by Islamic State in high definition, that shock our collective conscience, the unseen is that Iran is quietly becoming the hegemon in the Middle East – and perhaps in the eyes of President Obama, America’s top ally in the region.

The easing of sanctions allowing billions of dollars of wealth to flow to a tottering economy and allowing thecontinued enrichment of uranium – will provide legitimacy to a terrorist regime and show the world that – like Neville Chamberlain’s England – America has chosen to appease evil rather than confront it.

Meanwhile, as DEBKA asserted in a recent memo, Iran has concurrently been “taking up forward positions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where they are busy fashioning a Shiite Crescent that encircles Sunni Arab states as well as Israel.”

(Image Source: DEBKA)

(Image Source: DEBKA)

America under this president has consciously chosen to stand by all the while. As Tony Badran wrote in a stunning analysis at NOW [emphasis mine]:

In one of Obama’s several letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, he reportedly presented finalizing the deal on the nuclear program as the gateway to a broader regional partnership, especially against Sunni extremist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS).

This partnership is central to Obama’s broader objective of extricating the U.S. from the Middle East and leaving in place a new security structure, of which Iran is a principal pillar. His tacit policy from Baghdad to Beirut has been to partner with Iranian-backed forces as the boots on the ground in the campaign against Sunni extremists. In Iraq and Lebanon especially, the U.S. partnership with Iranian assets and Iran-dominated state institutions has created a de facto condominium between the U.S. and Iran. 

Lest we conclude the spread of Iran’s tentacles throughout the Levant primarily endangers Sunni jihadists, the title of a recent paper from MEMRI spells out the real casualty: “From The Mediterranean to the Golan, Iran Builds Active Front And Direct Military Presence On Israel’s Border To Deter Israel And Further Ideology Of Eliminating The Zionist Regime.”

MEMRI quotes from a columnist for the Lebanese Al-Akhbar paper:

Israel faces a fateful crisis. As much as it feared the Iranian nuclear program, it never imagined that Iran would be standing on its border even before its nuclear agreement with the Americans was complete. The Iranian threat to Israel is no longer theoretical…[t]he threat has become direct, practical and conventional.

President Obama’s strategy during this time, as DEBKA pithily put it, has been to make:

…sure Israel was well supplied with all its material security needs. This enabled him to boast that no U.S. president or administration before him had done as much to safeguard Israel’s security.

But behind this façade, Obama made sure that Israel’s security stayed firmly in the technical-material-financial realm and never crossed the line into a strategic relationship.

That was because he needed to keep his hands free for the objective of transferring the role of foremost U.S. ally in the Middle East from Israel to Iran, a process that took into account the ayatollahs’ nuclear aspirations.

This process unfolding over recent years has left Israel face to face with a nakedly hostile Iran empowered by the United States.

To pause for a second, it bears emphasizing: Today analysts are discussing Iran as the center of stability and top ally in the Middle East, referring to a “special relationship” between America and a genocidal, Jew-hating, jihadist regime. Nary anyone has stopped to acknowledge the monumental, shameful and, dare I say, treasonous implications of this fact.

Those in the Middle East however are fully awake to this metamorphosis, which is why Egypt has perhaps become Israel’s staunchest ally, and why several Arab nations – which may still detest Israel’s existence, but not as much as they fear their own survival — are effectively siding with Israel against Iran.

That the Obama administration was rebuffing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several days before he was even scheduled to speak in front of Congress – that the Obama administration even had to producetalking points about its support for Israel — evinces the Israel-Iran trade.

Nations, like friends, should not have to recite talking points to prove their allegiance. And actions speak louder than words.

***

We have two choices:

We can believe that President Obama genuinely thinks Iran — an enemy of America since 1979, whose proxies have been responsible for countless terrorist attacks against our citizens and our interests – will cease its nuclear weapons program, and serve as a stabilizing influence in the Middle East.

Alternatively, we can believe that President Obama knows that the Iranians are committed to undermining Israel and the interests of the West.

If we conclude the former, there is slightly less cause for concern.

Yet if we conclude the latter, we must also conclude that America’s president has knowingly aided, abetted or enabled Israel’s worst enemies – led by Iran – in the Middle East, presumably under the logic that global social justice demands it.

Israel – a free, tolerant and modern nation – has morphed through the propaganda of the global Left into a colonialist, apartheid state. Those who seek her destruction are considered by the Left to be legitimately aggrieved, and “lest we get on our high horse,” as the president likes to say, don’t forget about the Crusades.

In the Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Saul Alinsky world of progressive elitism in which President Obama considers himself a global citizen in good standing, what is moral and just is to redistribute power from America’s historical allies (the oppressors) to America’s historical enemies (the oppressed).

Hence President Obama’s “open hand” foreign policy towards “clenched fists,” a policy declared from the beginning of his presidency under which he has aided the global jihad generally and Iran specifically.

Those who argue that President Obama’s foreign policy has been one of retreat are only half right: The president has stepped back from the situations that most require American leadership and moral clarity in support of our allies against evil, while interjecting himself needlessly in other situations – implicitly or explicitly – on behalf of our enemies.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in President Obama’s trade of Israel for Iran.

Ben Weingarten is a frequent Blaze contributor, Host and Producer of TheBlaze Books podcast, Editor of TheBlaze Books and Publishing Manager, focusing on defense.

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The Deal with Iran: How to Make Lemonade out of Lemons

1499Middle East Quarterly, by Alexander H. Joffe
The Times of Israel
July 14, 2015

It is always perilous to predict what future historians will say. But regarding the nuclear deal with Iran, it is likely historians will observe the remarkable fact that at the moment of its greatest weakness, Iran’s enemies suddenly reversed course. In the name of enticing it not to build nuclear weapons, they dismantled years of carefully built economic and political sanctions, saved its crumbling economy, and empowered the regime against its domestic and foreign enemies, including the West itself.

Doing so they accepted Iran’s attacks and insults, left its nuclear enrichment program intact and under minimal supervision, guaranteed Iranian threats to neighboring countries and efforts to expand regional hegemony, and did nothing to help the Iranian people, who struggled under harsh repression. Whether it will have succeeded in preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon is unlikely. What is certain is that a new period of instability will have been created — that period is already upon us.

Taking advantage of Iran’s opening to the world is now a vital goal for Western intelligence.

It is an extraordinary moment in world history, perhaps a turning point, based, as many such moments are, on an extraordinary convergence of lies and self-delusions. But for those interested in the two goals of an Iran free of nuclear weapons and free of religious fascism, perhaps it is also a moment of opportunity. Iran is about to undergo a kind of opening to the world. Taking advantage of that is now a vital goal for Western intelligence and public diplomacy. It is the art of the making lemonade out of lemons.

Western businessmen are already flooding into Iran seeking deals, selling all manner of wares in exchange for Iranian cash. Those businessmen, the various branch offices they will establish, and the goods they will sell, represent an important opportunity for Western intelligence agencies to gather information and to subvert the Iranian regime.

One simple method are thumb drives, containing viruses to disrupt computer networks, encryption tools to evade official Iranian surveillance and firewalls, and perhaps even Western music, literature, and movies to subvert repressive traditional values, and classics of Western political thought to inspire Iranian society toward a liberal democratic future. Jazz and rock, blue jeans and samizdat literature played roles in the collapse of communism; their 21st century analogs should be enlisted to help Iranian society reform itself.

New access to Iran means new opportunities to undermine its regime.

In reality, this sort of ‘subversion’ should have been an important goal for Western public diplomacy and intelligence work all along. But there is no evidence that significant efforts have been made, especially under the Obama administration. Iranian jamming of Western broadcasts and Internet censorship have been extensive and have gone unprotested by the West, as has repression of dissidents and even the imprisonment of American citizens.

New access in Iran means new opportunities to introduce cyber weapons such as Stuxnet into Iran’s strategic computer systems. Stuxnet and its variants were designed to slow and damage computer controlled systems in Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, apparently with success. But they were eventually detected, and bizarrely, the Obama administration leaked information that led the trail back to the US. Iran’s computers were hardened against attack.

New cyber weapons aimed at Iran’s nuclear program, along with missiles, military radars and aviation, regime communications and record-keeping, and much more, are all likely under development in the West — or should be. Certainly Iran is developing its own cyber weapons, and has virtually unlimited access points to introduce them. But its weapons are aimed Western banks and critical infrastructure, such as electric grids. It is in everyone’s interest that more targeted cyber attacks on the Iranian regime and its weapons systems succeed first.

The opening to the West is — or should be — a counterintelligence nightmare for Iran.

More access to Iran increases its vulnerability, as will more trade. Iran has long acquired items legally and illegally, including computers, industrial machinery, and materials for its weapons programs. With increased trade come more opportunities to sabotage equipment by introducing computer viruses, contaminating materials used in specific industries, and delivering products that do not meet stated specifications. One result may be that nuclear weapons programs can be slowed and that computer and communications systems can be monitored and disrupted. Another is that all imported trade goods become suspect, requiring expensive counterintelligence monitoring and testing. Openness should have a high price for Iran, both real and imagined.

Human intelligence opportunities directed against Iran will also increase, albeit slowly. Businessmen and academics have always been spies, and opportunities to recruit spies and saboteurs. More fundamentally it will increase the opportunity to innocently distribute information about the West through direct contacts. Keeping track of Westerners will in turn require more Iranian counterintelligence efforts. Here, too, the costs of Iran’s opening to the West should be made as high as possible.

Access to Iran’s people also raises the potential to eventually inspire them to overthrow the repressive theocratic fascist regime. Iran’s vulnerability to ethnic uprisings is often underestimated. The Persian-led regime rightly fears Ahwaz Arab tribes in the southwest, ethnic Baluch and Pashtun in the east, and Azeris and Kurds in the northwest. All these have long histories of rebellion against the Persians, and the regime is highly sensitive to the West stirring dissent.

More access will not easily bring such dissent about, much less the arming of ethnic dissidents. Indeed, such activities seem utterly antithetical to the Obama administration, which could not even be moved to support the Green movement that arose after Iran’s corrupt 2009 elections. But putting the regime under stress is an important means to bring about its transformation or demise. At the very least more broadcasts and translations should be aimed at these minorities, bringing them the news that they have not been forgotten by the West.

Even if the territorial integrity of Iran is somehow taken for granted by the West, the values of the regime cannot. The rights of ethnic minorities in Iran, and human rights generally should become a Western demand, supported by tough negotiations and public diplomacy. Such demands featured prominently in American relations with the Soviet Union and should have an equally central place in dealings with Iran. Of course, they will not under Obama, but perhaps they will under the next president.

In all this, Iran’s paranoia should be exploited to the fullest. The opening to the West is — or should be — a counterintelligence nightmare for Iran and they should be forced to devote scarce resources and increase internal repression to try and stay one step ahead. Iran’s youth are already deeply alienated against the regime and to some extent Islam itself. How to increase alienation is a paramount strategic goal for the West.

More positively, the opening to Iran must be seen as an opportunity for the West to promote its own values, of openness, tolerance, liberty and human dignity. If it does not, then those values no longer exist in the West, just as they do not in Iran.

Alexander H. Joffe, a historian and archaeologist, is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OBAMA’S IRAN DEAL

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

Breitbart, by Ben Shapiro, July 14, 2015:

The deal the Obama administration cut today with the Iranian terrorist regime signals once and for all that the Obama administration considers both the United States and Israel to be the key threats to peace in the world.

Why else would the American president have lifted sanctions and granted the Iranian mullahs decades of American cover in the face of overwhelming evidence they support anti-Western, anti-Semitic, and anti-Sunni terror across the region and the globe?

President Obama’s statements today about the strength of this deal carry no weight, given that he has coordinated with the Iranian regime – which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans over the past few years – in Iraq, has allowed them to prop up Bashar Assad in Syria, has allowed them to continue their subjugation of Lebanon, watched in silence as they flexed their muscle in Yemen, and attempted to cut off weapons shipments to Israel in the midst of its war with Iranian proxy terror group Hamas.

Obama wants Iran to be a regional power, because Obama fears Israel more than he fears Iran. The same day that Obama announced his deal, “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted, “To our neighbours: Do not be deceived by the propaganda of the warmongering Zionist regime. #Iran & its power will translate into your power.”

Obama’s counting on it.

Obama had one motivation in this deal: he believes that any Western attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear development with force is more dangerous and less moral than Iran’s elevated terror support and even its eventual nuclear development.

America and the West, in Obama’s global worldview, are so dangerous that he wouldn’t even make minor requests of Iran, such as releasing American prisoners, if that meant the minute possibility of actual Western action on the horizon. Obama doesn’t care if Iran is lying. To him, that risk is acceptable when compared with the certainty of Western action, no matter how constrained, against Iran.

Obama consistently posed the choice about his nuclear deal as one between diplomacy and war, as though a military strike against Iran would have precipitated World War III. But this deal is far more calibrated to provoke World War III than any targeted strike by Israel, the United States, or anyone else.

The deal pats itself on the back with wording about ensuring that “Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful,” and how the deal will be a “fundamental shift” in the international community’s relationship with Iran. Then it gets to details. And the devil isn’t just in the details; the devils in Iran wrote them.

The deal “will produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy.” Those sanctions end on the first day of the deal: “The UN Security Council resolution will also provide for the termination on Implementation Day of provisions imposed under previous resolutions.” The EU “will terminate all provisions of the EU Regulation.”

Money will now move between “EU persons and entities, including financial institutions, and Iranian persons and entities, including financial institutions.” Banking activities will resume abroad. Full trade will essentially resume. After five years, the arms embargo against Iran will end. After eight years, the missile embargo against Iran will end.

The deal explicitly acknowledges that Iran is gaining benefits no other state would gain under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In terms of its nuclear development, instead of dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, that program is now protected:

Iran will continue to conduct enrichment R&D in a manner that does not accumulate enriched uranium. Iran’s enrichment R&D with uranium for 10 years will only include IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges as laid out in Annex I, and Iran will not engage in other isotope separation technologies for enrichment of uranium as specified in Annex I. Iran will continue testing IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges, and will commence testing of up to 30 IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges after eight and a half years, as detailed in Annex I.

We have no way of knowing what Iran has done additionally, however, since the deal has no provisions forcing them to turn over information about what they’ve already done.There is no baseline.

So who will implement this deal? A “Joint Commission” comprised of the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, the United States and Iran is charged with monitoring all developments under the agreement – meaning that all the signatories, all of whom have an interest in preserving a deal they signed, will be the “objective” monitoring agents.

The International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor and verify Iran’s nuclear program. But not everywhere. Only at key nuclear facilities will the IAEA have access – military sites were not included in the deal in any real way – and even then, the process for access is extraordinarily regulated:

74. Requests for access pursuant to provisions of this JCPOA will be made in good faith, with due observance of the sovereign rights of Iran, and kept to the minimum necessary to effectively implement the verification responsibilities under this JCPOA. In line with normal international safeguards practice, such requests will not be aimed at interfering with Iranian military or other national security activities, but will be exclusively for resolving concerns regarding fulfillment of the JCPOA commitments and Iran’s other non-proliferation and safeguards obligations. The following procedures are for the purpose of JCPOA implementation between the E3/EU+3 and Iran and are without prejudice to the safeguards agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto. In implementing this procedure as well as other transparency measures, the IAEA will be requested to take every precaution to protect commercial, technological and industrial secrets as well as other confidential information coming to its knowledge.

75. In furtherance of implementation of the JCPOA, if the IAEA has concerns regarding undeclared nuclear materials or activities, or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA, at locations that have not been declared under the comprehensive safeguards agreement or Additional Protocol, the IAEA will provide Iran the basis for such concerns and request clarification.

76. If Iran’s explanations do not resolve the IAEA’s concerns, the Agency may request access to such locations for the sole reason to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at such locations. The IAEA will provide Iran the reasons for access in writing and will make available relevant
information.

77. Iran may propose to the IAEA alternative means of resolving the IAEA’s concerns that enable the IAEA to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at the location in question, which should be given due and prompt consideration.

78. If the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA cannot be verified after the implementation of the alternative arrangements agreed by Iran and the IAEA, or if the two sides are unable to reach satisfactory arrangements to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at the specified locations within 14 days of the IAEA’s original request for access, Iran, in consultation with the members of the Joint Commission, would resolve the IAEA’s concerns through necessary means
agreed between Iran and the IAEA. In the absence of an agreement, the members of the Joint Commission, by consensus or by a vote of 5 or more of its 8 members, would advise on the necessary means to resolve the IAEA’s concerns. The process of consultation with, and any action by, the members of the Joint Commission would not exceed 7 days, and Iran would implement the necessary means within 3 additional days.

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry wrote into the deal provisions designed to hamstring Congress and local authorities:

If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions lifting as specified in this JCPOA, the United States will take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities, with a view to achieving such implementation. The United States will actively encourage officials at the state or local level to take into account the changes in the U.S. policy reflected in the lifting of sanctions under this JCPOA and to refrain from actions inconsistent with this change in policy.

And if Iran cheats, the United States and EU will have to take the matter to dispute resolution rather than re-implementing sanctions, as Obama has lied:

The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing the sanctions specified in Annex II that it has ceased applying under this JCPOA, without prejudice to the dispute resolution process provided for under this JCPOA. The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions. Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions…

Obama is already moving on this front. While calling for an open conversation on the Iran deal, President Obama has already said he will veto any attempts to curb the deal by Congress. So feel free to chat, gang, so long as you don’t attempt to do anything.

In brief, the agreement trades enormous amounts of cash for Iran’s pinkie swear that they will not develop nuclear weapons now, and the blind hope that Iran’s regime will magically moderate over the next five to ten years – a hope made even more distant by the fact that this deal reinforces the power and strength of the current Iranian regime. The West has no interest in holding Iran to an agreement since, to do so, they would have to repudiate the deal they cut in the first place. Anything short of actual nuclear aggression will draw no response from the West. No wonder Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal a “historic mistake for the world,” explaining:

Far-reaching concessions have been made in all areas that were supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. In addition, Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe… One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America.’ We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything, and therefore we did not commit to preventing an agreement.

So here’s what happens next in the region.

Israel Waits. The chances of an Israeli strike on Iran are now somewhere between slim and none. Obama’s deal prevents Israel from taking action without risking sanctions from the European Union and the United States for endangering this sham deal.

Nothing would make Obama happier than to levy sanctions against the Jewish State – and should Israel act in its own interests, undercutting Obama’s Epitaph Achievement, Obama will react harshly. Israel will be busy enough handling all the Iranian proxies on its borders who will now see cash and resources flow to them, all sponsored by the West.

Hezbollah and Hamas Are Strengthened. Terrorist groups across the Middle East rejoice today, knowing that the money Iran just gained through lifting of sanctions will end up restocking their rocket supply. Hezbollah has already destroyed Lebanon as Iran’s arm; Hamas has already taken over Gaza. Both routinely threaten war on Israel, firing ordinance into Israeli territory.

Now they will not only be emboldened – after all, what happens if Israel retaliates against them, Iran threatens to get involved, and the world, seeking to preserve its newfound magical relationship with Iran, puts pressure on Israel? – they will be empowered. Obama just made the next war between Israel and its terrorist neighbors a certainty.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt Go Nuclear. President Obama came into office touting “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Given that Iran is months from a bomb, and that there are no real verification techniques and no real consequences for violation, Iran’s enemies will quickly seek to go nuclear in order to establish a deterrent, not just to Iran’s nuclear capabilities, but to their expanded conventional capabilities.

Iran has the largest active military in the Middle East, along with its massive paramilitary terror groups. They’ve built that in the midst of heavy sanctions. With Iran getting active on the borders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, those regimes would be foolhardy not to attempt to develop a nuclear capacity – especially given that Obama has shown there are no detriments to doing so. What’s he going to do, threaten Egypt’s General Al-Sisi? He’s been doing that for years already.

Bashar Assad Stays In Power. Remember the time Obama said Syrian dictator Bashar Assad needed to go? That’s not happening anytime soon, given that Assad is Iran’s tool in Syria. When Obama drew a red line against Syria based on Assad’s use of chemical weapons, he apparently meant that Assad should stay forever, and that his sponsor state should be rewarded with billions of dollars in relieved sanctions. No wonder Assad called the deal a “major turning point” in world history, adding, “We are confident that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support, with greater drive, just causes of nations and work for peace and stability in the region and the world.”

Iraq Splits Permanently Between Iran and ISIS. Supposedly, the United States opposed Shia exclusionary policy against Sunnis in Iraq, and blamed such policy for the breakdown of security there. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has now taken over the southern half of the country; the new Iraqi Prime Minister is an Iranian proxy. Meanwhile, Sunnis, seeking some sort of security against the Iranians and having no secular American-backed regime to rely upon, have been turning in increasing numbers to the barbarians of ISIS. President Obama has made ISIS a permanent feature of the world landscape, and has turned Iraq into an Iranian proxy state, just like Syria and Lebanon.

Iran Will Foray Into Iran, Afghanistan. Iran’s expansionist ambitions have been increased exponentially by this deal. The deal does nothing to demand Iran stop its military activities abroad, of course, which means that their sponsorship of the Houthis in Yemen and terrorist groups in Afghanistan will continue apace. Al Jazeera has evenspeculated at sectarian unrest in Pakistan.

Obama’s defenders today ask his detractors, “If the deal works, isn’t it a good deal?”

Sure. If the Munich Agreement had worked, it would have been a masterpiece of diplomacy.

But promising a unicorn in a diplomatic negotiation isn’t quite the same thing as delivering one. And delivering billions of dollars, international legitimacy, and a protective shield around a terrorist regime in exchange for that unicorn makes you either a fool or an active perpetuator of that terrorist regime.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

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Iran and the Murder in Vienna

Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani

Commentary Magazine, by Michael Rubin, July 13, 2015:

Twenty-six years ago today, three Iranian officials met in Vienna apartment with three Kurdish officials to negotiate an end to a long-simmering conflict. It was a time of hope. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had died the year before. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, long regarded by many Iran watchers as moderate and a pragmatist, was on the verge of locking up Iran’s presidency (he would win 96 percent of the vote two weeks later). The Iran-Iraq War, meanwhile, had been over for nearly one year, and most Western diplomats assessed that the Islamic Republic would focus on rebuilding itself.

They were wrong. On July 13, 1989, the Iranian negotiators pulled out guns and assassinated Abdol-Rahman Ghassemlou, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), along with a KDPI representative in Europe and an Iraqi Kurdish mediator. It’s hard to hide gunshots in the middle of a Vienna apartment building. Austrian police came to the scene, but the Iranian delegation denied any responsibility. After taking statements, the Austrian police released the Iranians — Mohammad Ja’fari Sahraroudi, Iranian Kordestan governor Mostafa Ajoudi, and Amir Bozorgian — so long as they promised to make themselves available for further questioning, as necessary. They immediately returned to Tehran.

Only in subsequent days did questions about the Iranians’ statements arise: There had been no forced entry into the apartment, two of the victims were shot as they sat, and each victim had received a coup de grâce to confirm death. Subsequent forensic evidence confirmed the Austrian anti-terrorism unit’s conclusions that the murders were a hit. The shots were fired from the position of the Iranian delegation and not from the door. Shell casing positions also suggested the Iranian delegation’s complicity. The Austrian police issued warrants for the three Iranians, but Tehran refused to extradite any of the wanted men; rather, they promoted the team lead. Sahraroudi won his star and became head of the Qods Force intelligence unit. The promotion — as well as the senior level of the Iranian delegation — showed that the assassination was no rogue operation. It was not locally conceived, but rather likely was directed from the top.

The head of the Supreme National Security Council at the time, coordinating such activities? One Hassan Rouhani, the man whom President Barack Obama considers his partner. That a deal predicated on the trust of Iran will be struck in Vienna, on the 26th anniversary of one of Iran’s — and, specifically, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s and Hassan Rouhani’s — most brazen hit jobs illustrates just how much Iran has triumphed by doubling down on intransigence and terrorism and, in contrast, just how unhinged America’s foreign policy has become.

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