Obama’s Politicized Intelligence

A video released from Daesh (or ISIS or 'Islamic State') shows militants executing 25 captives (Syrian army soldiers) in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 / AP

A video released from Daesh (or ISIS or ‘Islamic State’) shows militants executing 25 captives (Syrian army soldiers) in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Matthew Continetti, August 28, 2015:

The anniversary of the U.S. war against the Islamic State passed with little notice. It was August 7 of last year that President Obama authorized the first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, a campaign he expanded a month later to include targets in Syria. So far this month, the president has delivered remarks on the Voting Rights Act, his deal with Iran, the budget, clean energy, and Hurricane Katrina. ISIS? Not a peep.

Obama’s quiet because the war is not going well. Despite the loss of Tikrit earlier this year, the Islamic State’s western boundary is stable, and its eastern boundary now encroaches on Damascus. The president’s air campaign is one of the most limited and desultory America has fought in decades—ranking last in daily averages of strike sorties and bombs dropped. In late July, when the Turks permitted America the use of their air bases to launch attacks on ISIS, a “senior administration official” told the New York Times that the decision was “a game changer.” In the ensuing days the number of airstrikes in Syria actually fell.

The growing number of U.S. advisers—there are now more than 3,300 American military personnel in Iraq—has been unable to repair the damage wrought on the Iraqi Army by sectarian and political purges after our 2011 withdrawal. Even as the administration brags about killing more than 10,000 ISIS terrorists, a number that strains credulity, the Caliphate has become more deeply entrenched in its territory, and inspires attacks abroad.

Meanwhile the congressional authorization that the president sought is dead. One of our most gifted generals predicts the conflict will last “10 to 20 years.” And now comes news that the Pentagon is investigating whether intelligence assessments of ISIS have been manipulated for political reasons. “Analysts,” reports the Daily Beast, “have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is.” This sort of dishonesty helps no one—except a president whose primary concern is leaving office with his reputation for ending wars intact, and the military brass who wish to remain in his good graces.

What’s especially galling about this allegation is that Obama and the Democratic Party have spent years spuriously accusing President Bush of lying the United States into war in 2003. Spend a moment thinking of what the news cycle would be if George W. were still our president and the Pentagon inspector general opened an investigation into whether the bureaucracy was sprucing up intelligence to make it politically palatable: The chorus of “Bush lied, people died” would be deafening, Congress would demand investigations, the national security leak machine would start humming, John Conyers would reconvene his mock impeachment hearing, and the entire controversy would be set against the backdrop of antiwar marches and publicized denunciations of militaristic policy. What have we instead? ABC’s Good Morning America mentioned the Pentagon investigation. No other broadcast network did.

It’s an unanticipated consequence of Barack Obama’s presidency: his immobilization of the antiwar legions, the way his election immediately neutered the zealots who, if a Republican were in office, would be marching against drone strikes and mass surveillance and war in Afghanistan and air war in Libya, Syria, Iraq and proxy war in Yemen. What does it say about the left that the most spirited attacks on Obama national security policy have come from the right: On drones, surveillance, and congressional authorization for war, you are far more likely to hear criticism from Ted Cruz or Rand Paul than from the politicians who rode into office denouncing Bush’s misadventure in Iraq. The protestors who flooded New York in 2004 and fell to the ground at the D.C. “Die-In” in 2007—they either support the president or are too busy with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter to care.

Obama has thus been allowed to wage a war for more than a year not only without the authorization he called for but also without the accountability that pressure from his left would bring. He’s flying solo, and below him are an endless, inconclusive war, a terrorist state built on sharia law and sex slavery, rampant chemical weapons use, civilian casualties, and a refugee crisis that is causing social, economic, and political instability in Europe. The only thing missing from this picture is outrage—elite fury over the geopolitical and humanitarian results of the president’s evasive policy, of doing only the bare minimum necessary to convince people that you aren’t ignoring the problem.

There’s no outrage because the media, our bipartisan political establishment, and indeed the American people themselves are unwilling to face the scope of the challenge the Islamic State presents. To uproot it we would have to send U.S. ground forces to Iraq in large numbers, not just special forces operating in tandem with unrestricted air support. We would have to retake and hold ground lost in the years since we departed Iraq, and we would have to commit to remaining in Iraq and Syria for a long time. To deal a blow to radical Islam that would deter recruitment, stop the bandwagon effect, and secure America from attack by militants and their fellow-travelers would require a military and economic commitment the United States, and least of all our president, is simply not prepared to make.

Easier to perform the illusion of activity, of success and advance, so that all the boxes are checked, all our consciences placated. Easier to pretend that the problem of ISIS can be “contained” and that our new ally Iran can handle the situation in its emerging capacity as regional hegemon. Easier to go about our business, to spin or outright ignore the war our country has been waging in Iraq and Syria for more than a year. So much easier not to worry about what’s happening over there—until, that is, the enemy attacks us here.

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Iran Is Already Violating the Nuke Deal

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Frontpage, by Joseph Klein, August 20, 2015:

As the congressional vote on President Barack Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran draws closer, the Iranian regime appears to be doing everything it can to show that it has the upper hand as a result of the deal it negotiated with the United States and its five partners. It is either dishonestly twisting certain terms of the deal to justify its misbehavior or simply defying the terms outright. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not pushing back. Instead, they are pushing hard to avoid a veto-proof congressional vote of disapproval.

For example, Iran is planning to sign a contract for four advanced Russian surface-to-air S-300 missiles as early as next week, following a visit to Moscow by Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in violation of an international travel ban.

There have been whimpers of objection from the Obama administration, but no forceful statement that such activities by the Iranian regime will jeopardize the agreement from the get-go.

Iranian leaders have also declared that their arms shipments to allies in the region, such as their terrorist proxy Hezbollah, will continue despite the United Nations Security Council arms embargo still in effect for the next five years.

The Obama administration’s response is staggering. According to Kerry, “The arms embargo is not tied to snapback. It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”

That is all the encouragement the Iranian regime needed to up the ante. According to Debkafile, “Al Qods commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, acting on the orders of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week set up a new Iranian command to fight Israel.” This newly named “Eastern Command” is reportedly set “to start handing out weapons, including missiles, to any Palestinian West Bank group willing to receive them.” This is the same Soleimani with American blood on his hands who recently visited Moscow in violation of the current international travel ban, but who will eventually have sanctions and freezes against him lifted as part of the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, to make matters even worse, the Associated Press is reporting that “Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work.” In other words, the UN international inspection team that President Obama has pointed to as the chief verification safeguard will now give way at least in part to Iranian inspectors investigating their own alleged nuclear weaponization development work at a military site declared off limits by Iran to international inspectors. The White House remained “confident” in the viability of the inspection regime despite the confidence game the Iranian regime played with the UN to permit Iran to self-inspect.

Nevertheless, Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives are lining up to support President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. They are willfully ignoring clear evidence that Iran, post-deal, is continuing its pattern of cheating and violating international sanctions and embargoes still in place. Like lemmings jumping over the cliff, these Democrats are willing to ease the Iranian regime’s path towards becoming a threshold nuclear armed state in a little over a decade, out of blind partisan loyalty to Obama.

To date, the Obama administration has the declared support of 23 Democratic and nominally “independent” senators it will need to sustain an expected veto by President Obama of any resolution passed by Congress to disapprove the deal. This tally is according to The Hill’s Senate whip list compiled as of August 18th. The administration needs at least 34 senators on Obama’s side to sustain a veto. Six Democratic senators are said to be leaning towards a favorable vote, including Senator Richard Blumenthal (Conn.). Fifteen Senate Democrats are still undecided.

So far, only two Democratic senators have shown the courage to serve the public interest, rather than narrow partisan interests. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) became the second Democratic senator to announce his willingness to vote against the president from his own party in opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran. Senator Chuck Schumer had announced his opposition on August 6th.

On the House side, according to The Hill’s Whip List as of August 19th, 55 Democratic representatives have indicated that they are planning to vote in support of the deal. Fourteen more Democrats are leaning in favor. Twelve have declared their opposition to the deal so far. Three are leaning against and 57 are listed as undecided. Obama will prevail on a vote to sustain his expected veto of a disapproval resolution that passes both houses of Congress if he loses no more than 43 House Democrats (assuming the Republicans in the House all vote to override the veto).

Speaking at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations on August 18th when he announced his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, Senator Menendez provided a very detailed explanation of his decision.  He characterized the fundamental flaw in the deal this way: “The agreement that has been reached failed to achieve the one thing it set out to achieve – it failed to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state at a time of its choosing. In fact, it authorizes and supports the very road map Iran will need to arrive at its target.”

Senator Menendez objected to the exchange of permanent sanctions relief for Iran in return for “only temporary – temporary – limitations on its nuclear program – not a rolling-back, not dismantlement, but temporary limitations.” The deal, the senator added, “is based on ‘hope.’ Hope is part of human nature, but unfortunately it is not a national security strategy.”

Senator Menendez also took a swipe at President Obama’s attempt to tie opponents of his deal to supporters of the 2003 war in Iraq. “Unlike President Obama’s characterization of those who have raised serious questions about the agreement, or who have opposed it,” the senator said, “I did not vote for the war in Iraq, I opposed it, unlike the Vice President and the Secretary of State, who both supported it.”

The New Jersey senator reminded his audience that the purpose of the negotiations from the U.S. perspective had been “to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time.  Not shrink its infrastructure. Not limit it. But fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”

Senator Menendez cataloged examples of early assurances from the Obama administration of red lines that were later wiped away. For example, Secretary of State John Kerry had declared in the early days of engaging with Iran that Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, would be dismantled. That is not the case under the deal Obama and Kerry signed off on.  The underground Fordow enrichment facility was to be closed. That too was not part of the final deal. The Iranians, Senator Menendez said, were supposed “to come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin [their military facility] and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.” That too, in Senator Menendez’s words, “fell by the wayside.” Now we have learned that the Iranians will be able to self-inspect.

In addition, not even one existing centrifuge will be destroyed. Some are just being disconnected. Thousands will remain in operation. Research and development on centrifuges will be permitted to continue even during the first ten years of the deal.

“While I have many specific concerns about this agreement, my overarching concern is that it requires no dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and only mothballs that infrastructure for 10 years,” Senator Menendez explained. “We lift sanctions, and — at year eight — Iran can actually start manufacturing and testing advanced IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges that enrich up to 15 times the speed of its current models.  At year 15, Iran can start enriching uranium beyond 3.67 percent – the level at which we become concerned about fissile material for a bomb.  At year 15, Iran will have NO limits on its uranium stockpile.”

Under the deal, Iran will get significant sanctions relief within the first year, while its obligations stretch out for a decade or more. And there is a major concession in the deal that has gotten very little attention to date. Iran’s negotiators out-maneuvered Secretary of State Kerry’s team into conceding away the right to re-impose or extend U.S. sanctions beyond their expiration date. Senator Menendez noted that “we will have to refrain from reintroducing or reimposing the Iran Sanctions Act I authored – which expires next year — that acted significantly to bring Iran to the table in the first place.”

Iran has agreed only to provisionally apply the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that is supposed to ensure continuing access to suspect sites in a country, and only formally adopt it when Congress has abolished all sanctions.

Senator Menendez, like Senator Schumer, dismisses the either-or choice between Obama’s deal and war, which Obama and his supporters are offering as a red herring. “If there is a fear of war in the region,” said Senator Menendez, “it is fueled by Iran and its proxies and exacerbated by an agreement that allows Iran to possess an industrial-sized nuclear program, and enough money in sanctions relief to continue to fund its hegemonic intentions throughout the region.”

The senator suggested offering Iran some limited inducements to return to the negotiating table, and outlined some parameters that the Obama administration should follow in seeking better terms. These include “the immediate ratification by Iran of the Additional Protocol to ensure that we have a permanent international arrangement with Iran for access to suspect sites,” closing the Fordow enrichment facility, resolving the ‘possible military dimensions’ of Iran’s program” before there can be any permanent sanctions relief, banning centrifuge R&D for the duration of the agreement, and extending to at least 20 years the duration of the agreement.

Senator Menendez also wants to extend the authorization of the Iran Sanctions Act beyond its expiration in 2016 “to ensure that we have an effective snapback option.” And he wants a clear declaration of U.S. policy by the President and Congress that “we will use all means necessary to prevent Iran from producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, as well as building or buying one, both during and after any agreement.”

Unfortunately, the procedure for congressional involvement with the nuclear deal has turned the Constitution’s treaty ratification process on its head. Instead of requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate to ratify the nuclear deal if had been handled as a treaty, President Obama will get his way unless both houses of Congress override his veto of a disapproval resolution by a two-thirds vote. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that opponents of the nuclear deal will likely lose in a vote to override an Obama veto. Why the Republican majority in the Senate ever agreed to such a legislative trap is beyond comprehension.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, at the very least the leaders of the House and Senate must insist that a resolution of disapproval be voted upon on the merits. Each representative and senator should be required to go on the record in a roll-call vote, indicating his or her vote of yea or nay. This means that Democrats in the Senate should not be permitted to hide behind a filibuster to avoid an up-or-down vote. If the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster and allow a majority of the Senate to pass or reject a disapproval resolution is not attainable, Senate Majority Leader McConnell must stand up and take a page out of former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s playbook. Senator McConnell should deploy the so-called “nuclear option.” This would mean eliminating the filibuster that could otherwise be used by Democrats to block a vote on what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime agreement with life and death consequences for national security.

If the Democratic senators supporting President Obama’s deal believe that it is the only realistic alternative to war, then they should have the backbone to put their names on the record in support of the deal. If they try to duck their legislative responsibility to their constituents and the nation, then Senator McConnell must act promptly to take away their filibuster fig leaf. If Senator McConnell does not move aggressively in this direction as and when necessary, he will show as much cravenness as the Democrats exploiting the filibuster.

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Congress: Will Your Name Be on Iran’s Bomb?

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Also see:

‘For the Record’: The Nine Words That Explain Why the U.S. Gave Up So Much in the Iran Deal

iran-nuclear-deal-congressThe Blaze, by Tom Orr, Aug. 17, 2015:

The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers has been sharply criticized by opponents who argue it gives the Islamic Republic far too much freedom to continue its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

One of the harshest critics is Frank Gaffney, a former senior official in the Department of Defense during the Reagan administration who worked on the government’s Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy.

“I think most people who’ve had the kinds of opportunities that I’ve had to work in government have never seen anything quite like this,” Gaffney said.

In this all-new For the Record short, Gaffney explains what he calls “The Obama Doctrine” and how it may have played a crucial role in shaping the controversial deal with Iran.

FTR SHORTS – Iran: The Obama Doctrine from TheBlaze Videos on Vimeo.

How Obama and Hillary made the Arab world safe for radical Islam

20150310_obamahillaryclinton2014Family Security Matters, by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD, August 13, 2015:

Far from being “spontaneous” and “indigenous,” the uprisings known as the “Arab Spring” that swept North Africa and the Middle East were long planned and planned from abroad with the Muslim Brotherhood’s role hidden in plain sight.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Sunni Islamist religious, political and social movement.  According to Lawrence Wright in his book “The Looming Tower,” its founder Hassan al-Banna “rejected the Western model of secular, democratic government, which contradicted his notion of universal Islamic rule.” The fundamental goal of the Muslim Brotherhood remains Islam’s global domination, an effort that quickly turned violent and eventually spread to over eighty other nations. For example, one Muslim Brotherhood splinter group was responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for his peace treaty with Israel and another offshoot is the terrorist organization Hamas.

Barack Obama clearly supports the Muslim Brotherhood as a so-called “moderate” alternative to more violent Islamist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and a vehicle for political reform in the Middle East and North Africa, as outlined in the secret 2011 directive called Presidential Study Directive-11, or PSD-11.

In addition to a wide-spread infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton’s longest serving assistant, Huma Abedin, has enjoyed an intensely close relationship with the Brotherhood for decades. Her father, Zyed Abedin, served as editor of an anti-Semitic journal funded by an Islamist; her mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, replaced him as editor in 1993 when he died. As editor, Saleha has promoted the Muslim Brotherhood violent jihad and the “right” of women to be repressed under sharia.

Therein rests the motivation for the policies formulated and actions taken by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Egypt, Libya and Syria, all of which led to the growth of radical Islam in North Africa and the Middle East.

In terms of US foreign policy and national security, the role of Hillary Clinton in the Libyan fiasco was as reckless as it was cataclysmic.

Clinton was among the most vocal early proponents of using U.S. military force to topple Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, claiming erroneously that Gadhafi was about to engage in a genocide against civilians in Benghazi, where the Islamist rebels held their center of power.

Even Obama bowed to her leadership on the issue, privately informing members of Congress that Libya “is all Secretary Clinton’s matter.”

Yet according to Jeffrey Scott Shapiro and Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times:

“Top Pentagon officials and a senior Democrat in Congress [Dennis Kucinich] so distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime in an effort to halt the escalating crisis, according to secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.”

The Pentagon liaison to Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Seif, indicated that Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., a top aide to then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen, “does not trust the reports that are coming out of the State Department and CIA, but there’s nothing he can do about it.”

Despite these concerns, the Obama Administration, on March 17, 2011, supported U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 for military intervention in Libya. On that day Clinton ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call from Gadhafi’s son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate a resolution. A day later, on March 18, 2011, Gadhafi himself called for a cease-fire, another action the administration dismissed.

In released, but redacted emails, Clinton expressed interest in arming Libyan opposition groups using private security contractors, though at the time, the opposition was not formally recognized by the U.S. or United Nations, which prohibited arming without following strict guidelines and oversight. In an April 8, 2011 email to her then-deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, Clinton wrote: “FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered,” attaching an intelligence report from adviser Sidney Blumenthal, her preferred source of intelligence.

It now appears probable that, in 2011, at Clinton’s urging, Obama secretly approved the arming of rebels in Libya and Syria via a third party, likely Qatar, the only Arab nation at the time that recognized the rebel government and brokered the sale of more than $100 million in crude oil from rebel-held areas.

Many of those weapons would ultimately be destined for Syria.

Through shipping records, Fox News confirmed that the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun — 35 miles from the Syrian border — on Sept. 6, 2012, five days before the Benghazi terrorist attack. The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPG’s and Russian-designed shoulder-launched missiles known as MANPADS, all believed destined for Syrian rebel groups.

Both Obama and Clinton had a vested interest in lying about Benghazi and permanently concealing the truth; Obama to ensure his reelection prospects in 2012 and Hillary to protect hers for 2016. It is significant, however, that Clinton was the most aggressive administration official promoting the arming of the Libyan Islamists and the first to associate the video with the Benghazi attack (see timeline) as well as its most vigorous and persistent advocate.

A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report presented in August 2012 and declassified in May 2015, stated that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al- Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” being supported by “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey.”

An article published a year earlier, on June 21, 2014, noted:

“The present Shia-Sunni civil war in Iraq was fueled by American abdication of a foreign policy in Syria, where we sub-contracted our interests to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Instead of dealing directly with the moderate Free Syrian Army, we outsourced the funding and arming responsibilities.

They then pursued their own interests; the Saudis supporting radical Islamic Salafis, while the Turks and Qataris backed the Muslim Brotherhood, all of which was at least partially meant to counter growing Iranian influences in the region, but complicating America’s anti-terrorism efforts.”

An interview with retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former head of the DIA, given to Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, confirms earlier suspicions that Washington was monitoring jihadist groups emerging as an opposition in Syria. General Flynn dismissed Al Jazeera’s supposition that the US administration “turned a blind eye” to the DIA’s analysis, stating: “I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.”

The disintegration of Libya and the rise of ISIS can rightfully be placed at the doorsteps of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

History will prove that it was not just incompetence, but criminal negligence in the conduct of foreign policy and the safeguarding of American lives.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

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While Still a Senator, Kerry Communicated Obama’s Capitulation Policy to the Iranian Regime

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Center for Security Policy, by Andrew McCarthy, Aug. 12, 2015:

In a column on Tuesday and follow-up post on the Corner, I relate that beginning in 2011, President Obama secretly enticed the Iranian regime to the bargaining table by communicating that he was open to abandoning longstanding American opposition to Iran’s claimed “right” to enrich uranium. This news comes to us from a new MEMRI report, which elaborates that Obama relied on then-senator John Kerry to grease the wheels for his entreaty to Iran’s leader.

Why Kerry?

Though he was surely a key Obama ally on Capitol Hill, Kerry was not in the administration. The president already had a compliant secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who was dutifully implementing his appeasement policies. He also had any number of subordinate administration officials capable of passing messages. So why would Obama choose Kerry as his emissary to alert Iran to a dramatic shift in American policy?

Clearly, there are two reasons: Obama needed someone outside the administration, and Kerry’s status and track record made him a natural.

Remember, Obama was running for reelection in 2011–12. Public opposition to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and, therefore, to Iran’s enrichment of uranium was very strong — and, indeed, remains so. Consequently, Obama pretended on the campaign trail that he would vigorously oppose Iran’s uranium-enrichment efforts . . . even as he was covertly signaling to the jihadist regime that he was open to recognizing Iran as a nuclear power.

As my friend Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy has noted, Obama asserted in the lead-up to the 2008 election that “the world must work to stop Iran’s uranium-enrichment program.” So too, in the run-up to the 2012 election, did Obama continue assuring voters that Iran “needs to give up its nuclear program and abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place.” Those U.N. resolutions prohibit Iran’s enrichment activities. Thus did the president proclaim, in seeking reelection, that the only deal he would accept would be one in which the Iranians “end their nuclear program. It’s very straightforward.”

With Obama out feigning opposition to Iran’s enrichment activities, it would not do to have a conflicting message communicated to Iran by his own administration. What if Iran, to embarrass Obama, were to go public about an administration entreaty that directly addressed enrichment? It would have been hugely problematic for the president’s campaign. Obama thus needed an alternative: someone outside the administration whom Obama could trust but disavow if anything went wrong; someone the Iranian regime would regard as authoritative.

John Kerry was the perfect choice.

Besides being the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee, Kerry was then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a reliable Obama ally on foreign-policy issues. Kerry frequently spoke out on U.S. relations with Iran and would be seen by the regime in Tehran as a credible barometer for reading Obama. It was no secret, moreover, that Kerry had designs on replacing Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state in a second Obama term.

Just as significantly, Kerry’s belief that the United States should capitulate to Iran on the “right to enrichment” was well known to the Iranians.

It has been American policy under administrations of both parties that the right to peaceful nuclear power does not imply a right to enrich uranium.

Some background: As I outlined in my column on Tuesday, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NNP) holds that every nation has an “inalienable right” to use nuclear power peacefully. Yet the treaty does not confer an explicit right to obtain nuclear power through any particular route, let alone a route like uranium enrichment — a process that can easily be diverted to the weaponization of nuclear power, the thing the NNP treaty is designed to prevent. For this reason, it has been American policy under administrations of both parties that the right to peaceful nuclear power does not imply a right to enrich uranium.

But Kerry was known to scoff at this policy.

Fred Fleitz has usefully directed my attention to an enlightening 2009 Financial Times interview during which Senator Kerry opined that it was “ridiculous” to argue against Iran’s right to enrich uranium. The interview occurred in June, during the first round of the infamous Iranian presidential election that the Khamenei regime eventually stole for Ahmadinejad, igniting a popular revolt that the regime violently put down while Obama looked the other way.

The Financial Times reported:

One of the most senior Democrats in Washington has dismissed a key element in the west’s long standing strategy on Iran’s nuclear programme as “ridiculous.” His comments throw open the debate about how far the US and its partners should go in seeking a compromise with Tehran after on [sic] Friday’s presidential election.

John Kerry, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee and the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee, told the Financial Times in an interview that Iran had a right to enrich uranium — a process that can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons grade material. . . .

“The Bush administration [argument of] no enrichment was ridiculous . . . because it seemed so unreasonable to people,” said Mr. Kerry, citing Iran’s rights as a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. “It was bombastic diplomacy. It wasted energy. It sort of hardened the lines, if you will,” he added. “They have a right to peaceful nuclear power and to enrichment in that purpose.”

And now we learn that two years later, when Obama wanted to assure Khamenei that he would be flexible on Iran’s demands (even as the president was telling Americans the opposite in his reelection campaign), Kerry relayed a letter to the Iranian regime in Tehran. The letter was transmitted through the same intermediary, the government of Oman, that Obama would later use to transmit his message to Iran’s supreme leader. According to a key adviser to the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Kerry’s letter stated that the United States recognized “Iran’s rights regarding the enrichment cycle.” MEMRI says that Kerry’s letter triggered two meetings in Oman between American and Iranian diplomats and, finally, Obama’s letter to Khamenei.

The Obama administration would soon officially agree that Iran has a right to enrich uranium. The capitulation details were formally handled by Kerry once he became Obama’s second secretary of state. Obviously, his audition went well.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

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White House, Allies Accuse Jewish Lawmakers of Dual Loyalty to Israel

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Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Aug. 11, 2015:

Obama administration allies lobbying in favor of a recently signed nuclear deal with Iran are smearing Jewish lawmakers and opponents of the accord with allegations of dual loyalty to Israel, rhetoric many view as anti-Semitic, according to allegations leveled by these individuals and groups.

Organizations close to the White House, including the pro-Tehran lobbying shop National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the liberal fringe group J Street, and the anti-war organization MoveOn, have come out to question the motivation of Jewish individuals who oppose the nuclear deal, which will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief and lift longstanding restrictions on its ballistic missile program.

These allegations of dual loyalty to Israel, which many have identified as anti-Semitic, began almost immediately with the White House, which accused its critics of worrying more about Israel’s interests than the United States’.

The use of this rhetoric by the Obama administration and its allies is attracting concern among Jewish leaders, who worry the White House will pin the potential failure of the Iran deal on the American Jewish community.

In a July 21 interview, Obama said that shady “lobbyists” and people with “money” were working to kill the deal.

“I guarantee you, if people feel strongly about making sure that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon, without us going to war, and that is expressed to Congress, then people will believe in that,” Obama told former Daily Show host Jon Stewart. “And the same is true on every single issue. If people are engaged, eventually the political system responds. Despite the money, despite the lobbyists, it still responds.”

Jewish publications questioned Obama’s rhetoric, with some accusing the president of using anti-Semitic “dog whistles,” a move that prominent detractors of Israel celebrated.

Obama engaged in similar rhetoric during July 15 speech about the deal in which he urged people to support the agreement “not based on lobbying, but based on what’s in the national interests of the United States of America.”

The rhetoric also has extended to what many view as implicit threats against Israel.

Obama reportedly told a group of Jewish leaders last week that rejection of the Iran deal will result in rockets falling on Tel Aviv.

Secretary of State John Kerry also said that Israel will be blamed if Congress rejects the deal.

Organizations close to the White House quickly latched onto this rhetoric and have taken aim at Democratic Jewish lawmakers who have come out against the deal.

NIAC, which has been accused of lobbying on behalf of Tehran and the regime, explicitly accused Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) of being more loyal to Israel than America.

Reza Marashi, a NIAC flack, took to Twitter to accuse Schumer of “putting Israel’s interests ahead of America’s interests.”

In addition to Schumer, Democratic Jewish Reps. Brad Sherman (Calif.) and Eliot Engel (N.Y.) also have come out against the deal.

J Street, an anti-Israel group that has described itself as the Obama administration’s “blocking back,” also questioned the motives of those Jewish lawmakers opposing the accord.

“Opposing the #IranDeal against recs of top scientists, Israeli & US security experts, 100+ ex-diplomats can’t plausibly be a policy decision,” J Street official Dylan Williams pontificated on Twitter over the weekend.

The Daily Kos published a cartoon over the weekend that accused Schumer of being a “traitor” who is more loyal to Israel than the U.S.

On Sunday, the White House aligned dark money group CREDO Action, the political arm of CREDO Mobile, teamed with the Democrats.com to accuse Schumer of being a traitorous “warmonger” who is betraying his country.

In mid-July, when the deal was first announced, White House ally MoveOn blasted an email to its members headlined “47 traitors.”

In the note, MoveOn wrote: “We have just 60 days to stop the so-called ‘47 traitors’ and hawkish Democrats from killing this deal.”

Jewish leaders said the rhetoric from the Obama administration and its allies has crossed a line into anti-Semitic territory.

“There is a Yiddish word for all this—Shanda—an outrage,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which works to combat global anti-Semitism.

“I grew up during the Cold War, when Democrats and Republicans and the various presidents debated and argued life and death issues involving nuclear arms and the Soviet Union and the nexus with trade an human rights issues, including the fate of Soviet Jewry and the Kremlin’s anti-Semitism,” Cooper said.

“Those were hard fought debates on existential issues,” Cooper said. “I don’t recall such gutter politics. I don’t fear the crock of dual loyalty; I am ashamed by those who cannot bring facts to the table so they attempt to bully.”

“Well, this American Jew won’t be bullied and I am grateful that Senator Schumer and millions of other American Jews won’t be cowered,” Cooper said.

Another senior official with a prominent pro-Israel organization told the Washington Free Beacon that the anti-Semitic rhetoric is “likely to get worse.”

“The unacceptable rhetoric from the pro-deal camp has strayed into open anti-Semitism last week, but what’s really worrying is that it’s likely to get worse,” said Omri Ceren, managing director at The Israel Project. “We’re less than halfway through the congressional review period. You’ve already got White House validators from the pro-Iran lobby tweeting about traitorous Jews and White House supporters from the grassroots publishing cartoons of perfidious Jews.

“What are they going to do for an encore?” Ceren asked.

Also see:

Obama Signed Off on Iran’s Right to Nuclear Program in Secret 2011 Talks

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Aug. 10, 2015:

President Barack Obama approved of Iran’s right to operate a nuclear program in 2011 during secret meetings with Iranian officials, according to new disclosures by Iran’s Supreme Leader.

The comments, made earlier this year by Ali Khamenei, dispute claims by the Obama administration that it only began talking to Iran after the election of President Hassan Rouhani.

Khamenei revealed in a recent speech that talks began in secret with anti-Semitic, Holocaust denying former President Mahmoud Ahmadenejad. At this time, Obama told the Iranians he endorses Iran’s right to have a nuclear program.

“The issue of negotiating with the Americans is related to the term of the previous [Ahmadinejad] government, and to the dispatching of a mediator to Tehran to request talks,” Khamenei said in a recent speech translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“At the time, a respected regional figure came to me as a mediator and explicitly said that U.S. President [Obama] had asked him to come to Tehran and present an American request for negotiations,” Khamenei disclosed. “The Americans told this mediator: ‘We want to solve the nuclear issue and lift sanctions within six months, while recognizing Iran as a nuclear power.’”

“I told that mediator that I did not trust the Americans and their words, but after he insisted, I agreed to reexamine this topic, and negotiations began,” Khamenei added.

Other Iranian officials also have admitted that Obama’s goal from the get-go was to endorse Iran’s nuclear program and then lift economic sanctions on the country’s economy.

Secretary of State John Kerry sent a letter to Iran stating that the United States “recognizes Iran’s rights regarding” nuclear enrichment, according to another senior Iranian official, Hossein Sheikh Al-Islam.

“We came to the [secret] negotiations [with the United States] after Kerry wrote a letter and sent it to us via [mediator Omani Sultan Qaboos], stating that America officially recognizes Iran’s rights regarding the [nuclear fuel] enrichment cycle,” Al-Islam said in a recent interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency, according to MEMRI.

“Then there were two meetings in Oman between the [Iranian and U.S.] deputy foreign ministers, and after those, Sultan Qaboos was dispatched by Obama to Khamenei with Kerry’s letter,” the official added.

Khamenei went on to tell him at the time: “‘I don’t trust them.’ Sultan Qaboos said: ‘Trust them one more time.’ On this basis the negotiations began, and not on the basis of sanctions, as they [the Americans] claim in their propaganda.”

This information has been confirmed by other senior Iranian officials, according to MEMRI.

Ali Akbar Salahi, the Iranian vice president and head of its Atomic Energy Organization, claimed in separate interviews this year that “the Americans initiated the secret talks with Iran in 2011-2012, and stressed his role in jumpstarting the process from the Iranian side,” according to MEMRI.

***

Also see:

Former DIA director: Obama White House made “willful decision” to support al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood in Syria

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael T. Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, on how to deal with ISIL and Iran. http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2015/07/blame-isil-150728080342288.html

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael T. Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, on how to deal with ISIL and Iran. http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2015/07/blame-isil-150728080342288.html


Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Aug. 8, 2015:

Mehdi Hasan is a highly suspect analyst and Foreign Policy Journal appears to be a pro-jihad paleocon publication, and Al Jazeera is certainly a pro-jihad propaganda outlet. All that is noted, but if this transcript is accurate, former DIA director Michael Flynn is confirming that the Obama Administration knowingly decided to support al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, and directly enabled the rise of the Islamic State. And given the Obama Administration’s general stance toward the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, what would be unbelievable about that?

In a sane political atmosphere, this would be enough to bring down the Obama presidency. Instead, it will get little notice and no action whatsoever.

“Rise of Islamic State was ‘a willful decision’: Former DIA Chief Michal [sic] Flynn,” by Brad Hoff, Foreign Policy Journal, August 7, 2015 (thanks to Joshua):

In Al Jazeera’s latest Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was “a willful decision.” [Lengthy discussion of the DIA memo begins at the 8:50 mark.]

Amazingly, Flynn actually took issue with the way interviewer Mehdi Hasan posed the question—Flynn seemed to want to make it clear that the policies that led to the rise of ISIL were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

Hasan: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

Flynn: I think the administration.

Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?

Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

Hasan himself expresses surprise at Flynn’s frankness during this portion of the interview. While holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan reads aloud key passages such as, “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn does the opposite: he confirms that while acting DIA chief he “paid very close attention” to this report in particular and later adds that “the intelligence was very clear.”

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you’re worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?

Flynn: I hate to say it’s not my job…but that…my job was to…was to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be….

As Michael Flynn also previously served as director of intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda, his honest admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature….

***

No Trust, No Verification, No Sanctions: Obama’s Humiliating Capitulation to the Mullahs

john-kerry-iran-deal-gets-worse

National Review, by Andrew McCarthy, Aug. 8, 2015:

The sanctions regime President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry vowed to step up has already collapsed. The mullahs are already scooping up billions in unfrozen assets and new commerce, and they haven’t even gotten the big payday yet.

Obama’s promises of “anytime, anywhere” inspections have melted away as Tehran denies access and the president accepts their comical offer to provide their own nuclear-site samples for examination. Senator John Barasso (R., Wyo.), a medical doctor, drew the apt analogy: It’s like letting a suspect NFL player provide what he says is his own urine sample and then pronouncing him PED-free.#

And now even the Potemkin verification system has become an embarrassing sham, with Iran first refusing to allow physical investigations, then declining perusal of documentation describing past nuclear work, and now rejecting interviews of relevant witnesses.

Recall that administration officials indignantly assured skeptics that there would be no agreement in the absence of Iran’s coming clean on the “past military dimensions” of its nuclear work. As Kerry put it, “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal; it will be done.”

The reason it had to be done is obvious. According to Obama, his Iran deal is built on verification, not trust — at least when the president is not trusting Ayatollah Khamenei’s phantom anti-nuke fatwa. Plainly, it would be impossible to verify whether Iran was advancing toward the weaponization of nuclear energy — whether it had shortened the “breakout time” the elongation of which, Obama claims, is the principal objective of his deal — unless one knew how far the mullahs had advanced in the first place.

RELATED: The Bipartisan Coalition against Obama’s Iran Deal

But now, in open mockery of an American president they know is so desperate to close this deal he will never call their bluff, the mullahs have told the International Atomic Energy Agency to pound sand — although not sand in Iran, where the IAEA is not permitted to snoop around. Tehran is steadfastly refusing to open its books, and the IAEA sheepishly admits that it cannot answer basic questions about Iran’s programs and progress.

There is no inspection, no disclosure, and no verification. And did I mention no sanctions?

So what does Team Obama do? Do they, as they promised, walk away from an unverifiable and thus utterly indefensible deal that lends aid and comfort to our enemies? Of course not. Now they’re out there telling Americans, “We don’t need this IAEA program to discover whether or not Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapon — they were,” as Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Obamabot, told the Wall Street Journal.

Well good for you, Sherlock; Obama, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton may still be hanging on that fatwa, but you hit the bull’s-eye.

Here’s the thing, though, Senator Murphy: Yes, all of us know the Iranians, as you cheerily put it, “were” pursuing a nuclear weapon — especially all of us who oppose Obama’s Iran deal and who recognize that the jihadist regime has waged war against us since 1979, killing thousands of Americans. But you “let’s make a deal” guys told us your objective was to uncover how far along they “were” and to roll back their progress. (Actually, you used to tell us your objective was to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons, period — as in “if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan, period.”)

RELATED: Who Is the One Actually Making Common Cause with Iran’s Hard-Liners, Mr. President?

If you don’t have a baseline from which to begin verification, you can’t verify the time of day, much less the progress of nuclear research, development, procurement, and experimentation. Iran is saying we don’t get the baseline without which the Obama administration guaranteed there would be no agreement.

So in the grand deal our president describes as subjecting the mullahs to historically rigorous inspection, disclosure, and verification requirements, there is no inspection, no disclosure, and no verification.

And did I mention no sanctions?

On July 29, Kerry assured lawmakers that Iranian Quds Force commander “Qassem Soleimani will never be relieved of any sanctions.” Soleimani orchestrates the regime’s terrorist operations and, according to the Pentagon, is responsible for killing at least 500 American soldiers in Iraq.

Yet, only five days before Kerry gave that testimony, Soleimani traveled to Russia for meetings with Putin’s government — notwithstanding the vaunted sanctions that, Kerry would have us believe, confine him to Iran.

RELATED: Appeasing Iran Ignores the Lessons of History

Russia, of course, is a member of the U.N. Security Council, from which Obama sought and obtained endorsement of his Iran deal before seeking congressional review. Not only has Russia rendered the current sanctions a joke; it has made Obama’s implausible promise of future “snapback” sanctions against Iran even more laughable. Russia, by the way, has also agreed to build yet another nuclear reactor for the mullahs in Busheir — which Obama’s deal obligates the United States to protect against sabotage. And Putin has also just agreed to supply the terrorist regime in Tehran with $800 million worth of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles that can be used against the U.S. Air Force and have enough range to strike planes in northern Israel.

What a deal, Mr. President!

We really don’t know quite what a deal it is because key provisions remain secret.

Actually, we really don’t know quite what a deal it is because key provisions remain secret. After its bold verification promises, the Obama administration was too embarrassed to reveal exactly how pathetic the agreement’s inspections provisions are. So, as I outlined in a recent column, Obama and Kerry tucked them into a secret side deal between Iran and the IAEA. It then twaddled that the details — i.e., the heart of the deal from the American perspective — are, conveniently, between Iran and the IAEA. None of our business, you see.

This message was reiterated on Capitol Hill this week by the IAEA. Understand: The IAEA could not function (to the limited extend it does function) without the United States Congress’s underwriting of 25 percent of its budget — the American taxpayer contribution dwarfs that of every other country, including Iran’s, which is tiny. Yet, the IAEA chief told lawmakers that he could not reveal the agreement between his agency and Tehran because that is “confidential” information, disclosure of which would compromise the IAEA’s “independence.” The only things the IAEA would confirm are that (a) there are verification provisions and (b) Iran is not cooperating with them.

Feel better?

Well, to further improve your mood, let’s talk the Corker bill. Remember, that’s the legislation by which the GOP-controlled Congress reversed the constitutional presumption against international agreements and virtually assured that Obama’s Iran deal — no matter how appalling it may be, no matter how much aid and comfort if provides to the enemy — will become law.

Why on earth would Beltway Republicans agree to anything so catastrophic for the national security that the Constitution’s Treaty Clause is designed to protect? Because, they proclaimed, by making this devil’s bargain, they would ensure that Congress and the American people got full disclosure of the Iran deal that Obama would otherwise shroud in secrecy.

But as I asked at the time, what possessed them to think Obama would not shroud the agreement in secrecy just because there would now be a law forbidding that?

Supporters are telling themselves that the Corker bill’s benefits [include that] the president will have to produce the agreement. . . . But this is a mirage. . . . The president is notoriously lawless, and thus Republicans can have no confidence that the agreement he produces to Congress will, in fact, be the final deal he signs off on with Iran and, significantly, submits to the U.N. Security Council for an endorsing resolution.

And so it has come to pass: Republicans forfeited their constitutional power for an unenforceable promise of transparency from an infamously duplicitous backroom dealer. Now they have no power and no idea what they’ve enabled.

The president had it backwards Wednesday when, in his repulsively demagogic speech on the Iran deal, he said that Republicans are aligned with the Iranian “hardliners chanting ‘Death to America.’” It is Obama who is aiding and abetting the hardliners. Republicans have merely aided and abetted Obama.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

While the Administration and media tries to portray this latest episode as evidence of hard liners in Iran trying to upend the JCPOA, we are not buying any of these explanations.  It illustrates how incompetent the Administration has been in conducting its diplomatic initiatives with two geo-political autocrats, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and Russia’s President Putin.  The import of the Russian commitment to deliver the S300 air defense system is not lost on Israeli PM Netanyahu and Sunni US allies in the Middle East as it calls into question the credibility of any conventional military option for dealing with Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  This episode should be another clear  demonstration  to wavering Democrat  US Senators and Representatives that Iran will cheat on its agreements under the JCPOA to further its ambitions become a nuclear threshold and state supporter of  global terrorism.  The Iran nuclear pact announced in Vienna on July 14th was virtually shredded ten days later on July 24th with Gen. Soleimani’s arrival in Moscow. His visit to finalize arrangements for Russian weapons deliveries was in defiance of not only his travel bans but also UNSC Resolution 1929 banning purchase of conventional weapons and missile technology five years ahead of its sunset under the Iran nuclear pact.

Terror Victims’ Lawsuit Seeks to Block Iran Deal’s Sanctions Relief

230730eby IPT News  •  Aug 5, 2015

A deal to provide Iran with as much as $150 billion in sanctions relief over its nuclear weapons program should be blocked until the Islamic Republic pays court-awarded damages to American victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, a lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York federal court said.

The plaintiffs, victims of attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, have judgments worth $152 million that they have been unable to collect. Similar lawsuits in U.S. courts have generated billions of dollars more in damages. Iran, the lawsuit said, should not see a dime of sanctions relief until those victims are compensated.

By law, the lawsuit said, Iran should not be granted any relief until there is “a certification by the President that Iran is no longer a financier and sponsor of terror. That terrorism condition has not been satisfied.”

Even the White House admits that Iran continues to sponsor international terrorism.

The lawsuit, facilitated by Shurat Hadin, or Israel Law Center, names the departments of State and Treasury, along with their respective secretaries, John Kerry and Jacob Lew. The two departments are responsible for enacting and enforcing the sanctions against Iran.

Releasing the frozen Iranian assets strips victims of “their last remaining opportunity to pressure Iran to satisfy their judgments,’ the lawsuit said. And it violates terms of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, passed by Congress in 2002. The law aimed to help victims enforce their judgments by pursuing blocked assets belonging to terror sponsors. It contains the phrase “Notwithstanding any other provision of law,” which should prevail over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the Iran deal, negotiated by the U.S. and the P5+1 allies, the lawsuit said.

The Iran deal therefore undermines “both (i) the intent of Congress to allow Plaintiffs, who are victims of Iranian terrorism, to enforce their judgments against a broad range of blocked assets and (ii) Plaintiffs’ judgments themselves, each of which was issued by a United States federal court, the lawsuit said.

The victims recently investigated funds held in foreign banks which belong to the Central Bank of Iran, one of the many financial institutions which stand to gain sanctions relief. But discovery efforts have been difficult, the lawsuit said. Once the sanctions are lifted, victims’ hopes of securing any of the money owed to them likely disappear.

Wednesday’s lawsuit comes as the Justice Department considers intervening in a separate case that resulted in as much as $655 million in damages against the Palestinian Authority for terrorist attacks that killed or wounded Americans between 2001 and 2004.

Read the full lawsuit about Iran’s sanctions here.

***

Obama Makes U.S. Oath of Allegiance Comply with Islamic Law

By Raymond Ibrahim, August 6, 2015:

The Obama administration recently made changes to the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in a manner very conducive to Sharia, or Islamic law.

bbOn July 21, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced some “modifications” to the Oath of Allegiance which immigrants must take before becoming naturalized.

The original oath required incoming citizens to declare that they will “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States” when required by the law.

Now the USCIS says that “A candidate [to U.S. citizenship] may be eligible to exclude these two clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection.”

The new changes further add that new candidates “May be eligible for [additional?] modifications based on religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.”

These changes serve incoming Islamic supremacists especially well.  For, while Islamic law allows Muslims to feign loyalty to non-Muslim “infidel” authorities, it bans Muslims from living up to the pretense by actually fighting or killing fellow Muslims on behalf of a non-Muslim entity, such as the United States.

The perfectly fitting story of Nidal Hassan—the U.S. army major and “observant Muslim who prayed daily” but then turned murderer—comes to mind and is illustrative.

A pious Muslim, Hasan seemed a “regular American,” even if he was leading a double life—American Army major and psychiatrist by day, financial supporter of jihadi groups and associate of terrorists by night.

However, when time came for this American soldier to “bear arms on behalf of the United States”—to quote the original Oath of Allegiance—against fellow Muslims, things got ugly: he went on a shooting spree in Fort Hood, killing thirteen Americans, including one pregnant woman in 2009.

Much of Hasan’s behavior is grounded in the Islamic doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity.  According to this essential teaching, Muslims must always be loyal to Islam and fellow Muslims while having enmity for all non-Islamic things and persons.

However, whenever Muslims find themselves under the authority of non-Islamic institutions and persons, they are permitted to feign loyalty—even to the point of cursing Islam and pretending to have abandoned it—with one caveat: Muslims must never take up arms on behalf of “infidels” against fellow Muslims.  In other words, their loyalty to non-Muslims must be skin deep.

Many are the verses in the Koran that support this divisive doctrine (3:28, 4:89, 4:144, 9:23, and 58:22; the last simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin”).

Most germane is Koran 3:28: “Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels rather than believers: and whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.”

The words translated here as “guard” and “precaution” are derived from the Arabic word taqu, from the trilateral root w-q-y—the same root that gives us the word taqiyya, the Islamic doctrine that permits Muslims to deceive non-Muslims whenever under their authority.

Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), author of one of the most authoritative commentaries on the Koran, explains taqiyya in the context of verse 3:28 as follows: “Whoever at any time or place fears … evil [from non-Muslims] may protect himself through outward show.”  As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad’s close companion Abu Darda, who said, “Let us grin in the face of some people while our hearts curse them.”[1]

Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 923), author of another standard commentary on the Koran, interprets verse 3:28 as follows:

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.[2]

And therein lies the limit of taqiyya: when the deceit, the charade begins to endanger the lives of fellow Muslims—who, as we have seen, deserve first loyalty—it is forbidden. As al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri puts it in his treatise on Loyalty and Enmity, Muslims may pretend to be friendly and loyal to non-Muslims, so long as they do “not undertake any initiative to support them [non-Muslims], commit sin, or enable [them] through any deed or killing or fighting against Muslims” (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 75).

Thus the idea that Nidal Hasan might be deployed to a Muslim country (Iraq or Afghanistan) was his “worst nightmare.”   When he realized that he was about to be deployed, he became “very upset and angry.”  The thought that he might injure or kill Muslims “weighed heavily on him.” He also counseled a fellow Muslim not to join the U.S. Army, since “Muslims shouldn’t kill Muslims.”

Hassan is not the only Muslim to expose his disloyalty when pushed into fighting fellow Muslims on behalf of the United States.

rIn 2010, Naser Abdo, another Muslim soldier who joined the U.S. Army, demanded to be discharged on the claim that he was a “conscientious objector whose devotion to Islam has suffered since he took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies.”  The army agreed, but while processing him, officials found child pornography on his government-issued computer and recommended that he be court-martialed.  Abdo went AWOL and later tried to carry out a terrorist attack on a restaurant with the use of weapons of mass destruction.

And in April 2005, Hasan Akbar, another Muslim serving in the U.S. Army, was convicted of murder for killing two American soldiers and wounding fourteen in a grenade attack: “He launched the attack because he was concerned U.S. troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq.”

In short, the first loyalty of any “American Muslim” who follows the Koran is to fellow Muslims, regardless of their nationality.  It is not to American “infidels,” even if they be their longtime neighbors whom they daily smile to (see here for examples).  Hence why American Muslim Tarik Shah, who was arrested for terrorist-related charges, once boasted: “I could be joking and smiling [with non-Muslims] and then cutting their throats in the next second”—reminiscent of the aforementioned quote by Muhammad’s companion.

Now, in direct compliance with Islamic law, the Obama administration has made it so that no Muslim living in America need ever worry about having to defend her—including against fellow Muslims or jihadis.

Raymond Ibrahim, a Judith Friedman Rosen writing fellow at the Middle East Forum,is a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians.


[1] ‘Imad ad-Din Isma’il Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Karim (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiya, 2001), vol. 1, p. 350, author’s translation.

[2] Abu Ja’far Muhammad at-Tabari, Jami’ al-Bayan ‘an ta’wil ayi’l-Qur’an al-Ma’ruf: Tafsir at-Tabari (Beirut: Dar Ihya’ at-Turath al-Arabi, 2001), vol. 3, p. 267, author’s translation.

Why Schumer’s Opposition to the Iran Deal Matters

3226302524Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, Aug. 7, 2015:

In a surprise to both supporters and opponents of the controversial nuclear deal with Iran, Senator Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), who is likely to succeed Harry Reid as the Senate’s top Democrat, announced his opposition last night. Schumer is also the top ranking Jewish senator.

Schumer said he does not think the deal will work because

In the first 10 years, there are serious weaknesses. First, inspections are not “anywhere, anytime”; the 24-day delay before we can inspect is troubling. More troubling is the fact that the US can’t demand inspections unilaterally. And the “snapback sanctions” provisions seem cumbersome and difficult to use.

Schumer also raised concerns about issues left out of the Iran deal.

Yet the non-nuclear elements give me the most pause. For years, Iran has used force and terrorism to expand its influence in the Middle East, actively supporting military or terrorist actions in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Gaza. That’s why the US has labeled Iran as one of only three nations who are “state sponsors of terrorism.” Under this agreement, Iran would receive at least $50 billion in the near future and would undoubtedly use some of that money to redouble its efforts to create even more trouble.

Coming from a liberal Democrat like Schumer, these arguments severely undermine the Obama administration’s defense of the Iran nuclear agreement.

While there was speculation that Schumer might oppose the Iran deal because of strong pressure from pro-Israel and Jewish groups, the timing of his announcement was unexpected in so far as it came two days after a major speech President Obama gave at American University defending the agreement. This speech tried to shore up Democratic support for the Iran deal by depicting American opponents of the deal as Republicans in common cause with “death to America”–chanting Iranian hardliners who oppose the deal. (Please see Charles Krauthammer’s superb column in which he takes exception to Obama’s speech and asks who really is the one in common cause with Iranian hardliners.)

The administration has been aggressively lobbying Democratic members of Congress to maintain a “firewall” to prevent opponents of the deal from achieving a veto-proof majority for a resolution of disapproval of it. To buy time to defend the deal, President Obama reportedly has been asking Democrats leaning toward opposing the agreement to wait until Congress returns from its summer recess before announcing their position.

The Left knows Schumer’s vote matters and could lead many other Senate and House members to oppose the deal.  According to The Hill, leftwing group MoveOn.org immediately condemned Schumer’s announcement and called for its members to withhold campaign contributions. Former Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer responded with this nasty swipe at Schumer:

pfeiffer tweet

Schumer’s decision to defect now despite intense pressure from the White House is a major blow to President Obama and the Iran deal. But the deal’s opponents still have lot of work to do to win enough support in the House and Senate to override a veto of a resolution of disapproval. Schumer may do little to convince other senators to oppose the Iran deal and could still vote to uphold a presidential veto.

The reason the Schumer defection matters is because it puts the lie to the Obama administration’s shameful claim that opponents of the Iran deal are partisan extremists who want war with Iran. Schumer’s announcement is a powerful indication that opposition to this terrible agreement is in fact principled and bipartisan.

Also see:

Why Empower Iran?

MEFORUM, by Alexander H. Joffe

The Times of Israel
August 3, 2015

1565Unless the US Congress votes in opposition, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal with Iran with go through. What really happened and why did it happen the way it did?

What happened is gradually becoming clear. It is revealed daily just how horrendous the deal really is. On every point — enrichment, centrifuges, stocks of fissile material, inspections, sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members and businesses, “snapback,” etc. — the Obama administration caved completely.

Concessions on ballistic missiles and arms sales were thrown in at the last minute; the administration lied about it all, while Iran touted its victories and American capitulation. All this went on amidst a background of Iranian chants of “death to Israel” and “death to America,” which entered not at all into American calculations.

Iran is thus empowered; it will shortly be gigantically richer, its proxies strengthened, its nuclear program at best slowed but fundamentally unimpeded, and its missile and terror programs shifted into overdrive.

But why this occurred is unclear. Clownish performance by the chief negotiator, Secretary of State John Kerry, a man driven equally by incompetence, ego, and pacifism, has long been the norm. But otherwise competent functionaries like Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz were dragged into negotiating and defending the deal. They have been no less implausible.

But their presence, along with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, previously the midwife of the North Korean nuclear program, suggests the process was directed from the top. In contrast, the defense establishment was written out; protests by General Martin Dempsey, outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as retired leaders like Defense Intelligence Agency head General Michael Flynn and NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis, fell on deaf ears in the administration and have been ignored by a compliant media.

Lead US negotiator Wendy Sherman previously brokered an agreement with North Korea that failed to prevent its construction of a bomb.

Lead US negotiator Wendy Sherman previously brokered an agreement with North Korea that failed to prevent its construction of a bomb.

Three factors suggest why President Obama himself effectively guided the negotiations to this point. As with various other administration scandals — think the IRS targeting of conservative and pro-Israel groups, or the Justice Department’s eavesdropping of reporters — it was not necessary for him to make every decision, only to set a tone that was interpreted by underlings. What then were the strategic goals that Obama established?

First was American withdrawal from the Middle East and to diminish the possibility of a return to a Pax Americana. Withdrawal from Iraq was a stated campaign goal that was accomplished, and is now being slowly reversed as the threat of ISIS grows. American forces remain in Afghanistan to confront a growing Taliban threat. In both cases the number of troops will be deliberately inadequate to directly confront threats.

Re-escalation of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan appears inevitable, but the larger reality of an American defense umbrella has been diminished by the administration’s alienation of traditional allies in the region, namely Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. This was done through its Iran policy and more broadly through US engagement with Islamists.

When coupled with enormous defense cuts at home, reducing the military to pre-World War II levels, any restoration of American influence, much less a defense presence in the Middle East, would be a protracted and expensive affair necessarily left to a future president, if ever.

A perverse pacifism is also at work. “There is no military solution” and “Ideologies are not defeated with guns” are pacifist mantras, repeated at the very top and used to avoid use of force, or the support of others using force, in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria.

This pacifist, non-interventionist policy is nominally offset by the administration’s machismo; the never ending reminders about killing Bin Laden, the continued leaks and sympathetic press accounts regarding the president’s involvement in approving targets for drone attacks and special forces raids, and the much-vaunted, but little seen, “pivot to Asia.”

But these narratives do not offset the reality that conventional forces, of the sort necessary, say, to fight ISIS in Syria, will never deployed, no matter how many Christians and Yazidis are kidnapped or killed. And despite utterances that a military option was “on the table,” it seems inconceivable that the administration ever contemplated using force against Iran.

But there are deeper reasons for the outreach to Iran. Some have suggested that the long-term Obama policy, from at least 2008, has been to reintegrate Iran into the Middle East, putting it on the path to becoming a “very successful regional power,” as Obama put it, against an even longer term bet that moderate forces will become ascendant.

Iran, as Obama admits, has “a track record of state-sponsored terrorism … [and] has engaged in disruptions to our allies,” while its “rhetoric is not only explicitly anti-American but also has been incendiary when it comes to its attitude towards the state of Israel.” It is nevertheless expected to act as a bulwark against the Sunni extremism it helps provoke, help resolve the Syria crisis its client Assad created, and abide by “international norms and international rules, and that would be good for everybody.”

The theory of Iranian reintegration, however, captures only part of the administration’s motives. At the root is something deeper still, reflected in Obama’s most personal and idiosyncratic policystatement; that “America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam,” that it is “part of [his] responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” that “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace,” and that “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone.”

These and other elements from Obama’s Istanbul and Cairo speeches are the core of policy towards Iran, the Middle East, and the Muslim world as a whole. They have been translated directly into policies to support and facilitate “authentically” Islamic regimes in order to prove they can govern.

This was the theory behind support of the Muslim Brotherhood’s short-lived election to rule Egypt, and the distance the US created when Egypt’s military overthrew the increasingly tyrannical rule of Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi. It has been the foundation of American support for the oppressive and bizarre rule of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP party. And it accounts for the constant disclaimers from administration spokespersons denying any connection between Islam and terror, the incessant “religion of peace” rhetoric, and support for the “Islamophobic” mindset of victimization among American Muslims.

Other policies as large as outreach to Iran, as dangerous as purging mentions of jihad from US counterterrorism training, and as absurd as the President’s order to NASA “to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering,” reflect the administration’s goal of inculcating Islamic authenticity, self-esteem and good will.

In contrast to authentic Islam is “violent extremism.” In this view Al Qaeda and ISIS are not Islamic at all but have, as the president stated in Cairo, “exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims.” They are simply groups with no real relationship to Islam, despite their resolute Islamic self-conception and careful textual exegesis. Fatwas from Obama, Kerry and others, painstakingly separating Islam from the terror done in its name, are both perplexing, unpersuasive, and grist for ISIS and domestic Islamic terrorism. But they are self-satisfying.

The non-nuclear consequences of the Iran deal are already coming into view. European businesses are rushing for deals worth billions. Hamas has announced that Iran is financing new attack tunnels into Israel. Hezbollah, though badly bloodied from its defense of Iran’s client, Syria’s Assad regime, is reemphasizing its anti-Israel rhetoric and capabilities before what will be a horrifically violent war. Iran’s subversion in Yemen, the Balkans, South America and the Gulf is at new heights. International legitimacy has brought neither Iranian moderation nor domestic development. It is unlikely to do so soon.

At the end of the day, an American administration led by social justice ideologues was fated to understand nothing about a revolutionary Islamist regime with global aspirations. The favor done Iran in the name of Islamic authenticity and regional reintegration will be a curse on the world for generations.

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

Also see:

Warning: Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation and Immigration Policies have the Same Goal

obamanosuburbs

PLEASE SHARE THIS EVERYWHERE!

Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran on July 31, 2015:

Editor:  This is a guest column written by reader Julia.

For all of you doing research on Refugee Resettlement where you live, you must now also find out what is happening on the low income housing front as well.  You may find your local elected officials and local developers are too cozy with the federal bucks that come their way to advance the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing initiative.  And, of course the big question is, would some squishy Republican president ever have the spine to turn this around once in office?  Looks like it may be up to you, in‘pockets of resistance,’ to raise awareness and fight this locally for now in addition to hitting your US Senators and Members of Congress when they are home for the August recess.

Here is Julia (emphasis is mine):

Stanley Kurtz has done extensive writing on what is now titled the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation. Kurtz believes that Obama blames suburban tax-flight for urban decay and that AFFH is a way to annex the suburbs back into the cities.

Message to Republicans…..

But, let’s look at AFFH in context with other actions of the Obama administration and the Democrat party. These actions include in part, the Department of Justice’s actions to prevent the implementation of voter i.d. laws; challenges to state attempts to require proof of citizenship in voter registrations; lawsuits over state legislative redistricting; the efforts to increase immigration; and the push to get immigrants to become citizens.

Groups such as The New Americans Campaign, Cities for Citizenship, etc. are working in conjunction with the Obama administration to accomplish the administration’s push to get immigrants to become citizens. It is generally believed that these efforts along with the administration’s policy to increase immigration are being undertaken to further the Democrat party’s goal to create a majority Democrat voting populace.

AFFH will create a database that categorizes each zip code by race and establish rules that essentially have the goal of ensuring that no neighborhood will have a population of more than 50% whites.

The end result will be that no voting district in the United States will be majority white.

Since the Democrat party counts on minorities categorically voting Democrat, it can be concluded that the 50% threshold was set to ensure a majority Democrat voting populace in every legislative district in the United States.

AFFH will thus serve the same purpose as Obama’s immigration policies – pertaining to both legal and illegal immigration – to create a one party system by changing the population. Obama’s immigration policies will change the population in the aggregate by adding more minorities whom they call “new Americans” and AFFH will distribute them to each and every voting district.

Robert Romano, senior editor at Americans for Limited Government, presciently said in a 2014 WND article by Leo Hohmann, “[AFFH] allows (the feds) to gerrymander for political purposes. It’s a way to get around whatever Republican gerrymandering had gone on after the 2010 election cycle. If they are doing this for low-income or disadvantaged purposes, well, what does that tell you? Low income tends to vote for Democrats.”

It seems clear that the Obama administration, through AFFH, intends to take away any benefit that the GOP may have in current GOP dominated voting districts. If the Democrats are proved correct that minorities categorically vote Democrat, AFFH will ensure a never ending Democrat control of the U.S. political system.

Paul Sperry wrote in the New York Post that AFFH and its database infrastructure are intended to outlast the Obama administration. Cecilia Muñoz, co-chair of Obama’s White House Task Force on New Americans and Obama’s domestic policy adviser has said that she is tasked with “making sure Obama’s historic immigration policies get ‘institutionalized.”

If the GOP does not take action to counter these programs, the GOP may likely cease to exist and the country’s republic form of government may forever be a mere facade to Obama’s hope and change transformation.

See also, Stanley Kurtz’s recent article, “ How You Can Stop Obamazone.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/421432/how-you-can-stop-obamazone-stanley-kurtz?target=author&tid=1841

And, John Perazzo’s article “Black Skin Privilege: To Be The Wedge For a The Totalitarian Future – Obama’s race-based plan to turn Congress Democratic, forever.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259613/black-skin-privilege-be-wedge-totalitarian-future-john-perazzo

This post is filed in our category entitled, Comments worth noting/guest posts.  We have also categorized it in our new ‘Pockets of Resistance’ category as guidance for resistance fighters throughout the country.  Maybe assign a couple of members of your group to find out what is going on to bring low income housing to your town.  Housing availability, of course, is the limiting factor determining how many refugees and other migrants will colonize your town.

Also see:

The Iran Deal and the ‘Problem of Conjecture’

Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani on March 8 in the Salahuddin province of Iraq, where he is leading Shiite militias against Islamic State; President Obama at a White House news conference, July 15; Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran, June 4. PHOTO: REUTERS/ASSOCIATED PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani on March 8 in the Salahuddin province of Iraq, where he is leading Shiite militias against Islamic State; President Obama at a White House news conference, July 15; Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran, June 4. PHOTO: REUTERS/ASSOCIATED PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

WSJ, By Niall Ferguson, July 24, 2015:

In making the case for his nuclear-arms-control deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, President Obama has confronted Congress with a stark choice. “There really are only two alternatives here,” he declared at last week’s press conference. “Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war.”

This binary argument is so central to his administration’s case that the president provided a second formulation: Without the deal, he said, “we risk even more war in the Middle East, and other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs, threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world.”

The president insists that the Iran deal is tightly focused on “making sure” that the Iranians “don’t have a bomb.” It is not, he says, “contingent on Iran changing its behavior” in any other respect—notably the funding of proxy armies and terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. “The incremental additional money that they’ve got to try to destabilize the region,” according to Mr. Obama, is not “more important than preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Listening to all this, I am reminded of what Henry Kissinger once called the “problem of conjecture.” Writing in 1963, before anyone had devised a way to slow down a Soviet nuclear-arms program vastly bigger than any Iran will ever have, Mr. Kissinger summed up the dilemma that faces any strategic decision maker: “the choice between making the assessment which requires the least effort or making an assessment which requires more effort.” The problem of conjecture is that if a statesman “acts on the basis of a guess, he will never be able to prove that his effort was necessary, but he may save himself a great deal of grief later on. . . . If he waits, he may be lucky or he may be unlucky.”

The key point of the problem of conjecture is that the payoffs are asymmetrical. A successful pre-emptive action is never rewarded in proportion to its benefits because “posterity forgets how easily things might have been otherwise.” Indeed, the statesman who acts pre-emptively is more likely to be condemned for the upfront costs of pre-emption than to be praised for its benefits in the form of averted calamities. By contrast, playing for time is not absolutely certain to lead to disaster. Something may turn up.

To illustrate his point, Mr. Kissinger cited the classic example of the policy of appeasement, which was designed to slow down, not to halt or reverse, the rearmament and expansion of Nazi Germany. If the democracies had moved earlier to contain Germany, Mr. Kissinger argued, “we wouldn’t know today whether Hitler was a misunderstood nationalist, whether he had only limited objectives, or whether he was in fact a maniac. The democracies learned that he was in fact a maniac. They had certainty but they had to pay for that with a few million lives.”

The analogy with 1930s Europe is as overused as it is rarely applicable. But in one respect it is relevant here. Like President Obama today, Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was playing for time in 1938, reasoning that a conflict at that point would be worse than a conflict in the future. The conjecture, then as now, was that buying time would improve the relative strategic position.

Whatever Mr. Obama may say, the point of this nuclear deal isn’t just to postpone the Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons by 10 years. For it to be more than a mere deferral, it also must improve the relative strategic position of the U.S. and its allies so that by 2025 they will be in a stronger position to stop Iran from entering the club of nuclear-armed powers. How might the U.S. achieve this?

As the president put it, his “hope is that building on this deal, we can continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative . . . in resolving issues like Syria or what’s happening in Iraq, to stop encouraging Houthis in Yemen.” His goal by the time he “turn[s] over the keys to . . . the next president, is that we are on track to defeat ISIL . . . that we have jumpstarted a process to resolve the civil war in Syria, [and] that in Iraq . . . we’ve also created an environment in which Sunni, Shia and Kurd are starting to operate and function more effectively together.”

This echoes Mr. Obama’s illuminating account of his strategy for the Middle East to the New Yorker magazine in January 2014. “It would be profoundly in the interest of citizens throughout the [Middle East] if Sunnis and Shias weren’t intent on killing each other,” he mused. And “if we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion—not funding terrorist organizations, not trying to stir up sectarian discontent in other countries, and not developing a nuclear weapon—you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran.”

In short, for all the high-flown rhetoric of the president’s speeches, his goal is the classic realist objective of a balance of power in the region. The technicalities of the Iran deal—the number of centrifuges, the size of the enriched-uranium stockpile, the rigor of the inspections regime—need not detain us here. The key question is whether or not slowing down Iran’s nuclear program will increase regional stability. Critics of the deal should acknowledge that it might, for in the realm of conjecture there are no certainties. But the president and his advisers should admit that the probability is very, very low.

“The really important question,” Mr. Obama told the Atlantic magazine in May, is “how do we find effective partners—not just in Iraq, but in Syria, and in Yemen, and in Libya—that we can work with, and how do we create the international coalition and atmosphere in which people across sectarian lines are willing to compromise and are willing to work together in order to provide the next generation a fighting chance for a better future?” The answer: Not this way.

Why should Iran suddenly mend its ways? In return for merely slowing down its pursuit of nuclear weapons, it is being handed up to $150 billion in previously frozen assets, a commercial bonanza as sanctions are lifted, and the prospect of an end to conventional arms and ballistic-missile embargoes after, respectively, five and eight years. All Iran has to do is keep the International Atomic Energy Agency happy that it is sticking to its nuclear commitments. There will be no “snap back” of sanctions if Tehran opts to use its new resources to double or quadruple its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, the Assad regime in Syria, and the Houthi rebellion in Yemen.

Now ask yourself: How are Iran’s rivals likely to respond to this timeline of Iranian rearmament: increased support for proxies this year, upgraded conventional weapons in 2020, ballistic missiles in 2023, and nukes in 2025? The president’s conjecture is that by buying time he also gets closer to a regional balance. The alternative and much more likely scenario is that he gets an arms race and escalating conflict.

Historical analogies must be used with care. Last week the president boldly likened his deal with Iran to Richard Nixon’s opening to China and Ronald Reagan’s strategic-arms-reduction treaty with the Soviet Union. These analogies are misleading. Mao Zedong andMikhail Gorbachev did their deals with the U.S. from positions of weakness. In the early 1970s, the Chinese Communists were threatened externally by the Soviets and internally by their own crazy Cultural Revolution. In the 1980s the Soviets were losing the Cold War not only economically but ideologically. By contrast, though under intense economic pressure because of the U.S.-led sanctions campaign, the Iran regime has been gaining strategically since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and domestically since the crushing of the Green Revolution in 2009.

In the Cold War, communism posed a twofold challenge: the Leninist and the Maoist. The U.S. had some success containing the Soviet version in Europe and the Middle East, but struggled to contain the Maoist version in Korea, risked Armageddon to keep Soviet missiles out of Cuba, and failed miserably to save South Vietnam. The Kissingerian solution was to be closer to the two Communist powers than they were to each other.

The U.S. used a mix of détente and containment on the Soviets, and engagement with the Chinese. But Washington also built very strong alliances in Europe and Asia. And the U.S. overtly resisted the ideological challenge posed by both brands of Marxism.

What, by contrast, is the strategy today? Faced with two forms of Islamic extremism, Shiite and Sunni, we are tilting toward Iran, the principal sponsor of the former. We are alienating our allies, moderate Sunnis as well as Israelis. In doing so, I fear, we are stoking the flames of sectarian conflict at all levels, from the local to the national to the regional. And all the while President Obama repeats the hollow mantra that “Islam is a religion of peace.”

To repeat: No one can say for sure what will come of the president’s strategy. It may magically produce equilibrium in the Middle East, as he hopes. But all the evidence points the other way: toward a continuing escalation of violence in the region, and indeed throughout the Islamic world.

According to the International Institute of Strategic Studies’ Armed Conflict Database, total fatalities due to armed conflict increased world-wide by a factor of roughly four between 2010 and 2014. The Middle East and North Africa accounted for more than 70% of the increase.

According to the statistics on terrorism gathered by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, the number of terrorist incidents world-wide quadrupled between 2006 and 2013, while the number of fatalities rose by 130%. In that period, the percentage of fatalities attributable to Muslim groups rose to 92% from 75%.

President Obama’s conjecture is that his nuclear-arms deal with Iran will somehow break these trends. My conjecture is that the effect will be exactly the opposite. Even before he hands over the White House keys to his successor, we shall see that there was no simple, binary choice between peace and war. We bought time. We postponed Iran’s nuclear breakout. But we also stoked the flames of a conflict that doesn’t need nukes to get a lot more lethal than it already is.

Mr. Ferguson’s first volume of a biography of Henry Kissinger will be published by Penguin Press in September.