Dr. Mordechai Kedar – A Warning To America, Israel, the West

Published on Apr 24, 2015 by theunitedwest

Dr. Mordechai Kedar – A Warning To America – National Security And Understanding The Muslim Mind.

The United West is proud to bring you another installment of our Israel Trip Series featuring Israeli Scholar and National Security subject matter expert, Dr. Mordechai Kedar.

Dr. Kedar combines his 25 years in various IDF Intelligence Units, fluency in Arabic dialects, and a stellar academic career at Bar Ilan University into a National Security Briefing you must watch from beginning to end.

“We in the West often delude ourselves into believing that all cultures have exactly the same goals (peace, prosperity, freedom) and exactly the same values (human life, honesty, human rights). And although all of these goals and values are undoubtedly part of every human culture, not all cultures value them to the same degree that we do in the West.”

In this briefing Dr. Kedar will present a compelling look into understanding the Middle Eastern mind, culture, religion, and how the Muslim world sees Western culture. Only by understanding how the Muslim world sees us will we be able to properly defend our culture from The Global Jihad Movement.

In this briefing Dr. Kedar will cover these topics:

1. The Family unit and population demographics are a National Security issue.

2. 14:43 Understanding Islamic immigration to the West and why the export or Hijra is vastly important but misunderstood by Americans and Europeans. How this works into the framework of the Greater Middle East.

3. 45:40 Understanding the two types of threats emanating from the great Middle East and Persia.

4. 1:03:00 The Big Picture. The West’s Geo-Strategic picture with Iran.

5: What the Israeli message to Iran will have to be.

6. 1:11:00 How the Iranian mind thinks and processes information using their own imagery. The Shia Iranians do not think like us politically. Dr. Kedar takes Iranian political propaganda and deconstructs what it means from their perspective. What we think is irrelevant in dealing with the Iranians.

After you watch and absorb what Dr. Kedar is telling you about the Iranian mind you will be angry at how the current U.S. administration is dealing with our Iranian adversaries geo politically and even more urgently with the Iranian Nuclear program.

This lecture should be mandatory watching for President Obama, John Kerry, and everyone at the US State Department.

To follow Dr. Kedar’s body of work go to: http://mordechaikedar.com/

Go to http://www.TheUnitedWest.org and listen to Tom Trento’s simulcast daily AM radio show – Enemies Of The State.

God Bless America and God Bless Our Troops

A Game of Chicken in the Gulf of Aden

shipsNER, by Jerry Gordon and Ilana Freedman, April 24, 2015:

On the morning of April 21, 2015,   newspapers and media reporters trumpeted a headline that the Saudis were ending their month long air campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.  The halt reflected concerns of the Obama Administration over the deteriorating situation in Yemen and the increasing role of Iran. The operation, named “Decisive Resolve”, allegedly led by the Saudi coalition with US administration backing, had destroyed a missile base, armored vehicles, and planes held by Houthi forces. The Houthi militias were allegedly allied with Yemeni strongman and former president of Yemen for over thirty years, 73-year old Ali Abdullah Saleh.  Saleh, who has survived political isolation, sanctions, civil war, and assassin attempts, created an alliance with the Houthis, his former enemies, in a bid to return to power in Yemen. Latest reports indicate that Saleh has left Yemen, perhaps to join party members in discussions with Saudi Arabia and coalition members of the Gulf Cooperation Council about resolving the conflict.

Saudi Air Strikes in Yemen WSJ 4-22-15

Since the Saudi air strikes began on March 26, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed. The Saudis were seeking to restore the internationally-recognized and US-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who served as president of Yemen from February 2012 until January 2015, when he was forced to resign after Houthi rebels raided his home and put him under house arrest. He subsequently escaped and fled to Saudi Arabia just as the Kingdom-led coalition began an air campaign against Houthi rebels on March 26, 2015.

Only hours after the first announcement of the cessation of Saudi air strikes, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir appeared at an Embassy press conference to announce the resumption of limited air attacks.  The Ambassador told reporters:

The Houthis should be under no illusion that we will continue to use force in order to stop them from taking Yemen over by aggressive action. We are determined to protect the Yemeni people and counter any aggressive moves that the Houthis may undertake. When the Houthis or their allies make aggressive moves there will be a response. The decision to calm matters now rests entirely with them.

In view of continued Houthi fighting in the central city of Taiz and against secessionist forces in Aden on the southern coast. This phase of the Saudi operation in Yemen was named “Renewal of Hope”, and was launched amid reports that the Houthis have surrounded the city of Aden on three sides.  In a later press conference on April 22nd, al-Jubeir said, “We will not allow them to take Yemen by force.”

The Houthis quickly put out a statement seeking the lifting of Saudi air and naval operations, and offering to hold political talks under UN auspices.  The defiant Houthi threatened to invade Saudi Arabia if the bombing continues.

A flotilla of nine Iranian vessels, seven commercial vessels escorted by two Iranian frigates, exited the Persian Gulf slow steaming down the Sea of Arabia towards a rendezvous in the Gulf of Aden. Nine US vessels were already positioned there. Nevertheless, that group has been joined by the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), an aircraft carrier capable of carrying 90 F/A-18 fighter jets and helicopters. The Roosevelt was accompanied by the USS Normandy (CG-60), a guided-missile escort ship. They came from the Fifth Fleet base in Bahrain in the Gulf, presumably to shadow the Iranian flotilla.

The Saudis, with the aid of Egyptian naval vessels, have established a virtual blockade of Yemen preventing deliveries of food, civilian goods, and weapons from Houthi ally, Iran.   The UN Security Council passed a resolution barring the supply of advanced missiles to Yemen.

Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter made his first comments on the dispatch of the US carrier and guided missile cruiser to the Arabian Sea while on a trip to California.  Carter told them that “he was not prepared to say whether the U.S. would be willing to forcibly stop and board one of the Iranian ships if it tries to cross into Yemen.”  Further, he said:

We have options. We’re not at that point. We’re at the point of trying to get the parties back to the table.

Still, he said the U.S. is making it clear to Iran that “obviously fanning the flames or contributing to it by any party is not welcome to us.”

President Obama in an MSNBC interview said:

Right now, their ships are in international waters. What we’ve said to them is that if there are weapons delivered to factions within Yemen that could threaten navigation, that’s a problem. And we’re not sending them obscure messages — we send them very direct messages about it.

On the other hand, senior defense and military officials told NBC News that American warships were prepared to intercept the convoy of Iranian ships, because they were suspected of carrying weapons to Houthi rebel forces in Yemen.

Several versions of their mission have already been floated by various government offices. The White House, Pentagon and State Department have issued statements to the effect the US carrier battle group is there to monitoring sea lanes. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said, “the principle goal is to maintain freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in the Gulf of Aden and in the Red Sea”.

On the other hand, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren suggested that there could be a flight of refugees across the narrow Bab al Mandab that separates Yemen from the horn of Africa. The US naval vessels might be conveniently positioned to prevent a disaster similar to the one last weekend in the Mediterranean that witnessed over 700 people attempting to flee from war-torn Libya, drowned when the overloaded fishing boat capsized.

The stories may be inconsistent, but one thing is clear. If history is any measure, the Iranian flotilla is certain to be carrying weapons and supplies to aid the Houthi forces, not the humanitarian assistance they claim is to alleviate the Saudi and Egyptian blockade of Yemeni ports.  The US administration has been clear that the shadowing US naval forces have not been given orders to enable them to hail and board Iranian vessels. They are concerned that boarding the Iranian ships might create an incident that could threaten a successful outcome in the ongoing nuclear in which President Obama and  Secretary of State Kerry have invested so much effort. The negotiations the Administration appears committed to closing a deal offering so-called signing bonuses of $30 to 50 billion in release of oil revenues.

These statements by Pentagon and Administration spokespersons reflect the quandary in which the Administration now finds itself, and they can’t seem to get their story straight.  In the midst of problematic negotiations on a possible nuclear agreement with Iran, which the Administration appears to want to complete at all costs, the US is also allegedly backing Saudi Arabia with both intelligence and weapons in the fight against the Iran-backed Houthi.  The American position in this conflict is far from clear.

One possibility not mentioned in any of the media is the possibility that the American presence is neither to stop the Iranian ships, nor to board them, but to keep the other countries’ naval officers from boarding them. The purpose of this mission would be to maintain our nuclear negotiations with Iran moving forward without the suggestion of our threatening them in another theater.

The situation in the region is extremely complicated and America’s mission there is uncertain. While appearing to support the Saudi position, the US has also provided intelligence to the Houthi, ostensibly to ward off threat of a resurgent AQAP. And while appearing to be a deterrent to Iranian arms delivery to the Houthis, the massive American presence on the scene may be, in fact, a deterrent to other ships whose mission is to board the Iranian cargo ships should they approach the port in Aden.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is existentially concerned about Iranian expansion of its hegemony into Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, where Iranian Quds Force and Revolutionary Guard “consultants’ have been active in expanding their control. In Iraq, they have been training Shia militia in the war against the Islamic State.

In response to the Iranian threat, Saudi Arabia has undertaken action to subjugate the restive Shia majority in Bahrain, home port for the US Fifth Fleet, and in the oil rich Eastern Province with a large Shia population.  The Saudis are spending billions to complete security fences on its northern and Southern borders, and the Kingdom has reportedly mobilized 150,000 troops for possible action in Yemen.

The situation is the Arabian Sea is fluid. The latest reports indicate that despite the strong words from Iran, their ships have now turned around and are heading back toward the Strait of Hormuz. At this writing, they are reported to be heading east in the Arabian Sea, south of Salalah, Oman.

Failed US Policy    Less than a year ago, President Obama hailed Yemen as a foreign policy ‘success’ story in its drone campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. But with the fall of Yemen’s capital Sana’a to Houthi forces and the flight of ousted President Hadi to Saudi Arabia, the vacuum in the country has been filled by open conflict between Sunni tribes loyal to AQAP, those units loyal to Hadi, and secessionist forces in Aden. America’s precipitous and humiliating departure from Yemen was more than proof that our policy had been anything but successful.

Effectively Yemen is a failed state.  When the mobs attacked it, the US Embassy closed in panic, leaving 4,000 American citizens stranded in a country that was rapidly falling into chaos and bloody fighting. The US special operations contingent decamped to Camp Lemonnier across the Bab al Mandab at AFRICOM headquarters in Djibouti.  The former US special ops Yemen bases were overrun and destroyed. Without local intelligence from within Yemen, the counterterrorism drone campaign against the AQAP was effectively been shut down.

The current game of chicken on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden is a dangerous one, not the least because it is difficult to understand what the end game is supposed to be. The problem now is that the Iranian Ayatollah and his Revolutionary Guards commanders may relish such a confrontation with the US, Saudi and Egyptian naval contingents to see who would blink first in the game of chicken.  Some might consider the Iranian flotilla as a possible causus belli. After all the UN Security Council adopted a resolution barring the shipment of missiles into Yemen.

The dangerous confrontation seems, for the moment, to be averted. Iran’s ships have turned back, perhaps temporarily. We don’t know why, or what their long range game plan may bring.

The irony the Administration found itself in over the looming confrontation in the Gulf of Aden was that the US might have had to rely on the Saudis and the Egyptians, both of whom America had supplied weapons to, but over whom the US now has little to no control.  The looming question is whether a satisfactory denouement with Iran would even be possible were Iran already a nuclear state.

That Iran is on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons is no longer the question. All evidence points to this being the case, ongoing talks with P5+1 and the so-called 13 year ‘deal’ notwithstanding.  Latest reports say that Iran is on the ‘nuclear threshold’ with less than three months before it has full nuclear weapons capability. The Iranian nuclear threshold concerns the Saudis, Gulf Emirates, Egypt, and Israel. Israel has not been diffident in the past about intercepting and boarding commercial vessels carrying illicit cargoes of missiles from Iran supplying proxies Hamas and Hezbollah.

In the game of chicken still being played out in the Arabian Sea, it remains to be seen whether the Obama Administration has the resolve to stare down this latest move by Iran, or is the President more than likely blink first?

Ilana Freedman is a veteran intelligence analyst, specializing in Islamic and related sources of terrorism and their impact on the Western world. Jerry Gordon is a Senior Editor at the New English Review

***

Also see:

The Watchman: Iran, ISIS and What Can Be Done

isis-and-iran

Published on Apr 21, 2015 by CBN News

On this week’s episode of The Watchman, we sit down with national security expert and former Pentagon spokesman J.D. Gordon to discuss the threats posed by Iran and ISIS and how America should counter them.

The Baathist Phoenix

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

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

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

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

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

Why is ad-Duri’s fate so important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

Iranian General Threatens Strikes on Saudi Arabian Soil

Iran-Reveals-New-Missiles-HP_1

Clarion Project, April 21, 2015:

The commander of the ground troops in the Iranian army, General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, threatened Saudi Arabia with military strikes if it doesn’t stop the fighting in Yemen.

According to the Iranian Arabic language channel El-Alam, Pourdastan said that the Islamic Republic is not interested in getting into a conflict with Saudi Arabia. He called on Riyadh to stop fighting against her brothers in Yemen and said “by doing so she is entering a war of attrition which might expose her to severe strikes.”

Pourdastan reportedly claimed that his country will bomb Saudi Arabia if she won’t stop her attacks.

He added that “the Saudi army needs combat experience and that is why it is a weak army. If she will stand against a war of attrition she will be struck very hard and will be defeated. That’s why Riyadh should drop the option and turn to a diplomatic option and to negotiation.”

Pourdistan praised the successes of the Shiite aligned Yemini forces fighting against President Hadi, saying “The next stage will be carrying out strikes against Saudi Arabia.”

Pourdistan declared “the Islamic Republic is not interested in a confrontation with Saudi Arabia for she is a friend nation and our neighbor. The military advisor in the Saudi Embassy is currently in Iran. We invited him to the ceremonies of the Army Day that was on Saturday.

We want to have relations with Saudi Arabia and we don’t want bloody relations. There are still tables for dialogue and they can solve the problems. There is no need to use weapons or military equipment.”

Yet he also threatened Saudi Arabia saying “explosions might occur in Saudi Arabia through rockets falling on the ground. It is clear that dealing with that will be very hard for the Saudi officials.”

He suggested that forces in Yemen strike Saudi Arabia. He said “Based on the military purchases and the abilities of the Yemeni army, it is capable of inflicting painful strikes on Saudi Arabia.”

For more information about Iran’s regional ambitions see Clarion Project’s Factsheet: Iranian Regional Hegemony

Also see:

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


classifiedCSP, by Fred Fleitz, April 21, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

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

AP

AP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

An EMP attack on America seems likely

73c2372a32eeb9a7f7da477f1b19b2cd87b52bf8By Dan Miller, April 19, 2017:

Some consider North Korea to be the rogue nation most likely to use an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to attack America; Iran is also seen as quite likely to do it. It matters little which succeeds.

Here is a lengthy 2013 video about an EMP attack, what would happen and why:

The possibilities and consequences of an EMP attack on America are too horrific to contemplate; the “legitimate news media” generally ignore them. We therefore tend to relegate them to the realm of remote “tin foil hat conspiracy theories” and to focus instead on more congenial stuff — the latest sex scandal, Hillary Clinton’s campaign van parking in a disabled-only space and other matters unlikely to impact America to an extent even approaching that of an EMP attack. Meanwhile, most of “our” Congress Critters, who should know better, focus on opinion polls, filling their campaign coffers and getting richer personally while neglecting our atrophying missile defense systems and other potential means of avoiding or recovering from an EMP attack.

Here is a 2013 video about the likelihood of an Iranian EMP attack on America that would paralyze the country for a very long time.

North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran have long cooperated in the development of nukes and means to deliver them. I wrote about their cooperation here, herehere and elsewhere. It now appears that Iran intends to use them for an EMP attack on America.

The issue of a nuclear EMP attack was raised in the final hours of this week’s elections in Israel when U.S. authority Peter Vincent Pry penned a column for Arutz Sheva warning of Iran’s threat to free nations.

“Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States,” he wrote. [Emphasis added.]

Here is a March 7, 2015 video about the impact of the P5+1 “negotiations” on Iran getting (or keeping) nukes and the likelihood of an Iranian EMP attack on America:

In April of this year, John Bolton had this to say about the Iran – North Korea connection, how much we don’t know and the ongoing P5+1 “negotiations.”

Perhaps Israel can take out Iran’s nuke capabilities.

Here is a February 2015 video about what’s (not) being done to harden our domestic power grid:

As of February of this year, Govtrack US opined that the chances of passage of the SHIELD act were zero percent. Be that as it may, simply hardening the power grid would not solve communications or transport problems — most modern communications devices, as well as vehicles built after 1987, depend on computer chips and, when the chips are fried, will not function. Even if food and water could be processed, getting them to consumers in sufficient quantities to keep them alive would be an enormous if not impossible task.

Problems of a human nature would also arise and remaining alive would be difficult. If one’s family were about to starve, how many would try to steal food and water from those who still have even enough for a few days? How many roving gangs of armed criminals, quite willing to kill, would do the same? The police would likely have no communications ability and might well be otherwise occupied, tending to their own families. Military forces not confined to base would likely have the same problems and be doing the same.

That suggests another problem in restoring infrastructure seriously damaged or destroyed by the EMP attack. It would not only require the availability of transport, communications and undamaged equipment. It would also require the availability of personnel, not otherwise occupied in scrounging for food, water, medical supplies and other resources to care for their own families, while protecting them from those lacking such resources, as well as from armed gangs.

Now, the U.S. military is taking steps to protect itself by reopening a cold war bunker at Cheyenne Mountain, abandoned in 2006.

Cheyene Mt. Complex

The Pentagon last week [early April 2015] announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.

Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that ‘because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.’

. . . .

‘And so, there’s a lot of movement to put capability into Cheyenne Mountain and to be able to communicate in there,’ Gortney told reporters.

‘My primary concern was… are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there,‘ he said.  [Emphasis added.]

The Cheyenne mountain bunker is a half-acre cavern carved into a mountain in the 1960s that was designed to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack. From inside the massive complex, airmen were poised to send warnings that could trigger the launch of nuclear missiles.

But in 2006, officials decided to move the headquarters of NORAD and US Northern Command from Cheyenne to Petersen Air Force base in Colorado Springs. The Cheyenne bunker was designated as an alternative command center if needed.

Now the Pentagon is looking at shifting communications gear to the Cheyenne bunker, officials said.

‘A lot of the back office communications is being moved there,’ said one defense official.

Officials said the military’s dependence on computer networks and digital communications makes it much more vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse, which can occur naturally or result from a high-altitude nuclear explosion.

Under the 10-year contract, Raytheon is supposed to deliver ‘sustainment’ services to help the military perform ‘accurate, timely and unambiguous warning and attack assessment of air, missile and space threats’ at the Cheyenne and Petersen bases.

Raytheon’s contract also involves unspecified work at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

When will the site be fully operational, for what and who will be allowed to go there?

Some other military bases are probably being hardened, at least to an extent that might (or might not) preserve their electrical grids. If it works, they may serve as refugee centers for adjacent civilian populations. However, the military installations would likely run out of food and potable water before very long and, with food and water processing centers no longer operational, there would be substantial difficulties in getting — as well as transporting — large quantities of food and water. Were the processing centers to become operational, transportaion difficulties would remain. Communications between the military installations and the outside world? Likely zilch, at least initially, because radios, telephones and other modern communications devices (as most now are) depend on computer chips and would be fried by an EMP attack. Some might eventually be restored at some military bases, but that is not likely to be the case with those not on those bases.

Conclusions

What would you do in the event of an EMP attack? In a major metropolitan area, you would probably be SOL very quickly. In a small town? Marginally but not much better off. An isolated small farm, close to a mountain spring and adequately stocked with food, medical supplies, firearms and ammunition, could provide reason to hope that you might eventually be able to grow or slaughter sufficient food and have access to enough potable water to survive; at least until roving armed gangs arrive and overpower you.

This video is about a massive world-wide pandemic. In the event of a pandemic, electricity, automobiles and communications would still function, at least for a while. Following an EMP attack, the consequences would likely be substantially worse and last far longer.

Here is a link to a novel about one family in a small city and its efforts to survive an EMP attack on America. It does a reasonable job of summarizing the potential consequences.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz

How the Iran lobby sidetracked the nuclear talks: part 2

Photo by: Vahid Salemi FILE - In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 file photo, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a ceremony to commemorate the late Khadijeh Saghafi, wife of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani has dismissed pressure from the U.S. Congress over a preliminary deal on Iran's nuclear program, saying that Tehran is dealing with world powers not American lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Photo by: Vahid Salemi
FILE – In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 file photo, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a ceremony to commemorate the late Khadijeh Saghafi, wife of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani has dismissed pressure from the U.S. Congress over a preliminary deal on Iran’s nuclear program, saying that Tehran is dealing with world powers not American lawmakers. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

– – Thursday, April 16, 2015:

In the previous article, we saw how the Iranian regime’s panic over the 2002 outing of its theretofore clandestine nuclear weapons program drove its subsequent decisions about how to deal with the publicity and mollify, or at least occupy, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and the United States (U.S.).

Having been well-trained by its mentors at the Soviet KGB, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) quickly established a two-tier system: those nuclear sites, such as Natanz, Isfahan, Arak, and later Fordow, that had been exposed were turned into show sites. IAEA inspectors were invited in, and the so-called EU-3 (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), later joined by the rest of the UNSC to form the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, UK, and U.S.), began negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.

The haggling went on for a decade and counting. At no time from 2003 to this day, however, did Iran itself willingly offer up (as obligated under its nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signatory status) any information about other clandestine sites in its sprawling nuclear weapons program. For unexplained reasons, nor did the IAEA, P5+1, or UNSC compel it to despite an international sanctions regime ostensibly aimed at getting Iran to comply with six UNSC Resolutions demanding it halt all nuclear enrichment and come clean about its past nuclear activities with “possible military dimensions.”

While international trade relationships, intra-UNSC rivalries, and a reluctance to alienate Iran right out of the talks altogether might explain some of the failure to press Iran about the clandestine elements of its nuclear weapons program, at least for the U.S., there was another player involved in the game: the Iran Lobby.

As discussed in a February 2009 occasional paper by this author and published by the Center for Security Policy under the title, “Rise of the Iran Lobby: Tehran’s Front Groups Move On—and into—the Obama Administration,” “a complex network of individuals and organizations with ties to the clerical regime in Tehran” had organized by the early 2000s to influence U.S. government policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran.

A follow-on paper, “The Iran Lobby: Alive, Well, and Changing the Face of the Middle East,” published by the Center in October 2014, chronicled what I termed “the disastrous fruits of that network’s efforts.” The term “Iran Lobby,” by the way, was first noticed in the Iranian media itself, in 2007. It seemed a most apt description of the circle of influence operators that were pursuing and achieving positions of influence at the upper levels of U.S. national security then, and certainly all the more so, now.

After more than a dozen years of maneuvering behind the scenes of Washington, DC policymaking, the Iran Lobby today has succeeded in infiltrating the Department of State, National Security Council (NSC), and the nuclear negotiations themselves. Led by NIAC (the National Iranian American Council) and its founder and president, the Iranian-born Trita Parsi, the Iran Lobby counts among its affiliates and supporters a Who’s Who list of influential individuals and organizations ranging from former ambassadors and oil executives, to a bevy of Middle East and Iran experts from leading NGOs and think tanks.

The objective was always clear: shift official U.S. policy on Iran to a position supportive of Tehran’s agenda that sought protracted negotiations to buy time for its nuclear weapons development, financial concessions that eased sanctions and released frozen assets, and a conciliatory posture that eschewed any discussion of military options to deal with Iranian intransigence, ignored Iranian support for Islamic jihad (terrorism), pretended its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program didn’t exist, turned a deaf ear to non-stop genocidal threats against the Jewish State of Israel, and generally acquiesced in its regional geo-strategic ambitions.

Above all, there was to be absolutely no discussion of Iran’s parallel clandestine nuclear weapons program. Astonishingly, today, the Iran Lobby has achieved all of this and more.

Not surprisingly, the Iranian leadership mocks the Obama administration, especially Secretary of State John Kerry and his hapless negotiating team. In January 2014, just weeks after the supposed landmark ‘breakthrough’ of the November 2013 “Joint Plan of Action,” Kerry’s Iranian counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, actually laid a wreath at the tomb of Imad Mughniyeh, the Hizballah terror chieftain responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans from the 1983 Marine Corps barracks bombing to 9/11.

The same month, Iran’s ‘moderate’ president Hassan Rouhani tweeted about how, in Geneva, the world powers “surrendered to Iranian nation’s will.” A senior Iranian TV commentator noted with rare honesty that the Geneva agreement was but “the Treaty of Hudaybiyya.” Following the 2015 April Fool’s Day ‘framework’ agreement, Iranian leadership figures were quick to describe the U.S. version as a “U.S. version” “lie” and declare it “not acceptable to Iran.” Meanwhile, Iran’s Bassij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi declared that “erasing Israel off the map” was “non-negotiable.”

And yet, the American team practically begged the Iranians to keep talking and give them something, anything to hold up as a ‘success.’

To understand this sorry state of affairs, it is only necessary to understand the function and purpose of hostile influence operations and how the Iran Lobby in America has finessed its way to turning U.S. foreign policy with Iran completely on its head. As described above, maneuvering Tehran-regime-friendly figures into positions of power and influence is the name of the game.

One Sahar Nowrouzzadeh could be Exhibit A for how this works: apparently a former NIAC employee, she now appears on a list of senior White House aides who attended a secure video conference on 31 March 2015 with the U.S. negotiating team in Lausanne, Switzerland. She is listed as the National Security Council Director for Iran.

Meanwhile, her former boss, NIAC’s Trita Parsi, appears in a photo published by the Iranian Fars News Agency, greeting Fereydoon Rouhani (the president’s brother) at the Lausanne talks. Parsi’s Facebook page shows another photo of the NIAC leader smiling at the talks alongside his Research Director, Reza Marashi, and NBC reporter Ann Curry. Marashi’s NIAC bio lists his former employment at the State Department’s Office of Iranian affairs. According to reports, at least Parsi has been present at previous nuclear negotiations in Geneva and Vienna, as well.

This is what a successful infiltration operation looks like. Apparently, Parsi thinks so, too, because on 2 April 2015, he posted the following on his Facebook Page:

“Trita Parsi

“April 2 at 5:22pm ·

“Oops. Just realized I haven’t eaten lunch today. Been too busy gloating…”

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

How the Iran lobby sidetracked the nuclear talks

Photo by: STR Even if the U.S. and other world powers can settle on the delicate final terms of a nuclear deal with Tehran, there's still a big chance Iranian hard-liners will pressure Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to reject the accord. (Associated Press)

Photo by: STR
Even if the U.S. and other world powers can settle on the delicate final terms of a nuclear deal with Tehran, there’s still a big chance Iranian hard-liners will pressure Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to reject the accord. (Associated Press)

Washington Times, by Clare Lopez, April 15, 2015:

The Obama administration spin narrative about what a great success nuclear negotiations with Iran are was already coming unglued the day after the April Fool’s Day ‘framework’ was announced. Mr. Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and their advisors were trying desperately to portray the endless succession of contentious talks between the P5+1 and Iran as a great success even as the Iranians spoiled all the fun by essentially calling the Americans out as liars, and declaring that what they called “the U.S. version” was “not acceptable to Iran.”

And in fact, the European Union, the French, Iran, and the U.S. have all put out differing accounts of what was actually agreed upon in Lausanne, Switzerland in late March 2015. As Amir Taheri pointed out in a trenchant 4 April 2015 piece at the New York Post, all we really have is a “diplomatic dog’s dinner” of competing and contradictory statements. It’s not any kind of agreement at all.

But if we take a step backward and consider what we already know or ought to know about Iran’s nuclear weapons program, it should become rather quickly obvious that all this diplomatic wrangling about centrifuges, enrichment levels, inspection regimes, and sunset clauses is nothing but window dressing.

That’s because the real Iranian nuclear weapons program very likely is not the one they’re all tussling over. The real Iranian nuclear weapons program long ago was withdrawn behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy guarded by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS—Iran’s primary intelligence agency).

While it’s long been known that the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the IRGC to “get the bomb” in the waning days of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, details about the subsequent 25-year Iranian commitment to comply with that order are much less well-known.

As the so-called “father of the Pakistani bomb,” Abdul Qadir Khan, wrote in documents obtained by the Washington Post in 2010, Pakistan provided Iran with blueprints and parts for centrifuges and shared its secret list of worldwide suppliers. That’s how the Iranian nuclear weapons program got started. But neither the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) nor the public knew anything about this until the Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), blew the lid off Iran’s program in August 2002. The Iranian regime, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), went to panic stations and came up with a plan to limit the damage. The Iran Lobby in America would have a key role to play in that damage control operation.

Much as the Iranians’ mentors in the clandestine WMD business—the Soviet KGB—had done earlier when some of its illicit weapons programs made media headlines, the Iranians conceded a few of the sites that were now exposed: Natanz, Isfahan, Arak, and later Fordow.

Lavizan-Shian, where the regime had worked on nuclear warhead design, was deemed too sensitive, so it was simply razed to the ground in 2003 and its components moved elsewhere.

Natanz, the buried uranium enrichment site where some 9,000 centrifuges currently are operating, became the centerpiece of the regime’s new information operation. It was opened to IAEA inspections, figured prominently in the IAEA’s quarterly reports, and was allowed on the P5+1 nuclear negotiations agenda.

Likewise it was with Isfahan, the conversion plant; Arak, the heavy water reactor that gives Iran a parallel plutonium route to the bomb; and Fordow, a deeply buried centrifuge facility.

Everybody was kept very busy arguing, discussing, and negotiating about the sites Iran got caught with—and now, more recently, a non-existent ‘agreement’ that each of the parties describes in its own, mutually contradictory, terms. Indeed, all the negotiating teams from the IAEA, Britain, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia, and the U.S. are being kept so busy that nearly everyone has forgotten all about the fact that Iran’s entire nuclear program was an illicit clandestine one until the NCRI exposed it—or that virtually every site in that program that’s now public was revealed by someone other than Iran…which the P5+1 now inexplicably wants to trust to open all its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection.

Parchin, a military site where the IAEA believes Iran has conducted nuclear trigger explosives tests, provides a good example of how the regime deals with demands to open places to inspection it would rather remain closed: as Bill Gertz explains at the Free Beacon, they just say “no.” And, as with Lavizan-Shian a dozen years earlier, they conduct a “clean-up” operation to tear down buildings and destroy parts of the complex they’d prefer not show up in any more satellite images.

Naturally, Parchin has not been included in any of the P5+1 talks, nor has the U.S. delegation even suggested that it ought to be. It has been the same with other suspicious sites like Khondab and Lavizan-3, now revealed publicly, but left completely off the agenda. This is not to even consider how many additional clandestine sites Iran has been operating, but are as yet not revealed.

The critical issues before us then are not so much about the number of centrifuges, or which generation of centrifuges, or what level of enrichment will be allowed to Iran going forward at the show case sites: rather, we must ask why and how our negotiators have themselves been spun up to dither endlessly, but only about sites already in the public domain. Iran’s secret parallel nuclear weapons program remains unmentioned and untouched.

In Part 2 of this series, the critical role of the Iran Lobby will be examined.

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BREITBART: So what do we do with Iran?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RUBIN: Correct.

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

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

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

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

Hamas Rebuilding War Machine as Gaza Deteriorates

A rebuilt tunnel (source: Al-Risalah, Gaza, October 19, 2014)

A rebuilt tunnel (source: Al-Risalah, Gaza, October 19, 2014)

by IPT News  •  April 15, 2015:

The Hamas leadership in Gaza has been unable to rebuild any of the homes destroyed in last summer’s war with Israel, but the terrorist group has had little trouble using heavy machinery to restore its vast tunnel networks that can be used in future attacks.

Reconstruction of Gaza has “barely begun,” the Associated Press reports. At least the above-ground kind.

Underground, small bulldozers are busy restoring damaged tunnels, using “whatever cement [Hamas] can get its hands on,” the Times of Israel reports.

Hamas has been diverting cement and construction material intended for civilian rebuilding efforts.

Israeli security officials confirmed that the terrorist group was digging tunnels at a rapid pace and trying to produce many short-range rockets in an effort to minimize interception by the Iron Dome defense system and cause maximum destruction against Israeli communities.

Iran sent Hamas tens of millions of dollars to help reconstitute the group’s terrorist infrastructure, the Telegraph reported earlier this month. As news of a framework deal concerning Iran’s nuclear program emerged, the Islamic Republic reportedly increased arms shipments to its terrorist proxies Hamas and Hizballah.

A political fight with the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority has hindered Gaza’s civilian reconstruction projects, the Times of Israel report said. Tens of thousands of Palestinians reportedly still live in tents, schools and other forms of temporary housing.

Their welfare appears to be a secondary concern, however, as available cash and supplies are steered into the Hamas terror infrastructure.

These actions are consistent with other Hamas actions and statements, all of which point more toward a build-up for another confrontation with Israel rather than any concern for improving the lives of Palestinians in Gaza. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) issued a report this week summarizing the multi-faceted, yet singularly focused effort to gear up for the next war. Read it here.

Russian System Should Be Treated As Part of Iran’s Nuke Program

S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at the Victory Parade, Red Square, 9 May 2009. (Wiki Commons / www.kremlin.ru)

S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at the Victory Parade, Red Square, 9 May 2009. (Wiki Commons / http://www.kremlin.ru)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, April 15, 2015:

The U.S., Germany and Israel condemned Russia’s announcement that it will change course and sell the advanced S-300 air and missile defense system to Iran. Anonymous officials are relaying feelings of near panic to various press outlets, saying the delivery of the system would essentially eliminate the military option to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Russia repeatedly threatened to sell the system to Iran and Syria since 2007 but relented under Western pressure. The Iranian regime even sued Russia for $4 billion for going back on its agreement to deliver the system. Russia’s formal announcement and request that Iran drop the lawsuit indicates Moscow is genuine in its stated intention to deliver the system.

The Russians will reportedly be paid $800 million by Iran for the system. Its advanced abilities include targeting 24 missiles or 30 aircraft simultaneously; a reach of 19 miles into the air and a distance of 155 miles. It can intercept aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Russia has already trained Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps personnel in how to use it.

Earlier, Israel strongly suggested delivery of the S-300 system to Syria was a red line and it would be attacked before it became operational. It is widely assumed the same standard would apply to Iran because a potential strike on its nuclear program is already a very complicated and hazardous scenario.

The Daily Beast’s headline declares the system “could make U.S. attacks on Iran nearly impossible.” If the system terrifies U.S. officials, then the fear of Israeli officials must be exponentially greater because of their government’s more limited military capabilities.

“[The S-300 is] a complete game changer for all fourth-gen[eration] aircraft. That thing is a beast and you don’t want to get near it,” a senior Marine Corps aviator told the publication.

A senior Air Force commander said it “essentially makes Iran attack-proof by Israel and almost any country” without fifth-generation aircraft like the F-35. The U.S. has sold the F-35 to Israel but those aircraft may not be able to destroy important targets buried deep underground like the Fordow site.

Read more

***

Kyle Shideler on Fox News: Could Russia arms deal with Iran impact nuclear talks?

***

Also see:

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

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

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

Politico noted:

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

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

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

17 Congress for the agreement to commence;

18 ‘‘(D) this section provides for congressional

19 review,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Obama’s One-Man Nuclear Deal – WSJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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