John Kerry Is Blowing the Iran Nuke Deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Kerry had just begun embarrassing himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

Also see:

Anti-Iran Rally Expected to Draw Thousands in Times Square

poster9

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

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, July 21, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

obama_kerry_bikes

12 Times The Obama Administration Caved to Iran on Nuclear Deal

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by David Rutz, July 7, 2015

On issue after issue over a potential nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration has caved.

An analysis from the Foreign Policy Initiative‘s Tzvi Khan published June 29 laid out the myriad ways the U.S. has fallen short, misled or simply kowtowed on sanctions, uranium enrichment, Iran’s breakout capacity, whether Iran could be a good actor and more.

President Obama claimed in his 2015 State of the Union address to have “halted” Iran’s nuclear program and “reduced” its stockpile, sweeping and inaccurate claims for which he earned three Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact-checker.

On April 2, when Obama touted the framework agreement and “historic understanding” between Iran and world powers, he claimed “Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history.”

Reports emerged in the weeks and months following that the U.S. had backed off this demand and Iran would not be subjected to the “anytime, anywhere” inspections that many experts deem a red line in any negotiations.

Obama also repeatedly said he would not take any option off the table when it came to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, until an interview he gave with Israeli television May 29 which effectively signaled to Tehran that was no longer something they had to fret.

“A military solution will not fix it, even if the United States participates,” Obama said. “It would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program, but it will not eliminate it.”

Secretary of State John Kerry has also had a number of demands or claims walked back by his own remarks or those of others, for instance on the potential dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program.

“I don’t think that any of us thought we were just imposing these sanctions for the sake of imposing them,” Kerry said Dec. 10, 2013, while testifying before Congress. “We did it because we knew that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle its nuclear program. That was the whole point of the regime.”

But Obama himself said during the April 2 announcement that “Iran is not going to simply dismantle its program because we demand it to do so,” and the framework indicated Iran would not have to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure.

Also, after Kerry first said that as part of the nonproliferation treaty in November 2013 that the U.S. did not recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium, he said less than a month later to Congress, “I can’t tell you they might not have some enrichment.”

In an April interview with PBS, Kerry said the U.S. would not accept Iran failing to disclose the military dimensions of its nuclear program, saying flatly, “It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done.”

Sure enough, during a press appearance June 16, Kerry told State Department reporters the U.S. already knew everything Iran had done.

“We have no doubt,” he said. “We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.”

You get the idea. The U.S. has also made conflicting statements on Iran’s ballistic missiles, Iran’s underground enrichment facility at Fordow, and, to the chagrin of spokeswoman Marie Harf, Iran’s failure to comply with the Joint Plan of Action as it increased its nuclear stockpile over the past 18 months.

As another deadline comes and goes, it’s unclear how much more Iran might be able to get before a final deal is potentially struck.

The administration has its own sense of deadline, though, as Kerry put it. It certainly has its own sense of what constitutes good high-stakes bargaining, too.

***

Also  see:

Failed State: Saudi Coalition Increases Ground Presence as Iran Begins targeting the Kingdom, US

yemen+map1May 7, 2015 /

As of this writing most of the Southern Yemeni city of Aden remains contested with heavy fighting all throughout the area. Our sources who remain in the country have informed us that additional UAE SOF personnel have been seen in the city fighting alongside the remnants of the pro-Hadi faction. We’ve also been made aware that the Saudi SOF personnel have also recently conducted a seaborne insertion into the area to bolster the push to seize their main objective: Aden International Airport. UAE SOF personnel on the ground have embedded with what remains of the pro-Hadi faction and appear to be rallying them for an assault on the Houthi forces located at the airport. Central to this strategy is the preservation of the runway, which makes it highly likely that the intent is to use the airport as a hub for bringing in supplies and follow-on forces for a larger ground campaign. We doubt the Houthis will be able to maintain their hold on the Southern part of the country in light of the Saudi-led coalition’s decision to double-down on the ongoing campaign. Already the coalition controls the surrounding airspace, requiring the IRGC-Qods Force to have flights come through Oman (we’re unsure as to why the Saudis haven’t applied more pressure on the Omani government). The Houthis’ hold on the South becomes even less likely if former President Saleh’s forces were to defect. Saleh himself is an opportunist, so if the Saudis were smart they’d be running an effective IO campaign offering economic incentives targeting military units aligned with Saleh. However, this campaign is unlikely to completely reverse the Houthi’s gains. A stalemate is much more likely.

Reports: ‘Limited’ ground force arrives in Yemen’s Aden
http://www.dw.de/reports-limited-ground-force-arrives-in-yemens-aden/a-18426013

Yemen’s foreign minister: Aden troops were Gulf-trained locals
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/04/yemen-security-idUSL5N0XV1VI20150504

GCC SOF Teams Alerted For Deployment, AQAP Gains Strength and Iran Preps For Attacks Against Saudi Arabia
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6056

Yemen isn’t on Verge of Civil War – It Already is – and the Saudi Arabia Will Get Involved
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5810

Rising Smoke

Aden fighting in the distance
Source: Getty Images/AFP/Saleh al-Obeidi

We’ve been covering the Saudi-led coalition’s SOF operations for some time now – and we’ve also been covering the IRGC-Qods Force’s activity in the country. In our piece titled “AQAP and Qods Force Make Their Moves in Yemen as Saudis Struggle to Maintain Coalition,” We mentioned the presence of a senior member of the IRGC-Qods Force’s External Operations Division setting up shop in Sadah. This individual has been identified as BG Abdolreza Shahlai. Never heard of him? Don’t feel bad, most people haven’t – but you’ve probably heard about the operations that he had intimate involvement. He was the architect of the IRGC-Qods Force’s program that provided lethal aid to Shia proxy groups in Iraq during OIF in addition to being one of the primary planners for the 2007 attack on the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center (PJCC) that killed five US Soldiers (check out “The Hezbollah Presence in Iraq” for more details). Indeed, the OIF-era put this guy on the map and led to the start of a strong friendship with Qods Force commander GEN Suleimani. Shahlai is currently a member of Suleimani’s inner circle and holds considerable sway in advocating the more “outside the box” proposals. In fact he gained the most notoriety from his involvement in planning the failed plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US in New York City. That particular operation called for the Qods Force to facilitate a third party – which was the Mexican drug cartel known as Los Zetas – to carry out the operation. His family member Mansur Arbabsiar was the primary facilitator.He’s also a strong advocate of taking more direct action against the US and serves as “Suleimani’s Fist” in overseeing operations inside American borders, Europe and Africa. He’s also no stranger to Yemen, having deployed to the country several times since 2011 to oversee training on the production of Explosively-Formed Projectiles (EFPs) and their implementation. Shahlai’s African connections have also been put to good use with his efforts to establish alternate facilitation ratlines into Yemen coming from Djibouti and Sudan. Needless to say, he’s become quite close to Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi.

AQAP and Qods Force Make Their Moves in Yemen as Saudis Struggle to Maintain Coalition
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6078

The Hezbollah Presence in Iraq
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=358

Who is IRGC Commander Abdolreza Shahlai, mastermind of attack on Camp Liberty
http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/terrorism-a-fundamentalism/12861-who-is-irgc-commander-abdolreza-shahlai-mastermind-of-attack-on-camp-liberty

Treasury Sanctions Five Individuals Tied to Iranian Plot to Assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States
http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/pages/tg1320.aspx

Man Sentenced in Plot to Kill Saudi Ambassador
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/nyregion/mansour-arbabsiar-sentenced-for-plot-to-kill-saudi-ambassador.html?_r=0

mansur Abrbsiar

Mansur Arbabsiar
Source: Associated Press

Like his colleagues, Shahlai entered Yemen via Oman (YES, he flew Mahan Air). Since setting up shop in Sadah, he’s been accelerating the program to establish a Houthi intel proxy to serve as an action arm for operations inside Saudi Arabia. In fact, he’s already got the ball rolling on targeting the Kingdom. Currently, Saudi Arabia is under heavy threat from cyber attacks targeting critical infrastructure like the infamous “Shamoon” virus that was unleashed by the IRGC-Qods Force Cyber Warfare Division against ARAMCO (check out “Iran Steps Up Cyber Attacks Against the US and its Allies” for more details). We assess that the Saudi oil, gas, telecommunications and aviation sectors are at the most risk for a repeat of the Shamoon incident. Our contacts in the oil industry report that as recently as MAR 15 ARAMCO was made aware of malicious activity against their infrastructure and were reassessing security practices in addition to working on identifying where they may have been compromised. We believe this malicious activity were probing operations being conducted to identify exploitable opportunities.

Iranian Regime Consolidates Yemeni Gains, Begins Work on Forming Houthi Intel Proxy
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5580

Iran Steps Up Cyber Attacks Against the US and its Allies
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3560

The recent attack launched by the Houthis against the Saudi border town of Najran that killed at least two civilians led to the capture of five Saudi military personnel was merely the opening act of this new phase of the campaign that we’ve been warning about. The next step of this new phase in the Yemen portion of Iran’s campaign may involve the targeting of US citizens stuck in Yemen. Some were lucky and able to leave the country, but many others remain trapped. It would be quite the coup for the Houthis to kidnap a few of them to demonstrate how the Obama administration abandoned them – then pressure the US into ending its support of the Saudi campaign. The five Saudi military personnel were possibly abducted with this in mind as well, although we doubt the Saudis will meet any demands. This country has been a failed state for quite some time, only US Secretary of State John Kerry is in denial. He recently made the claim that Yemen can “avoid ending up a failed state.” The problem with this statement is that Yemen is engaged in a civil war with military personnel from multiple regional powers operating on the ground alongside select factions. He hopes that there will be a “political” solution to this war. Unfortunately, The Iranians and Saudis are already in the process of escalating the violence. Only in the world of “Hope and Change” can a nation at war with itself and experiencing shortages in food, fuel, medical supplies be considered a “success story.” We can assure you that the Obama administration is every bit as wrong about Iran as they are about Yemen. The $1 million dollar question is whether they’ll figure it out before it’s too late? We doubt it.

Washington to Americans Stuck in Yemen: You’re on Your Own
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/04/21/washington-to-americans-stuck-in-yemen-youre-on-your-own-evacuation/

Deaths as Yemeni rebels fire rockets into Saudi Arabia
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/cloneofcoalition-considers-yemen-humanitarian-tr-150505130815877.html

John Kerry: Yemen not yet a failed state, may ‘hold itself together’ with peace talk
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/2/kerry-yemen-not-yet-failed-state-may-hold-itself-t/

qods force_houthi

Iraqi Shia during a pro-Houthi rally in Baghdad carrying portraits of Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi and IRGC-Qods Force commander GEN Suleimani
Source: Rudaw

Other Related Articles:

The Yemen Octagon: GCC vs Iran vs Houthis vs AQAP vs Islamic State
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5931

Today’s Middle East: The Burning Fuse of the 21st Century’s “Great Game”
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6193

President Obama’s Yemen “Success” Story
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4751

Poised to Fill Yemen’s Power Vacuum: Iran Tightens Grip on The Peninsula
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4517

IRGC-Qods Force: The Arabian Peninsula Campaign and Failure of Obama’s Foreign Policy
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4478

Shia Proxy Threat to US ISIS Strategy in Saudi Arabia
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1837

Yemen’s Houthi Rebels: the Hand of Iran?
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1992

Kerry Tries to Dismiss Criticism of Iran talks as “Hysteria”

87446063CSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 4, 2015:

In a statement to Israel’s Channel 10 News over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry aggressively defended the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear diplomacy with Iran and dismissed critics of the nuclear talks as engaging in “hysteria.”

This kind of talk is typical of the way Kerry and other Obama administration have defended their nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  They refuse to discuss criticisms of the talks and instead attack their critics as uninformed and partisan.

Kerry defended the nuclear talks in unusually strong terms, claiming under the deal, inspections would remain in place “forever” and that “We will not sign a deal that does not close off Iran’s pathways to a bomb and that doesn’t give us the confidence — to all of our experts, in fact to global experts — that we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.”

No serious person believes international inspectors will be in Iran forever.

This kind of rhetoric shows how worried Kerry is about the nuclear talks.  His briefings to Congress about the negotiations have gone very badly.  There are bipartisan concerns that the Obama administration has made enormous and dangerous concessions to Tehran and got nothing in return.

The Obama administration’s Iran policy also is in deep trouble because Iranian officials claim it lied about what will be in a final nuclear agreement.

Today, the Center for Security Policy released a compelling ad on the Iran nuclear talks titled “Why are the Mullahs laughing?”   This ad helps explain the dangers of the Obama administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  You can watch this ad below or click HERE.

Please also check out our new website IranTruth.org for more information about the Obama administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Iran: ‘The Enemy’ Has Conceded to Our Nuclear Redlines

Mohammad Ali Jafari / AP

Mohammad Ali Jafari / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, April 13, 2015:

A senior Iranian military leader is claiming that the United States has conceded ground on a range of Iran’s so-called nuclear redlines just weeks after agreement between the two sides sparked debates and disagreements in Washington, D.C., and Tehran.

General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), referred to the United States as “the enemy” and said major ground has been given up by the Obama administration as negotiations continue through June.

“Some solutions have been found and it seems the Islamic Republic’s principles and red lines in technical aspects have been accepted on the side of the enemy,” Jafari was quoted as saying by the Iranian state-controlled Press TV.

Major disagreements remain between the two sides and could kill negotiations before a final deal is reached, he said.

“However, there are still ambiguities regarding the manner of sanctions removal, which should be clarified,” Jafari said, noting that this sticking point “could lead to disagreement too.”

The IRGC commander’s comments continue a war of words between the United States and Iran over what exactly was agreed to during the most recent round of negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland.

While both sides initially hailed a framework agreement as a historic step toward a final deal, the pact broke down just hours after being signed.

Iran maintains that the United States has agreed to allow all nuclear sites to remain operational and that no military sites would be subject to inspections upon the signing of a final deal. The Islamic Republic also claims that economic sanctions on Tehran will be immediately lifted if a deal is struck.

However, the Obama administration disagrees with this description. It claims that Iran would stop most of its most contested nuclear work and that sanctions will only be lifted in a gradual manner.

Much of the disagreement revolves around a fact sheet issued by the White House immediately after the framework agreement was reached. Iran has described this document as a “lie” and said it in no way agreed to any of the conditions outlined.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that each side has put its own “spin” on the agreement during an interview Sunday on Face the Nation.

“I would remind you, we had this same dueling narratives, discrepancy, spin, whatever you want to call it with respect to the interim agreement,” Kerry said.

Kerry went on to claim that the Islamic Republic would uphold any deal that is struck.

“Iran has proven that it will join into an agreement and then live by the agreement, and so that is important as we come into the final two and a half months of negotiation,” he said.

Kerry, who will brief members of Congress about the deal on Monday and Tuesday, said critics of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran should remain silent.

“I think people need to hold their fire, let us negotiate without interference, and be able to complete the job over the course of the next two and a half months,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of Iran’s top negotiators on Sunday urged the United States to show “goodwill” and to stop fighting against Iranian demands.

“The solutions have been specified in the Lausanne negotiations and we hope that the other side will not throw the wrench during the future negotiations, and rather pave the ground for reaching a comprehensive agreement by showing good will,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Majid Takht Ravanchi was quoted as saying by the Fars New Agency.

Critics of the framework deal said the ongoing debate over what was agreed upon shows the Iranians cannot be trusted to live up to any guarantees made in a final deal.

“It’s entirely possible that both sides are lying about what the Iranians were willing to concede, but that’s not the point,” said one senior official with a Jewish organization that is familiar with the negotiations and concerns on Capitol Hill. “If the Obama administration is actually truthful, then it means the Iranians are already backsliding on what they’ve agreed.”

“That’s not new, and in fact it’s how they always negotiate. They take what they can get and walk away,” the source added. “But that’s exactly why you don’t make deals with these guys. Instead we’re talking about letting them have billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which they’ll use to supercharge their terror and military campaigns, and waiting until they decide to walk away again.”

Also see:

State Department Orders Crash Course on Negotiating Week After Iran Deal

John Kerry / AP

John Kerry / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Elizabeth Harrington, April 8, 2015:

Less than a week following the framework of a nuclear deal with Iran that allows the Islamic Republic to continue operating core aspects of its program, the State Department is looking for a new training course on how to negotiate.

The agency released a solicitation for “Negotiations” on Wednesday, revealing that the State Department is seeking a class for U.S. diplomats on “making and receiving concessions wisely.”

“The overall course teaches the essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes for U.S. diplomats to succeed in any of 275 overseas posts performing the full spectrum of political and economic work,” the solicitation said. “This module will focus on the complex art of negotiating across diverse cultures to find common ground for advancing mutual interests.”

The training is meant to increase “understanding and effectiveness” of negotiations between foreign powers.

The State Department said upon completion of the course diplomats will be better able to describe “basic, universal negotiating concepts and vocabulary,” and identify “objectives and underlying interests of negotiating parties.”

“Preparing relevant strategies for diplomatic persuasion,” and “analyzing ‘Lessons Learned’ through debriefing to improve future outcomes,” are other goals of the course.

The three-week course also seeks for State Department diplomats to understand “cultural considerations” and “building trust” between their foreign counterparts.

“Applying appropriate negotiation techniques to a given scenario, including but not limited to: clarifying assumptions, generating and evaluating alternatives, making and receiving concessions wisely, understanding cultural considerations and behavioral preferences, building trust, representing one’s own and others’ interests, and being aware of assumptions,” the solicitation said.

America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, extended his stay last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, past the March 31 deadline to reach a nuclear agreement with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

The framework for the agreement, agreed to by the United States, the European Union, and the “P5+1” nations, allows Iran to continue to run major portions of its nuclear program and will terminate economic sanctions against the country.

“We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development,” Zarif said following the agreement.

Zarif accused Kerry and the Obama administration of lying hours after the framework was released, saying that the United States had promised sanctions would be immediately terminated, not lifted gradually.

Also see:

The diplomatic track to war

Iran negotiations. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Iran negotiations. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Jerusalem Post, by Caroline Glick, April 3, 2015:

The world powers assembled at Lausanne, Switzerland, with the representatives of the Islamic Republic may or may not reach a framework deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program. But succeed or fail, the disaster that their negotiations have unleashed is already unfolding. The damage they have caused is irreversible.
US President Barack Obama, his advisers and media cheerleaders have long presented his nuclear diplomacy with the Iran as the only way to avoid war. Obama and his supporters have castigated as warmongers those who oppose his policy of nuclear appeasement with the world’s most prolific state sponsor of terrorism.

But the opposite is the case. Had their view carried the day, war could have been averted.

Through their nuclear diplomacy, Obama and his comrades started the countdown to war.

In recent weeks we have watched the collapse of the allied powers’ negotiating positions.

They have conceded every position that might have placed a significant obstacle in Iran’s path to developing a nuclear arsenal.

They accepted Iran’s refusal to come clean on the military dimensions of its past nuclear work and so ensured that to the extent UN nuclear inspectors are able to access Iran’s nuclear installations, those inspections will not provide anything approaching a full picture of its nuclear status. By the same token, they bowed before Iran’s demand that inspectors be barred from all installations Iran defines as “military” and so enabled the ayatollahs to prevent the world from knowing anything worth knowing about its nuclear activities.

On the basis of Iran’s agreement to ship its stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia, the US accepted Iran’s demand that it be allowed to maintain and operate more than 6,000 centrifuges.

But when on Monday Iran went back on its word and refused to ship its uranium to Russia, the US didn’t respond by saying Iran couldn’t keep spinning 6,000 centrifuges. The US made excuses for Iran.

The US delegation willingly acceded to Iran’s demand that it be allowed to continue operating its fortified, underground enrichment facility at Fordow. In so doing, the US minimized the effectiveness of a future limited air campaign aimed at significantly reducing Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

With this broad range of great power concessions already in its pocket, the question of whether or not a deal is reached has become a secondary concern. The US and its negotiating partners have agreed to a set of understanding with the Iranians. Whether these understandings become a formal agreement or not is irrelevant because the understandings are already being implemented.

True, the US has not yet agreed to Iran’s demand for an immediate revocation of the economic sanctions now standing against it. But the notion that sanctions alone can pressure Iran into making nuclear concessions has been destroyed by Obama’s nuclear diplomacy in which the major concessions have all been made by the US.

No sanctions legislation that Congress may pass in the coming months will be able to force a change in Iran’s behavior if they are not accompanied by other coercive measures undertaken by the executive branch.

There is nothing new in this reality. For a regime with no qualms about repressing its society, economic sanctions are not an insurmountable challenge. But it is possible that if sanctions were implemented as part of a comprehensive plan to use limited coercive means to block Iran’s nuclear advance, they could have effectively blocked Iran’s progress to nuclear capabilities while preventing war. Such a comprehensive strategy could have included a proxy campaign to destabilize the regime by supporting regime opponents in their quest to overthrow the mullahs. It could have involved air strikes or sabotage of nuclear installations and strategic regime facilities like Revolutionary Guards command and control bases and ballistic missile storage facilities. It could have involved diplomatic isolation of Iran.

Moreover, if sanctions were combined with a stringent policy of blocking Iran’s regional expansion by supporting Iraqi sovereignty, supporting the now deposed government of Yemen and making a concerted effort to weaken Hezbollah and overthrow the Iranian-backed regime in Syria, then the US would have developed a strong deterrent position that would likely have convinced Iran that its interest was best served by curbing its imperialist enthusiasm and setting aside its nuclear ambitions.

In other words, a combination of these steps could have prevented war and prevented a nuclear Iran. But today, the US-led capitulation to Iran has pulled the rug out from any such comprehensive strategy. The administration has no credibility. No one trusts Obama to follow through on his declared commitment to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

No one trusts Washington when Obama claims that he is committed to the security of Israel and the US’s Sunni allies in the region.

And so we are now facing the unfolding disaster that Obama has wrought. The disaster is that deal or no deal, the US has just given the Iranians a green light to behave as if they have already built their nuclear umbrella. And they are in fact behaving in this manner.

They may not have a functional arsenal, but they act as though they do, and rightly so, because the US and its partners have just removed all significant obstacles from their path to nuclear capabilities. The Iranians know it. Their proxies know it. Their enemies know it.

As a consequence, all the regional implications of a nuclear armed Iran are already being played out. The surrounding Arab states led by Saudi Arabia are pursuing nuclear weapons. The path to a Middle East where every major and some minor actors have nuclear arsenals is before us.

Iran is working to expand its regional presence as if it were a nuclear state already. It is brazenly using its Yemeni Houthi proxy to gain maritime control over the Bab al-Mandab, which together with Iran’s control over the Straits of Hormuz completes its maritime control over shipping throughout the Middle East.

Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Eritrea, and their global trading partners will be faced with the fact that their primary maritime shipping route to Asia is controlled by Iran.

With its regional aggression now enjoying the indirect support of its nuclear negotiating partners led by the US, Iran has little to fear from the pan-Arab attempt to dislodge the Houthis from Aden and the Bab al-Mandab. If the Arabs succeed, Iran can regroup and launch a new offensive knowing it will face no repercussions for its aggression and imperialist endeavors.

Then of course there are Iran’s terror proxies.

Hezbollah, whose forces now operate openly in Syria and Lebanon, is reportedly active as well in Iraq and Yemen. These forces behave with a brazenness the likes of which we have never seen.

Hamas too believes that its nuclear-capable Iranian state sponsor ensures that regardless of its combat losses, it will be able to maintain its regime in Gaza and continue using its territory as a launching ground for assaults against Israel and Egypt.

Iran’s Shiite militias in Iraq have reportedly carried out heinous massacres of Sunnis who have fallen under their control and faced no international condemnation for their war crimes, operating as they are under Iran’s protection and sponsorship. And the Houthis, of course, just overthrew a Western-backed government that actively assisted the US and its allies in their campaign against al-Qaida.

For their proxies’ aggression, Iran has been rewarded with effective Western acceptance of its steps toward regional domination and nuclear armament.

Hezbollah’s activities represent an acute and strategic danger to Israel. Not only does Hezbollah now possess precision guided missiles that are capable of taking out strategic installations throughout the country, its arsenal of 100,000 missiles can cause a civilian disaster.

Hezbollah forces have been fighting in varied combat situations continuously for the past three years. Their combat capabilities are incomparably greater than those they fielded in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. There is every reason to believe that these Hezbollah fighters, now perched along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria, can make good their threat to attack and hold fixed targets including border communities.

While Israel faces threats unlike any we have faced in recent decades that all emanate from Western-backed Iranian aggression and expansionism carried out under a Western-sanctioned Iranian nuclear umbrella, Israel is not alone in this reality. The unrolling disaster also threatens the moderate Sunni states including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The now regional war in Yemen is but the first act of the regional war at our doorstep.

There are many reasons this war is now inevitable.

Every state threatened by Iran has been watching the Western collapse in Switzerland.

They have been watching the Iranian advance on the ground. And today all of them are wondering the same thing: When and what should we strike to minimize the threats we are facing.

Everyone recognizes that the situation is only going to get worse. With each passing week, Iran’s power and brazenness will only increase.

Everyone understands this. And this week they learned that with Washington heading the committee welcoming Iran’s regional hegemony and nuclear capabilities, no outside power will stand up to Iran’s rise. The future of every state in the region hangs in the balance. And so, it can be expected that everyone is now working out a means to preempt and prevent a greater disaster.

These preemptive actions will no doubt include three categories of operations: striking Hezbollah’s missile arsenal; striking the Iranian Navy to limit its ability to project its force in the Bab al-Mandab; and conducting limited military operations to destroy a significant portion of Iran’s nuclear installations.

Friday is the eve of Passover. Thirteen years ago, Palestinian terrorists brought home the message of the Exodus when they blew up the Seder at Netanya’s Park Hotel, killing 30, wounding 140, and forcing Israel into war. The message of the Passover Haggada is that there are no shortcuts to freedom. To gain and keep it, you have to be willing to fight for it.

That war was caused by Israel’s embrace of the notion that you can bring peace through concessions that empower an enemy sworn to your destruction. The price of that delusion was thousands of lives lost and families destroyed.

Iran is far more powerful than the PLO. But the Americans apparently believe they are immune from the consequences of their leaders’ policies. This is not the case for Israel or for our neighbors. We lack the luxury of ignoring the fact that Obama’s disastrous diplomacy has brought war upon us. Deal or no deal, we are again about to be forced to pay a price to maintain our freedom.

Obama’s Dismal Legacy

president_obama_17968_4302-e1397247634412by Justin O. Smith:

America will point to this juncture in history one day, and it will note that this was the critical moment when the Grand Fool, Barack Obama, and his Court Jester, John Kerry, failed to recognize the greatest threat to America and the world in the 21st century. Ignoring all sound reason and stark warnings from numerous U.S. and world leaders, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 4th speech before Congress, they are proceeding with a bad agreement that does not prevent the growth and perfection of a broad Iranian nuclear weapons delivery system, and they are paving a path to nuclear weapons for the Revolutionary Guard and a rogue regime and state-sponsor of terrorism.

Iran’s nuclear weapons program has long been evident. Its heavy water nuclear facility at Arak is one proof, since this type of facility is only good for making weapons grade plutonium. Iran’s high explosive components for implosion-type nuclear weapons are made at Parchin

Parchin has been mentioned numerous times by the U.K., France and Germany in these ongoing negotiations, from which Iran hopes to gain relief from all economic sanctions. However, Iran has refused to allow any further inspection of Parchin, since 2005, and it now says further inspections are out of the question.

Any arms deals most usually demands verification of one’s compliance. And due to Iran’s resistance to allow for proper verification measures, most of America is asking, “Why are we negotiating with Iran at all at this point?”

While Iran cannot be trusted, there is a liar leading the U.S., who wants to side-step the Senate’s advise and consent role, even though in 2013 Obama stated that “the people’s representatives must be invested in what America does abroad.” Look where the U.S. stands now and compare it to Obama’s March 6, 2012 statement: “… My policy is to prevent [Iran] from getting a nuclear weapon, because if they get a nuclear weapon that could trigger an arms race in the region … it could potentially fall into the hands of terrorists.”

Shortly after Netanyahu’s speech in the halls of Congress, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal Saud warned, in a BBC interview, that any terms granting Iran nuclear power would result in a massive wide-open arms race across the Middle East. Similar concerns are currently being voiced by Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and many other nations.

Iran is already in flagrant violation of past U.N. Security Council resolutions, and yet they are proceeding in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons and inter-continental ballistic missiles. And contrary to the purpose of dissuading Iran from this course, the U.S. and other nations now seem unwilling to stop Iran from going nuclear, as they concede Iran’s right to retain its current capabilities.

The price-tag on Obama’s dismal legacy is a high one, since Ayatollah Khamenei demands immediate relief from all sanctions. That means more money in Iranian coffers and an increased ability to assist the likes of Hezbollah, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and murderous Shia militia in Iraq. Enabling this terrorist regime to reshape the Middle East through force of arms, slaughtering innocents and nuclear blackmail certainly promises peace will elude the world throughout this century.

Well within their rights, duty and authority to serve and protect the United States, Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, ranking committee member Eliot Engel (D-NY) and 365 House members sent a bipartisan letter to Obama, dated March 20th, that specified in part: “… Congress must be convinced that [the agreement’s] terms foreclose any pathway to a [nuclear] bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief … Finally … it is critical that we also consider Iran’s destabilizing role in the region.”

Similarly, just days previous, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) and 46 other Republican senators published an “open letter” to Iran and its leaders. It essentially stated that any agreement with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry could be rescinded by any successor and was basically not worth the paper it is written on, without Senate approval.

Nothing has changed in the thirty-five years after Iran took U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days or after the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983. As noted by Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel on February 14, 2015: “The Ayatollah Khamenei has been as clear as his predecessor in declaring his goal __ ‘the annihilation and destruction’ of Israel. He is bent on acquiring the weapons needed to make good on his deadly promise.: And, just weeks ago, as Khamenei rallied his country to endorse the nuclear negotiations, he joined the crowd in their chants of “Death to America,”

During his 39 minute speech before the U.S. Congress, Benjamin Netanyahu told lawmakers and visitors, “This deal won’t be a farewell to arms, it will be a farewell to arms control … a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.” At one point, Bibi turned to the 86 year old Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, who sat with Sara Netanyahu in the Congressional gallery, and poignantly continued, “I wish I could promise You, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Much in the manner that Czechoslovakia was betrayed at the 1938 Munich Conference, Israel is being betrayed by Obama’s executive agreement with Iran, and Israel is now left alone to mount a military operation that can destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel can accomplish this, just as it did at Osirak in 1981, but a much more thorough job would result from U.S. and European assistance. A pre-emptive strike is the only answer to a nuclear armed Iran that most certainly will bring the world to the brink of destruction.

America is nearing a terrible milestone in its history. It must not refuse to stand against Iran’s naked aggression, just as it initially refused to stand against the Nazis, or history will weigh our nation in the balance and find it wanting. America must recover its moral character and rebuke Obama’s bitter fruit of appeasement, Considerably less danger exists in a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities than going forward with a bitter fruit that only promises a dark future filled with exponentially larger conflagrations, massive wars and chaos.

Iran nuclear talks reportedly hit snag over lifting of sanctions as Obama makes appeal to Iran’s people

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R) over Tehran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Brian Snyder)

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R) over Tehran’s nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Brian Snyder)

Fox News, March 20, 2015:

A dispute over when international sanctions against Iran would be lifted following a potential nuclear agreement reportedly is the latest issue to bog down negotiations.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Iran’s negotiators say that sanctions must be lifted almost immediately after a deal is concluded. U.S. and European diplomats, for their part, hold that sanctions should only be lifted once Tehran accounts for its past nuclear activity and is confirmed to be using nuclear energy for peaceful means by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.

One European diplomat was quoted by the Journal as saying there was “no way” Western negotiators would budge from their position, which the diplomat said the Iranians considered a “deal-breaker. They don’t want it at all.”

Amid the dispute, officials from Iran and the U.S. reportedly said Friday that talks will resume next week.

According to the Journal, both sides believe that the U.S. and European Union can lift some of the sanctions each has unilaterally imposed on Iran’s energy and finance sectors. However, the issue of lifting sanctions imposed by the U.N. is more complex and according to negotiators, is likely to take years, not weeks or months, to accomplish.

For its part, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has failed to turn over key documents about its nuclear program, and has also denied access to scientists and nuclear sites.

Both sides are working to meet a March 31 deadline to construct the framework of a permanent agreement. The final deadline for all the details to be worked out is June 30. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met face-to-face for the fourth straight day in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Associated Press reported late Thursday that elements of a draft deal had been agreed that would commit Iran to a 40 percent cut in the number of machines it could use to make an atomic bomb. In return, the Iranians would get quick relief from some crippling economic sanctions and a partial lift of a U.N. embargo on conventional arms.

Officials told the AP that the tentative deal imposes at least a decade of new limits on the number of centrifuges Iran can operate to enrich uranium, a process that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material. The sides are zeroing in on a cap of 6,000 centrifuges, officials said, down from the 6,500 they spoke of in recent weeks.

That’s also fewer than the 10,000 such machines Tehran now runs, yet substantially more than the 500 to 1,500 that Washington originally wanted as a ceiling. Only a year ago, U.S. officials floated 4,000 as a possible compromise.

It’s unclear how complete the draft is. Iran’s deeply buried underground enrichment plant remains a problem, officials said, with Washington demanding the facility be repurposed and Tehran insisting it be able to run hundreds of centrifuges there. Iran says it wants to use the machines for scientific research; the Americans fear they could be quickly retooled for enrichment.

A planned heavy water reactor will be re-engineered to produce much less plutonium than originally envisioned, relieving concerns that it could be an alternative pathway to a bomb. U.S. officials believe they can extend the time Tehran would need to produce a nuclear weapon to at least a year. Right now, Iran would require only two to three months to amass enough material to make a bomb.

President Barack Obama appealed directly to Iranian citizens in a message commemorating Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

“Our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remain,” Obama said Thursday in a video message posted online.

“If Iran’s leaders can agree to a reasonable deal, it can lead to a better path — the path of greater opportunities for the Iranian people,” he said.

The pressure in Congress on the administration over Iran remained intense, with the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee saying he would move ahead with legislation giving lawmakers a say over any nuclear deal. And 360 House Republicans and Democrats — more than enough to override any presidential veto — sent a letter to Obama saying if an agreement is reached, Congress will decide on easing sanctions it has imposed.

“Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief,” the lawmakers wrote.

Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told administration officials at a hearing Thursday that Congress cannot be marginalized and “any attempts to sidestep Congress will be resisted on both sides of the aisle.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Also see:

Reposting: EMET/CSP panel addresses the question “What are Iran’s True Intentions”

iran20a (1)Center For Security Policy, Published on Jan 16, 2014:

As the Obama Administration continues to move forward negotiating with Iran, there has been little attention paid to the underlying motivations of the Islamic Republic of Iran. What is the Iranian end game? What are the ideological motivators of the Islamic regime in its conflict with the United States of America and Israel? Are the genocidal threats issued by Iranian leaders to”wipe Israel off the map” and achieve a “world without America” only posturing? Or are these goals the Iranian regime is committed to achieving?

EMET and the Center for Security Policy have put together a great panel of experts to address these questions and answer, what are Iran’s true intentions?

 Introduction

Walid Phares

Dr. Walid Phares serves as an Advisor to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the US House of Representatives and is a Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Legislative Group on Counter Terrorism, a Euro-American Caucus, since 2009. Dr Phares briefs and testify to the US Congress, the European Parliament and the United Nations Security Council on matters related to international security and Middle East conflict. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Task Force on Future Terrorism of the Department of Homeland Security and the Advisory Task force on Nuclear Terrorism. Dr Phares teaches Global Strategies at the National Defense University. He has published several books in English, Arabic and French including the latest three post-9/11 volumes: Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West; The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy and The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad.

Clare Lopez

Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on national defense, Islam, Iran, and counterterrorism issues. Currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, The Clarion Project, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Canadian Meighen Institute and vice president of the Intelligence Summit, she formerly was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006. Ms. Lopez is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media on subjects related to Iran and the Middle East and the co-author of two published books on Iran. She is the author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby and co-author/editor of the Center’s Team B II study, “Shariah: The Threat to America”.

Andrew Bostom

Dr. Andrew Bostom is the author of the highly acclaimed works The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: from Sacred Text to Solemn History, Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism and the recent monograph The Mufti’s Islamic Jew-Hatred: What the Nazis Learned from the “Muslim Pope.” Dr. Bostom’s forthocoming monograph is entitled, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran. Dr. Bostom has published numerous articles and commentaries on Islam in the New York Post, Washington Times, The New York Daily News, Pajamas Media, National Review Online, The American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine.com, and other print and online publications. More on Andrew Bostom’s work can be found at his:http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/

Mark Langfan

Mark Langfan is a noted security analyst who in 1991 created a 3 dimensional topographic raised-relief map system of Israel. Viewing the 3D Israel map one can easily and quickly be informed of many of the underlying resource and security issues involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict such as West Bank water resources and Israeli ‘defensible’ borders. Over the past 20 years, Mark has briefed many Congressional and Senate offices, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Israel Desk, and the New York Times Editorial Board. Mark wrote and published seminal articles concerning the Israeli/Middle East region including the 1992 “Demilitarization Risks” warning of future Palestinian Katyusha rocket barrages from vacated Israeli territory, the 1995 “US Troops on Golan Quicksand” warning of the unique topographic dangers of deploying US Troops to the Golan Heights, and the 2006 “Iran: The 4th Reichastan” exposing the Iranian arming of Iraqi Insurgents against US forces, and of Iran’s other regional and strategic goals. Mark has published numerous articles in newspapers and security journal. For more information visit www.marklangfan.com.

This presentation by Mark Langfan with Erick Stakelbeck shows the maps better:

Also see the Clarion Project’s Fact Sheet: IRANIAN SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM

Legal Experts: Future U.S. President Could Revoke Bad Nuke Deal With Iran

John Kerry / AP

John Kerry / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Daniel Wiser, March, 12, 2015:

Legal experts are refuting a claim by Iran’s foreign minister that revoking a potential deal on the country’s nuclear program would violate international law, amid confusion Wednesday regarding whether or not the deal the State Department is negotiating will be in any way legally binding.

Javad Zarif, Tehran’s chief representative in the ongoing nuclear talks among the United States, Iran, and five other world powers, criticized on Tuesday an open letter sent by 47 Republican senators concerning the negotiations. While the lawmakers said in their missive that a future president or Congress could revoke or substantially alter a nuclear pact, Zarif responded that such changes would be illegal under international statutes.

“I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law,” he said, according to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, the U.S. State Department asserted on Tuesday that a prospective nuclear agreement with Iran would be “nonbinding.” Secretary of State John Kerry also confirmed in congressional testimony on Wednesday that the Obama administration is “not negotiating a legally binding plan” but one from “executive to executive,” Politico reported. Kerry insisted such a deal would still “have a capacity of enforcement.”

Jeremy Rabkin, a law professor at George Mason University and an expert in international law and Constitutional history, said in an email that “nonbinding” by definition means that the United States “will not violate international law if we don’t adhere to its terms”—contrary to Zarif’s assertion.

“In other words we’re saying it is NOT an international obligation, just a statement of intent,” he said.

The legal nature of a potential nuclear agreement remains a matter of dispute.

The GOP senators wrote about the necessity of congressional oversight for “binding international agreements” in their letter. But on Wednesday, Kerry rejected that  characterization as “absolutely incorrect,” because the plan would not be legally binding.

The potential deal’s executive and nonbinding nature means Congress could not amend it, Kerry said.

Rabkin said the question of whether a U.S. president can institute a binding international agreement without congressional approval is disputed among legal scholars, but the State Department’s declaration that an Iran deal would be nonbinding places it in a different category.

“What Kerry seemed to say was not that his Iran deal would be in the same category but that it would not be legally binding in any sense, just a kind of memorandum of understanding,” Rabkin said. “I wonder whether he understood what he was saying. It was more or less conceding that what Cotton’s letter said was the administration’s own view—that the ‘agreement’ with Iran would not be legally binding, so (presumably) not something that could bind Obama’s successor.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), one of the lead authors of the GOP’s letter to Iran, expressed confusion on Wednesday about the State Department’s classification of a nuclear deal with Tehran.

“Important question: if deal with Iran isn’t legally binding, then what’s to keep Iran from breaking said deal and developing a bomb?” Cotton tweeted.

John Yoo, a law professor at University of California, Berkeley and a former Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, wrote on Wednesday that Cotton and his fellow senators had it “exactly right” in their letter on matters of Constitutional law.

“The Cotton letter is right, because if President Obama strikes a nuclear deal with Iran using only [an executive agreement], he is only committing to refrain from exercising his executive power—i.e., by not attacking Iran or by lifting sanctions under power delegated by Congress,” Yoo wrote on National Review Online. “Not only could the next president terminate the agreement; Obama himself could terminate the deal.”

Additionally, Yoo said that under the Constitution’s Foreign Commerce Clause, Congress could still apply financial pressure on Iran regardless of an executive agreement.

“Obama’s executive agreement cannot prevent Congress from imposing mandatory, severe sanctions on Iran without the possibility of presidential waiver (my preferred solution for handling the Iranian nuclear crisis right now),” he said. “Obama can agree to allow Iran to keep a nuclear-processing capability; Congress can cut Iran out of the world trading and financial system.”

“As a matter of constitutional law, the Cotton letter should be no more controversial than a letter that simply enclosed a copy of the U.S. Constitution (without President Obama’s editing),” he added.

Also see:

***

Published on Mar 12, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

The NYPD Got it Right on Islamic Terrorism

Officers of the 71st precinct. Photo: Jewish Leadership Council

Officers of the 71st precinct. Photo: Jewish Leadership Council


Algemeiner, by Shoshana Bryen, March 1, 2015:

Pop quiz: How can the threat of radical jihadists be countered?

  • President Obama: “Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.”
  • Secretary of State John Kerry: [We have a] “huge common interest in dealing with this issue of poverty, which in many cases is the root cause of terrorism or even the root cause of the disenfranchisement of millions of people on this planet.”
  • Marie Harf, State Department Spokesperson: “We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs…We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”

“Legitimate grievances,” “root causes,” and the need for “improved governance.” The two highest ranking people making American policy, and one who explains it to the public, demean Muslims around the world as surely as if they’d scrawled hate graffiti on a building. Just as there are millions of other poor people around the world who eschew violence, there are millions of Muslims without an education or prospects of economic advancement who would never consider picking up an AK-47 or chopping someone’s head off – even if jihadi recruiters were banging down their doors.

In addition, it turns out “Jihadi John,” the Westerner seen on IS video decapitating American, British and Syrian hostages, is one Mohammed Emwazi, the Kuwait-born-London-raised son of a prosperous family. He had a degree in computer programming from the University of Westminster. It also turns out that British school girls Kadiza Sultana (15), Amira Abase (15) and Shamima Begum (16) were not kidnapped as first feared. The girls carefully laid out a plan to set aside money to fly to Turkey and meet up with IS smugglers who took them to Syria. You can see them here – middle-class British girls whose parents say they were doing well in school.

This is not to pick on the British. America’s “Times Square Bomber,” Faisal Shahzad, had a degree from the University of Connecticut and was an insurance broker. Three of the “Lackawanna Six” had attended community college; all were naturalized U.S. citizens. Maj. Nidal Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter, was a psychiatrist as well as an Army officer, born in the U.S. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a legal U.S. resident, his mother and brother and terror partner Dzhokar were naturalized citizens. But according to the President, jihadists needed a way to express their “legitimate grievances.”

Can we find a better predictive pattern?

Go back to the release of the New York Police Department’s report, Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat in 2007. In it, experts studied eleven cases of America’s “homegrown jihadists,” isolating specific factors that appear to move some people — primarily young men — to radical, violent activity even as most Americans, including American Muslims, remain unmoved by or even repulsed by the idea of violence committed in the name of religion. Among the NYPD findings:

  • Salafist ideology combines Islam with a determination to solve problems through violence. Salafist institutions and literature are readily available in the West.
  • Al Qaeda provides inspiration, but generally not operational assistance.
  • Susceptible people seek an identity or a cause and often self-identify before finding compatriots. Radicalization has proceeded more slowly in the US than in Europe, where even second and third generation immigrants have trouble assimilating into the local culture – but more quickly since 9-11.
  • The Internet is an enabler, providing an anonymous virtual meeting place. Sites other than mosques can provide the sense of community otherwise isolated people may be seeking.
  • A “spiritual sanctioner” and an “operational leader” are necessary to move people from the ideological phase to an operational terrorist cell.
  • Not everyone who begins the process of radicalization becomes a terrorist; there are several points at which people drop out.

It is worth noting that when the report was released, NYPD was called “racist” and worse. But time proves the proposition. There is no inevitable link between Muslim people and radicalism; poverty is not the driver; and lack of good governance is not the issue. Professional jihadists are required to move people from curiosity about, or potential interest in jihadist philosophy to becoming active terrorists, and people drop out of this process all along the way (repulsed, one assumes, at some point by the violence).

Far better than a plea for an understanding of “root causes” and sympathy for people’s inability to find a “legitimate” outlet for their grievances, would be a hard-headed consideration of the fact that professional jihadists who may be anywhere in the world are trolling for susceptible young people – primarily males, but increasingly females – to take up the cause of religious extremism and rush to the current battlefield in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere.

The fault lies there, not with the West’s lack of empathy.

This article was originally published by The American Thinker

Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center. She has more than 30 years of experience as an analyst of U.S. defense policy and Middle East affairs, and has run programs and conferences with American military personnel in various countries.

Intel chief says 2014 deadliest year for terror ever recorded, in counter to upbeat Kerry

Published on Feb 26, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Figures. James Clapper Contradicts John Kerry Less Than 24 Hrs After His Testimony Before Congress (gatewaypudit.com)

***

DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE STATEMENT FOR RECORD ON WORLDWIDE THREAT ASSESSMENT (FEB. 26, 2015)

***

Fox News, Feb. 26, 2015:

The top U.S. intelligence official on Thursday gave a drastically different assessment than Secretary of State John Kerry of the terror threat — declaring 2014 the deadliest year for global terrorism ever recorded, after Kerry claimed that threat was diminishing.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying on Capitol Hill, catalogued the growing terror-fueled violence in stark terms.

“When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He offered statistics that would appear to challenge other administration officials’ claims that the country and world are safer today.

A day earlier, Kerry testified at a separate hearing that, “Despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century.”

That prompted a quick response from lawmakers and from inside the intelligence community.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn , former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Fox News that Kerry is “out of touch with reality, he clearly is not listening to the entire U.S. intelligence community.”

Clapper on Thursday said that in 2013, about 11,500 worldwide attacks killed about 22,000 people. But in the first nine months alone of 2014, he said, preliminary data from a University of Maryland research unit show nearly 13,000 attacks killed 31,000 people.

Half of those attacks and fatalities were in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said. He said the Islamic State conducted more attacks than any other terror group in those first nine months.

The Clapper testimony came as Congress focused attention Thursday on what’s being done to defeat the Islamic State — at all levels of government — as more cases surface of westerners trying to link up with the terror network, including a disturbing case out of New York City.

Clapper said Thursday that about 180 Americans have been involved in various stages of traveling or trying to travel to fight in the region. He said more than 3,400 total western fighters have gone to Syria and Iraq.

He spoke after the Justice Department announced Wednesday that three New York City residents plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS militants and “wage jihad.”

One of the defendants also offered to kill the president of the United States if ordered to do so, the criminal complaint alleged.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, has forged ahead with a campaign of airstrikes against ISIS, with the help of Middle East allies. At the same time, though, President Obama has downplayed the threat. In a recent interview with Vox.com, he accused the media of overplaying the issue.

“If it bleeds, it leads, right?” he said.

FBI Director James Comey has said his bureau is investigating possible ISIS supporters in all 50 states.

Aside from Clapper’s testimony, a House judiciary subcommittee was holding a separate hearing on Thursday on the threat of ISIS in America. FBI and other local law enforcement officials were set to testify.

Fox News’ Bret Baier contributed to this report. 

O Beautiful, For Specious Guys

by Mark Steyn
Steyn on America
February 20, 2015

1178The US media have had a fit of the vapors over Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that Barack Obama does not love America. As the Instapundit says, their reaction suggests that Giuliani hit a nerve.

For my own part, I am way beyond that. By the way, I’m growing rather weary of the cheap comparisons of Obama with Neville Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister got the biggest issue of the day wrong. But no one ever doubted that he loved his country. That’s why, after his eviction from Downing Street, Churchill kept him on in his ministry as Lord President of the Council, and indeed made Chamberlain part of the five-man war cabinet and had him chair it during his frequent absences. When he died of cancer in October 1940, Churchill wept over his coffin.

So please don’t insult Neville Chamberlain by comparing him to Obama. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, because conspiracies are generally a comforting illusion: the real problem with Obama is that the citizens of the global superpower twice elected him to office. Yet one way to look at the current “leader of the free world” is this: If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

For example, he has spent most of this week hosting an international conference on something called “violent extremism”. Whatever may be said of Munich, Chamberlain never hosted a three-day summit on “rearmament” in general whose entire purpose was to deny that “rearmament” and “Germany” were in any way connected. Yet that is exactly the message the United States government has just offered to the world – in between such eccentric side spectacles as Marie Harf, star of the hilarious new comedy Geopolitically Blonde, explaining her jobs-for-jihadis program, and the new hombre in charge of the planet’s mightiest military machine having his woman felt up on camera by Joe Biden. Now there’s a message to send to the misogynists of Burqastan about what happens when you let the missuses out of their body bags.

Here’s John Kerry in The Wall Street Journal:

The rise of violent extremism represents the pre-eminent challenge of the young 21st century…

A safer and more prosperous future requires us to recognize that violent extremism can’t be justified by resorting to religion…

Violent extremism has claimed lives in every corner of the globe, and Muslim lives most of all…

This summit at the White House and State Department will expand the global conversation and, more important, adopt an action agenda that identifies, shares and utilizes best practices in preventing and countering violent extremism

Put simply, we are building a global partnership against violent extremism.

Success requires showing the world the power of peaceful communities instead of extremist violence.

Wait a minute, “extremist violence”? How come the spell-check didn’t catch that? Don’t worry. The very next sentence is back on track:

Success requires offering a vision that is positive and proactive: a world with more concrete alternatives to the nihilistic worldview of violent extremists

We have to devote ourselves not just to combating violent extremism, but to preventing it…

We’ve combated violent extremism before…

The 20th century was defined by the struggle to overcome depression, slavery, fascism and totalitarianism. Now it’s our turn. The rise of violent extremism challenges every one of us…

By now you may be saying, “Oh, ‘violent extremism’, I get it. You mean…” Whoa, don’t go there, girlfriend. “This is not true Islam,” insists President Obama.

Roger Kimball observes:

“ISIL is not ‘Islamic.'” Really? Was the Ayatollah Khomeini “Islamic?” How about Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan: is he “Islamic”? A few years ago, Erdogan told the world that the phrase “moderate Islam” is “ugly”because “Islam is Islam.” Democracy, he said, is just an express stop on the train whose destination is Islam…

The Saudis, the biggest and richest Sunni nation? They torture bloggers for “insulting Islam,” stone adulteresses, maim thieves, and treat women like chattel. Do they represent Islam?

But Obama has ambitions way beyond the Turks and Saudis. If the Islamic State isn’t “true Islam”, is the Taliban, our “partners for peace” in Aghanistan? Is “true Islam” the Iranian mullahs, our “partners for peace” in the Persian Gulf and beyond? How about the Houthi? They’re our Iranian partners for peace’s partners for peace in Yemen, and they were awfully sporting to let our diplomats flee without beheading them.

“Violent extremism” may have nothing to do with Islam, yet Obama’s summit on “violent extremism” was oddly preoccupied with Islam, to the extent of according it a special deference:

A Muslim prayer was recited at the start of the second day of the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism,” but no other religious text was presented during the portion of the event that was open to the press.

Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble, president of the World Peace Organization in Minneapolis, Minn., recited a “verse from the Quran” following remarks by Obama administration officials and Democratic members of Congress.

But hey, what’s so odd about that? “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,” says the President. You might think that Islam has been entirely irrelevant to “the fabric of our country” for its first two centuries, and you might further think that Islam, being self-segregating, tends not to weave itself into anybody’s fabric but instead tends to unravel it – as it’s doing in, say, Copenhagen, where 500 mourners turned up for the funeral of an ISIS-supporting Jew-hating anti-free-speech murderer.

But President Obama knows better than you. So he organized a summit dedicated to creating and promoting a self-invented phantom enemy. Conveniently enough, the main problem with “violent extremists” is that its principal victims are Muslims. No, no, I don’t mean the thousands of Muslims being slaughtered, beheaded, burned alive, raped, sold into sex slavery, etc, etc, in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, and so on. The Muslims most at risk are right here in America. Just ask Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson:

We in the administration and the government should give voice to the plight of Muslims living in this countryand the discrimination that they face. And so I personally have committed to speak out about the situation that very often people in the Muslim community in this country face. The fact that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and the Islamic faith is one about peace and brotherhood.

I opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security on the basic Thatcherite principle that if you create a government bureaucracy in order to deal with a problem you’ll never be rid of the problem. But I underestimated the creativity of our rulers: The DHS was set up because 19 Muslims flew planes into skyscrapers and killed thousands of people. Thirteen years later, the head of the DHS thinks his department’s priority should be to “give voice to the plight of Muslims” who have the misfortune to live in America.

How about “the plight of Muslims” who live in Muslim countries? As I wrote in 2006 in the very prologue of the highly prescientAmerica Alone:

In the 2005 rankings of Freedom House’s survey of personal liberty and democracy around the world, five of the eight countries with the lowest “freedom” score were Muslim. Of the 46 Muslim majority nations in the world, only three were free. Of the 16 nations in which Muslims form between 20 and 50 per cent of the population, only another three were ranked as free: Benin, Serbia and Montenegro, and Suriname. It will be interesting to follow France’s fortunes as a fourth member of that group.

The “plight” of Muslim communities in America and the west is that they enjoy freedoms they could never dream of back in Somalia or Syria or anywhere else – but that they value those freedoms less than they value the pre-eminence of Islam. Canadian reader Sam Williamson wrote to me with what I thought was an interesting insight into the millions of “moderate Muslims”:

Hello Mark:

Suppose the moderate shoe was in the other foot:

You are a moderate Christian and there is a radical bunch at the far end of the spectrum of the faith that causing violence, even in your new country. Your faith is growing worldwide in numbers. You see other faiths abandoning their beliefs, and even making laws about where they may practice. But your religion is more welcomed. They say it strengthens the country. It’s in their constitution. Other countries are asking you to come.

So you can’t help but see your faith gaining influence. In some places no shopping on the Holy Day laws are being re-introduced. In some public schools they are allowing Mass to be said in the cafeteria during the day. Offensive comments about our Church, Saviour, and Saints are being condemned. And items from other religions are being hidden or removed so we don’t have to see them. Many people, including their wise teachers, professors, and prominent people in the papers and television are helping getting rid of many customs that we do not support as Catholics. Why even the other day a leader in government told the Prime Minister that it was wrong not to allow us to say the rosary during the Citizenship Ceremony.

Sure, we will condemn that bombing and those extremists if asked. They don’t represent my beliefs. But looking at the future I’m thinking my family, my children and grandchildren are going to do better in this country when it’s all Christians, and those wrong beliefs have left, and the atheists driven out, even if it is accomplished with some fear and violence. After all, ours is the one true religion and our people will once again be great.

Sam Williamson

If you were a “moderate Muslim”, what would you make of an extraordinary week in which the global superpower has piled up a mountain of preposterous, mutually contradictory official lies all designed to flatter you: Islam has been part of the fabric of America since the 18th century, and yet the plight of Muslims in this country and the discrimination they face has never been worse. We are at war with the mysterious shadowy Empire of Violentia-Extremistan, which is nothing to do with Islam, yet necessitates the saying of Muslim prayers – and Muslim prayers only – at official US government events.

On The Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, I pointed out that the French Government estimates that some nine thousand “Frenchmen” have volunteered to fight for ISIS. That is approximately half the total western deployment in Afghanistan of around 18,000 troops from some four dozen countries. It is larger than any French military deployment in the last half-century. That 500-strong congregation of mourners for the Copenhagen killer may not be the largest funeral turnout in Denmark’s history, but it’s similarly impressive.

And yet none of that could be discussed in Washington, at a summit arising directly out of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter.

I have quoted before my old friend Theodore Dalrymple on the purposes of lies in totalitarian societies:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

We are at war with a depraved enemy, but we cannot be allowed to assert our moral superiority even to head-choppers, rapists, slavers and immolators. Thus the priority of Barack (“Hey, how ’bout those Crusades?”) Obama has been to undermine our sense of probity, and make us not merely equivalent to but worse than our enemies. That was the purpose of this last week of Official Lies.