Iran’s Chess Board

official_photo_of_hassan_rouhani_7th_president_of_iran_august_2013

How the Islamic Republic is strategically dominating the Middle East — and the U.S. is assisting.

Front Page Magazine, by Caroline Glick, June 3, 2016

Reprinted from jpost.com.

Strategic thinking has always been Israel’s Achilles’ heel. As a small state bereft of regional ambitions, so long as regional realities remained more or less static, Israel had little reason to be concerned about the great game of the Middle East.

But the ground is shifting in the lands around us. The Arab state system, which ensured the strategic status quo for decades, has collapsed.

So for the first time in four generations, strategy is again the dominant force shaping events that will impact Israel for generations to come.

To understand why, consider two events of the past week.

Early this week it was reported that after a two-year hiatus, Iran is restoring its financial support for Islamic Jihad. Iran will give the group, which is largely a creation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, $70 million.

On Wednesday Iranian media were the first to report on the arrest of a “reporter” for Iran’s Al-Alam news service. Bassam Safadi was arrested by Israel police in his home in Majdal Shams, the Druse village closest to the border with Syria on the Golan Heights. Safadi is suspected of inciting terrorism.

That is, he is suspected of being an Iranian agent.

There is nothing new about Iranian efforts to raise and run fronts against Israel within its territory and along its borders. Iran poses a strategic threat to Israel through its Hezbollah surrogate in Lebanon, which now reportedly controls the Lebanese Armed Forces.

In Gaza, Iran controls a vast assortment of terrorist groups, including Hamas.

In Judea and Samaria, seemingly on a weekly basis we hear about another Iranian cell whose members were arrested by the Shin Bet or the IDF.

But while we are well aware of the efforts Iran is making along our borders and even within them to threaten Israel, we have not connected these efforts to Iran’s actions in Iraq and Syria. Only when we connect Iran’s actions here with its actions in those theaters do we understand what is now happening, and how it will influence Israel’s long-term strategic environment.

The big question today is what will replace the Arab state system.

Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Libya no longer exist. On their detritus we see the fight whose results will likely determine the fates of the surviving Arab states, as well as of much of Europe and the rest of the world.

Israel’s strategic environment will be determined in great part by the results of Iran’s actions in Iraq and Syria. While Israel can do little to affect the shape of events in these areas, it must understand what they mean for us. Only by doing so, will we be able to develop the tools to secure our future in this new strategic arena.

Until 2003, Saddam Hussein was the chief obstacle to Iran’s rise as the regional hegemon.

US forces in Iraq replaced Hussein until they left the country in 2011. In the meantime, by installing a Shi’ite government in Baghdad, the US set the conditions for the rise of Islamic State in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province on the one hand, and for Iran’s control over Iraq’s Shi’ite-controlled government and armed forces on the other.

Today, ISIS is the only thing checking Iran’s westward advance. Ironically, the monstrous group also facilitates it. ISIS is so demonic that for Americans and other Westerners, empowering Iranian-controlled forces that fight ISIS seems a small price to pay to rid the world of the fanatical scourge.

As former US naval intelligence analyst J.E. Dyer explained this week in an alarming analysis of Iran’s recent moves in Iraq published on the Liberty Unyielding website, once Iranian- controlled forces defeat ISIS in Anbar province, they will be well placed to threaten Jordan and Israel from the east. This is particularly the case given that ISIS is serving inadvertently as an advance guard for Iran.

In Syria, Iran already controls wide swaths of the country directly and through its surrogates, the Syrian army, Hezbollah and Shi’ite militias it has fielded in the country.

Since the start of the war in Syria, Israel has repeatedly taken action to block those forces from gaining and holding control over the border zone on the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s surprising recent announcement that Israel will never relinquish control over the Golan came in response to his concern that in exchange for a cease-fire in Syria, the US would place that control on the international diplomatic chopping block.

A week and a half ago, Iran began its move on Anbar province.

On May 22, Iraqi forces trained by the US military led Iraq’s offensive to wrest control over Fallujah and Mosul from ISIS, which has controlled the Sunni cities since 2014. Despite the fact that the lead forces are US-trained, the main forces involved in the offensive are trained, equipped and directed by Iran.

As Iraqi forces surrounded Fallujah in the weeks before the offensive began, Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds forces, paid a public visit to the troops to demonstrate Iran’s dominant role.

The battle for Fallujah is a clear indication that Iran, rather than the US, is calling the shots in Iraq. According to media reports, the Pentagon wanted and expected for the forces to be concentrated in Mosul. But at the last minute, due to Soleimani’s intervention, the Iraqi government decided to make Fallujah the offensive’s center of gravity.

Read more

Also see:

Inconvenient Genocide

1789

Frontpage, Caroline Glick, April 8, 2016:

The Christian communities of Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon are well on the way to joining their Jewish cousins. The Jewish communities of these states predated Islam by a millennium, and were vibrant until the 20th century. But the Arab world’s war on the Jewish state, and more generally on Jews, wiped out the Jewish populations several decades ago.

And now the Christian communities, which like the Jews, predate Islam, are being targeted for eradication.

The ongoing genocide of Middle Eastern Christians at the hands of Sunni jihadists is a moral outrage. Does it also affect Israeli national interests? What do we learn from the indifference of Western governments – led by the Obama administration – to their annihilation? True, after years of deliberately playing down the issue and denying the problem, the Obama administration is finally admitting it exists.

Embarrassed by the US House of Representatives’ unanimous adoption of a resolution last month recognizing that Middle Eastern Christians are being targeted for genocide, the State Department finally acknowledged the obvious on March 25, when Secretary of State John Kerry stated that Islamic State is conducting a “genocide of Christians, Yazidis and Shi’ites.”

Kerry’s belated move, which State Department lawyers were quick to insist has no operational significance, raises two questions.

First, what took the Obama administration so long? Persecution of Christians in Iraq began immediately after the US-led coalition brought down Saddam Hussein in 2003. With the rise of Islamic State in 2012, the process of destroying the Christian community went into high gear. And now these ancient communities are on the brink of extinction.

In Iraq, Christians comprised 8 percent of the population in 2003. Today less than 1% of Iraqis are Christians. In Syria, the Christian community has lost between half and two-thirds of its members in the past five years.

One of the appalling aspects of ISIS’s deliberate, open targeting of Christians for destruction is how little resistance it has received from local Sunni populations. As Raymond Ibrahim from the David Horowitz Freedom Center has scrupulously documented, the local Sunnis have not stood up for their Christian neighbors, who have lived side-by-side with them for hundreds of years. Rather, in areas that have been conquered by ISIS, the local Sunnis have collaborated with their genocidal masters in raping and murdering Christian neighbors, plundering their property, destroying their churches, and driving them from their ancestral homes.

Although precise data is hard to come by, it is clear that thousands of Christians have been slaughtered. Thousands of Christian women and girls have been sold as sex slaves in ISIS slave markets, subjected to continuous, violent rape and beatings. Nuns and priests have been enslaved, crucified, mutilated, kidnapped and held for ransom, as have lay members of Christian communities. Christians have been burned alive.

For years, the administration said that the persecution doesn’t amount to genocide because according to ISIS’s propaganda, Christians are allowed to remain in their homes if they agree to live as dhimmis – that is, without any human rights, and subjected to confiscatory taxation.

But as Nina Shea from the Hudson Institute has reported, these claims were shown to be false in Mosul, Nineveh and other places where ISIS has claimed that such practices were instituted.

The jihadist genocide of Christians isn’t limited to Iraq and Syria. Boko Haram – ISIS’s affiliate in Nigeria – is undertaking a systematic campaign to annihilate Christianity in Africa. ISIS’s affiliates in Sinai and Libya have similarly targeted Christians, staging mass beheadings and other monstrous acts.

And of course, a region needn’t be under direct ISIS control for Christians to be targeted for destruction. The Easter massacre in Pakistan was further evidence that wherever radical Islamists gain power, they use it to murder Christians.

And as Larry Franklin from the Gatestone Institute noted in a recent article, the exodus of Christians from the Palestinian Authority is the direct consequence of deliberate persecution of Christians by the PA.

Given the prevalence of Christian persecution, why is the West – which is overwhelmingly Christian – so reticent about mentioning it? And why are Western leaders loathe to do anything to stop it? There are two ways to end genocide. First, you can defeat those conducting it on the battlefield.

If you destroy the forces conducting the genocide, then the genocide ends.

The second way you can stop genocide is by evacuating the targeted population and providing its members with refuge.

After stipulating that ISIS is carrying out a genocide, Kerry made clear that the US will not defeat ISIS to end it. Instead, Kerry said, “We must bear in mind… that the best response to genocide is a reaffirmation of the fundamental right to survive of every group targeted for destruction. What Daesh [ISIS] wants to erase, we must preserve. That requires defeating Daesh, but it also requires the rejection of discrimination and bigotry.”

Kerry then explained that the US’s plan is to cultivate the formation of a multicultural society in Syria. Given the brutal nature of the war, Kerry’s plan is tantamount to saying the US intends to defeat ISIS and rescue those it is currently exterminating by bringing unicorns and leprechauns to the slave markets of Raqqa. Substantively, Kerry’s plan is to deny Christians refuge, and to abandon them to the mercy of their murderers.

While delusional, Kerry’s statement was in line with the Obama administration’s timid, feckless military campaign against ISIS. Everyone knows that the US military could take down ISIS in a matter of weeks if Obama ordered it to do so.

But rather than act decisively, the US has limited its operations to timorous aerial bombing.

By conducting a barely there campaign, Obama tells the world that although he will be happy to take credit for any defeat ISIS suffers, he will not allow the US to lead the fight against the jihadist death machine.

As for providing refuge to the populations targeted with genocide, the raw data make clear that Obama does just the opposite. He is providing refuge for Sunni Muslims, who are not being targeted for genocide, which is being conducted by Sunni Muslims.

As Ibrahim has documented, although Christians made up 10% of the Syrian population in 2011, they comprise a mere 2.7% of the Syrian refugees the Obama administration has allowed into the US. And when presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz called for the US to provide refuge to Christians, who pose no security threat and are targeted with genocide and persecution while banning Muslim immigration, Obama accused him of bigotry.

Despite the fact that FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the US lacked the capacity to effectively screen Muslims from Syria for ties to jihadist groups, Obama said that a policy of saving those marked for extinction over those who come from the population conducting the genocide is “shameful,” and “not American.”

Beyond refusing to take the necessary steps to ensure that persecuted Christians are rescued from annihilation, the State Department has been rejecting visa requests from Christian activists and leaders from persecuted communities to visit the US to share information about their suffering with the American public. This, at the same time that the administration has welcomed Muslim jihad sympathizers, including Muslim Brotherhood members, to Washington.

For instance, last May, the State Department denied a visa to Sister Diana Momeka, an Iraqi nun and ISIS survivor. Momeka was the only Christian member of a delegation of persecuted minorities. Representatives of every other group received visas. It took a public outcry to force the State Department to reverse its decision.

Also last year, the State Department gave visas to all Muslim regional governors in northern Nigeria to participate in a conference sponsored by the US Institute of Peace. They denied a visa to the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang. Christian activists alleged that Jang was denied a visa because he spoke up to US officials about anti-Christian persecution in 12 states in northern Nigeria that have instituted Sharia law.

What accounts for this behavior? The answer is not ignorance, but ideologically- motivated bigotry. The Aid to the Church in Need organization explained in its 2015 report on Christian persecution, “Christians have been targeted [because]… Christianity [is seen] as a foreign ‘colonial’ import. Christians are seen as linked to the West, which is perceived as corrupt and exploitative.”

In another report, the group explained that the Western media has avoided covering the story of the Islamic genocide of Middle East Christians because of “misplaced embarrassment about the 19th-century colonial powers evangelizing ‘the natives’ in far flung places.”

In other words, Middle Eastern Christians, whose communities predate Islam, are targeted because they are perceived as Western implants.

And the West ignores their suffering, because the Left in the West perceives them as Western implants.

In both cases, prejudices, rooted on the one hand in jihadist Islam, and on the other hand in Western self-hatred and post-colonialism, reach the same bigoted conclusion: the only “authentic” people in the Middle East are Muslims.

Everybody else is a colonial implant. And as such, they deserve what they get.

This then brings us back to Israel, and the Jews.

The same ideological prejudice that refuses to recognize that the Islamic State is Islamic, refuses to recognize that jihad is unique to Islam, refuses to recognize that Christians as religious minorities are being targeted for annihilation, and refuses to recognize that the Christians of the Middle East are ancient peoples who have lived in their communities since the dawn of Christianity, also refuse to recognize the rights of the Jewish people as the indigenous people of the land of Israel.

This is the reason that Western governments, led by the Obama administration, are unwilling to defeat ISIS. This is why they are giving preference to Muslim asylum-seekers, who they are incapable of screening, over Christians, who it is unnecessary to screen.

This is the reason that the same governments are far more willing to attack Jews for living beyond the 1949 armistice lines, in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – the cradle of Jewish civilization and the heartland of the land of Israel, than they are willing to end their support for the PA which sponsors and celebrates terrorism. This is why the same governments eagerly embrace every allegation of Israeli racism, real or imagined, while they ignore, or even fund racist Palestinian efforts to deny Jewish history, a history which leads to the inevitable conclusion that the Jews are the indigenous people of the land of Israel.

The reason Obama refuses to protect Middle East Christians from extinction is because he cannot rescue them – either on the ground or by ensuring they can flee to safety – without abandoning his ideological faith that the only “natives” of the Middle East are the Muslims.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick’s work, visit carolineglick.com

Also see:

The Bipartisan Enemy of the Good

secretary_kerry_with_president_al-sisi_july_2014Frontpage, by Caroline Glick, April 5, 2016:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

On March 25, The New York Times published an editorial effectively calling for US President Barack Obama to abandon the US alliance with Egypt.

The Obama White House’s house paper urged the president to “reassess whether an alliance that has long been considered a cornerstone of American national security policy is doing more harm than good.” The editorial concluded that Obama must “start planning for the possibility of a break in the alliance with Egypt.”

The Times’ call was based on an open letter to Obama authored by a bipartisan group of foreign policy experts that call themselves the “Working Group on Egypt.” Citing human rights violations on the part of the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Working Group urged Obama to tie US financial and military assistance to Egypt to the protection of NGOs operating in Egypt.

The self-proclaimed bipartisan band of experts is co-chaired by Robert Kagan from the Brookings Institution and Michele Dunne from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Among its prominent members are Elliott Abrams, Ellen Bork, Reuel Gerecht, Brian Katulis, Neil Hicks and Sarah Margon.

The Working Group has a history.

In January 2011, it called for Obama to force then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to resign from office. In so doing, it provided bipartisan cover for Obama’s decision to abandon the US’s most critical and dependable ally in the Arab world. Then, as now, the group’s esteemed experts argued that due to the regime’s infringement of human rights, the US could not in good conscience support it. Back in 2011, Israelis found a rare wall-to-wall unanimity of purpose in vocally and forcefully defending Mubarak from his American detractors. From the far Left to the far Right, from the IDF General Staff to the street, Israelis warned anyone who would listen that if Mubarak were forced out of power, the Muslim Brotherhood would take over and transform Egypt into a jihadist state.

Due in large part to the presence of senior Republican foreign policy hands on the Working Group, by and large Israel’s warnings were ignored in Washington. Facing the unusual Israeli consensus backing Mubarak was an American consensus insisting that “democracy” would ensure that a new liberal democratic Egypt would emerge out the ashes of the Mubarak regime.

The Americans chided us for repeating over and over again that the Muslim Brotherhood, the progenitor of al-Qaida, Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and every other major Sunni jihadist terrorist group around at the time, was a terrorist group.

We were attacked as “anti-democratic,” for insisting that the Facebook posters and twitterers on Twitter were in no position to replace Mubarak.

Who were we, the Americans scoffed, to point out that the “Facebook revolutionaries” were but a flimsy veneer which barely hid the Islamists from willfully blind Western officials and reporters who refused to admit that liberal values are not universal values – to put it mildly.

In the ensuing five years, every single warning that Israel expressed was borne out in spades.

Just as we said, right after Mubarak was forced from power, the Islamists unceremoniously dispatched with the Facebook crowd. The two million Islamists who converged on Tahrir Square to hear Sheikh Yussuf Qaradawi call for jihad and the Islamic conquest of Israel weren’t interested in democracy.

The women and Christians of Egypt soon realized, Mubarak’s overthrow, which paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood electoral victories in 2012, did not expand their rights, it endangered their lives. As for the hapless Americans, immediately after Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi was inaugurated to serve as president of Egypt, the government began demanding that the US release from prison Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheikh who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. The US embassy in Cairo was the target of jihadist riots on September 11, 2012.

Then, since Morsi was elected democratically, none of this was any sweat off the back of Washington’s Egypt experts. They supported sending F-16s to his air force even after he hosted then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Cairo, let Iranian warships traverse the Suez Canal and became a strategic ally of Hamas. They also supported his government, even though he enabled Libyan arms to flow through Egypt to Syria, transforming the war in Syria from a local dispute into the incubator for Islamic State – the precursor of which Morsi also gave a free hand to operate in the Sinai, in conjunction with Hamas.

The Americans didn’t reconsider their belief that Morsi was the guy for them, even after he allowed his Muslim Brothers to torch Coptic churches and massacre Christians. They didn’t revisit their support for the Muslim Brotherhood government even after Morsi arrogated to himself dictatorial powers that even Mubarak never dreamed of.

Perhaps if Morsi had been a responsible economic leader, and maintained the liberalization policies Mubarak enacted during his last five years in power, then defense minister Abdel Fatah Sisi wouldn’t have felt the need to remove him from power. After all, Morsi appointed Sisi to his position.

But in addition to ending even lip service to human rights, Morsi gutted the economy. By the time the military overthrew Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in the summer of 2013, Egypt had a mere $5 billion in reserves, and according to the World Health Organization, a quarter of Egyptians were starving.

So had the Muslim Brotherhood remained in power, Egypt would not have remained a democracy.

It would have become a jihadist state as dangerous as Iran, with the economic prospects of North Korea.

In other words, five years ago, there was no chance that a post-Mubarak Egypt would become a liberal democracy. There were only two options – a US-allied tyranny that fought jihad and maintained the peace with Israel, or a jihad state, aligned with Iran, that posed an existential threat to Israel, Jordan, the US and the international economy.

Those are still the choices today, but the stakes are even higher. Due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s year in power, the jihadist elements that gathered force in the Sinai over the past 20 years were able to organize as a more or less unified force, under the rule of Islamic State (ISIS), and in strategic alliance with Hamas. Like ISIS in Syria, ISIS in Egypt is an aggressive, dangerous group that stops at nothing to achieve its aims of expanding the ISIS empire.

The war it now fights against the Egyptian state is a total war.

To his credit, Sisi recognizes the nature of the threat and has taken steps to counter jihad that Mubarak never contemplated. The Egyptian leader recognizes that to defeat ISIS nothing less than a reformation of Islam is required. And so, in addition to fighting ISIS with everything he has, he is risking everything by taking on the jihadist belief system.

Sisi has mobilized the clerics at Al-Azhar seminary to develop an Islamic narrative that rejects jihad.

Sisi risks everything because everything is already at risk. If ISIS wins, Egypt is finished.

To win this war, he has publicly embraced Israel as an ally. He has openly sided with Israel against Hamas. Unlike Mubarak, Sisi has been fully willing to acknowledge that just because Hamas’s primary victims are Jews doesn’t mean that it isn’t a terrorist group that has to be destroyed.

Without putting too fine a point on in, for his fearless fight to the death with the forces of jihad – both in the mosque and on the battlefield – Sisi has already entered the pantheon, alongside Winston Churchill, of word historical figures. And yet, rather than embrace him and support him in his fight for Egypt and humanity, the same “experts” who called for Mubarak to be overthrown now urge Obama to abandon Sisi.

It is depressing that there is no magic bullet – like democracy – for the pathologies that afflict the Islamic world. But there is no magic bullet. And there are no easy choices for people who refuse to recognize that the natural state of man is neither liberal nor democratic.

But it is hard to accept the credibility of those who refuse to learn from their mistakes. It is harder still as well to listen to the “moral calls” of those who refuse to accept that because their past advice was heeded, thousands have died, and if their current calls are heeded, millions of lives will be imperiled.

Also see:

Rubio, Cruz and US Global Leadership

16470387237_589bd6b8ef_o_1Frontpage, by Caroline Glick, Dec. 18, 2015:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

At some point between 2006 and 2008, the American people decided to turn their backs on the world. Between the seeming futility of the war in Iraq and the financial collapse of 2008, Americans decided they’d had enough.

In Barack Obama, they found a leader who could channel their frustration. Obama’s foreign policy, based on denying the existence of radical Islam and projecting the responsibility for Islamic aggression on the US and its allies, suited their mood just fine. If America is responsible, then America can walk away. Once it is gone, so the thinking has gone, the Muslims will forget their anger and leave America alone.

Sadly, Obama’s foreign policy assumptions are utter nonsense. America’s abandonment of global leadership has not made things better. Over the past seven years, the legions of radical Islam have expanded and grown more powerful than ever before. And now in the aftermath of the jihadist massacres in Paris and San Bernadino, the threats have grown so abundant that even Obama cannot pretend them away.

As a consequence, for the first time in a decade, Americans are beginning to think seriously about foreign policy. But are they too late? Can the next president repair the damage Obama has caused? The Democrats give no cause for optimism. Led by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential hopefuls stubbornly insist that there is nothing wrong with Obama’s foreign policy. If they are elected to succeed him, they pledge to follow in his footsteps.

On the Republican side, things are more encouraging, but also more complicated.

Republican presidential hopefuls are united in their rejection of Obama’s policy of ignoring the Islamic supremacist nature of the enemy. All reject the failed assumptions of Obama’s foreign policy.

All have pledged to abandon them on their first day in office. Yet for all their unity in rejecting Obama’s positions, Republicans are deeply divided over what alternative foreign policy they would adopt.

This divide has been seething under the surface throughout the Obama presidency. It burst into the open at the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night.

The importance of the dispute cannot be overstated.

Given the Democrats’ allegiance to Obama’s disastrous policies, the only hope for a restoration of American leadership is that a Republican wins the next election. But if Republicans nominate a candidate who fails to reconcile with the realities of the world as it is, then the chance for a reassertion of American leadership will diminish significantly.

To understand just how high the stakes are, you need to look no further than two events that occurred just before the Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate.

On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to close its investigation of Iran’s nuclear program. As far as the UN’s nuclear watchdog is concerned, Iran is good to go.

The move is a scandal. Its consequences will be disastrous.

The IAEA acknowledges that Iran continued to advance its illicit military nuclear program at least until 2009. Tehran refuses to divulge its nuclear activities to IAEA investigators as it is required to do under binding UN Security Council resolutions.

Iran refuses to allow IAEA inspectors access to its illicit nuclear sites. As a consequence, the IAEA lacks a clear understanding of what Iran’s nuclear status is today and therefore has no capacity to prevent it from maintaining or expanding its nuclear capabilities. This means that the inspection regime Iran supposedly accepted under Obama’s nuclear deal is worthless.

The IAEA also accepts that since Iran concluded its nuclear accord with the world powers, it has conducted two tests of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons, despite the fact that it is barred from doing so under binding Security Council resolutions.

But really, who cares? Certainly the Obama administration doesn’t. The sighs of relief emanating from the White House and the State Department after the IAEA decision were audible from Jerusalem to Tehran.

The IAEA’s decision has two direct consequences.

First, as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday, it paves the way for the cancellation of the UN’s economic sanctions against Iran within the month.

Second, with the IAEA’s decision, the last obstacle impeding Iran’s completion of its nuclear weapons program has been removed. Inspections are a thing of the past. Iran is in the clear.

As Iran struts across the nuclear finish line, the Sunni jihadists are closing their ranks.

Hours after the IAEA vote, Turkey and Qatar announced that Turkey is setting up a permanent military base in the Persian Gulf emirate for the first time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. Their announcement indicates that the informal partnership between Turkey and Qatar on the one side, and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State on the other hand, which first came to the fore last year during Operation Protective Edge, is now becoming a more formal alliance.

Just as the Obama administration has no problem with Iran going nuclear, so it has no problem with this new jihadist alliance.

During Operation Protective Edge, the administration supported this jihadist alliance against the Israeli-Egyptian partnership. Throughout Hamas’s war against Israel, Obama demanded that Israel and Egypt accept Hamas’s cease-fire terms, as they were presented by Turkey and Qatar.

Since Operation Protective Edge, the Americans have continued to insist that Israel and Egypt bow to Hamas’s demands and open Gaza’s international borders. The Americans have kept up their pressure on Israel and Egypt despite Hamas’s open alliance with ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.

So, too, the Americans have kept Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at arm’s length, and continue to insist that the Muslim Brotherhood is a legitimate political force despite Sisi’s war against ISIS. Washington continues to embrace Qatar as a “moderate” force despite the emirate’s open support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and ISIS.

As for Turkey, it appears there is nothing Ankara can do that will dispel the US notion that it is a credible partner in the war on terror. Since 2011, Turkey has served as Hamas’s chief state sponsor, and as ISIS’s chief sponsor. It is waging war against the Kurds – the US’s strongest ally in its campaign against ISIS.

In other words, with the US’s blessing, the forces of both Shi’ite and Sunni jihad are on the march.

And the next president will have no grace period for repairing the damage.

Although the Republican debate Wednesday night was focused mainly on the war in Syria, its significance is far greater than one specific battlefield.

And while there were nine candidates on the stage, there were only two participants in this critical discussion.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz faced off after weeks of rising contention between their campaigns.

In so doing, they brought the dispute that has been seething through their party since the Bush presidency into the open.

Rubio argued that in Syria, the US needs to both defeat ISIS and overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Cruz countered that the US should ignore Assad and concentrate on utterly destroying ISIS. America’s national interest, he said, is not advanced by overthrowing Assad, because in all likelihood, Assad will be replaced by ISIS.

Cruz added that America’s experience in overthrowing Middle Eastern leaders has shown that it is a mistake to overthrow dictators. Things only got worse after America overthrew Saddam Hussein and supported the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak.

For his part, Rubio explained that since Assad is Iran’s puppet, leaving him in power empowers Iran. The longer he remains in power, the more control Iran will wield over Syria and Lebanon.

The two candidates’ dispute is far greater than the question of who rules Syria. Their disagreement on Syria isn’t a tactical argument. It goes to the core question of what is the proper role of American foreign policy.

Rubio’s commitment to overthrowing Assad is one component of a wider strategic commitment to fostering democratic governance in Syria. By embracing the cause of democratization through regime change, Rubio has become the standard bearer of George W. Bush’s foreign policy.

Bush’s foreign policy had two seemingly contradictory anchors – a belief that liberal values are universal, and cultural meekness.

Bush’s belief that open elections would serve as a panacea for the pathologies of the Islamic world was not supported by empirical data. Survey after survey showed that if left to their own devices, the people of Muslim world would choose to be led by Islamic supremacists. But Bush rejected the data and embraced the fantasy that free elections lead a society to embrace liberal norms of peace and human rights.

As to cultural meekness, since the end of the Cold War and with the rise of political correctness, the notion that America could call for other people to adopt American values fell into disrepute. For American foreign policy practitioners, the idea that American values and norms are superior to Islamic supremacist values smacked of cultural chauvinism.

Consequently, rather than urge the Islamic world to abandon Islamic supremacism in favor of liberal democracy, in their public diplomacy efforts, Americans sufficed with vapid pronouncements of love and respect for Islam.

Islamic supremacists, for their part stepped into the ideological void without hesitation. In Iraq, the Iranian regime spent hundreds of millions of dollars training Iranian-controlled militias, building Iranian-controlled political parties and publishing pro-Iranian newspapers as the US did nothing to support pro-American Iraqis.

Although many Republicans opposed Bush’s policies, few dared make their disagreement with the head of their party public. As a result, for many, Wednesday’s debate was the first time the foundations of Bush’s foreign policy were coherently and forcefully rejected before a national audience.

If Rubio is the heir to Bush, Cruz is the spokesman for Bush’s until now silent opposition. In their longheld view, democratization is not a proper aim of American foreign policy. Defeating America’s enemies is the proper aim of American foreign policy.

Rubio’s people claim that carpet bombing ISIS is not a strategy. They are right. There are parts missing from in Cruz’s position on Syria.

But then again, although still not comprehensive, Cruz’s foreign policy trajectory has much to recommend it. First and foremost, it is based on the world as it is, rather than a vision of how the world should be. It makes a clear distinction between America’s allies and America’s enemies and calls for the US to side with the former and fight the latter.

It is far from clear which side will win this fight for the heart of the Republican Party. And it is impossible to know who the next US president will be.

But whatever happens, the fact that after their seven-year vacation, the Americans are returning the real world is a cause for cautious celebration.

America’s Pathological Denial of Reality

1107789_1280x720Frontpage, by Caroline Glick, Dec. 4, 2015:

How much lower will America sink before it regains its senses? Wednesday, two Muslims walked into a Christmas party at a community service center in San Bernardino, California where one worked. They were wearing body armor and video cameras and carrying automatic rifles, pipe bombs and pistols. They opened fire, killed 14, and wounded 17.

The murderers, Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik were killed by police.

Speaking to the Daily News, Farook’s father said his son, “was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.”

Farook’s neighbor told the paper that over the past two years, Farook exchanged his Western dress for Islamic gowns and grew a beard.

These data points lead naturally to the conclusion that Farook and his wife were jihadists who killed in order to kill in the name of Islam.

But in America of December 2015, natural conclusions are considered irresponsible, at best.

In an interview with CNN following the shooting, US President Barack Obama said the massacre demonstrates that the US needs stricter gun laws. As for the motives of the shooters, Obama shrugged. “We don’t yet know the motives of the shooters,” he insisted.

In other words, while ignoring what in all likelihood drove Farooq and his wife to murder innocent people, Obama laid responsibility for the carnage at the feet of his political opponents who reject his demands for stricter limitations on gun ownership.

Here is the place to note that California has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the US.

According to the victims, Farook and his partners were able to reload their weapons and shoot without interruption for several minutes until the police arrived because there was no one to stop them.

Obama wasn’t alone in deflecting attention away from the likely motivations of the murderers.

Wednesday evening, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), held a press conference at the Islamic Center of Orange County. Farook’s brother in law, Farhan Khan was carted out before the cameras to tell the world that he for one had no idea why his brother in law opened fire.

Two other speakers at the event were Hussam Auyloush, CAIR’s regional executive director and Muzammil Siddiqi, the director of the Islamic Society of Orange County.

Auyloush insisted that he had no idea would could have possibly prompted Farook and his wife to murder those gathered at the center. Auyloush raised the prospect that they could have been mentally ill, or perhaps they just didn’t like the victims, or maybe they were garden-variety extremists.

For his part, Siddiqi insisted that Islam had nothing to do with the shooters’ decision to murder innocent people, (how he could be so certain, is unknown).

Siddiqi added that he hopes law enforcement bodies will conduct a full investigation into the “people and motives,” behind the attack.

To a degree, the very fact that Siddiqi had no compunction about stepping in front of the cameras just hours after the attack is proof that the US has lost its way.

If American elites were even semi-competent, Siddiqi would have faded into the shadows, never to emerge again 15 years ago.

Siddiqi is a known jihadist sympathizer. His close ties to jihadists have been a matter of public record since 2000.

In October 2000, Siddiqi spoke at an anti-Israel rally in Lafayette Park in Washington, DC. There he warned the American people that they must abandon their support for Israel lest “the wrath of God” be unleashed against them.

According to a profile of Siddiqi compiled by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, (IPT) in the late 1990s Siddiqi gave a speech extolling jihad and foreseeing Israel’s replacement with an Islamic state.

Among other things, Siddiqi said, “In order to gain the honor, jihad is the path, jihad is the way to receive the honor.”

Siddiqi converted Osama bin Laden’s senior aide, American jihadist Adam Gadahn. Gadahn converted to Islam at the Islamic Center of Orange County in 1995. According to a 2007 New Yorker profile, Siddiqi employed Gadahn at the Center in the years following his conversion. It was during this period that Gadahn was radicalized. He then went to Pakistan and joined al Qaida.

In 1992 Siddiqi hosted a blind sheikh named Omar Abdel Rahman at the Islamic Center. He stood beside Rahman and simultaneously translated his lecture about jihad to the audience of worshipers.

The next year, Rahman masterminded the first jihadist attack on the World Trade Center.

During the 1990s, Siddiqi served as the president of the Islamic Society of North America, a known Muslim Brotherhood front group. In 2007, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holyland terror financing trial.

Despite all of his connections to jihadists, US authorities insist that Siddiqi is a legitimate voice. In 2007 Stephen Tidwell, then assistant director of the FBI division in Los Angeles upheld Siddiqi as a moderate.

Speaking to the IPT, Tidwell said, “We have a very strong relationship with Dr. Siddiqi.”

Read more

Also see:

Losing the War of Ideas

150720-mohammad-youssef-abdulazeez-jpo-420a_dce920bdf1eede9e2aeb17509b9b0ab2.nbcnews-fp-1200-800

The West’s ideological delusions are now too dangerous to ignore.

Frontpage, by Caroline Glick, Sep. 3, 2015:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

We have arrived at the point where the consequences of the West’s intellectual disarmament at the hands of political correctness begins to have disastrous consequences in the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Speaking last month at the memorial service for the five US marines massacred at a recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said, “The meaning of their killing is yet unclear, and what combination of disturbed mind, violent extremism, and hateful ideology was at work, we don’t know.”

US Vice President Joe Biden claimed, the “perverse ideologues…may be able to inspire a single lone wolf, but they can never, never threaten who we are.”

Both men were wrong, and dangerously so.

The meaning of the killings was no mystery.

Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot his victims down in cold blood because he was a jihadist. He wrote of his devotion to the Islamic war for global domination on his blog. He downloaded messages from Anwar Awlaki, the American al-Qaida commander killed in a drone attack in Yemen in 2011.

Awlaki’s most prolific follower to date was US Army Major Nidal Malik Hassan who massacred 13 soldiers and wounded 32 in his November 2009 assault at Ft. Hood, Texas. Yet, just as the Obama administration denies to this day that Hassan operated out of devotion to the cause of Islamic global supremacy through genocidal war, so Carter pretended away Abdulazeez’s obvious motive. And Biden stood before those whose lives were shattered by jihad last month and told them that jihad was not a threat to their way of life.

Ideas are the most powerful human force. And the idea of jihad that the Obama administration will not discuss is perhaps the most powerful idea in the world’s marketplace of ideas today.

The notion of jihad is fairly simple. It asserts that Islam is the only true religion. All other faiths are wrong and evil. It is the destiny of the one true faith to reign supreme. The duty of all Muslims is to facilitate Islam’s global rise and dominion.

How this duty is borne varies. Some take up arms.

Some engage in indoctrination. Some engage in subversion. And some cheer from the sidelines, providing a fan base to encourage those more directly engaged. What is most important is the shared idea, the creed of jihad.

The jihadist creed is a creed of war. Consequently, its adherents cannot live peacefully with non-jihadists.

By definition, those who subscribe to a jihadist world view constitute a threat to those who do not share their belief system.

Rather than contend with the idea of jihad, the West, led by the US, insists on limiting its focus to the outward manifestations of jihadist beliefs.

Physical bases of jihadists in places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen are targeted to kill specific people – like Awlaki. But the ideas that inspire them to action are ignored or dismissed as irrelevant and interchangeable with other ideologies, like Zionism and fiscal conservatism.

Unlike the Americans, the jihadists understand the power of their idea. And they invest hundreds of millions of dollars to propagate it. MEMRI recently reported that Islamic State (IS) runs at least three production companies. They disseminate professional- quality videos daily. The videographers, composers and singers who produce these films are IS members, no different from its beheaders, sex traders and chemical weapons purveyors.

Like IS’s battle successes and its sex slave industry, these videos have already had a profound impact on the shape of the Islamic world and the threat jihadist Islam constitutes for its opponents worldwide.

From Nigeria to Egypt to the Palestinian Authority to Pakistan, in Europe, the US and South America, jihadist armies and individual Muslims are embracing the idea of the caliphate – the ultimate aim of jihad – and pledging or weighing the option of pledging loyalty to IS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

As a result, the never reasonable notion that you can limit war against jihad to the physical bases of IS and other terrorist groups while ignoring the idea that motivates their actions has become downright deadly.

Consider Egypt. As Yoni Ben-Menachem reported last month for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, on August 20, Baghdadi officially asked the Muslim Brotherhood to join IS and pledge loyalty to his caliphate. His request was completely reasonable.

Both IS and the Brotherhood share the same ideology, including the goal of Islamic domination through the renewed caliphate. Like the Brotherhood, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Ansar el-Makdis in the Sinai and other jihadist groups in Asia and Africa have already accepted Baghdadi’s invitation, pledged allegiance to the caliphate and changed their names to incorporate into the Islamic State.

Ben-Menachem noted that in January 2015, Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi said that Baghdadi is a member of the Brotherhood. Organizational cooperation, including military cooperation between IS and the Brotherhood, which is the largest organization in Egypt has grown steadily over the past two years since then defense minister Abdel Fattah Sisi overthrew the Brotherhood regime in July 2013.

IS’s goal is apparently to convince the young Brotherhood members to join forces. If the bid is successful, Egypt will become a tinderbox whose destructive force will be cataclysmic.

Then there is nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Last week the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center published a joint report warning that given Pakistan’s rate of nuclear activity, within five to 10 years Pakistan may have the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, behind only the US and Russia. According to the report, Pakistan is producing nuclear bombs four times faster than India.

The epicenter of Pakistan’s nuclear work is its Baluchistan province. IS’s popularity is high and growing in the area, as it is throughout much of Pakistan.

Indian intelligence reports claim that Pakistan’s security forces are making the same cynical use of IS that they have made of al-Qaida and the Taliban.

ISI, Pakistan’s spy service, facilitates the operations of these groups in order to coerce the US to provide Pakistan with more aid, which it is expected to use to contain the threat it has itself cultivated.

This game has been going on for decades. But there is no reason to assume that as IS gains power and adherents, the same Pakistani security forces that believe they can control IS will not end up joining it. And as a consequence, the danger that bombs they now build will fall under Baghdadi’s control is real and growing.

Last week the Pentagon’s Inspector General announced it is investigating reports that the Obama administration has required US intelligence agencies to minimize their reporting on the threat IS poses. Intelligence officers have allegedly been ordered to exaggerate the success of the US’s anemic campaign against its bases in Iraq and Syria while understating the threat IS constitutes.

Over the past year, jihadists published the home addresses of American soldiers and officers. On numerous occasions, what an FBI alert referred to as “Middle Eastern men” accosted the wives of US soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan outside of their homes.

Speaking to concerned soldiers last week, Carter again pretended away the problem. While insisting that protecting soldiers is “job one for all of us,” Carter insisted that the threat was limited to “a few troubled losers who are on the Internet too much.”

Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop warned in June that IS may already have sufficient nuclear material to produce a dirty bomb. As we have seen with IS’s wide-scale use of chemical weapons in Iraq, we must assume that its fighters will use all weapons at their disposal.

Had the West – led by the US – been willing to abandon the intellectual straitjacket of political correctness with which it has willingly shackled itself, IS may very well have been a marginal movement able to attract no more than “a few troubled losers who are on the Internet too much.”

Biden’s pledge that while “perverse ideologues…may be able to inspire a single lone wolf they can never, never threaten who we are” might have been credible.

But because of our voluntary intellectual enslavement, we now face a real danger that IS and its demonic notions will take over Egypt. Because we seek to ignore the creed of jihad, Pakistan’s fast growing nuclear arsenal could very well become the property of the caliphate.

Ideas are the force that drives history. If we aren’t willing to fight for what we believe, then we will lose to those who are. And make no mistake, we are not winning this war.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick’s work, visit carolineglick.com

Where Iranian Sanctions Relief Would Really Go

3958230109
Secure Freedom Radio, Aug. 7, 2015:

With Clare Lopez, Claudia Rosett, Dr. Michael O’Hanlon, Prof. Peter Navarro

CLARE LOPEZ, Vice President of Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy:

  • A disconnect between the president’s rhetoric on the Iran deal and the agreement’s actual content
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer’s decision to not support the deal and its implications for Congress
  • Who Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani is and why he was sanctioned
  • Sarah Steelman’s point that the deal will force U.S. states to remove sanctions on terrorist sponsors
CLAUDIA ROSETT, Journalist-In-Residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies:

Dr. MICHAEL O’HANLON, Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution:

  • General thoughts on the Iranian nuclear deal and if Congress should pass it
  • The problem of immediate, large-scale sanctions relief for the Iranians
  • General John Campbell’s recent analysis of the situation in Afghanistan
  • The current state of the Taliban and whether parts of it are joining the Islamic State

Prof. Peter Navarro, Author of the forthcoming Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World:

  • An economic explanation of the national security threat from China
  • Consensus among experts on the dangers on an expanding Chinese military
  • Obama backing down on currency manipulation and the flawed economic interdependence argument concerning Beijing

***

Fox: Iran’s Terrorist General Visits Putin in Russia By Jennifer Griffin

***

Dr Michael Rubin Ph.D.: The Iran Deal

Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Thursday, July 24, 2015.

***

Caroline Glick: The Iran Deal – Implications for International Security

Recorded at a Center for Security Policy National Security Briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, August 6th, 2015.

Also see:

How and Why to Kill the Deal

mideast-iran-election_horo4-e1371313739782Frontpage, by Caroline Glick, July 23, 2015:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post. 

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius is a reasonable man. After hearing back to back interviews with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Obama administration’s pact with Iran’s ayatollahs, he tried to balance them out.

Speaking Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, Ignatius equivocated that on the one hand, “My takeaway [from Kerry] is that the details of this deal are pretty solid, that it’s been carefully negotiated, that it will hold up for 10 years or more.”

On the other hand, he said, “Netanyahu is right. Iran is a dangerous destabilizing force in the Middle East. So somehow good policy seems to me to use the deal to cap the nuclear threat that Iran would pose for 10 years but work on that other problem.”

Ignatius’s remarks serve to justify supporting the deal. After all, if Obama’s agreement caps Iran’s nuclear program for 10 years, then it’s a good thing. As for the other stuff, it can be dealt with separately.

Unfortunately, while eminently reasonable sounding, Ignatius’s analysis is incorrect. Kerry’s details of the deal are beside the point. The big picture is the only thing that matters. That picture has two main points.

First, the deal guarantees that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Second, it gives $150 billion to the mullahs.

The details of the deal – the number of centrifuges that keep spinning, the verification mechanisms, the dispute resolution procedures, etc. – are all debatable, and largely irrelevant, at least when compared to the two irrefutable aspects of the big picture.

According to the administration, today Iran needs a year to use the nuclear materials it is known to possess to make a nuclear bomb. Other sources claim that Iran requires several months to accomplish the task.

Since these materials will remain in Iran’s possession under the deal, if Iran abandons the agreement, it will need at most a year to build nuclear weapons.

Then there are the unknown aspects of Iran’s nuclear program. We must assume that Iran has ongoing covert nuclear operations in unknown installations through which it has acquired unknown capabilities.

These capabilities will likely reduce the time Iran requires to make bombs.

Under the deal, the US and its negotiating partners are required to protect Iran’s nuclear assets from sabotage and other forms of attack. They are required as well to teach Iran how to develop and use more advanced centrifuges. As a consequence, when the agreement expires, Iran will be able to build nuclear bombs at will.

If Iran remains a threat, the deal bars the US from taking any steps to counter it aside from all-out war.

The agreement ends the international sanctions regime against Iran. With the sanctions goes any prospect of an international coalition joining forces to take military action against Iran, if Iran does walk away from the deal. So sanctions are gone, deterrence is gone. And that leaves only war.

In other words, far from diminishing the chance of war, the deal makes it inevitable that Iran will get the bomb or there will be a full scale war, or both.

Then there is the jackpot payback.

Who knows? Maybe the mullahs will use their $150b. to finance new women’s universities in Tehran and Mashhad, and a seminary for Islamic liberalism in Qom.

Or maybe the money will be used to fund insurgencies and proxy wars and terror campaigns throughout the region and the world.

The extraordinary thing about the deal is that the only person who gets a say in how that money is spent is Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And Khamenei has been pretty clear about how he intends to use the cash.

In back to back anti-American rants on Friday and Saturday, Khamenei repeatedly threatened the US and extolled calls for its destruction. Speaking in front of a banner at Friday prayers which declared “We will trample America,” Khamenei praised calls for “Death to America.”

Saturday he promised to continue to fund and sponsor terrorism and proxy wars. Just as notably, he refused to commit to upholding the nuclear deal with the US and the other five powers.

As far as the Obama administration is concerned, now that the UN Security Council has anchored the agreement in a binding resolution and so given the force of international law to a deal that guarantees Iran will receives the bomb and $150b., the deal is done. It cannot be walked back.

But this is not necessarily true. Congress may have more power than it realizes to kill the deal before Iran gets the money and before its other provisions are implemented.

Over the months leading up to the conclusion of negotiations last Tuesday, Obama refused to acknowledge that he was negotiating a treaty. Rather he said it was nothing more than an executive agreement.

Consequently, he argued, the US Senate’s sole authority to ratify treaties by two-thirds majority would be inapplicable to the deal with Iran.

Obama also said he would further sideline Congress by anchoring the deal in a binding UN Security Council resolution. This resolution would force Obama’s successor to uphold the deal after he leaves office.

Obama mitigated his position slightly when Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, drafted the Corker-Cardin bill with veto-proof majorities in both houses. The bill, which Obama reluctantly signed into law, requires Obama to submit the deal to an up or down vote in both houses. If more than two thirds of Senators and Congressmen oppose it, then the US will not abrogate its unilateral sanctions against Iran.

In other words, Obama agreed that if Congress turned the Constitution on its head by replacing the two-thirds Senate majority required to approve a treaty with a two-thirds bicameral majority necessary to disapprove his executive agreement – then he wouldn’t go to the Security Council until after Congress voted.

When Obama betrayed his pledge and went to the Security Council on Monday, he gave Congress an opening to reconsider its position, ditch the restrictive Corker-Cardin law and reassert the Senate’s treaty approving authority.

As former US federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued in National Review last week, by among other things canceling the weapons and missile embargoes on Iran, the six-power deal with Iran went well beyond the scope of the Corker-Cardin law, which dealt only with nuclear sanctions relief. As a consequence, Congress can claim that there is no reason to invoke it.

Rather than invoke Corker-Cardin, Congress can pass a joint resolution determining that the deal with Iran is a treaty and announce that pursuant to the US Constitution, the Senate will schedule a vote on it within 30 days. Alternatively, Congress can condition the Iran deal’s legal stature on the passage of enabling legislation – that requires simple majorities in both houses.

Dan Darling, foreign policy adviser to Republican Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul wrote Monday that senators can use Senate procedure to force the Foreign Relations Committee to act in this manner. Darling argued that House Speaker John Boehner can either refuse to consider the deal since it is a treaty, or insist on passing enabling legislation under normal legislative procedures.

Monday Netanyahu explained that by keeping US sanctions in force, Congress can limit Iran’s capacity to move beyond the current sanctions regime even after it is canceled. Every state and firm considering business opportunities with Tehran will have to weigh them against the opportunity cost of being barred from doing business with the US.

Iran for its part may walk away from the deal entirely if Congress acts in this manner. If it does, then the US will not be obligated by any of the deal’s requirements. The continued viability of the Security Council resolution will be something for the lawyers to argue over.

The devil in Obama’s deal with Iran is not in the mind-numbing details, but in the big picture. The deal guarantees Iran will get the bomb. It gives the Iranian regime $150b.

To secure these concessions, Obama has trampled congressional authority.

If the American people think this doesn’t advance their national interest, they should encourage their congressional representatives to ditch Corker-Cardin and use their full authority, as a co-equal branch of the government, to scupper it.

Also see:

Ex-Congressman Allen West Explodes Over Iran Deal During Fiery and Emotional Times Square Speech

obama_kerry_bikesThe Blaze, by Jason Howerton, July 22, 2015:

Former Florida Congressman Allen West absolutely exploded over the Iran nuclear deal during a fiery speech at a “Stop Iran Deal Rally” in New York City’s Times Square on Wednesday. The Republican strongly criticized President Barack Obama’s leadership on the issue, calling him a “weakling” and “charlatan.”

West asked the crowd of thousands “what message” the United States is sending by negotiating with the “number one state sponsor of terrorism” and a country that is holding “four Americans hostage.”

“No different than the last time we had a weakling in the White House when we had 52 Americans being held hostage,” he added, referring to the Iranian hostage crisis during the Jimmy Carter administration.

Later in his fiery speech, West accused Obama and other administration officials of “surrendering” to the Republic of Iran.

“I want President Obama to know one thing,” West said. “You may say that you have done something that no one else has done. You know why no one else has done it? Because it’s a damn stupid thing you just did.”

He continued: “If people are upset because of what I’m saying, I really don’t care. Because I had a father that stood at World War II…I gave 22 years of my life to make sure that that great beacon of liberty, freedom and democracy continues to stand. And I have a nephew, I have friends that are still serving on the front lines — and my commitment is to the oath that I took on 31, July, 1982, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Organizers estimated roughly 10,000 people attended the rally on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Watch West’s speech below:

***

Times Square Anti-Iran Deal Rally Draws Record Crowd, Will Congress Listen?

Caroline Glick’s speech was almost as fiery as Allen West’s. She began saying she came to the rally:

“From the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem. And one thing’s for sure we came home after two thousand years of yearning and we aren’t going anywhere. And to all the mullahs in Iran, all the ayatollahs and their friends in Hamas, in Hezbollah, we’re not going anywhere, Am Yisrael Chai [the nation of Israel lives]!

Glick gave the crowd two points to remind Chuck Schumer about deal. The first of which was the agreement:

“Gives the mullahs $150 billion as a signing bonus, one-hundred-and-fifty-billion -dollars. As my grandmother in Brooklyn would have said, that’s real money. That’s real money that you’re putting the hands of murderers! That you are putting in the hands of people who every day chant, death to America and stomp on the flag of the United States!”

The second point was that even if Iran abides by the agreement, “in ten years’ time it can build nuclear weapons at will and we’re not even talking about cheating.”

“So Senator Schumer, Representative Nadler, Representative Engle, what don’t you understand, what do you need to study, what isn’t clear here? Is there a question of what you must do if you wish to raise your hand in public and say, I am a man of honor?

No question. No details! Look at the big picture!  You know what to do, unless you have no honor and no shame!”

Glick concluded with,

“Tell your lawmakers. Tell your friends. Tell the President of the United States to kill this deal. To preserve life, to preserve liberty, to preserve freedom, this deal must be killed. Thank you, God bless America, Am Yisrael Chai.”

The rally ended at 8:30 after the NYPD gave the organizers and extra hour over their permit  as many of the speakers ran over their allotted time. During the closing rush, the final three speakers were called up at once to deliver a trimmed down message.

In the end it was a great start, a giant crowd excited by the speakers to do what Frank Gaffney founder of the Center For Security Policy told them to do, “Urge Congress to kill this deal before it kills us.” 

Thousands Of Protesters Rally In Times Square Against Iran Nuclear Deal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)  Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Times Square Wednesday evening in protest over the recent landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, some 10 thousand are rallying in solidarity with signs and voices raised against the nuclear deal.

Protest organizers proclaim: “Washington is prepared to give Iran virtually all that it needs to get to the bomb. To release $150 billion to Iran will result in the expansion of worldwide terror.”

Former New York Governor, and Presidential contender, George Pataki joined the chorus of voices urging lawmakers to block the deal.

“Reject this deal. Protect America. Protect Israel and protect the world from freedom,” Pataki said.

The Stop Iran Rally Coalition — which claims to be a bi-partisan group — is also calling out Sen. Charles Schumer, saying he “has the votes as presumptive leader to override this deal….If this deal is not stopped, New York voters will know whom to blame.”

Sen. Schumer said in a statement Wednesday that he wasn’t ready to make a decision on the deal yet.

“I’ve read the agreement and I’m seeking answers to the many questions I have. Before I make a decision, I’m going to speak at length with experts on both sides,” the lawmaker said. Read more

Obama’s age of nuclear chaos

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures as he talks with journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures as he talks with journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria. (photo credit:REUTERS)

 

Jerusalem Post, by Caroline Glick, July 16, 2015:

On Tuesday, we moved into a new nuclear age.

In the old nuclear age, the US-led West had a system for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It had three components: sanctions, deterrence and military force. In recent years we have witnessed the successful deployment of all three.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, the UN Security Council imposed a harsh sanctions regime on Iraq. One of its purposes was to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons. After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, we learned that the sanctions had been successful. Saddam largely abandoned his nuclear program due to sanctions pressure.

The US-led invasion of Iraq terrified several rogue regimes in the region. In the two to three years immediately following the invasion, America’s deterrent strength soared to unprecedented heights.

As for military force, the nuclear installation that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad built in Deir a-Zour with Iranian money and North Korean technicians wasn’t destroyed through sanctions or deterrence. According to foreign media reports, in September 2007, Israel concluded that these paths to preventing nuclear proliferation to Syria would be unsuccessful.

So then-prime minister Ehud Olmert ordered the IDF to destroy it. The outbreak of the Syrian civil war three years later has prevented Assad and his Iranian bosses from reinstating the program, to date.

The old nuclear nonproliferation regime was highly flawed.

Pakistan and North Korea exploited the post-Cold War weaknesses of its sanctions and deterrence components to develop and proliferate nuclear weapons and technologies.

Due to American weakness, neither paid a serious price for its actions.

Yet, for all its flaws and leaks, the damage caused to the nonproliferation system by American weakness toward Pakistan and North Korea is small potatoes in comparison to the destruction that Tuesday’s deal with Iran has wrought.

That deal doesn’t merely show that the US is unwilling to exact a price from states that illicitly develop nuclear weapons. The US and its allies just concluded a deal that requires them to facilitate Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Not only will the US and its allies remove the sanctions imposed on Iran over the past decade and so start the flow of some $150 billion to the ayatollahs’ treasury. They will help Iran develop advanced centrifuges.

They even committed themselves to protecting Iran’s nuclear facilities from attack and sabotage.

Under the deal, in five years, Iran will have unlimited access to the international conventional arms market. In eight years, Iran will be able to purchase and develop whatever missile systems it desires.

And in 10 years, most of the limitations on its nuclear program will be removed.

Because the deal permits Iran to develop advanced centrifuges, when the agreement ends in 10 years, Iran will be positioned to develop nuclear weapons immediately.

In other words, if Iran abides by the agreement, or isn’t punished for cheating on it, in 10 years, the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world will be rich, in possession of a modernized military, a ballistic missile arsenal capable of carrying nuclear warheads to any spot on earth, and the nuclear warheads themselves.

Facing this new nuclear reality, the states of the region, including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and perhaps the emirates, will likely begin to develop nuclear arsenals. ISIS will likely use the remnants of the Iraqi and Syrian programs to build its own nuclear program.

Right now, chances are small that Congress will torpedo Barack Obama’s deal. Obama and his backers plan to spend huge sums to block Republican efforts to convince 13 Democratic senators and 43 Democratic congressmen to vote against the deal and so achieve the requisite two-thirds majority to cancel American participation in the deal.

Despite the slim chances, opponents of the deal, including Israel, must do everything they can to convince the Democrats to vote against it in September. If Congress votes down the deal, the nuclear chaos Obama unleashed on Tuesday can be more easily reduced by his successor in the White House.

If Congress rejects the deal, then US sanctions against Iran will remain in force. Although most of the money that will flow to Iran as a result of the deal is now frozen due to multilateral sanctions, and so will be transferred to Iran regardless of congressional action, retaining US sanctions will make it easier politically and bureaucratically for Obama’s replacement to take the necessary steps to dismantle the deal.

Just as the money will flow to Iran regardless of Congress’s vote, so Iran’s path to the bomb is paved regardless of what Congress does.

Under one scenario, if Congress rejects the deal, Iran will walk away from it and intensify its nuclear activities in order to become a nuclear threshold state as quickly as possible. Since the deal has destroyed any potential international coalition against Iran’s illegal program, no one will bat a lash.

Obama will be deeply bitter if Congress rejects his “historic achievement.” He can be expected to do as little as possible to enforce the US sanctions regime against his Iranian comrades. Certainly he will take no military action against Iran’s nuclear program.

As a consequence, regardless of congressional action, Iran knows that it has a free hand to develop nuclear weapons at least until the next president is inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

The other possible outcome of a congressional rejection of the deal is that Iran will stay in the deal and the US will be the odd man out.

In a bid to tie the hands of her boss’s successor and render Congress powerless to curb his actions, the day before the deal was concluded, Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power circulated a binding draft resolution to Security Council members that would prohibit member nations from taking action to harm the agreement.

If the resolution passes – and it is impossible to imagine it failing to pass – then Iran can stay in the deal, develop the bomb with international support and the US will be found in breach of a binding UN Security Council resolution.

Given that under all scenarios, Tuesday’s deal ensures that Iran will become a threshold nuclear power, it must be assumed that Iran’s neighbors will now seek their own nuclear options.

Moreover, in light of Obama’s end-run around the Congress, it is clear that regardless of congressional action, the deal has already ruined the 70-year old nonproliferation system that prevented nuclear chaos and war.

After all, now that the US has capitulated to Iran, its avowed foe and the greatest state sponsor of terrorism, who will take future American calls for sanctions against nuclear proliferators seriously? Who will be deterred by American threats that “all options are on the table” when the US has agreed to protect Iran’s nuclear installations and develop advanced centrifuges for the same ayatollahs who daily chant, “Death to America”? For Israel, the destruction of the West’s nonproliferation regime means that from here on out, we will be living in a region buzzing with nuclear activity. Until Tuesday, Israel relied on the West to deter most of its neighbors from developing nuclear weapons. And when the West failed, Israel dealt with the situation by sending in the air force. Now, on the one hand Israel has no West to rely on for sanctions or deterrence, and on the other hand, it has limited or no military options of its own against many of the actors that will now seek to develop nuclear arsenals.

Consider Israel’s situation. How could Israel take action against an Egyptian or Jordanian nuclear reactor, for instance? Both neighboring states are working with Israel to defeat jihadist forces threatening them all. And that cooperation extends to other common threats. Given these close and constructive ties, it’s hard to see how Israel could contemplate attacking them.

But on the other hand, the regimes in Amman and Cairo are under unprecedented threat.

In theory they can be toppled at any moment by jihadist forces, from the Muslim Brotherhood to ISIS. It’s already happened once in Egypt.

The same considerations apply to Saudi Arabia.

As for Turkey, its NATO membership means that if Israel were to attack Turkish nuclear sites, it would run the risk of placing itself at war not only with Turkey, but with NATO.

Given Israel’s limited military options, we will soon find ourselves living under constant nuclear threat. Under these new circumstances, Israel must invest every possible effort in developing and deploying active nuclear defenses.

One key aspect to this is missile defense systems, which Israel is already developing.

But nuclear bombs can be launched in any number of ways.

Old fashioned bombs dropped from airplanes are one option.

Artillery is another. Even suicide trucks are good for the job.

Israel needs to develop the means to defend itself against all of these delivery mechanisms. At the same time, we will need to operate in hostile countries such as Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere to destroy deliveries of nuclear materiel whether transferred by air, sea or land.

Here is the place to mention that Israel still may have the ability to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. If it does, then it should attack them as quickly and effectively as possible.

No, a successful Israeli attack cannot turn back the clock. Israel cannot replace the US as a regional superpower, dictating policy to our neighbors. But a successful attack on Iran’s nuclear program along with the adoption of a vigilantly upheld strategy of active nuclear defense can form the basis of a successful Israeli nuclear defense system.

And no, Israel shouldn’t be overly concerned with how Obama will respond to such actions.

Just as Obama’s nuclear capitulation to Iran has destroyed his influence among our Arab neighbors, so his ability to force Israel to sit on the sidelines as he gives Iran a nuclear arsenal is severely constrained.

How will he punish Israel for defying him? By signing a nuclear deal with Iran that destroys 70 years of US nonproliferation strategy, allows the Iranian regime to grow rich on sanctions relief, become a regional hegemon while expanding its support for terrorism and develop nuclear weapons? Years from now, perhaps historians will point out the irony that Obama, who loudly proclaims his goal of making the world free of nuclear weapons, has ushered in an era of mass nuclear proliferation and chaos.

Israel can ill afford the luxury of pondering irony.

One day the nuclear Furies Obama has unleashed may find their way to New York City.

But their path to America runs through Israel. We need to ready ourselves to destroy them before they cross our border.

Also see:

  • The Deal Wasn’t About Iran’s Nukes (commentarymagazine.com) – The administration readily caved on Iran’s nukes because it viewed the matter only as a timely pretense for achieving other cherished aims. These were: (1) preventing an Israeli attack on Iran; (2) transforming the United States into a more forgiving, less imposing power; (3) establishing diplomacy as a great American good in itself; (4) making Iran into a great regional power; and (5), ensuring the legacies of the president and secretary of state as men of vision and peace.
  • Iran Deal: Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle (clarionproject.org) Instead of disarming Iran, the nuclear deal disarms America, Mauro says. “It keeps Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in place, but removes America’s ability to defend ourselves economically and militarily by lifting the sanctions and the arms embargo.”

  • Iran Deal Dangerous & Disconnected from Reality (understandingthethreat.com) – The United States government is giving Iran – a nation which has clearly and openly declared its commitment to global jihad in it’s Constitution and elsewhere – a free pass to billions of dollars, open trade to prepare itself for the coming war, and all it needs to get the nuclear weapons it longs for. Can this not be called “Treason”?

  • Iranian President Crows Deal Recognizes Country’s Nuclear Status (investagativeproject.org) – Tuesday marked “a day when, historically, the largest countries in the world and the superpowers officially recognized Iran’s nuclear activity,” Rouhani said after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was released between Iran and the P5+1 in Vienna.

    Iran, he said, accomplished its four main objectives from the negotiations.

    “The first was to continue the nuclear capabilities, the nuclear technology, and even the nuclear activity. The second was to remove the mistaken, oppressive, and inhuman sanctions. The third was to remove the Security Council resolutions that we see as illegitimate. The fourth was to remove the nuclear dossier from Chapter VII of the UN Charter and the Security Council in general.”

  • IPT Shillman Fellow Pete Hoekstra and Amb. James Woolsey break down the Iran nuclear agreement (investigativeproject.org)

  • Iran Bans U.S. Inspectors from All Nuclear Sites (freebeacon.com) – 

    Under the tenants of the final nuclear deal reached this week in Vienna, only countries with normal diplomatic relations with Iran will be permitted to participate in inspections teams organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    The revelation of this caveat has attracted concern from some analysts who maintain that only American experts can be trusted to verify that Iran is not cheating on the deal and operating clandestine nuclear facilities.

    The admission is the latest in a series of apparent concessions made by the United States to Iran under the deal. Other portions of the agreement include a promise by the United States to help Iran combat nuclear sabotage and threats to its program.

Israel’s Peace Fantasists in Action

1ef9b765-5e3e-47eb-bb2e-87e35fc8c7a6_16x9_600x338-450x253Frontpage, by Caroline Glick, may 15, 2015:

The Saudis are in play, casting about for partners.

In a clear vote of no-confidence in US President Barack Obama’s leadership, Saudi King Salman led several Arab leaders in blowing off Obama’s Camp David summit this week. The summit was meant to compensate the Sunni Arabs for Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Salman’s decision is further proof that US-Saudi relations have jumped the tracks. For 70 years the Saudis subcontracted their national security to the US military. Deals were closed with a wink and a nod. That’s all over now.

Obama has destroyed Washington’s credibility. Salman views its gentleman’s agreements as worthless. All he wants now is military hardware. And for that, he can send a stand-in.

The Saudis never put all their eggs in America’s basket. For 70 years the Saudis played a double game, maintaining strategic alliances both with the liberal West and the most reactionary forces in the Islamic world. The Saudis pocketed petrodollars from America and Europe and transferred them to terrorists and jihadist preachers in mosques in the US, Europe and worldwide.

Iran isn’t the Saudis’ only concern. Although for outsiders the worldview of the theocracy governing Saudi Arabia seems all but identical to the worldview of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis consider the Brotherhood a mortal foe. The Saudis claim that their tribal, top-down regime is the genuine expression of Islam. The Brotherhood’s populist, grassroots organization rejects their legitimacy.

And so, since the Arab revolutionary wave began in late 2010, the Saudis opposed the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis are the primary bankrollers of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s regime.

During Operation Protective Edge last summer, the Saudis sided with Sisi and Israel against Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its Turkish and Qatari state sponsors. Although Saudi Arabia had previously been a major funder of Hamas, that backing ended in 2005 when, following Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas forged strategic ties with Iran.

For the past five years, the Saudis worked against both the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. But in recent months they began reconsidering their two-war approach.

With the Iranian-backed Houthis’ takeover of Yemen and the US’s conclusion of its framework nuclear deal with Iran, the Saudis apparently determined that weakening Iran takes precedence over fighting the Brotherhood. With its Houthi proxies in Yemen deployed along the Saudi border abutting Shi’ite-majority border provinces, and fighting for control over the Bab el Mandab, Iran now poses an immediate and existential threat to Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, as the Saudis see it, the threat posed by the Brotherhood has severely diminished since Sisi began his campaign to destroy its infrastructure in Egypt. So long as Sisi continues weakening the Brotherhood in Egypt and Libya, the Saudis feel safe working with the Brotherhood and its state sponsors Turkey and Qatar in Syria and Yemen. To this end, much to Washington’s dismay, the Saudis are willing to back a consortium of rebel groups in Syria that include the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offshoots are not the only strange bedfellows the Saudis are willing to work with in their bid to neutralize Iran.

They have also signaled a willingness to work with Israel.

Read more

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.

In Israel’s hour of need

iranian-bomb-300x225By Caroline Glick, February 27th, 2015

It is hard to get your arms around the stubborn determination of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. For most of the nine years he has served as Israel’s leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009, Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure. He signed deals with the Palestinians he knew the Palestinians would never uphold in the hopes of winning the support of hostile US administrations and a fair shake from the pathologically hateful Israeli media.

In recent years he released terrorist murderers from prison. He abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these things in a bid to accommodate US President Barack Obama and win over the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy.

For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly.

He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence, embracing the jihadist lie that Israel’s existence is the product of post-Holocaust European guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.

He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating that the application of economic sanctions against Israel – illegal under the World Trade Organization treaties – are a natural response to Israel’s unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian demands.

Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.
And yet, despite Obama’s scandalous treatment of Israel, Netanyahu has continued to paper over differences in public and thank Obama for the little his has done on Israel’s behalf. He always makes a point of thanking Obama for agreeing to Congress’s demand to continue funding the Iron Dome missile defense system (although Obama has sought repeatedly to slash funding for the project).

Obama’s policies that are hostile to Israel are not limited to his unconditional support for the Palestinians in their campaign against Israel. Obama shocked the entire Israeli defense community when he supported the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, despite Mubarak’s dependability as a US ally in the war on Islamist terrorism, and as the guardian of both Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and the safety and freedom of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.

Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow despite the fact that the only political force in Egypt capable of replacing him was the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is the ideological home and spawning ground of jihadist terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and Hamas. Obama then supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime even as then-president Mohamed Morsi took concrete steps to transform Egypt into an Islamist, jihadist state and end Egypt’s peace with Israel.
Israelis were united in our opposition to Obama’s behavior. But Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama’s destructive, dangerous policy.

He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.
He held his tongue, because he believed that the damage Obama was causing Israel was not irreversible in most cases. And it was better to maintain the guise of good relations, in the hopes of actually achieving them, than to expose the fractures in US-Israel ties caused by Obama’s enormous hostility toward Israel and by his strategic myopia that endangered both Israel and the US’s other regional allies.

And yet, today Netanyahu, the serial accommodator, is putting everything on the line. He will not accommodate. He will not be bullied. He will not be threatened, even as all the powers that have grown used to bringing him to his knees – the Obama administration, the American Jewish Left, the Israeli media, and the Labor party grow ever more shrill and threatening in their attacks against him.

As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama administration where accommodation is no longer possible.

Obama’s one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.

Read more

Also see:

The War On Israel and the Middle East

Frontpage:

Below are the video and transcript to the panel discussion “The War on Israel and the Middle East,” which took place at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 20th Anniversary Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 13th-16th at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. 

Daniel Pipes: I’d like to make three geostrategic points in my few minutes, and I apologize in advance for having to leave, but the plane schedule is as it is. The first point is that — and this has been said before, I’d like to reiterate it — that Iran is a far greater threat than ISIS, and we are making an extraordinary mistake in joining with the Iranians against ISIS. Need one point out that ISIS has perhaps $5 million a day in oil revenue and 15,000 troops and, granted, a dynamism, but that Iran is a powerful state of 75 million people, an oil revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars, and an army of hundreds of thousands and, of course, a terror network and is building up their weapons? I would predict to you, ladies and gentleman, that ISIS, which appeared so suddenly, will disappear suddenly as well because it has so many enemies, it is so overextended, it is trying to do so much at the same time that it is going to collapse before very long and it is going to disappear as a state whereas Iran is going to be a longer lasting entity.

Let me also predict that the real importance of ISIS, Islamic state, ISIL, Daesh, call it what you will, lies not in this sizeable state that now exists between Bagdad and Turkey but rather in the resurrection of the idea of the caliphate. The last executive caliph with power was in the 940s — 940s, not 1940s — a long, long time ago. Yes, the institution of the caliphate continued until 1924, but it was meaningless. It was just a title. The actual caliphate, executive caliphate, disappeared over a millennium ago and then suddenly, this man who calls himself Caliphate Ibrahim resurrected it on June 29, 2014, and this has sent a frisson of excitement through the Muslim world, and this has created the notion of a feasible caliphate once again after having been gone for a millennium, and this is important. I can well imagine other groups taking up this same standard and demanding that they be accepted as the caliphate. I can further imagine that states such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and even Iran in its own Shiite way taking up the claim of caliphate and so this turns Islamist politics into an even more radical direction than it has been in the past and therefore is a very negative development, but that is an idea, and the notion that the U.S. government should be working with Iran against ISIS is madness, just simple madness.

Iran is the ultimate enemy, which is my second point. Iran is of course the ultimate enemy today. The acquisition by Iranian leadership of nuclear weapons will not only change the Middle East but will change the world. Other tyrants have had nuclear weapons — think of Stalin and Mao — but there’s something different about this group of tyrants in that they’re thinking about the end of days. They’re apocalyptically minded. They have ideas that, were they to deploy nuclear weapons, they would bring forward the days of the Mahdi, the Dajjal, and the other sequence events leading to the day of resurrection, so they are even more dangerous. Now, I could have a nice seminar extending for hours on whether they actually would deploy nuclear weapons or not, but I don’t want to find out, and I suspect you don’t either. It is absolutely imperative that they be stopped from doing that and that would not be easy because the Iranian leadership, like the North Korean leadership, is absolutely determined to get nuclear weapons and will pay whatever price is necessary. In North Korea it was mass starvation. In Iran, it will be economic deprivation and other problems, but they’re going to go ahead and while computer viruses and targeted assassinations and bombings, which have been taking place, will certainly slow things down, they cannot stop it. The only way to stop it is through use of force against the Iranian nuclear installations.

So, that I think is all pretty clear, but I’m going to go beyond that and say that when the happy day comes that the Islamic Revolution of Iran is overthrown — and that is a prospect that is real; we saw one run up toward it in June 2009 and it was suppressed, but it wasn’t eliminated and there will be further attempts — and it is certain that one of these days, the Islamic Republic will collapse. When that happens, I suggest to you, the Iranian people who are sick of this ideological state will become quite friendly. Posts show that the overwhelming majority of Iranians hate their government and hate the Islam that their government is purveying. I think that Iranians will be good friends when that day comes.

In contrast, I think our great problem in the Middle East will be Turkey. Turkey, which is also a very substantial state of some 80 million people and which is in an important strategic location, has a real economy, an educated population. Turkey has approached Islamism – well, the Turkish leadership has approached Islamism — in a far more intelligent way than the Iranians. I call Khomeini, “Islamism 1.0,” and Erdogan, “Islamism 2.0.” Khomeini used revolution and violence and so forth and his successor rules despotically, but Erdogan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the dominant figure of Turkish politics, is a far more clever figure who has won I think nine elections in 13 years of various sorts, parliamentary, referendum, residential, has tripled the size of the economy and is a figure of enormous importance and popularity in the country. He has a very strong base. This is a not a despotism. Now, granted, over time, he’s becoming increasingly authoritarian, autocratic, unpleasant, decisive, but he has won his place democratically, and he will last and his regime will last much longer than Khomeini’s, and I believe as one looks at 10-20 years in the future, it will be Turkey, not Iran, that will be our great problem and that we should be preparing for that today.

Read more with Ken Timmerman, Daniel Greenfield and Caroline Glick

Caroline Glick Annihilates Danish Ambassador

 

Truth Revolt:

After Danish Ambassador to Israel Jesper Vahr proclaimed that Europe should apply a double-standard toward Israel, Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post senior editor and Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, humiliated him in an exchange for the ages.

Vahr attempted to deny Europe’s patronizing stance toward Israel, explaining that in the Arab-Israeli conflict there is a much stronger party, Israel, and a much weaker party, the Palestinians. Glick would have none of it.

I think that this patronizing attitude towards us that we should be happy that you have a separate standard for Israel is really, I’m sorry, is a statement of contempt for our intelligence. I consider it to be an obsession. I consider Europe’s keen interest in the Middle East, specifically Israel, to be an obsession, and it’s an obsession that Jews have seen from Europeans from the time of Jesus.

Glick then continued to eviscerate the claim that Europe and Israel share a common culture. “I mean really?” she asked. “We respect International law, you guys make it up.”

“You guys are funneling billions of Euros into rebuilding terrorist-controlled Gaza. All right, this is in contravention of binding international law that you signed onto,” asserted Glick. “Now, on the other hand, there’s imaginary international law that says that you are required to sanction Jewish projects from Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. There is no such binding law. Uou guys are funding settlements in Western Sahara.”

“This is not a double standard. This is a singular standard for Israel. It’s not about international law. It is about an obsessive, compulsive need to constantly pick at the Jewish state. And no, I don’t want to be proud that you are looking at us in a different standard from our neighbors because you are not looking at our neighbors as human beings. What you are saying is that they are objects,” Glick noted. “The only actor in this entire region are the people they are attempting to annihilate. The only people who are supposed to be judged for our actions, and always poorly, are the people who are doing everything possible – more than Europe, more than the United States, more than anybody – in order to protect the lives of the Palestinians.”

“With all due respect, and I would love it if I could have more respect for Europe, but your treatment of Israel, your singular standard, your obsessive-compulsive need to constantly pick at the Jewish state makes it very, very difficult.”

Glick also stated that the only way in which Gaza will be demilitarized is if the IDF reoccupied Gaza. She made it clear that it is outrageous that the IDF alone is attacked by Europe’s leaders.

“Our soldiers, our soldiers are condemned by you. Our soldiers come in and are being called murderers for protecting our families and I’m sorry, it’s very hard for me to feel any respect for this kind of behavior.”