Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Op/Ed on Iran: Mr Obama - Spin, rinse, repeat won't work this time

Recently, the P5+1 world powers  (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council  - the P5 -  namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany ) have agreed a deal with Iran that is supposed to limit Iran's access to nuclear weapons build up (but only for the next 10 years.)  An interesting chronology of the negotiations of the last few years here.

For the record, here is the US SECDEF official statement on this 'deal':

Release No: NR-273-15
July 14, 2015

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the Iran Deal

I'm pleased that Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Energy Moniz, along with our P5+1 partners, were able to reach a comprehensive, verifiable deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As we implement this historic agreement, deterrence remains a major component of America's national security.

The Department of Defense is today, and will always be ready, to defend the United States and our interests. Our military -- including tens of thousands of U.S. forces in the Middle East -- are full speed ahead maintaining a strong presence in the Gulf. We remain prepared and postured to bolster the security of our friends and allies in the region, including Israel; to defense against aggression; ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf; and check Iranian malign influence. We will utilize the military option if

The men and women of the Defense Department comprise the finest fighting force the world has ever known and will continue to carry out these and all missions with excellence.

Iranian leaders claim a victory, while simultaneously maintaining their "Death to America.  Death to Israel" rhetoric.

However, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to insist   this 'deal' will be good for America,  and Obama holds a news conference to proclaim the historic event.

From Wall Street Journal:

‘That’s What Politicians Do’The president’s unsettling press conference

By James TarantoJuly 16, 2015

Perhaps the most telling moment in yesterday’s presidential press conference was this exchange with ABC’s Jonathan Karl:

Karl: Mr. President, does it give you any pause to see this deal praised by Syrian dictator Assad as a “great victory for Iran,” or praised by those in Tehran who still shout “death to America,” and yet our closest ally in the Middle East calls it “a mistake of historic proportions”? And here in Congress, it looks like a large majority will vote to reject this deal. I know you can veto that rejection, but do you have any concerns about seeing a majority of the people’s representatives in Congress saying that this is a bad deal? . . .

Obama: Let me answer the question that you asked. It does not give me pause that Mr. Assad or others in Tehran may be trying to spin the deal in a way that they think is favorable to what their constituencies want to hear. That’s what politicians do. [emphasis mine] I mean, you’ll recall that during the course of these negotiations over the last couple of months every time the Supreme Leader or somebody tweeted something out, for some reason we all bought into the notion, well, the Obama administration must be giving this or capitulating to that....
Much more here.

I admit I actually laughed at "that's what politicians do..."  I know Obama is touted as the smartest man in the room, but he seems to have missed the irony in his declaration.

The WSJ weren't the only media to take Obama to task about that news conference.  The Washington Post had this:

17 ridiculous things the president said at the Iran news conference

July 15 2015

 Jennifer Rubin
The president, for proponents of the Iran deal, gave a deeply disturbing news conference that suggested he does not know what is in the deal, does not have a grasp of the factual record and/or thinks he can get away with huge misrepresentations. And, to boot, he confirmed many of the serious criticisms of the deal. I imagine opponents of the deal will have a field day with these and other statements:

1. “With this deal, we cut off every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program.” Not true. After eight years, the precise restrictions end. Oops, he says it himself: “And Iran’s nuclear program will be under severe limits for many years [emphasis mine].”..

Yes, there is the rest of the 17 - and a video of the full news conference -  here.
 During his entire presidency Obama has weaved, bobbed and spun on just about every issue.  This latest would be funny if the consequences weren't so damn serious. But, I don't make the mistake of  under-estimating  Obama's  determination that this deal will stand.  He has said [he] 'will veto any Republican attempt to derail Iran nuclear deal'.  We have seen his disregard for the Constitutional process more than a few times during his tenure, and this Iran deal promises to be no different; this despite the fact that even a top Democrat is now expressing concern about this proposed 'deal.'  He is not alone.

Never mind that. the administration may want to appear to be respecting the process, Obama has declared - on the record - the threat of  veto in his determination to make the deal with Iran a done deal.  Indeed, he even sent the deal as written to the UN for their approval, BEFORE the US Congress had even been given the chance to debate the deal.

Many critics have pointed to some of the major flaws in this deal, and perhaps one of my favourite critiques comes from retired Lt. Col  and former Congressman Allen West.  West was at the protest against the Iran deal in New York Time Square last week.  Take a look:

He later followed that appearance up with a column on a 'Few points I left out of that Times Square speech.'  Go read that.

Israel's Prime Minister has been a loud and vociferous opponent of the Iran deal, and justifiably so.  He knows what any thinking person can see - even those of us without access to the full details.  (most of us!)  He rightly calls this deal 'a historic mistake',  Check out the more details in the Jerusalem Post report on Bibi's response. 

Even as Israel has continuously maintained that this is a bad deal, and that a better deal could/should  have been made, Kerry hits back with the claim that Netanyahu's 'Better Deal' is a 'Fantasy' , and keeps claiming that no alternative deal has been offered up by the nay-sayers.  The Times of Israel  disputes this: Countering Obama, Israel says it offered alternative to Iran deal

An Israel official had this to say, according to Israel National News:  Iran was on the verge of giving up Nuke Program but that Obama conceded too quickly.  There's a surprise - NOT!!!

As usual, Obama et al are playing their cards very close to their vests, as they spin, rinse, repeat,  but again as usual, as time goes by more details are dribbling out, from this most transparent administration ever.  What a surprise, apparently there are secret side deals that we - thus far - hadn't been told.  Washington Post has this:
Obama’s secret Iran deals exposed
By Marc A. Thiessen
July 27, 2015
President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be “based on trust” but rather “unprecedented verification.” Now it turns out Obama’s verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that apparently no one (including the Obama administration) has seen.
Worse, Obama didn’t even reveal the existence of these secret side deals to Congress when he transmitted the nuclear accord to Capitol Hill. The agreements were uncovered, completely by chance, by two members of Congress — Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) — who were in Vienna meeting with the U.N.-releated agency....
Pompeo says they asked whether they could see those agreements. He says IAEA officials replied, “ ‘Oh no, of course not, no, you’re not going to get to see those.’ And so everybody on our side of the table asked, ‘Has Secretary Kerry seen these?’ ‘No, Secretary Kerry hasn’t seen them. No American is ever going to get to see them.’ ”
It turns out that only the two parties — the IAEA and Iran — get to see the actual agreements ...
Read the rest here, and try and control your surprise.  
Of course, Dick Cheney has a few words to share on this dangerous folly. WATCH this:

(If the link doesn't work, go here. It's a good one!)

 Doesn't give ME warm and fuzzies! "...Can be a few years down the road..." says Cheney...... He is not the only one to comment on that.  Check this out: With Iran deal, the U.S. just kicked the nukes can down the road: Yaron Sideman

As Obama continues to trumpet the good news of it all, it seems some Iranian generals are also not so enamoured as this administration would have us all believe.  Go read this: Iranian General:  We hate US 100 times more for the Nuclear Deal...

The vast concessions to Iran made in the nuclear deal last Tuesday, which ultimately allow the leading state sponsor of terror to be able to obtain a nuclear arsenal in ten years, are apparently not enough for a top Iranian general..

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Commander of Iran's paramilitary Basij Force, said on Tuesday that the Iran deal will only make Iranians hate the US more, as quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency.

"Any Iranian who reads the Vienna documents will hate the US 100 times more," Naqdi said.

The opposition is surprising given that the deal ignores Iran's key nuclear installations where its nuclear weapons testing is said to be being held, and likewise stipulates that the West will train Iran to block sabotage on its nuclear program. The deal also lifts the UN arms embargo on Iran and lifts sanctions against its top terror commander.

Iran has shown an increasingly open belligerent tone, with an aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei saying Tuesday that Iranwon't let international inspectors visit its covert military sites such as Parchin, where Iran's illicit nuclear weapons testing is thought to be occurring....

 Oh and of course, John Kerry NOW finds the Iranian vows to 'defy the US 'very disturbing' "...
 Sheesh, you think?  Doesn't sound as if they really like us, does it?

Amir Basiri seems to agree that despite Obama's rose coloured glasses - you know. the ones he would have us all wear - that this historic deal won't change much between Iran and the US.  Writing in Forbes back in March, this Iranian human rights activist says (in part):

A Nuclear Deal Will Not End Iran's Hostility
U.S. President Barack Obama has long perceived a deal—perhaps any deal—with the Iranian regime over its illicit nuclear program as a “silver bullet” that, once inked, will magically solve the multitude of problems that the U.S. is dealing with in regards with the rulers of Tehran.

In this respect, the continuation of the nuclear talks has taken priority over all other matters in Obama’s Iran and Middle-East policy, to the extent that he is willingly ignoring the damage that Iran is dealing across the region and the host of threats that it is posing to U.S. interests and national security.

By all accounts, Tehran’s deadliest weapons are the ruling mullahs themselves (along with their outdated ideology of Islamic fundamentalism) and while they remain in power, the region—and by consequence the U.S.—will never be safe. Add to that the capability to produce nuclear bombs and a hegemonic role in the region (both of which Obama is willing to recognize), and the only outcome can be inevitable disaster, a time bomb that will go off sooner or later and plunge the region and the world into further chaos and turmoil.

Among Obama’s miscalculations is the misplaced belief that the Iranian regime has common interests with the U.S. and can eventually become an ally of the West in establishing peace and stability in the region....
He seems to be suggesting that Obama is delusional, but with nicer words.  GO read and decide for yourself.

Quite apart from the billions of dollars Iran stands to gain from this deal, and the lifting of sanctions, and pretty much control over when and how the most flaunted 'inspections' will occur, there is a critical issue that negotiators seem to have overlooked.

Today, at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Jeff Duncan had this:

Americans still being held in Iranian prisons are on my mind as Secretaries Kerry, Lew, and Moniz testify about the Iran nuclear deal in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Wanted to remind them of who they left behind.
Tom Cotton also was asked his response on the US hostages who were not even included as part of this Obama legacy-making deal.  Go watch and listen to him here.

Regarding John Kerry testifying  here he is.  These were his introductory remarks, and other clips of him I have seen,  show that he did get quite (ahem) 'testy' !  Where's James Taylor when you need a friend?

Be all that as it may, now, more than ever, we all need to educate ourselves and then make our voices heard..

FACT:  No matter how much Obama - the great orator (???) - or something -  spins, rinses repeats, this deal doesn't, and will not,  wash.  Not now, not ever.


Related:(Yes, we did read every one of these, and all very interesting - Honest!!! )

The nuclear deal with Iran: Highlights  (with links to the 'complete' text - or not!!))

 Deal Leaves Behind 3 Americans Cruelly Imprisoned in Iran

Inspection regime in Iran informed by lessons from Iraq experience

  Iran nuclear deal: Is it statecraft or surrender?

Kerry: Iranian Access to Billions Won't Affect World Terror

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