Archive for the ‘U.S. 2016 elections’ category

The Iran Nuclear Deal: What the Next President Should Do

October 2, 2015

The Iran Nuclear Deal: What the Next President Should Do, Heritage Foundation, October 2, 2015

(But please see, The Elephant In The Room. — DM)

The failure of Congress to halt the implementation of the Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Tehran means that the U.S. is stuck with a bad deal on Iran’s nuclear program at least for now. Iran’s radical Islamist regime will now benefit from the suspension of international sanctions without dismantling its nuclear infrastructure, which will remain basically intact. Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon is unlikely to be blocked by the Administration’s flawed deal, any more than North Korea was blocked by the Clinton Administration’s 1994 Agreed Framework.

The next President should not passively accept Obama’s risky deal with Tehran as a fait accompli. Instead, he or she should immediately cite any violations of the agreement by Iran, its continued support for terrorism, or other hostile policies as reason to abrogate the agreement. The Bush Administration, faced with bad deals negotiated by the Clinton Administration, eventually withdrew from both the Agreed Framework and the Kyoto Protocol.

Rather than endorsing a dangerous agreement that bolsters Iran’s economy, facilitates its military buildup, and paves the way for an eventual Iranian nuclear breakout, the next Administration must accelerate efforts to deter, contain, and roll back the influence of Iran’s theocratic dictatorship, which continues to call for “death to America.”

How the Next President Should Deal with Iran

Upon entering office, the next Administration should immediately review Iran’s compliance with the existing deal, as well as its behavior in sponsoring terrorism, subverting nearby governments, and attacking U.S. allies. Any evidence that Iran is cheating on the agreement (which is likely given Iran’s past behavior) or continuing hostile acts against the U.S. and its allies should be used to justify nullification of the agreement.

Regrettably, Tehran already will have pocketed up to $100 billion in sanctions relief by the time the next Administration comes to office because of the frontloading of sanctions relief in the early months of the misconceived deal. Continuing to fork over billions of dollars that Tehran can use to finance further terrorism, subversion, and military and nuclear expansion will only worsen the situation.

In place of the flawed nuclear agreement, which would boost Iran’s long-term military and nuclear threat potential, strengthen Iran’s regional influence, strain ties with U.S. allies, and diminish U.S. influence in the region, the new Administration should:

1. Expand sanctions on Iran. The new Administration should immediately reinstate all U.S. sanctions on Iran suspended under the Vienna Agreement and work with Congress to expand sanctions, focusing on Iran’s nuclear program; support of terrorism; ballistic missile program; interventions in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen; human rights violations; and holding of four American hostages (Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who has been covertly held hostage by Iran since 2007).

The new Administration should designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization and apply sanctions to any non-Iranian companies that do business with the IRGC’s extensive economic empire. This measure would help reduce the IRGC’s ability to exploit sanctions relief for its own hostile purposes.

Washington should also cite Iranian violations of the accord as reason for reimposing U.N. sanctions on Iran, thus enhancing international pressure on Tehran and discouraging foreign investment and trade that could boost Iran’s military and nuclear programs. It is critical that U.S. allies and Iran’s trading partners understand that investing or trading with Iran will subject them to U.S. sanctions even if some countries refuse to enforce U.N. sanctions.

2. Strengthen U.S. military forces to provide greater deterrence against an Iranian nuclear breakout.Ultimately, no piece of paper will block an Iranian nuclear breakout. The chief deterrent to Iran’s attaining a nuclear capability is the prospect of a U.S. preventive military attack. It is no coincidence that Iran halted many aspects of its nuclear weapons program in 2003 after the U.S. invasion of and overthrow of hostile regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi, motivated by a similar apprehension about the Bush Administration, also chose to give up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs.

To strengthen this deterrence, it is necessary to rebuild U.S. military strength, which has been sapped in recent years by devastating budget cuts. The Obama Administration’s failure to provide for the national defense will shortly result in the absence of U.S. aircraft carriers from the Persian Gulf region for the first time since 2007. Such signs of declining U.S. military capabilities will exacerbate the risks posed by the nuclear deal.

3. Strengthen U.S. alliances, especially with Israel. The nuclear agreement has had a corrosive effect on bilateral relationships with important U.S. allies in the Middle East, particularly those countries that are most threatened by Iran, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. Rather than sacrificing the interests of allies in a rush to embrace Iran as the Obama Administration has done, the next Administration should give priority to safeguarding the vital security interests of the U.S. and its allies by maintaining a favorable balance of power in the region to deter and contain Iran. Washington should help rebuild security ties by boosting arms sales to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that are threatened by Tehran, taking care that arms sales to Arab states do not threaten Israel’s qualitative military edge in the event of a flare-up in Arab–Israeli fighting.

To enhance deterrence against an Iranian nuclear breakout, Washington also should transfer to Israel capabilities that could be used to destroy hardened targets such as the Fordow uranium enrichment facility, which is built hundreds of feet beneath a mountain. The only non-nuclear weapon capable of destroying such a target is the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), a precision-guided, 30,000-pound “bunker buster” bomb. Giving Israel these weapons and the aircraft to deliver them would make Tehran think twice about risking a nuclear breakout.

The U.S. and its European allies also should strengthen military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel and the members of the GCC, an alliance of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, founded in 1981 to provide collective security for Arab states threatened by Iran. Such a coalition could help both to contain the expansion of Iranian power and to facilitate military action (if necessary) against Iran.

4. Put a high priority on missile defense. Iran’s ballistic missile force, the largest in the Middle East, poses a growing threat to its neighbors. Washington should help Israel to strengthen its missile defenses and help the GCC countries to build an integrated and layered missile defense architecture to blunt the Iranian missile threat. The U.S. Navy should be prepared to deploy warships equipped with Aegis ballistic missile defense systems to appropriate locations to help defend Israel and the GCC allies against potential Iranian missile attacks as circumstances demand. This will require coordinating missile defense activities among the various U.S. and allied missile defense systems through a joint communications system. The U.S. should also field missile defense interceptors in space for intercepting Iranian missiles in the boost phase, which would add a valuable additional layer to missile defenses.

5. Deter nuclear proliferation. For more than five decades, Washington has opposed the spread of sensitive nuclear technologies such as uranium enrichment, even for its allies. By unwisely making an exception for Iran, the Obama Administration in effect conceded the acceptability of an illicit uranium enrichment program in a rogue state. In fact, the Administration granted Iran’s Islamist dictatorship better terms on uranium enrichment than the Ford and Carter Administrations offered to the Shah of Iran, a U.S. ally back in the 1970s.

The Obama Administration’s shortsighted deal with Iran is likely to spur a cascade of nuclear proliferation among threatened states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. Such a multipolar nuclear Middle East, on hair-trigger alert because of the lack of a survivable second-strike capability, would introduce a new level of instability into an already volatile region. To prevent such an outcome, the next Administration must reassure these countries that it will take military action to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear capability as well as to deter Iranian military threats to their interests.

6. Expand domestic oil and gas production and lift the ban on U.S. oil exports to put downward pressure on world prices. In addition to sanctions, Iran’s economy has been hurt by falling world oil prices. Its oil export earnings, which constitute more than 80 percent of the regime’s revenue, have been significantly reduced. By removing unnecessary restrictions on oil exploration and drilling in potentially rich offshore and Alaskan oil regions, Washington could help to maximize downward pressure on long-term global oil prices. Lifting the ban on U.S. oil exports, an obsolete legacy of the 1973–1974 energy crisis spawned by the Arab oil embargo, would amplify the benefits of increased oil and gas production. Permitting U.S. oil exports not only would benefit the U.S. economy and balance of trade, but also would marginally lower world oil prices and Iranian oil export revenues, thereby reducing the regime’s ability to finance terrorism, subversion, and military expansion.

7. Negotiate a better deal with Iran. The Obama Administration played a strong hand weakly in its negotiations with Iran. It made it clear that it wanted a nuclear agreement more than Tehran appeared to want one. That gave the Iranians bargaining leverage that they used shrewdly. The Administration made a bad situation worse by downplaying the military option and front-loading sanctions relief early in the interim agreement, which reduced Iran’s incentives to make concessions.

The next Administration should seek an agreement that would permanently bar Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. At a minimum, this would require:

  • Banning Iran from uranium enrichment activities;
  • Dismantling substantial portions of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, particularly the Fordow and Natanz uranium enrichment facilities and Arak heavy water reactor;
  • Performing robust inspections on an “anytime anywhere” basis and real-time monitoring of Iranian nuclear facilities;
  • Linking sanctions relief to Iranian compliance;
  • Ensuring that Iran comes clean on its past weaponization efforts; and
  • Determining a clear and rapid process for reimposing all sanctions if Iran is caught cheating.

The Bottom Line

The nuclear deal already has weakened relationships between the U.S. and important allies, undermined the perceived reliability of the U.S. as an ally, and helped Iran to reinvigorate its economy and expand its regional influence. After oil sanctions are lifted, Iran will gain enhanced resources to finance escalating threats to the U.S. and its allies. The next Administration must help put Iran’s nuclear genie back in the bottle by taking a much tougher and more realistic approach to deterring and preventing an Iranian nuclear breakout.

Ben Carson in CAIR’s crosshairs

September 21, 2015

Ben Carson in CAIR’s crosshairs, Front Page MagazineRobert Spencer, September 21, 2015

(Isn’t it shameful that Dr. Carson is a politically incorrect “Islamophobe?” What is that, anyway?

Don’t we want another a Muslim in the White House? Then Obama could be truly proud of America. What could possibly go wrong? — DM)

ben-carson

Carson was right. But now the media sharks, ever eager to do the bidding of Hamas-linked CAIR and other Islamic supremacists, will be circling – and hungry. If he is forced to drop out for saying things CAIR doesn’t like, it will be just one more nail in the coffin of the free society that CAIR disingenuously professes to love and support, but which it is actually doing all it can to subvert.

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If Ibrahim Hooper of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has any say in the matter, whoever the next President is, it won’t be Ben Carson. “He is not qualified to be president of the United States,” fumed CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper, no doubt an unimpeachable authority on who is and is not qualified to be President, on Sunday. “You cannot hold these kinds of views and at the same time say you will represent all Americans, of all faiths and backgrounds.” What views? Carson said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” He said that this was because Islam contradicted important Constitutional principles.

CAIR, designated a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates, sent out an email Sunday saying it would hold a news conference demanding that Carson withdraw from the presidential race for daring to say these things. “Mr. Carson clearly does not understand or care about the Constitution, which states that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office,’” said CAIR top dog Nihad Awad. “We call on our nation’s political leaders – across the political spectrum – to repudiate these unconstitutional and un-American statements and for Mr. Carson to withdraw from the presidential race.”

But the problems with a Muslim being President aren’t religious, they’re political. Islamic law infringes upon the freedom of speech, forbidding criticism of Islam. Islamic law denies equality of rights to women. Islamic law denies equality of rights to non-Muslims. If a Muslim renounced all this, he or she could be an effective Constitutional ruler, but in today’s politically correct climate, no one is even likely to ask for such a renunciation. Instead, no one even acknowledges that these really are elements of Islamic law.

No one, that is, except the Muslim clerics who agree with Carson. Syrian Islamic scholar Abd Al-Karim Bakkar said in March 2009: “Democracy runs counter to Islam on several issues….In democracy, legislation is the prerogative of the people. It is the people who draw up the constitution, and they have the authority to amend it as well. On this issue we differ” — because in Islamic thought, only Allah legislates.

Abd Al-Karim Bakkar was reflecting a common view. Pakistan Muslim leader Sufi Muhammad said in May 2009: “I would not offer prayer behind anyone who would seek to justify democracy.” Mesbah Yazdi, leader of the Shia Taliban in Iran, said in September 2010 that “democracy, freedom, and human rights have no place” — in Islam, that is. Australian Muslim cleric Ibrahim Saddiq Conlan said in June 2011: “Democracy is evil, the parliament is evil and legislation is evil.”

In January 2013, the Saudi Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Nassir Al Barrak declared: “Electing a president or another form of leadership or council members is prohibited in Islam as it has been introduced by the enemies of Moslems.” The idea of popular elections, he said, “has been brought by the anti-Islam parties who have occupied Moslem land.”

Some Muslims in the West hold these views as well. In April 2015, Muslims in Wales plastered Cardiff with posters reading: “Democracy is a system whereby man violates the right of Allah and decides what is permissible or impermissible for mankind, based solely on their whims and desires. This leads to a decayed and degraded society where crime and immorality becomes widespread and injustice becomes the norm. Islam is the only real, working solution for the UK. It is a comprehensive system of governance where the laws of Allah are implemented and justice is observed.”

And two Muslim groups in Denmark last June called on Muslims to boycott the elections that were held that month. One explained: “We are committed to being active participants in our society, but it has to be on Islam’s terms, without compromising our own principles and values. Democracy is fundamentally incompatible with Islam, and it is a sinking ship.” The Grimshøj mosque in Aarhus agreed, issuing a statement saying that “people should stay clear of the voting booths. We have concluded that only Allah can pass laws, as he says himself in the Koran that this is so.”

Tunisian author Salem Ben Ammar wrote last month: “‘To hell with democracy! Long live Islam!’ One hundred percent of Muslims agree with that. To say anything else is apostasy from Islam. These two competing political systems are antithetical to each other. You can’t be democratic and be a Muslim or a Muslim and be a democrat. A Jew can’t be a Nazi and a Nazi can’t be a Judeophile.”

Question for Hamas-linked CAIR’s Hooper and Awad: are all these Muslims “Islamophobes” for saying that Islam and democracy are incompatible, or is that honor reserved only for Carson (and other infidels)? And are either or both of you cognizant of the irony of pretending to uphold Constitutional values while demanding that a man drop out of the Presidential race for the crime of exercising his freedom of speech? Are either or both of you aware that you have thereby just become poster children for how correct Ben Carson really was?

Carson was right. But now the media sharks, ever eager to do the bidding of Hamas-linked CAIR and other Islamic supremacists, will be circling – and hungry. If he is forced to drop out for saying things CAIR doesn’t like, it will be just one more nail in the coffin of the free society that CAIR disingenuously professes to love and support, but which it is actually doing all it can to subvert.

Off topic (?) | To bring America back we need to break some stuff

September 15, 2015

To bring America back we need to break some stuff, Dan Miller’s Blog, September 14, 2015

(The article is not immediately pertinent to Israel because the current President will continue to be Obama and his tame Congress will continue to go along to get along. However, the 2016 U.S. presidential elections are very pertinent to Israel’s future, so I am taking the liberty of posting it here. For those not familiar with the acronym “RINO,” it is a term of disparagement referring to Republicans who would probably be happier if they were Democrats. Needless to say, the views expressed in the article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

In December of 2011, I wrote an article titled The U.S. Constitution and Civil War. A remark by Cokie Roberts — that we need to ignore parts of the Constitution to save the rest — inspired my article. To bring America back, we don’t need to, nor should we, ignore or otherwise break the Constitution; it is America’s foundation. We do need to destroy and rebuild much of the mess that has been wrongly erected atop that foundation.

Obama and Constitution

Who should be our next President?

Daniel Greenfield, in an article titled This is the America We Live in Now, wrote,

We are not this culture. We are not our media. We are not our politicians. We are better than that.

We must win, but we must also remember what it is we hope to win. If we forget that, we lose. If we forget that, we will embrace dead end policies that cannot restore hope or bring victory.

What we have now is not a movement because we have not defined what it is we hope to win. We have built reactive movements to stave off despair. We must do better than that. We must not settle for striving to restore some idealized lost world. Instead we must dream big. We must think of the nation we want and of the civilization we want to live in and what it will take to build it. [Emphasis added.]

Our enemies have set out big goals. We must set out bigger ones. We must become more than conservatives. If we remain conservatives, then all we will have is the America we live in now. And even if our children and grandchildren become conservatives, that is the culture and nation they will fight to conserve. We must become revolutionaries. [Emphasis added.]

If we don’t, perhaps we should surrender and petition to join the European Union. Our unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy could merge with that of the EU and our Congress could merge with the impotent EU Parliament.

Joining the EU would not fit well with the U.S. Constitution, but so what? Obama and “pragmatic” judges have twisted and distorted it. They pay but scant attention to its clear language or that of the statutes they misconstrue. Most in the current crop of Republicans in the Congress have been willing to surrender whenever Obama blows His dog whistle and run to Him with hopes that He may offer them small bones.

Our once great nation is itself broken, but not necessarily beyond repair. It needs to be fixed before it gets to the point where it can’t be, and we are rapidly approaching that point. Our Constitution must be revived, and as revived survive, if America herself is to survive. America can’t be fixed with fresh paint and new floral arrangements featuring a “new” Bush.

When Ronald Reagan was first mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate, my first thought was that we don’t need a washed-up grade B movie actor/former Democrat leftist as President. I was wrong. He became the best President America has seen in my thus far seventy-four years on Earth. We need another Reagan, but who should it be? There are only a few good candidates and the Republican establishment opposes, with such insipid vigor as it can muster, all of them. It wants Jeb Bush, or in any event a Bush clone, to march stolidly toward a new Amerika.

Donald Trump

The mainstream media cannot understand why Trump continues to lead in the polls. Neither can the RINOs. Trump can’t possibly continue to lead; why, he is not even a politician! On September 12th, Sharyl Attkisson posted an article titled Donald’s Duck: 7 Reasons Why Nothing Sticks to Teflon Trump. In it, she explored seven of the reasons why it is claimed that Trump “can’t win.”

1. Trump doesn’t know the names of terror leaders.

2. Trump doesn’t have a plan.

3. Trump isn’t conservative enough.

4. Trump has flip-flopped.

5. Trump personally insults people.

6. Trump is against immigrants.

7. Trump won’t apologize.

Please read her analysis pointing out the fallacies behind these talking points as seen by Trump supporters; I think they are correct.

On September 13th Sundance, writing at The Last Refuge, posted an article titled The GOPe Roadmap, Status Update and The Event Horizon… There, he pointed out the RINOs’ multifaceted plan to defeat Trump and to install Jeb Bush as “our” next President. Jeb wants to lead us to more of the same namby-pamby nonsense that gave us Obama, the “great healer.” I don’t want to go there and want to stay as far away from there as possible. Please read Sundance’s article in its entirety. It’s excellent and so is this sequel about the upcoming CNN debate and the night of the long knives.

What will Trump do if elected?

I don’t know what Trump will do if elected President. He probably can’t make things worse, will try very hard to make them better and may well succeed. Please watch “lunatic” Trump respond to questions during this interview.

The only thing I am confident that the RINO candidates would do is to continue America’s collective swirl down the toilet. I very much like Ted Cruz (he would also be an excellent Secretary of State) and Ben Carson (Secretary of Health and Human Services?). Carina Fiorina? I like her thus far but need to learn more.

Trump has captured the public attention and, in many cases, its admiration and trust. Apparently many of his supporters feel as I do and are “mad as hell and don’t want to take it anymore.”

Please compare and contrast these Obama and Hillary campaign videos:

Obama won His last two elections by campaigning for change “we” can believe in. Trump has thus far campaigned for change those who think America was great before Obama got to mucking around with her do believe in and want to have implemented.

Much is yet unknown about where and how Trump will lead the nation as her President. One thing seems clear, at least to me: he will discard that which is broken and replace it with what we need. So long as he does not muck around with the Constitution (as Obama has done with abandon), I think we should give him an opportunity to try.

gop-elite

H/t Vermont Loon Watch

trump-punch-600-la

H/t Kingjester’s Blog

Hillary Clinton is the X-factor for the Iranian nuclear deal’s congressional survival

July 13, 2015

Hillary Clinton is the X-factor for the Iranian nuclear deal’s congressional survival, DEBKAfile, July 13, 2015

Clinton_7.15Hillary Clinton faces tough decision

“A parade of concessions to Iran,” was Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comment on the nuclear accord expected to be announced and fully revealed later on Monday July 13 in Vienna. He underscored his point by playing back President Bill Clinton’s words upon signing the nuclear deal with North Korea 21 years ago: “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program,” Clinton announced then. “South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”

Despite Bill Clinton’s pledge of carefully monitoring, Pyongyang broke through to a nuclear bomb in October 2006, twelve years later. By comparison; a ten-year limit on the period during which Iran is allowed to develop a bomb is believed to be incorporated in the Vienna accord. Its full text of100 pages plus is still to be fully disclosed.

By playing back the Clinton clip, Netanyahu aimed to place high on Washington’s agenda, the leverage in the hands of his wife, Hillary Clinton, in determining whether the deal survives the US Congress, which will have 60 days to review it.

Hillary is currently rated by the polls with a 62 percent lead in her run for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election. She tops the lists of alll declared Democratic and Republic contenders combined.

In the first week of July, she is quoted as supporting Obama’s relentless drive for a deal when she said: “I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program because that’s going to be a singular step in the right direction.”

Before that, she echoed Obama’s words that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Now that the accord is in its last stage, she has held back from judging whether it is good or bad – only in private conversations with wealthy Jewish contributors to her campaign, she has promised to be “a better friend to Israel than President Barack Obama.”

But once the final accord is in the bag – expected in the coming hours – Clinton will have to come out in the open, because she holds the key to a Senate majority for blocking it. The 54 Republican senators are committed to voting against it: Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News Sunday: “I think it’s going to be a very hard sell, if it’s completed, in Congress. We already know it’s going to leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state. It appears as if the administration’s approach to this was to reach whatever agreement the Iranians are willing to enter into,” he said.

But the 44 Democratic senators are wobbling between being loyal to the president and their profound misgivings about the deal with Iran. It would take 13 Democrats to cross the floor and join the Republicans to achieve the necessary majority for annulling the promised presidential veto of a negative vote.

A Clinton declaration against the deal could swing those 13 senators against the accord – so painfully crafted in 13 months of agonizing bargaining led by Secretary of State John Kerry – and leave Obama in the position of a lame duck president.

Iran’s leaders, after reading the map in Washington, took the precaution of submitting to the Majlis a motion that would require a parliamentary review every few months of the US performance in complying with the accord with the power to annul it if this performance was judged unsatisfactory.

This pits the Iranian parliament against the US Senate and, by implication, puts Hillary Clinton in the driving seat in Washington versus Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran.

Whatever she decides now – whether for or against the Iranian deal – will have consequences for her campaign for president. That campaign has almost a year and a half to run before the November 2016 election. If she backs the deal and lets the Democratic senators refrain from voting against it, she will be held accountable – not only by Jewish campaign donors, but, up to a point, the American voter too. Israeli and Saudi intelligence will certainly use a microscope to discover the tiniest particles of evidence of Iran’s non-compliance. They will be thrown in her face.

Republican rivals will certainly fuel their campaigns with allegations of the total surrender to Iran by Obama and Kerry – with consequences for the prospects of Obama’s former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.
Backing Obama would therefore cast a shadow over her presidential hopes, whereas taking the lead of a   Democratic senatorial mutiny against it may well undo the deal before the year is out.  Either way, Clinton faces one of her toughest decisions since she decided to run as the first American woman president.