story making the rounds today from the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jaridi. The claim is that the Obama administration threatened to shoot down Israeli planes last year if they attempted to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. If this story is indeed true, it speaks miles as to the sympathies and position of this president towards Israel.
Reportedly the idea was hatched by Carter administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
I am sure that the story will be denied, I for one, have no trouble believing it.
I want to be on record in saying that the reported pending deal with the Iranians stinks. The IAEA has said as recently as last week that the Iranians are stalling the inquiry into their nuclear program's capabilities. The Iranians were caught cheating at least four times last year.
"The United States has privately accused Iran of going on an international shopping spree to acquire components for a heavy-water reactor that American officials have long feared could be used in the production of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium," reports Colum Lynch.The Iranians have announced their intention to annihilate Israel as recently as last November. They have installed a shiite proxy in Yemen in a coup attempt and continue to back Assad in Syria with their proxy Hezbollah, which has also been rattling its sabers at the Israelis in the Golan. Why does the President have such a hard time believing what they say they would like to do?
"A U.S. delegation informed a U.N. Security Council panel of experts monitoring Iranian sanctions in recent months that Iranian procurement agents have been increasing their efforts to illicitly obtain equipment for the IR-40 research reactor at the Arak nuclear complex.
"The American allegations, which have never before been reported, come more than a year after the Iranian government pledged as part of an interim agreement with the United States and other big powers to scale back Iran’s most controversial nuclear-related activities, including the enrichment of high-grade uranium, in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. They stand in stark contrast to recent remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry, who has repeatedly credited Tehran with abiding by the terms of the November 2013 pact, which bound Tehran to suspend some of its work at Arak. “Iran has held up its end of the bargain,” Kerry said last month in Vienna.
The confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), obtained by Reuters, said Tehran was continuing to withhold full cooperation in two areas of a long-running IAEA investigation that it had committed to giving by August last year.The Iranians, our president's bff, have persuaded american negotiators to allow them 6500 centrifuges, from an initial offer of 1500, far more than would be necessary for peaceful uses, and enough to allow them to sit on a threshold of nuclear material which would allow them to gear up to a bomb in a matter of months after the cessation of the deal. Which could be a lot sooner than anyone expected since word has just come out that Obama has actually granted them a sunset clause to opt out of any agreement. The agreement that was supposed to cover 20 to 30 years but has now become 10 to 15 instead. And they are still developing a robust ICBM program, which are made to deliver nuclear warheads.
"Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures," the IAEA said, referring to allegations of explosives tests and other activity that could be used to develop nuclear bombs.
It appears that the administration is throwing its hands up and saying "Hey, a bad deal is better than nothing. It was the best we could get." Not very reassuring, the Israelis have reason to worry.
I don't really trust Bibi, but I trust Obama even less. The Iran rapprochement is the crown jewel of his foreign policy legacy and he will take any deal that he can get and leave somebody else to clean up the problems it causes later. Keep in mind that it's not just Israelis that are terrified of a nuclear Iraq, the Gulf arabs and Iran's sunni neighbors are plenty worried too.
Obama is famous for once stating that he had Israel's back. What he neglected to say was that it was in his gunsights. The leaders have been long on a collision course, Obama's disdain for the Israelis, a long time ally of the United States, being apparent and palpable. And a disdain that is also easily perceived in his underlings in both the State and White House Communication Department.
A central worry for Netanyahu is enforcement. After a deal is signed, it may be very difficult to persuade nations that have resumed normal trade with oil-rich Iran to renew economic sanctions, or deploy military force, for what may appear technical violations.*
"This is a very valid fear," said Jofi Joseph, a nonproliferation expert on the National Security Council staff early in the Obama administration.
Administration officials contend that they would accept only a deal that makes it impossible for Iran to stage a "breakout," a race to accumulate enough nuclear fuel for one bomb, in less than one year. That would give world powers ample time to intervene, they say.
Interesting article on the struggles of jews in Yemen in the NYT last week, Persecution Defines Life for Yemen’s Remaining Jews. When I lived in Israel I met many people who had fled such persecution in their native arab countries. Not only did the founding of Israel provide a place for the jews feeing the pogroms and camps of Europe but it also offered a homeland to fierce repression in tactically every mideast country save Morocco. Now Yemen has been taken over by the shiites and things are looking grim.
The last of Yemen’s once numerous Jews, who predated Muslims by many centuries, have seldom been so threatened and had so few protectors. The Houthis, who now dominate the country, are particularly strong in the two places with confirmed remaining Yemeni Jews: here in Raida, where there are 55 Jews, and in Sana, the capital, where a small number live under what amounts to house arrest by the Houthi leadership.Obama of course doesn't want to make waves with the Houthis, who reportedly chanted "Death to America" during their coup and forced the fleeing Americans to surrender their weapons, after seizing our vehicles.
The two countries that have long facilitated Jewish emigration from Yemen — the United States and Britain — both closed their embassies last week, as did most other Western countries. And the Yemeni strongman who for three decades was the Jews’ protector, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is not only out of power, but also, more recently, out of favor with the Houthis.
“We have no friends,” Mr. Jacob said, “so we just try to stay away from everyone as much as we can.”
Last night on The Kelly File, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki tried to explain why U.S. officials are taking the Houthis at their word.*
"Do we want to return to Yemen? Absolutely. That's why we suspended our operations, we plan on returning when we can. The Houthis have said they're not threatening, they don't want to go after the United States, well the proof is in the pudding," Psaki said.
Anchor Megyn Kelly pointed out that the Houthis post signs that read "Death to America" at checkpoints and Psaki doubled down on her point about trusting the rebels.
"They have said they want the Americans, they want the westerners to have a presence in Yemen," Psaki said.
Obama seems to have a strange choice of friends and allies. Get a look at the invitees to the recent White House Countering Violent Extremism Summit. One of the fellows was Salam Al-Maryati, who blamed Israel for staging 9-11 and advocates violent resistance against Israel. When asked about his remarks, he reportedly said that he didn't want to get into old "history."
The relationship between Israel and the United States is obviously at its nadir. There also seem to be serious schisms in the long relationship between blacks and jews in this country as evidenced by the the planned mass walkout by the congressional balk caucus. Jews themselves are deeply divided over their long standing liberal leanings and support for a liberal President who has such obvious antipathy towards them and a seeming blind eye to the transgressions of their enemies. A man who can't admit that we are in a titanic ideological struggle between civilization and those whose default move is cutting people's heads off and bombing synagogues if they don't get their way in establishing the caliphate and instituting sharia law.
I think that there is clear dividing line here. You can be on one side or the other, unfortunately not both.
A bipartisan Senate bill that would weigh in on Iran has raised our President's ire. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act would require the submission to Congress the text of any agreement within five days of concluding a final deal with Iran.
US President Barack Obama will veto any bills passed by the US Senate that allows lawmakers to weigh in on any deal signed between the P5+1 and Iran, the White House announced on Saturday.It is unfortunate that he has promised to veto the legislation. The bill, brokered by Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Bob Menendez, would also prevent the Obama administration from lifting any congressional sanctions on Iran for at least 60 days. During this time, Congress would hold hearings and have a change to approve, disapprove or take no action on the Iranian agreement.
“The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran. If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council.
Classic narcissist. Nobody else is smart enough to have any say in the matter. Corker said it was “disappointing that the president feels he is the only one who speaks for the citizens of our country”.