Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Friendly Reset

It's not easy for me to write about Israel. I even mention the name of the country and my inbox gets instantly inundated with messages about me being a traitorous fifth column of the Likud.

But having actually lived there for two protracted periods as well as during times of warfare, I believe my perspective and understanding of the reality there is a little better than those people that merely have a conceptual view of the country.

I abhor the WikiLeaks people and have been on record saying so since the first document dumps several years ago. Gentlemen and women don't read each others private conversations and have no right to do so. Our government officials should be able to communicate with each other freely without snooping. And Assange may have gotten people killed in Afghanistan when he injudiciously outed dissidents and informers.
"Well, they're informants," Assange replied. "So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it."
Hillary Clinton may actually have helped herself on one issue, at least with me, with the recent Wiki disclosures. She seems to be distancing herself in candid conversations from her predecessor's anti Israel and pro Iranian policies.
According to a speech transcript made public this weekend by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton on October 28, 2013, told the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago: "I believe that Rouhani was allowed to be elected by the two major power sources in Iran, the supreme leader and the clerics and the Revolutionary Guard … in part because the sanctions were having a quite damaging effect on the economy."She continued: "I don't think anyone should have any illusions as to the motives of the Iranian leadership. What they really want to do is get sanction relief and give as little as possible for that sanction relief."
Which leads me to my topic for the afternoon, Iran. I am trying to wrap my head around the rationale for President Barack Obama to want to fund the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps. On the same day that the four Iranian hostages were released and the Iranians were given the $400 million dollars in cash, the Obama Administration lifted the sanctions on Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International from the sanctions list.

Bank Sepah has been the historical funding arm for the Iranian missile program and many other covert weapon systems as well as the IRGC.
The Obama administration had told Congress that under the deal the U.S. would lift sanctions only on companies and individuals tied to Iran’s nuclear development. Sanctions on those involved in missile development were to remain in place, these critics said.The Obama administration has repeatedly said it is committed to rolling back Iran’s ballistic missile program.“By agreeing to remove U.N. and EU sanctions eight years early on Iran’s main missile financing bank, the administration effectively greenlighted their nuclear warhead-capable ballistic missile program,” said Mark Dubowitz, a top critic of the Iran nuclear deal at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank.
The Bank had been sanctioned in 2007 for funding Iran's ballistic missile program. According to National Review, the removal of sanctions may violate the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, passed in July 2015, which endorsed the JCPOA or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This resolution stipulated that U.N. missile-related sanctions against Iran would remain in place for eight years.
In July, the President praised his Iran deal, saying, "We are not taking the pressure off Iran ... with respect to ballistic missiles. As I just explained ... we maintain the eight years on the ballistic missiles under this particular UN resolution. ... So we have not lost those legal authorities."
Well whoops, what the hell happened to the eight years? Why does this President want to help Iran finance this type of activity and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which it previously refused to denote as a terrorist group? The same Revolutionary Guard that is backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen currently lobbing missiles at our destroyers and was once implicated in killing 19 Americans at the Khobar Towers?

Let us sincerely hope that a more realistic Hillary can undue some of the the damage that Barack Obama has wrought in the middle east by allowing himself to be suckered so by the Iranians.

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

This is a nice article. I try to comprehend the Israeli viewpoint by reading the Israeli press and I read fair numbers of articles in this vein. I can read this one without getting freaked out by rhetorical intensity. At least in my case this leads to greater understanding.