Yet one more instance of the Most Transparent Administration™ conducting itself in the era of Smart Diplomacy™: Launder $400 million in exchange for five hostages, refuse to call it a ransom, and then launder $1.3 billion more. Make sure it’s all in cash, à la Breaking Bad, load it in pallets, and fly it in, so you bypass the international banking system and Constitutional prohibitions.

The WSJ reports,
U.S. Transferred $1.3 Billion More in Cash to Iran After Initial Payment. First $400 million coincided with Iran’s release of American prisoners and was used as leverage, officials have acknowledged

The Obama administration followed up a planeload of $400 million in cash sent to Iran in January with two more such shipments in the next 19 days, totaling another $1.3 billion, according to congressional officials briefed by the U.S. State, Treasury and Justice departments.

The cash payments—made in Swiss francs, euros and other currencies—settled a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal dating back to 1979.

On that arms deal, Stephen Green points out that

 The arms deal “failed” because the government we had signed it with ceased to exist, toppled by the Ayatollah Khomeini — whose supporters attacked the US Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

To this day, Iran celebrates the anniversary of the Embassy attack with annual anti-U.S. rallies.

But back to the WSJ (emphasis added),

The Obama administration briefed lawmakers on Tuesday, telling them that two further portions of the $1.3 billion were transferred though Europe on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5. The payment “flowed in the same manner” as the original $400 million that an Iranian cargo plane picked up in Geneva, Switzerland, according to a congressional aide who took part in the briefing.

The $400 million was converted into non-U.S. currencies by the Swiss and Dutch central banks, according to U.S. and European officials.

The Treasury Department confirmed late Tuesday that the subsequent payments were also made in cash.

Must I remind you, Obama took to the airwaves last month and bare-faced lied to all, smirking,

“We announced these payments in January. Many months ago. Th-that wasn’t a secret; we announced them.”

Following the latest news,

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would bar such payments to Iran in the future and seeks to reclaim the $1.7 billion for victims of Iranian-backed terrorism.

Good luck with that.

Last month Claudia Rosett reported that Treasury made thirteen equal payments of exactly $99,999,999.99 each to the State Department under the generic heading of settling “Foreign Claims.”

Rosett points to The Judgement Fund, which is used for bypassing the Constitution:

The Judgment Fund has long been a controversial vehicle for federal agencies to detour past one of the most pointed prohibitions in the Constitution: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

The Judgment Fund, according to a Treasury Department Web site, is “a permanent, indefinite appropriation” used to pay monetary awards against U.S. government agencies in cases “where funds are not legally available to pay the award from the agency’s own appropriations.”

Rosett asks,

And why were the 13 payments in amounts of one cent less than $100,000,000?

Who knows? Is there a rule or procedure which specifies that all payments of $100 million or more are referred to an official that would not have been agreeable to the transfer?

What we do know is that the Obama administration has laundered money for the Ayatollahs.

Parting question: Does that constitute an impeachable offense?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

You know we really have it easy in the US. When our government lies to our faces about the Iranian Nuke deal we can pound our chests, talk about the debasement of democracy and how these poor decisions are making the middle east a less safe place knowing that in the end it will be a long hard slog for Iran to hit us with a nuke.

However if you are a nation actually IN the middle east and not half a world away from Iran this threat is not theoretical it’s happeing right in front of you and is cause some people to think twice about things that have always been:

Among Egyptian writers, the idea of regular dealings with Israel still excites fierce debate, even after nearly four decades of official peace. The owner of the prominent independent daily al-Masry al-Yawm outspokenly advocates pragmatic close bilateral ties, in Egypt’s own interest. But leading al-Ahram columnist Hassan Nafaa, in sharp contrast, argues strenuously against “free gifts” to Israel.

It is intriguing, however, that today even some Egyptian writers and academics most critical of ties to Israel acknowledge that the younger generation, turned against Iran, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood both by their own experience and by their government’s changing positions, is losing some of its animosity toward their Israeli neighbors. Examples of this discourse can be found in articles penned this year by Egyptian authors Muhammad Laithi in al-Watan and by Ahmed Hidji in al-Monitor, who cites three different Cairo professors lamenting their students’ growing openness to Israel.

and not just in Egypt but in Saudi Arabia too

Particularly noteworthy in this respect is a long article in the current issue of the popular and influential pan-Arab weekly al-Majallah, based in London but widely circulated and read in both print and online editions in the region.  This article not only reviews the long history of Arab-Israeli relations, but also cites statements about that by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer at great length.

Responses by Saudi writers are mixed, but some are very vocally in favor of dealing with Israel.  For example, Ahmed Adnan, writing in the alarab.co.uk website, even argues that Arabs should follow Turkey’s model:  “Ankara has ties with Israel, but no one can accuse Turkey of being biased against the Palestinians.”  His article was reprinted in the leading al-Arabiya website on August 8.

And this stuff isn’t just going on in Theory, it’s happening in practice:

After several decades of unremitting hostility, some of the fiercest opponents of Israel are starting to view the Jewish state very differently. Covert ties with Saudi Arabia are now becoming more open. Egypt, whose cold peace with Israel remained frozen in open hostility since Anwar Sadat’s assassination, has a government that is no longer shy about treating Israel as an ally if not a friend. Jerusalem’s relations with much of the Third World, especially African nations, are also warming up.

Oddly enough our liberal friends are not amused as the cause of this effect are the failing policies of Barack Obama.

those nations that are targeted most directly by Iran—Israel and Saudi Arabia—understand that U.S. appeasement of Iran advances the latter’s drive for regional hegemony as well as merely postponing the moment when it will achieve nuclear capability. The coming together of other Middle East nations in reaction to this travesty is evidence that those most at risk consider Obama’s false promises and his desire for a general U.S. retreat from the region a clear and present danger to the region.

Or to put it simply the realities of the world are asserting itself and the fictions that might be comfortable to the readers of the NYT are of scant comfort to those actually in the Middle east.

All of this is via Elder of Zyion which should be a regular stop if you wish to know what is going on in the Middle East.

 

 

As I write this post, John Kirby, State Department spokesman, is on TV adamantly denying that it was a ransom:

The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Looking at that sentence, again (emphasis added),

  1. The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran
  2. coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran
  3. U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Double-dealing behind Congress’ back, the article goes on to describe that the Obama administration

procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland

because it is illegal to do so in the U.S.,

The $400 million was paid in foreign currency because any transaction with Iran in U.S. dollars is illegal under U.S. law. Sanctions also complicate Tehran’s access to global banks.

So, on the one hand, last November Obama was saying “that ransoms should not be paid to terrorist organizations that are holding hostages,” while bypassing American banks in order to break the law.

By the way, Iran is calling it a ransom, and, in case you forgot, Iran is still in the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

Omri Ceren, posting at PowerLine points to the predictable result of this further example of Obama’s “smart diplomacy”:

Iran has taken more hostages since the deal and now is looking for another ransom – Tehran went back to arresting American hostages after releasing the last round, and are now seeking another billion dollar deal in the last six months of the administration

At $100 million per American, which is the agreed price, they have only ten more to go.

Unfit to be president“, you say?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

 

By John Ruberry

Unless you live outside America, you’ve seen the GEICO insurance television commercials with the tag line, “It’s what you do.” Such as this one about golf commentators whispering regardless of the situation.

Shortly before the Obama administration released over $100 billion in frozen assets to Iran, the mullahs released five Americans held there on trumped up charges.

Can you say “quid pro quo?” Can you say “hostages?”

Also part of the the hostage exchange was the release of seven Iranians who were imprisoned for violating our trade embargo with the theocracy.

“Empowering Iran with sanctions relief is like Neville Chamberlain writing a $150 billion check to Adolf Hitler before WWII hoping he’ll behave,” Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said shortly after the swap news became public. “This Iran deal is an insane disaster and this White House has lost its mind.”

I’m not so sure the White House lost its mind. President Obama and his oval office sycophants are leftists who believe America is too strong and it needs to be put in its place. That explains why on the day of his final State of the Union address President Obama not only didn’t mention the capture and video humiliation of ten US sailors by Iran in the Persian Gulf, but also his failure to condemn it at all.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the
Magnificent Seven

And to drive the point home, Obama’s poltroon secretary of state, John Kerry, thanked Iran for releasing the sailors that they shouldn’t have seized.

Our policy with Iran should be regime change. Then maybe Iran can drop their pastime of hostage taking.

Hat tip to Doug Ross for the GEICO inspiration.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

If you remain indifferent in time of adversity, your strength will depart from you. Rescue those who are being dragged to death, and from those tottering to execution withdraw not. If you say, “I know not this man!” does not he who tests hearts perceive it? He who guards your life knows it, and he will repay each one according to his deeds.

Proverbs 24:10-12

Barack Obama: ” I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. “ Jan 12, 2016

Joe Biden: “One of the boats had engine failure and drifted into Iranian waters. The Iranians picked up both boats, as we have picked up Iranian boats that needed to be rescued and took them to — I’m not sure exactly where. I don’t want to misspeak here. And realized they were there and distressed, and said they would release them, and they released them like ordinary nations would do.

Jan 13, 2016

John Kerry “I want to express my gratitude to the Iranian authorities for their cooperation is resolving this matter quickly”

Jan 13, 2016

US Sailors Captured by Iran
US Sailors being “rescued” by “cooperative” Iranians Jan 12th 2016

I don’t expect any better from Barack Obama, Joe Biden or John Kerry, to them the humiliation of America is a feature not a bug. Nor do I expect better from the press who believes the same or any of their enablers in the Democrat party. In this I disagree with Noah Rothman:

If these people had any sense of shame they would not be defenders of this administration

What really hurts is that I DID expect better from the American People, but perhaps I was a fool in doing so.

Update: Trump nails it

“She is right. I am angry, and a lot of other people are angry too at how incompetently our country’s being run,” Trump said Wednesday night on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront.”

“I don’t care, let her refer to me. As far as I’m concerned, anger and energy is what this country needs,”

I wish I was more angry & less resigned over this
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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

The State of our Union in four seconds

Perhaps he will leave 10 empty seats for the sailors in Iranian hands

I predict democrats will circle the wagons around him for the simple reason that they won’t risk upsetting the black vote less than a year to an election and because they sold their souls when they didn’t force Clinton to resign in 1998.

Plus they don’t see those active duty troops as their voters anyways

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

What passes for smart diplomacy these days: Foreign policy deals where the US gives in for nothing in exchange.

I have posted here and at my blog on the easement of sanctions with Cuba, which was preceded by the release of American hostage Alan Gross in exchange for five cuban spies. Gross was on 60 Minutes, and the takeaway from that interview will be lost on the Obama administration, but here it is all the same,

How regimes that coerce concessions are never satisfied. As we’ve seen throughout the year, no matter how many unconditional concessions and impunity President Obama grants the Castro regime, it simply emboldens it to want more. Repression, refugees and rogue activities are on the rise. That is the result of Obama’s coerced policy.

[Emboldened, indeed: Castro Government Orders Demolition of Five Christian Churches in Cuba]

Another deal in Havana, still in the making, is the FARC narco-terrorist group’s so-called peace negotiations with the government of Colombia. The White House’s envoy, Bernard Aronson, appears to be willing to rubber stamp an agreement, regardless of how much political or economic power it cedes to the FARC.

While the Cuban Communist regime and the FARC are emboldened,  both of those deals pale next to the no-deal Iran deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). By lifting sanctions, the U.S. is releasing $100 billion in oil-revenue assets frozen in banks.

To put that $100 billion number in perspective, the World Bank currently estimates Iran’s gross domestic product at $369 billion, down from last year’s $415 billion. The $100 billion is essentially a 27% raise, but Pres. Obama insists,

“We’re not writing Iran a check,” he said. “This is Iran’s money that we were able to block from them having access to.”

Now we find out that there’s nothing in writing:

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter [to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.)].

Instead, it is a set of “political commitments.” Allahpundit looks at the bright side, briefly, of the “not-treaty-or-executive-agreement,”

So we’re lifting $100 billion in sanctions in exchange for a legally binding promise of … nothing. The flip side of that, I guess, is that the deal’s not binding on us either; if the next president or even Obama himself wants to reimpose sanctions on a whim, that’s fair game.

But,

The problem with that logic, though, is that no one believes our European partners, who crave renewed access to Iran’s markets (and vice versa), will reinstate sanctions unless Iran cheats flagrantly and egregiously on the deal, to the point where it would humiliate the EU internationally to look the other way. One of Iran’s core goals in all this, re-opening its trade relationship with Europe, will be achieved whether or not ion deal is binding. And once achieved, it’ll be nearly irreversible.

Guy Benson has more, much more on the deal, and he doesn’t even touch on the repercussions it may have for our hemisphere.

Back in Sam Goldwyn‘s days verbal a contract wasn’t worth the paper it’s written on. In our days of smart diplomacy, it’s worth $100 billion.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

As Pete notes, the knives are out against Robert Menendez, with lurid headlines again screaming Sen. Robert Menendez may have had sex with underage hookers in Dominican Republic. Menendez’s office again denied the accusations, which are part of a larger case (emphasis added),

And unlike in many federal public corruption cases, this prosecution revolves, in part, around testimony by ex-girlfriends of Menendez and his donor, the eye doctor Melgen. The Justice Department says at least six of those girlfriends are “direct witnesses to the corrupt relationship between the defendants.” Prosecutors added that they didn’t call all of the men’s former paramours, only those who benefited from the alleged corruption.

Woe betide those whose former girlfriends talk, or whose divorce records are opened.

It’s curious to see the hooker story pop up again. I have been blogging on the case for the last couple of years, and noted that a grand jury in Florida already found no basis for the prostitution allegations. Let’s not forget why it has.

The knives are out on Menendez for three reasons, all pertaining to foreign policy:
1. The Iran deal (about which we have been posting), and Cuba:

Mr. Menendez sharply questioned State Department officials about Mr. Obama’s move to open diplomatic relations with Cuba, calling it “a bad deal” that “compromised bedrock principles for virtually no concessions.” In December, Mr. Menendez, a son of Cuban immigrants who has made opposition to the Castro leadership a centerpiece of his political life, said Mr. Obama’s decision had “vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government.”

He has also battled with Mr. Obama over a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran, which the president argues would undermine talks to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Mr. Menendez is a co-sponsor of the bill.

And during Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address last month, Mr. Menendez sat grim-faced as other Democrats cheered the president’s promise to veto any effort to roll back his domestic agenda. Days later, Mr. Menendez told Obama administration officials that they sounded as if they were peddling “talking points that come straight out of Tehran” in arguing against his sanctions bill.

2. Russia

All the while, Mr. Menendez has agitated for a more aggressive response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, calling for more sanctions on Moscow and military assistance to Kiev.

3. Menendez’s support of dissidents from countries other than Cuba: He vigorously supports the State of Israel against Iran-sponsored Hamas in Gaza, which also figures in his support of international sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program – sanctions that Ecuador and Venezuela attempt to help Iran avoid. And, by the way, last year the story was that Menendez was allegedly helping a pair of Ecuadorian fugitive bankers.

The “Ecuadorian fugitive bankers” are brothers William and Roberto Isaías, who fled Ecuador ten years ago after the government allegedly confiscated media outlets they owned which were critical of the government. They are here legally.

As ranking member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, his word carries a lot of weight. Bringing him down is taking a heck of a lot of work. The senior senator from NJ is not giving up.

The die on the disastrous Iran deal may already have been cast and Menendez’s six-point rebuttal may amount to Failure Theater. No matter what, sinking Menendez sends out a clear message.

UPDATE:
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Samwise: Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Samwise: There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers 2002

We’ve heard a lot about the Americans who stopped a terrorist on a French train, but we’ve not heard much about the Brit involved. Via Ace of Spades we have now:

“My first reaction was to sit down and hide. Then I heard an American say, ‘Go get him’. I decided it was really the only chance, to act as a team and try to take down the assailant.

“My thought was, I’m probably going to die anyway, so let’s go. I’d rather die being active, trying to get him down, than simply sit in the corner and be shot.”

“Either you sit down and you die, or you get up and you die. It was really nothing more then that,” he said.

Additionally we now know that unlike the initial reports that stated all the Americans involved were US Marines, it turns out one was an Air Force medic, one a national guards man and the third an American civilian.

But the most significant part of the story is this:

And it’s a good thing that the Americans stepped in because the early reports indicate that the staff on the train turned and fled like sheep when the trouble started, barricading themselves in their staff room and leaving the passengers to fend for themselves.

The lesson here is simple, unless someone is willing to lead the bad guys win.

And that takes us to the Iran deal.

America under Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and the democrats KNOW who and what Iran is.  But they understand that the only way to stop Iran is to be willing to act which involves political will and angering their base which frankly doesn’t care if Iran wipes Israel from the face of the earth.

Thus their priority is not to stop Iran, it’s to provide an excuse for not stopping (shades of the classic “four stage strategy”) in such a way that when Iran actually gets nukes, they can feign shock and surprise.

That the dirty little secret, and the difference between the Iran deal and the French Train.

The Americans on the French Train acted, understood the personal risk involved in trying to stop him and was willing to take those personal risks it to protect innocent life.

The American pols pushing the Iran deal don’t want to act. They understand stopping Iran involves no physical risk for them but contains political risk within their party, and they are unwilling to take that political risk to protect innocent life.

So when you see our media rightly lionize those who stood up and fought an individual jihadi, take note of the irony that the same media is doing all it can to help the president enable a nations jihad against Israel and the world.

Update: Great minds and all that…

Fear is contagious. But so is courage. People should respond not like a herd of sheep but like a pack of wolves. When the follow-up report on the 2001 attacks came out, J.B. Schramm noted in The Washington Post that “on Sept. 11, 2001, American citizens saved the government, not the other way around.” Intelligence agencies failed. Air defense systems failed. But: “Requiring less time than it took the White House to gather intelligence and issue an attack order (which was in fact not acted on), American citizens gathered information from national media and relayed that information to citizens aboard the flight, who organized themselves and effectively carried out a counterattack against the terrorists, foiling their plans. Armed with television and cellphones, quick-thinking, courageous citizens who were fed information by loved ones probably saved the White House or Congress from devastation.”

Too bad the government doesn’t have that courage on Iran.

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Bob Menendez (D-NJ), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“let’s remind ourselves of the stated purpose of our negotiations with Iran: Simply put, it was to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time. Not shrink its infrastructure. Not limit it. But fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”

Instead,

“This deal grants Iran permanent sanctions relief in exchange for only temporary – temporary — limitations on its nuclear program – not a rolling-back, not dismantlement, but temporary limitations. At year ten, the UN Security Council Resolution will disappear along with the dispute resolution mechanism needed to snapback UN sanctions and the 24-day mandatory access provision for suspicious sites in Iran.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment.”

The above is from Menendez’s speech at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations yesterday, which I urge you to read in full (the speech is also available on YouTube). Get past the obligatory putdown of Republicans and praise of Obama, and you have, as Ace calls it, a speech that is all but unanswerable.

Today Menendez has an op-ed on the NYPost reiterating his proposal for a better Iran deal. He lists six points, and asserts that talks should continue to “allow the re-consideration of just a few, but a critical few issues”, and he lists six essential points, while

At the same time we should: Extend the authorization of the Iran Sanctions Act, which expires in 2016, to ensure that we have an effective snapback option; consider licensing the strategic export of American oil to allied countries struggling with supply because Iranian oil remains off the market; immediately implement the security measures offered to our partners in the Gulf Summit at Camp David, while preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge.

Menendez is keenly aware that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani flew to Russia to consult with Vladimir Putin last week while two Russian warships docked in northern Iran for naval training exercises.

Rouhani, you may recall, is still under an Interpol Red Notice for his alleged role in the decision to bomb the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina or Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association) building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. More recently, Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman was killed by a single shot to his head in his apartment the day before he was to testify to congress about Iran’s deal(s) with president Cristina Fernandez for suppressing evidence, deals in which Nisman alleged Rouhani was involved (you can go to my blog and scroll down).

And yet, “Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran” when he’s not attending Death to America events.

As Ted Cruz says, “If there’s one principle that history has taught us, it is that if somebody tells you they want to kill you, believe them.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who last Friday stood like patience on a statue while Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla brazenly lied about Cuba and insulted the U.S. during their joint press conference, demonstrated his contempt for Congress during his Iran testimony

by making cause with self-proclaimed enemies of his nation against a branch of his own government.

Not only with his words, but also in

the way the administration is seeking to bypass the Congressional role in approving treaties through the combination of an executive agreement and a UN Security Council resolution.

Does it all amount to Failure Theater, or will Menendez and the Senate Democrats who oppose the deal achieve their goal?

I don’t know.

But I’m calling my Senator to oppose the Iran deal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

We have all watched the news and seen week after week of commentary on the Iran nuclear deal. The coverage has gone everywhere from “walk away,” to “the best deal anyone could get.”

Walking away isn’t a good idea in this case, but ok I get it. I understand the sentiment.

This being the best possible deal isn’t a great way to approach signing onto something either. I mean seriously, if you walk onto a Hyundai lot and they want you to pay the same price as a Mercedes S series (north of $100k) you walk away quickly, despite the fact that it is the best deal you can get, but admittedly here we can’t really walk away.

To the President’s statement that the alternative is War, I’m not sure I believe that either, but ok I get that alternative is a possibility as well.

Here is the real deal, and I have this from multiple sources.

We have had sanctions in place for a long time which has stifled Iran’s economy in a lot of ways. Economic conditions have slowed their development programs on a number of government projects including those designed for military use.

Well, I have been talking to some folks in Washington and it appears obvious that the United States had two choices, sign the deal, or never get any concept of what is going on there again in any fashion. This deal isn’t much better, but one step at a time.

Who would have told us that?

Russia and China.

If there are international sanctions on Iran from all over the world these things work well. If Russia and China drop their sanctions and we keep ours what is the impact of our sanctions? In reality, if that were to come to pass, very little.

It is becoming more obvious every single day that there is an alliance growing between the Iranians and the Russians.

Don’t think that is right?

The Washington Free Beacon broke a story yesterday titled: Russian Warships Dock In Iran for War Training.

So now we have Iran wanting newer weapons, including ICBMs, all manner of enhanced military developments including a missile shield, the Russians who need an economic boost and would love to sell these things to someone (for oil perhaps?) working together.

Well, we had two choices. Sign this deal or have the old deal become so meaningless that it wouldn’t matter.

Now before someone calls me names I am not saying we should have signed it.

Let me rephrase the situation.

If we didn’t sign the deal President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry would have been left looking like the “uncool” kids on the international stage who wouldn’t let the big guy do whatever he wanted. They wouldn’t or couldn’t stand up to the Russians and say niet (no).

Why might that be?

Debt. Our national debt may be what has driven this. Could it be that the Russians and the Chinese threatened to dump US debt quickly for pennies on the dollar if we didn’t go along with it?

Hmmm. Perhaps.

The federal government currently is roughly $18 Trillion in debt. That’s a lot of zeroes. Put another way that is $18,000,000,000,000 in debt (give or take).

We currently owe China $1.2T.

With Russia it isn’t nearly as bad its only $115B.

Combined that is over $1.3T.

If they dumped that much in US debt on the market at 50 cents on the dollar our economy would go into a tailspin like no other. The US dollar would have almost no value internationally and we would be in a worse place than ever before.

Perhaps this is the world’s first case of economic terrorism. I could be wrong about that, it might not be the first.

When I wrote the book The Last World War, a fiction novel about the world as Iran sets off its nuclear arsenal I never would have envisioned that we allowed it to happen. It appeared to strange even for fiction. The rest of the novel has been called horrific and given people nightmares at what could happen, but the initiation of that situation being us is just strange. The world does appear to be stranger than fiction.

In this case it becomes obvious that the United States is being told to do something or else. There is very little other reason to do this deal that is obvious in the evidence. Accusations can be made about the President being a sympathizer, or any of another dozen things we can throw around as conspiracies but I don’t think that is the case. This is a clear case of economic international pressure. It appears our inability to get our fiscal house in order has prevented us from having much influence internationally. The US is weak, and it is a problem that must be solved immediately. We have to get our economic house in order.

Nuclear ExplosionAs I grow older I have noticed that the world around me has changed. This is not unusual; change is the one constant in life.

One of those changes has been a gradual shift in politics to pure name calling and lack of, let’s just say, honesty with politicians. But, it isn’t just them. We elect them, therefore, isn’t the voting public at fault? Well, that is a philosophical question for another day, but applicable to this particular discussion.

As a nation, like it or not, we are about to enter into an agreement with the Iranians pertaining to their nuclear agreement. As a part of this “deal” Iran will obtain nuclear weapons. It is going to happen.

Who cares if another Nation has these weapons? After all, there are other nuclear powers which including the following:

  • The United States
  • Russia
  • The United Kingdom
  • France
  • China
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • North Korea
  • Israel

At least these are the known ones.

What’s one more?

The difference here is that Iran is spending loads of money supporting terrorist groups and their tactics and has also declared what they would do with these weapons should they have them.

Now, I know, someone is going to say, “Ohhhh those crazy Iranians are just saying that to make their citizens happy, they really won’t use them.”

Ummm, ok. Maybe, but maybe not.

Personally, I am well aware that there are conventional weapons now that offer up the same yield as a nuclear device. All one has to do is look at the MOAB for this sort of behavior. Google MOAB sometime and see the videos on YouTube. It is a conventional device with as much explosive power as the Hiroshima Bomb.

Back to the Iranians and name calling.

I have entered into a discussion with people about this deal. I have often been called names because I wasn’t 100% on board with the President and Secretary Kerry. Fine, call me names who cares. But I think it speaks volumes of where we are in this national politically.

If we can’t have a dialog for more than 2 minutes offering up concepts and ideas and backing those up with one another without being called names because I don’t instantly agree with you, well that isn’t going to offer up viable solutions now is it? If you keep putting down a person’s Idea long enough just because it does not follow along your party lines, soon you will get no ideas from other persons you are in fact requesting alternative ideas from.

Think of it kind of like incest. One generation down maybe nothing weird happens but sometimes you get Geoffry from Game of Thrones.

The only other thing that happens when I discuss this Iranian deal is discussed in my experience is the question “What’s the alternative, no deal? War?”

Think of it like buying a car. Would you spend Mercedes Money on a Hyundai? No that’s a bad deal. So most people would walk away.

Yes, no deal is fine in that case, and with the Iranians. It is ok sometimes to walk away.

But not when it comes to politics. There we just need a deal we can go on the news and say look we got a deal. Yeah, but it sucks. However, that isn’t on the news, but let that go.

Don’t believe me?

A former combat medic and I wrote a book recently called The Last World War (Available on Amazon in eBook and Print).This book was written by myself (usually a conservative guy) and a Texan, gun toting, former combat medic with two tours in Southwest Asia (including combat duty). I assure this particular part of a review made us laugh:

PC Pajama Boys write and AH/Future History Book? Is this what we have come to? Left Wing Obama Boys are now writing in this genre?”

Well let’s see, neither of us are fans of the President, neither of us voted for him, not that it matters. The review went on to basically indicate something that we thought carefully about before writing the book (which has other very complimentary, 5 star reviews btw).

The issue with this person was that if we are nuked by Iran the United States would respond (in his opinion) by turning Iran into a parking lot for a massive glass factory.

Well, I for one am not so sure.

Let’s look at the first few people in that loop. President Obama? Would he nuke back? If Iran had used all of its nuclear weapons and there were no other attacks imminent would he launch nuclear weapons? I don’t’ think so. He would more likely go on TV and demand calm while there was a “detailed investigation to determine who was really behind the nuclear attack.”

Let’s say President Obama was not the President for some reason (which happens in the book) and Vice President Biden is the President? Would he under those circumstances? I don’t think so either. Vice President Biden would roll his eyes, throw his hands up and look like a shifty used car salesman.

How about Speaker of the House? I know he wouldn’t. He’d cry, but not launch nukes.

The book is fictional, but the response by those who chose to not rate it well has all been politically based. Because apparently we have gotten to the point as a nation where two veterans who write FICTION novels are now accused of politics we don’t hold based on what may happen once Iran gets nuclear weapons if we assume the spinal fortitude of those who run our country to be what we have experienced it to be.

Now, personally, I am of the belief that nuclear weapons will be used again in anger. There will be more tests, and there will, almost without a doubt, be an attack using one at some point in the not so distant future. I leave it to others to decide what will happen when that occurs, but I believe what we have written was what would happen based on those in charge today. It would not be a nuclear response on our part. It would be conventional, and our conventional troops are the best in the world, and in my opinion, would be dominant as they always are.

I would like to conclude today by asking that everyone be more patient. Exchange ideas with those we disagree with, have the discussion. Listen to their opinion; ask them why they believe what they believe. If their reason why is reasonable to you perhaps you will change your mind. If it is not, well then you know where the flaw in their thinking is and (key word here) politely point out your why on that same subject, you might just get a convert.

I know someone is going to say, “Yeah well they won’t listen,” well no. Not at first and certainly not if you don’t try, but the exchange of ideas is what adults should do. We should not have name calling, especially by our elected leaders who use the nightly news I’m stuck watching to tell me how awful the other guy is, but never get around to saying what they would do, merely how bad that other guy is.

To the guy who wrote that review, thanks for reading the book, I appreciate you taking some time, but I assure you your review will not go into the annals of history as one we care much about as you admit in it that you stopped reading before the halfway point. Next time, review books you finished and not those you decided who I was and what I was before you bothered to look into the matter. Never, ever jump to a conclusion. Thanks!

We leave you with this thought. The next time we get upset with the ways those that lead this country behave, we have no one but ourselves to blame. We need to find the right guy, not the most “electable,” find the right guy and work hard to get that guy into office. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. I’m sure someone told that to a guy named Washington a long time ago.

Thanks for reading the post, and for those who have read and enjoyed my various works of fiction, I am humbled by you taking the time to enjoy that work. It is an honor to have fans.

I love cars.

What I love the most about cars is, cars represent independence: An individual with a car at their disposal is free to go anywhere they please, whenever they please, unfettered. All they need is a driver’s license and a full tank of gas. You may not even have to know how to drive, if you can avail yourself of a willing licensed driver. No need to look up mass-transit schedules or routes (unless your trip involves a ferry). No need to get tickets in advance.

Get in the car, and go.

Of course I love luxury cars: Luxury cars with Brits, like Mr. Steed in the 1960s The Avengers TV series and the Jaguar villains (you may enjoy the ad’s “making of” video, too) especially, and of course, beautiful classic cars. I even remember sighing the time I saw a 1930s Bugatti; but I also love new, modestly-priced cars.

Owners of 2016 Hyundai Elantras have at their disposal hundreds of technological and safety features – from paint quality to power steering to traction control systems – at a price that is lower than the annual median U.S. salary, that were not available to the purchaser of a 1930s Bugatti, which only the very rich could afford. The Bugatti’s buyer wouldn’t even have been able to imagine the Elantra’s many features, and the fact that it can be serviced most anywhere in the free world. The Elantra is one sweet ride.

Why is that? Competition: Hundreds of car makers marketing their products in the United States and around the world, competing for the consumers’ favor. A consumer economy beats a command economy, all the way.

I was thinking of this while writing yesterday’s post at my blog on the Venirauto.

What the hey is a Venirauto?, you’re probably asking. The Venirauto is a car manufactured by the Iranians exclusively for the Venezuelan market, now that nearly all foreign car manufacturers have left Venezuela once the government insisted that they could not be paid in U.S. dollars.

Venirauto is 51% Iranian and 49% Venezuelan, 100% government-owned.

Putting aside the extensive and aggressive Iranian presence in Latin America, a subject that ought to be of great concern but goes mostly ignored, the Venirauto embodies a command-driven economy:

  • Francisco Espinoza, president of Venirauto group, “Our achievement is based on inspiration given by our late commander, Hugo Chavez. He wanted Venezuela to ally with Iran, and we’re doing so.”
  • The first model, the Turpial at a price of Bs. 17 million (US$7,906), is a 4-door sedan based on the old Kia Pride model. The second is the Centauro, at a price of Bs. 23 million (US$11,069), and is based on the Peugeot 405 given that the French firm is the main supplier of engines and technology to the Iranian company.

Don’t expect to find those two in Kelley’s Blue Book Top 10 anytime soon: The Peugeot 405 was introduced on 1987 and, according to Wikipedia, is still produced under license in Iran and Egypt but ceased production in France in 1997. The old Kia Pride (not to be confused with the Kia New Pride) was in production from 1987 to 2000. In effect, the Venezuelans, who get government-subsidized gasoline almost for free, can now drive technology nearly thirty years old.

A picture’s worth a thousand words: Compare the new 2015 Venirauto plant with a Hyundai assembly plant at Kancheepuram district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu October 4, 2012.

For your automotive enjoyment, also compare the 10 iconic Soviet cars with the 10 iconic American cars.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog

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I spoke to Author Andy Martin on Day one of FITN Republican Leadership Conference Nashua NH

If you don’t want to wait for the individual posts you can see all my interviews as they’re uploaded here

I spoke to State Senator Sam Cataldo on Day one of FITN Republican Leadership Conference Nashua NH

He will not be the first person you hear praising the former VA Gov.

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I spoke to Rep Alfred P. Baldasaro on Day one of FITN Republican Leadership Conference Nashua NH

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I spoke to NH State Rep Carl Seidel on Day one of FITN Republican Leadership Conference Nashua NH

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I spoke to Ambassador John Bolton on Day one of FITN Republican Leadership Conference Nashua NH

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For years we have all been watching the news about Iran and disagreements they have with a number of governments around the world about their nuclear program. We have all seen the discussions of sanctions, lifting sanctions, red lines, pushing red lines, and even had our own internal disagreements over what should be done about the aspirations of their weapons (or peaceful) program.

I have written extensively on this subject in various places as a scientist. Having a nuclear background myself I find the discussion interesting, if for no other reason than just how poorly nuclear “things” are understood.

A number of years ago I started writing fiction novels. It is something I enjoy, and have met with some very humbling positive reader feedback. I do hope if you have read one that I can include you as a fan. It is truly an honor to have entertained people.

The point of this discussion is that, like everyone else, I want to know what Iran wants to do with those weapons. That is assuming they get their hands on them. That caused me to read as much as I could of their official releases to see what their intention was, and nothing positive could be found.

Nations that want many nuclear weapons are defending themselves, a nation that wants four or five and has stated targets in mind I take issue with.

I do not think the United States should be the world police, nor should we dictate to everyone. But this time they have something in mind. That something led me to write a fiction novel. The premise of The Last World War: Volume 1 Trial By Fission is my fictionalized version of what happens if Iran gets these weapons and does what they say they want to do. I hope you enjoy the read and we do apologize to the one reviewer who said we kept him up at night.

Below is an excerpt from that book which can be purchased on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. It can be purchased in paperback or eBook for Kindle (which I will reduce to just a $0.99 download for the next few days).

 

An excerpt from The Last World War:

 

The news anchor kept talking, filling airtime no matter what, “I want to remind everyone, that we still have no idea who is behind these acts. We don’t know much of anything yet, other than there have been two nuclear explosions in two United States cities, which history will surely…please hold for a moment…”

She put her finger to her ear, listening intently to her earpiece, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have our first video feed coming in from a helicopter over the destruction near Fort Worth. This is from a traffic helicopter that had yet to take off when the device detonated. Many of them that were in the air at the time were tragically downed when the detonation happened. This one had to be fueled then fly in from more than a hundred and fifty miles northeast. Ah, the picture is coming…” her sentence ended abruptly as she turned to see the picture on the screen behind her.

She was not the only person who would stop mid-sentence upon first seeing the images. The video of the scenes of destruction would stop even the most professional of newscasters all over the globe.

As far as the camera could focus the scene of the desolate landscape was nothing but giant piles of rubble. Pieces of what once were multi-story buildings, automobiles, what might have been a highway overpass, maybe a school bus were all thrown together in massive piles.

In the distance some portions of buildings could be seen remaining with some large missing portions. A steel beam was sticking out of one of the remaining structures giving a smoke filled, charred reminder that the buildings here were recently much taller.

A city was gone from the Earth. It was there, just this morning. It was there, and now it wasn’t. It had been turned into a pile of waste. The land was still there, bits of junk were still there. None of what had been the well-organized and constructed buildings stood in any useable fashion.

The cameraman pulled back for a wide shot and the destruction appeared to go on even further and wider than Frank had imagined possible. It wasn’t completely flattened out but looked to be something akin to the surface of an abandoned island in the Pacific, one of the ones that were used for testing of all kinds of weaponry during and after World War II.

Frank could not believe that what he was looking at had been a thriving metropolitan area just a few short hours ago. Being in the combat branches of the military he had seen destruction from bombs, explosives, and missiles, but this was far beyond any of that. If you looked closely in the distance you could see what appeared to be steel superstructures of buildings on fire. Given that this was a nuclear blast there should be no fuel left on the surface burning, this had to be the metal itself that had gotten so hot that it was producing a flame. It was too much for Frank to even wrap his mind around. That much heat, it just wasn’t possible that this was really happening.

The helicopter slowed. There was a static filled audio feed from the pilot. By now the audience had put together from the somewhat broken transmissions from the helicopter that on the images were from the edge, not at the center, of the damaged area. The fires in the distance were too massive and the pilot did not feel he could get closer without risking his aircraft. They were attempting to search for survivors. The recording of damage could wait until they helped what people they could. So far they were searching, but not finding anyone left alive.

The pilot was systematically searching the area. The camera panned down rather than pointing in front of the flight path in order to increase their chances of finding someone still moving. The pilot was asking for help of anyone watching his feed to alert him if they saw something he missed. On the audio feed the pilot could be heard praying to himself between official radio exchanges. He must have forgotten that he pushed the voice activated transmission button. Who could blame him?

The helicopter came upon what had recently been an elementary school. At least they came upon the remnants of a playground that indicated that is what this building probably used to be. It could have been a daycare center, but it was certainly something with children in mind. What remained of some of the children who had been on the playground could be seen littering the area. Their bodies had been turned to the color of blackened fireplace ash. Some of the piles of ash still maintained the shape of small humans who had finished their lives in intense pain based on the positions they had been in when they reached their final breath.

One small child who had been on the side of the building and therefore not “protected” by its structure was burned down to a pure white skeleton. At this discovery the camera operator and pilot stopped speaking into the radio. Their flight slowly, almost sadly, changed direction away from the blast center moving further towards the outskirts. The camera remained focused on the skeletal remains of the once playful child as long as it could as the nation and world took note of the price of this attack had cost the innocent civilians of the United States.

All that was heard from the pilot after this sad discovery was a very timidly voiced statement, “We are going to look further north for survivors.”

The news anchor came back into view as tears were streaking her makeup in silent emotions stains, “We have just received word from an overseas colleague. We have no reason to doubt the validity. There have been three nuclear explosions in Israel, our close friend and ally in that region. Our prayers go out to everyone in Fort Worth, Detroit and Israel. May God help Israel and God help the United States. We are at War. I hope humankind can survive this madness.”

She got up and walked off camera covering her face to hide the new stream of tears now flowing uncontrollably.

Frank closed the screen on the laptop saying, “Let’s get that first aid review underway. We have to get in there and help whoever is left alive.”

 

Since the United States isn’t going to stop Iran it’s going to fall to Israel, but this is going to make things a tad harder:

President Vladimir Putin on Monday sanctioned the delivery of a highly capable Russian air defense missile system to Iran, a game changer move that would significantly bolster the Islamic republic’s military capability and fuel Israel’s concerns.

As the president’s attempt to arm Iran continues Israel’s options keep dwindling and this news isn’t going to help.

The question is this, if Israel can’t take out Iranian nukes with conventional weapons what are the odds that they risk angering a world that hates them anyway but using the Nuclear option?

Anyone who thinks backing the Jews into a corner is a good idea is a fool and anyone who think Israel is going to just let themselves be destroyed is even more of one.

Update:  I would have mentioned this Red Line being crossed

Russia’s announcement on Monday that it will proceed with the sale of advanced missile systems to Iran crosses a so-called “red line” established by the Obama administration in 2010, according to comments by senior administration officials.

But as nobody actually takes an Obama redline seriously I didn’t think it was newsworthy.

The first in an occasional series of simple comparisons between the Bush and Obama Years.

Both George Bush & Barack Obama Claimed their goal was to deny a Nuclear Weapon to Iraq.  Let’s see how they compare

By the end of the Bush Years Iran not only had sanctions but had US Ground forces to their west (Iraq), US Ground forces to the East (Afghanistan) of Iran and the US navy to the south.

With twenty months to the election of his replacement Barack Obama has withdrawn troops from the west of Iran, is in the process of withdrawing US troops from the east of Iran, has loosed sanctions and is moving forward with a deal for removing those sanctions that his own state department and Secretary of State publicly declares is “Not legally Binding”.

Given these facts which of these men would you logically conclude has the goal to keep Iran from building nuclear weapons?

 

 

 

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

Luke 12:34

One more thing about Tom Cotton co on Iran vs Barack Obama & Co on Iran.  Their positions & actions remind me of two other US pols from history.

Barack Obama move on Iran reminds me of Lyndon’s Johnson’s on the Civil Rights act of 1957:

The failed presidential bid of Richard Russell in 1952 convinced both Johnson and Russell his patron that no Southerner could be elected president until they were “made clean” on Civil Rights. Russell was clearly the most qualified and most respected Democratic Candidate in 1952 but in state after state he was told privately by party members that they could not support a southerner (Russell for all his virtues and he had many, was an arch segregationist who opposed military integration and whose opinion of the races were frankly startling). Russell dreamed of seeing a southerner in the White house and was determined to give Lyndon the chance he did not have.

Lyndon Johnson ambitions had always been toward the white house. Once he was convinced that support for civil rights was a sine-qua-non for him to become a credible candidate for the White House Lyndon Johnson was determined to be not only the supporter of a Civil Rights bill in the Senate but he would be the pilot steering such a bill through every shoal so that the final bill came to port it would be flying the flag of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Barack Obama’s Presidency has been a story of failure. His signature accomplishment Obamacare while saved from destruction by Justice Roberts Old Yellow Stain has been the cause of the defeat of many Democrats & the largest GOP house majority in nearly a century.  Meanwhile under his care US interests in  Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Ukraine & Russia are falling apart.

All that’s left is to build a legacy, so Barack Obama wants an Iran deal, even if it’s a deal that is not legally binding.

All that matters is a deal and if Iran violates it and gets that bomb, as long it happens after he’s out office, oh well.

Meanwhile Tom Cotton has been very clear about his own goals:

“But you’re trying to kill this deal, aren’t you?” Karl asked.

“I’m trying to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon – today, 10 years from now, 20 years from now,” Cotton responded.

“But you’ve been quite clear that your goal in all of this is to kill this deal, because you do not think that President Barack Obama’s negotiating a good deal,” Karl pressed.

“My only goal – for years now – is to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Cotton added.

Cotton’s statement concerning his letter, reminds me of another letter written by a US pol concerning a war:

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save Slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.

Tom Cotton wants to stop Iran from getting a nuke, he’s not been shy about it.  If he can do it by attacking an Obama deal with Iran he will, if he can do by embracing an Obama deal with Iran he will and I suspect if he can do it by embracing parts of an Obama deal with Iran while opposing other parts he would do that too.

Once you start reading the story concerning President Obama threatening to shoot down Israeli airplanes if they tried to hit Iranian nuke site it doesn’t take much time to decide it has problems.

For a start the source is a Palestinian news agency quoting a paper in Kuwait.  Not one of the more reliable information chains for reliable news data.

Furthermore the facts on the ground are an issue because, as Roger Simon put it, the US didn’t have the assets deployed to intercept such an attack

The U.S. simply does not have the facilities in place anymore, and if it were to get them, the “spin up” would be obvious to almost everyone, making it ineffective. Moreover, there have been many reports that Saudi Arabia has agreed to let the Israelis fly over their territory if they attacked Iran, making U.S. interception all the more difficult.

Still further, the source noted, it would be unclear if U.S. air force personnel would obey an order to attack their Israeli colleagues — some of whom they may have trained with. On top of that, the Israelis are often more experienced fighter pilots. The ones chosen to attack Iranian nuclear installations would undoubtedly be an elite team.

Whatever the intent of the story or the facts of the matter there’s one thing that going to be an issue for this administration.

Can any person with even a vague acquaintance with this administration’s attitude toward both Iran & Israel honestly say that when they saw the Headline at Drudge  (before clicking through to the story) that they found it the slightest bit unbelievable?

Frankly because the facts are weak on this I suspect the left will come out swinging here.  It sure beats defending the actual record of this admin vis-a-vis Israel & Iran.

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At the end of the 1974 crime drama Chinatown, Walsh drags Jake away from the scene and says one of the all-time classic lines in movie history,

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown

Earlier in the film, the plot has established that Chinatown is a lawless, dangerous place, where even the District Attorney advises its men to do “as little as possible.”

Fast-forward 41 years to Buenos Aires and the murder of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the day before he was schedule to testify in front of the Argentinian Congress on the civil lawsuit he filed accusing president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of colluding with Iran to hide evidence of Iran’s involvement (including current president Hassan Rouhani) in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center.

Among documents found at his apartment (the crime scene) was the draft of an arrest warrant for Fernandez.

Nisman was the lead investigator of a terrorist attack involving Iran, and possibly the foremost expert on Iran’s expanding operations in Latin America.

At first Fernandez tweeted it was suicide, later that it was murder. The facts of the case point to murder. However, it’s unlikely we’ll ever find out what really happened.

Argentina is a beautiful country, blessed with a variety of climates and terrains, rich soil, and a great port. But the political condition of the once-prosperous country for the last seventy years is rife with a history of assassinations and suspicious suicides; indeed, when I first heard of Nisman’s death, I called it a murder, even while I was being told it appeared to be suicide.

Sebastian Rotella wrote a lengthy article that must be read in its entirety. Rotella explains the details of the Nisman investigations, and includes “an experience [he] had in 1999 with a mysterious witness in the AMIA case.”

Jeremy Adelman posits that “The Nisman affair is a saga that braids together incompetence, corruption, and murder on a global scale.“ He asks,

At this stage, it is hard to know what is worse: the rot in Argentine public institutions that can’t investigate an atrocity after 20 years, the depths to which Argentine hopes for truth and accountability have plunged, or the sordid spectacle of a president personalizing a crisis she helped to create?

For now, two judges have declined to review the civil complaint Nisman filed the week before his death.

UPDATE:
BREAKING NEWS: Argentina’s President Fernandez Charged in Probe of Alleged Cover-Up (emphasis added)

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was charged by a prosecutor with trying to cover up the alleged involvement of Iranian officials in the country’s worst terrorist attack. Now a judge must decide whether to pursue the case.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s blog.

In Monday’s State of the Union Address, Pres. Obama said,

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies – including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails – alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.

To which Senator Robert Menendez (D – N.J.), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, quipped,

The more I hear from the administration in its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran. And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization when they are the ones with original sin: an illicit nuclear weapons program going back over the course of twenty years that they are unwilling to come clean on.

But, as Charles Krauthammer points out, Iran Isn’t Just Trying to Build a Nuclear Bomb, instead, Iran is marching toward conventional domination of the Arab world.

Krauthammer points to Iranian-backed Houthis seizing control of the Yemeni government, Iran sending in weapons, money and revolutionary guards and ordering Hezbollah to fight in Syria.

In Latin America, Iran has greatly expanded its presence and influence over the last decade – which directly affects the U.S. In 2007 an alleged Iranian agent, Abdul Kadir, plotted to blow up JFK airport in New York.

Kadir was among the names of the many Iranian assets that Alberto Nisman, The Man Who Exposed Iran in Latin America, came across in his investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, the largest terrorist attack in our hemisphere prior to the 9/11/2001 attack.

Nisman compiled a massive case, accusing Iran and its Lebanese terrorist affiliate, Hezbollah, of the attack. He indicted a member of Hezbollah and a number of former high-ranking Iranians officials.

Nisman brought a civil lawsuit last week accusing president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and others of orchestrating a cover-up of Iran’s responsibility for the 1994 attack, asking the judge to freeze $23 million of assets belonging to Fernández de Kirchner and others named in the complaint.

He was scheduled to testify to Argentina’s Congress on Monday, but was prevented from doing it by a single shot to the head.

Nisman

wrote in granular detail about how Iran patiently plants people in cities throughout the Western Hemisphere, seeding Iran’s revolution. And, Nisman found, Iran used its embassies in the region to launch the revolution, leveraging the locals in unsuspecting communities.

Meanwhile,

In Venezuela and Bolivia, Iran has moved to the next level, developing a military presence through joint ventures in defense industries.

Iran fosters terror (emphasis added),

The AMIA bombing was not the only time Iran’s leadership was implicated in an attack on foreign soil. In addition to Rafsanjani and Velayati, a red notice was issued for Ali Fallahian for the AMIA bombing. Rafsanjani, Velayati and Fallahian were all implicated in another terror attack on foreign soil.

A German prosecutor “without naming them … implicated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian” in the 1992 massacre at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin.

Iran’s revolutionary government is lawless. The Iranian actors in these foreign terror attacks weren’t rogue operators but members of the country’s political elite. It’s something to keep in mind when the Obama administration insists that it will make a nuclear agreement with Iran that will make everyone safer and more secure.

So, make no mistake (as Obama himself is so fond of saying), this is not the time to veto any new sanctions bills.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Alberto Nisman is dead. He was found dead in his one-bedroom Buenos Aires apartment on Sunday, hours before he was scheduled to appear at a congressional hearing on Monday to provide more details on his lawsuit accusing president Cristina Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others conspiracy to cover up an investigation into Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish community center (the WSJ has a list of 5 Things to Know About Argentine Bombing Probe).

Nisman’s investigations led to the indictment of Carlos Menem, who was president at the time of the AMIA attack for tampering with evidence that implicated a Syrian businessman.

Everything else surrounding Nisman’s death is a mystery.

The government’s Secretary for Security was on the scene before any of the investigating authorities (including the investigating prosecutor and the coroner’s office). Keep that foremost in your mind when you read anything on Nisman.

Here’s what has been revealed so far:

  • He was found in his bathroom in a pool of blood. Next to his body was a 22 caliber firearm and a bullet casing.
  • He died from a bullet to the head. Earlier accounts said the entry point was on his right side towards the rear of the ear; the official account says it was the right temple.
  • The gun that shot the bullet in Nisman’s brain was not his, although he owned and had permits for two firearms.
  • No gunshot residue was found on his body, ““unfortunately,
  • Nisman left a shopping list for his housekeeper.
  • Apparently none of the ten security officers assigned to protect Nisman was stationed on the thirteenth floor of the apartment building on which he lived.
  • His apartment has a main entrance and a service entrance, but all reports only mention the main entrance.
  • The investigating prosecutor calls it an “induced suicide.”
  • Ariel Lijo, the Argentinian judge who received Nisman’s 300 page complaint alleging the involvement of President Cristina ​Fernández de Kirchner and others in covering up Iran’s culpability for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA, ordered the seizure of all documentation and other evidence referred to in the complaint.
  • Authorities raided both his home and his office for all documents regarding any of his investigations.
  • Yesterday the government released a copy of the 300-page civil complaint against Fernendez that Nisman was scheduled to testify to Congress.

Nisman, who was barred by the Argentinian government from testifying on Iran’s increased influence in South America at a U.S. Congress subcommittee hearing in 2013, had asked Judge Lijo to freeze $23 million of assets belonging to Mrs. Kirchner and the others named in the complaint.

Who killed Nisman?

UPDATE

“Anyone could have opened it.”

  • Investigators found another means of access to the apartment through a hallway where the air-conditioners are located, with a door that leads to the apartment. They found a fingerprint and a footprint.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

 

The opinions of those of us who strongly oppose easing up restrictions on Cuba are dismissed as “an outdated Cold War perspective” (the link I use here is typical but not alone).

The implication is that the Cuban Communist regime has evolved, and we have not.

Let’s take a brief glance at four points of the Cuban Revolution evolution, then.

1. Commitment to the status quo:
Mariela Castro, Raul Castro’s daughter and member of the Cuban parliament, when asked about Obama’s new concessions,

“If the U.S. thinks these changes will bring Cuba back to capitalism and return to being a servile country to the interests of the most powerful financial groups in the U.S., they must be dreaming.”

“I don’t know what my father plans to do. What I can see at least, as a Member of Parliament is that there’s big concerns about how to do things the best way possible to obtain funds for the many problems we are discussing now.”

You can listen to Mariela’s “outdated Cold War perspective” yourself.

2. Persecution:
Political repression in Cuba has quadrupled since 2010 — and 2014 isn’t over yet

As of Nov. 30, there have been at least 8,410 politically motivated arrests in Cuba this year, compared to 6,424 in all of 2013 and more than four times the 2,074 arrests in 2010, according to the Cuban National Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

3. Labor conditions:
Cuba is an enslaved society. Those who apparently have evolved beyond “outdated Cold War perspectives” cite China – hugely dependent on slave labor – as a reason why the US should grant Cuba credit (which dozens of countries have granted Cuba and lost money) to purchase American goods.

Yesterday I posted at my blog (emphasis added)

comparisons with China policy fall short on a vital aspect:
I have friends who have operated profitable businesses in China in the past 20 years. Their corporations paid their Chinese employees directly. However, anyone employing Cuban citizens does not pay the employee; they pay the Cuban government a stipulated (by the government) amount per person. The communist regime then pays the employee an amount no higher than the maximum salary (yes, Cuba has maximum salary laws), which is approximately 10% of the amount the communist regime received from the business.

That is the case with any of the hundreds of multinationals that have done business with Cuba in the country, and with the thousands of “doctors” Cuba sends to places like Venezuela and Brazil.

I was mistaken, though (emphasis added):

Cubans working for firms with foreign capital on the island received a bucket of cold water Tuesday when a new resolution published in the official Gazette fixes their salaries at only 8% of what the joint venture or foreign companies must pay the government in hard currency for their services.

The announcement published by Granma daily quotes Vice-minister of Labor and Social Security, Zamira Marín Triana, as saying the new wage involves a “significant increase” for workers.

Additionally, foreign businessmen who have tried to collect monies due by Cuba have been thrown in jail, most recently Alejandro Abood, Cy Tokmakjian, Krikor Bayassalian, Nessin Abadi, Sarkis Yacoubian, and Stephen Purvis.

4. Human rights:
In Wednesday’s speech, Obama stated,

we welcome Cuba’s decision to release a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team.

I have been researching for three days trying to find a list of names of the “substantial number of prisoners” who purportedly are to be released, and so far have found none.

Indeed, the Communist regime need not do anything. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson:

“I do not necessarily think that we are talking about direct human rights conditionality in the restoration of diplomatic relations part.”

What do Cuban dissident leaders, who are risking their lives, have to say about President Obama’s announcement to normalize relations with Castro’s dictatorship? Read it at Capitol Hill Cubans.

Four items, briefly looked at.

But let’s go full-Cold War on Cuba’s

harboring of U.S.-designated terrorists; subversion of democracy in Venezuela; support of rogue regimes in Syria and Iran; and illegal trafficking of weapons to North Korea

Mary O’Grady has more on the Cuba-Venezuela-Iran nexus.

Just this week, Cuba Leads Opposition to UN Resolutions on Human Rights in Iran, Syria and North Korea.

And how’s this for Cold War deja-vu? Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared early this year that Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, among them Cuba.

“Cold War perspective”? Hell yeah.

Outdated? You decide.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Those of us who watch the dismal state of U.S. foreign policy will find the following DiploPundit post on Bolivia enlightening:

According to the OIG report on the US Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia released on July 17, just before the OIG inspection conducted in February and March 2014, the State Department “recalled the chargé and the political/economic section chief who served as acting DCM from August 2012 to September 2013 and took steps to mitigate some of the embassy’s leadership problems.”

This means that, during the period when the Bolivian Government expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Peace Corps, and the Department of State’s ended all U.S. counternarcotics programs:

  • There was no ambassador
  • The top 2 officials were removed before the inspector arrived to investigate the situation
  • DiploPundit points out (emphasis added): “Just before the inspection, the WHA bureau and the Bureau of Human Resources apparently agreed that, because a permanent ambassador is not likely in the foreseeable future, the Department would assign a permanent chargé d’affaires and a permanent DCM in La Paz. It only took them about five years to make up their minds.”

A rather unusual situation. What was happening?

To make a long story short,

nearly all American staff members told the OIG team that they did not understand mission priorities or their part in achieving goals. The OIG team frequently heard staff tell of instructions given one day only to have the former front office forget or reverse them the next. Skepticism about public diplomacy programming one month could be replaced by front office enthusiasm for a cultural project the next. Reporting officers, already in a difficult environment for contact development and reporting, stated that the front office did little to direct reporting or provide training and mentoring. Embassy staff members told the OIG team they wanted clear and steady guidance from the front office but did not receive it.

You, gentle reader, may ask, why fuss over Bolivia, a place most of us may have difficulty finding in a map, a place best known for cocaine production and Butch Cassidy‘s final destination?

Well, because Bolivia, which owns 70% of the world’s lithium reserves, is getting plenty of attention from

  • China, with whom it has a space satellite program, and which is investing billions of dollars in mining projects,
  • Russia, including Putin’s own attention to gas production with Gazprom; Putin has slammed the efforts of Evo Morales – who is president of Bolivia and was president of the coca growers’ union – to keep coca leaf consumption legal (perhaps not coincidentally, coca production has declined),
  • Iran, a buyer of Bolivian uranium and lithium, whose largest embassy in the hemisphere is located in La Paz.

A note on lithium:

a byproduct of lithium also has a little known and insidious application: It can be used as an alternative or as an enhancer to uranium, a key component needed to develop nuclear weapons. In particular, lithium-6 is an internationally controlled substance because of its “booster” role in smaller, highly efficient thermonuclear devices.

In other words, it makes bad bombs smaller, worse and also more portable. And thus policymakers should be concerned that the deal with Bolivia could bring the Islamic Republic one step closer to nuclear capability.

Indeed, in our age of America’s “smart diplomacy”, the neglect of, and lack of leadership in the Bolivian Embassy is emblematic of the “leading from behind” Obama era.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry, who declared The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,” thinks of Bolivia as “our back yard.”

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

In last night’s State of the Union speech, President Obama mentioned Iran ten times, Hezbollah once, but not a word on Latin America and how it plays in Iran’s plans.

The President may not have read, for instance, the 2011 report from the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence describing Hezbollah’s growing terrorist network in the Western Hemisphere.

Or he may not have heard of the deepening ties between socialist Latin American regimes (what Lachlan Markay calls The Correa-Khamenei Axis), which continues Hugo Chavez’s aid to Iran in evading sanctions.

President Obama may not have heard of the war of all the people,

the ideological and political war against the United States, capitalism, and the widely accepted tenets of modernity

which was spearheaded by Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. Not that alliances between Latin American communists and Middle Eastern terrorists are new; in 1966, forty-eight years ago, the Tricontinental Conference in Cuba brought together Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat.

But Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela aren’t the only countries currently involved with Iran,

Iran continues its activities in our hemisphere, working ever more closely with Uruguay and Bolivia and continuing its operational activities with Venezuela. According to the Uruguayan foreign minister, his country holds “identical view on international affairs” with Tehran.

Argentina announced almost exactly a year ago a joint truth commission with Iran that would investigate the 1994 car bomb attack at AMIA, a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 and injured 300. The 1994 AMIA bombing is the second-largest Islamist terrorist attack in our hemisphere, and was masterminded by Mohsen Rabbani, who presently is actively recruiting converts in Latin America, and Ahmad Vahidi, now Iran’s Defense Minister – hardly a group leading to any truth on the attck.

Having read last night’s nothingburger SOTU, then, I, too ask, Does anybody really know what time it is?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on Latin American and American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Journo-list Greg Sargent is worried about the White House being undermined by house democrats on Iran.

Strangely enough he seems less worried about Iran undermining the deal but it’s not like the priority is to actually stop Iran, as it was to have a “deal” that LOOKS like it stops Iran.

But hidden within that piece is an Important little tidbit that says a lot about the actual state of affairs in DC

If the GOP-controlled House passes something with the support of someone like Hoyer, it could make it harder for Senate Dems to resist pressure to act.

and THAT is the story of the democrat control of the Senate over the last 3 years. The story that the media has done its best not to tell.

Over and over the House has acted, over and over the Senate didn’t vote

When the house passed budgets the senate didn’t vote…until Obama was re-elected.

During the shutdown bi-partisan bill after bi-partisan bill passed the house and the senate didn’t vote.

Just last month the Upton Bill passed with 39 democrats voting yes, and the senate didn’t vote

The question isn’t if Reid wouldn’t win these votes, odds are he would have won most of them, but Reid isn’t worried about winning votes, he’s all about making sure no democrat has to make any decision that the American people might hold them accountable for

but bipartisan movement in the House could intensify the pressure on him to allow a vote on something the White House doesn’t want.

The end of the filibuster was sold as something necessary to allow thing to proceed in the Senate but the truth is for Democrats in general and Harry Reid & the White House in particular Senate inaction has always been a feature, not a bug.

At least as long as Barack Obama is in the White House that is.

Update:  This is exactly what Stacy was talking about this weekend

Scarcely had Bill Clinton finished the oath of office before he embarked on a series of left-wing initiatives that he had perhaps promised in various speeches or policy papers, but which I — relying on the news media’s depiction of the campaign — had not realized were part of his agenda.

And just remember Fox News Channel didn’t come until existence until October of 1996. and even now it only represent 11% of the total news audience.

Update:  A significant Instalance (I’ll explain why in my lead post tomorrow) but while thanking Glenn let me point out to those who might not already know it that we now have seven Magnificent writers contributing to this blog:  Linda Szugyi, Marathon Pundit (whose wife has been sick , Steve Eggleston, Pastor George Kelly, AP (Lady Liberty 1886) Dillon, Fausta and Juliette Akinyi Ochieng  aka Baldilocks  (she’s having a rough time so give a hand if you can).

Simply click on their names to read their excellent work here or click on DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven to read the all.

Update 2: I shouldn’t leave out thanks to Stacy McCain since he is in a way the founder of the feast, but that’s explained tomorrow too.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday and we are at the same point as we were a week ago at this time.

Last week we ended up very short but there is on reason why this has to be true again.

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five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were.

C. S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters XIII

Jane Sharpe:  What do you think I am, Molly?  A wh…

Molly:  A whore? That’s the word you’re looking for.   I’m a whore, Jane.   An honest one. You are dishonest.

Sharpe’s Revenge 1997

4th Doctor: You see, some things could be better with the Daleks. Many future worlds will become allies just because of their fear of the Daleks.

Doctor Who Genesis of the Daleks 1975

I’ve already written a what it all comes down to concerning the Iranian nuke deal for the US. Are they willing to fight or not?

Now the answer to that question might not be driving his discussion, much to my surprise today on Morning Joe Donny Deutsch a reliable defender of this administration found it interesting that America that has been in negotiation with Iran all this time suddenly decided that This moment and THIS deal was not only worth making but was announced just in time so it would make the Sunday papers.

As a conservative, it might be no surprise that someone like me could consider the idea that we have an administration so shallow that they would risk Iran getting the bomb in order to step a bad bump in the polls & distract the public,  That Donny Deutsch would suggest this deal as a distraction live on television on MSNBC no less simply boggles the mind.

I Frankly I don’t buy it.   It would require the complacency and silence of a  negotiating team willing to say:   “Yes I’ll make this interim deal that messes up my negotiation on your order to help out the party in 2014 even though it would might lead to nuclear war and the deaths of tens or even hundreds of thousands.  Oh and I’ll shut up about it“.  I have to agree with Ma-3 GOP candidate Tim Imholt (Who considers this deal a step closer to the Iranian bomb) who I talked to on the subject

“Can an administration so incompetent that given 3 years can’t launch a web site,  finalize a diplomatic deal involving 5 countries on the fly to distract the media?”

Nah I think not.  However candidate what really upsets candidate Imholt is this

“The Iranians have three US prisoners and the administration is willing to sign this deal without their release that’s what bothers me.”

Of course there is  the possibility that to this administration the idea of a Nuclear Iran (or Americans held by Iranians) is no big deal.  After all they’d argue the Soviets had more bombs and better delivery systems and we managed and given the volume of surveillance going on Iranians have little or no chance of actually delivering a Nuclear Device to the United States.  The threat of a Nuclear Iran is something that simply isn’t real to them.

Israel and Saudi Arabia don’t have that privilege.

If you look at the history of the Jewish People it is a story of a people who are a target  (The logic of the world being the enemy of God chosen people from day one is not lost on any well studied theologian).  The irrefragable expression of this being the Nazi Holocaust and the extermination of two out of every three European Jews.

And when the State of Israel was formed it was in a state of regular war facing multiple nations on multiple fronts outnumbered and surrounded fighting states with the stated goal of their total elimination…

…right up until the time that Israel had the bomb and the means to deploy it.

From that point for all their big talk war against Israel was “limited”. When you look at the fighting in Lebanon, the terrorist bombs, the rockets all of these attacks while costing lives and treasure did not and could not:

Threaten the existence of Israel as a state.

Threaten the mass extinction of the Jewish People

Be traced directly to a State giving Israel a causus belli to eliminate said state.

While Rockets and terror bombs are not are not something a nation can tolerate it’s a far cry from destruction and the Jewish people while taking casualties have been able to live and continue to develop.  With the balance of power on their side Israel can exist and any state that threatened that existence via nuclear or chemical advancement, they were stopped.

Now we have a state, a religious Islamic state which is the father of terrorism and Islamism in the middle east.  A state whose intentions have been out there so long…

Mention of the Lebanese elections impels me to pass on what I saw with my own eyes at a recent Hezbollah rally in south Beirut, Lebanon. In a large hall that featured the official attendance of a delegation from the Iranian Embassy, the most luridly displayed poster of the pro-Iranian party was a nuclear mushroom cloud! Underneath this telling symbol was a caption warning the “Zionists” of what lay in store. We sometimes forget that Iran still officially denies any intention of acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet Ahmadinejad recently hailed an Iranian missile launch as a counterpart to Iran’s success with nuclear centrifuges, and Hezbollah has certainly been allowed to form the idea that the Iranian reactors may have nonpeaceful applications. This means, among other things, that the vicious manipulation by which the mullahs control Iran can no longer be considered as their “internal affair.” Fascism at home sooner or later means fascism abroad. Face it now or fight it later. Meanwhile, give it its right name.

…that I can quote the late Christopher Hitchens , dead two years next month and still sound timely.

An Iranian Nuclear Bomb combined with an allied Syria is not just a direct threat to the balance of power of the region but it’s a direct threat to the existence of Jews in the Middle East.  Israel can’t allow that to happen.  In fact there is only one group of people who have more reason to fear and dread a fanatical group of Islamists who hate them and would like nothing more than to destroy them…

…The Saudi Royal Family.

 

The Iranians Mullahs might as Islamists hate the Jews and want to drive the Christians out of the Middle East but I can’t imagine anything that offends them more than the Saudi Royal Family.

This might at first glance sound counterfactual.  After all the Saudi’s are the caretakers of the Mecca,, they help fund the propagation of the most radical form of Islam all around the world, have been the origin or connection point for countless terrorists and their The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice or هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر  is so strict in its enforcement of Sharia that they not only keep women from driving in the nation but in 2002 actually helped drive schoolgirls back into a burning building because of they were not in proper Islamic dress:

According to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islam.

One witness said he saw three policemen “beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya”.

So why would the royalty that commands such people be a target? Well there is the traditional Sunni/Shitie disputes flaring up which are bad enough:

Six mortar bombs landed near a border post in northern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in an attack claimed by an Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militia, which said on Thursday it was warning the kingdom to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs.

The mortar rounds hit the desert on the far northwestern fringes of the kingdom’s oil-producing region, several hundred miles from the major fields operated by the world’s largest oil exporter and biggest Arab economy.

“The goal was to send a warning message to Saudis to tell them that their border stations and patrol are within our range of fire,” Wathiq al-Batat, commander of Iraq’s Al-Mukhtar Army militia, told Reuters in Baghdad by telephone.

but there is a deeper issue, with the Saudi Royal Family. Things like this:

and this

In Martha’s Vineyard, they sure know how to punish a prince. Saudi prince, Bader Al Saud, 26, killed Orlando Ramos, 37, in a crosswalk while driving drunk without a valid license. His punishment was a year in a converted home and then he simply disappeared while on probation. He will not, however, be allowed to attend next year’s masked ball or “silly dress” event.

and this:

Drunken’ Saudi princess wins fight to hide her identity in court as she’s accused of sexually harassing her British bodyguard

A Saudi princess accused of sexually harassing her burly British bodyguard was told yesterday her identity can remain a secret.

Her 40-year-old minder, who earned £100,000 a year guarding her family, claims the royal was engaged in drinking, illegal drug-taking and ‘sexually promiscuous’ behaviour.

and Islamic sites have such stories as well like this :

Police in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has confirmed the news that a girl had been raped and murdered by a Saudi prince.
The scandal was another loop in a chain of moral and ethical scandals on Saudi corrupt princes and their crime against Saudi citizens.

and this:

Mark Young, who was the family bodyguard of al-Saud dynasty, has reviled a sexual proposal of a famous Saudi Prince to a Hollywood actress.
He said that Prince “Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud,” deputy Defense Minister, who was commander of the joint forces for liberation of Kuwait form Saddam invading army, had a sexual proposal to Brigitte Nielsen, Hollywood actress.

Mark Young added that the Prince Khalid had posted a half naked poster of the actress on his bedroom wall. He had offered $1 million to have a sexual relation with her.

and of course there is wikileaks:

In what may prove a particularly incendiary cable, US diplomats describe a world of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll behind the official pieties of Saudi Arabian royalty.

Jeddah consulate officials described an underground Halloween party, thrown last year by a member of the royal family, which broke all the country’s Islamic taboos. Liquor and prostitutes were present in abundance, according to leaked dispatches, behind the heavily-guarded villa gates.

The party was thrown by a wealthy prince from the large Al-Thunayan family. The diplomats said his identity should be kept secret. A US energy drinks company also put up some of the finance.

Remember these guys aren’t just lowly slubs, these are the Saudi Princes the keepers of the places most holy to all of Islam.

It’s one thing if a Charlie Sheen or a Miley Cyrus or even a Bill Clinton does this, they are all infidels, ignorant & worthy of being slain.  They don’t know better, but the House of Saud they are the keepers of the faith!

How embarrassed are these people by these actions?  How mortified are they, how much of a scandal is it to their faith that this is going on?

And unlike the clerical scandal in the Catholic Church were forgiveness is demanded 70 times seven,  these guys don’t forgive, they don’t forget they just kill you.

That’s why you are hearing stuff like this from Saudi Arabia:

A senior advisor to the Saudi royal family has accused its Western allies of deceiving the oil rich kingdom in striking the nuclear accord with Iran and said Riyadh would follow an independent foreign policy.

Nawaf Obaid told a think tank meeting in London that Saudi Arabia was determined to pursue its own foreign and policy goals. Having in the past been reactive to events, the leading Sunni Muslim nation was determined to be pro-active in future.

and this

Israel and Saudia Arabia are secretly working together on plans for a possible attack against Iran in case the Geneva talks fail to roll back its nuclear program, British paper The Sunday Times reported.

The two countries’ shared concern has put them at odds with the United States as the latter continues to seek an agreement with Iran to ease economic sanctions in return for pulling back nuclear development.

According to the diplomatic source quoted by the Times, Saudia Arabia has agreed to let Israel use its air space, and assist an Israeli attack by cooperating on the use of drones, rescue helicopters and tanker planes.

It’s one thing to finance and financially support people who want to destroy Israel and kill jews, but with Obama’s America is no longer reliable and a group of fanatics about to get the power to not only kill you all but to deprive you of wealth, power and more importantly one of the easiest lives in the history of history and you need someone strong enough, smart enough and willing enough to fight…

who ya gonna call?

The Reality bomb is ticking and that reality means the the Saudi’s have to face it.

Oh and nobody is going to tell me that Barack Obama was thinking like the 4th doctor when he did it:

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s the last week of the month, as of this moment I’ve $198 shy of my normal weekly goal but $07 shy of paying the mortgage & making the very first “payroll” (don’t worry my Seven. You get paid first).

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An awful lot of words are going to be said about the Iranian Nukes deal in the next few days. Quite a few well be said by me based on my reading of the deal and what I think our goals  as the United States and the leader  (assuming we still are) of the free world should be and how such a leader should act.

Others will judge this deal based on the needs of the region, the needs of allies or even the needs of humanity or their standards of right and wrong.

But when it comes down to it,  the government makes policy for a nation and their positions determine what deal is good and what is not.  So how do we figure out in reality (rather than by conjecture) if this deal is a good deal or not for America?  Well we have to know the answer to this question:

Is the Untied States of America willing to go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring/developing a nuclear bomb or not?

Mind you not the answer given in public to the nation or the world.  You can’t make the judgement without knowing the true answer to this question that is only known behind closed doors.

 

If the answer to this question is Yes”:

Then seemingly this deal is not a very good one.  Iran gets funds, has already announce the deal gives them the right to continue development and doesn’t dismantle anything.  It buys Iran time which is the single most important ingredient for an Iranian bomb to take place.  If you are willing to fight the last thing you want to do is put your intended target in a position to better defend.

If the answer to the question is “No”:

Then this deal is much better.  It saves face, gives the appearance of strength, kicks the can down the road and allows the nation to pretend that it actually achieved something that they could not.  Every day that there is seemingly “progress” your decision looks smarter and smarter.  The goal is to buy time for yourself with allies who are scared without revealing that you actually have no intention to defend them.  The longer those allies and the nations of the world believe it  And when Iran eventually  finishes their bomb and announces it to the world of (if they are REALLY smart) develops their bomb and then denies it’s existence publicly we can be shocked SHOCKED that Iran has done this, but oh well, they have the bomb, can’t risk nuclear war so we and the rest of the world will just have to live with it and hopefully contain them, after all it worked with the Soviets.

Since we can only guess the true answer to be base question we will have to wait and watch the re-actions over time to figure out what it is.

Pull a Homer: to succeed despite idiocy.

Urban Dictionary.com via The Simpsons Homer Defined 1991

Buck Murdock: Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

Airplane II 1982

Sometimes the most foolish decisions produce the most unexpected positive side effects.

The US decision to back the Muslim Brotherhood has already caused the new Egyptian Government to begin working with Israel without a buffer, a situation unthinkable not long ago.

Now yet another US mistake has the potential to accidentally solve another pressing problem.

America’s president has been exposed as feckless and weak.  He, not having the wisdom to avoid intervention in Syria nor the strength of character to go all in to both secure the chemical stocks and make sure the government neither is taken over by Islamists nor kept in the hands of the murderous Assad family finds it necessary to demonstrate to the international community his power.

So like Bill Clinton in 1998 Barack Obama will likely launch missiles that will at worst prove simply symbolic and at best give the Al Qaeda supported Islamist rebels the upper hand and in the end do little if nothing to prove his strength or save the lives of the innocents there.

But his decision like his last poor one has produced an interesting side effect a most foolish threat from Iran:

“No military attack will be waged against Syria,” Sheikholeslam was quoted as saying on Monday by Iran’s state run Fars News Agency.

“Yet, if such an incident takes place, which is impossible, the Zionist regime will be the first victim of a military attack on Syria,” Sheikholeslam said in an apparent response to the Obama administration’s increasingly stern rhetoric against Syria.

Oddly enough this threat is the single most positive development I’ve seen. It has the potential to solve a big problem.

It is an empty threat of course, Iran’s assertion that Syria will strike at Israel is of course perfect nonsense there is noting more likely to cause the fall of Syria then to find themselves facing instead of a weak set of rebels the might of Israel’s Army & Air force and the Syrian’s know it and so does the rest of the world.

And the Iranians themselves are too busy trying to keep Assad up and running to even think of striking Israel.

Whatever the reality, it is  the threat that gives Israel the one thing that it needs more than anything else, a Causus Belli.

Not to strike Syria, they are much to smart to get involved in that mess.

But Israel has been watching Iran’s Nuclear Weapon development with fear for years.  If the US strikes Syria as soon as this week then Israel, taking Iran’s threats seriously would certainly be able to justify a follow-up strike on Iranian nuclear positions.

With the Iranian threats fresh off the presses even the UN would be hard pressed to censure Israel for such actions and would make the US veto of any resolution or boycott much easier.

And of course assuming Israel having prepared for such a strike against Iran for months, perhaps years could not pick a better time. Egypt in disarray, Lebanon neutralized, Syria busy, their capacity to strike back militarily has never been weaker.

If A feckless US strike leads to Israel finally taking out Iran’s nukes once and for all than Barack Obama acting out of weakness will have accidentally triggered one of the most positive results in the region of his entire presidential term.

How Ironic.

Update:  moved a phrase in the 4th paragraph to the end of that paragraph

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Olimometer 2.52

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A week ago yesterday as the crisis in Egypt began I teased Morning Joe substitute hosts Katy Kay & Mike Barnicle for attacking the GOP suggesting Hillary is old news while studiously avoiding her record as Secretary of State even as they discussed Egypt burning.

They spent nearly 5 minutes on this subject making fun of the GOP for the supposed attack on Clinton age in full “Is that all they’ve got” mode…

…totally oblivious to the fact that she was the Sec of State during the ouster of Mubarek and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood that the people of Egypt are protesting against, the subject they were discussing just a moment before.

There was an obvious reason for this:

Nobody needs to bring up Mrs. Clinton age, we simply need to bring up her record as Sec of State. Egypt, Syria, Iran, Russia, Libya the list goes on and on.

Well it’s a week later Joe & Mika are back and to my shock after talking about Egypt…went back the week old Hillary age business again. I immediately tweeted out the following:

The linking of the record of the former Sec of State to, you know, actual events in foreign affairs drew an almost instant rebuke from Doug Mataconis, a nice guy in person but who is a bit of a concern troll online.

Doug’s first line of Clinton defense was the US couldn’t have changed a thing, I pooh poohed this while Doug insisted Mubarek was a goner no matter what the US did.  This wasn’t my memory of events, so I returned to my primary point on Hillary:

Rather than pointing out my poor spelling in that tweet “(“irrelevant & presidential)” Doug decided the best defense of Hillary was a good offense.

While his points were interesting these had little to do with the topic of conversation, Mrs. Clinton’s record:

Doug’s next Hillary defense: Her record was a matter of opinion

And that’s really the question at hand, so it was time to ask it bluntly:

 

Now this is a question that a defender of Hillary should have no trouble answering. After all in four years in office Mrs. Clinton accomplishments should be easy to name particularly for a lawyer and Senior editor at Outside the Beltway like Doug Mataconis. His answer to that question was revealing, or rather the lack of an answer was.

He tweeted about the GOP needing to fix their problems, about how Benghazi (that another tweeter interjected) didn’t matter according to the polls (I had deliberately not mentioned Benghazi) but this was my favorite:

Hillary Clinton isn’t even a candidate. She’s not running for ANYTHING yet, so her record is entirely irrelevant, I mean what difference does it make? I tried again:

Apparently the question was harder than I thought he wanted two years to think about it

then I pointed out Hillary’s record wouldn’t change in two years so he answered by attacking…Rick Perry:

 

While his sudden willingness to talk about a race 3 years away and dislike of Rick Perry was interesting it had nothing to do with Hillary’s record as Secretary of State

And that’s when Doug’s decided he had enough.

Yeah there is nothing more “tiresome” or blindly “partisan” than being asked to name an accomplishment of a woman who served four years as Secretary of State, particularly when you can’t think of one.

 

Now one might think a twitter exchange between two old fellows might not be all that important but I think it’s incredibly revealing.

1. In the forty five minutes my first tweet to his last, an informed, intelligent and prolific writer could not name a single accomplishment in the record of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

2. While my twitter steam is alive with tweets from others agreeing with me, not a single tweet from a reader of #p2 @morning_joe or even #hillary2016 showed up to defend the record of Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of state.

3. The absolute need to change the subject from anything but Hillary’s record suggests her actual record is something that must be avoided at all costs.

There is a moral to the story

 

And the time to start these attacks and make this case is NOW.

 

It is vital to immediately begin the narrative of Mrs. Clinton’s failure as Secretary of State before the left & the media begins to build an alternative one. After all hey have the Major news networks, most of Cable Television, Newspapers and celebrates to help them do so.

All we have is the truth, it’s time to start deploying it.

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Olimometer 2.52

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There are two ways to try to marganilize a pol you’re afraid of attack them or ignore them. With Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) the plan is ignore.

When Senator Ayotte raised Benghazi during the campaign, the media ignored her.

When Senator Ayotte continued to raise the issue after the election she was they continues to ignore her

When Senator Ayotte appeared with Senators Graham and McCain on the Susan Rice issue, the media pretended she wasn’t there.

When he kept up the attack they continued to look right through her.

Yesterday she raised an incredible point at the Hagel Hearings that nobody seems to have caught

Of course he also voted against a sense of the senate in designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization and he told us during the hearing that it was because of it was part of an elected legitimate Iranian government.

I don’t think that the people who rose up in 2009 in the green movement who were persecuted and shot at by the Iranian government would call that government a legitimately elected government. Nor would, at the time that he voted against designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization at the time they were assisting those in Iraq who were murdering our troops.

The video:

That is simply devastating. Yet it got absolutely no airtime in the MSM. Why, because it can’t be refuted, there is no way to describe that vote in a positive way and there was nothing in either Senator Ayotte’s demeanor nor her delivery that can be used to attack her on style or substance.

The GOP has rising female and Hispanic stars, the media has decided that the way to deal with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz is to attack attack attack.

On Kelly Ayotte, the plan is to keep her out of the news as much as possible so when she runs for re-election they can paint whatever picture of her they wish.

The left will always tell you who they fear. Kelly Ayotte is a Gem and in terms of the Northeast the brightest conservative star and the Media will do all it can to keep her light under a bushell

Here the her full unexcerpted speech:

You know how the subject of Gay Marriage comes up that the word is the President maintains that he is s against Gay Marriage. It caused me to make this conclusion:

His “opposition” to gay Marriage only helps him among blacks because they think he is telling the truth.

His “opposition” to gay marriage doesn’t hurt him among liberals because they don’t believe he is telling the truth.

His position is said to be “evolving”, I suspect that he will complete his evolution right after the elections when there is no danger of suppressing his support in the black communities and churches.

And apparently (via ace) the president’s position on an Israeli strike on Iran may also have some “evolution” behind it:

The US offered to give Israel advanced weaponry — including bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes — in exchange for Israel’s agreement not to attack Iranian nuclear sites, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.

President Obama reportedly made the offer during Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week.

Under the proposed deal, Israel would not attack Iran until 2013, after US elections in November this year. The newspaper cited unnamed Western diplomatic and intelligence sources.

So apparently the Obama administration opposition to an Israeli strike will finish evolving after the presidential elections, when it won’t hurt him among his base, while they hope to Bunker busting bombs and refueling planes to help Israel’s position evolve as well, at least for the next 9 months.

Why do I have a feeling that these two theories of evolution are not shared by the MSM?

A terrible case of the 1% oppressing the 99% took place yesterday as the US navy seized a fishing boat from Somali pirates the “occupy the oceans team“.

According to the Navy, a helicopter from the Kidd spotted a suspect pirate boat alongside the Iranian vessel. At the same time, the Kidd received a distress call from the captain of ship, the Al Molai, saying he and his crew were being held captive by pirates.

A team from the Kidd boarded the Al Molai, took 15 suspected pirates into custody and freed 13 Iranian hostages, the Navy said.

Those Somali’s taken into custody live in one of the poorest countries in the world and yet here is the US taking a ship after they occupied the ship of Iran an oil nation just like those 1% people in Texas!

Some might paint this as a victory for the camaraderie of nations:

“Rescuing Iranian sailors by the U.S. was a humanitarian act and we welcome such acts,” he said. “The Iranian Navy also engages in such rescue operations. It is the responsibility of all nations to rescue nationals from other countries from pirates.”

but friends of the occupy movement recognize I’m sure that the Iranian fishermen have no more rights to private property than wall street fat cats.

I’m sure Former Obama Administration Adviser Elizabeth Warren as the intellectual founder of the occupy movement will be condemning this aggressive act on the part of the 1% against the poorest of the poor any minute now!

Act Boston, CJUI, Americans for Peace and Tolerance and RMI. sponsored Kenneth Timmerman in an appearance in Stoughton Mass at the Ahavath Torah Congregation.

Timmerman’s and expert on Iran, who once spent 5 months in a PLO jail in Lebanon was there to talk about Iran and the 12th Imam belief.

In a 1992 report for the Simon Wiesenthal center he first wrote about a pattern of behavior from international purchases that suggested Iran was working on the Bomb. That belief was finally validated in 2003

He talked about how Iran’s current government believes it is their mission to bring the return of the 12th Imam, how they can’t be effectively deterred as they are willing to lose millions of people if Israel is destroyed in the process. He suggested that the Iranian missile tests resulting in detonation 200 miles up were not in fact failures but were tests toward the goal of deploying EMP weapons.

He talked of the devastating effect of an EMT weapon and our unsteadiness to face one since the end of the cold war.
but also suggests that this problem can be solved by supporting elements in Iran looking to overthrow the regime, a clip.

During the question and answer session I asked a question concerning his suggestion that to replacing the Iranian regime

After the end of the Q & A I spoke to Mr. Timmerman about his reception and theories

He was well received and sold a fair amount of his book to the 70+ people who attended.

I will have further video and photos available after the weekend

BTW if you like this post please consider kicking in to my November Fundraiser. Still 260 subscribers short at the Beanie Level ($2 a week) of paying the bills.

Update: Right wing Granny was there too.

As you read this I am in Maine with DaWife. I promised that my laptop would not be with me so here are some stories to keep you busy until I come back on Friday.

Item: The Constitution as a threat

At least that is the perception of some people on the left

Phil Cleary, handed out pocket Constitutions on campus in honor of Constitution Day. He had a table with literature promoting Youth for Western Civilization, a group dedicated to traditional values and western civilization, and engaged in students and faculty passing by.

Then, the leftists showed up to heckle.

The young man in the video, Blair Jordon Moses, threatened to “exercise” his 2nd amendment rights if he perceived that there was any kind of threat to the Multicultural Center. He did not define what a threat would constitute but suggested that the existence of the group Youth for Western Civilization would count.

Well he is a Black Panther sympathizer it’s not like the faculty is doing this too:

At the same time, a faculty member approached the group. She took some of the literature and asked Phil, “Is this a white supremacist group?” Phil answered “Absolutely not.” To which the woman replied, “It looks like one.”

Who is this woman? Susana Pelayo – Woodward, Director of the Office of Cultural Diversity.

Instead of promoting cultural diversity, which is part of her job, she chose to show her bias against a group that would promote western culture and tradition. She had no problem with the leftist students heckling the conservative, but actually seems to agree that freedom, the Constitution, and western civilization is all tied into white supremacy.

Because nothing says “White Supremacy” like passing out the US Constitution:

Item: And we respect the 1st Amendment, kinda:

Unless you live in North Carolina I’ll wager you didn’t see this story:

According to former Guilford County Republican Chairman, Marcus Kindley, the GOP Headquarters there have been vandalized. Kindley reports that the letters “KKK” were spray painted on the building in a number of places. Kindley told Katy’s Conservative Corner that the incident happened either late last Saturday or early this Sunday morning

Via Kathy’s conservative Corner who notes:

Greensboro is no stranger to Klan activity, but ironically, the Klan has been traditionally run by Democratic operatives. The city continues to be a hotbed of liberal activity and Kindley suspects the culprits may be students at either nearby Guilford College or UNC-Greensboro.

Kindley is afraid that his party will see more of these attacks. In a speech last week, President Barack H. Obama exhorted his followers “to put your marching boots on” and some within the Guilford County GOP feel that this a local result.

Do they have a multicultural center? I’d check there first.

Item: It’s not only US taxpayers on the hook for Solyndra:

Hey when you are blindly chasing the liberal dream you’ve got to expect liberal states will chase it hardest:

Out of the hundreds of out-of-work employees, vendors, investors and other creditors in the bankruptcy of government-backed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, one name stands out: the California Democratic Party.

Why California Democrats would be creditor to a company that received more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans to build a solar-panel plant isn’t clear. Even party officials say they’re not sure.

The California Democratic Party’s communications director, Tenoch Flores, said the organization was not owed “any funds in any form” by the California-based company. He said he was unclear why the party would be listed as a creditor in Solyndra’s bankruptcy filing.

Via Verum Serum who says:

Someone’s got some splainin’ to do.

Item: The Gunwalker bomb continues to tick:

While the MSM continues to ignore gunwalker the bombshells keep coming

An ATF source has provided reporters a copy of a letter sent on June 1, 2010 which indicates that the monumental scandal known as ‘Project Gunwalker,’ or ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’ was never a sting operation as previously reported. If such an allegation is true, then the official Obama Administration explanation for the operation is entirely false.

The commonly-reported talking point concerning Gunwalker is that it was intended as a sting operation but that it went bad when rogue ATF agents took it in a sinister direction.

But the letter of June 2010, forwarded to reporters David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, indicates that nothing about the operation contained any of the elements of a ‘sting.’ Everything ATF agents did in placing guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels was done in the open and with the approval of their supervisors

Sooner or later there will be a debate with Barack Obama and the republican Nominee and if the media doesn’t ask the question the nominee will, then BOOM!

Item: the Molly Norris lesson:

The hikers who were finally freed by Iran had thanks for some interesting people on the occasion of the ransom being paid on being bailed out of an Iranian jail:

…They also expressed gratitude to actor Sean Penn, boxer Muhammad Ali, philosopher Noam Chomsky, singer Yusuf Islam, U.S. anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire.

The American Spectator comments thus:

Bauer went on to say that it was ironic they had been taken captive because “Sarah, Josh and I oppose U.S. policies towards Iran which perpetuate this hostility.”

But therein lies the problem. Iran makes no distinction between Americans who attend Berklee and those who attend Bob Jones University. They make no distinction between Americans who write for The Nation and Americans who write for The American Spectator. They don’t care if you like or dislike President Obama. Nor do they care if you are critical of U.S. foreign policy towards Iran. For that matter, Iran makes no distinction between the Bush Administration who didn’t view them as legitimate and the Obama Administration which sought to curry favor with them. To the Iranian regime, as with al Qaeda, all Americans are infidels. Short of converting to Islam and submitting to their way of life nothing will change that attitude.

If Bauer doesn’t understand that by now then he probably never will.

Remember Molly Norris apologized too and is still hiding for her life. Apparently they are still idiots, but no longer useful.

I trust this will tide you all over for a bit, see you on Friday or late Thursday.

I hit the Obama administration pretty hard here so I want to acknowledge something they did right today:

U.S. diplomats walked out of the U.N. General Assembly Thursday as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a fiercely anti-American speech, attacking the U.S. as an “arrogant power” ruled by greed.

Good for the administration, a public rebuke to Ahmadinejad is well deserved.

A cynical person might say it’s because of NY-9 but I think that’s irrelevant, the right thing is the right thing and I don’t care why it’s done.

One thing I would like to point out from the article:

Ahmadinejad also attacked the United States for its history of slavery, accused it of causing two world wars and using a nuclear bomb against “defenseless people.” He further said Washington was guilty of imposing and supporting military dictatorships and totalitarian regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America

Exit question: How are those accusations any different from our liberal academics in colleges all over the United States, and if it is proper for the Obama administration to walk out of the UN when those accusations are made there, should student walk out of their classes when they are made here?