Alisa is meeting up with Scott Raab, the outreach director and Navy veteran of MoveAmericaForward.org. Raab explains how much care packages mean to soldiers overseas because many of them often feel forgotten about. They plan on packing and sending 500-600 personal packages.
by John Bolton
July 26, 2015
President Obama has made an art form of attacking his opponents rather than substantively defending his own policies, most recently regarding the Vienna agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Essentially, Obama argues that we must either accept his wretched deal or go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
As is typical, Obama posits the wrong choice, apparently to distract from the unpleasant reality that the agreement won’t work. It will not prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. So the real choice we are faced with is dealing with the consequences of military action or the consequences of a nuclear Iran. Neither is palatable, but the latter is far worse. If the real objective is stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, preemptive military action is now inescapable.
This rock-and-hard-place outcome has long been foreseeable. Iran’s dogged determination to become a nuclear-weapons state was fiercer and stronger than the West’s frail response. Assuming Iran scrupulously complies with every provision agreed to in Vienna — an absurdly unlikely scenario given the ayatollahs’ objectives and history — its ambitions for nuclear weapons will simply have been delayed eight to 10 years.
In all likelihood, the ayatollahs are already at work violating the accords. After all, Iran has systematically breached its voluntarily-assumed obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for more than 30 years. Now the president’s deal will allow Iran to keep the fruits of its violations. Yes, the deal includes restrictions on uranium enrichment, but Tehran can retain its enrichment program, with guaranteed international assistance in improving it. These concessions are fatal mistakes.
Moreover, Iran’s ballistic missile efforts — its development of the means to deliver nuclear weapons all over the world — will barely be touched. Nor does the deal in any way address Iran’s clandestine weaponization efforts, which it has denied and hidden from the International Atomic Energy Agency with great skill.
Last week, the news that the administration has not even seen the texts of two agreements between the energy agency and Iran, both crucial to implementation of the Vienna accords, only raises further doubts. President Obama must provide the texts of these “side deals” to Congress before any serious consideration of the overall agreement is possible.
Some critics of Obama’s plan advocate scuttling the deal and increasing economic sanctions against Iran instead. They are dreaming. Iran and the United States’ negotiating partners have already signed the accords and are straining at their leashes to implement them. There will be no other “better deal.” Arguments about what Obama squandered or surrendered along the way are therefore fruitless. As for sanctions, they were already too weak to prevent Iran’s progress toward the bomb, and they will not be reset now. To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, “These sanctions are going boys, and they ain’t coming back.”
Patrick Clawson, the director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, provided the most recent thumbs-down assessment of sanctions: “Iran has muddled through the shock of the sanctions imposed in 2012, and its structural [economic] problems are not particularly severe compared to those of other countries.” He estimates Iran’s nuclear and terrorism-support programs to cost only about $10 billion annually. No wonder administration officials have testified that sanctions (including those imposed piecemeal before 2012) did not slow Iran’s nuclear efforts.
Nor will the deal’s “snapback” mechanism (intended to coerce Iran back into compliance if it breaches its obligations) change that reality. Tehran’s belligerent response is expressly stated in the agreement’s text: “If sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments … in whole or in part.” Tehran does risk losing some future economic benefits should sanctions snap back, but by then it will have already cashed in the assets the deal unfreezes and signed new lucrative trade and investment contracts.
Once those benefits begin flowing all around, the pressure on world governments will only increase to ignore Iranian violations, or to treat them as minor or inadvertent, certainly not warranting the reimposition of major sanctions. The ayatollahs have dusted off Lenin’s barb that “the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” and applied it to the age of nuclear proliferation.
If diplomacy and sanctions have failed to stop Iran, diplomacy alone will fail worse. Like it or not, we now face this unpleasant reality: Iran probably will violate the deal; it may not be detected doing so and if detected, it will not be deterred by “snapback” sanctions. So we return to the hard question: Are we prepared to do what will be necessary to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons?
Obama most certainly is not, which means the spotlight today is on Israel.
If Israel strikes, there will be no general Middle East war, despite fears to the contrary. We know this because no general war broke out when Israel attacked Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in 1981, or when it attacked the North Korean-built Syrian reactor in 2007. Neither Saudi Arabia nor other oil-producing monarchies wanted those regimes to have nuclear weapons, and they certainly do not want Iran to have them today.
However, Iran may well retaliate. At that point, Washington must be ready to immediately resupply Israel for losses incurred by its armed forces in the initial attack, so that Israel will still be able to effectively counter Tehran’s proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, which will be its vehicles for retaliation. The United States must also provide muscular political support, explaining that Israel legitimately exercised its inherent right of self-defense. Whatever Obama’s view, public and congressional support for Israel will be overwhelming.
American weakness has brought us to this difficult moment. While we obsessed about its economic discomfort, Iran wore its duress with pride. It was never an even match. We now have to rely on a tiny ally to do the job for us. But unless we are ready to accept a nuclear Iran (and, in relatively short order, several other nuclear Middle Eastern states), get ready. The easy ways out disappeared long ago.
John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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“Move Forward America,” a grassroots pro-troop organization, sent 650 care packages to troops over seas.
In additions to treats and personal care items, the packages contain messages of support, thanking troops for their service.
Roughly 10,000 American troops are still serving or training in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Group leaders say this is the first major shipment to those troops since the “Troop-a-thon Fundraiser” back in June.
Originally Posted at: http://fox40.com/2015/07/24/hundreds-of-care-packages-assembled-for-troops/
ISIS has just released a new propaganda video, a cartoon depiction of ISIS jihadists capturing and beheading President Barack Hussein Obama! The video is translated by MEMRI, a research organization that monitors and translates media from all over the Muslim world focusing on exposing propaganda that supports terrorist and anti-semitic ideology.
Hat tip goes to Pamela Geller for giving us a heads up. Go here to her blog for more commentary.
You have to wonder what ISIS has against Obama…I mean sure he has bombed them a little bit here and there, but not enough to hurt them and I guarantee it’s far less than the shock and awe they would have got if Bush was still president.
ISIS really ought to be grateful, they owe their very existence to President Obama. If he had not first, pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq and then chosen to stay completely out of the Syria civil war, ISIS would not even exist. Nor would they hold so much territory in Eastern Syria and huge parts of Iraq today.
Great news coming out today, as Congress finally stood up to Obama and passed legislation which would require Obama to allow the Senate to review the full text of his proposed agreement with Iran, and also preventing Obama from promising sanction-relief to the Iranians until AFTER the requirements are met. It potentially opens the door for Congress to kill the deal altogether, by holding up sanction relief.
Republican opponents of the nuclear agreement on the committee sided with Mr. Obama’s strongest Democratic supporters in demanding a congressional role as international negotiators work to turn this month’s nuclear framework into a final deal by June 30. The bill would mandate that the administration send the text of a final accord, along with classified material, to Congress as soon as it it completed. It also halts any lifting of sanctions during a congressional review and culminates in a possible vote to allow or forbid the lifting of congressionally imposed sanctions in exchange for the dismantling of much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. It passed 19 to 0.
President Obama said he will likely sign the bill, which seems to be a surrender on his part. During his State of the Union address, President Obama promised to veto any legislation that might throw a wrench into his Iran negotiations, such as new sanctions. While this bill is not extra sanctions, it does hurt Obama by tying his hands on sanction relief.
The fact that Obama isn’t going to veto this bill, or even fight it, shows that maybe Obama has had enough of a PR beating over his Iran deal. Democrats and Republicans have joined forces to oppose Obama and stop him from simply giving away concessions to the Iranians.
We still don’t know how bad his final proposal with Iran might be, but at least now Congress will have the right to review that deal. It’s not a total defeat for Obama’s bad deal with Iran but it’s a step in the right direction.
Not long after Liberals literally lost their minds over Tom Cotton’s open letter and the 47 Republican Senators who signed onto it. Now a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives, which including many Democrats (at least 120) who previously attacked Cotton, has done pretty much the same thing.
Washington (CNN) A veto-proof, bipartisan majority of House lawmakers have signed an open letter to President Barack Obama warning him that any nuclear deal with Iran will effectively require congressional approval for implementation.
A group of bipartisan senators have penned a bill mandating that any deal be reviewed and approved by Congress, but the House letter notes that lawmakers have another way to halt an agreement — by refusing to roll back sanctions.
“Should an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation. In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief,” they write.
The letter, which was signed by 367 members of the House and released Monday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, follows a similar one, issued to Iran’s leaders and signed by 47 Republican senators, warning that any deal with Iran could be rolled back by a future president.
That letter sparked fierce criticism from Democrats, who said it was inappropriate meddling in delicate diplomatic talks and meant to undermine negotiations, and even some Republicans expressed reservations over the tactic.
CNN March 23, 2015
Though some might say this letter is different because X, Y, Z, they are not any different. The spirit is the same in both – a statement of fact that President Obama must seek the approval of Congress or his deal with Iran will never see the light of day.
Democrats jumped all over Cotton for his letter, but their recognition of the truth now just proves that they were going after him because they saw an opportunity to score some political points. They were successful in getting the media machine to attack Cotton for his leadership on the Iran issue, but underneath the politics, many Dems knew Cotton was right and that’s why they signed onto this new letter.
Over the weekend, Iran’s highest religious leader publicly denounced the ongoing negotiations with the US over nukes. The Ayatollah and the anti-American loyalists in his regime are the ones who truly hold the power in Iran. This was true when Ahmedinejad was President, and the same is true under current President Rouhani. Regardless of who hold office in Iran, everything is controlled by the religious leaders.
Here is what Khameinei had to say about the US this weekend, as reported by Times of Israel:
Khamenei told a crowd in Tehran that Iran would not capitulate to Western demands. When the crowd started shouting, “Death to America,” the ayatollah responded: “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.
“They insist on putting pressure on our dear people’s economy,” he said, referring to economic sanctions aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear program. “What is their goal? Their goal is to put the people against the system,” he said. “The politics of America is to create insecurity,” he added, referring both to US pressure on Iran and elsewhere in the region.
Khameinei also attacked the US in Twitter Source: The Hill
“We reject fraudulent offer of reaching w #Iran first than lifting sanctions,” Khamenei tweeted. “Lifting sanctions is a part of deal, not its outcome.”
“#US sanctions are ineffective,” he continued. “Threatening to sanction or military action won’t scare #Iran-ians. God backs Iranian nation’s resistance.”
This definitely sounds like the leader of a regime currently engaged in good-faith negotiations with our own Nation, right? We can surely trust them to keep their promises while they wish death upon our people and our allies.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has consistently attacked the negotiations with the US over nukes, which leaves many to questions Iran’s true agenda in entering talks with Obama’s administration.
Ever since the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979 the real power in Iran has resided with the Ayatollah, his Islamic Republican Guard, and the countless affiliated Islamic student groups, religious and social organizations designed to enforce the Ayatollah’s brutal and oppressive regime.
These are the thugs who bury women up to their necks and stone them to death in front of thousands gathered at the soccer field. These are the thugs who round up homosexuals and rape victims for public hanging. These are the gangs of regime loyalists who killed pro-democracy student protesters in the streets during the Green Movement, the one Obama ignored. These are the madmen Barack Obama and John Kerry are now negotiating with.
“Major nations hold talks on ending U.N. sanctions on Iran – officials” – On Reuters, By Louis Charbonneau
Major world powers have begun talks about a United Nations Security Council resolution to lift U.N. sanctions on Iran if a nuclear agreement is struck with Tehran, a step that could make it harder for the U.S. Congress to undo a deal, Western officials said.
The talks between Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — the five permanent members of the Security Council — plus Germany and Iran, are taking place ahead of difficult negotiations that resume next week over constricting Iran’s nuclear ability.
Some eight U.N. resolutions – four of them imposing sanctions – ban Iran from uranium enrichment and other sensitive atomic work and bar it from buying and selling atomic technology and anything linked to ballistic missiles. There is also a U.N. arms embargo.
Rumor has it that President Obama instigated this latest move by the UN security council as an attempt to circumvent a Congress after Tom Cotton’s now famous letter reminding him that Congress must ratify his treaty. Congress is highly suspicious of Obama’s ability to deliver a strong deal with the Iranians. Going to the United Nations is a disturbing move from Obama, showing that Obama is willing use other countries to put pressure on the US instead of the other way round.
Luckily, former ambassador John Bolton was quick to assure us that the UN doesn’t have the real power to stop any US or Israeli moves against Iran, if we needed to.
“A U.N. Vote Is Irrelevant to the Iran Deal” – The Wall Street Journal, by John Bolton
First, even the U.N. will require Iran to comply with any commitments made to the Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany. Bureaucracy-loving diplomats and Secretariat personnel will probably create a council committee to monitor Iran’s performance, but neither the U.S. nor any other U.N. member must accept the committee’s judgment that Iran is in compliance when it has contrary information. Washington can act on what it knows, whether or not it discloses the extent of its knowledge.
Taking it a step further, Bolton also pointed out that the US always has the option of pulling our funding from the UN, which gets about a quarter of its funding from the US. Doing so would cripple the UN financially, but as MAF has pointed out the corruption and uselessness of the UN in the past, we would also suggest to the next US President to consider pulling out of the UN altogether, especially if they don’t have our backs in stopping Iran from getting nukes.
The General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and other U.N. bodies would doubtless be summoned by Iran and its allies to pass resolutions critical of U.S. or Israeli behavior. Let them. There are few better scenarios imaginable for provoking a far-reaching debate about the U.S. role in the U.N. One could start with the most basic issue: eliminating all funding through “assessed” (meaning essentially mandatory) contributions, and moving all U.N. agencies to voluntary funding.
We still firmly believe that the US would be just fine without participation in the United Nations
When news broke Monday about the Republican Congressman from Arkansas Tom Cotton’s open letter to the leaders of Iran, political left went berserk that someone would dare defy Supreme Leader Barack Obama.
It’s quite funny to see Dems react with such audacity when they themselves have done so much worse. Cottons letter was nothing compared to Obama shaking hands with Hugo Chavez or Pelosi in a hijab going to Syria and meeting with Bashar Assad while Bush was president.
VP Joe Biden said it was “beneath the dignity” of the Senate. Is sending a letter to someone undignified? The leaders of Iran should be feeling lucky they’re on the receiving end of letters and not bombs on their uranium centrifuges.
Some liberals were filled with such rage they are calling on Obama to have all the Senators who signed the letter arrested for treason. Overnight 130,000 people signed a White House petition to file charges against the Senators for treason. It’s now up to 235,000. How did the WH get so many people to sign that petition almost overnight?
This has to have been a concerted PR effort among liberal activist groups to give the impression that the general public was just as outraged as the leaders of the liberal left. Doubtful. Most patriotic Americans know that Tom Cotton is a graduate of Harvard Law and a war hero, he’s not some troublemaker trying to stir the pot. He’s serious about stopping Iran from getting nukes.
The NY Daily News front page called McConnell, Cruz, Cotton, and Rand “traitors”.
Twitter almost had a meltdown with the far left wing calling Cotton a traitor, calling for him to be charged up on charges of treason, they even made up the nickname “Tehran Tom”
Howard Dean told MSNBC he thought Tom’s letter “borders on treason.” Dean even went so far as to compare “Tehran Tom” to “Hanoi Jane” when Jane Fonda visited with the VietCong communists during the Vietnam war. It’s despicable that someone like Dean, who attacked our troops and their mission in Iraq, to go on national TV and accuse a war hero of treason.
They are just trying to protect Obama and his attempts to do something for his legacy. Despite failure after failure in Egypt, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, Obama is still clinging to this mad hope that his occupation of the Presidency will have some magical transformative effect on Iran the way he thought it would with race relations in America. He’s been proven wrong again and again as the Middle East has become more dangerous and chaotic during his presidency. Thanks to Obama, instead of just Iraq we have almost every country in the Middle East aflame with extremist activity.
Tom Cotton is beginning to emerge as the man we can rally behind to lead the fight against Obama’s horrible foreign policy. He’s a solid fiscal conservative and a foreign policy hawk. He’s got the military resume to lead on this issue and we hope he continues to do that!
Move America Forward is proud to support Tom Cotton and we hope you join us in saying do not back down Tom!
In his opening statements, President Netanyahu went out of his way to thank Obama for bit of aid rendered by the US to Israel, saying he is grateful to President Obama for the support and saying that the relationship between Israel and the US has always been strong and above left/right politics.
If that’s so then why did 55 Democrat Members boycott the speech, and why have so many of the President’s surrogates made openly hostile statements ahead of Netanyahu’s speech, accusing Israel of meddling in our foreign affairs and sabotaging the peace process.
I think Bibi was trying to be as gracious as possible, but the clear subtext is that more and more, support for Israel has become a fractious and galvanizing issue in party politics. Polls show that favorability polls about Netanyahu show stark trends along party lines, with Republicans overwhelmingly supporting Bibi while Democrats are only about 50/50. But don’t be so quick to say it’s just about Netanyahu. Among liberals, support for Israel has been evaporating as well.
President Obama reacted to Netanyahu’s speech saying he “On the core issue…the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] didn’t offer any viable alternatives.”
Obama claimed that Iran has ALREADY opened themselves up to new and more comprehensive inspections than at any other time in history.
However this flies in the face of the facts since just YESTERDAY the International Atomic Energy Agency (basically, the UN inspectors) posted a video where Director General Yukiya Amano said “however, the agency is not in a position to provide credible evidence about the absences of undeclared nuclear material & activities and therefore to conclude that all nuclear activity in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
They’re unequivocally stating that there is still no proof that Iran has curtailed any of their pursuit of a nuclear bomb. There are still many issues where Iran is hiding information or not providing information that the agency has requested and the IAEA has no evidence or references to inspections ever actually taking place, simply that Iran submitted information claiming their compliance.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was saying “Iran will not accept excessive and illogical demands,” Mr. Zarif was quoted as saying. “It is clear that Obama’s comments are meant to win the U.S. public opinion and counter the propaganda campaign by the Israeli prime minister.”
This tells us that Iran anticipates that the final deal will be EVEN MORE favorable to their despotic regime of terror than the flimsy bad deal that Obama has been trying to sell us lately. With such a wide gulf between both sides of these negotiations, there probably never will be any deal at all.
These are all issues that should have been resolved a year ago, and still President Obama is asking for more time, saying “the plan” that he’s coming with is going to be so good. The plan is already a year overdue and with Iran’s estimated “breakout time” to develop a bomb being about a year, how is Obama so sure that Iran won’t be able to have a bomb ready by the time his negotiations finally reach a conclusion, or if not very shortly afterward.
Next year we might see Obama triumphantly hailing this new accord with Iran, finally the deal he had been promising, and then a month later Iran will unveil their new Nuclear ICBMs and say ‘surprise! bet you didn’t see that one coming’
That’s all assuming that Iran hides their development of the bomb, but as Netanyahu outlined, the” deal” that John Kerry and Barack Obama have been vaguely referring to has been alleged to contain sunsets on all the restrictions, meaning that after they expire in 10 years Iran will, in theory, be free to openly make the bomb
Bibi also brought up the underlying point that in the opinion of Move America Forward, needs to be the main issue here. President Obama is negotiating with Iran to prevent nuclear aggression, but at the same time Iran is already displaying lots of conventional aggression all over the Middle East. In Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, Iran’s influence and material support is fueling all the various bad actors who are making the Middle East boil over with violence.
Netanyahu said it plainly and authoritatively what these talks MUST produce, which Obama has made no effort to negotiate thus far, and that, “insist restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program [will] not be lifted as long as Iran continues it’s aggression in the region and in the world.”
Netanyahu suggested three demands, which the United States should carry to Iran.
First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.
Second, stop funding terrorist groups around the world.
Third, stop threatening to annihilate Israel. Recognize Israel as legitimate state.
In our view this was the most important thing Netanyahu stated in his whole speech. Why are we trying to cut a deal with Iran when we know they are making all these efforts to undermine and hurt the United States elsewhere? How can we trust Iran when we know that every handshake in friendship comes with four attempts to stab us in the back?