What Is Wrong With This? (Ezekiel 17)

Obama To Pay Iran To PRODUCE Nuclear Material
Obama-Iran-Netanyahu
By: streiff (Diary) | April 22nd, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Yes.

You read that headline correctly.

Barack Obama has now authorized the United States government to pay the government of Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, to produce nuclear material. Via the Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall, those bastards):

The Obama administration is buying 32 tons of heavy water, a key component in atomic-weapons development, from Iran in an effort to safeguard its landmark nuclear agreement with the country, according to senior American officials.

The Department of Energy’s impending purchase was driven by U.S. concerns that Iran doesn’t have the capacity yet to quickly reduce its stockpile of the material as required under the July nuclear deal, according to these officials.

Under the accord, Iran must keep its load of heavy water to below 130 tons during the initial years of the deal, and under 90 tons later. But U.S. officials said Iran has been struggling to find buyers for the material on the international market and that its stockpile is at risk of rising above that level.

The U.S. hopes its initial purchase will give other countries the confidence to purchase Iran’s heavy water in the coming years.

The deal, estimated at $8.6 million, is expected to be formally signed by U.S. and Iranian officials Friday morning in Vienna.

“The idea is: Okay, we tested it, it’s perfectly good heavy water. It meets spec. We’ll buy a little of this,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “That will be a statement to the world: ‘You want to buy heavy water from Iran, you can buy heavy water from Iran. It’s been done. Even the United States did it.’”

Note that we aren’t paying Iran for its existing stock of heavy water. We aren’t paying them to shutdown production facilities. We are paying them to keep their production facility open and profitable. We are marketing their heavy water for them which will encourage the Iranians to increase rather than reduce production. The obvious solution to the problem is that Iran needs to a) stop producing heavy water or b) dump the excess and let it evaporate.

This whole scheme to give Iran nuclear weapons in exchange for not much of anything differs from anything Edward Snowden did only in that the US government is doing this deliberately and it is much more injurious to US interests because is create as permanent rogue, nuclear armed power in the Middle East/Soutwest Asia.

Paying For Bush & Cheney’s Sins (Revelation 13:10)

The back story to America’s disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq and what lessons they teach us today
December 28, 2015
In these early days of the current US Presidential election nominee campaign there is much tough talk and saber rattling underway among the candidates, the Chicken Hawk set in Washington, talk show pundits and various elected officials.
That, as well as a never ending stream of talk and opinion on TV’s Fox News and right-wing radio shows about “getting boots on the ground” and “getting tough” in the middle east (again) without much careful thought or public discourse (again, it seems) about the proven numerous and dire consequences to the US of those first American boots on middle east ground.
In fact, a new CNN poll says Americans are more likely to say that terrorists are “winning the war against the United States” than they have been at any point since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Thus the current saber rattling talk is being met by a public “broadly unhappy with the nation’s progress, with nearly three-quarters of Americans saying they are not satisfied with how the war on terror is proceeding.”
That figure, following terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California this fall, is well above the previous high of 61% who said they were dissatisfied in August 2007, according to CNN.
But those who forget the hard lessons that history teaches often are doomed to repeat them.
The public premise given to the American people for the calamitous invasion was that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” — a claim that turned out to be untrue and based on manipulated (and often faulty) US. intelligence data that was gathered to support the then already decided upon invasion decision.
Americans were told they could face a “mushroom cloud,” if the US military did not act to change the regime in Iraq. Scare tactics. Make Americans fearful in order to garner their support for an invasion of a country on the US national credit card.
Sound at all familiar to anything happening in the US today in 2015?
In Baghdad, Iraq today, “Bombs go off on average every 12 hours (and) the awful routine that follows each bomb looks hauntingly familiar to Americans who watched the Iraq war play out on television,” CNN reported over the weekend.
Today, many politicians and would be Presidents want to send American troops back into Iraq and Syria as well. Will another American “intervention” in the middle east be any more successful than the disaster that Iraq turned out to be?
That is why, according to a CNN report Sunday, it is crucial Americans understand how the Iraq war went so terribly wrong.
THE MAN WHO PREDICTED AN AMERICAN QUAGMIRE IN IRAQ
What if there had been someone in 2002-2003 that could have warned us what would happen if the US. invaded Iraq?
It turns out there was one man who did that and it was long before 2003. Listen to this:
“Once you got to Iraq and took it over and took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world and if you take down the central government in Iraq you can easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. It’s a quagmire.”
That is the voice of Dick Cheney in 1994 after he served as US. Secretary of Defense, predicting that Iraq would become a “quagmire” for the US should this country intervene militarily there.
But move ahead to 2003 when Dick Cheney is then Vice President in the George W. Bush administration.
Now listen to the words of Cheney as he made the rounds of the Sunday morning political talk shows on the TV networks. This is what Cheney said on the “Meet The Press” TV show:
“From the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is that we will be treated is liberators,” if America invades Iraq.
He was asked by host Tim Russert, if Cheney’s assumption was wrong and American troops were viewed as conquerors, “Do you think Americans are prepared for a long, costly and bloody battle?”
So what flipped by 180 degrees Cheney’s opinion about intervening in Iraq and why was George W. Bush so determined to go to war with Iraq?
THE LONG ROAD TO HELL
On October 26 of this year, CNN broadcast a special news program called “The Long Road To Hell” examining this very question. On Sunday, Dec. 27, CNN re-broadcast the program.
And the answer to the question of why President Bush, Dick Cheney and then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were hell bent on invading Iraq may surprise you.
Here is the back story.
The reason had nothing to do with the imaginary “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq
That story was simply fodder to soften America up, to get American citizens eager to support an invasion of Iraq, according to the CNN program broadcast Sunday.
The 9/11 attack on America was the key to understanding why America invaded Iraq.
The decision to invade Iraq was really made on Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks in the US that brought down the World Trade Center Towers and set part of the Pentagon building on fire when a terrorist flown jet crashed into it.
That is the catalyst that changed President Bush and Dick Cheney into two people hell bent on becoming invaders in the middle east.
“911 pushed him (Bush) and Cheney into a very dark place….I think it meant for George W. Bush “I have to prove that we’re a tough guy”…I have to prove we can reshape the middle east, otherwise the rest of my administration various terrorist groups and tin pot dictators are going to take advantage of me.”
Those are the words of Richard Clarke, who was in charge of counter-terrorism in the White House on 9/11/01, as broadcast on CNN’s report Sunday.
President Bush wanted to be perceived by the world as a tough guy. Someone who could not be pushed around. Sound like any posturing that might be going on today?
Clarke says it was that very night, the night of the 9/11 attacks, when the Iraq war really began.
Clarke’s words again:
“On the night of 9/11 we all meet in the situation room in the east wing, in the bunker and Rumsfeld is there straight from the Pentagon which is still on fire at the time, and the President is there and in that conversation Rumsfeld starts talking about invading Iraq…while the Pentagon is still burning.” (Italics ours)
This is long before the United States had any inkling of who was behind the 9/11attacks. At that point it could have been anyone or any group or any nation that staged the attacks, up to and including the Crips or the Bloods, two L.A. street gangs.
Clarke again:
So while the Pentagon was still burning, “One of the most disastrous chapters in the history of American intelligence began. Building a case to go to war against Saddam Hussein,” said the CNN report.
Building a case to get “American boots on the ground” in the middle east — even though Hussein had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks.
“When you want to believe something, and you say to the world “give me intelligence that says this,” they will give you intelligence that says that,” said Clarke. “9/11 changed everything.”
CNN reported that information was gathered very fast, so fast that many Iraqi intelligence sources were “barely vetted.”
A WAVE OF PATRIOTISM, FEW IN POWER ARE SKEPTICAL OF THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE
From then on, President Bush was riding a “powerful wave of patriotism,” says CNN. His approval ratings soared. He was John Wayne, Chuck Norris and Duane “The Rock” Johnson all rolled into one man.
How powerful was this wave of patriotism? Even journalists, who are supposed to be both skeptical about government claims and neutral in their positions, were jumping on board this amazing jingoistic juggernaut.
Then CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather – before his disgrace and downfall over a false story CBS News broadcast about President Bush – was seen on the NBC Tonight Show saying, “George Bush is the President. He makes the decisions. And, you know, this is one American…wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where.”
Thus it was that Rather and most of the mainstream news media at that time found itself already in the bag and on board for the Bush administration’s reasons to get “boots on the ground” in the middle east.
And three months after 9/11, the US. went to war in Afghanistan against the Taliban.
Despite grim predictions from experts about what the long range consequences of US. boots on the ground in the middle east would be, the Taliban was toppled, “Boosting the Bush administration’s confidence and the nation’s trust in him,” says CNN.
“As the months went on, the rhetoric grew increasingly fightening,” reported CNN.
THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION THAT NEVER EXISTED
Over and over on TV news programs and TV and radio talk shows, President Bush and others in the administration – and most of all perhaps the pundits and anchors on the right-wing oriented Fox News – kept hammering the same theme over and over: “weapons of mass destruction,” and (implied) we must be fearful of a “mushroom cloud” (e.g., a nuclear attack on the US.) as long as Saddam remains in power.
Fear. Americans must be fearful of what will happen to them unless the US, headed by a strong, tough leader goes after and topples Saddam Hussein.
This is what was sold over and over to the American public with the news media’s help at the time.
Sound familiar to anything that is happening in America today?
“The ensuing war and dismantling of Saddam’s government plunged Iraq into chaos, resulting in years of deadly sectarian violence and the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq, a precursor of ISIS. Tens of thousands of Iraqis, more than 4,000 US. troops and 179 British service members were killed in the lengthy conflict,” reported CNN on October 26, 2015.
In May of this year CNN reported that barring a miracle, “Whoever wins the White House will become the fifth consecutive American president ensnared by a nation that has consumed trillions of US. dollars and thousands of American lives. It has also blighted a string of high-flying political careers. If the last week on the 2016 campaign trail has proved anything, it’s that American politics is still nowhere near purged of the bitter political divides of a war undertaken 12 turbulent years ago, somewhat like the Vietnam War that reverberated through successive presidencies.”
The CNN report noted that America’s “quagmire” with Iraq started under President George H.W. Bush when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein marched into Kuwait in 1989, and much later erupted into a full-scale invasion under George W. Bush.
“And now under President Barack Obama a quarter of a century later, America’s misadventure in the fractured Middle Eastern nation has transformed into a slog against the bloodthirsty Sunni radicals of ISIS. With no end in sight,” said the CNN report.
A link to the original October 2015 CNN broadcast of the “Long Road To Hell” is below.
BUSH & COMPANY MADE OVER 900 FALSE STATEMENTS
“In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003,” reads a description of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
According to this study, Bush and seven top officials — including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice — made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years in a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. “Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion…an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”
The study was based on a searchable database compiled of primary sources, such as official government transcripts and speeches, and secondary sources such as quotes from major media organizations.
The study says President Bush himself made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein’s possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda.
The report also says, “It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda.”
This view is based on multiple government reports, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the 9/11 Commission and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, which reported that Hussein had suspended Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to get it up and running again.
AMERICAN NEWS MEDIA WAS COMPLICIT IN THE RUN UP TO THE IRAQ INVASION
That study also calls the American news media to task, saying most media outlets didn’t do enough to investigate the claims — in other words, they did not do their jobs.
According to the report, “Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical.”
In June of 2014 investigative journalist Charles Lewis published a book that details the many “government falsehoods” that have led us into the current quagmire that is Iraq.
The book is called “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity.”
A video introduction to the book by the author is found here .
ON LIES AND MANIPULATION OF DATA AND THE NEWS MEDIA
According to Lewis his book, “Explores the many ways truth is manipulated by governments and corporations.”
Through examples ranging from the countless lies administrations of both parties have used to justify needless wars to the successful decades-long “corporate suppression of the truth” about tobacco and other dangerous products, Lewis explains the “political, social, and business changes that have increasingly weakened the ability of journalists to play their traditional truth-telling role.”
And he describes the new trends, from the rise of nonprofit reporters to the growing numbers of “citizen journalists,” that give reason to be hopeful about the future of truth.
Lewis was a guest in 2014 on journalist Bill Moyers television program in which he said of the Iraq invasion and war:
“An outrageous thing happened. We lost $2 trillion. More than 100,000 people died. Folks are going to be maimed for life in the tens of thousands… And no one has ever acknowledged that this was a war on a lark. It was a complete war of choice, because a certain little faction wanted to do it and they orchestrated it… Did they make statements that weren’t true? The answer is yes.”
Curiously perhaps, the interview with Lewis begins with a lead-in by Moyers about, “The foresight of the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, who, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, predicted the trap in which the West would fall attempting to interfere in the Middle East.”
According to Lewis and many others, America is still deep, deep within that trap.

What Will Babylon Do? Nothing (Ezekiel 17)

Iran Lied About Its Nuclear Program. What Is the United States Going to Do About It?

Tehran pursued an organized nuclear weapons effort through 2003, and some activities continued into the first year of the Obama administration in 2009, according to the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Moreover, Tehran’s cover-up activities “seriously undermined the agency’s ability to conduct effective verification” at the Parchin site, where Iran is suspected of hydrodynamic testing of implosion devices. Claims that this was all a misunderstanding or a fabrication — made in Iran and sometimes echoed in the United States — are now discredited.
The Iran deal and its side agreement did not condition sanctions relief on substantive resolution of the IAEA’s concerns about Iran’s covert nuclear weapons work — the so-called “possible military dimensions” issue. Rather, they simply set a procedural timeline for additional information exchanges, questions, discussions, and finally an IAEA report. Unsurprisingly, Tehran’s stonewall continued, and the agency now reports that it was unable to resolve its detailed and documented concerns.

So what are the implications of the report for the Iran deal and broader nonproliferation policy? A nasty Twitter war has erupted between American think tanks, which must amuse the Iranians. The lasting implications are, however, far more serious.

The bedrock of IAEA safeguards work is complete and correct declaration of all nuclear activities, and agency verification of the completeness and correctness, through access to sites, documents, people, and equipment. The latest IAEA report makes clear that Tehran’s declaration is neither complete nor correct, but Iran will be given a pass, because the Iran deal created a giant loophole on this issue.

Some say this does not matter — that we already have “absolute knowledge” of Iran’s nuclear program, as Secretary of State John Kerry put it in June. They also point to intelligence capabilities as the best means to detect Iranian cheating. They further claim that these issues are of the past, while the agreement is about the future. None of these arguments withstand casual scrutiny.
Intelligence information alone is subject to failure. The massive intelligence debacle in Iraq was caused in part by the absence of inspectors starting in 1998. Effective international monitoring and intelligence work are exponentially more powerful in tandem than either is alone. A baseline declaration is necessary for effective international monitoring. Moreover, this issue is about the future. Neither the IAEA nor the United States can be confident that Iran’s nuclear weapons development work will not resume if all aspects of the past activities are not well understood and dismantled. Where, for example, is the explosive chamber that was used at Parchin, and to what purpose is it being put today? Were other chambers fabricated and used? What became of the nuclear explosion modeling? Who was involved in it and what are they doing now?

The Iran deal will go forward. Sanctions will be lifted. The bedrock principle of safeguards work — a complete and correct declaration followed by IAEA verification — will be fractured (temporarily at least), with U.S. complicity. Why should future proliferators not invoke the Iran deal precedent, under which the Iranians pretend to comply with their obligations, and we pretend to believe them? Why even should Tehran take seriously all the administration’s huffing and puffing about the importance of compliance?

The July deal did not solve the Iran nuclear program. At best it delayed it. In 10 to 15 years the central provisions of the deal will fade away and Iran will be free to maintain unlimited inventories of centrifuges and low enriched uranium — reducing the metric of breakout time so cherished by the administration from 12 months to several days. Tehran’s reluctance to comply with its obligation to provide a complete and correct declaration today is compelling — although not dispositive — evidence that it continues to harbor nuclear weapons ambitions, which it will return to in the future. The political fight over the Iran deal is over. It will be implemented. America and her allies, however, must join together quickly to prepare for the day in a decade or so when this question will again be upon us.

What Iran Nuclear Deal? (Daniel 8:4)

Building a bomb now easier for us than putting in a contact lens, claims Iran official

Quds Force adviser says regime ‘closer than ever’ to nuclear device, and could easily complete project if religious ban were lifted

By TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF
November 26, 2015, 6:31 pm 47

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, left, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, center, and then top nuclear negotiator (now president) Hassan Rouhani, in Tehran, March, 9, 2006. (photo credit: AP Photo)

Iran is “closer than ever” to the bomb, and completing it would be “easier than putting in a contact lens,” a senior Iranian official was quoted saying on Thursday.

The claim by Hassan Karimpour, an adviser to Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, was reported Thursday in Iranian media, and quoted on the BBC’s Persian language website and Israel’s Hebrew-language Channel 2 TV.

Finishing a nuclear bomb would be “easy to do, as soon as the spiritual ban on nuclear weapons were lifted,” Channel 2 quoted Karimpour as saying.

The Iranian regime has repeatedly vowed that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon, and spiritual leader Ali Khamenei has issued fatwas forbidding nuclear weapons.

According to Fars news, Karimpour also said Iran has 14 missile depots, buried between 30 and 500 meters underground, equipped with automatic launchers, and that any country that dared to attack Iran would be riddled with large numbers of missiles fired from these depots.

Israel and others in the West believe Iran has been pursuing a rogue nuclear weapons program, however, and the US-led P5+1 world powers signed a deal with Iran in July intended to curb the program, in exchange for sanctions relief. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the deal as a “historic mistake” that would pave Iran’s path to the bomb, and challenged US President Barack Obama’s handling of the issue in a speech to Congress in March.

A former Iranian president reportedly admitted last month that the country’s nuclear program was started with the intent of building a nuclear weapon. The reported comments by Hashemi Rafsanjani to the state-run IRNA news agency marked the first time a top Iranian official — current or former — had said the country sought a nuclear weapon.

Earlier on Thursday, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said he could not guarantee that everything Iran is doing is peaceful, even as Tehran takes steps to reduce its nuclear activities under the July deal. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano spoke Thursday to the IAEA’s 35-nation board.

Amano said he is “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” and thus cannot conclude that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

More Iranian Lies, More IAEA Ignorance


UN: no clear-cut picture of whether Iran worked on nukes

BY GEORGE JAHN
NOV. 26, 2015 1:04 PM EST

UN: no clear-cut picture of whether Iran worked on nukes

VIENNA (AP) — The U.N. atomic energy agency is preparing to wrap up a more than a decade-long probe of alleged nuclear weapons work by Iran, but its report will stop short of delivering a judgment on whether the suspicions are valid, the agency’s chief said Thursday.

The report by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency is meant to put the issue to rest after years of on-and-off attempts to investigate the allegations. The U.S. and its allies say Tehran conducted past research and development of such weapons. Iran says the accusations are based on false intelligence from its adversaries.

The issue has dominated IAEA meetings, contributed to U.N. Security Council resolutions against Iran and is now playing a role in determining whether sanctions against Tehran will be lifted under a nuclear deal that is expected to be implemented early next year.

But the comments by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano made clear that his assessment will contain enough gray zones to leave the question unresolved.

The report “won’t be black and white,” Amano told reporters outside a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation board. Suggesting some questions remain unanswered, he described his report as a “jigsaw puzzle” for which his agency has “pieces.”

While he said it was up to board members to decide whether to close the investigation on the basis of his report, diplomats briefed on the investigation said Thursday that outcome was likely.
Formally, the report will help determine whether Iran gets relief from sanctions in exchange for paring back its atomic activities under an overarching July 14 deal Tehran signed with six world powers.

Two diplomats said the U.S. and the five other powers that negotiated the July 14 nuclear deal with Iran were unlikely to be too critical, unwilling to risk jeopardizing that agreement. But expectations remain that Iran has continued either to deny the activities under investigation or insist they were part of peaceful nuclear research. They demanded anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue.

Iran is keeping up the pressure on the agency. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi warned Wednesday that Amano and the board must “meet the stipulated commitments” — shorthand for closing the books on the allegations. Otherwise, he warned, Tehran will not hew to its obligations under the larger nuclear deal.

Amano said his report will be circulated among board members next week, with a special Dec. 15 meeting to be convened for a decision on whether to declare the investigation closed.
___
Jelena Vicic in Vienna and Associated Press Writer Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report.

More Iranian And White House Lies (Daniel 8:4)

 

Incivility and the Iran Deal
 
By ABRAHAM H. MILLER • 8/31/15 12:01 AM

An internet petition calls for Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to change his position on the Iran agreement by telling him not to be a “war monger.” Schumer, of course, is no war monger, and neither are most of those who disagree with the dangerous agreement the Obama administration is intent on getting Congress to approve.

The name-calling says far less about Schumer than it says about the quality of discourse created by the president. Richard Nixon had an enemies list. Barack Obama has enemies too. The difference is that Nixon faced a critical if not overtly hostile press. Obama, in contrast, has a sycophantic press and a pliable coterie of partisans that will follow him into the depths of incivility.

An environment of hostility exists where the intensity with which Obama and his supporters are fighting for the agreement is proportional to both its flaws and the corrupt political culture that Obama brought to Washington.

If the agreement were so beneficial to America’s national interest, it would have been compelling on its own merits. It would have not engendered the ensuing controversy or the accompanying intense hostility against its detractors that has been laced with anti-Semitic innuendo and accusations of preferring war to peace.

The battle for the agreement is right out of the political culture of Chicago. Winning is all that counts, no matter what the battle leaves in its wake or how it is fought.

The agreement is not the product of a focus on the national interest but rather a result of a preoccupation with the president’s legacy. Obama wants to be the president who brought Iran back into the community of nations in a fashion similar to the way Nixon opened up China to America.
To accomplish that, Obama has needed to ignore the obvious. Iran signed the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty that resulted in Iran’s acquisition of nuclear technology in exchange for a commitment not to use it to pursue nuclear weapons. Iran took the technology and proceeded to embark on a nuclear weapons program complete with an intercontinental delivery system.

Iran claimed it was enriching uranium to generate energy, but only 5 percent enrichment is required for energy production. Iran was enriching uranium to over 20 percent, a level portending a breakout capacity for weaponization. Many countries generate energy with uranium enriched under 5 percent.
The agreement leaves in place Iran’s high speed centrifuges and its possession of highly enriched uranium. Perhaps more dangerous is the nature of the inspection process that will permit Iran to have its own inspectors, inspect its own facilities, even to the point of taking its own soil samples.

There is more than sufficient reason to object to the agreement. Indeed, in a viable democracy, it is the obligation of the loyal opposition to raise the kinds of concerns that Schumer and others have raised. Equally, it is the responsibility of a legitimate and effective government to respond to those objections with arguments grounded in facts, not ad hominem accusations.

Obama is pursuing a policy that overturns that of three administrations, of both parties, over the last twenty years, and it is based on faith that the Iranian government will do something it has not done before: Adhere to its commitments.

It is time for the administration to turn down the rhetoric and let the policy debate proceed without intimidation.

Typical Bush Lies (Revelation 13:10)

 

Jeb Bush offered inaccurate version of Iraq war history


BY JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND LESLEY CLARK
McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, in his Tuesday speech that was billed as a major foreign policy address, provided a distorted version of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and an incorrect account of the origins of the Islamic State.

Bush vowed that if elected he would expand U.S. military intervention in the Middle East significantly. His version of events, however, seemed intended to absolve his brother, President George W. Bush, of blame in destabilizing the region while trying to pin the region’s current bloodshed on President Barack Obama and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic presidential frontrunner.

The former Florida governor asserted that the Islamic State’s takeover of large swaths of Iraq in 2014 was a direct consequence of the “fatal error” of Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the country in 2011 after the eight-year U.S. military occupation. He claimed the withdrawal squandered the “success, brilliant, heroic and costly,” of the 2007 U.S. troop surge. He said Clinton “stood by as the hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.”

Bush’s account of the withdrawal as a “case of blind haste” omitted the fact that it was his brother who’d set the withdrawal date of Dec. 31, 2011, in an agreement that he signed with the Iraqi government in 2008.

He also neglected to note that the Iraqi government strongly opposed the continued presence of U.S. forces.

“The last American soldier will leave Iraq” as agreed, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said in a Dec. 2010 interview with the Wall Street Journal. “This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alternation. It is sealed.”

Critics fault Obama for not pressing Maliki harder to permit a U.S. contingent to remain to train Iraqi security forces. But the Obama administration was forced to fulfill the departure timetable when the Iraqi government refused to exempt American troops from Iraqi law.

Bush’s version of the success of the surge, launched to contain attacks on U.S. forces and minority Sunni Muslims by Iranian-backed Shiite militias, also was incomplete.

U.S. military operations did help contain Shiite militias known as special groups that had targeted American forces. But another major factor was Iran, which had gained enormous influence in Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion replaced Sunni rule with a Shiite-dominated government. Iran ordered Shiite militia leaders like Muqtada al Sadr, the head of the so-called Mahdi Army that controlled Baghdad’s sprawling Sadr City slum, to stand down in order to hasten the U.S. troop withdrawal.
Bush’s version of the role the U.S. troop withdrawal played in “creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill” also was incomplete, omitting that fact that the Islamic State is the successor organization to al Qaida in Iraq, or AQI, the al Qaida affiliate formed after the U.S. invasion.

The Bush administration sought to crush AQI by recruiting local Sunni tribesmen into a militia movement known as the Sons of Iraq that worked closely with U.S. forces. While the strategy dealt serious blows to AQI, it failed to eradicate the group, which went underground and continued to pursue a campaign of bombings, assassinations and attacks that targeted Shiites and government officials.

The group, many of whose leaders met while prisoners at the U.S. military’s Camp Bucca detention center in Iraq, re-emerged in 2013, co-opting support from a protest movement by Sunnis in Iraq’s Anbar province enraged by what they denounced as broken promises and persecution by the Shiite-dominated central government.

The group also sent fighters into neighboring Syria, which was enmeshed in devastating civil war that erupted in 2011, seizing territory that it used as springboard for the 2014 offensive that overran the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and stormed to the outskirts of Baghdad.

“There is blame to go around,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution. “But if you are trying to weigh the blame, there is more on the Bush administration, that’s when these forces really developed.

O’Hanlon, who supported the Bush decision to invade Iraq, said he believes Obama could have tried harder to persuade Maliki to keep a residual force in Iraq, but credits Obama with slowing down the withdrawal until late 2011, beyond his original timeline.

“Blind haste is not a fair characterization,’ he said.

Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said he sees little value in arguments about who bears responsibility for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.

“Nothing could be more damaging or pointless in serving American interests at this point than a partisan debate that focuses on whether President Bush or President Obama ‘lost Iraq,’ ” he said, adding that the “record will show . . . Iraq’s problems have been shaped far more by Iraqis and Iran” than the actions of the United States.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a rival for the Republican nomination, said he thought Jeb Bush had made a mistake trying to “re-litigate” the Iraq war.

“It makes no sense for us as a party. he said. “We know what the answer to that question is, we should just move on to the other issues that are of real concern.”

More Iranian and US Lies (Ezekiel 17)

Nuclear Experts: Iran Failed to Properly Convert its Uranium Stockpile, Violating JPOA

The process by which Iran reduced its stock of low enriched uranium prior to the June 30 negotiating deadline violated the terms of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), the agreement it signed with the West in November 2013, according to an analysis (.pdf) published today by the Institute for Science and International Security.
The institute’s analysis was performed in response to an Associated Press report that, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran had fulfilled its obligations under the JPOA to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium.

Iran has met a key commitment under a preliminary nuclear deal setting up the current talks on a final agreement, leaving it with several tons less of the material it could use to make weapons, according to a U.N. report issued Wednesday. …

The report indicated that only several hundred pounds of the oxide that is the end product had been made. But a U.S. official told the AP the rest of the enriched uranium in the pipeline has been transformed into another form of the oxide that would be even more difficult to reconvert into enriched uranium, which can be turned into the fissile core of nuclear arms.
The official said that technical problems by Iran had slowed the process but the United States was satisfied that Iran had met its commitments to reduce the amount of enriched uranium it has stored. He demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the confidential review process.

In addition to disputing the American official’s assertion that the enriched uranium was converted into a material that “was even more difficult to reconvert into enriched uranium,” the institute’s analysis pointed out that Iran wasn’t just obligated to fulfilling a result, but also to abiding by the proper process.

The IAEA reports that since January 20, 2014 until June 30, 2015, Iran produced 4,293 kilograms (kg) of less than 5 percent LEU hexafluoride. As of June 30, 2015 Iran’s cumulative stock of 3.5 percent LEU hexafluoride is 7,537 kg.1 Therefore, Iran has met part of its commitment in the JPA to feed its newly produced LEU hexafluoride into the Enriched UO2 Powder Plant (EUPP) plant. Yet, of this LEU, only 260 kg (uranium mass) of dioxide has emerged, or an equivalent of 390 kg of LEU hexafluoride, which is 9 percent of what was expected. The remainder of the material remains in intermediate forms in the EUPP conversion plant.
According to an anonymous U.S. official interviewed by the Associated Press, the remainder of the material in the conversion pipeline “has been transformed into another form of the oxide that would be even more difficult to reconvert into enriched uranium.” This intermediate form is likely ammonium diuranate (ADU), but it is not the oxide intended as the final form. Moreover, its difficulty of conversion back to uranium hexafluoride has been disputed by an expert we queried. However, this issue is not about the proliferation resistance of the LEU forms. It is about shifting criteria in the JPA.
When it became clear that Iran could not meet its commitment to convert the LEU into uranium dioxide, the United States revised its criteria for Iran meeting its obligations. In this case, the potential violation refers to Iran not producing the enriched uranium dioxide by the end of the initial six month period of the JPA and again after its first and second extensions. The choosing of a weaker condition that must be met is not a good precedent for interpreting more important provisions in a final deal.

The analysis points out that by excusing Iran’s violation of the terms of the JPOA, the United States raised concerns “about the enforcement of a final deal with Iran.” Given that the amount of enriched uranium that needs to be converted under the terms of a comprehensive, permanent deal is much greater, the government’s handling of this case, in the words of the analysis, “leads to legitimate doubts about how well that major endeavor will go.”
[Photo: JewishNewsOne / YouTube

Playing Cards With Esau (Genesis 28)

Kerry and Iranian Policy

Kerry and Iranian Policy

Why the Long-Term Fate of an Iran Nuclear Deal Rests With . . . IranBy STEPHEN SESTANOVICH

WSJ
May 29, 2015 3:59 PM

When 47 Republican senators wrote to Iran’s supreme leader in March, warning that future Congresses and presidents could reverse a deal between Iran and the Obama administration, many people criticized their letter. For some, it was bad taste; for others, bad politics. But was it bad analysis? Politico has published a related piece by two former George W. Bush administration officials, Eric Edelman and Robert Joseph, and my Council on Foreign Relations colleague (and fellow WSJ Think Tank contributor) Ray Takeyh. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should read what they say. With just a month left for negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, the long-term viability of any agreement could depend on it.

Mr. Edelman, Mr. Joseph, and Mr. Takeyh look to history to explore how and when U.S. presidents renounce arms-control deals that their predecessors negotiated. They find three relevant cases: the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (from which George W. Bush withdrew in 2001), the 1979 SALT-II treaty (which Ronald Reagan said in 1986 that he would stop observing), and the 1994 Agreed Framework With North Korea (which the U.S. repudiated in the face of Pyongyang’s cheating in 2002).

Clearly, the United States does rethink the pros and cons of existing agreements. But the real lesson for Ayatollah Khamenei is not that Washington is an unreliable partner. It’s that the fate of a deal depends primarily on Iran—and whether it is a reliable partner.

Look at what finally undid these agreements. Reagan didn’t like the SALT-II treaty but observed it for more than five years. Ultimately, Soviet cheating gave opponents of the treaty a trump card. Mr. Bush, too, would have stuck with a North Korea deal that he didn’t like, but Kim Jong Il made that impossible. In the late 1990s, Russian negotiators rejected a stream of U.S. ideas to adjust the ABM treaty to a world of new ballistic-missile threats. Had Moscow reacted differently, there might still be a treaty.

The message for Iran’s supreme leader? As he tells his diplomats how to handle the last phase of talks, he should know that the one factor most likely to trigger U.S. withdrawal, now or later, is doubt about the other side’s good faith. Washington can live for a long time with agreements it doesn’t like, but fears of cheating are hard to put to rest. (That’s why Saddam Hussein is no longer running Iraq.)

News reports suggest that Iranian negotiators have been instructed to haggle endlessly about what inspectors will be allowed to do and see. Tehran may well make it easier to keep some things hidden. But if it does, chances are that somewhere down the road an American president is going to reconsider the deal.

Stephen Sestanovich, a professor at Columbia University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is the author of “Maximalist: America in the World From Truman to Obama.” He is on Twitter: @ssestanovich.

John Kerry’s Strange Love For Iran (Eze 17)

 
John Kerry ‘Wished US Had Leader’ Like Khamenei, Iranians Say

By Drew MacKenzie
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 07:58 AM

Secretary of State John Kerry allegedly told his Iranian counterpart that he wished the U.S. had a head of state more like Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Citing remarks from a senior Iranian cleric that were broadcast in the country’s state-run media, Kerry reportedly told Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during nuclear negotiations between the two powers that he “wished the U.S. had a leader like Iran’s supreme leader.

The claim came from senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Alam al-Hoda, according to a Persian-language report on the remarks published by the Asriran news site, which said that the comments were made during Friday prayer services.

In the negotiations Kerry told Zarif that he wished the U.S. had a leader like Iran’s supreme leader,” according to al-Hoda, who is a senior member of the Iran’s powerful Assembly of Experts, the Beacon reported.

But a senior U.S. administration official told the Beacon that such a notion was utterly ridiculous.
Meanwhile, Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iranian dissident at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has claimed that the U.S. “overtures” to Iran at the nuclear bargaining table have failed to win America any respect from the Islamic Republic’s leaders.

“President Obama thinks that by making more concessions he can gain the trust and respect of Iranian leaders,” Ghasseminejad said. “However, Iranian leaders neither trust him nor respect him.

“Seeing unprecedented weakness in the U.S. president, Iranian leaders do not fear the United States anymore. Partnership, trust, and alliance between the radical Islamist regime of Tehran and United States cannot and should not exist.”

According to the Fars News Agency, Zarif said over the weekend that fighting between the Obama administration and Congress over a potential final deal could not prevent the U.S. from carrying out any final agreement the White House signs.

“As we have stated since the beginning, we consider the U.S. administration responsible for implementing the agreement, and internal problems and conflicts in the U.S. are not related to us and to the implementation of the agreement,” Zarif said.

“Based on the international laws, the countries’ internal problems don’t exempt them from implementing their undertakings and this is the main framework that we attach importance to,” he said.