Losing Rights

There are some rights that are considered immutable, granted to human beings everywhere, while other rights are granted by a country’s laws or local society. But individuals and countries can lose those rights if they are deemed threats to society.

Individual Rights in the United States

Consider the right to vote in the United States.

While it was given to adult white men at the birth of the country, it took the passage of the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution in 1870 for black men to get the right to vote. Women got the right to vote in 1919 when the 19th Amendment passed. To this day, citizens under 18 years old are still denied the right to vote.

The right to vote in elections is NOT immutable, as it is conditioned on a level of decent behavior. Many states rescind the right to vote for people who are convicted of a felony. Some states suspend the right while the person is in prison; other states ban the right to vote permanently.

The right to own a gun in the USA is also subject to limitations.

While the 2nd Amendment gave citizens the right “to keep and bear arms,federal law also rescinds such right for people in certain categories, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers and people with certain kinds of mental health issues. The government has opted to remove certain rights of the individual because of their threat to the well-being of society.

That principle relates to countries as well.

Iranian Quest for Nuclear Power

There are nine countries with nuclear weapons and 31 with nuclear power. Despite its prevalence, the world was alarmed when Iran wanted to pursue its own nuclear ambitions. Why did so many countries enforce severe sanctions on Iran, when it was just pursuing a nuclear program similar to many other countries?

As many people stated when the Iranian deal was being formulated and Israeli MK Michael Oren wrote on October 2, 2017 “The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t Worth Saving,” the problem lies with Iran itself. The country is a leading state sponsor of global terrorism. It is a dangerous destabilizing force, backing corrupt regimes and terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. Many countries correctly concluded that Iran is a bad actor that must be restricted from having weapons of mass destruction. It follows the logic of keeping guns out of the hands of felons by a factor of 7 billion.

The current Islamic Republic of Iran is unfit to handle nuclear weapons or even possess nuclear power. It must be satisfied with a conventional arsenal to protect itself and conventional sources of electricity until it can demonstate that it can be trusted with greater power.

Palestinian Arabs’ Quest for an Independent State

In 1975, the United Nations passed General Assembly Resolution 3376 which created the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP). Since 1977, the UN has celebrated on every November 29 the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which echoed the CEIRPP call for “the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.

But the Palestinian Arabs have themselves undermined these “inalienable rights” based on their actions to date.

No “right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.” UN Resolution 194 specifically stated that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so.” However, the millions of Palestinians who want “to return to their homes” are not refugees, but descendants of internally displaced people. Further, the various wars, intifadas and stabbing and car ramming attacks prove that the Palestinian Arabs have no intention of living in peace with Jews in the region.

No “right to national independence and sovereignty.” While people can appreciate the desire of people to self-determination and being citizens of a country, that does not equate to people having a distinct country of their own. Many Arabs are now citizens of Israel, accounting for 20% of the country. Millions of Arabs have Jordanian citizenship, many having moved to Jordan from the West Bank. Millions of Arabs east of the Green Line (EGL)/ Judea and Samaria/ West Bank had Jordanian citizenship from 1954 to 1988, from when the Jordanians granted all non-Jews in the region citizenship until the Jordanian government rescinded it and any claim to EGL. The Arabs in Gaza were under Egyptian rule from 1948 to 1967.

The Palestinian Arabs have shown themselves unfit to have a country of their own based on a long list of actions.

  • Electing a Holocaust denier as President
  • Electing a terrorist group (Hamas) to the majority (58%) of parliament
  • Established laws calling for capital punishment for any Arab selling land to a Jew
  • Calling for a new country to be Jew-free
  • Denying the 3700 year history of Jews in the holy land
  • Almost a completely anti-Semitic populace (93% according to an ADL poll)
  • Using language such as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” against the Jewish people who just suffered that fate at the hands of Germany and Arab countries around the Middle East
  • Wars and intifadas, and the incitement to murder Jews from 1920 until today

l
logo of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,
showing the entire Arab world invading Israel

[the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade is part of the “moderate” Fatah party and features a logo with guns over the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. New rules by WordPress prevent it being inserted here.]

Like Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power and a convicted felon’s desire to purchase a gun, granting Palestinian Arabs a sovereign country would be a dangerous and alarming action. That countries would even consider pursuing such course while the Palestinian Authority works to bring Hamas into a unity government, would be akin to handing an automatic weapon to a serial domestic abuser who bought the apartment next door to his ex-wife.

The Palestinian Arabs can achieve their “inalienable right” to become citizens of either Israel, Jordan or Egypt. They are still a very long way of earning the right to sovereignty.

 


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

Is the Iran Deal a Domestic Matter (NY Times) or an International Matter (Wall Street Journal)

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

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Remembering the Terrible First Obama-Netanyahu Meeting

On May 18, 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington, D.C. to meet the new president of the United States, Barack Obama. It was the beginning of a terrible friendship.

FILE - In this May 18, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. For six years, Obama and Netanyahu have been on a collision course over how to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a high-stakes endeavor both men see as a centerpiece of their legacies. The coming weeks will put the relationship between their countries, which otherwise remain stalwart allies, to one of its toughest tests. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

May 18, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Netanyahu was extremely distressed about the state of the Iranian nuclear weapons program and urged Obama to set a hard, near-term timetable to reach a conclusive deal with the Iranians, or use military force to dismantle the dangerous program. Obama rejected both the idea of a timetable and the threat of military force.

Quite to the contrary, Obama used the public forum with Netanyahu by his side, to PRAISE IRAN, even though the US State Department defined it as a state sponsor of terrorism and the country’s leadership had threatened to destroy Israel. In his remarks before Netanyahu, Obama said:

“I [Obama] indicated to him [Netanyahu] the view of our administration, that Iran is a country of extraordinary history and extraordinary potential, that we want them to be a full-fledged member of the international community and be in a position to provide opportunities and prosperity for their people, but that the way to achieve those goals is not through the pursuit of a nuclear weapon.”

It would take SIX YEARS for Obama to conclude a deal with the Iranians that left their entire nuclear weapons infrastructure in place and permitted the country a legal path to nuclear weapons in a decade. Netanyahu considered the negotiation a collosal failure and argued against it. Obama walked out on him.

Along the way Obama did threaten to use force against another state sponsor of terrorism – Syria – but ultimately decided to retreat from his August 2012 “red line.” A couple of hundred thousand dead Syrians later, Obama announced the legalization of Iran’s nuclear program while millions of Syrian refugees swarmed the western world.

And now Netanyahu is meeting a new US president.

Netanyahu is meeting with Donald Trump to discuss a range of issues. Like Netanyahu, Trump thought that Obama’s handling of Iran and Syria were complete failures. So it is unlikely that Trump will treat Netanyahu like a cuckold the way that Obama did in publicly lauding Iran in his face.

Will this meeting set the tone and restart the US-Israel relationship? Time will tell.


Related First.One.Through articles:

International-Domestic Abuse: Obama and Netanyahu

Some Global Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

Obama’s Iranian Red Line

Seeing Security through a Screen

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Buckets of Deplorable Presidential Endorsements

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president has sought to portray her Republican challenger Donald Trump as a racist, and those that support him as racists. Both she and President Barack Obama should consider that those same people endorsed them as well.

David Duke

David Duke is a leader of the racist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and is currently running for the Senate from Louisiana. He proclaimed that he would be the “biggest supporter” of Trump from his position in Congress. Clinton used the endorsement as an opportunity to portray half of Trump supporters as “deplorables” who are “irredeemable.” In doing so, she sought to send a message that anyone that votes for Trump is either a “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic,or is happy to associate with such people.

There is no question that David Duke deserves the charge of a deplorable and maintains the views that Clinton ascribed.  However, it was that same David Duke that came out in favor of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. Should that have been a warning that the Democrats were advancing a deplorable deal?

Iran

Iran is listed by the US State Department as an official state sponsor of terror (one of only three countries with such designation).   Iran celebrated the nuclear deal brokered by Obama.  Does its support mean that Obama strengthened global terrorism?

Qatar

The government of Qatar supports Hamas, a virulently anti-Semitic terrorist group whose goal is the complete destruction of a US ally, Israel.

But the Clinton Foundation was happy to accept a $1 million gift from Qatar in 2011, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.  The Qatar government bought Bill Clinton’s former Vice President Al Gore’s cable channel, Current TV for $500 million in 2013. That deal netted Gore a personal gain of roughly $17 million.  That channel and social media site, AJ+, continue to spew anti-Israel commentary and incite violence against Israel.

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a well-earned reputation of falling into Clinton’s “basket of deplorables.”  It is the only country in the world that received a ZERO for women’s empowerment by the World Economic Forum. It kills anyone that converts from Islam (apostasy), a right that is clearly protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The country also condemns people to death for homosexuality – even minors.

This deplorable country gave the Clinton Foundation well over $10 million according to PolitiFact.

clinton-deplorables
Hillary Clinton addressing liberals at a campaign fund raiser
September 9, 2016

The Washington Post listed many other problematic parties supporting Hillary Clinton, including Algeria, Kuwait and Oman. The Arab countries continue to support her candidacy.


Donald Trump did not solicit the endorsement of David Duke, but was nevertheless rebuked for not immediately distancing himself from the man (which Trump did do later). But Clinton hammered continuously on the campaign trail and in advertisements that Trump supporters were racists, misogynists, xenophobes and homophobes. (The last claim is pretty remarkable, as Trump stood before the entire Republican National Committee, and drew loud applause for his pro-gay comments).

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton actively courted the support of some of the most deplorable countries in the world, who are homophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic and racist.

Does Clinton claim that any endorsement from a “deplorable” means that all all (or at least half) supporters are terrible as well? Hillary Clinton often claims that Russia supports Trump and is behind her email scandal.  But that same Russia also supported the Iranian nuclear deal.  Does she want us all to revisit that toxic deal negotiated by Obama, Kerry and herself?

As Clinton and Obama trash the “deplorable” Trump supporters, they should consider their own tainted glass houses, in which some of the worst deplorables in the world gave them direct financial support and endorsed their most controversial policies.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Deplorable Definition

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union address on January 12, 2016.  He gave an outline of a speech in four parts: economic opportunity; technology; a safe America; and politics, as he projected a future world ten-plus years out.

obama 2016 SOTU
Obama State of the Union Address
January 12, 2016 (photo:  M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO)

Safe America: Regarding a safe America, Obama continued to limit his global enemies to two parties: al Qaeda and ISIL/ Islamic State. Other countries that shout “Death to America! Death to Israel” like Iran were not labeled enemies that threaten the USA.  Obama mentioned Iran just a single time, when he extolled the “principled diplomacy” that “avoided another war.”  That may have been true in 2015.  But the future in ten-plus years that he facilitated, is a nuclear weapons-armed Iran.

A fanatical, anti-Semitic, America-bashing country with weapons of mass destruction is not a recipe to “keep America safe.”  Unless, of course, Obama has banked on Iran limiting its attack only against Israel, as he doubts that Iran would consider attacking the “most powerful nation on Earth.

Politics of religions: When Obama delved into politics, he not-so-subtly put Donald Trump in his crosshairs as he said “When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer.  That’s not telling it like it is.  It’s just wrong.  It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.  It makes it harder to achieve our goals.  And it betrays who we are as a country.

Obama berated Trump for his comments about Muslims in the past. This time, he extended his comments passed the politics of Trump, to anti-Muslim actions in the United States generally.  While he repeated prior statements that anti-Muslim actions betray the values of the United States, he added the dimension that Islamophobia “diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”  The two additions are noteworthy.

As detailed in “Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism” an average American Jew is over TWICE as likely to be attacked as either a Muslim or black American.  Yet anti-Semitism is never flagged by Obama.  That is actually too kind.  Anti-Semitic attacks are often whitewashed by the Obama administration, such as his denial that Jews were targeted in Paris in January 2015.

Obama’s SOTU remarks add some color to his blindness.  He is concerned that Islamophobia “diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”  Not so anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism has a long history in the world.  Over the past eighteen months it has reared it’s ugly head again in Europe. It is pervasive in the Middle East.  As such, flagging anti-Semitism may diminish America’s standing in the world.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and only 16 million Jews, a 100:1 ratio.  Islamophobia upsets at least 1.6 billion people and few seem to notice or care about the more prevalent anti-Semitism.  So Obama omitted discussing anti-Semitism and only highlighted the less common attacks on Muslims.

 

In his seventh year as president of the United States, Obama finally made his views on anti-Semitism a little more clear: Jews and Israel are small sacrifices to ensure a safer America.


Related First.One.Through articles:

“Jews as a Class”

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

Obama’s Select Religious Compassion

Bibi’s Paris Speech in Context

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Joe Biden Stabs a Finger at Israel

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Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

“Double standards” is defined as a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another.” Double Standards are typically viewed as unjust, and some countries (like the government of Israel) complain when they are held to more rigorous standards of behavior than its neighbors by political bodies like the United Nations. Curiously, in 2015, some US Democratic candidates for president have introduced a new concept of “Half Standards,” in which they actively and happily pursue policies for other countries which are much less rigorous than they expect for Americans.

Democrats on Gun Control for Americans

After the killing of two journalists on air in August 2015, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders stated that he would introduce “constructive gun control legislation which most significantly gets guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.” Similarly, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented that she is in favor of “reform that keeps weapons out of the hands that should not have them.

Such calls for gun control is not without controversy, as most Americans view the right to bear arms as a fundamental right laid out in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights that “shall not be infringed.” How can the government decide that there are parties that “should not have them [guns]?” Will the government take steps to block certain individuals from this right the way that it blocks felons from voting?

Who “should not have them“? Clinton called out “domestic abusers, the violently unstable” as targets who would lose the right to bear arms. Will the US courts create a system of defining such individuals?

What exactly will these “bad” people be prevented from owning?  In their call for new gun legislation, how far will the ownership limitations go? Will a domestic abuser be restricted from purchasing a new gun or will they also need to forfeit guns they currently own? What about ammunition? If a person has factories that make guns and ammo, would they be forced to sell it? If they ran a mine that sourced all of the raw materials to make guns or ammunition, would they be forced to shut it down? In short, would a “violently unstable” person be allowed to own and run an entire gun manufacturing infrastructure and warehouse even if they promised to give up having a gun in their home?

Contrast these Democrats’ positions about barring certain Americans from owning guns, with their positions on Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Democrats Supporting the Iranian JCPOA

Clinton gave a strong defense of the nuclear agreement with Iran on September 9, 2015, even while she noted the many short-comings of the JCPOA.

Hillary Brookings
Hillary Clinton at the Brookings Institute discussing her support of the JCPOA
September 9, 2015

Iran is a “violently unstable” player: The US State Department has long considered the Islamic Republic of Iran to be a supporter of terrorism, one of only three countries with such designation. The Iranian government has been hostile to America since 1979 and continues to call for the “Death of America”.

…and will remain a “violently unstable” player: Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made clear in several interviews, that “this deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that a change in the behavior of the Iranian regime should be an integral part of a timetable of sanctions relief to the Iranians, the Obama administration made clear that such notion would not be part of any Plan Of Action.

Iran “should not have them (WMDs)”: US President Barack Obama repeatedly stated that the Iranian regime should never be armed with weapons of mass destruction. He has tried to convince Americans that the JCPOA will keep Iran from actually being in possession of such nuclear weapons, and Clinton and Sanders agree that the JCPOA would accomplish such task.

…but will maintain the entire food chain of processing WMDs: While Iran would technically not have a nuclear bomb IF it adheres to everything in the JCPOA, it will continue to have everything required to manufacture and deliver such weapons:

  • Uranium mines left untouched
  • It maintains a stockpile of uranium
  • Thousands of centrifuges (6,104 by the White House count) for enrichment left intact
  • Heavy-water nuclear plant Arak is “redesigned” but not dismantled
  • Enrichment facilities of Natanz and Fordow will both remain operational
  • Obtain new short- and long-range ballistic missiles (available in 5 to 8 years)

iran_nuclear_624
Iranian Nuclear Infrastructure
(from BBC website)

Would Clinton and Sanders enable “violently unstable” Americans that have a constitutional right to bear arms, keep an entire weapons making assembly line? Why do they promote a “half standard” for a “violently unstable” country to maintain a vast nuclear weapons infrastructure?


Related First One Through articles:

Some Ugly Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

Is the Iran Deal a Domestic Matter (NY Times) or an International Matter (Wall Street Journal)

The New Endorsed Parameters of Peaceful Nuclear Power

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Snack-Pack Inspections

A Satire

Scene: A conference room with dozens of politicians, including the senior members of the P5+1 team and Iran, negotiating terms to the comprehensive nuclear agreement. The hour is late and people are agitated and sleepy. Each country team is mostly talking amongst themselves.

P5+1
(photo: Getty Images)

Sensing the moment is right to bring up a new deal point, US Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to catch everyone’s attention.

US Secretary John Kerry (in a loud clear voice): “We have gone through the various points of this agreement and concluded that we cannot approve it without additional security precautions. As such, we insist on automatic ‘snapback sanctions’ if there is a material breach of the terms of the agreement.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “What are ‘snack-pack sanctions’?”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “’’Snack-pack inspections’. It is another excuse for the Americans to snoop around.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: “I won’t agree to it. That is outrageous. Why must you Americans continue to compromise on our dignity?!”

Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “Mohammad, please. It is not that big a condition. Use the American request to push forward some of your own ideas.”

Zarif: “Why are Iranian snacks anyone’s concern? You have pushed too far!”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: “The Americans are big snackers, they cannot help themselves! Eating all of that fast food and potato chips!”

Aide to Kerry blurts out: “Potato chips are just cold French fries!”

Fabius: “Your ‘French Fries’ are not from France, you idiot!”

Westerwelle (laughing while patting his stomach): “The Americans don’t just snack- they snack BIG. They turn warehouses into giant snack stores.  That’s why they have snacks in packs. Can you imagine!”

Kerry: “People! I said ‘snapback sanctions’ not ‘snack-pack inspections’. We need some teeth in this agreement.”

Fabius: “You Americans are real gluttons, sinking you teeth into everything. Why do you have to always focus on consuming so much garbage?”

Zarif: “I cannot agree!”

Lavrov (in a loud, condescending voice): “Hey, Mr. Ketchup, let’s say we agree with snack-pack inspections. But you would have to agree to import some of our snacks too. For example, some Beluga caviar. It would be a nice improvement for your abused tongues.”

Zarif: “We get to export our caviar to the Americans again? This would be excellent!”

Lavrov (in a hushed voice to Zarif): “You and I will discuss later where the caviar will actually come from.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague: “Does that satisfy your appetite, John?”

Yi: “Be careful Mohammad. Your country is about to be flooded with McDonalds!”

Zarif: “I’ll tell you, I will take up to 20 McDonalds, but America must agree to take our pistachios as well.”

Lavrov (out loud, but absent-mindedly): “But Russia doesn’t export pistachios.”

Hague: “Well, maybe Iran could also start to import our ‘Smarties’ now.”

Kerry: “People! This is not about exporting chocolate to Iran!”

Lavrov: “Hey Mr. Heinz! Did you marry a Hershey too? Keep quiet and we’ll handle the details of your new request.”

The conference room breaks down into lots of side conversations. After a minute, Kerry pushes away from the table disgusted, and leaves the room with some aides.


Scene: Outside the conference room, Secretary Kerry walks the halls with two assistants with a phone clutched in his hand.

Kerry (agitated): “Yes, Mr. President…. Yes, I brought it up…. How did it go?.. Well, let me sum it up this way. The other members of the P5+1 team are now renaming the streets in front of the American embassies in their cities ‘Hershey Highway’.”


Related First One Through article:

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

Congress should Vote on the Deal, not on the Disappointment nor on the President

The long saga of global bodies negotiating over Iran’s nuclear program ended a significant phase on July 14, 2015, when the parties concluded a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, Austria. The negotiation has now entered the “approval” phase by various bodies including the US Congress. The initial reviews and comments of the JCPOA have been heated and ugly.

The Disappointment

On August 7, 2015, David Brooks of the New York Times wrote an op-ed piece entitled “3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran”. Brooks enumerated the various points that make many Americans angry about the terms of the JCPOA, specifically, the failure to realize the stated goals set out by the Obama administration:

  • Prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power
  • Dismantle the nuclear infrastructure
  • Remove their ability to enrich uranium
  • Close the Fordow Heavy water reactor enrichment facility
  • Force Iran to disclose all past nuclear activities
  • Anywhere, anytime inspections
  • No sanctions relief until all of the above have been accomplished

Brooks concluded that none of Obama’s stated objectives were realized. He referred to the agreement as a “partial surrender” to Iran that came about because of the poor tactics of team Obama.

However, that is not the question before Congress. If Congress were to vote on whether the JCPOA produced a disappointing result, the vote would be nearly unanimous (with the exception of a few Obama puppets).  But Congress is not being asked to opine if this was the best deal that could have been achieved, but whether the deal is good enough.

The President

On August 10, 2015, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke out against the president’s tactics in aggressively trying to sell the JCPOA. In “White House Should Leave Politics Out of Iran Deal,” Bloomberg admonished Obama for name-calling opponents of the deal war-mongers and for threatening payback against any politician who dared to vote against the deal. For his part, Bloomberg concluded that the JCPOA was extremely marginal at best, and that Obama’s forceful defense of the deal was “grossly overstating” his case.

The “especially disappointing” behavior by the White House was politics at its worst, particularly when so much is on the line, according to Bloomberg. Politicians should not vote on this significant agreement based on politics or party loyalty; they must vote based on the deal’s merits.

The Deal

On August 7, 2015, New York Senator Charles Schumer detailed his rationale for not supporting the JCPOA. He analyzed the deal based on three criteria:

  • Preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons over the next ten years
  • The position of Iran’s nuclear capabilities at the sunset of the deal
  • The cost of the agreement in terms of giving Iran sanctions relief

In terms of the negotiating team’s primary mission of preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, Schumer stated that there “are serious weaknesses in the agreement,” including the lack of anytime-anywhere inspections and that the US would need approval of a majority of China, Russia and the Europeans to enforce inspections. Overall, he thought the deal’s terms were not compelling.

On the second point, Schumer was even more negative and stated “we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.

Regarding the non-nuclear components of the deal, Schumer was extremely clear in opposing the enablement of a state-sponsor of terrorism to obtain billions in funds and access to ballistic missiles: “When it comes to the non-nuclear aspects of the deal, I think there is a strong case that we are better off without an agreement than with one.”

Senator Schumer analyzed and articulated his assessment of the deal. He avoided voting based on the deal’s disappointment, and based on his president’s rhetoric.

Schumer
NY Senator Charles Schumer
(photo: Getty images)

Vote Ramifications

President Obama has stated that the only alternative to this deal is war. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that there is no “better deal” out there nor is there an opportunity to renegotiate this one.

Yet, those claims are far from clear. Based on behavior of both Obama and Kerry, it would be easy to conclude that these are just their opinions dressed as facts as they attempt to forcefully push through the JCPOA.

There is no clear answer as to the impact of the US voting down the JCPOA.  While procedurally, it is understood that Obama outmaneuvered Congress in only needing one-third instead of a two-thirds vote to secure his deal, what happens if Congress does manage to have the votes?  Obama claims that Iran gets the best of all worlds and gets sanctions relief from the rest of the world while it moves forward with a nuclear program.  That is hard to imagine. That inherently implies that the rest of the world doesn’t care if Iran has nuclear weapons and it is only the USA that is applying the pressure.  If Obama really believes that, then a negative US vote is an opportunity to renegotiate.

Conclusions

Disappointment: The JCPOA is clearly a disappointing result, especially considering the many years that tough sanctions were imposed on Iran as well as the severely depressed recent price of oil applied intense pressure on the regime that will be hard to ever replicate. Together with significant American troops next door in Afghanistan, the P5+1 had tremendous leverage to force complete capitulation by Iran.

The President: Obama is overselling his weak deal as a “strong deal” (in his words) and is bullying his fellow Democrats into submission. If the deal is as strong as he claims, it should be able to stand on its own merits.

The Deal: The deal by itself seems borderline at best. Perhaps it is better than nothing- but only if it costs nothing. The significant sanctions relief and various deal terms make the marginal deal appear unacceptable.

Ramifications: Congress must vote on the deal based on its merits and not based on the disappointing terms nor Obama’s threats. But it must also better understand the ramifications of rejecting the deal.  Kerry’s losing face is not a reason to alter one’s vote on something so important.

Congress and the American people must understand the actual ramifications of turning down the JCPOA without the aggressive salesmanship of the White House.


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

The Obama Administration Lays Foundation of Blame at Israel for a Potential War with Iran

Obama’s White Lie on his Red Line

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

The New Nuclear Normal

Some Global Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

Obama’s bright white lie on his red line.

US President Obama gave a speech about the broad support the Iranian deal enjoys: “because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.

There are others that strongly support the deal too that Obama failed to highlight:

  • Syria’s president Basher al-Assad, the man who has waged a war with this own people that has killed over 220,000 people thus far told the Iranian leader: “In the name of the Syrian people, I congratulate you and the people of Iran on this historic achievement.
  • Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon was impressed that Iran now had “global recognition as a member of the nuclear club.
  • David Duke, the former member of Congress and head of the KKK was happy that the Iranian deal would likely keep Israel from attacking Iran

assad_iran_083013_1385159834190

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Tehran 25 January 2001.(photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

 

As part of this agreement, Iran will get funds in the range between Obama’s estimate of $56 billion to as much as $150 billion.  Not surprisingly. this makes the various terrorist entities that are financed by Iran quite happy including (parenthetical is the year when placed on the US State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations):

These Iranian-backed terrorist groups are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians and continue to destabilize the Middle East and beyond..

In Obama’s attempt to sell the Iranian deal, he cited many allies that endorsed the deal while specifically avoiding mention of America’s enemies that also support it.  How does one account for the fact that both US allies and foes celebrate the deal? Is the deal actually beneficial to all of the parties, or do some countries simply not understand the deal’s details?

  • The Western world gets to curtail Iran’s nuclear program and avoids a war in the near-term
  • Iran gets to avoid a war, keep its nuclear infrastructure intact, global legitimacy, does not have to change its behavior regarding backing terrorism, and gets tens of billions of dollars in cash
  • Iran’s allies get access to funds and arms from Iran in the near and medium-term, and potentially a nuclear-armed Iranian-sponsor in the not-too-distant future

Obama deliberately does not discuss the many enemies of the United States that support the P5+1 deal and their long list of reasons for doing so. Instead, he makes comments that it is only the Iranian hardliners (and Republicans and Israel) who oppose the agreement. By doing so, he attempts to conceal the enormous benefits granted to Iran (and its proxies) in the agreement. It is pure marketing and a bright white lie over his old red lines.

do not enter
A bright White Lie over a Red Line
(Do Not Enter)


The party Obama highlighted as not being happy with the deal is Israel. A few reasons:

  • Iran will be allowed to continue to call for Israel’s annihilation
  • Iran will have billions of dollars that will not be constrained in any manner from funding terrorist groups that target Israel
  • Iran will get access to a range of ballistic missiles in as little of five years
  • Within 10-15 years, Iran will be a threshold nuclear state
  • The structure of the deal provides Iran opportunity to break the terms and develop nuclear weapons within ten years

In other words, there is a little something (or a lot) for everyone in the deal, with the exception of Israel.


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

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O’bama, Where Art Thou?

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

For Obama, Israeli security is not so time-sensitive

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

The Obama Administration Lays Foundation of Blame at Israel for a Potential War with Iran

President Obama has not only begun to lobby aggressively to win support for the P5+1 deal on the Iranian nuclear program, he has begun to lay the foundation of blame for a potential war squarely on Israel.

epa04873202 US President Barack Obama delivers a speech on the nuclear deal with Iran, at American University's School of International Service, in Washington DC, USA, 05 August 2015. Obama urged Americans to accept a controversial nuclear deal with Iran in spite of criticism from Republican lawmakers. The speech evoked late US President John F. Kennedy's 1963 USSR speech at American University during the height of the Cold War.  EPA/PETE MAROVICH / POOL ORG XMIT: MHR02

US President Barack Obama delivers a speech on the nuclear deal with Iran, at American University’s School of International Service, in Washington DC, USA, 05 August 2015. (photo: EPA/PETE MAROVICH / POOL ORG XMIT: MHR02)

Diplomacy or War?

  • US President Barack Obama: “Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some sort of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon… How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?August 5, 2015

What does the world want?

  • US President Barack Obama: this deal is not just the best choice among alternatives, this is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated, and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support.” August 5, 2015

If war happened, who is to blame?

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry: “I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed, and we would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate program that allows us to put their program to the test over these next years.” July 24, 2015

Is there anyone in the United States – including the Obama administration – that believes this is a great deal? Does anyone deny that Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain largely intact with this signing? Honest people can arrive at different conclusions about whether to endorse or reject this agreement. So why state that a negative outcome of the vote would be the fault of Israel, “money” and “lobbyists“?

Obama has framed his opponents in a familiar anti-Semitic canard that Jews are responsible for wars around the world.  Here is a section of Article 22 from the anti-Semitic terrorist group Hamas in its foundation Hamas Charter:

“The enemies have been scheming for a long time, and they have consolidated their schemes, in order to achieve what they have achieved. They took advantage of key elements in unfolding events, and accumulated a huge and influential material wealth which they put to the service of implementing their dream. This wealth [permitted them to] take over control of the world media such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting and the like. [They also used this] wealth to stir revolutions in various parts of the globe in order to fulfill their interests and pick the fruits. They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions we hear about here and there. They also used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destructive spying organizations. They also used the money to take over control of the Imperialist states and made them colonize many countries in order to exploit the wealth of those countries and spread their corruption therein. As regards local and world wars, it has come to pass and no one objects, that they stood behind World War I, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate. They collected material gains and took control of many sources of wealth. They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. They also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials and prepared for the establishment of their state. They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary. There was no war that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it

Obama and Kerry have dismissed anyone who disagrees with the agreement they helped craft.  They have announced that members of Congress must fall into one of two camps: agree with Obama OR be a pawn in the Israeli scheme of lobbyists.

Now, if the US goes to war, any casualties and ramifications would be the fault of Israel and its lobbyists. Not Iran. Not the poorly negotiated deal. But Israel.

There is a long history of anti-Semites blaming Israel for wars in the world. It is shocking to see the administration of the Unites States – which purports to be a strong ally of Israel – use a blood libel to lay blame for another Middle East war on Israel.


Related FirstOneThrough article:

Israel and Wars

Has the “Left-Wing” Joined the UN in Protecting Iran and the Palestinians from a “Right-Wing” Israel?

The New Blood Libel

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

This is not a Satire (?)

The full text of the Iranian nuclear deal completed in Vienna on July 14, 2015 was a weighty 159 pages. The many members of the negotiating teams clearly used their time very productively as they worked through months of discussions and debates, even working past several deadlines on complicated scientific matters of nuclear fission.

The great citizens of the United States can thank the members of Secretary of State John Kerry’s team who negotiated endlessly on behalf of every American. His negotiating skills were clearly evident as he secured important points to benefit the country in these tense talks. In particular, Americans may not have caught a key clause buried inside the deal points. I offer one here (see page 67 of the agreement):

“Section 5.1.3 License the importation into the United States of Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs, including pistachios and caviar.”

kerry green tieThis was an important concession that Kerry’s team was able to secure.  Americans have grown tired of California pistachios and miss their Beluga Caviar from the Caspian Sea.  While the Iranian team was busy focused on centrifuges, missiles and fissile material, Kerry scored a big hit for US bellies.

Over the coming weeks, Obama will surely point out this key item in emphasizing that this is a “good deal” for the United States. The American people have suffered long enough from the sanction regime that has denied them these delectable treats from Iran.

pistachios

To paraphrase Robin Leach in Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous to the Obama Administration trying to sell this “good deal” to Congress:  “Wishing you pistachio wishes and caviar dreams.”