President Trump Is Not The Only One Who Has Noticed This

Yesterday One America News posted a quote from French President Macron:

The president of France says the Iran Nuclear Deal is no longer enough to contain Tehran’s aggressive behavior in the Middle East.

Emmanuel Macron made the comments Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The French president said Iran recently increased pressure on its neighbors, and has conducted several ballistic missile tests.

Macron went on to propose adding new components to the Nuclear Deal in order to contain Tehran’s de-stabilizing activities in the region.

The first thing President Macron needs to realize is that there are no components that could be added to the Nuclear Deal that would cause Iran to stop its de-stabilizing activities in the region–the purpose of the deal was to provide cover for those activities.

Iran is an Islamic Republic run by religious leaders. We need to remember that the Ottoman Empire, which was a Muslim Caliphate, existed until the early 1900’s. The one thing the Sunni and Shiite Muslims agree on is that they want to establish a Muslim Caliphate in the Middle East to replace the fallen Ottoman Empire. There are two principles in Islam that make it difficult for western nations to counter this effort–taqiyya and hudna. Taqiyya is the concept in Islamic law that translates as “deceit or dissimulation,” particularly toward infidels (Quran 3:28 and 16:106). Hudna is loosely defined as a ten-year truce, but historically was a peace treaty used to the advantage of Islam when it found itself in a state of temporary weakness. In other words, a break in which to rearm.

Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that western nations are going to be able to prevent Iran from having full nuclear capabilities. Israel, acting alone, may be able to achieve this, but would be (at least publicly) condemned by the rest of the world for taking action against Iran.

Probably the best thing western nations could do would be to immediately end the Iran Nuclear agreement and put full sanctions on Iran (with the understanding that Russia, China, North Korea, and a few other nations would ignore those sanctions). Until all of the world sees the danger of a nuclear Iran, a nuclear Iran is not only possible–it is likely. Meanwhile, enemies of the United States can use Iran as a weapon to keep America involved in a never-ending military adventure in the Middle East.

The Cost Of Kicking The Can Down The Road

Joel C. Rosenberg posted an article on his blog yesterday detailing the history behind the current crisis with North Korea. The article asks the question, “How did we get to the point that Pyongyang may have 60 warheads?” That is certainly a very valid question.

Here are some of the highlights of the history reported in the article:

In October of 1994, President Bill Clinton cut a deal with North Korea in which Pyongyang agreed to “freeze and gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons development program,” reported the New York Times.

“This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective — an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Clinton told the American people.

“This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world,” Mr. Clinton added. “It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.”

In return, the Clinton administration gave North Korea $4 billion in energy aid.

In addition, the Clinton deal gave North Korea two nuclear power plants, for which American taxpayers helped foot the bill.

“This is a good deal for the United States,” Mr. Clinton said at the time. “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”

Obviously, North Korea chose not to honor its end of the bargain. President Clinton would have done well to follow the advice of President Reagan–“Trust, but verify.”

The article explains that President Obama’s foreign policy toward North Korea was also not successful:

In February of 2012, President Obama was similarly duped.

Mr. Obama agreed to a deal in which Pyongyang promised (again) not to build nuclear weapons and stop testing long-range ballistic missiles.

In return, the Obama administration agreed to give North Korea 240,000 metric tons of food.

Experts warned the Obama team at the time that “it is naïve at best for the administration to herald a North Korean ‘commitment to denuclearization’ after the many years of North Korean actions definitively proving the contrary.”

Less than a month later, Pyongyang tested another long-range rocket in clear violation of the agreement, and a humiliated Mr. Obama had to suspend the food aid program.

Clearly, the policy of “strategic patience” (read: “do nothing and hope for the best”) run by Mr. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a colossal failure.

Unfortunately, the North Korean model was used by President Obama as the template for the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama chose to overlook the fact that the North Korean model was a failure.

The article concludes:

If all this weren’t bad enough, it’s made worse by the fact that the insane Obama nuclear deal with Iran was essentially patterned — and sold — after the Clinton deal with North Korea. As I warned in this Fox News interview and elsewhere (see here and here), the ayatollahs in Tehran are working closely with Pyongyang on nuclear and missile technology. They’re also watching how the U.S. and the world powers handle a nation aspiring to become a nuclear armed power. So far, they’re learning the West can be played for fools, and a small but aggressive nation can build a nuclear arsenal without much fear of being stopped.

America does not want war, but we don’t want to be nuked by a third world tin-horn dictator either. It is unfortunate that Iran and North Korea have been allowed to progress as far as they have on their nuclear programs. We also need to understand that Russia and China are not innocent bystanders in this situation–both countries are not unhappy when America is put at risk. At this time we need to unite as a people behind a strong President. Otherwise, there is a good chance that this situation will escalate in the wrong direction very quickly.

Emulating Neville Chamberlain Is Never A Good Idea

Peace in our time is a wonderful idea. It would be nice if we could someday achieve it. However, I am not optimistic. There will always be bullies, people who sacrifice principles for power, the dishonest, the greedy, etc. These people cannot be dealt with peacefully. When people with these character traits are the leaders of countries, peace is not possible. Unfortunately, not all of our leaders understand that principle.

On Tuesday The Daily Caller posted an article about the deal reached between North Korea and former President Clinton that promised that North Korea would never develop nuclear weapons. We can see how well that deal worked out. President Obama negotiated a similar deal with Iran. That deal is following in the same direction as the deal with North Korea.

The article at The Daily Caller reports:

North Korea now has an intercontinental ballistic missile that can range most of the continental U.S., and a new Defense Intelligence Agency assessment suggests that North Korea has successfully miniaturized nuclear warheads for its missiles. The North is, according to a recent defense intelligence report, expected to be able to field a reliable, nuclear-armed ICBM as early as next year.

In the early 1990s, Clinton faced a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, but he ultimately chose diplomacy and deals over the application of military force.

“I was determined to prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear arsenal, even at the risk of war,” Clinton wrote in his memoirs. He decided to change course after receiving “a sobering estimate of the staggering losses both sides would suffer if war broke out.”

I agree that there would be staggering losses on both sides if war broke out, but did it occur to President Clinton that those losses would increase exponentially if North Korea went ahead with their nuclear program? As Ronald Reagan used to say, “Trust, but verify.” No one verified, and here we are.

I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I am truly glad that Donald Trump is in the White House and not someone who is unwilling to confront a bully. This may well get ugly, but it is becoming obvious that in this situation, there is no diplomatic situation.

 

At Least Hawaii Is Safe

Townhall.com posted an article today about the threat of North Korean missiles.

The article quotes Charles Krauthammer in a Washington Post article:

Across 25 years and five administrations, we have kicked the North Korean can down the road. We are now out of road.

On July 4, North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile apparently capable of hitting the United States. As yet, only Alaska. Soon, every American city.

Moreover, Pyongyang claims to have already fitted miniaturized nuclear warheads on intermediate-range missiles. Soon, on ICBMs.

However, in the midst of this unsettling news, there is some good news. At least Hawaii is safe.

The article reports:

But although there are questions about whether we can fully protect the mainland, Hawaii, the most vulnerable state to Korean attack, is well protected by America’s missile defense system. Early this year, a new missile-defense system in the state destroyed a target missile, proving that the area will be well-secured in the event of a nuclear attack.

The United States has had a successful test of its own recently. In late May, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency announced it had successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile during the first test of its updated ground-based intercept system.

The missile was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The intercept, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, collided with the missile an hour later over the Pacific Ocean.

The system had gone 9-for-17 in tests from 1999 through 2014 but had not tested an intercept since. It was the first successful test since 2014 and the first time the intercept had worked with no pre-programmed information on the location of the target – a true blind seek-and-destroy mission.

How completely we can protect mainland America depends on how many nuclear missiles the North Koreans have. In Israel, the Iron Dome has protected the country from numerous rocket attacks. I am not sure how useful the Iron Dome would be in the case of an ICBM attack. However, the most recent intercept test does show that we do have the capacity to protect ourselves. The “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) policy used with Russia during the Cold War does not apply to today’s tyrants. Iran believes it can hasten the coming of the Mahdi by creating chaos, and the North Korean leader is not a rational person. Our best strategy is to be able to shoot down anything that comes our way before it gets here. We also need to understand that America has very few allies in the world who would be willing to help with our defense. (And those who would be willing to help us are dealing with serious issues regarding their own defenses).

It is time to acknowledge that we can no longer kick the can down the road. It also might be a good time to make sure our defenses are up and running to protect all areas of the country.

This Needs A Response From Our Government

WCPO in Cincinnati is reporting today that Otto Warmbier has died. Otto Warmbier was the young man that the North Koreans released to the United States last week.

The article reports:

Earlier, doctors treating Warmbier had said he suffered “severe neurological injury” and that he was in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness.” North Korean officials had claimed Warmbier contracted botulism and never woke up after taking a sleeping pill. Doctors in Cincinnati said he showed no signs of botulism when he arrived here last week, though they couldn’t say exactly what caused the cardiac or respiratory arrest that led to his unresponsive condition.

Warmbier had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea after officials there said he took a propaganda banner from a hotel in early 2016. His tour group was leaving when authorities detained Warmbier. Other members of the tour group have raised doubts about the theft story given by officials.

I suspect that he was sent back to America because the North Koreans realized he was close to death and wanted to make sure he didn’t die in North Korea. My heart goes out to his parents. This was not an acceptable conclusion to his ordeal.

It is my hope that whatever the reaction to this by the Trump Administration, that reaction will cause other countries to reconsider how they treat Americans.

The Logic Behind This Escapes Me

The BBC is reporting today that South Korea has halted the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles while the government examines the environmental impact of the missiles.

The article reports:

Four recently arrived launchers will not be deployed, an official said. Two already installed will stay in place.

Thaad aims to protect South Korea from the North’s missiles, and has been criticised at home and by China.

…Many South Koreans have objected to Thaad, believing it will become a target and endanger the lives of those who live near its launch sites.

China has also voiced opposition to the system, saying it affects the regional security balance.

Yes, the THAAD system does affect the regional security balance–it allows South Korea the possibility of defending itself against North Korea’s growing nuclear missile program. Yes, there is a danger of the launch sites becoming targets, but this is a defensive missile–not an offensive missile. The only reason to target its launch site is to take out the ability of South Korea to defend itself against nuclear attack.

Has anyone considered the environmental impact of a North Korean launched nuclear missile that South Korea has no defense against? This is just nuts.

When The Media Does Not Tell The Truth, It Puts All Of Us At Risk

Tommy Waller at the Center for Security Policy posted an article today about a recent media story that totally misinformed the public. The media story in question  was a two-and-a-half-minute segment on an NPR show discussing the threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) strike from North Korea.

Exactly what is an EMP strike and how does it work? Our electrical grid, satellites, computers, etc. all depend on an even flow of electricity. If you disrupt that flow and burn out a significant amount of the equipment that distributes that electricity in the process, you can cause some serious problems to America. It could be months before food, water, gasoline, natural gas, electricity, etc., could be delivered to the people impacted by an EMP. Detonating a nuclear bomb in the atmosphere will disrupt the electronics for a large area. There is some discussion about how large that area would be, but think of the impact of wiping out the electrical power and the equipment that distributes it in a large section of America.

A website called future science details a brief history of the impact of an EMP:

Starfish Prime

On July 1962, a 1.44 megaton United States nuclear test in space, 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the mid-Pacific Ocean, called the Starfish Prime test, demonstrated to nuclear scientists that the magnitude and effects of a high altitude nuclear explosion were much larger than had been previously calculated.  The detonation time was July 9, 1962 at 09:00:09 Coordinated Universal Time, (which was 8 July, Honolulu time, at nine seconds after 11 p.m.).  The coordinates of the detonation were 16 degrees, 28 minutes North latitude, 169 degrees, 38 minutes West longitude.7  The actual weapon yield was very close to the design yield, which has been described by various sources at different values in the very narrow range of 1.4 to 1.45 megatons. 

The Thor missile carrying the Starfish Prime warhead actually reached a maximum height of about 1100 kilometers (just over 680 miles), and the warhead was detonated on its downward trajectory when it had fallen to the programmed altitude of 400 kilometers.  The nuclear warhead detonated at 13 minutes and 41 seconds after liftoff of the Thor missile from Johnston Island.9

Starfish Prime also made EMP effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometers (898 miles) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link.7

Starfish Prime was the first successful test in the series of United States high-altitude nuclear tests in 1962 known as Operation Fishbowl.  The subsequent Operation Fishbowl tests gathered more data on the high-altitude EMP phenomenon, especially the Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish test of October, 1962.8

The EMP damage of the Starfish Prime test was quickly repaired because of the ruggedness (compared to today) of the electrical and electronic infrastructure of Hawaii in 1962.  Realization of the potential impacts of high-altitude nuclear EMP became more apparent to some scientists and engineers during the 1970s as more sensitive solid-state electronics began to come into widespread use.

The relatively small magnitude of the Starfish Prime EMP in Hawaii (about 5600 volts/meter) and the relatively small amount of damage done (for example, only 1 to 3 percent of streetlights extinguished)10 led some scientists to believe, in the early days of EMP research, that the problem might not be as significant as was later realized.  Newer calculations7 showed that if the Starfish Prime warhead had been detonated over the northern continental United States, the magnitude of the EMP would have been much larger (22 to 30 kilovolts/meter) because of the greater strength of the Earth’s magnetic field over the United States, as well as the different orientation of the Earth’s magnetic field at high latitudes.  These new calculations, combined with the accelerating reliance on EMP-sensitive microelectronics, heightened awareness that the EMP threat could be a very significant problem.

As late as the 1980s, some distinguished scientist published articles which cast doubt on the magnitude of the E1-EMP.  Those scientists did not have access to some critical classified information that has subsequently been declassifed.  This primary mistake that these scientists made was apparently a large underestimation of the coherence of the pulse.  The initial electrons are knocked out of atmospheric molecules almost simultaneously over a large region.  The electrons then spiral almost simultaneously around the Earth’s magnetic field lines.  This results in a very narrow pulse of extremely high field strength, but one that last for less than a microsecond.  Each high-energy electronic emits only a very weak pulse, however a typical nuclear weapon produces about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ten septillion) of these high-energy electrons all spiraling around the geomagnetic field lines simultaneously.

We have the information showing the dangers of an EMP. Although much of that information is classified, enough of it is available to scientists for them to understand the risks.

However, not all scientists are paying attention.

The Center for Security Policy article reports:

At 5:10AM ET on 27 April 2017, the Morning Edition program at National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast a segment titled “The North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Threat, Or Lack Thereof.”  An audio recording of this segment can be found here:   http://www.npr.org/2017/04/27/525833275/the-north-korean-electromagnetic-pulse-threat-or-lack-thereof

The 2 minute 26 second segment was in response to an interview of Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey from 26 April, where Ambassador Woolsey discussed the EMP threat posed by North Korea:  http://www.npr.org/2017/04/26/525675203/former-cia-director-james-woolsey-on-trumps-first-100-days)

In the 27 April broadcast, NPR’s science editor – Geoff Brumfiel – gave prominent treatment to Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Mr. Lewis not only dismissed the North Korean EMP threat but ridiculed it by laughing out loud at the comments of a former Director of the CIA discussing a real, present, and existential threat to the nation.

Mr. Lewis, who claims to be a nuclear expert, has been denigrating EMP for the last 6 years.   Aside from his brief time as an intern the Pentagon, he has never served in the DOD or intelligence community and his formal education is in policy studies and philosophy rather than engineering or nuclear weapons design.  Yet NPR’s editors thought it appropriate to champion not only his “analysis” but his obtuse laughter at a sobering subject that is one of the most important of our time.  It is clear by the way Geoff Brumfiel edited this broadcast that he sought to denigrate not only the topic of EMP, but also James Woolsey, the U.S. Military, and the U.S. Congress – since the Ambassador has warned for years about the EMP threat and the DOD and Congress have appropriated billions of dollars to protect America’s strategic forces against it.

This is an example of irresponsible journalism.

The article at the Center for Security Policy continues:

Evidently, National Public Radio, an organization whose operating expenses are paid in part by the U.S. taxpayer, considers it appropriate to promote ridicule of anyone concerned with the threat from Elecromagnetic Pulse, when the nation’s most informed authorities on EMP consider it to be a real, present, and existential threat to the country and it’s population.

In response to this abject failure in journalism, Center for Security Policy founder and president – Frank J. Gaffney Jr. – recently authored a formal letter to Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmen Tom Coles, who serve on their chambers’ respective Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittees.   This letter calls on these men and these subcommittees to hold NPR accountable for dereliction of its public trust.

We encourage all Americans who are concerned about EMP to join Frank, The Center for Security Policy, and The Secure the Grid Coalition in holding to account National Public Radio.  We encourage you to inform your own elected representatives of this journalistic malfeasance and to confront NPR directly through messages to its Ombudsman and Management by submitting your own comments at the following link:

https://help.npr.org/customer/portal/emails/new?i=1&s=Morning%20Edition

The article at the Center for Security Policy reminds us that we need to beef up our missile defense programs to protect us from this threat. We also need to remember that when North Korea (or Iran) blows up a missile in mid-flight, it may not be an accident–it may be a practice run.

More Truth Comes Out

Even what we knew about the Iran deal at the time was questionable at best, but it keeps getting worse. Yesterday Politico posted an article about one aspect of the deal that somehow wasn’t covered by the press at the time.

The article reports:

When President Barack Obama announced the “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.

“Iran had a significantly higher number of individuals, of course, at the beginning of this negotiation that they would have liked to have seen released,” one senior Obama administration official told reporters in a background briefing arranged by the White House, adding that “we were able to winnow that down to these seven individuals, six of whom are Iranian-Americans.”

Sounds pretty innocent. But wait–there’s more to the story. Although President Obama described the seven as civilians, that is not actually true.

The article further reports:

But Obama, the senior official and other administration representatives weren’t telling the whole story on Jan. 17, 2016, in their highly choreographed rollout of the prisoner swap and simultaneous implementation of the six-party nuclear deal, according to a POLITICO investigation.

In his Sunday morning address to the American people, Obama portrayed the seven men he freed as “civilians.” The senior official described them as businessmen convicted of or awaiting trial for mere “sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo.”

In reality, some of them were accused by Obama’s own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware. As part of the deal, U.S. officials even dropped their demand for $10 million that a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Tehran.

Why in the world was President Obama so desperate to make a deal with Iran?

Please follow the link above to the Politico article. It is a rather lengthy article, but has a lot of insight into the difficulties created by President Obama’s Iran treaty. The treaty not only will allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon in the near future (think North Korea). The treaty also creates immediate security and safety issues for American troops in the Middle East because of the large amounts of untraceable cash sent to Iran. That money can be used to support worldwide terrorism or to fund actions against American troops.

We need to scrap the treaty and put the sanctions back!

What We Are Teaching American High School Students

The College Board, under the leadership of David Coleman, architect of the Common Core, is introducing a new AP History course and exam this month called Advanced Placement U.S. History Curriculum Framework (APUSH). The course has no resemblance at all to the history those of us over the age of forty learned in school.

A post at American Principles in Action explains some of the problems with the course:

Here is a sampling of what our nation’s brightest high-school students can expect:

  • A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.
  • Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes.
  • A biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.

I have a copy of the course standards for the course. One of the more interesting goals in the course is “Competency Goal 10: The emergence of the United States in World Affairs (1865-1930) The learner will analyze cause and effects of the United States emergence as an imperial power and world influence.” Now think about that for a minute. The entire course paints the United States as an imperial power. I would like to note at this point that if we are an imperial power, we are not very good at it. We did invade France during World War II. We took enough land to bury our dead. We did invade North Korea in the 1950’s. We set up a border for South Korea and left them to run their country. We did invade Japan during World War II. We kept some land for military bases, and promised to protect them since they were prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons to defend themselves. I love my country, but I have to say that as imperialists we have failed miserably. We didn’t even take the oil from Iraq!

There is nothing wrong with teaching our children to be patriotic. America is unique in the world, and in order to stay unique, we need educated leaders. This AP History course will create leaders who do not love their country and may not be willing to defend our way of life. This is another attempt by the political left to undermine the future of America by teaching future leaders inaccurate history. Like Common Core, this curriculum needs to be scrapped.

The Results Of Socialism

A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture is from the Independent Journal Review:

You Can See Socialism From Space…

The heading of the article with the picture is, “You Can See Socialism From Space….”

The article points out:

In newly released nighttime photos from NASA, the disastrous economics effects of socialism can be clearly seen. Causes: North Korea’s stifling government control yields power generation and per-person economic activity that is less than 10% of that in South Korea. Still think socialism is “good on paper”?

If we lived in a world of perfect people, socialism would work. Unfortunately, we live in a world of flawed people–all flawed in different ways. Socialism was tried by the early settlers of America. The Puritans instituted a form of socialism–they abolished private property and stated that all property would be held in common. Half the colonists died of starvation. At that point, private property rights were restored, and each man farmed his own land. As a result of the decision to restore private property rights, more food was produced, and fewer people faced starvation. Americans can learn from their own history as well as the history of other countries. Socialism is a wonderful utopian idea that does not work. It’s really that simple.

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Standing For Something

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about two contrasting speeches given in the Senate that tell a lot about politics in America. The first speech was given by Senator Tom Harkin, who recently returned from a trip to Cuba. Senator Harkin offered a rosy view of Cuba’s efforts on literacy and health care.  Senator Harkin made no mention of the oppression of the Cuban people or the poverty of the vast majority of Cuban people. Senator Marco Rubio, who parents were Cuban exiles, was not impressed.

Here are Senator Rubio’s remarks, quoted from the article at Hot Air:

A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I’d like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him, informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they’re not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don’t count against the mortality rate.

I wonder if our visitors to Cuba were informed that in Cuba, any time there is any sort of problem with the child in utero they are strongly encouraged to undergo abortions, and that’s why they have an abortion rate that skyrockets, and some say, is perhaps the highest the world. I heard him also talk about these great doctors that they have in Cuba. I have no doubt they’re very talented. I’ve met a bunch of them. You know where I met them? In the United States because they defected. Because in Cuba, doctors would rather drive a taxi cab or work in a hotel than be a doctor. I wonder if they spoke to him about the outbreak of cholera that they’ve been unable to control, or about the three-tiered system of health care that exists where foreigners and government officials get health care much better than that that’s available to the general population.

I also heard him speak about baseball and I know that Cubans love baseball, since my parents were from there and I grew up in a community surrounded by it. He talked about these great baseball players that are coming from Cuba — and they are. But I wonder if they informed him — in fact, I bet you they didn’t talk about those players to him because every single one of those guys playing in the Major Leagues defected. They left Cuba to play here.

He also talked about how people would come up to him in the streets and not a single person said anything negative about America. Nobody came up to him wagging their fingers saying, ‘You Americans and your embargo is hurting us.’ I’m glad to hear that. Because everyone who wants to lift the embargo is constantly telling us that the Castros use that to turn the people against us. So obviously, that’s not true. So I’m glad to hear confirmation of what I already knew to be true. I heard about their wonderful literacy rate, how everyone in Cuba knows how to read. That’s fantastic. Here’s the problem: they can only read censored stuff. They’re not allowed access to the Internet. The only newspapers they’re allowed to read are Granma or the ones produced by the government.

I wish that someone on that trip would have asked the average Cuban, ‘With your wonderful literacy skills, are you allowed to read The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or any blog, for that matter?’ Because the answer’s, ‘No.’ So it’s great to have literacy, but if you don’t have access to the information, what’s the point of it? So I wish somebody would have asked about that on that trip. We heard about Mr. Gross, who is not in jail. He’s not a prisoner. He is a hostage. He is a hostage. And in the speech I heard a moment ago, I heard allusions to the idea that maybe we should — he didn’t say it, but I know the language, I know the code in this — that maybe there should be a spy swap. Here’s the problem: Mr. Gross was not a spy. You know what his crime was, if that’s what you can call it? He went to Cuba to hand out satellite radios to the Jewish community. But, we’re glad to hear that the Cubans are so nice to him that they let him walk 10,000 steps a day and do pull-ups and they let him build a necklace out of bottle cap tops. Very nice of them to allow him to do those things. How generous.

I wonder if anybody asked about terrorism, because Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. I wonder if anybody asked about the fact that, just a few months ago, a North Korean ship going from Cuba to North Korea was stopped in the Panama Canal and it contained items in violation of international sanctions against a government in North Korea that, a report just came out confirming what we already knew, has death camps and prison camps. And the Cubans are allowing them to evade these sanctions. Did that come up in any of the wonderful conversations in this socialist paradise in the Caribbean? I bet you it didn’t.

Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at, because they don’t know how to run their economy, they don’t know how to build, they don’t know how to govern a people. What they are really good at is repression. What they are really good at is shutting off information to the Internet and to radio and television and social media. That’s what they’re really good at. And they’re not just good at it domestically, they’re good exporters of these things. And you want to see exhibit A, B, C and D? I’m going to show them to you right now. They have exported repression in real-time, in our hemisphere, right now.

Let me show you the first slide here. This gentleman here is the former mayor of a municipality in Caracas. His name is Leopoldo Lopez. And this is the National Guard of Venezuela pulling him into an armored truck last week. You know why? Because he’s protesting against the government. He’s protesting against the government of Venezuela, which are puppets of Havana, completely infiltrated by Cubans and agents from Havana. Not agents, openly, foreign military affairs officials involved in Venezuela. You know why? Because the Venezuela government is giving them cheap oil and free oil, in exchange for help during these sorts of repressions. So here he is, he’s sitting in jail right now because he’s protesting against the government. He’s sitting in jail right now.

So here’s the next slide. This is Genesis Carmona. She’s a beauty queen and a student in a city called Valencia. She’s on that motorcycle because the government in Venezuela and the thug, these so-called civilian groups that they’ve armed — another export from Cuba, a model the Cubans follow — they shot her in the head. She died last week. This is the government that the Cubans support. Not just verbally, not just emotionally, but with training and tactics. This is who they export — this is what they do. And she’s dead. And this is her being taken on a motorcycle to the hospital where they were unable to save her life because she was shot in the head by Venezuelan security forces.

Here’s another slide. Remember I showed you Mr. Lopez? These are his supporters being hit with water cannons — by water cannons in the street because they’re protesting against the government. This has been going on now for two weeks. This is the allies of Cuba, Venezuela, the puppets of Cuba. And this is what they do to their own people. Water cannons knocking people to the ground. Why? Because they’re protesting the government.

Let me show you the next slide. Here’s a demonstrator detained by police. Look how they drag him through the streets. This is in Caracas, Venezuela.

Let me show you another demonstrator. This is a student — by the way, these are all students in the street. You see this young man here? He was also shot in the head by security forces and pro-government groups in Caracas. This happened on February 11. This is what they do in Venezuela. This is what the allies of the Castro regime does, this is what they export. This is what they teach. This is what they support. And it doesn’t stop here.

Who are Cuba’s allies in the world? North Korea. Before he fell, the dictator in Libya, the dictator in Syria, the tyrant in Moscow. This is who they line up with. This is this wonderful paradise? By the way, this in and of itself deserves attention, what’s happening in Venezuela, in our own hemisphere. It is shameful that only three heads of state in this hemisphere have spoken out forcefully against what’s happening. It is shameful that many members of Congress who traveled to Venezuela and were friendly with Chavez, some even went to his funeral, sit by saying nothing while this is happening in our own hemisphere. And this wonderful Cuban paradise government that we heard about? This is what they support. Just this morning, the dictator that calls himself a president — never been elected to anything, Raul Castro — announced he is there for whatever they need to help them do this.

I listen to this stuff about Cuba and I listen to what’s happening in Venezuela, they’re very similar. Not just in the repression part, but the economics part. You know Venezuela’s an oil-rich country with hardworking people? They have a shortage — we don’t have an embargo against Venezuela. They have a shortage of toilet paper and tooth paste. Why? Because they are incompetent. Because communism doesn’t work. They look more and more like Cuba economically and politically every single day.

What’s the first thing the Venezuelan government did when these broke out? They cut off access to Twitter and Facebook and the Internet. They ran CNN out of there. They closed down the only Colombian station. Years before, they had closed down all the independent media outlets that criticized the government. Where did they learn that from? From Cuba. And yet we have to listen to what a paradise Cuba is. Well, I wonder how come I never read about boatloads of American refugees going to Cuba? Why have close to one and a half million people left Cuba to come here? But the only people that leave here to move there, are fugitives from the law and people that steal money from Medicare that go there to hide? Why? How come no American baseball players defect to Cuba? Why don’t any American doctors defect to Cuba if it’s such a paradise?

He cited a poll, ‘More Americans want normal relations with Cuba.’ So do I — a democratic and free Cuba. But you want us to reach out and develop friendly relationships with a serial violator of human rights, who supports what’s going on in Venezuela and every other atrocity on the planet? On issue after issue, they are always on the side of the tyrants. Look it up. And this is who we should be opening up to? Why don’t they change? Why doesn’t the Cuban government change? Why doesn’t the Venezuelan government change?

Throughout this week, I will be outlining proposals and ideas about what we need to do, the sanctions we should be pursuing against the individuals responsible for these atrocities. So with North Korea, we have sanctions. Why? Because they’re a terrorist government and an illegitimate one. Against Iran we have sanctions. Why? Because they support terrorism and they’re an illegitimate government. And against the Cubans we have sanctions. Why? Well, you just saw why. Sanctions are a tool in our foreign policy toolbox, and we, as the freest nation on Earth, are looked to by people in this country, and all around the world, to stand by them in their moment of need when they clamor for freedom and liberty and human rights. They look for America to be on their side, not for America to be cutting geopolitical deals or making it easier to sell tractors to the government there. We should be clear about these things.

But here’s the great news. I don’t know if they get C-SPAN in Cuba. I bet you the government people do. I hope you see that in America, we’re a free society. You’re allowed to come on the floor and you’re allowed to say and spread whatever you want. You think Cuba’s a paradise? You think it’s an example and a model that we should be following? You’re free to say that, here, in the press and anywhere you want. But we’re also free to come here and tell the truth. We’re also free to come here and denounce the violations of human rights and brutality. And I would suggest to my colleagues, the next time they go to Cuba, ask to meet with the Ladies in White. Ask to meet with the Yoani Sanchez. Ask to meet with the dissidents and the human rights activists that are jailed and repressed and exiled. Ask to meet with them. I bet you’re going to hear something very different than what you got from your hosts on your last trip to the wonderful Cuba, this extraordinary socialist paradise. Because it’s a joke. It’s a farce.

And I don’t think we should stand by here with our arms crossed, watching these things happen in our hemisphere and say nothing about them. I can close by saying this: Over the last week, I have tweeted about these issues. I get thousands of retweets from students and young people, until they shut them out, in Venezuela who are encouraged by the fact that we are on their side. What they want is what we have, the freedom and the liberty. That’s what all people want. And if America and its policy-makers are not going to be firmly on the side of freedom and liberty, who in the world is? Who on this planet will? If this nation is not firmly on the side of human rights and freedom and the dignity of all people, what nation on the Earth will? And if we’re prepared to walk away from that, then I submit to you that this century is going to be a dangerous and dark one. But I don’t believe that’s what the American people want from us. Nor the majority of my colleagues.

A man with an argument never has a chance against a man with an experience!

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What Kind Of People Are We Dealing With?

Reuters is now claiming that the story below is not true. It may or may not be, but it is worrisome that the world community’s opinion of Kim Jong Un is such that the story was believed.

Last week a Singapore Newspaper reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek, the No. 2 man in North Korea, by throwing him and his five top aides into a cage with 120 starving dogs. That is barbaric.

Aside from that, the execution is a problem for relations between North Korea and China.

The article reports:

First, China’s own security is at risk. The erratic and ruthless behaviour of Mr Kim Jong Un suggests that China should not underrate the likelihood of a nuclear threat from Pyongyang.

The Internet version of the Global Times carried an article last Monday by Lieutenant-General Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of Nanjing Greater Military Region, saying that the recent incident showed North Korea had become increasingly provocative and was getting out of (Chinese) control. He urged a complete reassessment of security threats originating from that direction.

Second, China’s political and strategic influence on the Korean peninsula has been drastically reduced. China was widely considered to be able to rein in the unruly Kim regime, thus acting as a force for peace in the region. But it now appears China’s influence over its neighbour is close to zero.

China needs to learn an important lesson from this–when you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas!

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How To Minimize The Damage From An EMP

Below is an excerpt from a Fact Sheet on H.R. 2417:

H.R. 2417 SHIELD-Act Fact Sheet

EMP Commission and DOD, DHS, DOE, NAS all report that the electric infrastructure is highly vulnerable to a man-made or naturally occurring EMP event.
o The consequences of an EMP event can be catastrophic.

DOD relies overwhelmingly on the commercial grid for its operations
o 99% of DOD electricity is from sources outside DOD installations
o 85% of DOD electricity is from sources outside DOD control

EMP events are likely to occur
o Rogue states continue to develop ways to attack the US with EMP producing
weapons. (North Korea and Iran especially)
o A Geomagnetic storm or severe space weather is possible and solar maximum  (the normal period of greatest solar activity in the 11 year solar cycle of the Sun)  is approaching (including a recent CME near-impact)

An EMP incident is likely to occur at some time in the future. This is one item Congress should actually be spending money on. An EMP can be a naturally occurring event caused by solar activity or it can be caused by a nuclear explosion above the earth at a certain atmosphere.

This is a subject that needs to come up during the Town Hall meetings Congress is holding during its August recess.

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Protecting Our Security In The Western Hemisphere

Today’s Los Angeles Times posted a story about a North Korean ship passing through the Panama Canal on route home from Cuba found to be carrying missile equipment. Panama President Ricardo Martinelli has released details of the discovery to the Panamanian media. He has also posted pictures on his Twitter account.

The article reports:

If the shipment proves to be missiles or other arms, it would likely constitute a violation of United Nations sanctions against North Korea that prohibit the importation of conventional weapons and items that could be used to develop nuclear weapons and missiles.

The sanctions against the hermit-like communist country have been in place since 2006, and were strengthened by the U.N. Security Council in March after the North Koreans announced a nuclear test in Febraury.

The Spanish news agency EFE reported that a Korean military delegation headed by general Kim Kyok Sik had visited with top Cuban military officials in Havana in late June. The North Korean general said at the time that the two friendly countries shared “the same foxhole.”

This episode shows that the United Nations sanctions against North Korea are not really working. In both Cuba and North Korea, the average citizen lives in conditions those of us who live in free countries can’t even imagine. Letting their governments continue to increase their weaponry does no one any good–either the citizens of their countries or the rest of the world.

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There’s Leaking And Then There’s Leaking

Recently Fox News reporter James Rosen had his privacy seriously invaded by the Obama Administration because he leaked some information on North Korea (see rightwinggranny.com). Well, evidently the Obama Administration takes some leaks more seriously than others.

Yesterday McClatchy News reported that the Obama Administration has revealed plans for a secret Israeli military base.

The article reports:

The Obama administration had promised to build Israel a state-of-the-art facility to house a new ballistic-missile defense system, the Arrow 3. As with all Defense Department projects, detailed specifications were made public so that contractors could bid on the $25 million project. The specifications included more than 1,000 pages of details on the facility, ranging from the heating and cooling systems to the thickness of the walls.

“If an enemy of Israel wanted to launch an attack against a facility, this would give him an easy how-to guide. This type of information is closely guarded and its release can jeopardize the entire facility,” said an Israeli military official who commented on the publication of the proposal but declined to be named because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the facility. He declined to say whether plans for the facility have been altered as a result of the disclosure.

“This is more than worrying, it is shocking,” he said.

I understand the need for basic information during the bidding process, but this is ridiculous. The Obama Administration previously leaked information about the Stuxnet Virus that slowed down Iran’s nuclear program (see rightwinggranny.com). That information was also considered classified by Israel.

There seems to be a double standard in the Obama Administration on leaking classified information.

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A Hero From The Past

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story today about Ted Williams. I didn’t grow up in Massachusetts, and I admit that I really didn’t know much about Ted Williams. The story surprised me.

Ted Williams was called into the Army during the Korean War. At the time he had a wife and a child. He was offered the chance to avoid combat by playing on a service baseball team, but chose to go into combat instead. It had been eight years since he had flown an aircraft.

Mr. Mirengoff at Power Line relates a story about Ted Williams that was shared by John McCain during the “Straight Talk Express.” John McCain admired Ted Williams, who served as a fighter pilot in two wars.

The article reports:

During a mission in North Korea, Williams’ fighter plane was crippled by a strike that knocked out its hydraulics and electrical systems. The plane already was on fire when an explosion rocked its undercarriage as it approached the landing strip.

Williams pulled off a wheels-up “belly” landing, skidding along the tarmac with sparks flying for almost a mile before coming to a stop. The nose burst into flames, threatening the cockpit. Williams blew off the canopy, struggled out of the plane, and, after limping clear of it, hit the ground.

John McCain one asked Ted Williams about the incident–why he didn’t eject instead of attempting such a dangerous landing.

The article reports the answer:

Williams explained that, at six feet three inches tall, he believed he would have blown out both knees had he ejected himself from the cramped cockpit. And that would have meant the end of his baseball-playing career. Therefore, he decided he had to land the plane.

Sometimes we just don’t know what goes into the thought processes of a hero.

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The Consequences Of Reporting The News–Not The Spin

Breitbart.com is reporting today that the Obama Administration took actions to intimidate the press long before they got to the Associated Press.

The article reports:

Rosen (James Rosen of Fox News) wrote on his blog that U.S. intelligence officials felt that North Korea would respond to United Nations sanctions with more nuclear tests. That information was apparently given him by Kim (Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department arms expert).

Even though it has not been proven to this day that it’s illegal for a reporter to solicit information, because of the First Amendment’s protection of the press, the Obama Administration went to work. The Justice Department not only grabbed Rosen’s telephone records, they used security badge access records to track the Rosen’s visits to the State Department, traced the timing of his calls with Kim, and obtained a search warrant for Rosen’s e-mails.

First of all, James Rosen is a good reporter–he has been doing this for a while. The statement that North Korea would respond to sanctions with more nuclear tests was not earthshaking. Second of all, the Justice Department’s investigation is clearly overreach.

The article concludes:

First Amendment lawyer Charles Tobin said, “Search warrants like these have a severe chilling effect on the free flow of important information to the public. That’s a very dangerous road to go down.” Attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim, asserted,  “The latest events show an expansion of this law enforcement technique. Individual reporters or small time periods have turned into 20 [telephone] lines and months of records with no obvious attempt to be targeted or narrow.”

FBI agent Reginald Reyes wrote in an affidavit that Rosen had broken the law “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.” But that statement may well conflict with First Amendment rights.

I understand that most of the mainstream media is philosophically aligned with President Obama, but keeping that is mind, there are two aspects of this story that I find interesting. First of all, do members of the press care when one of their own is subject to extreme scrutiny by the Justice Department? Second, is it easier to go along with the Obama Administration’s taking points than to take a chance on being investigated for reporting the truth?

The story of the investigation of James Rosen along with the excessive investigation of Associated Press reporters should give all Americans reason to question everything they read from the mainstream media. We are reaching a point where reporters will be afraid to report the truth for fear of retribution.

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About That Flexibility

America seems to have forgotten who her friends are and who her enemies are. On March 26, 2012, major news sources reported that President Obama had told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election. That remark was caught by an open mike. Well, it seems as if that flexibility has arrived.

Saturday’s New York Times reported that the United States has effectively canceled the final phase of a Europe-based missile defense system that was fiercely opposed by Russia and cited repeatedly by the Kremlin as a major obstacle to cooperation on nuclear arms reductions and other issues. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement. Those resources will be shifted to America to provide missile interceptors in response to recent threats made by North Korea. It is a good thing that we are protecting America, but I do wonder about the wisdom of leaving allies out in the cold with nothing but our broken promises.

The New York Times couches this as a good thing for our relationship with Russia and states that the Polish government is not all that upset about it. Regardless, we have broken a promise to an ally in order to please a government that does not represent freedom and is not an ally of America. I question the wisdom of that decision.

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An Interesting Perspective On The State of the Union Address

PJ Media posted its own interpretation of President Obama’s State of the Union address. They were not kind. I’m not saying that they were not accurate; I am simply saying that they were not kind.

The article begins:

The state of our union is weak and fraying. This president has launched attacks on faith and is going out of his way to divide our people. Our economy is not growing, it contracted in the final quarter of 2012. Our economy is not growing jobs. On the international front, North Korea greeted President Obama’s 2013 rendition of Give Me More Money with a nuclear test — a sure sign that his strategy of engagement, which his soon-to-be defense secretary supports, is a failure.

But like with all of his other failed policies, Barack Obama declared that he will just keep on doing them all.

The speech included more taxes on the ‘rich,’ which will neither create jobs or grow the economy. What is the purpose of raising anyone’s taxes? He also stated that “ask more of our wealthy seniors.” You know–those people who have worked and saved all their lives for their retirement.

President Obama stated in so many words that he wanted us all to get along. Somehow he failed to mention that we will not get along until all of us blindly follow him. Somehow I don’t think many Americans are interested in doing that.

The article reminds us:

From there he moved on to pressing for “comprehensive immigration reform.” He claimed that he believes in stronger border security, which simply is not credible when his homeland security chief claims that the border has never been safer while there is a civil war raging in Mexico. He called on people of faith, whom he has attacked via the ObamaCare abortifacient mandate, to help him “get it done” on immigration reform. He hits you with one hand, then wants you to help him with the other.

The article concludes:

Near the blessed end of his speech, Obama hailed the idea and ideals of the citizen. But this president is working to water down the legal meaning of the word. Again, incoherent.

The consequences of Barack Obama’s loose grasp on the real world are just going to have to work themselves out now. He will win some and he will lose some. Hopefully he will lose more than he wins.

“The evil that men do lives after them,” Shakespeare wrote of ambitious men centuries ago. So it will be with Barack Obama, who has done much evil to the Constitution, to the country, and to the concept of truth. He will continue to do more evil to them all for the next four years.

America, you were warned but you re-elected him anyway. And that’s the state of our union.

That is one of the best reports on the speech I have seen.

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The North Korean Missile Test Was Unsuccessful

Hot Air posted an article tonight about the North Koreans’ unsuccessful missile test. The article reported the basic facts, but had some interesting theories about why the test took place and an interesting idea as to how it was reported.

One source cited in the article wondered if the test after the agreement signed on February 29 was an indication of miscommunication between the political and military branches of the government.

I think the conclusion of the article is very interesting:

Update: Let’s say the NorKs had managed to launch this thing without a hitch and that it completed its 10-minute flight path before landing in the ocean. What incentive would leaders in the west (or the east, for that matter) have to report a successful long-range missile test by NK? All it would do is heighten panic over North Korea’s intentions, and the greater the panic, the greater the risk that South Korean or Japanese leaders would be forced into some sort of brinksmanship with Pyongyang that would end in a catastrophic war. The international consensus on NK has typically been to avoid poking the hornet’s nest for fear of what might fly out if you do. Confirming a successful test would, almost necessarily, require subsequent poking. That’s not to say western officials or anyone else are lying about tonight’s launch having gone bust, but I am curious as to why they’d report it accurately if they could keep it quiet and in so doing keep the public off their back while they plot a strategic response. In the interest of avoiding greater bloodshed, the world already looks the other way at the concentration camps run by the Kim family. If they’re willing to grudgingly tolerate something as filthy as that in the name of “peace,” why wouldn’t they fib about a missile test?

Is it time for a new conspiracy theory?

 

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When Was The American Media Going To Tell Us This ?

English: Animated atomic bomb explosion. Polsk...

Image via Wikipedia

On March 5, DEBKAfile posted an article confirming an article in the German Der Spiegel and Welt am Sonntag that Western intelligence had known for eleven months that at least one of North Korea’s covert nuclear tests in 2010 was carried out on an Iranian radioactive bomb or nuclear warhead.

The article lists five facts that we are sure of:

1. In April and May North Korea conducted two covert underground nuclear explosions equivalent to 50- 200 tonnes of TNT.

2. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBOTO) monitoring stations in South Korea, Japan and Russia detected highly lethal heavy hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium.

The third fact according to the article:

3. The presence of tritium in one of the tests led several intelligence agencies watching North Korea’s nuclear program and its longstanding links with Iran and Syria to examine the possibility that Pyongyang had tested the internal mechanism of a nuclear warhead on Iran’s behalf.  This strongly indicated to German and Japanese intelligence that Iran had already developed the nuclear warhead’s outer shell and attained its weaponization.

4. There was also a possibility that North Korea had tested a ‘dirty bomb.’

5. There were three events that lead to the conclusion that this was testing of an Iranian device.

a. A group of Iranian nuclear scientists arrived in Pyongyang shortly after the first test in April, seemingly to be involved in setting up the second test.

b. Near the end of April Tehran shipped to Pyongyang a large quantity of uranium enriched to 20+ percent, apparently for the second test.

c. Right after the test in May Central Bank of Iran transferred $55 million to the account of the North Korean Atomic Energy Commission.

The article concludes:

It is not by chance that this incriminating disclosure about Iran’s nuclear achievements sees the light Monday, just hours before US Barack Obama receives Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the White house for an argument over an expeditious military action to stop Iran going all the way to a nuclear weapon.
The disclosure invalidates the main point the US President made in his speech Sunday to the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC convention in Washington that there was still time for diplomatic pressure and sanctions to bring Iran’s leaders to a decision to halt their nuclear momentum before military action was called for, whether by the US or Israel.

It now appears that Western intelligence has known about the North Korean tests for Iran for eleven months. Therefore, it is too late for him to try and persuade the Israeli prime minister that there is still time to spare for cutting short a nuclear Iran.

It was announced in Washington Monday that no joint American-Israeli communiqué would be issued at the end of their talks, meaning they will have agreed to disagree: Obama, to stand by his opposition to military action against Iran; Netanyahu, to decide what Israel must do in the interests of its security.
There is no doubt he would have preferred an American initiative for – or partnership in – an operation for curtailing the Iranian nuclear threat. But that is not part of Obama’s policy.  

When was the American Media going to get around to mentioning this? It does seem rather important.

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What Happens Next In North Korea ?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is dead. This was reported by North Korean state television early today. The North Korean media is reporting that Kim Jong Il died on Saturday during a train ride. The youngest of his three sons, Kim Jong Eun, will succeed him.

The article in the Wall Street Journal reports:

South Korean shares tumbled along with other Asian markets on concerns about potential instability in the region. South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 3.4% to a four-week low after initially dropping 4.4%. South Korea’s currency, the won, tumbled to over two-month lows against the dollar before recovering somewhat.

Kim Jong Eun is believed to be 27 or 28 years old. In September 2010, his father appointed him a four-star general in the North Korean military and to high-level posts in the ruling political party.

An article in the New York Daily News today suggests that the chances of a military coup in North Korea at this time are very small. The concern that seems to come up in most of the articles written today on the death of Kim Jong Il is the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons. The unknown fact is who has control of those weapons and whether or not this change in leadership will mean that North Korea will become an aggressor in that area of the world. 

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