A Policy That Is Working

It is not really in the interest of anyone (other than Iran) for Iran to successfully build an atomic bomb. Iran is a major supporter of terrorism around the world, and no person on earth will be safe if Iran successfully builds a nuclear weapon capable of reaching Europe or North America. The Iran nuclear deal did not stop Iran’s nuclear program–it simply postponed it until President Obama was out of office.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s Iran policy on the economy of Iran.

The article reports:

Iran has been roiled by demonstrations against the dramatic increase in the price of gasoline that was dictated by the government earlier this month. The demonstrations have been brutally suppressed, with somewhere between 100 and several hundred protesters killed by police. For several days, the mullahs pulled the plug on internet service to prevent videos of the protests and police brutality to be seen by the outside world.

So why is Iran in turmoil?

The article explains:

In other words, the Trump administration’s sanctions are working. Iran’s government, short of cash, was forced to dramatically raise the price of fuel, even though it knew what the reaction would be. And the resulting explosion–the analogy to the Yellow Vest protests in France is obvious–has shaken the regime.

Trump’s policy of using sanctions to starve the mullahs of cash contrasts favorably with Barack Obama’s inexplicable policy of sending $100 billion dollars to the regime in exchange for empty promises.

President Trump’s policy toward Iran is working.

An Entirely Predictable Outcome

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about some recent statements by top Iranian leaders.

The article reports:

Top Iranian leaders issued a series of warnings on Tuesday, telling world leaders it is on the brink of restarting a significant portion of its most contested nuclear work, including the enrichment of uranium to prohibited levels that could be used as part of a weapons program.

With tensions mounting between the United States and Iran following a bevy on new sanctions issued by the Trump administration, Iranian leaders warned their counterparts in Europe that the country will begin to enrich uranium—the key component in a nuclear weapon—to levels needed for weapons research.

Iran also will begin to stockpile low-enriched uranium instead of shipping it out of the country, as it had been doing under the nuclear agreement. The Islamic Republic also will stop exporting its heavy water reserves, a nuclear byproduct that can provide a plutonium-based pathway to a weapon.

Both of these moves are enflaming global tension surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, which the country has used to receive billions in sanctions relief and cash windfalls as a result of the Obama administration’s accord. Iranian leaders insist that if Europe does not reject the new U.S. sanctions and help Tehran bypass them, they will stop adhering the nuclear deal, which several European counties are still party to.

Does anyone actually believe that Iran suspended its nuclear program while the treaty was in effect?

The article concludes:

Iran also is seeking to have its international oil trade restored.

The Trump administration, after a protracted inter-agency fight, decided last month to stop issuing sanctions waivers to several countries purchasing large amounts of Iranian crude oil. The removal of these waivers effectively killed Iran’s oil trade.

Keivan Khosravi, a spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said all banking and oil rights must be immediately restored or Tehran will continue with efforts to ramp up prohibited nuclear work.

“As the honorable president declared, concurrent with the SNSC statement, Iran will continue subsequent and staged steps to stop nuclear deal undertakings based on the UNSC statement until the status quo of its oil sales and banking transactions return to the conditions that prevailed before the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal,” Khosravi wrote in a memo published Tuesday by Iran’s state-controlled press.

Translated loosely, this means that the sanctions are working and we need to leave them in place. If Iran does ramp up its nuclear program, we need another computer virus to slow it down. The reactor sites are hidden too deep underground to be bombed successfully, but an electronic attack on their computers and power grid would probably slow them down for a few years at least. The answer to the problem of a nuclear Iran is an Iran not controlled by the mullahs. That is a possibility as the younger generation tends to lean toward western ideas, but those that make those tendencies known wind up in prison or dead. Iran needs another revolution. The sanctions and the economic hardship they cause make that revolution a possibility.

One thing I believe we need to consider is a lesson learned in recent years about setting up democracies in places that do not understand freedom. It seems that in order to create a free county, you need brave men of integrity willing to lead a revolution and fight for freedom for all people. You can’t come in and just plant a democracy. Planting a democracy is somewhat like helping a baby chick hatch–the baby chick needs the hatching process to gain the strength to survive. If you help a baby chick hatch, it will not survive. It seems that in recent years we have learned that democracies have the same problem–they have to do their own hatching. When the work is done for them, the wrong leaders rise and the people gain new despots–they don’t gain freedom.

A New Example Of Take The Money And Run

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that Iran is threatening to walk away from its nuclear deal with the West.

The article reports:

Iran’s most recent ballistic missile test, which violates current U.N. Security Council resolutions, comes a day after the international community’s nuclear watchdog organization disclosed that it is prohibited by the nuclear agreement from publicly reporting on potential violations by Iran.

Iranian leaders now say that they are poised to walk away from the deal if the United States and other global powers fail to advance the Islamic Republic’s “national interests.”

“If our interests are not met under the nuclear deal, there will be no reason for us to continue,” Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, warned during remarks delivered to a group of Iranian officials in Tehran.

“If other parties decide, they could easily violate the deal,” Araqchi was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-controlled media. “However, they know this will come with costs.”

So, if I understand this correctly, the deal will only stay in place if it advances Iran’s interests. Please explain to me how we got into a deal with people with that attitude. It seems to me that a deal should advance the interests of all parties involved. I think we need new negotiators.

The article further reports:

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department had difficulty Monday explaining why the nuclear agreement limits public reporting by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, on potential deal violations by Iran.

Yukiya Amano, the IAEA’s chief, disclosed on Monday that his agency is no longer permitted to release details about Iran’s nuclear program and compliance with the deal. The limited public reporting is a byproduct of the nuclear agreement, according to Amano.

When asked about these comments again Tuesday, a State Department official told the Free Beacon that the IAEA’s reports would continue to provide a complete picture of Iran’s nuclear program, though it remains unclear if this information will be made publicly available.

On February 1st, military.com reported:

Iran said Monday it now has access to more than $100 billion worth of frozen overseas assets following the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

Government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said much of the money had been piling up in banks in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey since international sanctions were tightened in 2012 over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency meanwhile quoted central bank official Nasser Hakimi as saying nine Iranian banks are now reconnected to SWIFT, a Belgian-based cooperative that handles wire transfers between financial institutions. No foreign banks operate in Iran, and ATMs in Iran are not yet linked to the global system.

The historic agreement brought about the lifting of international sanctions last month after the U.N. certified that Iran has met all its commitments to curbing its nuclear activities under last summer’s accord.

Now that Iran has the money and the sanctions are lifted, is the deal over?

The “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards In The Iran Deal

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an opinion piece by Hooman Bakhtiar about the Iranian nuclear deal. Mr. Bakhtiar is an Iranian-American writer in Washington, D.C.

The article begins:

Congress is debating whether the nuclear agreement between Iran and the great powers goes far enough to curb Tehran’s illicit activities. But equally deserving of scrutiny are the nefarious characters whose names would be removed under the deal from Western sanctions lists.

Consider Anis Naccache, the Lebanese hitman who attempted to assassinate my great uncle Shapour Bakhtiar, Iran’s last prime minister under the shah. On a sweltering July day in 1980, a hit squad of five Lebanese, Iranian and Palestinian assassins led by Mr. Naccache approached a building in the Paris suburb of Neuilly. They posed as journalists, ostensibly to interview Bakhtiar, who had arrived in Paris a year earlier to launch a political campaign against the Islamic Republic before Ayatollah Khomeini’s nascent regime could entrench itself.

The article goes on to detain some of Mr. Naccache’s other terrorist activities–he was a lieutenant of Carlos the Jackal, he lead a hostage taking of 11 OPEC oil ministers in Vienna. In the failed assassination attempt of Shapour Bakhtiar, Mr. Naccache killed a police officer posted in the building and an elderly French woman who lived in the building. He was convicted of murder and received a life sentence. Mr. Naccache was released by the French in 1990 after the ‘coincidental’ release of 16 French hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The saga continues:

In 2008 the European Union determined that Mr. Naccache was linked to Iran’s nuclear-proliferation activities—identifying his association with the same Bazargani Tejarat Tavanmand Saccal firm in its designation. Brussels added him to a sanctions list due to his alleged role in Iran’s nuclear program, not his terrorist past.

Now Mr. Naccache is set to be removed from the EU sanctions list under the nuclear deal. Joining him will be numerous other Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leaders responsible for the deaths of many Iranian dissidents, U.S. servicemen in Iraq and civilians in Syria and elsewhere.

In their determination to cut a nuclear deal with Tehran, Washington and Brussels are rubbing salt into the wounds of the victims of Iranian terror. It is unclear how much, if any, due diligence has been conducted on the names that the mullahs insisted be removed from sanctions lists. An EU spokeswoman declined to comment on the delisting beyond confirming Mr. Naccache’s alleged illicit nuclear activities as the basis of the designation and his association with Bazargani Tejarat Tavanmand Saccal.

This is the deal President Obama is asking Congress to approve.

The Problem With Iran

We have been negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program since 2013. Yahoo News posted a timeline of highlights in American-Iranian relations. During that time, most of what Iran has done is buy time to continue its nuclear program.

The article reports:

October 2013: Burns and Sullivan hold a fourth secret meeting with Iranian officials, and then a fifth, this time joined by chief U.S. negotiator Sherman. The framework nuclear deal hashed out in the early secret talks begins to gain clarity. A new round of larger nuclear talks with world powers is held in Geneva at which Sherman meets publicly with Zarif.

November 2013: World powers meet Iran again in Geneva. Burns and Sullivan are among the U.S. delegation but are not identified as such. They are kept hidden from public view, entering meeting rooms only after photographers and journalists are escorted out. They stay at a separate hotel from the main delegation and enter the talks through service entrances.

Nov. 23, 2013: Western powers and Iran reach initial deal on curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

Note that in 2013 the goal was to curb Iran’s nuclear program. That is not where we are today. We have forgotten our goal of never allowing Iran to go nuclear.

Michael Rubin posted an article at Commentary Magazine today about the current negotiations with Iran. In the article, he points out the fact that Iran is holding Americans hostage–even as we are negotiating about their nuclear program.

The article lists four hostages:

  • Saeed Abedini. Iran has long been hostile to Christianity. While the Iranian city of Isfahan hosts a large Armenian community which thrives today, the Armenian Christians settled in Isfahan only because they were forcibly relocated there from northwestern Iran as the shah at the time doubted their loyalty. Non-Orthodox Christians have special difficulty in Iran. Past State Department human-rights reports, for example, depict the disappearance and murder of priests and, especially, evangelical Christians whose community is small but growing in Iran. Abedini, a 34-year-old from Idaho, was arrested during a 2012 trip to Tehran to visit family and sentenced to eight years in prison. He is a married father of two small children.
  • Robert Levinson. A former FBI agent whom Iran alleges to have worked for a CIA contractor visited Kish Island, an Iranian free-trade zone which is visa-free, in an effort to research a cigarette smuggling case when he was seized by Iranian intelligence in 2007. While the Iranians have sought at times to deny responsibility or knowledge of Levinson’s case, the state-run Iranian press acknowledged Iranian involvement. He remains the longest-held Iranian hostage. Perhaps reflecting its role as the ­de facto lobby of the Islamic Republic, the National Iranian American Council has distinguished itself by omitting Levinson in its calls for the release of hostages.
  • Amir Hekmati. A former American Marine, Hekmati was arrested in August 2011 while visiting family in Tehran. Charged with espionage, he was initially sentenced to death, a sentence later commuted. While some Iranians might look askance at his military service, it should be remembered that because Iran has conscription, many male Iranian graduate students seeking to come to the United States to continue their education or to visit family have served in the Iranian military. The charges were more ridiculous considering Hekmati sought and received permission from Iranian authorities in the United States before traveling. Hekmati had briefly launched a hunger strike which he subsequently suspended.
  • Jason Rezaian. The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Rezaian was arrested on undisclosed security-related offenses on July 22, 2014, and initially held incommunicado. On January 15, 2015, an Iranian prosecutor announced that Rezaian would stand trial in a revolutionary court. His case is slated to be heard by one of Iran’s most notorious hanging judges.

The article concludes:

When the State Department counsels quiet diplomacy, what diplomats are seeking is enough distraction to sweep the problem under the rug. They should not be able to. Indeed, there should not be another meeting held, let alone incentive given or payment made, until they are happily at home and reunited with their families. Quite the contrary, there should be no end to sanctions and punishment until the Americans—all four—come home.

We should not be negotiating nuclear arms with people who hold our citizens hostage. Until these hostages are released, we should tighten economic sanctions.

I Think Someone Moved The Goalposts

Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that as the latest talks with Iran began yesterday Iran pledged to never dismantle any equipment or facilities other countries believe could be used for the manufacture of atomic weapons. I may have missed something, but I thought the sanctions were lifted because Iran said it would discontinue its nuclear program.

On February 14th, the Washington Times reported that Iran was going to receive more than $20 billion in sanctions relief under the agreement reached. What in the world did Iran agree to do in return? Has Iran still agreed to it? It really doesn’t sound as if we got anything in return for lifting the sanctions.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story today about the negotiations. He comments:

The latest round of negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program began yesterday. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated what has always been clear: “Dismantling [the] nuclear program is not on the agenda.”

What, then, is? As the Washington Post reports, the West seeks only “to prevent Iran from quickly converting its nuclear program to weapons production or from hiding a parallel program.” (emphasis added) This probably means “a demand that advanced centrifuges for enriching uranium be destroyed or mothballed, and that Iran make changes to a nuclear facility under construction so it cannot produce plutonium.”

Will Iran agree to this limited package? Not likely. As the Washington Post puts it, “Iran has signaled that it would oppose any such curbs.” And a senior U.S. official acknowledged that “we have a very long way to go.”

At some point, the Obama Administration is going to have to realize that the only way Iran will ever give up its nuclear ambitions is if the west imposes crippling sanctions. Even if that were to happen, I doubt that Russia and China would honor those sanctions, so we would be right back where we started. However, the sanctions that were just lifted in the first round of negotiations were what brought Iran to the bargaining table. We need to put them back in place until the negotiations are done.

Negotiating with Iran does not make the world safer–it makes the world more dangerous. The Iranians are simply stalling for time as their nuclear program progresses. It will be necessary at some point before Iran goes nuclear for someone to take out its nuclear facilities. America will probably not do that–Israel will probably do it without asking America. That will result in mass destruction in the Middle East. Iran needs to be stopped before it goes nuclear–that will help preserve peace in the Middle East if peace is at all possible.

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Snookered Again

CNN is reporting today that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated Monday that that “we did not agree to dismantle anything.”

The article reports:

In addition, the deal mandated that Iran halt all enrichment above 5% and “dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%,” according to a White House fact sheet issued in November after the initial agreement was reached.

Zarif accused the Obama administration of creating a false impression with such language.

“The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again,” he said, urging Sciutto to read the actual text of the agreement. “If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment.”

He repeated that “we are not dismantling any centrifuges, we’re not dismantling any equipment, we’re simply not producing, not enriching over 5%.”

“You don’t need to over-emphasize it,” Zarif said of the White House language. A separate summary sent out by the White House last week did not use the word dismantle.

So what is going on here? The sanctions placed on Iran by the United States and the United Nations had seriously hurt Iran’s economy. In order for the current regime to stay in power (avoid political unrest due to the economy), they needed to get those sanctions lifted. They also wanted to continue their nuclear program. The Obama Administration needed a victory in the area of foreign affairs to take the spotlight off of ObamaCare, bad unemployment numbers, Benghazi, etc. So the Obama Administration signed this agreement with Iran which allows the Obama Administration a political victory, allows Iran to get out from under the sanctions, and allows Iran to continue its nuclear program. The bottom line is simple–America, Europe, and Israel lose–all will be in range of Iran’s nuclear arsenal. Remember, the mullahs in charge in Iran believe that chaos will usher in the coming of their messiah. This is not a good situation. America has been snookered again by a regime buying time to complete its nuclear development.

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What Brand Of Negotiating Is This?

On Saturday, Breitbart.com reported that as part of the secret talks that took place before the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, the United States released two Iranian scientists that were in prison in America. One of those scientists, Mojtaba Atarodi, had been arrested in 2011 for attempting to acquire equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs.

It is also reported that hikers Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal were released in 2010 and 2011 as part of those negotiations. In 2012 the United States released Iranian prisoners Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan, Nosratollah Tajik, and Amir Hossein Seirafi. All three of these men had been charged with either weapons trafficking, purchasing illegal military equipment, or purchasing items to be used in Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Americans Robert Levinson, Amir Hekmati, and Saeed Abedini remain imprisoned in Iran. Negotiating with the Iranian thugs is not the answer. I hope Congress passes tighter sanctions and totally cripples the Iranian economy. That will give the Iranians who support freedom the opportunity to overthrow the Iranian government. Please understand that the Iranian government is at the root of the majority of the unrest in the Middle East. That is why an alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia is forming to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and a delivery system. We have been fighting Iran indirectly since the Iranian revolution–they have supplied weapons to Taliban troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan and are a major player in Syria.

The current Iranian government is not merely a threat to Israel–it is a threat to America and the entire world. The goal of the current Iranian government has not changed–that goal is the establishment of a world-wide caliphate under Sharia law. Another part of the philosophy of the current Iranian regime is that world chaos will usher in the return of the Mahdi. The Mahdi died in 874 and is believed to be living at the bottom of a well in Iran. The Iranian leaders believe that if they cause enough chaos he will return. These are the people we are negotiating with.

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Giving Away The Store

One of the major threats to world peace is the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran. Because of that threat, most of the world has agreed to impose economic sanctions against Iran until Iran abandons its nuclear program. Unfortunately, Iran is not likely to do that.

The Daily Beast posted a story revealing that Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June.

As I quoted in an article posted on June 17th (rightwinggranny.com):

Ultimate power in Iran rests in any case with Mr. Khamenei and his fellow clerics, who are backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has expanded its control over business and other parts of society in recent decades. Iran today is best understood as a Shite fascist state with a democratic electoral veneer and ambitions to dominate the region.

Lifting the sanctions on Iran will most surely result in a nuclear Iran.

The article at the Daily Beast reports:

A review of Treasury Department notices reveals that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June.

On Wednesday Obama said in an interview with NBC News the negotiations in Geneva “are not about easing sanctions.” “The negotiations taking place are about how Iran begins to meet its international obligations and provide assurances not just to us but to the entire world,” the president said.

The article goes on to explain the Obama Administration’s justification for loosening the sanctions.

The thing we need to remember about Iran is that ultimately the clerics control Iran. No one gets to be President of the country unless he has shown loyalty to the clerics and the clerics approve. There was an election, but the government of Iran has not changed. The goal of the leaders of Iran is still a world-wide caliphate. We need to consider that fact when we deal with Iran.

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Reza Kahlili (google him if you don’t know his story!) posted an article at World Net Daily today about an explosion deep within Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility.

The article reports:

The regime’s uranium enrichment process takes place at two known sites: the Natanz facility with more than 10,000 centrifuges and Fordow with more than 2,700. The regime currently has enough low-grade (3.5 percent) uranium stockpiled for six nuclear bombs if further enriched.

Israel has been working quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, so it is quite possible they might have some connection to this explosion. In the past, Israel and America worked on the Stuxnet computer virus, but since President Obama bragged about being part of that program, I suspect there has been less cooperation between the two countries.

The article at World Net Daily (WND) concludes:

Sources in the Islamic regime previously have revealed exclusively to WND the existence of:

It’s going to be interesting to see if anyone takes credit for causing this explosion.

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Why Do We Continue This Dance ?

Front Page Magazine posted an article today about the latest round of talks on the Iranian nuclear program.

The article quotes a recent New York Times article:

 [a] successful meeting could prolong the diplomatic dance with Tehran, delaying any possible military confrontation…until after the presidential election. It could also keep a lid on oil prices…. Lower gasoline prices would aid the economic recovery in the United States, and Mr. Obama’s electoral prospects.

Wow. Has it occurred to anyone that we have done this dance before? All Iran needs is time to complete its research and obtain nuclear weapons–we are giving them the time.

The article at Front Page Magazine quoted Amos Yadlin, formerly Israel’s chief of Military Intelligence. Speaking earlier this month at a conference of the Washington Institute in Virginia, he stated:

 nuclear Iran is more dangerous than attacking Iran.

If they can’t be contained when they don’t have nuclear weapon[s], how can they be contained when they do?…

I am sure they won’t launch a nuclear bomb the moment they get it, but the possibility [that] as a result of miscalculations and lack of stability, they will launch [a] nuclear missile—it’s not a possibility you can ignore. The flying time of a missile from Tehran to Tel Aviv is seven minutes and the temptation for a first strike is huge.

If you really want all options on the table, you need to be very credible with the military option.

Israel needs to be able to defend herself regardless of the price of oil or the coming elections. To block Israel from defending herself is extremely short-sighted. Has anyone considered what the world would look like after Iran went nuclear?

Israeli leaders understand the price of attacking Iran. On March 15, I had the privilege of hearing Marc Kahlberg speak at the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Please see rightwinggranny.com for details.

Mr. Kahlberg spoke of the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran and reminded his audience of Iran’s past behavior:

What are the dangers of Israel attacking Iran in order to end its nuclear program? In a war with Iran, Israel will probably have 20,000 fatalities, 100,000 injured, and one and a half to two million people suffering from trauma. If Iran has nukes, it will probably totally destroy Israel. Great choice. The other thing that was pointed out was that in dealing with the leaders of Iran, we are not dealing with people we can depend on to act rationally. There is a martyrdom aspect of the Iranian regime that does not make them rational when it comes to dealing with nuclear weapons. A regime that sends twelve-year old boys with keys around their necks to march into minefields to clear the mines (keys that were supposed to assure them the instant entrance to paradise when they were killed by the mines) should not be considered rational.

Sometimes negotiations are not the answer. An attack on Iran would create a lot of turmoil. It would make much more sense to undermine the current government to the point where it collapsed. The problem is not Iran going nuclear as much as it is the current government of Iran going nuclear. A few dozen targeted assassinations would probably also solve the problem.


Since posting this, I have stumbled upon some interesting historic information. Israel has just formed a new coalition government–designed to bring more people together. Those were the actions Israel took just before the 1967 war,

The timeline for 1967 goes as follows:

In May 1967, Egypt evicted the UN observers from the Sinai Peninsula and began amassing forces there. On May 22, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. On May 30, Jordan and Egypt signed a mutual defense pact as Iran began moving troops to the Israeli border. On June 1, Israel formed a national unity government. enlarging the cabinet and forming a united front. On June 5, Israel attacked the amassing Arab forces.

Stay tuned.





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As America Leaves Iraq And Iran Moves Forward On Its Nuclear Program…

Official photograph portrait of former U.S. Pr...

Image via Wikipedia

The only ‘peaceful’ solution to Iran’s nuclear program is the end of Iranian rule by the Mullahs. Since that is not likely–protesters have been simply shot in the streets in the past–we are in need of a better solution.

In September 2006 there was a mysterious Israeli airstrike on Syria. Gradually the news came out that there was radiation at the site, and it became obvious that this was not just some innocent desert location. The strike was expertly carried out, and the threat of Syria as a nuclear power was ended by Israel. In his memoir Decision Points, President George W. Bush relates the story behind Israel’s attack. The President states that Prime Minister Olmert requested that America bomb the site in Syria, but President Bush refused, suggesting to the Prime Minister that they pursue diplomatic action backed up by force. President Bush stated that since his administration could not prove that the site was part of a Syrian nuclear weapons program, he could not justify attacking it. The Israelis attacked the site unilaterally. President Bush comments that Prime Minister Olmert had acted alone to do what he thought was better for Israel.

We are at that place again–only with Iran. On October 4, the Jerusalem Post reported:

Warning that Israel is becoming growingly isolated in the Middle East, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta hinted on Monday he expected Israel to refrain from taking unilateral action against Iran and instead needs to work together with the US and other countries in the region.

I have a few problems with that statement. When Wikileaks released a bunch of cables regarding Middle East politics recently, it became obvious that most of the countries in the Middle East were much more worried about Iran than Israel. Now as the ‘Arab Spring’ progresses, we will see Iran begin to increase its influence in countries that have previously not aligned with it, and logically Israel will become isolated. This has much more to do with the actions of Iran than the actions of Israel.

The Obama administration (and unfortunately previous administrations) have not dealt effectively with Iran’s nuclear program. That program is the biggest international threat to the world today. In the Arab Spring, Iran is expanding its sphere of influence, and the possession of a nuclear weapon will put Iran in charge in the Middle East. Israel may again find itself in a position where it is the only country with the courage to prevent an international catastrophe. Admittedly, they would be acting in their own interest, but the world would benefit from their actions.


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