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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Shirley Temper 'rescues' her brother from the IDF, Papa is proud

Do you all remember Shirley Temper (real name Ahed Tamimi, and yes, from that Tamimi clan)? On Friday, Shirley and her mother attacked yet another IDF soldier to prevent them from arresting her little brother for throwing stones at soldiers.
The opening shots show a partially-masked soldier with a rifle in his hand running after the boy, Muhammad Tamimi, across an empty brown hillside filled with rocks and a few scattered olive trees.

The soldier catches Muhammad from behind and places him in a choke-hold. Muhammad screams and begins crying. The soldier pushes Muhammad onto a rock and lies on top of him, as a young female activist with a gas mask in one hand tries to pull the boy away.

The soldier pushes her back and tells her to leave the boy alone. Muhammad’s left arm can be seen in a cast.

The soldier calls out for reinforcements as he holds one arm around the boy’s neck and keeps his other hand on his gun. Within a minute, Muhammad’s sister, Ahed, 14, and mother arrive, along with other women and children.

Screaming, they hit the soldier, unmask him, and try to pull the boy away. They succeed just as a second soldier arrives. One of them throws a stun grenade at the Palestinians. Both soldiers, however, walk away without arresting Muhammad.

The IDF said the incident occurred during violent clashes between its soldiers and Palestinians in which rocks were thrown at security forces. It said that an attempt was made to arrest Muhammad after he was identified as one of the stone throwers.

The IDF said that during the execution of the arrest, a number of Palestinians, including women and children, acted in a violent and provocative manner. It said that a commander decided not to carry out the arrest as a result of this.
Papa Tamimi has told the Jerusalem Post that he's proud of his brood
"We have the right to resist. Our children are doing their duty and must be strong," Bassem Tamimi told The Jerusalem Post, when asked how he feels about his children's participation in West Bank protests against soldiers. He noted, however, that they are not against the soldiers, but against the occupation. 
"There is no safe place to be," he tells the Post, making no distinction between soldiers, settlers or Jewish extremists . "Because a lot of time they target houses, and there is fire on the houses." He gives the example of the Dawabshe family who were the victims of an arson attack on their home in Duma in July, which killed a Palestinian toddler and his father. The attack was allegedly perpetrated by Jewish terrorists.
It's actually far more likely that the attack was perpetrated by a rival 'Palestinian' clan but because our government is afraid to come out and say it, so is everyone else and we continue to be slandered.
Responding to comments made by right-wing Israeli politicians and activists on the heels of Friday's incident, that IDF soldiers should open fire immediately if they are attacked, Bassem Tamimi claims that it makes no difference if they are attacked or not: "they will open fire anyway," he asserts. 
That's a libel. 

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Matisyahu says he felt threatened in Spain

American reggae singer Matisyahu says that he felt threatened last week while playing at a fair in Spain. This is from the first link.
“People were standing on each other’s shoulders with flags giving me the middle finger,” Matisyahu tells The Daily Beast in an interview. “It was intense. It was not peaceful. It was like ‘Fuck you, Matisyahu.’ I’ve never had the experience of anything like that, as a Jew or anything in my life.”
Matisyahu performed at the Rototom Sunsplash festival after a public backlash prompted organizers to rescind their initial insistence that he sign a statement in support of Palestinian statehood as a prerequisite for his appearance.
Such nice people, those BDS'ers.... 

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Time to say good-bye

Looks like I will miss this.... But if you're in New York, please be there (Hat Tip: Leah P).

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Small world syndrome

One of my neighbors just came by for something and invited us to a Kiddush (celebration) at his synagogue tomorrow morning. The Kiddush is to celebrate 45 years (on the Jewish calendar) since he was released from being a hostage at Dawson's field in Jordan.

More here.

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IAEA: Iran may have built extension to Parchin

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that Iran may have built an extension to its Parchin nuclear weapons testing facility since May, making it impossible to determine how far along Iran was in nuclear weapons research before entering into its farcical deal with the P 5+1 (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said:
"Since (our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building" appeared to have been built.
The changes were first observed last month, a senior diplomat familiar with the Iran file said.
The IAEA says any activities Iran has undertaken at Parchin since U.N. inspectors last visited in 2005 could jeopardize its ability to verify Western intelligence suggesting Tehran carried out tests there relevant to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago. Iran has dismissed the intelligence as "fabricated".

"We cannot know or speculate what's in the (extended) building ... It's something we will technically clarify over the course of the year," the senior diplomat said. The report said the extended building was not the one that some countries suspect has housed the controversial experiments.
"It’s funny that the IAEA claims there has been a small extension to a building ... Iran doesn't need to ask for the IAEA's permission to do construction work on its sites," Reza Najafi, Iran's envoy to the agency, was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

I can't even say what I'd like to say about this. Certainly not in any forum that is likely to be widely dispersed.

Messiah should be arriving soon. It's the only solution.

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Unbelievable: Senate may not even vote on Obama's sellout to a nuclear-armed Iran

It's come to this: Thanks to Mr. Congeniality, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tn), President Hussein Obama's sellout and endorsement of a nuclear armed Iran may never even come to a vote in the Senate. This is Jonathan Tobin.
With only two Senate Democrats announcing their opposition (Chuck Schumer and Robert Menendez), there now appears to be a chance that the White House will be able to orchestrate a filibuster of the bill if at least three more Democrats join a unanimous Republican caucus. That will make a mockery of the approval process that Congress has been going through. If it does, the blame will belong to a president who has not hesitated to use inflammatory rhetoric and heavy-handed tactics to stop Congress from interfering with a policy of appeasement of Iran. But Obama didn’t do it alone. He could never have succeeded had he not had the unwitting help of Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. Without Corker’s foolish belief in working with the White House and pusillanimous unwillingness to push for an approval process in line with the Constitution’s provisions about foreign treaties, the administration might never have been able to get away with sneaking through the most important foreign policy decision in a generation.
The Tennessee Republican didn’t get much cooperation from the administration. However, he did listen to a lot of his Democratic colleagues who were unhappy about confronting Obama but wanted to preserve some sort of Congressional oversight on the Iran negotiations. Thus, hoping to maintain the bipartisan consensus on Iran, Corker shifted the emphasis in the Senate away from a bill that would toughen sanctions against Iran that had been proposed by Menendez and Illinois Republican Mark Kirk. Instead, Corker’s attention was focused on something else: something that would compel the administration to present any deal with Iran for a Congressional vote.
Thus was born the Corker-Menendez bill that would be renamed Corker-Cardin after Menendez was forced out as ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee and replaced by Senator Ben Cardin. Considering that the administration had openly said that it did feel compelled to present any agreement with Iran for Congressional approval, some sort of response was required. But the only thing Corker could get Corker and other Democrats to sign on to was a bill on an Iran nuclear deal that would provide for a simple up and down vote in both the House and the Senate.
What was wrong with that? The Constitution explicitly states that foreign treaties must be presented to the Senate where they must get a two-thirds vote to be approved. The impetus for this high bar was the thought that treaties ought to be a matter of national consensus since they involve the security of the nation and their impact will be felt beyond the current Congress or the incumbent president.
Corker’s bill turned that approval process upside down. Instead of 67 votes to pass a deal that would give Iran Western approval for becoming a nuclear threshold state and a nuclear power once the deal expired in 10 to 15 years, all Obama would now need was 34 votes in the Senate or one-third plus one vote in the House.
It can be argued that Democrats would never have gone along with a bill that would have designated the Iran deal as a treaty as it should have been. The administration knows that there is no legal argument for not designating the deal as a treaty. As Secretary of State John Kerry admitted in his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the only reason they didn’t present it as a treaty is because it is too hard to pass a treaty.
Corker is flummoxed by this prospect, telling the New York Times that he cannot imagine that a Senate will do it.
“Ninety-eight senators voted to give themselves the right to vote on this,” he said. “Surely they are not going to deny themselves a final vote on the deal.” …
“To block a vote on the deal would be a fascinating turn of events at a minimum,” Mr. Corker said.
Fascinating isn’t quite the word I’d use for such a turn of events. A better description of what is happening is that a tough-minded administration has run rings around an inept Corker. Did he really trust liberal Democrats who promised that they wanted a vote? If so, he is clearly not smart enough to be left in the position of influence he has been given. Far from his accommodating attitude rebuilding the consensus on Iran that Obama has been busy destroying, Corker’s willingness to bend over backwards has facilitated Obama’s disastrous policy.
A filibuster will enable the president to say that Congress never defeated his Iran deal. That’s something that he would have been denied if he had been forced to veto the bill. Even a complete end run by the administration around congress where no vote at all would have been held would have been preferable to a successful Iran deal filibuster. Then opponents would have been able to point to the extra-legal way the president was sneaking his treaty with Iran through. A failed effort to designate the deal as a treaty would also at least have set the record straight about Obama’s disregard for the Constitution. But now Obama can say the deal was reviewed and in a sense passed. This will strengthen his efforts to undermine existing sanctions and make it harder for the deal to overturn it in the future once he leaves office.
For that he can thank Corker.
By the way, if you're wondering how this pea brain became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee... the party was looking for an ideological conservative. Maybe the party ought to be looking for some intelligence before worrying about ideology?

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Iran to pay for its own 'nuclear inspections'?

With the IAEA looking for money to pay for inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, the US State Department suggested on Wednesday another source of payment aside from the American taxpayer: Iran itself.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the Department of State, declined to answer multiple questions about how international inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites would be paid for by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is requesting at least $10 million to carry out the work.
The United States will likely fund some portion of the cost, and Kirby left open the possibility that Iran could also foot some of the bill.
The matter has been the subject of much speculation in recent days after it came to light that Iran would be permitted to inspect its own nuclear sites, raising the possibility that Iran could continue to hide nuclear weapons work.
“I don’t have any specific funding contributions to speak to today in terms of amount,” Kirby told reporters. “We’re still working our way through that. I do want to add that we have every intention to continue to contribute to the IAEA for the purpose of this—doing this very important work of the verification of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments.”
“I won’t speak for Iran,” Kirby added. “I don’t know what, if any, commitments Iran has or will engender under this, but we’ve—as we noted in the statement, we’re committed to working with all the member states to ensure that the IAEA has the resources that it needs.”
When pressed to explain whether the United States would pay for Iran to inspect its own nuclear sites or press the Iranian government to foot the bill, Kirby demurred.
“Honestly don’t have a specific answer for you in that regard,” Kirby told reporters. “I mean, again, we’re going to contribute—continue to contribute to the IAEA and their funding needs specifically as it relates to this deal. And it’s not just us; we want other member states to do it as well.”
“I’ll let Iran speak for itself in terms of what, if any, contributions it plans to make,” he added.
“But I don’t know that I would characterize the funding resources applied to IAEA and their need to do this work as sort of then paying for any efforts done by Iranian officials to meet compliance.”
Matthew Lee, a reporter for the Associated Press, continued to question Kirby on the issue.
“Well, I mean, someone’s got to pay for it,” Lee said. “They’re not going to work for free, whoever they are, whether they’re Iranians or they’re from Djibouti.”
“Well, I’m assuming many of them are government—work for the government of Iran,” Kirby responded.
 What could go wrong?

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ICYMI this says it all: J Street elects Muslim of Pakistani descent as President

After this one, let no one say that J Street is pro-Israel: J Street U has elected a Muslim of Pakistani descent as its President.
At its “Summer Leadership Institute” in Washington this week, J Street U elected Amna Farooqi, a senior at the University of Maryland who is of Pakistani descent, Haaretz reported. Farooqi co-wrote a blog post for the Times of Israel in March on Hillel President Eric Fingerhut’s decision to withdraw from a commitment to speak a the J Street National Conference.
Approximately 120 J Street U student leaders attended the four-day gathering, according to Haaretz, and J Street U says it has 4,000 active participants on 75 college campuses in the United States.
A native of suburban Washington, D.C., Farooqi grew up in a “fairly religious Muslim home” with “a lot of Jewish friends,” Haaretz reported.
But “growing up in a household sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, the Palestine-Israel conflict was always the elephant in the room,” she said in a video filmed at the J Street conference last March. “This conflict evoked a level of anger and emotion in me, and I needed to learn more. Everything I was learning about the conflict made me not want to be pro-Israel. … As someone who wanted to contribute to ending this conflict I knew I needed to understand all sides.”
Pro-Israel anyone? Their  heads are so open their brains have fallen out.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Polish reporter: Yes, Hamas used human shields

A Polish reporter who spent a month in Gaza in the summer of 2014 has once again confirmed what we all knew all along: Hamas used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields in a cynical attempt to cause civilian casualties during Operation Protective Edge.
Yes, Israel bombed Palestinian houses in Gaza. But Hamas is also to blame for its cruel and selfish game against its own people. I do not have hard evidence, but for me, spending a month in the middle of this hell, it was obvious that they were breaking international rules of war and worst of all, were not afraid to use their own citizens as living shields. 
The first incident happened late in the evening. I was in the bathroom when I’ve heard a loud rocket noise and my Spanish colleague, a journalist who was renting a flat with me near the Gaza beach, started to scream. He wanted to light a cigarette and came to one of the open windows. The moment he was using his lighter, he saw a fireball in front of his eyes and lost his hearing.

From what our neighbors told us later, a man drove up in a pickup to our tiny street. He placed a rocket launcher outside and fired. But the rocket failed to go upwards and flew along the street at ground level for a long time before destroying a building. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt or killed. 
When we calmed down, we started to analyze the situation. It became obvious that the man or his supervisor wanted the Israel Defense Forces to destroy civilian houses, which our tiny street was full of. Whoever it was, Hamas, Iz al-Din al-Qassam or others, they knew that the IDF can strike back at the same place from which the rocket was fired. Fortunately for us, the rocket missed its target in Israel.

The second story happened in the middle of the day. I was sitting with other journalists in a cafe outside one of the hotels near the beach. During wartime, these hotels are occupied by foreign press and some NGOs. Every hotel is full and in its cafes many journalists spend their time discussing, writing, editing stories or just recharging the phones. Suddenly I saw a man firing a rocket from between the hotels. It was obvious that we journalists became a target. If the IDF would strike back, we all would be dead. What would Hamas do? It would not be surprising to hear about the “cruel Zionist regime killing innocent and free press.”
But then you knew all this. For those who have forgotten (I have posted it before), here are out-takes of Alarabiya-TV reporter Hannan al-Masri learning of a Hamas missile being fired from the ground floor of the building housing the Alarabiya studio in January 2009 (Operation Cast Lead).

Let's go to the videotape.

It's still nice to hear foreigners confirming what we knew all along.

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Your favorite uncle to preserve Obama's 'legacy'

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that its budget will be busted by the end of September (of this year) if it has to keep monitoring Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons (Hat Tip: Gershon D).
Yukiya Amano, head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on Tuesday that his organization's funds to monitor Iran's nuclear program will run out next month, indicating a potential road block for last month's Iran nuclear deal.
Up to this point the IAEA has been receiving funding for its monitoring of Iran thanks to member state contributions that were outside the scope of the body's regular budget, reports Reuters.
The IAEA chief asked member states to fork over more funds to continue the monitoring of the Islamic regime, revealing that the 800,000 euros ($924,000) a month that it has received to this point will run out by the end of September.
Amano detailed the expenses needed in order to monitor Iran until the nuclear deal is implemented - presumably early next year - listing them at 160,000 euros (over $184,000) per month. He added that 9.2 million euros (over $10.5 million) a year will be needed by the IAEA to monitor Iran under the framework of the deal.
The IAEA's annual budget hit 350 million euros (over $402 million) last year, and according to Amano he will seek to incorporate the costs of monitoring Iran as part of the deal into the IAEA's regular annual budget starting in 2017.
But have no fear. Your favorite Uncle (his name is Sam in case you've forgotten) is going to step in to pay all the costs of monitoring that no one else will pay. 
The United States said on Tuesday it will make sure the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has enough money to report on Iran's past, present and future nuclear programs.

The UN nuclear watchdog has asked its member states to step up financial contributions for its monitoring activities in Iran which are set to widen after Tehran reached a deal with world powers in July to curb its atomic program.

"The United States is committed to working with all (IAEA) member states to ensure the agency has the resources it needs to verify Iran's nuclear-related commitments under the (July 14 agreement)," the US mission in Vienna said in a statement.
And if no one else will pay, Uncle Sam will pay it himself. Or the IAEA will just leave and we'll let Iran monitor itself. Because, after all, Obama's gotta have a legacy.

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Europeans: 'Obama administration put more pressure on its friends in the negotiations than on the Iranians'

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Europeans - particularly France - are having some buyer's remorse about the sellout to a nuclear Iran.
French President François Hollande ran into a difficult question late last month about war and Iran. It’s time now to pay attention to his answer.
Invited to dinner by members of the French Presidential Press Association on July 27, the president was asked if he went along with the contention of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, later voiced by President Barack Obama, that war would inevitably follow rejection by the U.S. Congress of the nuclear deal between the great powers and Iran.
Mr. Hollande, whose full-page photo on a French magazine cover this week is headlined The Anesthetist, doesn’t do alarmisme. He didn’t assert, as Mr. Obama so often has, that war is the single alternative to the Iran nuclear agreement. No way.
My recollection of Mr. Hollande’s response—jibing with that of the journalists seated to my left and right that evening—is that he said disapproval by Congress meant new “uncertainty,” and uncertainty in the Middle East could sometimes mean war.
A month later, this much is clear about the approach of the other European parties to the deal: Neither German Chancellor Angela Merkel nor U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron have made an explicit link between Congress’s possible September vote against the agreement and anything resembling the Obama administration’s notions of instant cataclysm.
After initially nodding “yes” to the deal, the French have partially reverted to form reflecting their traditional hard-nosed antinuclear proliferation position. It’s OK in Paris to acknowledge that the accord is an oversold mediocrity, and its character nonhistoric. Mr. Obama’s notions of co-opting a suddenly tranquilized Iran to embrace the Forces of Good in the Middle East can get characterized as naive. American sanctions experts say big French banks have informed them they are in no rush to return to Iran.
Citing the profound weaknesses of an agreement that allows controls over Iran to end after 15 years and the mullahs to keep an absurdly high number of centrifuges, a French official told me he graded the accord as C-plus. He expressed concern about America’s willingness over time to continue paying the enormous expense of its vast Iranian surveillance operations. And he also said that the deal’s concessions to Tehran made a pressing reality of Saudi Arabia’s quest for an atomic weapon.
One of the toughest of the country’s hard-nosed security experts, Bruno Tertrais, wrote last month in the Canadian newspaper Le Devoir that “with pressure from the Obama administration” European negotiators’ original intent deteriorated from a rollback of Iran’s nuclear ambitions to their containment.
Camille Grand, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research—a think tank with a reputation for telling truths the French government might prefer to avoid—told me how this slippage had come about. “From 2013 on,” he said, “the Americans gave the impression they wanted the deal more than Iran did. The administration put more pressure on its friends in the negotiations than on the Iranians.”
For now, even if there are French critics, there is no political or governmental force actively fighting the deal. It creates the impression of a French security establishment that will shoot from the cover of the sidelines, yet isn’t mobilized to urge that the agreement be renegotiated.
But shooting from the sidelines can still have an effect. Consider the recent ado about reports that Jacques Audibert, Mr. Hollande’s national security adviser, told a U.S. congressional delegation to Paris in July that France, while supporting the deal overall, would view a move by Congress to block the deal as manageable without causing a break between the U.S. and Europe. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat, described the conversation later. Although the French denied her account, her colleagues on the delegation affirmed it—and why would she concoct a story so inconvenient to a president of her party anyway?
So how come didn’t France lie across the tracks to block the accord? My explanation:
Because an economically nonperforming President Hollande couldn’t say “no” to French industry wanting a shot at new Iranian contracts. Because France no longer musters the international political levers to shoulder splendid isolation. And because it would not assume the cost of being regarded as Benjamin Netanyahu’s single objective ally.
And now, French buyer’s remorse? In theory, a bit. But not enough to try holding off on its own what France knows is a lousy Iran nuclear deal.
Is anyone in Congress listening?

For the record, France opposed the 24-day wait period for inspections. 

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Image: Abu Mazen's new palace

Life is so, so hard in the 'occupied territories.'

From here (comments are mostly in Hebrew). According to the person who posted it, it's Abu Mazen's 'guest palace.'

By the way, there are many luxurious homes in Judea and Samaria. Back in the old days, before the existence of the 'Palestinian Authority' necessitated bypass roads in order to prevent Jews from being murdered, we used to play a game when we road through the 'Palestinian' suburbs in Jerusalem on the way to visiting Mrs. Carl's sister in Samaria. In the game, we tried to choose in which house we would most want to live (based on the house and not the neighborhood).

But if you're wondering where all that western aid money to the 'Palestinians' went, this ought to give you an idea.

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Iran: 'Israel should still be annihilated'

MP Philip Hammond, the British Foreign Secretary who raced to Tehran to reopen his country's embassy over the weekend and complimented Iran on its 'more nuanced' approach to Israel, got his answer today from a key foreign policy adviser to Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani:
Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”
Hammond was in Iran on Monday for the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran, and said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel’s existence. Hammond said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “revolutionary sloganizing” should be distinguished from “what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy.”
Sheikholeslam told a Hamas news outlet earlier this month that Iran has resisted pressure exerted by the P5+1 world powers during the nuclear negotiations to halt its political involvement in Gaza, Syria and Yemen.
“These powers admitted that the reason for their pressure on us is our position on Israel,” he said. “We told them that we reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth.”
Even Jeffrey Goldberg noticed the statement, but I doubt that the former IDF officer has figured out yet why that might be personally connected to him.

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John Bolton: On Obama's Iran deal, the choices are bad and worse (MUST READ)

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton writes that no matter what Congress decides to do with President Hussein Obama's sellout to a nuclear-armed Iran, the only choice left now is a military one. Or a nuclear-armed Iran.
Obama’s mistakes, concessions, and general detachment from Middle Eastern reality for six and a half years make it impossible to travel in time back to a theoretical world where sanctions might have derailed Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. If Obama can save the Vienna agreement from Congress, he will lift sanctions for the remainder of his presidency. Alternatively, if his veto is overridden and U.S. sanctions remain in place, Europe, Russia, China, and everyone else will nonetheless proceed to implement the deal on their own. (And given Obama’s propensity not to enforce laws with which he disagrees, which he is already signaling in this case, U.S. sanctions will almost certainly prove ineffective.) Either way, it is naïve to think that a new Republican president in January 2017 will find any takers internationally to revive sanctions. However Congress votes, Iran will still be marching inexorably toward deliverable nuclear weapons. 
Deals don’t constrain the mullahs, who see this capability as critical to the 1979 Islamic Revolution’s very survival. Not surprisingly, therefore, existing sanctions have slowed down neither Iran’s nuclear-weapons program nor its support for international terrorism. General James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, testified in 2013 that sanctions had not changed the ayatollahs’ nuclear efforts, and this assessment stands unmodified today. 
Tehran’s support for such terrorists as Hezbollah, Hamas, Yemen’s Houthis, and Syria’s Assad regime has, if anything, increased. As for the sanctions’ economic impact on Iran, Clapper testified that “the Supreme Leader’s standard is a level of privation that Iran suffered during the Iran–Iraq war,” a level that Iran was nowhere near in 2013 and is nowhere near today. 
In short, to have stopped Tehran’s decades-long quest for nuclear weapons, global sanctions needed to match the paradigm for successful coercive economic measures. They had to be sweeping and comprehensive, swiftly applied and scrupulously adhered to by every major economic actor, and rigorously enforced by military power. The existing Security Council sanctions do not even approach these criteria. 
In recent history, the only sanctions regime to approximate the ideal paradigm was that imposed on Saddam Hussein in 1990, just days after Iraq invaded Kuwait. Security Council Resolution 661 provided that all states “shall prevent . . . the import into their territories of all commodities and products originating in Iraq or Kuwait” except food, medicine, and humanitarian supplies. 
That is the very definition of “comprehensive,” and the polar opposite of the congeries of sanctions imposed on Iran. Significantly, while Resolution 661 approached the theoretical ideal, even its sanctions failed to break Saddam’s stranglehold on Kuwait. Had Washington waited much longer than it did before militarily ousting Saddam, Kuwait would have been thoroughly looted and despoiled.
Read the whole thing.

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