Saturday, 3 October 2009


Radical Islams Plans for Western Civilization

Posted by B'NAI ELIM (Sons of the Mighty)

Love of the Land: Another Tack: If Ahmadinejad had attended Harvard

Another Tack: If Ahmadinejad had attended Harvard

Sarah Honig
01 October 09

To avoid being mistaken for a white sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets." - Barack Obama, Dreams of My Father

You can hardly blame Obama. Most folks are prisoners of their upbringing. They cannot escape the mind-set that took shape in their youth. Breaking through the bounds of early instruction/indoctrination requires a plucky character. Even then, intellectual integrity doesn't always overcome the expediency of exploiting superficial truisms and old associations for ulterior motives and political ends.

It's hard to judge precisely into which subcategory Obama fits. Does he simply lack the knack to unfetter himself from what was inculcated into him, or does he by now merely use platitudes and affiliations to further personal vested interests?

But whether it's conformity or cynicism (or a convenient combination of both), the bottom line is that Obama seems to expect all global arena players to abide by Harvard conventions - to broad-mindedly tolerate adversarial viewpoints, to submit a priori that no cause is unavoidably more just than any other, and to effectively prefer ostensible Third-World underdogs with a peeve.

My country, Obama was taught at Harvard, isn't necessarily more right, democracy isn't necessarily democratic or superior, and belligerents can be soothed with sufficient sympathy, flattery and concessions. Obama's tour de force at Cairo University epitomized the ethos of post-hippie-era Harvard.

EVERY BIT as crucially formative was the enlightenment gained by Neville Chamberlain's foreign secretary, Lord Halifax (Edward Frederick Lindley Wood), at aristocratic Christ Church, Oxford. Halifax would go on to become one of the prime architects of appeasement. After hobnobbing with Hitler, Goering and Goebbels in 1937, Halifax noted in his diary that "although there was much in the Nazi system that profoundly offended British opinion, I was not blind to what he [Hitler] had done for Germany, and to the achievement from his point of view of keeping communism out of his country." Hitler's feat involved banning the Communist Party and banishing its leaders and accused members to concentration camps.

Halifax signaled Hitler that German designs on Austria, chunks of Czechoslovakia and Poland weren't altogether illegitimate in British eyes, so long as German territorial expansion was "peaceful." And Halifax, of course, proclaimed unwavering faith in Hitler's professions of peace. Old attitudes die hard. Once reputations are staked on policies, no matter how misconstrued, it's not easy to acknowledge error.

Only after the Axis bully began misbehaving with particular impudence following 1938's Munich pact did Halifax finally figure out that this wasn't quite cricket. But to his credit Halifax did agonize, even if belatedly, and he did draw some extremely cogent conclusions. "I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage," he mused, "if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford."

Love of the Land: Another Tack: If Ahmadinejad had attended Harvard

Love of the Land: Ahmadinejad And My Sukkah

Ahmadinejad And My Sukkah

Media Backspin/Honest Reporting
01 October 09

While the US meets with the Iranians who want to reduce my neighbhorhood to glow-in-the-dark ash, I'm spending the week in an unsealed, anything-but-reinforced sukkah I built with my five-year-old son.

The hut's as high-tech as any extension cord, 60 watt lightbulb and electric timer can be on a dusty Jerusalem driveway.

One favorite sukkah activity is when the light's off and the kids asleep. Glass of wine in hand, I sit in the cool, quiet, night air and gaze up through the roof at the stars above. There's hardly a thought of arrogant messianic Persian autocrats, Western apologists, or fickle international opinion.

I'll be back and blogging with a vengeance after Sukkot, which for me is Sunday, October 11. A happy holiday to our readers.

Love of the Land: Ahmadinejad And My Sukkah

Love of the Land: A Universe Apart

A Universe Apart

Jennifer Rubin
02 October 09

Discussing Obama’s failed Mideast-peace strategy, Michael Gerson focuses on an increasingly critical ramification (aside from the soured U.S.-Israeli relations, the humiliating rebuff to the U.S., and the encouragement of Palestinian rejectionism) of the president’s decision to put “daylight” between America and Israel:

Obama has injected considerable suspicion into the American-Israeli relationship, picking public fights on issues such as settlements and adopting a tone of neutrality in other controversies. If Israel thinks America is an increasingly unreliable partner, Israel will be more likely to depend on itself alone — and let the bombers fly.

As Gerson points out, the Israelis (along with the French) have every reason to doubt U.S. resolve. Anyone who’s listened to Obama’s rhetoric from Cairo to Pittsburgh can discern that this is not a man who draws lines in the sand and not someone willing to take decisive action (unless it’s to capitulate unilaterally, as he did on missile defense). So we find ourselves in the not unexpected situation brought about by American weakness and procrastination: ”If the Israelis were confident that America would act decisively against the Iranian nuclear threat in the greatest extremity, they would be far less likely to act themselves.”

Indeed, one senses that Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Obama are on a rhetorical seesaw. The higher Obama’s rhetoric becomes and the less grounded in reality he appears (as was the case at the UN), the more blunt and steely-eyed Netanyahu becomes (as was the case with his UN speech). Obama ignores Iran’s genocidal threats, so Netanyahu must remind us of them. Obama loves to speak of a “process,” so Netanyahu warns we must have results. Obama clings to the security blanket of “multilateralism,” while Netanyahu emphasizes that the UN is no better than a low-rent circus. Obama obscures and conceals the Iranian nuclear operations, whereas Netanyahu highlights them. There is not simply “daylight” between the two leaders but a vast expanse that separates them.

Gerson is right: the Israelis will do what they must, in no small part because the American president does not view the world as they do. And they in turn are not about to put their fate in the hands of someone who lacks both the understanding and the will to keep nuclear arms out of the hands of butchers whose fondest hope is to eradicate the Jewish state.

Love of the Land: A Universe Apart

Love of the Land: Springtime for Mullahs

Springtime for Mullahs

The Geneva talks rehabilitate Iran's beleaguered regime.

Wall St. Journal
02 October 09

From Geneva yesterday come all kinds of good diplomatic vibrations. Iran may allow U.N. inspectors into a recently unveiled uranium-enrichment plant "within two weeks." Another meeting will be held before month's end. A "freeze" on sanctions was bruited about. In an appearance at the White House, President Obama sounded sober but hopeful, calling the direct American talks with the Islamic Republic "a constructive beginning" toward "serious and meaningful engagement."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was presumably in even better spirits at his remarkable change of fortune. A month ago, Iran's president was struggling to cement his grip on power after stealing an election and repressing nationwide protests. A week ago, the disclosure of the secret facility near Qom highlighted Iran's chronic prevarication and raised calls for more sanctions.

By yesterday, all that had changed. At the 18th-century Villa Le Saugy, Iran's representative sat among the world's powers as a respected equal. Responding to an overture from the Obama Administration, the Iranians even talked about the future of the U.N. and other nonnuclear issues. Meanwhile, Washington was "buzzing" (as one newspaper put it) that a one-day visit by Iran's foreign minister might signal more detente to come. Back in Tehran, Mr. Ahmadinejad floated a tete-a-tete with the U.S. President. In short, this engagement conferred a respectability on his regime that Mr. Ahmadinejad could only have imagined amid his vicious post-election crackdown.

The price of entry is surprisingly modest, too. Though cautious, the P5+1 (the veto-wielding Security Council members, plus Germany) welcomed signs of Iranian concessions: Inspectors at Qom, an openness to send low-enriched uranium outside Iran for enrichment, possibly suspending its own enrichment program. Mr. Ahmadinejad said the Geneva talks were "a unique opportunity" for the West.

Consider the Iranian offers in turn. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency won't find anything incriminating at the Qom facility. Having lied about it for years, the Iranians now have plenty of time to clean the place out. Iran's experience with the IAEA goes back to the first inspections starting in 1992, which somehow prevented the world from learning about Iran's bomb program for a decade and then only from an Iranian dissident group. A freeze on enrichment used to be the U.S. precondition for talks with Iran. Now the U.S. and Europeans say that in exchange merely for this enrichment promise, they'll freeze any additional sanctions.

Iran has timed its olive branch well. The Europeans are more frustrated with past Iranian stalling than is Washington and have started to hanker for tougher measures. Those demands will now be muted. For years, Iran has talked with the Europeans, using the time and diplomatic cover to make nuclear progress. The Obama ascendency offers the mullahs another chance, with an even more eager partner, to repeat the exercise with a far bigger potential payoff. Expect Iran to follow the North Korean model, stringing the West along, lying and wheedling, striking deals only to reneg and start over. In the end, North Korea tested a nuclear device.

On long evidence, the regime has no intention of stopping a nuclear program that would give it new power in the region, and new leverage against America. The Qom news reveals a more extensive, sophisticated and covert nuclear complex than many people, including the CIA, were willing to recognize. The facility is located on a Revolutionary Guard base, partly hidden underground and protected by air-defense missiles. Its capacity of 3,000 centrifuges is too small for civilian use but not for a weapons program. It's a good bet an archipelago of such small covert facilities is scattered around Iran.

Meanwhile, news reports this week say German and British intelligence believe Iran never stopped clandestine efforts to design a nuclear warhead. Their assumptions contradict the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate in 2007 that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and kept it frozen.

The evidence is overwhelming that the window to stop the world's leading sponsor of terrorism from acquiring a bomb is closing fast. If we are serious about doing so, the proper model isn't North Korea, but Libya. The Gadhafi regime agreed to disarm after the fall of Saddam Hussein convinced its leaders that their survival was better assured without nuclear weapons. Mr. Ahmadinejad and Iran's mullahs will only concede if they see their future the same way.

This supposed fresh start in Geneva only gives them new legitimacy, and new hope that they can have their bomb and enhanced global standing too.

Love of the Land: Springtime for Mullahs

RubinReports: Iranian Regime’s Charm Plus Western Credulity Equals "Diplomatic Success" in Geneva

Iranian Regime’s Charm Plus Western Credulity Equals "Diplomatic Success" in Geneva

By Barry Rubin

The United States--along with Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany--met with Iran in Geneva and officials, media, and experts proclaim it a success. Was its nuclear program what Iran defused or merely Western pressure?

It is widely claimed that the meeting in Geneva obtained three great achievements toward ending the long-running Iran nuclear arms’ campaign.

The first point is that the talks were conducted in a polite and civil manner. The Iranian delegates did not shout slogans and throw shoes at the Americans.

This is absurd. With typically short memories, observers forget that Iran conducted years of serious talks with all the participants except the United States. But of course these talks were used to stall for time and divide the foreign opposition. Any commitments made were promptly broken.

What is amusing about this point is that it reveals how behind the screen of Political Correctness and respect for all peoples, it is considered a revelation if Iranians don’t act like stereotyped savages. In fact, Iran has a long and successful history of diplomacy imbued in its political culture.

And of course the regime has a strong vested interest in not engaging in furniture-throwing at the meeting. After all, in every other venue it can continue its ideological extremism, repression, sponsorship of terrorism, and so on merely in exchange for a few hours of making nice in Geneva.

The second claimed success is equally hollow. Iran agreed to allow inspections of its hitherto hidden enrichment facility. Again, memories are short. In fact, the Iranian government announced that it would do so before the meeting in the same statement where it admitted the facility existed.

Let’s take a step back and consider the situation. For four years, Iran built and kept hidden the Qom enrichment plant. This is in complete violation of Iran’s treaty commitments and is one more definitive proof—as if one was needed? Well apparently it is—that the Tehran regime is seeking nuclear weapons as fast as possible.

At last, though, Iran got caught. So it basically said: in exchange for keeping this facility and for no punishment for building it we will allow you to do inspections. This is a clever maneuver, not a huge concession. Indeed, it is a victory for Iran.

The third point is the most significant and interesting. Iran has agreed in principle—note that since this implies that once details are discussed the promises will either be less attractive or not implemented at all—to send much of its nuclear fuel from the Natanz enrichment plant—the one we’ve known about--to Russia where it will be further enriched and then sent to France to be converted into fuel, making it far less suitable for making into weapons.

But guess what? And this is so important I'm going to put it in bold: Iran's ambassador to Britain has denied that Iran agreed to turn over the nuclear fuel. And this has not even been reported in the Iranian media yet.

Get it? Iran is getting credit for a concession that it has not even made yet and probably doesn't intend to make!

And so when I say: The account we are getting of the meeting's significance is too good to be true there's a lot of evidence for that conclusion.

It’s hard to believe otherwise. After all, one must take into context the nature, history, ideology, policies, and leadership of the Tehran regime as well as its immediate need to consolidate power at home and defuse pressure from abroad. If ever there was a situation that seemed ripe for trickery this is it.

But here’s the best argument: To believe that Iran is ready to act sincerely in giving up its nuclear fuel which can be used to make atomic weapons, you have to conclude that the regime’s goal all along has just been to build nuclear energy power plants, not weapons of mass destruction.

From Tehran’s viewpoint, in just about seven hours of talks it made the threat of sanctions go away for months without taking any actual action of significance. Indeed, Iran and those it met with have a common interest: to make the public and confrontational aspects of the problem go away.

U.S. officials said that the issue of repression in Iran was raised at the meeting—probably very much in passing—but that sanctions were barely mentioned. Of course, the Iranians knew all about the sanctions already but the point here is that the tone of the meeting was to downplay pressure and to give the Iranian regime a chance to “go straight.”

The responses of President Barack Obama show clearly his strategy. He will support Iran doing reprocessing in exchange for the regime pursuing only a peaceful nuclear energy option. Remember that this is what Iran has insisted it has been doing all the time and will go on insisting until the day that nuclear weapons are obtained. In a sense, Obama—to use current jargon—is empowering the Iranian narrative.

But consider this. Let's say that the United States, the Europeans, and Iran agree that Tehran is just seeking peaceful nuclear energy and should get it. What happens when some time in 2010 it becomes clear the regime was lying and that it's made dramatic progress toward getting atomic bombs? Won't this make Obama look to be about the most fooled world leader since Nevil Chamberlain waved that piece of paper saying Hitler only wanted western Czechoslovakia and should get it? How would the administration react in that event?

At any rate, what this may well amount to is a plea: Please fool us better. Do a more persuasive job of hiding your true intentions.

That’s not, of course, what Obama and other Western leaders intend. Here’s what Obama says: He created a framework for resolving the issue by affirming that all nations have the right to peaceful nuclear power as long as they stick by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. By making clear his commitment for all countries in the world to get rid of nuclear weapons he united the international community behind him. That is what made possible the Geneva meeting.

Obama then presented three demands. First, Iran must allow inspections of the Qom facility, which it already has agreed to do. Second, it must build confidence that it is only seeking peaceful nuclear energy. This is to be done by the transfer of uranium to Russia for reprocessing.

He is thus giving Iran a face-saving way out: keep your program but don’t build nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, sanctions are put off and Iran will be able to talk for months about the details of the Russia reprocessing deal. In a separate but related story, the Iranian automaker Khodro announced a deal with the French company Peugeot to make cars for export. Khodro also has such deals with Mercedes-Benz and the Japanese Suzuki company. It doesn’t sound like they are worried about being isolated internationally.

After the Geneva meeting, they don’t need to be.

Here's a good article by Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post who seems to be the best journalist in the mainstream media writing on U.S. Middle East policy. Most of what you are reading elsewhere in the mass media is nonsense. Diehl's appropriate headline: "The Coming Failure in Iran."

RubinReports: Iranian Regime’s Charm Plus Western Credulity Equals "Diplomatic Success" in Geneva
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