Category Archives: Iran

At Simi Valley, Jingoism, Military Offensives, Military Build Up & An Arms Race Trump

Elections, Foreign Policy, Iran, libertarianism, Middle East, Military, Neoconservatism, Republicans

The second primary season Republican debate took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. It didn’t disappoint. It was, as one commentator ventured, the Super Bowl of politics.

The matinee sported the least popular candidates, cobbling together a meager one percent in the polls (two are at … zero). The debate, however, was probably the more substantive of the two sessions. (Alas, as beautifully as CNN had staged the Presidential Library, the rendition of the national anthem was G-d awful. Apparently, they could not find a decent singer in Simi Valley, although, according to Yelp, there are plenty performing arts and opera studios in the vicinity.)

CNN certainly put Fox News to shame. Unlike the first primetime Republican debate, in Cleveland, Ohio, where anchor Megyn Kelly took center stage and singled out Donald Trump for a splenetic attack; CNN’s Jake Tapper (moderator), chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and Hugh Hewitt of the Salem Radio Network, concentrated the debate on the issues and the individuals behind the lecterns. (As always, nothing their in-house studio pundits predicted or advised prior to the debate transpired.)

Ms. Bash briefly did a Kelly, when she attempted to tap Jeb Bush’s anger over a quip Donald Trump had once made about Jeb’s Mexican wife influencing his perspective on immigration. Trump refused to grovel. This was good. However, he did show contrition over unkind cuts he had made about Carly Fiorina’s face. Fiorina could have cracked a smile (or maybe she couldn’t, given the possible nip-and-cuts to The Face).

Fiorina—whom media types like moron S. E. Cupp keep calling “Carly,” for some reason—is indubitably a clear and logical thinker, with a facility with the English language. What a shame that her words are those of a consummate neoconservative who wants to commit the country to a buildup of a military that is already the largest in the world, America’s, and an arms race with China and Russia.

The matinee featured two senators and two governors: the sitting senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, and the former senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, as well as the sitting governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, and former New York Governor George Pataki.

Pataki, it was noted, had refused to take the Trump Pledge, saying that even if Trump were the Republican nominee, he, Pataki, would not support him.

Jindal’s introduction bears repeating:

“I don’t have a famous last name. My daddy didn’t run for president. I don’t have a reality TV show. I’ll tell you what I do have, I’ve got the backbone, I’ve got the bandwidth, I’ve got the experience to get us through these tough times, to make sure that we don’t turn the American dream into the European nightmare.”

When challenged about his violation of Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment—against attacking fellow Republicans—Bobby Jindal responded speedily to say Donald Trump, whom he has been savaging, was neither a Republican or a conservative and would eventually implode. About the man currently in office Jindal’s remark had me laughing:

“Obama has declared war on trans fats and a truce with Iran. Think about that. He’s more worried about Twinkies than he is about the ayatollahs having a nuclear weapon.”

Jindal on immigration: Without assimilation immigration is invasion.

Lindsey Graham’s case of War Tourette’s is only getting worse.

Ask him about immigration and the answer is: We’ll fix it by going to war against ISIS.

Ask him about the economy and the answer is: 10,000 American boots on Iraq’s blood-soaked soil.

Ask him about the year of the political outsiders and his chances as an insider and the answer is: Let’s get on with winning a war, any war. Give me waaaaaaaar.

Follow up with, “Why do Republican voters view your service in government as a liability and not an asset?” and Graham replies: “Obama is making a mess of the world … I am so ready to get on with winning a war …”

With Lindsey, all roads lead to war.

It didn’t help that Graham derisively paired libertarians with vegetarians when appealing to the different constituencies that would warm to his war-all-the-time Tourette’s.

Graham is the consummate globalist. He did, however, surprise by declaring that birthright citizenship was “bastardizes citizenship.” Unlike equal-opportunity fencer Scott Walker who perceives a problem on the Canadian border, Graham, who decried birthright tourism, conceded to never meeting an illegal Canadian. Too true.

American and European governments have settled comfortably into a pattern of using the funds they extract from their overburdened taxpayers to promiscuously promote the welfare of citizens the world over. This flouts the mandate of every government! In this context, Santorum made a very important point relevant to all the communities currently being flooded by the decree of D.C., Brussels and Berlin:

“This debate should not be about what we’re going to do with someone who’s here illegally; this debate should be about what-what every other debate on every other policy issue is in America. What’s in the best interest of hardworking Americans? What’s in the best interest of our country.”

That’ll be the day.

As was the case with the Republican candidates in the previous election cycle (Mitt Romney included), no foreign policy learning curve is evident among this crop.

Indeed, by the time the two grueling sessions ended, well into the night, all 15 Republican candidates—bar Rand Paul and, to a degree, Donald Trump—had asserted that American exceptionalism lay in leading the world not in technological innovation, comity, commerce and as exemplars of individual rights—but by projecting America’s military power the world over. Somehow, the candidates viewed the US government’s bankruptcy as having no bearing on their unanimous plans for an arms race with Russia and China and renewed military offensives in the Middle East.

Rand Paul came as close as possible to the libertarian ideal on all wars, the drug war too: refrain from a rash foreign policy, engage with Russia and China, talk to the Mullahs before you “bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran” (a jingle popularized by jingoist John McCain), leave drug policy to the states (not ideal, for consumption is to be left to the individual, but better than most). To not have signed on to the bombing of Assad was a good thing. Have we learned nothing about the perils of toppling dictators, only to see the rise of barbarians worse than their predecessors?

That was Rand Paul. He did alright.

Sadly, Trump fell for the Hugh Hewitt gambit: Instead of standing with Ron Paul’s foreign policy (and capturing the Left), Trump went on to condemn the Republicans on the podium for their (short-lived) wisdom of voting against the bombing of Syria.

Rand Paul and Donald Trump excepted, all subscribe to the hackneyed lies about the root-causes of Middle-East instability and why the region’s populations are on the move (naturally, the magnet of western welfare went unmentioned): They assert Bashar Hafez al-Assad needs to be removed, when in fact he was the source of stability in Syria, much as Saddam Hussein was in Iraq.

If Assad is the reason Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan populations are emigrating en masse (NOT)—then America’s lack of a more energetic involvement in Iraq and Syria the candidates consider the solution to the problem.

Neoconservatives are still in the business of creating their own parallel reality and forcing us to inhabit the ruins.

Unless in defense of the realm, Americans are not keen on more of the same foreign-policy folly. Let us keep our military mitts to ourselves. Let us defend our own borders. That, it would seem, is the prevailing sentiment among Republicans, although not among the establishmentarians who occupied the Reagan Library for the debate.

Oh, and did I mention that, while he’s demeanor was very good, Donald Trump made absolutely no attempt to show some familiarity with the issues? Trump might want to rethink this approach, for it belies the candidate’s claim to have surrounded himself with the best people possible, or to have good judgement.

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What’s In The Iran Deal For The US?

Barack Obama, Iran, WMD

So accustomed have we become to a ruling class that gives away what is not its to give—that we don’t even examine the wonderfully Trumpian angle of the deals we allow the traitors to sign on our behalf: What’s in it for the US? In this case, how does the Iran deal benefit and protect Americans; the people to whom the US government is beholden?

American prisoners still languish in Iranian jails. The despicable Barack Obama has not bothered to secure their safe return. And as Donald Trump puts it,

Iran will receive notice before any inspections take place. Iran can block inspection of certain facilities. Iran will soon be able to continue expanding its conventional arms and guided missile programs without facing snapback sanctions. Iran can keep American prisoners, including one former U.S. Marine and, very sadly, a Christian minister. Iran can continue to operate about 6,000 centrifuges. Other countries will be free to invest in Iran.

Note the words “very sadly.” Affronts to Americans Trump takes very personally.

Below is a CNN interivew with Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, whose perspective is, as always, decidedly Israel-centric. I have highlighted Dershowitz’s admission of Obama’s sleight of hand in passing the deal.

[09:42:43] SMERCONISH: The day after the proposed nuclear arms deal with Iran was announced, famed attorney and Harvard Law professor emeritus, Alan Dershowitz, woke up, so incensed that he wrote a book condemning it which he finished in 11 days, I guess, on the twelfth day you rested, right?

It’s titled, “The Case Against the Iran Deal”. And check out the die that are on that cover, one with a nuclear symbol and one with a peace sign.

Professor Alan Dershowitz joins me now.

Congratulations on the book.


SMERCONISH: … Let’s switch to Iran. Is it all over now, except for the voting?

DERSHOWITZ: Oh, no, no, no. I think why I subtitled my book, “How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting the Bomb?” — I anticipated this vote, because the president manipulated it undemocratically, so that all he needed was one third plus one house, or the Senate. Majority of Americans were opposed to the deal, majority of the Senate, majority of the House. Now, we have to figure out how to stop Iran from getting the bomb.

The problem with the deal it only postpones it for 10, 12, 13 years. I have a proposal, and my proposal is we take seriously what Iran commits to in the preface to the deal, where they say Iran reiterates that it will never ever under any circumstances seek to develop nuclear weapons. Congress sort of passed a law now making that American policy.

SMERCONISH: Making it that we will take military action.

DERSHOWITZ: That’s right.

SMERCONISH: To the extent there’s a sign. We will act, we will strike.

DERSHOWITZ: We need deterrence. We need to have that sword of Damocles hanging.

I wish the president had started a negotiation by saying, look, Iran, you’re never going to be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. We will stop. So, why do you have to suffer from these sanctions, let’s negotiation now, under the specter of American military power. But we eliminated the military option, realistically, we allowed them to bargain with us as equals, which no superpower should ever do, and they are the guys who invented chess and we were playing checkers against them.

SMERCONISH: Your good friend is Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

[09:45:01] DERSHOWITZ: That’s right.

SMERCONISH: Any prospect of a first strike by him?

DERSHOWITZ: I hope not, but if Israel is ever confronted with the situation, the alternative of a nuclear armed Iran or a military strike, they will take a military strike. This makes that more likely. It also makes it much riskier for Israel. I think it makes war more likely, I think it makes the inevitable development of nuclear weapons by Iran more likely.

That’s why even the senators who are voting with the president, many of them don’t like this deal. We need to give them legislation now that will toughen the deal without changing its words. But tell the Iranians for sure, we will not tolerate their developing nuclear weapons.

SMERCONISH: I’ve never seen anything like this. Bob Casey, senior senator from my home state, 17-page explanation as to why he’s voting this way, and I guess he felt compelled to explain himself. Let me ask you this question. In retrospect now, a mistake for Bibi to have attended that joint session of Congress at Boehner’s invitation.

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely not.

SMERCONISH: Did he not overplay his hand?

DERSHOWITZ: I don’t think so. The prime minster of Israel must defend the people of Israel. He must say what he thinks is in the best interest of his country. He was invited by the head of the legislative branch of the United States government. The president should have invited him in, there should have been much more correlation between the legislative and executive branch. I mean, you cannot blame the prime minister of Israel for not doing what Czechoslovakia did in 1938, just laying there and letting their country be dismantled.

Israel has the absolute right to defend itself and its people against the threat of nuclear weapons. Remember, Rafsanjani said, if we ever get nuclear weapons, we will destroy Israel because it’s a one-bomb state. And even if they retaliate, Islam will survive, but the Jewish state will disappear. As Elie Wiesel once said, we always take the threats of your enemies more seriously than the promises of your friends.

SMERCONISH: I have a friend in Philadelphia, smart trial attorney, Shane Specter (ph), I’ll give him a shoutout. He said, you know, this is really an acknowledgement that when an advanced country seeks a nuclear weapon, you can’t prohibit them from getting it. If they want it, they’re going to be able to get it.

DERSHOWITZ: Dead wrong.

SMERCONISH: Wait a minute. And what this is really about is bringing Iran into the family of nations, the world community to try to put manners on them.

DERSHOWITZ: That’s not going to work. They’re going to get more money to repress dissent. You can stop them. Israel stopped Iraq. It stopped Syria. The United States stopped Libya.

You can stop an advanced country from getting nuclear weapons if you maintain a firm military option coupled with tough sanctions. But if you negotiate with them as equals, they will beat you every time. And that’s what happened.

SMERCONISH: Could there be a realignment among American Jews toward the Republican Party based on this issue, away from the Democrats?

DERSHOWITZ: Israel must always remain a bipartisan issue. I’m remaining a Democrat. I’m going to try to push the Democrats hard to maintain their support for Israel. I don’t think this will be in the end be as divisive as it appears to be now. SMERCONISH: The case against Iran, the Iranian deal, how we can stop

Iran from getting nukes.

Alan Dershowitz, thanks.


Via CNN.

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The Stuff That The GOP ‘Stars’ Are Made Of

Democrats, Iran, Israel, Politics, Republicans

“GOP Stars Go Gaga Over Democrat” is the very apt title of a WND news headline dealing with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s poke at Barack Obama’s Iran deal. The GOP can’t wait to find a bipartisan way into the arms of a hip and powerful Democrat like Chuck Schumer, who showed what he’s never concealed: he’s a hawk for Israel; a dove when it comes to the US. And and an all-round hypocrite. But Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee beams and creams himself.

Watch the other Republicans—except The Donald—do the same. All the Republicans who turned out the other night for a performance of a lifetime, at Quicken Loans Arena, can’t wait to get on the DC party circuit.

“Thank God for Sen. Schumer and his opposition to this reckless nuclear deal with Iran,” Huckabee said in a statement. “While I disagree with Sen. Schumer on most things, I applaud him for putting peace in the Middle East above partisan politics. Despite endless arm-twisting and enormous political pressure from the White House, Sen. Schumer chose statesmanship over partisanship.”

The former Arkansas governor said he hopes the decision will inspire other high-ranking Democrats to follow.

What’s next? Find out in “Showdown with Nuclear Iran.”

In recent weeks, two powerful Jewish Democrats in the House, Reps. Steve Israel and Nita M. Lowey, also from New York, announced their opposition to the nuclear agreement.

“Sen. Schumer’s opposition to the agreement sends a signal to every pro-Israel Democrat in Washington that they don’t have to ‘walk the plank’ for President Obama – they can stand for peace and reject this bad deal. And I pray that they will,” said Huckabee.

Schumer, the likely future Democratic leader of the Senate, announced his decision to oppose the deal on Thursday.

“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their points of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Schumer said Thursday night.

“This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval,” he said.


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Some Shin Bet Veterans Not Against Iran Deal

Iran, Israel

Ami Ayalon, former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service, and a former chief of the Israeli Navy, says this about the US deal with Iran:

“… when it comes to Iran’s nuclear capability, this [deal] is the best option.”

“When negotiations began, Iran was two months away from acquiring enough material for a [nuclear] bomb. Now it will be 12 months,” Ayalon says, and the difference is significant to anyone with a background in intelligence. “Israelis are failing to distinguish between reducing Iran’s nuclear capability and Iran being the biggest devil in the Middle East,” he says.

“Ayalon and several of the other Israeli war heroes who appeared in The Gatekeepers, an acclaimed 2012 documentary about Shin Bet, endorse Obama’s best argument for the agreement—that the alternative is much worse.”


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The ‘Sacrifices’ Our ‘Friends’ In The Middle East Make

Iran, Israel, Jihad

I had imagined that Israel would grow a brain and would reconsider its antagonistic attitude to Bashar Hafez al-Assad. Syria’s embattled leader is currently fighting ISIS and losing. But no, things are as Bat Buchanan paints them:

America [is expected to] send her best and bravest back into Iraq to defeat ISIS, while Turkey, the Saudis, the Gulf Arabs and Israel are helping bring about the defeat of a Syrian army that has been battling ISIS for years.

Our “friends” in the Middle East have no problem with us fighting and dying to drive ISIS out of Iraq, while they try to bring about the fall of Assad in Syria, which would constitute a triumph for ISIS.

Our “friends” don’t mind this happening because it would be a defeat for Iran and the Shiite Crescent, their enemies, even if it meant a victory for ISIS and al-Qaida, our enemies.

What Pat fails to mention is that American leaders are the true traitors, here. They and their comitatus“the sprawling apparatus … that encompasses not only the emperor’s household and its personnel … but also the ministries of government, the lawyers, the diplomats, the adjutants, the messengers, the interpreters, the intellectuals”—are first to offer up American blood and treasure in furtherance of their own interests and aggrandizement.

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Ask #Bush Why The #IraqiMilitary Won’t Fight

Federalism, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Pseudo-history

“Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is the current column, now on An excerpt:

… The ineptness of the reconstituted Iraqi Army is nothing new. In 2006, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton demanded to know when the “Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army would step up to the task.” “I have heard over and over again, that the government must do this, the Iraqi Army must do that,” griped Clinton to Gen. John P. Abizaid, then top American military commander in the Middle East. “Can you offer us more than the hope that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army will step up to the task?”

Indeed, the War Party is in the habit of thrashing about in an ahistorical void—or creating its own reality, as warbot Karl Rove, George Bush’s muse, is notorious for saying. The neoconservative creed as disgorged by Rove deserves repeating:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The lowly “you” Rove reserved for “the reality-based community” (guilty).

Curiously, a military that has done nothing but flee before the opposition ever since the Americans commandeered Iraq, had fought and won a protracted war against Iran, under Saddam Hussein. The thing we currently call the Iraqi military has been unable and unwilling to fight the wars America commands it to fight.


For one, Bush’s envoy to Iraq, Paul Bremer, made the decision to dissolve the Iraqi Army and civil service, early in 2003, with the blessing of Bush at whose pleasure Bremer served. Bush’s minions viewed the dissolution of the Iraqi Army as part of the “De-Ba’thification” process. …

… Another dynamic is at play in the region besides the Sunni-Shia divide. It is that between the forces of centralization and the forces of decentralization. …

Read the rest. “Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is now on

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