Biden Will Change Foreign Policies, Is This A Good Idea?

American foreign policy may change drastically during the Biden era from an aggressive stance to a more accommodative attitude. In this regard, I’m very concerned that the new president will decrease pressure on those countries that wish us harm and those that look to the US to assume the cost of their defense.

Iran is putting maximum pressure on the US to decrease sanctions by threatening to accelerate efforts to build nuclear weapons. The ayatollahs and their representatives are liars. They will never live up to the terms of any agreement with America.

Joe Biden said he will attempt to establish better relations with Iran. This strategy will ultimately encourage the production of an existential weapon with the oil money that will flow into Iran’s coffers. Additionally, it will provide financing for Iran’s terrorist activities. The only sensible strategy is to encourage a regime change by increasing sanctions that will cause Iran’s economy to implode.

Biden and other Democrats have an affinity towards China. This regime cannot be trusted either. They are expanding their influence in Asia and provoking our naval forces that patrol that part of the world.

The country’s leaders are sanctioning efforts to steal technology and boost their economy in competition with the US. And they relentlessly spy on us.

America must call out China and treat them like the enemy they are. Sanctions should be bolstered to offset tariffs the Chinese have attached to US goods. In a perfect world, a peace treaty with China would be wonderful, but it is interested in diminishing US influence globally and crushing us economically. They also have no intention of abiding by generally accepted human rights standards.

All of the advances Trump has made with their Israel, that include signing agreements to establish peaceful relations with neighbors, are now in jeopardy. Some Biden supporters are suggesting that Trump moved too fast. I would say any movement, even with some untrustworthy nations, is better than the lack of progress in the Middle East during the past 75 years.

Re-signing the climate change pact is a farce. The world definitely needs to focus on the damage being done to our environment. However, signing bogus agreements with countries that have no intention to adhere to the terms of agreements is a waste of time and money.

Developing countries like China, Brazil and India will not decelerate the speed of their respective industrial revolutions. For instance, the use of coal by China is highly detrimental to our environment. But its prohibition would leave many millions of Chinese without a way to heat their homes.

The US must continue to sign into law mandates that will end pollution and avoid making unenforceable deals with other countries.

The US’s tendency to buy influence across the globe needs to be reexamined. In the past century, billions of dollars have been spent in lesser developed countries in an attempt to “buy” friends. Trump examined many of these diplomatic ploys and found them to be bad arrangements for America.

The major problem is that after accepting our aid, too many countries throughout the world reject our friendship and openly lambaste American diplomacy. If you question this observation, you need only to look at the United Nations. The US sponsors the organization and yet in nearly every critical vote, our friends voted against our perspectives and strongly support our opponents. Further, many of these countries damn America and its citizens overtly.

Biden will, unsuccessfully, try to rebrand America’s image overseas. He will revert to an old Obama tactic of assigning blame on the US for all the problems in the world. He will find positivity in the actions of countries that have the most human rights violations including China, Cuba, some South American countries and the poorest and most violent nations in Africa.

The world looks at the US as a dangerous nation that wants to claim valuable assets and territory owned by other countries. Biden should work to dispel these imperialistic and colonialistic misconceptions and no longer throw away money into countries that are envious of America’s success and leadership.

Biden’s Focus In The Short Term

Some of Joe Biden’s promises will be detrimental to the security and economic stability of America. Many of these items can be attained even if The Republicans retain control of the Senate. Here are a few of the more important issues that Biden will address early in his tenure.

The New York Times published a story on Tuesday that definitively stated that the US/Israeli relationship will suffer under a Biden administration, and that Bibi Netanyahu, a great ally of the US, is in serious political jeopardy. Decreasing American support of the State of Israel would be an unfortunate strategy. Setting aside Bibi’s personal issues, he is a great partner in the fight against terrorism in partnership with the United States. Israel stands between the US and radical religious groups and theocracies.

Israelis are our eyes and ears in the region. Israel’s military strength and intelligence assets are important reasons why one of the most volatile areas in the world is enjoying a period of calm at this time. And finally, Israel is ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with Americans if conditions worsen. Biden intentions to decrease the bond between US and Israel make no sense.

Many believed the US/Iran nuclear deal orchestrated by Biden’s mentor was the most inane in recent history. Obama believed that he could reason with Iran. All he did was give the ayatollahs a pathway to build and deliver a nuclear bomb in just over 10 years. For a long time, US policy was to prevent rogue nations from producing existential armaments. The Iranians out negotiated Obama and his minions enabling him to erect a neutral nuclear legacy for himself while accepting an existential threat to America’s allies in the region. Trump smartly undid the arrangement, and Biden intends to reinstall it.

The abrogation of ACA is based upon a mandate that was formerly part of it. In order for the law to be effective, it was necessary that citizens participate or be fined. This element of the law was deemed to be unconstitutional. Without it, many experts say the law is unworkable. The Supreme Court will deliberate the viability of ACA in the near future. Biden wants to rescue the law. Note: It appears that the Court will not rule against ACA. It will likely be the focal point of Biden’s effort to federalize health care in the country.

The real issue is not whether America should ensure that health care is available to everybody. We need to care for those without coverage. The real issue is whether a one payer insurance plan is wise because it would necessitate elimination of millions of private insurance plans. Many Americans are happy with their coverage. It would be too expensive to replace the plan with government coverage.

Americans should carefully follow the aforementioned issues. Even with Senate support, Biden could do great harm to our country by issuing executive orders.

Trump Is Not Anti-Semitic

There were conflicting articles this week in the New York Times pertaining to the relationship of Donald Trump and Jews.

Paul Krugman, op-ed columnist for the Times, dredged up a distasteful, public comment made by Trump in his piece on Tuesday. Krugman believes it substantiates that the president is anti-Semitic. Specifically, in a speech to the Israeli American Counsel, Trump said, “that many in his audience were not nice people at all, but that [they] have to vote for him because Democrats would raise taxes.”

Krugman indicated that the president was “peddling an anti-Semitic stereotype, portraying Jews as money-grubbing types who only care about their wealth.” Actually, the observation that some Americans (including Jews) will vote for Trump because he is committed to decreasing taxes is factual. The money-grubbing reference is typical Krugam left wing rhetoric.

It’s undeniable that the president frequently makes stupid, inane and untrue statements, especially on social media. He’s not a role model for aspiring statesmen; that’s for sure. But he appears to be very sympathetic to the plight of Jews as they continue their never-ending fight against bigotry.

In fact, the Times reported on Thursday that Trump plans to issue an executive order that addresses anti-Semitism on college campuses. Federal money will be withheld from educational institutions that “fail to combat discrimination.”

Judaism will be defined as a race or nationality, not just a religion, so that colleges and universities will be sanctioned if they don’t meet their responsibility “to foster an open climate for minority students [such as Jews]”

Opponents of this policy say it could be used to “stifle free speech and legitimate protest of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians in the name of fighting anti-Semitism.” Of course, this is an overstatement by those unhappy with Israel’s righteous obsession with security.

This action by Trump hardly portrays a person who is biased against Jews. And, Trump has taken other actions that further solidify his efforts to protect Jews and the Israeli state. He moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, supported settlements in the West Bank and recognized seizure of the Golan Heights. Trump even attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar when she said support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” a reference to money.

Anti-Semitism continues to flourish around the world and in the US. America must stand behind Israel as we have done since the birth of the Jewish nation after World War II. To justify our efforts overseas for the benefit of Israel, we must ensure that bigotry directed at Jews in the US is an illegal act.

Four Things That Will Hurt Democrats In 2020

Democrat candidates for president are saying quite a few things that are alienating voters. As discussed many times, presidential aspirants, in the primaries, must personify progressive ideologies to win. The theory goes that when the nomination is won, the candidate must then pivot to a more tolerant perspective to lure independents and moderate voters.

I’m going to give Democrats some free advice and outline four areas that will help Donald Trump win in 2020. Rest assured the most radical elements in the party will not listen. They certainly will try to win votes by denigrating Trump, calling him names and saying he is bad for America. These strategies will fail.

The four issues to be discussed are:

 

  • Russian collusion and obstruction of justice involving Donald Trump
  • The US relationship with Saudi Arabia
  • The US relationship with Israel
  • Trump’s terrible persona

 

  1. Russia and collusion. Nobody wants to rehash these issues any further except the liberal chairmen of several congressional committees in the House. The charges have been investigated by far too many politicians and investigators hired by them.

Mueller’s two-year odyssey was a colossal waste of time and money. The Special Counsel worked very hard along with his sycophants to dig up dirt that would be grounds to impeach, but he and his soldiers were unable to do so. Mueller even admitted this fact.

Notwithstanding the costs involved, Democrats investigate onward. My favorite comment was that Democrats stipulated that none of Trump’s specific actions, behavior and rhetoric were sufficient alone to justify impeachment, but taken as a whole, they do provide a path to oust the president. I didn’t know that you could add up crimes to make one big one.

I sincerely hope their constituencies will punish the diehards who are unable to give up their fruitless crusade, in 2020. Their sanctimonious attitude has resulted in very little action taken by Congress to “fix” the country. I’m referring to bridges and tunnels, schools, veteran affairs, bad treaties, health care, immigration, gun control and so on.

  1. The US relationship with Saudi Arabia. It was inevitable that a president would at some point choose to take the side of Saudi Arabia or Iran. Wisely, Trump selected the Saudis in spite of the unfortunate murder of a dissident that was allegedly orchestrated by the Crowned Prince.

Over the years Sunni radicals in Saudi Arabia have created havoc in the Middle East. These terrorists are blinded by their religious fervor. They have paid for and encouraged terrorism that has resulted in many deaths. Moreover, their country, notwithstanding its great wealth, is not interested in encouraging religious and personal freedom.

But Saudi Arabia is the sworn enemy of Iran and all states and groups that are Shiite. Iran is the most vicious member of this group and a fomenter of senseless, religious-driven, violence.

For some reason the Obama administration believed it could negotiate with Iran, make a deal to stem the tide of nuclear proliferation in the area and become buddies with the ayatollahs. All Obama accomplished was a delay in Iran’s dream to have nukes. It was an inane and dangerous legacy ploy by the former president. And, along with Obamacare, the deal fell flat on its face.

Most importantly, Obama disregarded the US policy of no nuclear armaments for Iran that was in place since the early 1980s. He thought Iran would act responsibly with a nuclear bomb in their arsenal. Iran does not act diplomatically without a WMD, why would anyone think it would do otherwise with much greater military power?

The world is safer, although tensions between Iran the US have escalated. Trump is trying to renegotiate the nuke deal by imposing greater sanctions on the Iran regime. It seems to be having great effect.

Democrats have turned against the regime in Saudi Arabia. For the stability of the region, Trump must continue to look away from the distasteful actions by the Saudis. American voters are beginning to understand the importance of Saudi Arabia as a close ally of the US, in spite of recent unfortunate events.

  1. The relationship with Israel. The State of Israel is the most important ally of the US. Israel serves as a watchdog and outpost for the US, as the region becomes more dangerous every day. Since the establishment of the nation, the US has unequivocally supported and protected Israel’s right to exist. This has become a more difficult endeavor every year.

Most Jews in the US, even those that believe the current regime is too aggressive towards Palestine, want Israel to persevere and be available to those that are persecuted. Democratic antagonism towards the Israelis will hurt their chances in the national election. In the end, many Jews will support Trump because of this issue alone.

  1. Trump’s lousy attitude. Many Americans detest Trump’s personality. Yet he’s been getting results. Perhaps this aggressive demeanor is what America needed to stop the unfair arrangements that past president agreed to for diplomatic reasons. Trade deals, nuclear pacts, etc. need renegotiation even if we hurt some feelings along the way. Our determination to protect others is recognized sooner or later when nations are under distress and need a friend. Democrats are wasting their time criticizing Trump personally because a. he doesn’t care what they say, b. Trump’s base is with him to the bitter end and c. criticizing Trump’s personality is not going to turn the election.

Democrats, I know you won’t heed my warnings. After the 2020 elections you will be licking your wounds and wondering why you lost the presidency and so many congressional seats.

 

Israeli Critics In Congress Shielded By NY Times

In an August 22 editorial titled “The Revival of an Anti-Semitic Canard,” the NY Times sought to blame Trump for increased violence against Jews by distorting facts.

The only line in the editorial that was constructive was at its conclusion. It read as follows: “The right road forward is for Democrats, and Republicans, to maintain strong support for democracy and liberal values, both in Israel and in the United States.” Note: The reference, however, to liberal values is puzzling.

Democrats inspired a Trump political assault when they refused to appropriately censor congresswomen that unabashedly denigrated Israel, its prime minister and its citizens. Inflammatory rhetoric over their short tenure in Congress, which has been well publicized, continues to be outright racist. After Democrat leaders balked at sanctioning the female legislators appropriately, two members of the so-called “Squad” thought they had carte blanche to spew even greater anti-Semitic venom.

Trump’s response, as usual, was over the top, but not inaccurate. Among other things, the president is taking advantage of the Democrats’ growing frustration with the Prime Minister and his close relationship to Trump. He believes voting for these congresswomen and the Democrats that shielded them is an insult to Israel. And these bigots and their allies should be ostracized.

As expected the Times took the opportunity to dredge up some old dirt- Trump’s words are dangerous, he demonizes minority groups and equivocates about white supremacy. And remarkably the editorial board associates hate crimes against Jews to Trump, even as he strongly supports the State of Israel- an unbelievably twisted perspective.

The Times said Trump speaks about Jews as “different from other Americans,” suggesting that their loyalties are divided. This is true. There are some Jews that provide unbridled support to Bibi Netanyahu’s strong reactions to terror and threats to Israel’s sovereignty, and some that object to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

The polarization that is growing among Jews certainly creates a dangerous situation. But Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are greatly responsible for fostering a backlash to Israel’s efforts to avoid annihilation by virtually every one of its neighbors in the Middle East.

The Times should be more careful about how it characterizes the affection that Trump and so many Americans have for Israel. Suddenly it has become politically incorrect to support and protect our most loyal ally in the world, even from members of Congress. Why would American voters allow freshmen, and terribly disruptive, congresswomen to influence Israeli policy?

 

 

Why The Golan Heights Is Important To Israel

Trump’s support of Israel’s claim on the Golan Heights represents is a logical step in the US’s efforts to ensure the existence of the State of Israel.

The land in contention is 500 square miles wedged between northeast Israel and southwest Syria. It was occupied in 1967 after the Six Day War. Syria has always insisted that it owns the land and many attempts have failed miserably to exchange the land for a peace treaty.

The Golan Heights is strategically important. One can see for miles into both Israel and Syria. In 1981 Israel’s Knesset passed a law that annexed the area.

The Golan Heights is embroiled in of a much larger “land for peace” debate that has been the basis of negotiations between Israel, Syria, Egypt and Palestine for years. The only successful treaty in this regard was signed in 1979 between Israel and Egypt in which the Sinai Peninsula was vacated by Israeli forces in return for a peace treaty.

The relevance of Trump’s support of Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights is that no other nation, including the US has aligned with Israel to this point. And more importantly it could be the end of all future negotiations that involve trading land for peace. This could have a huge impact on efforts by the Trump administration to orchestrate a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

The response from the Arab world has been relatively muted. Of note Turkey’s President Erdogan has said that Trump’s decision to support Israel relating to the Golan Heights “has brought the region to a new crisis.” There was little comment from others nearby as domestic issues have been receiving more attention over regional issues. For instance Syrians are more concerned with their civil war than continued occupation of the Golan Heights by its enemy.

What is of great importance is the impact of Trump’s declaration of support on the re-election of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. Israeli Elections are scheduled next month and Netanyahu will receive a great boost from many Israelis for gaining such a great accommodation from America.

Trump’s support of Israel’s claim on the Golan Heights represents a logical effort to ensure the future existence of the State of Israel. It is a simple change of policy with potentially huge consequences.

Every day is important to Israel. And every effort to protect Israelis is the primary concern of Israeli leadership. With mortal enemies on all sides and even in Israel itself, Israel must not give up any strategic advantages. The Golan Heights gives Israel many military benefits.

At the same time Israel is striving to make peace with the same group of countries that call for its downfall. The most important of these adversaries is the Palestinians. They reside in Israel and there will never be peace until satisfactory accommodations are made for sovereignty, land, religion and security.

The risks from Syria are also significant. For one thing the country is involved in a civil war. But more important is the fact that Iran and Russia are supporting the Assad regime in its fight with the remnants of ISIS and Syrian rebels.

It’s only a matter of time before Syrian interests are redirected towards Israel. In the past Syria’s military power was not something that caused Israelis too much concern. But Iran and Russian military assistance could change the dynamics of the situation.

What are the consequences of Trump’s growing support of Israel? Arabs consider every move Israel makes to secure its borders an insult, and a violation of international law. Arab countries, especially those aligned with Iran, have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel.

To assume that peaceful negotiations with Shia Arabs is a possibility is farcical. So Israel’s efforts to shore up the area around the Golan Heights are not really jeopardizing any on-going peace negotiations.

Some think that this new US policy regarding the occupation of the Golan Heights will impact the efforts of Jared Kushner to secure peace in the Middle East. It’s not likely. Kushner is as close to orchestrating a peace deal between Israel and Palestine as the scores of other diplomats who failed miserably over the years.

The only way that Israel is going to have peace is by maintaining a strong position in all faux negotiations with the Palestinians, and ignoring the uninformed objections emanating from the international community of nations. The US must continue to stand by its most important ally.

Put Yourself In Bibi’s Shoes

By Sal Bommarito

It’s not easy being Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu these days. As leader of Israel, Bibi must deal with never-ending external and internal threats. His country has been criticized by virtually every nation as it strives to survive in one of the most dangerous regions in the world.

Specifically, the following external issues dog Netanyahu every day: Palestine, Iran nuclear negotiations, Israel’s relationship with America and terrorism.

Palestine: Is Palestine politically and economically ready to be an independent state? Interested parties have been debating this question since 1988. As of 2014, 135 of 193 United Nations members recognized the State of Palestine. During his recent election, Netanyahu indicated that he was against a “two-state” solution, an obvious campaign ploy (it worked, he won). Subsequently, the prime minister clarified his comment by saying that there could be no two-state arrangement “at this time.”

Over the years, Israel has negotiated with some very difficult Palestinian opponents. On several occasions, peace and agreement were at hand, only to be dashed by one side or the other. The division of land, the connection of the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, economic considerations, terrorism and the right of Israel to exist are among the primary areas of dispute. American presidents have unsuccessfully tried to mediate a deal during the past four decades.

Israel has done its share to add to the chaos and inability to make peace. Most recently, it, for security reasons, built new settlements on land that the Palestinians believe belongs to them. President Obama has asked, and then demanded, that Netanyahu put a stop to this activity, to no avail.

Arabs frequently accuse Israel of crimes against humanity, especially when it retaliates against terrorist attacks by Hamas and other groups. The Palestinian’s plight is one of the most contentious issues in the Middle East for all Arab nations.

Iran’s nuclear negotiations: Bibi has claimed that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel. He has been relentless in expressing all the reasons why the U.S. should not cave into Iranian demands. His rationale includes a belief that Iran will not be a responsible possessor of a nuke, and it will violate the provisions of any treaty that limits its ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu spoke before the U.S. Congress lobbying for discretion and oversight of any deal that President Obama signs. There were many sympathetic ears in the crowd. Last week, Iran and the U.S. agreed to an “outline” of a treaty. It is not clear what bipartisan actions Congress may take prospectively, or whether it will wait until a draft agreement is signed.

Israel’s relationship with the U.S.: The Netanyahu speech created a serious rift with the Obama administration; Obama did not endorse Bibi’s appearance. Obama Is disgusted with the prime minister’s endless carping, but Netanyahu is fighting for his country’s survival.

The implications of enthusiastic U.S. support are epic. Frankly, without military support, Israel could not survive. In fact, the demographics (in particular, birth rates of Israelis versus Palestinians) put Israel at a serious disadvantage over time. And, decreased financial support from American Jews could be a deathblow to Israel; young Jews are not as generous politically or economically than the previous generations.

Terrorism: Israel is continually under the gun, so to speak. Its citizens are always in peril from threats that have become more emboldened over time. The Jewish state is the only issue that unites Shiite and Sunni Arabs. Over the years, every Middle Eastern leader has attributed domestic and external problems to Israel, even if it had no role.

Yes, Bibi has a difficult job. I often wonder why so many nations around the world are supportive of Palestine over Israel when it is clear that the latter is more of a counter-puncher than an aggressor. Retaliation against terrorist attacks is too often labeled a crime.

Perhaps, Israel’s reputation is tarnished by its affiliation with the U.S. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine who Arabs despise more, America or Israel.

Congress Should Do Whatever Necessary To Prevent Iran From Developing A Nuclear Weapon

By Sal Bommarito

The impending Iran nuclear deal is one element of the ever-expanding enigma known as the Middle East. Every day the complexity of issues becomes more daunting exacerbated by indecision and rash diplomatic ploys.

President Obama and leaders from around the world must react to events in the Middle East influenced by a backdrop that includes ISIS fighters slaughtering other Arabs, a competitive Israeli election, a growing diplomatic rift between Israel and the U.S., a nuclear controversy, worsening tension between Shiites an Sunnis and an epic refugee problem.

Most of the issues are very important but none are existential with the exception of the Iran nuclear deal. The mass execution of innocents and the threat of civil wars in a strategic part of the world are disconcerting, but an Iranian nuclear capability is a game changer.

President Obama indicated at the outset of the current round of negotiations with Iran that a nuclear Iran was not a viable option. Things have changed dramatically over the past several months along with Obama’s objectives. He seems satisfied with a treaty that keeps Iran non-nuclear with a one-year lag if Iran opts out of the treaty; and the treaty expires in 10 years in any case.

Can you blame Congress for being unnerved by the new calculus? One day, our president is saying, “No nukes for Iran.” The next day, Iran is non-nuclear until they opt out, but no longer than a short decade.

The response of Republicans and Democrats to Obama’s efforts to keep them uninvolved was bipartisan; the lawmakers wanted to be able to approve a new treaty and any reductions in economic sanctions against Iraq. As Obama neared a deal with Iran, it appeared that he was prepared to be generous to our mortal enemy that has called for the annihilation of Israel and has been the most prolific supporter of terrorism in the region.

It’s probably a legacy thing. Obama has had very few memorable diplomatic achievements during his tenure, and he wants to make a big splash by ending the hostile relationship with Iran.

Republicans responded by asking Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress without [authorization, endorsement, approval] from the president. As the deadline for a deal approached, Senate Republicans sent an open letter to the Iranian leadership indicating that they were not happy with the proposals contained in the new deal, and that a new president or Congress could annul the treaty in the near future.

This action created a huge rift between the parties as it did break the traditional lines that separate the executive and legislative branches of the government. Many believe a president has the authority to negotiate a treaty, and after it is completed, the Senate votes to accept it or not. The Republicans were jumping the gun because they thought Obama overstepped his authority and was willing to give away too much relating to Iran’s ability to complete a bomb.

The question is, does Congress have a right, or even an obligation, to speak up and pre-judge a potentially dangerous arrangement by the president? Damn right it does! It’s unconscionable that the U.S. would negotiate a deal that would make Iran stronger militarily and create an existential threat to Israel.

Obama’s Inappropriate Relationships With Arab Nations

By Sal Bommarito

President Obama is finding himself on the wrong side of several critical issues in the Middle East. They include his ambivalence towards Egypt under its new secular president, encouragement of secret negotiations that may lead to an Iranian nuclear capability and animosity towards the State of Israel and its Prime Minister.

 

The Counter Jihad Report” discussed a speech by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in which he “attacks the root causes of continuing conflict between certain adherents of Islam and freedom-loving secularists . . .”

 

The Muslim Brotherhood, a theocratic based political group, took control of the country in 2012 under the leadership of former President Mohammed Morsi. He was subsequently deposed in 2014 by el-Sisi, a secular leader, who imprisoned his predecessor along with many of his followers.

 

President Obama has been supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2009, he made a speech at the University of Cairo and lauded President Morsi and his organization. Since Morsi’s incarceration, Obama “has seemingly turned his back on Egypt . . .”

 

“It is truly fascinating that here is the one leader in the Muslim world who has the courage not only to confront the enemy, but also its ideology.” El-Sisi has been “calling out Islamists and the clerics, mullahs [and] imams who are causing strife globally.” Yet, Obama has not been responsive to him.

 

“ . . . we cannot shy away from defining this enemy . . . It is unbelievable that anyone would refer to the Islamic terrorists who wrought savage carnage this week [in Paris] as activists.”

 

At the same time, President Obama is staunchly defiant of Congress’ suggestion that more conditional sanctions against Iran should be enacted. In fact, he threatened to veto any laws to that effect during his State of the Union address.

 

Many in Congress, including powerful Democrats such as Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) are uncomfortable with negotiations relating to the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon. The president believes that his closed-door meetings will be negatively impacted if Congress moves to introduce new sanctions. The opposition to these negotiations does not believe Iran can be trusted, and the country has been an impediment to peace in the region.

 

On a related note, the New York Times reports that Iran’s supreme leader released a letter to “youths in the United States and Europe imploring them to learn about Islam from original sources . . .” The Ayatollah is concerned about the image of Islam on the heels of the Charlie Hebdo attack. The cleric indicated, “ . . . researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodshed wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during [WWII].” The intent of the letter was to transfer blame for current hostilities to the west.

 

Obama is determined to appease Iran during the negotiations even as the vast majority of Americans and Congress are becoming more uncomfortable with the potential of Iran having a nuclear weapon.

 

Israel considers the development of nuclear capability by Iran to be an existential problem. It is inconceivable that any person could come to another conclusion, particularly the man who is the leader of Israel’s most important ally. Time and again, Obama has not supported Israel to assure its survival. His attitude has made the Jewish state all the more vulnerable during his tenure.

 

In an act of defiance, Congress invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the body without endorsement of the administration. The story is reported in the New York Times. The topics dearest to Netanyahu are Iran, its ambition to have a nuclear weapon and implementation of more sanctions. The Prime Minister’s appearance flies in the face of the president who objects to any interference of his negotiations with Iran.

 

The writing is on the wall. President Obama is regularly kowtowing to the interests of Muslim countries that are hostile to the U.S. It is a mystery why he has adopted this tactic. We should expect Congress to delve deeply into Obama’s motivations in the months ahead and to obstruct many of his initiatives.

 

President Obama’s diplomacy relating to the Islamic world needs to be vetted by his critics. Apologists of the president should stand aside and give politicians and leaders who disagree with Obama a chance to express their views.

Eliminating Iran Sanctions In Exchange For Cooperation Against ISIS Is Foolish

By Sal Bommarito

Is the West prepared to effectively give Iran a green light to build a nuclear bomb by eliminating economic sanctions in exchange for Iran’s participation in the battle with ISIS? A Newsweek article indicates that negotiations are already underway to forge together a deal “that would end sanctions in return for assurances [Iran will] not develop a nuclear weapon.”

It appears that the U.S. and Iran are negotiating two different transactions. The U.S. wants Iran to agree to not build a bomb, whereas Iran still maintains that it has a right to a nuclear program, which effectively enables it to build a bomb. It will be a monumental effort for each party to accomplish their objectives.

Before the U.S. agrees to cooperate, it should reconsider whom it is dealing with and whether there are other ways to defeat ISIS that would not include arming Iran.

Iran has not given up its dream to build a nuclear device, no matter what it says publicly. It is the only way that Iran can achieve a level of parity with Israel, which has a nuclear capability. In this regard, Iran will lie, cheat and steal to achieve its goal. The most important question is: Can Iran be trusted to live up to guarantees after economic sanctions are eliminated? Considering Iran’s nefarious activities throughout the Middle East, the U.S. should have concerns about Iran’s trustworthiness.

The Newsweek article indicates several disturbing things. Iran is supporting a militia that has destabilized Yemen. President Bashar al-Assad will be protected by Iran, even as nearly every Arab nation has called for Assad to step down. Iran has maintained contact with Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s former prime minister, which will enable it to disrupt conciliation between the Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis.

The willingness of the U.S. to deal with Iran should be affected by its longstanding feud with it. Diplomatic relations ended in 1979 when Iranian clerics encouraged radicals to take 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for a year.

Iran continues to commit human rights violations. For example, Newsweek reported that Iran executed 1,000 people last year. Iran security forces continue to harass and arrest peaceful protesters as well as journalists. Most disturbing is the support Iran affords Hezbollah, a ruthless terrorist organization. Despite all these concerns, some western countries are anxious to ally with Iran against ISIS.

What does Iran bring to the table militarily? GFP indicates that Iran has 500 thousand active soldiers and 1.8 million reservists. It has 2,400 tanks and various types of fighting vehicles and rocket launchers. Aircraft total 481 including attack planes and helicopters.

The Jerusalem Post points out that Iran’s military resume is not impressive. The country’s efforts to spread its ideology have been less than impressive and with a “lack of follow through.” In a nutshell, Iran has been cautious about employing its military. Rather, it relies heavily upon “indirect diplomacy, menace and intrigue.” Nevertheless, Iran has been emboldened by the U.S.’s meek responses to crises in the region.

Iran did not perform admirably in its war with Iraq in the 1980s. Some people attribute this to “overestimated nationalism” and Iranian “unwillingness to sacrifice.” So, what might we expect from Iran in the ISIS war? The allies should not be too optimistic.

A nuclear weapon would enable Iran to assert itself without directly confronting its enemies. The threat of a nuclear strike is the hammer that Iran will wield if left unchecked.

A trade off would be acceptable if Iran was honorable and lived up to guarantees and promises about its nuclear program. Since Iran leaders have repeatedly said the country has a right to do whatever it wants, nobody should derive any comfort. Sanctions are the only power we hold over Iran, other than the threat of an outright assault. Giving up sanctions would be disastrous.

With this in mind, I think the deal that is percolating is foolish, naïve and shortsighted. The coalition cannot be sure that Iran will engage fully and effectively with ISIS, or even whether it can repel ISIS terrorists.

Meanwhile, Israel and Sunni Gulf Arabs are not going to sit by idly and allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb. It is entirely possible that Israel will take action against what it believes is an existential threat. Similarly, Saudi Arabia is likely to set loose insurgents to destabilize Shiite bastions in response to an Iranian deal.

President Obama had better be sure that mechanisms are in place to prevent the development of a bomb by Iran, as a nuclear event could materially change the Middle East.