Tuesday, August 4, 2015

An Emerging Kurdistan :: Bengio audio lecture

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An Emerging Kurdistan

by Ofra Bengio
August 3, 2015
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Ofra Bengio, Senior Research Associate at the Moshe Dayan Center of Tel Aviv University, is the author, most recently, of Kurdish Awakening: Nation Building in a Fragmented Homeland. Professor Bengio briefed the Middle East Forum in a conference call on July 23, 2015.
The Arab upheavals have enabled a Greater Kurdistan to emerge as a major regional player by blurring geographical barriers and strengthening cross-border nationalism among the disparate Kurdish communities in Turkey (15 million), Iran (8 million), Iraq (6-7 million), and Syria (2.5 million). At the same time, with most of these groups mired in fights with their own governments and/or the nascent Islamic State and expanding into areas rich in oil reserves and water resources, conflicting interests and competition for control of these strategic assets have exacerbated rivalries and tensions among them.
Iraq's Kurds have made the greatest strides toward statehood. Since their 2003 delivery from Saddam Hussein's despotic regime they have enjoyed effective autonomy, and their geostrategic significance has greatly increased as they became the main bulwark to the Islamic State following the Iraqi army's repeated defeats at the hands of the Islamist group.
Unlike Italy and France, Washington insists on channeling all military support for the Kurds through the Iraqi government.
Seeking to capitalize on these developments, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani has been pushing toward independence, only to be undermined by opposition Kurdish factions, on the one hand, and Baghdad's foot-dragging in delivering the necessary development funding and war material, on the other. To this must be added Washington's adamant insistence on a unified Iraq and the attendant channeling of military support for the Kurds via the Iraqi government - unlike some of the European powers, notably Italy, France, and Hungary, which directly arm the Kurds and support their independence.
It may well be that Baghdad's short-sighted policy will eventually hasten the country's breakup by widening the breach with the Kurdish Region beyond repair and driving its leadership to proclaim independence. Should this happen, the nascent Kurdish state will likely face formidable challenges - from unifying its fighting forces and aligning the goals of its diverse communities, to securing its oil resources and gaining new oil deals, to coping with a resurgent (and probably nuclear) Iran.
Summary account by Marilyn Stern, Middle East Forum Board of Governors
Related Topics:  Iraq, Kurds, US policy  |  Ofra Bengio This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete and accurate information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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Palestinians: The Difference between Us and Them

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Palestinians: The Difference between Us and Them

by Bassam Tawil  •  August 4, 2015 at 5:00 am
  • We Palestinians have failed to educate our people on the principles of tolerance and peace. Instead, we condone and applaud terrorism, especially when it is directed against Jews. We want the world to condemn terrorism only when it claims the lives of Palestinians.
  • Abbas's ambiguous, half-hearted condemnations of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis are only intended for public consumption and are primarily aimed at appeasing Western donors so that they will continue channeling funds to the Palestinian Authority. In addition, his condemnations seek to blame Israel for Palestinian terror attacks.
  • Netanyahu's strong and clear condemnation left me and other Palestinians wondering when was the last time we heard similar statements from our leaders. I cannot remember Abbas or any other Palestinian leader ever expressing shock and outrage over the killing of a Jew in a Palestinian terror attack, nor the last time a Palestinian official visited the Israeli victims of a Palestinian terror attack.
  • Each time Abbas reluctantly condemns a Palestinian terror attack, he faces a wave of criticism from many Palestinians. Unlike the Israeli public, many Palestinians often rush to justify, and even welcome, terror attacks against Jews. Has there ever been a Palestinian activist who dared to hold a rally in a Palestinian city to condemn suicide bombings or the murder of an entire Jewish family? The Israeli president has good reason to feel ashamed for the murder of the baby. But when will we Palestinians ever have a sense of shame over the way we react to the murder of Jews?
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visits 4-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha in hospital on July 31. Dawabsha was badly burned in an arson attack on his house in the village of Duma, which killed his baby brother and also injured his parents. (Image source: Mark Neyman/Israel Government Press Office)
I cannot count the number of times that I heard from Israeli Jews the phrases "I'm ashamed" and "I'm sorry" in response to the horrific crime that claimed the life of Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha in the West Bank village of Duma last week.
The strong response of the Israeli public and leaders to the arson attack is, truthfully, somewhat comforting. The wall-to-wall Israeli condemnation of this crime has left me and other Palestinians not only ashamed, but also embarrassed -- because this is not how we Palestinians have been reacting to terror attacks against Jews -- even the despicable murder of Jewish children.
Our response has, in fact, brought feelings of disgrace and dishonor. While the Israeli prime minister, president and other officials were quick strongly to condemn the murder of Dawabsha, our leaders rarely denounce terror attacks against Jews. And when a Palestinian leader such as Mahmoud Abbas does issue a condemnation, it is often vague and equivocal.

Turkey: ISIS's Hostage Again

by Burak Bekdil  •  August 4, 2015 at 4:00 am
  • When the Islamic State took hostage 49 Turks at the Mosul consulate, it took hostage the entire country. The jihadists still hold Turkey hostage.
  • Interestingly, the Islamic State has so far mainly targeted President Erdogan's ideological/political foes: Alevis in the Reyhanli bombing, and the Kurdish political movement in four separate bomb attacks.
  • Note that it was the Kurdish political movement that on June 7 dashed Erdogan's dreams to introduce an executive presidential system.
  • Erdogan is hostage to the jihadists of his own making.
The scene of the suicide bombing in Suruc, Turkey. An Islamic State suicide bomber murdered 32 people and wounded more than 100 others in a July 20 attack on Kurdish humanitarian activists. (Image source: VOA video screenshot)
In March 2014, Turkey's main opposition social democratic party submitted a parliamentary motion to investigate alleged failings of safety standards at a coalmine in Soma, in western Turkey. The ruling Islamist party's parliamentary majority voted to reject it. Less than two months later the same coalmine exploded, killing more than 300 miners.
In February 2015, an opposition member of parliament, Nazmi Gur, from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) filed a parliamentary motion, asking for an inquiry into the activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Islamic State, ISIS, IS) inside Turkey. The next day, the motion was rejected by the same government benches, and led Gur to decry the vote as "a sign that the Turkish government still refrains from taking a clear position against ISIS." Half a year later, an IS suicide bomber murdered 32 people in an attack against a pro-Kurdish gathering, in a Turkish town bordering Syria.

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The Muslim Invasion of Brazil

The Muslim Invasion of Brazil

Link to Citizen Warrior

Posted: 03 Aug 2015 01:22 PM PDT
Muslims in Brazil
Someone left the following comment on our article, The Islamic Infiltration of South America:

I'm from Curitiba, South Brazil, and since 2014, thousands of Muslims are landing here. Every single town is receiving buses of Muslim immigrants, and our government is involved. The federal government is increasing federal gun control to the Brazilian people since 2005, and we're becoming unarmed and surrounded.

Some local news below (in Portuguese):




Obama Strikes Again

Obama Strikes Again

by CAROLINE GLICK August 3, 2015
While Israel and much of official Washington remain focused on the deal President Barack Obama just cut with the ayatollahs that gives them $150 billion and a guaranteed nuclear arsenal within a decade, Obama has already moved on - to Syria.

Obama's first hope was to reach a deal with his Iranian friends that would leave the Assad regime in place. But the Iranians blew him off.

They know they don't need a deal with Obama to secure their interests. Obama will continue to help them to maintain their power base in Syria though Hezbollah and the remains of the Assad regime without a deal.

Iran's cold shoulder didn't stop Obama. He moved on to his Sunni friend Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Like the Iranians, since the war broke out, Erdogan has played a central role in transforming what started out as a local uprising into a regional conflict between Sunni and Shiite jihadists.

With Obama's full support, by late 2012 Erdogan had built an opposition dominated by his totalitarian allies in the Muslim Brotherhood.

By mid-2013, Erdogan's Muslim Brotherhood- led coalition was eclipsed by al-Qaida spinoffs. They also enjoyed Turkish support.

And when last summer ISIS supplanted al-Qaida as the dominant Sunni jihadist force in Syria, it did so with Erdogan's full backing. For the past 18 months, Turkey has been ISIS's logistical, political and economic base.

According to Brett McGurk, the State Department's point man on ISIS, about 25,000 foreign fighters have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq. All of them transited through Turkey.

Most of the antiquities that ISIS plunders in Iraq and Syria make their way to the world market through Turkey. So, too, most of the oil that ISIS produces in Syria and Iraq is smuggled out through Turkey. According to the US Treasury, ISIS has made $1 million-$4m. a day from oil revenue.

In May, US commandos in Syria assassinated Abu Sayyaf, ISIS's chief money manager, and arrested his wife and seized numerous computers and flash drives from his home. According to a report in The Guardian published last week, the drives provided hard evidence of official Turkish economic collusion with ISIS.

Due to Turkish support, ISIS has become a self-financing terrorist group. With its revenue stream it is able to maintain a welfare state regime, attracting recruits from abroad and securing the loyalty of local Sunni militias and former Ba'athist forces.

Some Western officials believed that after finding hard evidence of Turkish regime support for ISIS, NATO would finally change its relationship with Turkey. To a degree they were correct.

Last week, Obama cut a deal with Erdogan that changes the West's relationship with Erdogan.

Instead of maintaining its current practice of balancing its support for Turkey with its support for the Kurds, under the agreement, the West ditches its support for the Kurds and transfers its support to Turkey exclusively.

The Kurdish peshmerga militias operating today in Iraq and Syria are the only military outfits making sustained progress in the war against ISIS. Since last October, the Kurds in Syria have liberated ISIS-controlled and -threatened areas along the Turkish border.

The YPG, the peshmerga militia in Syria, won its first major victory in January, when after a protracted, bloody battle, with US air support, it freed the Kurdish border town of Kobani from ISIS's assault.

In June, the YPG scored a strategic victory against ISIS by taking control of Tal Abyad. Tal Abyad controls the road connecting ISIS's capital of Raqqa with Turkey. By capturing Tal Abyad, the Kurds cut Raqqa's supply lines.

Last month, Time magazine reported that the Turks reacted with hysteria to Tal Abyad's capture.

Not only did the operation endanger Raqqa, it gave the Kurds territorial contiguity in Syria.

The YPG's victories enhanced the Kurds' standing among Western nations. Indeed, some British and American officials were quoted openly discussing the possibility of removing the PKK, the YPG's Iraqi counterpart, from their official lists of terrorist organizations.

The YPG's victories similarly enhanced the Kurds' standing inside Turkey itself. In the June elections to the Turkish parliament, the Kurdish HDP party won 12 percent of the vote nationally, and so blocked Erdogan's AKP party from winning a parliamentary majority.

Without that majority Erdogan's plan of reforming the constitution to transform Turkey into a presidential republic and secure his dictatorship for the long run has been jeopardized.

As far as Erdogan was concerned, by the middle of July the Kurdish threat to his power had reached unacceptable levels.

Then two weeks ago the deck was miraculously reshuffled.

On July 20, young Kurdish activists convened in Suduc, a Kurdish town on the Turkish side of the border, 6 kilometers from Kobani. A suicide bomber walked up to them, and detonated, massacring 32 people.

Turkish officials claim that the bomber was a Turkish Kurd, and a member of ISIS. But the Kurds didn't buy that line. Last week, HDP lawmakers accused the regime of complicity with the bomber. And two days after the attack, militants from the PKK killed two Turkish policemen in a neighboring village, claiming that they collaborated with ISIS.

At that point, Erdogan sprang into action.

After refusing for months to work with NATO forces in their anti-ISIS operations, Erdogan announced he was entering the fray. He would begin targeting "terrorists" and allow the US air force to use two Turkish air bases for its anti-ISIS operations. In exchange, the US agreed to set up a "safe zone" in Syria along the Turkish border.

Turkish officials were quick to explain that in targeting "terrorists," the Turks would not distinguish between Kurdish terrorists and ISIS terrorists just because the former are fighting ISIS. Both, they insisted, are legitimate targets.

Erdogan closed his deal in a telephone call with Obama. And he immediately went into action.

Turkish forces began bombing terrorist targets and rounding up terrorist suspects. Although a few of the Turkish bombing runs have been directly against ISIS, the vast majority have targeted Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria.

Moreover, for every suspected ISIS terrorist arrested by Turkish security forces, at least eight Kurds have been taken into custody.

Then, too, Erdogan has called on AKP lawmakers to begin criminalizing their counterparts from the HDP. Kurdish lawmakers, he urged them, must be stripped of their parliamentary immunity to enable their arrests.

As Erdogan apparently sees things, by going to war against the Kurds, he will be able to reestablish the AKP's parliamentary majority. Within a few weeks, if the AKP fails to form a governing coalition - and it will - then new elections will be held. The nationalists, who abandoned the AKP in June, will return to the party to reward Erdogan for fighting the Kurds.

As for that "safe area" in northern Syria, as the Kurds see it, Erdogan will use it to destroy Kurdish autonomy. He will flood the zone with Syrian Arab refugees who fled to Turkey, to dilute the Kurdish majority. And he will secure coalition support for the Sunni Arab militias - including those still affiliated with al-Qaida - which will be permitted by NATO to operate openly in the safe area.

Already the Kurds are reporting that the US has stopped providing air support for their forces fighting ISIS in the border town of Jarablus. Those forces were bombed this week by Turkish F-16s.

For their part, despite Erdogan's pledge to fight ISIS, his forces seem remarkably uninterested in rolling back ISIS achievements. The Turks have no plan for removing ISIS from its strongholds in Raqqa or Haskiyah.

The Obama administration is presenting the deal with Turkey as yet another great achievement.

In an interview with Charlie Rose on Tuesday, McGurk explained that the deal was a long time in the making. It began with a phone conversation between Obama and Erdogan last October and it ended with their phone call last week.

In October, Obama convinced Erdogan not to oppose US air support for the Kurds in Kobani and to enable the US to resupply YPG fighters in Kobani through Turkey. In the second, Obama agreed not to oppose Erdogan's offensive against the Kurds.

Two years ago, in August 2013, the world held its breath awaiting US action in Syria. That month, after prolonged equivocation amidst mountains of evidence, the Obama administration was forced to acknowledge that Iran's Syrian puppet Bashar Assad had crossed Obama's self-declared redline and used chemical weapons against regime opponents, including civilians.

US forces assembled for battle. Everything looked ready to go, until just hours before US jets were scheduled to begin bombing regime targets, Obama canceled the operation. In so doing, he lost all deterrent power against Iran. He also lost all strategic credibility among America's regional allies.

To save face, Obama agreed to a Russian proposal to have international monitors remove Syria's chemical weapons from the country.

Last summer, the administration proudly announced that the mission had been completed.

UN chemical weapons monitors had removed Syria's chemical weapons arsenal from the country, they proclaimed. It didn't matter to either Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry that by that point Assad had resumed chemical assaults with chlorine-based bombs. Chlorine bombs weren't chemical weapons, the Americans idiotically proclaimed.

Then last week, the lie fell apart. The Wall Street Journal reported that according to US intelligence agencies, Assad not surrendered his chemical arsenal.

Rather, he hid much of his chemical weaponry from the UN inspectors. He had even managed to retain the capacity to make chemical weapons - like chlorine-based bombs - after agreeing to part with his chemical arsenal.

Assad was able to cheat, because just as the administration's nuclear deal with the Iranians gives Iran control over which nuclear sites will be open to UN inspectors, and which will be off limits, so the chemical deal gave Assad control over what the inspectors would and would not be allowed to see. So, they saw only what he showed them.

Obama has gone full circle in concluding his deal with Erdogan. Since entering office, Obama has sought to cut deals with both the Sunni jihadists of the Muslim Brotherhood ilk and the Shi'ite jihadists of the Iranian ilk.

His chemical deal with Assad and his nuclear deal with the ayatollahs accomplished the latter goal, and did so at the expense of America's Sunni Arab allies and Israel.

His deal last week with Erdogan accomplishes the former goal, to the benefit of ISIS, and on the backs of America's Kurdish allies.

So that takes care of the Middle East. With 17 months left to go till Obama leave office, the time has apparently come for the British to begin to worry.

A version of this piece previously appeared on The Jerusalem Post.
Caroline Glick, Chicago-born, is deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. A former officer in the Israel Defense Forces, she was a core member of Israel's negotiating team with the Palestinians and later served as an assistant policy advisor to the prime minister. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the widely-published Glick was an embedded journalist with the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division. She was awarded a distinguished civilian service award from the U.S. Secretary of the Army for her battlefield reporting.

If this is not insanity, what is?

If this is not insanity, what is?

by VICTOR SHARPE August 2, 2015
It will be a herculean task to convince enough House and Senate Congressmen and women to vote in enough numbers to defeat Obama's noxious Iran deal and overcome his threatened veto.

This catastrophic sell out, if it proceeds, will provide the Iranian mullahs with an eventual nuclear arsenal and an immediate $150 billion dollars which will not go to build Iranian hospitals or schools.

Instead it will enrich Iran's terror proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and other Islamic terrorist movements, which in turn will condemn untold numbers of Jews, Christians, as well as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and many others to death and destruction.

This vast sum given to the Iranian terror state will release the very imps of Hell upon the world.

Much of the so-called "agreement" that President Obama has signed with the Islamic Republic of Iran, is not even written in legally binding language. Iran is merely called upon to abide by the agreement which, from years of dreary past experience, they clearly will not.

Iran is hardly obligated to do anything. What Kerry agreed to, under President Obama's command, is to let the Islamic Republic of Iran have free rein to do whatever it wants.

Remember, the mullahs eagerly lust for a world-wide cataclysm as the necessary prerequisite for the return of the  12th Imam - the Islamic messiah - and worldwide dominance by triumphant Islam.

It does not matter to them that it also ushers in a global nuclear winter. And President Obama and his willing Secretary of State, John Kerry, are their enablers.

Here we see yet more proof that Barack Hussein Obama appears to be acting as an Islamic apologist, not as the President of the United States of America.

Thus, this agreement represents nothing short of a complete capitulation to Iran and the obscurantist mullahs.

Obama's utter disregard of his fundamental responsibility as Commander-in-Chief to safeguard our nation's security could not be more egregious.

The embattled and most important front-line strategic allies of the U.S. -namely the embattled Israelis - watch with utter dismay at how this agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran represents the most morally reprehensible betrayal by Obama of Israel's security and very survival.

They are right. But what is even more disturbing than that is the danger this capitulation represents to the United States of America.

It was the Iranian Islamic regime which held our diplomats in the late 1970s for months as hostages in the Tehran embassy. It was the Iranian terror proxy, Hezbollah, which murdered our Marines in Beirut in 1983.

This is the same Hezbollah which occupies once Christian Lebanon and now possesses 100,000 missiles aimed at the Jewish state. The other Iranian terror proxy, Hamas, which cruelly occupies Gaza, has fired thousands of Iranian supplied rockets at Israeli towns, villages and cities.

It is Iran which is responsible, by proxy, for the killing and maiming of thousands of our service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, with their IEDs and other weapons.

It is this Iranian regime which spreads death and destruction throughout the globe and which will soon be enriched with $150 billion dollars to sow ever more horrors. If this is not insanity, what is?
It is Iran whose leaders, to this day, refer to the United States as the "Great Satan."

Even as the sell-out by Kerry and Obama was proceeding, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted "Death to America," and Iranian rent a mob loony tunes in their thousands demonstrated in Tehran under the watchful eyes of the feared police - even as gays were hanging from cranes where they had been lynched by the regime.

If Congress tragically allows this deplorable agreement to be implemented then it will only be a matter of time before we here in America are likely to be attacked.

Remember, also, that the mullahs are feverishly building ICBMs. They will not be aimed at Israel, they are aimed at a much more distant target: we, here, in the U.S.

The mullahs of the Islamic Republic of Iran will assuredly attempt to provide its terrorist proxies with the means to deliver death and destruction in America's malls, at sporting events, and God only knows where else. $150 billion dollars can buy plenty of lethal terrors and, perhaps, dirty bombs.
President Obama is far worse than Neville Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister, after all, was facing the Nazi German military and economic power, with few if any allies to rely upon. Plus, Chamberlain, despite his naivety, loved his country and never spoke ill of it.

By contrast, the United States of today began these negotiations from a position of great strength, yet behaved under President Obama, as if it had no moral basis from which to defend its interests or its position and willingly conceded on nearly every point.

Thus, members of Congress represent our last line of defense against an utterly lawless administration comprised of dangerously misguided ideologues appointed by Obama and who hold deplorable animus towards their own country and the  beleaguered Jewish state.

If Congress, and especially enough Democrats, actually succeed in defeating this agreement through legislative means, and President Obama insists on implementing the immoral agreement - as many expect him to do - then it may be time to undertake impeachment.

The question is will members of Congress, in both parties and in both houses, decide that their political careers and their party loyalties are more important than the very survival and safety of our country, let alone that of the few allies who still remain with us after seven long years of this baleful Obama era.

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of several books including The Blue Hour, a collection of short stories, and Volumes One and Two of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement …… A Ticking Time-Bomb

The Iran Nuclear Agreement …… A Ticking Time-Bomb

by MARK SILVERBERG August 3, 2015 iran nuclear deal obama ticking time bomb
The countdown to Iran becoming a threshold nuclear state has begun and the world now stands at the abyss. In addition to facilitating Iranian control over Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq, handing the keys to the Persian Gulf to the Iranian mullahs, and ultimately blocking the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea thereby threatening global trade and the Suez Canal - Egypt's lifeline, the recently concluded P5+1 Agreement signed in Vienna on July 14th grants Iran not one, but two paths to the bomb. Iran can get the bomb either by cheating on the Agreement or lying (as did North Korea), or it can get the bomb by keeping the deal for ten years, and then assembling it immediately afterwards.
Overall, it allows for Iran's continuing research and development on its advanced centrifuges; sanctions relief (including the release of up to $150 billion in frozen assets with no automatic "snapback" mechanism); an end to the arms embargo against it; and no anytime, anywhere inspections.

In short, the deal does not prevent a nuclear Iran. At best, it only delays it a few years. The signatories to the Agreement walked away from virtually every key position demanding the reduction or dismantlement of Iran's military nuclear infrastructure including its fortified Fordo facility buried under a mountain on a military base where Iran will be permitted to continue enriching uranium and developing its ability to spin faster and more advanced centrifuges. It has also backed away from UN Security Council Resolution 1696 of July 2006, which demanded that Iran suspend research and enrichment of radioisotopes, as well as U.S. demands for the dismantlement of the nuclear facilities.
In short, a nuclear timetable for Iran has now been established. In return for merely slowing down its pursuit of nuclear weapons, in 5 years, if that, according to the Agreement, the embargo on the import and export of conventional weapons will end. Unsurprisingly, Iran is already in breach of that Agreement. Russia recently finalized the sale to Iran of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in violation of the existing embargo, and it will be providing Iran with 250 highly-advanced Sukhoi-Su-30MK1 fighters as well as 100 - IL78 MKI tanker aircraft for refueling the Iranian air force in mid-flight which brings Israel and the Middle East Arab nations at large within easy range of Iranian aerial bombardment. Debkafile, which is known to have significant international military and intelligence sources also announced on July 30th that Iran is to purchase from China 150 Chengdu J-10 sophisticated jet fighters which are comparable to the U.S. F-16. These purchases are a direct result of the anticipated unfreezing of Iranian assets and the billions of dollars that will flow from it.
Moreover, according to the Agreement, in 8 years, Iran can acquire ballistic missiles but even that provision is questionable. Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Zarif recently stated that the new U.N. Security Council resolution makes all ballistic missile restrictions in the Agreement "non-binding." If he is correct, the President is to blame. By making his deal international law before it became U.S. law, Obama may well have made Congressional disapproval of the deal irrelevant.

The Agreement also provides that after 10 years, unlimited centrifuges can be built that will be used to enrich uranium. Israeli intelligence, however, has just learned that the Teba and Tesa plants in Iran's military industry are already developing new, smaller centrifuges - the IR6 and IR8 - both of which will allow the Iranians to build smaller enrichment facilities immediately that will be much more difficult to detect and are expected to shorten the break-out time to a bomb.+

It provides that in 15 years, all limits on the level to which uranium can be enriched will end, and in 25 years, all special limitations under the deal will be lifted. Thereafter, Iran would not be subject to any additional restrictions on its nuclear program making it that much more difficult to determine if its leaders decide to build a nuclear weapon.

Given Iran's long history of deception, denial of IAEA access to its nuclear sites, and its continuous denials about its nuclear program in its negotiations, together with its creeping jihad through stealth and terror across five continents, there is absolutely no basis upon which to trust them now. Since 1979, no Iranian leader has changed his mind or actions about Israel, about the U.S. or about human rights, and it is the height of folly and naiveté to believe that the Iranian regime will change in the next decade and give up on its global Islamist jihad as the Agreement's signatories seem to believe.
Unfortunately, spokesmen for the U.S. Administration have already contradicted earlier assurances that any Agreement Iran makes would leave its nuclear facilities open to immediate inspection at any time. Now the public learns that the inspectors - none of whom under the Agreement can be Americans - must ask for the opportunity to inspect a suspected site, not immediately, but within 24 days - no doubt followed by months of political haggling over the inspection details - giving the Iranians ample time to destroy incriminating evidence. And to make matters worse, a just disclosed "side deal" to the Vienna Agreement - classified for the Americans, but not for Iran - enables Iran to provide its own soil samples to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from the Parchin military complex south of Tehran where it is believed to be experimenting with ways to detonate a nuclear weapon.

This arrangement would allow the Iranians to fake the samples provided to the IAEA. In fact, Iran has stated categorically that inspection of any of its military sites (which is quite obviously where research on or development of nuclear-related military applications would be conducted) will never occur. Is this the "unprecedented verification" the U.S. Administration promised us? Is this what twenty months of negotiations with Iran generates?

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz represented that any agreement would provide for "anywhere, anytime" inspections. As noted, however, the deal provides nothing close to this. In fact, according to the Agreement, disclosure of Iran's past nuclear-related activities is no longer a prerequisite for lifting international sanctions against Iran. As a result, the central question of Iran's disclosure of dangerous nuclear activities in the past will remain unresolved. If Iran will not give a correct and complete accounting of its past and current nuclear activities, its suspicious nuclear sites will likely never be inspected.

The Agreement signatories should have learned from their past experience in supervising the "destruction" of Syria's chemical weapons that Iran cannot be trusted to abide by this Agreement. Two years after Syria signed an agreement with the U.S. and Russia to dismantle its chemical weapons, U.S. intelligence agencies and chemical weapons inspectors have now concluded that Syria has failed to account for its arsenal, developed new capabilities, and continues to use chemical attacks on the battle front without significant reaction from the international community. So much for the reliability of international oversight.

As a consequence, it is safe to assume that the Agreement will not have an enforceable inspections regime or a workable way to re-impose pressure on Iran when it cheats. In fact, according to Tablet, in the immediate aftermath of the signing, the Iranian delegates told their superiors that "our most significant achievement" was America's consent to the continued enrichment of uranium on Iranian territory - a complete about-face from America's declared position prior to and during the talks. The Western delegates conceded on almost every one of the critical issues they had themselves resolved not to concede.

No wonder Iran's Supreme Leader sent around a tweet of Obama pointing a pistol at his own head.
Worse still, the parties to the Agreement are required to help Iran protect its nuclear facilities should anyone try to attack or sabotage them - including, presumably, Israel and any disenchanted signatories to the Agreement itself. Put into plain terms, the U.S. is protecting the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism to the detriment of Israel and its Sunni Arab Middle East allies.

Furthermore, by lifting the strict economic sanctions and trade restrictions Washington and its allies laboriously put in place, the Agreement would release within months previously sanctioned oil and gas revenues that would then flow into Iranian coffers. This would result in the freeing up of an estimated $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets (as noted above) and tens of billions of dollars in trade restrictions that would be eliminated almost immediately. Syrian President Assad and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah are already celebrating the billions of dollars that they know Iran will give to their respective war machines thanks to the Vienna Agreement.

Abbas Araghchi, the deputy Iranian foreign minister who led the negotiations for Mr. Obama's deal even admitted that, despite the Agreement, Iran will continue to buy all the arms it wants, from whomever it wants, and if the rest of the world doesn't like it - too bad. He vowed that Iran would "buy weapons from wherever possible, and will provide weapons to whomever and wherever it considers appropriate."

Nor is he alone. Iran´s Supreme Leader Khamenei gave a particularly inflammatory speech just days after the deal, stating that the Islamic Republic´s policies toward the U.S. have not changed. "We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon," he continued, referring to the Iranian terror axis in the Middle East. "Even after this deal, our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change."

Two years ago, the Iranian economy was collapsing under the weight of international economic sanctions and it is conceivable that Iran's Islamic regime would have collapsed as well had the sanctions been rigorously applied. But the Agreement has now given the mullahs a new lease on life. Their economic situation will be completely transformed. A gold rush to Iran will now take place. Profits and the promise of jobs in stressed European and Russian economies will create powerful interest groups and popular sentiment against doing anything to upset the status quo.

Thus, counting on "snapping back" the sanctions that in reality contain neither "snap" nor "back" is a fantasy of fools even when (not if) Tehran opts to use its soon-to-be vast financial resources to dramatically increase its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, the Assad regime in Syria, and the Houthi rebellion in Yemen - which is assured. The Iranians know the U.S. is unprepared to use force, and with the tens of billions in funds and unlocked oil revenues handed over to Iran to acquire weapons that can be used to strike at America and its allies, it knows that the United States will be even less willing to act militarily at "break-out time" than it is now.

Wishful thinking is no basis for a foreign policy

In his June 2009 address in Cairo, President Obama said: "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings"........ and in a January 2014 interview in the New Yorker, he added: "If we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion - not funding terrorist organizations, not trying to stir up sectarian discontent in other countries, and not developing a nuclear weapon - you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran."

Obama's aspiration for equilibrium, however, is based on his conviction that Iran will voluntarily come to place limits on its own ambitions. To him, therefore, the nuclear deal is not an end in itself; it is a means to establish the larger end of a strategic partnership that will accomplish his sought-for "equilibrium" in the Middle East. If, as President Obama seems to believe, Iran's government is capable not only of rational analysis, but of transforming itself into a reasonable and responsible international player, its possession of a nuclear program would not be so troubling. But allowing a genocidal, tyrannical, xenophobic, terrorism-sponsoring, jihadist Islamic regime that is the world's leading state sponsor of terror and which is theologically committed to achieving regional and ultimately global Islamic hegemony, and is pledged to the destruction of Israel to have a nuclear weapons program - is sheer madness.

Therefore, the basic premise of this deal is seriously flawed. In order to believe that such a change is possible, we must forget everything we know about the nature of this Islamic regime - that it is inherently aggressive and motivated by an extreme religious ideology that sees moderate Arabs, the West, the United States and Israel as enemies to be destroyed - not partners for peace and cooperation.

President Barack Obama has harmed the world by abandoning his own red lines - against the emphatic advice of his own military advisors. In doing so, he has bestowed ideological legitimacy on the Islamic Republic's radical theocracy, and consigned the people of Iran to near permanent rule under the iron fist of Shi'a Islam.

The Agreement does not insist that Iran cease its threats to annihilate the state of Israel, abandon public rallies calling for "death to America," end support for terrorist organizations abroad, publicly reject the absurdities of Holocaust denial, release American political prisoners, or end violations of human rights at home.

Furthermore, this Agreement will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Sunni Arab world. Saudi Arabia has already signed a $12B deal with France for two sophisticated nuclear reactors and they are also reaching out to Russia and South Korea to insure they're not left behind in Iran's quest for regional hegemony. As Mark Hanna notes in PJ Media: "A U.S.-approved deal sends the unequivocal message that unless you are a rogue nuclear nation, you're not going to get the payoffs, U.S. protection and privileges Obama just afforded the Iranians".

Iran will also have been rewarded for having violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and will be given a red carpeted fast-track to complete its nuclear bomb and to construct intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that will be capable of reaching Israel, the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East, Europe and even America.

The President also maintains that the alternative to this deal is war. That claim is blatantly false. Prof. Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute points out that there is a historical precedent for tougher diplomacy that works. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify SALT II, ending the SALT process, but war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union did not ensue. Both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan instead increased the pressure on the Soviet Union dramatically. The lesson is that walking away from bad deals does not inevitably lead either to war or to the end of negotiations.

The short of it is that Iran will neither stop its nuclear development, nor change its jihadist aggression, nor surrender. Instead of lifting the sanctions and guaranteeing the survival of the Islamic regime, the U.S. should be increasing and enforcing them, for even if a fraction of the revenues to be returned to Iran are allocated to expanding Islamic terrorism beyond its borders (as is expected), the U.S. will have subsidized the expansion of its worst nightmare.

The Iran deal, as presently constructed, is a mistake of historic proportions. It meets zero of the criteria for a good deal. It is not enforceable, it is not verifiable, nor is it in America's national security interest. The world's largest state sponsor of terror got everything it wanted and the free world got a ticking time-bomb. As Alan Dershowitz wrote recently: "The gamble is that by the time the most restrictive provisions of the deal expire, Iran will be a different country with more reasonable leaders. But can the world and especially the nations most at risk from an Iranian nuclear arsenal depend on faith, bets and dice, when they know that the last time the nuclear dice were rolled ..... North Korea ended up with nuclear weapons?"

The Agreement reached with Iran is bad for the United States, for its Sunni Arab allies, for the West, for Israel and for the world, and for these reasons the U.S. Congress must reject it.
Mark Silverberg is a foreign policy analyst for the Ariel Center for Policy Research (Israel). He is a former member of the Canadian Justice Department, a past Director of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Western Office) based in Vancouver, a member of Hadassah's National Academic Advisory Board and a Contributing Editor for Family Security Matters, Intellectual Conservative and Israel National News (Arutz Sheva). He also served as a Consultant to the Secretary General of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem during the first Palestinian intifada. His book "The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad" and his articles have been archived under www. marksilverberg .com.

TUESDAY Security Update: Obama detains 27 Christian asylum seekers

Click below for today's....

FSM Must Reads + 2012 site
The global Jihadist insurgency has clearly become embedded in America and it is likely to get worse before it gets better.

President Barack Obama has harmed the world by abandoning his own red lines - against the emphatic advice of his own military advisors.

Attitudes so prevalent today, particularly among young Americans, reflect what recent generations have been learning in school.

Obama's first hope was to reach a deal with his Iranian friends that would leave the Assad regime in place. But the Iranians blew him off.

Today's "heroes" are basically helpless existential eunuchs, incapable of idealism, powerless to pursue values, or corrupted by institutionalized pragmatism. They are what the killers of man's spirit wish their victims to become.

Alas, western civilization is in a spiral pursuing a number of wants and desires without regard to law, constitutionality or common sense.

The concurrent expenditure of public money on private or religious schools has not 'killed public education' as proponents in both areas might have argued over the years.

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