Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Democratic support for the Iran Deal: How Democrats lose elections.

According to a head count in the senate and Nancy Pelosi's head count in the House, Barrack Obama now has enough Democratic support to sustain a veto on the congressional rejection of his Iran Deal. Yesterday Democratic senators Coons and Casey announced their unenthusiastic support for the Iran deal with about as tepid and lukewarm endorsement imaginable and  Senator Barbara Mikulski announced her tepid support today giving Obama the 34 votes he needs to sustain his veto -- IF the Democrats who support the deal actually vote that way.And events can always change that.

Curiously none of the Democrats supporting the deal are disputing any of the obvious problems, weaknesses, capitulations and potential failures that have been pointed out by those opposed to the deal but are supporting it anyway.Which is how and why Democrats lose elections .

Coons said of the deal, " its not the deal I would have hoped for", and Casey said that "with all its flaws i believe it will constrain Iran's nuclear program".  Except the point of negotiating a deal in the first place was not to "constrain Iran" from getting a nuclear weapon, but to prevent it. The agreement is good for ten years. After that Iran is free to do as it pleases with its nuclear program (assuming they don't cheat sooner). And in the last few days Iran has celebrated the deal by ratcheting up its threat to destroy Israel.

Which is also how Democrats lose elections. By having Obama policies blow up in their face. Sometimes before they are even implemented.

That's how and why they were wiped out of congress in 2010 and 2014 over Obamacare by going along with Obama's sell out and capitulations to the insurance companies on the public option (something I predicted was going to happen months before the election if Democrats didn't change course and pass the public option in spite of Obama) and this is what is going to happen to Democrats who support the Iran deal by going along with Obama's sell out to Iran.

When senator Coons says, " this isnt the deal I would have hoped for" and " it was a very close call",  either his hopes were in the unicorn fantasy world Kerry says those who think there could have been a better deal are living in, or he knows the deal isn't what should be but will vote for it anyway.  Which is another way Democrats lose elections. Just as they did with grudgingly voting for Obamacare.  

Which is why the deal is likely to become a Iranian nuclear Obamacare a massive failure Democrats still haven't come to terms with yet.  Which means more likely than not  a lot of Democrats are going to lose their next election.

Mikulski's  tepid endorsement gives Obama the votes he needs to sustain a veto, although Harry Reid, doing the very thing he complains about when Republicans do it which shows what the words, "principle" and "integrity" have meant to Democrats since Obama took office , has vowed to keep the deal from even coming to a vote by using the filibuster if he can get 41 Democrats to support it instead of the current 34. 

But Democrats need to be careful. No Democrat could ever lose voting against this preposterous deal whose supporters either lie about it like the dishonest war mongering PR coming out of people like Jo Comerford and Anna Galland at MoveOn,  or those who defend it by showing they have the foresight of a drunken longshoreman by saying " What's the alternative?" as if there is none. Mikulski joined the latter group by reluctantly endorsing it and saying " it's the best option available". Which is like going to a used car lot full of lemons and thinking you have to buy one or you walk. 

When Democrats lose elections its usually because they deserve to and bring it on themselves, not because their principles are wrong or values are wrong but because they don't live up to them. And when you are supporting the most dishonest and ineffective and untrustworthy president in the history of the Democratic party that is what happens.

Republicans lose elections because their policies usually fail. Democrats lose by not living up to the policies they promise and being true to their own beliefs . Usually because of a failure of leadership. And as a result too many make bad unprincipled decisions that actually violate traditional Democratic principles, common sense and logic and replace it in the name of being team players. 

Which is how they lose by following Nancy Pelosi.  And they lose not at the hands of Republican voters but at the hands of Democratic ones who express their displeasure,  not by voting Republican as many independents do when Democrats fail,  but by staying home and not voting at all so as not to support polices they oppose. Like Obamacare. Which is what happened to Democrats in 2010 and 2014. Which was predictable. And is likely to happen over the Iran deal.

Twice since Obama was elected I predicted massive Democratic defeats in two elections for the above reasons and I was proved right both times and both were a result of Democrats going along with Obama's sell outs including healthcare reform. 

General Dempsey, Obama's outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs trashed the Iran deal when he said in testimony to congress that letting Iran have ICBM's (whose sole purpose is to deliver a nuclear warhead,) and lifting the arms embargo " should never happen". Obama agreed to let both happen.  The former Deputy General of the IAEA said the inspection regimen is inadquate. In the last couple of days the IAEA has expressed " concern" over satellite imagery showing Iran construction at a military facility that the deal says will be off limits to inspections.

All Democrats need to do is read or listen to the reasons given by other Democrats who support the deal to know how bad the deal is and just how stupid and self destructive supporting the deal is. 

These reasons include, " its not the deal I had hoped for", " what's the alternative"? "despite it's many flaws...", "it's the best we can do now" or Kerry's answer to what happens in 10 years when the deal runs out and Iran can pursue a bomb: "we'll see what happens". There is also the promise  Obama made to Jerrold Nadler to get him to support the deal by promising to use "military force" to keep Iran from a bomb which makes fools out of the relentless lying by groups like MoveOn who claim that the deal prevents the use of military force. It also makes Nadler look foolish since its one more disingenuous empty Obama promise since Obama will be collecting Social Security by the time the deal runs out and Iran will be free to pursue a nuclear bomb.

But the last and most important thing Democrats should keep in mind in whether or not to vote for or against this deal  is something Colin Powell once said about foreign policy when he said, " if you break it you own it". In the case of the Iran deal and  Democrats,  its going to be, if you don't break it you own it. And the consequences that come with it. Some of which are already starting to show their ugly head. And, like going along with Obamacare and Obama's needless concessions to insurance companies which most Democrats didn't support but reluctantly went long with anyway, they will pay for it in the next election.

In an interview with Christiane Ammanour defending the deal John Kerry said: " to show you the myths surrounding the idea that hundreds of billions will go to finance terrorism around the world, they are'll only be $50 -55 billion."


That sounds like General Buck Turdgison in Dr. Strangelove  downplaying U.S. casualties in a nuclear war with Russia by saying, " no more than 10-20 million killed. Tops. Depending on the breaks".

Kerry went on to agree that the money freed up by sanctions relief will in fact go to sponsor terrorism. Just not all of it. Which is certain to make a lot of people opposed to the deal feel better. 

Obama, Pelosi and Reid have led the Democratic Party over a cliff supporting Obama's policies before.  Policies that proved to be failures. And Democrats went along. There is no reason to think it won't happen again over Iran. And every reason to think it will.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Obama so confident in sustaining veto on Iran, Harry Reid promises filibuster to prevent a vote.

One of the tried and true ways of knowing whether something is honest, real, true, and not a partisan piece of nonsense is how honest each side is in how they deal with it, who lies, who tells the truth, who exaggerates, who is willing to play it straight and who tries to play games or use the rules to prevent the will of people from working it's will.
Obama made that very complaint and quite legitimately when Republicans prevented any gun legislation from coming to a vote in the senate after Sandy Hook. Obama and Reid made the same legitmate  complaint about Republican use of the filibuster and senate rules to block Obama's judicial nominees and appointments and held up the appointment of the new Attorney General.
But now Obama is playing the same Republican game and both he and Reid are showing they are not as confident as they pretend in having enough Democrats to sustain a veto on what is an absurd Iran deal. And so Reid has very stupidly threatened a filibuster to keep the Iran deal from coming  to a vote if it turns out there will be enough Democratic votes to override Obama's veto. 
It proves again that ever since Obama's election,between Obama, Reid and Pelosi ,Democrats have had no leadership, are politically tone deaf , ignore what their own voters have wanted and because of their blind partisan sycophancy to Obama, betrayed their own voters and what was promised on things like healthcare reform which led Democrats over a cliff  in two elections at the hands of their own voters.  Reid is continuing on that path of Democratic defeat by making his filibuster threat if Obama can't get his veto sustained honestly.
That would not sit well with the majority of voters and even the threat has caused damage and the surest way to guarantee Democrats will lose even more seats in congress would be to filibuster and prevent a vote on something as important and controversial as the Iran deal if Obama can't get the votes to sustain his veto on what even supporters call a weak deal that leaves a lot to be desired ("flawed" is their word of choice).  
The words used to support the deal prove how bad it is. Virtually every supporter of the deal is making an admission the deal is based on chance not anything that is iron clad, a reality that gets re-enforced every time those who support the deal feel the need to lie about it like MoveOn and other groups or even Obama himself.
Harry Reid said of his preventing a vote if Obama's veto won't be sustained, " As far as procedurally stopping the bill from moving forward (to a vote)  I hope it can be done". 
Patty Murray, the latest Democrat to support the deal (there are still not enough to sustain a veto)  ironcially proved again how weak the deal it is. As has been the case with every other Democrat supporting the deal, not one voicing any actual enthusiasm or praise.
Murray said, " there are several elements I would like to be stronger ...but I am convinced this deal is the best chance we have at a strong diplomatic solution".
Notice the choice of words. Not that this deal achieves the diplomatic goal of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, not that it accomplishes what it was supposed to do, but that its " the best chance" of doing it,  an admission that Democrats  and everyone else are supposed to support it based on chance when a negotiation which lifts sanctions on Iran and gives them hundred of billions in sanctions relief in return for absolutely making it impossible for Iran to get a nuclear weapon should never be left to chance.
As usual there is not a shred of proof  offered by anyone that its the "best" anything when even supporters contradict themselves in their next sentence by saying it's "flawed" or " it could have been stronger". That isn't most people's definition of "best" and if the argument is no one could have gotten Iran to agree to anything stronger reality makes them look foolish since Iran at the very last minute insisted on the end to the arms embargo and the end of the ban on ICBM's. And Obama agreed ( or caved in depending on how Tea Party-ish you want to be). Just to get a deal. Which is what Obama said he'd never do.Which is also typical Obama. 
Proof is John Kerry's argument as to why the hostages held by Iran or reining in Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism around the world wasn't made part of the deal: 
"This was solely about Iran's nuclear program. We didn't want to muddy the waters by bringing in outside elements as part of the deal."
Fair enough. Except Iran's last minute insistence on ending the arms embargo and ban on their having ICBMs had nothing to do with their nuclear program either. Which shows how weak and fundamentally dishonest Obama's deal is and how disengenuous it's defense.
Which gets re-enforced  by it's supporters constant use of the word "chance" as in " the best chance to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon".
There should be nothing left to chance when it comes to  preventing Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Nothing. It has been said over and over by Obama himself and everyone else, that Iran getting a nuclear weapon is out of the question. And to concede that this absurd deal has only a "chance" of accomplishing it's goal is to re-enforce its absurdity. And make its supporters look foolish.
As Obama did again in a letter to NY Congressman Jerrold Nadler to get his vote when he promised " I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon including the use of miltary force". Wait a minute.  Isn't this supposed to be the "best" way to  prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon without military force? Or is this Obama for the millionth time saying whatever he has to say to get what he wants politically? 
Hasn't MoveOn, DFA and other Tea Party Left groups touting this deal been shouting from the rooftops that this is the only way to prevent a war with Iran? So it seems  Obama made fools out of them too in his letter to Nadler. As usual.
If voters ever think that Democrats in congress  are more interested in saving Obama's face than the lives that will be put at risk by allowing the arms embargo against Iran to end which even Obama admits will be used to arm terrorists around the world, and ending the ban on Iran having ICBMs whose sole purpose is to deliver a nuclear warhead,  and clearing the way for Iran to get s nuclear weapon in 10 years then incumbent Democrats across the country are in very,very  big trouble.
No Democrat is ever going to lose an election voting against this absurd deal. But a lot can lose by voting for it.
And what Democrats need to keep in mind is not what Obama says, and not what Pelosi says and not what Harry Reid says, but to paraphrase what Colin Powell said about foreign policy,and that is for Democrats on the Iran deal, if you don't break it you own it. For better or for worse.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Memo to the Clinton campaign: Stop Defending and Start Attacking.

Back in April, before Clinton ever announced her candidacy I wrote a piece advising Clinton to keep the national news media at arms length, even ignore them, and for a lot of very good reasons. I wrote that the national media was not her friend never have been ( the why's are clear enough and the subject of another article) and will always be looking for something with which to attack her.

But just as important, the  other very good reason to keep the national news media at arms length is because of something they will never admit which is they have no real influence anymore on voters. Or on anything. Except for politicians who think they have influence when they don't.  Walter Cronkite is long gone. In fact there is no one sitting in an anchor chair at CNN  right now from 6 a.m. when New Day starts till Don Lemon signs off at 11 p.m.who could have gotten a job as Walter Cronkite's gopher at CBS News back in the 60's and 70's.

My advice to the Clinton campaign  was to concentrate on giving interviews to local news  outlets and not the national media also for a  lot of good reasons.  Not the least of which that local reporters were more likely to question Clinton about issues important to their part of the country and their viewers or readers  as opposed to, like Brianna Keilar, trying to impress their friends. Especially when their friends aren't worth impressing.

For a long time it seemed that Clinton was doing just that, not because I think she took my advice but because  it seemed that people high up in her campaign were thinking the same way I was.  Much to the obvious frustration of the national media who started complaining and chafing about a lack of access.

Clinton decided to end the embargo  and gave her first national interview to Brianna Keilar at CNN which was a mistake. Not only was Keilar  universally panned in terms of a lackluster interview journalistically but Keilar's interview was one cheap shot question after another using  bogus and suspect CNN polls about Clinton's honesty as the basis of the questions when it's been CNN themselves beating the drum (or the dead horse depending on your point of view) and raising questions about Clinton's honesty and trustworthiness, then conducting suspect polls  and using them to justify the questions. Then Keilar used  something Clinton said in the interview to take the  cheapest shot possible during an interview with Trey Gowdy, the  partisan Republican chair of the Benghazi committee hearings and clearly a political hack and hatchet man. 

During her interview Keilar had asked Clinton about her turning over emails as the result of a subpoena  from Gowdy's committee. Clinton said there had been no subpoena and that she had turned over the emails voluntarily not as the result of a subpoena.

That was true. But what was also true was that Gowdy did issue a subpoena, an unnecessary one since Clinton had turned over the emails prior to receiving the subpoena.   But it gave Keilar her opening with Gowdy to take another cheap shot trying to make herself look like a tough journalist.

When Gowdy brought up the fact that he had issued a subpoena Keilar seized on the opportunity to ask Gowdy, " Is Hillary Clinton a liar"?

 It was the kind of "look ma I'm a journalist" shallow, superficial question designed to make Keilar popular with her journalistic friends who sit at the same high school cafeteria table she does,  since Keilar knew Clinton hadn't lied but was trying to point out in an answer to Keilar's original question that she had turned over the emails without being required to do so by a subpoena. That is what Clinton meant when she said there hadn't been a subpoena and unless Keilar is really, really dumb or  trying to play dumb, she knew it. But still couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw some mud because like most at CNN they think they can get away with it without complaint from Clinton.

Then there was the bogus New York Times story which claimed Clinton was the subject of a criminal investigation which also turned out not to be true but for which the Clinton campaign couldn't even get an apology and which took the Times  two days  to correct.  The dishonest and rigged CNN polls about Clinton's honesty of which I have already written will be dealt with in more depth and more specifics another time. For now it's long past due for the Clinton campaign to stop defending itself and go  on the attack. 

The Clinton campaign can start by revoking the press credentials of Brianna Keilar and let her and CNN know there is a price to pay for dishonest cheap shot journalism. Revoking credentials doesn't mean Keilar cant attend events as any member of the audience. It means she cant go where the press goes and she cant ask questions. CNN can either assign someone else or be shut out.

As for the Times the Clinton campaign response to the New York Times false reporting of a "criminal investigation" , was also incredibly weak no matter how well intentioned, as evidenced by a letter written to the Times by Jennifer Palmeri, Clinton's communications director which the Times refused to publish.

The New York Times is responsible for the three biggest journalistic stink bombs in the last 50 years, the Wen Ho Lee investigation in which it claimed Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee had committed the worst case of espionage against the United States since the Rosenbergs, allegations that turned out to be completely false and resulted in a dressing down of the Times by the judge in the case,  Whitewater, the biggest non story and non-scandal scandal in the history of journalism and last but not least, the Times bogus, erroneous  Dick Cheney fed front page stories by Judith Miller on Sadaam's WMD which was instrumental in getting the U.S. into a war based on Bush Administration lies we never should have fought.

You would think someone at the Clinton campaign would know how to hit back at the Times and hit them where it hurts - their credibilty.  The Times report of Clinton being under criminal investigation over classified emails was wrong, journalistically incompetent, ineptly sourced, and the product of shoddy journalism and incompetent editorial oversight that violated most standards of journalism 

Palmeri's response was almost apologetic when it should have been apoplectic and by its weakness sent a signal to journalists that Clinton hunting season is open and they can get away with anything and there will be no price to pay.

Imagine what Republicans would have done had the Times printed a story about the leading Republican candidate for president being under criminal investigation only to find the report was not only false but also the product of  the worst kind of unprofessional shoddy journalism, shoddy sourcing  and shoddy editorial oversight at all levels from the reporters who wrote the story to the incompetent editors who approved it.

Republicans would have rightly torn the Times credibility and their standards already much diminished, to shreds, accused it of bias, attacked their professionalism, would have demanded a front page and heartfelt apology and then still would have kicked the Times and their credibility where it hurts until the Times begged forgiveness.

They would have shamed the Times into an apology and insisted on a Times internal investigation  into how such a thing could have happened and get  a promise to hold those responsible accountable.

Instead in her letter to Times editors protesting false reporting, Palmeri said how much she respects the Times and is looking forward to a "productive relationship" in the future.

Not exactly what Trump would have said either. He would have exploded. And we saw an example of that when the Daily Beast published a false story about a bogus rape accusation supposedly made by Ivana 25 years ago which she publicly debunked.

If the Clinton campaign went on the attack over the emails and attack not just Republicans but the news media for their  self serving and empty reporting the country would respect it and approve of her toughness which would also go to what people want in a president. Clinton has the truth and facts  on her side and the news media and Republicans don't yet the Clinton campaign is always on the defensive. 

Palmeri also showed up on CNN in an interview with Cry Wolf Blitzer who asked his usual collection of questions, smacking of the journalistic smarminess he and CNN have become known for, and peppered Palmeri with questions  devoid of any underlying fact.  Palmeri was immediately on the defensive and if you were a Clinton supporter you probably watched Palmeri's interview  and defense of Clinton with your hand over your face, peeking  between your fingers.

Palmeri  put all the blame on  Republicans for the email issue and they are certainly exploiting it, but its Blitzer, CNN, the false reporting of the Times and other media outlets who jump on the bandwagon and CNN's constant slanted polling that is the core of the problem.

The least Palmeri  could have said is, " what scandal? Why do you even call it a scandal? The NY Times publishing a false report about a criminal investigation that didn't exist against a presidential candidate is a scandal. Your rigged polls on Clinton's honesty and trustworthiness is a scandal. Accusations and insinuations that no one can back up with a single fact is a scandal. Hillary Clinton using a private email server that everyone knew about while she was Secretary of State and that no one ,including the Inspector General,the State Department or the White House objected to is not a scandal. Get a dictionary."

Palmeri  let Blitzer off the hook by being deferential and instead solely  blamed Republicans for the whole mess when they are simply scavenging. 

CNN as well as other news organizations especially cable but also those vying for internet readership are at their root, parasitic.  Not just in this case but in all cases. 

When it comes to Clinton and the whole email and honesty and trustworthiness issue it  is something they created. They didn't spread the fire or pour gasoline on the fire they set the fire. There was no spontaneous reaction by the public to the issue of Clinton's emails reflecting on her honesty or trustworthiness. CNN for one created that by conducting polls that introduced those ideas for the first time with slanted questions. Then CNN used them as the basis for interviews with guests then acted like they had nothing to do with it that questions about Clinton's honesty was some kind of visceral reaction by the public.

The Clinton campaign could take them apart over that too.

To prove the point,  CNN recently switched gears trying to salvage the issue since there is still no evidence Clinton did anything wrong and  did a segment with the banner,  " Are email optics hurting Clinton's campaign"?


Nothing related to facts or truth or whether there is actually any proof Clinton did anything wrong, professionally, ethically or legally or whether any of the  accusations or misrepresentations by the press have produced any evidence.  Now it's about  optics.  Optics that CNN and the news media helped create.

And no one from the Clinton campaign calls them out on that fact alone .  Donald Trump doesn't back down from anything and media criticism has had no affect on his poll numbers. Trump even went after Fox News over the Meagan Kelly business and it was Fox News that backed down. And Trump is doing better with women voters than men.

During the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, David Shuster at MSNBC called Hillary and Bill Clinton "pimps" and reduced Chelsea to a political whore because she was helping her mother by making phone calls to supporters to raise money. Shuster called it "pimping out their daughter". Imagine the hue and cry had he said the same about Obama. The Clinton campaign's response was weak and devoid of the outrage and attack on MSNBC that was called for.  Democratic strategists, so weak and ineffective they are becoming their own category of ethnic joke, did little or nothing to come to Clinton's defense or launch an attack.   Clinton wrote MSNBC a letter of protest and MSNBC suspended Shuster for two weeks.  Two weeks.  For calling a sitting U.S. senator and former First Lady and the leading Democratic candidate for president (which had a lot to do with what was behind Shuster's slur) and a former President of the U. S. pimps. Which made their daughter a whore. That was good for a two week suspension.

Clinton or somebody, should stand up to journalists and the criticism suurounding her use of her own email server and not the .gov system  by pointing out  these facts: 

The White House email system was hacked.
The State Department email system was hacked.
The Pentagon email system was hacked.
The Office of Personnel Management system was hacked and the private information of over 2o million government employees including those who applied for TOP SECRET security clearances was stolen.

Clinton's email system was not  hacked. 

This is what the news media and Republicans are calling a "scandal". 

Clinton's email system has been referred to as " a home brew" email system as if its run by a goat on a treadmill running after a piece of cheese. The other characterization which is used repeatedly by the AP, Times, CNN, Reuters and others to re-enforce and justify the news media's reporting is the term "unsecured".  

Clinton's email system which she shares with Bill is monitored by the Secret Service .

Maybe  the best way  for Clinton to answer the email critics is to make  this pledge :

"Given that the White House email system was hacked, the Pentagon was hacked, the State Department was hacked, the Office of Personnel Management was hacked and my email server has never been hacked,  I promise  that if I am elected president I will  use the same people who set up and monitor my email server to do the same for the government."

And then say if anyone has any more questions to send her an email.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Secret Iran Deal Allows Iran to Inspect Itself. Or, Why is This Man Smiling?

An Iran deal absurd to begin with and supported by only the most partisan of Obama sycophants or people who have chosen to believe the misrepresentations put out in support of the deal just got  a lot more absurd to the point of satire when the AP was able to obtain the secret agreement alluded to by John Kerry in his appearance before two congressional committees in his defense of the overall deal . This secret agreement labeled "separate arrangement II (indicating there is a part I)  a copy of which was obtained by the AP and which is part of the overall deal with Iran, unbelievably allows Iran to inspect itself for a site Iran wants off limits to IAEA inspectors.

According to the "separate arrangement II" document, Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it was accused of using once before to develop nuclear arms.

The specific site in question is the Parchin nuclear site which Iran had long  been suspected of using to develop nuclear weapons. Iran had also been accused of using the site to experiment with explosive triggers used to detonate nuclear weapons and was exposed in 2003 of having done so.

The White House immediately issued its own hollow defense of the arrangement by saying the overall deal is " the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated".

Which doesn't exactly inspire confidence since who can name the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated before this one? It wasn't Iraq. Not North Korea. Not anything the White House can name. Which reduces it to Obama doublespeak or Washingtonspeak and a non-defense defense. The statement is contradicted by the AP report.

From the Associated  Press:

" The agreement diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied, trying to develop nuclear weapons".

If that is the most robust inspection deal ever peacefully negotiated then it would be assumed that those that came before also allowed those subject to inspection to inspect themselves which is clearly not true as the AP and IQ's in 3 digits already figured out. 

The AP  also quotes from Olli Heinonen, a former IAEA Deputy Director General, referred to here previously, who said he could not think of any other similar concession ever made to another country. So the White House is right in one respect -- the inspection deal is unprecedented. But not in the way Obama has presented. Heinonen also destroyed  one of Fareed Zakaia's arguments in support of the deal when Zakaria quoted a former IAEA inspector who claimed the insufficient  inspection argument was a straw man. Heinonen, who says otherwise was much further up the chain of command at IAEA as an IAEA Deputy Director General.

But it also exposes more untruths, or to be blunt, more lies and misrepresentations by Obama who has, as the AP reports, "repeatedly denied claims of a secret deal favorable to Tehran".

Parchin is infamous in that Iran had refused to allow access by inspectors for years and is a site both the US and Israeli intelligence believe has been used to work on nuclear weapons and to develop high explosive triggers for a nuclear weapon. Iran has called the U.S. and Israel liars.

One of the major criticisms of the Iran deal even before this revelation was that the deal denying inspectors the right to inspect undeclared sites would make it difficult to impossible to reveal attempts at developing high explosive triggers since no uranium enrichment is involved.  In other words they could develop nuclear triggers in Rouhani's basement and the IAEA based on the deal, legitimately be refused access.

Parchin also happens to be the site where satellite imagery revealed Iran had used bulldozers and other equipment to sanitize the site ten years ago. Yet this is the site the secret deal allows Iran to inspect itself with it's own inspectors and equipment.(It should also be noted that ten years is when this deal expires which will then allow Iran unfettered ability to pursue uranium enrichment to weapons grade.)

According to the AP, the draft agreement they obtained shows the proposed signatory is Ali Hoseini Tash, Deputy Secretary for the Supreme National Security Council for Strategic Affairs. The AP states that this "reflects the significance Tehran attaches to the deal." It might also add that the appropriately named Hoseini negotiated an agreement in which the U.S. has been hosed.

The AP says Iranian diplomats in Vienna were "unavailable for comment". But Nancy Pelosi, who led Democrats over a cliff in the 2010 elections by going along with Obama's sellout to the health insurance lobby by dropping the public option was available.  She said she still supports the deal. Which should be enough to make Democrats shudder.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Destroying Fareed Zakaria's Arguments in Favor of the Iran Deal.

Fareed Zakaria has long been an almost blind supporter of president Obama from the beginning and as the above banner shows, was "impressed with the president's attention to the middle east" which could probably be best characterized as being closer to ADHD than actual attention since his relationship with Netanyahu is non-existent, he's been a failure in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from the start since neither side trusts him and the Saudis arent too happy with him either. Add to that Obama's massive policy mistakes and failures in Yemen, Syria and with Isis, and its probably wise to consider anything Zakaria says in favor of an Obama policy as suspect.

In addition, Zakaria recently hosted a CNN special called "Blindsided: How Isis took the world by surprise". Which isnt exactly true since its public knowledge that Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Defense Secretaries Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel and Panetta again as CIA Director all implored Obama years ago to arm the moderate Syrian rebels to stop Isis in its tracks as it was being formed  in Syria. Obama famously replied  that Isis was "the junior varsity"  and didn't think they were worth paying attention to. So much for Obama's attention.

On Sunday,  on his CNN show, in an open appeal to Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer who has said he opposes the Iran deal and will vote against it, Zakaria, a generally intelligent and thoughtful man even if curiously enamored with Obama, made one of the most illogical and easily refutable arguments in support of the Iran deal this side of MoveOn and the Tea Party Left and their bizarre emails ( the latest of which is their dishonest and juvenile "60DaystoStopaWar" which is so full of lies and absurd thinking it puts them on the same level as climate change deniers) And in Zakaria's appeal in asking Schumer to change his mind, something the Tea Party Left will seize on since Schumer is their biggest  target for having the audacity to think for himself  and oppose both the deal and their Tea Party style groupthink, Zakaria laid out his arguments supporting Obama's Iran deal and against the arguments made by Schumer.

If you knew nothing about the issues involved it would be possible to draw a conclusion simply based on the quality of the arguments on each side.  Because  the more the Iran deal is looked at and logic and common sense is applied it's clear  there is no quality of argument in support of the deal since every argument  and point can be refuted factually which is why the best Kerry and Obama and those who support the deal can offer is,"what's the alternative"? And Obama's schoolyard name calling of those who oppose the deal as being the same people who got us into the war in Iraq ( like Joe Biden and John Kerry who both voted for the Iraq war?) makes Obama and his arguments look even more stupid and more suspect.

Instead of arguments and facts in support of the deal those are the kinds of overheated misrepresentations of the truth and facts, speculative suppositions, unsupported positions and opinions unsupported by facts and of course, outright lying, that is offered as a defense, the biggest lie of all being the lie parroted and used by MoveOn, DFA and others on the Tea Party Left which is either it's this deal or WAR!

The war argument is not only blatantly false it's stupid, illogical and an intentional empty attempt at  fear mongering designed to appeal to people who cant or wont think, which is exactly how the Tea Party on the Right tries to make an argument. 

But once the illogical war argument is put aside, the deal itself  and the pros and cons can be seen with a lot more clarity in terms of reality and  the real choices that were possible once you get past the war  smoke screen.

First, in defense of the deal, and trying to refute Schumer, Zakaria said that the snap back provision which would come into play if Iran lies or is caught cheating is the most extensive and foolproof in the history of snapback provisions and sanctions. Except there is no history of snap back provisions  so saying it's the most extensive snapback provision in history of sanctions is saying nothing. There is no history. 

There also isn't any kind of long term substantial "history" regarding sanctions  though they have obviously been used, most effectively and  ironically, against Iran and most ineffectively against North Korea, and Putin in his annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine.  So to  defend one of the main safeguards of the deal based on a provision and argument which is completely untested and could fall apart as " the most extensive and wide reaching in history",  when it's a  history that doesn't really exist, invalidates that argument and relegates it to speculative opinion. On the other side of the ledger the consequences of Iran being caught cheating and having snap back provisions which could fail or that Iran could ignore having already received tens of billions in relief and which would result in Iran getting a nuclear bomb is a preposterous trade off. You don't have to live in a unicorn fantasy world to think there could be a better way to guarantee Iran's compliance so that snap backs wouldnt even be necessary.

Secondly, on the  part of the deal that lifts the weapons embargo against Iran which even Obama admits will surely be used to arm terrorists around the world, Zakaria says, " this is true, but...".

Their should be no "but's".  If it's true, and it is, giving Iran more weapons they will surely use to arm terrorists around the world is not just unacceptable, it's stupid and wasn't necessary. Iran insisted on the lifting of the arms embargo at the last minute, threatened to walk away without it and Obama caved in. Giving Iran those weapons is going to kill people, and people who are U.S. allies. In addition the Iranian demand that the deal also include an end to the ban on having ICBMs which Zakaria could not defend is Cuckoo's Nest negotiating. This deal is supposed to be about preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon (which at best it does for 10 years) not giving Iran the means to deliver it, and the only purpose of having ICBM's is to deliver a nuclear warhead.

There was a third argument Zakaria made about inspections which also fell apart. He quoted a former weapons inspector as saying that finding fault with the 24 day delay for inspecting an undeclared site is a straw man. He says it would only matter if the IAEA caught Iran "red handed"  blatantly cheating and in his words, "then the game would be over anyway".(another former weapons inspector writing in Foreign Policy opposing the deal completely disagreed).

What he doesn't say is 1) Iran has proved they are adept at cheating and if they want to they will and 2)  the probability that they would be caught "red handed" without inspecting a suspicious site is virtually non-existent, and  3), if they were caught "red handed"  without an inspection there wouldn't be a need to inspect the site would there? The IAEA would already have the proof. Since the deal calls for the IAEA to already have proof in catching Iran "red handed" before they can even start the 24 day process to inspect an undeclared site its a Catch-22 because the IAEA "suspecting" a site isn't good enough to gain immediate access and if they had proof they wouldn't need to inspect the site. So the IAEA needs proof,  catching Iran "red handed"  before they can demand access to an undeclared site which then gives Iran 24 days to clean up the site and claim the "proof" never existed even though if the IAEA had proof there would be no need to inspect the site. Good luck snapping back sanctions on that one. Which makes the deal surrounding the inspections to use another literary analogy,  Alice in Wonderland. Or a unicorn fantasy world. It's not hard to understand why Iran readily agreed to those terms. And why Iran's top military chief supports the deal.

Zakaria's final argument was the most ludicrous of all, which is that without this deal Iran will continue its enrichment and get a nuclear weapons.  It's a ludicrous argument  because for years Iran has claimed they have no interest in a nuclear weapon and never have and were only enriching uranium to 2% for energy and medical isotopes and this whole sanction thing was just a big misunderstanding. Their complaint has been "you have us all wrong". Even though the only reason for their heavy water reactor was to enrich uranium to 20% which is weapons grade.

In defending the reason for accepting the deal Zakaria is admitting that Iran's leadership are and have been lying in the past and that they were in fact trying to enrich uranium to weapons levels all this time while lying to the rest of the world. We knew about their enrichment program  which was set back by Israeli and U.S. intelligence and counter espionage that created the Suxtnet worm which crippled Iran's reactors for a time (and without war).

 In admitting that Iran lies (they were also caught cheating in 2003 trying to develop triggers for a nuclear warhead) and cannot be trusted, Zakaria makes the case, not for this deal and not for war, Iran does not want war, they want the sanctions lifted, but for a much better more effective deal, a much stronger one that allows for real inspections, no ICBM's for Iran, no lifting of the arms embargo and a deal that will not let Iran enrich uranium to weapons grade in 10 years or ever. A deal that will actually accomplish what a deal to ensure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon is supposed to accomplish with an adversary that can't be trusted.

Obama has repeatedly said he hasnt heard anyone come up with anything better.  A lot of people havè including what was outlined above. Which makes him sound like a used car dealer trying to close a deal on a lemon. Which also exposes his negotiating skills. And, as we've seen before, his honesty. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Obama's latest ringing endorsement of the Iran deal: Iran's top military commander.

Obama may have lost number 3 Democrat in the senate Chuck Schumer who will vote against the Iran deal  along with a number of other Democrats but he picked up a big endorsement on Sunday in support of his deal, this one from Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan  Firouzabadi who told Iran's citizens and Iran's official news outlet that the deal  is just great for Iran and agrees with John Kerry that it couldn't be better.

(Just for context the above visual was Firouzabadi congratulating Syrian president Assad for "humiliating the United States".)

Firouszabadi didn't quite say that anyone who thinks Iran could have gotten a better deal  was living in a unicorn fantasy world, but sounding like an old 1950's rock ballad, said there were 16 reasons why the deal was great for Iran and Iran's military. And why wouldn't he?

Firouzabadi's endorsement blows one more ever changing and desperate Obama argument 

out of the water which Tea Party Left groups like MoveOn mimic like trained parrots, which is that those who oppose the deal in the U.S. are in common cause with Iran's hardliners. Based on facts and reality, there is more evidence that its those who endorse the deal in the U.S.who  have" common cause" to use Obama's term,  with the hardliners in Iran and those chanting "Death to America" since General Firouszabadi is one of those. And he is delighted with the deal.

It is clear from the facts that like it or not the proponents and supporters of the deal in the U.S. are more aligned with the Iranian military who are as hardline as it gets,  than those who oppose the deal.

 Obama's childish and dishonest attempt at casting those who oppose his deal as having"common cause" with the Iranian hardliners, like almost everything else Obama says, or has ever said, ends up being the opposite of what always proves true. Something Glen Greenwald  pointed out (and has been pointed out here constantly ever since Obama started running for president)  in Greenwald's recent piece on Obama's dishonesty and failures on Guantanamo and Democratic sycophants politically trying to cover it up.

Yet when it comes to Iran there is something on which everyone seems to agree.  Everyone with the possible exception of Tea Party Left groups like MoveOn and Daily Kos and ThinkProgress who by their own logic of calling opponents of the deal "pro Iran war", have been hoisted on their own petard as being pro-Iranian nuclear bomb and pro-terrorist. But the common cause everyone else in the U.S. shares from the most far right Republican to Bernie Sanders, is that Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Under any circumstances. Ever.

Everyone also agrees including those who oppose Obama's deal, that every diplomatic effort needs to be exhausted to prevent the possibility of Iran getting a nuclear weapon rather than having to resort to  war undermining the lies and false arguments coming from Tea Party Left groups that claim that those who oppose Obama's deal want war.

Obama's deal, far from exhausting every diplomatic effort to prevent Iran from having a bomb, is mostly Obama concessions that never should have been made in the first place and Obama himself has already conceded the deal will allow Iran to have a bomb in 10-15 years. Which would certainly lead to war.

But for now, unless Iran wanted war there would be no war.  Which is why the Iranian military chief is so pleased. And why MoveOn, ThinkProgress and DFA have become like Tea Party Left issuing, like the Tea Party on the right and their false propaganda, a torrent of blatant and even juvenile lies along with empty threats to prop up Obama.

Obama's deal gives Iran everything it wants and everything it needs to continue doing what it's been doing all along while giving Iran the capacity to have  a nuclear weapon in 10-15 years. They have given up virtually nothing except agreeing to inspections of previously declared sites. Iran is willing to wait those 10 years and will probably do secret research on triggers for a nuclear weapon which the IAEA couldn't discover (which happened in 2003) because there is no nuclear enrichment involved.

As for now Iran can't afford a war  and can't win one and therein is the lie, the ignorance and feeble scare tactics  coming from Tea Party Left groups who seem to have "common cause" with Iran's top military commander while influencing no one that matters despite their own self delusion to the contrary.

The only way Iran can ever threaten a war is if they had a nuclear bomb. That's because it takes two to make a war and Iran can't win a war. And will not now start one or engage in one with the U.S.  or Israel. And Firouzabadi knows that too. So it's not Obama's deal or war.   But by Obamas own admission his deal reduces the breakout time for Iran to get a nuclear bomb from three years at present to 3 months at the end of 10 years.

Obama said of his deal that Iran "is allowed to continue research and development into advanced centrifuges over the life of the deal and will be allowed to install those advanced models at Natanz after 10 years."  After 15 years all limits on the number and efficiency of those centrifuges expire  and that reduces the time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear bomb to 3 months.

Obama's deal , which General Firouszabadi is so happy with, also ends the ban on Iran having ICBM's whose sole purpose is to deliver a nuclear warhead. Add to that Iran's last minute demand and Obama's capitulation that the arms embargo be ended and its no wonder Firouszabadi is delighted. Which is why Obama's deal borders on the farcical and should be called Dr. Strangedeal: Or How Obama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Iran's Bomb.

The lies and propaganda and Obama sycophancy of MoveOn's leadership like Jo Comerford and Anna Galland aside, there would be no war, not now not in the near future, if this deal is rejected.  Which would give the U.S. plenty of time to negotiate a deal that does not, according to Obama, give them the ability to have a nuclear weapon and the ICBMs to deliver it in 10-15 years. Or the ability to give weapons to terrorists around the world which ending the arms embargo will enable, something even Obama concedes.

So there will be no war as a result of rejecting the deal. Because the bottom line is, Iran wants the sanctions lifted not war. And they have also claimed they were never trying to get  nuclear bomb in the first place. Which means that all Obama had to say,  diplomatically  of course,  to Iran is what anyone from Brooklyn would have said: "put up or shut up". 

Obama also added in a statement making those who claim its his deal or war look ridiculous, that in "15 years the United States will still  have the military capability to prevent Iran from breaking out to a bomb". Wasn't this supposed to prevent war?

If this deal goes through we will probably need that capability because the deal makes war or the threat of war more likely. Not now, but 10-15 years from now. When Iran could have that nuclear warhead and the ICBMs to deliver it, subjecting the world to, if nothing else the potential for nuclear blackmail. Or worse.

Colin Powell once said of foreign policy, if you break it you own it.  For Democrats in congress the reality of the Iran deal is going to be,  if you don't break it you own it. And that is something they need to think about. And something Major General Hassan Firouzabadi hopes never happens.

Friday, August 7, 2015

In Republican debate Carly Fiorina calls for the end of the Republican party as we know it.

Carly Fiorina, who many think made the best impression during the Republican presidential debates seems to have called for the end of the Republican party and its primary ideology.
She was talking about Donald Trump but she talked about Trump within the context of principle and it's principle that counts since it's one's principles that apply to any and all situations and cannot be used selectively.  Which is what makes it a principle and not an opinion. In fact  you cant even claim you have principles if the principle you express applies only to one person at one time or one situation but not another.
And  so of Donald Trump Fiorino said expressing what is supposedly one of her guiding principles :
" Anyone who claims to represent the Republican party should never in tone be judgmental, vitriolic or angry".
Say goodbye to the Tea Party if Fiorina has anything to say about it. Or at least her rejection of their rhetoric and behavior. The same with those NRA and anti-healthcare reform Republicans like those who applauded during a 2012 Republican presidential debate at the idea of a person with no health insurance just being allowed to die (admittedly Obamacare is a massive fraud, failure and disaster but the idea of real healthcare reform like the public option isn't).  
So based on this principle Fiorina seems to signal her support for either the end of the Republican party as we know it along with their guiding political ideology as currently comprised since its all about being judgemental, vitriolic and angry,  or at the very least 90% of the people in it.  Like Ted Cruz, Chris Cristie, Bobby Jindal, Sam Brownback the governor of Kansas, Scott  Walker, and most Tea Party House Republicans and their supporters all of whom are, if nothing else,  judgemental vitriolic and angry. Unless her primary guiding principles is not to have any guiding principles at all that apply outside of a Republican debate.