By Dennis Prager • RealClearPolitics
Why? Because once people acknowledge evil’s existence, they know they have to confront it. And most people prefer not to confront evil.
That is what led to World War II. Many in the West denied the darkness of Nazism. They looked the other way when that evil could have been stopped and then appeased it as it became stronger.
We are reliving 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Munich to negotiate with Adolf Hitler. He left believing Hitler’s promises of peace in exchange for Germany being allowed to annex large parts of Czechoslovakia. Upon returning to England, Chamberlain announced, “Peace for our time.” Continue reading
Friday prayers take anti-American turn
by Adam Kredo • Free Beacon
Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, who was handpicked by the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader to deliver the prayers, delivered a message of hostility toward the United States in the first official remarks since a final nuclear deal was signed between Iran and world powers in Vienna last week.
A Persian-language message on the podium declared, “We will trample upon America” while the English phrase “We Defeat the United States” can be seen underneath. Continue reading
There was a better alternative to his deal. He never pursued it.
The debate is raging over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, and Mr. Obama held a rare press conference Wednesday to say that “99% of the world community” agrees with him. Then why bother with a press conference? Mr. Obama made other claims we’ll address in coming days, but for today it’s worth rebutting his assertion that “none” of his critics “have presented to me or the American people a better alternative.”
Specifically, Mr. Obama resorted to his familiar default of the false political choice. “There really are only two alternatives here. Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war. Those are—those are the options,” Mr. Obama said. He added that no better deal was or is possible than the one he has negotiated.
Mr. Obama knows there has always been an alternative to his diplomacy of concessions because many critics have suggested it. It’s called coercive diplomacy, and it might have worked to get a better deal if Mr. Obama had tried it. Continue reading
by Thane Rosenbaum • The Tower
There’s been a lot of talk lately proclaiming Barack Obama the second coming of Neville Chamberlain. The analogy may be facile, but it is not far-fetched. The accord just reached in Vienna, at best, only temporarily cools off Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Iran deal will be remembered either as a masterful display of diplomacy or as a hopelessly naïve delusion.
Wishful thinking is not a sound basis for foreign policy. When it comes to Iran, the stakes are too high to gamble on good faith. Israel and Saudi Arabia have good reasons to worry. And when before have these two nations had anything in common?
Congress now readies itself for 60 days of peeking underneath the Persian carpet of this Iranian deal, while the President threatens to test his veto powers over congressional action. Continue reading
A reporter’s question about the Iranian deal hits a raw nerve
There is not a lot to love in President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, despite the attempted assurances in his what’s-not-to-like press conference on Wednesday. In addition to the near-unanimous doubts about his “air-tight verification” promises, which he insists make a nuclear arms race in the Middle East less likely, a short list of what’s wrong with the deal must include the names of four Americans: Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson. They’re American hostages in Iran, and they just lost their best chance for freedom. Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry apparently “forgot” to press for their release.
Major Garrett of CBS News questioned the president’s judgment, asking: “As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran — three held on trumped-up charges and according to your administration, one [whose] whereabouts [are] unknown. Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?” Continue reading
The Democratic senator from Oregon also laid out his concerns with the deal, including the lack of anytime, anywhere inspections.
by Andrew Kaczynski • Buzzfeed
Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, said Saturday that he has concerns about the nuclear deal with Iran, adding that that he believes the Obama administration is “flouting” Congress by going to United Nations to get approval first.
“Now there was a new wrinkle in this on Friday, which concerned me, which was the administration was talking about going to the U.N. to get approval,” Wyden told a town hall audience this weekend. “I think the U.N. does some very good things, I think they do some other things not so good. But the point is going to the U.N. before the Congress weighs in is really in my view flouting the Review Act, you know the whole point…”
“I hope I’ve told you what my concerns are a, b, how I’m going to proceed with it, and three, I didn’t much care for this notion that suddenly this is going to go to the U.N. and somehow there would be a U.N. stamp of approval before the Congress has a chance to review it.” Continue reading
By Caroline Glick • RealClearPolitics
In the old nuclear age, the US-led West had a system for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It had three components: sanctions, deterrence and military force. In recent years we have witnessed the successful deployment of all three.
In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, the UN Security Council imposed a harsh sanctions regime on Iraq. One of its purposes was to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons. After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, we learned that the sanctions had been successful. Saddam largely abandoned his nuclear program due to sanctions pressure.
The US-led invasion of Iraq terrified several rogue regimes in the region. In the two to three years immediately following the invasion, America’s deterrent strength soared to unprecedented heights. Continue reading
By Dana Milbank • Washington Post
President Obama was well into his feisty and freewheeling news conference on the Iran nuclear deal when Major Garrett of CBS News got under the presidential skin.
“As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped-up charges,” Garrett said. “Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content, with all the fanfare around this deal, to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?”
The normally cool president reacted slowly, as though trying to control his anger.
“The notion that I am content — as I celebrate — with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails?” Obama asked, icily. “That’s nonsense, and you should know better.” After that extraordinary scolding, the president went on to explain that he didn’t link the American captives to nuclear talks because doing so may have made Iran think “we can get additional concessions out of the Americans,” and would have made it “much more difficult for us to walk away” from a deal. Continue reading
After more than a decade of intense negotiations with Tehran, we are still no closer to understanding whether Iran is really trying to build an atom bomb
by Con Coughlin • The Telegraph
You only had to look at the beaming smiles on the faces of the Iranian negotiating team to see who had emerged as the undisputed winners of the drawn-out negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Iranians have long enjoyed a reputation for being wily negotiators, but the outcome of the marathon talks that concluded in Vienna amidst a fanfare of mutual congratulation will have surpassed even their wildest expectations.
Tehran entered these talks, let us not forget, out of sheer desperation to escape the crippling effects of the economic sanctions imposed by the West in retaliation for Iran’s less-than-forthright disclosures about its nuclear activities. Continue reading
The nuclear deal is an opaque 159 pages, offering sanctions relief and vague promises of inspections.
By Frederick Kagan • Wall Street Journal
The nuclear agreement with Iran announced Tuesday is an astoundingly good deal, far surpassing the hopes of anyone . . . in Tehran. It requires Iran to reduce the number of centrifuges enriching uranium by about half, to sell most of its current uranium stockpile or “downblend” it to lower levels of enrichment, and to accept inspections (whose precise nature is yet to be specified) by the International Atomic Energy Agency, something that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had wanted to avoid.
But the agreement also permits Iran to phase out the first-generation centrifuges on which it now relies and focus its research and development by exclusively using a number of advanced centrifuge models many times more efficient, which has been Tehran’s plan all along. The deal will also entirely end the United Nations’ involvement in Iran’s nuclear program in 10 years, and in 15 years will lift most restrictions on the program. Continue reading
By Jeb Bush • Jeb!2016
A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.
Based on initial reports and analysis, it appears this agreement does not “cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon” – in fact, over time it paves Iran’s path to a bomb. Most of the key restrictions last for only 10 to 15 years. Even before the deal expires, it could allow Iran to develop an industrial-scale enrichment program and continue its R&D on advanced centrifuges and development of an ICBM. Continue reading
by John Bolton
Negotiations for an “interim” arrangement over Iran’s nuclear weapons program finally succeeded this past weekend, as Security Council foreign ministers (plus Germany) flew to Geneva to meet their Iranian counterpart. After raising expectations of a deal by first convening on November 8-10, it would have been beyond humiliating to gather again without result. So agreement was struck despite solemn incantations earlier that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”
This interim agreement is badly skewed from America’s perspective. Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement. Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.” This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States. Continue reading
Why won’t the Libya story go away? Why can’t the memory of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff be consigned to the same sad-and-sealed file of Americans killed abroad in dangerous line of duty? How has an episode that seemed at first to have been mishandled by the Romney camp become an emblem of a feckless and deluded foreign policy?
The story-switching and stonewalling haven’t helped. But let’s start a little earlier. Continue reading