If Tehran breaks its promises, we’re unlikely to know. President Obama is rushing to implement the six-month interim agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran that went into effect last week. Together with five other world powers, he is now working to negotiate a long-term agreement aimed at keeping Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. He regards his opening to Iran as a signature achievement of his presidency and has proudly declared that diplomacy opened a path to “a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.”
If we assume that negotiations do not collapse and some sort of long-term accord is struck, there will still be thorny questions. A preeminent one concerns Iranian compliance. How much confidence can we have that the ayatollahs will not press ahead with their nuclear program in clandestine facilities, as they have done in the past? And if they do press ahead, how much confidence can we have that our intelligence agencies will catch them? Read more…
The Syrian government has demolished thousands of buildings, in some cases entire neighborhoods, in parts of Damascus and Hama, as part of a collective punishment against residents of rebel-held areas, Human Rights Watch has found.
Satellite imagery taken over both cities has revealed seven areas where neighborhoods have either been largely destroyed or totally demolished. None of the destruction was caused during combat. Rather, the buildings have been systemically destroyed using bulldozers and explosives placed by troops who first ordered residents to leave, then supervised the demolitions.
A report released on Thursday morning says the Syrian regime claims that the demolitions were part of an urban planning program that aimed to remove illegally constructed buildings. Read more…
Obama’s address on the State Of The Union showed the lack of seriousness about international affairs by which his Administration has been making the world ever more dangerous for Americans. The passages on war and peace, like the rest of the speech, consisted of patent untruths loosely related to Administration programs – the former meant to justify the latter.
Whatever one might think of Obama’s domestic agenda, these couplets reflected a serious intent to advance it. Thus, because ”climate change” is the cause of Western drought and Eastern floods, Obama will impose new restrictions on the use of fossil fuels; and because “reform” of unemployment insurance will get people back to work, Congress must extend the term of current insurance for 1.6 million people. People with an interest in such things know to disregard the nonsense and to take the agenda as seriously as it is meant. Read more…
1) Most of the US sanctions on Iran during the past years came from the Congress and you were forced by pressure from Senate to reluctantly approve them, so please don’t take the credit for others’ effort.
2) Soviet Union leaders were accepted by the world communities because they acted within the international norm, their government was terrestrial, not an apocalyptic religious regime like the extra-terrestrial IRI, who claims they take their orders from beyond earth (i.e., God), and was not described by the US State Department as an “active state sponsor of terrorism.”
3) If Mullahs fully comply with the materials of the “Sucker’s Deal”, it wouldn’t qualify them to join the community of nations! What about their violation of Human Rights against its own people? their act of terrorism across the globe? their meddling in the neighboring counties?
4) You define leadership as to free people from fear and want, but your action contradicts your talks. You probably remember the Iranian oppositions plead for your support in June 2009 and you ignored them and decided to shake hand with the terrorist regime of Iran. You remember in Egypt you supported Muslim Brotherhood led by Morsi against the will of Egyptian people. You cannot forget the out-loud scream of the Syrian people for 3 years for your support and you turned your back on them. And the list goes on. ….
5) You believe that for the sake of national security, we must give diplomacy a chance, i.e., diplomacy with the Iranian Mullahs. Since when it has become an international norm for the civilized countries to negotiate with terrorists? Since when for the world leaders tackling terrorism problem has found its way through compromising and negotiating methods! [DID]
As Obama prepares to address the American people in Tuesday’s State of the Union, Congress is considering new legislation to set out their vision of what a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran should look like and to impose new sanctions if the Iranian government doesn’t live up to its end of the deal or walks away from the negotiations.
A new survey conducted by Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, found that 63 percent of those polled want Congress to move forward with the new sanctions legislation, while only 28 percent oppose. Read more…
Tonight Tuesday at 6 pm (PT) Obama will address his 2014 State of the Union Speech, another round of empty slogans.
Before he came to power as President, Obama made many promises for change, let’s take a look at some of the chronic indecisiveness, amateurism, and lack of strategic vision of the Obama Administration:
- closing gap between rich and poor ——– Today the gap has become the biggest ever
- immigration laws ———————– Nothing has happened as yet
- gun control ———————– Nothing has happened as yet
- climate control ———————– Nothing has happened as yet
- Health ———————– Out of 45 million uninsured Americans only 3 million have signed up in the Obama-care program – much ado about nothing!
- and the list goes on …………
- Egypt: supported Muslim Brotherhood led by Morsi Read more…
Khamenei controls a massive business empire known as Setad that has invested in Iran’s petrochemical industry, which is now permitted to resume exports. Under a six-month deal between Iran and world powers, Tehran has promised to scale back its nuclear development program in exchange for the suspension of certain economic sanctions, including curbs on the export of petrochemicals.
On Monday, the day the suspension of the restrictions took effect, the U.S. Treasury Department published a list of 14 Iranian petrochemical companies that previously had been sanctioned but are now permitted to do business abroad. Read more…
Ever since the news about “sexual jihad” broke out, I couldn’t take its revolting image off my mind: the image of girls as young as 15, who went to prostitute themselves in order to “relieve” the fighters, and came back either with incurable STDs, or pregnant – and of course, to top it all off, stained and discarded for life, only because a bunch of assholes told them it’s a religious duty.
As I was listening to one girl’s horrifying story, I kept asking her, “How is that OK? How could such a horror be an act of obedience to God’s laws?” Needless to say, I got no satisfactory reply.
The truth is, some things in religion remind me of the way little kids reply to questions they have no plausible answer for:
“Why did you do this, Sami/Samira?”
“Because.” (It usually comes with a shoulder shrug.)
This occasional lack of loquacity isn’t a sign that religious people aren’t the talkative kind. Quite the opposite: they often tend – unfortunately – to over-share. Read more…
For three years now, the Arab world has struggled to create a political culture of tolerance that could anchor the revolution for citizen rights known as the Arab Spring. So far, it has largely been a disillusioning story, but there are some rare hopeful signs in Tunisia, the country where the upheaval began.
Tunisia has written a new constitution that could be a breakthrough for Arab democracy. Among other provisions, it commits the state to attempt “parity between men and women in elected assemblies.” According to Duncan Pickard, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center who has studied the Arab constitution-writing process, this is “perhaps the most progressive constitutional article regarding equal gender representation in the world.”
Noah Feldman, a constitutional scholar at Harvard Law School, posted a description of the scene in Tunis on Jan. 9 when this “Article 45” was passed: “After the vote, the assembly and audience stood up spontaneously and sang the national anthem. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house — including mine.” Read more…
A top IRGC military commander has slammed the latest threat of the American top diplomat of the US military option against Iran as a “bankrupt strategy.”
“Mr. Kerry must know that direct battle with the US is the biggest dream of pious and revolutionary people across the world. Your threats offer our revolutionary people the best opportunity,” commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Ja’fari said on Saturday.
The strong remarks by General Ja’fari came in response to a repeated threat on Thursday by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva that “the military option that is available to the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do” if Iran enriches uranium beyond five percent purity. Read more…
Since Jewish DNA tends to accentuate the negative, let’s first focus on the positive: the amazing resilience Israel has shown in the face of global economic adversity and the remarkable calm with which Israel has faced the regional chaos swirling around it.
First, the economy: If your early memories of Israel, like mine, included exasperating trips to Soviet-style banks to buy just enough shekels to get through the night, fearing the investment would lose half its value by sunrise, it is mind-boggling to think that Israel today has one of the strongest currencies in the world. That is a reflection of Israel’s economic miracle. As former ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren was fond of recalling, this miracle extends to such feats of technological and entrepreneurial chutzpah as exporting wine to France and caviar to Russia. Last summer, Israel achieved the highest cultural status in Western civilization when an Israeli brand of hummus was named the official dip of the National Football League. Read more…