On December 7th (also still remembered by some as Pearl Harbor Day) President Obama was interviewed at Saban Forum concerning Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear program and Israel’s Palestinian “partner for peace.”
Iran and President Obama
President Obama spoke about the P5+1 deal, so here is the full text in PDF form. It would be interesting to read, or perhaps to re-read, it. Has President Obama read it? If so, His comprehension appears to be dubious at best. Another remote possibility is that He is sometimes less than candid, but who could accept that? During the Saban Forum session, President Obama said,
“[Iran] doesn’t need to have an underground fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. They certainly don’t need to have a heavy water reactor at Arak. They don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program. And so the question ultimately is going to be are they prepared to roll back some of the advancements that they’ve made,” said the president.[Emphasis added.]
These advances “cannot justify simply wanting some peaceful nuclear power, but frankly hint at a desire to have breakout capacity and go right to the edge of breakout capacity. And if we can move that significantly back… that is, I think, a net win,” he added. [Emphasis added.]
Cheers for President Obama! However, the cited and unmentioned Iranian actions and advances over the past few years do more than merely “hint at” Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons and the ability to use them. They demonstrate them and appear to be conclusive.
Despite President Obama’s soothing words, the November 24th deal does not appear to envision the end of the Fordow or Arak facilities.
Iran announces that it will not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant(1), Fordow(2) or the Arak reactor(3)
1. Namely, during the 6 months, Iran will not feed UF6 into the centrifuges installed but not enriching uranium. Not install additional centrifuges. Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.
2. At Fordow, no further enrichment over 5% at 4 cascades now enriching uranium, and not increase enrichment capacity. Not feed UF6 into the other 12 cascades, which would remain in a non-operative state. No interconnections between cascades. Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.
3. Iran announces on concerns related to the construction of the reactor at Arak that for 6 months it will not commission the reactor or transfer fuel or heavy water to the reactor site and will not test additional fuel or produce more fuel for the reactor or install remaining components.
No mention is made of any intention, on either side, to terminate the Fordow, Nantz or Arak facilities permanently.
Wikipedia provides a list of Iranian nuclear facilities here, with a brief description of each. Iran acknowledged few of them until after their existence and purpose had been discovered and disclosed by others. Here are a few particularly interesting facilities:
The possible existence of a nuclear-related facility near Ardekan (also spelled Ardakan or Erdekan) was first reported on 8 July 2003, by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Mohammad Ghannadi-Maragheh, Vice President for Nuclear Fuel Production of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said in September 2003 that the facility was a uranium mill with an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tonnes of ore and an annual output of 50 metric tons of uranium. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the facility would be hot tested July 2004, producing 40 to 50 kg of yellow cake, but as of 2008 Iran had provided no further information to the IAEA on its operation.
Fordow, near the city of Qom, is the site of an underground uranium enrichment facility at a former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base. Existence of the then-unfinished Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) was disclosed to the IAEA by Iran on 21 September 2009, but only after the site became known to Western intelligence services. Western officials strongly condemned Iran for not disclosing the site earlier; U.S. President Barack Obama said that Fordow had been under U.S. surveillance. In its initial declaration, Iran stated that the purpose of the facility was the production of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235, and that the facility was being built to contain 16 cascades, with a total of approximately 3000 centrifuges. Iran argues that this disclosure was consistent with its legal obligations under its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, which Iran claims requires Iran to declare new facilities 180 days before they receive nuclear material. However, the IAEA stated that Iran was bound by its agreement in 2003 to declare the facility as soon as Iran decided to construct it. Later, in September 2011, Iran said it would move its production of 20% LEU to Fordow from Natanz, and enrichment started in December 2011. According to the Institute for Science and International Security, possible coordinates of the facility’s location are: 34.88459°N 50.99596°E
(33°43′24.43″N 51°43′37.55″E) Natanz is a hardened Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) covering 100,000 square meters that is built 8 meters underground and protected by a concrete wall 2.5 meters thick, itself protected by another concrete wall.It is located at Natanz a city in, and the capital of Natanz County, Isfahan Province, Iran. In 2004, the roof was hardened with reinforced concrete and covered with 22 meters of earth. The complex consists of two 25,000 square meter halls and a number of administrative buildings. This once secret site was one of the two exposed by Alireza Jafarzadeh in August, 2002. IAEA Director General Mohamed El Baradei visited the site on 21 February 2003 and reported that 160 centrifuges were complete and ready for operation, with 1000 more under construction at the site. Under the terms of Iran’s safeguards agreement[clarification needed], Iran was under no obligation to report the existence of the site while it was still under construction. There are currently[when?] approximately 7,000 centrifuges installed at Natanz, of which 5,000 are producing low enriched uranium.
Parchin Military Complex (35.52°N 51.77°E) is located approximately 20 kilometers southeast of downtown Tehran. The IAEA was given access to Parchin on 1 November 2005, and took environmental samples: inspectors did not observe any unusual activities in the buildings visited, and the results of the analysis of environmental samples did not indicate the presence of nuclear material. Parchin is a facility for the testing and manufacturing of conventional explosives; IAEA safeguards inspectors were looking not for evidence of nuclear material, but of the kind of explosives testing consistent with nuclear weapons research and development. In November 2011, the IAEA reported that it had “credible” information that Parchin was used for implosion testing. The IAEA sought additional access to Parchin, which Iran did not grant. [Emphasis added.]
Implosion is the technique for igniting an atomic bomb.
If and when the P5+1 negotiators and Iran agree on “final” terms and conditions for IAEA inspections (perhaps early next year), is there any reason to assume that Iran will permit inspections of her military bases? The Parchin facility, located at the Parchin Military Complex, is not mentioned in the November 24th deal. Surely, both sides were aware of it existence and history.
As I pointed out here, Iran has been proceeding successfully on delivery mechanisms for nuclear weaponry, including both rockets and warheads — neither of which is mentioned in the November 24th deal. They may be absent because the P5+1 negotiators were unable to secure agreement to their inclusion. That does not bode well for their inclusion in any final agreement.
Israeli – Palestinian Pathway to Peace
President Obama also spoke at the Saban Forum about His “pathway to peace” for Israel, Palestine and hence (in His apparent view) the entire Middle East. He and His Secretary of State
Hanoi Jane John Kerry have been pushing for it vigorously.
On Mideast peace hopes, Obama echoed an optimistic assessment provided by US Secretary of State John Kerry during a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories this past week.
The president said his administration had spent much time working with Netanyahu to understand Israel’s security needs as part of any two-state solution.
“I think it is possible over the next several months to arrive at a framework that does not address every single detail but gets us to the point where everybody recognizes it’s better to move forward than move backward,” Obama said.
Still, he said tough decisions await both sides, including the Palestinians’ understanding that a transition period will be necessary so no situation arises similar to Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip after Israel’s 2005 military pullout.
“The Israeli people can’t expect a replica of Gaza in the West Bank,” Obama said. “That is unacceptable.”
Yes, it is unacceptable to Israel and should be. To the Palestinians? It’s probaly not only highly desirable but also necessary. In a December 5th article, Caroline Glick observed,
even if Kerry had all the credibility in the world it wouldn’t make a difference. The real problem with the notion of an Israeli withdrawal to indefensible borders is that those indefensible borders will be insecure. Both the PLO and Hamas remain committed to Israel’s destruction.
They will never agree to Israel’s continued existence in any borders. So the whole peace process is doomed. Kerry’s attempt to dictate security arrangements is a waste of time. [Emphasis added.]
This much was again made clear last Friday by the PLO’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. Speaking to foreign supporters, Erekat said that the Palestinians will never accept Israel’s right to exist. [Emphasis added.]
Their entire existence as a people is predicated on denying Jewish rights and nationhood. And, as Erekat put it, “I cannot change my narrative.”
Iran’s leaders as well have long and strenuously denied Israel’s right to exist and said that Israel has to be destroyed. That shared position hardly seems conducive to either a satisfactory peace process as to Palestine or a satisfactory elimination of Iran’s great potential to become a nuclear power.
Debkafile has presented its analysis of the security plan proposed by Secretary Kerry on December 5th. It invisions a joint military presence, including Israeli, U.S., Palestinian and other forces.
The secretary of state proposed integrating Israeli and Palestinian special forces units in the planned regional counter-terror force, alongside the American, British, French, Saudi, Jordanian, Egyptian and Qatari units enlisted to the new framework. [Emphasis added.]
Since its area of operation would be extensive, ranging from southern Syria to Sinai, including Israel and the potential Palestinian state, the IDF would be able to continue performing its security functions in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, as part of the new force. But by the same rule, Palestinian forces would be allowed by mutual consent to serve in parts of Israel in the same multinational framework.
Perhaps members of the IDF will welcome the comradeship of their Palestinian brothers in arms. They might even have enjoyable cultural exchanges. Somehow, both seem unlikely and it is far more likely that Palestinian terrorism — already at a heightened state –will to continue worsen. Who will command whom in joint operations? Will Israeli troops be under the command of Palestinian officers? Will Palestinian troops be under the command of Israeli officers? Might there be joint commands, with shared responsibility? To whom would joint commanders answer?
Is Islam the problem?
It is probably not the (as in the only) problem but Islam is itself a big problem and seems to lie substantially at the root of most others. Islam is not a “religion of peace,” and to deal with Islamists as though it were is like welcoming rattle snakes into one’s home for dinner. Here are a few pertinent YouTube videos.
Roger L. Simon recently had this to say about “Islamaphobia.”
To say that something is decidedly wrong in the Islamic world is a monumental understatement. And Muslim societies make almost no serious effort to correct themselves, ricocheting back and forth between military totalitarianism and religious totalitarianism while — like that family heroin addict — blaming everyone but themselves for their fate. [Emphasis added.]
They are indeed in deep need of an intervention. The question is how to do it.
Of course, just by raising that question you are accused of Islamophobia, an absurd almost self-contradictory term, which always applies better to those using it. They are the ones who are phobic about Islam because they are the ones who are fearful (actually terrified) of what Islamic people will do if told the truth. So they come up with those equally absurd lies, like defining the crime of a soldier who murders his fellows while shouting “Allahu Akhbar” as “workplace violence.” [Emphasis added.]
This real Islamophobia has been the pathetic stance of our government and military since 9/11, made worse by the delusions of Barack Obama. Of course it has failed. How could it possibly succeed when it is fundamentally dishonest? [Emphasis added.]
David Solway, also at PJ Media, had this to say about “moderate” Islam.
[T]he “moderates,” or munafiqs (munafiqoon, “hypocrites,” in Arabic, who only give lip service to Islam), have a distressing habit of renouncing their neutrality when jihad comes to our neighborhoods. Writing for the online journal Political Islam, Kenneth Roberts gives instance after instance of the way in which munafiqs “sit back and look the other way, while jihadists fight the Kafirs and subdue them….A munafiq is silent when the jihadists knock on their non-Muslim neighbor’s door. The reason for this silence is the Koran (28.86): ‘never be a supporter of disbelievers.’” Roberts concludes: “We Western people need to reexamine our political correctness….Otherwise, we will continue to have attacks against Kafir civilians like those at the Westgate Mall, Trolley Square Mall and the Boston Marathon. Muslims who attack civilians are imitating what Mohammed did in Medina in 627 AD.” We see how the Koran is supplemented and reinforced by the power of the Sunnah, “the perfect example of Mohammed.”
Ultimately, the distinction between “extremists” and “moderates” does not hold up to scrutiny. There are only Muslims, who can be divided into three groups: violent jihadists, stealth jihadists, and munafiqs. The latter may be peaceable and decent citizens, but as Roberts points out, marshaling reams of evidence from every quarter of the globe, when jihad comes to our part of town they cannot be relied on to oppose their barbarous co-religionists, to resist activation, to assemble in protests and demonstrations against the violence done in the name of their confession, to speak, write and march in solidarity with their targeted neighbors, or to reject outright the many passages in the Koran, Hadith and Sunnah that call for acts of blatant savagery. Time and time again, “the munafiqs acted on the side of jihad,” either by collaborating or by refusing to intervene. Such collusion seems plausible since, as Daniel Greenfield comments, “Jihad isn’t an act of violence; it’s an act of faith.”
And the munafiqs certainly have done little or nothing to parry the insidious thrust of their furtive counterparts who have infiltrated the body politic, the legal profession, the social networks, the media, the academy and the culture at large in the interest of a supremacist imperium that seeks to curtail free speech, disarm critical thought and impose sharia law upon an unsuspecting West. The distinction between “bad Muslims” and “good Muslims,” “radicals” and “moderates,” which our pundits and talking heads implicitly or explicitly fall back upon in delivering their wisdom to the multitudes, is a will o’ the wisp and a derailment of thought. It is wholly beside the point.
Please read the whole article; it’s frightening but accurate.
An article posted at Jonathan Turley’s Blog on November 9th is titled It’s not the “Radical Shaysh” it’s Islam observed,
At the Peace Conference Scandinavia 2013 held is Oslo, Norway, nine Shaykhs (Islamic leaders) spoke about the values of Islam to a claimed attendance of over 4000. The chairman of Islam Net, Fahad Ullah Qureshi addressed the question of Islamophobia in western media.
As shown in the video, Qureshi asked the audience, who were common Sunni Muslims, if they “supported stoning or whatever punishment Islam or prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded for adultery or any other crime.” The audience was virtually unanimous in their support for these punishments.
The article includes a video, embedded here:
An article at The Counter Jihad Report observes,
Closer scrutiny of a few Muslim Brotherhood members, who follow the credo “Jihad is our way and death in the cause of Allah is our dream”, reveals a picture indicative of thousands of others operating within all levels of the U.S. government throughout America. Their views on Sharia law and terrorism should have precluded any entry level position in the U.S. government.
Azizah al-Hibri was appointed by Obama to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. She has stated that Islamic law, the harshest on earth, is more moral than the U.S. code of law, because it accepts “blood money” from murderers. She has also made appearances with a top Al Qaeda fundraiser, Abdurhaman Alamoudi, now serving 23 years in prison.
Rashad Hussain is the Special Envoy to the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He is held in high esteem by Sharia law advocates, because he has memorized the Koran. And bear in mind, the OIC, headquartered in Jeddah-Saudi Arabia, is dedicated to spreading Sharia law globally.
Obama’s “Sharia Czar” is Imam Mohammed Magid, and he is also the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. His father, Al-Haj Majd Haj Mosa, is a Cairo-trained MB scholar, and he was once the top cleric in the Republic of Sudan, one of the most Sharia compliant nations in the world.
After a wide-sweeping terror finance investigation in March 2002, Customs Agent David Kane testified that the All Dulles Muslim Society Center (ADAMS), led by Mohammed Magid, was being used to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars for the targeted finance network that shared offices with the ADAMS Center. Eleven ADAMS Center officials were also targets of this investigation.
Former Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) board member, Mossad Rawash, was a staunch supporter of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), much like Sami al-Arian. Arian was a tenured professor at the University of South Florida, until he was indicted on terror support charges after 9-11-01 and his leadership role in the PIJ was discovered. On November 3, 2013, the ICM featured a roving board member of the ISNA, Jamal Badawi, who is also a terrorist supporter and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Conspiracy. Saleh Sbenaty, MTSU professor and ICM spokesperson, is a member of the MB. So…Yes!…the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be looking deep into the finances of the ICM.
With such “moderates” in positions of power and authority within the Government of the United States of Obama, what could even possibly go wrong? Besides, it’s lightly and even then rarely reported in the Legitimate Media, so how could any of it be true?
Islamists in Iran and Palestine are the “moderates” with whom President Obama et al have been pushing for peace and reconcillation. It’s all well and good to “give peace a chance,” but only if (a) there are realistic hopes for peace and (b) realistic chances that the process will not provide substantial time and other opportunities to make the situation worse. For both Iran and Palestine, there is a more than realistic hope that, with continued pressure from the Obama Administration, they will get what they demand. Sanctions on Iran having been diminished, they will be quite difficult to restore. Iran will be able to continue developing her nuclear weapons program unimpeded and Palestine may displace Israel — not necessarily as a viable nation but as a collection of unhappy and unpleasant people where Israel formerly existed. The chances for better results for Israel and the rest of the Middle East are at best minimal.
In 1939, when British Prime Minister Chamberlain declared that his deal with Herr Hitler had secured “peace in our time,” the chances of peace breaking out were slim but substantially exceed the chances for that happening due to current efforts by the Obama Administration to give peace with Islamists a chance.
Oh. Of no particular importance but do try to have a merry little Christmas.
Ready? Try Eurabia next year for your Christmas pleasure (you might fast-forward to the 1:40 mark at the video.)
2019 may be coming sooner than we think. Here’s a copy of “notices” posted in the UK in July of 2011:
Communities have been bombarded with the posters, which read: ‘You are entering a Sharia-controlled zone – Islamic rules enforced.’
The bright yellow messages daubed on bus stops and street lamps have already been seen across certain boroughs in London and order that in the ‘zone’ there should be ‘no gambling’, ‘no music or concerts’, ‘no porn or prostitution’, ‘no drugs or smoking’ and ‘no alcohol’.
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility for the scheme, saying he plans to flood specific Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the UK and ‘put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term’.
In the past week, dozens of streets in the London boroughs of Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Newham have been targeted, raising fears that local residents may be intimidated or threatened for flouting ‘Islamic rules’.
Choudary, who runs the banned militant group Islam4UK, warned: ‘We now have hundreds if not thousands of people up and down the country willing to go out and patrol the streets for us and a print run of between 10,000 and 50,000 stickers ready for distribution.
More recently, three men were arrested in London for threatening people for behaving in non-Islamist ways:
The trio, members of a self-styled ‘Muslim Patrol’ group, threatened strangers for holding hands, drinking alcohol and other behaviour they deemed ‘un-Islamic’.
Jordan Horner, 19, Ricardo McFarlane, 26, and a third man who can’t be named for legal reasons yesterday pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including actual bodily harm and affray.
Video footage shows the group telling one couple not to walk down the street holding hands in ‘a Muslim area’ and ordering others to move away from a mosque.
‘These men routinely threatened and intimidated innocent members of the public,’ said prosecutor Baljit Ubhey.
‘They would roam the streets, seeking out victims whom they could target, and chanting threats to “kill the non-believers”.
‘On the nights in question they confronted and aggressively intimidated a couple who were holding hands in the street, a group of friends who were drinking alcohol, and a girl whom they deemed to be dressed provocatively.’
December of 2019 is still six years away. I wonder what the situation will be like then.
UPDATE December 9th
Americans of today had their own Pearl Harbor twelve years ago – with almost the same number of dead (around 3,000). We responded by half-heartedly fighting futile wars which we announced in advance we didn’t intend to win. In 1942, did Douglas MacArthur set a timetable for withdrawal from the Pacific? [Emphasis added.]
We have doggedly refused to identify the enemy (imagine Churchill announcing in 1940 that Nazism was an ideology of brotherhood and tolerance). Under Bush the Younger, we fought a war on terror while embracing its Middle Eastern roots. (Terror is a method anyway, not an ideology.) Even that’s been downgraded. Today we deal with “man-caused disasters” through “overseas contingency operations.” [Emphasis added.]
In the meantime, we twice elected an anti-American who spits on our traditions, tramples the Constitution, apologizes for our greatness and facilitates our enemies’ rise to power. Obama is still smarting about the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.
Brittius, in response to my request for corrections to this article, which I had published inadvertently before it was ready by hitting the Publish key rather than the Preview key, suggested additional commentary on and quotations from President Obama’s Sabin Forum comments. Thank you, Brittius. Rather than include them in an update to this already excessively long article, I am referring readers to his comment, with which I agree.