Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Address to Joint Meeting of Congress

Posted March 3, 2015 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Iran / Israel War, Mad Mullahs

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Address to Joint Meeting of Congresspvp
(CSPAN will broadcast the entire speech. Click HERE to go to their site.- LS)

Our coverage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress gets underway at 10:45 a.m. ET. Mr. Netanyahu is expected to use the speech to lay out the case against a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

 

Iran Poses an Existential Threat to Western Civilization

Posted March 3, 2015 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Uncategorized

Iran Poses an Existential Threat to Western Civilization
By American Thinker By Lauri B. Regan March 2, 2015


(Yet, Obama continues to ram the Iranian poison pill down everyone’s throat. – LS)

We are living through historic times – and perilous times. However, the leaders of the Western world are oblivious to the imminence of the dangers as Islamic fundamentalism takes hold on every continent in the world. While the focus since 9/11 has been on al Qaeda and its spin-off ISIS, the greatest danger to the Western world is Iran — a country that, with a wink and a nod from the U.S., is on the precipice of becoming a nuclear hegemon.

Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of international terrorism, killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening pro-American regimes across the region. Its warships are expanding their movement in regional waters and cruising to Venezuela. Its aggression in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria has succeeded in causing vast regional instability and violence. And Iran does not simply seek regional hegemony –- it seeks global domination as it develops ballistic missiles capable of hitting the U.S.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Reuel Marc Gerecht reasoned, “The regime’s Holocaust [denial] rhetoric ought to signal to us that Iran’s clerical overlord lives in an alternate reality, where good and evil are reinterpreted if not reversed. …Modern Westerners… have a hard time dealing with a ‘clash of civilizations’ based on faith. Mr. Khamenei and his men have no such problem.”
Read the rest of this post »

Iran calls Obama’s 10-year nuclear demand ‘unacceptable’

Posted March 3, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Iran, Iran scam, Iranian nukes, Kerry, Obama, P5+1, Sanctions

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Iran calls Obama’s 10-year nuclear demand ‘unacceptable’, ReutersArshad Mohammed, March 3, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister  Zarif addresses Human Rights Council at UN in GenevaIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva March 2, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE

(Reuters) – Iran on Tuesday rejected as “unacceptable” U.S. President Barack Obama’s demand that it freeze sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years, but said it would continue talks aimed at securing a deal, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“Iran will not accept excessive and illogical demands,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Fars.

“Obama’s stance … is expressed in unacceptable and threatening phrases … ,” he reportedly said, adding that negotiations underway in Switzerland would nonetheless carry on.

Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sat down for a second day of meetings hours after Obama had told Reuters that Iran must commit to a verifiable halt of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear work for a landmark atomic deal to be reached.

The aim of the negotiations is to persuade Iran to restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled the oil exporter’s economy.

The United States and some of its allies, notably Israel, suspect Iran of using its civil nuclear program as a cover to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Iran denies this, saying it is for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity.

Kerry and Zarif met in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to criticize the diplomacy in a speech to Congress in Washington.

Despite the tough tone of Zarif’s remarks quoted by Fars, the Iranian struck a more conciliatory tone when he spoke briefly to reporters after about two hours of talks with Kerry.

Asked if the two sides had reached an agreement, Zarif replied: “We’ll try, that’s why we are here.”

“There is a seriousness that we need to move forward. As we have said all along, we need the necessary political will to understand that the only way to move forward is though negotiations,” he added.

Speaking after the morning round of talks, Kerry told reporters: “We’re working away. Productively.”

The two sides have set a deadline of late March to reach a framework agreement and of June for a comprehensive final settlement that would curb Iran’s nuclear activity to ensure it cannot be put to bomb making in return for the lifting of the economic sanctions.

Iran wants a swift end to sanctions in any deal — one of the sticking points in the high-level negotiations.

While the United States has played the lead role in the talks with Iran, it is representing five other major powers: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — a group collectively known both as the P5+1 and the E3+3.

Speaking in Geneva, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier sounded an upbeat note, saying the negotiations had made more progress in the past year than in the previous decade.

“The talks between the E3+3 and Iran are also advancing well,” he told the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament. “I would even go so far as to say that in 10 years of negotiations, we never achieved as much progress as we have made this year.”

A scenario Netanyahu hasn’t spelled out: One Iranian nuke could obliterate Israel’s heartland

Posted March 3, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Foreign policy, Iran, Iran scam, Iranian nukes, Israel, Kerry, Netanyahu, Obama, P5+1, U.S. Congress

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A scenario Netanyahu hasn’t spelled out: One Iranian nuke could obliterate Israel’s heartland, DEBKAfile, March 3, 2015

zunamiOne dread Iranian nuclear threat postulated

When Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu speaks out against Iran becoming a pre-nuclear state he is warning that Iran could at any time cross the line agreed in diplomacy with the US and build a bomb whenever it chooses. He has never spelled out the mechanics of this threat to Israel’s survival.

The last DEBKA Weekly revealed in detail one potential scenario that, given Israel’s small size, would call for no more than one nuke to destroy its heartland and inflict at least an estimated million casualties. This nuclear bomb or device would be dropped from an IranAir civilian airliner on a regular run from Larnaca over the Mediterranean about 100 km from the Israeli coast.

After the plane disappeared, the delayed action mechanism would detonate the bomb and set off a tsunami. Giant waves would swamp the densely populated Tel Aviv conurbation and its satellites. This 1,500 square kilometer area is home to some 3.7 million people, nearly half of the country’s entire population, its military and banking centers, hi-tech industry and the stock exchange.

The cost in lives would be cataclysmic – at least a million dead.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary rulers make no secret of their plans for Israel. On Feb. 26, the second day of Iran’s 2015 war games, a senior Revolutionary Guards officer declared that Iran had the ability to wipe the cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv off the face of the earth.

In projecting this scenario, Israel’s defense chiefs have no doubt set up defenses and a second-strike capacity in a mountainous area outside the range of a tsunami and far from Israel’s shores.

Israel is also on guard on both of its northern borders against the hostile Iranian military presence encroaching from Syria and Lebanon.

The big speech – about which Netanyahu joked: Never has so much been written about a speech before it was given – will be delivered to a joint session of the US Congress Tuesday, March 3, at 6 p.m. IST.

It is hard to see what he hopes to achieve, aside from dramatizing his fight against the emerging US-Iranian deal which, he warns, will enable Iran to consummate its drive for nuclear weapons early in the future.

He takes the august podium under a barrage of criticism from President Barack Obama, his aides and his political opponents at home. About one-fifth of Democratic members will be absent. The White House has warned him against “betraying trust” by revealing details conveyed in confidence. But he won cheers from a large AIPAC audience earlier when he said, “Israel now has a voice and I will use it!”

In a Reuters interview Monday night, Obama said the US and Israel agreed Iran must not acquire nuclear weapons, but differed on how to achieve this goal. Any deal he would agree to, Obama said, would require Iran to freeze its nuclear program at least a decade. The US goal is to make sure “there’s at least a year between us seeing them try to get a nuclear weapon and them actually being able to obtain one,” he said.

A key doubt was whether Iran would agree to rigorous inspection demands and the low levels of uranium enrichment capability they would have to maintain.

Monday, March 2, the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, complained once again that Iran was still not answering key questions about its nuclear projects or opening up suspect sites to inspection.

But US national security adviser Susan Rice, who addressed AIPAC after Netanyahu, insisted that the prime minister’ demand to strip Iran of the ability to enrich uranium would be “neither realistic nor achievable,” adding that President Obama had left all options on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.

After the speech to Congress, the prime minister will meet Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid with a group of bipartisan lawmakers.

Although no member of the administration will be present for the speech – not just Vice President Joe Biden – the office of House Speaker John Boehner, who invited the Israeli leader to give the address, says the demand for tickets is unprecedented – from both Republicans and Democrats alike. The House and Senate have set up alternative viewing locations.

State Department Tweets Speech by Cleric Who Blames Unrest on Global Zionist Conspiracy

Posted March 3, 2015 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

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State Department Tweets Speech by Cleric Who Blames Unrest on Global Zionist Conspiracy

Cleric: Unrest due to ‘new global colonialism allied to world Zionism’

BY:
March 3, 2015 5:00 am

via State Department Tweets Speech by Cleric Who Blames Unrest on Global Zionist Conspiracy | Washington Free Beacon.

 

The State Department’s counterterrorism office is facing pushback after promoting recent remarks by a Muslim cleric who blamed regional unrest in the Middle East on what he called a “conspiracy” by a “new global colonialism allied to world Zionism.”

The State Department’s official anti-terrorism Twitter account last week tweeted out remarks made by a leading Muslim cleric who, during a speech in Mecca, linked terrorism by the Islamic State (IS) to a plot by supporters of Israel around the world.

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb, a leading voice in Sunni Islam, made the comments during a counter-terrorism rally held in the Muslim holy city last week, according to AFP.

Al-Tayeb “blamed unrest in the region on a conspiracy by what he called ‘new global colonialism allied to world Zionism,’” according to the AFP report, which was linked to by the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC).

Al-Tayeb went on to say that the “plot has exploited ‘confessional tension’ in conflict-hit Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya,” according to the report.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei communicated the same view as al-Tayeb on Monday, when he tweeted that all of the Western world’s problems “stem from Zionist domination over governments.”

Al-Tayeb also said in his remarks that educational reform in Arab countries could help stem the spread of terrorism, a point that was mentioned in isolation by the State Department in its tweet related to the speech.

A similar sentiment was expressed by State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf, who came under fire from critics for suggesting that Islamic State terrorists could be lured away from the jihadi group with better paying job opportunities.

Multiple State Department officials did not respond to requests for comment on al-Tayeb’s comments about Zionism and the reasons why the CSCC tweeted the article referring to the speech.

The State Department’s counter-terror organs have faced criticism in recent months for linking to and endorsing controversial clerics, as well as materials that have called jihad “noble.”

The State Department’s Counter Terror Bureau (CT) was forced to apologize in May for promoting a controversial cleric who runs a group that backed Hamas and endorsed a fatwa authorizing the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

That cleric, Sheik Abdallah Bin Bayyah, is the vice president of a Muslim scholarly organization that was founded by a Muslim Brotherhood leader who called “for the death of Jews and Americans.”

CT apologized multiple times for giving publicity to the cleric and deleted a tweet that related to him.

CSCC came under fire several months later for promoting a controversial anti-terror handbook that called jihad “noble” and urged law enforcement agencies to stop using the term “Islamic extremism.”

“Do not refer to terrorists as ‘jihadis,’” the manual states. “This only emboldens them and gives them a legitimate status in the eyes of the vulnerable. Terrorism is not jihad. Jihad is a noble concept in Islam.”

CSCC at the time claimed that it “was simply sharing information about a new product related to counterterrorism” in linking to the manual.

Patrick Poole, a national security reporter and terrorism expert who has long tracked the State Department’s public struggles to promote Muslim leaders it views as more moderate, said that the episodes on Twitter suggest a delicate balancing act.

“I think many of us can appreciate the wishful thinking that the State Department is engaged in here,” Poole said. “But this isn’t a standard case of double-speak, where they get caught between one of these guys saying one thing for Western audiences and then turning around and saying the opposite when talking to his own people. Here we have Sheik Tayeb’s quote about ‘global colonialism allied to world Zionism’ in the very same article that they tweeted out. It’s as if they didn’t read past the first few graphs.”

“Then you look at Tayeb’s statement immediately after the burning of the Jordanian pilot [by IS], and he invokes the Koranic punishments of crucifixion or beheading for burning the pilot alive,” Poole added. “Would the ISIS killing of the pilot have passed muster if they had used another mode of execution?”

“It seems the State Department can’t get beyond a BuzzFeed listicle view of what’s actually happening in the Middle East,” he said.

Analysis: Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is Purim on the Potomac

Posted March 3, 2015 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Analysis: Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is Purim on the Potomac – Israel News – Jerusalem Post.

Nentanyahu views that his destiny is to protect the Jewish state, and — by extension — the future of the Jews. In his mind, this is why he was fated to come to power. Nothing less.

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses Congress on Tuesday, he will likely make reference to Purim, that holiday that will begin Wednesday night commemorating the Jews’ salvation from the hands of Haman and the Persians thousands of years ago.

How could he not; it’s a slam dunk.

Then the Persians wanted to destroy the Jews; today the Persians want to destroy the state of the Jews. Same peoples, same tired story line.

And in this modern day version of the Biblical Book of Esther that many of the US legislators he will be speaking to are familiar with from their Sunday school days,  Netanyahu — at least judging from his rhetoric  over the last few weeks — sees himself cast as a combination of Mordechai and Esther.

Mordechai was the character in the Book of Esther who recognized the threats to his people in real time; Esther the one who — through the right words, at the right time, in the right situation  — took action to thwart them.  Netanyahu sees himself playing both roles.

In his mind he is the one who, going back to his first speech to Congress in 1996 where he already identified the danger of a nuclear Iran as the biggest threat facing Israel, is the Mordechai character. He is also the one lobbying the King, in this case US President Barack Obama in the role of King  Ahashverush, to get him to squelch the Persian plot against the Jews.

One of the most poignant moments in the Book of Esther comes toward the end of Chapter 4, when Mordechai has alerted Esther to the dangers hovering above the Jews, and  entreats her to plead her people’s case before the King.  Her answer was to hem-and-haw a bit and say she was not invited to meet the King, and those who approach him without being invited face death.

Mordechai’s reply: “If you remain silent at such a time as this, relief and deliverance for the Jews will appear from some other quarter, but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows, perhaps it is for such a time as this that you have come to your royal position.”

Netanyahu’s critics say this speech is all about the elections.  But Judging from everything that Netanyahu has said over the years, not just for this election cycle, he views that this — protecting his people and his country from destruction — is the reason he came to power.

Other prime ministers, such as Yitzhak Rabin or Shimon Peres, viewed their reason for rule as becoming The Peacemaker. Netanyahu never cast himself in that role.   He views that his destiny is  to protect the Jewish state, and — by extension — the future of the Jews. In his mind, this is why he was fated to come to power. Nothing less.

Netanyahu, the best English orator Israel has ever had at its helm, also believes — much like Obama — in the power of words.  That he is going forward with a speech that he obviously knows will severely complicate his life with Obama until the end of the President’s term, indicates that he — as sources close to him have said — believes in the possibility that words can convince key policy makers that the concessions being offered to Iran are much too much.

Esther saved the  Jewish people not through a great military achievement, but with daring to speak to the King. Netanyahu seems to  see himself playing a similar role.

It is worth noting that in recent days Netanyahu, including Monday in his address to AIPAC, has noted other Israeli Prime Ministers who at key crossroads have been willing to take action even when it ran contrary to US policy.

Netanyahu has mentioned David Ben-Gurion, who declared statehood in 1948, even though the US State Department was adamantly opposed.  He has mentioned Levi Eshkol, who took preemptive action in June 1967 against the Egyptians, even though the US president at the time, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was firmly against.  He mentioned Menachem Begin, who took out the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 even though then president Ronald Reagan was so incensed at the move that he temporarily halted the delivery of fighter planes to Israel.  And he cited Ariel Sharon, who continued with Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, even when president George W. Bush called on him to stop.

(Netanyahu also could have mentioned Ehud Olmert, who — according to foreign reports — issued the order in 2007 to take out a Syrian nuclear facility, even though the US preferred to deal with the matter at the UN).

By raising these cases, Netanyhau is saying that the prime minister is joining the ranks of other Israeli premiers who took brave action even if it risked a rocky patch in the relationship with the US.

But the parallels are far from perfect.  Ben-Gurion, Eshkol, Begin and Sharon all took concrete actions to further what they viewed as vital Israeli interests, even if these ran up against American wishes. What Netanyahu is doing is giving a speech — not ordering a military strike.

But Netanyahu  has shown over his long career that he believes in the efficacy of the speech, and how the right words, at the right time, delivered in the right way, can change history. One precedent he is leaning on is the  Book of Esther.

Some are likening Netanyahu’s  speech to Congress as a dual with Obama and calling it High Noon. Considering the season, however, it may be more apt  to call it Purim on the Potomac.

Video shows abandoned Iraqi Security Forces armored vehicles near Ramadi

Posted March 3, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Anbar, Foreign policy, Iraq, Iraqi military, Islamic State

Tags: , , , , ,

Video shows abandoned Iraqi Security Forces armored vehicles near Ramadi, Long War Journal, March 2015

(Win a few, lose a few lot, even with the help of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.– DM)

Iraqi Spring, a media center in Iraq, has released a video showing a number of abandoned Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) vehicles near Khaladiya. The city, which sits near the town of Habbaniya, is just over 10 miles from Anbar province’s capital of Ramadi. Most of the vehicles shown are US-made M113 armored personnel carriers.

Al Jazeera has reported that the Iraqi Security Forces and the Islamic State have clashed near Khaladiya in recent days. The vehicles were abandoned by the ISF when they retreated from the fighting, according to the Qatari news organization. The video and the fighting in Khaladiya comes as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al Abadi, announced the beginning of an operation to liberate Tikrit and all of Salahadin province in central Iraq. The wider focus and attention of the ISF is likely invested in that operation.

Khaladiyah, Habbaniyah, and the nearby town of Saqlawiyah have seen severe fighting in the past. In early January, the Islamic State attacked Camp Habbaniyah, and the jihadists were briefly able to breach the military base’s perimeter. Camp Saqlawiyah was overrun last September, when a suicide bomber in a captured Humvee and wearing an ISF uniform was able to detonate inside the camp. After the suicide bombing, an Islamic State assault team was able to overrun the ISF personnel inside. Hundreds of ISF personnel and Sunni tribesmen were thought to have been killed in the attack. In July 2014, the Islamic State ambushed and destroyed an Iraqi armored column in Khalidiyah. During the fighting, Islamic State fighters destroyed three US-supplied M1 Abrams main battle tanks and captured several American-made M113 armored personnel carriers. [For more on these attacks, see LWJ reports Islamic State assaults Iraqi Army base in AnbarIslamic State photos detail rout of Iraqi Army at Camp Saqlawiya, and Islamic State routs Iraqi armored column in Anbar.]


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