Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama administration giving away the store in nuclear deal with Iran

Map of Iran Nuclear Facilities

Map of Iran Nuclear Facilities

(Source: BBC)

The Wall Street Journal reports.

Excerpt:

Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress this week that no one should pre-judge a nuclear deal with Iran because only the negotiators know what’s in it. But the truth is that the framework of an accord has been emerging thanks to Administration leaks to friendly journalists. The leaks suggest the U.S. has already given away so much that any deal on current terms will put Iran on the cusp of nuclear-power status.

The latest startling detail is Monday’s leak that the U.S. has conceded to Iran’s demand that an agreement would last as little as a decade, perhaps with an additional five-year phase-out. After that Iran would be allowed to build its uranium enrichment capabilities to whatever size it wants. In theory it would be forbidden from building nuclear weapons, but by then all sanctions would have long ago been lifted and Iran would have the capability to enrich on an industrial scale.

Is Iran our friend? Not really:

That is some gamble on a regime that continues to sponsor terrorist groups around the world, prop up the Assad regime in Syria, use proxies to overthrow the Yemen government, jail U.S. reporter Jason Rezaian on trumped-up espionage charges, and this week blew up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier in naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz.

Charles Krauthammer comments:

News leaked Monday of the “sunset clause.” President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

Sanctions lifted. Restrictions gone. Nuclear development legitimized. Iran would re-enter the international community, as Obama suggested in an interview last December, as “a very successful regional power.” A few years — probably around 10 — of good behavior and Iran would be home free.

The agreement thus would provide a predictable path to an Iranian bomb. Indeed, a flourishing path, with trade resumed, oil pumping and foreign investment pouring into a restored economy.

Meanwhile, Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program is subject to no restrictions at all. It’s not even part of these negotiations.

Why is Iran building them? You don’t build ICBMs in order to deliver sticks of dynamite. Their only purpose is to carry nuclear warheads. Nor does Iran need an ICBM to hit Riyadh or Tel Aviv. Intercontinental missiles are for reaching, well, other continents. North America, for example.

[…]The deal now on offer to the ayatollah would confer legitimacy on the nuclearization of the most rogue of rogue regimes: radically anti-American, deeply jihadist, purveyor of terrorism from Argentina to Bulgaria, puppeteer of a Syrian regime that specializes in dropping barrel bombs on civilians.

Based on past deals, we shouldn’t be surprised by this news.

This Heritage Foundation article re-caps our negotiating blunders.

What makes these deals even worse is that they are all about constraining us, not the other guy. New START didn’t require Russia to destroy a single nuclear missile: it only reduced the size of the U.S. stockpile. The Arms Trade Treaty won’t stop the lawless and incompetent nations of the world from selling arms irresponsibly, but our lawyers will guarantee that it restrains us.

The essence of the Syrian deal was that it saved the U.S. from having to carry out Secretary of State John Kerry’s “unbelievably small” retaliatory strike on the Assad regime, which gets to remain in power. The Iran carve-up removes the lingering threat of any U.S. military action and makes Israeli action all but unthinkable, while the Iranians keep on enriching uranium and can zoom up to weapons-grade levels far faster than we can reimpose sanctions.

The administration is more afraid of having to respond to an Iranian nuclear breakout than it is of a breakout itself. The deal has bought only a six-month delay in the Iranian program, at the cost of easing UN sanctions the U.S. had carefully built up since 2006.

At the core of the accords is the belief that the U.S. is the nation that needs to be restrained. That is why they involve big concessions from us in exchange for far less from the other side. Since we are the problem, we are the ones who need to give things up to get a deal.

And what about the global warming deal with China?

We got fleeced there, too:

When the United States and China announced a surprise carbon-emissions deal, the environmental Left squealed in delight. Al Gore declared it “groundbreaking progress from the world’s largest polluter” (i.e., China), while John Kerry patted himself on the back in the New York Times, gushing about how “the world’s most consequential relationship has just produced something of great consequence in the fight against climate change.” Despite the extraordinary fanfare, there’s abundant reason for skepticism.

Though the announcement is politically expedient for both Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, China almost certainly won’t take significant steps to reduce carbon emissions.

[…]Beijing hasn’t actually agreed to much: It will try to “stop increasing” carbon emissions by 2030 — which is a slanted way of saying its emissions will continue to grow for another 16 years — and derive 20 percent of its energy from renewables by then, up from about 10 percent now. Though these goals may be codified into Chinese law, the CCP does not have a reputation for respecting the rule of law. And the United States and the international community won’t have any way of enforcing these goals. No wonder Reuters called it a “largely symbolic plan.”

[…]Critics of the president’s environmental policies have noted that even the most stringent emissions reductions from the First World won’t have much of an impact unless the developing world also cuts back. The environmental Left is marketing the new U.S.–China deal as a way to eliminate that objection and plow forward with the president’s hardline proposals for carbon regulations. “Now there is no longer an excuse for Congress to block action on climate change,” Senator Barbara Boxer said in today’s New York Times. “The biggest carbon polluter on our planet, China, has agreed to cut back on dangerous emissions, and now we should make sure all countries do their part because this is a threat to the people that we all represent.”

Boxer ignores the myriad other valid objections to the Obama administration’s proposed regulations, which seek to cut carbon emissions 30 percent from their 2005 levels by 2030. In reality, it’s bad policy because, despite enormous economic cost, it would yield very few environmental benefits.

And of course we have the complete surrender to Russia in the Arctic.

We are cutting deals with every bad actor on the planet that will undermine our interests at home and abroad for years to come. And why? Well, it’s because Democrats think that United States is more of a threat to world peace than a force for good, and so they think the best way to save the planet is to strengthen countries like Russia, Iran and China. I think in one way this plan will work – Democrats will feel as if they are doing something, and they will congratulate themselves on their moral superiority. But as far as actually achieving good results? It’s not going to happen.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Weekly Standard podcasts on Democrats’ terrorists for traitor swap

I listened to these 4 podcasts on the weekend, and I thought there was a lot in there that I had not heard in the news. The Weekly Standard is my favorite political podcast.

June 2nd:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was recently traded for five Taliban prisoners from terrorist captivity.

The MP3 file is here.

June 3rd:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and frequent contributor on why the Bergdahl swap is a terrible deal for American Security.

The MP3 file is here.

June 4th:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with editor William Kristol on the Obama administration’s changing explanations of the Bergdahl prisoner swap.

The MP3 file is here.

June 6th:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was recently traded for five Taliban prisoners from terrorist captivity.

The MP3 file is here.

June 9th:

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on his recent story about  how many White House statements about the Bergdahl/Taliban 5 swap have been contradicted either by facts or by testimony.

The MP3 file is here.

I recommend listening to all of them. The VA scandal was bad, because it was basically the Democrats killing off wounded soldiers. But the release of these 5 terrorist commanders goes beyond that – endangering our men and women in the military and just encouraging our enemies to kidnap more Americans and bargain with them. If you want the bad guys to stop being bad, you kill them. You don’t reward them. That just makes them act more badly.

 

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

Army told soldiers who served with Bergdahl told to lie about his desertion

Left-wing Mediaite reports.

Excerpt:

In an appearance on Fox & Friends on Wednesday, retired Army Spc. Josh Fuller, a soldier who served with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahlsince 2008, said that the military informed him and other soldiers that the “narrative” they should maintain is that Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban rather than that he intentionally left his base. When asked if he believed he was told not to “tell the truth” about Bergdahl by military authorities, Fuller said that he did.

“The sentiment that everybody knew was that he walked off the base in the middle of the night, left all his gear there, and went – just walked off the post,” Fuller said. “So, we had all known that it was — that he had deserted his post, and there was never anything about him getting captured or POW until a little while later whenever it came down from the chain of command that we needed to keep quiet and not say anything.”

“We’re going with the narrative that he was captured,” Fuller said of the military’s position on Bergdahl’s alleged desertion.

“So, they basically told you not to tell the truth,” Fox host Brian Kilmeade said.

“Yes, sir,” Fuller replied.

Fuller concluded by corroborating the claims of Bergdahl’s former team leader, Sgt. Evan Buetow,who told CNN on Tuesday that the Taliban’s attacks became more directed after Bergdahl was captured.

“The ambushes we use, the certain tactics we use, the Taliban was picking up on those things,” Fuller said. “You could tell it was from somebody on the inside that had that info.”

Wow. So we gave away five Taliban commanders not just for a deserter, but for a traitor. Is this supposed to make us safer?

 

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Obama trades five senior Taliban commanders for an American soldier who deserted

The Weekly Standard reports on a prisoner exchange that only a traitor could approve of.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration is facing mounting questions about the controversial prisoner swap that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from jihadists in Pakistan in exchange for the transfer and ultimate release of five senior Taliban commanders previously held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lawmakers are questioning the wisdom and legality of the move. Intelligence officials are expressing deep concerns about its ramifications. And those who served with Bergdahl—or took risks in the efforts to rescue him—are directly challenging the Obama administration’s characterization of the former captive and his actions.

In an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed that Bergdahl “wasn’t simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war, taken on the battlefield.” She added: “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

“That’s not true,” says Specialist Cody Full, who served in the same platoon as Bergdahl, and whose tweets over the weekend as @CodyFNfootball offered an early firsthand account of Bergdahl’s departure. “He was not a hero. What he did was not honorable. He knowingly deserted and put thousands of people in danger because he did. We swore to an oath and we upheld ours. He did not.”

“He walked off—and ‘walked off’ is a nice way to put it,” says Specialist Josh Cornelison, the medic in Bergdahl’s platoon. “He was accounted for late that afternoon. He very specifically planned to walk out in the middle of the night.”

“He was a deserter,” says Specialist Full. “There’s no question in the minds of anyone in our platoon.”

But Susan Rice says this 5 for 1 trade is a good deal. Should we take her word over the word of the soldiers who served with Bergdahl? I think we shouldn’t, because we know she lied about the Benghazi terrorist attack being a “protest” caused by a Youtube video.

The Washington Times points out that other soldiers lost their lives trying to search for the deserter.

Excerpt:

At least six soldiers died while searching for Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal in hostile Taliban territory when he went missing in Afghanistan five years ago.

And now, those who served with those six say Mr. Bergdhal is at fault for their deaths because he abandoned his military post, the New York Post reported.

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Mr. Bergdahl’s platoon, to CNN. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

I think the release of 5 Taliban commanders is probably going to cost even more American lives than the 6 already lost. But judging from the administration’s actions with the VA scandal and Benghazi, we seem to be more concerned with helping our enemies than with helping our own soldiers and diplomats. And I’m sure on the left they would think that this was a good thing, somehow. I don’t think it’s a good thing.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Obama administration betrays Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran

Letitia posted this article by Jay Sekulow from Fox News.

Excerpt:

In its quest for a “deal” with the hostile, jihadist Iranian regime, The Obama administration has thrown an American Christian, Saeed Abedini, under the bus – the latest American victim in the administration’s continual, naïve (at best) quest to bargain with Islamic radicals.

[…]Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Idaho resident, last year received permission to enter Iran to help build an orphanage.

Shortly after his arrival, Iran’s radical Revolutionary Guard arrested him, threw him in one of Iran’s worst prisons, and tried and convicted him on trumped-up “national security” charges – charges that had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with his Christian faith.

Even after President Obama raised Pastor Saeed’s case directly to the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran responded not by releasing Saeed but by transferring him to an even worse prison — a prison full of murderers and rapists, where his life is in danger at every moment.

The Iranian regime rebuked the president of the United States, and we’re now supposed to believe it’s acting in good faith?

President Obama is now trying to spin our stunning act of weakness as a breakthrough for peace.  In fact, we were so weak that (according to the administration) that the State Department did not even raise Pastor Saeed’s during the nuclear negotiations.

[…]Iran’s record of wrongdoing is long and sordid.

Beginning with the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, moving through repeated terrorist attacks – from the deadly Marine Barracks bombing in 1983, to the Kobar Towers bombing in 1996, to the direct intervention of Iran’s Quds force against American forces in Iraq – and including ongoing deadly support for terrorists fighting American forces in Afghanistan, Iran has proven by its deeds and words that it is America’s enemy.

If Iran had released Pastor Saeed we would have at least one concrete action to give Americans confidence that this deal was anything other than a disaster.  Instead, we are left with nothing but “commitments” from a regime that has proven itself committed only to killing and imprisoning Americans.

To make matters even worse, we have squandered a position of strength.

Iran was suffering under sanctions that were finally beginning to truly bite — wrecking its economy and causing deep discontent within Iraq. This was our opportunity to drive a hard bargain, to reach a deal that didn’t depend solely on Iranian “commitments.”

But we squandered that opportunity and left an American behind.

The Obama administration has betrayed Pastor Saeed.

One country that’s done a good job on promoting human rights and religious liberty is Canada, because they have a Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Here’s what Canada said about the deal: (H/T Dennis Prager)

The Canadian government was “deeply skeptical” on Sunday of Iran’s agreement to temporarily freeze its nuclear program, saying Ottawa’s sanctions against the regime would remain firmly in place until the new deal’s words turned into actions.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird appeared to take a stronger stance on the newly brokered deal than the United States and other allies, saying Canada would be watching Iran closely over the coming weeks and months.

“We have made-in-Canada foreign policy,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“We think past actions best predict future actions. And Iran has defied the United Nations Security Council, it has defied the International Atomic Energy Agency. Simply put Iran has not earned the right to have the benefit of the doubt.”

It’s striking to me that the American government is now to the left of Canada on foreign policy – making deals with dictators that actually set back the cause of freedom and universal human rights. I would not be surprised to see a full-scale war in the Middle East because of this deal. I guess that the Obama administration is so anxious to appear as if they are doing something that they don’t care if Iran nukes Israel in a few months. Because that’s what’s going to happen unless Israel attacks Iran first. Iran was threatening to nuke Israel as recently as last week. It’s hard to interpret the Democrat treaty with Iran as anything other than their stamp of approval on that plan.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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