Monday, March 2, 2015

One of Obama's Jews Has a Few Questions

Michael L. 

goldbergJeffrey Goldberg writes for the The Atlantic and is one of the premier journalists in the United States today.

A big part of the reason for his success, aside from the fact that he is a terrific writer, is that he has accrued access to the Obama White House much more so than most of his colleagues.

When the Obama administration wants to loft an idea concerning Israel into the public domain they often rely on Goldberg to knock it out there.  He has been a reliable friend of the Obama administration and, along with people such as Thomas Friedman, has provided an invaluable service by generally covering Obama's flank with the President's Jewish constituency.

Nonetheless, tomorrow morning Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is going to speak to the world from Washington, D.C. concerning the Iranian Bad Deal and Goldberg has a few questions.

He writes:
The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence. Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a “right” that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear. (The matter of the sunset clause worries me, but I’m more worried that the Iranians will find a way to cheat their way out of the agreement even before the sun is scheduled to set.) - Editor's emphasis.
I am not exactly filled with confidence, either. Leaving Iran as a nuclear-weaponized threshold state is not what Obama promised the American people.  What he said, quite specifically, was that it was US policy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Goldberg, himself, wrote about this in an October 2, 2012, column entitled, Obama's Crystal-Clear Promise to Stop Iran From Getting a Nuclear Weapon.
Reuters is reporting that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu are both satisfied with their non-encounter at the United Nations last week. Both men "left the U.N. meeting with more than they arrived with: Obama with an assurance that Israel would not attack Iran's nuclear sites before the November 6 U.S. presidential election, and Netanyahu with a commitment from Obama to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from producing an atomic bomb."
Obama has changed the policy without alerting the American public.  Apparently now the policy is to try to manage and finesse Iran's nuclear weaponry development and to merely hold it off for a few years.  From now until then Obama will be able to say that he has lived up to his word.

This, needless to say, puts the United States, Israel, and the rest of the world in a position of weakness in which all we can really do is hope for the best.  It certainly puts Iran in a position wherein if it wanted to step up its rise as a Middle Eastern hegemon, it could demonstrate nuclear weapons capabilities in short order.

The fact of the matter is that Iran does not need nuclear enrichment facilities - particularly given its resources in oil - if its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes.  If that were the case it could purchase enriched uranium elsewhere, as do most other countries.
This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people. 
From what I read in the newspapers, Obama is advertantly setting Iran onto a path to the nuclear bomb threshold.  What they tell us is that it is supposed to be a 1-year threshold.  That is, Iran agrees to remain one year away from break-out capacity and we are, thus, supposed to trust the ayatollahs.

That is putting an awful lot of faith into an Islamist government that has been an enemy of the United States since 1979.  This is particularly true given Iran's emergence as a contemporary imperial power in the Middle East during the Obama presidency.

In fact, from a strictly logical point of view, it is completely... nuts.

I do not want to see the United States or Israel go to war and I do not know that a ground campaign is our only option beyond near capitulation, which is what Obama's Bad Deal is.
One of Netanyahu’s most strident critics, Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said recently, “A nuclear Iran is a reality that Israel won't be able to come to terms with.”

He went on to say, “Two issues in particular concern me with respect to the talks between the world powers and Iran: What happens if and when the Iranians violate the agreement, and what happens when the period of the agreement comes to an end and they decide to pursue nuclear weapons?”

In the coming weeks, President Obama must provide compelling answers to these questions.
This, my friends, is a very big moment and we are going to have to wait until we see final terms in order to make final judgments.

But, if the deal contains a one year break-out, and if there are secret facilities in Iran, that means Iran can go nuclear at practically a moment's notice.

Ultimately, you can only have faith in the Bad Deal, as we understand it today, if you do not honestly care if Iran gets a Jihad Bomb.


  1. The IAEA yesterday stated again, for the 3rd time that Iran is probably developing nuclear weapons and that we'll never know until they do. And they're not particularly opposed to the idea. When el Baradi lead the IAEA they assisted Iran in covering it up. So with these statements now it's clear they don't care who knows because they understand there's no stopping Iran. I think one of the items to fall out of the discussion tomorrow will be an implication by the Obama administration that they were caught flat footed by Israel and were not fully prepared to spin and lie their way through it at this time. That's the most you'll get from them. But again, since it's a foregone conclusion that Iran is going nuclear sooner than some ludicrous John Kerry statement of 10-15 years from now, a key issue for Obama in the last 2 years of his regime is how to stop not only Israel but EVERY OTHER Arab state from going nuclear, which clearly some of them have already hinted they will. Obama's problem isn't preventing nuclear proliferation, it's preventing nuclear proliferation for the states opposed to Iran. If Nigeria announced a program, or Indonesia or Malaysia or South Korea or Japan, or Brazil or Argentina, Obama would be silent on the issue. But those odious Jews and the Sunni states near Iran, they're the problem for him.

    By the by President Queen Hillarius the first will be handed a huge problem not really discussed so far - a nuclear armed Iran that ALREADY has control of both sides of the Straits of Hormuz where most Mideast oil flows though. $40 a barrel? Add a zero to that. Should be fun with $20/gal gas the Greens have pushed for.

    1. Heck, given the warmness and placidity of Arab-Muslim relations throughout the Middle East, why not nuclearize the situation?... strictly for the fun of it... just to see what happens.


  2. PM Netanyahu also speaks English the proper way. With a Philadelphia accent. ;)

    From a strictly realist point of view, I suppose it's a semi-hopeful sign that, despite some fears, Pakistan hasn't Jihad-Bombed India yet?

    Courtesy of President Obama, we may now be entering an unprecedented era of proliferation.

    Anybody moved the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock up yet?

    In the end, I think our best hope will be the collapse of the world system we know now, post cheap-oil, and its attendant re-localization of everyday life.

    It's an admittedly bleak outlook, but humanity on the whole hasn't really given off many signs to warrant carrying a hopeful, optimistic outlook, lately.

    The Islamist states will sink into a hellish medieval nightmare of vast overpopulation in hostile landscapes. Israel will innovate its way into a positive future in the face of adversity.

    Unfortunately, we here in the US will probably face a fair bit of violence and upheaval before the eventual peaceful breakup into small regions of cooperation. I was listening to a podcast the other day, in which Jim Kunstler asked the fantastic question, along the lines of "how did we go from a nation where men dressed in suits and addressed each other as 'sir,' to a nation of tattooed louts dressed like babies who call each other 'motherfucker?'"

    I wouldn't want to be in Europe when the shit goes down, but at least they have a walkable and humane built environment, plenty of good farmland, and still-existing strong local foodways and cultures.

    Oceania has the fortune of being disconnected from the rest of the world.

    The parts of South America and Africa not infected by Nazism / Peronism / Chavism or Islamism will be generally continue as they always have, mostly along tribal lines.

    Me personally, I'd like to think I'd buy a boat and spend the rest of my days floating around the Caribbean, fishing for sustenance, though I'd probably miss fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and pizza too much to follow through on that. Heh.

  3. O/T, but this is the greatest thing ever.

    "Youseem Crazy of beheading rights activist group DECAP said in a press conference, with tears in his eyes,

    "I’ve known Mustapha Machete for years, and I’m not holding this press conference just because its come to light that I’ve known him for years and want to divert attention from that. Mahatma Mustapha, as he was known in peaceful beheading activist circles, was so compassionate and loving. When I used to see him pulling the legs off flies, I used to think to myself, ‘he wouldn’t hurt a fly’. He was one of the kindest, gentlest, most humble and sensitive men I’ve ever felt the muscles of. He may also have been forced to do it by Kay Burley from Sky News and her oppressive questioning style."

    "When I watched him in the video beheading the Islamophobic aid worker I saw how he was a victim of a society that gave him every opportunity, privilege and benefit, other than allowing him to behead disbelievers and liberals, and he was enraged by those double standards, and that’s what made him do it."


    It is also clear that MI5 and the authorities are to blame for making Bertie become a beheader after they tried to stop him beheading people. Until we break this cycle of radicalisation, in which people who want to kill people are made more determined to kill people by Islamophobes who try to stop them killing people, we have only ourselves to blame for being killed by victims of stereotyping like this.

    Peaceful "political protest against the sanctity of necks," indeed...

  4. Isn't this the guy who said you could keep your doctor, period! Or that he had no authority to change the immigration laws? And just earned 4 Pinocchios for statements about Keystone?

    He said in 2012, to the United Nations General Assembly: "Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained...the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

    Is this really prevention, or just hoping that Iran will change its mind?


    1. He's just kicking the can past his presidency.

      My suspicion is that the guy is torn between his post-colonial education, the fact of his name and his skin color and what tha would have meant to him growing up, and his probable love-hate feelings for the good 'ol US of A.

      I honestly do not distrust his intentions, but I have sincere reservations about the fossilized ideology at the core of those intentions.

    2. I think he will land on his feet as we may have to deal with the fallout.

      He can also appear Nixonian. Secretive and overly vindictive to those that dare hold a different view. Enemy of the press. A palpable sense of superiority toward others, that he knows it all, which filters to his supporters. This part of him was not known from his well crafted story.

      You would think that with someone so together, such a gift to the world, that things would be better.

      He now has progressives willing to eat all the junk food his machine shoves at them, pretending it's health food.

  5. Good speech. Mr. Netanyahu spoke for me.