Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mitt vs Mitt? Obama is the King of flip flops!: Response to DNC Romney ad

Video response to the DNC Romney ad [video]: "Mitt vs Mitt: The story of two men trapped in one body":

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Knife-wielding, iPhone robber seen fleeing to 'Occupy Seattle camp'; Seattle bank vandalized in the name of 'Occupy Oakland'

From KOMO News:
Seattle Police are investigating an armed robbery on Broadway Ave early [Sunday] morning.

Police say around 4:20 a.m. one of their officers was flagged down by a man near 1700Broadway who said he’d been robbed of his iPhone at knifepoint.

The man reportedly told police he knew the other man with the knife and after robbing him that man fled into the Occupy Seattle camp at Seattle Central Community College...

Last week Seattle Central Community College's board of trustees voted unanimously for an emergency camping ban on campus. The ban effectively means the Occupy Seattle campers will need to vacate the campus where they pitched their tents after leaving Westlake Park several weeks ago.

SCCC said they would work with the Occupy Seattle campers as they look for another site and would not ask them to leave the campus property immediately.

Some students, SCCC employees and neighbors have complained that the Occupy Seattle camp has become a health and safety concern. Some parents who's children attend a daycare at SCCC have raised concerns about reported drug use and criminal activity at the camp.
In a related development:
A Seattle U.S. Bank branch was vandalized early Saturday morning, causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

Seattle police reported Saturday that vandals broke out nearly all the windows and the ATM screen of the North Seattle bank branch located on Northeast 63rd Street.

"Revenge for Occupy Oakland" was spray painted on the building's southwest wall.

On October 25, hundreds of police raided the Occupy Oakland encampment, arresting dozens. In mid-November, police evicted protesters from Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza...

Since the protests began in mid-September, over 4,000 have been arrested nationwide for a variety of crimes including rape, assault, vandalism and arson.

According to a PDF file at OWS Exposed, Occupy Wall Street has caused over $10 million in property damage.

Nevertheless, Democratic lawmakers [and President Obama] continue to support the Communist Party-backed movement.

No doubt, Occupy Wall Street protesters will say the vandals were just exercising their First Amendment right of free speech.
Related News item - From November 2, 2011: Oakland Occupy smashes windows, throws rocks, attacks Whole Foods, defaces property

Saturday, November 26, 2011

BBC execs bought off to promote Climate change

From the Daily Mail:
Britain’s leading green activist research centre spent £15,000 on seminars for top BBC executives in an apparent bid to block climate change sceptics from the airwaves, a vast new cache of leaked ‘Climategate’ emails has revealed.

The emails – part of a trove of more than 5,200 messages that appear to have been stolen from computers at the University of East Anglia – shed light for the first time on an incestuous web of interlocking relationships between BBC journalists and the university’s scientists, which goes back more than a decade.

They show that University staff vetted BBC scripts, used their contacts at the Corporation to stop sceptics being interviewed and were consulted about how the broadcaster should alter its programme output...

BBC insiders say the close links between the Corporation and the UEA’s two climate science departments, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, have had a significant impact on its coverage.

‘Following their lead has meant the whole thrust and tone of BBC reporting has been that the science is settled, and that there is no need for debate,’ one journalist said. ‘If you disagree, you’re branded a loony.’...
Read the full article

Friday, November 25, 2011

Taxpayer Dollars used to push Pro-Abortion language in Kenya constitution

From the House Committee on Foreign affairs website - November 22, 2011:

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on a newly-released report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showing that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to an organization which lobbied to include pro-abortion language in Kenya’s constitution. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“For the last 30 years, U.S. law has been clear: taxpayer dollars may not be used to lobby for or against abortion overseas. [This is known as the Siljander Amendment] But, as a GAO investigation recently uncovered, the Administration gave taxpayer dollars to an international organization which lobbied for pro-abortion language to be included in Kenya’s new constitution during Kenya’s recent constitutional reform process.

“When Kenya’s Committee of Experts produced a first draft of the constitution stating that ‘every person has the right to life,’ the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) pushed to insert unprecedented pro-abortion language that a fetus lacks constitutional standing and that personhood begins only at birth. The U.S. Agency for International Development gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to the IDLO to provide ‘technical assistance’ in the drafting of Kenya’s new constitution.

“Kenya’s own Parliamentary Select Committee proposed that, consistent with Kenyan law, the new constitution should specify that life begins at conception and that abortion is illegal except when the life of the mother is in danger. IDLO opposed that language.

“It is indefensible that U.S. tax dollars were used to turn a constitutional process aimed at curbing violence in Kenya into an opportunity to push a pro-abortion agenda.

“After Congress raised these concerns last year, how did the Administration punish IDLO for violating the abortion lobbying ban? By giving them a new, million-dollar grant to help implement the constitution they worked to distort. This report raises grave questions about the illegal misuse of taxpayer funds to promote a pro-abortion agenda overseas, which requires further Congressional attention.”

NOTE: The GAO report found that IDLO “advised that the [Committee of Experts] might consider adding language to make clear that the fetus lacks constitutional standing, and that the rights of women under these articles therefore take priority.” IDLO further recommended a modification to one constitutional draft “to make clear that a person is a human being who has been born [only after birth].”
More from Rep. Chris Smith's website:

The investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, also reveals that a key Obama official stonewalled investigators and refused to cooperate with the GAO in its investigation of the activities initiated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department during the 2010 constitutional referendum in Kenya...

“That a high-ranking official in the Obama Administration, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero, chose not to cooperate with the GAO as they uncovered procedural and funding problems begs for further investigation and review,” Smith said. “What else might they be hiding?”...

“The IDLO communications to the Kenyans introduced the abortion issue into the constitutional debate, ‘advised’ the Kenyans to include language in the constitution that clearly supported the legalization of abortion, and expressed opposition to later proposed language that would have restricted access to abortion,” Smith explained. “If this isn’t lobbying, what is?”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Occupy Christmas"?

The Occupy Wall Street movement - a left-wing anarchist organization, an outgrowth of President Obama's anti-capitalist rhetoric, a movement which has been enthusiastically endorsed, and embraced, by Obama, the renowned Community Organizer - is now planning to Occupy Christmas:
Occupy Wall Street protesters are training their sights on a new target: holiday shopping.

From Seattle to Long Island, New York, activists are planning a host of actions during the Black Friday shopping weekend -- from marching on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. supercenters and organizing sit-ins at malls to cutting up credit cards and running faux stores to exchange used items and avoid consumerism.

Though the activities are set to begin Friday -- the traditional start to the holiday season that kicks off early in the morning with a blizzard of discounts -- they are part of a larger protest known as OccupyXmas that will continue through Dec. 25.

"Consumer overconsumption has gotten us into this mess and the economic crisis to begin with," said Dana Balitki, a spokeswoman for the Occupy Wall Street protesters. "The work we're trying to do is to get people to care about the country, to get us focused on how we can take care of each other, redirect our resources and learn how to better connect with each other."

In Washington, Occupy protesters from Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham and Everett plan to gather at a Wal-Mart in the city of Renton, south of Seattle, Friday afternoon. A similar protest is scheduled at the Valley Stream, N.Y., Wal-Mart...

Other groups are planning more subtle actions. Activists in Idaho plan to dress up as "consumer zombies" and wander around shopping centers to protest what they see as the numbing effect of conspicuous consumption...
Zombies, indeed.....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Weapons Found During Zuccotti Park Cleanup

From Fox News:
A number of weapons were discovered in New York’s Zuccotti Park after Occupy Wall Street protesters were evicted by the Police Department last week, law enforcement sources tell Fox News.

Gardeners employed by the park owners, Brookfield Properties, to clean up the mess made by occupiers during their two-month stay discovered various knives, including a large kitchen knife and other potential instruments of violence in flower beds throughout the public space, according to officials.

“We (NYPD) aren't taking the weapons, building security is,” said a high-ranking [police] officer... “Security at the Brookfield building across from Zuccotti. They have all the weapons.”...

A court motion related to the clearing of the park filed by Deputy Mayor Cas Halloway last week noted that, “Makeshift items that can be used as weapons, such as cardboard tubes with metal pipes inside, had been observed among the occupiers’ possessions.”...

The motion also noted that “knives, mace and hypodermic needles were observed discarded onto the roadway,” after an Oct.1 Occupy Wall Street march across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Occupy protests have cost taxpayers at least $13 Million

From the AP - [culled from two articles]:
A survey by The Associated Press shows the Occupy movement has cost local taxpayers nationwide at least $13 million since the protests began.

The data was collected from government agencies in 18 cities with active protests. The numbers reflect costs incurred through Nov. 15 [8 days ago], the day protesters were evicted from the New York City encampment...

[And] the price of the protests is rising by the day — along with taxpayer ire in some places.

Aside from policing, cleaning and repairing property at dozens of 24-hour encampments, cities have had to monitor frequent rallies and protests.

The spending comes as cash-strapped police departments have cut overtime budgets, travel and training to respond to the recession. Nonetheless, city officials say they have no choice but to bring in extra officers or hold officers past their shifts to handle gatherings and marches in a way that protects free speech rights and public safety. In some cities, officials say the spending is eating into their overtime budgets and leaving less money for other public services...

In Oakland, where protesters temporarily forced the shutdown of a major port, the city has spent more than $2.4 million responding to the protests. The cash-strapped city, which had to close a $58 million budget gap this year, was already facing an uphill battle when Occupy Oakland began Oct. 10.

"The cost of the encampments is growing and putting a strain on our already fragile resources — police, public works, and other city staff," said Mayor Jean Quan...

In New York City, the police department has spent $7 million in overtime on the protests...
But money [and property damage] is not the only issue:
In Tennessee, where protesters have been camped outside the Capitol, a State General Services spokeswoman said two cleaning crew members have spent about three hours every morning pressure-washing entrances to the building using household cleaners to deodorize them.....

Obama Pardons Turkey, Thanksgiving Spoof

From a video I posted in November of 2010:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

San Diego has spent $2.4M to police Occupy Wall Street movt

From the AP:
San Diego police say the department has spent about $2.4 million [in taxpayer dollars] so far to patrol the Occupy San Diego demonstration that began nearly seven weeks ago.

A police department statement Tuesday says the total includes nearly $144,000 in overtime costs. The remainder of the expenses stemmed from on-duty personnel reassigned from their regular duties to handle the ongoing demonstration.

Police Lt. Andra Brown estimates the average daily cost for the protest at $56,876.
Similarly, Portland police say the department has spent more than $1 million to patrol the Occupy Portland demonstrations.

It should be noted, though, that if everybody would pay their fair share of taxes, we could easily fund the Occupy Wall Street movement and have ample money left over to pay for the extra police patrols. But unless we throw the Republican bums out of office, this will never happen.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jay Carney vs German reporter - White House Press briefing - Debt reduction

During a White House Press briefing on Monday, a reporter from the German press expressed his frustration with the way the U.S. was handling its debt crisis.

"The U.S., as far as I know, has a worse debt-to-GDP ratio than the whole euro zone," he said, "and...Congress can't get its act together. So from the European perspective, it seems that this country is in a bigger mess than Europe."

"We are not proud where we are," he added. "We know that it's slow and not bold, and so on, but at least they are doing something; they are deciding something, they're trying to pull that through. And here, nothing is happening..."

Press Secretary, Jay Carney responded [to the reporter's gripe]: "I don't think it's helpful to get into which side of the Atlantic handles its problems better or worse. I think... this country needs to act. And obviously, as I just discussed in answer to a question earlier, the Europeans need to move forward with rapid implementation of their plans. And there is an urgent need in Europe to establish an enhanced firewall and to control this crisis... "

Despite the fact that the aforementioned reporter criticized the way the U.S. was handling its debt crisis, and despite the fact that he advised the U.S. to confront its fiscal problems, he nevertheless complained that the U.S. was not in a position to give advice to Europe.

Oh, well...

Chris Matthews praises & slams Obama

No sense trying to psychoanalyze Matthews on this one; for whatever reason, he decided to momentarily shift gears and criticize Obama:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Iraqi General sought extended US military presence, now forced to befriend Iran

On Sunday, the Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Joint Forces, General Babaker Zebari, called for the expansion of military ties between Tehran and Baghdad during a meeting with the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, Gen. Mohammad Pakpouron.

The meeting came in the wake of President Obama's announcement, in October, that all US forces would be withdrawn from Iraq by year's end, and on the heels of the President's failure [and apparent unwillingness] to negotiate a deal with Iraq that would enable a residual US force to remain in the country to help train Iraqi troops and to ensure that Iran does not expand its influence in Iraq and in the country's military affairs.

Question: Did the President's announcement, and his failure to negotiate the aforementioned deal, compel Gen. Zebari to meet with Iranian military leaders?

Apparently, yes.

In August of 2010, the AFP reported as follows:
The Iraqi army will require American support for another decade before it is ready to handle the country's security on its own, Iraq's army chief of staff told AFP on Wednesday.

Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari said Iraq's politicians had to find a way to "FILL THE VOID" after American troops withdraw from the country at the end of next year...

"At this point, the withdrawal (of US forces) is going well, because they are still here," Zebari said.

"But the problem will start after 2011; the politicians must find other ways to FILL THE VOID after 2011, because the army will be fully ready in 2020.

"If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020."
Gen. Zebari asserted that a continued US troop presence in Iraq [until 2020, when the Iraqi army would be fully prepared to take over] was absolutely necessary. Moreover, he contended that after 2011, when the US military presence ended, "the problem will start", and then "the politicians must find other ways to FILL THE VOID."

"Fill the void", those are the key words.

In August of 2010, the LA Times - after quoting a US military commander as saying that the Iraqi army will not be able to stand alone by the time U.S. troops go home and that there will have to be some form of continued U.S. military presence beyond 2011 - quoted [the aforementioned] Gen. Zebari as saying:
"If America withdraws its forces and one of the neighboring countries causes problems, then we're going to have a problem."
"Neighboring countries" = Iran

Additionally, Reuters reported last month that a U.S. inspector's report, released on October 30, 2011, quoted Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari as saying that the Iraqi military will not be fully ready to defend Iraq from external threats until 2020 to 2024:
Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari has repeatedly warned that Iraq's security forces, rebuilt after the 2003 invasion that ousted strongman Saddam Hussein, would not be ready for years.

"General Zebari suggested that the MOD (Ministry of Defense) will be unable to execute the full spectrum of external-defense missions until sometime between 2020 and 2024," said the report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).

Iraqi leaders have accused neighbors of meddling, and U.S. military officials say Iran arms Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

"While we have no enemies, we also have no real friends," the SIGIR report quoted Zebari as saying of the Iraqi government's relations with its neighbors.
Conclusion: In the wake of President Obama's announcement, last month, that no US military personnel, or residual US force, would remain in Iraq past 2011, it appears that Gen. Zebari and his superiors felt that the only way to fill the "FILL THE VOID" and to protect their country from the menacing Iranian threat was to cozy up to Iran [and its military]. Hence, the meeting on Sunday between Gen. Zebari and the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Did the President's announcement about a complete withdrawal of US troops, and his failure to negotiate a deal with Iraq that would allow a residual force to remain in the country, compel Gen. Zebari to meet with Iranian military leaders?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Iran to avoid new sanctions over nuclear work, thanks to Obama

President Obama remains adamant that the so-called "Reset button" in US/Russian relations - the one he claims [pretends] to have crafted [heh] - must stay intact. Hence Iran will continue to avoid further sanctions, despite a recent IAEA report that says Iran is nearing the threshold of nuclear capability:
The much-awaited resolution by the UN's atomic watchdog will not propose tougher sanctions against the Iranian regime – despite its report claiming that the country may be trying to acquire a nuclear arsenal.

After lengthy discussions and pressure from Russia and China, the document, due to be made public today, avoids calling for punitive measures while expressing "deep and increasing concern" over Iran's atomic work.

The 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not set a deadline for inspectors to be allowed access to the program Tehran is alleged to be carrying out in secret towards developing the bomb. And there are no plans, at present, to refer the matter to the UN Security Council for further action....
The Wall Street Journal noted on Wednesday:
A new U.S. and European-led push to censure Iran before the United Nations nuclear agency for alleged efforts to develop atomic weapons is facing resistance from Russia, China and a bloc of developing countries, which threaten to dilute any international punishment.

American and European officials on Wednesday said they believed they would reach an agreement with Beijing and Moscow on a resolution condemning Tehran's nuclear work, which will be presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board of governors in Vienna on Thursday.

But they said this statement won’t refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council or lead to a fifth, more severe round of U.N.-backed sanctions against Tehran.
So, thanks to the President's outstanding achievement in resetting US/Russian relations, the U.S. is now ceding its foreign policy decisions to Russia.

Ah yes, the good, ol', wonderful "reset button" - Obama's crowning achievement......

Lazy Obama: A Video Tribute to the US President!

"This is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades."
President Barack Obama, in an interview with WESH-TV Orlando - September 29, 2011

"We've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades."
President Barack Obama - APEC CEO Business Summit, Honolulu, Hawaii - November 13, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

News from the blogs

Robert Kennedy Jr.’s “Green Energy” Company Scored $1.4 Billion Taxpayer Bailout
Sanjay Wagle was one of the principals in Kennedy’s firm who raised money for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. When Obama won the White House, Wagle was installed at the Department of Energy (DOE), advising on energy grants...
Read the full article at Big Government

Occupy LA Protester Arrested For committing sex acts in Front of Children
Five people at the Occupy L.A. encampment have been charged with separate crimes, including a man who allegedly exposed himself and commited a sex act in front of a child, officials said Tuesday.

Angele Chaidez, 21, faces one count of lewd conduct and one count of indecent exposure for allegedly exposing himself and...
Read the full article at Gateway Pundit

Is this real, or a prank???: Democrats Plan Cemetery Petition Drive to Collect Names to Oust Scott Walker
Democrats are heading out to the cemeteries to collect names for their petition drive to oust Governor Scott Walker...
Read full post at Gateway Pundit

Unions Plan Pro-Obama “Bridge Action Day” – Will Shut Down Bridges & Harass US Workers on Thursday
The SEIU is planning a “Bridge Action Day” for Obama.The overpaid government union goons will shut down traffic on US bridges and harass US workers going to work on Thursday morning...
Read full article at Gateway Pundit

Panetta in '07 assails troop surge in Iraq; McCain chastises Panetta during Senate hearing

In February of 2007, Leon Panetta, then a member of the Iraq Study Group, voiced strong opposition to the U.S. troop surge in Iraq. Mr. Panetta also chastised President Bush and Vice President Cheney for authorizing the increase in troops.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. John McCain reminded Mr. Panetta of his opposition to the surge. McCain expressed disappointment and frustration with Panetta and the Obama administration for failing to negotiate a deal with the Iraqi government that would allow for a residual U.S. force to remain in the country [past the December 2011 dealine] to help train Iraqi troops and to ensure that Iran does not expand its influence in Iraq and in the country's military affairs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Panetta bluffs on Iraq, Iran ties - Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

Despite the fact that Iranian and Iraqi military leaders met on Sunday to discuss the expansion of military ties between the two countries, and despite the fact that Iran has been steadily exerting its influence in Iraq, Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, assumed a superb poker face and insisted that the Iraqi government was rejecting Iran [Iranian influence]. Video below.

Mr. Panetta was clearly attempting to defend President Obama's failure to negotiate a deal that would leave a residual US force in Iraq beyond the scheduled date for the US troop withdrawal.

But as I noted previously, during the 2008 Presidential debates, Mr. Obama made it perfectly clear that not only did he not have any problem with the prospect of Iran ultimately expanding its influence in Iran, he actually desired the aforementioned scenario:
After boasting that he would be willing to meet, without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, Obama went on to say:

"I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them [the aforementioned leaders]. We’ve been talking about Iraq -- one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they’re going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight, in terms of stabilizing the region."

Hence, according to Obama, as soon as the US military packs its bags, leaves Iraq [completely] and tells Iran "that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force" in the country, Iran will then be able to fill the vacuum and help stabilize the country.
Good grief....

Panetta: Obama's defense-cutting-trigger "Devastating" to US Defense Dept.!

It should be noted - as Sen. Jon Kyl noted on the Senate floor several months ago - it was the White House [President Obama] that proposed this "devastating" trigger. See the video below.

From the AP:
The number of U.S. ground forces would drop to levels not seen since 1940, the Navy would drop to the smallest number of ships since 1915 and the Air Force would be the smallest ever, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in warning Congress of the dire implications of deeper defense cuts.

The Pentagon chief on Monday offered a litany of drastic steps triggered by the automatic, across-the-board cuts if Congress' supercommittee fails to come up with a $1.2 trillion deficit-cutting plan by Nov. 23. If the panel stumbles, the Pentagon faces some $500 billion in reductions in projected spending over 10 years — on top of the $450 billion already under way.

"Devastating for the department," Panetta wrote in a letter to Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Senate Armed Services Committee's top Republican, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a panel member. The two lawmakers had written the Pentagon chief earlier this month seeking specifics...

Panetta's comments add pressure to the supercommittee a little more than a week before its deadline, as panel Republicans and Democrats struggle to fulfill their mandate. The Pentagon letter also stirs the recent talk in Congress about trying to nullify the automatic cuts, a step McCain and Graham have discussed. Obama said last week that he wouldn't accept any legislation that tries to undo the automatic cuts.

In a statement, McCain and Graham said the automatic cuts "would set off a swift decline of the United States as the world's leading military power. ... This is not an outcome that we can live with, and it is certainly not one that we should impose on ourselves. The sequester is a threat to the national security interests of the United States, and it should not be allowed to occur."
Read the full article

Related Video - August 2, 2011 - Kyl slams Obama over defense cutting trigger in debt ceiling bill:

Related post - August 3, 2011: Panetta: 'Trigger' Cuts "would do real damage to our security"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Obama: More speeches & more of nothing - Press Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii

Iran, Iraq military leaders pledge military cooperation, agree to fill void left by the President's US troop withdrawal debacle

Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Joint Forces, General Babaker Zebari called for the expansion of military ties between Tehran and Baghdad during a meeting Sunday with the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, Gen. Mohammad Pakpouron.

Zebari added: “Iran and Iraq are two friendly neighboring countries, which should have very close relations."

Mr. Pakpour responded in kind by saying that Iran would make every effort to help Iraqis build a secure and safe country.

Likewise, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, after meeting with Mr. Zebari, said that "we can have great cooperation against the common enemies of Iran and Iraq in the region and outside the region. This cooperation can be in the fields of security, training, joint maneuver and sharing experiences."

Jafari said that several memorandums of understanding were inked between Iraq and the Revolutionary Guards.

Mr. Zebari's visit, and his subsequent discussions on Iranian/Iraqi military ties, comes on the heels of President Obama's announcement last month that all US forces would be withdrawn from Iraq by year's end and the President's refusal to renegotiate a new status-of-forces agreement that would have left a residual US force in the country to train Iraqi security forces etc.

Clearly, the Iranians are filling the vacuum left in the wake of Obama's ominous and perilous foreign policy debacle.

However, as I noted last week, none of this should come as any surprise, for indeed this was Obama's plan all along.

During the 2008 Presidential debates, Mr. Obama made it perfectly clear that Iran would be tasked with the job of helping to "stabilize" Iran after the US 'occupying' forces withdrew from the country:
After boasting that he would be willing to meet, without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, Obama went on to say:

"I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them [the aforementioned leaders]. We’ve been talking about Iraq -- one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they’re going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight, in terms of stabilizing the region."

Hence, according to Obama, as soon as the US military packs its bags, leaves Iraq and tells Iran "that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force" in the country, Iran will then be able to fill the vacuum and help stabilize the country.
And, in a related development, the LA Times reports:
As the last U.S. troops pack up to leave Iraq by the end of next month, Pentagon officials and senior military commanders are warning that Iran will rush to fill a power vacuum created by the American exit unless Washington limits its pullback from the region.

That broad assessment has taken on urgency in recent weeks against a backdrop of new intelligence that indicates the government in Tehran also is aggressively courting proxy forces in Yemen and, according to United Nations nuclear inspectors, is fast approaching the capability to build nuclear weapons.

U.S. intelligence officials say Iranian operatives have provided millions of dollars to leaders of the Houthi tribe, which adheres to an offshoot of Shiite Islam in Yemen's rugged north and has joined an armed uprising by disparate forces against the U.S.-backed government in Sana.In Iraq and other trouble spots, Iran is handing out money and weapons, often in secret, in an effort to expand its clout and stay ahead of the political changes sweeping the region since the start of the "Arab Spring," U.S. officials say.
Related item: "Who Lost Iraq?" by Charles Krauthammer

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Obama unlikely to impose Sanctions on Iran's energy sector for fear of jeopardizing his vaunted 'reset button'

President Obama is unlikely to impose sanctions on Iran's energy sector for fear that such a move would upset the Russian regime and harm US/Russian relations, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Mr. Obama often boasts on how he has managed to facilitate a reset in US/Russian relations, although there appears to be no evidence to support this claim. Quite the contrary, US/Russian relations appears to be on the wane:

From Reuters:
The US may impose more sanctions on Iran, possibly on commercial banks or front companies, but is unlikely to go after its oil and gas sector or central bank for now, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The official spoke after the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], the U.N. nuclear watchdog, completed a new report that said Iran has worked on developing an atomic bomb design and may still be conducting relevant research... The agency listed a series of activities applicable to developing nuclear weapons, such as high explosives testing and development of an atomic bomb trigger.

"I think you will see bilateral sanctions increasing," the U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

But because of Russian and Chinese opposition, chances are slim for another U.N. Security Council resolution sanctioning Iran for its nuclear program, the official said..., [which leaves] the US with few options but to tighten its own extensive sanctions and try to persuade others to follow suit...

"There is not a whole lot out there other than the oil and gas market -- and you know how sensitive that is. I don't think we are there yet," the US official said.

The United States has long barred U.S. companies from trading with or investing in Iran, including its oil and gas sector. But it also has laws permitting sanctions on non-U.S. companies that develop Iran's energy sector.

Washington has been reluctant to impose such sanctions for fear of a diplomatic backlash from countries [like Russia] whose support it needs to isolate Iran. But members of Congress have been pushing the administration to embrace such penalties.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week... approved legislation requiring sanctions on Iran's central bank if the president finds it is enabling terrorism or the development of nuclear arms or supporting Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps... [However, the US] official played down the chances of sanctioning Iran's central bank, which is the clearinghouse for much of its petroleum trade, the mainstay of the Iranian economy.

"That is off the table" for now, he said. "That could change, depending on what other players (think). I don't want to rule that out but it is not really currently on the table."

The official said there were limits to how much pressure the US, acting on its own, could place on Iran without targeting the petroleum industry or the central bank.

"The reality is that without being able to put additional sanctions into these key areas, we are not going to have much more of an impact than we are already having," he said.

[The US official] acknowledged it was unlikely Russia and China, which hold Security Council vetoes, would back more multilateral sanctions and said it may even be hard to persuade them to support a new IAEA board of governors resolution.

"The reality is getting further sanctions at the U.N. is probably not doable", he said.

Senator John McCain... said the US should be doing more to persuade Russia and China to crack down on Iran.

"This is clearly a rogue nation and for us to sit there and watch the Russians and Chinese veto sanctions which could affect Iranian behavior is in my view not acceptable," McCain told the Reuters Washington Summit.
Is Sen. McCain proposing that the US create a diplomatic backlash with Russia and bring about the demise of Obama's highly touted and much-vaunted "reset button"?

Would Sen. McCain be willing to jeopardize the warm relationship that Obama has established with Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev for the sole purpose of preventing Iran from setting off a few nuclear bombs?!? What's more, as long as Obama's reset button with Russia stays intact, does it really matter how many nuclear bombs Iran detonates?

If McCain were President right now, no doubt he would impose sanctions on Iran's oil and gas market, which would be deeply offensive to our Russian allies.

President Obama, on the flip side, has wisely chosen not to impose sanctions on Iran's energy sector [according to Reuters] "for fear of a diplomatic backlash from countries whose support it needs to isolate Iran," namely Iran's allies: Russia, China etc.

Sen. McCain just doesn't get it: Obama's reset button must be kept intact at all costs, even it entails Iran becoming a nuclear super power and ultimately setting off a few nuclear explosions!

Obama's reset button must be kept intact at all costs, period!

P.S. From a previous post, entitled: Obama resetting relations with Russia? - November 19, 2010:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the Caspian Sea summit on Thursday.

Medvedev issued a statement, saying "Russia seeks to improve its political, economic and even military ties with Iran."

He went on to say that "following the" adoption of the UN "sanctions resolution" certain countries "sought to intensify sanctions against Iran, to which Russia strongly opposed and took stances against it."

Medvedev also proposed that Russia and Iran adopt a joint stance in the international forums.

Ahmadinejad issued a statement saying, "The era of bullying and sanctions is over. “[We] believe that in the current global conditions, if Iran and Russia stand together, the enemies will fail in their plots against Iran, Russia and the region."

Obama & the Gaddafi regime, a friendship gone awry

In March of 2011, the once-close-knit relationship between the Obama administration and the Gaddafi regime came to an abrupt end when President Obama decided to cut off all ties with his former ally, Moammar Gaddafi.

In a speech on March 28, 2011, Obama proclaimed that, "For more than four decades the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -- Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world."

Let us take a brief trip down memory lane and reminisce about the good ol' days when, despite Gaddafi's wealth exploitation, his murdering of opponents at home and abroad, and his terrorizing of innocent people around the world - he still found a trusworthy ally and caring friend in the White House.

From The Cable, March 3, 2010:
Obama administration hopes to deepen Libya ties:

Gene Cretz, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, said Tuesday that the United States is hoping to "put some flesh" on the bones of American efforts to deepen ties between these two former foes.

He outlined a number of steps the two countries might take in the coming year, including closer military-to-military relations, U.S. training of Libyan forces, a new trade agreement etc.
From the AP - March 9, 2010:
A senior State Department official said Tuesday he's sorry for a joking remark he made about Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi that prompted Libya to threaten diplomatic retaliation unless he apologized.

Chief department spokesman P.J. Crowley said he regretted any offense caused by his response to a reporter's question about Gadhafi's recent call for a holy war against Switzerland. Libya said last week it might take action against American business interests there if a formal apology was not made.

"I understand that my personal comments were perceived as a personal attack," Crowley told reporters. "The comments do not reflect U.S. policy and were not intended to offend. I apologize if they were taken that way. I regret that my comments have become an obstacle to further progress in our bilateral relationship."

Crowley had already said his offhand remark questioning the "sense" of Gadhafi's speech to the U.N. General Assembly last year had not been intended as a personal attack. He met with Libya's ambassador to the U.S. late last week to try to clear the matter up, but he had not apologized until Tuesday.

He made the remark in question on Feb. 26 when he was asked what the U.S. thought of Gadhafi's appeal for "jihad" against Switzerland after the country banned construction of new mosque minarets. Crowley said he was reminded of Gadhafi's lengthy speech at the UN last September in which the Libyan leader ripped pages from the U.N. Charter.

"I saw that report and it just brought me back to a day in September, one of the more memorable sessions of the U.N. General Assembly that I can recall: lots of words and lots of papers flying all over the place, not necessarily a lot of sense," he said.

Within days, the Libyan government summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires in Tripoli, Joan Polaschik, and threatened negative repercussions if the U.S. failed to apologize...

After Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton became aware of the situation, Crowley and the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, met the Libyan ambassador on Friday to explain that the Obama administration was "strongly committed" to the U.S.-Libyan relationship. But the Libyans insisted on an apology.

Crowley said Clinton had instructed Feltman to travel to Libya next week for broad discussions on bilateral ties.

State Department officials said the furor over the comments jeopardized a phone call Clinton had been planning to make to Gadhafi this week to discuss a summit of Arab leaders that Libya is hosting on March 27. The conversation would be her first with the Libyan leader.
It's a shame that this endearing relationship with Gaddafi had to end so abruptly. But, as is often the case with friendships, they can evolve into acrimony and end in heartbreak.

President Obama expained his sudden breakup with Gaddafi so eloquently in his March 2011 speech:
"For more than four decades the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -- Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world."
Hence, after 40 years of grueling tyranny and excruciating terror, Obama decided it was time to end his relationship with Gaddafi.

But thankfully, things are looking up: An al Qaeda flag now flies over the courthouse in Benghazi [the provisional headquarters of the National Transitional Council], and a new relationship is currently blossoming between Obama and the new Libyan regime.

Yes, a new dawn is upon us......

Monday, November 7, 2011

Obama's dream fulfilled: Iran will fill the vacuum in Iraq

On October 21, President Obama announced that the last American soldier would leave Iraq by the end of this year.

The Obama administration claimed that it had sought to leave a residual force of roughly 3000 troops in Iraq [consisting of military trainers etc.], but an irreconcilable dispute between the US and Iraq over the legal immunity of troops remaining in the country left the administration with no choice but to withdraw every last soldier from Iraq.

The failure to leave behind a contingency of troops in Iraq has raised concerns that Iran will attempt to fill the vacuum and extend its influence there.

Nevertheless, two explanations have been proffered as to why the administration failed to strike a deal with the Iraqi government that would allow a residual force of troops to remain in the country.

1) President Obama, the so-called "diplomat par excellence", was unable to negotiate such a deal.

2) President Obama, contrary to the administration's claims, preferred to remove all US troops from Iraq in order to curry favor with his left-wing base.

However, it should be noted that during the 2008 Presidential debates, Mr. Obama made it perfectly clear that not only did he not have any problem with the prospect of Iran ultimately expanding its influence in Iran, he actually desired the aforementioned scenario.

After boasting that he would be willing to meet, without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, Obama went on to say:

"I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them [the aforementioned leaders]. We’ve been talking about Iraq -- one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they’re going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight, in terms of stabilizing the region."

Hence, according to Obama, as soon as the US military packs its bags, leaves Iraq and tells Iran "that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force" in the country, Iran will then be able to fill the vacuum and help stabilize the country.

Obama was clearly not concerned about Iran exerting its influence in Iraq, just as he is unconcerned about the Taliban regaining influence in Afghanistan. Quite the contrary, the Taliban, according Obama and his New World Order, will have an important role to play in terms of stabilizing Afghanistan.

Of course none of this makes any sense. But despite Obama's convoluted rhetoric, he was able to win the Presidential election in 2008 and still continues to garner significant backing in this country - and that doesn't make any sense either. [Obama's election victory is one head-scratcher I will never be able to solve.]

Speaking at a campaign rally in February of 2008, Michelle Obama stated as follows:

"For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."

Likewise, if Barack Obama is re-elected in 2012, I will concede unequivocally that "for the second time in my adult life I am ashamed of my country..., because it feels like hopelessness is making another comeback."

Related News: Iranian influence seeping into Iraq

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Iran reaches threshold of nuclear capability, receives critical assistance from former Soviet weapons scientist

From the AFP:
The Iranian government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon after receiving assistance from foreign scientists, The Washington Post reported.

Citing unnamed Western diplomats and nuclear experts familiar with new intelligence to be released to the United Nations, the newspaper said a former Soviet weapons scientist had allegedly tutored Iranians on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, the report said.

An intelligence update will be circulated among International Atomic Energy Agency members on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is expected to focus on Iran's alleged efforts towards putting radioactive material in a warhead and developing missiles...

Western officials said the intelligence reinforced concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related research after 2003 when, according to US intelligence agencies, Iranian leaders halted such experiments in response to international and domestic pressures, The Post said.

The paper noted that one key breakthrough that had not been publicly described was Iran's success in obtaining design information for a device known as a R265 generator.

The device is a hemispherical aluminum shell that is lined with pellets of high explosives and electrically wired so the detonations occur in split-second precision, the report said. The explosions compress a small sphere of enriched uranium or plutonium to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

Creating such a device is a formidable technical challenge, and Iran needed outside assistance in designing the generator and testing its performance, the paper said.

According to the intelligence provided to the IAEA, key assistance in both areas was provided by Vyacheslav Danilenko, a former Soviet nuclear scientist who was contracted in the mid-1990s by Iran's Physics Research Center, the paper said.

Danilenko offered assistance to the Iranians over at least five years, giving lectures and sharing research papers on developing and testing an explosives package that the Iranians apparently incorporated into their warhead design...
Similarly, Julian Borger of the Guardian-UK reported in November of 2009:
The UN's nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting that Iranian scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design...

The very existence of the technology, known as a "two-point implosion" device, is officially secret in both the US and Britain, but according to previously unpublished documentation in a dossier compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iranian scientists may have tested high-explosive components of the design. The development was today described by nuclear experts as "breathtaking"...

The sophisticated technology, once mastered, allows for the production of smaller and simpler warheads than older models. It reduces the diameter of a warhead and makes it easier to put a nuclear warhead on a missile...

Extracts from the dossier have been published previously, but it was not previously known that it included documentation on such an advanced warhead. "It is breathtaking that Iran could be working on this sort of material," said a European government adviser on nuclear issues...

A US national intelligence estimate two years ago said that Iran had explored nuclear warhead design for several years but had probably stopped in 2003. British, French and German officials have said they believe weaponisation continued after that date and may still be continuing....

The agency has also asked Iran to explain evidence that a Russian weapons expert helped Iranian technicians to master synchronised high-explosive detonations...

According to a diplomat familiar with the IAEA documentation, the evidence also points to experiments with a two-point detonation system that represents "a more elegant solution" to the challenges of making a nuclear warhead, but it is much harder to achieve.
Mr. Borger noted in a separate blog post that the presence of a Russian weapons specialist in Iran "will raise questions once more of the nature of the relationship between the two countries."...

It goes without saying that the Russian regime will deny it had any knowledge that a Russian weapons specialist was helping Iran with its nuclear weapons program.

But one thing is crystal clear: The Russian/Iranian alliance - and the Russian/Syrian alliance, which has enabled the Syrian regime to avoid any meaningful and serious sanctions from the UN - is proof beyond doubt that President Obama's reset button with Russia is working like a magic charm..... Ahem.....

Related News: Iranian influence seeping into Iraq

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Obama may shift military mission in Afghanistan to advisory role before 2012 election; Taliban mocks US' peace overtures

With its sights set on the 2012 Presidential election, the Obama administration is contemplating shifting the US miliary mission in Afghanistan from combat to advisory and training duties before the end of 2012, two years ahead of the President's previously announced deadline for ending combat operations:
In the face of mounting dissatisfaction with the decade-old war in Afghanistan, the U.S. has long vowed to shift from combat to an advisory and training role, but that shift could come much sooner that previously planned, Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The shift to training and supporting the Afghan military could come as soon as next year, the Journal reports -- two years ahead of a 2014 deadline for ending combat operations -- and could help speed up the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The scenario is part of high-level discussions between the Obama administration and military officials...

U.S. diplomatic and military officials have for years emphasized plans for Afghan security forces to "take the lead" in their own country, but the Afghan forces have been criticized as inadequate and sometimes hapless.
Update: Despite the fact, that the Wall Street Journal had cited senior administration officials as their source of information for the aforementioned report, Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little, [a Leon Panetta appointee], claims that there has been no change or shift in the US strategy in Afghanistan.

Which essentially means that the administration is a bit confused about it's Afghan policy ["surrender policy"] and is sending out mixed messages.


Meanwhile, the administration's desperate and futile peace overtures to the Taliban are being mocked by Taliban commanders.

Taliban commander, Qari Mahmud Mujahid said the US overtures for peace talks was merely an attempt to save face after battlefield losses.

"The blood of thousands of our Mujahideen is bearing fruit and now the U.S. and its allies are begging us to help them find a respectable exit from Afghanistan," Mujahid told Reuters in a recent interview. "The Taliban had defeated them on the battlefield and now they are working to find out a respectable exit from Afghanistan."

And, despite the fact that the Obama administration and Afghan leaders have already been duped on a number of occasions by phony Taliban peace negotiators, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, during a recent visit to Islamabad, that it was time to bring all militant groups to the negotiating table.

Good grief....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Networks Hype Vague Cain Charges, Ignored Sexual Harassment Claims Against Clinton

From Newsbusters:
Since the Herman Cain sexual harassment story broke late Sunday night, the broadcast networks have covered it extensively: full stories on Monday's morning news shows (ABC's Godd Morning America led off their broadcast); full stories on Monday's evening news shows (the CBS Evening News made it their top item) and ABC's Nightline; and the top story on all three Tuesday morning shows.

Cain's accusers are still anonymous. Three women publicly accused Bill Clinton of far more serious instances of sexual harassment in the 1990s, but the networks all but ignored them. The coverage that did exist was often skeptical, insulting and hostile, an astonishing double standard...
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