Editor’s note: This is very important reading today from Arlene Kushner…
What I write about here will not in its essence be a surprise to many of my readers. And yet, there is no way to confront what is going on without a sense of horror. The reality is being exposed, one ugly report followed by another:
We start with this, which broke yesterday:
According to Israeli officials, European diplomats are saying that the US, which has made significant concessions, is close to striking a deal with Iran that would permit them to keep up to 6,500 centrifuges in return for “guaranteeing regional stability” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
This is insane. How can the source of the greatest terrorist unrest in the world “guarantee stability”?
This deal would put Iran about three months from creating a bomb. What is more, apparently the US is also considering a “time limit,”so that the “restrictions” would last only for 10 to 15 years, after which Iran could do what it wished.
Now, it might be, as some say, that Obama is doing this because he covets the “historical legacy” of having “brought Iran into the family of nations” (a la Nixon and China). And I suppose it’s possible that he hopes Iran will cool its instigation of terrorism briefly, in order to allow him to say has accomplished positive things without having to commit the US military in a significant way. But when you tally the implications of this report with others, below, it appears that he is on the other side, content to see the destruction of his own nation, as well as others that he should be eager to protect. This is a surreal conclusion, but a very distinct possibility.
Word is that the Saudis, whom Iran seeks to control, are thoroughly enraged with what Obama is doing. In the end, whatever his motivations, his behavior is exceedingly destructive. (Please, do not write to me to tell me what Obama’s reasons are. I am tracking his behavior.)
I do have a question for which there seems to be no satisfactory answer. In theory, it is P5 + 1 – the permanent members of the Security Council, US, UK, France, Russia and China, plus Germany – negotiating with Iran. So, if the Europeans are deeply dissatisfied with the US position, why can they not block it or override it? The best answer I’ve been able to secure is that the US, while cutting Iran significant slack, wields significant power with regard to fellow negotiating partners. Apparently, what Obama says, goes.
How can anyone with an ounce of sense in his head object to Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the Congress? What he has to say may be immeasurably important. Yet now I hear that some prominent democrats, Vice President Biden among them, are thinking that they might not attend. Who knows what arm-twisting has ensued from the White House, but it would be most unfortunate if they were not present. They might disagree in the end, but they have a responsibility to be open to hearing the information Prime Minister Netanyahu will seek to impart. That responsibility, in the face of huge dangers to the world, trumps political considerations.
As if the above were not enough, just under a month ago, the German weekly Der Spiegel broke with news (emphasis added):
”New intelligence suggests that Bashar al-Assad is still trying to built the bomb. And he may be getting help from North Korea and Iran…
”…secret information obtained by SPIEGEL indicates that the world is once again being misled by Assad. Syria’s dictator has not given up his dream of an atomic weapon and has apparently built a new nuclear facility at a secret location. It is an extremely unsettling piece of news…
”Analysts say that the Syrian atomic weapon program has continued in a secret, underground location..Furthermore, a new reactor or an enrichment facility has very likely been built at the site — a development of incalculable geopolitical consequences.
Intelligence agency findings indicate that the material [uranium, etc.] was moved to a well-hidden underground location just west of the city of Qusayr, not even two kilometers from the border with Lebanon.
“…the clearest proof that it is a nuclear facility comes from radio traffic recently intercepted by a network of spies. A voice identified as belonging to a high-ranking Hezbollah functionary can be heard referring to the ‘atomic factory’ and mentions Qusayr…
“Work performed at the site by members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is also mentioned in the intercepted conversations…”
What was that, again, about Obama seeking Iran to “guarantee regional stability” in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria?
And how about this, by Khalid Abu Toameh, who wrote,
“U.S. Seen in Middle East as Ally of Terrorists” (emphasis added)”:
“While the Egyptian government has been waging war on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic radical groups, the U.S. Administration and some Europeans are continuing to hamper efforts to combat terrorism.
“Many Egyptians and moderate Arabs and Muslims were shocked to hear that the U.S. State Department recently hosted a Muslim Brotherhood delegation…
“The State Department’s hosting of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders has outraged Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Sisi, who has been waging a relentless war against the organization over the past year…
“’If the White House is out to offend some of its closest Arab allies and is intent on heightening their suspicions, it’s succeeded,’ wrote Middle East expert Linda S. Heard. ‘If there’s a plot, then it’s unfolding,’ she added. ‘Just two days after the controversial visit, the Brotherhood called for a war against their fellow Egyptians.’
“’The U.S. Administration is continuing to jeopardize its relations with Egypt by appeasing Muslim Brotherhood,’ remarked columnist Ezzat Ibrahim. ‘The Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to return to the political arena through the American door and terrorist attacks. The U.S. policy appears to be devious and unreliable.’
“Another Egyptian columnist, Mohamed Salmawi, launched a scathing attack on the U.S. Administration; he accused it of deception and double standards. He said that the meeting between U.S. officials and Muslim Brotherhood leaders exposes the U.S. Administration’s deceptive policy toward Islamic terror groups.
“’The U.S. Administration says it is combating these groups at home while it is supporting them abroad,” Salmawi wrote. ‘This meeting has grave indications because it shows that Washington has not abandoned its policy of double standards toward Islamic terrorism.’
“Said Lindawi, a prominent Egyptian international affairs expert, said that the meeting of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders with State Department officials means that the Obama Administration has given the organization a green light to carry out terrorist attacks against Egypt.
“’The U.S. Administration has refused to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror group,’ he said. ‘The Americans continue to insist that the Muslim Brotherhood is not responsible for the terrorist attacks in Egypt.’
“By embracing the Muslim Brotherhood, the U.S. Administration has sent the wrong message to moderate Arabs and Muslims. This is a message that says that Washington believes that there are good terrorists and bad terrorists.”
My job is to broadcast this information as broadly as possible. And so, to that end I look to each of you, as I always do, to share this posting, put the information on your FB pages, write talkbacks and letters to the editor, etc. Word on the current state of affairs must get out.
J Street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami has written:
Well, folks, if you are represented in Congress by Democrats, contact them and urge that they attend.
Martin Indyk, director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institute, and a former Obama envoy to the “peace negotiations,” is on record as having made some negative comments about Netanyahu’s up-coming speech. But please remember that the Brookings Institute has taken large sums of money from Qatar.
In spite of all of the horrendous truths I speak about above, there are also signs that are encouraging. Next posting, I hope to share a number of these. Here I close with a link to an incredible MEMRI video of an imam in Brooklyn who speaks out passionately for Muslim moderation.
There is hope. (With thanks to Leon K. for calling my attention to this.)
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.