Nuclear

2016 Republican Candidates Debates — The Boxers — Videos

Posted on August 6, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Money, National Security Agency (NSA_, Nuclear, Nuclear Proliferation, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Reviews, Security, Spying, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , |

Simon And Garfunkel – The Boxer (HQ)

The Boxer

Song by Simon and Garfunkel

  1. I am just a poor boy
    Though my story’s seldom told
    I have squandered my resistance
    For a pocketful of mumbles
    Such are promises
    All lies and jest
    Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest

    When I left my home and my family
    I was no more than a boy
    In the company of strangers
    In the quiet of a railway station
    Running scared
    Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
    Where the ragged people go
    Looking for the places only they would know
    Lie-la-lie . . .

    Asking only workman’s wages
    I come looking for a job
    But I get no offers
    Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
    I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome
    I took some comfort there
    Lie-la-lie . . .

    Now the years are rolling by me
    The are rocking easily
    I am older than I once was
    And younger than I’ll be
    But that’s not unusual
    No, it isn’t strange
    After changes upon changes
    We are more or less the same
    After changes we are
    More or less the same

    Then I’m laying out my winter clothes
    And wishing I was gone
    Going home
    Where the New York City winters aren’t bleeding me
    Leading me
    Going home

    In the clearing stands a boxer
    And a fighter by his trade
    And he carries the remainders
    Of every glove that laid him down
    And cut him till he cried out
    In his anger and his shame
    “I am leaving, I am leaving”
    But the fighter still remains
    Lie-la-lie . . .

    © 1968 Words and Music by Paul Simon

    time_words

    Highlights From The Republican Debate

    [GOP Debate] Rand Paul Stands up to Donald Trump

  2. Trump says CAN’T promise not to run third party campaign

2016 Republican Party President Debate – 6 August 2015

Post debate analysis of 1st Republican Presidential Debate 2016 – The Kelly File

Rand Paul Closing Statements – FOX GOP Debate

FULL Debate: First Republican Presidential Debate: Lower Tier Candidates (8-6-15)

First GOP Debate: Rick Perry & Carly Fiorina BASH Donald Trump

How presidential contenders stack up before first debate

Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Central Park – Thanks

SIMON & GARFUNKEL – Sound of silence (1967 Live)

Who Won the Republican Presidential Debate?
Ten leading candidates for the nomination faced off in Cleveland, and some fared better than others.

John Minchillo / AP

THE EDITORS AUG 6, 2015
Anyone who thought that Donald Trump would take a conciliatory tack in the first Republican debate was quickly disillusioned. Chris Wallace, one of the Fox News moderators, asked if any candidate was unwilling to pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee. And Trump, offering his best, most dramatic shrug, happily refused to take the pledge.

That set the tone for the rest of the night: First, the moderators weren’t going to pull any punches. Throughout the evening, they probed the candidates’ greatest perceived weaknesses. And second, Trump had no intention of abandoning the act that’s carried him from perennial joke to the top of the Republican presidential-nomination field.

It was a debate marked by conversations about immigration, abortion, and foreign policy—especially about Iran. The discussion of race relations, the biggest news story of the last year, was notably sparse. It took more than 90 minutes until a candidate received a #BlackLivesMatter question, and when it came, the candidates opted to tread lightly, avoiding unforced errors.

The evening also lacked many direct battles between the candidates. That was partly a factor of the format, but when asked to critique or speak directly to an onstage rival, the hopefuls often demurred.

That made the two big battles of the night all the more notable. In the first, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul battled over terrorism and civil liberties, with Christie accusing the senator of failing to understand the threat to the nation—and Paul tartly responding that Christie failed to understand the Bill of Rights. Later, Christie tangled with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has presented himself as a defender of entitlements for workers and seniors.

And there was Trump, of course. He was, inevitably, one of the standouts of the night. Although he mostly avoided taking direct shots at his opponents, he couldn’t resist battling the moderators. They hardly relented, asking him about boorish comments about women; his slurs against Mexican immigrants; his previous Democratic allegiance; his past description of himself as pro-choice; and his donations to Hillary Clinton.

Trump repeatedly took issue with questions and interrupted the hosts, and what he lacked in coherence or detail, he made up for in bluster and grievance. Some of the questions seemed to play directly into his hands. Whether the night was good or bad for Trump remains to be seen—I’ve learned better in recent weeks than to try to predict whether the real-estate mogul’s comments will redound to his benefit or disadvantage.
But it’s interesting to watch Trump turn his weaknesses into strengths, which he does with an ease that eludes some long-time politicians. And he has plenty of weaknesses. He seems to be betting that his clear anger can, well, trump all of those flaws. Asked about donating to Clinton, for example, Trump delivered what amounted to a rousing defense of crony capitalism, saying that as a businessman he did what he had to. Later, asked about his companies declaring bankruptcy, he insisted he was just shrewdly taking advantage of the system.

He seems to be saying to the disaffected everyman Republican who’s angry at Washington and angry at his leaders: Yes, you’re right. The system is rigged. Would you rather elect a guy who’s part of that, or a guy who sits outside it and is shrewd enough to get rich from it? The hope is that they’ll respect his hustle and his ability to take advantage of that rigging, rather than viewing him as an elite charlatan.

Among the other candidates, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was able to make a strong impression and get lots of camera time but he also faced several difficult questions from the moderators, and he didn’t always have ready answers. Despite being asked repeatedly about the war in Iraq, Bush still doesn’t have a punchy and persuasive response (a problem he shares with Hillary Clinton). He also stumbled in replying to questions about his membership on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies and about the Common Core.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave one of the best performances of the night, showing why so many commentators remain bullish on his prospects despite his middling poll numbers. Rubio delivered strong and detailed answers, appearing poised and in command of his material. His best line of the night came early on, when he noted that he’d only recently paid off his student loans and asked, “How is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck?”

Yet perhaps the most surprising showing came from Chris Christie. His presidential campaign has widely been viewed as past its expiration date. But he was able to capitalize on his everyman persona Thursday night—speaking in detail, delivering his responses with passion, and picking his fights without letting his temper get the better of him.

Not everyone had such a strong night. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has consistently run alongside Bush and Trump atop polls, but his answers on Thursday night were forgettable. In his closing statement, he promised he was “aggressively normal,” but Walker’s problem in Cleveland was that the “aggressive” hardly came through. That’s not the worst-possible scenario for him: He avoided committing a serious gaffe, despite repeated questions that seemed aimed at testing his knowledge of foreign policy, and his strong showing to this point means this debate is unlikely to prove decisive for his prospects.
Ben Carson, a first-time debater and candidate, seemed listless and low-energy, and while he faithfully repeated the culture-war mantras that have won him fans, he didn’t have direct answers to almost any of the questions he fielded. (Carson did score some late points with a couple of funny jokes about brain removal in his closing statements.) Rand Paul also seemed a bit lost on stage. At his best, Paul is able to use the rest of the field as his foil, but on Thursday, he fumbled questions about Iran and foreign aid to Israel, passing up opportunities to land punches on his rivals. Beset by campaign scandal and fundraising struggles, Paul needed a strong performance, and he failed to produce one.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Huckabee, meanwhile, made up the middle of the pack and presented an interesting contrast. Both are charismatic figures vying for the social conservative vote. Cruz stuck mostly to his tried and true lines, and boasted of the long list of legislation that he has proposed in the Senate (without emphasizing the fact that none of it has become law). Huckabee, meanwhile, threw red meat to religious conservatives while playing up a populist case for entitlements.

The biggest question mark of the night is John Kasich. The Ohio governor was the last man to make it onto the stage, polling lowest among the 10 candidates who made the cut. At times, he seemed in command, but he also didn’t have a good answer to a question about accepting Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. Was his performance enough to make it to the next stage, or will a standout from the “kids’ table” debate earlier—perhaps consensus champion Carly Fiorina—take his spot? —David A. Graham

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/08/the-republican-rivals-gather-in-cleveland/400712/

Republican debate veers between two subjects: America and Trump

August 6 at 11:05 PM

At times, the other nine candidates on stage debated serious policies—immigration, the nuclear deal with Iran, government surveillance, the future of Social Security. And then, at times, the debate veered to Trump himself: a sharp-edged candidate who can say things that would torpedo anybody else on stage.

Earlier in the debate, Trump defended himself against questions about his companies’ multiple bankruptcy filings during Thursday night’s first major Republican primary debate, saying that he had “taken advantage” of the country’s bankruptcy in order to help his businesses.

“Out of hundreds of deals—hundreds–on four occasions, I’ve taken advantage of the laws of this country, like other people,” Trump said, in response to a question from moderator Chris Wallace. “The difference is, when somebody else uses those laws, nobody writes about it. When I use it, it’s like, ‘Oh, Trump, Trump, Trump.”

In one of the non-Trump-related exchanges, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Paul (got into a heated argument about the limits of government surveillance during Thursday night’s first major Republican debates, in an exchange that showcased two competing poles of Republican thought about security and privacy.

“I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans,” said Paul, the son of libertarian icon Ron Paul, and one of the party’s strongest advocates for limiting government collection of Americans’ phone records and other data.

“That’s a completely ridiculous answer,” said Christie, a former federal prosecutor, who has said that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks illustrated the need for broad-ranging collection of intelligence. “How are you supposed to know?”

“Use the Fourth Amendment! Get a warrant!” Paul responded.

Christie countered with the age-old insult that governors use against senators: “When you’re sitting in a subcommittee, blowing hot air about this,” the problem might seem easy, he said.

Paul retorted with the age-old insult that other Republicans use against Christie. “I don’t trust President Obama,” with records, he said. “I know you gave him a big hug.”

On a stage with 10 candidates, some seemed almost to disappear—neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) all struggled for air time. Others broke with the hard-edged cultural conservatism that dominated the 2012 Republican primary. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he had attended a same-sex wedding, and described that the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage should be accepted as the law of the land.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush defended an earlier statement calling immigration—including illegal immigration—“an act of love.”

“I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option, and they want to provide for our family. But we need to control our border,” Bush said, pivoting to his plans to crack down on illegal immigration. He also returned to an idea that other Republicans have rejected: “There should be a path to earned legal status,” for illegal immigrants already in this country, Bush said. Others have rejected any pathway to legal status as “amnesty.”

But, time and again, the debate returned to Trump—and his long history of over-the-top statements, and flirtations with Democrats and Democratic ideas. At one point, Trump reiterated what—for any other candidate—would be a radioactive statement. He liked nationalized-single-payer health-care system—at least, as it worked in other countries.

“It works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked” in the U.S. at one point, Trump said. Still, he said, he now supports a more modest set of health-care reforms, including allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines.

Paul spoke up, saying that Trump was on the wrong side of everybody by praising a single-payer system. Trump brushed him off. “I don’t think you heard me. You’re having a hard time tonight,” he said.

In the debate’s second hour, there was a civil exchange between Christie and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee about how to reform Social Security. Christie urged some reforms: raising the age at which seniors are eligible for the benefits, and allowing well-off seniors to collect less. Huckabee resisted those changes, saying that any reduction in anyone’s Social Security benefits was “fundamentally lying to the people, and stealing from them.”

“He’s complaining about the lying and stealing–the lying and stealing has already occurred,” Christie said, meaning that the Social Security trust fund was already under-funded.

Earlier in the debate, Trump took credit for bringing the subject of immigration into the 2016 presidential campaign during the first major GOP candidates’ debate on Thursday evening, in a sharp-edged performance in which he also indicated he might run as a third-party candidate if Republicans don’t choose him.

“If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration, Chris. You wouldn’t be talking. This wasn’t a subject,” Trump said to one moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace. Wallace also tried to press Trump to produce evidence for a key Trump claim: that the Mexican government was actively dispatching illegal immigrants over the border. Trump cited only conversations with “Border patrol. People, that I deal with, that I talk to, they say, this is what’s happening.”

He said he remained convinced that the Mexican government was orchestrating immigration, in order to avoid paying benefits and other costs associated with its own citizens. “The stupid leaders of the United States will do it for ‘em, and that’s happening, whether you like it or not.”

At the beginning of the debate, Paul had shown himself willing to attack Trump. But not everyone thought that was wise.

“They say we’re outspoken, we need to take lessons from Donald Trump,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, when Wallace asked him to critique Trump’s assertion. “He’s hitting a nerve.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), also prompted to criticize Trump, also refused.

“People are frustrated,” he said.

As the debate’s first question, moderators asked candidates to raise their hand if they would not forswear running a third-party campaign against the GOP candidate. None of the 10 onstage raised their hand. And then, after theatrical pause, Trump did.

“I cannot say, ‘I have to respect the person, who is not me,’” Trump said, as the crowd booed him. “We want to win, and we will win. But I want to win as the Republican. I want to run as the Republican nominee.”

Immediately, Paul attacked, saying that Trump was “hedging his bets,” and accusing him of being too close to the Clinton family. “He’s already hedging his bets on the Clintons,” Paul said, pointing in Trump’s direction. “He’s already hedging his bets, because he’s used to buying politicians.”

Just as in 2012, the primary showcased the GOP’s combative side. The crowd cheered when a moderator mentioned that Cruz had called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)—one of the top Republicans in Washington—a “liar.” And onstage, Trump continued to be the best at embodying that edge. When moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about past statements criticizing women for their appearance, Trump responded by saying, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”

He then turned on Kelly herself, suggesting she was on thin ice by even asking the question.

“I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time, either,” Trump said, as the crowd cheered. “If you don’t like it, Megyn, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you. Although I could maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me.”

Other candidates sought to distinguish themselves in the debate’s first few minutes. Huckabee attacked Planned Parenthood by saying that it sold parts of aborted fetuses “like parts to a Buick.” Rubio, whose parents were Cuban immigrants, said that he could debate Hillary Rodham Clinton about what’s best for families living paycheck-to-paycheck, because he had lived that way.Bush—the son and brother of presidents—responded to a question about his family legacy by saying that “They called me Veto Corleone,” in Florida, he said, because he had vetoed so many bills. “I’m my own man.”

The two-hour debate, which began at 9 p.m. on Fox News Channel, ties the record for most candidates in any primary-season debate. And that’s not even the whole field: earlier Thursday evening, seven other, lower-polling candidates held a separate debate in the same Cleveland arena.

In that undercard, former tech executive Carly Fiorina stood out, with pointed attacks on Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton–and on Trump himself.

“I didn’t get a call from Bill Clinton before the campaign,” she said, referring to a phone call reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday, in which Clinton encouraged Trump to get more involved in GOP politics. As it turned out, Trump has kneecapped the major projected rivals for the Democratic front-runner, who happens to be Clinton’s wife.

Fiorina also noted Trump’s history of position changes: “Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, ‘What are the principles on which he will govern?’”

In the evening’s first debate among second-tier candidates, the person who seemed to do herself the most good was Fiorina, the only woman in the debate, and the only non-politician on a stage full of current and former senators and governors.

Fiorina talked about her experience meeting with foreign leaders, and urged greater cooperation with Israel, and with Arab countries that want to fight the Islamic State. She said she would personally call Iran’s Supreme Leader on her first day in office, to let him know that the U.S. would insist on tougher inspections of nuclear facilities, regardless of the deal recently negotiated by the Obama administration.

Fiorina said that, under her leadership, people would know “America is back in the leadership business.”

She stood out.

But, in this undercard, it was a low bar. The candidates largely agreed with each other, about wanting to undo President Obama’s policies on health care, immigration and Iran. The next 10 candidates will likely say something similar.

And, in this debate, the seven candidates had to begin by answering some version of a humiliating question: If you’re here, at the matinee, why don’t you just give it up?

“Has your moment passed, senator?” a moderator asked former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum at the beginning.

“If the people of Louisiana are not satisfied, what makes you think the people of this nation should be?” a moderator asked Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), after describing his dismal poll numbers.

“Is it time for new blood?” was the question for former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, who hasn’t run for office in more than a decade.

Did you miss your moment? the moderator asked former New York governor George E. Pataki, who had considered, then abandoned a presidential bid in the past. Pataki’s answer was a strange contortion: “I was ready to lead” back then, Pataki said. “But I wasn’t ready to run.”

The most pointed moment came when Santorum compared the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage to one of the most infamous decisions in American history.

Asked if the same-sex marriage decision was “settled law,” Santorum responded, “It is not, any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln.”

He meant the 1857 Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott vs. Sandford, in which the court declared that African Americans could not be citizens. President Lincoln later–during the middle of a Civil War fought over the issue of slavery–issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in defiance of the Scott ruling’s racist logic.

For the most part, however, the group did little to move themselves out of the back of the pack.

Meanwhile, Democrats announced Thursday that their debate season will kick off Oct. 13 in Nevada. The first debate will be followed by five others for the Democrats, a schedule that led a pair of underdog candidates to swiftly complain that there should be more.

Ed O’Keefe and Philip Bump contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/race-to-2016-gop-holds-first-presidential-debate/2015/08/06/1aea5644-3b9d-11e5-8e98-115a3cf7d7ae_story.html

Fox News Couldn’t Kill Trump’s Momentum and May Have Only Made It Stronger

Aug 7, 2015 5:30 AM CDT
Judging by Thursday’s electric debate, he may have sensed his true opponent before anyone else had a clue: the network.

A few hours before Thursday’s Fox News debate, a friend of Donald Trump’s confided to me that Trump was nervous. Not about the competition—he could handle them. No, Trump worried about Fox News, and in particular, debate moderator Megyn Kelly. She’d been hammering him all week on her show, and he was certain she was out to get him. He’d canceled a Fox News appearance on Monday night, the friend said, in order to avoid her. (Trump’s spokeswoman wouldn’t confirm or deny this.)

It turns out Trump was right. His toughest opponents Thursday night weren’t the candidates up on stage, but the Fox News moderators, who went right after him—none with more gusto than Kelly.

Kelly, the whip-smart queen of Fox News’ blonde stunners, went straight for the jugular. “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” she admonished Trump. “Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?”

But Trump saw her coming a mile away and cut her off. “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” he barked, drawing cheers from the crowd. When Kelly tried to point out that he had insulted more women than O’Donnell, Trump, as he would all night, steamrolled right past her. “The big problem this country has is being politically correct,” Trump practically shouted, invoking conservatives’ favorite term of disdain. “I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness and to be honest with you this country doesn’t have time either.” The crowd went wild.

Maybe they were cheering because the question was apropos of something Rachel Maddow would ask, and they were, after all, Republicans. But I think they were cheering because it was clear, at that moment, that Trump was going to be Trump, and wasn’t going to heed the pundits and phonies to tone down his act. According to a report in New York magazine, even his own daughter, Ivanka, was making that case.

When it became clear last week that Trump was the Republican front-runner, everyone assumed that the big battle shaping up in Republican politics was going to be between Trump and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. But judging by Thursday’s raucous, electric debate, Trump may have sensed his true opponent before anyone else had a clue: It’s Fox News. Throughout the evening, Trump and his inquisitors battled back and forth like gladiators. Both parties emerged as huge winners. Though nearly devoid of substance, it was the most entertaining debate I’ve ever seen.

Trump led the way. His ethos—the blustering bravado and aggression—became the ethos of the whole affair. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went bananas on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The crowd was roaring throughout. There was none of the stilted, awkward talk of the junior debate earlier in the evening. Political Twitter was throbbing with joy and satisfaction.

Hurling insults, Trump went after O’Donnell, political reporters, Bowe Bergdahl, China, Mexico, Japan, money lenders, and practically everyone in Washington. “Our leaders are stupid,” he said, “Our politicians are stupid.” He did stop short of calling Mexicans “rapists,” but not by much. “We need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly,” he said. “We need to keep illegals out.”

While the moderators went after Trump, the candidates mostly shied away from him. In fact, consciously or otherwise, several echoed his points and nearly everyone tried to match his energy. Some even seemed to genuflect. “Donald Trump is hitting a nerve in this country,” Ohio Governor John Kasich said at one point. “Mr. Trump is touching a nerve because people want to see a wall being built.”

Only Paul mustered the nerve to launch a pair of (pretty weak) direct attacks. He might have regretted it. Trump dispatched him with a single, withering aside (“You’re having a hard time tonight”) that was all the more effective because it was true.

Trump’s Fox News antagonists had their moments, too. When moderator Chris Wallace invoked the four bankruptcies his companies have suffered, Trump, seeming genuinely angry, repeatedly fell back on an oddly phrased legalism: “I have used the laws of this country just like the greatest people you read about in the business section,” he said.

But it was Kelly who inflicted the deepest cut by rattling off the liberal positions Trump once held and stopping him cold with the question: “When did you actually become a Republican?” Trump’s bluster escaped him. He stammered nervously and seemed lost. “I’ve evolved on many issues over the years, and do you know who else has? Ronald Reagan,” he said feebly. “Very much evolved.” That’s as un-Trump-like a phrase as I’ve heard from him, something more befitting 2012 nominee Mitt Romney.

What’s more interesting than any Trump question or answer, though, was the larger dynamic at play. If Fox News has really turned on Trump, it will add a fascinating new twist to the race. Right now, Trump is the dominant candidate in the field because he has exerted a broad appeal to every part of the Republican Party. How might those Republicans react to Fox News—their own network!—aggressively trying to take down their favorite candidate?

To find out, I called Janet Roberts, 69, a nurse in Bellville, Ohio, who participated in last week’sBloomberg Politics poll and supported Trump (“He has the balls to stand up to the career politicians”). She had agreed to give me her reaction immediately after the debate. When I called, Roberts was furious. “I had more emotion about Fox News tonight than I did about Donald Trump,” she told me. “Those questions were not professional questions. They were bullying. They were set up to purposely make them all look bad. Our country is a mess and I feel like the debate was an example of that. I’m still with Trump.”

In fact, Roberts said, after watching the debate, she felt even more strongly than before. “He was very composed,” she said. “It’s probably difficult for him, because he’s a very opinionated person.”

We won’t know for a few more days if other Republicans reacted to the debate as Roberts did. But my guess is that Trump didn’t hurt himself and might even emerge stronger than before. There’s an unspoken accord between Trump and his supporters that Thursday’s debate can only have intensified. Trump rants and raves in language that upsets and scandalizes the establishment. In return, his fans annoy the elite know-it-alls by rallying to him anyway. Together, they raise a big middle finger to everyone. That’s the art of the deal.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-08-07/fox-news-couldn-t-kill-trump-s-momentum-and-may-have-only-made-it-stronger

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2016 Presidential Candidates — 22 And Counting — None of The Candidates Have An Economic Plan That Would Lead To 4-5% Economic Growth And Near Full Employment of American People — A Crisis of Leadership and Vision — A Conflict of Visions — The Constrained Vs Unconstrained Visions — Videos

Posted on August 6, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Non-Fiction, Nuclear, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

Gretchen’s Take: Best economic plan will win 2016

Fla. Gov. Scott will back candidate with best economic plan

Will the candidates offer solutions to key issues in the debate?

Which 2016 presidential candidate has the best economic plan?

Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

Thomas Sowell — Dismantling America

Thomas Sowell Brings the World into Focus through an Economics Lens

Facts and Fallacies with Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – The Vision of the Anointed

Thomas Sowell – Diversity

Affirmative Action in India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Israel, Malaysia, Nigeria

Thomas Sowell – What Evidence Supports Affirmative Action?

Firing Line – Thomas Sowell w/ William F. Buckley Jr. (1981)

Fallacies-of-race-Thomas-Sowellta_conflict_of_visions
Conflict_of_visions_bookcover
 thomas sowel

THE 2016 FIELD: WHO’S IN AND WHO’S THINKING IT OVER

A whopping 22 people from America’s two major political parties have declared themselves candidates in the 2016 presidential election.

The field includes two women, an African-American and two Latinos. All but one in that group – Hillary Clinton – are Republicans.

At 17 candidates, the GOP field is deeper than ever. A few Democrats are still assessing their chances at succeeding in a much smaller group of five whose front-runner has been defined from the very beginning.

REPUBLICANS IN THE RACE

Jeb Bush       Former Florida governor

Age: 62

Religion: Catholic

Base: Moderates 

                  Résumé: Former Florida governor and secretary of state. Former co-chair of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Education: B.A. University of Texas at Austin.

Family: Married to Columba Bush (1974), with three adult children. Noelle Bush has made news with her struggle with drug addiction, and related arrests. George P. Bush was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014. Jeb’s father George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States, and his brother George W. Bush was number 43.

Claim to fame: Jeb was an immensely popular governor with strong economic and jobs credentials. He is also one of just two GOP candidates who is fluent in Spanish.

Achilles heel: Bush has angered conservatives with his permissive positions on illegal immigration (saying some border-crossing is ‘an act of love) and common-core education standards. His last name could also be a liability with voters who fear establishing a family dynasty in the White House.

Chris Christie        New Jersey governor

Age: 52

Religion: Catholic

Base: Establishment-minded conservatives

Résumé: Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder and lobbyist.

Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder. Former statehouse lobbyist.

Education: B.A. University of Delaware, Newark, J.D. Seton Hall University.

Family: Married to Mary Pat Foster (1986) with four children.

Claim to fame: Pugnacious and unapologetic, Christie once told a heckler to ‘sit down and shut up’ and brings a brash style to everything he does. That includes the post-9/11 criminal prosecutions of terror suspects that made his reputation as a hard-charger.

Achilles heel: Christie is often accused of embracing an ego-driven and needlessly abrasive style. His administration continues to operate under a ‘Bridgegate’ cloud: At least two aides have been indicted in an alleged scheme to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as political retribution for a mayor who refused to endorse the governor’s re-election.

Carly Fiorina         Former CEO

Age: 60

Religion:      Episcopalian

Base: Conservatives

                Résumé: Former CEO of Hewett-Packard. Former group president of Lucent Technologies. Former U.S. Senate candidate in California.

Education: B.A. Stanford University. UCLA School of Law (did not finish). M.B.A. University of Maryland. M.Sci. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Family: Married to Frank Fiorina (1985), with one adult step-daughter and another who is deceased. She has two step-grandchildren. Divorced from Todd Bartlem (1977-1984).

Claim to fame: Fiorina was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, something that could provide ammunition against the Democratic Party’s drive to make Hillary Clinton the first female president. She is also the only woman in the 2016 GOP field, making her the one Republican who can’t be accused of sexism.

Achilles heel: Fiorina’s unceremonious firing by HP’s board has led to questions about her management and leadership styles. And her only political experience has been a failed Senate bid in 2010 against Barbara Boxer.

Lindsey Graham  South Carolina senator

Age: 59

Religion:        Southern Baptist

Base: Otherwise moderate war hawks 

Résumé: U.S. senator. Retired Air Force Reserves colonel. Former congressman. Former South Carolina state representative.

Education: B.A. University of South Carolina. J.D. University of South Carolina Law School.

Family: Never married. Raised his sister Darline after their parents died while he was a college student and she was 13.

Claim to fame: Graham is a hawk’s hawk, arguing consistently for greater intervention in the Middle East, once arguing in favor of pre-emptive military strikes against Iran. His influence was credited for pushing President George W. Bush to institute the 2007 military ‘surge’ in Iraq.

Achilles heel: Some of his critics have taken to call him ‘Grahamnesty,’ citing his participating in a 2013 ‘gang of eight’ strategy to approve an Obama-favored immigration bill. He has also aroused the ire of conservative Republicans by supporting global warming legislation and voting for some of the president’s judicial nominees.

Bobby Jindal     Louisiana governor

Age: 44

Religion: Catholic

Base: Social conservatives

                  Résumé: Governor of Louisiana. Former congressman. Former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation. Former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Education: B. Sci. Brown University. M.Litt. New College at Oxford University

Family: Married to Supriya Jolly (1997), with three children, each of whom has an Indian first name and an American middle name. Bobby Jindal’s given name is Piyush.

Claim to fame: Jindal’s main source of national attention has been his strident opposition to federal-level ‘Common Core’ education standards, which included a federal lawsuit that a judge dismissed in late March. He is also outspoken on the religious-freedom issues involved in mainstreaming gay marriage into the lives of American Christians.

Achilles heel: During his first term as governor, Jindal signed a science education law that requires schools to present alternatives to the theory of evolution, including religious creationism. His staunch defense of businesses that want to steer clear of providing services to same-sex couples at their weddings will win points among evangelicals but alienate others.

George Pataki      Former New York governor 

Age: 69

ReligionCatholic

BaseCentrists

Résumé: Former governor of New York. Former New York state senator and state assemblyman. Former mayor of Peekskill, NY.

Education: B.A. Yale University. J.D. Columbia Law School.

Family: Married to Libby Rowland (1973), with four adult children.

Claim to fame: Pataki was just the third Republican governor in New York’s history, winning an improbable victory over three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo in 1994. He was known for being a rare tax-cutter in Albany and was also the sitting governor when the 9/11 terror attacks rocked New York CIty in 2001.

Achilles heel: While Pataki’s liberal-leaning social agenda plays well in the Empire State, it won’t win him any fans among the GOP’s conservative base. He supports abortion rights and gay rights, and has advocated strongly in favor of government intervention to stop global warming, which right-wingers believe is overblown as a global threat.

Rick Perry        Former Texas governor 

Age: 65 

Religion: Christian (nondenominational)

Base: Conservatives 

Résumé: Former Texas governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner and state representative.

Education: B.Sci. Texas A&M University

Family: Married to Anita Thigpen (1982) with two adult children. His father was a former Democratic county commissioner in Texas.

Claim to fame: Perry boasts that while he was governor between the end of 2007 and the end of 2014, the Texas economy created 1.4 million new jobs while the rest of the U.S. lost close to 400,000. A Perry-led Texas also had the nation’s highest high school graduation rate among Hispanics and African-Americans.

Achilles heel: Perry has a tough hill to climb after his 2012 presidential campaign spectacularly imploded with a single word – ‘Oops’ – after he couldn’t remember one of his own talking points during a nationally televised debate. He also faces an indictment for alleged abuse of power in a case that Republicans contend is politically motivated and meritless.

Rick Santorum     Former Penn. senator

Age: 57

Religion: Catholic

Base: Evangelicals 

 

Résumé: Former US senator and former member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Former lobbyist who represented World Wrestling Entertainment.

Education: B.A. Penn State University. M.B.A. University of Pittsburgh. J.D. Penn State University Dickinson School of Law.

Family: Married to Karen Santorum (1990), with seven living children. One baby was stillborn in 1996. Another, named Isabella, is a special needs child with a genetic disorder.

Claim to fame: Santorum won the 2012 Republican Iowa Caucuses by a nose. He won by visiting all of Iowa’s 99 states in a pickup truck belonging to his state campaign director, a consultant who now worls for Donald Trump.

Achilles heel: As a young lobbyist, Santorum persuaded the federal government to exempt pro wrestling from regulations governing the use of anabolic steroids. And the stridently conservative politician has attracted strong opposition from gay rights groups. One gay columnist held a contest to redefine his name, buying the ‘santorum.com’ domain to advertise the winning entry – which is too vulgar to print.

Scott Walker     Wisconsin governor

Age: 47

Religion: Christian (nondenominational)

Base: Conservative activists  

Résumé: Governor of Wisconsin. Former Milwaukee County Executive. Former member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Education: Marquette University (did not finish)

Family: Married to Tonette Tarantino (1993), with two children. One of Mrs. Walker’s cousins is openly lesbian and was married in 2014, with the Walkers attending the reception.

Claim to fame: Walker built his national fame on the twin planks of turning his state’s past budget shortfalls into surpluses and beating back a labor-union-led drive to force him out of office through a recall election. Both results have broad appeal in the GOP.

Achilles heel: Wisconsin has suffered from a shaky economy during Walker’s tenure, which makes him look weak compared with other governors who presided over more robust job-creation numbers. He promised to create 250,000 private sector jobs but delivered less than 60 per cent of them. Also, he led an effort in the state legislature to enact $800 million in tax cuts – putting the Badger State back on the road to government deficits.

Ben Carson       Retired Physician

Age: 63

Religion:              Seventh-day Adventist

Base: Evangelicals

            Résumé: Famous pediatric neurosurgeon, youngest person to head a major Johns Hopkins Hospital division. Founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards scholarships to children of good character.

Education: B.A. Yale University. M.D. University of Michigan Medical School.

Family: Married to Candy Carson (1975), with three adult sons. The Carsons live in Maryland with Ben’s elderly mother Sonya, who was a seminal influence on his life and development.

Claim to fame: Carson spoke at a National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, railing against political correctness and condemned Obamacare – with President Obama sitting just a few feet away.

Achilles heel: Carson is inflexibly conservative, opposing gay marriage and once saying gay attachments formed in prison provided evidence that sexual orientation is a choice.

Ted Cruz            Texas senator

Age: 44

Religion:         Southern Baptist

Base: Tea partiers

                    Résumé: U.S. senator. Former Texas solicitor general. Former U.S. Supreme Court clerk. Former associate deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush.

Education: B.A. Princeton University. J.D. Harvard Law School.

Family: Married to Heidi Nelson Cruz (2001), with two young daughters. His father is a preacher and he has two half-sisters.

Claim to fame: Cruz spoke on the Senate floor for more than 21 hours in September 2013 to protest the inclusion of funding for Obamacare in a federal budget bill. (The bill moved forward as written.) He has called for the complete repeal of the medical insurance overhaul law, and also for a dismantling of the Internal Revenue Service. Cruz is also outspoken about border security.

Achilles heel: Cruz’s father Rafael, a Texas preacher, is a tea party firebrand who has said gay marriage is a government conspiracy and called President Barack Obama a Marxist who should ‘go back to Kenya.’ Cruz himself also has a reputation as a take-no-prisoners Christian evangelical, which might play well in South Carolina but won’t win him points in the other early primary states and could cost him momentum if he should be the GOP’s presidential nominee.

Jim Gilmore     Former Virginia governor

Age: 65

Religion: United Methodist

Base: Conservatives

Résumé: Former governor and attorney general of Virginia. Former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Former U.S. Army intelligence agent. President and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation. Board member of the National Rifle Association

Education: B.A. University of Virginia.

Family: Married to Roxane Gatling Gilmore (1977), with two adult children. Mrs. GIlmore is a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Claim to fame: Gilmore presided over Virginia when the 9/11 terrorists struck in 1991, guiding the state through a difficult economic downturn after one of the hijacked airliners crashed into the Pentagon. He is nest known in Virginia for eliminating most of a much-maligned personal property tax on automobiles, working with a Democratic-controlled state legislature to get it passed and enacted.

Achilles heel: Gilmore is the only GOP or Democratic candidate for president who has been the chairman of his political party, giving him a rap as an ‘establishment’ candidate. A social-conservative crusader, he is loathed by the left for championing the state law that established 24-hour waiting periods for abortions. Gilmore also has a reputation as an indecisive campaigner, having dropped out of the 2008 presidential race in July 2007.

Mike Huckabee     Former Arkansas governor

Age: 59

Religion: Southern Baptist

Base: Evangelicals

Résumé: Former governor and lieutenant governor of Arkansas. Former Fox News Channel host. Ordained minister and author.

Education: B.A. Ouachita Baptist University. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (did not finish).

Family: Married to Janet Huckabee (1974), with three adult children. Mrs. Huckabee is a survivor of spinal cancer.

Claim to fame: ‘Huck’ is a political veteran and has run for president before, winning the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and finishing second for the GOP nomination behind John McCain. He’s known as an affable Christian and succeeded in building a huge following on his weekend television program, in which he frequently sat in on the electric bass with country & western groups and other ‘wholesome’ musical entertainers.

Achilles heel: Huckabee may have a problem with female voters. He complained in 2014 about Obamacare’s mandatory contraception coverage, saying Democrats want women to ‘believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar.’ He earned more scorn for hawking herbal supplements in early-2015 infomercials as a diabetes cure, something he has yet to disavow despite disagreement from medical experts.

John Kasich       Ohio governor 

Age: 63

ReligionAnglican

BaseCentrists

                                            Résumé: Governor of New York. Former chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee. Former Ohio congressman. Former Ohio state senator.

Education: B.A. The Ohio State University.

Family: Married to Karen Waldbillig (1997). Divorced from Mary Lee Griffith (1975-1980).

Claim to fame: Kasich was Ohio youngest-ever member of the state legislature at age 25. He’s known for a compassionate and working-class sensibility that appeals to both ends of the political spectrum. In the 1990s when Newt Gingrich led a Republican revolution that took over Congress, Kasich became the chairman of the House Budget Committee – a position for a wonk’s wonk who understands the nuanced intricacies of how government runs.

Achilles heel: Some of Kasich’s political positions rankle conservatives, including his choice to expand Ohio’s Medicare system under the Obamacare law, and his support for the much-derided ‘Common Core’ education standards program.

Rand Paul      Kentucky senator

Age: 52

Religion: Presbyterian

Base: Libertarians

                  Résumé: US senator. Board-certified ophthalmologist. Former congressional campaign manager for his father Ron Paul.

Education: Baylor University (did not finish). M.D. Duke University School of Medicine.

Family: Married to Kelley Ashby (1990), with three sons. His father is a former Texas congressman who ran for president three times but never got close to grabbing the brass ring.

Claim to fame: Paul embraces positions that are at odds with most in the GOP, including an anti-interventionist foreign policy, reduced military spending, criminal drug sentencing reform for African-Americans and strict limits on government electronic surveillance – including a clampdown on the National Security Agency.

Achilles heel: Paul’s politics are aligned with those of his father, whom mainstream GOPers saw as kooky. Both Pauls have advocated for a brand of libertarianism that forces government to stop domestic surveillance programs and limits foreign military interventions.

Marco Rubio         Florida senator

Age: 43

Religion:          Catholic

Base: Conservatives

Résumé: US senator, former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, former city commissioner of West Miami

Education: B.A. University of Florida. J.D. University of Miami School of Law.

Family: Married to Jeanette Dousdebes (1998), with two sons and two daughters. Jeanette is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader who posed for the squad’s first swimsuit calendar.

Claim to fame: Rubio’s personal story as the son of Cuban emigres is a powerful narrative, and helped him win his Senate seat in 2010 against a well-funded governor whom he initially trailed by 20 points.

Achilles heel: Rubio was part of a bipartisan ‘gang of eight’ senators who crafted an Obama-approved immigration reform bill in 2013 which never became law – a move that angered conservative Republicans. And he was criticized in 2011 for publicly telling a version of his parents’ flight from Cuba that turned out to appear embellished.

Donald Trump     Real estate developer

Age: 69

Religion:     Presbyterian

Base: Conservatives                

Résumé: Chairman of The Trump Organization. Fixture on the Forbes 400 list of the world’s richest people. Star of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’

Education: B.Sci. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Family: Married to Melania Trump (2005). Divorced from Ivana Zelníčková (1977-92) and Marla Maples(1993–99). Five grown children. Trump’s father Fred Trump amassed a $400 million fortune developing real estate.

Claim to fame: Trump’s niche in the 2016 campaign stems from his celebrity as a reality-show host and his enormous wealth – more than $10 billion, according to Trump. Because he can self-fund an entire presidential campaign, he is seen as less beholden to donors than other candidates. He has grabbed the attention of reporters and commentators by unapologetically staking out controversial positions and refusing to budge in the face of criticism.

Achilles heel: Trump is a political neophyte who has toyed with running for president and for governor of New York, but shied away from taking the plunge until now. His billions also have the potential to alienate large swaths of the electorate. And his Republican rivals have labeled him an ego-driven celeb and an electoral sideshow because of his all-over-the-map policy history – much of which agreed with today’s today’s democrats – and his past enthusiasm for anti-Obama ‘birtheris

DEMOCRATS IN THE RACE

Lincoln Chafee  Former Rhode Island governor

Age: 62

Religion:  Episcopalian

Base: Centrists

Résumé: Former Rhode Island governor. Former U.S. senator. Former city councilman and mayor of Warwick, RI.

Education: B.A. Brown University. Graduate, Montana State University horseshoeing school.

Family: Married to Stephanie Chafee (1990) with three children. Like him, his father John Chafee was a Rhode Island governor and US senator, but also served as Secretary of the Navy. Lincoln was appointed to his Senate seat when his father died in office.

Claim to fame: While Chafee was a Republican senator during the George W. Bush administration, he cast his party’s only vote in 2002 against a resolution that authorized military action in Iraq. Hillary Clinton, also a senator then, voted in favor – giving him a point of comparison that he hopes to ride to victory.

Achilles heel: Chafee’s lack of any significant party loyalty has turned allies into foes throughout his political career, and Democrats aren’t sure he’s entirely with them now. He was elected to the Senate as a Republican in 2000 but left the party and declared himself a political independent after losing a re-election bid in 2006. As an independent, he was elected governor in 2010. Now he’s running for president as a Democrat.

Martin O’Malley    Former Maryland governor

Age: 52

Religion: Catholic

Base: Centrists

                              Résumé: Former Maryland governor. Former city councilor and mayor of Baltimore, MD. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Education: B.A. Catholic University of America. J.D. University of Maryland.

Family: Married to Katie Curran (1990) and they have four children. Curran is a district court judge in Baltimore. Her father is Maryland’s attorney general. O’Malley’s mother is a receptionists in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Claim to fame: O’Malley pushed for laws in Maryland legalizing same-sex marriage and giving illegal immigrants the right to pay reduced tuition rates at public universities. But he’s best known for playing guitar and sung in a celtic band cammed ‘O’Malley’s March.’

Achilles heel: O’Malley may struggle in the Democratic primary since he endorsed Hillary Clinton eight years ago. If he prevails, he will have to run far enough to her left to be an easy target for the GOP. He showed political weakness when his hand-picked successor lost the 2014 governor’s race to a Republican. But most troubling is his link with Baltimore, whose 2016 race riots have made it a nuclear subject for politicians of all stripes.

Jim Webb      Former Virginia senator

Age: 69

Religion: Christian (nondenominational)

Base: War hawks and economic centrists

Résumé:Former U.S. senator from Virginia. Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy under Ronamd Reagan. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

Education: B.A. US Naval Academy (transferred from the University of Southern California). J.D. Georgetown University.

Family: Married to Hong Le Webb (2005). Divorced from Jo Ann Krukar (1981-2004). Divorced from Barbara Samorajczyk (1968–1979).

Claim to fame: Webb is the rare Democrat who can bring both robust defense credentials and a history of genuine bipartisanship to the race. He served in Republican president Ronald Reagan’s defense directorate as Navy secretary, and earned both the Navy Star and the Purple Heart in combat. Webb is also seen as a quiet scholar who has written more than a half-dozen historical novels and a critically acclaimed history of Scots-Irish U.S. immigrants.

Achilles heel: Webb has a reputation as a bit of a quitter. He resigned his Navy secretary post over a budget-cut dispute just 10 months after taking the job, and he declined to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He also attracted bad press for defending the use of the Confederate flag as a heritage symbol for American southerners. Amid a nationwide clamor to remove the flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, he wrote that Americans should ‘respect the complicated history of the Civil War. … Honorable Americans fought on both sides.’

Hillary Clinton Former sec. of state

Age: 67

Religion: United Methodist

Base: Liberals

                            Résumé: Former secretary of state. Former U.S. senator from New York. Former U.S. first lady. Former Arkansas first lady. Former law school faculty, University of Arkansas Fayetteville.

Education: B.A. Wellesley College. J.D. Yale Law School.

Family: Married to Bill Clinton (1975), the 42nd President of the United States. Their daughter Chelsea is married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, whose mother was a 1990s one-term Pennsylvania congresswoman.

Claim to fame: Clinton was the first US first lady with a postgraduate degree and presaged Obamacare with a failed attempt at health care reform in the 1990s.

Achilles heel: A long series of financial and ethical scandals has dogged Clinton, including recent allegations that her husband and their family foundation benefited financially from decisions she made as secretary of state. Her performance surrounding the 2012 terror attack on a State Department facility in Benghazi, Libya, has been catnip for conservative Republicans. And her presdiential campaign has been marked by an unwillingness to engage journalists, instead meeting with hand-picked groups of voters.

 

Bernie Sanders*  Vermont senator

Age: 73

Religion: Jewish

Base: Far-left progressives

                              Résumé: U.S. senator. Former U.S. congressman. Former mayor of Burlington, VT.

Education: B.A. University of Chicago.

Family: Married to Jane O’Meara Sanders (1988), a former president of Burlington College. He has one child from a previous relationship and is stepfather to three from Mrs. Sanders’ previous marriage. His brother Larry is a Green Party politician in the UK and formerly served on the Oxfordshire County Council.

Claim to fame: Sanders is an unusually blunt, and unapologetic pol, happily promoting progressivism without hedging. He is also the longest-serving ‘independent’ member of Congress – neither Democrat nor Republican.

Achilles heel: Sanders describes himself as a ‘democratic socialist.’ At a time of huge GOP electoral gains, his far-left ideas don’t poll well. He favors open borders, single-payer universal health insurance, and greater government control over media ownership.

* Sanders is running as a Democrat but has no party affiliation in the Senate.

DEMOCRATS IN THE HUNT

Joe Biden, U.S. vice president

Biden would be a natural candidate as the White House’s sitting second-banana, but his reputation as a one-man gaffe factory will keep Democrats from taking him seriously.

Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator

Warren is a populist liberal who could give Hillary Clinton headaches by challenging her from the left, but she has said she has no plans to run and is happy in the U.S. Senate.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3187278/Ben-Carson-praises-refreshing-Trump-hours-Donald-takes-center-stage-s-popular-speaks-mind.html

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President Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal at American University, August 5, 2015 — Videos

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President Obama FULL SPEECH on Iran Nuclear Deal – “Rejecting Iran nuclear deal is a vote for war”

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Full text: Obama gives a speech about the Iran nuclear deal

President Obama is continuing his push for the Iran nuclear deal, giving a speech at American University. Here is a complete transcript of his remarks.

OBAMA: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you very much.

I apologize for the slight delay; even presidents have a problem with toner.

(LAUGHTER)

It is a great honor to be back at American University, which has prepared generations of young people for service and public life.

I want to thank President Kerwin and the American University family for hosting us here today.

Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, addressed this same university on the subject of peace. The Berlin Wall had just been built. The Soviet Union had tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. China was on the verge of acquiring the nuclear bomb. Less than 20 years after the end of World War II, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real.

With all of the threats that we face today, it is hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time. In light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists here in the United States argued we had to take military action against the Soviets, to hasten what they saw as inevitable confrontation. But the young president offered a different vision.

OBAMA: Strength, in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. But he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign-policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing.

Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace, a peace based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.

Such wisdom would help guide our ship of state through some of the most perilous moments in human history. With Kennedy at the helm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully.
Under Democratic and Republican presidents, new agreements were forged: A nonproliferation treaty that prohibited nations from acquiring nuclear weapons, while allowing them to access peaceful nuclear energy, the SALT and START treaties, which bound the United States and the Soviet Union to cooperation on arms control.

Not every conflict was averted, but the world avoided nuclear catastrophe, and we created the time and the space to win the Cold War without firing a shot at the Soviets.

The agreement now reached between the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran builds on this tradition of strong, principled policy diplomacy.

After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb. It contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.

As was true in previous treaties, it does not resolve all problems. It certainly doesn’t resolve all our problems with Iran. It does not ensure a warming between our two countries. But it achieves one of our most critical security objectives. As such, it is a very good deal.

Today, I want to speak to you about this deal and the most consequential foreign-policy debate that our country has had since the invasion of Iraq, as Congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough or instead blocks it over the objection of the vast majority of the world. Between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.

Now, when I ran for president eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war. We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place.
It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy, a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus, a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.

Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history.

OBAMA: And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak, even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.

More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq. Our troops achieved every mission they were given, but thousands of lives were lost, tens of thousands wounded. That doesn’t count the lives lost among Iraqis. Nearly a trillion dollars was spent.

Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaida in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.

I raise this recent history because now more than ever, we need clear thinking in our foreign policy, and I raise this history because it bears directly on how we respond to the Iranian nuclear program. That program has been around for decades, dating back to the Shah’s efforts, with U.S. support, in the 1960s and ’70s to develop nuclear power. The theocracy that overthrew the Shah accelerated the program after the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, a war in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to brutal effect, and Iran’s nuclear program advanced steadily through the 1990s despite unilateral U.S. sanctions.

When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges, the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb, that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges and showed no inclination to slow, much less halt, its program.
Among U.S. policymakers, there’s never been disagreement on the danger posed by an Iranian nuclear bomb. Democrats and Republicans alike have recognized that it would spark an arms race in the world’s most unstable region and turn every crisis into a potential nuclear showdown. It would embolden terrorist groups like Hezbollah and pose an unacceptable risk to Israel, which Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to destroy. More broadly, it could unravel the global commitment to nonproliferation that the world has done so much to defend.

The question then is not whether to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but how. Even before taking office, I made clear that Iran would not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon on my watch, and it’s been my policy throughout my presidency to keep all options, including possible military options, on the table to achieve that objective.

But I have also made clear my preference for a peaceful diplomatic resolution of the issue, not just because of the costs of war, but also because a negotiated agreement offered a more effective, verifiable and durable resolution. And so in 2009, we let the Iranians know that a diplomatic path was available. Iran failed to take that path, and our intelligence community exposed the existence of a covert nuclear facility at Fordo.

Now some have argued that Iran’s intransigence showed the futility of negotiations. In fact, it was our very willingness to negotiate that helped America rally the world to our cause and secured international participation in an unprecedented framework of commercial and financial sanctions.

OBAMA: Keep in mind, unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran had been in place for decades, but had failed to pressure Iran to the negotiating table. What made our new approach more effective was our ability to draw upon new U.N. Security Council resolutions, combining strong enforcement with voluntary agreements for nations like China and India, Japan and South Korea, to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil, as well as the imposition by our European allies of a total oil embargo.
Winning this global buy-in was not easy. I know; I was there. In some cases, our partners lost billions of dollars in trade because of their decision to cooperate. But we were able to convince them that, absent a diplomatic resolution, the result could be war with major disruptions to the global economy, and even greater instability in the Middle East.

In other words, it was diplomacy, hard, painstaking diplomacy, not saber rattling, not tough talk, that ratcheted up the pressure on Iran. With the world now unified beside us, Iran’s economy contracted severely, and remains about 20 percent smaller today than it would have otherwise been. No doubt this hardship played a role in Iran’s 2013 elections, when the Iranian people elected a new government, that promised to improve the economy through engagement to the world.

A window had cracked open. Iran came back to the nuclear talks. And after a series of negotiations, Iran agreed with the international community to an interim deal, a deal that rolled back Iran’s stockpile of near 20 percent enriched uranium, and froze the progress of its program so that the P5+1 — the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the European Union, could negotiate a comprehensive deal without the fear that Iran might be stalling for time.

Now, let me pause here just to remind everybody that, when the interim deal was announced, critics, the same critics we are hearing from now, called it a historic mistake. They insisted Iran would ignore its obligations, they warned that the sanctions would unravel. They warned that Iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism.

The critics were wrong. The progress of Iran’s nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade, its stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced, the deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped, inspections did increase. There was no flood of money into Iran. And the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place. In fact, the interim deal worked so well that the same people who criticized it so fiercely now cite it as an excuse not to support the broader accord. Think about that. What was once proclaimed as an historic mistake is now held up as a success and a reason to not sign the comprehensive of deal.
So keep that in mind when you assess the credibility of the arguments being made against diplomacy today. Despite the criticism, we moved ahead to negotiate a more lasting, comprehensive deal. Our diplomats, led by Secretary of State John Kerry kept our coalition united, our nuclear experts, including one of the best in the world, Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz, work tirelessly on a technical details.

In July, we reached a comprehensive of plan of action that meets our objectives. Under its terms, Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon. And while Iran, like any party to the nuclear non- proliferation treaty, is allowed to access peaceful nuclear energy, the agreement strictly defines the manner in which its nuclear program can proceed, ensuring that all pathways to a bomb are cut off.

OBAMA: Here is how.

Under this deal, Iran cannot acquire the plutonium needed for a bomb. The core of its heavy reactor at Arak will be pulled out, filled with concrete, replaced with one that will not produce plutonium for a weapon. The spent fuel from that reactor will be shipped out of the country, and Iran will not build any new heavy water reactors for at least 15 years.

Iran will also not be able to acquire the enriched uranium that could be used for a bomb. As soon as this deal is implemented, Iran will remove two-thirds of its centrifuges. For the next decade, Iran will not enrich uranium with its more advanced centrifuges. Iran will not enrich uranium at the previously undisclosed Fordo facility, which is very deep underground, for at least 15 years.

Iran will get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is currently enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs for the next 15 years. Even after those 15 years have passed, Iran will never have the right to use a peaceful program as cover to pursue a weapon, and in fact this deal shuts off the type of covert path Iran pursued in the past.

There will be 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. For decades, inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, from the uranium mines and mills where they get raw materials to the centrifuge production facilities where they make machines to enrich it. And understand why this is so important.
For Iran to cheat, it has to build a lot more than just one building or covert facility like Fordo. It would need a secret source for every single aspect of its program. No nation in history has been able to pull of such subterfuge when subjected to such rigorous inspections. And under the terms of the deal, inspectors will have the permanent ability to inspect any suspicious sites in Iran.

And finally, Iran has powerful incentives to keep its commitments. Before getting sanctions relief, Iran has to take significant concrete steps, like removing centrifuges and getting rid of its stock piles. If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council, America can trigger snap back on our own.

On the other hand, if Iran abides by the deal, and its economy beings to reintegrate with the world, the incentive to avoid snap back will only grow.

So this deal is not just the best choice among alternatives, this is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated, and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.

I’ve had to make a lot of tough calls as president, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls, it’s not even close. Unfortunately, we’re living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prison, evaluated by headline-grabbing soundbites, and so before the ink was even dry on this deal, before Congress even read it, a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition. Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into armchair nuclear scientists…
(LAUGHTER)

… disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple and sometimes contradictory arguments about why Congress should reject this deal.

OBAMA: But if you repeat these arguments long enough, they can get some traction. So, let me address just a few of the arguments that have been made so far in opposition to this deal.

First, there’re those who say the inspections are not strong enough, because inspectors can’t go anywhere in Iran at any time with no notice.

Well, here’s the truth. Inspectors will be allowed daily access to Iran’s key nuclear sites.

If there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious undeclared site anywhere in Iran, inspectors will get that access even if Iran objects. This access can be with as little as 24 hours notice.

And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.

And — and by the way, nuclear material isn’t something you hide in the closet.

(LAUGHTER)

It can leave a trace for years.

The bottom line is, if Iran cheats, we can catch them, and we will.

Second, there are those who argue that the deal isn’t strong enough, because some of the limitations on Iran’s civilian nuclear program expire in 15 years.

Let me repeat. The prohibition on Iran having a nuclear weapon is permanent. The ban on weapons-related research is permanent. Inspections are permanent.

It is true that some of the limitations regarding Iran’s peaceful program last only 15 years. But that’s how arms control agreements work. The first SALT treaty with the Soviet Union lasted five years. The first START treaty lasted 15 years.

And in our current situation, if 15 or 20 years from now, Iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the United States will have better tools to detect it, a stronger basis under international law to respond and the same options available to stop our weapons program as we have today, including, if necessary, military options.
On the other hand, without this deal, the scenarios that critics warn about happening in 15 years could happen six months from now. By killing this deal, Congress would not merely Iran’s pathway to a bomb, it would accelerate it.

Third, a number of critics say the deal isn’t worth it, because Iran will get billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Now, let’s be clear. The international sanctions were put in place precisely to get Iran to agree to constraints on its program. That’s the point of sanctions. Any negotiated agreement with Iran would involve sanctions relief.

So an argument against sanctions relief is effectively an argument against any diplomatic resolution of this issue. It is true that if Iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money, revenue frozen overseas by other countries.

But the notion that this will be a game-changer with all this money funneled into Iran’s pernicious activities misses the reality of Iran’s current situation.

Partly because of our sanctions, the Iranian government has over half a trillion dollars in urgent requirements, from funding pensions and salaries to paying for crumbling infrastructure.

Iran’s leaders have raised expectations of their people, that sanctions relief will improve their lives. Even a repressive regime like Iran’s cannot completely ignore those expectations, and that’s why our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people.

Now, this is not to say that sanctions relief will provide no benefit to Iran’s military. Let’s stipulate that some of that money will flow to activities that we object to.

OBAMA: We have no illusions about the Iranian government or the significance of the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force. Iran supports terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. It supports proxy groups that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies, including proxy groups who killed our troops in Iraq.
They tried to destabilize our Gulf partners. But Iran has been engaged in these activities for decades. They engaged in them before sanctions and while sanctions were in place. In fact, Iran even engaged in these sanctions in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war, a war that cost them nearly a million lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. The truth is that Iran has always found a way to fund these efforts, and whatever benefit Iran may claim from sanctions relief pales in comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon.

Moreover, there is no scenario where sanctions relief turns Iran into the region’s dominant power. Iran’s defense budget is eight times smaller than the combined budget of our Gulf allies. Their conventional capabilities will never compare to Israel’s, and our commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge helps guarantee that.

Over the last several years, Iran has had to spend billions of dollars to support its only ally in the Arab world, Bashar al-Assad, even as he’s lost control of huge chunks of his country. And Hezbollah suffered significant blows on this same battlefield. And Iran, like the rest of the region, is being forced to respond to the threat of ISIL in Iraq.

So, contrary to the alarmists who claim Iran is on the brink of taking over the Middle East, or even the world, Iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges. The ruling regime is dangerous and it is repressive. We will continue to have sanctions in place on Iran’s support for terrorism and violation of human rights. We will continue to insist upon the release of Americans detained unjustly. We will have a lot of differences with the Iranian regime.

But if we are serious about confronting Iran’s destabilizing activities, it is hard to imagine a worse approach than blocking this deal. Instead, we need to check the behavior that we are concerned about directly, by helping our allies in the region strengthen their own capabilities to counter a cyber attack or a ballistic missile, by improving the interdiction of weapons’ shipments that go to groups like Hezbollah, by training our allies’ special forces so they can more effectively respond to situations like Yemen.
All these capabilities will make a difference. We will be in a stronger position to implement them with this deal.

And by the way, such a strategy also helps us effectively confront the immediate and lethal threat posed by ISIL.

Now, the final criticism, this is sort of catchall that you may hear, is the notion that there is a better deal to be had. We should get a better deal. That is repeated over and over again. It’s a bad deal — we need a better deal.

(LAUGHTER)

One that relies on vague promises of toughness and, more recently, the argument that we can apply a broader and indefinite set of sanctions to squeeze the Iranian regime harder. Those making this argument are either ignorant of Iranian society, or they are not being straight with the American people. Sanctions alone are not going to force Iran to completely dismantle all vestiges of its nuclear infrastructure, even aspects that are consistent with peaceful programs. That, is oftentimes, is what the critics are calling a better deal.

OBAMA: Neither the Iranian government, or the Iranian opposition, or the Iranian people would agree to what they would view as a total surrender of their sovereignty.

Moreover, our closest allies in Europe or in Asia, much less China or Russia, certainly are not going to enforce existing sanctions for another five, 10, 15 years according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress because their willingness to support sanctions in the first place was based on Iran ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It was not based on the belief that Iran cannot have peaceful nuclear power, and it certainly wasn’t based on a desire for regime change in Iran.

As a result, those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy. Instead of strengthening our position, as some have suggested, Congress’ rejection would almost certainly result in multi-lateral sanctions unraveling.

If, as has also been suggested, we tried to maintain unilateral sanctions, beefen them up, we would be standing alone. We cannot dictate the foreign, economic and energy policies of every major power in the world. In order to even try to do that, we would have to sanction, for example, some of the world’s largest banks. We’d have to cut off countries like China from the American financial system. And since they happen to be major purchasers of our debt, such actions could trigger severe disruptions in our own economy, and, by way, raise questions internationally about the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. That’s part of the reason why many of the previous unilateral sanctions were waived.
What’s more likely to happen should Congress reject this deal is that Iran would end up with some form of sanctions relief without having to accept any of the constraints or inspections required by this deal. So in that sense, the critics are right. Walk away from this agreement, and you will get a better deal — for Iran.

(APPLAUSE)

Now because more sanctions won’t produce the results that the critics want, we have to be honest. Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option, another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative, I am stating a fact. Without this deal, Iran will be in a position, however tough our rhetoric may be, to steadily advance its capabilities. Its breakout time, which is already fairly small, could shrink to near zero. Does anyone really doubt that the same voices now raised against this deal will be demanding that whoever is president bomb those nuclear facilities? And as someone who does firmly believe that Iran must not get a nuclear weapon and who has wrestled with this issue since the beginning of my presidency, I can tell you that alternatives to military actions will have been exhausted once we reject a hard-won diplomatic solution that the world almost unanimously supports.

So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.

OBAMA: And here’s the irony. As I said before, military action would be far less effective than this deal in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That’s not just my supposition. Every estimate, including those from Israeli analysts, suggest military action would only set back Iran’s program by a few years at best, which is a fraction of the limitations imposed by this deal.

It would likely guarantee that inspectors are kicked out of Iran. It is probable that it would drive Iran’s program deeper underground. It would certainly destroy the international unity that we have spent so many years building.
Now, there are some of opponents — I have to give them credit. They’re opponents of this deal who accept the choice of war. In fact, they argue that surgical strikes against Iran’s facilities will be quick and painless.

But if we’ve learned anything from the last decade, it’s that wars in general and wars in the Middle East in particular are anything but simple.

(APPLAUSE)

The only certainty in war is human suffering, uncertain costs, unintended consequences.

We can also be sure that the Americans who bear the heaviest burden are the less-than-1 percent of us, the outstanding men and women who serve in uniform, and not those of us who send them to war.

As commander-in-chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat. I have sat by their bedside sometimes when they come home.

I’ve ordered military action in seven countries. There are times when force is necessary, and if Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we don’t have an alternative.

But how can we, in good conscience, justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives, that has been agreed to by Iran, that is supported by the rest of the world and that preserves our option if the deal falls short? How could we justify that to our troops? How could we justify that to the world or to future generations? In the end, that should be a lesson that we’ve learned from over a decade of war. On the front end, ask tough questions, subject our own assumptions to evidence and analysis, resist the conventional wisdom and the drumbeat of war, worry less about being labeled weak, worry more about getting it right.

I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously.

But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those…
(APPLAUSE)

In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.

(APPLAUSE)

The majority of the Iranian people have powerful incentives to urge their government to move in a different, less provocative direction, incentives that are strengthened by this deal. We should offer them that chance. We should give them the opportunity.

OBAMA: It’s not guaranteed to succeed. But if they take it, that would be good for Iran. It would be good for the United States. It would be good for a region that has known too much conflict. It would be good for the world.

And if Iran does not move in that direction, if Iran violates this deal, we will have ample ability to respond. You know, the agreements pursued by Kennedy and Reagan with the Soviet Union. Those agreements and treaties involved America accepting significant constraints on our arsenal. As such, they were riskier.

This agreement involves no such constraints. The defense budget of the United States is more than $600 billion. To repeat, Iran’s is about $15 billion. Our military remains the ultimate backstop to any security agreement that we make. I have stated that Iran will never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, and have done what is necessary to make sure our military options are real. And I have no doubt that any president who follows me will take the same position.

So, let me sum up here. When we carefully examine the arguments against this deal, none stand up to scrutiny. That may be why the rhetoric on the other side is so strident. I suppose some of it can be ascribed to knee-jerk partisanship that has become all too familiar, rhetoric that renders every decision made to be a disaster, a surrender. You’re aiding terrorists; you’re endangering freedom.

On the other hand, I do think it is important to a knowledge another more understandable motivation behind the opposition to this deal, or at least skepticism to this deal. And that is a sincere affinity for our friend and ally Israel. An affinity that, as someone who has been a stalwart friend to Israel throughout my career, I deeply share.

When the Israeli government is opposed to something, people in the United States take notice; and they should. No one can blame Israelis for having a deep skepticism about any dealings with the government like Iran’s, which includes leaders who deny the Holocaust, embrace an ideology of anti-Semitism, facilitate the flow of rockets that are arrayed on Israel’s borders. Are pointed at Tel Aviv.

In such a dangerous neighbor Israel has to be vigilant, and it rightly insists it cannot depend on any other country, even it’s great friend the United States, for its own security.

So, we have to take seriously concerns in Israel. But the fact is, partly due to American military and intelligence assistance, which my administration has provided at unprecedented levels, Israel can defend itself against any conventional danger, whether from Iran directly or from its proxies. On the other hand, a nuclear-armed Iran changes that equation.

And that’s why this deal must be judged by what it achieves on the central goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal does exactly that. I say this as someone who is done more than any other president to strengthen Israel’s security. And I have made clear to the Israeli government that we are prepared to discuss how we can deepen that cooperation even further. Already, we have held talks with Israel on concluding another 10-year plan for U.S. security assistance to Israel.

OBAMA: We can enhance support for areas like missile defense, information sharing, interdiction, all to help meet Israel’s pressing security needs. And to provide a hedge against any additional activities that Iran may engage in as a consequence of sanctions relief.

But I have also listened to the Israeli security establishment, which warned of the danger posed by a nuclear armed Iran for decades. In fact, they helped develop many of the ideas that ultimately led to this deal. So to friends of Israel and the Israeli people, I say this. A nuclear armed Iran is far more dangerous to Israel, to America, and to the world than an Iran that benefits from sanctions relief.
I recognize that prime minister Netanyahu disagrees, disagrees strongly. I do not doubt his sincerity, but I believe he is wrong. I believe the facts support this deal. I believe they are in America’s interests and Israel’s interests, and as president of the United States it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.

I do not believe that would be the right thing to do for the United States, I do not believe it would be the right thing to do for Israel.

(APPLAUSE)

For the last couple of weeks, I have repeatedly challenged anyone opposed to this deal to put forward a better, plausible alternative. I have yet to hear one. What I’ve heard instead are the same types of arguments that we heard in the run up to the Iraq war. “Iran cannot be dealt with diplomatically.” “We can take military strikes without significant consequences.” “We shouldn’t worry about what the rest of the world thinks, because once we act, everyone will fall in line.” “Tougher talk, more military threats will force Iran into submission.” “We can get a better deal.”

I know it’s easy to play in people’s fears, to magnify threats, to compare any attempt at diplomacy to Munich, but none of these arguments hold up. They didn’t back in 2002, in 2003, they shouldn’t now.

(APPLAUSE)

That same mind set in many cases offered by the same people, who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong…

(LAUGHTER)

… lead to a war that did more to strengthen Iran, more to isolate the United States than anything we have done in the decades before or since. It’s a mind set out of step with the traditions of American foreign policy where we exhaust diplomacy before war and debate matters of war and peace in the cold light of truth.

“Peace is not the absence of conflict,” President Reagan once said. It is the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means. President Kennedy warned Americans not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than the exchange of threats. It is time to apply such wisdom. The deal before us doesn’t bet on Iran changing, it doesn’t require trust, it verifies and requires Iran to forsake a nuclear weapon.
OBAMA: Just as we struck agreements with the Soviet Union at a time when they were threatening our allies, arming proxies against us, proclaiming their commitment to destroy our way of life, and had nuclear weapons pointed at all of our major cities, a genuine existential threat.

You know, we live in a complicated world, a world in which the forces unleashed by human innovation are creating for our children that were unimaginable for most of human history.

It is also a world of persistent threats, a world in which mass violence and cruelty is all too common and human innovation risks the destruction of all that we hold dear.

In this world, the United States of America remains the most powerful nation on Earth, and I believe that we will remain such for decades to come.

But we are one nation among many, and what separates us from the empires of old, what has made us exceptional, is not the mere fact of our military might.

Since World War II, the deadliest war in human history, we have used our power to try and bind nations together in a system of international law. We have led an evolution of those human institutions President Kennedy spoke about to prevent the spread of deadly weapons, to uphold peace and security and promote human progress.

We now have the opportunity to build on that progress. We built a coalition and held together through sanctions and negotiations, and now we have before us a solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon without resorting to war.

As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement. And as members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns, shut out the noise, consider the stakes involved with the vote that you will cast.

If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility is the anchor of the international system.
John F. Kennedy cautioned here more than 50 years ago at this university that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war. But it’s so very important. It is surely the pursuit of peace that is most needed in this world so full of strife.

My fellow Americans, contact your representatives in Congress, remind them of who we are, remind them of what is best in us and what we stand for so that we can leave behind a world that is more secure and more peaceful for our children.

Thank you very much.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/05/text-obama-gives-a-speech-about-the-iran-nuclear-deal/

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Talking Trump — Videos

Posted on August 4, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Proliferation, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

Tuesday, August 4
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination CBS News Trump 24, Bush 13, Walker 10, Huckabee 8, Carson 6, Cruz 6, Rubio 6, Paul 4, Christie 3, Kasich 1, Perry 2, Santorum 1, Jindal 2, Fiorina 0, Graham 0 Trump +11
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination Bloomberg Trump 21, Bush 10, Walker 8, Huckabee 7, Carson 5, Cruz 4, Rubio 6, Paul 5, Christie 4, Kasich 4, Perry 2, Santorum 2, Jindal 1, Fiorina 1, Graham 1 Trump +11
New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary WMUR/UNH Trump 24, Bush 12, Walker 11, Kasich 6, Christie 7, Paul 7, Carson 5, Rubio 3, Cruz 5, Huckabee 2, Fiorina 1, Jindal 2, Pataki 0, Perry 2, Santorum 1 Trump +12
Monday, August 3
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination FOX News Trump 26, Bush 15, Walker 9, Huckabee 6, Carson 7, Cruz 6, Rubio 5, Paul 5, Christie 3, Kasich 3, Perry 1, Santorum 2, Jindal 1, Fiorina 2, Graham 0 Trump +11
2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination FOX News Clinton 51, Sanders 22, Biden 13, Webb 1, O’Malley 1, Chafee 1 Clinton +29
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination Monmouth Trump 26, Bush 12, Walker 11, Huckabee 6, Carson 5, Cruz 6, Rubio 4, Paul 4, Christie 4, Kasich 3, Perry 2, Santorum 1, Jindal 1, Fiorina 2, Graham 1 Trump +14
2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl Clinton 59, Sanders 25, Biden, Webb 3, O’Malley 3, Chafee 1 Clinton +34
South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary Gravis Marketing Trump 34, Bush 11, Carson 11, Graham 5, Huckabee 6, Walker 10, Rubio 6, Cruz 3, Perry 3, Paul 1, Fiorina 2, Christie 3, Kasich 3, Santorum 1, Jindal 1 Trump +23
Sunday, August 2
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination NBC/WSJ Trump 19, Bush 14, Walker 15, Huckabee 6, Carson 10, Cruz 9, Rubio 5, Paul 6, Christie 3, Kasich 3, Perry 3, Santorum 1, Jindal 1, Fiorina 0, Graham 0 Trump +4

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/president/ 

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An Honest Conversation About Donald Trump

Why Thursday’s Debate Matters (But Most Don’t)

By David Byler

“I was thinking of setting myself on fire” — that’s how former Mitt Romney strategist Stuart Stevens felt in January 2012. His candidate was in the midst of a marathon of primary debates and he despaired at the draining, repetitive nature of the events, saying they had a “‘Groundhog Day’ quality” to them.

Stevens’ despair about that campaign cycle’s torturously repetitious series of debates highlights a simple but oft-forgotten fact about these events: Candidates may put a lot of effort into preparing for debates, but they don’t usually move the polls. There were 20 Republican presidential primary debates in 2011 and 2012, and even the most knowledgeable political junkies can probably only name a handful of memorable moments from them.
But despite the relative boringness of those debates, there is significant anticipation surrounding Thursday’s inaugural GOP face-off. The sheer amount of media coverage related to who made it onto the prime-time stage, how candidates are or aren’t preparing and what to expect from Donald Trump suggests that this gathering won’t be the snooze that many past debates were. That raises a simple question – what accounts for the difference?

My take is that information makes the difference. Specifically, the 2012 debates failed to move the polls because they typically didn’t provide much new information on candidates, while Thursday’s event could provide a significant amount of new information to the party elite, the media and rank-and-file primary voters.

The 2012 Debates Didn’t Move the Polls

In 2011 and 2012, the Republican primary debates simply did not move the polls. To determine this, I calculated the difference between each candidate’s RCP average on the day of the debate and seven days after for every debate each candidate participated in. The results indicate that in most weeks following a debate, most candidates did not see a big uptick or drop in their RCP polling average. (To view a histogram demonstrating this, click here.)

Additionally, there wasn’t much difference between how much a debate and a typical week on the campaign trail changed polling numbers. To determine this, I calculated the difference between each candidate’s RCP average on every day after early April 2011 and their average seven days later. The mean was -0.24 (it was 0.41 for the post-debate weeks) and the standard deviation was 2.21 (2.47 in post-debate weeks). While debates on average moved candidates in a slightly positive direction and average weeks spent campaigning did the opposite, the magnitude of these changes was small. In other words, on average, debates changed a candidate’s standing in the polls about as much as a week on the campaign trail did.

Candidates were often unable to move polls through debates partially because those debates revealed relatively little new information about them. If Mitt Romney looked wooden on stage or Rick Santorum invoked the culture war, voters and journalists didn’t bat an eyelash. These candidates, their positions and personalities were, in many cases, known quantities at the time of the debate. In a few rare cases, candidates used good performances in debates to earn a second look from voters and the media. Both of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s moments in the sun were fueled at least partially by good debate performances. But the other candidates who surged to the front – Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Santorum, Rick Perry – typically began their ascent by performing well or getting media attention at a non-debate event. And when those candidates fell out of favor with the party, it was usually not a debate that did them in (not even in the case of Perry’s “oops” moment).

But Thursday’s Debate Could Change Things – and That Matters

While the 2012 debates didn’t provide voters with new information, Thursday’s gathering promises to provide information to three key groups – the party elite, the media and voters.

First, this debate will be an important part of the “invisible primary.” There are lots of good articles and books out there on the invisible primary, but here are the basics: In the invisible primary, “party elite” (defined broadly as anyone who uses their time, money or influence to advocate for their preferred candidate – which means everyone from Iowa door-knockers to governors of key primary states) attempt to reach consensus on which candidate to support. These party actors then use their resources and influence to give their preferred candidate a boost before primary voters head to the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. The party elite are not all-powerful – candidates who have won the invisible primary have gone on to lose or nearly lose the nomination, and sometimes the party is too fractured to give any candidate a clear invisible primary win – but the support of these elite actors does seem to matter.

Right now the invisible Republican primary is completely unsettled, and the party elite cannot be happy about Donald Trump’s recent success in the polls. Much of the GOP elite tend to gravitate towards candidates who share their ideology, have a good record of advocating for that ideology in public office and are plausible general election candidates. It would be an understatement to say that Trump fails to meet these requirements. The Donald has never held political office, he donated to Hillary Clinton throughout the 2000s, has flipped his position on health care, abortion and taxes, fares much worse than his fellow Republicans in hypothetical general election match-ups – I could go on, but the point is clear. There are large, powerful elements of the Republican Party with a keen interest in finding a candidate who can at least stop Trump in his tracks, if not go on to win the nomination and the presidency. And Thursday’s debate is one of the party’s first good opportunities to scout out the field for such a contender.

Second, this debate will have an impact on media coverage of the candidates. Specifically, candidates have an opportunity to get good or bad press or to kick off a media-wide “discovery” of a candidate or “scrutiny” of Trump. The first possibility here is fairly straightforward. If one of the well-known and serious candidates – say, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – performs especially well or poorly in the debate, then they could earn favorable or unfavorable press that changes their standing in the polls.

The second and third possibilities – a candidate is “discovered” or “scrutinized” – are much more interesting. The terminology here comes from “The Gamble” – an excellent book on the 2012 election by George Washington University Professor John Sides and UCLA Professor Lynn Vavreck. Sides and Vavreck studied the 2012 Republican primary and found that many of the candidates who enjoyed a brief moment atop the polls did so because of a media “discovery, scrutiny and decline” pattern. In the discovery phase, a relatively unknown candidate does something that attracts the attention of journalists (e.g. Herman Cain winning the Florida Straw Poll). These journalists become fascinated with that candidate, write a ream of stories about him or her (often neutral-to-positive in tone) and as a result that candidate rises in the polls. These same journalists then write positive stories about that candidate’s rise, and the candidate rockets to an even higher position. Thursday’s debate could focus the media’s attention on a new candidate. For example, if Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a breakout performance in the main debate or if Carly Fiorina dominates the second-tier candidate debate earlier in the evening, the media could “discover” them and cause a subsequent rise in the polls. Of course, this might not happen, but a good debate performance provides a plausible springboard for a media-fueled poll bounce.

It’s also possible that this debate kicks off the “scrutiny” phase of Trump’s candidacy. According to Sides and Vavreck, scrutiny happens after the candidate has had some time atop the polls and journalists decide to really dig into their public record and personal history. Right now Trump is firmly in the discovery phase of his candidacy. The media are still treating him as more of a celebrity than a candidate, so his policy positions and his past are getting less attention than his performance in the latest poll or his most recent bombastic statement. If the media and party establishment begin to scrutinize Trump in the way they would any other politician, it may lead to bad press and a related drop in his poll numbers – the beginning of the “decline” in Sides and Vavreck’s process.

That’s not to say that Trump will definitely be scrutinized after the debate. And the scrutiny may have a muted or delayed effect – part of Trump’s appeal is his aggression towards the mainstream media and political establishment. But it is possible that the debate marks a turning point in how Trump is viewed – and if that’s the case, then it has potentially huge consequences.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, many voters will be really introduced to these candidates for the first time. While the party and the media play a large role in influencing voters, voters themselves matter the most. There are a massive number of ways any one candidate could leverage the debate to speak to his or her desired coalition in a persuasive way, so it’s harder to play these scenarios out. But if a candidate manages to speak clearly, directly and persuasively to their coalition through this debate, that could really make a difference.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/08/04/why_thursdays_debate_matters_but_most_dont_127652.html

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Obama The Tyrant Races To Have The United Nations Security Council Pass The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty Before Congress Votes It Down — Congress and President Betray The United States Constitution –Just Walk Way From Both Political Parties — Never Again Fasicism — Videos

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Story 1: Obama The Tyrant Races To Have The United Nations Security Council Pass The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty Before Congress Votes It Down — Congress and President Betray The United States Constitution — Just Walk Way From Both Political Parties — Never Again Fasicism — Videos

Incredible! New George S Patton speech! Iran & modern warfare

The Iran nuclear deal. Good deal or bad deal?

George Pataki: Iran deal is bad for civilized world

White House, Democrats divided over Iran nuclear deal

KEY POINTS OF HISTORIC IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

Bolton: Nuke Deal ‘Paves the Way’ for Iran to Get Nuclear Weapons

Mitch McConnell Fox News Sunday. McConnell On Iran Deal, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump

July 14, 2015 Fiorina on nuclear deal with Iran: Bad behavior pays

Trump reacts to Obama’s Iran deal presser, El Chapo’s escape

Key Republican Senator Corker Angry Over Iran Nuclear Deal

Blackburn: Iran Nuclear Deal is Bad for the United States

Levin: ‘U.S. Senate Just Capitulated To Obama,’ And Rewrote The Constitution’s Treaty Provision

Just Walk Way From Both Political Parties

Discusses Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act on FOX News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor”

“TREATY” – The Word Congress Won’t Use

Judge Napolitano : Obama pushes World Government by signing U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (Sep 26, 2013)

Obama Bringing Iran Deal to UN, Bypassing Congress

The Four Tops Walk Away Renee

Four Tops – It’s The Same Old Song (1966)

UN ENDORSES IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL WITH 6 WORLD POWERS

The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and authorized a series of measures leading to the end of U.N. sanctions that have hurt Iran’s economy.

But the measure also provides a mechanism for U.N. sanctions to “snap back” in place if Iran fails to meet its obligations.

Both U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo called the agreement an important achievement for diplomacy, the Iranian promising to be “resolute in fulfilling its obligations” and the American pledging to be vigilant in ensuring they are carried out.

The resolution had been agreed to by the five veto-wielding council members, who along with Germany negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. It was co-sponsored by all 15 members of the Security Council. The European Union’s foreign ministers endorsed the agreement later Monday in Brussels and pledged to implement it.

Under the agreement, Iran’s nuclear program will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of relief from international sanctions. Many key penalties on the Iranian economy, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year.

Iran insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful, aimed at producing nuclear energy and medical isotopes, but the United States and its Western allies believe Tehran’s real goal is to build atomic weapons. U.S. President Barack Obama has stressed that all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon are cut off for the duration of the agreement and Iran will remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of uranium.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said “the world is now a safer place in the knowledge that Iran cannot now build a nuclear bomb.” But Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told reporters immediately after the vote that the Security Council had “awarded a great prize to the most dangerous country in the world,” calling it “a very sad day” not only for Israel but the entire world.

The document specifies that seven resolutions related to U.N. sanctions will be terminated when Iran has completed a series of major steps to curb its nuclear program and the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that “all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities.”

All provisions of the U.N. resolution will terminate in 10 years, including the “snap back” provision on sanctions.

But last week the six major powers – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – and the European Union sent a letter, seen by The Associated Press, informing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that they have agreed to extend the snap back mechanism for an additional five years. They asked Ban to send the letter to the Security Council.

Obama told reporters the vote will send a strong message of international support for the agreement as the best way to ensure “that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.” He faces strong opposition in the Republican-controlled Congress and expressed hope that members will pay attention to the vote.

Power, the U.S. ambassador, said the nuclear deal doesn’t change the United States’ “profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear program, from its support for terrorist proxies to repeated threats against Israel to its other destabilizing activities in the region.”

She urged Iran to release three “unjustly imprisoned” Americans and to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who vanished in Iran in 2007.

The message that diplomacy can work ran through many speeches from council members.

Iran’s Khoshroo stressed that only if commitments are fully honored “can diplomacy prevail over conflict and war in a world that is replete with violence, suffering and oppression.”

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the agreement “clearly demonstrates that where there’s a political will based on realism and respect for legitimate mutual interests of the international community, the most complex tasks can be resolved.”

“Today, the Security Council has confirmed the inalienable right of Iran to develop its peaceful nuclear program, including to enrich uranium, while ensuring the comprehensive control by the IAEA,” Churkin said.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UN_UNITED_NATIONS_IRAN_NUCLEAR_DEAL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-07-20-12-04-13

 

Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, includes the Treaty Clause, which empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements, which must be confirmed by the Senate, between the United States and other countries, which become treaties between the United States and other countries after the advice and consent of a supermajority of the United States Senate.

Full text of the clause

[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…

One of three types of international accord

In the United States, the term “treaty” is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from congressional-executive agreements and sole-executive agreements.[1] All three classes are considered treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal United States law. Distinctions among the three concern their method of ratification: by two-thirds of the Senate, by normal legislative process, or by the President alone, respectively. The Treaty Clause [2] empowers the President to make or enter into treaties with the “advice and consent” of two-thirds of theSenate. In contrast, normal legislation becomes law after approval by simple majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Throughout U.S. history, the President has also made international “agreements” through congressional-executive agreements (CEAs) that are ratified with only a majority from both houses of Congress, or sole-executive agreements made by the President alone.[1] Though the Constitution does not expressly provide for any alternative to the Article II treaty procedure, Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution does distinguish between treaties (which states are forbidden to make) and agreements (which states may make with the consent of Congress).[3] The Supreme Court of the United States has considered congressional-executive and sole-executive agreements to be valid, and they have been common throughout American history. Thomas Jefferson explained that the Article II treaty procedure is not necessary when there is no long-term commitment:

It is desirable, in many instances, to exchange mutual advantages by Legislative Acts rather than by treaty: because the former, though understood to be in consideration of each other, and therefore greatly respected, yet when they become too inconvenient, can be dropped at the will of either party: whereas stipulations by treaty are forever irrevocable but by joint consent….[4]

A further distinction embodied in U.S. law is between self-executing treaties, which do not require additional legislative action, and non-self-executing treaties which do require the enactment of new laws.[1][5] These various distinctions of procedure and terminology do not affect the binding status of accords under international law. Nevertheless, they do have major implications under U.S. domestic law. In Missouri v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to make treaties under the U.S. Constitution is a power separate from the other enumerated powers of the federal government, and hence the federal government can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states. By contrast, a congressional-executive agreement can only cover matters which the Constitution explicitly places within the powers of Congress and the President.[1] Likewise, a sole-executive agreement can only cover matters within the President’s authority or matters in which Congress has delegated authority to the President.[1] For example, a treaty may prohibit states from imposing capital punishment on foreign nationals, but a congressional-executive agreement or sole-executive agreement cannot.

In general, arms control agreements are often ratified by the treaty mechanism.[6] At the same time, trade agreements (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and United States accession to the World Trade Organization) are generally voted on as a CEA, and such agreements typically include an explicit right to withdraw after giving sufficient written notice to the other parties.[7] If an international commercial accord contains binding “treaty” commitments, then a two-thirds vote of the Senate may be required.[8]

Between 1946 and 1999, the United States completed nearly 16,000 international agreements. Only 912 of those agreements were treaties, submitted to the Senate for approval as outlined in Article II of the United States Constitution. Since the Franklin Roosevelt presidency, only 6% of international accords have been completed as Article II treaties.[1] Most of these executive agreements consist of congressional-executive agreements.

Repeal

American law is that international accords become part of the body of U.S. federal law.[1] Consequently, Congress can modify or repeal treaties by subsequent legislative action, even if this amounts to a violation of the treaty under international law. This was held, for instance, in the Head Money Cases. The most recent changes will be enforced by U.S. courts entirely independent of whether the international community still considers the old treaty obligations binding upon the U.S.[1]

Additionally, an international accord that is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution is void under domestic U.S. law, the same as any other federal law in conflict with the Constitution. This principle was most clearly established in the case of Reid v. Covert.[9] The Supreme Court could rule an Article II treaty provision to be unconstitutional and void under domestic law, although it has not yet done so.

In Goldwater v. Carter,[10] Congress challenged the constitutionality of then-president Jimmy Carter‘s unilateral termination of a defense treaty. The case went before the Supreme Court and was never heard; a majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument, holding that “The issue at hand … was essentially a political question and could not be reviewed by the court, as Congress had not issued a formal opposition.” In his opinion, Justice Brennan dissented, “The issue of decision making authority must be resolved as a matter of constitutional law, not political discretion; accordingly, it falls within the competence of the courts”. Presently, there is no official ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress, and the courts also declined to interfere when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent.[11]

Scope of presidential powers

Presidents have regarded the Article II treaty process as necessary where an international accord would bind a future president. For example, Theodore Roosevelt explained:

The Constitution did not explicitly give me power to bring about the necessary agreement with Santo Domingo. But the Constitution did not forbid my doing what I did. I put the agreement into effect, and I continued its execution for two years before the Senate acted; and I would have continued it until the end of my term, if necessary, without any action by Congress. But it was far preferable that there should be action by Congress, so that we might be proceeding under a treaty which was the law of the land and not merely by a direction of the Chief Executive which would lapse when that particular executive left office. I therefore did my best to get the Senate to ratify what I had done.[12]

A sole-executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president’s authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, (3) from a prior act of Congress, or (4) from a prior treaty.[1] Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties).

In 1972, Congress passed legislation requiring the president to notify Congress of any executive agreements that are formed.[13]

Although the nondelegation doctrine prevents Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch, Congress has allowed the executive to act as Congress’s “agent” in trade negotiations, such as by setting tariffs, and, in the case of Trade Promotion Authority, by solely authoring the implementing legislation for trade agreements. The constitutionality of this delegation was upheld by the Supreme Court in Field v. Clark (1892).

See also

Further reading

Warren F. Kimball, Alliances, Coalitions, and Ententes – The American alliance system: an unamerican tradition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atT1erLYbOE

 

HAMILTON’S WARNING AGAINST OBAMA AND THE IRAN DEAL – FEDERALIST NO. 75

“An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents.” Thus did Alexander Hamilton warn the American people, in Federalist No. 75, against allowing the president to make treaties alone.

Hamilton, while a supporter of executive power, nevertheless argued for the Senate’s treaty role, because “it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years’ duration.”

It would be unsafe, he said, because even the most virtuous individuals, with the best of intentions, would fall prey to the temptations that negotiations with foreign powers would certainly provide.

How much more so does his advice apply to a president of lesser virtue, such as Barack Obama, who intends to decrease the power of the United States as a matter of ideological conviction, and who seeks narcissistic satisfaction in the attention a deal with Iran would temporarily provide!

Hamilton also anticipated the greed allegedly displayed by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, whose perambulations around the globe in service of the president’s dubious foreign policy agenda coincided with generous donations from foreign governments to her family’s personal foundation.

“An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth,” Hamilton warns, prescribing the review powers of the Senate as the remedy.

And lest apologists for Obama argue that the nuclear deal with Iran is not actually a “treaty,” but merely an “executive agreement,” Hamilton leaves no doubt as to the scope of arrangements to which the Senate’s review power applies.

“The power of making treaties,” he says, concerns “CONTRACTS with foreign nations, which have the force of law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith” (original emphasis).

Congress should heed Hamilton’s warning before it is too late.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/28/alexander-hamiltons-warning-against-obama-and-the-iran-deal/

 

The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….

ARTICLE II, SECTION 2, CLAUSE 2

Teacher’s Companion Lesson (PDF)

The Treaty Clause has a number of striking features. It gives the Senate, in James Madison’s terms, a “partial agency” in the President’s foreign-relations power. The clause requires a supermajority (two-thirds) of the Senate for approval of a treaty, but it gives the House of Representatives, representing the “people,” no role in the process.

Midway through the Constitutional Convention, a working draft had assigned the treaty-making power to the Senate, but the Framers, apparently considering the traditional role of a nation-state’s executive in making treaties, changed direction and gave the power to the President, but with the proviso of the Senate’s “Advice and Consent.” In a formal sense, then, treaty-making became a mixture of executive and legislative power. Most people of the time recognized the actual conduct of diplomacy as an executive function, but under Article VI treaties were, like statutes, part of the “supreme Law of the Land.” Thus, as Alexander Hamilton explained in The Federalist No. 75, the two branches were appropriately combined:

The qualities elsewhere detailed as indispensable in the management of foreign relations point out the executive as the most fit in those transactions; while the vast importance of the trust and the operation of treaties as laws plead strongly for the participation of the whole or a portion of the legislative body in the office of making them.

Another reason for involving both President and Senate was that the Framers thought American interests might be undermined by treaties entered into without proper reflection. The Framers believed that treaties should be strictly honored, both as a matter of the law of nations and as a practical matter, because the United States could not afford to give the great powers any cause for war. But this meant that the nation should be doubly cautious in accepting treaty obligations. As James Wilson said, “Neither the President nor the Senate, solely, can complete a treaty; they are checks upon each other, and are so balanced as to produce security to the people.”

The fear of disadvantageous treaties also underlay the Framers’ insistence on approval by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. In particular, the Framers worried that one region or interest within the nation, constituting a bare majority, would make a treaty advantageous to it but prejudicial to other parts of the country and to the national interest. An episode just a year before the start of the Convention had highlighted the problem. The United States desired a trade treaty with Spain, and sought free access to the Mississippi River through Spanish-controlled New Orleans. Spain offered favorable trade terms, but only if the United States would give up its demands on the Mississippi. The Northern states, which would have benefited most from the trade treaty and cared little about New Orleans, had a majority, but not a supermajority, in the Continental Congress. Under the Articles of Confederation, treaties required assent of a supermajority (nine out of thirteen) of the states, and the South was able to block the treaty. It was undoubtedly that experience that impelled the Framers to carry over the supermajority principle from the Articles of Confederation.

At the Convention, several prominent Framers argued unsuccessfully to have the House of Representatives included. But most delegates thought that the House had substantial disadvantages when it came to treaty-making. For example, as a large body, the House would have difficulty keeping secrets or acting quickly. The small states, wary of being disadvantaged, also preferred to keep the treaty-making power in the Senate, where they had proportionally greater power.

The ultimate purpose, then, of the Treaty Clause was to ensure that treaties would not be adopted unless most of the country stood to gain. True, treaties would be more difficult to adopt than statutes, but the Framers realized that an unwise statute could simply be repealed, but an unwise treaty remained a binding international commitment, which would not be so easy to unwind.

Other questions, however, remained. First, are the provisions of the clause exclusive—that is, does it provide the only way that the United States may enter into international obligations?

While the clause does not say, in so many words, that it is exclusive, its very purpose—not to have any treaty disadvantage one part of the nation—suggests that no other route was possible, whether it be the President acting alone, or the popularly elected House having a role. On the other hand, while the Treaty Clause was, in the original understanding, the exclusive way to make treaties, the Framers also apparently recognized a class of less-important international agreements, not rising to the level of “treaties,” which could be approved in some other way. Article I, Section 10, in describing restrictions upon the states, speaks of “Treat[ies]” and “Agreement[s]…with a foreign Power” as two distinct categories. Some scholars believe this shows that not all international agreements are treaties, and that these other agreements would not need to go through the procedures of the Treaty Clause. Instead, the President, in the exercise of his executive power, could conclude such agreements on his own. Still, this exception for lesser agreements would have to be limited to “agreements” of minor importance, or else it would provide too great an avenue for evasion of the protections the Framers placed in the Treaty Clause.

A second question is how the President and Senate should interact in their joint exercise of the treaty power. Many Framers apparently thought that the President would oversee the actual conduct of diplomacy, but that the Senate would be involved from the outset as a sort of executive council advising the President. This was likely a reason that the Framers thought the smaller Senate was more suited than the House to play a key role in treaty-making. In the first effort at treaty-making under the Constitution, President George Washington attempted to operate in just this fashion. He went to the Senate in person to discuss a proposed treaty before he began negotiations. What is less clear, however, is whether the Constitution actually requires this process, or whether it is only what the Framers assumed would happen. The Senate, of course, is constitutionally authorized to offer “advice” to the President at any stage of the treaty-making process, but the President is not directed (in so many words) as to when advice must be solicited. As we shall see, this uncertainty has led, in modern practice, to a very different procedure than some Framers envisioned. It seems clear, however, that the Framers expected that the Senate’s “advice and consent” would be a close review and not a mere formality, as they thought of it as an important check upon presidential power.

A third difficult question is whether the Treaty Clause implies a Senate power or role in treaty termination. Scholarly opinion is divided, and few Framers appear to have discussed the question directly. One view sees the power to make a treaty as distinct from the power of termination, with the latter being more akin to a power of implementation. Since the Constitution does not directly address the termination power, this view would give it to the President as part of the President’s executive powers to conduct foreign affairs and to execute the laws. When the termination question first arose in 1793, Washington and his Cabinet, which included Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, embraced this view. All of them thought Washington could, on his own authority, terminate the treaty with France if necessary to keep the United States neutral.

A second view holds that, as a matter of the general eighteenth-century understanding of the legal process, the power to take an action (such as passing a statute or making a treaty) implies the power to undo the action. This view would require the consent of the President and a supermajority of the Senate to undo a treaty. There is, however, not much historical evidence that many Framers actually held this view of treaty termination, and it is inconsistent with the common interpretation of the Appointments Clause (under which Senate approval is required to appoint but not to remove executive officers).

The third view is that the Congress as a whole has the power to terminate treaties, based on an analogy between treaties and federal laws. When the United States first terminated a treaty in 1798 under John Adams, this procedure was adopted, but there was little discussion of the constitutional ramifications.

Finally, there is a question of the limits of the treaty power. A treaty presumably cannot alter the constitutional structure of government, and the Supreme Court has said that executive agreements—and so apparently treaties—are subject to the limits of the Bill of Rights just as ordinary laws are. Reid v. Covert (1957). InGeofroy v. Riggs (1890), the Supreme Court also declared that the treaty power extends only to topics that are “properly the subject of negotiation with a foreign country.” However, at least in the modern world, one would think that few topics are so local that they could not, under some circumstances, be reached as part of the foreign-affairs interests of the nation. Some have argued that treaties are limited by the federalism interests of the states. The Supreme Court rejected a version of that argument in State of Missouri v. Holland (1920), holding that the subject matter of treaties is not limited to the enumerated powers of Congress. The revival of interest in federalism limits on Congress in such areas as state sovereign immunity, see Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (1996), and the Tenth Amendment, see Printz v. United States (1997), raises the question whether these limits also apply to the treaty power, but the Court has not yet taken up these matters.

Turning to modern practice, the Framers’ vision of treaty-making has in some ways prevailed and in some ways been altered. First, it is not true—and has not been true since George Washington’s administration—that the Senate serves as an executive council to advise the President in all stages of treaty-making. Rather, the usual modern course is that the President negotiates and signs treaties independently and then presents the proposed treaty to the Senate for its approval or disapproval. Washington himself found personal consultation with the Senate to be so awkward and unproductive that he abandoned it, and subsequent Presidents have followed his example.

Moreover, the Senate frequently approves treaties with conditions and has done so since the Washington administration. If the President makes clear to foreign nations that his signature on a treaty is only a preliminary commitment subject to serious Senate scrutiny, and if the Senate takes seriously its constitutional role of reviewing treaties (rather than merely deferring to the President), the check that the Framers sought to create remains in place. By going beyond a simple “up-or-down” vote, the Senate retains some of its power of “advice”: the Senate not only disapproves the treaty proposed by the President but suggests how the President might craft a better treaty. As a practical matter, there is often much consultation between the executive and members of the Senate before treaties are crafted and signed. Thus modern practice captures the essence of the Framers’ vision that the Senate would have some form of a participatory role in treaty-making.

A more substantial departure from the Framers’ vision may arise from the practice of “executive agreements.” According to the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, the President may validly conclude executive agreements that (1) cover matters that are solely within his executive power, or (2) are made pursuant to a treaty, or (3) are made pursuant to a legitimate act of Congress. Examples of important executive agreements include the Potsdam and Yalta agreements of World War II, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which regulated international trade for decades, and the numerous status-of-forces agreements the United States has concluded with foreign governments.

Where the President acts pursuant to a prior treaty, there seems little tension with the Framers’ vision, as Senate approval has, in effect, been secured in advance. Somewhat more troublesome is the modern practice of so-called congressional–executive agreements, by which some international agreements have been made by the President and approved (either in advance or after the fact) by a simple majority of both houses of Congress, rather than two-thirds of the Senate. Many of these agreements deal particularly with trade-related matters, which Congress has clear constitutional authority to regulate. Congressional–executive agreements, at least with respect to trade matters, are now well established, and recent court challenges have been unsuccessful. Made in the USA Foundation v. United States (2001). On the other hand, arguments for “complete interchangeability”—that is, claims that anything that can be done by treaty can be done by congressional–executive agreement—seem counter to the Framers’ intent. The Framers carefully considered the supermajority rule for treaties and adopted it in response to specific threats to the Union; finding a complete alternative to the Treaty Clause would in effect eliminate the supermajority rule and make important international agreements easier to adopt than the Framers wished.

The third type of executive agreement is one adopted by the President without explicit approval of either the Senate or the Congress as a whole. The Supreme Court and modern practice embrace the idea that the President may under some circumstances make these so-called sole executive agreements. United States v. Belmont (1937); United States v. Pink (1942). But the scope of this independent presidential power remains a serious question. The Pink and Belmont cases involved agreements relating to the recognition of a foreign government, a power closely tied to the President’s textual power to receive ambassadors (Article II, Section 3). The courts have consistently permitted the President to settle foreign claims by sole executive agreement, but at the same time have emphasized that the Congress has acquiesced in the practice. Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981);American Insurance Ass’n v. Garamendi (2003). Beyond this, the modern limits of the President’s ability to act independently in making international agreements have not been explored. With respect to treaty termination, modern practice allows the President to terminate treaties on his own. In recent times, President James Earl Carter terminated the U.S.–Taiwan Mutual Defense Treaty in 1977, and President George W. Bush terminated the ABM Treaty with Russia in 2001. The Senate objected sharply to President Carter’s actions, but the Supreme Court rebuffed the Senate in Goldwater v. Carter (1979). President Bush’s action was criticized in some academic quarters but received general acquiescence. In light of the consensus early in Washington’s administration, it is probably fair to say that presidential termination does not obviously depart from the original understanding, inasmuch as the Framers were much more concerned about checks upon entering into treaties than they were about checks upon terminating them.

Profile photo of Michael D. Ramsey
Michael D. Ramsey
Professor of Law
University of San Diego School of Law

http://www.heritage.org/constitution#!/articles/2/essays/90/treaty-clause

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Profiles in Perfidy: Obama and Kerry Lying To American People — The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty — Strategic Surrender To Terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran– No Dismantling and Destruction of Nuclear Infrastructure/Bomb Factories — No Surprise Inspections — No Economic Sanctions — No Limits on Missiles — No Sanctions On Individual Terrorists or Terrorism — The Sellout of America For Nobel Peace Prizes Will Result in Middle East Nuclear Arms Race, Proliferation and War — Iran Celebrates Victory and $150 Billion of Unfrozen Assets To Finance More Terrorism and Oppression — Congress Must Veto The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty — Terminate With Extreme Prejudice — Videos

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Story 1: Profiles in Perfidy: Obama and Kerry Lying To American People — The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty — Strategic Surrender To Terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran– No Dismantling and Destruction of Nuclear Infrastructure/Bomb Factories — No Surprise Inspections — No Economic Sanctions — No Limits on Missiles — No Sanctions On Individual Terrorists or Terrorism — The Sellout of America For Nobel Peace Prizes Will Result in Middle East Nuclear Arms Race, Proliferation and War — Iran Celebrates Victory and $150 Billion of Unfrozen Assets To Finance More Terrorism and Oppression — Congress Must Veto The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty —  Terminate With Extreme Prejudice — Videos

per·fi·dy

 (pûr′fĭ-dē)

n. pl. per·fi·dies

1. Deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery: “the fink, whose perfidy was equaled only by his gall” (Gilbert Millstein).
2. The act or an instance of treachery.
agreementSigne Wilkinson / Philadelphia Daily Newsenrichment like your nuclear inspectorIran-Nuclear-Deal  keep it  nuclear deal  selloutpeace in out timeIran_Meanwhile

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Iran, World Powers Reach Nuclear Deal

Accord sets White House on course for months of political strife with dissenters in Congress, Mideast allies

Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers, a long-sought foreign policy goal of President Barack Obama that sets the White House on course for months of political strife with dissenters in Congress and in allied Middle Eastern nations.

The accord, which comes after a decade of diplomatic efforts that frequently appeared on the verge of collapse, aims to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

The Obama administration and its partners hope the deal will resolve a dispute that at times threatened to spark a military conflict. In the optimistic view, it would ease tensions with Tehran over time and pave the way for fresh attempts to resolve some of the region’s many other conflicts.

In an address from the White House early Tuesday, Mr. Obama hailed the deal, threatening to veto any vote in Congress against it.

“Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” he said. “Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.”

Critics in Washington, Israel and the Gulf nations that neighbor Iran say the deal will merely delay the country’s path to nuclear weapons. After 10 years of restraint on its activities mandated by the agreement, Iran will then be able to ratchet up its nuclear program and potentially unleash a nuclear arms race in the region, they fear.

Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahucalled the deal a historic mistake.

“Wide-ranging concessions were made in all of the areas which should have prevented Iran from getting the ability to arm itself with a nuclear weapon,’’ Mr. Netanyahu said. “The desire to sign an agreement was stronger than everything else.”

The deal could provoke new strains in U.S. ties with its traditional Middle Eastern allies in Israel and Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia. All have warned that lifting tight international sanctions will deliver an economic windfall that enables Iran to expand its regional influence by boosting funding for proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, far right, and U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, second from right, gesture toward Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, far left. Iran’s Ali Akbar Salehi is second from left. Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stands center.ENLARGE
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, far right, and U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, second from right, gesture toward Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, far left. Iran’s Ali Akbar Salehi is second from left. Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stands center. PHOTO:HERBERT NEUBAUER/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

The last two years of diplomacy were the most intense dialogue between Washington and Tehran since diplomatic relations were ruptured after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“Today, a new page has turned,” Iranian PresidentHassan Rouhani said in a nationally televised speech, adding that the deal met all his country’s goals.

The final round of negotiations stretched for more than two weeks and was punctuated by tensions and setbacks, at times devolving into shouting matches among international officials. The U.S. repeatedly warned it was willing to walk away from a bad deal while Iranians threatened to rev their nuclear program back up.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has spearheaded negotiations over the past two years, praised his Iranian counterpartJavad Zarif as a tough negotiator and a patriot, saying the two had maintained mutual respect throughout often heated talks.

However Mr. Kerry said the administration was fully aware that the nuclear deal would not resolve Washington’s concerns about Iran’s actions.

“From the very beginning of this process, we have considered not only our own security concerns but also the serious and legitimate anxieties of our friends and our allies in the region—especially Israel and the Gulf States,” he said.

“What we are announcing today is an agreement addressing the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. Period.”

At the heart of the agreement between Iran and the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, Germany and France is Tehran’s acceptance of strict limits on its nuclear activities for 10 years. These are supposed to ensure that the country remains a minimum of 12 months away from amassing enough nuclear fuel for a bomb. After the 10-year period, those constraints will ease in the subsequent five years. In exchange, the U.S., the European Union and the United Nations will lift tight international sanctions on Tehran, a move that Western diplomats say could help Iran’s economy to expand by 7% to 8% annually for years to come.

Iran, which analysts say could double oil exports quickly after sanctions are lifted, will also receive more than $100 billion in assets locked overseas under U.S. sanctions.

Mr. Obama has cast the nuclear diplomacy as an effort to avoid another costly, risky war in the Middle East. He recently said that even if the U.S. took military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it would only partially set back Tehran’s program, not eliminate it.

The nuclear agreement still faces significant hurdles before it takes full effect.

Iran must take an array of specific steps. It must disable two-thirds of its centrifuge machines used to enrich uranium, which can be used as fuel for nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. It must slash its stockpile of enriched uranium and redesign its nuclear reactor in the city of Arak so that it produces less plutonium, which can also be used in a weapon.

Oil-rich Iran has always insisted its nuclear program is for entirely peaceful purposes, such as producing electricity and medical isotopes.

ENLARGE

After years of stalling, Iran also must disclose information on its past nuclear activities, which many Western officials suspect was aimed at gaining nuclear weapons know-how. It must provisionally implement an agreement giving United Nations inspectors much broader access to non-nuclear sites including military installations inside the country and eventually get parliamentary approval for that agreement.

The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency and Iran set out a short-term road map that says both sides will aim to finish their discussions of past nuclear work by the end of the year.

The nuclear deal is sure to fan intense political debate in Washington, where Congress may vote within 60 days on the agreement. As a last resort, the Obama administration may have to rely on the support of Democrats to uphold a presidential veto if the Republican-led Congress votes to overturn the agreement.

Among other steps, the U.N. Security Council is supposed to annul past resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran and replace them with a new resolution.

The U.S. will maintain sanctions on Iran linked to its rights abuses, ties to terrorist groups and to support for Syria’s regime among others.

Observers warned that given the complexity of the agreement, which contains one main text and five detailed annexes and totals about 100 pages, the risks of disputes over implementation of terms could cause delays or even derail the deal.

“The technical obstacles can be surpassed with goodwill and diligence, but political hurdles can turn into poison pills,” said Ali Vaez, senior Iran analyst at Crisis International, an international conflict resolution group.

According to senior U.S. officials, the agreement will allow a Security Council ban on conventional arms sales to or from Iran to end after five years—or earlier if the U.N. nuclear agency gives its final, full all-clear that Iran’s nuclear program is purely peaceful. That is expected to take many years.

In addition, a ban on trading ballistic missiles and parts with Iran will expire after eight years unless the IAEA gives its all-clear earlier. Iran is committed to using a special procurement channel to buy a wide range of products that could be used in a nuclear weapons program, the official said.

Mr. Kerry said that with three of the countries—Iran, Russia and China— opposed to maintaining the arms ban and able to walk away from the deal, he believed “we did very well to hold onto” these restraints. However, the agreement also includes specific oversight measures that few other countries have ever agreed to. There will be monitoring and oversight of Iran’s uranium mines, plants for manufacturing key parts of centrifuge machines and a range of activities that could be used to develop a nuclear warhead.

 

Iran deal reached, Obama hails step towards ‘more hopeful world’

Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of negotiations with an agreement that could transform the Middle East.

U.S. President Barack Obama hailed a step towards a “more hopeful world” and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said it proved that “constructive engagement works”. But Israel pledged to do what it could to halt what it called an “historic surrender”.

The agreement will now be debated in the U.S. Congress, but Obama said he would veto any measure to block it.

“This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction,” Obama said. “We should seize it.”

Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

The agreement is a political triumph for both Obama, who has long promised to reach out to historic enemies, and Rouhani, a pragmatist elected two years ago on a vow to reduce the isolation of his nation of almost 80 million people.

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Both face scepticism from powerful hardliners at home in nations that referred to each other as “the Great Satan” and a member of the “Axis of Evil”.

“Today is the end to acts of tyranny against our nation and the start of cooperation with the world,” Rouhani said in a televised address. “This is a reciprocal deal. If they stick to it, we will. The Iranian nation has always observed its promises and treaties.”

For Obama, the diplomacy with Iran, begun in secret more than two years ago, ranks alongside his normalisation of ties with Cuba as landmarks in a legacy of reconciliation with foes that tormented his predecessors for decades.

“History shows that America must lead not just with our might but with our principles,” he said in a televised address. “Today’s announcement marks one more chapter in our pursuit of a safer, more helpful and more hopeful world.”

REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION

Republicans lined up to denounce the deal. Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina, called it a terrible deal that would make matters worse. Former senator Rick Santorum, another candidate, said the administration had capitulated to Iran.

The Republican-controlled Congress has 60 days to review the accord, but if it votes to reject it Obama can use his veto, which can be overridden only by two-thirds of lawmakers in both houses. That means dozens of Obama’s fellow Democrats would have to rebel against one of their president’s signature achievements to kill it, an unlikely prospect.

While the main negotiations were between the United States and Iran, the four other U.N. Security Council permanent members, Britain, China, France and Russia, are also parties to the deal, as is Germany.

Enmity between Iran and the United States has loomed over the Middle East for decades.

Iran is the predominant Shi’ite Muslim power, hostile both to Israel and to Washington’s Sunni Muslim-ruled Arab friends, particularly Saudi Arabia. Allies of Riyadh and Tehran have fought decades of sectarian proxy wars in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

But there are also strong reasons for Washington and Tehran to cooperate against common foes, above all Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim militant group that has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq. Washington has been bombing Islamic State from the air while Tehran aids Iraqi militias fighting it on the ground.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters that the deal was about more than just the nuclear issue:

“The big prize here is that, as Iran comes out of the isolation of the last decades and is much more engaged with Western countries, Iranians hopefully begin to travel in larger numbers again, Western companies are able to invest and trade with Iran, there is an opportunity for an opening now.”

“HISTORIC MISTAKE”

Still, Washington’s friends in the region were furious, especially Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has cultivated a close relationship with Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress.

“Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world,” he said. “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons.”

His deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, denounced an “historic surrender” and said Israel would “act with all means to try and stop the agreement being ratified”, a clear threat to use its influence to try and block it in Congress.

Some diplomats in Vienna said the strong Israeli response could actually help, by making it easier for Rouhani to sell the agreement back in Iran.

While Saudi Arabia did not denounce the deal publicly as Israel did, its officials expressed doubt in private.

“We have learned as Iran’s neighbours in the last 40 years that goodwill only led us to harvest sour grapes,” a Saudi official who asked to remain anonymous told Reuters.

Nor were hardliners silent in Iran: “Celebrating too early can send a bad signal to the enemy,” conservative lawmaker Alireza Zakani said in parliament, according to Fars News agency. Iran’s National Security Council would review the accord, “and if they think it is against our national interests, we will not have a deal”.

It will probably be months before Iran receives the benefits from the lifting of sanctions because of the need to verify the deal’s fulfilment. Once implementation is confirmed, Tehran will immediately gain access to around $100 billion in frozen assets, and can step up oil exports that have been slashed by almost two-thirds.

The deal finally emerged after nearly three weeks of intense negotiation between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – unthinkable for decades, since Iranian revolutionaries stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Hatred of the United States is still a central tenet of Iran’s ruling system, on display only last week at an annual protest day, with crowds chanted “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!”.

But Iranians voted overwhelmingly for Rouhani in 2013 on a clear promise to revive their crippled economy by ending Iran’s isolation. Hardline Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not block the negotiations.

“NEW CHAPTER OF HOPE”

“Today could have been the end of hope on this issue, but now we are starting a new chapter of hope,” Zarif, who studied in the United States and developed a warm rapport with Kerry, told a news conference.

Kerry said: “This is the good deal we have sought.”

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said:

“I think this is a sign of hope for the entire world.”

Obama first reached out to Iranians with an address in 2009, only weeks into his presidency, offering a “new beginning”. But he followed this up with a sharp tightening of financial sanctions, which, combined with sanctions imposed by the EU, have imposed severe economic hardship on Iranians since 2012.

Tehran has long denied seeking a nuclear weapon and has insisted on the right to nuclear technology for peaceful means. Obama never ruled out military force if negotiations failed, and said on Tuesday that future presidents would still have that option if Iran quit the agreement.

France said the deal would ensure Iran’s “breakout time” – the time it would need to build a bomb if it decided to break off the deal – would be one year for the next decade. This has been a main goal of Western negotiators, who wanted to ensure that if a deal collapsed there would be enough time to act.

Obama said Iran had accepted a “snapback” mechanism, under which sanctions would be reinstated if it violated the deal. A U.N. weapons embargo is to remain in place for five years and a ban on buying missile technology will remain for eight years.

Alongside the main deal, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, announced an agreement with Iran to resolve its own outstanding issues by the end of this year. The main deal depends on the IAEA being able to inspect Iranian nuclear sites and on Iran answering its questions about possible military aims of previous research.

For Iran, the end of sanctions could bring a rapid economic boom by lifting restrictions that have shrunk its economy by about 20 percent, according to U.S. estimates. The prospect of a deal has already helped push down global oil prices because of the possibility that Iranian supply could return to the market.

Oil prices tumbled more than a dollar on Tuesday after the deal was reached. [O/R]

“Even with an historic deal, oil from Iran will take time to return,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at London-based consultancy Energy Aspects, told Reuters. “But given how oversupplied the market is with Saudi output at record highs, the mere prospect of new oil will be bearish for sentiment.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/14/us-iran-nuclear-idUSKCN0PM0CE20150714

Iran nuclear talks: comprehensive deal inches closer

Western diplomats in Vienna say American and Iranian negotiators declare they will take their time, even if everyone else is on the same page

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif (l) takes a break from the negotiations at the Palais Coburg hotel, in Vienna.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif (l) takes a break from the negotiations at the Palais Coburg hotel, in Vienna. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

European and Chinese officials are pushing for a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme to be signed on Monday, but Washington and Tehran – the two main protagonists at the negotiations in Vienna – will not be rushed.

The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, told reporters that his team “believes that no agreement could be perfect, and conditions are already in place for us to reach a good agreement,” as he joined his counterparts for the endgame of the negotiations. “We believe that there cannot, and should not, be further delay.”

This latest round of talks got under way in the Austrian capital 17 days ago, though negotiations between the international community and Iran over the country’s atomic aspirations have been held on and off for 12 years.

European diplomats at the talks said on Sunday that the major obstacles to a deal had been cleared away and that they expected an announcement on Monday afternoon, but their American counterparts were more cautious. They distributed logistics information to US journalists covering the negotiations about the choreography of events after an announcement, but a senior state department official insisted “major issues” remain.

Meanwhile, the Iranian delegation also suggested the talks were not yet at the finish line. Its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said: “We believe there shouldn’t be extension but we can continue working by the time that it’s necessary.” Zarif’s deputy, Abbas Araqchi, said: “I cannot promise whether the remaining issues can be resolved tonight or tomorrow night. Some issues still remain unresolved and, until they are solved, we cannot say an agreement has been reached.”

Diplomats in Vienna suggested that one reason for the delay was that neither the US nor the Iranian delegations wanted to present the White House or the supreme leader a deadline for completing their review of the final text. However, going beyond midnight on Monday would require a 2013 interim deal to be rolled over for the fourth time in a fortnight, to keep a freeze on sanctions and the Iranian nuclear programme in place

Even after a deal is announced, it would take some hours for the text of the agreement, the English version of which stretches to more than 80 pages, including five annexes, to be “scrubbed” or proofread and reviewed by lawyers. Translations would then have to be completed before the final text was sent to the relevant capitals for approval by national leaders.

Under the expected settlement, Iran will accept curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for extensive sanctions relief. Tehran would also have to subject its facilities to a more rigorous inspections regime. It would represent a historic compromise after a 12-year standoff that has at times threatened to provoke a new conflict in the Middle East. In a statement issued on Sunday, a senior US State Department official said: “We have never speculated about the timing of anything during these negotiations, and we’re certainly not going to start now, especially given the fact that major issues remain to be resolved in these talks.”

The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, returned to the UK for unspecified reasons. Diplomats said he was expected back on Monday and suggested his departure meant that the main political decisions had been taken as far as the UK was concerned, leaving mostly technicalities to finalise. Over the weekend, Iranian officials had said that the UK and Germany had made forceful arguments about their own red lines, and that was confirmed in the British case by western diplomatic sources. Their concerns appeared to have been resolved by Sunday evening.

Once an agreement is announced, it will not take effect for some time. It must first survive a trial by fire from its critics in Washington and Tehran. The greatest hurdle will be the US Congress, where Republicans have a majority and are expected to vote against the deal after a review period of up to 60 days. They will seek to win over 12 Democrats in an attempt to defeat a presidential veto.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, described the expected deal as “a very hard sell”. Bob Corker, the Republican head of the Senate foreign relations committee, told NBC: “At the end of the day I think people understand that if this is a bad deal that is going to allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon, they would own this deal if they voted for it, and so they’ll want to disapprove it. On the other hand, if we feel like we’re better off with it, people will look to approve it.”

The European and Chinese foreign ministers have come and gone over the course of the talks and even Zarif left for a day, but John Kerry remained in Vienna throughout. It is the longest time that a US secretary of state has spent abroad in a single location dealing with a single issue since the aftermath of the second world war.

Kerry has also conducted the gruelling fortnight of diplomacy, including repeated late-night meetings, on crutches after a bicycle accident in May. On Sunday morning he attended mass in Vienna’s 14th-century St Stephen’s Cathedral, where Mozart was married and Vivaldi’s funeral was held. Speaking about a late-night meeting with Zarif hours before, he said: “I think we’re getting to some real decisions. So I will say, because we have a few tough things to do, I remain hopeful.”

The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, told reporters as he rejoined the talks on Sunday afternoon: “I hope we’re arriving finally at the last phase of these marathon negotiations. I believe so.”

The road ahead

Although the deal could be agreed and published as early as Monday, it will be months before it starts to come into effect. A number of steps have to be taken first:

  • The US Congress will have two months to review the agreement, and then an extra 22 days are set aside for voting, a possible presidential veto, and then another vote to see if opponents can muster 67 Senate votes to override the veto. At the same time, Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, will study the deal and issue its own verdict, but has no firm timetable.
  • Assuming it survives legislative scrutiny, the agreement will be codified and incorporated in a UN security council resolution, which will also lift UN sanctions on Iran, conditional on Tehran taking its agreed steps to reduce its nuclear infrastructure. Some Iranian sources say the resolution will come earlier in the process, while the deal is still under legislative review.
  • Iran will then begin to disconnect centrifuges, remove the core from its heavy-water plant and reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor and verify the steps taken. Iran will also work with the IAEA to resolve unanswered questions about alleged past nuclear weapon design work.
  • At the same time, Barack Obama will grant waivers on economic and financial sanctions, and the EU will vote to lift European sanctions. Both sets of sanctions relief will be made contingent on IAEA confirmation that Iran has upheld its side of the bargain.
  • In a final step, possibly around the end of the year, economic and financial sanctions will be lifted, and an enhanced IAEA inspections regime will be implemented, routinely monitoring Iran’s fuel cycle from uranium mines to enrichment and fuel manufacture, and visiting undeclared sites.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/12/iran-nuclear-talks-comprehensive-deal-to-be-announced-as-early-as-monday

Obama Can’t Force His Iran Deal on the Country without Congress’s Consent

Having the U.N. Security Council bless a deal wouldn’t make it binding under our Constitution. So, as we warned earlier this week, the international-law game it is. It is no secret that Barack Obama does not have much use for the United States Constitution. It is a governing plan for a free, self-determining people. Hence, it is littered with roadblocks against schemes to rule the people against their will. When it comes to our imperious president’s scheme to enable our enemy, Iran, to become a nuclear-weapons power — a scheme that falls somewhere between delusional and despicable, depending on your sense of Obama’s good faith — the salient barrier is that only Congress can make real law.
Most lawmakers think it would be a catastrophe to forge a clear path to the world’s most destructive weapons for the world’s worst regime — a regime that brays “Death to America” as its motto; that has killed thousands of Americans since 1979; that remains the world’s leading state sponsor of jihadist terrorism; that pledges to wipe our ally Israel off the map; and that just three weeks ago, in the midst of negotiations with Obama, conducted a drill in which its armed forces fired ballistic missiles at a replica U.S. aircraft carrier.
This week, 47 perspicuous Republican senators suspected that the subject of congressional power just might have gotten short shrift in Team Obama’s negotiations with the mullahs. So they penned a letter on the subject to the regime in Tehran. The effort was led by Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), who, after Harvard Law School, passed up community organizing for the life of a Bronze Star–awarded combat commander. As one might imagine, Cotton and Obama don’t see this Iran thing quite the same way.
There followed, as night does day, risible howls from top Democrats and their media that these 47 patriots were “traitors” for undermining the president’s empowerment of our enemies. Evidently, writing the letter was not as noble as, say, Ted Kennedy’s canoodling with the Soviets, Nancy Pelosi’s dalliance with Assad, the Democratic party’s Bush-deranged jihad against the war in Iraq, or Senator Barack Obama’s own back-channel outreach to Iran during the 2008 campaign. Gone, like a deleted e-mail, were the good old days when dissent was patriotic.
Yet, as John Yoo observes, the Cotton letter was more akin to mailing Ayatollah Khamenei a copy of the Constitution. The senators explained that our Constitution requires congressional assent for international agreements to be legally binding. Thus, any “executive agreement” on nukes that they manage to strike with the appeaser-in-chief is unenforceable and likely to be revoked when he leaves office in 22 months.
For Obama and other global-governance grandees, this is quaint thinking, elevating outmoded notions like national interest over “sustainable” international “stability” — like the way Hitler stabilized the Sudetenland. These “international community” devotees see the Tea Party as the rogue and the mullahs as rational actors.
o, you see, lasting peace — like they have, for example, in Ukraine — is achieved when the world’s sole superpower exhibits endless restraint and forfeits some sovereignty to the United Nations Security Council, where the enlightened altruists from Moscow, Beijing, and Brussels will figure out what’s best for Senator Cotton’s constituents in Arkansas. This will set a luminous example of refinement that Iran will find irresistible when it grows up ten years from now — the time when Obama, who came to office promising the mullahs would not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons, would have Iran stamped with the international community seal of approval as a nuclear-weapons state.
Down here on Planet Earth, though, most Americans think this is a bad idea. That, along with an injection of grit from the Arkansas freshman, emboldened the normally supine Senate GOP caucus to read Tehran in on the constitutional fact that the president is powerless to bind the United States unless the people’s representatives cement the arrangement.
Obama, naturally, reacted with his trusty weapon against opposition, demagoguery: hilariously suggesting that while the Alinskyite-in-chief had our country’s best interests at heart, the American war hero and his 46 allies were in league with Iran’s “hardliners.” (Yes, having found Muslim Brotherhood secularists, al-Qaeda moderates, and Hezbollah moderates, rest assured that Obama is courting only the evolved ayatollahs.) When that went about as you’d expect, the administration shifted to a strategy with which it is equally comfortable, lying.
Obama’s minions claimed that, of course, the president understands that any agreement he makes with Iran would merely be his “political commitment,” not “legally binding” on the nation. It’s just that Obama figures it would be nice to have the Security Council “endorse” the deal in a resolution because, well, that would “encourage its full implementation.” Uh-huh.
Inconveniently, the administration’s negotiating counterpart is the chattiest of academics, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Afflicted by the Western-educated Islamist’s incorrigible need to prove he’s the smartest kid in the class — especially a class full of American politicians — Zarif let the cat out of the bag. The senators, he smarmed, “may not fully understand . . . international law.”
According to Zarif, the deal under negotiation “will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the U.S., but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.” He hoped it would “enrich the knowledge” of the 47 senators to learn that “according to international law, Congress may not modify the terms of the agreement.” To do so would be “a material breach of U.S. obligations,” rendering America a global outlaw.
This, mind you, from the lead representative of a terrorist regime that is currently, and brazenly, in violation of Security Council resolutions that prohibit its enrichment of uranium.
Clearly, Obama and the mullahs figure they can run the following stunt: We do not need another treaty approved by Congress because the United States has already ratified the U.N. charter and thus agreed to honor Security Council resolutions. We do not need new statutes because the Congress, in enacting Iran-sanctions legislation, explicitly gave the president the power to waive those sanctions. All we need is to have the Security Council issue a resolution that codifies Congress’s existing sanctions laws with Obama’s waiver. Other countries involved in the negotiations — including Germany, Russia, and China, which have increasingly lucrative trade with Iran — will then very publicly rely on the completed deal. The U.N. and its army of transnational-progressive bureaucrats and lawyers will deduce from this reliance a level of global consensus that incorporates the agreement into the hocus-pocus corpus of customary law. Maybe they’ll even get Justice Ginsburg to cite it glowingly in a Supreme Court ruling. Voila, we have a binding agreement — without any congressional input — that the United States is powerless to alter under international law.
Well, it makes for good theater . . . because that is what international law is. It is a game more of lawyers than of thrones. In essence, it is politics masquerading as a system governed by rules rather than power, as if hanging a sign that says “law” on that system makes it so. At most, international law creates understandings between and among states. Those understandings, however, are only relevant as diplomatic debating points. When, in defiance of international law, Obama decides to overthrow the Qaddafi regime, Clinton decides to bomb Kosovo, or the ayatollahs decide to enrich uranium, the debating points end up not counting for much.

Even when international understandings are validly created by treaty (which requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate), they are not “self-executing,” as the legal lexicon puts it — meaning they are not judicially enforceable and carry no domestic weight. Whether bilateral or multilateral, treaties do not supersede existing federal law unless implemented by new congressional statutes. And they are powerless to amend the Constitution.

The Supreme Court reaffirmed these principles in its 2008 Medellin decision (a case I described here, leading to a ruling Ed Whelan outlined here). The justices held that the president cannot usurp the constitutional authority of other government components under the guise of his power to conduct foreign affairs. Moreover, even a properly ratified treaty can be converted into domestic law only by congressional lawmaking, not by unilateral presidential action.
Obama, therefore, has no power to impose an international agreement by fiat — he has to come to Congress. He can make whatever deal he wants to make with Iran, but the Constitution still gives Congress exclusive authority over foreign commerce. Lawmakers can enact sanctions legislation that does not permit a presidential waiver. Obama would not sign it, but the next president will — especially if the Republicans raise it into a major 2016 campaign issue.
Will the Security Council howl? Sure . . . but so what? It has been said that Senator Cotton should have CC’d the Obama administration on his letter since it, too, seems unfamiliar with the Constitution’s division of authority. A less useless exercise might have been to CC the five other countries involved in the talks (the remaining Security Council members, plus Germany). Even better, as I argued earlier this week, would be a sense-of-the-Senate resolution: Any nation that relies on an executive agreement that is not approved by the United States Congress under the procedures outlined in the Constitution does so at its peril because this agreement is likely to lapse as early as January 20, 2017. International law is a game that two can play, and there is no point in allowing Germany, Russia, and China to pretend that they relied in good faith on Obama’s word being America’s word. It is otherworldly to find an American administration conspiring against the Constitution and the Congress in cahoots with a terror-sponsoring enemy regime, with which we do not even have formal diplomatic relations, in order to pave the enemy’s way to nuclear weapons, of all things. Nevertheless, Republicans and all Americans who want to preserve our constitutional order, must stop telling themselves that we have hit a bottom beneath which Obama will not go. This week, 47 senators seemed ready, finally, to fight back. It’s a start.

  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415401/obama-cant-force-his-iran-deal-country-without-congresss-consent-andrew-c-mccarthy

Could the Iran Deal Be the Worst International Accord of All Time?

by DANIEL PIPES July 14, 2015 10:27 AM

Barack Obama has repeatedly signaled during the past six and a half years that that his No. 1 priority in foreign affairs is not China, not Russia, not Mexico, but Iran. He wants to bring Iran in from the cold, to transform the Islamic Republic into just another normal member of the so-called international community, thereby ending decades of its aggression and hostility.

In itself, this is a worthy goal; it’s always good policy to reduce the number of enemies. (It brings to mind Nixon going to China.) The problem lies, of course, in the execution.

The conduct of the Iran nuclear negotiations has been wretched, with the Obama administration inconsistent, capitulating, exaggerating, and even deceitful. It forcefully demanded certain terms, then soon after conceded these same terms. Secretary of State John Kerry implausibly announced that we have “absolute knowledge” of what the Iranians have done until now in their nuclear program and therefore have no need for inspections to form a baseline. How can any adult, much less a high official, make such a statement?

The administration misled Americans about its own concessions: After the November 2013 joint plan of action, it came out with a fact sheet that Tehran said was inaccurate. Guess who was right? The Iranians. In brief, the U.S. government has shown itself deeply untrustworthy.

The conduct of the Iran nuclear negotiations has been wretched, with the Obama administration inconsistent, capitulating, exaggerating, and even deceitful. The agreement signed today ends the economic-sanctions regime, permits the Iranians to hide much of their nuclear activities, lacks enforcement in case of Iranian deceit, and expires in slightly more than a decade. Two problems particularly stand out: The Iranian path to nuclear weapons has been eased and legitimated; Tehran will receive a “signing bonus” of some $150 billion that greatly increases its abilities to aggress in the Middle East and beyond. The United States alone, not to speak of the P5+1 countries as a whole, has vastly greater economic and military power than the Islamic Republic of Iran, making this one-sided concession ultimately a bafflement.

Of the administration’s accumulated foreign-policy mistakes in the last six years, none have been catastrophic for the United States: Not the Chinese building islands, the Russians’ taking Crimea, or the collapse into civil wars of Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. But the Iran deal has the makings of a catastrophe.

Attention now shifts to the U.S. Congress to review today’s accord, arguably the worst international accord not just in American history or modern history, but ever. Congress must reject this deal. Republican senators and representatives have shown themselves firm on this topic; will the Democrats rise to the occasion and provide the votes for a veto override? They need to feel the pressure.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421151/iran-nuclear-deal-catastrophe

Terminate with extreme prejudice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the 1987 film, see Extreme Prejudice (film).

In military and other covert operations, terminate with extreme prejudice is a euphemism for aggressive execution (playing on the expression “termination with prejudice” of an employment contract). In a military intelligence context, it is generally understood as an order to assassinate. Its meaning was explained in a New York Times report on an incident during the Vietnam War.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminate_with_extreme_prejudice

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When Will Obama and Kerry Walk Like Men Out Of Negotiations With The World Leading Terrorist Nation The Islamic Republic of Iran? Never! — Yakety Yak– Where Is The Written Signed Agreement/Treaty Stopping Iran From Having Nuclear Weapons President Obama? — Time To Release Some Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) — Bunker Busters on Iran’s Nuclear Bomb Factories — Bombs Away — Videos

Posted on July 11, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Articles, Banking, Blogroll, Bomb, Bunker Busters, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Dirty Bomb, Documentary, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Entertainment, Ethic Cleansing, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Missiles, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Music, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Proliferation, Obamacare, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religious, Resources, Rifles, Security, Shite, Space, Sunni, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 502  July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501  July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500  July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499  July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498  July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497  July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496  June 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 495  June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494 June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493 June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492 June 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 491 June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490 June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489 June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488 June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487 June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486 June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485 June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484 June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483 June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482 June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481 June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480 June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479 June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477 June 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475 June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474 May 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 473 May 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 472 May 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 471 May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466 May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Story 1: When Will Obama and Kerry Walk Like Men Out Of Negotiations With The World Leading Terrorist Nation The Islamic Republic of Iran? Never! — Yakety Yak– Where Is The Written Signed Agreement/Treaty Stopping Iran From Having Nuclear Weapons President Obama? — Time To Release Some Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) — Bunker Busters on Iran’s Nuclear Bomb Factories — Bombs Away — Videos

Divine – Walk Like A Man (1985) HQ

Walk Like a Man – The Four Seasons

“Walk Like A Man”

oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
Walk like a manOh how you tried
To cut me down to size
by telling dirty lies to my friends
But my own father
Said give her up, don’t bother
The world isn’t coming to an endHe said walk like a man
Talk like a man
Walk like a man my son
No woman’s worth
Crawling on the earth
So walk like a man my sonoo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-ooFine eyed baby
I don’t mean maybe
We’re gonna get along somehow
Soon you’ll be crying
On ‘count of all you’re lying
Oh yeah, just look who’s laughing nowI’m gonna walk like a man
Fast as I can
Walk like a man from you
I’ll tell the world
Forget about it girl
And walk like a man from youoo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo

Walk Like a Man Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Lyrics

July 2015 Breaking News USA ready to attack Iranian nuclear facilities with awe-inspiring plan B

30,000 Pound Bunker Buster Bomb designed to detour Iran Nuclear Threat

As negotiations with Iran continue towards a nuclear arms agreement, the United States still holds a trump card. The 30,000 Pound Boeing GBU-57 Bunker Buster bomb, the largest non-nuclear weapon in U.S. inventory, designed to destroy nuclear weapons bunkers in Iran and North Korea. The bunker buster, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), is 30,000 pounds (13,608 kg.) and has been improved with “adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and hi-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordow nuclear enrichment complex.”

“Hopefully we never have to use it, but if we had to, it would work.”

The existence of a bomb that has the capability of destroying the underground facility from the air could also give the West extra bargaining power in nuclear negotiations with the Iran.

US officials believe the improved MOP will serve to convince Israel to hold off on unilaterally attacking Iran and give Washington more time to diplomatically neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat.

US military chiefs openly admitted the weapon was built to attack the fortified nuclear facilities of “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea. Although the Pentagon insists that it is not aimed at a specific threat, unnamed officials within the ministry have repeatedly claimed the bomb is being tailor-made to disable Iranian nuclear facilities at Fordo.

Vienna talks on Iran nuclear deal will continue over weekend

U.S.’s Kerry says not in rush to get Iran nuclear deal

Iran Nuclear Deal Deadlocked Over Arms

Weapons of War: Pentagon Upgrades Biggest ‘Bunker Buster’ Bomb

Bunkers & Bunker Busting Bombs

MOP Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU-57A-B Penetrator bunker buster bomb Iran United States

World War 3 Pentagon unveils 30,000 pound M O P Bunker Buster Bomb against Iran May 03, 2013

Boeing Delivers Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) 37,000 LB Bombs To The USAF – GBU-57

Israel Air Force Refuels Mid-air

Only on AP: US Tankers Refuel for IS Fight

WATCH OUT IRAN Israeli Air Force unveils Refueling aircraft for possible Airstrike

Israel To Buy 25 More F-35 Lockheed Stealth Fighters: Sources

December 2014 Breaking News USA F35 Israel to buy second squadron of stealth F35 jets

News Wrap: As deadline looms, Kerry says Iran nuclear talks not ‘open-ended’

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons In Concert Live

Frankie Valli And 4 Seasons Live on Ice 2008

The Coasters – Yakety Yak – ORIGINAL MONO VERSION

Yakety Yak – The Coasters with lyrics

Where Have all the Flowers Gone: Eve of Destruction

Iran Made Illegal Purchases of Nuclear Weapons Technology Last Month

1:48 AM, JUL 10, 2015 • BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL AND EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI

The question is not whether Iran can be trusted to uphold the nuclear deal now being negotiated in Vienna (it can’t), but whether the Obama administration and its P5+1 partners can be trusted to punish Iran when it violates the agreement?

Experience shows that unless Iran violates the deal egregiously, the temptation will be to ignore it. For instance, Iran got away with selling more oil than it should have under the interim agreement. More ominously, Tehran repeatedly pushed the envelope on technical aspects of the agreement—such as caps on its uranium stockpile—and got away with it. The Obama administration and other Western powers have so much invested in their diplomatic efforts that they’ll deny such violations ever occurred.

More evidence of Iranian violations has now surfaced. Two reports regarding Iran’s attempts to illicitly and clandestinely procure technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs have recently been published. They show that Iran’s procurement continues apace, if not faster than before the Joint Plan of Action was signed in November 2013. But fear of potentially embarrassing negotiators and derailing negotiations has made some states reluctant to report Tehran’s illegal efforts. If these countries have hesitated to expose Iran during the negotiations, it is more likely they will refrain from reporting after a deal is struck.

The first report was released last month by the U.N. panel of experts in charge of reporting compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Iran. The panel noted that U.N. member states had not reported significant violations of U.N. sanctions and speculated as to why: either Iran was complying, or countries did not wish to interfere with negotiations.

Paddle, pedal, jog or Segway through North America’s largest urban parkland—Edmonton’s river valley.

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More by Benjamin Weinthal

The second report, released last week by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, is less ambiguous. The agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, confirmed to us that Iran continues to seek illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs.

Iran has had a long history of trying to obtain nuclear technology from German companies, particularly by seeking ways to transport merchandise in circumvention of international sanctions. Since November 2013, Tehran has sought industry computers, high-speed cameras, cable fiber, and pumps for its nuclear and missile program. It appears that Iran’s readiness to negotiate does not reflect any substantive policy change. Rather, it is a diplomatic tactic retreat forced by economic distress, not a strategic rethinking of its priorities.

Iran’s cheating should give Western negotiators additional resolve to impose ironclad guarantees in the agreement. They should compel Iran to reveal its past activities, including its post-JPOA procurement efforts, and impose tough, intrusive, “anytime, anywhere” inspections before sanctions are suspended, let alone lifted.

Instead, the lack of reporting to the U.N. despite evidence of cheating suggests a lack of resolve on the part of Western nations, and their willingness to downplay all but the most egregious violations. This does not bode well for the future. If Western powers are reluctant to penalize Iran for trying to evade sanctions because they’re afraid of spoiling the negotiations, what will happen in the future when Western powers have even more invested in preserving an agreement?

Emanuele Ottolenghi is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/iran-made-illegal-purchases-nuclear-weapons-technology-last-month_988067.html

Massive Ordnance Penetrator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator
USAF MOP test release crop.jpg

GBU-57 MOP prototype
Type Bunker buster” bomb
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by United States Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer Boeing[1]
Specifications
Weight 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg)
Length 20.5 feet (6.2 m)
Diameter 31.5 inches (0.80 m)

The GBU-57A/BMassive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a U.S. Air Force, precision-guided, 30,000-pound (13,608 kg) “bunker busterbomb.[2] This is substantially larger than the deepest penetrating bunker busters previously available, the 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) GBU-28 and GBU-37.

Development

In 2002, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were working on the development of a 30,000-lb (13,600 kg) earth-penetrating weapon, said to be known as “Big BLU“. But funding and technical difficulties resulted in the development work being abandoned. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, analysis of sites that had been attacked with bunker-buster bombs revealed poor penetration and inadequate levels of destruction.[citation needed]This renewed interest in the development of a super-large bunker-buster, and the MOP project was initiated by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to fulfill a long-standing Air Force requirement.[3]

The U.S. Air Force has not officially recognized specific military requirement for an ultra-large bomb, but it does have a concept for a collection of massively sized penetrator and blast weapons, the so-called “Big BLU” collection, which includes the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst) bomb. Development of the MOP was performed at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida with design and testing work performed by Boeing. It is intended that the bomb will be deployed on the B-2 bomber, and will be guided by the use of GPS.[4][5]

Northrop Grumman announced a $2.5-million stealth-bomber refit contract on 19 July 2007. Each of the U.S. Air Force’s B-2s is to be able to carry two 14-ton MOPs.[6][7]

The initial explosive test of MOP took place on 14 March 2007 in a tunnel belonging to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

On 6 October 2009, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had requested and obtained permission from the U.S. Congress to shift funding in order to accelerate the project.[8][9] It was later announced by the U.S. military that “funding delays and enhancements to the planned test schedule” meant the bomb would not be deployable until December 2010, six months later than the original availability date.[10]

The project has had at least one successful Flight Test MOP launch.[11] The final testing will be completed in 2012.[3]

The Air Force took delivery of 20 bombs, designed to be delivered by the B-2 bomber, in September 2011. In February 2012, Congress approved $81.6 million to further develop and improve the weapon.[12]

Recent development

On 7 April 2011, the USAF ordered eight MOPs plus supporting equipment for $28 million.[13]

On 14 November 2011, Bloomberg reported that the Air Force Global Strike Command started receiving the Massive Ordnance Penetrator and that the deliveries “will meet requirements for the current operational need”.[14] The Air Force now has received delivery of 16 MOPs as of November 2011.[15] And as of March 2012, there is an “operational stockpile” at Whiteman Air Force Base.[16]

In 2012, the Pentagon requested $82 million to develop greater penetration power for the existing weapon.[1] A 2013 report stated that the development had been a success,[17] and B-2 integration testing began that year.[18]

Next-generation Penetrator Munition

On 25 June 2010, USAF Lt. Gen. Phillip Breedlove said that the Next-generation Penetrator Munition should be about a third the size of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator so it could be carried by affordable aircraft.[19] In December 2010, the USAF had a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Next Generation Penetrator (NGP).[20]

Global Strike Command has indicated that one of the objectives for the Next-Generation Bomber is for it to carry a weapon with the effects of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This would either be with the same weapon or a smaller weapon that uses rocket power to reach sufficient speed to match the penetrating power of the larger weapon.[21]

One of the current limitations of the MOP is that it lacks a void-sensing fuze and will therefore detonate after it has come to a stop, even if it passed by the target area.[22]

Specifications

  • Length: 20.5 feet (6.2 m)[23]
  • Diameter: 31.5 inches (0.8 m)[23]
  • Weight: 30,000 pounds (13,608 kilograms)
  • Warhead: 5,300 pounds (2,404.0 kilograms) high explosive
  • Penetration: 200 ft (61 m)[6]

See also

Specific large bombs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Ordnance_Penetrator

  • April 2, 2015
  • 1950s
Nov. 24, 2014

Kerry Announces Extension to Iran Talks Video by Reuters/ Photo by Roland Schlager/European Pressphoto Agency

U.S. and Allies Extend Iran Nuclear Talks by 7 Months

A yearlong effort to reach an enduring accord with Iran to dismantle large parts of its nuclear infrastructure fell short, forcing the United States and its allies to declare a seven-month extension, but with no clear indication of how they plan to bridge fundamental differences.

Nov. 20, 2014

The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, Catherine Ashton, who is representing the European Union, and Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna. Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Negotiators Scrambling as Deadline Looms in Nuclear Talks

As six world powers and Iran race to meet a Monday deadline for an agreement that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program, the United States stakes out an ambitious goal for what an accord should accomplish.

American officials say the agreement should slow the Iranian nuclear program enough that it would take Iran at least a year to make enough material for a nuclear bomb if it decided to ignore the accord.

It has become increasingly unlikely that any accord announced on Monday would be a complete one. And whatever deal is reached, it may not matter if Iranian hard-liners have their way. In Iran, the final decision on a nuclear deal lies with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.

Nov. 3, 2014

Under a proposed deal, Russia will convert uranium into specialized fuel rods for Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.Majid Asgaripour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Role for Russia Gives Iran Talks a Possible Boost

Iran tentatively agrees to ship much of its huge stockpile of uranium to Russia for conversion into specialized fuel rods for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran’s only commercial reactor. The agreement is potentially a major breakthrough in talks that have until now been deadlocked.

A key question remains about the negotiations that American officials have been loath to discuss in public: In a final deal, would Iran be required to publicly admit its past activities, or merely provide a mechanism for monitoring its actions in the future?

Aug. 27, 2014

Iran’s nuclear reactor in Arak, about 150 miles southwest of Tehran, is being redesigned.Hamid Foroutan/Iranian Students News Agency, via Associated Press

Iran Altering Arak Reactor in Bid for Nuclear Deal

Atomic power engineers in Iran start redesigning a partly constructed reactor in Arak to limit the amount of plutonium it produces, Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, says, expressing hope that the change will help alleviate Western objections that the plutonium can be used in weapons.

July 18, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks Extended, Diplomats Say

Iran, the United States and the five other countries agree to a four-month extension of the negotiations, giving them more time to try to bridge a major difference over whether the country will be forced to dismantle parts of its nuclear infrastructure, according to senior Western diplomats involved in the talks.

July 14, 2014

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, accuses the West of trying to sabotage a reactor being built near Arak.Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iran Outlines Nuclear Deal; Accepts Limit

As the deadline for the talks approaches on Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, says the country could accept a freeze on its capacity to produce nuclear fuel at current levels for several years, provided it could eventually produce fuel unhindered.

The proposal will effectively extend a limited series of concessions Iran made last November as part of a temporary deal to get negotiations started on a permanent accord. In return, Iran wants step-by-step relief from sanctions that have substantially weakened its economy.

May 24, 2014

Iran Is Providing Information on Its Detonators, Report Says

The I.A.E.A. releases a report stating that Iran is beginning to turn over information related to its nuclear detonators. The agency says that Iran has provided “additional information and explanations,” including documents, to substantiate its claim that it had tested the detonators for “a civilian application.”

Jan. 12, 2014

From left, Foreign Ministers Laurent Fabius of France and William Hague of Britain, and Secretary of State John Kerry with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh of Jordan, in Paris. Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Negotiators Put Final Touches on Iran Accord

Iran and a group of six world powers complete a deal that will temporarily freeze much of Tehran’s nuclear program starting Jan. 20, in exchange for limited relief from Western economic sanctions.

The agreement faced opposition from Iranian hard-liners and Israeli leaders, as well as heavy criticism from some American lawmakers, who have threatened to approve further sanctions despite President Obama’s promise of a veto.

Nov. 24, 2013

The negotiators in Geneva early Sunday morning. President Obama hailed the agreement. Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Deal With Iran Halts Nuclear Program

The United States and five other world powers announce a landmark accord that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement.

The aim of the accord, which is to last six months, is to give international negotiators time to pursue a more comprehensive accord that would ratchet back much of Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it could only be used for peaceful purposes.

Nov. 14, 2013

Obama Calls for Patience in Iran Talks

I.A.E.A. inspectors release a report stating that for the first time in years, they saw evidence that the Iranians have put the brakes on their nuclear expansion.

President Obama makes an appeal to Congress to give breathing space to his efforts to forge a nuclear deal with Iran.

Nov. 11, 2013
00:00
00:00

Iran is in a much different position now to negotiate on its nuclear program than it was four years ago when President Obama first broached the subject.

Iran Says It Agrees to ‘Road Map’ With U.N. on Nuclear Inspections

The I.A.E.A. says that Iran has agreed to resolve all outstanding issues with the agency, and will permit “managed access” by international inspectors to two key nuclear facilities. But the promise does not extend to the Parchin military site, which inspectors have been trying to see for months.

Marathon talks between major powers and Iran fail to ease sanctions on the country and produce a deal to freeze its nuclear program.

Oct. 16, 2013
00:00
00:00

Iran Talks Called Substantive

Iran and a group of six world powers say that they have engaged in “substantive” and “forward-looking” discussions on the disputed Iranian nuclear program and that they will reconvene on November 7.

The account of the two days of talks in Geneva came in a rare joint statement from Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief for the European Union, who is the lead negotiator with Iran.

Sept. 27, 2013
00:00
00:00

First Direct US-Iran Talk Since 1979

President Obama says he has spoken by phone with President Hassan Rouhani, the first direct contact between the leaders of Iran and the United States since 1979. Mr. Obama, speaking in the White House briefing room, said the two leaders discussed Iran’s nuclear program and said he was persuaded there was a basis for an agreement.

Moments before Mr. Obama’s announcement, Mr. Rouhani’s Twitter account posted this now-deleted message: “In a phone conversation b/w #Iranian & #US Presidents just now: @HassanRouhani: “Have a Nice Day!” @BarackObama: “Thank you. Khodahafez.”

Sept. 24, 2013
00:00
00:00

Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran in First U.N. Appearance

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, turns himself into a high-speed salesman offering a flurry of speeches, tweets, televised interviews and carefully curated private meetings, intended to end Iran’s economic isolation.

At the United Nations General Assembly, he preaches tolerance and understanding, decries as a form of violence the Western sanctions imposed on his country and says nuclear weapons have no place in its future. He takes aim at Israel’s nuclear arsenal in a public – while the country’s leaders caution over what they deem as an empty charm offensive.

Sept. 19, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new leader, received a private letter from President Obama about easing tensions between the countries.Vahid Salemi/Associated Press

Iran Said to Seek a Nuclear Accord to End Sanctions

Seizing on a perceived flexibility in a letter from President Obama to President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s leaders are focused on getting quick relief from crippling sanctions, a top adviser to the Iranian leadership says.

The adviser says that Mr. Obama’s letter, delivered about three weeks ago, promised relief from sanctions if Tehran demonstrated a willingness to “cooperate with the international community, keep your commitments and remove ambiguities.”

Aug. 28, 2013

Iran Slows Its Gathering of Enriched Uranium, Report Says

I.A.E.A. inspectors say that Iran is slowing its accumulation of enriched uranium that can be quickly turned into fuel for an atomic bomb. The report’s disclosure is significant politically because it delays the day when Iran could breach what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel last fall called a “red line” beyond which Iran would not be allowed to pass — the point at which it has enough purified uranium to quickly make a single nuclear weapon.

June 15, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has been elected the next president of Iran.

Iran Elects New President

Voters overwhelmingly elect Hassan Rouhani, 64, a mild-mannered cleric who advocates greater personal freedoms and a more conciliatory approach to the world.

The diplomat sheik played a key role in Iran’s voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment in 2004, which Western powers responded to by asking for more concessions from Iran.

Mr. Rouhani replaces his predecessors’ foreign minister with Mohammad Javad Zarif, an American-educated diplomat known for his understanding of the West, and makes him responsible for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Rouhani also removes a hard-line nuclear scientists as head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, and replaces him with the former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi. In September, Iran’s longtime ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency will be replaced as well.

June 2013

U.S. Adds to Its List of Sanctions Against Iran

The Obama administration escalates sanctions against Iran for the fourth time in a week, blacklisting what it describes as a global network of front companies controlled by Iran’s top leaders, accusing them of hiding assets and generating billions of dollars worth of revenue to help Tehran evade sanctions.

The White House also accuses Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of personally directing an effort to bypass them.

The United States also blacklists Iranian petrochemical companies, its automotive industry and more than 50 Iranian officials, and threatens to sanction foreign banks that trade or hold Iran’s national currency, the rial.

May 22, 2013

Iran Is Seen Advancing Nuclear Bid

The I.A.E.A. says Iran has made significant progress across the board in its nuclear program, while negotiations with the West dragged on this spring. But it said that it has not gone past the “red line” that Israel’s leaders have declared could trigger military action.

In its last report before the Iranian elections next month, the agency also gives details that point to an emerging production strategy by the Iranians. One strategy involves speeding ahead with another potential route to a bomb: producing plutonium. The report indicates that Iran is making significant progress at its Arak complex, where it has built a heavy-water facility and is expected to have a reactor running by the end of next year.

May 9, 2013

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Those Aiding Iran

The United States expands its roster of those violating Iran sanctions, blacklisting four Iranian companies and one individual suspected of helping the country enrich nuclear fuel. It also singles out two other companies, including a Venezuelan-Iranian bank, accused of helping Iran evade other Western-imposed prohibitions on oil sales and financial dealings.

The penalties came a day after the Senate introduced legislation that could effectively deny the Iran government access to an estimated $100 billion worth of its own money parked in overseas banks, a step that proponents said could significantly damage Iran’s financial stability.

April 23, 2013

Fearing Price Increases, Iranians Hoard Goods

Iranians rush to supermarkets to buy cooking oil, red meat and other staples, stockpiling the goods over new fears of price spikes from a change in the official exchange rate that could severely reduce the already weakened purchasing power of the rial, the national currency.

Prices of staples are set to increase by as much as 60 percent because of the currency change.

Economists say the result is from a combination of severe Western sanctions and what many call the government’s economic mismanagement.

April 18, 2013

Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon. Next week he will travel to the Middle East to finalize the arms sale.Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

U.S. Arms Deal With Israel and 2 Arab Nations Is Near

The Defense Department is expecting to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week that will provide missiles, warplanes and troop transports to help them counter any future threat from Iran.

Israeli Officials Stress Readiness for Lone Strike on Iran

In an interview with the BBC, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, saying Israel has “different vulnerabilities and different capabilities” than the United States. “We have to make our own calculations, when we lose the capacity to defend ourselves by ourselves.”

Israeli defense and military officials have been issuing explicit warnings this week that Israel was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

April 12, 2013

US Blacklists an Iranian and Businesses Over Violation of Sanctions

The United States blacklists an affluent Iranian business executive, Babak Morteza Zanjani, and what it describes as his multibillion-dollar money laundering network, accusing them of selling oil for Iran in violation of the Western economic sanctions imposed over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

On March 14, The Treasury Department, which administers the government’s Iran sanctions, blacklisted a Greek shipping tycoon, Dimitris Cambis, over what it called his scheme to acquire a fleet of oil tankers on Iran’s behalf and disguise their ownership to ship Iranian oil.

April 9, 2013

Family members of slain nuclear scientists stood with Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, far right, a nuclear official. Arash Khamoushi/Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA, via Associated Press

After Talks End, Iran Announces an Expansion of Nuclear Fuel Production

Iran’s president announces an expansion of the country’s uranium production and claims other atomic energy advances, striking a pugnacious tone in the aftermath of diplomatic talks thatended in an impasse with the big powers on April 6 in Kazakhstan.

April 8, 2013
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A look, provided by the United States Navy, at how its laser attack weapon works. The video is silent.

Navy Deploying Laser Weapon Prototype Near Iran

The U.S. announces that the Navy will deploy a laser weapon prototype in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian fast-attack boats have harassed American warships and where the government in Tehran is building remotely piloted aircraft carrying surveillance pods and, someday potentially, rockets.

The laser will not be operational until next year. It has been shown in tests to disable patrol boats and blind or destroy surveillance drones.

March 14, 2013

President Obama traveled to Israel on March 20, in a symbolic two-day visit to the country, the first of his presidency.

Iran Nuclear Weapon to Take Year or More, Obama Says

President Obama tells an Israeli television station that his administration believes it would take Iran “over a year or so” to develop a nuclear weapon.

Mr. Obama’s estimated timeline contrasts with Mr. Netanyahu’s stated belief that Israel and its Western allies are likely to have to intervene by the spring or summer, when, he says, Iran’s scientists will have enriched enough uranium to become a nuclear threat.

Feb. 26, 2013

Defiant Mood at Talks

Iran meets with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in Kazakhstan, but talks end with no specific agreement over a proposal that would sharply constrain Iran’s stockpile of the most dangerous enriched uranium, in return for a modest lifting of some sanctions.

The six powers also agreed that Iran could keep a small amount of 20 percent enriched uranium — which can be converted to bomb grade with modest additional processing — for use in a reactor to produce medical isotopes.

Iranian oil sales have been reduced by half as a result of the international pressure on the country, and restrictions on financial transactions and transportation have created many difficulties for its leaders.

Feb. 23, 2013

New Deposits of Uranium

The state news agency IRNA quotes a report by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, saying that it had found significant new deposits of raw uranium and identified sites for 16 more nuclear power stations.

Iran’s raw uranium reserves now total around 4,400 tons, including discoveries over the past 18 months, IRNA quoted the report as saying.

A few weeks earlier, Ayatollah Khamenei said that his country was not seeking nuclear weapons but added that if Iran ever decided to build them, no “global power” could stop it.

Feb. 6, 2013

Speaking to air force commanders in Tehran on Feb. 6, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran “will not negotiate under pressure.” Khamenei Official Web site, via European Pressphoto Agency

U.S. Bolsters Sanctions

A new round of American sanctions take effect which state that any country that buys Iranian oil must put the purchase money into a local bank account. Iran cannot repatriate the money and can use it only to buy goods within that country. Violators risk severe penalties in doing business with the United States. Oil exports from Iran have already dropped by a million barrels a day.

A week earlier, Iran announces that it would deploy a new generation of centrifuges, four to six times as powerful as the current generation.

October 2012

Iran’s Currency Tumbles

After months of harsh, American-led sanctions, Iran’s currency, the rial, plunges 40 percent. The currency lost about half its value in 2012.

Most of that decline comes in a frenzy of speculative selling by Iranians worried that rapid inflation could render their money worthless. The government responds with a crackdown in which some money traders are arrested.

The depressed value of the rial forces Iranians to carry ever-fatter wads of bank notes to buy everyday items. But the sanctions also present a new complication to Iran’s banking authorities: they may not be able to print enough money.

Meanwhile, the European Union toughens sanctions against Iran, banning trade in industries like finance, metals and natural gas, and making other business transactions far more cumbersome.

Sept. 27, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations, displaying his red line for Iran’s nuclear program. Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Israel’s ‘Red Line’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel tells the United Nations that Iran’s capability to enrich uranium must be stopped before the spring or early summer, arguing that by that time Iran will be in a position to make a short, perhaps undetectable, sprint to manufacture its first nuclear weapon.

August 2012

New Work at Nuclear Site

The United Nations atomic agency reports that Iran has installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges needed to complete a deep-underground site under a mountain near Qum for the production of nuclear fuel.

The I.A.E.A. also says that Iran may have sought to cleanse another site where the agency has said it suspects that the country has conducted explosive experiments that could be relevant to the production of a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile, the United States imposes more punishing sanctions against Iran, aimed at its oil and petrochemical sectors, as well as its shipping trade, intensifying existing sanctions intended to choke off the revenue that Iran reaps from its two largest export industries.

July 1, 2012

The Neptune, an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, is part of a fleet of about 65 Iranian tankers serving as floating storage facilities for Iranian oil, each one given a nautical makeover to conceal its origin and make a buyer easier to find. Thomas Erdbrink

Embargo on Iranian Oil

A European Union embargo on Iranian oil takes effect, playing a large role in severely restricting Iran’s ability to sell its most important export.

In retaliation, Iran announces legislation intended to disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital Persian Gulf shipping lane, and tests missiles in a desert drill clearly intended as a warning to Israel and the United States.

In January 2013, Iran’s oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, acknowledged for the first time that petroleum exports and sales had fallen by at least 40 percent in the previous year, costing the country $4 billion to $8 billion each month.

May 24, 2012

Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Baghdad. Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Talks With West Falter

After a brief spurt of optimism, talks between Iran and six world powers on its disputed nuclear program fail to produce a breakthrough in Baghdad. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany wanted a freeze on Iranian production of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity, which is considered a short step from bomb grade. The Iranians wanted an easing of the onerous economic sanctions imposed by the West and a recognition of what they call their right to enrich. The countries agree to meet again in June, but talks were further slowed after a new regimen of harsh economic sanctions and a statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency that said Iran had made ”no progress” toward providing access to restricted sites it suspects of being used to test potential triggers for nuclear warheads.

March 2012

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surveying the centrifuges at Iran’s underground complex at Natanz in March 2007.Office of the Iranian President

New Centrifuges at Natanz

Iran says it is building about3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz plant.

Meanwhile, I.A.E.A. inspectors are still trying to gain access to the Parchin site, 20 miles south of Tehran, to ascertain whether tests have been carried out there on nuclear bomb triggers.

But satellites images show that the site has been extensively cleaned by the Iranians.

Jan. 11, 2012
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Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency supplied this photo of what it said was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan’s car after the bombing.Meghdad Madadi/Fars News Agency, via Associated Press

Bomb Kills Nuclear Scientist

A bomber on a motorcycle kills Mostafa Ahmadi Rosha, a scientist from the Natanz site, and his bodyguard. Iran blames Israel and the United States. The Americans deny the accusation, but Israel is more circumspect.

Dec. 4, 2011

Iran displayed the drone for propaganda purposes, with photographs of ayatollahs who led Iran’s revolution behind it and a desecrated version of the American flag. Revolutionary Guards, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A Blow to U.S., as Drone Crashes

A stealth C.I.A. drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel, crashes near the Iranian town of Kashmar, 140 miles from the Afghan border. It is part of a stepped-up surveillance program that has frequently sent the United States’ most hard-to-detect drone into Iran to map suspected nuclear sites.

Iran asserts that its military downed the aircraft, but American officials say the drone was lost because of a malfunction.

Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz.Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press

Natanz Plant Recovers

After a dip in enriched uranium production in 2010 because of the cyberattacks, Iranian production recovers. While the United States and Israel never acknowledged responsibility for the cyberprogram, Olympic Games, some experts argue that it set the Iranians back a year or two. Others say that estimate overstates the effect.

With the program still running, intelligence agencies in the United States and Israel seek out new targets that could further slow Iran’s progress.

November 2011

A poster of an Iranian gas field is a backdrop to passers-by in Asaluyeh. Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

West Expands Sanctions, and U.N. Offers Evidence on Nuclear Work

Major Western powers take significant steps to cut Iran off from the international financial system, announcing coordinated sanctions aimed at its central bank and commercial banks. The United States also imposes sanctions on companies involved in Iran’s nuclear industry, as well as on its petrochemical and oil industries.

The United Nations atomic agency releases evidence that it says make a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device” at its Parchin military base and that the project may still be under way.

Nov. 29, 2010

One of the two cars bombed in Tehran. Reuters

Bombings Strike Scientists in Iran

Unidentified attackers riding motorcycles bomb two of Iran’s top nuclear scientists, killing one and prompting accusations that the United States and Israel are again trying to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

The scientist who was killed, Majid Shahriari, reportedly managed a ”major project” for the country’s Atomic Energy Organization. His wounded colleague, Fereydoon Abbasi, is believed to be even more important; he is on the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions list for ties to the Iranian nuclear effort.

July 15, 2010

The Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, with his 7-year-old son, greeting family members in Tehran.Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris, for The New York Times

Iranian Scientist Defects to U.S., Then Reconsiders

Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who American officials say defected to the United States in 2009, provided information about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and then developed second thoughts, returning to Iran. (After a hero’s welcome, he was imprisoned on treason charges and tortured, according to reports from Iran.)

The bizarre episode was the latest in a tale that has featured a mysterious disappearance from a hotel room in Saudi Arabia, rumors of a trove of new intelligence about Iran’s nuclear plants and a series of contradictory YouTube videos. It immediately set off a renewed propaganda war between Iran and the United States.

June 2010

Ambassadors to the United Nations, from right: Susan E. Rice of the United States, Mark Lyall Grant of Britain and Ruhakana Rugunda of Uganda voted to affirm a Security Council resolution on Iran while Turkey’s ambassador, Ertugrul Apakan, voted against it. Mario Tama/Getty Images

U.N. Approves New Sanctions

The United Nations Security Council levels its fourth round of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions curtail military purchases, trade and financial transactions carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the nuclear program.

The Security Council also requires countries to inspect ships or planes headed to or from Iran if they suspect banned cargo. In addition, Iran is barred from investing in other countries’ nuclear enrichment plants, uranium mines and related technologies, and the Security Council sets up a committee to monitor enforcement.

Summer 2010

Computer Worms Leak Online; 1,000 Centrifuges Destroyed

The United States and Israel realize that copies of the computer sabotage program introduced in Natanz are available on the Internet, where they are replicating quickly. In a few weeks, articles appear in the news media about a mysterious new computer worm carried on USB keys that exploits a hole in the Windows operating system. The worm is named Stuxnet.

President Obama decides not to kill the program, and a subsequent attack takes out nearly 1,000 Iranian centrifuges, nearly a fifth of those operating.

February 2010

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.Herwig Prammer/Reuters

Work on Warhead

The United Nations’ nuclear inspectors declare for the first time that they have extensive evidence of “past or current undisclosed activities” by Iran’s military to develop a nuclear warhead.

The report also concludes that some Iranian weapons-related activity apparently continued “beyond 2004,” contradicting an American intelligence assessment published in 2008 that concluded that work on a bomb was suspended at the end of 2003.

January 2010

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in 2011. Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Leaked Gates Memo on U.S. Policy

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warns in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability.

When the memo becomes public in April, Mr. Gates issues a statement saying that he wishes to dispel any perception among allies that the administration had failed to adequately think through how to deal with Iran.

September 2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and President Obama, in Pittsburgh, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear fuel plant.Doug Mills/The New York Times

Warning on Nuclear ‘Deception’

American, British and French officials declassify some of their most closely held intelligence and describe a multiyear Iranian effort, tracked by spies and satellites, to build a secret uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain.

The new plant, which Iran strongly denies is intended to be kept secret or used for making weapons, is months from completion and does nothing to shorten intelligence estimates of how long it would take Iran to produce a bomb. American intelligence officials say it will take at least a year, perhaps five, for Iran to develop the full ability to make a nuclear weapon.

April 8, 2009

U.S. Joins Regular Iran Talks

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announces that the United States will participate in talks with Iran involving five other nations: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

July 19, 2008

The negotiators Saeed Jalili of Iran, left, and William J. Burns, third from right, in Geneva. Pool photo by Denis Balibouse

Talks End in Deadlock

International talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions end in deadlock despite the Bush administration’s decision to reverse policy and send William J. Burns, a senior American official, to the table for the first time.

Iran responds with a written document that fails to address the main issue: international demands that it stop enriching uranium. Iranian diplomats reiterate before the talks that they consider the issue nonnegotiable.

2008

U.S. – Israel Cyberattacks Begin

President George W. Bush rejects a secret request by Israel for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wants for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program. The Bush administration is alarmed by the Israeli idea to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz and decides to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Mr. Bush will hand off the major covert program to President Obama.

The United States works with Israel to begin cyberattacks, code-named Olympic Games, on computer systems at the Natanz plant. A year later, the program is introduced undetected into a controller computer at Natanz. Centrifuges begin crashing and engineers have no clue that the plant is under attack.

December 2006

First Round of U.N. Sanctions

The Security Council unanimously approves sanctions intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions ban the import and export of materials and technology used in uranium enrichment and reprocessing and in the production of ballistic missiles.

Aug. 26, 2006

The heavy-water plant in Arak, south of Tehran.Iran/Reuters

Iran Opens a Heavy-Water Reactor

Just days before Iran is supposed to suspend enrichment of uranium or face the prospect of sanctions, President Ahmadinejad formally kicks off a heavy-water production plant in Arak, 120 miles southwest of Tehran, which would put Iran on the path to obtaining plutonium, a fuel used in nuclear weapons.

In November, Iran seeks international assistance to ensure safe operation for a 40-megawatt reactor it is building. Citing broader doubts about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the United Nations atomic agency, the United States and European countries oppose offering help.

January 2006

A satellite image of Natanz in 2007.GeoEye/SIME, via Associated Press

Natanz Production Is Restarted

Iran resumes uranium enrichment at Natanz after negotiations with European and American officials collapse.

The I.A.E.A. approves a resolution to report Iran’s nuclear program to the Security Council, citing “the absence of confidence” among the atomic agency’s members “that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

Aug. 3, 2005

President Ahmadinejad offended Israel in his speech on the rule of law at a United Nations conference in 2012. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Ahmadinejad Elected President

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known only as a secular conservative and a former mayor of Tehran, becomes president. He becomes a divisive figure in world affairs, cheering on the development of Iran’s nuclear program despite orders from the United Nations Security Council to halt it, calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map’’ and describing the Holocaust as “a myth.”

Mid-July, 2005

With Laptop Files, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran’s Nuclear Aims

Senior American intelligence officials present the International Atomic Energy Agency with the contents of what they say is a stolen Iranian laptop containing more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of experiments — studies for crucial features of a nuclear warhead.

Intelligence reports reveal that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a little-known Iranian scientist, leads elements of Iran’s weaponization program known as Project 110 and Project 111.

But doubts about the intelligence persist among some experts, in part because American officials, citing the need to protect their source, have largely refused to provide details of the origins of the laptop beyond saying that they obtained it in mid-2004 from a source in Iran who they said had received it from a second person, now believed to be dead.

Nov. 7, 2004

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi talking to reporters in Tehran ahead of nuclear talks in Paris. Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency

Violation and New Agreement

Iran violates the agreement, charging that the Europeans reneged on their promises of economic and political incentives. After 22 hours of negotiations, an Iranian delegation and senior officials from France, Germany, Britain and the European Union come to a preliminary agreement to immediately suspend Iran’s production of enriched uranium. The Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, praises the so-called Paris Agreement but emphasizes that any suspension will be temporary.

In a few weeks, the I.A.E.A verifies Iran’s suspension of its enrichment activities, with one exception: its request to use up to 20 sets of centrifuge components for research and development.

2003

An Iranian missile displayed by the Revolutionary Guards under a portrait of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, in September 2003. Henghameh Fahimi/Agence France-Presse

Nuclear Program Is Suspended

Possibly in response to the American invasion of Iraq, which was originally justified by the Bush administration on the grounds that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Ayatollah Khamenei orders a suspension of work on what appear to be weapons-related technologies, although he allows uranium enrichment efforts to continue.

Inspectors with the United Nations atomic agency find traces of highly enriched uranium at the Natanz plant, and Iran concedes to demands, after talks with Britain, France and Germany, to accept stricter international inspections of its nuclear sites and to suspend production of enriched uranium.

2002

Discovery of Secret Plants

Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian dissident group also known as the M.E.K., obtains and shares documents revealing a clandestine nuclear program previously unknown to the United Nations.

The program includes a vast uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak. In December, satellite photographs of Natanz and Arak appear widely in the news media. The United States accuses Tehran of an “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” but takes relatively little action because it is focused on the approaching invasion of Iraq the next year.

Iran agrees to inspections by the I.A.E.A. It also signs an accord with Russia to speed up completion of the nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

May 1999

Mohammad Khatami in 2009. Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press

Proposal for Nuclear-Free Mideast

President Mohammad Khatami of Iran goes to Saudi Arabia, becoming the first Iranian leader since 1979 to visit the Arab world.

He issues a joint statement with King Fahd expressing concerns about Israel’s nuclear weapons program and support for ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons. In 2003, Iran supports such a proposal initiated by Syria.

July 1996

President Bill Clinton addressing reporters in July 1996. Joe Marquette/Associated Press

Sanctions Against Iran and Libya

With growing intelligence estimates that Iran may secretly be trying to build a nuclear weapon, President Bill Clinton signs a bill imposing sanctions on foreign companies with investments in Iran and Libya. Such rules are already in place for American companies.

Jan. 8, 1995

A Russian engineer checking equipment at the Bushehr nuclear plant in April 2007.Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iran and Russia Sign Nuclear Contract

Iran announces that it will sign an $800 million contract with Russia to complete construction on one of two light water reactors at the Bushehr nuclear plant within four years. After many delays, the project was completed in 2010.

The United States has been persuading countries like Argentina, India, Spain, Germany and France to prohibit the sale of nuclear technology to Iran’s civilian program.

June 4, 1989

The body of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was displayed to hundreds of thousands of Iranians at his funeral.Agence France-Presse

New Supreme Leader

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s nominal president for eight years, becomes supreme leader after Ayatollah Khomeini dies.

Late 1980s

The Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan in Islamabad in 1988.B.K.Bangash/Associated Press

Help From Pakistani Scientist

In the late 1980s, Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist and the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, sells Iran, North Korea and Libya his uranium enrichment technology, and in Libya’s case, a bomb design. The transactions do not become public until years later.

In 2005, the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency is on the verge of reviewing Tehran’s nuclear program when Iranian officials admit to a 1987 meetingwith Dr. Khan’s representatives. But Tehran tells the agency that it turned down the chance to buy the equipment required to build the core of a bomb.

1984

Iraqi gunners used a Soviet 130-milllimeter field gun to shell the Iranian cities of Abadan and Khurramshahr.United Press International

Nuclear Program Restarts

The Iran-Iraq war, from 1980 to 1988, changes Iran’s thinking about the nuclear program. With Saddam Hussein pursuing a nuclear program in Iraq, Ayatollah Khomeini secretly decides to restart Iran’s program and seeks the assistance of German partners to complete the construction at Bushehr, which was damaged by bombs during the war.

Feb. 11, 1979

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini descending from the Air France plane that returned him to Tehran after 15 years in exile.United Press International

Khomeini Comes to Power

Prime Minister Bakhtiar is overthrown by followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an exiled cleric, after bloody clashes in Tehran.

The new leader is uninterested in the nuclear program and ends the shah’s effort. Many nuclear experts flee the country.

Any nuclear cooperation between Iran and the United States breaks down completely with the American Embassy hostage crisis from November 1979 until January 1981.

Jan. 16, 1979

The deposed shah, with Empress Farah and two of their children, in the Bahamas in 1979, where they dodged questions from photographers. Associated Press

Shah Flees

The shah is overthrown and flees the country, in what becomes known as the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar takes over and cancels the $6.2 billion contract for the construction of two nuclear power plants at the Bushehr complex.

The United States retracts a deal it had made with Iran a year earlier and stops supplying enriched uranium for the Tehran research reactor.

1973

The Bushehr nuclear plant on Aug. 21, 2010, as its first fuel rod was loaded. Getty Images

Creation of Atomic Energy Body

The shah creates the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which conducts training for its personnel and nuclear deals with countries including the United States, France, West Germany, Namibia and South Africa. By training engineers in Iran and abroad, the country gains a solid understanding of nuclear technologies and capabilities.

A year later, Kraftwerk Union, a West German company, agrees to construct two light water reactors to produce nuclear energy at the Bushehr complex, 470 miles south of Tehran. Construction begins in 1974 but the contract is not signed until 1976.

By the late 1970s, the United States becomes worried that Iran may harbor nuclear weapon ambitions.

July 1, 1968

Iran Signs Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

With the American-provided research reactor running, starting in 1967, Iran becomes one of 51 nations to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreeing to never become a nuclear-weapon state.

1950s

Nuclear Program Begins

Iran begins a civilian nuclear program in the 1950s, led by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who reaches a deal through the Eisenhower administration’s Atoms for Peace program. Under the agreement, the United States agrees to provide a nuclear research reactor in Tehran and power plants.

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Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477 June 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475 June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474 May 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 473 May 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 472 May 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 471 May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466 May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Story 1: Part 2 of 2, Christian Crusades Commences: Congress Declares War On Islamic State and Islamic Republic of Iran? All We Are Saying Is Give Total War A Chance —  Obama’s DC (Delay and Contain) Strategy vs. Neoconservative Strategy of Total War — There Is No Substitute For Victory — Videos


“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“There is no substitute for victory.”

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

~ General Douglas MacArthur


“If You Can’t Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf”

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

Satire of Henry Kissinger 


Give Peace A Chance (1969) – Official Video

War – Edwin Starr

In 90 seconds: Iran & Iraq: An ancient rivalry – BBC News

Nonproliferation Expert: Iran Nuclear Deal Perhaps The Single Greatest Strategic Mistake In Decades

The emerging nuclear agreement with Iran would be a “historic blunder” that eclipses other foreign policy debacles in recent decades, former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security Robert Joseph told lawmakers on Wednesday.

General Michael Flynn and Ambassador Robert Joseph on Iran’s Missile Program and a Nuclear Deal

Former DIA Director Lt. General Michael Flynn and Ambassador Robert Joseph discuss their concerns about the exclusion of Iran’s ballistic missile program from the nuclear agreement currently being negotiated with Tehran and their belief that this deal will not stop or slow Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Araqchi: Drafting nuclear deal tough task

Expert-level talks in progress over Iran’s nuclear energy program in Vienna

Jack Devine: The Nuclear Deal & Iran’s Instability

Jack Devine, a retired 32-year CIA veteran, says it is the right thing for the United States to be negotiating with Iran, but he doesn’t think the Islamic Republic’s regime is stable enough for it to safely have nuclear weapons.

Bernard Haykel: Criticism of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Bernard Haykel: Saudi Arabia’s New Power Structure

What does Iran’s strategy against Islamic State mean for us?

General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years

June 10 2015 Breaking News USA superpower Obama says has no winning strategy against ISIS ISIL DAESH

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Thomas Barnett: Rethinking America’s military strategy

In this bracingly honest and funny talk, international security strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett outlines a post-Cold War solution for the foundering US military: Break it in two. He suggests the military re-form into two groups: a Leviathan force, a small group of young and fierce soldiers capable of swift and immediate victories; and an internationally supported network of System Administrators, an older, wiser, more diverse organization that actually has the diplomacy and power it takes to build and maintain peace.

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 1 (Pentagon’s new map)

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 2 (Flow of People)

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 3 (Flow of Money)

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 4 (Flow of Energy)

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 5 (Flow of Food)

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 6 (Flow of Security)

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 7 (Q&A – Religion )

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 8 (Q&A – Global Economic Crisis)

Wikistrat’s “The World According to Tom Barnett” 2011 brief, Pt 9 – Final (Q&A – U.S. Allies)

Conversations with History: Thomas P.M. Barnett

John Bolton: Obama ‘in denial,’ ‘blinded’ by ‘ideology’ on Islamic State

The Islamic State, Iran, and the Geopolitics of the Middle East

Obama Asks Congress To Declare War On Islamic State | Authorization for Military Force Against ISIS

Why US Attack Iran Full Documentary – British Army Documentary 2015

ISIS World’s Richest Terror Army – Full Documentary 2015

Origins of ISIS – Special Coverage

O’Reilly: Obama Has No Strategy to Defeat Islamic Jihadists

Krauthammer’s Take: Obama Does Not Think He Needs a Strategy to Defeat Islamic Terrorism

The Situation Room Special Report: The War Against ISIS (2015)

Top Commander: Islamic State Not Making ‘Major Advances’ in Iraq

What is driving American civilians to fight ISIS around the world?

Islamic State: The rise of Iraqi insurgency

US Airstrikes Against Islamic State ISIS or ISIL – 10,000 Militants Killed

U.S., Allies Conduct 23 Air Strikes Against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria: Task Force

ISLAMIC STATE – US raids hit jihadists fighting rebels

Obama Rallies America To War & Why ISIS Should Be Thrilled

Pinned Down by the Islamic State: The Road to Mosul (Part 1)

Life After Islamic State Massacres: The Road to Mosul (Part 2)

The Islamic State (Full Length)

The Powers Behind The Islamic State

Why US Airstrikes Won’t Defeat ISIS

Fighting Back Against ISIS: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 1)

The ISIS Uprising: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 2)

Kurds Fight for Control of Kirkuk: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 3)

RAND PAUL TELLS US THE TRUTH “CIA FUNDED ISIS UNDER OBAMA ADMIN TO PROMOTE MORE WAR IN MIDDLE EAST”

US vs. the Islamic State: Why Hasn’t Congress Authorized War? (On Assignment, Oct. 3, 2014)

ISIS : Lt. General McInerney says Obama helped build ISIS with Weapons from Benghazi (Sept 03, 2014)

2015 new BBC Documentary The Iraq War – Baghdad’s History

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 1 of 3

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 2 of 3

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 3 of 3


“I have known war as few men now living know it.

It’s very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.”

~General Douglas MacArthur

Iran Abandons Past Nuclear Promises as Deal Deadline Looms

Tehran backslides on past agreements made in talks
BY: Adam Kredo

Iran is backsliding on promises made to U.S. negotiators during previous rounds of discussions aimed at reaching an agreement to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, according to recent comments.

While senior U.S. officials have insisted Iran will agree to a deal that they describe as a “forever agreement,” a top Iranian negotiator disputed this claim in comments this week.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi insisted this week that any agreement reached with Western powers will only be temporary and not binding in the long term.

“If any final agreement is struck, it will last for a specified period of time and none of the measures envisaged in it will be permanent,” Araqchi was quoted as saying on Tuesday as he refuted recent comments by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Araqchi referred to repeated promises by U.S. officials that a final nuclear deal would last “forever” as “a worthless fallacy.”

“Of course, the undertakings that Iran has accepted based on the international treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will continue as long as Iran is a member of these treaties, and the American side’s resort to such issues which is done for domestic consumption or satisfying allies is just a worthless fallacy,” Araqchi was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency.

These comments run counter to multiple comments by Obama administration officials claiming that Iran would be subject to certain nuclear restrictions well into the future under the terms of any deal.

On April 2, for instance, Secretary of State John Kerry promised that certain measures to clamp down on Iran’s program “will be in place indefinitely.”

“I’d like also to make one more point very, very clear because it has been misinterpreted and misstated, misrepresented for much of this discussion: There will be no sunset to the deal that we are working to finalize—no sunset, none,” Kerry said in April from Lausanne, Switzerland, where ongoing talks with Iran have been taking place.

“The parameters of this agreement will be implemented in phases. Some provisions will be in place for 10 years; others will be in place for 15 years; others still will be in place for 25 years,” Kerry said. “But certain provisions, including many transparency measures, will be in place indefinitely into the future. They will never expire.”

Several days later, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz publicly described a final deal as a “forever agreement” with Iran.

“It’s not a fixed-year agreement; it’s a forever agreement,” Moniz was quoted as telling reporters. “The access and transparency is unprecedented.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf also referred to the agreement as a “forever commitment” in three consecutive press briefings from April 6 to April 8.

Again on April 30, Kerry said Iran has given assurances that a deal will be “forever, forever.”

“There are a lot of the assurances and visibility on their program that aren’t for 10 years,” Kerry said. “They’re for 15, they’re for 20, they’re for 25, and they’re forever, forever. And the forever alone gives us, we believe, the capacity to know what Iran is doing.  We will not disappoint Israel. We will have inspectors in there every single day.  That is not a 10-year deal; that’s forever there have to be inspections.”

However, Araqchi described these statement this week as “more myth than fact.”

He also pushed back against claims that Iran would permit international inspectors to have unprecedented access to Iran’s military and non-military sites.

“I have explained this many times that there is no difference between inspection and visiting the military and non-military centers, that are, in fact, non-nuclear; we don’t accept such a thing,” Araqchi said last week.

Iran will only permit limited and “managed access” to these disputed sites.

A State Department official did not respond to multiple requests for comment clarifying the gap between the United States and Iran.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-abandons-past-nuclear-promises-as-deal-deadline-looms/

War Powers Clause

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording:

[The Congress shall have Power…] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

A number of wars have been declared under the United States Constitution, although there is some controversy as to the exact number, as the Constitution does not specify the form of such a declaration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Clause

The Pentagon’s ISIS Strategy, By Its Own Accounting, Is a Mess

By Bing West

On June 5, at a Pentagon press conference, Lieutenant General John W. Hesterman III, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, vigorously championed both the success of the bombing in Iraq and Syria, and the Defense Department’s method for controlling air strikes. The briefing illustrated how, as in Vietnam, the military becomes politicized and loses focus.

A few observations:

Attrition is not a strategy.

The general began by saying that bombing was “killing 1000 [ISIS] fighters a month.” These deaths, he asserted, have “a profound effect upon the enemy.”

Stop right there.

Bombing is not a strategy. It is weapon, like a rifle. If attrition were our strategy, then the measure is the number of enemy killed as compared to the total number of fighters plus replacements. For years in Vietnam the CIA and the military claimed that bombing was having a severe effect and that North Vietnamese morale under B-52 strikes was at rock bottom. Maybe so, but North Vietnam eventually conquered South Vietnam.

Pentagon officials shouldn’t be political mouthpieces. It was disappointing that the general asserted, “air power is giving coalition nations the time to execute the effort to finish Daesh. . . . There’ll be tactical setbacks . . . [but] we are fully committed to a strategic defeat of the Daesh terrorists.”

“Fully committed” is a political pledge only the commander-in-chief can make. And President Obama has promised we will not be fully committed. Generals must refrain from being thrust out in front to defend political decisions.

Our mission in Iraq and Syria is incoherent.

No can define the American military mission, because it has no clearly articulated political strategy or end state. Yesterday, retired General McChrystal criticized Hesterman’s Air Force briefing. In his book, he wrote, ”I directed all units cease reporting . . . insurgents killed. . . . I wanted to take away any incentives that might drive commanders and their men to see killing insurgents as the primary goal.”

Today, killing is being trotted out as the primary measure of American effectiveness.

Who speaks for American military objectives and means?

Air-strike control is much too centralized.

I called in strikes in 1966 on the ground in I Corps. No pilot ever hesitated or questioned me. Over the course of dozens of embeds since 2003 in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have been on the battlefield with our air controllers and observed the process firsthand. The difference in air-strike control is huge.

In his briefing, Hesterman declined to mention how centralized and difficult it has become for a JTAC or a pilot to release a bomb. Today, a pilot is held morally responsible for satisfying himself that the controller on the ground has made the correct call. The videotape of every bombing is reviewed back at base, often by a lawyer. The pilot shares the responsibility for dropping a bomb, regardless of what the man on the ground tells him. I have been out there on the lines looking at Taliban, and heard the air controller next to me talking to the air officer at battalion, with a lawyer present, talking to higher headquarters, while the pilot circled, asking questions about the certainty of the target. The confirmation loop today is much, much longer than in previous wars, both in terms of time and in the number of personnel involved.

When he was asked about the centralization of air support in his briefing, the general answered with these words: ”we use a multitude of sources to initially ID the enemy. Then JTACS in operations centers do a collateral damage estimate and we de-conflict friendlies. And, a senior officer then clears the sortie . . . JTACs are in operations centers watching with ISR . . . in some cases, [op centers] have better situational awareness because they have more input.”

Let me ‘deconflict’ those elliptical sentences: When an air-support operation is conducted in 2015, operations centers hundreds of miles from the target review what the pilot is watching, record what he is saying, give him advice, and overrule him in those cases where the senior watch officer is not convinced.

Is the application of air strikes in 2015 more centralized and more sensitive about civilian casualties than it was during Vietnam, or the bombing of Serbia in the 90s, or even the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003? Of course it is. For the general to imply that the system has not become more centralized during his 32 years as a pilot was disappointing. At the least, our senior military leadership should acknowledge and forthrightly defend this centralized trend. In sum, the threat in Syria and Iraq will not be eliminated by generals who assert “we are fully committed,” and who take credit for killing from the air without acknowledging serious issues with how we apply air power and whether we are on the path to defeating an enemy we won’t even acknowledge is Islamist. — Bing West, a former combat Marine and assistant secretary of defense, has written three books about the war in Iraq, including No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/419474/pentagons-statements-isis-are-rather-worrisome-bing-west?target=author&tid=901768

Bing West

Henry Kissinger: “If You Can’t Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf”

ACCURATE SATIRE: Kissinger, the most famous living practitioner of international statecraft

In a remarkable admission by former Nixon era Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, reveals what is happening at the moment in the world and particularly the Middle East. [please note this is a SATIRE, which in many regards says the truth regarding the current situation, the interview is fiction, it never took place, some of the quotes are from Henry Kissinger]

Speaking from his luxurious Manhattan apartment, the elder statesman, who will be 89 in May, is all too forward with his analysis of the current situation in the world forum of Geo-politics and economics.

“The United States is bating China and Russia, and the final nail in the coffin will be Iran, which is, of course, the main target of Israel. We have allowed China to increase their military strength and Russia to recover from Sovietization, to give them a false sense of bravado, this will create an all together faster demise for them. We’re like the sharp shooter daring the noob to pick up the gun, and when they try, it’s bang bang. The coming war will will be so severe that only one superpower can win, and that’s us folks. This is why the EU is in such a hurry to form a complete superstate because they know what is coming, and to survive, Europe will have to be one whole cohesive state. Their urgency tells me that they know full well that the big showdown is upon us. O how I have dreamed of this delightful moment.”

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

Mr Kissinger then added: “If you are an ordinary person, then you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, but you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming. Also, even though the elite will have their safe havens and specialist shelters, they must be just as careful during the war as the ordinary civilians, because their shelters can still be compromised.”

After pausing for a few minutes to collect his thoughts, Mr Kissinger, carried on:

“We told the military that we would have to take over seven Middle Eastern countries for their resources and they have nearly completed their job. We all know what I think of the military, but I have to say they have obeyed orders superfluously this time. It is just that last stepping stone, i.e. Iran which will really tip the balance. How long can China and Russia stand by and watch America clean up? The great Russian bear and Chinese sickle will be roused from their slumber and this is when Israel will have to fight with all its might and weapons to kill as many Arabs as it can. Hopefully if all goes well, half the Middle East will be Israeli. Our young have been trained well for the last decade or so on combat console games, it was interesting to see the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game, which mirrors exactly what is to come in the near future with its predictive programming. Our young, in the US and West, are prepared because they have been programmed to be good soldiers, cannon fodder, and when they will be ordered to go out into the streets and fight those crazy Chins and Russkies, they will obey their orders. Out of the ashes we shall build a new society, there will only be one superpower left, and that one will be the global government that wins. Don’t forget, the United States, has the best weapons, we have stuff that no other nation has, and we will introduce those weapons to the world when the time is right.”

End of interview. Our reporter is ushered out of the room by Kissinger’s minder.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/accurate-satire-henry-kissinger-if-you-can-t-hear-the-drums-of-war-you-must-be-deaf/28610

1980-1988,  Iraq-Iran War: Helping Both Side Lose

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Part 1 of 2, Christian Crusades Commences: Congress Declares War On Islamic State and Islamic Republic of Iran? All We Are Saying Is Give Total War A Chance — Obama’s DC (Delay and Contain) Strategy vs. Neoconservative Strategy of Total War — There Is No Substitute For Victory — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 482 June 10, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477 June 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Story 1: Part 1 of 2, Christian Crusades Commences: Congress Declares War On Islamic State and Islamic Republic of Iran? All We Are Saying Is Give Total War A Chance —  Obama’s DC (Delay and Contain) Strategy vs. Neoconservative Strategy of Total War — There Is No Substitute For Victory — Videos


“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“There is no substitute for victory.”

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

~ General Douglas MacArthur


“If You Can’t Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf”

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

Satire of Henry Kissinger 


Give Peace A Chance (1969) – Official Video

War – Edwin Starr

In 90 seconds: Iran & Iraq: An ancient rivalry – BBC News

What does Iran’s strategy against Islamic State mean for us?

General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Thomas Barnett: Rethinking America’s military strategy

In this bracingly honest and funny talk, international security strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett outlines a post-Cold War solution for the foundering US military: Break it in two. He suggests the military re-form into two groups: a Leviathan force, a small group of young and fierce soldiers capable of swift and immediate victories; and an internationally supported network of System Administrators, an older, wiser, more diverse organization that actually has the diplomacy and power it takes to build and maintain peace.

The Islamic State, Iran, and the Geopolitics of the Middle East

Obama Asks Congress To Declare War On Islamic State | Authorization for Military Force Against ISIS

Why US Attack Iran Full Documentary – British Army Documentary 2015

ISIS World’s Richest Terror Army – Full Documentary 2015

Origins of ISIS – Special Coverage

O’Reilly: Obama Has No Strategy to Defeat Islamic Jihadists

Krauthammer’s Take: Obama Does Not Think He Needs a Strategy to Defeat Islamic Terrorism

The Situation Room Special Report: The War Against ISIS (2015)

Top Commander: Islamic State Not Making ‘Major Advances’ in Iraq

What is driving American civilians to fight ISIS around the world?

Islamic State: The rise of Iraqi insurgency

US Airstrikes Against Islamic State ISIS or ISIL – 10,000 Militants Killed

U.S., Allies Conduct 23 Air Strikes Against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria: Task Force

ISLAMIC STATE – US raids hit jihadists fighting rebels

Obama Rallies America To War & Why ISIS Should Be Thrilled

Pinned Down by the Islamic State: The Road to Mosul (Part 1)

Life After Islamic State Massacres: The Road to Mosul (Part 2)

The Islamic State (Full Length)

The Powers Behind The Islamic State

Why US Airstrikes Won’t Defeat ISIS

Fighting Back Against ISIS: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 1)

The ISIS Uprising: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 2)

Kurds Fight for Control of Kirkuk: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 3)

RAND PAUL TELLS US THE TRUTH “CIA FUNDED ISIS UNDER OBAMA ADMIN TO PROMOTE MORE WAR IN MIDDLE EAST”

US vs. the Islamic State: Why Hasn’t Congress Authorized War? (On Assignment, Oct. 3, 2014)

ISIS : Lt. General McInerney says Obama helped build ISIS with Weapons from Benghazi (Sept 03, 2014)

2015 new BBC Documentary The Iraq War – Baghdad’s History

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 1 of 3

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 2 of 3

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 3 of 3


“I have known war as few men now living know it.

It’s very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.”

~General Douglas MacArthur

War Powers Clause

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording:

[The Congress shall have Power…] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

A number of wars have been declared under the United States Constitution, although there is some controversy as to the exact number, as the Constitution does not specify the form of such a declaration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Clause

The Pentagon’s ISIS Strategy, By Its Own Accounting, Is a Mess

By Bing West

On June 5, at a Pentagon press conference, Lieutenant General John W. Hesterman III, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, vigorously championed both the success of the bombing in Iraq and Syria, and the Defense Department’s method for controlling air strikes. The briefing illustrated how, as in Vietnam, the military becomes politicized and loses focus.

A few observations:

Attrition is not a strategy.

The general began by saying that bombing was “killing 1000 [ISIS] fighters a month.” These deaths, he asserted, have “a profound effect upon the enemy.”

Stop right there.

Bombing is not a strategy. It is weapon, like a rifle. If attrition were our strategy, then the measure is the number of enemy killed as compared to the total number of fighters plus replacements. For years in Vietnam the CIA and the military claimed that bombing was having a severe effect and that North Vietnamese morale under B-52 strikes was at rock bottom. Maybe so, but North Vietnam eventually conquered South Vietnam.

Pentagon officials shouldn’t be political mouthpieces. It was disappointing that the general asserted, “air power is giving coalition nations the time to execute the effort to finish Daesh. . . . There’ll be tactical setbacks . . . [but] we are fully committed to a strategic defeat of the Daesh terrorists.”

“Fully committed” is a political pledge only the commander-in-chief can make. And President Obama has promised we will not be fully committed. Generals must refrain from being thrust out in front to defend political decisions.

Our mission in Iraq and Syria is incoherent.

No can define the American military mission, because it has no clearly articulated political strategy or end state. Yesterday, retired General McChrystal criticized Hesterman’s Air Force briefing. In his book, he wrote, ”I directed all units cease reporting . . . insurgents killed. . . . I wanted to take away any incentives that might drive commanders and their men to see killing insurgents as the primary goal.”

Today, killing is being trotted out as the primary measure of American effectiveness.

Who speaks for American military objectives and means?

Air-strike control is much too centralized.

I called in strikes in 1966 on the ground in I Corps. No pilot ever hesitated or questioned me. Over the course of dozens of embeds since 2003 in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have been on the battlefield with our air controllers and observed the process firsthand. The difference in air-strike control is huge.

In his briefing, Hesterman declined to mention how centralized and difficult it has become for a JTAC or a pilot to release a bomb. Today, a pilot is held morally responsible for satisfying himself that the controller on the ground has made the correct call. The videotape of every bombing is reviewed back at base, often by a lawyer. The pilot shares the responsibility for dropping a bomb, regardless of what the man on the ground tells him. I have been out there on the lines looking at Taliban, and heard the air controller next to me talking to the air officer at battalion, with a lawyer present, talking to higher headquarters, while the pilot circled, asking questions about the certainty of the target. The confirmation loop today is much, much longer than in previous wars, both in terms of time and in the number of personnel involved.

When he was asked about the centralization of air support in his briefing, the general answered with these words: ”we use a multitude of sources to initially ID the enemy. Then JTACS in operations centers do a collateral damage estimate and we de-conflict friendlies. And, a senior officer then clears the sortie . . . JTACs are in operations centers watching with ISR . . . in some cases, [op centers] have better situational awareness because they have more input.”

Let me ‘deconflict’ those elliptical sentences: When an air-support operation is conducted in 2015, operations centers hundreds of miles from the target review what the pilot is watching, record what he is saying, give him advice, and overrule him in those cases where the senior watch officer is not convinced.

Is the application of air strikes in 2015 more centralized and more sensitive about civilian casualties than it was during Vietnam, or the bombing of Serbia in the 90s, or even the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003? Of course it is. For the general to imply that the system has not become more centralized during his 32 years as a pilot was disappointing. At the least, our senior military leadership should acknowledge and forthrightly defend this centralized trend. In sum, the threat in Syria and Iraq will not be eliminated by generals who assert “we are fully committed,” and who take credit for killing from the air without acknowledging serious issues with how we apply air power and whether we are on the path to defeating an enemy we won’t even acknowledge is Islamist. — Bing West, a former combat Marine and assistant secretary of defense, has written three books about the war in Iraq, including No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/419474/pentagons-statements-isis-are-rather-worrisome-bing-west?target=author&tid=901768

Bing West

Henry Kissinger: “If You Can’t Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf”

ACCURATE SATIRE: Kissinger, the most famous living practitioner of international statecraft

In a remarkable admission by former Nixon era Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, reveals what is happening at the moment in the world and particularly the Middle East. [please note this is a SATIRE, which in many regards says the truth regarding the current situation, the interview is fiction, it never took place, some of the quotes are from Henry Kissinger]

Speaking from his luxurious Manhattan apartment, the elder statesman, who will be 89 in May, is all too forward with his analysis of the current situation in the world forum of Geo-politics and economics.

“The United States is bating China and Russia, and the final nail in the coffin will be Iran, which is, of course, the main target of Israel. We have allowed China to increase their military strength and Russia to recover from Sovietization, to give them a false sense of bravado, this will create an all together faster demise for them. We’re like the sharp shooter daring the noob to pick up the gun, and when they try, it’s bang bang. The coming war will will be so severe that only one superpower can win, and that’s us folks. This is why the EU is in such a hurry to form a complete superstate because they know what is coming, and to survive, Europe will have to be one whole cohesive state. Their urgency tells me that they know full well that the big showdown is upon us. O how I have dreamed of this delightful moment.”

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

Mr Kissinger then added: “If you are an ordinary person, then you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, but you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming. Also, even though the elite will have their safe havens and specialist shelters, they must be just as careful during the war as the ordinary civilians, because their shelters can still be compromised.”

After pausing for a few minutes to collect his thoughts, Mr Kissinger, carried on:

“We told the military that we would have to take over seven Middle Eastern countries for their resources and they have nearly completed their job. We all know what I think of the military, but I have to say they have obeyed orders superfluously this time. It is just that last stepping stone, i.e. Iran which will really tip the balance. How long can China and Russia stand by and watch America clean up? The great Russian bear and Chinese sickle will be roused from their slumber and this is when Israel will have to fight with all its might and weapons to kill as many Arabs as it can. Hopefully if all goes well, half the Middle East will be Israeli. Our young have been trained well for the last decade or so on combat console games, it was interesting to see the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game, which mirrors exactly what is to come in the near future with its predictive programming. Our young, in the US and West, are prepared because they have been programmed to be good soldiers, cannon fodder, and when they will be ordered to go out into the streets and fight those crazy Chins and Russkies, they will obey their orders. Out of the ashes we shall build a new society, there will only be one superpower left, and that one will be the global government that wins. Don’t forget, the United States, has the best weapons, we have stuff that no other nation has, and we will introduce those weapons to the world when the time is right.”

End of interview. Our reporter is ushered out of the room by Kissinger’s minder.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/accurate-satire-henry-kissinger-if-you-can-t-hear-the-drums-of-war-you-must-be-deaf/28610

1980-1988,  Iraq-Iran War: Helping Both Side Lose

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The Mass Extinction of The Iran Nuclear Weapons Program — There Time Is Up — Celebrate Independence Day, July 4, 2015 With A Joint United States and Israel Air Strike Destroying All of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Related Capability — All We Are Asking Is Give Bombing A Chance — Just Do It! — Corker Bill Is An April Fool’s Joke Or Corker Con Job On The American People — Shame On The US Senate Trashing The Treaty Clause of U.S. Constitution — Vote The Republican Traitors Including Bob Corker Out of Office! — Profiles in Deceit — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Story 1: The Mass Extinction of The Iran Nuclear Weapons Program — There Time Is Up — Celebrate Independence Day, July 4, 2015 With A Joint United States and Israel Air Strike Destroying All of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Related Capability — All We Are Asking Is Give Bombing A Chance — Just Do It! — Corker Bill Is An April Fool’s Joke Or Corker Con Job On The American People — Shame On The US Senate Trashing The Treaty Clause of U.S. Constitution — Vote The Republican Traitors Including Bob Corker Out of Office! — Profiles in Deceit — Videos

Give Peace a Chance – John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band [Original video]

Former Amb. Bolton: ‘Momentum Is On Iran’s Side’

Obama Says He’ll Walk Away From Deal If Iran Can Make A Nuclear Bomb

28 Times Obama Said He’d Prevent Iran from Getting a Nuclear Weapon | SUPERcuts! #184

October 15 2014 Breaking News What is Obama position on Israel and a Nuclear Iran?

Bill O’Reilly Bob Corker On Humiliating Obama On Iran Deal Senate Vote

US Senate Panel Approves Legislation on Nuclear Deal With Iran

Michele Bachmann: Confronting President Obama

Michele Bachmann asked Obama to Bomb Iranian Nuclear Facilities and he Laughed

Iran 2-3 Weeks Away From Nuclear Bomb Capability, Says Fmr Head Of U.N. Nuclear Watchdog

US to Israel: We are Prepared to Attack Iran

USA will not support Israel if they attack Iran

Israeli PM claims Iran 6 weeks away from building nuclear weapon

The Corker Bill Isn’t a Victory — It’s a Constitutional Perversion

by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY

As the Framers knew, we are unlikely to outgrow human nature. So what happens when we decide we’ve outgrown a Constitution designed to protect us from human nature’s foibles?

The question arises, yet again, thanks to Senator Bob Corker. The Tennessee Republican, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is author — along with Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) — of a ballyhooed bipartisan bill that is being touted as the derailment of President Obama’s plan to trample congressional prerogatives en route to a calamitous “deal” that will facilitate jihadist Iran’s nuclear-weapons ambitions. (I use scare-quotes because the so-called deal is still a work in regress.)

So guess who now supports this stalwart congressional resistance to our imperial president? Why none other than . . . yes . . . Barack Obama! You think maybe, just maybe, the Corker bill isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be? You’d be right. When you read the legislation, it becomes apparent that Senator Corker is simply channeling his inner Mitch McConnell.

Back in 2011, the Senate’s then-minority leader was flummoxed by the national debt. No, not by its enormous size. Afraid of being lambasted by the media for slowing the gravy train, he wanted to help Obama raise the debt by many additional trillions of dollars; but equally fearing the wrath of those who’d elected him precisely to slow the gravy train, he wanted to appear as a staunch opponent of such profligacy.

Senator McConnell’s problem was that meddlesome Constitution. On the theory that government borrowing and spending are best controlled by the elected officials most directly accountable to the taxpayers who foot the bill, the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, ultimate power over the debt.

This is inconsistent, of course, with a scheme to impose more crushing debt on the country without being held accountable for it. Consequently, the Constitution was thrown overboard.

McConnell and other GOP leaders hatched a plan under which Obama would appear to raise the debt unilaterally. Congress could then respond with a “resolution of disapproval.” As McConnell knew, either Democrats would defeat the resolution or Obama would veto it. That was $4 trillion ago. McConnell’s chicanery gave big-spending Republicans a windfall: They succeeded in extending our tapped-out country’s credit line but still managed to vote against the extension — i.e., they could tell the voters back home that they opposed something that actually could not have happened without their support.

American taxpayers did not fare quite as well. We are now on the hook for $18 trillion, soon to be several trillion more. If, as is inevitable, interest rates begin to approach modest historical norms, the government’s budget will be consumed by debt service. Our nation, having taken on lavish obligations of social welfare and global defense, will face a crisis that is at least transformative, if not existential.

A nuclear Iran would be a threat that is similarly transformative. To know that, we need only listen to the White House tut-tutting about how “unrealistic” it would be to expect the mullahs to renounce their support for terrorism in exchange for sanctions relief.

In Washington, you see, insisting that Iran act like a normal country is nutter stuff, but trusting Iran to enrich uranium only for peaceful purposes is totally logical. MORE IRAN COULD U.S. WEAKNESS INVITE UNPLANNED MILITARY CONFRONTATION WITH IRAN? CONGRESS SHOULD TRY TO KILL THE IRAN DEAL NOW DEM REP. SAYS IRANIAN ‘DEATH TO AMERICA’ CHANTS COULD BE READ IN ‘A COUPLE OF WAYS’

So Beltway Republicans are ready to put up a fight, right? About as much of a fight, it seems, as they were ready to make against mounting debt.

Cravenly elevating their own political interest over the national interest, many on the GOP side of the political class calculate that it is more important to avoid blame for frustrating Obama — this time, on his delusional Iran deal — than to succeed in actually frustrating Obama. But alas, that annoying Constitution is again an obstacle to shirking accountability. It does not empower the president to make binding agreements with foreign countries all on his own — on the theory that the American people should not take on enforceable international obligations or see their sovereignty compromised absent approval by the elected representatives most directly accountable to them.

Thus, the Constitution mandates that no international agreement can be binding unless it achieves either of two forms of congressional endorsement: a) super-majority approval by two-thirds of the Senate (i.e., 67 aye votes), or b) enactment through the normal legislative process, meaning passage by both chambers under their burdensome rules, then signature by the president.

The Corker bill is a ploy to circumvent this constitutional roadblock. That is why our post-sovereign, post-constitutional president has warmed to it.

Because it would require the president to submit any Iran deal to Congress, it is drawing plaudits for toughness. But like McConnell’s debt legerdemain, it’s a con job. Once the deal is submitted, Congress would have 60 days (or perhaps as few as 30 days) to act. If within that period both houses of Congress failed to enact a resolution of disapproval, the agreement would be deemed legally binding — meaning that the sanctions the Iranian regime is chafing under would be lifted. As Corker, other Republican leaders, and the president well know, passage of a resolution of disapproval — even if assured in the House with its commanding Republican majority — could be blocked by the familiar, lockstep parliamentary maneuvering of just 40 Senate Democrats. More significantly, even if enacted in the Senate, the resolution would be vetoed by Obama. As with the resolutions of disapproval on debt increases, it is nearly inconceivable that Obama’s veto would be overridden.

To summarize, the Constitution puts the onus on the president to find 67 Senate votes to approve an international agreement, making it virtually impossible to ratify an ill-advised deal. The Corker bill puts the onus on Congress to muster 67 votes to block an agreement. Under the Constitution, Obama’s Iran deal would not have a prayer. Under the Corker bill, it would sail through. And once again, it would be Republicans first ensuring that self-destruction is imposed on us, then striking the pose of dogged opponents by casting futile nay votes.

This is not how our system works. Congress is supposed to make the laws we live under. It is the first branch of government, not a rubber-stamping Supreme Soviet. We seem to have forgotten that the point of the Constitution is not to accomplish great things; it is to prevent government from doing overbearing or destructive things. The achievement of great things was left to the genius and ambition of free people confronting challenges without stifling constraints.

The Constitution’s constraints can indeed be stifling. Quite intentionally so: They are there to prevent legacy-hunting ideologues and feckless fixers from rolling the dice with our lives.

That a lawless president would undertake to eviscerate these constraints is to be expected. But is he really much worse than an entrenched political class that anxiously forfeits its powers to stop him?

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417128/corker-bill-isnt-victory-its-constitutional-perversion-andrew-c-mccarthy

 

Obama Kept Iran’s Short Breakout Time a Secret

By Eli Lake

The Barack Obama administration has estimated for years that Iran was at most three months away from enriching enough nuclear fuel for an atomic bomb. But the administration only declassified this estimate at the beginning of the month, just in time for the White House to make the case for its Iran deal to Congress and the public.

Speaking to reporters and editors at our Washington bureau on Monday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged that the U.S. has assessed for several years that Iran has been two to three months away from producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. When asked how long the administration has held this assessment, Moniz said: “Oh quite some time.” He added: “They are now, they are right now spinning, I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000. Plus all the . . . . R&D work. If you put that together it’s very, very little time to go forward. That’s the 2-3 months.”

Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed to me Monday that the two-to-three-month estimate for fissile material was declassified on April 1.

Here is the puzzling thing: When Obama began his second term in 2013, he sang a different tune. He emphasized that Iran was more than a year away from a nuclear bomb, without mentioning that his intelligence community believed it was only two to three months away from making enough fuel for one, long considered the most challenging task in building a weapon. Today Obama emphasizes that Iran is only two to three months away from acquiring enough fuel for a bomb, creating a sense of urgency for his Iran agreement.

Back in 2013, when Congress was weighing new sanctions on Iran and Obama was pushing for more diplomacy, his interest was in tamping down that sense of urgency. On the eve of a visit to Israel, Obama told Israel’s Channel Two, “Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.”

On Oct. 5 of that year, Obama contrasted the U.S. view of an Iranian breakout with that of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who at the time said Iran was only six months away from nuclear capability. Obama told the Associated Press, “Our assessment continues to be a year or more away. And in fact, actually, our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.”

Ben Caspit, an Israeli journalist and columnist for Al-Monitor, reported last year that Israel’s breakout estimate was also two to three months away.

A year ago, after the nuclear talks started, Secretary of State John Kerry dropped the first hint about the still-classified Iran breakout estimate. He told a Senate panel, “I think it is fair to say, I think it is public knowledge today, that we are operating with a time period for a so-called breakout of about two months.”

David Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told me administration officials appeared to be intentionally unspecific in 2013, when the talking points used the 12-months-plus timeline. “They weren’t clear at all about what this one-year estimate meant, but people like me who said let’s break it down to the constituent pieces in terms of time to build a bomb were rebuffed,” he said. Albright’s group released its own breakout timetable that focused solely on the production of highly enriched uranium, not the weapon itself. It concluded Iran was potentially less than a month away.

When USA Today asked a spokeswoman for the National Security Council about Albright’s estimate, she responded that the intelligence community maintained a number of estimates for how long Iran would take to produce enough material for a weapon.

“They have made it very hard for those of us saying, let’s just focus on weapons-grade uranium, there is this shorter period of time and not a year,” Albright told me. “If you just want a nuclear test device to blow up underground, I don’t think you need a year.”

This view is supported by a leaked document from the International Atomic Energy Agency, first published by the Associated Press in 2009. Albright’s group published excerpts from the IAEA assessment that concluded Iran “has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device based upon (highly enriched uranium) as the fission fuel.”

Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst who is now an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution, told me that most of the technical estimates about an Iranian breakout were not nearly as precise as they are sometimes portrayed in the press. “The idea there is such a thing as a hard and fast formula for this is nonsense,” he said. “All the physicists come up with different answers depending on what inputs they use.”

In this way, Obama’s new, more alarmist figure of two to three months provides a key selling point for the framework reached this month in Switzerland. When Obama announced the preliminary agreement on April 2, he said one benefit was that if it were finalized, “even if it violated the deal, for the next decade at least, Iran would be a minimum of a year away from acquiring enough material for a bomb.”

Hence the frustration of Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “We’ve been researching their claim that a deal would lengthen the breakout time for Iran from two to three months to a year,” he told me of the administration. “We’re just trying to confirm any of their numbers and we can’t confirm or make sense of what they are referencing.”

Nunes should hurry. The Iranian nuclear deal is scheduled to breakout in less than three months.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-21/obama-kept-iran-s-short-breakout-time-a-secret

Congress and White House strike deal on Iran legislation

A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to give Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 negotiating deadline, in a compromise with the White House that allows President Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the pact before it can be completed.

The bipartisan bill is likely to move quickly to the full Senate after the Foreign Relations Committee voted 19 to 0 to approve the measure. It would give Congress at least 30 days to consider an agreement after it was signed, before Obama could waive or suspend any congressionally mandated sanctions against Iran.

During that period, lawmakers could vote their disapproval of the agreement. Any such resolution would have to clear a relatively high bar to become law, requiring 60 votes to pass and 67, or two-thirds of the Senate, to override a presidential veto.

The compromise avoided a potentially destructive showdown between the White House and Congress, as well as a possible free-for-all of congressional action that Obama has said could derail the negotiations while they are underway. It followed extensive administration lobbying on Capitol Hill, including phone calls from Obama and a closed-door Senate meeting Tuesday morning with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and other senior officials.

While the administration was “not particularly thrilled” by the final result, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said before the vote, it was “the kind of compromise that the president would be willing to sign.”

Congress and White House strike deal on Iran legislation deal(1:09)
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise Tuesday on a bill that would give Congress a say on any deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. (AP)

In passing the legislation, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) hailed the “true emergence” of bipartisanship on a crucial foreign policy issue, and he congratulated Congress for approving sanctions legislation in the first place that “brought Iran to the negotiating table.”

“Despite opposition from the White House all along,” Corker said in a statement released after the vote, he was proud of unanimous committee support for a measure that “will ensure the American people — through their elected representatives — will have a voice on any final deal with Iran, if one is reached.”

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=senate+proposal+on+iran+deal+over+nuclear+weapons+corker+bill+changes+constitution

Responding to Jack Goldsmith on the Corker Bill & the Nature of Obama’s Iran Deal

by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY April 20, 2015 12:24 PM

I have great respect and admiration for Jack Goldsmith, especially when it comes to his mastery of international law and its complex interplay with constitutional law. At the Lawfare blog, Professor Goldsmith has penned a thoughtful critique of my weekend column, in which I objected to the Corker bill – the legislation proposed by Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and others that would govern congressional review of President Obama’s anticipated executive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Goldsmith claims that I have distorted both the Corker bill and the Constitution. Goldsmith and I have a fundamental disagreement about what Obama’s Iran deal is intended to accomplish – and as I shall explain, this is a situation where the de facto has to take precedence over the de jure. But let me state upfront that I do not question that the president (as I have argued many times) has plenary authority over the conduct of foreign affairs and that, as Thomas Jefferson opined, exceptions to that principle must be narrowly construed. Nor do I, as Goldsmith implies, blame the Corker bill for any deficiencies in the current statutory regiment of Iran sanctions. Indeed, I have argued that the president’s waivers of Iran sanctions are different in kind from, to take some prominent examples, his waivers of Obamacare provisions and of certain enforcement aspects of the federal immigration and narcotics laws. The latter are lawless (though the administration attempts to rationalize them by an untenable interpretation of the prosecutorial discretion doctrine). The former are entirely lawful and written into the sanctions bills themselves. The problem for Obama is that his sanctions waivers cannot be permanent – the pertinent statutes do not allow for that. (I use the word permanent advisedly. The word binding, which I might otherwise use, has a legal connotation that, as we shall see, can be confusing here.) That is, there are statutory sanctions that would apply to the Iranian government and (mainly) entities that do business for or with it if the president had not waived those sanctions; the statutes that prescribe the sanctions enable the president to waive them for fixed terms; they do not enable the president to provide permanent sanctions relief. That is a central issue in the administration’s negotiations with Iran (which are taking place within in the P5 + 1 framework – but obviously the U.S. is the principal player). Iran wants permanent sanctions relief. The president wants to give the regime permanent sanctions relief, but he does not have that authority. This, I think, moves us toward the nub of my disagreement with Goldsmith. He argues: the agreement the President is negotiating with Iran is by design not legally binding under international law and thus does not even implicate the domestic constitutional framework for approving binding international agreements. [Emphasis in original.] I have never suggested that the Constitution prevents presidents from making executive agreements with other governments. (Indeed, I wrote favorably about the Cotton letter, which made exactly this point.) I thus agree, in the abstract, that the president’s merely making an agreement with Ayatollah Khamenei would not be de jure binding under international law. But this omits two critical, concrete facts applicable to this particular negotiation: (a) The only deal the Iranians are interested in is one that is permanent – regardless of whether it can be said to be legally binding – i.e., they want complete sanctions relief, regardless of whether it is by obtaining (1) a guarantee that the sanctions will not be re-imposed (if not by law then by an arrangement that makes “snap-back” of the sanctions illusory as a practical matter); or (2) a substantial payday just for signing the agreement that makes the possibility of re-imposition even more illusory. (b) Obama’s intention is to submit the deal he cuts with Iran to the U.N. Security Council, where it would be endorsed by a resolution. Now, you can say all you want that what the president is trying to accomplish here is not technically a “legally binding” international agreement that enjoins our government from re-imposing sanctions. But the practical reality is that Obama is crafting an agreement that is structured to give Iran the equivalent of permanent sanctions relief (by providing so many carrots now that the sticks will no longer matter) and to give other nations the grist to argue that the Security Council resolution makes the agreement binding even if it does not have binding effect under U.S. law. The Iranian foreign minister has already made that contention in response to the Cotton letter. And, as Obama calculates, even if the agreement is not “legally binding,” it becomes very difficult politically for the U.S. to take a contrary position once other nations have acted in reliance on a Security Council resolution (by lifting their own sanctions and conducting significant commerce with Iran). The way Goldsmith describes the president’s Iran negotiations and the Corker bill, one has to conclude that the ongoing debate about the former is much ado about nothing and that the latter is a complete waste of time. By Goldsmith’s lights, Obama is simply exercising the discretionary waiver authority he indisputably already has, and he is not trying to strike any sort of “binding” arrangement. One wonders why so much effort over something of such apparently fleeting consequence. And for Senator Corker’s part, his bill is not designed to do anything Congress could not already do in its absence: It can approve, disapprove or take no action on Obama’s deal, and whatever it chooses to do would be subject to his veto. So what’s the big deal? The big deal only becomes apparent if you acknowledge the reality of what Obama is trying to accomplish: Permanent lifting of the sanctions in conjunction with illusory restrictions that will pave Iran’s way to becoming a nuclear-weapons power despite current American law and U.N. resolutions designed to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-weapons power. Just as I do not believe the president is, in fact, only trying to make a non-binding agreement, I do not believe the Corker bill is a case of congressional idling. If the agreement is seen as, in effect, of such potentially lasting significance that it should be treated as a binding treaty, then the Constitution would require Obama to find 67 Senate votes to approve it. As I argued in the column, the Corker bill reverses this: requiring opponents of the agreement to find 67 votes to kill it. In effect, I take Goldsmith to be arguing that the Constitution’s treaty clause can be reduced to a nullity by simply calling an international pact an “executive agreement” rather than a “treaty.” As unappealing as that contention sounds, there is a good deal of history and practice to support it. This reflects a reality I’ve often addressed: We are more a political society than a legal one. The Constitution does not resolve with exactitude the division of authorities between the two political branches; nor does it vest the judiciary with clear authority to resolve inter-branch disputes. As a result, presidents trying to achieve particular results in particular circumstances, take whatever seems to be the path of least resistance. Sometimes Congress squawks, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, there is debate over whether the agreement in question should be treated as a treaty, but I cannot say there is a firmly established legal test for when an agreement is so consequential that it must be treated as a treaty. I don’t think the framers intended it to be a legal determination – it’s a political one. On that score, I’ve pointed out that the framers assumed impeachment would be a real remedy if a president, in dealing with a foreign country, tried to do something dangerous or treacherous – especially if it involved cutting the Senate out of the loop. Over time, impeachment has become an illusory check on the president, so it should not surprise us that presidents are less concerned about offending Congress by proceeding unilaterally when they calculate there is little political risk in doing so. All that said, I do not contest, and never have, that there is constitutional license for the president, in his nearly plenary authority over international affairs, to make international agreements (which last only as long as the president chooses to honor the agreement). And Goldsmith is right that I don’t question congressional-executive agreements: If the president can make an executive agreement with another government, and Congress is persuaded to enact – by the normal process – any legislation necessary to implement the agreement, what is there to object to (as long as the agreement does not violate the constitutional rights of the states and individuals)? The treaty clause, however, is one of the most important, constitutionally explicit restraints on the president’s power over foreign policy. A transformative agreement that significantly impacts American sovereignty and the constitutional or statutory rights of Americans should go through the Constitution’s treaty process – and even a ratified treaty (much less an executive agreement) cannot trump the Constitution (as the Supreme Court held in Medellin v. Texas (2008)). One last point. Using an example of something I wrote several years ago in support of presidential authority to waive sanctions against countries that run afoul of U.S. prohibitions on trade with Iran, Goldsmith contends that I have reversed my position on presidential authority over foreign policy. I haven’t. As noted above, the sanctions-waivers we are actually dealing with here are authorized by statute, so this is not a situation where Congress has enacted sanctions that have no waiver provisions and that the president can attempt to trump only by relying on his constitutional authority over foreign affairs. But if we were in such a situation, I would argue that there are some things a president could unilaterally waive over Congress’s objection, and some that he could not. If Congress tried to impose sanctions directly on foreign governments, I think the president would have a very strong case. If Congress imposed sanctions on private corporations and individuals that did business with certain foreign governments, I think the president would have a less strong case – perhaps a lot less strong. It might also matter whether it was wartime or a time of some true national emergency. I believe, in any event, that it is out of deference to the president’s considerable constitutional authority over the conduct of foreign affairs that sanctions laws (and some other laws that implicate foreign affairs) contain explicit presidential waiver provisions. Congress does not want to provoke a constitutional dispute that may be detrimental to achieving policy ends that, very often, both political branches support. That is all the more reason, to my mind, that when an international agreement is of great consequence to American national security, the president should not provoke a constitutional dispute by attempting to act unilaterally. The president should treat the agreement as a treaty – and so should the Senate.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/417180/responding-jack-goldsmith-corker-bill-nature-obamas-iran-deal-andrew-c-mccarthy

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Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East — Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video

Posted on April 13, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Banking, Blogroll, Business, Catholic Church, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Climate, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Diasters, Documentary, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Ethic Cleansing, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Investments, IRS, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Middle East, Missiles, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Obamacare, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 2: Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East —  Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video

marco rubio cartoonrubiorubio immigrationrubio cartoon immigrationrubio cartoon 2marco-rubio immigration Rubio puppet
rubio-immigration-cartoon

Sen. Marco Rubio announces presidential run

Sen. Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid • 4/13/15 •

Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid

Sen Marco Rubio announces presidential bid

Michelle Malkin calls out Marco Rubio for “posing as a Tea Party spokesman”

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz fight on the Senate floor

Laura Ingraham Confronts Marco Rubio Over Immigration Reform: ‘Stop Dividing The Republican Party’

Ann Coulter blasts immigration bill, Rubio – Rubio is the Jack Kevorkian of the Republican Party

Ann Coulter trashes Marco Rubio

Brit Hume and Laura Ingraham argue about Marco Rubio

Mark Levin grills Marco Rubio on immigration proposal

A Conversation with Senator Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio (American Neocon) on Iran “No option should be off the table”

Marco Rubio Is a Polished Performer, but He’s Out of Position

Why You Should NOT Vote For Marco Rubio In 2016

Marco Rubio Grills Hillary Clinton About Benghazi (Testimony)

Mark Levin: “I despise the neocons! I am not a neocon!”

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea (Cato Institute Book Forum, 2011)

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Rubio jumps into White House race with jab at Hillary Clinton

 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday entered the race for the White House, telling donors on a conference call that he is “uniquely qualified” to lead the Republican Party into battle against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it,” Rubio told the donors, according to The Associated Press.

Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.

“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call.

“Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”

Rubio is expected to officially launch his candidacy Monday evening in Miami against the backdrop of the Freedom Tower, a setting that will give him a chance to tout his heritage as the son of Cuban parents who fled to America in the 1950s.

The Florida senator, who is serving in only his first term, is entering an increasingly crowded GOP field that already includes Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.). A host of other candidates are waiting in the wings, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

It had long been thought that Rubio would not run for the White House against Bush, given their personal history and shared base of support in the Florida Republican Party.

But much like Obama in 2008, Rubio appears willing to gamble his political future on the notion that his party will be looking for a fresh face, particularly given the GOP’s difficulty in attracting minority voters in the last two presidential elections.

If elected, Rubio would become the first Hispanic president in American history.

Rubio told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday that he believes he’s “absolutely” the best candidate for the Oval Office.

“I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction,” he said.

Rubio is trying to generate buzz for his presidential campaign the day after Clinton jumped into the race with an online video where she declared her desire to be the “champion” of “everyday Americans.”

While Clinton’s rollout could overshadow Rubio’s, it could also play to his advantage by allowing him to draw a contrast with the former secretary of State, who has been a presence on the national stage for nearly three decades.

Thus far in the race, Rubio is polling outside the top tier of Republicans hopefuls.

But Rubio, a staunch conservative who was deemed a rising star after his election victory in 2010, is very well liked among Republican voters. Recent numbers from Democratic Public Policy Polling found that 55 percent had a favorable view of him, the highest of any potential GOP candidate.

Still, in order to win the nomination, Rubio will have to assure conservatives who were turned off by his involvement in the Senate’s failed immigration reform effort in 2013.

Rubio helped write a bill with Democrats that passed the Senate but died in the House after an outpouring of conservative opposition.

He has tried to make amends for his role crafting that bill, telling activists in February that he’s “learned” from the experience that securing the border must come first.

“You can’t just tell people you’re going to secure the border. … You have to do that, they have to see it, they have to see it working, and then they’re going to have a reasonable conversation with you about the other parts, but they’re not going to even want to talk about that until that’s done first,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Rubio is expected to make foreign policy one of the centerpieces of his campaign, and has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Obama’s move to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Following his campaign launch, Rubio will return to Washington for Senate business, including a high-profile Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran.

On Friday, he’ll head to New Hampshire for a full day of campaigning in the critical primary state.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/238595-report-rubio-announces-candidacy

Mitt Romney warms to Marco Rubio as young senator cultivates relationship

By Robert Costa and Philip Rucker

Sen. Marco Rubio has been cultivating a relationship with Mitt Romney and his intimates, landing some of the 2012 Republican nominee’s top advisers and donors and persistently courting others as he readies an expected 2016 presidential campaign.

In a crowded field of contenders, the imprimatur of Romney could help clear Rubio’s path into the top tier. Since Romney announced in January that he would not run for the White House again, he and Rubio have had at least two lengthy phone calls in which Romney encouraged and mentored the 43-year-old Florida senator about the political landscape, according to a Romney associate.

[ Rubio is the ‘upside’ candidate of 2016 ]

Rubio and Romney have built a warm and trusting rapport, in contrast to the frostiness that exists between Romney and the two current GOP front-runners, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. When Romney said in January that it was time to turn to the “next generation of Republican leaders,” it was widely interpreted as a swipe at Bush and a boost to a fresher face, such as Rubio.

In one-on-one meetings and communications with members of Romney’s inner circle, Rubio has impressed them with what they see as his compelling personal story, his depth and positions on policies, and his respect for Romney and his legacy in the Republican Party.

For Rubio, winning over key elements of the Romney ­coalition could give him a stronger foundation for a competitive campaign. But the support from Romney’s team alone would not guarantee Rubio success against Bush’s well-funded juggernaut or Walker’s grass-roots appeal.

Rubio has signed up two prominent former Romney officials in recent weeks. Rich Beeson, Romney’s 2012 national political director, has been tapped as Rubio’s likely deputy campaign manager, while Jim Merrill, Romney’s longtime New Hampshire strategist, is on board to play the same role for Rubio.

“For me, his substance, his skill and his story really stuck out,” Merrill said. “I always said if Mitt had decided to run again, I’d be with him. But when he decided not to go, I took a careful look at the field, and Marco represents the next generation of Republican leadership.”

Rubio’s courtship has been particularly intense with Spencer Zwick, who served as national finance chairman of Romney’s $1 billion campaign and is seen as the keeper of the Romney flame. Zwick said in an interview that the senator solicits advice from him regularly in phone calls, e-mails and text messages.

Rubio asks Zwick about how to assemble a campaign infrastructure and win the nomination, about lessons learned from Romney’s 2012 loss. Both fathers of young children, the two men talk about their families, too.

Zwick said he remains unaffiliated in the 2016 sweepstakes, but heaped praise on Rubio.

“Have you watched him speak?” Zwick asked. “This guy gives a message about the American dream that is compelling. People can say, ‘Oh, it’s the same speech every time,’ but you know what? Ronald Reagan did that, too, and it happened to work.”

Zwick called Rubio “an astute politician and a genuine person,” saying he “is universally well-liked by donors.”

Still, Bush has established himself early as the 2016 field’s fundraising dynamo, signing up many of Romney’s biggest bundlers, especially in New York and Florida, where he threatens to squeeze Rubio out.

A handful of former senior Romney aides and advisers have fanned out to work for an array of likely candidates besides Rubio, including Bush, Walker, former Texas governor Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The biggest Romney fundraiser helping Rubio is Wayne Berman, a fixture in GOP fundraising circles and a co-chairman of Romney’s 2012 national finance committee. Many Romney loyalists — including friends and associates from Bain Capital, the Mormon Church or the Salt Lake City Olympics — have stayed unaffiliated and are looking for signals of Romney’s preference.

Romney is unlikely to endorse a candidate anytime soon and has invited most of the GOP 2016 field to his annual policy summit with top donors and business leaders in June in Park City, Utah, where Romney has a home.

Rubio also has roots in the Mountain West. Although he was born into the Catholic Church, Rubio lived for several years of his childhood in Las Vegas and, during that time, was baptized in the Mormon Church. In his teen years, he and his family returned to Florida and rejoined the Catholic Church, although many of Rubio’s cousins remain affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Some Romney loyalists harbor bad feelings about several candidates. Privately, they say Bush was not as active in his support as they expected in 2012 and that they think he tried to muscle Romney out of the 2016 race in January.

They hold a grudge against Walker for sharply criticizing Romney in his 2013 book, “Unintimidated,” for doing “a lousy job” connecting with voters. And many Romney insiders were steamed at Christie for his high-profile embrace of President Obama, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore in the final week of the campaign.

By contrast, Romney’s allies almost universally praise Rubio, who was vetted as a possible vice-presidential pick and worked on Romney’s behalf during the campaign. They singled out his prime-time speech — introducing Romney — at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

“He was an exceptional surrogate,” said Matt Waldrip, a former Romney finance aide and Zwick associate. “When he went to events, people showed up. He packed the house, whether fundraising or otherwise. He did whatever we asked him to,
clearly interested in helping the cause and helping the ticket.”

On Tuesday, Rubio met at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington for an hour with Lanhee Chen, Romney’s former policy director, who remains an adviser and friend. Chen said he was impressed by Rubio’s preparation for the meeting, which focused on foreign and domestic policy, as well as his depth on the issues.

“Senator Rubio has spent the last several years developing thoughtful conservative policy solutions, and he has a personal story that makes those solutions even more compelling,” Chen said.

Rubio’s camp has been in touch with other Romney associates, includingPeter Flaherty, a former Boston prosecutor who for years was Romney’s chief liaison to conservative movement leaders. Those talks have been informal, and Flaherty, like Chen and Zwick, remains uncommitted to a 2016 candidate.

“It’s elbow grease,” said one Romney confidant who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Rubio’s outreach. “Marco’s actually picking up the phone and calling people, saying, ‘Listen, I want to introduce myself and tell you who I am and what I stand for.’ It’s good politics.”

Terry Sullivan — who ran Romney’s South Carolina primary campaign in 2008 and for years has been a top Rubio adviser — has been helping him facilitate his outreach into Romney’s world. Sullivan is executive director of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC and is his likely campaign manager. Rubio’s Senate chief of staff, Alberto Martinez, was a Florida-based adviser to Romney’s campaign in 2012.

Rubio is expected to formally launch his presidential bid next month, although aides stressed this week that no final decision has been made on the timing or venue. His advisers are preparing for a long and steady race, with a focus on laying the groundwork in the early-voting states.

Although he has been overshadowed recently by Bush and Walker, Rubio has generated some buzz among Republican insiders. His speeches at recent donor conclaves, including at the Club for Growth last month in Palm Beach, Fla., drew rave reviews.

Rubio has said he can raise the funds needed to mount a serious presidential bid. Norman Braman, a billionaire South Florida auto dealer, is expected to donate as much as $10 million to Rubio and his anticipated super PAC.

Rubio has his own national donor network, which he began cultivating in his upstart 2010 Senate campaign. The group includes donors who participate in the political network organized by industrialists Charles and David Koch, whose California meeting Rubio addressed in January.

But Rubio is making inroads elsewhere, too. He dined alone last week in Washington with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Romney in 2012.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who was Romney’s liaison on Capitol Hill in 2012, recently explained why so many Republican insiders find Rubio appealing.

“I often have a vision of Marco in the cloakroom of the Senate, when not much is going on, trying to watch his son’s football games on his smartphone,” he said.

Blunt then used a descriptor that few would have applied to Romney: “humanizing.”

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