Beyond the Cusp

April 15, 2014

Iran Negotiations Continue Going Downhill

United States Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with reporters about the negotiations with Iran which presumably are aiming to prevent the Iranians from becoming a nuclear power by producing nuclear weaponry. Sometimes I wonder which causes a larger headache, thinking of a world containing a nuclear armed terror state such as Iran or having to discern what in the world Secretary Kerry means as he often speaks in such vagaries likely in order to always claim that any quote is not what he meant by his words. Before getting to Iran I thought it might be almost as interesting to examine the exact words Secretary was quoted delivering. Secretary Kerry stated, “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.” He further stated, “So six months to twelve months is, I’m not saying that’s what we’d settle for, but even that is significantly more.” So, according to Secretary Kerry, he can claim when questioned how he came to the conclusion that Iran might be but a two months from reaching nuclear weapons breakout point, he can deny having said that but that such was “public knowledge today.” If a reporter were to follow-up asking if Secretary Kerry honestly believes that extending that timeframe from two months to six to twelve months was actually much of an improvement, Kerry could claim that he had plainly stated that was “not saying that’s what we’d settle for.” Examine almost any Kerry speech and you will find that almost every sentence contains multiple streams with dissimilar meanings which provide him with sufficient wiggle room in order to deny any particular quote by claiming he really meant to emphasize the alternative expressions and that he may have said the other while thinking of a more relevant phrase. It is always acceptable for our leaders to claim that they were reaching and pondering the phrasing and substance when speaking despite their vagueness and contradictory circular logic is almost always intentional to allow them denial capabilities. Enough said about the infuriating vagaries of the speech patterns of for too many of public officials and their always seeking to give themselves room to deny anything said which later may come back to haunt them. Maybe with all the Kerry meddlesome interferences and one sided helmsmanship of the peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis and his seeming to back more of the Palestinian demands and positions and pressing the Israelis for more concessions has infuriated me to distraction on all things Kerry.

 

Back to Iran and the problematic statements and assumptions of the leadership of the P5+1 nations (United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) that Iran is anywhere from a few months to as much as a couple of years from acquiring nuclear weapons and the lack of evidence validating their claims. The Iranians had started their nuclear program under the Shah back in the 1970’s. After the revolt that brought the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his theocratic governance to power in 1979, the nuclear program was suspended due to opposition by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini on religious grounds. After the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 it is currently believed that the new Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei restarted the Iranian nuclear research with the development of nuclear weapons as one of the main aims of the program. In August 2002, a spokesman for an Iranian dissident group National Council of Resistance of Iran, Alireza Jafarzadeh, revealed the existence of two nuclear sites under construction. The two sites he named were the heavy water reactor facility in Arak and the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz. These sites had not been revealed to the IAEA and thus elicited suspicions of the intent of the Iranian nuclear research projects. These revelations caused the start of IAEA inspections of these sites and calls for complete disclosure by Iran of their intents and all sites where nuclear research and development including any enrichment productions of uranium and the degree to which stores may have been already achieved. The lack of full disclosure and other suspicions led to sanctions and eventually the current P5+1 negotiations with Iran following several levels of sanctions being passed by the United Nations Security Council despite Russian and Chinese initial oppositions.

 

We are now easily two and a half decades into the Iranian nuclear program where their aim has been to develop nuclear weapons. The United States Manhattan Project to develop the first nuclear bomb took less than five years starting completely from scratch without even a guarantee that such a weapon was truly possible. There was so much uncertainty that some scientists opposed the entire project fearing that such an explosion would ignite the atmosphere ending all life on planet Earth. Any research with the aim of producing a nuclear weapon in modern times has the advantage of, at the very least, a basic knowledge of the necessary technologies and necessary principles and requirements to develop nuclear weapons. Additionally, any nation or individuals with sufficient revenue would be able to procure exact schematics and blueprints of actual existing warheads which have been available from clandestine sources such as the Pakistani Physicist Abdul Qadeer Khan as well as others. Given all of the available information and evidence it is difficult not to believe that the Iranians have had the ability, knowledge, technologies and components to produce their own nuclear weapons and have been for likely close to a decade. When one includes the fact the existence of uranium ore within Iran the probability that they could have produced nuclear fuel for a weapon without having to go beyond their own borders and arousing any suspicions makes the suspicion that Iran is already nuclear armed even more likely. The final suspicion that Iran has already produced some undeterminable number of atomic weapons, even if only low yield basic World War II ending style weapons is the claims during President George W. Bush’s administration that Iran was less than two years from attaining a breakout ability to produce nuclear weaponry. If one simply believes that this was an accurate approximation of Iranian abilities, then how could anybody now accept that the Iranians are still two months from being able to produce a nuclear weapon and could be pushed backwards to a point where they would need as much as a whole year to reach breakout capabilities.

 

The question should not be how to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon as such is probably impossible if not mute as they have already developed and produced as many as a dozen operative nuclear devices which are deliverable by available missiles some of which are ballistic missiles capable of reaching most if not all of Europe. Additionally, Iran will have ICBMs within the next two years and more likely even sooner, probably within the next six months. They have already managed to place satellites in low earth orbit with limited ability for sustained orbits. Add to this the known capabilities they have as they were supplied with by the Russians which they could utilize to attack the United States through a known and recognized hole in the United States defense grids which were designed to detect a Soviet launch and are vulnerable of attacks coming from a polar orbit making a southerly approach. This vulnerability has been at the center of much of the debates about the possibility of a North Korean EMP attack using an orbit approaching the United States coming from the South Pole heading northward aiming to explode a low yield high gamma radiation nuclear device at between one-hundred-fifty to as high as three-hundred miles altitude over central states over the general area above Omaha, Nebraska. As evidence exists that North Korea and Iran have been working together on missile technology and sharing research and intelligence, it is also highly likely that the Iranians have also been made aware of this vulnerability of the United States which has been further confirmed by the fact that many of the Iranian missile tests have launched in a manner to take advantage of the same approach trajectory as would be utilized by the North Koreans in such a scenario. Additionally, the cooperation between Iran and North Korea it can be assumed that at least one of the reported North Korean nuclear tests may have been carried out utilizing an Iranian designed weapon providing vital technical and experimental data for the Iranians. There is a definitive probability that the Iranians are already a nuclear armed state and have the capability of delivering such a weapon easily striking much of Europe, Israel, as well as United States assets throughout Asia, Europe and the Middle East. When also including the tactics of firing ballistic missiles with a range of as much as two-thousand miles from freighters or possibly from bases in their allies such as Venezuela or Nicaragua all of which place the mainland United States vulnerable to an Iranian first strike be it an EMP device or simultaneous launched nuclear tipped missiles from numerous sea based nuclear armed freighters, the truth of the extent and abilities of the Iranian nuclear programs is made all the more critical. Perhaps there needs to be more direct and unequivocal proof of the exact state of the Iranian nuclear weapons program and whether there exists now ready Iranian nuclear weapons stores. The health and future of civilization as we know such may depend upon knowing the real truth. The existence of doubts over what we have been told by governments and world bodies all completely lacking any solid evidence and based completely dependent on expedient political opinions should cause any prudent person pause and have worries over what is not being said. The current efforts do not appear to be earnest and as urgent as one would suspect if Iran was still incapable of having produced nuclear weapons. It is for these and also my general suspicions that a nuclear armed Iran is something I take as fact and hope those who have definitive evidence are taking the necessary steps to face such a challenge.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 14, 2014

Try, Try, Try Again

What you have with the current attempts by the Obama administration to resurrect the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is a very sick combination of two adages. What they are is, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again,” combined with, “Insanity is trying the same things over and over again expecting different results.” The best example of these truisms is the recent talks arranged by the United States pressuring Israel to facilitate the conditions required by meeting the bribery demands of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. This precedent of Israelis giving concessions before every new mutation of the peace process has been part and parcel of these negotiations since the onset and drawing up of the Oslo Accords where Israeli bending to Yasser Arafat’s demands was required. There has been absolutely no alteration to this under Abbas who was more than Arafat’s protégé but one of his cofounders of the PLO terrorist group. The main difference between the two Palestinian leaders is in their manner of dress as Arafat had his trademark fatigues with a sidearm strapped to his waist while Abbas prefers the suit of a businessman. Both manners of dress are but costumes worn for the desired effect of presenting the West with an image which makes their alignment with the Palestinians more readily able. Yasser Arafat desired the image of the fighting leader of a revolutionary group in the mold of Che Guevara while Mahmoud Abbas fits his costume to represent the Westernized businessman who is reasonable and ready to make deals and offer an honest debate. The reality is both men see themselves as the leaders of the greatest Jihad of our times dedicated to the destruction of Israel, the Jewish State, and the genocidal slaughter of the Israeli population. Both men have given voice to this goal repeatedly when speaking to their allies in Arabic and spoken of peace when speaking English to the Western press and political entities. This separation of their reputed goal of peace with Israel and their honest aims of annihilation of Israel and her Jewish and other non-Muslim population only works due to the complicity of the Western leadership and media who pretend not to be capable of translating anything said in Arabic and only accepting their preferred truths which are spoon fed them in English.

 

The results of the Palestinian tactics are often difficult to realize as they consist of a creeping progress towards the complete destruction of Israel replacing it with a Muslim state. When the Oslo Accords were first enacted in September 1993, the Palestinians had complete control both civilian and security over Area A of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), Israel had civilian and security control over Area C and there was shared control over the security of Area B. Today the Palestinians are demanding control over Areas C replacing Israel after solidifying their complete autonomy over Areas A and B. Israel has enacted building freezes, removal of checkpoints as well as roadblocks, released hundreds of terrorists from their prisons even to include many who were serving multiple life sentences for multiple murders of Israelis and have agreed to base talks resulting in surrendering over 90% of the disputed lands of Judea and Samaria with agreed land swaps to cover any remainder. Israel has made concession after concession to the point where the debate is no longer how to divide the disputed lands of Judea and Samaria but whether Israel will retain control over Jerusalem, an area annexed legally by Israel soon after being liberated during the defensive conflict known as the Six Day War. Keeping these numerous concessions given up unilaterally by the Israelis, the challenge is to name a single unilateral concession ever made by the Palestinians to demonstrate their sincerity towards the peace negotiations. Agreeing to meet and discuss a peace agreement is not a concession but that is exactly what Israel has bought with their seemingly endless parade of concessions made to the Palestinians simply for the displeasure of talking for an arranged period of time only to have the Palestinians back away from any and every agreement they had made during negotiations and then demand everything Israel had offered in return and more to even consider returning to the negotiations. This is not true negotiation, that is manipulation to achieve eradication by a thousand cuts.

 

The current breakdown of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians came about well before the delay by Israel in releasing the final twenty-six terror prisoners of the over one-hundred agreed upon as the price to have the Palestinians sit and negotiate resulting in their refusal to compromise on even the slightest of terms. That was the precedent set for these talks, Israel releasing over one-hundred terrorist prisoners in four batches in return for having the displeasure of Palestinian representatives pretend to hold peace negotiations. Almost everybody who has any knowledge of the history of the Oslo Accords two state solution negotiations could and likely did predict that the talks would collapse failing within weeks of the end date without any meaningful progress being shown. In reality, the main theme of the entire negotiations appeared to revolve around the Palestinians demanding that Israel also enforce a comprehensive building freeze over Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem despite such not being the chosen demand by the Palestinians to hold negotiations. To the Palestinians it did not matter that they had chosen terrorist prisoner releases over a building freeze, they demanded both. With just a month or month and a half left in the negotiations the Palestinians started announcing their intent to blow-up the negotiations immediately after receiving the final batch of terrorist prisoners. This along with their continued refusal to recognize Israel as the home for the Jewish people, their not considering any agreement as an end to hostilities and a settlement of all demands, and their demand that certain particular terrorist prisoners be included in the final release, a new demand not presented, discussed or debated yet insisted by the Palestinians in order to continue negotiations even to the end of April as agreed, this caused Israel to delay the final release in order to discuss these new demands and work for a mutually beneficial agreement. This was when the Palestinians launched a media frenzy blaming Israel for every failure of peace talks and other disasters that have befallen the Palestinians while breaking every agreement including the Oslo Accords by once again turning to the international community seeking recognition of statehood.

 

Now we once again find ourselves inbetween periods of negotiations and the entirety of the discussions being held are focused on what concessions will Israel be required to provide in order to enable the Palestinians to agree to continue negotiations? The demands change almost hourly but the central demands are the release of additionally anywhere from four-hundred to four-thousand additional terrorist prisoners which must include some of the more radical and worst of the terror masters such as Marwan Barghouti, a complete Israeli building freeze in all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, and the immediate pull back by Israel to the pre 1967 Six Day War lines established in 1949 as Armistice Lines ending the state of war between Israel and the six Arab nations which had attacked her a year earlier at her founding and among other demands is the on-again/off-again demand that Israel agree to accept the right of return for Palestinian refugees into Israel changing the demographics of Israel from a Jewish majority to an Arab and Muslim majority. Simply expressed, the Palestinians are demanding that the Israelis surrender on every last final issue and agree to permit the dissolution of Israel as it is known today and make ready the addition of two additional Arab Muslim states, Palestine and Arab Muslim dominated Israel. That dream would be one election of one jihadist pogrom away. Still, should there not be resultant talks in the near term it will not be blamed on the Palestinians ridiculous and outlandish demands but on the Israeli refusal to commit suicide. After these demands make the resumption of talks impossible we can expect to hear not only from the Palestinians about how the Israelis are unwilling to sacrifice for peace but from United States Secretary of State Kerry and numerous other Western spokespeople how Israel squandered yet another possibility for peace. The Palestinians are almost never held accountable as it is far more rewarding to blame Israel and to have demonstrations and reporters covering these stories staying in five-star hotels than it would be to cover say the inhuman conflict going on in Syria or the suicide bombings that are part of a civil war in Iraq staying in hotels that are in an actual war zone. Which would you rather cover; an active war zone from within the fighting or the Israelis inability to sacrifice completely enough to mollify the Palestinians by surrendering all of Israel to them while sitting on the beaches of Tel Aviv. The choice is obvious by the number of first-hand press and editorial reports and articles covering every bit of minutia in Israel and the sketchy reports all of which echo the newswire stories on Iraq and Syria. Yes, the choice is obvious. More soon from the beaches of Nahariya, Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 10, 2014

Israel Fault and Lack of Flexibility End Negotiations

The evidence keeps rolling in with one presumably credible source after another pointing the finger of blame on Israel over the latest failed peace initiatives. United States Secretary of State Kerry was probably one of the closest people to this last round of talks which he negotiated into place with promises from both the Israelis and the Palestinians that the negotiations would proceed for nine months and would likely end with a resultant peace by or before April 29, 2014. The initial agreement appeared to be one-sided though there were demands made of both sides. From Israel, Secretary Kerry gained the concession demanded by the Palestinians as their demand required for them to even consider entering negotiations with the Israelis. This concession consisted of the Israelis eventually releasing one-hundred-four terrorist prisoners who had been incarcerated since before the September 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords. These prisoners had been convicted of carrying out or planning terror attacks responsible for multiple fatalities and near countless injuries of which many caused permanent physical impairment as well as a wider amount of mental difficulties. Many of the terrorists to be released were serving at least one life sentence and a fair number more than one such sentence. These terrorists were to be released in four groups of twenty-six and each subsequent release was predicated on advancements achieved through the negotiations.

 

On the Palestinian side, Secretary Kerry managed to arrange for them to agree to meet the Israelis providing the terrorist prisoner releases could be arranged. It was at the outset of the negotiations that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu made the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the home of and for the Jewish People. From the start Palestinian Chairman Abbas refused to grant this demand exclaiming repeatedly that neither he, nor the Palestinian leadership nor the Arab World would ever recognize Israel as the state for the Jewish People. Chairman Abbas went further stating that it was impossible for a nation to be based upon a religious idea thusly the Jewish People could not be the basis for a nation anywhere on Earth. Despite his stating such, Abbas also held to the idea that any lands which would result in being under Palestinian control as a result of the negotiations would necessarily be cleansed of any Jewish population residing there. Another demand made by Chairman Abbas was that Israel would necessarily be forced to accept resettlement of as many as six-million Palestinian refugees and their descendants, in some cases four generations of family would have gained that right under the rules which are applied by UNRWA and are reserved only for the definition of refugee status for the Palestinians. Also from the outset of the negotiations, despite the Palestinians choosing to demand the terrorist prisoner releases and forgo a building freeze, Abbas and the other Palestinian leadership constantly demanded that Secretary Kerry pressure and force the Israelis into also enacting a building freeze. This request was even spoken of disapprovingly by Secretary Kerry though he eventually sided with the Palestinians on this issue making it an additional demand on the Israelis if the negotiations were to continue beyond the initial nine months. Secretary Kerry also sided with the Palestinians when he posited that it was unnecessary and foolish that the Israelis were demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the home of the Jewish People. His reasoning was that it should be sufficient that the United States recognized Israel as being the state for the Jewish People and after all the Palestinians and even Arafat had recognized this fact though no actual quote was ever produced, let alone confirmed.

 

Despite there being imposed at the insistence of Secretary Kerry a gag order making the progress and machinations of the peace negotiations secret and not released to the press or public, there were almost constant little bits of information leaked by the Palestinian side. Often accompanying these leaked pieces of information were demands of the Israelis which either had not been discussed due to their improbability of being agreed upon or had been refused by the Israelis and the Palestinians believed they would gain the Israeli surrender by appealing to the world in general. When these tactics appeared to have been generally failing and with about ten weeks left before the April 29 deadline for the talks to have reached at the very least a framework agreement, the Palestinian negotiators staged a walkout of the talks declaring they were done with the intransigence of the Israelis. This denunciation was despite the fact that the Palestinian side has also refused to compromise on even a single item during the talks. After a big fuss was made publically, the Palestinians returned to the negotiations even more stridently defending against any need for them to offer any compromise on any subject. Meanwhile there were constant comments to the press and in general decrying the unfairness of the talks and how Secretary Kerry and his main staff were being used by Jewish forces within the United States government. Abbas was constantly noting that he and the Palestinian negotiators were remaining at the negotiating table solely to gain the release of the final twenty-six terrorist prisoners and were planning on “blowing-up” the negotiations immediately after receiving these final prisoner releases.

 

Also a little earlier than the start of the Palestinian threats to depart the talks Secretary Kerry lowered his expectations from reaching an actual peace agreement to establishing a framework and then extending the negotiations and using the framework as the guide in these additional negotiations. It was towards this end that the American team began negotiating with the Israelis in order to find some manner or path that would permit Israel to release hundreds, if not thousands, of additional terrorist prisoners including Marwan Barghouti, one of the worst of the worst terror planners who was responsible for some of the most horrific terror attacks in Israeli history. It was for these crimes that Mr. Barghouti was serving five life sentences. In addition to gaining the release of the additional terror prisoners the Palestinians were also demanding a complete and comprehensive Israeli building freeze by Israel. All the time that these demands were being issued, the Palestinians continued to threaten to walk away from the table and then recant and restate their remaining solely to attain the last twenty-six terrorists release before bolting. With there having been a complete lack of advancement resulting from the negotiations and the Palestinians continuously taking stands in complete opposition to every demand made by the Israelis while claiming that Israel was causing the talks to fail by making unreasonable demands and refusing to meet any of their obligations as were presented during the talks by the Palestinians. After weeks of threats and bluster from the Palestinians the final release date approached and the Palestinians added to their demand four additional prisoners released as well as the inclusion of Israeli Arabs who were incarcerated for terrorist crimes that caused an Israeli response to delay the final release and demand some return concession from the Palestinians due to the change in the Palestinian demands on the final releasing of terror prisoners. The Palestinians refused but the Israelis remained firm in their demand that the final release be totally renegotiated in order to accommodate the additional demands placed on this final Israeli concession warranting such a reexamination of the terms. This is what led the Palestinians to apply to fifteen United Nations and international treaties, conferences and agencies by the Palestinians as their first step to legitimacy through alternate means and without having to negotiate a settlement with the Israelis.

 

When Secretary of State Kerry appeared before the United States Senate committee he aimed the lion’s share of the blame for the talks failing on the Israelis though mentioning almost in passing that some of the actions by the Palestinians being unhelpful. But it was definitely the Israeli withholding the final release and their refusal to enact a building freeze as well as granting the terrorist prisoner releases and even announcing the request for tenders to build several hundred apartments within southern Jerusalem, building which the Palestinians had been informed were to be built before the negotiations commenced when they chose the terrorist releases over a building freeze. Of course the Palestinians felt that they should have been gifted a building freeze and did not understand why they should have to choose only one concession when there were so many concessions they desired to force from Israel. Obviously it was the fault of the Israelis by their demand that the Palestinians make at the least some compromise in return for the numerous compromises, concessions and allowances made by Israel, and not only during this session of talks but overall the negotiations for the past twenty-plus years. The Europeans also offered to assist getting the talks back on track and were implying that it was Israel’s responsibility to make concessions and agree to demands of the Palestinians in order to allow for their return to negotiations without losing face or standing. Of course the Arab League has completely backed the Palestinians and condemned Israel. What can be expected going forward will be the agencies, treaties and commissions which the Palestinians have applied will all agree to receive them and grant them full recognition of statehood. After they have pocketed these recognitions we can expect them to apply to another hundred or so followed by demanding recognition from the United Nations General Assembly and possibly seek membership by applying to the Security Council, especially if they can assure themselves that the United States will restrain from using their veto power. Whatever Israel does from now going forward is of little consequence as the initial stone had been skipped across the still waters and the ripples will only sell and become tsunamis with possibly horrendous consequences. Eventually the world will need to decide exactly how far they are willing to take Palestinian statehood. Will they be willing to intervene with troops and starting a war against Israel in order to retain the narrow strip of land coating the shores of the eastern Mediterranean? It is something we all should fear as such a war would not end well for anyone, least of all Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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