Beyond the Cusp

April 11, 2015

Could Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei be Right?

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There is one leader in the world who has taken a unique view of the so-called Framework Agreement, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran. He has decided to be neither for the Framework nor against the Framework for as he sees it, there really is no Framework to support or oppose. He has posted to his official website, “It’s all about the details. The disloyal side may want to stab Iran in the back over the details; it is too early to congratulate. What’s been done so far secures neither the main deal nor its contents nor is it even clear whether talks will bear fruit and lead to a deal.” The Ayatollah Khamenei might be the only commentator to actually call the Framework Agreement what it really is, all things to all people. As has been commented on this site and elsewhere, there appear to be as many versions of the Framework as there are commentators making their own assessments and predictions. The immediate reality which struck within hours of the announcement of there being a Framework Agreement there were commentaries from all fronts on the terms of the Framework Agreement. The White House gave their interpretation which included “fact sheet” which included the most rosy and wonderful set of conditions giving the indications that the P5+1 had procured every single item from even the most optimistic sources’ predictions of what would constitute the perfect agreement. Then there was the news of the Iranian conclusions about the Framework Agreement which granted Iran every last desire they could possibly have expected. Then there was what might be the actual best representation of the actual Framework Agreement given by the French and the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, both who held the supposed actual copies of the direct, interpretation free, translation of the actual Framework Agreement from which the United States and Iran each had made their own determination and translations. The unique, and in our opinion, near perfect interpretation and potentially most direct and honest translation of the actual Framework Agreement is the French version which is not required to fulfill any expectations nor infer any political intents satisfying public opinions and provide, false as they might be, feelings of safety and satisfaction of our hopes and dreams.


So, if we are expecting the framework agreement, as the citizens in the United States have been told by their media, was satisfied by the Framework Agreement, you will likely not be uplifted by the rest of this article. If you are seeking promises that your nations has hoodwinked the Western Imperialist fools and have used the wiles and tactics developed over the thousands of years or Persian history and conquest to deliver the perfect and most promising possible affirmation of your leaders promises, you too will likely be upset by the remainder of this article. Even those who have been left scratching their heads after reading the French version of the Framework Agreement and desire somebody to make sense out of the jumbled up mashing of contradictory terms and nonsensical jumble of words, we will not be much help here either. We will try to explain what has occurred, maybe even explain some of the why, and finally give a guess at what to expect between now and the June 30, next deadline. As far as the actual meaning of the Framework Agreement, we believe the French is by far the most accurate translation which is anything but satisfying.


The Ayatollah Khamenei probably nailed the true reality about the Framework Agreement, it was actually meaningless and was an acquiescing by the Iranian to allow President Obama and his supporting actors to perform their kabuki dance for their supporting media and spin doctors giving them the ability to appear victorious and gaining the upper hand and have bested the Iranians by issuing their fact sheet while the Iranians were happy to issue their own version of a fact sheet which supported a completely opposite set of realities drawn from the Framework Agreement. The French version tells us everything we need to understand about the Framework Agreement. It is simply the invention which permits a continued set of negotiations despite their original statements that the postponement to March 31 was to be the final delay for reaching an agreement. This addressed the promise to finally reach an accord by claiming that they had made progress and set down a set of agreements which would act as the skeleton of the eventual agreement which is now scheduled to be produced in another quarter of a year, three months. This was their way of allowing another stretching of the deadline kicking the can down the road. If one looks at the promises President Obama and his supporting staff and media have set as their interpretation, if not the actual terminology, of the Framework Agreement it does not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear armed nation, it merely puts that date off by ten years, the exact ten years which Islamic traditions allow for the application of a Hudna which states that the longest period any truce or treaty is permitted is a decade and which can be transgressed by the Islamic party to the Hudna if they feel they have the tactical advantage and strength which they had lacked when seeking the Hudna. Actually, the ten years limit to the majority of the terms of the agreement in the Framework Agreement may be the only accuracy which we can rely upon and yet it is also the most troubling of the claims made by the White House. We are not going anywhere near claiming that the ten year timing in the Framework Agreement and the fact that the Islamic limitation on treaties of such natures being limited by the Hudna to ten years makes President Obama a Muslim, but we would agree that he has a deeper knowledge of Islamic laws and practices and may be more sensitive to such nuances which has driven him to implement the ten year limitation for much of the Framework Agreement out of respect.


So, we have a Framework Agreement and have three separate and conflicting versions of said document with one being so vague and contradictory as to make it worthless, where does all this lead? It leads exactly where we have been before as this is far from the first extension of the nuclear weapons talks. This is notable because this extension is merely a quarter of a year compared to the previous delays which were often a year or longer. There was a statement by CIA Director John Brennan this past week when speaking to Fox News Sunday stating on Fox News Sunday, “I think they realize there’s going to be tremendous costs and consequences and implications if they were to decide to go for a breakout.” And if the deal fails, “If they decide to go down that route, they know they will do so at their peril.” There have been recent rumors that the Iranians have constructed a secret nuclear enrichment facility which was built in an area beneath one of the government buildings in order to conceal the construction from the world and the entrance. This location has been stocked with cascades of their newest model IR-8 centrifuges which spin somewhere around twenty times faster than their original centrifuges. This may be behind the latest estimate which claims that Iran currently has a breakout time of a mere couple of months, three at the longest, to building a nuclear warhead as they already have all the technical talent and abilities to produce such a weapon. This claim takes into consideration the advances the Iranians have made in their rocketry and other weapons including drones and cruise missiles and came to the conclusion that the sole impediment is the length of time it takes to enrich sufficient highly enriched uranium over ninety percent and fashion the core for the device which we have been currently told is approaching a full year but some have claimed the Iranians would only need a few months, somewhere between two and three months. What makes all this of interest is that it is possible that the Iranians desired this three month extension so they can produce at least one nuclear device and to announce that the negotiations are ended as Iran has joined the nuclear weapons club of nations. This would present the world with the worst possible result from talking the problem to death and by extending the time repeatedly the Western powers have failed hopelessly at attaining their expected goal of preventing Iran from producing nuclear weapons. This has been our greatest fear here after the second time the talks were extended for yet another year or more as each of the extensions contained smaller additional extensions before simply setting a completely new date usually a year down the road. This frightening eventuality may be exactly what we will witness at the end of this latest push back of the deadline for an agreement. This is the problematic result of the hubris and superciliousness of the approach by President Obama and his haughty treatment of the Iran negotiations standing aloof and apart from the actual negotiations and simply seeing only that which he desired while ignoring everything else. Now President Obama may be about to be standing facing explaining how it was that Iran developed nuclear weapons not only on his watch but during President Obama’s declarations guaranteeing preventing their attaining such weapons.


There is one thing which can be guaranteed should an Iranian nuclear weapon be tested or used against either the Greater or Lesser Satan during his watch, he will simply blame it on George W. Bush, Benyamin Netanyahu and the Republicans who signed and sent the note to be published as an editorial aimed at the Iranians because, as we all have come to realize as this has been explained to us ad nauseum, it is absolutely impossible that President Obama and those he has assigned to carry out his directives to have failed unless a third party crossed some line and thus caused the misfortune. There will be much of the blame heaped on Israel, her Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, the close cabinet around Prime Minister Netanyahu and with additional blame heaped upon Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon for making threats which caused the Iranians great amounts of fear pushing them to hurriedly produce a nuclear weapon for their protection from this Israeli threat. What will be the result of this ever dithered, repeatedly suspended, and interminably put-off target date for a final agreement which simply had to eventually produce a nuclear weapons armed Iran just as the negotiations with North Korea resulted in a nuclear armed North Korea after former President Jimmy Carter promised the deal made along with the scheduled IAEA inspections would lock down their efforts preventing their reaching a nuclear bomb. We used many of the same people in negotiating these ever protracted and delayed negotiations which oft appeared more like an attempt to provide the Iranians sufficient time to forge ahead and produce nuclear weapons while they were not obligated by any treaty as the negotiations were still in progress. When, and if Iran decides to go to breakout and charge forward to establish themselves as the next nation to join the nuclear club there might be nothing to prevent their breakout just as nothing short of taking the military option off the table and implementing the less than perfect solution but perhaps the only option which will attain the desired results. We can bet that if President William Jefferson Clinton refused to use United States military troops and firepower to prevent North Korea from attaining nuclear weapons then there is absolutely no possibility that President Obama would use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear armed nation, and they are aware of this weakness and lack of fortitude, quite aware. And as we all understand, any arms displayed as part of national armaments will forever going forward have them as an option. Perhaps the only nation to choose to forgo nuclear arms after once having nuclear weapons has been South Africa who dismantled their nuclear armaments and destroyed everything which was part of the research and development such that if they were ever to decide to build another nuclear weapon they would need to start from square one. Still, it appears that Iran will become a nuclear armed nation in the near future if they desire such and there is nothing which will stand in their way. This is the sad reality of affairs and it appears that we will need to address what to do about a nuclear armed Iran and the ramification of an arms race spreading rapidly through the Middle East and also across North Africa spreading nuclear weapons capability in such a relatively unsteady area of the globe. G0d help us.


Beyond the Cusp


February 24, 2013

A Question for Netanyahu

The election results were a ray of hope and promise for many in the Zionist communities. But there is a question which must be asked of Netanyahu because if there is any chance that his intended direction has been indicated by bringing Livni into the coalition while also acquiescing to her every demand; then the Zionist should stop any celebrations and begin to worry that another Likud Prime Minister is headed to the dark side. What would be the indications that Netanyahu intends to fall before the pressures from the Europeans, United States President Obama backed by his recent appointees to be CIA Chief and Secretaries of State and Defense, the numerous leftist NGOs and the rest of the world support groups backing the Palestinian ploy by the Arab and Muslim world to destroy Israel?

It truly was a shocking revelation to read that Prime Minister Netanyahu has accepted Tzipi Livni into the coalition and agreed to grant her the Justice Ministry which was the expressed position sought by Yair Lapid and also granted her request to be the lead in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as her position supporting surrendering most if not all of Judea and Samaria along with half of Jerusalem including all of the Old City as well as the Kotel which would make it next to impossible for Naftali Bennett and the Jewish Home to also enter such a coalition. The first question that comes to mind is how Netanyahu could form a coalition without compromising his promises to Livni. The first sign of the unthinkable may have been occurring right before our eyes as Netanyahu appears to be spending great amounts of time wooing Shelly Yachimovich and the Labor Party to join his coalition. Should Netanyahu succeed in his wooing of Yachimovich and the Labor Party he would be well on his way to forming that both sides of center coalition which has been the center of much chatter since the election. This would also fit in with the rumors that Netanyahu will go to whatever length is necessary to keep Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett out of the coalition. I know, how could Netanyahu fill out the rest of the needed Knesset seats to reach the minimum of sixty-one seats as even with Kadima along with Labor Party, Hatnuah and Likud-Beiteinu only gives him fifty-four?

That is where the unusual leadership by triumvirate of Shas comes into play. Despite the story fed to the media and membership of Shas that the three members of the triumvirate, Eli Yishai, Ariel Atias and Aryeh Deri, were equal and were working together there will always be the suspicion that not all members are truly equal. The truth is that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as the spiritual guiding light is the true and undisputed true leader of Shas and he was the one who decided upon the triumvirate form of leadership in order to soften the inclusion of Aryeh Deri back into a leadership position immediately after he returned to politics after his conviction. This would likely mean that anything which Aryeh Deri decides for Shas will be supported by Rabbi Yosef and thus nobody would ever think to counter his decisions. Deri was well known to prefer Labor over Likud though he would ally with whichever was necessary to gain considerations for the Hasidic heart of Shas. It is this flexibility; some might say pragmatism, which has made Shas the coalition builder in Israeli history. Should Shas also join the above parties in a coalition, then Netanyahu would have his broad based coalition with sixty-five seats. The guarantor that this is Netanyahu’s desired outcome would be some generous deal made with Shelly Yachimovich in order to bring Labor into the coalition over her original denial of any possibility of her being in a coalition with Netanyahu.

Should this actually come to pass, then there are some additional questions which would soon surface. One of the foremost among them is what will Netanyahu do to keep such a coalition together with a number of his fellow Likud members probably having misgivings about their fellow coalition members? With Moshe Feiglin and Tzipi Hotovely and other Zionist and nationalist members within the Likud faction, how does Prime Minister Netanyahu expect to hold his coalition together and avoid losing a sure to follow vote of no confidence. Such would most certainly come attached to some piece of legislation made to satisfy either Tzipi Livni or Shelly Yachimovich or members of their parties by one of the parties not within the coalition, especially should such legislation either be detrimental to the Israelis residing in Judea and Samaria or other controversial subjects. Would Prime Minister Netanyahu purposely hold the members of the coalition to vote for anything which was brought before the Knesset by any coalition member? On the other hand, would Prime Minister Netanyahu deny members of the coalition bringing any motion which might challenge the coalition? And if either were the case, how would such a move be enforced? Would the coalition survive if Prime Minister Netanyahu challenged one of the other party leaders to hold their members to vote with the coalition or be removed from the Knesset and replaced with another minister appointed in order to enforce compliant voting? Would Prime Minister Netanyahu replace members of his own Likud Party in order to sustain his coalition? What would be the result from either of these actions? Such a coalition even if formed would appear on face value unsustainable. This may be conjecture but the possibility that Prime Minister Netanyahu may be headed in this direction is possible. This becomes even more likely if Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid hold to their agreement not to enter the coalition without the other, an agreement I believe both will truly honor despite what some, including Netanyahu, may think or even be counting on.

Beyond the Cusp

February 18, 2013

Obama Appointments Should Pose No Surprises

Some of my fellow Jewish friends and acquaintances have expressed surprise, possibly some cases of actual shock, at some, if not all, of President Obama’s choices for the main three appointments for his second term. It appears as John Kerry was the least controversial among them as Secretary of State but even this was at the least somewhat problematic. The seeming arrogance with which Secretary Kerry announced that he had ideas which would very likely restart the peace talks and guide them to a definitive conclusion was somewhat over the top. There have been numerous people with many more years experience with the problems and machinations of the Middle East who remain stymied by the Israeli Palestinian negotiation challenges yet Kerry is going to walk in cold and solve everything. The last neophyte to attempt to solve this problem with their grand and simplistic schemes was his boss, President Obama, and he made a catastrophe with his mechanisms and imposed conditions which we will discuss later in this article. Anybody looking into Senator Kerry’s record on votes affecting Israel in particular and the Middle East in general will note that his record of Israel favorable voting patterns appeared to be spaced with four years being questionable followed by two years of fairly pro-Israel voting which were then followed by reelection and the cycle restarting. But, the three appointments of John Kerry for Secretary of State, Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan to be Chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) are all problematic for individual and overlapping reasons.


Now on to Senator Chuck Hagel who is still being debated but is extremely likely to have his appointment ratified by the Senate as there will be at least eight and probably many more Republican Senators who will vote in favor ending any serious filibuster as has been promised by Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma. Condemning Senator Hagel’s voting record on all things concerning Israel in any manner would be repetitively redundant. Yes, it has been that bad and that much noted since his appointment as to demand such wording. What does deserve noting with an explanation has been his grand denial of ever voting to harm Israel. He made a very carefully crafted and misleading statement concerning his voting record. He claimed, “There is not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli, not one (Senate) vote that matters that hurt Israel.” Making sure that I am being honest and not casting aspersions where none apply, Chuck Hagel made an absolutely valid statement when taken in the context of it being spoken in politispeak, the form of newspeak used in Washington DC to avoid taking responsibility for one’s past actions. So, why don’t we transcribe Hagel’s masterful use of politispeak into every day common English and reveal his actual meaning. His statement does not refer to how he voted on items and legislation which concerned Israel. His statement renders his vote meaningless as he refers to the vote outcome and not his participation. His claim is no legislation on which he voted either passed or failed due to his vote that then resulted in harm to Israel. To make his statement accurate, he would have had to say, No legislation which I voted against supporting Israeli needs or wishes ever was defeated, they all passed and every vote I cast in favor of legislation and other items that would have been deleterious to Israel all never passed but my intention, votes, desire and heart really were placed in using every effort at my disposal to damn Israel and anything favorably relating to Israel but was denied my victories as I was in the minority on every vote. Now, that is a bit longwinded but gives a far more accurate appraisal of the truth behind Senator Hagel’s mendacity. Truth be told, President Obama chose Senator Hagel for the same reason he chose Senator Kerry, they both share his animus towards Israel and the United States Military and her standing as the leading nation in the world. They both support his desire to denude America’s nuclear weapons stores, unilaterally if possible, while diminishing the American standing Navy, Air Force, and Army while leaving the United States at the mercy of the rest of the world and both have a particular dislike for Israel. Thankfully, the last appointee poses mostly different problems.


Somehow, even after John Brennan decided to opt out of being appointed as CIA Chief at the beginning of President Obama’s first term due to expected difficulties over his record from the work he performed legitimizing the Bush Presidency’s numerous presumed irregularities in interrogation techniques and rendition usage as being within legal and acceptable standards, but now we have Mr. Brennan being appointed to be Chief of the CIA not only with the Bush record but also of having been one of the lead persons responsible for the use of drones in order to take out terror suspects even to include citizens of the United States. As I mentioned last week or so, I have to give Code Pink recognition and credit for consistency as they protested Mr. Brennan’s hearings holding him responsible for both his actions in the service of President Bush as well as his service of President Obama. But even if his involvement with both of these questionable utilizations of American forces, personnel, and their treatment of prisoners or Jihadists without judicial oversight, there are other reasons to be suspect of Mr. Brennan. During hearings before the Congress Mr. Brennan stated the following in a presentation when referencing Jerusalem calling it, “al-Quds,” the Islamic name and not its Jewish, Christian or common referenced name. Mr. Brennan also shares another set of values which correspond very closely to those of his boss, President Obama. Some of their shared views may be a result of both men spending parts of their youth growing up and attending schools in dominant Muslim areas of Indonesia. They both look to the Islam practiced during their youth in Indonesia which was open, peaceful, and largely influenced by the earliest passages of the Koran which were part of the Mecca Koran. The fact that the Middle Eastern and North African Islamists operate under the influence of the later written passages from the Koran as written in Medina to fit the life and practices of a society based on caravan raiding, protection schemes and based on a warlord mentality appears to have totally eluded them. Instead, they believe what they see is a Muslim world that suffers from ailments resulting from European colonialism, Western intolerance towards Islam, Westerners complete misunderstanding of the Islamic meaning of Jihad, Western misgivings of Muslim culture, and Western prejudice. They both believe that in order to repair the disconnects between the Islamic world and Western countries that Islam is not in need of making any changes in their lack of tolerance of other cultures or religions and that all of the problems are strictly found with the Western countries and especially Israel who need to learn more about Islam and be more understanding, less supercritical, and understandably accept that they are responsible for any intolerance or violence which emanates from the Muslim world. Despite their use of drone targeting of known Jihadists, even despite collateral casualties, they are likely to increase such attacks while calling on everyone else to change their rhetoric and adopt a more conciliatory approach to any problems with Islamic entities. Their disconnect between their demands and their actions is simply astounding. The one last shared view is that despite anything else, Israel is a separate and totally unique problematic situation which requires a completely different set of rules and actions. Everything that causes the Palestinian leadership to complain must be caused by Israeli intolerance, insensitivity, aggression and mere existence. No sacrifice demanded of Israel can be considered unreasonable while every point made by Israel is of no consequence.


And that leads us to why it was absolutely no surprise that President Obama chose three candidates who all believe that the solution to much of what ails the Middle East can be solved by crushing Israel with demands of complete and total sacrifice and surrender to the Palestinians and all of Islam. All we need to do is return to the early years of President Obama’s first term when he was the new man with all the answers that would forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It was in these early times that President Obama came forth with his new approach and fresh ideas that were to produce a final solution to this impossible problem. President Obama did indeed have a revolutionary set of ideas, or at least he must have since his first two suggestions had never before been even considered, let alone proposed. Even in their wildest demands, the Palestinians had never demanded of Israel what President Obama was to propose. His first groundbreaking proposal was for a building freeze in all of the contested lands. Prime Minister Netanyahu eventually complied with a ten month building freeze on all such areas except within Jerusalem. This led to one meeting between President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Abbas where there was one handshake, a bunch of pictures, three very short speeches, and then nothing until three weeks before the freeze was to end when
President Abbas demanded the freeze be extended or else he would not talk. Well, he met one last time with Netanyahu and demanded a new freeze with no ending and walked out never since to return. Fresh off his rousing defeat, President Obama plowed ahead and suggested that the negotiations should use the 1967 lines as the starting point for borders. Another ground shaking proposal which has since joined the building freeze as Mahmoud Abbas’s opening preconditions thanks exclusively to their originator, President Obama. Now you likely understand why these three, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and John Brennan were chosen to lead the international Obama team for his second and final term. The gloves are off and Israel has been sighted in and they are ready to fire for effect. G0d help Israel, she needs every bit of help she can get.


Beyond the Cusp


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