Beyond the Cusp

September 27, 2019

Time to Impeach President Trump and Other Tall Tales

 

Apparently, the Democrat leadership has decided that the time has come to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. This intent was announced on Tuesday by Nancy Pelosi with the below announcement at a press conference.

“Today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella.”
“For the past several months we have been investigating in our committees and litigating in the courts so the House can gather all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article 1 power, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity, approval of articles of impeachment.”
“Our republic endures because of the wisdom of our constitution enshrined in three coequal branches that act as checks and balances. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

 

We noted that the wording of Ms. Pelosi’s announcement had a glaring omission, namely what the actual charges are for which an impeachment is necessary and the exact charges which will be passed on to the Senate for trial. Instead, we have the urging of their efforts to continue with investigating President Trump stating, “I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella.” Her pronouncement continues stating, “For the past several months we have been investigating in our committees and litigating in the courts so the House can gather all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article 1 power…” Then came the big finally to close her statement with an unarguable fact that, “The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.” Well, actually nobody is above the law, including the President, that is most definitely true. In her full statement, the video above, she states that the offense was the President instructing one of his appointees to keep a whistleblower’s complaint. This is the latest smoking gun, what a whistleblower claims without having even heard the claims, as they must mean that he colluded with a foreign power to act in a manner which would “make the President look better.”

 

This sounds so ominous except that any time a foreign leader meets with a United States President, any actions resulting from such a meeting which follow what the President desires are actions which will make them look good. Problematically, President Trump is overly concerned with appearing to act strongly and thus looking good in the eyes of his supporters and beyond if possible. Should the American people be concerned that the President used a phrase that doing what was in the service of the United States and its goals would “make him look good” is applying pressure on the foreign leader to attain a goal. This is, of course, presuming that one would desire having the President look good or if you would prefer for him to fail and fail so miserably that he would lose any and all support and especially the 2020 elections. We will allow our readers to decide which is preferable, a President seeking to appear powerful and competent or a President preferring to meekness and appeasing others even when such would not be to the advantage of the United States and the American people.

 

President Trump and Speaker Pelosi and Impeachment

President Trump and Speaker Pelosi and Impeachment

 

But the impeachment announcement was not the worst twisting of available facts as that award has to go to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He used the known fact that Israel treats a host of people without asking their specifics and only judges their wounds and the best means for treatment. Israel has provided care and hospital stays, numerous ones also requiring surgical procedures, and after they are recovered, they are returned to Syria and no weapons are provided. From these Israeli actions he concludes that Israel is aiding the Islamic State through intentional actions. President Hassan Rouhani uses another claim that the Islamic State fighters/terrorists use some Israeli weapons. From the pictures and reports we have read; they use numerous countries weapons as they are able to gain these weapons. Probably their most frequently arming is with an AK-47. I guess this means that President Hassan Rouhani should also claim that Russia, China, Czechoslovakia or any of the plethora of other nations producing this widely utilized weapon are also actively arming Islamic State. Then there are the stores of equipment left in Iraq by the United States which fell into Islamic State forces means that the Americans are arming them. No, we all know that this finely crafted series of exaggerations were intended to harm Israel and, as this was during an interview with Fox News, to place doubts and suspicions within the American public about Israel and, by extension, Jews. His statements were just another of the long list of Iranian political attacks on Israel.

 

The problem is that Israel performs and provides aid to countries across the globe on a basis of need and receiving the permission of the receiving nation. Israel does such without any regard to politics. This becomes evident when one researches such activities and then looks at the United Nations General Assembly votes by these nations and the majority condemn Israel at every turn. The fact that Israel was one of the first to arrive and likely the last to leave after some natural or other disaster does not influence their voting at the world body. Did Israel assisting the Philippines after a major typhoon mean that they are assisting the rebel forces on Mindanao or possibly the Philippine forces engaging these rebels or are we allowed to choose whichever would be most damning to the audience which would mostly hear such claims? Israel came and treated the wounded in the Philippines after one of the most violent typhoons to hit land and they did not ask about the patient’s politics or other possible affiliations which might put Israel in a poor light. When people are injured by war, weather or other catastrophic accident and Israel can assist to save lives, then Israel will act to save lives, all lives. Israel has, as we have pointed out before, treated a Hamas leaders’ mother-in-law and daughter, yet Israel most definitely does not support Hamas. They were ill, Israel could treat them and was requested to do so and thus provided them with treatment as required. President Rouhani’s claim is tantamount to claiming an American hospital supports criminals because they treated a person injured while under arrest; in other worlds, simply ludicrous.

 

Of course, Israel has gotten too used to such claims and seldom gives them any more consideration than they are worth. Unfortunately, these claims from over the years have become so frequent and damning that some have begun to fall for this kind of propaganda. What is more worrying is with the rising anti-Semitism worldwide, more and more people will fall for this form of reason and some happily will spread such claims without any explanation. They would take the statements by President Rouhani and spread simply that Israel assists and arms the Islamic State. This is a blatant misuse of Israeli activities of treating those, largely civilians, injured from the ongoing civil war in Syria. Israel does not check identities before treating these victims and only is concerned with making them whole again or as close as is medically possible. But President Rouhani also claimed that Israel has conducted terrorist attacks on Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. If one defines striking weapons supply routes intended to provide Hezballah and IRGC forces which regularly target Israel as terrorism, then Israel would be guilty. But international law regards intercepting such arms shipments as a form of proactive defense and regards them as completely legal. But one should wonder how Iran is so familiar with these strikes and what they took out. That is an easy one to answer. These shipments originate in Iran and are Iranian weapons intended for their proxies to attack Israel. But in this topsy-turvy world in which we live, Israel intercepting heavy-weapons on their way to terrorist operatives such as Hezbollah is called Israeli aggression or terrorism by her Arab and Islamic detractors for a simple reason, they desire her destruction and will stop at nothing to accomplish same.

 

We wish we could say that things appear as if they will improve with time, but we fear that Israel may face the impossible within the next decade and a half. The reality is that with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister of Britain and potentially an anti-Israel President unhindered by Congress, and possibly supported by Congress, in the White House, Israel could be facing a United Nations Security Council without any veto protecting her from the worst intentions which may result. Perhaps Israel could work with Russia or China to find a new means for her protection, but just what Netanyahu would need is a Russian collusion investigation of his own. Fortunately, in the long run Israel will be vindicated and shall become a light unto the nations and the world will realize at long last that Israel is an asset for mankind, not an adversary.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 28, 2015

The Nuclear Deal About to Emerge Hot from the Oven

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The deal has been done for probably a week or two with the great drama being acted by some of the most consummate political dramatists on the face of the earth, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani whose fame he credits to his ability to glad-hand and smile disarmingly while negotiating earlier nuclear talks and simultaneously increasing the number of centrifuges by a factor of hundreds, Iranian Foreign Minister and lead negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif whose charms have been regularly reflected by the dreamy looks pooling in the former European Union Foreign Minister Lady Catherine Aston, and finally United States Secretary of State John Kerry who in his foremost starring role before the United States Senate where he adamantly swore that his fellow soldiers in Viet Nam had committed crimes and swarmed across the nation and “razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.” These men along with a stellar emphasis to everything being played by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei who echoed the chanting crowds in Tehran this week in their carefully choreographed performance shouting in response to his lead in their weekly performance of “Death to America.” All this theater will climax culminating next week, which would not be complete without the man who made all this possible by directing the American surrender point by point, President Barack Obama, whose entire schedule has been cleared past Monday in preparation of a signing ceremony. All this was made clear by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest who stated, “The president’s schedule for the rest of the week actually remains pretty fluid.” When pressed for further information he coyly replied, “We’ve got some more details on the schedule that need to be hammered out.” As if this was sufficient high drama, a British diplomat told reporters on the sidelines of negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, “We have made substantial progress in a number of areas but there are still important issues where no agreement has so far been possible. Our task, therefore, for the next few days is to see if we can bridge the gaps and arrive at a political framework which could then be turned into an agreement.” Such high drama it makes one’s head spin almost twisting it off but simply making the reader dizzy.

 

All this drama has had a price, a price which was paid by one side taking a grand and novel approach to negotiations which was explained not long ago as the instructions given to the United States negotiating team that when meeting Iranian resistance to any proposal to simply agree to put that item aside and pursue the next point all in order to emphasize those things the two sides were in agreement on so as to have a favorable report of accomplishments which could be presented to the media and to move the talks forward. This plan was to set the stage for final negotiations on the remaining subjects which were considered important enough to readdress. This leads one to question as to what percentage of the bypassed subjects where Iran showed any amount of opposition were left bypassed and what percentage were considered worth readdressing and pressing for a workable compromise short of a complete surrender. Another point which is as preposterous an idea as any I have heard is the ten year expiration date on the agreement after which the Iranians would no longer have any restrictions they would have to abide and could move full speed towards the manufacture of as many nuclear warheads of any designs including multiple warhead, thermonuclear warheads, Super EMP warheads which the Russians have informed they gave to the Iranians, tactical nuclear warheads deliverable by moderate range ballistic missiles or even artillery or any other designs they may have developed with no restrictions on total numbers. One can only guess how many warheads the Iranians might produce in the first few years after the agreement expires after a decade. What is surprising is that the length of the agreement was not closer to four or five years thus just long enough that the next President would be facing a very brief period in which to press for a new treaty but would be restricted on the means to pressure Iran as economic sanctions would be off the table until the treaty expired and then would not be sufficiently successful in pressing Iran to negotiate for probably three to five years during which they would be producing as many warheads as they were capable. No matter which way one looks at the coming agreement, there is no way to give it a favorable reality.

 

Still, President Obama has assured us that there is no way we can know what will come to pass in the decade respecting the governance of Iran. He offered the supposition that within the decade there was a good possibility that Iran would become a functioning government which would eschew nuclear weapons and decide that being accepted within the community of nations and having favorable standing while pursuing trade relations with the western nations as well as in Asia and the rest of the world giving up on their desire for nuclear weapons. While in a decade’s time the United States may have elected their second or even third President succeeding President Obama and who knows how much they may change the nation but we can probably safely bet that Iran will have a very similar governance as they currently possess with the only likely change being their President and their parliament while they might also have some new faces on the Assembly of Experts of the Leadership and a new set of leaders sitting on the twelve member Guardian Council of the Constitution but they are also very likely to still have as their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei. In the event of his death, then we will see a similar new Supreme Leader where the greatest change will not be in his views and policies he will execute but maybe his name will show a greater degree of change than Khamenei differed from his predecessor Khomeini. The continuity of the policies under Khomeini and then followed by Khamenei differed not much more than their names sounded different, in other words they were equally obsessed with exporting the Shiite form of Islam, gaining superiority over the rest of the Muslim world, especially over Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the rest of the oil producing Gulf states, the death and destruction of Israel as well as the United States, leading the Muslim world and sweep across Europe and seeking hegemonic preeminence over as much of the world as they prove capable with some claiming that there might even be a special desire to swarm marauding over the Greek Islands as revenge for Alexander the Great’s crushing victory over the Persian Army at the Battle of Gaugamela, some national pride demands holding grudges a little longer than others, but all the way from 331 B.C. seems a bit much. The best bet is that Iranian governance will not be changed in the near or foreseeable future which makes the making an agreement with a sunset clause all the more problematic, yet the Iranians are threatening to sink the negotiations as even that decade is too long for them to wait to claim their ultimate weapons.

 

There have been reports that the French, yes, the French, are the most skeptical of the terms of the agreement and as we mentioned just a few days ago, the French may be the world’s last hope of forcing the negotiations to produce a better deal or possibly blowing up the negotiations completely if the Iranians demand that the deal they have accepted be signed or they will take their ball and go home without any deal. That there might be no deal, though I would bet that President Obama would sign any deal with Iran all by himself even if all the other P5+1 nations, France, Britain, Germany and even unbelievable as it is, Russia and China, all refused the deal brokered each for their own reasons. President Obama has proven to the Iranian leadership through actions and even inactions, words and silence, and in every way possible and even some thought impossible, that he desperately not only wants but must have a deal with the Iranian signature next to his signature just as badly as did British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain desired a treaty signed by he along with a reluctant French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and principally German Chancellor Adolf Hitler along with Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini who was of lesser importance in Munich with the completion of the Munich Agreement of 1938 which sacrificed Czechoslovakia and led near directly to World War II. Let us pray that the agreement with Iran does not similarly lead to Iran swarming across the Gulf oil kingdoms and then on to the Sudan and into Egypt and Libya as well as Jordan and even Turkey.

 

That brings us to the recent war of words with Turkey recently complaining that Iran was attempting to dominate the Middle East which drew a response from Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif accusing Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of fomenting all of the strife in the Middle East likely referring to the rumors that Turkey is financing ISIS and permitting infiltrators desiring to join ISIS to access Syria by crossing the Turkish-Syrian border unopposed. Add to this the Saudi airstrikes on the presumed Iranian supplied and tactically aided with intelligence Houthis who have taken control of the capital in Yemen and are attempting to push further across Yemen unseating al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and giving Iran a southern border threat against Saudi Arabia. As to this the active support Iran provides for Syrian dictator al-Assad, their supplying both Hamas and Hezballah presumably to threaten Israel and prevent the Israelis from striking the Iranian nuclear sites and potentially beyond that and striking their command and control, military bases and even the halls of power attempting to decapitate the Iranian leadership and finally aiding Iraq fighting ISIS to the point that Iran now appears to be taking the lead in this defense of Iraq and may be a card played by Iran at the nuclear talks. There have been indications, though no actual smoking gun proof, that Iran, possibly through Hezballah from the tri-border area camps, may have ordered or even actually committed the murder of Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Sometimes it is almost like one needs a program with maps and a decoder ring just to get through any of the goings on originating just from the nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). All of this and we did not even go into the Israeli-Arab (Palestinian) tangled imbroglio. Perhaps that can wait until tomorrow if events prove such necessary. Meanwhile, who’s on first and what’s the name of the second baseman, I give up; he’s our shortstop.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 20, 2013

Iran Using Same Old Ploy with a New Face

We just had another week of a new round of negotiations with Iran concerning their nuclear program and concerns whether it is designed to simply produce energy, as Iran claims, or working towards nuclear weapons, as Israel fears. The P5+1 (United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) had varied claims concerning the results of these initial talks, with President Obama’s spokesman James Carney was quoted claiming these talks showed a “level of seriousness and substance that we have not seen before.” The European Union spokesman Michael Mann said, “We have come here with a sense of cautious optimism and a great sense of determination because we believe it’s really time now for tangible results.” Both of these statements indicate the optimism and hopefulness by the Western leaders to find something, anything positive on which to pin their hopes and desires to avoid any situation which might necessitate their need to take actions to prevent the Iranians from reaching the goal of nuclear weapons production. Meanwhile, the intent of the Iranians was probably best represented by their new President, Hassan Rouhani, who said Saturday that his country is pursuing “a win-win game” in its talks with the West. Additionally, President Rouhani said meeting with Giulio Haas, the new Swiss ambassador to Tehran, “I believe that during the Geneva talks, the political will of the Islamic Republic of Iran became evident to both sides.” The duplicitous meanings of his statements is as apparent as they were when similar position statements and intents were couched in diplo-double-talk where each listener is able to take from the statements either assurances or suspicions while the speaker has actually not made a definitive statement defining anything.

 

The truth of these meetings is that the main agreement they actually were able to reach was to agree to meet again in Geneva on November 7th and 8th. If anyone is able to remember, a feat that appears to be beyond many Western politicians and negotiators, back to the previous initial meetings before President Rouhani was elected and the face of Iran was President Ahmadinejad, then you will recall that at those initial meetings also ended with the Western leaders finding great hope, promise, and a “new honesty” coming from the Iranian negotiators, especially when the Iranians had appointed a new lead negotiator, and these meetings too only honestly resulted in the sides agreeing to meet again sometime in the ensuing six to eight weeks. So, we once again find ourselves at the stage of the Iranian nuclear negotiations where hope springs eternal, Iran has just outlined a new honest approach showing a real sense of sincerity and willingness to make real progress towards allying the fears that they are seeking to make nuclear weapons. They have intimated their willingness to allowing inspections at all of their nuclear sites, the end to enrichment to or above 20%, conversion of current enriched Uranium into fuel rods (a technology that many believe may be beyond Tehran’s abilities to produce), snap surprise inspections by the IAEA, and a slew of other goodies all of which were stated with the design of whetting the appetites and spurring on the hopes of the Western leaders that a new dawn was at hand. All of this has such a “Peace in our time” feeling to it that is just downright scary. I am almost expecting one of the Western lead negotiators to deplane holding a piece of paper above his head as he walks up to the waiting press and a cluster of microphones to announce the great breakthrough and the end of all suspicions over the obviously innocence of the Iranian nuclear program and the mechanisms which will assure all but the most cynical disbeliever. Whether or not they add Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s name as that disbeliever or not, we here can add Beyond the Cusp as that disbeliever.

 

These new promises and revelations of the Iranians desire for openness and an honest deal which will ally all fears is nothing new. At the November meetings the Iranians will begin backpedalling from those positions as they start to define them back away from the optimistic interpretations currently all over the press coverage and new sticking points will soon begin to appear as those same optimistic Western leaders are faced with the reality that Iran was playing chess while they were engaging in tiddlywinks. It is the same old pattern but this time instead of the contorted screaming madman face of Ahmadinejad the Iranians have the new, improved, smiling face of President Hassan Rouhani to reassure that Iran is sincere and this time is truly different. When it comes to believing such all we can say is, not so much. Let’s see what you say down the road as we have seen this song and dance before. We have all taken the pony ride of the new Iranian negotiator and this new Iranian President has very much the same old feel of that previous game. The only sane approach to this new level of excitement and expectations of a great new beginning is to honestly admit that we have all seen this before and we will judge by what the Iranians are not only willing to sign on to in an agreement but furthermore, how well they abide by those same terms when the surprise inspections begin and the enforcements of the other stipulations. But first things first, we still have a long road to traverse before we even get to the first stages of writing the actual agreements, let alone signing and implementing them. We must do as was promised by President Reagan in his arms treaty with the Soviets, “Trust but verify!” That has to be our minimal demand before we can celebrate the new Iranian attitude.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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