Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Netanyahu's Speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his speech to a joint session of Congress today. Netanyahu outlined the extent of Iran's support for terror around the world. And, perhaps with some intent to clarify to liberal Jews just how grave the threat of Iranian nukes can be, he said: "...listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran's chief terrorist proxy. (Quoting Nasrallah): If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world."

Netanyahu told us what the Supreme Leader of Iran has said about their nuclear program: "Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount - 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal ...in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision."

After the speech, Obama claimed that Netanyahu offered no new suggestions. Obama's plan is to allow Iran nuclear capability and to ultimately provide for the lifting of economic sanctions. And the entire deal sunsets after ten years, after which time there will be no restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities.

Netanyahu suggested that there should be no easing of restrictions until Iran "stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East." And that Iran "stop supporting terrorism around the world." And that Iran "stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state."

Netanyahu also noted that the deal has no requirement that Iran abandon its intercontinental ballistic missile system. Exactly what, if anything, does this "deal" require of Iran? And a huge question remains - just why does Iran need to keep and maintain any of its uranium enriching centrifuges? Iran claims that they only seek peaceful, civilian uses of their uranium. Honestly, I cannot believe that anybody buys that. They have had hidden and underground nuclear facilities. They are developing an ICBM, which has only one purpose - the delivery of a nuclear warhead.

There are quite a few countries in the world which are not nuclear powers, but which do have nuclear reactors for civilian use. And they do not enrich their own uranium - they import it. They import low grade - not weapons grade - uranium, and have no capabilities of enriching the uranium up to weapons grade. They do not have centrifuges.

So for the Democrats who were incensed by Netanyahu's speech, I would ask why are you not incensed by a deal that appears to ask next to nothing of the Iranians. No giving up their centrifuges. No giving up their ICBM program. No commitment to stop supporting terror. No requirement to stop threatening to wipe Israel off the map, along with a commitment not to do so.

Or, are you so tied to party loyalty over the safety and security of the United States and our allies, that you will rejoice when Obama announces that the deal has achieved "peace in our time."

The Democrats Take on Netanyahu's Speech

It appears that a total of 58 Representatives and Senators boycotted the speech given today to a joint session of Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What a nice way to support the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement against the State of Israel. It is also further proof of the difficulty many on the left have of even hearing what may be a different point of view.

Prior to the speech Rep. Charles Rangel said: "I'm offended as an American." Well, Mr. Rangel, I'm offended that you and 57 of your Democrat colleagues did not think it important enough to listen to our closest ally in the Middle East, an ally threatened with annihilation on a near daily basis.

Sen. Patrick Leahy before the speech called it a "tawdry and high-handed stunt." Do you know, Senator, that the deal on the table with Iran does nothing - nothing - to limit or put an end to their Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program. Why do they need such long range delivery systems, when the only purpose for an ICBM is the delivery of a nuclear warhead? Will you call it a "stunt" if a nuclear bomb explodes over the U.S.? Iran does not need an ICBM to reach Israel.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer said before the speech that the Constitution "vests the responsibility for foreign affairs in the president." Obama reiterated that sentiment after the speech: "It's very important for all of us Americans to realize that we have a system of government in which foreign policy runs through the executive branch and the president, not through other channels." So much for Obama being the constitutional scholar.

Yes, the president is the Commander in Chief. Yes, policy is set through the president. But we have a system of checks and balances for a reason. There are limits even on a president's foreign policy initiatives. Only the Congress has the power to declare war, and to raise funds to pay for war. Congress was given the power to "raise and support Armies," and to "provide and maintain a Navy." It is Congress that was given the power to "regulate commerce with foreign nations." I trust that the House and Senate do not have standing committees on foreign affairs just for the fun of it.

And to insure that the president does not enter into any deals that might be considered bad for the United States, the Constitution also provides that 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..." By and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate. Except Obama does not believe he needs their approval. You just have to trust him.

What Obama said was this: "And what I can guarantee is that if it's a deal I've signed off on, I will be able to prove that it is the best way for us to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon." He will be able to prove it. Except that the head of the IAEA just announced that "The Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities." So the monitoring Agency for any deal is not confident about Iranian actions and intentions, but we should trust Obama. Would that be like trusting him when he drew the red line over the use of chemical weapons by Syria?

After Netanyahu's speech, we also heard from Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Yarmuth accused Netanyahu of "fear mongering." The Ayatollahs threaten to wipe Israel off the map on virtually a daily basis. A nuclear weapon will give Iran that capability. I have no doubt that if Yarmuth lived at the time, he would have been one of the Jews (yes, he's Jewish) telling people not to worry about Hitler - don't fear monger. What a disappointment he is.

Of course, some of the best nonsense always comes from Nancy Pelosi. While she attended the speech, she was so upset at times that she was "near tears." She was "saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States..." Do countries have their own intelligence? At least the woman who told us about the ACA that "we have to pass the bill to see what's in it" did not tell us it was an insult to her intelligence, of which there is none.