“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Sean Hannity, who has an IQ number slightly south of his body temperature, gets his clock cleaned by Pat Buchanan

PAT BUCHANAN: Listen to the American head of intelligence. He says Iran does not have a bomb program as of 2013. Secondly if they start building a bomb, we will know it. Third, Iran has made some concessions there are not enough that makes them less able to go – 

SEAN HANNITY: Go back to 2012 when we found out they were far more advanced in the nuclear production and program than we ever thought was possible. That’s what Obama’s own government said. 

PAT BUCHANAN: You’re friend Bibi's been talking about Iran getting a bomb since 1992. In 2006 he said they'll be building 25 bombs by the end of the decade. Are they? No. 

SEAN HANNITY: Patrick Buchanan. You don't have any concerns at all about sitting down -- by the way, there's a big difference between the Cold War and the Russians that had nuclear weapons and America paving the way for them to get nuclear weapons considering I would argue that before any negotiations take place, pat, I’m not against negotiations. But first you have to change your behavior. Stop being a state sponsor of terror. Stop fighting proxy wars. Stop funding groups like Hezbollah and other groups. How’s that? 



PAT BUCHANAN: In Syria, in Iraq, okay, the Iranians and their allies, Hezbollah, the Shiite militia who are a dreadful bunch, Assad, are fighting ISIS. They are fighting al Qaeda. The Houthi rebels in Yemen are fighting ISIS & al-Qaeda? 

SEAN HANNITY: And how ironic that we’re serving as their air force in those instances.

PAT BUCHANAN: Who are they killing, Sean? They are killing our enemies. They are killing our enemies. 

SEAN HANNITY: Okay. And then we're also fighting against them in Yemen with the Saudis. So explain that logic to me. 

PAT BUCHANAN: I’ll tell you what the Saudis are going to do. The Saudis are making a terrible mistake. If they go in there on the ground, it will be their Vietnam. When I was a young editorial writer, Egypt – 

SEAN HANNITY: If they don't go in there, then they're going to be surrounded by the Iranians which by the way wants to clearly build themselves a huge power for themselves in the region. And that would be more dangerous as the Jordanians and Egyptians believe. 

PAT BUCHANAN: Sean, the reason Iran’s going to have a power in the gulf because your president George W. Bush invaded Iraq and turned it into an ally of Iran. 

SEAN HANNITY: Excuse me, pat, if you're going to bring it up, point out that the surge worked. And in 2007 if the admonition of keeping intelligence and training troops on the ground were met by Obama, we wouldn't be in this position, would we?


SEAN HANNITY: Would we? 

PAT BUCHANAN: The reason we're in this position is because Saddam Hussein, a thug, was overthrown, his state was destroyed, his army was broken up, elections were held by Bush, democracy crusade and the Shia won and we lost control of Iraq. 

SEAN HANNITY: You believe we can make a deal with the Iranians? You believe with peace with the Iranians in our time?

PAT BUCHANAN: I’m not scared of Iran for god sakes. 

SEAN HANNITY: Now you sound like Obama. Iran is a tiny country, they're not a threat. Do you believe that? 

PAT BUCHANAN: Bibi is sitting on 200 atom bombs and fretting over Iran which hasn’t even produced weapons grade uranium.

SEAN HANNITY: It is going to create an arms race with the likes of which the world has never seen with one distinction, Pat. Nuclear weapons in the hands of radical Islamic mullahs. You really want that? 

PAT BUCHANAN: The United States could finish off Iran in an afternoon. What are you frightened of, Sean? 

SEAN HANNITY: I think it's a bad idea. 

PAT BUCHANAN: I think it's a bad idea for them to get a bomb. And I think we can stop it. 

SEAN HANNITY: …Just like we finished off North Korea in an afternoon, Pat?
Pat, I think you're dreaming. Thank you, sir. 

PAT BUCHANAN: I think you're hysterical, Sean. 

SEAN HANNITY: I’m hysterical. I don’t want the mullahs Iran. I take their words seriously. Just like Churchill took the words of Hitler seriously and Chamberlain thought he could have peace.

SEAN HANNITY: How did England turn out when they actually followed Churchill’s advice. 

PAT BUCHANAN: Won the war? They’re on American food stamps. They lost them empire because of getting involved. 

SEAN HANNITY: What was their option, to not fight the Nazis?


  1. The best argument I've heard is the simple "3 options" argument.

  2. BY ROBERT FISK – 04 APRIL 2015

    Iran was reborn as a major Middle East nation when it agreed to limit its nuclear ambitions. Despite the “ifs” (if Iran complies with the “key parameters”, if Iran’s Revolutionary Guards don’t try to wreck the agreement, if Israel does not batter Iran’s nuclear facilities in a rogue nation attack) the framework could one day return the 36-year-old Islamic Republic to the status of a regional superpower which last existed under the Shah.

    Which is why the Saudis are so angry. For Iran as America’s new best friend may seriously damage Saudi Arabia’s privileged alliance with the United States. A kingdom that violates human rights in its treatment of women and fails to adapt to any form of free speech was never a “natural” ally of Washington, even if America’s friends have always included some extremely nasty states.

    If Iran and the West keep their word, however, and the distrust which even Secretary of State John Kerry admits still exists, turns into mutual confidence, then this week’s compromise agreement – and compromise is admittedly a very dodgy piece of machinery in the Middle East – could have an enormous political effect on the region. Iran could, over time, become America’s “policeman in the Gulf” as it was under the Shah’s reign.

    And who would be surprised if the US begins to re-examine its relationship with the Wahhabi Saudis who gave the world Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11? Their state religion is the same as that of the Taliban and, alas, of the more gruesome rebels in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia as a state will do its best to pose, as usual, as the symbol of the local “anti-terrorist” struggle. But the times they are a-changing, albeit slowly.

    Egypt needs American assistance in the billions. Former Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (now President Sisi) knows very well that US orders must be obeyed – that’s why Egypt cut off its alliance with Hamas, to isolate Israel’s enemies. Qatar and the Emirates will have to accept any American final agreement.

    1. As for Iran’s only Arab ally, Syria – and Iraq has not yet reached that status – the Lausanne agreement looks like the best news Bashar al-Assad has had in Syria since the Russians prevented America’s air raids on his regime. Indeed, more and more Arabs will be inclined to believe that his life expectancy could be as long as that of his father, Hafez.

      Unless, of course, Iran can now impose a ceasefire on Syria. Certainly Lausanne may one day be a key to the future of a country whose conflict has become one of the greatest Arab tragedies of modern times.

      Every media lad and lass has been telling the world of Israel’s displeasure. And we all know how Israel’s friends among the Republicans in Congress could go into wrecking mode. But no one has asked about that other great tragedy of the Middle East, the Palestinians.

      How soon will Iran suggest that a Palestinian state should be an important part of its new relationship with America? In which case, Kerry’s utter failure in Israeli-Palestinian talks – symbolised by “Palestine’s” new membership of the International Criminal Court – may come back to haunt him after his greatest political achievement.

      Unless. Unless Damascus falls to Isis or the soldier-killers of Sinai bring their trade to Cairo or the Saudi assault on Iran’s Shia friends in Yemen turns into a fiasco. The dangers are obvious. And whenever Washington boasts of its Middle East achievements – we do not need to recall “Mission Accomplished” – a debacle usually follows.

      Yet history often turns in circles, even in little Swiss cities. Lausanne is where the Ottoman Empire was finally closed down in the last century – it is something to which Osama bin Laden used to allude – and where caliphates came to an end before the modern Arab dictators recreated them with their own families.

      Perhaps the Iranian empire, or a modern version of it, will one day come to believe its rebirth occurred in the same Swiss town. So watch out for the next political earthquake in the Middle East. But remember all those “ifs”.

  3. Shia paramilitaries started leaving Tikrit on Saturday following a government deal after locals complained that some fighters had spent several days looting the Sunni city after helping retake it from Isis.

    “As of this afternoon, the (paramilitaries) started to leave the city towards the surrounding areas outside,” said Ahmed al-Kraim, the head of the council of Tikrit and its province, Salahuddin. “The looting and vandalism against residents’ properties stopped today and things are getting better.”

    The decision for the paramilitaries to exit came after a meeting between Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, a Shia Islamist, and officials from Salahuddin province. Tikrit was retaken from Isis militants on Wednesday.

    1. Meanwhile:

      The US and its allies conducted 15 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria during the past 24 hours, a US military statement said on Saturday.

      It said Isis targets near various Iraqi cities, including Mosul and Baiji, were hit in nine air attacks during the 24 hours to Saturday morning. In Syria, five air strikes were carried out near the northern border town of Kobani and one near Hasakah, the statement said.

      Dead Men Dyin' all over the place

  4. The stunning Iran nuclear deal achieves all of our key national security goals and then some. It is a remarkable triumph that, once finalized in late June, will dramatically shrink Iran's nuclear program, freeze it, lock it up and put it under a microscope.

    There are many details to work out, but the only reason to be against this deal is if you never wanted a deal in the first place.

    That, of course, was the position of President Obama's political and ideological opponents here and abroad. They were caught flat-footed by the breadth and depth of the deal, left with little more than hyperbole and insults.

    Wrong and Wronger

    Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) compared the deal to Nazi appeasement. "There's nothing for Iranians to do but go at breakneck speed to a nuclear weapon," Kirk said.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated what he has been saying for the past two years, that the deal would "pave the way" for Iran to build a bomb. (Actually, he has been warning that Iran was just a few years from a bomb since 1992).

    Netanyahu, Kirk and the entire neoconservative political apparatus also denounced the interim accord reached in November 2013 as a "bad deal." They were wrong. And yesterday Obama told them so:

    Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today's framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran's nuclear program and roll it back in key areas. And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, and that we could not verify their compliance and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended. Iran has met all of its obligations. It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material. Inspections of Iran's program increased. And we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.

    Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.

    1. Indeed, Obama's critics have been wrong about every aspect of this negotiation since Obama first declared his willingness to talk with our adversaries in a July 2007 presidential debate. As Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim notes:

      Coming on the heels of major deals with two other longtime U.S. adversaries, China and Cuba, Obama is steadily building a diplomatic legacy to match his campaign rhetoric. . . With the only realistic alternative to negotiations being war on Iran, Obama's commitment to the process stands as a testament to the power of diplomacy to avoid, or at least postpone, bloodshed.

      How to Frame a Win-Win

      The beauty of this deal is how it allows all of the nations involved to leave the table and declare victory. Every good deal must do that, whether it is labor and management, or players and owners, or the P5+1 and Iran.

      So, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was mobbed by happy citizens on his return home, can give a triumphant declaration that Iran has achieved all its goals: No Iranian nuclear facilities would close, enrichment would continue, the plutonium production reactor at Arak would continue and the deep underground enrichment facility at Fordo would remain open.

      Zarif is correct. Iran gets to keep all of its building. But we get to take out all the furniture.

    2. Iran's nuclear enterprise will be reduced to a fraction of its current size. This is what has so impressed even previously skeptical observers.

      •Gary Samore, president of United Against Nuclear Iran, said the deal was a "very satisfactory resolution of Fordo and Arak issues."

      •Richard Haass, former Bush Administration official and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said, "the skeptics, including me, should be pleasantly surprised. . . All things being equal, yes, I think this on the surface looks to be a good agreement."

      •Anthony Cordesman, the chair of strategy at the centrist Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, "No perfect agreement was ever possible and it is hard to believe a better option was negotiable. In fact, it may be a real victory for all sides: A better future for Iran, and greater security for the U.S., its Arab partners, Israel and all its other allies."

      •Perhaps most surprising of all, Fox News host and bestselling author Bill O'Reilly argued, "You don't want a war with Iran. You don't want to be bombing that country, because the unintended consequences will set the world aflame. So if you can get something that's decent, you give it a shot."

    3. The Incredible Shrinking Program

      Just a few details from the White House fact sheet on the deal give you a sense of how sweeping this victory is.

      Iran's inventory of centrifuges -- the machines used to enrich uranium for fuel or for bombs -- will be slashed from about 20,000 to about 6,000. Only 5,000 of the remaining machines will be allowed to actually enrich. Some 14,000 machines installed over the past 10 years will be ripped out and place in supervised storage.

      Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium -- the gas that feeds the centrifuges -- will be cut by an astonishing 97 percent, from about 10,000 kilograms to 300. These two cuts together mean that even if Iran tried to "break out" of the deal, it would take it at least a year to make the highly-enriched uranium for one bomb.

      The fuel core of Iran's Arak reactor will be ripped out. It will be replaced by a new core that will produce a fraction of the plutonium of the original design. The annual output will shrink from about 8 kilograms a year to less than 1 kilogram. And Iran will be banned from ever building the reprocessing faculties that could pull the plutonium from the used fuel rods. And for good measure, Iran will be forced to ship all the spent fuel rods out of the country once they come out of the reactor.

      There is much, much more. But perhaps the most important part of the deal is that Iran has agreed to the most stringent inspection regime ever negotiated. We will be able to track the uranium from the time it comes out of the mine until it is stored in gas cylinders. We will have access to places and buildings we have never been allowed in before.

      Some of the restrictions in the deal last 10 years, some 15, some 25 and many, including the ban on building any nuclear weapons and the inspection regime, are like diamonds -- they are forever.

    4. In short, this deal will verifiably prevent Iran from building a bomb for at least 15 years. No American troops will be killed, and it won't cost us a dime. What's not to like?

      It is by far the best of all possible options.

      The Best of All Possible Options

  5. You two are nuts and very forgetful.

    Remember North Korea.

    Pat Buchanan is an old anti-semite of long standing, one of Deuce's regulars here, an idiot and a perfect ass.

    Hannity at least is not a total fool.


    1. Iran’s Persian statement on ‘deal’ contradicts Obama’s claims

      By Amir Taheri

      April 4, 2015 | 4:35pm

      Iran’s Persian statement on ‘deal’ contradicts Obama’s claims

      Barack Obama and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photo: AP; EPA

      “Iran Agrees to Detailed Nuclear Outline,” The New York Times headline claimed on Friday. That found an echo in the Washington Post headline of the same day: “Iran agrees to nuclear restrictions in framework deal with world powers.”

      But the first thing to know about the highly hyped “historic achievement” that President Obama is trying to sell is that there has been no agreement on any of the fundamental issues that led to international concern about Iran’s secret nuclear activities and led to six mandatory resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and 13 years of diplomatic seesaw.

      All we have is a number of contradictory statements by various participants in the latest round of talks in Switzerland, which together amount to a diplomatic dog’s dinner.
      Modal Trigger

      Obama receives an update from John Kerry in Iran inside the Situation Room on April 1st.Photo: Reuters

      First, we have a joint statement in English in 291 words by Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and the European Union foreign policy point-woman Federica Mogherini, who led the so-called P5+1 group of nations including the US in the negotiations.

      John Kerry and his team watch from Lausanne, Switzerland as President Obama makes his state address on the status of the Iran nuclear program talks on April 2nd.Photo: Reuters

      Next we have the official Iranian text, in Persian, which runs into 512 words. The text put out by the French comes with 231 words. The prize for “spinner-in-chief” goes to US Secretary of State John Kerry who has put out a text in 1,318 words and acts as if we have a done deal.

      It is not only in their length that the texts differ.

      They amount to different, at times starkly contradictory, narratives...............

    2. Rufus IISat Apr 04, 06:06:00 PM EDT

      In short, this deal will verifiably prevent Iran from building a bomb for at least 15 years.

      And Iraq will be ISIS free by July 4th, 2015.

      Sadly, we can only sigh and mumble, bwa ha ha we betche you your 'gator tail.

      No wonder you always lost at poker at Doyle's. Always betting your hopes.

      Remember North Korea ?

      Anyone ?

    3. .

      Now they are down to whining about the lengths of statements put out by the various participants.

      Looks like we are in for a 3 month 'whine'.



    4. By serendipity, I turn to AT and find this -

      pril 4, 2015
      Nuclear Breakout by Iran and North Korea
      By James Lewis

      This from Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post on April 3:

      … we are now facing the unfolding disaster that Obama has wrought. … the US has just given the Iranians a green light to behave as if they have already built their nuclear umbrella. … [T]he US and its partners have just removed all significant obstacles from their path to nuclear capabilities. The Iranians know it. Their proxies know it. Their enemies know it.

      … The surrounding Arab states led by Saudi Arabia are pursuing nuclear weapons.

      Don’t look now, but North Korea is a nuclear power today, with missiles able to strike Japan, and soon Hawaii and California.

      The Norks got a free pass, because Bill Clinton’s SecState, Madeleine Albright, faked an agreement with Kim Jong-il in 2000, supposedly to stop uranium enrichment and missile development.

      Then the Norks violated it, as everybody knew they would. Today North Korea has nuclear bombs and missiles.

      Naturally, the media celebrated Albright’s “accord” with Kim Jong-il, and said nothing about the North Korean breakout.

      Obama is playing the same sucker game in collusion with the mullahs, and the biggest betrayal is against us – against Americans who want our nation and the world to survive. Obama is copying Clinton’s kabuki script, kicking that nuclear can down the road, so that ultimately Republicans will have to deal with it....................

    5. And by the way there is nothing mentioned at all about ICBM or other missile development by Iran.

      Wendy was at Wendy's when that issue came up.

    6. Have your read Wendy's resume ?

      Where in hell does Obama come up with such perfectly unfit people ?

  6. Sea Food Buffet at the CdA Casino !

    We are also hoping to catch the basketball game.

    Dream On, Sleepers !

    Cheers !!

  7. You are in a fight with yourself for dumb and dumber. Check in when you get there.

  8. Rufus IISat Apr 04, 06:06:00 PM EDT

    In short, this deal will verifiably prevent Iran from building a bomb for at least 15 years.

    I wish there was a way, when you are proven wrong, that some sort of punishment could be given to you. Sadly the people of the world will pay the price for your support of appeasing the Mullahs of Iran.

    Foolish, naive, Jew hating moron that you are.

    1. You have been consistently wrong, "O"rdure.
      Not one of your "nightmares" have materialized.

      What is "Occupation" Fri Sep 05, 08:00:00 AM EDT
      The bear took out airstrips in georgia that israel was going to use for an attack on iran..

      My prediction:

      Israel will attack using long range unmanned drones & missiles on command and control, nuke sites, israel will use select airwing assets to deliver bunker busters..

      Israel will hold most of it's idf airwing for attacks on long & medium range rockets in gaza, lebanon, syria and iran)

      I feel (and i am almost always wrong) that this will happen right after ramadamamadong is over

    2. So which is the more important ...
      That another of your delusional fantasies failed to materialize ...

      ... or ...

      The admission that you are almost always wrong.

  9. Iran’s Negotiating Triumph Over Obama and America

    The U.S. is surrendering control of verification to the United Nations, where our influence is weak.

    By Reuel Marc Gerecht
    And Mark Dubowitz
    April 3, 2015 6:23 p.m. ET

    President Obama believes that the nuclear “framework” concluded Friday in Switzerland is a historic achievement. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, says he believes the same. Those two positions are incompatible.

    Mr. Zarif is also a loyal servant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who believes that the West, in particular the U.S., and Iran are locked in a “collision of evil and evil ways on one side and the path of . . . religious obedience and devotion on the other,” as he said in July 2014.

    The supreme leader says the Islamic Republic has a divine calling to lead Muslims away from the West and its cultural sedition. The Obama administration has never adequately explained why Mr. Zarif’s relentlessly ideological boss would sell out a three-decade effort to develop nuclear weapons.
    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif upon his return to Tehran from nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, April 3. ENLARGE
    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif upon his return to Tehran from nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, April 3. Photo: ISNA / BORNA GHASEMIBORNA GHASEMI/AFP/Getty Images

    The defensive and offensive strategies of the Islamic Republic, given the chronic weakness of its conventional military, ultimately make sense only if nuclear weapons are added to the mix. The American, French and Israeli governments have compiled fat files on the clerical regime’s nuclear-weapons drive. No one who has read this material can possibly believe Iranian assertions about the nuclear program’s peaceful birth and intent. The history of this effort has involved North Korean levels of dishonesty, with clandestine plants, factories and procurement networks that successfully import highly sensitive nuclear equipment, even from the U.S.

    A White House less desperate to make a deal would consider how easily nuclear agreements with bad actors are circumvented. Charles Duelfer has written a trenchant account in Politico of how Saddam Hussein tied the United Nations Security Council and its nuclear inspectors into knots in the 1990s, rendering them incapable of ascertaining the truth about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

    The inspections regime in Iran envisioned by the Obama administration will not even come close to the intrusiveness of the failed inspections in Iraq. Worse, once sanctions are lifted and billions of dollars of Iranian trade starts to flow again to European and Asian companies, the U.S. likely will be dealing with a U.N. even more politically divided, and more incapable of action, than in the days of Saddam and the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003.

    In an effort to circumvent possible congressional disapproval of his deal-making, Mr. Obama is voluntarily surrendering control of the implementation and verification of any agreement to the Security Council, where American leadership and influence are weak. The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, a decent little outfit of underpaid and underfunded bureaucrats and inspectors, can do good work when the Security Council is unified. The IAEA’s utility plummets when the council is divided.

    The nuclear deal with Iran will now obviously go through without the clerical regime having to answer all of the questions that the IAEA still has about the “possible military dimensions,” or PMDs, of Iran’s nuclear program. It is perverse to think that the IAEA, having been successfully thwarted by Iran in the past, can now serve as a safeguard against future Iranian cheating.

    The president’s much-hyped “snap-back” economic sanctions, now the only coercive instrument Mr. Obama has against Iranian noncompliance, will also surely fall victim to the Security Council’s politics and human greed. Already the Russians are resisting any snap-back provision that will neutralize their rogue-regime-protecting veto.

    1. The sanctions against Iran are the product of years of dogged effort and good luck (especially the increase in oil supplies). Mr. Obama now seems likely to abandon his position that sanctions be lessened over years to test Iranian compliance. And once strictures are loosened, with major international, especially European, corporations competing for the Iranian market, it will be politically impossible to demand that these companies leave again.

      Worse, Mr. Obama’s nuclear deal will fracture the Western alliance against Tehran. Most egregiously, we will lose the French, who have, despite their abysmal economy and the political chaos of the European Union, tried to hold a firm line against Iranian nuclear aspirations and Mr. Obama’s reflex for concessions. Faced with other countries rushing to the Iranian market and Americans who have given up the fight, the French will probably abandon us, as they did with Iraq 20 years ago. Without the French, economic sanctions on Iran would never have had much European bite.

      Critics of Mr. Obama’s efforts are going to get lost in the technical details of this “framework” agreement. Yet behind all the one-year breakout calculations, the enormous question marks about verification and PMDs, and sustainable snap-back provisions, the ultimate issue remains: Are you willing to threaten war to get a better deal, and prepared to preventively strike if Tehran moves toward a bomb?

      Whatever chance American negotiators had of stopping the Iranian nuclear advance depended on this threat, as Iranian President Hasan Rouhani revealed in his writings when he was in charge of nuclear negotiations with the Europeans after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

      “The fundamental principle in Iran’s relations with America—our entire focus—is national strength,” wrote Mr. Rouhani in an academic article in December 2003. “Strength in politics, culture, economics, and defense—especially in the field of advanced technology—is the basis for the preservation and overall development of the System, and will force the enemy to surrender.”

      Mr. Obama has never understood this, nor has he been prepared to act accordingly. He has barely been prepared to call for more sanctions against the mullahs.

      Barring the Iranian supreme leader’s ever-present ability simply to say “no,” this nuclear framework agreement will probably hold unless 67 U.S. senators—the number needed to overcome a presidential veto—are prepared to see these talks collapse. Is the putative leader of Senate Democrats on Iran, Charles Schumer, willing to walk away from the president’s handiwork, and oblige him to threaten war if Mr. Khamenei does something untoward?

      Surely not. In all the framework’s details, the senator, and so many others, will find hope, like a pilgrim in the desert looking at the horizon and seeing a mirage.

      Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian targets officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Dubowitz is the foundation’s executive director and heads its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. If we had these two guys doing the negotiating, we'd be all right.

      Instead we have "Wendy".

      If you don't agree with "Wendy" you're called a war monger around here, and are declared not a real American.

      And if you're a Republican, your party has been declared deserving of being totally destroyed.

      Of course the Constitutional duty of the Senate to vote on the issue is not to be a serious topic of discussion here.

      What a sad hoot this place has become.


      But the Kentucky - Wisconsin game was absolutely wonderful. Close all the way. Extremely well played by everyone. College basketball at its very best. The Native Americans in the sports bar seemed to be rooting slight majority for Wisconsin.

      Lots of noise. Lots of good humor.

      It was fun.

      Kentucky lost by 7 I think it was but it was much closer than that. There was some intended fouling at the end that accounted for it.

      Beautiful game.

      Championship Game Monday Night

      Duke vs Wisconsin

      Got to pick Wisconsin after what I saw today.

    4. .

      Kentucky was impressive but they are young and just didn't have the experience Wisconsin had. I think someone said they missed 7 out of their last 8 shots. They have time.

      The officiating was terrible. At least, it didn't favor either side.


    5. I agree about the officiating. Awful.

      And can you tell me why Kentucky got the ball at the beginning of the 2nd half?

      They won the ball on the game opening toss up.

      Why would they get the ball at the beginning of the 2nd half ?

      What's going on here ?

      Has there been a rule change of some kind ?

      That Arena in Indianapolis is fabulous, inside and out !

    6. .

      No idea KY getting the ball.

      I was switching back and forth with the hockey game until about the middle of the third.

      But I do have a question. Why do you put up a post on a WSJ article and then reply with post on a final four game? It brakes the continuity.


    7. I didn't wish to accelerate the continuity ? I saw a red traffic light ?

      Which reminds me, we need to get our brakes looked at...they are making wearing sounds.

    8. I really don't know why I did that, Quirk. I just did it.

    9. My wife, who knows basketball, couldn't answer my question either. She noticed it too.

  10. By the way, Deuce is having a fight with himself for the title of dumb or dumber.

    Both contestants have been declared the winner.

    1. How many days is it until Memorial Day, 2015 ?

      Iraq is to be ISIS free by Memorial Day, 2015.

      So we all have that to which to look forward.

    2. Did you know that Zimmerman was not prosecuted by the Feds ?

      The Feds said they didn't have any evidence to support any civil rights charges.

    3. Do you remember when WiO said Egypt was one food riot away from chaos ?

      I do.

      A food riot turned the whole nation into chaos.

      Finally, thankfully !!, some order and better sense have prevailed in the form of President Sisi. He has offered the West Bankers a home.

      Egypt may end up aligned with Israel and Saudi Arabia soon.

      As hard as it is to imagine that.

    4. .

      Egypt and Saudi Arabia. And you consider that a good thing?

      Good Lord.


    5. .

      Here is Sisi for you.

      In this Jan. 24 photo, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh holds a poster during a protest in downtown Cairo. (Mohammed El-Raaei/Associated Press)
      By Editorial Board March 31

      ON THE afternoon of Jan. 24, a young Egyptian poet and political activist joined other members of the secular Socialist Alliance Party in peacefully attempting to lay flowers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in memory of those killed in the 2011 revolution. According to witnesses and videos, masked police fired birdshot into the group from behind at close range; Shaimaa al-Sabbagh , the mother of a 5-year-old, died in the arms of a friend. After heart-rending photos of her bloody face spread across social media, public outrage surged, and the regime of Abdel Fatah al-Sissi felt compelled to respond. In a letter to The Post, Egypt’s ambassador to Washington disputed our description of Ms. Sabbagh’s death as Muslim Brotherhood propaganda and said, “A thorough independent investigation is underway to bring her killers to justice.”

      Now the nature of that investigation is becoming clear. The first of those charged in the Tahrir Square incident are due to appear Saturday in court — but they are not the police who opened fire. Instead, 14 are members of Ms. Sabbagh’s moderate political party; three are witnesses who were in nearby restaurants and cafes when the shooting occurred and who subsequently gave statements. All have been charged with participating in an unauthorized protest under a law imposed by the Sissi regime, and they face multiyear sentences in prison.

      One of those accused is Azza Soliman , one of Egypt’s best-known women activists and a founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance. She was sitting in a restaurant with her family when she witnessed Ms. Sabbagh’s killing. In addition to submitting a statement to authorities, Ms. Soliman posted an account of the event on her Facebook page and gave several interviews to Western journalists. Now she could join the numerous leading liberal activists already imprisoned on charges of violating the protest law — even though she did not participate in the attempted flower-laying.

      “The rule of law is becoming more and more meaningless and more and more weak,” she told the New York Times. “The police are sending a message that ‘nobody can judge the police, we can do anything.’ ”

      Prosecutors also have brought charges against a policeman for shooting Ms. Sabbagh. However, the officer has not been named, and the charge brought against him is not for murder but a lesser manslaughter count. No court date has been announced. Egyptian human rights activists say they know of only one confirmed conviction of a policeman for killing a civilian since 2011. The Sissi regime’s record suggests that Ms. Soliman is much more likely to go to prison than is the masked man who shot Ms. Sabbagh.

      None of this prevented President Obama from phoning Mr. Sissi on Tuesday to say that he had released military aid to Egypt that had been held up because of human rights restrictions imposed by Congress. A statement said Mr. Obama overrode the requirements, including that Egypt hold parliamentary elections and take “steps to protect and advance the rights of women,” “in the interest of U.S. national security.” It didn’t explain what U.S. interest is served by backing a regime that engages in the brutal and lawless oppression of women such as Shaimaa al-Sabbagh and Azza Soliman.


    6. .

      Sisi is a real sweetheart.

      And if you want to complain about Obama, here is a perfect chance for you to do it.

      None of this prevented President Obama from phoning Mr. Sissi on Tuesday to say that he had released military aid to Egypt that had been held up because of human rights restrictions imposed by Congress.

      Pure bullshit.

      A statement said Mr. Obama overrode the requirements, including that Egypt hold parliamentary elections and take “steps to protect and advance the rights of women,” “in the interest of U.S. national security.”

      Let him slide on elections.

      Let him slide on the women's rights, the same ones you sit here bitching about daily.

      "In the interest of U.S. national security"? The only thing I can possible think of is that he feels the need to pay our annual Baksheesh to Egypt to assure they won't go to war with Israel.

      National Security? What the hell has Egypt ever done for us? They didn't even consult with us before bombing in Libya. They are supposed to be part of this grand coalition we have going in Iraq but no one seems to know what they have committed to. One thing we do know is that even though they have one of the largest armed forces in the ME they have never run a combat mission in Syria or Iraq.

      And you don't even want me to start in on Saudi Arabia.


  11. Massive 400-person brawl breaks out at Queens casino...

    Sparked by long daiquiri lines...........Drudge

    Some guy going by the single initial "Q" was, according to Police booking reports, in attendance, and, when the daiguiri supply ran out, immediately began selling Russian vodka at a huge mark up. Busted for selling alcohol without a liquor license, he was bailed out by some friend before the cell key had even turned. The Judge, after becoming aware of the man's lengthy legal difficulties, seemed upset with himself for setting the bail so low.

    1. "He seemed such a nice, well spoken, law abiding old fellow" the Judge was heard to mutter.

  12. "Wendy" makes a stand -

    April 4, 2015
    The Big Cave In: How US negotiators gave in to almost every single Iranian demand to get a deal
    By Rick Moran

    Max Fisher writing at Vox gets the prize for the most incredibly stupid defense of the Iran nuclear deal: "This is an astonishingly good Iran deal."

    As Fox News points out, what was truly astonishing about the deal was just how far US negotiators went in accommodating the Iranian positions.

    U.S. negotiators reportedly lowered the bar for their own goals during talks over Iran's nuclear program in response to resistance from the Tehran team. And, on the heels of a framework deal being announced in Switzerland, France's top diplomat on Friday admitted his country had initially held out for firmer terms.

    The emerging reports indicate the U.S. team, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, gradually backed down over the course of the talks as Iran's delegation dug in. The Wall Street Journal, citing current and former U.S. representatives at the discussions, claimed the White House had initially hoped to persuade Iran to dismantle much of the country's nuclear infrastructure when talks started in late 2013, only to be told categorically that Iran would not do so.

    The Journal reported that one Iranian diplomat called the nuclear program "our moon shot," comparing it to the U.S. space program in the 1960s as a symbol of national pride and advancement. From that point, the Journal reports, the U.S. accepted that any possible deal would likely enable Iran to continue to enrich some uranium to produce nuclear fuel and turned their focus to extending Iran's so-called "breakout time" or the minimum period that Iran would need to build a nuclear weapon.


    However, not all of the Western powers appeared completely pleased with the agreement. On Friday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio that France had rejected an original of the deal outline as "not solid enough", and had held out for firmer conditions. However, Fabius told the radio station that the Iranian delegation had responded by threatening to walk out of the talks.

    The French delegation was considered by observers to be one of the hardest bargainers of the P5+1 countries, a group which also included the U.S., Britain, Germany, Russia and China. Fabius told Europe 1 that France wants a firm deal "to prevent other countries in the Gulf such as Saudi Arabia from embarking on nuclear proliferation."

    As for the framework itself, Fabius called it a "very important" step, but noted that "the end of the road is the end of June."

    You have to admit that the Iranians played on fears of the failure of talks by the US perfectly. In the end, it's clear that Kerry had little interest in keeping the Iranian nuclear program from making a bomb, and was more concerned about keeping them talking. Concession after concession after concession must have pleased the Iranians greatly.

    You have to wonder if the French will blow up a final agreement by walking out of the talks before the July 1 deadline. There was really no reason to strenuously object to a framework deal. Better to try and give Kerry and the US a backbone so that they stand up to the Iranians as details of a final agreement are hashed out.

    But a final agreement is assured. There's no way that President Obama, after basking in the lavish praise of the press for his "historic" agreement, will ruin his legacy by not giving the Iranians everything they want.

    This deal is going to get a lot worse before a final agreement is reached.


    We can all sleep well now with "Wendy" in charge.

  13. .

    By Reuel Marc Gerecht
    And Mark Dubowitz
    April 3, 2015 6:23 p.m. ET

    President Obama believes that the nuclear “framework” concluded Friday in Switzerland is a historic achievement. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, says he believes the same. Those two positions are incompatible.

    In this WSJ article, the author makes two key points.

    One, that Obama is turning over compliance verification on Iran's program to the UN and the IAEA. My question is, has anyone other than the IAEA ever monitored nuclear compliance. I mean they have the experts and the experience and we would be asking Iran to comply with the terms of the NPT in addition to the P5 +1 agreement.

    Second, the authors argue that if and when sanctions start being dropped it will be almost impossible to get our partners to reinstate them. This is a legitimate concern; however, it ignores three facts. The first is that the snap back provisions like all the key provisions in the agreement still have to be laid out in detail before the agreement is finalized. The second is that if in fact there were no snap back provision in the agreement, it would indeed very difficult to get all our allies on board again; however, it has always been hard getting a sanction program in place, kinda like herding cats, but we still seem able to eventually get it done. Third, and most important, the sanctions don't work. Iran has been under a sanctions regime at one level or another since 1979. There is no one I am aware of that thinks that the sanctions have worked.

    In the following PDF file, starting on page 56, the various sanctions levied against Iran are listed.

    This brings us back to some rather limited choices if the agreement is not put in place.

    1. Let the current sanctions continue.

    As we have seen, this hasn't worked. Not only has Iran continued expanding their nuclear program, they have also done it pretty much at their own pace and in secret.

    2. Increase the sanctions.

    The end result is obviously unknowable; however, you could argue that it would actually make things worse rather than better. What we do know is that as the author pointed out it is not easy getting new sanctions regimes approved. After what the P5 + 1 have been through in these negotiations with Iran getting them to agree to new sanctions would be rough.




    1. .

      Lest you get confused, Bob, this post is in response to the post you put up and then tied to the Final Four.