The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Haaretz reports:
Iran is poised to double its output of higher-enriched uranium at its fortified underground facility, the UN nuclear agency [the IAEA] said Friday - a development that puts Tehran within months of being able to make the core of a nuclear warhead.

In its report, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran was ready within days to ramp up its production of 20 percent enriched uranium at its plant at Fordo using 700 more centrifuges.

That would double Iran's present output and cut in half the time it would take to acquire enough of the substance needed to make a nuclear weapon, reducing it to just over three months.
As still another red-line passes, our re-elected President and his State Department looks the other way, hoping that no one will notice. The main stream media obliges as it always does with this President.

But its reasonable to ask why the focus on Iran during a time when many other events in the Middle East seem more important? After all, the Iranians have nothing to do with Benghazigate or with the current fighting between the Israelis and Hamas, do they? in fact, they do.

Richard Fernandez has an interesting take:
Benghazi was not a sui generis. It was part of a coordinated counterattack on a broad American policy in the region. Why was the whole series of attacks ascribed to the infamous “video”? Perhaps the answer to this elusive mystery can be approached indirectly. Lee Smith sheds some light on what policy faction in Washington could gain from the dismissal of David Petraeus. “The general was one of few who understood that Iran was at war with the U.S., and no bargain could be struck”.
As commander of American forces in Iraq from February 2007 to September 2008 and in Afghanistan from July 2010 to July 2011, Petraeus fought Iranians’ local proxies and frequently the Iranians themselves, often drawn from the Qods Force. As head of Central Command from October 2008 to June 2010, the general had a large area of responsibility that afforded him an overview of Iranian activities throughout the region, in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, the Persian Gulf states as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. During the course of almost a decade, Petraeus became Washington’s institutional memory of all of Iran’s activities directed against the United States and its allies.
An institution is characterized by what it chooses to forget as much as what it chooses. By who it chooses to get rid of and who it promotes. What Washington appears to remember almost to the point of obsession, is its desire to strike a deal with Teheran. That is going to be advanced at all costs, whatever the setbacks.

AOL Defense reports, “the United States and its allies would like to have a “face to face” meeting with Iranian officials before the end of the year, even as they struggle with just what to offer the Islamic Republic.” And to make it sweeter, Washington now feels it safe to signal that any military action against Iran is off the table. The ever reliable conduit CNN says “an all-out U.S. war with Iran, including an invasion by American troops, would cost the global economy close to $2 trillion in the first three months and could go as high as $3 trillion, according to a Washington think tank.” Translation: Obama will never do it.
So ... it seems that Iran can act with impunity, sponsoring terror groups through the Middle East without worry that it might get spanked by the U.S. Oh sure, I know, the sanctions are working, aren't they? If you're deluded enough to believe that, re-read the first three paragraphs of this post.

What about Iran's client Syria? Obama has signaled that he will cluck his tongue, but do little else to either topple the current Assad regime or secure the tons of chemical weapons (WMDs?) in its possession.

And the growing violence in Gaza? Again, Iran has fingerprints all over this. According to STRATFOR, it is Iran that is supplying Hamas with long range rockets that are being targeted at civilians in Israel's major cities. It is Iran who has supplied Hezballah with thousands of rockets, all targeted at Israel. And as a consequence, it is Israel that must act to neutralize these threats. Iran can sit back and act with impunity. Richard Fernandez connects the dots:
Obama has signaled he will talk no matter what. This provides a tantalizing, if indirect set of clues as to what Benghazi was all about. Let’s list the clues again:

- Eastern Libya, that part closes to Egypt, is now overrun by al-Qaeda like militias;
- Obama will not strike Iran under any circumstances;
- Obama will not intervene decisively in Syria;
- Petraeus was a possible roadblock to any deal with Iran.

This creates the a bag of loot to sweeten a Grand Bargain. By denying himself the military option Obama may believe he makes a diplomatic solution foregone. One scenario that emerges is that Obama entrusted the entire management of the Middle East to a combination of covert action and diplomacy (called “Leading From Behind”) in which the military has no real part as an active instrument of policy. He is committed absolutely to it.
Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East is in shambles—another manifestation of an incompetent presidency. But worse, the signals that Obama has sent to the thugs in Iran project fecklessness and weakness. That's a bad combination when you're eye to eye with a terrorist regime.
Syria, Benghazigate, and the hostilities in Gaza are all connected. The common thread is Iran and the common problem is Obama's fantasy foreign policy.

Richard Fernandez notes this when he states: "If Benghazi was a lie, it would not be the first time in history that falsehood has ridden to the rescue of fantasy."

The problem for Barack Obama going "forward" is that reality crushes fantasy every time—except in the 2012 U.S. election.

Foreign policy was not a major issue among Obama's constituency, so I suppose he has no need to worry. Yet.


As they always do, CCN and other MSM outlets parade a stream of Palestinian apologists throughout their Middle East coverage and tell us about the "human rights violations" being visited on the "oppressed" Palestinians (you know, the same group that launches hundreds of rockets indiscriminately targeting innocent Israeli civilians). They lament deaths and injuries but never mention that the dead and injured were placed in harms way not by the Israelis, but by Hamas—a terrorist organization that locates missile launching sites conveniently near schools, hospitals and Mosques. Andrew McCarthy adds a postscript:
Just days before the presidential election, the terrorist organization — begotten by the [Muslim] Brotherhood and serving as its Palestinian branch — spearheaded an Islamist offensive, firing in just a few days over 120 rockets into the Jewish state from its home base in Gaza. You may not have heard about it until a few days after the election. Like Iran’s act of war in shooting at a U.S. drone in international waters, it signaled a further dangerous unraveling of the Middle East that undercut the media narrative of Obama as foreign-policy chess master, so it was tucked under the rug. But it could not be ignored forever, for it is not just another spike in the ever-thrumming Gaza border skirmish. It is the renewal of an unending war — an existential one for Israel, which is expected to fight “proportionately,” with both hands tied behind its back, yet blithely accept, as the international community has, the barbaric Islamist claim that nothing short of Israel’s destruction will be satisfactory.
No matter, all eyes should be on Israel's "greatest friend," Barack Obama, as these hostilities move forward. Will he support a democratic ally under fire, or will he stand by silently, trying to be all things to all people? We'll see.