Obama and Kerry – Delusional and Insulting, 'Iran's Lawyers'

By Scott W. Winchell

Events concerning the Iran Deal revealed a new low in the Presidency of Obama, and his equally “delusional” Secretary of State, John Kerry. A speech Obama gave yesterday and an interview John Kerry also had this week both insult our intelligence and show how utterly contemptuous and naive each is – all for the ‘legacy from hell’.

This comes on the heels of a speech this week in which Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu “spoke on a conference call organized by the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA)” regarding the deal:true-obama

“This deal will bring war,” Netanyahu warned. “It will spark a nuclear arms race in the region. And it would feed Iran’s terrorism and aggression that would make war, perhaps the most horrific war of all, far more likely.”

These are the words of a true world class leader, a man seeking to secure his people over his own ambitions as Obama proves to be in stark contrast in terms of leadership, trust, and class.

Here is what Obama said, igniting a fire storm for being so callous, so filled with haterd for anyone who would dare oppose him:

“I realize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously. But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to talks… Just because Iranian hardliners chant ‘Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those hardliners that are more satisfied with the status quo.”

“It’s those hardliners chanting “death to America” who’ve been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.” The audience applauded this disgusting statement. (Gateway Pundit)

…and the audience laughed and applauded? This is beneath contempt, and debases the office Obama holds.

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Maybe Obama was also telling Netanyahu that he too was part of that “caucus.” But didn’t Obama say that 99% of the world was supporting the deal? Really? Stark delusional mania…we refuse to suspend all disbelief Mr. Obama.

Obama said: “If 99% of the world community and the majority of nuclear experts look at this thing and they say this will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, and you are arguing either that it does not or that even if it does, it’s temporary then you should have some alternative.” (BBC)

You mean to tell us Mr. Obama that of the 193 nations in the UN, only 1.93 nations do not want this deal? What about Qatar, Israel, the UAE, Egypt – define for us “prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb” please, and explain that other fictitious number of 62 nations aiding in the fight against ISIS, that “JV team.”

The esteemed Charles Krauthammer summed it up so well last night:

On “The Kelly File” [last night], Charles Krauthammer said that President Obama comparing Republicans to Iranians chanting “death to America” is a new low for the president.

“It’s vintage Obama. The demonization of his opponents, the lumping them together with people chanting ‘death to America,’ I must say is a new low for the president,” Krauthammer said.

He added that it’s even worse how delusional Obama is by not seeing that the Iranian leaders and mullahs are the hardliners. “How can you negotiate if you have no conception of the real ideology and intentions of your enemy?” Krauthammer asked. (Fox News with video.)

Compounding that utter tripe was the swill Kerry was spewing earlier:

“[T]he United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point,” Kerry said.

Kerry’s argument confirms the extent to which the Obama administration has become “Iran’s lawyer”–defending Iran’s behavior, adopting its perspective on negotiations, and above all negotiating as if America needed a deal more than the regime.

Another example of defending the indefensible, and like Obama, completely ignores the protestations from the representatives of the people, from both sides of the aisle. Just who does Kerry and Obama represent – it sure isn’t America’s best interests? Where is their fealty to our constitution? But it gets worse:

khamenei-death-to-america

He warned that the “moderate” regime [sic] of Hassan Rouhani would fall if the deal were rejected, and be replaced by a more hard-line one (though it is difficult to point to any way in which Rouhani’s administration is less extremist and violent than its predecessors, except in its language on the global stage).

How could there be a “more hard-line one” Mr. Kerry? Was it not Rouhani who actually led one of those “death to America” rallies? We wonder if Mr. Kerry actually knows who Ayatollah Kamanei, the Supreme Leader is and how this administration has not learned that these evil ‘hard-liners” say what they believe and believe what they say.

History has proven that they tell us what they are going to do, and they do it! But then again, what great negotiators they have proven to be.

In layman’s terms, this is called “negotiating against yourself”–though some critics have begun to speculate openly that Obama wanted all along to boost one of America’s most determined enemies.

Even the liberal media is shaking its head over this lunacy as the interview progressed:

Goldberg, usually a reliable stenographer for an administration he supports, was skeptical of Kerry’s more far-fetched claims. When Kerry boasted that the Iran deal ” is as pro-Israel, as pro-Israel’s security, as it gets,” Goldberg pushed back. When Kerry claimed, falsely, that the U.S. intercepts weapons shipments to Hezbollah, Goldberg challenged him.John-Kerry-at-House-Olivier-Douliery-Getty-640x480

Kerry dismissed concerns–concerns once cited by Obama himself–that Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear weapon will shrink to near-zero after the deal expires in 10 or 15 years. The Secretary of State also cited Iran’s commitment to the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as proof that Iran would never build a nuclear weapon.

How delusional, morally corrupt, unconscionable, and reprehensible!

Bizarrely, Kerry described Iran’s threats of “death to Israel” as “a fundamental ideological confrontation” between the two, as if it were a disagreement of principle rather than an explicit threat to “wipe Israel off the map” (Goldberg fills in the last three words, since Kerry is almost unwilling to say them).

He also said that Iran’s cash windfall from sanctions relief would not help the Assad regime or regional terror groups much: “It’s not money that’s going to make a difference ultimately in what is happening,” Kerry told an evidently stunned Goldberg.  (Read the complete article at Breitbart)

Truly bizarre! Stunningly BIZARRE!

Our question is, where was Obama when in 2009 there was a popular uprising in Iran that soon turned bloody? These were the true moderates, reformists, the youth, the future, who begged Obama for aid, but no, Obama turned his back on them. So much for their future, Israel’s, and ours!

Once again, Obama and Kerry chose the enemies of Israel and America over those who could have toppled that terrorist regime in Tehran back in 2009. Had he aided the uprising, and ramped up sanctions instead of slow walking, or even opposing further sanctions in 2012, things would have been far different today.

Obama and Hillary Clinton did begrudgingly impose sanctions in 2009 and beyond, but always needing to be dragged kicking and screaming. They did relent and went along with massive pressure from a strangely bi-partisan Congress, but today’s rhetoric shows what their true intentions were all along.

Air Supremacy? Are We Still the Best? Most Expensive Fighter

Editor’s Note – With the most expensive fighter in history, the F-35, is our Air Force still the dominant force across the globe? Is the F-35 really the leading edge? What about the F-22 Raptor? Is Russia or China that far behind, or are we falling behind?

If you watched the interview Shepard Smith of Fox News had with Chief-of-Staff of the USAF, General Mark A. Welsh III, you would wave flags and declare that, yes, we still are the best and will be ahead of all other air forces for decades to come. (Video of that interview follows the post below by National Review’s Mike Fredenburg.)

Screen shot of interview conducted by Fox News' Shepard Smith with USAF Chief-of-Staff Gen. Welsh
Screen shot of interview conducted by Fox News’ Shepard Smith with USAF Chief-of-Staff Gen. Welsh

In his article, Fredenburg examines the question more deeply; sans the jingoism of Gen. Welsh. Fredenburg is focused on the Russian SU-35 “Flanker” and its capabilities along with our changing fleet of attack fighters, and the rollout of the controversial F-35; the very expensive and technological wonder it is proving to be, or is it?

Not only do we have to answer these question he raises, but we also need to examine the Chinese who boast of their own sueriority they believe they have over the F-35:

A J-31 stealth fighter (background) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force lands on a runway after a flying performance at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, Nov. 11, 2014. Reuters/ Alex Lee
A J-31 stealth fighter (background) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force lands on a runway after a flying performance at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, Nov. 11, 2014. Reuters/ Alex Lee

China is flexing its newest addition to the country’s growing military fleet, a fourth generation J-31 fighter jet. According to the president of the Chinese company that was commissioned for the project, the J-31 jet can “take down” its American counterpart, the Lockheed Martin F-35.

In an interview with Chinese Central Television, Lin Zuoming, the president of the Aviation Industry Corp. of China, the company that developed the newest jet, is confident the Chinese-developed aircraft can outperform the American version.

“When it takes to the sky, it could definitely take down the F-35,” Lin said. “It’s a certainty.”

But Lin has his sights set on more than just outdoing the F-35. He wants to propel the Chinese company to be global supplier to governments to which the U.S. refuses to sell or those that can’t afford to buy a fleet of F-35 jets, which reportedly cost more than the Chinese models. (Read more here at the International Business Times from last December.)

So just where does the truth lie? Is the USAF selling us ‘rose colored glass’ propaganda, or is Gen. Welsh correct? We hope you read on here and watch that interview at the bottom, especially past the midpoint where he really focuses on the future with the high technology helmets and the F-35.

Also ask yourselves about the Indian Air Force with the SU30 MKI supplied in a joint venture with Russia, and others like Pakistan who we supply with F-104 Starfighter as everyone appears to be gearing up quickly and in great volume. Just who else is selling their fighters? The French are supplying Egypt with the Dussault Rafale…and on it goes.

Can we keep up, especially as expensive as are the F-22s and F-35s? Then ask yourself about who will be supplying whom regarding those countries we will not do business with like Iran, North Korea, and other ne’er-do’wells?

Air supremacy, superiority, or are we kidding ourselves?

What if the World’s Most Expensive Fighter Planes Can’t Defeat Our Enemies?

By Mike Fredenburg – National Review

On April 15, 1953, North Korean Po-2 biplanes strafed a U.S. Army tent on Chodo Island, off the Korean mainland. The attack killed two U.S. servicemen.

Remarkably, that night, more than 60 years ago, was the last time a U.S. soldier lost his life to fire from enemy aircraft. Since the Korean War, U.S. air power has played a critical role in virtually every conflict, and the U.S. has enjoyed near-total air supremacy in every battle it’s fought.

But that streak isn’t going to continue automatically. Despite lavish spending on our air forces; flawed procurement priorities and strategic doctrine, driven by contractors, has put the future of U.S. air power at risk.

Russian SU-35 "Flanker"
Russian SU-35 “Flanker”

Take the new F-22 fighter. It’s the most expensive fighter in the air today, but as a recent story in The National Interest by long-time United States Naval Institute writer Dave Majumdar points out, even its missiles will have a hard time getting past the ability of Russia’s truly fearsome Su-35S Flanker E to jam radars and other sensors.

The F-22 is very stealthy while the Su-35S is not, but a senior U.S. Air Force official tells Majumdar that the F-22 will have a hard time killing the Su-35Ss. These new Flankers are already in service with the Russian Air Force, and independent air analysts see this same plane achieving lopsided kill ratios against the U.S.’s other next-generation fighter, the F-35.

F-15's over the Baltic
F-15 “Eagles”

A FLAWED AIR-POWER STRATEGY

How did we end up with such pricey, brand-new fighters being unable to decisively defeat their opponents? United States air-power doctrine after the Korean War has emphasized “beyond visual range” (BVR) engagements. The idea: With sufficiently sophisticated missile technology, we can destroy enemy fighters from more than five miles away, long before the enemy can engage our aircraft.

The cornerstone of BVR technology, large complex radars, required much bigger fighters to handle the aerodynamic challenges that bulky BVR radars present, as well as huge increases in power and cooling requirements. These larger fighters led to skyrocketing acquisition and maintenance costs. With the advent of stealth, the vision was expanded to include destroying enemy planes from behind a cloak, and costs skyrocketed again.

Visions are not always realized, and recent advances in countermeasures, like the capabilities in the Su-35S, are just another chapter in a long history of BVR missiles not living up to the hype. Expecting BVR capabilities to deliver lopsided results against peer competitors now looks more like wishful thinking than a sound strategy.

So why have billions of dollars of investments into BVR capabilities delivered such disappointing results? There are two main causes:

FEAR OF FRIENDLY FIRE

First, identify-friend-or-foe (IFF) technology — systems that enable forces to identify friendly platforms among potential targets — has not been reliable enough to allow our pilots to fire at blips on their radar screen without fear of committing fratricide. In other words, no matter how good our BVR technology, pilots still needed to get within visual distance before taking a shot. Progress has been made in IFF technology, in part because of better capabilities on our support aircraft, but it remains a problem.

CONTRACTORS OVERPROMISE, UNDERDELIVER

The second issue is that BVR missile technology has consistently failed to live up to the promises made by vendors and senior military leadership. On entering Vietnam, military leaders assured Congress that the radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow carried by the complex and costly F-4 Phantom would give our pilots a 70 percent probability of a kill per missile fired. Instead, the much hyped Raytheon missile ended up with a BVR kill rate of less than 1 percent. Somewhat chastened, senior military leaders were forced to retrofit guns to the F-4 Phantom.

Our cutting-edge missile technology has consistently failed to live up to the promises made by vendors and senior military leadership.

The problems continued after Vietnam. In “Promise and Reality: Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air-To-Air Combat” a 2005 paper done for the Air War College, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Higby (now General Higby) shows in great detail that from Vietnam up to Desert Storm the billions invested BVR missile technology contributed almost nothing to the United States’ domination of the skies.

Combining data from Israeli and American missions, he finds that out of 632 shots taken with BVR-capable missiles, only four resulted in kills from beyond visual range — a scant 0.6 percent. During this same period, 528 air-to-air kills were made at closer range — 144 with guns and 384 with missiles fired at opponents within visual range.

BVR HAS ALMOST NEVER WORKED

Starting with Desert Storm, there was an uptick in the number of kills achieved using the newer AMRAAM missiles, which are designed for relatively long range kills, but because neither the number of missiles used nor the range at which the BVR-capable missiles notched kills was recorded, it’s hard to reach any firm conclusions.

We do have anecdotal evidence: In 1999, when two MiG-25s violated the no-fly zone over southern Iraq, U.S. fighters fired six of our most sophisticated BVR missiles at them. All six missiles missed and the MiG-25s escaped to fight another day. While pervasive coverage by AWACS surveillance and control planes has given our pilots much better friend-or-foe recognition, allowing more BVR shots to be taken, true BVR kills against competent opponents are rare.

Future battles will continue to involve close-range dogfights — where superior numbers of smaller affordable fighters are better than inferior numbers of heavier, less agile, less reliable BVR-focused fighters.

A 2011 RAND report noted that enemies successfully engaged beyond visible range after 1991 “were fleeing, non-maneuvering, and did not employ countermeasures.” “In Operation Allied Force,” the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, RAND notes, “the Serbian MiG-29s that were shot down did not even have functioning radars.”

In other words, we might now be achieving BVR kills against third-rate vastly outnumbered opponents while enjoying pervasive AWACS coverage. But that is a far cry from getting kills against equally skilled peer competitors in contested air space where we may be outnumbered in terms of both planes and missiles.

Historically, our pilots’ superior skills have allowed our big BVR fighters to dominate dogfights despite their large size, but those same pilots flying smaller, less-expensive fighters would still have dominated. In other words, the billions invested in large expensive BVR-focused planes and missiles, while highly correlated with U.S air dominance, was not the cause of that dominance.

Going forward, assuming huge kill ratios predicated on BVR missile technology looks even less wise: We have no record of successfully using such technology against peer competitors with the training and technology to dramatically reduce BVR missile effectiveness (like, say, the Russians’ Su-35S).

Both the United States and its competitors will continue to make large investments to improve BVR missiles and BVR-missile countermeasures. Since neither effort is likely to gain a decisive advantage, future battles will continue to involve close-range dogfights — where superior numbers of smaller affordable fighters are better than inferior numbers of heavier, less agile, less reliable BVR-focused fighters.

QUANTITY OVER QUALITY

It’s unrealistic to expect heavily outnumbered U.S. planes to consistently take down large numbers of enemy fighters at long ranges. The large technology lead the United States once held over other major air powers has nearly evaporated, and regaining our post-WWII lead is well-nigh impossible.

Moreover, other air powers have studied and adopted U.S pilot-training methods, and that gap, once large, has narrowed as well. In 2004, for instance, U.S. F-15 pilots were unpleasantly surprised to find themselves on the wrong side of a 9-to-1 loss ratio in exercises with Indian Air Force pilots flying Russian-designed planes, including small but formidable MiG-21s. We should plan on Chinese and Russian pilots being equally competent.

There are other major problems with large BVR fighters. One such problem is that the cost per hour to fly them is now so great that some of our pilots are only getting about ten hours per month of actual flight time — not nearly enough to maintain superior skills. Further, these fighters’ huge maintenance requirements mean they spend less time in the air than other aircraft.

The F-22 and F-15 can fly far fewer sorties per day than smaller, more reliable fighters such as the F-16. In other words: Large, higher priced, maintenance-intensive BVR-focused planes will often end up delivering less sustained combat power.

F-35A at Eglin Air Force Base
F-35A at Eglin Air Force Base

STEALTH: ANOTHER PRICEY, UNPROVEN INVESTMENT

BVR’s kissing cousin, stealth, is also not the silver bullet it was portrayed to be 20-plus years ago, when development began on the Joint Strike Fighter (the F-35). In fact, counter-stealth technology is advancing and proliferating much more quickly than stealth technology. Recognizing this, the U.S. Navy is wisely hedging its bets by not being too reliant on stealth.

Earlier this year, chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert noted the inevitable limits of stealth: “Let’s face it, if something moves fast through the air, disrupts molecules, and puts out heat — I don’t care how cool the engine can be, it’s going to be detectable.”

With the rapid proliferation of integrated air defenses capable of seeing and targeting stealthy airplanes, the decades-old vision of flying into the teeth of the integrated air defenses of our top competitors and attacking them with impunity is a fast-fading fantasy. A modest premium for cost-effective stealth probably makes sense, but a huge premium for maintenance-intensive stealth doesn’t.

Mathematical battle models, such as the Lanchester-square model, show numerical superiority rapidly swamps quality, meaning larger forces of less-capable planes can sweep opposing forces from the sky while suffering surprisingly small losses. And there’s certainly a good chance we’ll be facing more-numerous forces: Scenarios for defending Taiwan, for instance, have our pilots going up against Chinese pilots that could outnumber us by three to ten times.

The RAND Corporation has done an instructive analysis: Even assuming we have unhittable planes with perfectly accurate missiles and opponents lining up to be shot down like sitting ducks, our forces cede airspace control over Taiwan to China while taking crippling losses in terms of support aircraft. More realistic assumptions have us losing many of our F-22s as well.

Being on the wrong side of projections for these kind of scenarios is a bad place to be for our pilots. Getting to the right side of the equation will not be achieved by the fielding small numbers of $200-million-plus fighters whose core capabilities are inferior to most advanced fighters.

The Air Force wants to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt
The Air Force wants to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt

FANCIER TECH DOESN’T ALWAYS WIN

Advanced technology will always play a critical role in ensuring the success of our fighter aircraft, but we should also remember that quantity, tactics, and training can overcome technology. Ultimately, trying to maintain air-power dominance built on bleeding-edge technology that busts the budget, takes forever to develop, and delivers severely diminishing returns is a losing strategy in a world where technology rapidly diffuses.

Better reliability, while not sexy, facilitates more sorties, puts more planes in the air, and enables better pilot training. In a world where firing up powerful active sensors makes you a target, it might make sense to field smaller fighters that rely more on networked, passive sensors. Traditional fighter performance metrics such as instantaneous turn rate, sustained turn rate, and thrust-to-weight ratio still matter.

Our air-superiority fighters need to deliver unparalleled performance in the air, and they’re not. The USAF even acknowledges that the backbone of our future fighter corps, the F-35, isn’t designed to be an air-superiority fighter. Yet, along with air-superiority missions, the Air Force is counting on this strike fighter to perform close air-support missions that the inexpensive A-10 already does so much better.

These compromises aren’t necessary. For the cost of one F-35, we can buy several air-superiority and close–air-support planes that will deliver far more bang for the buck. Sadly, contractors and top military brass gravitate to the fanciest, most expensive fighters possible with little regard for affordability and maintainability. It’s time to bring back the procurement discipline necessary to buy fighters with the right mix of capabilities and cost.

That kind of strategy will allow us to field them in the numbers needed to maintain the air dominance our armed forces have been able to count on for the past 60 years.


Mike Fredenburg is a past contributor to National Review, the California Political Review, and the San Diego Union Tribune, and was the founding president of the Adam Smith Institute of San Diego, a conservative think tank and PAC.


Fox News interview with Gen. Welsh, USAF Chief-of-Staff by Shepard Smith:

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‘The world is on fire’ – Boehner Interview in Israel

Editor’s Note – Lost in the anticipation of the “Iran Deal” completion which came today, John Boehner was interviewed in a wide ranging manner about his visit to Israel published yesterday and we recommend it highly for perspective.

John Boehner in Israel: ‘The world is on fire’

In an exclusive interview, the House speaker offers a blistering critique of U.S. policy in the Mideast.

JERUSALEM — John Boehner thinks the “world is on fire.” And America isn’t doing nearly enough to stamp it out.

The House speaker’s decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress last month sparked criticism that Boehner was inappropriately injecting himself into foreign affairs and antagonizing President Barack Obama. But just hours after a friendly return visit with Netanyahu on Wednesday, Boehner made clear in an interview with POLITICO here he’s not backing down and will remain firmly engaged in the nation’s foreign policy.150401_john_boehner_israel_gty_1160_1160x629

“I wouldn’t have believed that I would be involved in as much foreign policy as I am today,” Boehner said in his hotel near Jerusalem’s Old City. “And it certainly isn’t by choice. It’s just that the world is on fire. And I don’t think enough Americans or enough people in the administration understand how serious the problems that we’re facing in the world are.”

Indeed, with the Middle East in a constant state of upheaval, and the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu at a low point, Boehner has emerged as an unlikely power center in U.S. foreign policy.

Sitting in his hotel suite on a chilly, gray day — after a lunch with Netanyahu in the prime minister’s office complex — the Republican leader said a six-country journey mostly across the Middle East has left him more worried than before. He said his theory that the U.S. doesn’t have a coherent foreign policy has been borne out. He’s concerned about the U.S.-led talks with Iran and has been most surprised by “the boldness of the Iranians” in exerting their influence throughout the region. The “trouble they’re causing,” he said, “raised my eyebrows.”

It’s quite a shift for Boehner, the nation’s top elected Republican, who is second in line to the presidency. He came to power envisioning shrinking government and slashing budgets, but foreign policy has emerged as a central element of his legacy. Boehner hasn’t opposed the White House at every turn on foreign policy — in several instances, he publicly aligned himself with Obama, but at other times he’s vocally challenged the president.

01firstdraft-boehner-israel-master675Indeed, instead of shying from the criticism he received after inviting Netanyahu to address Congress, Boehner offered a blistering critique of how the U.S. is dealing with growing uncertainty in the Middle East.

“We’ve got some big, serious problems, and there’s no overarching strategy to deal with it. You’ve heard me say this for two years. I am even more convinced of it today,” Boehner said. He added, “Here’s the essence of what I’ve learned on this trip: The problem is growing faster than what we and our allies are doing to try to stop it.”

Boehner did say that, one way or another, Congress will move to change U.S. policy toward Iran. If there’s no deal, he said, Congress would pass a bill imposing new sanctions. If there is a deal, he said he would have to review it, but he is “sure we’ll have a reaction.” As he watches the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, Boehner said he thinks the Obama administration is too eager to cut a deal.

“What bothers me is it looks like the administration is so hungry for a deal just to have a deal so they can say they have a deal,” Boehner said. “The rest of the world wants something real out of this.”

Boehner said he expects to meet with Obama when he returns to America to discuss, among other topics, foreign policy.

“When you look at what we’re doing, we’re involved with some allies trying to hold Iraq together,” he said, describing the message he plans to deliver to the White House. “We’re involved with some of our allies in trying to deal with ISIL. And we’re in these talks with the people who describe us as Satan, like we’re going to come to some agreement with the Iranians, while they’re spreading terror all over the Middle East.

“We’ve got allies who are doing a little of this and a little of that. But when I talk about overarching strategy, what I’m talking about is a large plan that involves intelligence, it involves the military, it ought to involve Islamic leaders, there ought to be a communications operation — there are lots of components of this that need to happen and be coordinated with our allies if we’re going to tackle this problem.”

Boehner’s allies think he’s underappreciated when it comes to his savvy on foreign policy and his support of many of Obama’s initiatives on the global stage. People close to him say that despite the criticism from Democrats that he’s undermining the president, he still adheres to the belief that there is one commander in chief and he should be the one to set the nation’s foreign policy.

Indeed, they say, he stood up for the White House’s use of certain controversial surveillance techniques when they came under fire. He worked behind the scenes to ensure congressional approval of Obama’s plan to train and arm Syrian rebels. He supported some of Obama’s policies in Afghanistan and sent a memo to his colleagues laying out — with caveats — why he thought it was a good idea. He has, however, rejected Obama’s timeline for withdrawal. And he said Wednesday that he was pleased to hear that the Obama administration would lift the arms ban in Egypt — he said he has been “pushing” the administration to reconsider that policy.

But Boehner said he believes that Congress has a robust role in foreign policy that needs to be respected. When he is briefed, he wants to hear from Obama himself — not an aide. He has pressed the administration to provide detailed briefings — not just perfunctory phone calls — prior to a change in policy. He said in the interview that the White House’s outreach has been “adequate,” without elaborating, adding that he hasn’t heard much about the Iran talks.

While Boehner’s prime interest in Congress has been in cutting the budget and reducing taxes, he has long harbored a willingness to take action on foreign policy. On Obama’s inauguration day in 2009, White House adviser Greg Craig told a group of congressional leaders that the president planned to close Guantánamo Bay without the consent of Congress. With Democrats in control of the House, Boehner used the appropriations process to ensure that never happened. (Craig did not reply to an email seeking comment.)

In 2011, he gave what turned out to be a prescient speech about emerging problems in Russia. He had his staffers watch the movie “Miracle” at a staff retreat to remind them of the country’s spirit when the U.S. men’s hockey toppled the Russians in the 1980 Olympics.

Now, over the next few months, Boehner will have an opportunity to continue to have an outsized impact on foreign policy. The Obama administration is seeking a resolution explicitly authorizing military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In meetings and conversations, Boehner personally pushed Obama to send a proposal to Capitol Hill, but he is now skeptical it will come together.

“If I see a strategy that I think can work, then you can write an [Authorization for Use of Military Force] that supports it,” he said. “But when the president asks for less authority than he has today, you begin to scratch your head. And, secondly, I think they’re looking at this entire problem with blinders on. They need to take a broader view of a bigger strategy to deal with these growing problems.”

With parts of Iraq falling to ISIL, Boehner said he told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that allowing Iranian soldiers to help patrol Tikrit was an “embarrassment to our country.” He said the U.S. should consider repurposing troops to help the Iraqi army fight more efficiently.

“We have nearly 4,000 troops there today,” Boehner said. “And they are mostly advising and training. But I think, frankly, if we had some of those people out in the field helping to direct, it would help the Iraqi forces in a big way. So those are boots on the ground, but we’re not talking about sending 100,000 people in there.”

While most people are fixated on a rift between America and Israel, Boehner used his time here to downplay it. He strode to a podium with Netanyahu here, and, in brief remarks, Boehner said “while we may have political disagreements from time to time,” the two nations share a strong bond.

During his visit, Boehner traveled with the Israeli Defense Forces to see the “terror tunnels” near Gaza. He ate lunch with Netanyahu and met with the U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro and the staff at the American consulate in Jerusalem. He also spent time with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in the brand new Waldorf Astoria, located around the corner from the U.S. Consulate.

Boehner dismissed tensions between Obama and Netanyahu as a “little political spat.” The speaker said he doesn’t expect Netanyahu’s relationship with Obama “to get any worse.” Instead, “I do expect it will get better,” the Ohio Republican said.

“No one should look at big problems between Israel and America. There are big problems between Bibi and our president,” Boehner said. He did say Obama’s administration was trying to “impose a peace process on the prime minister of Israel when he has no partner to sit down and talk to.”

“At the end of the day, we need them and they need us,” Boehner said of Israel. “And OK, so you got two people who may not be in love with each other, but the fact is we’re great allies and there’s a lot going on in the world and we need each other.”

Ralph Peters' Freedom Center Speech – New "Persian Empire"

Editor’s Note – Below are the video and transcript to Ralph Peter’s speech at the Freedom Center’s 2015 West Coast Retreat. The event was held March 6-8 in Palos Verdes, CA. 

Ralph Peters: Iran Building a New Persian Empire

From Frontpage Magazine

Ralph Peters: First of all, what are we going to do about those Jews?  No, I’m serious.  I’m serious.  What are we going to do about all the Jewish refugees?  After the nuclear cataclysm in the Middle East? Some missiles are going to get through.  Tel Aviv will be gone, Ashdod, Haifa, but a lot of Israelis will survive.PetersSpeech2

Now, should we offer them a reservation in Nevada with a sign above the entrance that says “Arbeit Macht Frei”?  Or, maybe we should put them in a DP camp, and the reason I’m saying this isn’t just to shock you.

It’s because the biggest God damned lie you’re hearing today is “never again.”  The world doesn’t care.  The world doesn’t care, and without the United States and Israel together, working together to common strategic goals, common civilizational goals, there is going to be a catastrophe, and it is nothing short of appalling.

When Bibi Netanyahu came to Congress and laid out the argument as clearly as could be, it was a masterful speech.  I suspect Michael Oren probably wrote it, but it was really just superb, and then you had the refusenik Democrats come up in their conference.  I love the guy from Oregon with the bowtie and a bicycle, and they sided with Iran.  They took Iran’s side against Israel.  That’s what it came down to.

Now, this is tough for Israel, because Israel has the military might to set back the Iranian nuclear program.  It does not have the military might to fully destroy it, because a succession of American presidents, especially Barack Obama, have given — the Iranians don’t need this deal.  They may end up rejecting it because they got what they want.  They wanted time.

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They wanted sanctions relief.  Well, we’ve given them over $12 billion in free and unfrozen funds, but it goes beyond that, because as soon as we started opening the sanctions program, businessmen, including American businessmen, flocked to Tehran, trying to set up deals, smuggling increased.

Obama has been, I want to say Allah’s gift to Iran, and if there are any closet anti-Semites out here in the audience, let me tell you why you should care, even if you don’t care about Israel, why you should care, because an Iran with nuclear weapons, with a nuclear arsenal, even if it never uses one of those weapons, already has hegemony, strategic control of the Persian Gulf, de facto control of the Persian Gulf, and the greatest concentration of oil and gas supplies in the world.

There was a novel back in the ’40s or ’50s, called “Oil for the Lamps of China.”  Well, it’s for a lot more than Chinese lamps now, and China, India, so much of the world is still relying on Persian Gulf oil, so you’ve got the Israel problem and you’ve got the oil problem, and Iran’s grander ambition still, which I’ll get to in a moment, but first thing I want to do is try to talk a little bit about what we are seeing.  You’ve got to really stand back, and it’s hard because all news channels — you focused on the headlines of the day.

PetersSpeech1It’s news.  It’s not analysis.  It’s news.  You do some analysis, but they want you to comment on the story of the day, but sometimes you have to stand back and put it on the wide-angle lens, and when you do that, the world looks even more terrifying than it does off the headlines.

We have returned, in crucial parts of the world, to barbarism.  There’s just no other word.  It is barbarism, and the American intelligentsia for the most part defends and excuses that barbarism, and it is stunning because the campus leftists haven’t studied their own left-wing history.

When the revolution wins, guess who goes to the guillotine.  Guess who goes to the Gulag.

It’s not the workers of the world.  It’s the intellectuals, but again, as you heard wise remarks about this earlier today, it’s really about emotion, certainly on the left, but to somebody standing on the right there is really very little powerful analysis, no-holds-barred analysis, and I tell people, first of all, if you want to be a successful idealist, start with a realistic analysis of the problem.  And beyond that, we are not only returning to barbarism, but to atavism, and we are led, in both parties, particularly the Democratic Party, but both parties, more and more by men and women who have never been in a fist fight.

The best thing my parents ever did for me was start me off a year early in school, so I was always the smallest kid in my class, and you learn a lot about human nature in that situation, especially if you’re the smart guy too, and then I got taller and started beating them up, but that’s all right.

But the left, particularly, but even some on the right, are denying fundamental facts of human nature.  You heard Marie Harf’s silly comment about well, the terrorists need a job.  They’ve got a job, and they love their job.  Dad loves his work, and it’s just phenomenal to me that this generation, two generations now of leaders whose idea of violence was lacrosse at Princeton.

They’re utterly, psychological, practically, and factually unprepared to deal with the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, let alone ISIS or Al Qaeda, and when you look at the atrocities committed by Islamic State, and increasingly by other terrorist affiliates and organizations who are competing with Islamic State for brutality, because everybody wants to outdo the other guy, what you’re seeing is joyous violence.

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It’s so empowering to these young men who just never fit in, and they’re not all from poor families.  Many have college educations, but for some reason, they came from the people factory with a couple ball bearings or gears misplaced.

And for those who were always the outsiders, I’ll tell you, Islamic State has a brand that is now as recognizable as McDonald’s or Coca-Cola, and it is a very appealing brand, and those videos of burning a pilot alive, all the decapitations, all the executions of masses of Iraqi soldier prisoners, that is the greatest thing possible for these young, disaffected, pimply-faced, sexually dysfunctional guys living in mom’s basement, whether the basement is in Cairo or California.

I don’t know how to communicate to you how powerful the lure of violence is.  The most addictive substances on earth are not heroin or meth.  The most addictive substance is human blood.  It is absolutely addictive.  Do you think the Nazis hated everything they did?  I’m sure they had on days and off days, but nonetheless.  We’re in denial of human nature.  That happened 7 years before I was born, and 1945 ends it, and we say “never again.”

And now, I’ll tell you what the problem is with those damn Jews.  In Europe for over 1,000 years, Jews were confined to ghettos in most countries.  They were limited to a small number of professions.  Well, guess what?  They got very good at those professions, and then they get punished for being good at them.  Israel’s problem is it’s an overachiever.  It exploded the left-wing lie that because of American and European imperialism no states outside of Europe can reform themselves and rebuild themselves, let alone start from scratch.  Without romanticizing Israel in the least, look at the score card.

It is the only country in the Middle East where the true rule of law prevails, the only country where it investigates its own military, the only country where women have full legal rights, the only country where Christians are fully and truly safe.  You can go on and on and on, but I tell people, Israel is flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood, whether you’re an Episcopalian like me, or Jewish.

And by the way, with Christians and Jews, we had an argument about one Rabbi 2,000 years ago.  Come on, 2,000 years?  Let’s get over it.  Let’s move on, okay?  But when you talk about traditionally, until now you can’t.

We talked about American culture as Judeo-Christian.  Although it’s a monotheist religion, Islam spun off the rails.  It’s divergent in the most negative sense of the word, and if we can’t bring ourselves to be proud of our faith, we need to be proud of our civilization, because you heard Victor Hanson talking about California.

People don’t come from Mexico to California because California sucks so bad.  This is still the land of dreams.  It truly is, where you can come here and you can build a life, and if you fail the first time, or two times, you can get back up.  You can’t even do that in Europe, so amid all the pessimism about our own country that I’ve been hearing, never underestimate the transformative power of the United States of America.

Civilizations, cultures, and religions change on their frontiers.  It’s gonna take generations, but Islam too will change here.  It would go a lot faster if our presidents stopped empowering and listening to the worst voices in the American Muslim community, people from CAIR or the frankly radical organizations, and there’s no way around it.  No.

I said I want to pull back the lens.  When I spoke here 5 years ago, I talked about us being in an age of breakdown, of devolution, where the old empires had been collapsing.  You’ve gotta take a long-term view, centuries-long view, and all those great European empires were collapsing, climaxed by the collapse of the Soviet empire, and then you had the collapse of the mini empires.

Yugoslavia was basically a mini empire, largely dominated by Serbs.  Pakistan, it won’t hold together forever.  It’s an empire.  Everything west of the Indus River is occupied territory, but something’s changed in those 5 years.  We’re still in this age of breakdown in the West, but in the Middle East, in Russia, in China, we are seeing the rebirth of the old empires, which brings me back to Iran.

The majority of Iran’s population are Persians.  The Persians were one of the great civilizations of the ancient world.  When the Persians invaded Greece in the late 6th and early 5th century B.C., we sided with the Greeks, because they’re our guys, but frankly at that point, the attainments of the Persian Empire were far greater, and all the Greek cities of Asia Minor sided with the Persians.

Now, fortunately, the Greeks beat them off, and they experimented with this new idea of democracy, and 2,500 years later democracy has succeeded so well, it’s got us to Nancy Pelosi, but there’s a point to that too.  You can’t criticize people for not getting democracy right out of the gate.  We’re still experimenting with it.  We’re still trying to make it work better, and it’s tough.

Now, on the subject of those Greeks. It’s commonplace for people to say, oh, Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey.  They’re the keystone books, the wellsprings of our civilization.  Nobody reads the Iliad except scholars.

The Iliad is about the joy of killing, and I tell people, look, the real point of military discipline is not getting young men to kill; that’s easy.  The point of military discipline is to get them to stop killing when you give the order.  Young men are inherently violent.  In our society, we channel it for the most part, except in some particular neighborhoods.  We channel it amazingly well.  We do.

But so, back to Iran.  Iran, with its Persian core, is trying 2,500 years later — and there’s been some Iranian empires, smaller ones, in the interim — they’re trying to rebuild or to build a new Persian empire, and the problem now is the old Persian empires were relatively tolerant, especially the first couple.  They would tolerate different religions within the empire.  This is now an ambitious resurgent empire overlaid with ferocious, messianic, apocalyptic religion:  Shia Islam.

So, this is really a terrible threat, and you see, right now, as we speak, Iran has already reached out to Iraq, which is now, there’s no other way to put it, it is an Iranian vassal state, to Syria, which is becoming a vassal state, has become a vassal state really, Lebanon, Hamas, into western Afghanistan, into Yemen.  It has been 2,500 years since the Iranians had an imperial presence over such a wide swath of the globe.

That would be bad enough, but you’ve got other attempts to rebuild empires.  Opposing Shia Iran, the Persian Empire, you’ve got the Islamic State Caliphate, and it resounds, and I’ve got to say this: How would you feel if the King of Saudi Arabia said, oh, southern Baptists, they’re not real Christians; Orthodox Jews, they’re not real Jews.

That’s about how much credibility Barack Obama has.  He’s not an Islamic scholar, and none of the people around him are.  You heard more common sense about Islam today than you’ll hear in Washington in a year, so you’ve got this resurgent caliphate and it is a clash of ancient empires, of religions, of civilizations, and, oh, by the way, look a little bit to the north and you’ve got a resurgent Russian empire.

Now, Vladimir Putin is absolutely fascinating to me.  The elites in the West, and we talked about this last night, the elites in the West write off Putin, because he didn’t go to the right prep schools in Switzerland.  He didn’t go to the right universities.  He chews with his mouth open.

Really, the Europeans were all up in arms, in a tizzy after one conference about 6, 7 years ago, because of Putin’s table manners.  It’s not his table manners that matter.  Look at what he’s done.  Even Anne Applebaum, who I think is the best columnist we have on Russia and Eastern Europe, she dismissed Putin as a mere chinovnik, a petty bureaucrat.  It’s not even rising to the level of bureaucrat, and they missed the fact that the people who go to the great prep schools, who go to the elite universities, they sustain the system in being.

They do not change the world.  The world is changed by outsiders.  Hitler was a lance corporal with digestive problems, to put it politely.  Napoleon was a relatively junior artillery officer.  Mao was an indifferent student.  Ho Chi Minh washed dishes in the basement of a Paris hotel.  Mohammad was illiterate, and Muslims will admit that.

It was an oral tradition, originally.  It’s the outsiders with a vision, the galvanizing vision, that change the world, and the one thing Obama has in common with them is they appeal to the limping proletariat first.  First, Hitler gets the Brownshirts, but then when he comes into power, he gets rid of the Brownshirts, but you can always find an attractive audience, violence supporters, among those at the bottom.

Putin came to power just 15 years ago.  When he came to power, Russia was flat on its back, and for all his, what we see as silly photographs, bare-chested photographs, et cetera, for all of that, he has done a stunning job.  He has won, or at least fought to a draw, every major confrontation with the West.

When is the last time you heard somebody, U.S. government spokesman, talk about Crimea?  Now, it’s east Ukraine, and at some point it will probably be central or southern Ukraine.  It’s just stunning to me this elite that governs us are in denial about the nature of human violence, just the nature of humanity.  They’re in denial about the threat significant portions of Islam in the Middle East, the Islamic world in the Middle East, pose, and they’re in denial about one absolutely huge factor: Religion.

And, I know I talked about this 5 years ago, because we are, again, governed by people in both parties, who for the most part in Washington, even if they go to church or synagogue every week, they’re secular.

They’re secular, and what people who like Barack Obama, whose religion is Barack Obama, and the people around him don’t understand, despite being exposed to the Reverend Wright, because he just blew that off really, although he took a lot of the message in subliminally, but the transfigurative power of religion, of revelation, real or imagined, they just don’t understand the power, so this takes us back to Islamic State.  Think of the deal that those Islamic State leaders offer through brilliant use of the Internet and YouTube, et cetera.

Their deal is not a Wal-Mart greeter, as Marie Harf would have them be.  Their deal is you come here and God will sanction you torturing, killing, raping, taking sex slaves, and, oh, by the way, if you get killed, you get an even better deal in paradise.  It is an incredibly powerful message, and we’re not going to join Islamic State.  We have lives.  We have things to protect, but it’s always the people that, again, it’s not socioeconomic.  Bin Laden was a millionaire, until he blew it all, and they’re not all uneducated.  Zawahiri’s certainly not uneducated, but they’re the misfits, and they’re the people that change the world.

So, we’ve got an elite that doesn’t understand human nature, resists it, resists an open-eyed view of Islam, absolutely refuses to see anything in strategic terms, and I mentioned China briefly.  China is really interesting because they’re not trying to reestablish an empire.  China has changed profoundly.  China always was interested in its borderlands, but China is now, for the first time in thousands of years of its history, is outward looking.

China is building an overseas empire in Africa, South America, and when you look at them building a new empire, the resurgent empires, and the moral cowardice, and the unwillingness to defend our civilization in the West, it is a prescription for very, very, very bad trouble, or as my old drill sergeant used to say, you’re in beaucoup deep kimchi, comrade.  And so, anyway what I would like to do now is open it up for questions, because I’m sure you have a lot, and I can better address your concerns if I know what they are.

Unfortunately, because of their policies, we are going to get into a war with Iran.  The odds are very, very good.  Appeasement doesn’t work with fanatics.  Appeasement doesn’t work with empire builders.  It hasn’t worked with Putin; you remember the reset, and by the way, one of the lowest moments in the U.S. presidency was when Barack Obama was caught leaning over to Dmitry Medvedev and telling him, after the election, after I fool the American people, I can give Vladimir a better deal.

So, with Iran, this idea of strategic patience amounts to standing there and letting a mugger beat the hell out of your because you hope he’ll stop at some point.  Strategic patience just makes the enemy stronger, and look, there is not a military solution to every problem.

That’s obvious, and we should be very hesitant to use military force, but some problems only have military solutions and unfortunately, because of the disastrous policies of this president and his administrations, my God, the threats are so broad now that you don’t know where to start, although I will tell you, honestly, if I have to weight them, Threat No. 1 is actually Vladimir Putin and his ambitions, because he’s got the nuclear arsenal.  A close second is Iran.  ISIS, they’re close third, and other Islamic organizations.

But, as I think I started to say, Israel has the power to start a war with Iran, to harm their program, but Iran would respond asymmetrically.  If it doesn’t have nukes yet, they would respond asymmetrically.  They would attack Arab oil fields, gas fields, loading terminals, storage tanks on the other side of the Persian Gulf, and cripple the world economy, and who will everybody blame?  Israel, and then at that point, we will be in it anyway, so if we must, if we absolutely have no choice but to act against Iran, we should do it together.

Another problem is with all these delays, Iran wanted time.  They wanted time, and they got it, so they built additional underground bunkers.  The Obama administration hasn’t even asked to inspect many of them.  We essentially pretend they’re not there.  If you can’t inspect the deep underground bunkers built specifically to withstand heavy ordinance, what might be going on there?  Might they be up to something 500 feet below the surface of the earth?  So again, there’s no good answer.

We all want easy answers, but there’s no easy answer to this, and every day with Obama, President Hamlet, to be or not to be, forever wringing his hands, unable to make a decision, it gets worse.  George W. Bush was mocked for saying, well, I’m the decider.  That may have been infelicitous English, but that’s what a president is, the decider, and the most important role of any president is Commander in Chief.  Obama has failed comprehensively, comprehensively in that respect.

Audience Member: Do you think that the American public is willing to go to war with Iran?

Ralph Peters: Well, we don’t sell it properly, and again I’m not, I wish we could find another way to deal with it.  It depends on how you ask the American public.  If you ask, did you want Iran to destroy Israel, well, the answer’s no, we don’t want to do that, but if you went, well do you want to send your troops back to the Middle East for a long-term engagement, then the answer’s going to be no.  Polling’s all about how you ask the questions, and another point I’d like to make, and I’ll get to you, you hear so much BS in Washington.  You hear there’s no military solution to terrorism.

We have never tried.  We’ve never tried.  We’ve tried these half measures with restrictive rules of engagement.  We tried to make friends with our enemies before we won.  You make friends with your enemies after they surrender, after you win, and then you’ll hear the lie that, oh, if we kill terrorists, we’ll just make more terrorists and more enemies.  World War II, we did a job on most of Germany’s major cities and most of Japan’s major cities, plus dropped two atom bombs, and today Germany and Japan are, in their different ways, steadfast allies.

Human memory can be very short, but at any rate, literally I’m really at a loss for words, but the foreign policy situations, security situation is such a goat rope, to put it politely, that for the first time in my life I don’t know where to start.

Audience Member: Hello, my name is Maria, actually from Russia, from Moscow, so my question will be about Russia and about foreign policy.  So, the question is that I will tell you, and if you agree with me, please explain why.  If you disagree with me, please explain why.  So, under the example of relationships between the United States and North Korea, sanctions and so on, the dictatorship in North Korea became more and more strong.

So, aversely we can tell that the same situation now we have with Russia, so the more sanctions we have in Russia, from foreign countries like Europe and the United States, then the more strong becomes Putin, the more Russia becomes an empire, talking that the United States is a huge enemy, and all disasters that are happening just because of the United States.

So, here is my first question.  Do you agree with this or disagree with this, and please I would like to know your opinion about what do you think should be a foreign policy for the new hope Republican President of the United States in 2016?  Thank you.

Ralph Peters: Well, the first thing, I’ll do the second one first, the first thing a new president has to do is rebuild the alliances that Obama has damaged so badly, and not just with Israel, even Egypt at this point.  It’s as if Obama instinctively wants to side with America’s enemies, and I’ll talk about Obama if you remind me in a moment, but I’ll get to your first question.

I think it’s a reasonable thesis, but I don’t share it because you can’t let Putin off total scot-free, and he was attacking America and blaming America for everything under the sun, even before the sanctions, and it’s a tragedy, because there is no inherent reason for the United States and Russia to be at each other’s throats, but Putin, in the classic dictatorial authoritarian method, he needs foreign foes to play to xenophobia.  And so, no matter what we do, he’s going to play that card.

I would say the problem is the sanctions weren’t tough enough.  Now, a difference between Russia and North Korea is the North Korean leadership is perfectly willing to starve its people to death by the tens of millions.  That was the case in Ukraine 80-some years ago, but even Putin isn’t going to starve tens of millions of Russians to death.

Now, they’re not going to starve, but we make mistakes in the West, because who do American journalists and politicians talk to?  They talk to the well-educated, urban Russians who speak English, and they have no sense of how appealing Putin is to the middle-aged woman out in the country.  And so, I just try and tell people that you don’t understand that when Putin does things that look ridiculous to us, in fact, it plays very, very well.

The real man, real he-man, and again there’s no good way to handle them, but the tragedy is that there’s no inherent reason for us to be at each other’s throats, except Putin needs an external enemy, and in the early to mid ’90s there was so much goodwill toward Russia.  We didn’t want to take over Russia.  Why?  We’d have to fix the health care system to start, and you know how that goes, but America never had any imperial ambitions.

It was a real clash of ideologies, the Russian belief in a greater Russia and the Western belief in self-determination, even for Ukrainians, and to be fair to Putin, and I will even be fair to Putin, the problem isn’t that Russia got the Crimea and the Donbass area back, it’s how he did it: The use of force.  If it had been a plebiscite that would have been very different because frankly Crimea just becomes part of Ukraine in the 1950s, and it was Khrushchev’s gift, but it was a poison pill.

When the Russians gave Eastern Ukraine, primarily Russian speaking, and gave Crimea to Ukraine, they were following the Stalinist tradition, even though Stalin was gone, of basically infecting populations so they couldn’t become too homogeneous.  He wanted to create a substantial minority of Armenians in Azerbaijan, of Russians in Eastern Ukraine and in the Baltics because it always gives you a lever against them, and so again, that’s not a satisfactory answer.

I know it’s not, but in this terribly dangerous world I wish I could give smooth, satisfactory answers you could take home with you.  I can’t.  I can just sound the alarm bell.

Audience Member: In ’48 the Israelis had a serious supply problem and, as many of us know, they were bailed out in large measure by the Czech government/the Soviet Union.  After the recent war in Gaza, do you think the Israelis have solved the resupply problem particularly with regard to an action against Iran?  Where are they going to get the hardware from?

Ralph Peters: They’ve got the air frames to do some damage.  They’re getting more tankers, but right now people don’t realize it.  The U.S. Navy and Air Force are running low on specific munitions after this little pinprick campaign against Islamic State.  Why?  Because the money for defense industry is in selling new big-ticket items.

The money is not in providing low-cost munitions.  There’s some, but there’s not nearly as much markup, and so, as I’ve talked about before, you have this travesty in the United States where retired generals who are taking home pensions of $200,000.00 a year or thereabouts could now go work for Lockheed Martin or Raytheon and not only double dipping but that prevents them from speaking out while they’re on active duty and saying hey, guess what?

The F-35 really doesn’t work.  Now, because Israel was under such pressure, their defense acquisition system tends to be much more honest and aggressive, but I’m sure that in the Bronze Age there was corruption in weapons procurement.  You remember Daddy Warbucks in Little Orphan Annie?  It’s always been there, but you gotta keep it under control, and if you keep it under control, capitalism can give you some amazing results.

But the other point you brought up is very interesting to me and I’d like to just talk a moment about it, is 1948.  Why did the Israelis win?  Anybody?  Because they were fighting for their survival, the survival of themselves as a people and as a faith, and in my generation of Army officers, we watched the Israelis thump on Arab armies again and again and again, and we said Arabs can’t fight.  We missed something important.  People fight for different things.

Arabs don’t fight for states.  In the Arab world, the state was always the enemy.  They came and took your taxes, took your son, maybe took your daughter, and the game was hid and seek with the state, but Arabs and other peoples of the Middle East will fight for their faith, for their clan, family, tribe, and they will fight for their turf. In the case of the Kurds, who of course are not Arabs, the Kurds are like Israel in ’48.

They’re fighting for their survival, and we’re again on the wrong side.  Instead of helping the Kurds directly, we are sending weapons to Baghdad that never get to the Kurds, and the Baghdad government is owned in every respect but a written deed, by Iran.  It’s crazy.  U.S. air power in Iraq today is flying air cover, air support for Iranian efforts, and we are on the way to seeing that new Iranian empire that will be very, very, very dangerous.

People ask me who do I want to win in Tikrit, Beelzebub or Mephistopheles.  If the Iranian-backed defenses fails it’s really a bloody nose for them.  That’s great, but that means Islamic State wins, and everybody loves a winner, and one of the reasons for the exponential growth, one of the reasons of growth of Islamic State, is simply that people want to join the winning team.  You saw defectors from Jabhat al-Nusra, from secular militias, from Al Qaeda.

Everybody wants to be the winning team, and as I said earlier, it’s a good deal, but we are now faced with these people, Arabs and others, Persians, who are not fighting for the state per se.  The Arabs aren’t fighting for a state.  They don’t have a vision of an Arab empire to the extent the Persians have a Persian Empire.  The Arabs are fighting for the Caliphate, and the idea of the Caliphate truly resonates with them, truly does.  The Persians are fighting for an empire.

And by the way, on Vladimir Putin, Putin is not trying to rebuild the Soviet Union he can’t do it.  He’s trying to rebuild the Russia of the Czars, about the year 1900, just before the Russo-Japanese War, when Czarist Russia was at its greatest expansionary extent.  That’s what he wants to restore.

He’s a great Russian nationalist.  He’s not a commie.  Nobody in the KGB were commies.  They knew what was going on.  They’re the only people that really knew, but he is perfectly willing to increasingly use Stalinist methods, and his background as the petty bureaucrat, lieutenant colonel – I’m partial to lieutenant colonels myself, but his background gave him the ability.

He was a case officer.  That means that’s somebody that works with agents, and the primary thing a case officer has to be able to do in intelligence is size up the guy sitting across the table from you or walking with you in the street, and Putin is brilliant at sizing up Westerners.  The only person who has marginally stood up to him has been Angela Merkel, and she unfortunately has domestic issues that let her go so far and no farther.  So I’m sorry, that’s the best answer I can give.

Audience Member: I have some experience with domestic regulatory agencies and cyber security, and I see them as being quite detached in realities of technology.  It’s like giving a civilian a military role, and I’m wondering if you could shed some light and your opinion on if you think our cyber defense – I’m actually more concerned with cyber offense.

We hear so little from the NSA, as it should be.  I don’t think the military should be on TV saying what’s going on, but with all this rolling about privacy and Snowden and people running it, and China and Russia I know hacking.  Russia trains people to hack America.  How is that a military issue, and do you have confidence that we are having a cyber defense and offense that’s adequate?

Ralph Peters: Well, the lines between purely military operations, economics, cyber, they’re all breaking down, and I too worry more about our cyber offense capabilities.  We’re actually not bad, from what I can tell, on cyber defense.  A problem is when private industry won’t play and then they get themselves in trouble.

Then they want help, but cyber offense, you look at the brilliant propaganda videos done by Islamic State.  You can’t do something like that in the United States.  You can’t do anything that aggressive, but also, Islamic State, al-Baghdadi or one of his underlings can say, hey, do this now.  Film this and get it out, and they do it.  Maybe he watches it, but in our bureaucracy the levels of people that have to chop off on it, have to sign off on it make it absolutely certain that by the time it hits the Internet it’s old news.  Speed matters.

Who would have thunk it?  In the Internet age speed matters?  And Washington is still operating on a 19th century timetable.  I have to move on.  For me this is a treat because I get to talk at some length instead of 4½-minute sound bites.  It may not be a treat for you.  It is for me.

Audience Member: Using your 5-year timeframe, what are the alignments today and 5 years hence between China, the Middle East, Russia?  Where does Israel fit into these new alignments, and what about Japan and the Baltic states, and any economic backdrop you wish to add to it?

Ralph Peters: Oh, that’s easy.  That’s a pretty big question.  I will just say that you can’t put rigid timelines on things.  For instance, you can’t put a rigid timeline on when the Iranians will have a nuclear arsenal because there’s so much we don’t know and we haven’t even asked them about that.

That’s the crazy thing.  Obama and Kerry want this deal so badly they’ve been willing to ignore all the monstrous actions of the Iranians.  Iranians killed and maimed so many U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They’re acting antithetical to our interests everywhere throughout the greater Middle East, but Obama wants that deal for his legacy.  Iran wants a new empire with nuclear arms.  Obama wants a legacy.  Obama’s legacy is going to be a nuclear-armed Iranian empire.

Audience Member: Where’s the future alignment?  Where does the Middle East align with China, align with Israel?  If this is all shifting, there are clearcut –

Ralph Peters: I can’t give you pat answers.

Audience Member: What do you perceive, because there’s been a lot written about it?

Ralph Peters: In the immortal words of Frank Zappa, trouble comin’ every day, and I’m not being flip.  Frank wasn’t all that dumb, but again, you just can’t put timelines on it because you have the Black Swan events.

Audience Member: Forget about the time limits.  What’s happening today, and what happens to Japan and the Baltic states?

Ralph Peters: Well, if you leave timelines out, what happens to the Baltics will be a matter of Putin’s fiat.  He wakes up one day and decides to go for Estonia, and Putin can be coldly analytical, but he also has a real temper.  China is getting what it wants without war.  They’ll push to the brink and then back off, push to the brink again.

Audience Member: But they’re aligned with whom right now?  They’re aligned with Israel in part.

Ralph Peters: Yeah.  Well, Israel – Israel is threatened as it has not been since 1948.  That was a complicated question.  I’m sorry.

Audience Member: I’ve heard from several of our former military analysts and maybe not military per se but commentators that Israel does not have the capability of destroying Iran’s complete nuclear capability.  My understanding from talking to people inside Israel’s military is they have no doubt that they can take all of it out.  What they are concerned about, and please, maybe this is false bravado, like they said with the latest round of bunker busters that the U.S. has, they said no weapon comes to Israel that stays the same after it arrives from the United States. That they modify all their weapons, but what they said they were the most afraid of was that the Obama administration would lead a worldwide economic embargo against Israel the day after.

Ralph Peters: Yeah.  I am not as confident about the Israeli ability to destroy it.  I said they can badly harm the nuclear capability.  The Israeli intelligence services are very good, but Iranians have had so much time to build so deep underground.  There are at least 30 locations the Obama administration won’t even go after, doesn’t want to mention, because they want the deal, so that’s the best answer I can give you.

And let me just finish up.  I’ve heard a lot of things said about Barack Obama, and he’s really a tragic figure, not in least tragic for America, but you look at his background.  He’s a red diaper baby.  He’s all his life in Indonesia, and this is important, he was on the island of Java.  Now on central Java where he was, Islam has only been there around 500 years.  I’ve been there.  I’ve done a research project there.

There’s a tremendous hangover from Buddhism, animus practices, and it frustrates the Saudis that the Saudis send a lot of money trying to move them, but that’s a nation approaching 240 million Muslims and they’ve produced several hundred terrorists, but out of 240 million that’s pretty amazing, and a lot of those came from Banda Acehans on Sumatra, but Obama saw Islam in his formative years at its most benign.  It wasn’t Saudi Arabia where his mom would have to wear a veil and couldn’t drive herself.

It wasn’t anywhere else in a Middle Eastern dictatorship.  It wasn’t among the hillbillies of Afghanistan.  It was among the relatively sophisticated semi-urban Muslims of Java, and then he spends the rest of his life, with a few-year exceptions in high school, et cetera, around very hard left people, and I really believe that President Obama has been in a hard left milieu for so many decades that he is much more ideologically rigid and much farther to the left than he realizes.

I think because of being around people like Bill Ayers, reading Saul Alinsky, Rev. Wright certainly, on some level I think he sincerely believes America is unjust.  He misses the irony.  Here’s a mixed-race president who gets to the White House having done nothing, and he says America’s bigoted.

Well then why would we elect him?  But I really do believe that he is soft on Islam because of his background, and he really is convinced that sooner or later socialism, or call it what you will, will work somewhere, and also he’s so thin-skinned and so arrogant.  This is a president – think about it – he gets angrier about Fox News than he does about Islamist terror.  So greetings from Fox News, folks.

Petulant POTUS – Threatens Bibi with UN over 2-State Issue

Editor’s Note – Now that Netanyahu has stunned both his country’s leftist media and ours, and set Obama into a tirade, Obama is threatening Netanyahu before he even calls to congratulate him on his stunning victory.

We and many others have chronicled Obama’s loathe for Netanyahu for years, but now, it is not even arguable anymore – and Obama is about to throw our greatest Middle East ally under the bus in favor of the Arabs, or as the left likes to call them, the Palestinians.

Now Obama is going to cut him off at the knees by going around him to the U.N. – removing a long history of defending Israel in that farce of a world peace organization:

From Tel Aviv to Turtle Bay – The White House hoped a new Israeli prime minister would resume peace talks with the Palestinians. With Netanyahu holding on, the administration is weighing a turn to the U.N. to help force a deal.

After years of blocking U.N. efforts to pressure Israelis and Palestinians into accepting a lasting two-state solution, the United States is edging closer toward supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution that would call for the resumption of political talks to conclude a final peace settlement, according to Western diplomats. (Read more at Foreign Policy.)

The petulant Obama must get his way; by hook or crook, and he harbors grudges like no other President. Dick Cheney is correct, Obama is the worst President, eclipsing Jimmy Carter easily – or is it badly?

Will Obama no longer have Israel's back? The icy relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is about to get far colder!
Will Obama no longer have Israel’s back? The icy relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is about to get far colder!

Once again, Obama’s view of the world, and that of John Kerry is proving to be a continuing failure for the best interests of freedom loving people in favor of Palestine and our enemies. Look for him to coddle Hezbollah now as well!

Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama on collision course over Palestinian two-state solution

Israel and America set for new confrontation after US president bluntly restates belief in Palestinian state to solve Middle East problem

By , Jerusalem and David Blair in Tel Aviv of the UK Telegraph

A triumphant Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be on a new collision course with Barack Obama on Wednesday night after the US president bluntly restated his belief in a Palestinian state and criticised the Israeli leader’s re-election campaign tactics.

In a pointed intervention, Mr Obama was said to be “deeply concerned” about comments made about Israel’s Arab population, a spokesman said, calling it “divisive”.

“The Obama administration is deeply concerned by the use of divisive rhetoric in Israel that sought to marginalise Arab Israeli citizens,” Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman told reporters. “This rhetoric undermines the values and Democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together. These are views the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis.”

The criticism appeared to refer to comments Mr Netanyahu made in a video posted on Facebook on election day on Tuesday when he attempted to mobilise supporters by warning that Arabs were “voting in droves” and being bussed to polling stations by Left-wing groups.

The White House intervention rudely interrupted the Israeli prime minister’s celebrations of an unexpected landslide re-election win and followed Mr Netanyahu’s eve-of-poll abandonment of a commitment to recognise Palestinian statehood as part of a peace agreement.

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Mr Netanyahu – desperately trying to woo Right-wing voters – created fresh doubts about the future of the Middle East peace process when he said on Monday that a Palestinian state would not be created if he were re-elected.

Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party won a resounding victory against a strongly-tipped centre-Left opposition grouping, the Zionist Union, largely by appealing to supporters of Right-wing parties like the Jewish Home, which opposes a Palestinian state.

The Israeli leader has previously committed himself to accepting a demilitarised Palestinian state as part of a comprehensive peace deal in a 2009 speech at Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan University. He said that commitment was no longer relevant in a region threatened by Islamist radicals.

But in a thinly-veiled rebuke of Mr Netanyahu’s volte face, Mr Earnest told reporters that Mr Obama still believed that a two-state solution – usually defined as an independent Palestine and Israel living side-by-side – was the best means of bringing stability to the Middle East.

“It has been the policy of the United States for more than 20 years that a two-state solution is the goal of resolving the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians,” he added. “Based on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments, the United States will reevaluate our position and the path forward in this situation.”

Prime Minister 2009 – present and 1996 – 1999 - Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister since David Ben Gurion. He came to power for the first time in 1996 and held the premiership until his crushing defeat in the 1999 election. He achieved a political comeback in 2009 and has been prime minister ever since.
Prime Minister
(2009 – present and 1996 – 1999) Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister since David Ben Gurion. He came to power for the first time in 1996 and held the premiership until his crushing defeat in the 1999 election.
He achieved a political comeback in 2009 and has been prime minister ever since.

He said Mr Obama had not yet called Mr Netanyahu to congratulate him but would do so in the coming days.

The two men have had a notoriously frosty relationship – which worsened this month when the Israeli leader accepted an invitation behind Mr Obama’s back to address the US Congress, where he criticised the White House’s efforts to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear programme.

In further remarks, the spokesman said Mr Obama did not believe Mr Netanyahu’s re-election win would have a serious impact on the Iran negotiations, which have reached a crucial phase.

The Obama administration’s comments followed statements from the European Union, the United Nations and the Palestinians demanding a renewed commitment to the stalled peace process.

Palestinian officials responded to Mr Netanyahu’s re-election by threatening to intensify diplomatic moves aimed at pressuring Israel, including pursuing it for possible war crimes in the International Criminal Court, which the Palestinian Authority is due to join on April 1.

A spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority leader, said he expected the new Israeli government to “recognise the two-state solution”.

“On this basis, we will continue to cooperate with any Israeli government that is committed to international resolutions,” said the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

Review Netanyahu’s political history here.

The renewed emphasis on peace came after Mr Netanyahu vowed on Wednesday to quickly assemble a new Right-wing government that would safeguard the “welfare and security” of all Israelis.

A day after a surprise landslide victory, the prime minister said he would waste no time by putting together a new coalition “within two to three weeks”.

“Reality will not wait for us,” he said. “The citizens of Israel expect us to quickly put together a leadership that will work for them regarding security, economy and society as we committed to do – and we will do so.”

The pledge came as final results from Tuesday’s poll showed his Likud party winning 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, Israel’s parliament, decisively outstripping the 24 won by the Zionist Union, which pre-election surveys had suggested could emerge as the biggest party.

It paved the way for Mr Netanyahu to serve a fourth term as Israeli prime minister during which he is likely to become his country’s longest-serving leader, surpassing David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding leader.

The result also confounded exit polls that showed the two groupings in a dead heat – an outcome which would have raised the possibility of them joining forces in a national unity government, or grand coalition.

netanyahu_obamaThat appeared unlikely on Wednesday as Likud officials predicted a new conservative government formed with smaller Right-wing and religious parties. Isaac Herzog, the Zionist Union leader, ruled out entering a grand coalition by conceding that his future lay in the opposition.

Mr Netanyahu is instead expected to cobble together a coalition with like-minded partners such as the Jewish Home party before reaching out to Moshe Kahlon, a former Likud minister whose new Kulanu party won 10 seats by appealing to Israelis worried about socio-economic issues.

Mr Netanyahu’s victory was achieved through using “cannibalising” tactics that involved eating up support from smaller Right-wing parties by frightening their followers about the prospects of a Left-wing government ready to compromise Israel’s security, campaign insiders said.

As the prime minister’s poll ratings sunk, his chief strategist, Aron Shaviv, decided to make his woes the main theme in the campaign’s final days by constantly reminding voters that the man they know as “Bibi” really might lose.

Making a virtue of Mr Netanyahu’s vulnerability, the tactic targeted voters who had abandoned Likud for various parties positioned even further along the hardline spectrum, notably the Jewish Home, led by Naftali Bennett, which lost five seats in the election.