Saudi Snub has Deeper Meaning as Iran Nixes Inspections

Editor’s Note – Regardless how the White House spun the story of being snubbed by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and three other leaders of Gulf States at the Camp David summit, it was obvious to clear thinking people that it was just that; a snub. The article below explains why it is actually even worse.

The Obama/Kerry policies in the region, especially regarding Iran, are an abysmal failure, just like their Israel/Palestinian stance. With the ‘deadline’ looming for a pact on Iran’s nuclear program, and open hostilities between Saudi Arabia and Iran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen, there is no positive spin that the White House can conjure up like they tried to do when Ramadi fell to IS in Iraq.

In fact, it is so bad that now the U.N. is sticking its nose into the fray in Yemen as well:

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced talks between warring Yemeni parties in Geneva on May 28 to end over seven weeks of war, as Iran agreed for international inspections of an aid ship sailing to Yemen.

The moves are aimed at defusing the deepening crisis in the southern Arabian Peninsula, where Saudi-led forces killed at least 15 Houthis in the latest air strikes in a campaign to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. (Read more at Yahoo/Reuters.)

Further compounding the problems for Obama in the region are the continual harsh language coming from Ayatollah Khamanei in Tehran regarding the nuclear talks.

Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday ruled out inspections of Iranian military sites and interviews of Iranian nuclear scientists in any potential deal on its nuclear program.

In a speech at a graduation ceremony at the Imam Hussein Military University in Tehran, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, denounced what he said were escalating demands in the nuclear talks between Iran and world powers that resumed on Wednesday in Vienna.

“They say new things in the negotiations. Regarding inspections, we have said that we will not let foreigners inspect any military center,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to a text of the speech released on his personal website, Khamenei.ir. (Read more here at the NY Times.)

Obama seems to have the “anti-Midas touch,” everything he and his administration touches turns to something akin to the complete opposite of gold and rhymes with “ship.”

Speaking of ships, there was a positive note coming from the region regarding the inspection of the Iranian vessel steaming to the area with humanitarian relief:

From PressTV, an Iranian Publication that takes its orders from Tehran - Dubbed Rescue, Iran's ship is set to carry a group of humanitarian aid workers, medical technicians, and peace activists from the US, France, Germany, and Iran, along with a shipment of humanitarian aid, from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province to Yemen. (IRNA photo)
From PressTV, an Iranian Publication that takes its orders from Tehran – Dubbed Rescue, Iran’s ship is set to carry a group of humanitarian aid workers, medical technicians, and peace activists from the US, France, Germany, and Iran, along with a shipment of humanitarian aid, from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province to Yemen. (IRNA photo)

The U.N. announcement came as Iran announced that the Iranian cargo ship sailing to Yemen with 2,500 tonnes of food and medical supplies would submit to international inspections in Djibouti before continuing on to Yemen’s Hodaida port, which is under Houthi control.

The move reduces the risk of a potential showdown between the vessel, which had been escorted by Iranian warships, and Saudi-led forces enforcing inspections on vessels entering Yemeni ports to prevent arms supplies from reaching the Houthis.

“We have decided to dock our ship in Djibouti so the United Nations inspection protocol can take place,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. (Read more at Yahoo/Reuters.)

But is that really a positive? Is what Iran calls the ship Iran Shaheb, dubbed the “Rescue,” really as advertised by Iran?

The Iranians still get to bring relief, but it is more likely than not, that only the Houthis will benefit once the U.N. allows them to go to Yemen. Add another one to the Obama loss column; the Iranians are getting their way despite recent efforts to thwart them.

Rejuvenated Royals – The Saudis push back against the Obama foreign policy.

By  HUSSAIN ABDUL-HUSSAIN for the Weekly Standard

The Obama administration put a happy face on its Camp David summit last week, even as four of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s six leaders turned down Obama’s invitation to attend. The most significant absence, of course, was that of Saudi Arabia’s king, Salman. In his place, Riyadh sent Salman’s 55-year-old nephew, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and Salman’s 28-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, deputy crown prince and defense minister.

Composite image showing King Salman Bin Abdulaziz (C), Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Naif (R) and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Composite image showing King Salman Bin Abdulaziz (C), Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Naif (R) and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Both men are said to be responsible for the aggressive Saudi policies in confronting Iran, especially in Yemen, where Mohammed bin Salman is leading the campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthis. In other words, while snubbing Obama, King Salman also delivered a strong message through the two men who are in line to lead Saudi Arabia for the foreseeable future. They’re not happy with what they correctly perceive as the White House’s pro-Iranian tilt in the Middle East—and they’re in a position to challenge it.

In Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, referred to in Western policymaking circles as MBN, the White House is likely to find an especially able statesman. MBN served as the deputy minister of the interior under his father and then won the top post himself, where he has distinguished himself as a tough-minded security official who proved instrumental in dismantling terrorist networks and providing U.S. officials with valuable insight into their workings. He has survived at least four assassination attempts.

But it is MBN’s studious navigation of court politics that landed him in the number two spot. Indeed, it’s something of a paradox that a man so skillful in handling intra-Saudi rivalries is now behind a foreign policy that, in contrast to Riyadh’s all-too-frequent navel-gazing, is remarkably activist. MBN owes his power to ambition, skill, and the fact that he has no sons to move into the line of succession, which has made him a useful ally in court maneuvering.

Saudi royal politics are typically inscrutable, since the Saudis do not make a habit of publicizing divisions within their ranks, and their disagreements are resolved in private. But here is the short version of what has happened in 2015: Since taking over earlier this year after the death of his predecessor, King Salman has engineered a new line of succession. The upshot is that we are witnessing something novel in Riyadh.

For the last several decades, the succession question has dominated Saudi politics—which is hardly a surprise when 70-something monarchs name 70-something crown princes, and illness and sudden death become central concerns in policymaking circles.

That instability often incapacitated Saudi decisionmakers and at times left an otherwise preoccupied Riyadh vulnerable to regional issues. But with a 55-year-old crown prince and a 28-year-old deputy crown prince, the royal palace seems set to enjoy a level of stability it hasn’t seen since the death of Ibn Saud, the regime’s founder, in 1953.

Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Mohammed Bin Salman attends a briefing Wang Bo/Xinhua/ZUMA Wire
Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Mohammed Bin Salman attends a briefing Wang Bo/Xinhua/ZUMA Wire

This is perhaps one reason why Riyadh seems more determined than ever to roll back Iranian influence in the Middle East. For once, they’re able to focus on external threats rather than who will inhabit the palace. For Riyadh, this fresh blood and surge of confidence couldn’t come at a better time. They’re concerned that the White House is downgrading the 70-year-long alliance with Riyadh in favor of upgrading relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Saudis have given up on the Obama administration. In return for helping the White House combat Sunni terror, Riyadh assumed the White House would keep its word and push back against Iran. However, the Obama administration has done exactly the opposite. It has paved the way for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon within the next 15 years and accommodated Iranian interests around the Middle East, from Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and Yemen.

But to hear the Obama administration tell it, Saudi Arabia’s biggest problem comes not from Iran but inside. It’s unemployment, lack of opportunities, and a faulty education system that ail the Gulf Arabs, Obama has said in several interviews. And that, says the White House and its various media surrogates, is why the Saudis create so many terrorists.

There’s no doubt that Saudi society is riven by a host of problems and that private charities from the Gulf Cooperation Council states have frequently filled the coffers of terrorist outfits. However, why the White House feels comfortable chastising an ally of more than 70 years while turning a blind eye to Iran is unclear. After all, every indicator, from suicide to drug use, birth rate to prostitution, shows that Iranian society is as bad as or much worse than the societies of the Gulf states. Moreover, unlike Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms, Iranian state institutions are actively exporting terrorism.

Perhaps Obama is worried that calling out the Iranians as he has called out the Saudis might push Tehran away from the negotiating table. What he’s done instead is endanger the relationship with one of the pillars of American Middle East policy and sent Riyadh out looking for new friends. It appears that the message Riyadh is sending through MBN is that they’re not going to take it anymore. Maybe they don’t have to.


Hussain Abdul-Hussain is the Washington bureau chief of the Kuwaiti newspaper Alrai.

Yemen Chaos – WH “Model,” Saudis Attack, Iran Condemns

Editor’s Note – As the White continues to insist that Yemen is a “model for successful counterterrorism“, the President of Yemen flees the country by boat.

Like many of the aspects of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy and “overseas contingency” operations, failure is obvious but they just will not admit failure and continue to cover for a failed President. One has to suspend all disbelief to swallow their statements.

Saudi jets roar over Yemen
Saudi jets roar over Yemen

Meanwhile, the Saudis have amassed military assets numbering over 150,000 on their border with Yemen and are now attacking the Houthis; the Iranians puppets and Iran is none-to-pleased. USA Today is reporting:

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said airstrikes in Yemen are a “dangerous step” Thursday, after Saudi Arabia launched the strikes against Shiite rebel positions in the crisis-hit country.

The Saudi offensive begun Wednesday and supported by nine regional allies came as the country pledged to protect its neighbor from Iran-backed Shiite rebels.

In a statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the country “condemns the airstrikes against Yemen this morning that left some innocent Yemenis wounded and dead and considers this action a dangerous step” the Associated Press reported. “This invasion will bear no result but expansion of terrorism and extremism throughout the whole region.”

Yemeni loyalists are fighting back but the Houthis are advancing despite air strikes. Yemen is in a state of total anarchy with many opposing forces, and the US has exited.

Despite these facts, the White persists through Josh Earnest, the White House Spokesperson:

QUESTION: Josh, just quickly first on Yemen. I know you’re asked this every time something terrible happens in Yemen. But — but now that we have, you know, essentially complete chaos in Yemen, does the White House still believe that Yemen is the model for counterterrorism strategy?

EARNEST: Jon, the White House does continue to believe that a successful counterterrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government to have local fighters on the ground to take the fight to extremists in their own country. And the United States can serve both to diplomatically offer up some political support to central governments. We can offer very tangible support to local security forces in the form of training and equipping. (Read much more at ABC News)

Then, over at the State Department, Spokesperson Jen Psaki was in typical ‘protect the White House” mode about Yemen as well and she responded to news of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi:

“We were in touch with him earlier today,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing in Washington. “He is no longer at his residence. I’m not in position to confirm any additional details from here about his location.”

State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki and Josh Earnest respond separately to questions on Yemen and the White House's stubborn stance of "success."
State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki and Josh Earnest respond separately to questions on Yemen and the White House’s stubborn stance of “success.”

See a stunning summary video of the chaos here. Please read on and do not let your ‘lying eyes’ deceive you:

Gulf states launch air strikes in Yemen

By Simeon Kerr in Dubai and Reuters in Washington – Financial Times

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies have launched a military operation involving air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters tightening their grip on Aden, where the country’s president had taken refuge, the Saudi envoy to Washington said on Wednesday.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador, said a 10-country coalition had joined the military campaign “to protect and defend the legitimate government” of President Abd Rabbuh Hadi.

News of the strikes triggered a surge in the price of crude oil. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, was up 5.3 per cent at $51.80 in early London trade, while Brent crude, rose 4.5 per cent to $59.02.YemenMap3.26.15AmerEnterprise

Mr Jubeir said Saudi Arabia had consulted the US but that Washington was not participating. The White House confirmed that President Barack Obama had authorised US logistical and intelligence support.

Gulf Arab states had been considering military intervention against Iran-backed Houthi rebels advancing on Aden, Yemen’s southern port city, in what threatens to turn a rumbling Sunni-Shia cold war into a more direct conflict.

In a dramatic day of events — that saw reports of President Hadi fleeing the city by sea denied by his advisers, after Houthi forces stormed an air base near Aden — Yemen’s foreign minister told Sky News Arabia on Wednesday that Sunni Gulf states had accepted his government’s request for military intervention to stem the advance of Houthi militia.

The move sets the scene for a confrontation between Sunni-majority Arab countries and Shia Iran, which they accuse of interfering in the Arab world by supporting proxy groups such as the Houthi, who are followers of the Zaydi Shia sect.

Oil prices jumped in Asian trading on Thursday, with Brent crude, the international benchmark, at one point up 5.9 per cent to $59.71.

On Wednesday night, leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar who met in Riyadh last weekend to discuss the Yemeni crisis, were weighing up air strikes against Houthi positions in their northern strongholds in defence of Mr Hadi in the southern port city, said one person aware of the discussions.

Reports have since emerged that Saudi Arabia has moved heavy weaponry towards its southern border with Yemen, which adjoins the Houthis’ northern power base.

The Houthi rebels, who are working in partnership with the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seized the al-Anad air base on Wednesday, 60km north of Aden, the last staging post on the road to the country’s second-largest city — raising the stakes in the impoverished nation’s slide into war.

A spokesman for Mr Hadi, who escaped from the Houthi-controlled capital of Sana’a in February, denied rumours that the president had fled Aden by sea.

Clashes broke out around Aden’s airport later on Wednesday, according to local media. War planes fired at the compound where Mr Hadi has been forming a government in exile.

Analysts say that Saudi Arabia is adopting a defensive position on the Saudi-Yemeni border, which adjoins the Houthis’ territorial heartland, or perhaps seeking to draw the militia’s forces into a battle on a second front in the northern highlands.

Sunni Arab states may also be planning a joint force to weigh in behind Mr Hadi, whom they — along with the UN — have backed as the legitimate president.

“It is entirely possible that air strikes or special operation forces may be used on specific missions,” said Theodore Karasik, a Dubai-based security analyst. “There is a plan for a joint Arab force, but it is not ready yet for operations.”

Screen capture of video showing aftermath of Saudi strikes - NBC News
Screen capture of video showing aftermath of Saudi strikes – NBC News

On Saturday, US military personnel evacuated al-Anad base, which had been used to co-ordinate drone strikes against al-Qaeda Islamist militants.

The Houthis, who have controlled the capital since September, say their advance against Aden aims to stem the growing influence of al-Qaeda, which they claim has joined Mr Hadi’s coalition of army loyalists and southern tribes.

Analysts fear that al-Qaeda fighters, a potent force in central parts of Yemen, could become the shock troops of a Sunni defence — deepening the polarised sectarian conflict.

The Houthi advance south gathered pace after last week’s deadly suicide bombings at two mosques in Sana’a that caused hundreds of casualties among Zaydi Shia worshippers.

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Analysts said the Houthis’ rapid charge was intended to lock in territorial gains before potential foreign intervention or peace talks.

Saudi officials have said they will take the “necessary measures” if peace efforts — led by Jamal Benomar, UN envoy, in Sana’a — fail.

Qatar has sought to get key Yemeni power brokers to meet in Doha to forge a peace agreement but, so far, military action has trumped diplomacy.

al Qaeda frees six of its own, Houthis, Yemen – Iran big winner

Editor’s Note – With the closing of the United State’s embassy in Yemen this week, and the subsequent report that while leaving the Marines defending the staff and installation had to disarm prior to exiting the country, conflicting reports abound.

What it does show though, with alarming clarity, the Obama administration has yet another stark failure to its credit. But what is worse is the major gap in our ability to confront Al Qaeda, all while the Iranian puppets, the Houthis, gain yet another Middle East capitol comes under the Iranian orbit.FoxYemenMarines

But now the Pentagon is challenging that assessment:

The U.S. military has retained its ability to conduct counterterrorism operations inside Yemen, a Pentagon spokesman told Breitbart News.

“We still retain the [counterterrorism] capability [in Yemen],” asserted Marine Maj. Bradlee Avots, the Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson, told Breitbart News Wednesday evening.

Breitbart News asked Maj. Avots whether the Pentagon was still able to fight Yemen-based terrorists such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) after the takeover of the U.S.-backed government by Iranian-backed Houthi Shiites and the country’s ongoing descent into utter chaos.

Of course the State Department also denied the reports but we are not the only ones officially severing embassy ties to Yemen, as Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Italy have closed their facilities as well.PsakiKellyYemen

In a blistering [interview] on the Megyn Kelly show tonight, State Department spokesmoron Jen Psaki denied any order came from them for Marines to disarm during the American evacuation out of Yemen, but could not say who did. (Read more here.)

But in the process, al Qaeda is boasting that it freed some of its fighters as the article below outlines. This raises many questions and seems to challenge Washington’s assessments.

After a Yemeni army installation was captured by Sunni Al Qaeda, and the Shiite Houthis took our embassy, it is hard to imagine how our counter-terrorism efforts are not severely in jeopardy.

It also clearly shows that the Obama administration will ‘say or do anything, or not do things’ all in fear that an agreement will not be reached with Iran in the nuclear talks.

Al Qaeda freed 6 inmates in Yemen prison attack, officials say

By Jason Hanna and Hakim Almasmari, CNN

(CNN)Al Qaeda militants freed six of their fighters from a southern Yemeni prison during an attack on the facility Friday, just one day after the group took over a military camp in the same province, security officials said.

AQAP raises black flag over military camp it captured in Yemen on Thursday.
AQAP raises black flag over military camp it captured in Yemen on Thursday.

These attacks by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has long clashed with Yemen‘s military, happened in the Arab nation’s Shabwa province, more than 100 miles to the east of the capital, which has been in political strife for weeks after minority Houthi rebels took over.

Also Friday, at least three more nations announced they were temporarily closing their embassies in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa because of deteriorating security conditions, including neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Three of the six militants freed in Friday’s prison attack in Shabwa had been sentenced to death, provincial security officials said.

Information about casualties, and details about how the attack transpired, weren’t immediately available.

A day earlier, AQAP took over a military camp at the Sabwa town of Baihan, about 110 miles east of Sanaa, after two hours of clashes with government troops, three local security officials said.

This gave AQAP control of all of the camp’s weaponry, the officials said.

Before the clashes ended, the camp’s commander called on tribal fighters to intervene. When those fighters arrived, a ceasefire was called so that the tribal fighters could help evacuate Yemeni troops — including dozens of injured — from the camp, a tribal leader said.

Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy join others in closing embassies in Yemen

Saudi Arabia, Germany and Italy said Friday they were suspending their embassy operations in Sanaa — joining the United States and other nations that made similar moves earlier in the week.

Saudi Arabia evacuated its staff because of deteriorating security conditions following a recent takeover of the Yemeni capital by Houthi rebels, the Saudi Foreign Ministry and two Yemeni Foreign Ministry officials said.

One of the Yemeni officials said the Saudi evacuations happened Thursday.Untitled

German Embassy officials left Yemen on Friday morning, Germany’s Foreign Ministry said on Twitter. Italy’s decision follows “recent events in the country and the progressively deteriorating security conditions,” a post by Italy’s Foreign Ministry reads.

The United States, along with Britain and France, said this week that they moved staffers out of their embassies because of instability in Yemen, after Houthi rebels seized control of key government facilities, dissolved parliament and placed President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi under house arrest last month.

The Houthis — Shiite Muslims who have long felt marginalized in the majority Sunni Muslim country — are now the preeminent power in Sanaa. But different groups there have resisted the Houthis’ attempted takeover of national government institutions, particularly in the south, where there’s a long-running secessionist movement.

AQAP, a Sunni Muslim terror group, vowed to attack Houthi loyalists nationwide last year.

The United States has had a long relationship with Yemen’s leaders, working with them to target AQAP militants.

It’s not clear what the Houthis’ takeover of Sanaa means for U.S. anti-terrorism efforts, but the drone program there still appears to be active. A U,S. drone strike killed senior AQAP cleric Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari and three other people in Shabwa province on January 31.

Obama's Unexplainable Stance on Iran – Threads Connect

Obama’s Swaps Israel for Iran

Connecting Events Across the Globe that Prove Iran is a Grave Threat to America

By Scott W. Winchell and Denise Simon, SUA Staff

Several stories in the news of late are seemingly unrelated but when we take a closer view, one thread connects them, Iran. Now ask yourself, is Iran a threat to America and how is Obama handling that threat?obama-iran

Let us list a few events for you and then try to show the ties that bind them all in an interesting fashion. Please understand, if these questions are not answered, we have a problem that is biblical in scale and some people have a lot of explaining to do – Mr. Obama, and not to the Glo-Zelle’s of the world!

Just in the last few days and weeks we watched as terrorists attacked in Paris, then there was a massive hunt by European authorities seeking other terror suspects across the continent and elsewhere, and news that an impending attack was quashed. Soon after, a unity gathering of massive proportions was held and no one of import from our government was sent to attend. Why?

We also found out that a rift had opened between French President Hollande and Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The rift widened because Netanyahu questioned France’s ability to safeguard Jews living in France and Hollande told Netanjahu not to attend.

He did attend however and gave a speech where he told France’s Jews that they would be welcomed back in Israel. The French government “fumed” over it. Has France thrown Israel under the bus as well?

ParisRallySoon after, the White House admitted it erred in not sending a higher ranking official and sent John Kerry to France on the now famous “big hug” tour with James Taylor in tow. Then there was the very awkward clench Kerry initiated and would not break from with Hollande.

Egg on the face was an understatement. But why really did the White House seemingly spurn the importance of the gathering? Would talks with Iran been jeopardized?

We then witnessed the President’s State of the Union address for 2015, and a state visit from British Prime Minister David Cameron and a puzzling joint press conference prior.

Much has been written about how Obama did not address foreign affairs adequately, but in both the SOTU and the Joint Press conference, we saw that Iran was once again being addressed very oddly, why?

Why are Cameron and Obama so in sync over the Iranian talks where deadlines had been postponed twice prior? Here is excerpt of his speech on Iran:

During a pause in his speech, Obama rests after declaring he would veto Republican efforts...
During a pause in his speech, Obama rests after declaring he would veto Republican efforts…

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.

Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies – including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict.

There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.

But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails – alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.

It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom. (Emphasis added.)

Really Mr. President. “It doesn’t make sense?” It is clear to us that you do not make sense.

Since the SOTU, a very big surprise emerged, Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, without prior consultation with the White House.

Of course the response from the White House was immediate and they called his move a breech of protocol. The Obama administration said they would not meet with Netanyahu because it was too close to his election date.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) shakes hands with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in Damascus April 4, 2007. REUTERS/SANA   (SYRIA)
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (R) shakes hands with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in Damascus April 4, 2007. REUTERS/SANA (SYRIA)

Again, the subject here is Iran and the White House is not happy at all despite “plausible” excuses from Josh Earnest.

Even Nancy Pelosi, the then Speaker of the House who flew to talk to Assad in Syria during the Bush Presidency in 2007 is now decrying Boehner’s act as suspect, asking if it was to bolster Netanyahu’s election chances in two weeks? Talking points?

In the joint press conference we also learned that Cameron and many other European leaders were backing Obama on Iran.

Cameron even undertook the extraordinary step of lobbying our Senators on the subject. In that press conference Obama admonished Congress to “hold your fire” on Iran. Again, why? Even some in his own party are questioning his stance.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) criticized the Obama administration’s Iran rhetoric for sounding “like talking points that come straight out of Tehran” and supporting “the Iranian narrative of victimization” before a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Then news came out of Argentina, yes way down there, about a curious case involving international intrigue, and you guessed it, Iran’s involvement. How does Argentina mesh with all these other curiosities? What we know now is that the “Argentine prosecutor who had accused both the president and the Iranians of covering up the country’s worst terrorist attack.”

He had been uncovering clues and facts dating back to the 1994 attack perpetrated on a Jewish center was about to testify that Iran was behind it all. Well, he turned up dead over the weekend and it definitely was not a suicide we now know.

Incidentally, Argentina was negotiating in Aleppo with Iran to circumvent sanctions on them back in the “Oil for Food” program in Iraq days long ago.

Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Explosion that Iran was behind in 1994
Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Explosion that Iran was behind in 1994

In the centre of Buenos Aires, a Renault van packed with over 600lbs of explosives was detonated on July 18 in front of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, or AMIA – Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina.

The building collapsed, killing 85 people and injuring over 300. It was the worst terrorist attack in Argentina‘s history, and a terrible blow to South America’s largest Jewish community. An estimated 300,000 Jewish people live in Argentina – the sixth largest Jewish population in the world.

Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor was initially declared a suicide, but now we know that is not true either. What makes this tie to Iran so interesting is that he uncovered that Iran had been setting a terror network up in South America.

Iran’s tentacles seem box the compass and yet Obama is so determined to allow diplomacy to work its magic, yet Iran has no intention, nor will it negotiate ever in believable terms.

Also curious, just as this was unfolding “Israeli tourists were targeted in an anti-Semitic attack at an Argentina hostel” where a four-hour standoff resulted in injuries to police as well.

Now we come back to Boehner’s invitation, it seems the White House has already stated it will not meet with Netanjahu before or after his speech to the joint session of Congress. Why? Maybe Tony Blinken’s testimony Wednesday is more telling than is being reported:

A senior official in the State Department admitted on Wednesday that the Obama administration’s goal during negotiations with Iran is delaying the regime’s development of nuclear weapons rather than shutting down the Islamic Republic’s contested nuclear program.

Tony Blinken with Obama
Tony Blinken with Obama

Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken acknowledged during a tense exchange with senators on Capitol Hill a deal being sought by the Obama administration that would constrain its nuclear breakout capability without eliminating its nuclear program.

Blinken also floated the possibility of extending nuclear talks past the June deadline should additional time be needed to finalize details of a possible deal with Iran.

We have seen how Obama has spurned Netanjahu on several occasions, and watched John Kerry place heavy pressure on Israel in affairs concerning peace efforts with the Palestinians with clear disregard for Israel’s security. Of course Kerry’s efforts failed miserably, but why so much pressure on Israel.

Then we learned yesterday that the Israelis have discovered a new missile silo with intercontinental capability near the capital Tehran. But neither Obama nor Kerry will meet with him before the March elections and on the day of his speech scheduled for March 3rd.

But Obama will meet with the YouTube queen; “Glo-Zelle?”obama-glozell

In Obama’s SOTU he talked about an Iran that had ceased in its efforts to enrich nuclear fuel, but that too was not true.

The UN’s IAEA slammed Iran in the recent past and had indicated that Iran’s actions could not be validated and most experts know that Obama was out-of-touch with reality on the subject like he was on the status of actions against the Islamic State. Again, why?

Why is Obama and many in Europe so interested in slamming Israel and coddling Iran? Why is Iran so favored by Obama, maybe not in his words, but surely in his actions? We harken back to Obama’s “red line” in Syria, did he back down then because of his explainable favoritism for Iran?

Now that Sana’a, Yemen has fallen to Houthi Shiites supported by Iran, and Iran now controls at least four Middle East capitals; Damascus, Tehran, Sana’a, Baghdad, and arguably Beirut, Obama is detached, and/or showing that he is intentionally inept.

Incidentally, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki showed how woefully they were informed by a journalist yesterday in her briefing.

We also just learned that Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died, opening yet another question of great import, in which direction will the new king, his half-brother Salman will take our relationship. It has been a tepid relationship to say the least in their attempt to “kill American oil” and the way Obama has handled Syria.

New ICBM silo near Tehran
New ICBM silo near Tehran

While Iran is so clearly unworthy of joining the “community of nations” as a trusted equal, why is Obama so dead set on making them so, especially at Israel’s peril.

Maybe John Boehner has been waiting for just the right moment to expose the answer to some of these questions.

When Obama so clearly tells a story that misleads the American people, we are glad at SUA that Boehner invited Netanyahu to tell the real story, here, in a manner the White House can only try to “spin” away.

The excuse of the “proximity” to the Israeli elections is clear to critical thinkers, he has always hated Netanyahu and wants him to lose so his goals with Iran can be achieved.

Remember also, Russia just signed a pact with Iran on military cooperation, is Obama once again “bowing” to Putin as well? After all, Iran has been cultivating South America for years, all in line with Russia’s goals.

To top it off and bring us back to our original question ponder this – in December of 2010, our presumptive next Attorney General was instrumental in gaining the conviction of the cell that planned to blow up JFK airport in New York. In that trial it was clear, Iran and its network in South America were up to their eyeballs in the plot:

At trial, Kadir, a former member of the Guyanese parliament, admitted that he regularly passed information to Iranian authorities about sensitive topics, including the Guyanese military, and believed himself bound to follow fatwas from Iranian religious leaders.

On June 2, 2007, Kadir was arrested in Trinidad aboard a plane headed to Venezuela, en route to Iran. He was subsequently extradited to the United States. (Also, read more here.)

Let us also not forget the foiled 2011 plot to kill a Saudi Arabian in DC. No threat to America Geraldo? What next, Palestinian and Iranian wings at the soon to come Obama Library in Chicago?

GeraldoOnIran1.21.15

 

Coming to a shore near you? Israeli video of the new Iranian ICBM silo near Tehran:

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Obama Releases More From Gitmo – In ‘Overdrive’

Editor’s Note – Obama is making good on his promises from 2008 to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility in furious fashion. With the loss of power in Congress, this may be one of many executive actions we will see take place as Obama’s second term enters the last two years.

Once again, as Senator Kelly Ayotte R-NH said: “The safety of Americans, not the fulfillment of a misguided campaign promise, should guide national security decisions.” Obama is placing America’s needs behind his own as we now see was always his driving motivation.

Similar to what he did with the ‘Taliban5,’ Congress again was ignored:

Despite fierce opposition in Congress to closing the detention facility, however, there is little that lawmakers can actually do to stop the president from continuing to release detainees.

On paper, Congress requires the administration to give 30 days’ advance notice before any transfer, but that was flouted in the case of the Taliban prisoners who were swapped for Bergdahl.

Despite the fact that 56% of Americans want the facility to stay open and the detainees to remain in custody, Obama is moving in ‘Overdrive.’.

Obama’s big push on Guantanamo

By Kristina Wong and Jesse Byrnes – The Hill

102_2014_gitmo8201_c0-249-2187-1523_s561x327President Obama’s push to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is going into overdrive, with more detainee transfers in the last two months of 2014 than in the previous three years combined.

Since the Nov. 4 elections, Obama has released 22 detainees, in sharp contrast to the period from 2011 to 2013 inclusive, when only 19 were released.

In the first six months of 2014, he had released only six detainees from the facility in Cuba — including the five members of the Taliban who were swapped for prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

With less than two years left in office, the president appears to be going full throttle, promising in a December interview on CNN “to do everything” he can to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise of shutting down Guantanamo, despite congressional opposition.

He released 44 people from the prison camp during his first full year in office in 2009, and 24 in 2010, but transfers then slowed to a trickle, largely due to opposition on Capitol Hill.

In 2011, there were only three transfers; in 2012, five; and in 2013, 11.

So far, Obama has released a total of 111 detainees while in office, according to a Defense official.

In total, of the 780 people detained at the facility, 643 have been transferred, and nine have died while in custody, according to analyses from The New York Times and NPR.AyotteNH

After the administration announced five more transfers on Wednesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said she was “deeply troubled by the administration’s continued transfer of dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo.”

“The United States must take every possible measure to prevent former detainees from returning to the battlefield,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “The safety of Americans, not the fulfillment of a misguided campaign promise, should guide national security decisions.”

Ayotte said that almost 30 percent of former Guantanamo detainees have reengaged or are suspected of reengaging in terrorism.

Those concerns are supported by some veterans of the Bush administration.

“The further you go into the pile of Gitmo detainees that are there now, the more dangerous they are,” said retired Navy Cmdr. J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman during the Bush administration.

Gordon pointed to the Obama administration recently offering a reward for information on a detainee released from Guantanamo in 2006, who now allegedly serves as a top leader with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“They just put out a $5 million dollar bounty. So that shows the folly of releasing guys that we were reasonably sure, or we think, may return to terrorism,” said Gordon, who is a senior fellow at the Center for a Secure Free Society.

Despite fierce opposition in Congress to closing the detention facility, however, there is little that lawmakers can actually do to stop the president from continuing to release detainees.

On paper, Congress requires the administration to give 30 days’ advance notice before any transfer, but that was flouted in the case of the Taliban prisoners who were swapped for Bergdahl.

Taliban5Lawmakers have also included restrictions in their annual defense policy and spending bills. For example, the $1.1 trillion funding bill passed by Congress in December bars the transfer or release of those held in Guantanamo to prisons in the United States.

The president has said that under certain circumstances those restrictions could violate the “constitutional separation of powers” between the legislative and executive branches.

However, lawmakers who oppose closing the facility can lean on public support for their cause.

A Fox News poll released earlier this month found that a majority of Americans, 56 percent, want to keep Guantanamo open, compared to fewer than a third, 32 percent, who would prefer it to be closed, and its prisoners be transferred to U.S. facilities.

As part of the administration’s strategy to close the prison camp, officials have begun arguing that housing detainees at Guantanamo is too costly, and that they should instead be held at super-maximum-security prisons within the United States.

“The American people should not be spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on a facility that harms our standing in the world, damages our relationships with key allies, and emboldens violent extremists. Closing the facility remains a top priority for the president,” said National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell on Wednesday.KazakstanMap

The total cost of detention operations at Guantanamo for fiscal 2014 was $397.4 million, according to Defense statistics. That would bring the average cost per detainee in 2014 to $2.8 million.

According to Politifact, costs at a high-security federal prison as of 2012 are about $34,000 per year per inmate.

Of the remaining 127 detainees left at Guantanamo Bay, 59 have been deemed eligible for transfer after a lengthy interagency review process. Fifty-two of those eligible for release are from Yemen.

However, their potential release is complicated by serious political instability in Yemen. The Yemeni government may not be able to ensure that those released will not return to the fight

Another 10 detainees are currently undergoing prosecution via military tribunal at Guantanamo.

Of the remaining 58, at least 23 are designated for prosecution. Six have been re-designated for transfer, but the other 29 either await a periodic review board or are ineligible for transfer.

The president is hoping to bring those prisoners to a super-maximum-security prison within the United States.

“It does not make sense for us to spend millions of dollars per individual, when we have a way of solving this problem that’s more consistent with our values,” Obama said on CNN.