Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dirty Harry A Lowlife and His Democrat Colleagues Are Weasels and Schumer Will Prove No Better! Liberal Jews Willing To Commit Suicide!

We bought Dagny a castle blow up tent for her birthday and now she wants to sleep in it.












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Israel's submarine fleet has all been purchased from Germany, are silent and diesel. (See 1 below.)
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Today, Dirty Harry was given an opportunity to recant and/or apologize for his knowing lie accusing Romney of not paying taxes for ten years. He refused and when asked why he said: ' Romney lost didn't he.'

I mention this because it validates two things I have maintained:

a) Dirty Harry is a lowlife politician and has no conscience  and his apparent successor, Schumer, will prove he is no better.

I have yet to hear, nor do I expect to hear, any rebuke of Dirty Harry from his colleagues because they are all cowardly weasels.

and

b) Confirms what I have always said about Democrats - "they want to win above anything else  and will stoop to any level to do so" whereas, Republicans are all too patrician  and don't know how to respond to lies.
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Sowell: We seem never to learn between etiquette and annihilation. (See 2 and 2a below.)

Netanyahu concurs. Yet, the world is not listening. (See 2b below.)
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Jason Riley is black and discusses the frayed relationship that has evolved between blacks and Jews. (See 3 below.)

Jewish liberals , as I have noted before, will have blood on their hands as a result of their undying support of Obama but they seem not to care because they are too ideologically committed to being liberal at any cost, even if it means their own people's survival.  How sad indeed to be so blind to reality and allow emotion to trump their brains. (See 3a and 3b  below.)
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Dick
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1)
nuclear-subamarine

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2)Etiquette Versus Annihilation

By Thomas Sowell

Recent statements from United Nations officials, that Iran is already blocking their existing efforts to keep track of what is going on in their nuclear program, should tell anyone who does not already know it that any agreement with Iran will be utterly worthless in practice. It doesn't matter what the terms of the agreement are, if Iran can cheat.
It is amazing -- indeed, staggering -- that so few Americans are talking about what it would mean for the world's biggest sponsor of international terrorism, Iran, to have nuclear bombs, and to be developing intercontinental missiles that can deliver them far beyond the Middle East.
Back during the years of the nuclear stand-off between the Soviet Union and the United States, contemplating what a nuclear war would be like was called "thinking the unthinkable." But surely the Nazi Holocaust during World War II should tell us that what is beyond the imagination of decent people is by no means impossible for people who, as Churchill warned of Hitler before the war, had "currents of hatred so intense as to sear the souls of those who swim upon them."
Have we not already seen that kind of hatred in the Middle East? Have we not seen it in suicide bombings there and in suicide attacks against America by people willing to sacrifice their own lives by flying planes into massive buildings, to vent their unbridled hatred?
The Soviet Union was never suicidal, so the fact that we could annihilate their cities if they attacked ours was a sufficient deterrent to a nuclear attack from them. But will that deter fanatics with an apocalyptic vision? Should we bet the lives of millions of Americans on our ability to deter nuclear war with Iran?
It is now nearly 70 years since nuclear bombs were used in war. Long periods of safety in that respect have apparently led many to feel as if the danger is not real. But the dangers are even greater now and the nuclear bombs more devastating.
Clearing the way for Iran to get nuclear bombs may -- probably will -- be the most catastrophic decision in human history. And it can certainly change human history, irrevocably, for the worse.
Against that grim background, it is almost incomprehensible how some people can be preoccupied with the question whether having Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu address Congress, warning against the proposed agreement, without the prior approval of President Obama, was a breach of protocol.
Against the background of the Obama administration's negotiating what can turn out to be the most catastrophic international agreement in the nation's history, to complain about protocol is to put questions of etiquette above questions of annihilation.
Why is Barack Obama so anxious to have an international agreement that will have no legal standing under the Constitution just two years from now, since it will be just a presidential agreement, rather than a treaty requiring the "advice and consent" of the Senate?
There are at least two reasons. One reason is that such an agreement will serve as a fig leaf to cover his failure to do anything that has any serious chance of stopping Iran from going nuclear. Such an agreement will protect Obama politically, despite however much it exposes the American people to unprecedented dangers.
The other reason is that, by going to the United Nations for its blessing on his agreement with Iran, he can get a bigger fig leaf to cover his complicity in the nuclear arming of America's most dangerous enemy. In Obama's vision, as a citizen of the world, there may be no reason why Iran should not have nuclear weapons when other nations have them.
Politically, President Obama could not just come right out and say such a thing. But he can get the same end result by pretending to have ended the dangers by reaching an agreement with Iran. There have long been people in the Western democracies who hail every international agreement that claims to reduce the dangers of war.
The road to World War II was strewn with arms control agreements on paper that aggressor nations ignored in practice. But those agreements lulled the democracies into a false sense of security that led them to cut back on military spending while their enemies were building up the military forces to attack them.

2a)Poll: American Support for 2 State Solution in Israel Hits 20 Year Low
BY STEPHEN KRUISER
Support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at nearly a 20-year low among Americans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Only 39 percent of respondents in the poll expressed support for a two-state solution, down from 58 percent in 2003, according to a Gallup Poll.

It is worth noting that Politico is running a huge picture of a Code Pink anti-Israel protest. That’s a powerful, not-so-subtle attempt to undermine the very news in the post running below the picture.
Also, it’s rather difficult to ascertain if Americans are losing hope, realizing that this is a part of the world that will always be in turmoil.
One thing is certain: the relationship between the United States and Israel is going to need a lot of repair when President Fundamentally Transform finally exits the arena. If he stays around to muck up the works like Jimmy Carter has all these years, things may never be patched up.


2b)
Netanyahu says 'now is the time for West to stand up and insist on better Iran deal'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Premier gave a statement to the press as the world powers appeared to be nearing a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the West's discussions will give Iran "a path to the [atomic bomb]," a development that Israel finds "unconscionable."


"Yesterday an Iranian official said that Israel's destruction is non-negotiable," Netanyahu said. "However, giving Iran's murderous regime the bomb is negotiable. This is unconscionable."

"Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror and conquest throughout region, most recently in Yemen," the premier said. "The concessions offered to Iran will ensure a bad deal that will endanger" Israel and other countries in the region.

The prime minister said that the "time has come for the international community to insist on a bettter deal that would significantly roll back iran's nuclear infrastructure."

Netanyahu also called on the P5+1 negotiators to insist that any further concessions be linked to "a change in Iran's behavior," specifically "stopping terrorism throughout the world."

"That should be nonnegotiable," he said. "That's the deal that world powers must insist upon. Iran must stop its aggression and its threats to annihilate Israel."
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3) Obama and Black-Jewish Relations

The long road from marching side by side at Selma to today, when the White House is openly clashing with Israel.

By
JASON L. RILEY
President Obama is trying the patience of Jewish Democrats in Congress, a dozen of whom took Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes to the woodshed last week over the president’s continued criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Politico, the lawmakers complained to Mr. Rhodes that Mr. Obama is behaving as though the Israeli prime minister’s recent comment dismissing the chances for Palestinian statehood is all that is blocking the peace process, when the talks have been moribund for a year. The Democratic congressmen also noted that the president had refrained from criticizing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and had even hinted that he might back United Nations recognition of Palestine.
Of course, the Obama administration’s vindictive digs at Mr. Netanyahu are really about the Persians in Iran, not the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank. The president is trying to undermine Israeli criticism of U.S. nuclear talks with the mullahs. Mr. Netanyahu says Iran must be prevented from developing a nuclear weapon and is worried that the White House will cut a deal that doesn’t do that. Iranian leaders have said repeatedly that they want to annihilate Israel, which is home to about half of the world’s Jews. Unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. Netanyahu takes the Iranians at their word.
American Jews supported President Obama overwhelmingly in 2008 (with 78% of their votes) and 2012 (69%). Save for Jimmy Carter in 1980, every Democratic presidential candidate has won at least 65% of the Jewish vote for the past half-century. (Mr. Carter could only muster 45% against Ronald Reagan’s 39%.) To the extent that Mr. Obama was seen as the culmination of a decades-long civil-rights effort focused on increasing black political power, Jewish support for the president also makes sense:
Henry Moskowitz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, co-founded the NAACP in 1909. Jack Greenberg, a Jewish attorney, litigated Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court in the 1950s and succeeded Thurgood Marshall as head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1961. Rabbi Abraham Heschel, a leading Jewish theologian, was a personal friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and marched with him in Selma. Rabbi Uri Miller recited the opening prayer at the March on Washington in 1963, and Rabbi Joachim Prinz spoke just before King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Some Jews made the ultimate sacrifice, as in 1964 when Klansmen murdered Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, along with James Chaney, for promoting black voter registration in Mississippi.
This black-Jewish alliance became strained as the black left’s agenda moved away from equal treatment for everyone and toward special treatment for blacks. Jews who had experienced discrimination in the U.S. and elsewhere yet advanced by dint of individual talent and diligence were wary of group preferences.
When blacks challenge “the systems of testing by which school principals and higher officials in the educational bureaucracy are selected and promoted, they are also challenging the very system under which Jews have done so well,” wrote the sociologist Nathan Glazer in a 1964 Commentary magazine article on black-Jewish relations. “And when they challenge the use of grades as the sole criterion for entry into special high schools and free colleges, they challenge the system which has enabled Jews to dominate these institutions for decades.”
Jews were also put off by the rise in black militancy beginning in the late 1960s, when groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee voted to expel whites—including several Jews—from leadership positions. Later, anti-Jewish black groups like Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam would gain prominence. Martin Luther King Jr. had equated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, but in the 1970s black leaders like Jesse Jackson would openly embrace Yasser Arafatand his Palestine Liberation Organization. In 1984, Mr. Jackson told a black Washington Post reporter that he was being unfairly treated by the “hymies” who controlled the media.
By the 1990s, Al Sharpton was wearing a King medallion around his neck while referring to Jews as “diamond merchants” and “interlopers” in Harlem. “If the Jews want to get it on,” he once told a black crowd, “tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” These days Mr. Sharpton spends a lot of time at Mr. Obama’s house, where he counsels the president on race relations when he’s not lecturing the country on civil discourse from his MSNBC anchor chair.
If you can judge a person by the company he keeps, this is worrisome. America’s relationship with Israel is in tatters, and Jewish Democrats are right to wonder whether Mr. Obama—who spent 20 years marinating in the sermons of a pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who has called the Jewish state “illegal” and “genocidal”—much cares. The historical irony of the first black U.S. president cutting a deal with the ayatollahs that jeopardizes the security of Israel isn’t lost on Jews.


With only hours to go before a self-imposed deadline on the Iran nuclear talks expires, the outcome of the current round of negotiations is still up in the air.  The New York Timesclaimed that the negotiators were on the verge of a preliminary accord. But the purpose of such an announcement would be more to boost support for President Obama’s foreign policy than anything else since even the optimists are conceding that several key issues remain unresolved. Either way, the talks will continue until the supposedly hard deadline in June. But no matter what happens today, the willingness of the Obama administration to stick to their strategy of appeasement has made the Iranians the big winners of the talks. By sticking to their refusal to give ground, with or without another interim deal, they have talked the Americans into making a series of devastating concessions that ensure that Iran will be recognized as a threshold nuclear power with the likelihood that, whether by cheating or complying with an agreement, they will get their bomb.

Though much was made of today’s deadline, the tension about the outcome is entirely artificial. There was never any doubt that the United States would walk away from the talks no matter what Iran did. By reneging on previous indications that they would allow their stockpile of enriched uranium to be shipped out of the country, the Iranians gambled that even something like this—which effectively dispels any hope they can be stopped from building a bomb if they wanted to—would not force the president to recognize that he was being taken to the cleaners. The same applies to their refusal to allow United Nations inspectors access to information about their military research, their successful efforts to force the West to allow the Islamist regime to keep hundreds of centrifuges operating inside their impregnable mountainside bunker at Fordow, and a sunset clause that will end all restrictions on their program in as soon as ten years. Any further delays in the negotiations will merely give more time for Iran to push the U.S. for even more concessions.

Yet as it has done since it began negotiating away its economic and political leverage over Iran in 2013, the United States simply backed down whenever it was challenged. Throughout this long process, the Iranians have never given in on any serious point that could actually put an end to their nuclear ambitions. Instead, the administration rationalized each concession it made as inevitable and necessary until we are now at the point where the president’s 2012 campaign promises about dismantling Iran’s nuclear program have been shoved down the memory hole. President Obama’s pursuit of Iran detente has reversed the dynamic in which sanctions had forced Iran’s economy to its knees and isolated a regime that is the leading state sponsor of terrorism on the planet. As the clock ticked down on the talks in Lausanne, it was the representatives of the ayatollahs who held the whip hand and they have not been shy about exercising that advantage.

An interim accord will be represented as a triumph for an administration that is desperate for good news from abroad. We will be told that cutbacks in the number of centrifuges and the supposed freeze on Iran’s nuclear program will make the U.S. and its allies safer than we are today. But any celebration of this as a victory for American diplomacy will be entirely misplaced. The deal on the table will not stop Iran from building a bomb if it wants to do so since it will retain its nuclear infrastructure. Nor is there any assurance that the so-called “breakout” period by which it could build a weapon is as long as one year and even less certainty that such activity could be detected or that action could be taken in time.

A deal or even a delay that will send the talks into yet another overtime period will be a function of Iran’s stubborn tactics and the Americans’ zeal for a deal at any price. Secure in the knowledge that nothing they demand will force an end to the negotiations and that there is no topic, no matter how crucial to monitoring their nuclear program, that Obama won’t concede, Tehran has emerged from this process with its nuclear dreams intact and the prospect of an end to sanctions that will inject new life into their economy.

President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry repeatedly said that no deal with Iran would be better than a bad deal. But their eagerness for an agreement at any price has made it obvious that their real goal in these negotiations was to initiate a new d├ętente with the Iranian regime more than it was to limit its nuclear ambitions. The president may believe that cooperating with Iran is better for America than isolating it, but in practice that will mean that a stronger, more prosperous Islamist government is going to be an even greater danger to its Arab neighbors and Israel and the West will have no leverage at all to deter those threats.

That’s a colossal defeat for U.S. security. If, as some say, these talks are an attempt by President Obama to build his legacy, what he is doing is ensuring that along with his place in history as our first African-American president, he will also be remembered as the man who enabled an aggressive, anti-Semitic, terror-supporting Islamist state to become a regional superpower with an American seal of approval.


3b)

An Agreement Worse than Munich; American Jews Serve as Enablers

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Mishpacha Magazine

I don't worry that the Iranians would immediately employ a nuclear weapon. My concern (following Bret Stephens) is that if the theocrats in Teheran ever sensed that power was ebbing from their grasp, they would not go as quietly into the night as the Shah did. Being believers, after all, they might well decide that the time to earn their world-to-come had arrived, just as Hitler,
 ym"sh, a different kind of messianist, diverted crucial resources from the doomed German war effort to pursue his "final solution."The other night I woke up around 4:00 a.m. in a cold sweat thinking about the Iran nuclear deal that the P5+1 is prepared to sign, if only Iran will agree. As Prime Minister Netanyahu put it in his speech to Congress, the sunset provisions of the proposed accord ensure that Iran will attain nuclear arms capability even if they do not violate the terms of the agreement. And I for one take Iran's leaders seriously when they speak of the necessity of removing Israel from the map.

Given the number of restive ethnic minorities in Iran today and the alienation of most of the population from the mullahs, that moment when the regime teeters might not be that far off.
Whether or not the Iranians ever employed their nukes, their mere possession would serve as an umbrella for Iran's highly aggressive foreign policy, in particular against Israel. Already today Iran is actively seeking to surround Israel from all sides – Lebanon, the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, and most recently the Syrian Golan – with its well-armed proxies. Every lessening of the sanctions regime against Iran leaves Teheran with more money in its coffers for making mischief abroad.
The Obama administration's explicit decision to decouple nuclear negotiations with Iran from its aggressive support of terrorists around the globe, including playing host to numerous Al Qaeda operatives, observes Walter Russell Mead, is incoherent. That is the second great defect of the agreement now on the table.

The final irony of the deal, if it goes through, is that President Obama, who came into office committed to dramatically reducing nuclear arms, will have triggered the most rapid explosion of nuclear states in history, in the world's most unstable region. Saudi Arabia has already paid for off-the-shelf nuclear weapons from Pakistan, and Turkey and Egypt would almost certainly follow suit. None of these regimes are so stable that conjuring up those weapons falling into the hands of radical Islamists is difficult.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, speaking recently to the French Foreign Affairs committee is reported by France's leading political weekly Le Canard Enchaine to have made clear his deep distrust ("contempt really," according to one member of parliament) for both John Kerry and Barack Obama, and their nuclear naivete. "The United States was really ready to sign just about anything with the Iranians," another member of parliament reported Fabius as saying. What concerns the French most, reports Anne-Elisabeth Moutet of the Gatestone Institute, is the terrifying prospect that if the Saudis, Turks or Egyptians obtain nuclear weapons an irresponsible leader might use them or they might fall into the hands of a terrorist group.

I WOULD ARGUE THAT THE PROPOSED IRAN DEAL is worse than that Britain and France entered into with Hitler at Munich for two reasons. Neville Chamberlain knew that Britain was not prepared to confront Germany militarily when he signed at Munich. By contrast, the United States enjoys overwhelming military superiority over Iran and could easily destroy its present nuclear facilities. Yet Obama treats military action as unthinkable.

True, Iran would likely respond by unleashing its terrorist networks around the globe, but it would have plenty of other inviting targets for American bombers to deter it from proceeding too far down that lane.

But the even more distressing aspect of the comparison to Munich is that American Jewry has served as Obama's enabler on the path to legitimizing a nuclear Iran and placing six million Jews in Israel under mortal threat by twice voting for him in very high percentages.

That Obama has no great affinity for Israel was clear from the beginning. His 2008 foreign policy team leaned heavily to the "realist" side – i.e., those who view the Palestinian problem as the crux of all that ails the Middle East. That view has been conclusively refuted by the unraveling of the region since Arab Spring, though the news has yet to reach Foggy Bottom or the White House.
Two of those early advisors were so toxic that they had to be dropped from the campaign lest American Jews get suspicious. One was Samantha Powers, who once called for American troops to defend Palestinians from murderous Israelis. The other was Robert Malley, whose father, one of the founders of the Egyptian Communist Party, counted Yasir Arafat as a friend. Malley was the only member of the U.S. team at Camp David, including President Clinton himself, not to blame Arafat for the breakdown of the talks by walking out without making so much as a counter-offer. Powers has now resurfaced as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and Malley as the head of the Middle East desk of the National Security Council.

Early in his presidency, Obama told a group of American Jewish leaders that he intended to put distance between the United States and Israel. And he wasted no time. He and Secretary of State Clinton pretended that President Bush's commitment to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that any peace settlement would have to take into account the new reality on the ground of large settlement blocks was irrelevant, even though Bush's letter was the quid pro quo for the total Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Instead the administration treated Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem built since 1967 as no different than the most farflung settlement. (Iran take note of the binding force of executive agreements.)

At the outset of his second term, Obama made his disdain for Israel even clearer, just in case anyone had missed the point. He chose former senator Chuck Hagel, a man of no discernible qualifications, as Secretary of Defense. While in the Senate, Hagel had a well-earned reputation as the senator most hostile to Israel. At the time of his appointment, Hagel was a regular speaker on the American Muslim banquet circuit, lamenting the undue Jewish influence over American foreign policy. And even more ominously, he was closely connected to the Iranian lobby.

As CIA director, Obama appointed John Brennan, a long-time apostle of the moderation of both the Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is an affiliate) and Hezbollah. In his previous task, as Obama's counter-terrorism director, Brennan devoted much of his energies to purging all references to Islam from the government's counter-terrorism manuals.

All Obama's hostility came rushing to the fore last week in his childish and vindictive response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's election victory. When Obama could finally bring himself to speak to the prime minister on the phone, it was only to admonish him for his electioneering comments. When Netanyahu attempted to walk back his comment that there would be no Palestinian state while he was prime minister, Obama was having none of it. The typical diplomatic response would have been: We are pleased that Prime Minister has clarified his remark and reaffirmed his commitment to a two-state solution.

Instead Obama insisted that Netanyahu's one remark was definitive and necessitated a complete reassessment of American support for Israel at the UN and elsewhere. He chose to ignore that Netanyahu spoke in the context of a long explanation of why no two-state agreement is on the horizon – every point of which is beyond cavil.

When, one wonders, did Obama ever speak in a similar fashion to Mahmoud Abbas or with such heat about any world despot? Did he ever tell Abbas that his failure to respond to Israel's unprecedented nine-month settlement freeze necessitated an American reassessment? Or that the Palestinian Authority by pressing its statehood bid at the UN, in direct contravention of Secretary of State Kerry's request, had made it impossible for the U.S. to continue acting as a middleman? Has the president ever suggested that the continual incitement against Israel and Jews in the Palestinian media and the glorification of arch-terrorists by naming schools, summer camps, town squares after them, from Oslo until today, calls into question the PA's commitment to a two-state solution? Has he ever pointed out that by remaining in office for seven years beyond the expiration of his term, Abbas has raised serious questions about the PA's readiness for statehood?

To Ayatollah Ali Khameini's repeated calls for "Death to America," Assad's killing of 200,000 Syrians and displacement of millions more, Putin's invasion of Ukraine, all we get is No Drama Obama. Only Prime Minister Netanyahu gets his viscera going. And yet, I'd wager that if elections were held today, American Jews would still support Obama in higher percentages than any group other than blacks.

AS DEPRESSING AS THIS MIGHT BE, I'm not going to let it ruin my Pesach. Just the opposite, I expect Pesach to lift my spirits. Because sippur yetzias Mitzrayim reminds us that things have been worse, lots worse. In Egypt, we were slaves to a nation from which no slave 
had ever escaped, much less 600,000.

Our ancestors were so downtrodden and broken in spirit by their prolonged servitude that Hashem recognized that they would flee at the first sound of battle, and therefore did not let the bnei Yisrael go out the shortest route through the land of the Philistines. At the first sign of adversity, the generation of servitude immediately expressed its longing for the fleshpots of Egypt and the food that the Egyptian slave masters provided.

It would take a new generation, not raised in slavery, to conquer the Land.

Even in the death camps, Jews risked their lives and gave up their daily rations to acquire a few wheat kernels in order to bake precious matzah. Why? Because the memory of how Hashem took us out from Egypt b'cheref ayin,gave them hope that they too would survive the death camps, and that just as Hashem took out a slave people, who could do nothing for themselves, with a "strong arm," so could He save them.
We are no longer slaves. We have been ennobled by the Torah as free men for well over three millennia.

But one thing remains the same: the same G-d Who took us out from Egypt continues to reveal Himself to the world through His people today. And He can protect us from any enemy.
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Three You Decides And God Made A Liberal!

So God Made A Liberal: https://www.youtube.com/embed/EUzMPlQb2G4  (See 1 below.)
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The Balance of Power in The Middle East by George Friedman.  (See 2 and 2a below.)
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I have been warning about China's desire to expand its navy and bases in order to challenge our shrinking navy. (See 3 below.)
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Uncle Woody says Obama has locked Americans out just as the co-pilot did! Probably a good analogy.  You decide. (See 4 below.)

Obama also seems to be rewarding Iran for stonewalling.  (See 4a below.)

Former Israeli  Amb. Ettinger, gives Bibi a lesson regarding the representative nature of Congress and warns him not to overplay the role of Obama in the long sweep of the American-Israeli relationship. Ettinger and Arens seem to agree. (See 4b below.)

As one would expect - the U.N. considers Israel far more dangerous than Iran, N Korea etc.  Hell, Israel is more dangerous to world peace than Obama.  You decide! (See 4c below.)
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Another you decide!


Can a good Muslim be a good American?
    
This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years.
    
The following is his reply:
    
        
Theologically - no.
Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon god of Arabia .
    
        
Religiously - no.
Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam.
(Quran,2:256)(Koran)
    
        
scripturally - no.
Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.
    
        
Geographically - no.
Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
    
        
Socially - no.
Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
    
        
Politically - no.
Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
    
        
Domestically - no.
Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him. (Quran 4:34)
    
        
Intellectually - no.
Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
        
    
Philosophically - no.
Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression.
Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist.
Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
        
    
Spiritually - no.
Because when we declare 'one nation under God,'
The Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 excellent names.
    
        
Therefore, after much study and deliberation...
    
    
The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.
The religious war is bigger than we know or understand!
Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within.
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Dick
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1) Who Trashes Liberal Arts?
By Thomas Sowell |
An op-ed piece titled "Conservatives, Please Stop Trashing the Liberal Arts" appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal. But it is not conservatives who trashed the liberal arts.

Liberal professors have trashed the liberal arts, by converting so many liberal arts courses into indoctrination centers for left-wing causes and fads, instead of courses where students learn how to weigh conflicting views of the world for themselves. Now a professor of English, one of the most fad-ridden of the liberal arts today, blames conservative critics for the low esteem in which liberal arts are held.

Surely a professor of English cannot be unaware of how English departments, especially, have become hotbeds of self-indulgent, trendy fads such as trashing classic writings -- using Shakespeare's works as just another ideological playground for romping through with the current mantra of "race, class and gender."
Surely he cannot be unaware of the many farces of the Modern Language Association that have made headlines. And when our English professor uses a phrase like "critical thinking," he must be at least dimly aware of how often those words have been perverted to mean uncritical negativism toward traditional values and uncritical acceptance of glittering catchwords of the left, such as "diversity."
Diversity of political ideas is not to be found on most college campuses, where the range of ideas is usually from the moderate left to the extreme left, and conservatives are rare as hen's teeth among the faculty -- especially in English departments. Academics who go ballistic about an "under-representation" of ethnic minorities in various other institutions are blissfully blind to the under-representation of conservatives among the professors they hire. On many campuses, students can go through all four years of college without ever hearing a conservative vision of the world, even from a visiting speaker.
The problem is not political, but educational. As John Stuart Mill pointed out, back in the 19th century, students must hear opposing views from people who actually believe them, not as presented by people who oppose them. In the 18th century, Edmund Burke warned against those who "teach the humours of the professor, rather than the principles of the science."
During my years on the lecture circuit, I liked to go into college bookstores across the country and see how many of their courses assigned "The Federalist" among the books students were to buy, as compared to how many assigned "The Communist Manifesto" or other iconic writings on the left.
"The Federalist" is a classic, written by three of the men who were among those who wrote the Constitution of the United States. It is a book of profound thoughts, written in plain English, at a level aimed at the ordinary citizen.
It might even be called "The Constitution for Dummies." There are Supreme Court Justices who could benefit from reading it.
My survey of college bookstores across the country showed "The Communist Manifesto" virtually everywhere, often required reading in multiple courses -- and "The Federalist" used virtually nowhere. Most college students will get only the left's uncritical negativism toward the American form of government, under the rubric of "critical thinking."
The liberal arts in theory could indeed make valuable contributions to the education of the young, as our English professor claims. But the liberal arts in practice have in fact done the opposite, not just in the United States but in other countries as well.
The history of the 20th century shows soft-subject students and their professors among the biggest supporters of extremist movements, both fascist and communist -- the former in central and eastern Europe before World War II and the latter in countries around the world, both before and after that war.
Those who want liberal arts to be what they were supposed to be will have to profoundly change them from what they have become. Doing that will undoubtedly provoke more denunciations of critics for "trashing" the liberal arts by criticizing those who have in fact already trashed the liberal arts in practice.
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2) The Middle Eastern Balance of Power Matures

By George Friedman

Last week, a coalition of predominantly Sunni Arab countries, primarily from the Arabian Peninsula and organized by Saudi Arabia, launched airstrikes in Yemen that have continued into this week. The airstrikes target Yemeni al-Houthis, a Shiite sect supported by Iran, and their Sunni partners, which include the majority of military forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. What made the strikes particularly interesting was what was lacking: U.S. aircraft. Although the United States provided intelligence and other support, it was a coalition of Arab states that launched the extended air campaign against the al-Houthis.

Three things make this important. First, it shows the United States' new regional strategy in operation. Washington is moving away from the strategy it has followed since the early 2000s — of being the prime military force in regional conflicts — and is shifting the primary burden of fighting to regional powers while playing a secondary role. Second, after years of buying advanced weaponry, the Saudis and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are capable of carrying out a fairly sophisticated campaign, at least in Yemen. The campaign began by suppressing enemy air defenses — the al-Houthis had acquired surface-to-air missiles from the Yemeni military — and moved on to attacking al-Houthi command-and-control systems. This means that while the regional powers have long been happy to shift the burden of combat to the United States, they are also able to assume the burden if the United States refuses to engage.

Most important, the attacks on the al-Houthis shine the spotlight on a growing situation in the region: a war between the Sunnis and Shiites. In Iraq and Syria, a full-scale war is underway. A battle rages in Tikrit with the Sunni Islamic State and its allies on one side, and a complex combination of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi army, Shiite militias, Sunni Arab tribal groups and Sunni Kurdish forces on the other. In Syria, the battle is between the secular government of President Bashar al Assad — nevertheless dominated by Alawites, a Shiite sect — and Sunni groups. However, Sunnis, Druze and Christians have sided with the regime as well. It is not reasonable to refer to the Syrian opposition as a coalition because there is significant internal hostility. Indeed, there is tension not only between the Shiites and Sunnis, but also within the Shiite and Sunni groups. In Yemen, a local power struggle among warring factions has been branded and elevated into a sectarian conflict for the benefit of the regional players. It is much more complex than simply a Shiite-Sunni war. At the same time, it cannot be understood without the Sunni-Shiite component.

Iran's Strategy and the Saudis' Response

One reason this is so important is that it represents a move by Iran to gain a major sphere of influence in the Arab world. This is not a new strategy. Iran has sought greater influence on the Arabian Peninsula since the rule of the Shah. More recently, it has struggled to create a sphere of influence stretching from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea. The survival of the al Assad government in Syria and the success of a pro-Iranian government in Iraq would create that Iranian sphere of influence, given the strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the ability of al Assad's Syria to project its power.

For a while, it appeared that this strategy had been blocked by the near collapse of the al Assad government in 2012 and the creation of an Iraqi government that appeared to be relatively successful and was far from being an Iranian puppet. These developments, coupled with Western sanctions, placed Iran on the defensive, and the idea of an Iranian sphere of influence appeared to have become merely a dream.

However, paradoxically, the rise of the Islamic State has reinvigorated Iranian power in two ways. First, while the propaganda of the Islamic State is horrific and designed to make the group look not only terrifying, but also enormously powerful, the truth is that, although it is not weak, the Islamic State represents merely a fraction of Iraq's Sunni community, and the Sunnis are a minority in Iraq. At the same time, the propaganda has mobilized the Shiite community to resist the Islamic State, allowed Iranian advisers to effectively manage the Shiite militias in Iraq and (to some extent) the Iraqi army, and forced the United States to use its airpower in tandem with Iranian-led ground forces. Given the American strategy of blocking the Islamic State — even if doing so requires cooperation with Iran — while not putting forces on the ground, this means that as the Islamic State's underlying weakness becomes more of a factor, the default winner in Iraq will be Iran.

A somewhat similar situation exists in Syria, though with a different demographic. Iran and Russia have historically supported the al Assad government. The Iranians have been the more important supporters, particularly because they committed their ally, Hezbollah, to the battle. What once appeared to be a lost cause is now far from it. The United States was extremely hostile toward al Assad, but given the current alternatives in Syria, Washington has become at least neutral toward the Syrian government. Al Assad would undoubtedly like to have U.S. neutrality translate into a direct dialogue with Washington. Regardless of the outcome, Iran has the means to maintain its influence in Syria.

When you look at a map and think of the situation in Yemen, you get a sense of why the Saudis and Gulf Cooperation Council countries had to do something. Given what is happing along the northern border of the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudis have to calculate the possibility of an al-Houthi victory establishing a pro-Iranian, Shiite state to its south as well. The Saudis and the Gulf countries would be facing the possibility of a Shiite or Iranian encirclement. These are not the same thing, but they are linked in complex ways. Working in the Saudis' favor is the fact that the al-Houthis are not Shiite proxies like Hezbollah, and Saudi money combined with military operations designed to cut off Iranian supply lines to the al-Houthis could mitigate the threat overall. Either way, the Saudis had to act.

During the Arab Spring, one of the nearly successful attempts to topple a government occurred inBahrain. The uprising failed primarily because Saudi Arabia intervened and imposed its will on the country. The Saudis showed themselves to be extremely sensitive to the rise of Shiite regimes with close relations with the Iranians on the Arabian Peninsula. The result was unilateral intervention and suppression. Whatever the moral issues, it is clear that the Saudis are frightened by rising Iranian and Shiite power and are willing to use their strength. That is what they have done in Yemen.
In a way, the issue is simple for the Saudis. They represent the center of gravity of the religious Sunni world. As such, they and their allies have embarked on a strategy that is strategically defensive and tactically offensive. Their goal is to block Iranian and Shiite influence, and the means they are implementing is coalition warfare that uses air power to support local forces on the ground. Unless there is a full invasion of Yemen, the Saudis are following the American strategy of the 2000s on a smaller scale.

The U.S. Stance

The American strategy is more complex. As I've written before, the United Sates has undertaken a strategy focused on maintaining the balance of power. This kind of approach is always messy because the goal is not to support any particular power, but to maintain a balance between multiple powers. Therefore, the United States is providing intelligence and mission planning for the Saudi coalition against the al-Houthis and their Iranian allies. In Iraq, the United States is providing support to Shiites — and by extension, their allies — by bombing Islamic State installations. In Syria, U.S. strategy is so complex that it defies clear explanation. That is the nature of refusing large-scale intervention but being committed to a balance of power. The United States can oppose Iran in one theater and support it in another. The more simplistic models of the Cold War are not relevant here.

All of this is happening at the same time that nuclear negotiations appear to be coming to some sort of closure. The United States is not really concerned about Iran's nuclear weapons. As I have said many times, we have heard since the mid-2000s that Iran was a year or two away from nuclear weapons. Each year, the fateful date was pushed back. Building deliverable nuclear weapons is difficult, and the Iranians have not even carried out a nuclear test, an essential step before a deliverable weapon is created. What was a major issue a few years ago is now part of a constellation of issues where U.S.-Iranian relations interact, support and contradict. Deal or no deal, the United States will bomb the Islamic State, which will help Iran, and support the Saudis in Yemen, which will not.

The real issue now is what it was a few years ago: Iran appears to be building a sphere of influence to the Mediterranean Sea, but this time, that sphere of influence potentially includes Yemen. That, in turn, creates a threat to the Arabian Peninsula from two directions. The Iranians are trying to place a vise around it. The Saudis must react, but the question is whether airstrikes are capable of stopping the al-Houthis. They are a relatively low-cost way to wage war, but they fail frequently. The first question is what the Saudis will do then. The second question is what the Americans will do. The current doctrine requires a balance between Iran and Saudi Arabia, with the United States tilting back and forth. Under this doctrine — and in this military reality — the United States cannot afford full-scale engagement on the ground in Iraq.

Turkey's Role

Relatively silent but absolutely vital to this tale is Turkey. It has the largest economy in the region and has the largest army, although just how good its army is can be debated. Turkey is watching chaos along its southern border, rising tension in the Caucasus, and conflict across the Black Sea. Of all these, Syria and Iraq and the potential rise of Iranian power is the most disturbing. Turkey has said little about Iran of late, but last week Ankara suddenly criticized Tehran and accused Iran of trying to dominate the region. Turkey frequently says things without doing anything, but the development is still noteworthy.

It should be remembered that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hoped to see Turkey as a regional leader and the leader of the Sunni world. With the Saudis taking an active role and the Turks doing little in Syria or Iraq, the moment is passing Turkey by. Such moments come and go, so history is not changed. But Turkey is still the major Sunni power and the third leg of the regional balance involving Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The evolution of Turkey would be the critical step in the emergence of a regional balance of power, in which local powers, not the United Kingdom or the United States, determine the outcome. The American role, like the British role before it, would not be directly waging war in the region but providing aid designed to stabilize the balance of power. That can be seen in Yemen or Iraq. It is extremely complex and not suited for simplistic or ideological analysis. But it is here, it is unfolding and it will represent the next generation of Middle Eastern dynamics. And if the Iranians put aside their theoretical nuclear weapons and focus on this, that will draw in the Turks and round out the balance of power.

2a)

The Capitulationist

The Obama administration refuses to negotiate openly, lest the extent of its diplomatic surrender to Iran be prematurely and fatally exposed.

 By Bret Stephens

For a sense of the magnitude of the capitulation represented by Barack Obama’s Iran diplomacy, it’s worth recalling what the president said when he was trying to sell his interim nuclear agreement to a Washington, D.C., audience in December 2013.

“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program,” Mr. Obama said of the Iranians in an interview with Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire philanthropist. “They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. They don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.”

Hardly more than a year later, on the eve of what might be deal-day, here is where those promises stand:
Fordo: “The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites.”—Associated Press, March 26.

Arak: “Today, the six powers negotiating with Iran . . . want the reactor at Arak, still under construction, reconfigured to produce less plutonium, the other bomb fuel.”—The New York Times, March 7.
Advanced centrifuges: “Iran is building about 3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges, the Iranian news media reported Sunday, a development likely to add to Western concerns about Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.”—Reuters, March 3.

But the president and his administration made other promises, too. Consider a partial list:
Possible military dimensions: In September 2009 Mr. Obama warned Iran that it was “on notice” that it would have to “come clean” on all of its nuclear secrets. Now the administration is prepared to let it slide.

“Under the new plan,” The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman reported last week, “Tehran wouldn’t be expected to immediately clarify all the outstanding questions raised by the IAEA in a 2011 report on Iran’s alleged secretive work. A full reckoning of Iran’s past activities would be demanded in later years as part of a nuclear deal that is expected to last at least 15 years.”

Verification: Another thing the president said in that interview with Mr. Saban is that any deal would involve “extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections.”

Iran isn’t playing ball on this one, either. “An Iranian official on Tuesday [March 24] rebuked the chief of the U.N. atomic agency for demanding snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites, saying the request hindered efforts to reach an agreement with the world powers,” reports the AP. But this has done nothing to dent the administration’s enthusiasm for an agreement.

“It was never especially probable that a detailed, satisfactory verification regime would be included in the sort of substantive framework agreement that the Americans have been working for,” the Economist noted last week.
Ballistic missiles: In February 2014, Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator, testified to Congress that while the interim agreement was silent on Iran’s production of ballistic missiles, “that is indeed going to be part of something that has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement.” This point is vital because ballistic missiles are a central component of a robust nuclear arsenal.

Except missiles are off the table, too. “Diplomats say the topic [of missiles] has not been part of formal discussions for weeks,” the AP reported Monday.

Break-out: President Obama has repeatedly insisted that the U.S. will only sign a deal that gives the U.S. and its allies a year’s notice if Iran decides to “break out” and go for a bomb.

But if the Iranians won’t come clean on their past weapons’ work, it’s impossible to know how long they would really need to assemble a bomb once they have sufficient nuclear material.

Nor does the one-year period square with the way Iran would try to test the agreement: “Iran’s habit of lulling the world with a cascade of small infractions is an ingenious way to advance its program without provoking a crisis,” Michael Hayden, the former CIA director, wrote with former IAEA deputy chief Olli Heinonen and Iran expert Ray Takeyh in a recent Washington Post op-ed. “A year may simply not be enough time to build an international consensus on measures to redress Iranian violations.”

***

Some readers may object that Iran has made its own significant concessions. Except it hasn’t. They may also claim that the U.S. has no choice but to strike a deal. Except we entered these negotiations with all the strong cards. We just chose to give them up.

Finally, critics may argue that I’m being unfair to the administration, since nobody knows the agreement’s precise terms. But that’s rich coming from an administration that refuses to negotiate openly, lest the extent of its diplomatic surrender be prematurely and fatally exposed.

Nearly a century ago Woodrow Wilson insisted on “open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in public view.” Barack Obama prefers to capitulate to tyrants in secret. Judging from the above, it’s no wonder.
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3)-



As China Expands Its Navy, the U.S. Grows Wary

Washington is divided over whether Beijing should be viewed as naval partner or potential adversary


China’s navy chief, Adm. Wu Shengli, left, speaks with U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert during a ceremony last summer in Beijing.ENLARGE
China’s navy chief, Adm. Wu Shengli, left, speaks with U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert during a ceremony last summer in Beijing. PHOTO: STEPHEN SHAVER/PRESS POOL
China’s navy chief, Adm. Wu Shengli, strolled the Harvard University campus in a tweed blazer and slacks during a visit to the U.S. last fall, joking with students and quizzing school officials about enrolling some of his officers.
A few days earlier, he became the first Chinese navy chief to attend a 113-nation naval forum in Rhode Island, where he hailed U.S.-China military ties and discussed working together on global maritime challenges.
Shortly after his U.S. visit, Adm. Wu took another trip—this time to the Spratly Islands, an archipelago in the South China Sea where his country appears to be building a network of artificial island fortresses in contested waters. It was his first known visit to facilities U.S. officials fear could be used to enforce Chinese control of nearly all the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.
As Adm. Wu seeks closer exchanges with the U.S. in his quest to build a modern global navy, Washington faces the dilemma of dealing with China as both a partner and a potential adversary challenging U.S. naval dominance in Asia. “I would say that he doesn’t want to build a navy that’s equivalent to the U.S.,” said Adm. Gary Roughead, the retired U.S. Chief of Naval Operations. “He wants to build a navy that surpasses the U.S.”
Adm. Wu, navy chief since 2006, is one of the architects of China’s maritime expansion, sending ships and submarines deep into the Indian and Pacific oceans, launching China’s first aircraft carrier and overseeing operations to assert control of waters claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations.
He also has become China’s point man for cinching closer U.S. military ties, a priority of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Adm. Wu met his counterpart, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, four times over the past two years, forging guidelines on how Chinese and U.S. vessels can safely interact.
Adm. Wu now wants deeper exchanges, including help developing aircraft carrier operations and improving education for his naval officers. He says such exchanges would allow China to better work alongside the U.S. to maintain global security, according to people who have spoken with him.
Adm. Greenert and other senior U.S. Navy officials also advocate closer engagement to encourage China to embrace international norms. Some in the Pentagon and Congress, however, worry Adm. Wu’s real mission is absorbing American know-how to advance territorial gains and boost China’s ability to thwart U.S. intervention.
Adm. Wu has been described by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, or ONI, as the “most vocal and successful advocate for a greatly expanded mission” for the Chinese navy since Adm. Liu Huaqing, who first proposed turning China into a sea power in the 1980s.
He is also a so-called princeling, as offspring of senior Communist Party figures are known, and said by defense officials to have strong backing from President Xi—another princeling—who has put sea power at the core of his vision for China. That may explain why Adm. Wu, 69 years old, has kept his post so long. He said during his U.S. visit he expected to retain the job until 2017.
The conflicting views of Adm. Wu mirror a deeper debate over whether China and the U.S. can reconcile their competing strategic interests in Asia and forge a genuinely cooperative military relationship in the 21st Century.
The Pentagon last month denied a proposal by Adm. Wu—and backed by Adm. Greenert—for a port visit by a U.S. aircraft carrier to mainland China this year.
Sen. John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, opposed the visit. He also was one of four Republican and Democratic senators who wrote a letter this month protesting China’s island building in the South China Sea. “We believe that a formal policy and clearly articulated strategy to address these forms of Chinese coercion are essential,” said the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
China appears to be building a network of artificial island fortresses, shown here, in contested waters in the South China Sea.ENLARGE
China appears to be building a network of artificial island fortresses, shown here, in contested waters in the South China Sea. PHOTO: CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ASIA MARITIME TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE (4)
The U.S. should consider what actions it could take to slow or stop the island-building, as well as determine what security cooperation should be cut if the work continued, said the letter, also signed by the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Chinese officials say the islands are sovereign territory and work there is not targeted at other countries.
Officially, the Pentagon says defense ties between the two nations continue to improve based on the commitments made by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi during their first summit in 2013.
Privately, though, some Pentagon officials say they are waiting to see if Adm. Wu’s promises, especially on avoiding dangerous sea and air encounters, translate into action. Adm. Wu isn’t scheduled to meet with his U.S. counterpart this year. Asked at a conference this month about what naval exchanges with China were planned in 2015, Adm. Greenert said: “Not a lot. Not as much as I would hope.”
Before his Harvard visit, Adm. Wu told a Hong Kong TV station that Beijing and Washington couldn’t resolve all their disputes, such as U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, because they had “differences of principle.” He said, “America would not be America” if it ceased aerial surveillance operations around China’s coast. But he also pledged to continue intercepting such missions.
Adm. Wu couldn’t be reached for comment, and China’s defense ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment. Asked at a news conference about Adm. Wu’s visit to the Spratly Islands, a defense ministry spokesman said only that China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the area.
China’s last sea battle
Adm. Wu was born in 1945. His name translates as “Victory Wu,” commemorating the defeat of Japan in World War II, according to ONI. His father was a Communist commander who served as vice governor of Zhejiang province.
Adm. Wu joined the People’s Liberation Army at age 19 and went on to captain frigates and destroyers. In 1988, he commanded a detachment of destroyers, one of which helped defeat Vietnamese forces in a skirmish over Spratlys reefs, according to official accounts. That was China’s last sea battle.
Adm. Wu’s authority is technically limited in a system where China’s armed forces are commanded by the 11-man Central Military Commission, headed by President Xi and long dominated by the army.
ENLARGE
But Adm. Wu—as the only sailor on the commission since 2007—has been in a unique position to influence leaders on maritime issues. That year, for example, he commissioned and led a three-year study of the South China Sea’s strategic importance.
He has overseen the replacement of Soviet-era ships with advanced, domestically-produced vessels, including destroyers, frigates and nuclear submarines. China commissioned its first aircraft carrier in 2012.
Under Adm. Wu, the navy has expanded its reach far beyond coastal defense, for years its primary mission. In 2008, Chinese warships were deployed to Africa’s coast for the first time in 600 years to join antipiracy patrols. In 2011, the navy conducted its first operation in the Mediterranean, evacuating Chinese citizens from Libya, and, in 2013, it sent a nuclear submarine to the Indian Ocean for the first time.
In recent writings and speeches, Adm. Wu has argued that China’s “century of humiliation,” beginning with its defeat by the British in the First Opium War in 1842, was caused by insufficient naval power.
Today, “the sea is no obstacle: the history of national humiliation is gone, never to return,” he said in August to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese war, which China lost.
At the same time, those people say, Adm. Wu acknowledges his navy’s lack of combat experience and limited cooperation with other naval powers—weaknesses, he said, the U.S. could help remedy.In private, he talks openly of the emerging contest with the U.S., even challenging America to send more ships to Asia because that would prompt Chinese leaders to boost naval spending, say people who have dealt with him.
Refining China’s aircraft carrier operations is an example. Another is enrolling officers at top U.S. universities and defense academies, as well as creating a Chinese military college modeled on the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, which teaches liberal arts in addition to the sciences.
Limits on U.S. help
During his campus visit, Adm. Wu talked about his interest in sending officers to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, said people in the tour.
He showed a flash of anger over legislative restrictions on defense exchanges with China designed to prevent activity that could enhance its combat capabilities. Chinese officers, for example, can visit but not enroll in U.S. defense colleges.
Adm. Wu said: “ ‘Before, China was afraid of Americans and other foreigners going into China and stealing secrets,’ ” according to Shuang Lu, a Chinese doctoral student who showed him around campus. “ ‘Now, is America afraid of China?’ ”
Those in favor of closer engagement say the U.S. has an opportunity to help shape the evolution of China’s navy. Adm. Greenert portrays Adm. Wu as a fellow mariner who shares the goal of eliminating misunderstandings at sea.
Last year, China, the U.S. and other Western Pacific naval powers signed a code of conduct for unplanned sea encounters. In February, a U.S. Navy ship practiced with a Chinese vessel in the South China Sea.
And China made its debut in June at the world’s largest naval exercises off Hawaii, which are led by the U.S. every two years.
The value of engagement, Adm. Greenert said in an interview, is in “determining who you can trust, who you can talk directly with, person to person, look them in the eyes and understand where they’re coming from so that when a really complicated matter comes, you’re not starting from scratch.”
Adm. Greenert cited the historic relationship between Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, a Soviet military commander, and Adm. William Crowe, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs—ties, he said, that eased tensions at the close of the Cold War.ENLARGE

Some U.S. defense officials doubt Adm. Greenert and Adm. Wu can build enough trust to be useful in a crisis. Talk of a hotline failed to gain traction.
There also have been setbacks with China. U.S. forces detected a Chinese spy ship monitoring the Hawaii-area naval drills from international waters. And in August, the Pentagon said Chinese fighters flew dangerously close to U.S. surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea. China said its pilots flew safely.
In February, 29 Chinese naval officers visited the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Naval War College. American officers will make a reciprocal visit later this year. But Pentagon officials say they want more from China before they approve such ambitious exchanges as the carrier visit. One goal is an air-encounters pact in time for President Xi’s U.S. visit in September.
Views in Congress have hardened after the latest reports of China’s island-building in the South China Sea, which U.S. officials see as a navy project.
Adm. Wu hasn’t spoken publicly about the island work. In a 2009 article in the Chinese navy’s newspaper, he described the upgrade of South China Sea island facilities, which included new satellite communications, and called for more.
Taiwan’s intelligence chief, Lee Shying-jow, told a parliamentary hearing in October that Adm. Wu spent a week in September touring the artificial islands. Mr. Lee said Adm. Wu was, in effect, declaring, “I have an entire strategic plan for the South China Sea” that entailed turning small reefs into island fortresses. “We are indeed very worried,” Mr. Lee said.
While at Harvard, Adm. Wu conveyed a very different message, turning on the charm as he confided that he had tried to persuade his granddaughter to apply, and teased staff about their traditional rivalry with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he also toured.
At the end of his visit, he bade farewell in the style of U.S. military officers, slapping a personalized commemorative coin into the palms of his hosts.
—Julian E. Barnes contributed to this article.
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4)  Crash Position: A Perfect Analogy

The pilot was locked out of the cockpit. 

That phrase finally revealed the full horror of the crash of Germanwings flight 9525. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz waited for the pilot to leave the cockpit, then locked the door to prevent his re-entry. After which Lubitz, for reasons unknown and perhaps unknowable, deliberately steered the jet into a harrowing 8 minute plunge ending in an explosive 434 mph impact with a rocky mountainside. 150 men, women and children met an immediate, unthinkably violent death.

Lubitz, in his single-minded madness, couldn't be stopped because anyone who could change the jet's disastrous course was locked out. 

It's hard to imagine the growing feelings of fear and helplessness that the passengers felt as the unforgiving landscape rushed up to meet them. Hard - but not impossible.

Because America is in trouble. We feel the descent in the pits of our stomachs. We hear the shake and rattle of structures stressed beyond their limits. We don't know where we're going anymore, but do know it isn't good. And above all, we feel helpless because Barack Obama has locked us out.

He locked the American people out of his decision to seize the national healthcare system. Locked us out when we wanted to know why the IRS was attacking conservatives. He locked us out of having a say in his decision to tear up our immigration laws, and to give over a trillion dollars in benefits to those who broke those laws.

Obama locked out those who advised against premature troop withdrawals. Locked out the intelligence agencies who issued warnings about the growing threat of ISIS.  He locked out anyone who could have interfered with his release of five Taliban terror chiefs in return for one U.S. military deserter.

And of course, Barack Obama has now locked out Congress, the American people, and our allies as he strikes a secret deal with Iran to determine the timeline (not prevention) of their acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Was Andreas Lubitz depressed, insane, or abysmally evil when he decided to lock that cockpit door and listen to no voices other than those in his head? Did he somehow believe himself to be doing the right thing?

The voice recordings from the doomed aircraft reveal that as the jet began its rapid descent, the passengers were quiet. There was probably some nervous laughter, confusion, a bit of comforting chatter with seatmates, followed by a brief period in which anxiety had not yet metastasized into terror.

It was only near the end of the 8-minute plunge that everyone finally understood what was really happening. Only near the end, they began to scream. 

Like those passengers, a growing number of Americans feel a helpless dread as they come to the inescapable conclusion that our nation's decline is an act of choice rather than of chance. The choice of one man who is in full control of our 8 year plunge.

A man who has locked everyone out.
Now is the time for a deliberate and strong push back.  

As we say in the Navy when a real emergency arises, “This is no drill!”.                                           
Uncle Woody

4a) A REWARD FOR IRAN'S NONCOMPLIANCE
Author:  Editorial Board
Source:  washingtonpost.com. 

AS THE Obama administration pushes to complete an agreement-in-principle with Iran on its nuclear program by Tuesday, it has done little to soothe concerns that it is rushing too quickly to settle, offering too many concessions and ignoring glaring warning signs that Tehran won’t abide by any accord. One story incorporates all three of those worries: Iran’s failure to deliver on multiple pledges to answer questions about its suspected research on nuclear warheads.
The United States believes that, prior to 2003, Iran conducted extensive studies and tests on building a bomb and mounting it on a long-range missile — belying its claims that it has pursued nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes. U.S. intelligence was long ago turned over to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, starting in 2006, have ordered Iran to cooperate with the IAEA in clarifying these “possible military dimensions.”
Twice, in 2007 and in 2013, Iran agreed with the IAEA on a “work plan” to clear up the military research issues. In both instances, it then stonewalled inspectors, refusing to answer questions or permit access to sites. After the agency sought access in 2011 to a military complex called Parchin, where warhead detonation tests may have been carried out, satellite surveillance revealed that Iran had demolished buildings and excavated ground in an apparent cover-up operation.
In frustration, the IAEA published an extensive report detailing what it already knew about the illicit bomb work and listed 12 outstanding issues. Two years later, in the hope of sealing an interim deal allowing the partial lifting of sanctions, the government of Hassan Rouhani agreed on a “step-by-step” plan to answer the questions.
But instead of implementing the plan, the regime went back to stonewalling. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told The Post’s Steven Mufson this week that Iran had provided information on just one of the 12 issues. On two others, Mr. Amano said, it had given “very limited” responses, and the remaining nine had not been addressed at all.
An appropriate response to this blatant violation of agreements would be to insist that Iran complete the IAEA work plan before any long-term accord is signed or any further sanctions lifted. Inspectors need their questions answered so that they will be able to determine later whether Iran has violated the controls on its nuclear research expected to be part of a deal. Furthermore, it is vital to establish that Tehran will deliver on its commitments and that it will be held accountable if it does not.
Remarkably, however, negotiators — including the supposedly hard-line French, who have taken the lead on the “military dimensions” issue — have reportedly agreed to let Iran’s noncompliance slide. The IAEA’s unanswered questions will be rolled over and rebundled into the new agreement, with a new time line. That means that Iran will have some sanctions lifted before it complies with a commitment it first made eight years ago.
The question this raises was articulated months ago in congressional testimony by nuclear weapons expert David Albright: “If Iran is able to successfully evade addressing the IAEA’s concerns now, when biting sanctions are in place, why would it address them later when these sanctions are lifted?” In its rush to complete a deal, the Obama administration appears eager to ignore the likely answer.


4b)  US-ISRAEL COOPERATION DEFIES OBAMA-NETANYAHU CONFRONTATION
Author:  Amb. Yoram Ettinger (Ret.) 
Defense, scientific and commercial cooperation between the US and Israel is surging unprecedentedly, in defiance of the unbridgeable gap between the worldviews of President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
For example, 250 major US high-tech companies maintain research and development centers in Israel, which has become a major source of cutting-edge innovative technologies, improving US competitiveness, increasing US exports and expanding US employment. In 2014, Israeli start ups raised an all-time record of $3.4bn, mostly from US investors. Israel operates hundreds of US military and homeland security systems, providing the US defense industries with critical lessons of operation, maintenance and repairs, which dramatically upgrade the quality of these systems and their global competitiveness, improving US research and development, exports and employment. US-Israel cooperation in the areas of cyber, nano and space technologies is rising sharply. Israel provides the US with intelligence, exceeding the intelligence provided to the US by all NATO countries combined. The formulation of US battle tactics, in general – and urban warfare in particular, is based largely on Israel's battle experience. Joint US-Israel air force exercises are conducted regularly. US Army units on their way to Afghanistan are trained by Israeli experts in urban warfare, car bombs, suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Contrary to the one-way-street type of relationship of 40 years ago (the US gave and Israel received), current US-Israel ties have been transformed into a mutually-beneficial two-way-street, expanding cooperation – especially at a time of drastic cuts in the US defense budget and the US withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen – irrespective of the intensified tension between Obama and Netanyahu.
While President Obama harshly criticizes Prime Minister Netanyahu's attitude toward the Palestinian issue, US national security and commercial interests, as well as US-Israel relations and Obama's legacy transcend, by far, the Palestinian issue.
Moreover, President Obama's assumption that an unresolved Palestinian issue is a core cause of Middle East turbulence overlooks the last four years of the Arab Tsunami, which have exposed the marginal role of the Palestinian issue in shaping the Middle East. Thus, the tectonic outbursts in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Iraq – as well as the lethal Iranian threat to every pro-American Arab country in the region – are independent of the Palestinian issue. Also, the Arab countries shower the Palestinians with rhetoric, but not with tangible resources. They do not consider the Palestinians their crown jewel, but rather a source of further corruption, subversion and terrorism.
While Obama and Netanyahu are on a collision course, the US Congress – the most authentic representative of the American constituent and a co-equal, co-determining branch of government in all areas – has been a systematic supporter of enhanced US-Israel cooperation. It was Congress which stopped the US military involvement in Vietnam, Angola and Nicaragua (in defiance of Presidents Nixon and Reagan); triggered the collapse of the white regime in South Africa (overriding Reagan's veto); forced Moscow to allow free emigration; clipped the wings of the US intelligence community (in defiance of President Ford); has refrained from ratifying the 1999 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (signed by President Clinton); significantly expanded strategic cooperation with Israel (in defiance of President Bush and Secretary Baker); forced President Obama to veto the 2011 UN Security Council anti-settlement resolution and to sign the August 1, 2014 $225mn appropriation for the acquisition of additional Iron Dome batteries; etc. The US political system provides Congress with the muscle to initiate policy and change, suspend, defund, rollback and abort presidential domestic, foreign policy and national security initiatives.
Unlike US ties with most other countries, US special ties with the Jewish State reflect the sentiments of most constituents, independent and irrespective of presidential policies. They are based on Judeo-Christian values, dating back to the 17th century Pilgrims of the “Mayflower” and the “Arabella,” which departed from “modern day Egypt,” crossed the “modern day sea” and landed in the “modern day Promised Land.” Today, there are statues of Moses in the US House of Representatives (facing the Speaker) and the US Supreme Court (above the desk of the Justices), and Ten Commandments monuments stand on the grounds of the Texas and Oklahoma state capitols.
For Netanyahu to embrace Obama's policies on Iran and the Palestinian issue would require ignoring Obama's track record in the Middle East: he welcomed the Arab Tsunami as an Arab Spring transitioning toward democracy; he stabbed the back of pro-US, former Egyptian President Mubarak and is turning a cold shoulder toward General Sisi, the current President, while embracing the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Islamic terror organization; he denies the existence of Islamic terrorism (“workplace violence,” “extremism”); he claims that “Islam has always been part of the American story” (2009 Cairo speech); he contends that the root cause of terrorism is social-economic deprivation; he trained the anti-US, pro-Iran Houthi tribes of Yemen; he provides tailwind to Iran's gradual domination of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen (which controls the critical strait of Bab al Mandeb), assuming that “the enemy of my enemy (Iran) is my friend,” while in fact Iran is “my enemy”; he is preoccupied with the details of an agreement with Iran rather than with the details of Iran's rogue, terrorist, non-compliant, apocalyptic, expansionist, anti-US track record;;he aims to contain, and not to prevent, a nuclear Iran; he transformed Libya into one of the largest incubator of terrorism; he subordinates US unilateral action to multilateralism; he has lost the trust of Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab states, unprecedentedly eroding the US posture of deterrence.
For Netanyahu to embrace Obama's policies on Iran and the Palestinian issue would spare him the wrath of the White House, but would distance him from Middle East reality, dooming the Jewish State to destruction.
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel's Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the US, Canada and Israel on Israel's unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of US-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues
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