Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Iran Deal. Kudlow Correct. The Price of Insubordination. Why I No Longer Fly.

What is to be done about Iran Deal? (See 1 below.)
Kudlow confirms my views. (See 2 below.)
Democrats walking out on Confirmation Hearings set a new low even for political scum. They have demonstrated utter contempt for the nation let alone Trump and they will eventually pay a heavy price when they come up for re-election.

As for the acting Attorney General who chose not to enforce Trump's immigration order he had every right to fire her for insubordination since she did not resign as she should.
Why I no longer fly nor should terrorists : pilotstechfu4 (See 2a below.)


The reason is that the deal was structured in such a way as to make it basically impossible for the United States to renege. It was frontloaded so that the incentives for the Iranians were all at the beginning. Iran has already received $100 billion in sanction relief. If President Trump were to declare the agreement void, that money would still be in Iranian hands. And Iran would be free to restart its nuclear program full speed ahead. Obtaining international support for reinstituting previous sanctions would be impossible in the wake of the rash of commercial activity between Europe (and American firms like Boeing) and Iran subsequent to the signing of the JCPOA.

One of the governing myths upon which the Iranian deal was predicated was that with the signing of the agreement Iran would reenter the community of nations, and would be adjust its behavior and become more compliant. Nothing of the sort as happened. Iran has become, if anything, even more belligerent. Confrontations between Iranian and American vessels have increased 50% since the signing of the agreement. Iran's 2017 fiscal budget shows a 39% increase in Iranian defense spending.

Since the signing of the agreement, Iran has tested ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and rumors persist of Iranian-North Korean cooperation on their ballistic missile programs. In Syria, Iran and its proxies were major players in the carnage of Aleppo. And Iran, tellingly, did not even bother to deny that it is using civilian airplanes to ferry arms to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, in violation of a U.N. arms embargo.
Moreover, Iran has consistently tested the borders of the agreement and beyond. It has enriched uranium in excess of the amounts allowed under the JCPOA and imported unenriched and low-enriched uranium in quantities well above those permitted under the agreement to allow Iran to "replenish" its stocks as it sells enriched uranium.

WHAT WAS THE OBAMA ANMINISTRATION'S response to the Iranians failure to play the role assigned to them by the United States? President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry repeatedly claimed that the Iranians were in full compliance. But that was only because Obama kept granting the Iranians exemptions from the provisions of the JCPOA, in order to be able to declare that Iran was fulfilling its part of the agreement.
The administration secretly granted one such exemption when Iran was discovered to be storing more than permissible amounts of enriched uranium. At no point did the administration voluntarily share with the American people what it had done. The exemptions were first revealed by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), headed by David Albright, a former senior U.N. arms inspector.

Far from striving to stymie Iran's ballistic missile program, the Obama administration agreed to the removal of U.N. sanctions on the two Iranian banks primarily responsible for financing the ballistic missile program eight years earlier than scheduled.

And rather than standing firm in the face of Iranian aggression and belligerence, the Obama administration paid $1.7 billion in ransom for U.S. Navy personnel captured by Iran. That is in addition to more than $10 billion in incentives paid by the United States to Iran from 2013 to the signing of the agreement in order to keep the Iranians at the table. In short, the United States repeatedly placed itself in the position of supplicant, desperate for an agreement on any terms.

IS THERE ANYTHING that can still be done to rectify or at least ameliorate the damage of an agreement that leaves Iran free to pursue a weapons program ten years from now? Andrew McCarthy, the lead prosecutor in the first World Trade Center bombing calls for reestablishing the sacrosanct principal that the United States cannot be bound in international affairs other than according to procedure provided in the constitution: ratification by two-thirds of the Senate as a treaty.

The JCPOA, by contrast, never even came up for a Senate vote, after Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid threatened a filibuster. And the Obama administration never shared with senators the nature of the multiple side deals it signed with the Iranians so the American people could know what their government had committed themselves to without their consent.

McCarthy suggests that President Trump should submit the JCPOA to the Senate as a treaty, with full transparency as to the nature of the agreement upon which the senators are voting. The principle enunciated by McCarthy is indeed crucial for the preservation of American sovereignty, and could serve as a useful warning to future presidents tempted to follow the Obama playbook and try to bind the United States internationally via U.N. Security Council Resolutions.

The problem, however, remains that pointed out by Landau and Stein, when the JCPOA failed in the Senate, as it surely would, and President Trump declared himself no longer bound, so would the Iranians.

At the very least, the Trump administration would have to first reestablish military deterrence versus Iran before taking any steps to revoke the agreement. Once the Iranians knew that President Obama had eschewed any military response to Iran's nuclear program, the JCPOA was inevitable. They laughed at Obama's assurances "All options are on the table" and "I don't bluff." They rightly understood that an administration that continually portrayed the choice as one between the agreement – any agreement – and war would never use its military power to stop Iran's nuclear program.

American deterrence has been effective in the past. Iran stopped work on parts of its nuclear program after the ouster of Saddam Hussein. And new Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis, an anti-Iran hawk, seems ideally chosen to reestablish a credible American military threat.

Though destroying Iran's nuclear program is more difficult after the inking of the JCPOA and the subsequent supply to Iran by Russia of its most advanced anti-aircraft missiles, there is little doubt that the U.S. could deliver a severe blow to that program if it had a will to do so. The task now is to once again convince the mullahs that the U.S. has not lost its will.

That begins first and foremost with ordering the Pentagon to update contingency plans for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. It is unlikely Secretary of Defense Mattis will wait to be so directed. The U.S. must work with its allies who are signatories of the JCPOA to clarify the terms of the agreement and the consequences to follow from Iranian violation.

Michael Makovsky, president of the Jewish Institute for the National Security of America (JINSA) outlines an additional series of steps necessary to credibly convey the message to the Iranians that the United States will not tolerate violations of the agreement and to reestablish U.S. deterrence. One important step would be to change the rules of engagement for U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf. Iranian provocations should no longer be tolerated. Or as Donald Trump put it in one presidential debate, the first time an Iranian vessel harasses an American carrier, it should be "blown out of the water."

America's traditional Mideast allies viewed Obama as having chosen Iran over them, and they were right. To reverse that perception, the U.S. must bolster the anti-Iran forces and work together with them on regional anti-missile defenses. Eastern Europe and Israel should be included in those efforts.

Rather than obsessing only over the self-determination of the Palestinian people, who have never shown themselves worthy or particularly desirous, the United States should do everything to foster an independent Kurdish state in present-day Iraq and establish its own military bases there on the border of Iran. A separate Kurdish state should also be encouraged out of the wreckage of Syria.
2)Kudlow: Stocks to Decline Without Quick Tax Reform

President Donald Trump’s honeymoon period with investors is ending as the tax cuts and regulatory changes he promised during the election get pushed aside by worries over immigration and national security.

Larry Kudlow, a Newsmax Insider and economist who advised the Trump campaign, said the administration needs to get back to work on reforming the tax code or stocks and the economy may suffer.

“If you don't get the business tax cuts until late in the year, I think it's going to damage the stock market,” he said in an interview on CNBC. “It's going to damage the economy because people are going to postpone activities.”

Kudlow and economist Stephen Moore last week urged Trump to immediately enact sweeping tax cuts as he promised on the campaign trail to bolster job creation.

“Congressional Republicans say they plan to wait to take up tax cuts until later in the year, after they’ve dealt with ObamaCare, passed a 2017 budget resolution, confirmed President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee and tackled other initiatives,” they wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

“This would be a big mistake. When Mr. Trump addresses Congress in a joint session Feb. 28, he should urge lawmakers to pass a jobs bill, including a tax cut, during his first 100 days in office," wrote Moore and Kudlow.

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