Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ossoff Took A Flyer and Will Eventually Go Down In Flames. We Have Learned Nothing From Allowing N Korea To Go Nuclear!

Everyone seems to be in such a hurry to scream 'racism' these days.

A customer asked, "In what aisle could I find the Polish sausage?"

The clerk asks, "Are you Polish?"

The guy, clearly offended, says, "Yes I am. But let me ask you something.

If I had asked for Italian sausage, would you ask me if I was Italian?

Or if I had asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask me if I was German?

Or if I asked for a kosher hot dog would you ask me if I was Jewish?

Or if I had asked for a Taco, would you ask if I was Mexican?

Or if I asked for some Irish whiskey, would you ask if I was Irish?"

The clerk says, "No, I probably wouldn't."

The guy says, "Well then, because I asked for Polish Sausage, why did you ask me if I'm Polish?"

"The clerk replied, "Because you're in Home Depot."

This was sent to me by a good friend, a memo reader on occasion and a fellow Marine.  He also is more liberal than me and a voracious reader. :Confirms your view from a liberal view point." (See 1 below.)
Ossoff will spend a lot of liberal outside money as he eventually loses. (See 2 below.)
Oren/Peretz on Obama and Democrats' stand on Israel. (See 3 below.)
Is the IDF hiding something? The The Arrow fail to destroy the Syrian SAM 5? (See 4 below.)
Can we learn something about how to behave towards Iran having allowed N Korea to go nuclear?  The answer is yes but it will be ignored because the West and America cannot bring themselves to initiate so they will  respond after millions will have been killed. (See 5 below.)



Fifteen years ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the hope of the Islamic world. He was an Islamist, of course, but that was part of his appeal. As the mayor of Istanbul, one of the world’s great cities, Erdoğan had governed as a charismatic and smart technocrat. He’d served time in prison, in 1999—for reading a poem that seemed to celebrate militant Islam—but his jailers had been the country’s rigid, military-backed secular leaders who, by then, seemed as suited to the present day as dinosaurs. When Erdoğan became Prime Minister, in 2003, every leader in the West wanted him to succeed. In a world still trying to make sense of the 9/11 attacks, he seemed like a bridge between cultures.

On Sunday, Erdoğan declared himself the winner of a nationwide referendum that all but brings Turkish democracy to an end. The vast new powers granted to Erdoğan—wide control over the judiciary, broad powers to make law by decree, the abolition of the office of the Prime Minister and of Turkey’s parliamentary system—effectively make him a dictator. Under the new rules, Erdoğan will be able to run for two more five-year terms, giving him potentially another decade in power, at least. With a vote by the now truncated parliament, he would be able to run for yet another term, one that would end in 2034. By then, he’ll be an old man.

The voting took place in a government-created atmosphere of violence, intimidation, and fear. Turks campaigning against the referendum were attacked and even shot at. For much of the past year, Erdoğan’s government has been working to stamp out what remained of the democratic opposition to his rule. Since July, some forty thousand people have been detained, including a hundred and fifty journalists. A hundred thousand government employees have been fired, and a hundred and seventy-nine television stations, newspapers, and other media outlets have been closed. Many opposition leaders are in jail. That’s not an environment conducive to asking a populace what it wants.

The vote was close—very close—and there are many accusations of fraud. It did seem hard, in the lead-up to Sunday, to imagine that Erdoğan would allow himself to lose. (He did not even permit international observers to monitor the vote.) In the end, to solidify his position, Erdoğan was compelled to strike an unlikely deal with the M.P.H., an ultra-nationalist party that had previously opposed him. Without the ultra-nationalists, who can’t be expected to be enduring Erdoğan allies, the referendum vote may well have failed. Not that it will matter much now—the margin may have been close, but you can expect Erdoğan to exercise his new prerogatives fully. “It means the country is totally split,’’ James Jeffrey, a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, told me. “Half the country loves him, and half the country loathes him.”

The secret to Erdoğan, I think, is that his Islamism has always been a diversion; what he cares about is not so much the power of his religion as power for himself. This has been true at least since the beginning of his second term as Prime Minster. It was then, in 2007, that his government opened the first in a series of investigations aimed at rooting out what he described as a vast, secret cabal—dubbed

“Ergenekon”—composed of the secular élite that had historically dominated Turkey. As it turned out, Ergenekon was just another name for the democratic opposition and members of the military who regarded Erdoğan with suspicion. At the time, the Ergenekon prosecutions made a certain sense: in Turkey, the secular élite and its allies in the military had such a history of repression that much of the world seemed prepared to believe Erdoğan, or at least to give him the benefit of the doubt. But the trials—which began the dismantling, which continues to this day, of the secular democratic opposition—were a farce.

Since then, Erdoğan has used one trumped-up enemy after another to justify his drive for absolute power. In 2013 came the Gezi Park protests, where Turkish police cracked down on peaceful demonstrators, killing several people and injuring thousands more. Then, last July, Erdoğan beat back an attempted military coup against him, then exploited the crisis to neutralize any remaining opposition. Erdoğan’s strongman tactics worked in no small part because of the acquiescence of the United States and Europe, whose governments have held off criticizing Erdoğan for fear that he might get worse.

For years, Erdoğan’s critics attributed to him a damning quotation that, they said, revealed his true intentions. “Democracy is like a train,’’ Erdoğan was said to have remarked. “You get off once you’ve reached your destination.” It’s not clear that Erdoğan ever actually said this. But it seems, in 2017, to reflect precisely what he has had in mind all along. After fifteen years of riding the train of democracy, Erdoğan and Turkey are finally stepping off.
2) White Liberals Choosing a White Guy Over a Woman in Georgia

One liberal last night on Twitter, after it was clear Handel would go into a runoff, attacked her as “childless.” He later deleted the tweet, but declared his support of Ossoff because he thinks Karen Handel would support “big government having its mits on my daughter and her body choice.” He, of course, is okay with big government paying for abortions.
It is a fascinating dynamic.
Karen Handel actually resigned from the Susan G. Komen Foundation after it walked away from its decision to stop giving to Planned Parenthood. The left is outraged by that. The left claims they support women for office, but it became apparently last night that only women who support killing children can get the left’s support.
The result is that liberals across America are going to rally to a thirty year old white guy who does not even live in the district he wants to represent instead of sending the first Republican woman from Georgia to Congress. What is more funny is that the Democratic delegation from Georgia is 100% non-white and the entire Georgia delegation is 100% male. Consequently, the left would rather send one more white guy and bring diversity to the Democrat delegation.
They really don’t care about equal rights or women. What they care about is killing kids. Because Karen Handel does not favor it, they’ll attack her as childless, which they typically like, and claim she can have no authority on the issue, but a childless, white male can.
The logic of the left never has consistency unless you remember that abortion is their chief sacrement and religious rite. All other considerations come after it, particularly when they have a candidate who supports it with a government subsidy.
3) Obama’s Ghosts

An accounting of the Democrats' legacy in the Middle East, and where they can go from here

Michael Oren is an eminent American historian and Zionist who became the Israeli emissary to the United States during Barack Obama’s presidency. An undergraduate at Columbia and a graduate student at Princeton, where he received his doctorate, he later held three distinguished visiting professorships, at Georgetown, Yale, and Harvard. He knows America well— very well. Oren is now a member of the centrist party Kulanu in the Knesset: He has been designated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as deputy premier for diplomacy in a pointed effort to stem the flow of right-wing megadrama from the most disgusting big-mouthed, small-minded members of the cabinet, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett.

Oren is a diplomat, both politically and psychologically. He veers away from hysteria, Jewish hysteria especially, about anti-Semitism in America or about Israel. But since the publication of his memoir in 2014, and a little before, he has come out as a fierce critic of the record of the most recent Democratic presidential administration on Israel, and, by extension, on the strongest single guarantor of the safety of the world’s Jews. What is most upsetting is that he is not wrong. Alas, I, who am a registered but not sworn Democrat and have been that for more than half a century, certainly cannot vouch that the party will long stand up for one of the few vigorous democracies on Earth.

More than 16 years ago, Ehud Barak, an authentic hero including at Entebbe, crafted a peace plan that won the approval of Bill Clinton and should have won, with the usual habits of give-and-take diplomacy, at least the assent of the Palestinians to further talks. Barak ultimately agreed to give up all of Gaza, which Ariel Sharon later did, as well as 95 percent of the rest of the disputed territory, with special geographical, political, and religious arrangements for Jerusalem. Eight years later, Ehud Olmert—now in jail—added another 3 percent to the Israeli offer and allowed for what would now be Arab Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine. No takers. Those facts, if you want to look, tell you plenty.

Those facts didn’t tell President Obama much, or he didn’t look. I supported Obama in his first campaign for president … against Hillary Clinton and against George Bush. I even went south to Florida to campaign for him and stayed there a crowded week. My contact with the bigger effort was Dan Shapiro (later to become the candidate’s ambassador to Israel), who first asked me to go. I’d also met with Obama: once before he entered the race and once—this time in a group—at the beginning of the primaries.

Obama seemed at the time, and turned out to be, a reasonable, well-intentioned man. But he was a catastrophe on international affairs. His one triumph was something he didn’t have anything to do with: He won the Nobel Peace Prize, and, actually, maybe this ended up mattering more than anything else. The Peace Prize came less than a year into his first term: In desperate explanation for the choice, the prize committee’s PR fingered Obama’s opening to the Muslim world for special recognition. And so Obama was operating with what he thought was a promise to live up to—a promise no one could live up to against the fractured history of the Middle East. This added to what he’d felt he’d promised before, during that campaign, that he would make amends to the Muslim world. Between the recent history and the Prize, he had to be peacemaker, and damn whatever realities came up in the meantime.

He’d told us this in his speech in Cairo in June 2009, before the Prize was announced. For this speech, his speechwriters scavenged for Islamic allusions in American history and found two or three. Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of America during the Revolutionary War. And, of course, that Jefferson had a Quran in his library. It was nice rhetoric—we all want peace, we all want good will with our Muslim brothers and sisters—but what about the realities of the region: a place where vicious, cynical dictators encourage the worst anti-Western, anti-liberal sentiments and impose unequal social customs on their people to maintain their own power; a place where Sunni and Shia are bitterly opposed?

One hundred years ago this year, James Balfour issued the famous declaration that re-inscribed the Jewish nation again into its ancient political history, but then the big powers went on to literally invent, really out of whole cloth, other states—Lebanon, Syria, Iraq—splitting up tribes and sects and communities and placing the people who lived in them in crazy arrangements under alien, authoritarian governments. Today, reaching out to these states in practice often means not helping their people but rewarding their leaders, and these are not people we want to reward. We heard nothing about that in the Cairo speech. Nor would we. And by December, when Obama went to Oslo, the signs were there that realities were getting ignored when it came to policy, too.
Obama’s first outreach had been to the Sunnis. He had made tight pals with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a bad sign even then, before Erdogan completely abandoned the pretense of secular liberalism. Obama was close to the Saudis—to King Abdullah. He had also delivered his address at Cairo’s Al Azhar, both a Sunni university and a mosque. Over time, he turned away from the Sunnis and toward the Shia, to Iran—the counterweight to Egypt, to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey, in the region—a state most of its neighbors saw as an immediate threat. Then there was Syria, where, out of the same mind-changing dynamic, he countenanced a human disaster, grim beyond calculation.

And the victims of the president’s good intentions were not just these populations and the liberal secularists within them, which was bad enough. The victim was also the one state that the Great Powers created right, the fortunate state, but the state that’s lived up to its fortune by staying democratic, sometimes imperfectly democratic but democratic nonetheless, against constant external threat of annihilation: Israel.

Maybe we should have known this would happen. One’s spiritual counselors have meaning, and Obama chose over nearly a decade and a half perhaps the most anti-American, anti-Jewish, and viciously anti-Israel minister in Chicago. Being under the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s guidance doesn’t mean Obama shared his views, but this was not a spiritual counselor who would show much sympathetic understanding, or even unsympathetic understanding, toward Israel.

Then in 2009, there was Obama’s selection of Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Maybe you remember him: He’d been ambassador to Saudi Arabia and exquisitely faithful to Riyadh, one of the old monarchy’s servants, Riyadh before its tentative but meaningful liberalizing steps. He’d worked with China, and been sympathetic to its autocratic ruling party. He, his son, and the authors of The Israel Lobby, which he first published before the commercial edition was conceived, attacked me and others who’d taken him on. But he was Obama’s choice—again, not someone with much sympathy for Israel’s struggle, or understanding of it. In fact, hostile.

Occasionally, rhetorically, Obama made himself a tough Zionist: aligning himself with Justice Brandeis, who thought “both sides of the Jordan are ours,” and Dayan and Golda. But I’ve always wondered whether at the annual Obama Seder the presidential party actually pronounced the sacred benediction “next year in Jerusalem.” Its sanctity, however, can be measured by a postscript to this ancient prayer, written in Yiddish and mimeographed in occupied France in 1941: Die hagaodeh zol zayn die letzte in Goles. “Let this Haggadah be the last one in Exile.”

To be sure, Obama knew about the Holocaust: In his Cairo address, the president mustered it as the essential—no, the only—rationale for a Jewish state. But the Jewish state is more than that! What about the nearly 1 million ardent and repatriating Jewish exiles who’d lived for two millennia—and some for almost three—in the lands of Islam? And what of the implications to his audience: the implications of assigning Israel’s rationale for existing solely to the Holocaust? Upon hearing this, that the Holocaust is the single reason for the Jewish state, is it any wonder Sunni and Shia say they are the other victims of Naziism?

It isn’t that the president hated Israel. It’s that, to those of us who feel for Israel in our bones and feel its closeness to America as a fellow beacon of liberalism, and who look for that feeling in our presidents, his words never said that he did, too. He had some nice words, sure, but he never gave evidence that he had a sense of the intense struggle it took Israel to become what it is and to maintain its ideals in face of immediate threat. By the end it seemed like Israel to him was Bibi Netanyahu, and it’s not fair to make Bibi or the right wing everything that Israel is, because it’s much, much more. Zionism includes and has always included people of every race, from every corner of the globe, with every belief about God.

The president never gave this its due. And in the pursuit of outreach, to Palestinians and to Iranians especially, he did worse: He created an impossible situation, a situation that would have been untenable on its face for anybody who truly understood Israel’s history and the dynamics of its neighbors.

In 2015 came the Iran nuclear deal, a holding action for which the president ignored piece after piece of evidence of Iran’s meddling in the region—against secular liberals in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Syria, in Iran itself where secularists had been murdered by the regime in 2009 while we stood idly by. Even Democrats who were loyal to the president in all else opposed the deal—Nita Lowey, Chuck Schumer! (Do you want a liberal Democratic weasel? Take Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York congressman from the most Jewish district in the country, who voted for it. Then again, only four Democratic senators voted against it.)

In 2016, John Kerry indulged his obsessive fantasies of 30 years (I’ve known him 40) with a push for peace that ignored every Israeli reality. The secretary’s speech more than implied that Jerusalem’s ancient Jewish Quarter should be up for negotiations… and so maybe up for grabs. That’s because, like everything else in Jerusalem (save the indisputably Israeli “new city”), it was since 1948 in the possession of the king of Jordan who, with Egypt, Syria and, yes, the monarchy of Iraq started the 1967 war which he, they then lost. Tiens! According to Kerry’s agenda, the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives (itself mentioned a half dozen times in the Hebrew Bible), parts of Mount Scopus, Ammunition Hill, even the Western Wall and myriad other sites are open to negotiations.

When Israel resisted their moves, Kerry and his president, and the portentously sweet Samantha Power, lashed out, rhetorically and then in action, at the United Nations at the tail end of Obama’s term: The Security Council resolution passed because the United States did not veto. (On the morrow, more or less, the Brits apologized; and everyone grasped that the French socialist regime’s excuse was that it could not possibly win the next election without the Muslim vote … but will certainly not win even with it.) Of course, this move would find resonance in all the despot-led Muslim states at the United Nations… even those that were doing security business with Israel and, deeper yet, forming sotto voce alliances with the Jewish state that were operative on a day-to-day basis: Egypt; even Saudi Arabia; and Turkey, by now deep, deep under Erdogan.

Israel received aid from Obama, yes, but aid is worth only so much if legitimacy diminishes, and Israel ended his tenure with its international reputation pulled down by administration rhetoric, and by its inaction when members of the left attacked Israel. Never did we hear a word from our president condemning BDS. I wonder if the president (or Ben Rhodes, who was rewarded for his Jewish animus to Jewish concerns by a White House “midnight” appointment to the Holocaust Museum board), understand the deep betrayal experienced by those of us who don’t like the current Israeli government or its bunker mentality but who see Israel’s existence in the face of states whose leaders have stated their intention to put it in the ground, as the fact, the one that ends all the others.

Maybe this concern seems unnecessary, or overblown, or just myopic. After all, we see before all of our eyes anti-black sentiment; it is ugly, despite enormous social progress. We see anti-Arab, anti-Hispanic, anti-Asian sentiment. Next to the immediacy of these, it might seem like carping to talk about a group so well situated in America, and in the Democratic Party, as the Jews. But when you talk about the Jews you can’t forget Israel—at least those of us whose families had, and whose friends and families have, a stake in its existence can’t.
Liberal democratic states were supposed to save the Jews—many people of learning and seriousness saw a cosmopolitan universalist Enlightenment culture as a dream attainable in reality. But those dreams came up against the real realities of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, which were repeats on a bigger, more horrific scale of the persecution, the alienation, that have followed us for two millennia. How can we be safe without a state of our own? Now we have a state, and it’s a state that possesses many precepts of virtue, precepts that it has been able to mostly maintain through a long and bitter history and under fire of missiles and under menace of the ultimate menace. It has always welcomed people of all races. It is Jewish but tolerant, and self-critical when it isn’t. It remains the one state in the region that holds the flame of those normative ideals high and strong. And it is surrounded by states that don’t want it to exist. Sometimes a fact, a reality, is as basic and hard as that.

For those of us who care for Israel, we are in an old, sad, difficult dilemma. Our principles, our people’s experience of the diaspora, our belief in transcending difference, our dismay at Republican tribal politics leads us to the Democrats. But there comes a point at which the urge to transcend difference comes at the expense of hard realities. Michael Oren was right—the last president passed that point with Israel. How much will his successors in the party leadership follow his lead?

Martin Peretz was Editor-in-Chief of The New Republic for 36 years and taught social theory at Harvard University for nearly half a century



On March 17 IAF jets were targeted by Syrian missiles in a rare incident that Israel responded to immediately. But what is the real story behind this incident?

In the wee morning hours of March 17, a Friday, a strange incident marred the skies over the area of the Jordan Valley in Israel. According to an official statement released by IDF Spokesman, the country's Air Defense Command intercepted a Syrian, Russia-manufactured anti-aircraft missile at 2:40 a.m. 

It had later been clarified that an Arrow 2 missile was aimed at a Syrian missile that was fired in the direction of the West Bank and Israel north of Jerusalem, in the area of the Jordan Valley.

But it seems that the short and laconic announcement by the IDF doesn't really tell the full story. Or in other words- the IDF isn't revealing the whole truth about the incident. So what really happened that Friday morning

On that night, several Israel Air Force jets had returned from a mission in Syria, where they operated like they have in the past (according to foreign reports) to stop weapons convoys –mostly advanced missiles - on their way to Shi’ite terror organization Hezbollah. When the jets were already en route back to Israel, they came under fire of Russian-manufactured surface to air missiles SAM-5 (Vega) that were launched from Syria. 

One of the Syrian missiles' trajectory pointed south-south west. Theoretically, it could have landed in Israeli territory. But when such a missile misses its target (in this case, the IAF jets), it's supposed to activate a self-destructing mechanism that sends its parts flying to the ground. 

Since it was not clear at the time where the missile was coming from and there was serious concern that it would land within the West Bank or in Israel, it appears that the Arrow missile defense system had fired one or two intercepting missiles in its direction (as is the common procedure during interceptions). 

Prior to the launch, a red alert siren was heard in several villages in the Jordan Valley where the interception of the missile was expected to happen. 

Several days following the incident, the commander of the Air Defense Command, Brigadier General Tzi Haimovitch, provided more details. According to him "the threat was ballistic, and in such a situation there is no room for question marks or dilemmas." Haimovitch explained that the decision to intercept the missile was made by the relevant commanders "within a split second." 
Due to the rapid reaction that was required facing this threat, the commander of the IAF and the chief of staff were not made privy to this decision- but they later backed up and justified it. 

Arrow 2 missiles are equipped with a warhead with shrapnel shells. The shrapnel is usually supposed to hit the front part of the ballistic missile the Arrow intercepts. This is aimed mainly against the major threat facing Israel - Shahab-3 and Scud-D missiles, which Iran, Syria and Hezbollah all have in their arsenal. The shrapnel fired at the missile is meant to eliminate the explosives and neutralize the threat.

However, the “warhead” of SAM-5, a 40-year-old, outdated missile, does not contain explosives. It contains "metals"- avionics equipment and a radar antenna. Its warhead is actually located in its back part, some 3.5-4 meters from the tip. Next to it is the self-destructing mechanism, and between the two and the front separates a steel divider.

In short, it is most likely that the Arrow’s shrapnel hit the Syrian missile’s warhead but not its explosives in the back. In other words- it is doubtful that an interception took place in the full sense of the word. 

What may have happened is that a shock wave, which spreads when shrapnel shards hit the front part of the missile (with the same effect of a hand-grenade), could have possibly neutralized the self-destructing mechanism of the Syrian missile. Another possibility is that the self-destructing mechanism didn't work for a technical reason. 

If that is indeed the case, it can be assumed that a part or parts of the SAM-5, which weighs seven tons in total, continued in its flight and landed in some spot in Israeli territory. 

Just to make things even clearer: the warhead of the Syrian missile weighs 200 kg. There are both seeing and hearing witnesses from communities in the area who noted large explosions that were followed by a resounding booming noise and a visible flash.

The Arrow 2 is a two-stage missile with two engines. The first one is manufactured by the Israel Military Industries and the second by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. When the first engine finishes its activity, it is ejected.

After the incident photos were published in Jordan showing a part of a missile's motor with inductors that came out of the engine. It fell to the ground in the area of Jordan's Irbid and was probably the first-stage engine of the Arrow. Therefore, there is a probability that an Arrow shard hit the Syrian missile, neutralized its self-destructing mechanism, but did not entirely destroy it. There's also a chance that the two Arrow missiles missed their target and that following a technical failure in the Syrian missile's self-destructing mechanism, the missile got to Israel. 

The claim that some made in Israel that the parts that fell in Jordan were shards of the Syrian SAM has been ruled out by experts.

For the past two weeks the Jerusalem Post has been attempting to receive detailed answers from the IDF Spokesperson's Unit about the aforementioned information. Among some of the questions that were referred to the IDF it was asked whether parts or even small shards from the Syrian missile actually landed in Israeli territory, and whether published images that showed the metal part that landed in Jordan were actually part of the Arrow missile. 

The spokesperson's unit declined to comment on the questions and was only willing to comment that the incident was still being investigated and that conclusions will be drawn accordingly. 

This evasive reply raises even more questions. It implies perhaps that the IDF has something to hide and that the army is not interested in disclosing to the public the full details about this incident. It is also reminiscent of the security establishment's conduct seven years ago regarding the Iron Dome missile defense system. 

It was claimed in the past that the Iron Dome would be capable of intercepting mortars or rockets within a short range, even a range of 5km, and still defend the communities along the border with Gaza. However, as the previous two military campaigns in Gaza have taught us, despite Iron Dome's impressive capabilities and the upgrades it has seen since, its ability to protect is challenged on an almost daily basis.

What North Korea Should Teach Us about Iran

We failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. As a result, our options to stop them from developing a delivery system capable of reaching our shores are severely limited.

The hard lesson from our failure to stop North Korea before they became a nuclear power is that we MUST stop Iran from ever developing or acquiring a nuclear arsenal. A nuclear Iran would be far more dangerous to American interests than a nuclear North Korea. Iran already has missiles capable of reaching numerous American allies. They are in the process of upgrading them and making them capable of delivering a nuclear payload to our shores. Its fundamentalist religious leaders would be willing to sacrifice millions of Iranians to destroy the "Big Satan" (United States) or the "Little Satan" (Israel). The late "moderate" leader Hashemi Rafsanjani once told an American journalist that if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons, they "would kill as many as five million Jews," and that if Israel retaliated, they would kill fifteen million Iranians, which would be "a small sacrifice from among the billion Muslims in the world." He concluded that "it is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality." Recall that the Iranian mullahs were willing to sacrifice thousands of "child-soldiers" in their futile war with Iraq. There is nothing more dangerous than a "suicide regime" armed with nuclear weapons.
The deal signed by Iran in 2015 postpones Iran's quest for a nuclear arsenal, but it doesn't prevent it, despite Iran's unequivocal statement in the preamble to the agreement that "Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons." (Emphasis added). Recall that North Korea provided similar assurances to the Clinton Administration back in 1994, only to break them several years later -- with no real consequences. The Iranian mullahs apparently regard their reaffirmation as merely hortatory and not legally binding. The body of the agreement itself -- the portion Iran believes is legally binding -- does not preclude Iran from developing nuclear weapons after a certain time, variously estimated as between 10 to 15 years from the signing of the agreement. Nor does it prevent Iran from perfecting its delivery systems, including nuclear tipped inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

If we are not to make the same mistake with Iran that we made with North Korea, we must do something now – before Iran secures a weapon – to deter the mullahs from becoming a nuclear power, over which we would have little or no leverage.

Congress should now enact legislation declaring that Iran's reaffirmation that it will never "develop or acquire nuclear weapons" is an integral part of the agreement and represents the policy of the United States. It is too late to change the words of the deal, but it is not too late for Congress to insist that Iran comply fully with all of its provisions, even those in the preamble.

In order to ensure that the entirety of the agreement is carried out, including that reaffirmation, Congress should adopt the proposal made by Thomas L. Friedman on 22 July 2015 and by myself on 5 September 2013. To quote Friedman:
"Congress should pass a resolution authorizing this and future presidents to use force to prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state ... Iran must know now that the U.S. president is authorized to destroy – without warning or negotiation – any attempt by Tehran to build a bomb."

I put it similarly: Congress should authorize the President "to take military action against Iran's nuclear weapon's program if it were to cross the red lines...."

The benefits of enacting such legislation are clear: the law would underline the centrality to the deal of Iran's reaffirmation never to acquire nuclear weapons, and would provide both a deterrent against Iran violating its reaffirmation and an enforcement authorization in the event it does.

A law based on these two elements -- adopting Iran's reaffirmation as the official American policy and authorizing a preventive military strike if Iran tried to obtain nuclear weapons -- may be an alternative we can live with. But without such an alternative, the deal as currently interpreted by Iran will not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. In all probability, it would merely postpone that catastrophe for about a decade while legitimating its occurrence. This is not an outcome we can live with, as evidenced by the crisis we are now confronting with North Korea. So let us learn from our mistake and not repeat it with Iran.

Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of Taking the Stand. My Life in the Law and Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for the Unaroused Voter.

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