Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

The #Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Ben Cohen writes about The Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

Consider, for example, the alleged role of the Iranian president, Hasan Rouhani, in whom President Barack Obama has placed so much faith regarding negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Rouhani was not among the Iranian officials named by Nisman in his 2006 report. The Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer, however, revealed in a January 21 article that Nisman had told him about an Iranian witness who had reported that Rouhani had been a member of a special-intelligence committee, “which in 1994 was overseeing secret operations abroad, including the AMIA bombing.” Oppenheimer wrote that Nisman “added privately that he believed in [the witness’s] testimony, and that as a member of the committee Rouhani was likely to have known of the AMIA bombing plan.”

Such a promising lead should be pursued. But the Argentine government is incapable and unwilling to do so, and the current American administration is determined to let nothing obstruct its pursuit of a nuclear deal with the Iranians.

Read the whole thing, keeping in mind

Iranian Leader Khamenei: Death to America; Obama Is Trying to Turn Our People against the Regime

Meanwhile, over in Cuba,

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

following Obama declaring Venezuela a “national security threat”,

More from Noah Rothman.

Venezuela, “national-security threat”

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 09, 2015
FACT SHEET: Venezuela Executive Order

President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela. The targeted sanctions in the E.O. implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, which the President signed on December 18, 2014, and also go beyond the requirements of this legislation.

At the WSJ:
U.S. Freezes Assets of Seven Venezuelan Officials
President Obama declares Venezuela a national-security threat

President Barack Obama declared Venezuela a national-security threat and froze the assets of seven senior officials over alleged rights abuses and political repression.

The move puts all seven officials on a U.S. government blacklist that freezes any assets in the U.S. and prohibits American citizens from dealing with them.

Declaring a country a national-security threat is a formality that allow the U.S. government to impose sanctions on individuals or other countries.

Seven Venezuelan officials targeted by US The seven are:
The President imposed sanctions on the following seven individuals listed in the Annex to the E.O.:

1. Antonio José Benavides Torres: Commander of the Strategic Region for the Integral Defense (REDI) of the Central Region of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and former Director of Operations for Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
2. Gustavo Enrique González López: Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and President of Venezuela’s Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland (CESPPA).
3. Justo José Noguera Pietri: President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG), a state-owned entity, and former General Commander of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
4. Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron: national level prosecutor of the 20th District Office of Venezuela’s Public Ministry.
5. Manuel Eduardo Pérez Urdaneta: Director of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Police.
6. Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez : Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Army and former Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).
7. Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino: Inspector General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and former Commander of the Strategic Region for the Integral Defense (REDI) of the Andes Region of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces.

Caracas Chronicles applauds it

In that regard, the language in the Executive Order makes perfect sense. In sidestepping sanctions for ordinary Venezuelans while targeting the actual human rights abusers, the Obama administration is zeroing in on the problem without creating unnecessary controversies regarding “embargoes” or other nonsense.

It has also chosen the perfect time for its offensive, right when the Maduro administration is at its weakest. It is most certainly creating tension and conflict within the ranks of chavismo. After all, it’s probably more difficult to target sanctions against someone like Diosdado Cabello, who has probably prepared for years for something like this, than it is to zero in on the guys in the second-tier of decision making, the ones actually implementing the orders from Miraflores. I doubt poor old Katherine Harrington-Colby has the testaferros that Diosdado has.

Maduro and his cronies are a threat to US national security. Let’s hope the pressure makes Maduro bend a little and free some of the political prisoners. After all, how much worse can things get for them?

VN&V is skeptical: Another day, another US sanction against Venezuelan apparatchicks [sic].

So is Carlos Eire:

Get ready for a wild ride. The current occupant of the White House and his acolytes are slapping Venezuela on the wrist for its human rights violations at exactly the same time that they are rewarding those in Havana who are ultimately responsible for those violations with all sorts of outlandish concessions, including the agreement to never, ever bring up the issue of human rights abuses in the “normalization” talks between the U.S. and the Castro regime.

Heading the race to the bottom, Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Is Now $20 A Month; Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism

What’s going on, or the consequences of “smart diplomacy”

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The Democ­rats’ reac­tion to Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu Address to Joint Meet­ing of Con­gress (you can watch the speech in full at the link) offers a rare oppor­tu­nity to high­light the dis­con­nect between the Democrats-​and-​the-​media (but I repeat myself, as Pete says) talk­ing points and the con­se­quence of a pol­icy where the U.S. abdi­cates its posi­tion as leader of the free world.

Read my article at Da Tech Guy Blog

Related:
Mr Netanyahu’s speech, transcript and video,

Let’s get rid of the girl

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

My thoughts on the Lucy and Ethel Show at Da Tech Guy Blog.

UPDATE:
Linked to by The Pirates’ Cove. Thank you!

Smart diplomacy: “We didn’t want anything in return” from Cuba

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Jason Poblete posts that

“This was not a negotiation … [i]n was in fact, a unilateral decision. We didn’t want anything in return,” Dr. Frank Mora said at a conference in Miami covered by Daily Signal.

Which explains why dissidents were never in the picture.

Moral equivalence strikes again

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Now:
Infibulation
Crucifixion of children
Beheadings
Burning alive caged men
Death by stoning
Honor killings
Murder of gays
Slavery
Public floggings
Ethnic cleansing of Jews and Christians

700 years ago:
Crusades.

M’kay . . .

Jonah Goldberg and Victor Davis Hanson are eloquent; Ace is direct.

UPDATE
“The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.”

El Salvador: Two American detainees, zero evidence

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Remember these two names: Miguel Lacayo and Tom Hawk. They are the Americans the Salvadorian government is preventing from leaving the country. Mary O’Grady has the story:
Bankrolling Attacks on U.S. Citizens
El Salvador won’t let two Americans leave the country, but the U.S. keeps the aid flowing.

No evidence of a crime has been presented. None of the accused—now nine, down from 20—has been brought to trial. But the ruling left-wing FMLN government and the ostensibly independent attorney general have libeled them in the press with allegations of squandering the national patrimony. The state has put a lien against their assets. They may not leave the country. Their legal bills are mounting. They face up to 10 years in jail.

One would expect the U.S. to raise a stink over the targeting of American citizens in what looks to be, at best, a witch hunt designed to criminalize privatization. But the Obama administration has not. Instead, the witch hunters are on the U.S. payroll.

To the tune of $700 million,

Over the past seven years the U.S.’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has approved some $700 million in grants to El Salvador despite the trampling of the rule of law by former president Tony Saca of the center-right Arena Party (2004-09) and by the pro-Castro FMLN governments of President Mauricio Funes (2009-14) and current President Salvador Sánchez Cerén. The MCC describes itself as an “independent U.S. foreign aid agency,” but today Secretary of State John Kerry is chairman of the board and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is vice chairman.

Capt. Louis Renault is working overtime thanks to the current U.S, administration’s foreign policy.

Meanwhile, as Hawk and Lacayo are held against their will in El Salvador, last Wednesday Joe Biden was touting

El Salvador passed a law providing new protections for investors

so the U.S. would nearly triple the money “we generally have provided to Central America.” Back to Mary O’Grady,

If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. It’s not supposed to. This is about intimidating and ruining political enemies and consolidating economic power—with financial reinforcements courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

Coaching Loretta

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Well-rehearsed answers at the nomination hearings: Read my article here.

Cuba: Gimme, gimme, gimme Gitmo!

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Now that the murderous Communist regime in Cuba knows that to the Obama administration the word “easement” means “A deal for which the U.S. gets nothing in exchange”, they want more.

Who wouldha thunk it!

How much more?

The whole enchilada (YES, I KNOW ENCHILADAS ARE MEXICAN. Bear with me here!):

  • Ending what’s left of the embargo
  • Ending all TV and radio broadcasts to the island
  • Cutting off support to dissidents
  • Removal from the states sponsors of terror list
  • Giving Guantanamo Base to Cuba

and (drumroll please)

  • Reparations! “just compensation to our people for the human and economic damage that they’re suffered.”

Since Communists love slogans, Gimme, gimme, gimme Gitmo!

Lest you believe that gifting Gitmo to Russia and all of these concessions are unlikely to come about, keep in mind that Obama is obsessed with his “legacy”. Take it away, Ed!

Only if one believes that these conditions will discourage Obama. He’s desperate for a foreign-policy achievement that will allow him to claim a legacy, and Castro knows it. (So does Iran.) Castro isn’t anywhere near as desperate for normalized relations with the US; he gets plenty of hard currency from the rest of the world, and exchanges it with the near-worthless Cuban peso with which he pays Cubans. Castro wants to strengthen his regime, and humiliating Obama will raise his prestige immeasurably at home.

Gifting Gitmo already has support among some, but as Joshua Treviño commented on Facebook (emphasis added),

We need to establish a new rule of thumb: anyone arguing that major bargaining points should be ceded in exchange for unforced goodwill does not understand basic power dynamics and should be ignored in policymaking henceforth. The Cuban regime isn’t going to be any more grateful or well-disposed toward us after occupying Guantanamo than they are now. They’ll just feel, with some justification, like they’ve won — and moreover won cheaply. What good that does us, well, ask the Israelis about the goodwill garnered after leaving Lebanon and Gaza.

As for the hand-waving dismissal of the modern importance of “conventional hemispheric defense,” that is the sort of thing one writes when one’s historical horizons are confined to an exceedingly small slice of history.

The small slice of history, in this case, “is all about the O.”

Somewhere in Cuba, Fidel’s amanuensis is gloating,

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