‘Al-Qaida on brink of using nuclear bomb’

By Heidi Blake and Christopher Hope, The Daily TelegraphFebruary 1, 2011

Al-Qaida members participate in military training in Afghanistan in this file photo.

Photograph by: Agence France-Presse Files, National Post, With Files From News Services

Al-Qaida is on the verge of producing radioactive weapons after sourcing nuclear material and recruiting rogue scientists to build “dirty” bombs, according to leaked diplomatic documents.
A leading atomic regulator has privately warned that the world stands on the brink of a “nuclear 9/11”.
Security briefings suggest that jihadi groups are also close to producing “workable and efficient” biological and chemical weapons that could kill thousands if unleashed in attacks on the West.
Thousands of classified American cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph detail the international struggle to stop the spread of weapons-grade nuclear, chemical and biological material around the globe.
At a Nato meeting in January 2009, security chiefs briefed member states that al-Qaida was plotting a program of “dirty radioactive IEDs”, makeshift nuclear roadside bombs that could be used against British troops in Afghanistan.
As well as causing a large explosion, a “dirty bomb” attack would contaminate the area for many years.
The briefings also state that al-Qaida documents found in Afghanistan in 2007 revealed that “greater advances” had been made in bioterrorism than was previously realized. An Indian national security adviser told American security personnel in June 2008 that terrorists had made a “manifest attempt to get fissile material” and “have the technical competence to manufacture an explosive device beyond a mere dirty bomb”.
Alerts about the smuggling of nuclear material, sent to Washington from foreign U.S. embassies, document how criminal and terrorist gangs were trafficking large amounts of highly radioactive material across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The alerts explain how customs guards at remote border crossings used radiation alarms to identify and seize cargoes of uranium and plutonium.
Freight trains were found to be carrying weapons-grade nuclear material across the Kazakhstan-Russia border, highly enriched uranium was transported across Uganda by bus, and a “small time hustler” in Lisbon offered to sell radioactive plates stolen from Chernobyl.
In one incident in September 2009, two employees at the Rossing Uranium Mine in Namibia smuggled almost half a ton of uranium concentrate powder – yellowcake – out of the compound in plastic bags.
“Acute safety and security concerns” were even raised in 2008 about the uranium and plutonium laboratory of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear safety watchdog.
Tomihiro Taniguchi, the deputy director general of the IAEA, has privately warned America that the world faces the threat of a “nuclear 9/11” if stores of uranium and plutonium were not secured against terrorists.
But diplomats visiting the IAEA’s Austrian headquarters in April 2008 said that there was “no way to provide perimeter security” to its own laboratory because it has windows that leave it vulnerable to break-ins.
Senior British defence officials have raised “deep concerns” that a rogue scientist in the Pakistani nuclear program “could gradually smuggle enough material out to make a weapon”, according to a document detailing official talks in London in February 2009.
Agricultural stores of deadly biological pathogens in Pakistan are also vulnerable to “extremists” who could use supplies of anthrax, foot and mouth disease and avian flu to develop lethal biological weapons.
Anthrax and other biological agents including smallpox, and avian flu could be sprayed from a shop-bought aerosol can in a crowded area, leaked security briefings warn.
The security of the world’s only two declared smallpox stores in Atlanta, America, and Novosibirsk, Russia, has repeatedly been called into doubt by “a growing chorus of voices” at meetings of the World Health Assembly documented in the leaked cables.
The alarming disclosures come after Barack Obama, the U.S. president, last year declared nuclear terrorism “the single biggest threat” to international security with the potential to cause “extraordinary loss of life”.

Obama Is Enabling Nuclear Breakout

Obama Is Enabling Nuclear Breakout

By James Lewis

Jimmy Carter didn’t want to be known as the Ayatollah Appeaser, but that’s how history has him chalked up. Bill Clinton played dumb about the 1994 World Trade Center bombing, actually blocking the flow of foreign intelligence between Justice and the CIA, and thereby enabled 9/11/01 — the second al-Qaeda attack on Manhattan in seven years. The liberal media are still in shrill denial of those facts, but history will not forget their failures. Historians will ask over and over why yet another feckless Democrat was elected in 2008. How could Americans be so blind to the circling jackals of this world? 
Now Obama seems intent on reversing the Cold War and letting nuclear proliferation explode. In Congress, the Democrats are committing mass suicide for him. FDR gave us the New Deal, and Obama is giving us the Raw Deal.
But FDR presided over the bloodiest war for America since the Civil War. He didn’t want to be a war president, but when Pearl Harbor came, he did not deceive himself the way the Left has deceived itself since 9/11. Pearl Harbor was a plain act of war, and Americans in 1944 got that instantly. Four years later, Harry Truman didn’t plan to begin the Cold War against Communist aggression with a defensive war in Korea. But that’s how it turned out. “Events, my dear boy,” said Harold McMillan. Events decide how presidents will look to history.
Obama is now set to be the biggest loser of the last sixty years — the man who let nuclear weapons explode out of control by fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of the threat. The implications for the future are  unpredictable, but just as World War II was more consequential than the New Deal, there is nothing an American president can do that is more important that his national security actions. When — not if — nuclear proliferation runs out of control, it won’t look like the Cold War, when only two superpowers had usable missiles and weapons, and when, after Stalin died, both sides acted fairly rationally.
Instead, Obama’s towering failure means a multi-polar race to get the baddest bombs, with the mullahs racing the Sunni Arabs and a very real chance that Hezb’allah or al-Qaeda will get enough material to build a dirty nuke. Only advanced missile defenses will save us, and if America doesn’t speed up our defense development, then the saner nations in the world will do it. They are not going to wait for us.
When unstable tyrannies like Iran, North Korea, Libya, and even Venezuela have nukes, Obama’s self-glorifying ego trips will fade by comparison. The only question Americans will ask will be: How well did he protect his country? We forget that for the last ninety years, America’s military power has been kept at the razor’s edge — not because we somehow decided to conquer the world, but because we had to resist the imperialistic aggression of the Kaiser, Hitler, Stalin, Mao (by proxy in Korea and Vietnam), and the Soviet Empire. Liberals pretend that war is all the past, but history hasn’t ended.
Today we see murderous tyrannies rising again, and Obama is too busy navel-gazing to see them for himself. Hugging Mugabe is more his style. So nobody is driving this train, and an abyss yawns just ahead of us. 
Jimmy Carter actively enabled the Islamofascist overthrow of the Shah of Persia, one of the great traditional imperial powers of the Middle East. Turkey, another great power for five centuries under the Ottomans, has now slipped back from a century of increased political tolerance toward radical Islam, and is now siding with Iran against Israel. Iraq, another imperial center that goes back six thousand years to Sumer, is torn between Sunnis and Shiites, which means Iran against the Arabs. The Saudis helped finance Pakistan’s nukes and missiles, and they can import them as soon as they give the signal. Arabia is the heartland of Islam, and Iran has had its eyes on Mecca and Medina since Khomeini. The end of war? Only in Liberal Land.
Radical Muslims are ideologically resistant to the Enlightenment values of tolerance, science, free speech, elected governments, and free trade. They are not like India and Japan, which have adopted modernism at a very deep level in the last half century. But since Khomeini took over Iran, all the modernizing forces in Muslim lands have been forced backwards. Islamic radicalism was much less of a problem before that huge defeat for civilization. Jimmy Carter was therefore criminally naïve (and still is today), Clinton didn’t even try to face the facts of international life, and Obama is the worst of all. He is mentally stuck in third-world Leftism, and he has shown no capacity to learn. So much for “progressive” politics driving us back to the past.
A small but ominous event happened two weeks ago at the “nuclear summit” of 45 nations, most of which have no nuclear capacity at all. At the summit, Obama publicly snubbed the president of Georgia. The American media were too dumb and ignorant to get it, but Putin and Eastern Europe took notice, all right. Georgia was, after all, the first country to be invaded by Russian tanks since Afghanistan, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany.
Two years ago, Putin stole the province of Abkhazia from Georgia, and today they are committing ethnic cleansing there. For Obama to snub Georgia’s president at a big international powwow sends the clearest possible signal to Czar Putin: Go ahead — we won’t stop you. That’s why the Russian Bear is snarling again in the Ukraine, Poland, Syria, (where it is building deep water ports), Iran (where it just declared its intention to complete the Bushehr nuke reactor), and anywhere else it sees easy prey. Predators act like predators. It’s not a surprise to saner folks.
The astonishing thing about Obama is that he actually signals American weakness deliberately; he is the anti-Reagan to the ultimate. Only the American people are kept in the dark.
A week after Obama’s snub of Georgia, a Russian-maintained, Russian-manufactured airplane carrying Poland’s president Lech Kaszinksy, its army chief, its central banker, and 94 other leaders died in a suspicious crash at Smolensk. We don’t know if Putin sabotaged the plane — easy enough to do — but we know that he regularly assassinates his opponents, domestic and foreign. Putin poisoned the president of the Ukraine with dioxin and killed a former KGB spy in London with radioactive Polonium. Is there a link between the death of Poland’s political leadership and Obama’s signals of weakness? Well, the timing was perfect. It also happened to be the anniversary of Stalin’s massacre of Polish officers in Katyn forest. Coincidence? Nobody who knows that history will believe that.
Obama has now publicly humiliated the Prime Minister of Israel, the PM of Britain, the Queen of England, the Czechs, the Poles, and the Japanese. He has bowed ostentatiously to the Saudi king, the former god-emperor of Japan, and the president of China. Those are not slips of diplomatic etiquette. They aren’t even eccentricities for this ultimately weird president. They are deliberate signals to the world, and our enemies know exactly what they mean.
The United States has plainly failed to stop North Korean and Iranian nukes. Saudi Arabia just announced plans to build a nuclear plant. North Korea just blew up a South Korean warship. All the little mad tyrannies around the world see nuclear weapons as their key to survival and power forever.
Nuclear breakout can’t be far away.

The Systematic Dismantling of a Secure America

The Systematic Dismantling of a Secure America

By Janet Levy

The emotionally charged toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad’s Firdos Square on April 9, 2003 was an ephemeral moment of unity for Americans applauding the defeat of a tyrannical regime and an enemy of the free world. The rapid victory over Saddam by U.S. forces reinforced, for Americans and the world, America’s military supremacy as a force for good against evil. At that time, our nation appeared to uphold Woodrow Wilson’s pre-World War I proclamation to “make the world safe for democracy.”
Fast-forward to April 6, 2010, when Barack Obama informed the world that the United States would no longer function as a global superpower buttressed by nuclear weapons as a deterrence to war. With one unanticipated public statement from the putative leader of the free world, the security held by the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction vanished from the American arsenal, and confidence in America’s ability to defend its citizens vaporized. Obama’s proclamation of unilateral nuclear disarmament nullified America’s willingness and ability to defend itself and its allies at a critical juncture in history when worldwide nuclear proliferation abounds.
Americans are fully aware of the peril inherent in Obama’s commitment “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” With nuclear-armed rogue nations like North Korea starving and enslaving their own populations and Muslim countries encouraging and celebrating the martyrdom of their children, the implementation of a non-preemptive, nuclear-disarmed American security policy is pure folly.
While Obama’s latest statement is certainly responsible for making the United States less secure, American security has been in jeopardy since before the 9/11 attacks. For quite some time, our nation’s leaders have failed to properly identify the enemy and declined to prosecute acts of treason, meanwhile appeasing the enemy with special privileges and dispensations. Obama’s recent actions have further jeopardized our security by his granting of constitutional rights to enemy combatants, imposing restrictive battlefield standards, placing budgetary restrictions on our military, and reaching out to America’s enemies while abandoning its long-term allies.
The first step in any national security strategy is to clearly identify the enemy, study its ideology and tactics, and develop an appropriate strategy to target and destroy it. Basic military policy and common sense dictate that victory can be achieved only by first knowing your enemy. During World War II, the nation knew we were fighting Nazis and made no distinction between radical Nazis and moderate Nazis. Our responsibility was to kill the enemy, protect the country, and emerge victorious, not to ferret out any “good” Nazis or abide by stringent demands to protect the civilians of an enemy nation.
Today, Americans are not told that we are waging war against Islamic jihadists who want to destroy us, establish an Islamic government, and replace our Constitution with shari’ah law. Instead, we are told that we are fighting a war against “terrorism.” Rather than focus on an enemy with a specific identity or characteristics, we are waging war against a strategy. The media reinforces this delusion with nebulous terminology that confuses and distracts us from a very real threat. 
Actions taken by our leaders reinforce the delusion. Six days after 9/11, President George W. Bush spoke to a Muslim audience in Washington, D.C. about the “hijacking of a great religion” by “terrorists.” He didn’t connect for the public the ideology with the actions — jihadists being the most devout followers of Allah’s word, or Islam. Bush actually referred to “Islamofascism” once in his second term but confused the message by later appeasing Muslims with statements proclaiming that terrorist acts don’t represent Islam.
“I believe that Islam is a great religion that preaches peace,” he affirmed in 2007. The statement signaled that six years after 9/11, government officials were still not intimately familiar with the Koran and unaware that over 63% of the Muslim holy book comprises hate speech toward non-Muslims. The Bush administration failed to educate the public about the enemy’s ideology.
When Obama took office, his administration further obscured the problem and intensified the confusion about the enemy. No longer was the United States fighting a “Global War on Terror,” but the very word “terrorism” was replaced with the absurd term “man-caused disaster.” Words such as “jihad,” “caliphate,” “mujahedeen,” and “Islamist” were banished from the official vernacular. Last week, the Obama administration announced that words such as “Islamic extremism” would be removed from the U.S. national security strategy documentation in consideration of the feelings of Muslim nations. This latest policy represents a dramatic shift from the Bush Doctrine, which referred to the “struggle against militant Islamic radicalism” as the greatest threat of the century.  
During World War II, Americans faced up to threats against this country with certainty. They knew that treason was a disloyal act toward one’s government that sabotaged national security. Those who jeopardized the security of the country by aiding and abetting or consorting with the enemy were prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Today, acts of treason are tolerated and viewed in the context of political protest. In 2002, Hollywood actor Sean Penn visited U.S. enemy and al-Qaeda supporter Saddam Hussein. Penn later met with other vocal, anti-American leaders, traveling to Iran to interview Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro, and to Venezuela to confer with President Hugo Chávez. Penn even called for prison terms for those who criticize the Venezuelan dictator. 
During the 2003 U.S.-led coalition forces invasion of Iraq, Americans served as human shields to prevent U.S. military action. Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union photographed CIA interrogators and placed them and their families in grave danger by showing the photos to senior al-Qaeda terrorists at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. Lawyers on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s staff who previously defended GITMO detainees are now, incredibly, prosecuting detainees with no ethical alarms raised about potential conflict of interests. All these actions that place American security in jeopardy and sabotage our ability to defend American interests are viewed with insouciance rather than grave concern.
It would have been inconceivable during World War II to have invited Hitler or Mussolini to visit the United States. However, during the Bush presidency, Iranian leader Ahmadinejad, sworn enemy of the U.S. who has publicly called for “death to America,” was permitted to speak at Columbia University and be a guest on a prime-time TV talk show. Such misguided actions continue in the Obama administration. This week, Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic supremacist organization, will be on a four-city speaking tour with the permission of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ramadan, who was prohibited from entering the country during the Bush administration, lionizes his grandfather, Hassan al-Banna; works for the Islamic Republic of Iran by hosting a weekly television show; and has donated to terrorist causes, including Hamas. This significant and perilous change in American policy signals that we are facilitating the stealth attempt to Islamicize and dominate our nation.
Following 9/11, several Muslim organizations, some linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, complained about being targeted by counter-terrorism efforts, charged that they were victims of “Islamophobia,” and asserted that the War on Terror is really a “War against Islam.” Imams at prominent mosques and leaders from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) — an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial over illegal funding of at least $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas — actively worked to repeal the Patriot Act and urged Muslims to refrain from cooperating with FBI investigations. In fact, Muslim cooperation with law enforcement was termed nonexistent by a ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Peter King, who noted that he knew of no investigations in which Muslims had been helpful.
The head of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Salam Al-Marayati, told a conference of Muslims in 2005 that Muslim-Americans should be defining counter-terrorism policy in the U.S. He also urged Muslims to reject any effort to spy on each other, implying that the first allegiance of Muslims is to the Muslim community, not law enforcement. The response of law enforcement and government agencies to charges of anti-Muslim bias has been not to infiltrate the Muslim community with undercover operations and demand cooperation, but to increase Muslim recruitment for counterterrorist investigations, to institute Muslim sensitivity programs, and to establish community partnerships with Muslim community leaders.
A case in point is that immediately after 9/11, President Bush became the first American president to host a White House Iftar dinner, an evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the observance of Ramadan. The dinner became an annual event, and soon after, all U.S. embassies and the U.S. State Department began hosting Iftar dinners. In 2006, to the consternation and shock of customs agents, a senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official gave CAIR officials a thorough behind-the-scenes tour of U.S. Customs screening and security operations at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, the nation’s second-busiest. This was in response to CAIR complaints that Muslim travelers were being “unfairly” targeted, even though the nineteen hijackers who flew planes into buildings on 9/11 were all Muslims. Recently, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration manual was mysteriously posted on the internet, while special scrutiny of individuals from fourteen previously targeted Muslim countries has been eliminated from TSA procedures.
When Obama took office, he made several well-publicized attempts at outreach to the Muslim world which included his first official speech, a conciliatory tribute to Muslims in Cairo blaming America for “strained” relations with the Muslim world; a first phone call to Abu Mazan, the head of the Palestinian Authority; and a much-publicized bow to Saudi President Abdullah. In January, instead of attending a scheduled congressional hearing by the House Committee on Homeland Security, Obama’s DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano spent two days privately meeting with a select group of Muslims organizations, three of which are directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. In the meeting, Napolitano briefed members of the extremist Muslim organizations on DHS’s counterterrorism programs and arranged for regularly scheduled information-sharing meetings in the future.
The military and judicial tools for fighting the war against Islamic terrorism on the battlefield were fairly restrictive during the Bush presidency and have become even more so since Obama took office. Official policy in Afghanistan and Iraq dictates that civilian casualties are to be avoided at all costs, and the stated goal is public support. Under Obama, soldiers face a number of restrictions. These include a proscription against firing in the direction of gunfire if a person is not visible, a prohibition against shooting unarmed individuals even if they are seen setting up an IED (improvised explosive device), a requirement to issue verbal warnings and warning shots before initiating a deadly shot, limited authorization to use heavy weapons and conduct air strikes, the necessity to determine if a shot aimed at them actually places them in danger, and other limitations on their effectiveness as soldiers. Obama has mandated that enemy combatants have the same legal protections under the U.S. Constitution as U.S. citizens. Terrorist detainees will now receive constitutional rights such as due process and the right to an attorney, be read their Miranda rights to counsel, be permitted to bar involuntary admissions, and they could be tried by juries as “innocent until proven guilty” defendants in U.S. federal courts. For the first time in our nation’s history, those who committed acts of war against the United States and were captured on the battlefield are given rights under the U.S. Constitution rather than being tried by internal military commissions. Instead of war being about victory over an enemy, it is now about criminal litigation.
Further, Obama’s recent policy of nuclear disarmament has placed the United States at considerable risk. By signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, the largest nuclear arms reduction treaty in our history, Obama is significantly reducing our nuclear deterrence capability in the face of an increasingly dangerous world with threats from Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China. Obama has committed to a perilous policy of not responding to biological and chemical attacks with nuclear weapons, reducing long-range nuclear weapons, and ruling out modernization of our nuclear arsenal while accepting a nuclear Iran under the guise of its fulfilling energy needs. Obama joined world leaders from 47 nations this week as they began a summit on nuclear terrorism and security, with the Iranian threat conspicuously absent from the agenda. Although Iran’s leaders have publicly called for “death to America” and threatened to wipe Israel off the map, Obama has extended a hand and insists on dialogue with the tyrannical regime. He has been determined to work toward engagement while Iran continues to flout international law, provide support to terrorist groups abroad, enlarge its uranium-enrichment capabilities, and torture and kill its own citizens.
In a little over a year, the Obama administration’s pattern of reaching out to our Islamic enemies and shunning our allies has been extended in new directions. Obama sided against democratically elected Roberto Micheletti in Honduras in favor of Manuel Zelaya, the puppet of Venezuelan Communist tyrant Hugo Chávez, who had violated Honduran law and the constitution to set himself up as president for life. In a surprise move, the White House has ordered American troops to march in the Red Square to salute Lenin’s tomb on Russia’s Victory Day, commemorating their triumph against Nazi Germany. Obama has failed to confront the Kremlin about Russian bombers that have been buzzing Alaska and overflying the United Kingdom. The Obama administration has sent envoys to Syria and made overtures to Assad despite Syria’s deep ties to Iran, their involvement in international terrorism, and their stonewalling of investigations into their nuclear program. In addition, the Obama administration has been negotiating with the Taliban to reestablish their power in Afghanistan and recently issued an apology to Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi for statements Gaddafi deemed offensive in support of Western ally Switzerland.
Meanwhile, the Obama White House policy toward U.S. allies has been marked by antipathy, slights, and censure. While Israel, America’s long-time ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, was chastised by the administration for building apartment units in its capital city and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was snubbed, the continuous suicide and rocket attacks by Hamas and Arab-Palestinians escaped mention. Obama is determined to unilaterally create a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital despite Israel’s objections. He has suspended U.S. military sales and proposed sanctions against Israel if the country targets Iran’s nuclear reactors as part of a legitimate action to protect its citizens. Early in his term, Obama ungraciously returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the United Kingdom and gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod containing his political speeches. Recently, Hillary Clinton went so far as to interfere in Britain’s policy as a sovereign nation by demanding that the United Kingdom negotiate with Argentina on the Falkland Islands dispute. Lately, Obama has been pressuring India, which has suffered from decades of Hindu persecution and death by Pakistani Muslims, to resolve its conflict with Pakistan while providing the terrorist haven with a $7.5-billion aid package.
We have come so far afield of the Reagan doctrine of “peace through strength” that our country is almost unrecognizable. The world has because less safe because of our failure to name the enemy and effectively prosecute a war against them, internationally and inside our own borders. We have downgraded our nuclear capabilities and our ability to respond to attacks and assist our allies. As American power recedes, the vacuum is filled by rogue totalitarian states that have no compunction about using weapons of mass destruction and mass genocide. The Pax Americana, a world peace enforced by American military power and the willingness to use it, may be precipitously coming to an end. 

Mr. Obama’s Nowhere Discussions–President Obama could rather easily restore his credibility. But to do so, he would have to stop talking and start making hard policy decisions.

Mr. Obama’s Nowhere Discussions

President Obama could rather easily restore his credibility. But to do so, he would have to stop talking and start making hard policy decisions.

Barack Obama has a marvelous way of sounding innovative, fresh, and novel while offering stale, predictable bromides. His policies at home are an extension of LBJ’s old Great Society. Abroad we’ve been getting a more sonorous version of Jimmy Carter’s global self-righteous sermonizing.

The public wanted a racially transcendent figure and got instead a Chicago ward boss. The problem now for Mr. Obama — reflected in growing popular discontent — is that on matters of debt, taxes, energy, jobs, and race, he apparently has very little new to offer. He just serves up in new wording the them/us divides of the past.

We are at a point where each new proposed federal initiative — health care, cap-and-trade, a “jobs bill,” stimulus, education — is synonymous with more debt. Mr. Obama has exhausted the time-honored Beltway gimmicks of promising to root out “fraud and abuse,” of “streaming” or “reinventing” government, of “freezing” discretionary spending.

His proposed restoration of the Clinton income-tax rates does not come in a vacuum, but coincides with massive new taxes imposed by the states, health-care surcharges, and proposed raising of the caps on income subject to payroll taxes. As the deficit still grows, talk of a new federal value-added tax spreads.

In other words, when one piles up over $3 trillion in debt in less than two years of governance, all the soaring rhetoric in the world, all the borrowing from Japan and China, and all the new taxes cannot change the fact that the money is running out. There really is a finite sum that we can continue to borrow at low interest or to collect in taxes from “them.” End of discussion.

Obama has never addressed our dependence on imported oil, other than by borrowing billions to subsidize wind and solar power, alternative energy sources that so far have been more inspirational than concrete in easing the immediate energy crunch. When the worldwide economy rebounds (and it will, regardless of the degree of American “stimulus”), the price of gas at the pump will soar. It is well over $3 a gallon right now in California.

Again, all the gimmicks in the world will not change our immediate need for foreign fuel. Loud but disingenuous pledges to drill offshore and tap new gas fields do not actually equate to pumping more oil and tapping more natural gas in places like Alaska and off the California and Florida coasts. Bold new statements about nuclear power matter little; that we haven’t built a plant in three decades matters a lot.

So Mr. Obama can once again soar with “millions of new green jobs” and point to all sorts of innovative new energy sources; but for the next five years rising gas and power prices will crush the American public unless he is serious about developing the energy sources we have that could carry us through the crisis until private enterprise creates viable alternatively fueled transportation and electrical production. End of discussion.

Unemployment seems stuck at right under 10 percent. When it was under 6 percent during the 2004 campaign, the media tore George Bush apart with the charge of a “jobless recovery.” That’s not what they’re saying now. Instead we hear of an ongoing recovery from the downturn. But we won’t get robust job growth until Mr. Obama comes clean with the private sector and honestly lists how much additional revenue it will need to generate to pay his higher taxes.

The psychology of uncertainty really does matter. As long as those in industry and commerce hear that the government is the solution to the problems that they supposedly created, browbeaten individuals will not take risks and begin hiring. All the populist rhetoric, all the sympathetic statistical gymnastics from the liberal pundits, all the euphemisms of “jobs saved,” still won’t change the fact that American business believes Mr. Obama wants to take more of their money to redistribute rather than empowering them to hire and make a profit. Again, end of discussion.

Mr. Obama is also at an impasse in matters of race. His promise of a postracial era was wounded by the revelations about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his own racialist quips about “typical” white people, those who “cling” to guns and religion, and police who indulge in racial stereotyping and who act “stupidly.” His pledge was put into a coma with Van Jones’s racist remarks, Eric Holder’s “cowards” smear, and Justice Sotomayor’s lectures about the superiority of a “wise Latina.”

Fairly or not, the president has lost all credibility as a racial uniter. The public now expects an elite to mine any trace of racial insensitivity in order to create grievances, bank sympathy, and translate that into political capital — while avoiding the promised honest discussion about race.

That taboo debate would inevitably address the degree to which the depressing per capita statistics on incarceration, illegitimacy, violent crime, gangs, entitlement dependency, and lack of education within the African-American community are due to residual racism, and to what degree they stem from a failure of the black leadership to address personal responsibility, or the disastrous entitlement policies of the federal government. Giving preference to the children of a Valerie Jarrett, an Eric Holder, or a Barack Obama to enter Harvard or Yale, or wading out into a crowd of tea-partiers in hopes of snagging a racial slur for political purposes, does nothing to alleviate the tragedy in the D.C. school system or the implosion of Detroit.

So we know what lies ahead for the next two years. Sympathetic observers in the media will detect racism in the tea parties and in non-mainstream-media coverage of Mr. Obama’s disappointing performance. As never before, any African-American politician mired in ethics problems (e.g., Charles Rangel) or facing political oblivion (e.g., David Paterson) will claim he is a victim of racial intolerance.

Privately, a majority of Americans accepts that the African-American elite enjoys a particular leeway in promiscuously leveling accusations of racism — and that such exemption from criticism ultimately derives from the fact that on a percentage basis much of the African-American community is not doing as well as the rest of America, and the culprit must be either racism or a lack of government financial assistance. End of discussion.

In short, we are witnessing a public soon asked to pay higher taxes as the debt grows and jobs remain scarce, while its energy costs spike — and popular protests over any and all of that earn charges of racism.

Mr. Obama could rather easily restore his credibility by offering a plan to balance the budget that matched his tax hikes with tough budget cuts. He could offer a jobs plan centered on incentives for business and psychological support for entrepreneurs. He could offer a landmark new tax code that rewards income and savings, and taxes consumption. A multifaceted energy program might tap all the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear power we could produce as a bridge to next-generation fuels without bankrupting the Treasury or endangering our autonomy. And a fair-minded discussion of race would explore how obsession with elite racial grievances has little to do with the causes of a too-large African-American underclass.

Until then, the more mellifluously the president lectures, the more he will exhaust the voters.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.

A Nuclear Iran Could Become the First ‘Suicide State’ President Obama’s naive belief in rationality could turn Israeli cities into cemeteries

A Nuclear Iran Could Become
the First ‘Suicide State’
President Obama’s naive belief in rationality
could turn Israeli cities into cemeteries


April 13, 2010 | Professor Louis Rene Beres

President Barack Obama–this week launched a special nuclear security summit in Washington–finally acknowledges that Iranian threats to annihilate Israel are serious. Still, Obama fails to understand that applying so-called economic sanctions to Iran will be ineffectual. Somehow, despite very good reasons to the contrary, the president is now insisting that Israel learn to “live” with a nuclear Iran.

Obama confidently assumes that Tehran could be dealt with using the normally-compelling dynamics of nuclear deterrence. The problem with such threat-based optimism, however, is the always-underlying presumption of enemy rationality. Without rationality, deterrence will fail.

No system of nuclear deterrence can operate unless all of the involved countries value their own physical survival more highly than anything else. Significantly, Tehran’s new nuclear status could coincide with an unshakable leadership belief in the Shi’ite apocalypse. Here, Israel would face not only more Palestinian suicide-bombers (President Obama’s recycled Road Map toward a “Two-State Solution” will only encourage Palestinian terrorism), but also a “suicide state.”

Barack Obama stubbornly fails to recognize something critical. This is the unspeakable goal of all Israel’s Islamist enemies, which remains Jewish extermination. Oddly, this expressly genocidal goal is unhidden. In the bitterest of ironies, an ancient nation that was ingathered in 1948 precisely to prevent another Holocaust has become the fevered focus of another Final Solution.

The goal of all Israel’s enemies, especially Iran and the soon-to-be-born (and Obama-favored) Palestinian state, is to be left standing while Israel is made to disappear. For these refractory enemies, there can be no coexistence with Israel. At the end of the day, this is because their own survival is believed to demand Israel’s extinction.

Pressured by President Obama to exchange land for nothing, Israel is being pushed to collaborate in its own disappearance. Israel’s prime minister should take notice. It would be a fatal mistake for Binyamin Netanyahu to embrace Obama’s cheery belief that reason and rationality govern the world, a belief implicit, for example, in the president’s hope for “a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Barack Obama will not save Israel. Once Iran had decided to launch nuclear missiles at Israel, perhaps a plausible prospect in just a few years, Washington’s best assistance would be confined to help bury the dead. Even for this “assistance,” whole Israeli cities would first have to be converted into cemeteries.

Whether in Gaza, West Bank (Judea/Samaria) or Tehran, Israel’s Jihadist enemies wish to kill Jews because every such homicide is a deeply felt and genuinely sacred obligation. For them, killing Jews remains a praiseworthy expression of religious sacrifice. President Obama should bear in mind that such killing is expected to confer upon the perpetrators immunity from personal death. Could there ever be a more compelling expectation?

In the Islamic Middle East, power over death always trumps all other forms of power. There is no greater power in the Dar al Islam (the World of Islam) than the religiously-authoritative promise of immortality, and this promise is always linked to total war against “unbelievers.”

The core idea of death as a zero-sum commodity–“I kill you; I therefore remain alive forever”–has already been explained in certain literatures, and in psychology. It is captured perfectly in philosopher Ernest Becker’s paraphrase of Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti: “Each organism raises its head over a field of corpses, smiles into the sun, and declares life good.”

Just to stay alive, Israel must understand what Freud inner-circle member Otto Rank once called a general principle of psychology: “The death fear of the ego is lessened by the killing, the Sacrifice, of the other; through the death of the other one buys oneself free from the penalty of dying, of being killed.”

Israel’s enemies, to remain standing, and to prevent Israel from standing up, seek to sacrifice the Jewish state on a joyously bloodstained altar of protracted war and terror.

This planned destruction of Israel is not about geopolitics. It is integrally part of a system of religious worship that is directed toward the conquest of personal death.

True peace in the Middle East will never be brought about by political cliches and empty witticisms. Real wisdom is necessary, and this insight will need to be based upon a true awareness of jihadist goals and capabilities. For Barack Obama, this calls for a much deeper understanding of the interpenetrating and existential threats to Israel posed by Iran and “Palestine.”

PROFESSOR LOUIS RENE BERES, Professor of Political Science at Purdue, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971). Born in Zurich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II, he is the author of many major books, monographs and articles dealing with international law, strategic theory, Israeli nuclear policy, and regional nuclear war. In Israel, where he served as Chair of Project Daniel, his work is known to selected military and intelligence communities.

This article is the author’s personal opinion and is not the opinion or policy of Myths and Facts.

Obama Leaves Summit Empty-Handed On Iran

Obama Leaves Summit Empty-Handed On Iran

April 13th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Obama Nuclear Conference Germany


President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday that despite his full-court press for tough sanctions aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program, he could not promise that China and other major powers would go along.

“I am going to push as hard as I can to make sure that we get strong sanctions that have consequences for Iran as it’s making calculations about its nuclear program and that those are done on a timely basis,” Obama said during a news conference at the end of the 47-nation summit he convened in Washington to address the dangers of nuclear terrorism.

The president met Monday with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and afterward White House aides portrayed China’s willingness to discuss the mechanics of a sanctions plan as a major development and a sign of international unity on the issue. But Tuesday, the president himself was more sanguine about the prospect of stiff sanctions.

Obama said he was “mindful” that many countries have trade and energy ties to Iran that could be disrupted but that “a strong number of nations” on the United Nations Security Council support sanctions.

But he was quick to add, “I’m not going to speculate beyond that in terms of where we are.”

Obama also left open the possibility that the sanctions won’t be successful. “Sanctions are not a magic wand,” he said. “What sanctions can do … is to hopefully change the calculus of a country like Iran.”

The president called the Nuclear Security Summit “enormously productive” overall, explaining that commitments it produced for greater safeguards and centralization of dangerous nuclear materials would make it much harder for Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to build a nuclear device.

“Because of the steps we’ve taken … the American people will be safer and every nation will be more secure,” Obama said.

The summit’s official communiqué called for all so-called loose nukes, bomb-grade separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium, to be locked down within four years.

The document is nonbinding, but Obama said he was confident that Ukraine, Mexico and other countries would follow through on promises to give up their bomb-grade nuclear materials.

Still, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was not impressed.

“The summit’s purported accomplishment is a nonbinding communiqué that largely restates current policy and makes no meaningful progress in dealing with nuclear terrorism threats or the ticking clock represented by Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” he said in a statement after the summit.

And he had similarly dismissive words for Obama’s drive for tough sanctions against Iran.

“Despite the talk at the security summit, it appears we are no closer to tough sanctions or a meaningful Security Council resolution today, seven months after the president said that the regime would face sanctions,” Kyl said. “The president’s policy to deal with Iran is failing.”

The Obama administration has generally sought to step back from what officials describe as an overreliance on fear by George W. Bush’s administration. But some analysts noted that Obama was clearly willing to bring that emotion to bear Tuesday when he described the looming threat.

“Just the smallest amount of plutonium — about the size of an apple — could kill and injure hundreds of thousands of innocent people,” Obama warned.

“The fear that people like [Donald] Rumsfeld and [Dick] Cheney enunciated is exactly the fear that Obama has enunciated — that the greatest threat the nation faces is the confluence of nuclear weapons and terrorism,” said Alan Kuperman, a former Senate aide on nuclear policy now at the University of Texas at Austin. “The massive increase in spending on this actually began during the Bush administration.”

The summit’s achievements were important, Kuperman said, but ultimately secondary to what happens with Iran.

“It’s great that Obama did this summit. It’s great that Obama did a new START treaty,” Kuperman said. “But if he accomplishes those two things and Iran gets nuclear weapons, on net, I’m not sure we’re in a safer world.”

Obama’s Dictator-Style Handling Of Media Reaches New Low At Nuke Summit

Obama’s Dictator-Style Handling Of Media Reaches New Low At Nuke Summit

April 14th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Obama Nuclear Conference

The Washington Post:

World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.

They entered a capital that had become a military encampment, with camo-wearing military police in Humvees and enough Army vehicles to make it look like a May Day parade on New York Avenue, where a bicyclist was killed Monday by a National Guard truck.

In the middle of it all was Obama — occupant of an office once informally known as “leader of the free world” — putting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.

The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama’s eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: “I’m going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session.”

Reporters for foreign outlets, admitted for the first time to the White House press pool, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they’re cracked up to be.

Yasmeen Alamiri from the Saudi Press Agency got this lesson in press freedom when trying to cover Obama’s opening remarks as part of that limited pool: “The foreign reporters/cameramen were escorted out in under two minutes, just as the leaders were about to begin, and Obama was going to make remarks. . . . Sorry, it is what it is.”

Alamiri’s counterparts from around the world wrote of similar experiences in their pool reports. Arabic-language MBC TV’s Nadia Bilbassy had this to say of Obama’s meeting with the Jordanian king: “We were there for around 30 seconds, not enough even to notice the color of tie of both presidents. I think blue for the king.”

The Press Trust of India, at Obama’s meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, reported, “In less than a minute, the pool was asked to leave.” The Yomiuri Shimbun correspondent found that she was “ushered out about 30 seconds” after arriving for Obama’s meeting with the Malaysian prime minister. A reporter with Turkey’s TRT-Turk went to Obama’s meeting with the president of Armenia, but “we had to leave the room again after less than 40 seconds.”

Even the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, was more talkative with the press than Obama. Michelle Jamrisko, with Japan’s Kyodo News, noted in her pool report that Hu, at his session with Obama, spoke to the Chinese media in Chinese, while Obama limited himself mostly to “say hello to the cameras” and “thank you everybody.”

Obama’s official schedule for Tuesday would have pleased China’s Central Committee. Excerpts: “The President will attend the Heads of Delegation working lunch. This lunch is closed press. . . . The President will meet with Prime Minster Erdogan of Turkey. This meeting is closed press. . . . The President will attend Plenary Session II of the Nuclear Security Summit. This session is closed press.”

Reporters, even those on the White House beat for two decades, said these were the most restricted such meetings they had ever seen. They complained to both the administration and White House Correspondents’ Association, which will discuss the matter Thursday with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

The restrictions have become a common practice for the Obama White House. When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came to the White House a couple of weeks ago, reporters were kept away. Soon after that, Obama signed an executive order on abortion, again without any coverage.

Over the weekend, Obama broke with years of protocol and slipped off to a soccer game without the “protective” pool that is always in the vicinity of the president in case the unthinkable occurs. Obama joked about it later to Pakistan’s prime minister, saying reporters “were very upset.”

In “bilateral” meetings with foreign leaders, presidents usually take questions, or at least trade statements. But at most of Obama’s, there were only written “readouts.” Canada: “The president and the prime minister noted the enduring strength of our bilateral partnership.” India: “The two leaders vowed to continue to strengthen the robust relationship between the people of their countries.” Pakistan: “President Obama began by noting that he is very fond of Pakistan.”

Finally, away from other leaders, Obama took reporters’ questions for 20 minutes. They were tough and skeptical questions that punctured the banal readouts: pointing out that the nonproliferation agreements weren’t binding, noting China’s equivocation on sanctions against Iran, and pressing Obama on the failure to curb North Korea’s weapons. The Post’s Scott Wilson asked Obama if he would call on Israel, which skipped the summit, to declare its nuclear weapons.

“I’m not going to comment on their program,” Obama said.

Not surprising. But it’s still important that the questions are asked.

Obama’s adolescent nuclear ‘dream world’

Obama’s adolescent nuclear ‘dream world’

When I was young and stupid, I thought that the US should totally disarm. I didn’t see the need for nuclear weapons, much less a military at all. My adolescent thinking went along the lines of, if we give up our weapons, every other nation will do the same and then we can live in peace and harmony.

Then I grew up.

Unfortunately for America, the adolescents are now in charge: From IDB:

There’s no deep, dark secret behind the Obama administration’s strategy in defending America against nuclear aggressors, whether they be rogue powers like Iran or North Korea, or a terrorist group like al-Qaida. Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made it very clear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the policy is the moral force of the U.S. disarming itself.According to Secretary Clinton, we now “think we will ultimately be safer if we can introduce the idea that the United States is willing to enter into arms treaties with Russia to reduce our respective nuclear arsenals.” Such a stance “will perhaps deter others from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

Of our disarmament treaty with Russia, Secretary Gates said, “I think it puts us in a much stronger position in terms of going to other countries and getting their support for putting pressure on the Iranians and the North Koreans.”

Words and paper – that’s what we heard from America’s highest-ranking officials charged with protecting us from potential nuclear aggressors. Asked about the inevitability of a nuclear Iran and whether U.S. policy has shifted to containment, Gates claimed, “we’re doing everything we can to try and keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”

Why is it that liberals believe that “setting an example” means a fig to the very nations who have demonstrated time and time again in the past that the only thing they respond to is American strength? What kind of a drug-addled mind could make the leap of logic it takes to actually believe that disarming in the face of the growing strength of your enemies – both potential and current – makes us “safer?”

A moral example? Only someone entranced with the idea of the “Brotherhood of Man” could possibly believe anything as dangerously naive as the idea that our immoral enemies would suddenly pull a 180 and begin to act as moral players on the world stage.

The New Left, after 40 years of preaching, is finally getting its day in the sun to demonstrate the efficacy of its moral tenets. We have been lectured by these arrogant sots for decades about how American bellicosity is the root cause of the world’s troubles, and that if only America would disarm, walk softly, cooperate with the UN, subsume its vital interests, and make nice with those who hate us, all will be well in the world and the fairy tale will have a happy ending.

The question in my mind is, will these people wake up in time to see the horrific damage they are doing to our security and the security of the world that we have painstakingly built up since the end of World War II? It was not a perfect world we helped to construct, but at least it kept things from spinning out of control. Does Obama and his like-minded minions at the State Department, who never met a negotiation they didn’t like, realize the drastic changes they are implementing? For the first time in 60 years, the world will operate without the US as a rough guardian of the status quo. And the breathtaking realization that no one seems to have really thought this through is frightening.

My fear is that, when things don’t go their way, that they will draw the wrong conclusion and bow even lower, disarm even further, grovel even more nauseatingly, in the face of threats and militant actions by the aggressor nations. A lifetime of advocating deliberate American decline is about to be put to a real world test.

I am not sanguine about the outcome.