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SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2010
ABC has now returned to the air, or the cable, in the Cablevision section of New York. Apparently, some deal was made. See our 7:57 post. Do I have to watch? I'm pondering.
WHAT WOULD REAGAN DO? – AT 9:34 P.M. ET: It's what Republicans always ask. Steven F. Hayward, a historian of the Reagan presidential years, asks the question in today's Washington Post, and comes up with some intriguing answers:
Reagan was the most popular and successful Republican president of the past century, so it makes sense that he would be the shining model for conservatives, just as FDR has been the gold standard for liberals. (No small irony, since Reagan voted for FDR four times and modeled his statecraft after the Democrat's.) But as the current occupant of the White House could warn, measuring yourself against historical icons is a recipe for disappointment. These days, President Obama is more likely to draw comparisons to Jimmy Carter than to Lincoln or FDR.
And those comparisons are accurate.
Hayward holds that there are two elements of Reagan's statecraft that those who wish to emulate him might want to study:
The first is the deliberate but unseen crafting of Reagan's public profile. As we have come to learn with the opening over the past decade of Reagan's personal papers, his public style was a product of enormous discipline, hard work and calculation. Long before Palin was ridiculed for writing reminders on her hand, Reagan was derided as the 3-by-5 note card candidate (actually, he used 4-by-6 cards) -- but his cards were his means of staying succinctly on point and delivering his message in a compelling way. Reagan's speeches, including his State of the Union addresses, were typically much shorter than average. He knew from show business the power of leaving your audience wanting more. Is there a politician today who you wish gave longer speeches?
The second underappreciated aspect of Reagan's statecraft is his idiosyncratic ideology -- entirely a product of his self-study, much of which he concealed. Some of it was orthodox, small-government conservatism (he once stated that "the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism"), but it was leavened with an older liberalism, part of which he inherited from FDR.
This is the complex part of Reagan. He was, unlike some grim conservatives, very much an idealist. He grew up during the Depression. He understood suffering. He'd experienced it. He was a conservative with a warm heart, which is why many Americans, even those who disagreed with him on many things, came to admire him. His arch-opponent, Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, described him as "a beautiful man." Hayward cautions:
...his belief in America's dynamism was at the core of his optimism, and that dynamism can have profoundly un-conservative effects.
Don't sweat it. Great presidents all have a bit of the opposition in them. Roosevelt the liberal did more to save capitalism than most of its practitioners. Lincoln, who fought the civil war, had "Dixie" played at the White House when victory came.
I am certain that Reagan would have been an enthusiastic supporter of the tea party movement. While the tea partiers confuse the media and annoy the establishments of both political parties, Reagan would have seen them as reviving the embers of what he called the "prairie fire" of populist resistance against centralized big government -- resistance that helped touch off the tax revolt of the 1970s.
And who might be able to tap into the potent brew of the tea party? Right now the leading candidate is undoubtedly Palin, whom Reagan would probably have cheered on and surely would have had no problem voting for should she secure the GOP presidential nomination.
Okay, we can debate that, but hear the man out:
Virtually all the criticisms of Palin -- calling her an anti-intellectual lightweight who can't name a magazine she reads or a founding father she admires -- were lobbed at Reagan before and during his time in the White House, and the critics hailed from both sides of the aisle. The GOP establishment was very uncomfortable with Reagan, even after he'd won two presidential elections in landslides -- and who can forget Clark Clifford's "amiable dunce" label?
But while the parallels between them are evident, it is far from clear that Palin appreciates Reagan's discipline and substantive grand strategy. In many of her speeches and media appearances she tends to ramble on, with none of the crispness and rhetorical force of Reagan's formulas.
I'm afraid that's right.
Wittingly or not, Palin hit the nail on the head in her keynote address at the Tea Party Convention last month: "Let us not get bogged down in the small squabbles; let us get caught up in the big ideas. To do so would be a fitting tribute to Ronald Reagan." Meaningful limits on the size of government is one such idea, and it offers a substantive opening for Palin and other would-be heirs to Reagan. To pull it off, one thing above all is required: Do your homework. Reagan did his.
COMMENT: We tend to forget how controversial Reagan was, even within his own party. When he was nominated in 1980, many Republicans urged him to take former President Gerald Ford as his vice president, and pledge a "co-presidency." It was an absurd idea, but it reflected the establishment's uneasiness with Reagan.
In 2012, Republicans have a shot at the White House. But Barack Obama, if he runs again, may well be much more difficult to defeat than was Jimmah Carter in 1980. Carter was an unpleasant man, a scold. It was hard to think of anyone marrying him.
Try to read Hayward's entire piece. The man makes a lot of sense.
March 7, 2010 Permalink
OH, COME ON – AT 8:07 P.M. ET: Wow. Here's a real case of the pot calling the kettle black, or of color, or whatever you prefer. From, yes, Al-Jazeerah:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, today expressed concern about the reported rise in the number of anti-government and anti-immigrant extremist groups during the past year.
[Become a Fan of CAIR on Facebook.]
CAIR cited a report released today by the respected Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That report, titled "Rage on the Right," states in part:
"Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called 'Patriot' groups -- militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose 'one-world government' on liberty-loving Americans -- came roaring back after years out of the limelight... The 'tea parties' and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism."
SEE: Rage on the Right -- The Year in Hate and Extremism Anti-Government Groups Show Surge, Watchdog Warns (AOL News)
"American Muslims are concerned that groups expressing extremist anti-immigrant and anti-government views are the same ones that promote anti-Muslim bigotry," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Whenever extremism of any kind flourishes, all those who seek to preserve our nation's cherished values of tolerance and inclusion must speak out."
COMMENT: Look, no sane person wants to see the rise of extremist militia groups, no matter what side they're on. And there is reason for concern, although the Southern Poverty Law Center has a very definite leftist point of view, and its reports require verification.
But CAIR might put its own house in order first. Too many people who've been associated with CAIR have, in the view of many expert observers, troubling backgrounds.
March 7, 2010 Permalink
WRONG GUY – AT 7:57 P.M. ET: No Oscar tonight for Pakistani media:
An "important Taliban militant" was arrested today in Pakistan. But that is where the confusion started.
Earlier it was reported by Pakistani media that intelligence agents had arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al Qaeda, in an operation in the southern city of Karachi.
It was further reported by the Associated Press and Reuters that Gadahn had been arrested, sourcing security officials.
We wondered about it. The first story we posted this morning had Gadahn praising the Fort Hood shooter.
CBS News was told by sources in the Pakistan government that it was Gadahn, even after U.S. officials refused to confirm it was the California native for whom a $1 million reward has been posted.
Now, CBS News' Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad writes that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact "a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya."
The official said evidence compiled from an interrogation of the suspect and information exchanged with U.S. officials verified the man's identify.
COMMENT: Capturing Gadahn would have been a real coup. It also would have presented the Obama administration with a dilemma. Gadahn has been charged in absentia with treason, the first American so charged in decades. Would the Obamans have seen the case through on a treason charge, which could prove explosive to its leftist supporters and some of the leftists brought into the Justice Department by Eric Holder? We'll apparently have to wait for the answer.
March 7, 2010 Permalink
WHAT A RELIEF – AT 7:49 P.M. ET: It's Oscar night. I actually thought I'd feel obligated to watch the Oscars. What a miserable prospect. What a bore.
But I've been saved, o yea! We live in the area of New York served by Cablevision, which also provides the internet connection for Urgent Agenda. Cablevision and ABC have been in a contract dispute, and, just last night, ABC pulled its signal from Cablevision. No ABC, no Oscars. There is great agitation throughout this area. But not in front of my TV. I am saved, I am saved.
Imagine the satisfaction of tuning to ABC and getting a message from Cablevision explaining its woes, and urging viewers to flood ABC with complaints.
And so, for best performance in providing audience relief, the Oscar goes to...Cablevision. I'm sure their board of directors will thank the academy.
March 7, 2010 Permalink
IS THE PRESIDENT SELF-DESTRUCTIVE? – AT 12:40 P.M. ET: People ask why Obama is trying to push through an unpopular health-care bill, possibly committing political suicide. Mark Steyn, in a superb analysis, has a very persuasive answer:
Why is he doing this? Why let "health" "care" "reform" stagger on like the rotting husk in a low-grade creature feature who refuses to stay dead no matter how many stakes you pound through his chest?
Because it's worth it. Big time. I've been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally "conservative" parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (Let's not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a "conservative").
The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.
Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever-expanding number of government jobs will be statists – sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily "compassionate" statists, but always statists. The short history of the post-war welfare state is that you don't need a president-for-life if you've got a bureaucracy-for-life.
...government health care is not about health care, it's about government. Once you look at it that way, what the Dems are doing makes perfect sense. For them.
COMMENT: Steyn is right. Put the structure in place, especially a structure that people come to depend on, and it's almost impossible to remove that structure.
The Democratic Party is far to the left of where it was decades ago. It has a dream of an even larger government. It has a dream of a "bad" United States being curtailed internationally. Both those dreams may be realized unless this train can be stopped.
March 7, 2010 Permalink
UGLY GUY WANTED – AT 10:52 A.M. ET: Tony Harnden, of London's Telegraph, looking ahead to 2012, prescribes the kind of president he thinks America may want:
You could call it the revenge of the ugly white guys. After electing a handsome sleek, biracial - and untested - man as President last time, Americans may well be ready for something entirely different in 2012.
Remember that you heard it here first: make way for the short, pudgy, balding white fellow who's been there and got the scars - and the results - to prove it.
In many respects, Barack Obama was the ultimate candidate for the television age. He looked fantastic and sounded wonderful. He soared above politics and made people feel better about themselves.
Ability to get things done? Track record? Such petty considerations seemed beside the point in 2008 for Obama was the very culmination of history. It was almost as if the then Senator for Illinois symbolised the end of politics, the point at which the perfect candidate drew a line under grubby partisanship.
Now, Americans have woken up from that dream and are living with the hangover. Neither history nor politics ended when Obama's ascended to the Oval Office.
Very well stated. And whom does Harnden have in mind?
Mitch Daniels, described by the "Washington Post" as Indiana's "diminutive governor" sports what looks suspiciously like a combover...
... Daniels has been a quiet star, securing bipartisan support for a Healthy Indiana programme Indiana that provides health insurance for blue collar workers, cutting property taxes and turning an $800 billion deficit into a surplus.
I'm going to a Hudson New York lunch with Daniels tomorrow. I'll tell you what I think.
Haley Barbour has more hair than Daniels but isn't much taller and if elected would be the most portly president since William Howard Taft, who occupied the White House from 1909 to 1913.
The Mississippi governor has a certain rumpled panache and Southern charm. I first bumped into him in a casino in his home state - where he later came to personify executive competence as he dealt masterfully with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while neighbouring Louisiana lurched towards catastrophe.
Barbour is a master at politics. Like Mitch Daniels, he's run a successful government, something Barack Obama has never done. He has some political problems, not the least of which is "Mississippi." It's unfair, but that state is still stamped with the "racist" label, even though it has made remarkable racial progress, and has had some fine, modern governors.
But I think Harnden is right. In 2012, Americans might just be looking for a capable, balding guy like Eisenhower instead of another Mr. Excitement. We've had all the excitement we can handle. Besides, Sammy Davis Jr. did it better.
March 7, 2010 Permalink
ANOTHER DYNAMIC SHOW OF WEAKNESS – AT 10:37 A.M. ET: The great Ed Lasky of American Thinker alerts us to a New York Times piece exposing the holes in American policy toward Iran:
The federal government has awarded more than $107 billion in contract payments, grants and other benefits over the past decade to foreign and multinational American companies while they were doing business in Iran, despite Washington’s efforts to discourage investment there, records show.
Here, blame must be directed at both the Bush and Obama administrations.
That includes nearly $15 billion paid to companies that defied American sanctions law by making large investments that helped Iran develop its vast oil and gas reserves.
For years, the United States has been pressing other nations to join its efforts to squeeze the Iranian economy, in hopes of reining in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Now, with the nuclear standoff hardening and Iran rebuffing American diplomatic outreach, the Obama administration is trying to win a tough new round of United Nations sanctions.
But a New York Times analysis of federal records, company reports and other documents shows that both the Obama and Bush administrations have sent mixed messages to the corporate world when it comes to doing business in Iran, rewarding companies whose commercial interests conflict with American security goals.
This is absolutely disgraceful, and cries out for a Congressional investigation. But which liberal Democratic committee chairman will order such a probe?
Many of those companies are enmeshed in the most vital elements of Iran’s economy. More than two-thirds of the government money went to companies doing business in Iran’s energy industry — a huge source of revenue for the Iranian government and a stronghold of the increasingly powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a primary focus of the Obama administration’s proposed sanctions because it oversees Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.
COMMENT: We recall that, before World War II, the United States sold scrap iron to Japan, despite overwhelming evidence of Japan's military buildup. The scrap iron was returned to us in the form of warships, planes, artillery pieces and ammunition.
History doesn't repeat itself, but the psychology of history repeats itself.
March 7, 2010 Permalink
LATEST FROM THE MISUNDERSTOOD FOLKS WITH LEGITIMATE GRIEVANCES – AT 10:28 A.M. ET – From AP:
CAIRO – Al-Qaida's American-born spokesman on Sunday called on Muslims serving in the U.S. armed forces to emulate the Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood.
In a 25-minute video posted on militant Web sites, Adam Gadahn described Maj. Nidal Hasan as a pioneer who should serve as a role model for other Muslims, especially those serving Western militaries.
"Brother Nidal is the ideal role-model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes," he said.
Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki, was dressed in white robes and wearing a white turban as he called for attacks on what he described as "high-value targets."
Gadahn grew up on a goat farm in Riverside County, California, and converted to Islam at a mosque in nearby Orange County.
"You shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that military bases are the only high-value targets in America and the West. On the contrary, there are countless other strategic places, institutions and installations which, by striking, the Muslim can do major damage," he said, an assault rifle leaning up against a wall next to him.
COMMENT: Please remember this story the next time some "commentator" tells you that Hasan's attack had nothing to do with his beliefs, that he was simply "stressed."
March 7, 2010 Permalink
SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2010
FASHION COMMENTARY FROM HUGO CHAVEZ – AT 6:18 P.M. ET: Mr. Chavez, of late the dictator of Venezuela, is making his usual astute observations:
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez mocked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday as a "blond" version of her predecessor, and said a row with Spain over alleged links with rebel groups was over.
Visiting Latin America this week, Clinton said the Obama administration's policies towards the region were helping blunt the criticism of the United States by leftist leaders like Chavez.
Not so fast, Hil.
"To me, she's like Condoleezza Rice ... a blond Condoleezza," said the Venezuelan, referring to former U.S. president George W. Bush's secretary of state, with whom he exchanged frequent harsh words at long-distance.
Citing comments by Clinton in Brazil, Chavez said she was proving to be equally aggressive. "She comes to Brazil to provoke us, to try and divide us from our brothers."
COMMENT: So Hillary is a blond Condoleezza. Nothing like a little sexism from the representative of the downtrodden masses. We await denunciations from American "feminist" groups. I suspect we'll be waiting a long time. The "feminist" groups have now fallen in line as part of the Marxist left. No criticism of Chavez is tolerated.
And once again we see the failure of Obama's foreign policy. The leftist Dems think that by spinning some sweet talk, thugs change. They don't. They just get bolder, knowing they are dealing with weakness.
March 6, 2010 Permalink
TERRORISTS DEALING WITH THEIR OWN TERRORISTS – AT 5:54 P.M. ET: If this weren't so serious, it would be hilarious. From Fox:
Hamas -- the Palestinian militant group whose history of violence toward Israel landed it on the United States' terror list -- seems to be dealing with its own terrorism problem.
The commander of Hamas' armed wing recently penned an urgent letter to Hamas leadership in Damascus lamenting what he called Hamas's "deteriorating" authority in the Gaza Strip.
In the dispatch, Ahmed Ja’abri claims that Hamas is losing control over the territory, according to reports by London-based Arab-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat quoted by the Jerusalem Post.
"Several worrisome explosions recently occurred in Gaza, security anarchy is extensive, and al-Kassam men are being killed," Ja'abri said in the letter, according to reports.
The letter comes after a series of assassinations and explosions near the offices of senior Hamas military commanders and of Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, according to the Jerusalem Post. No individual or group has taken credit for the attacks.
Hamas leadership in Gaza alleges that radical "jihadi" Islamist movements are to blame for the bombings, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports.
COMMENT: Huh? Radical jihadi movements are to blame? Isn't Hamas a radical jihadi movement?
The political left will go crazy over this. What is the "root cause" of jihadi violence against a violent jihadi group? Of course, we know, don't we? It's BUSH (!!). He's the one. If it weren't for BUSH (!!), Hamas would just be one harmonious brotherhood of armed killers.
Naturally, the European Union and other serious bureaucrats will insist that Israel deal seriously with Hamas, even though Hamas can't even control the grocery store at the end of the block.
March 6, 2010 Permalink
WHOOPS – AT 12:02 P.M. ET: We've written here of our doubts about Mitt Romney as the 2012 GOP nominee for president. He's a fine man, and has a reputation for competence. But at times he has a tin ear. He sometimes sounds too much like the corporate Republicans of the past, a bit too close to big business to form a real bond with the public.
Romney recently listed his complaints about the Obama administration's economic policy. Most were entirely legitimate, and to the point. But then he complained that the administration wanted to regulate "executive pay." Now, he may well be right about that, but if he thinks that defending the pay of executives who take eight or ten million dollars in "compensation" from a failing company will endear him to the public, he needs come counseling. Hasn't he noticed the growing resentment of Americans, across the political spectrum, to some of these Wall Street "executives" who couldn't manage their own kitchens, yet take enormous "bonuses" for Lord knows what.
Now Romney has done it again:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Potential Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama on Friday for his recent attacks on health insurance companies.
Obama has argued this week for congressional passage of a healthcare overhaul by pointing to rate increases by insurance companies that have made insurance unaffordable for many people...
...Romney, who is contemplating a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, said in remarks at the National Press Club that the problems within the U.S. healthcare system are more complicated than simply zeroing in on the insurance industry.
"Gosh, how disappointing it was to see the president take on the health insurance companies, as if the reason that healthcare is expensive in America is because of the insurance companies," Romney said.
"I'm sure there are some insurance companies that deserve blame and we can find them out and point them out," he said. "But this is an issue that is broader than trying to punish some scapegoat."
COMMENT: Again, Romney may, in the strictest sense, be right. But defending insurance companies isn't exactly a winning issue. Americans generally dislike health-insurance companies, in some cases quite intensely. And some of the companies have earned their contempt. There is general agreement, regardless of party, that they have to be required to meet higher standards.
If Romney continues providing these sound bites for his opponents, he'll be crisper than toast.
March 6, 2010 Permalink
ANOTHER DISGRACE, ABSOLUTELY – AT 10:44 A.M. ET: While the world gets more threatening, and Iran prepares to go nuclear, our president insists on a 1960s-style, leftist approach to our own nuclear weapons, putting him in a direct confrontation with the nation's military leaders and his own secretary of defense. From The Politico:
President Barack Obama has been clear. He wants no new nukes.
Pentagon chief Robert Gates has been equally direct, advocating in recent years for a new generation of warheads.
And nearly 14 months into their bipartisan-tinged partnership, Obama and Gates haven’t publicly reconciled their views. Some anti-nuclear activists suspect the pair still don’t see completely eye-to-eye and that Gates has never fully abandoned his goal of refurbishing the American nuclear arsenal with new weapons.
Now, the administration is on the verge of releasing a major nuclear policy review that could call attention to this disagreement between the Democratic president and his holdover Defense Secretary – just in time for a nuclear safety summit Obama is hosting for heads of state next month in Washington.
“Quite clearly,” said Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, “the secretary has been stating he sees a need for replacement warheads and new designs, and I’m not sure those are the words the president would want to use at this stage in the process.”
The Obama administration is acutely aware of perceptions that the Nuclear Posture Review has divided senior officials—with Vice President Joe Biden viewed as heading up an arms-control focused camp, and Gates perceived as speaking for a military and nuclear establishment that favors more funding and new weapons programs.
COMMENT: The mainstream media isn't much interested in this story, reflecting its ideological biases. But it's one of the most important stories of our day. The United States is the only nuclear power not to fully upgrade its nuclear weapons. We need a new generation of warheads – reliable and modern – and utterly convincing in its deterrent effect. But the left wing of the Democratic Party is adamantly against this, and that's where Obama resides.
The president has approved some upgrading of our nuclear weapons, but the military feels it needs a new generation. The military is right. We risk an enormous amount if enemies have any question about the reliability of our deterrent arsenal.
March 6, 2010 Permalink
WHILE WE APPEASE HIM – AT 10:31 A.M. ET: The president of the soon-to-be nuclear-equipped Iran expresses the views that make us wonder what an Iran with nuclear weapons would actually do:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday called the September 11 attacks on the United States a "big fabrication" that was used to justify the U.S. war on terrorism, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Ahmadinejad, who often rails against the West and Israel, made the comment in a meeting with Intelligence Ministry personnel.
It came amid escalating tension in the long-running dispute between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear program, with the United States pushing for new U.N. sanctions against the major oil producer.
Ahmadinejad described the destruction of the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001 as a "complicated intelligence scenario and act," IRNA reported.
He added: "The September 11 incident was a big fabrication as a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan." He did not elaborate.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the hijacked airliner attacks on New York and Washington, which were carried out by al Qaeda operatives.
In January, Ahmadinejad termed the September 11 attacks "suspicious" and accused the West of seeking to dominate the Middle East.
COMMENT: So he's a 9-11 "truther" as well. Maybe he can invite some of the nuts from the United States, and they can have a convention.
What is remarkable is that the Obaman "outreach" to Iran has had no effect at all. It hasn't even been acknowledged. Think of the world five years down the line, especially if Obama is still in power.
The defeat of Obama in 2012, just two years away, has got to become the major political priority.
March 6, 2010 Permalink
WHAT AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE – AT 10:17 A.M. ET: American policy toward Iran has essentially collapsed. The headline on the story reads: WEST DRAFTS WEAKENED IRAN SANCTIONS. This is the result of more than one year of "engagement" by Barack Obama:
Western countries, under pressure from Russia and China, drafted a blueprint for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran which would not tighten the ban on trade between Western banks and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Israel Radio reported overnight Friday.
Diplomats at the United Nations were quoted as saying that the United States, Britain, France and Germany accepted Russia’s proposal that the West only ban trading with newly-established Iranian banks, and not increase existing trade limitations with the CBI.
China holds a position similar to Russia’s.
The new UN draft for sanctions against Iran would not put the Islamic republic in a black list of countries obligating all member states to avoid trade with the country, but does allow smaller entities, like the US or the entire bloc of European Union member countries, to implement their own sanctions.
Russia proposed that oversight on trade with Iran be made according to a similar model as current global trade with North Korea.
Additionally, Russia opposes a full weapons embargo against Iran.
A Moscow official was quoted by Israel Radio as saying that the deal to supply Iran with the S-300 anti-missile defense system would go ahead. During a recent visit by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the country, Moscow promised not to implement a deal to sell the system after Netanyahu convinced the Russians that such a move would destabilize the region.
COMMENT: We have gotten absolutely nowhere with Iran, and trying to get Hillary Clinton's promised "crippling" sanctions through the UN has proved fruitless.
I suspect we're being laughed at in Tehran, and a few other places as well. This is the fruit of a left-wing Democratic foreign policy. Harry Truman must be turning in his grave.
Question: When will Hillary Clinton realize she's on a doomed mission, and leave, before she's consumed by the failure? Or does she, a child of the sixties, secretly believe in this absurdity?
March 6, 2010 Permalink