Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Obama may be Ensnared in the Clinton Email Scandal - Jonathan Keiler

by Jonathan Keiler

The very real possibility that Clinton has now enmeshed the President into her scandalous intrigues, with serious constitutional implications.

Perhaps President Obama’s involvement is the reason that the FBI has not yet referred charges to the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case.  It may be metastasizing so quickly and so dangerously that not only are agents and lawyers within the agency having trouble keeping up with new evidence of wrongdoing, but that the scandal itself now threatens a constitutional crisis.  The Department of State’s refusal to release 18 emails exchanged between President Obama and Clinton through her unsecured home server at best creates a conflict of interest for Obama (as explained by Andrew McCarthy here) while at worst it raises the likelihood that the President has run afoul of national security laws and ought to be impeached.    

I always assumed that somewhere in the 55,000 plus pages of email that Clinton belatedly turned over to the State Department there must have been exchanges with the President.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in March 2015 that the two occasionally emailed each other without specifying whether the emails went through Hillary’s private email. Earnest also said that Obama did not look at email addresses, though the President was aware that Clinton sometimes used private email. (Obama had originally said he learned about the private email through new reports -- a typical Obama story -- but backtracked later.)  And remember in March, the only admitted concern was whether Clinton had complied with the Federal Records Act. 

The more recent State action evidently concerns 18 specific emails that were sent/received over Clinton’s home server.  It seems quite likely that in the eighteen emails classified information was discussed as conceived under federal statutes, and as McCarthy points out, one of Obama’s own executive orders regarding dissemination of foreign intelligence. That includes conversations with foreign officials and leaders that are what you would expect the Secretary of State to discuss with the President, and which are born classified.   State Department spokesman John Kirby did not deny that these emails contain classified information, but rather only stated that that they “have not been determined to be classified,” claiming that they are being withheld because of concerns over confidentiality between the President and his aides.  But again, if Obama and Clinton were not discussing foreign leaders and policy, then what on earth were they emailing each other about?

The White House tried to block the release of emails between Obama and Clinton last fall, with the same claim, denying that they were asserting executive privilege but rather maintaining confidentiality between the president and his top aides.  Presumably, these 18 emails are these very same ones.  The White House has gotten around using executive privilege to hide the emails by having State block court-ordered FOIA production on these vague confidentiality grounds.  McCarthy says that this is a backhanded way of asserting executive privilege and effectively classifying the documents without saying so, since otherwise Obama’s transgressions might be obvious.  It is hard to argue with that conclusion.  Moreover, State’s action (clearly at Obama’s behest) is circumstantial evidence that the information contained within the emails is indeed classified -- born classified -- and thus subject to security protocols whether marked or not, which both Obama and Clinton violated.   And circumstantial evidence is as probative of guilt as direct evidence if a jury (or the Senate) chooses to believe it. 

Obama’s claim of “confidentiality” might circumvent the FOIA production order (with State’s connivance) but there is another issue pressing.  There is no reason that the FBI should not have access to the Obama/Clinton emails.  It is part of the executive branch, and its investigation is confidential, so FBI agents and lawyers should be allowed to review the email exchange.  Have the emails been turned over to the FBI?  If the FBI requests the emails, and the White House refuses to turn them over, what conclusion could be drawn other than that they somehow incriminate the President, since the FBI already has thousands of similar emails on Hillary? 

Beneath all Clinton’s implausible denials and claims of right wing persecution, behind Josh Earnest’s improper insistence that nothing really serious is going on at the FBI, is the very real possibility that Clinton has now enmeshed the President into her scandalous intrigues, with serious constitutional implications.  Obama cannot ethically continue to preside over this investigation (which, effectively, he does as the chief executive.)   But removing himself would require Obama to actually care about the ethics of the matter, and secondly potentially expose himself to criminal liability.   The situation is quite akin to the Watergate scandal at this point, in that government officials have hidden or erased potentially damaging documents, and the President effectively presides over investigations that could subject him, aides, and former aides, to criminal liability. 

FBI Director James Comey appears to long have had sufficient evidence to charge Clinton, but seemingly has so far been stayed by countervailing influences.  On the one hand there are obvious political concerns and pressures.   On the other is a continuing flow of evidence against Clinton that only makes the case against her stronger.  But the Obama emails now complicate the case to an extraordinary degree.  Does Comey have them, and if not, has he demanded them?  If Obama refuses, then the President is effectively hiding probative evidence. 

If Comey were to get the emails, and they did contain born classified information (as is likely) it would be difficult for Comey to proceed against Clinton without implicating Obama.  Almost certainly, the Obama Justice Department would never pursue a prosecution that exposed him to criminal liability.

If Obama were a man who could actually admit a mistake, and also one that legitimately cared for his country, he would cut the Gordian Knot on this brewing crisis by releasing his email exchanges with Clinton -- redacted as necessary -- taking a mea culpa for being caught up in Hillary’s malfeasance, and throw her under the bus, which is something he does well.   There likely would be little appetite in the country for impeachment; Obama might actually earn some credit for doing the right thing, and the Democrats would be rid of a problematic and probably unelectable candidate.

That would put the Democrats into crisis mode, made worse perhaps, by the very real possibility that Vice-President Biden is also exposed to the scandal and thus might not be ready to step in.  This might be part of the reason Biden -- with Obama’s evident approval -- declined to enter the race in the first place.

Since Obama is unlikely to take such a step, the only other way to achieve a semblance of justice might be through Congressional action.  Obama would then have to formally invoke executive privilege to hide the emails, which would strongly echo Nixonian tactics and be politically damaging, though Republicans would be at risk too.  Hillary would certainly claim that Congressional hearings prove the whole affair is political after all, and the Democrats would try to stymie matters and use the mainstream media to vilify Republicans as they always do.     

All this makes FBI Director Comey’s situation increasingly untenable.  He knows now that there is no way Attorney General Loretta Lynch can fairly and properly evaluate the evidence his agents are fast compiling.  If he continues to hesitate, due to political pressure or in hopes of building the perfect case, the situation will fester and worsen.  If Comey is really the stand-up guy that many say, he will act soon, in order to force the hands of Lynch and Obama, put Hillary in the legal peril that she has earned, and Obama in jeopardy too if that is where the evidence leads.  In the probable event the administration does nothing or pushes back against an FBI referral, Comey will have to resign, and Congress will have to act.

Jonathan Keiler

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/02/obama_may_be_ensnared_in_the_clinton_email_scandal.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Palestinians quote UN's Ban to justify terror - Shimon Cohen

by Shimon Cohen

Danon demands UN head retract his 'two categories' of terror, after Fatah spokesman cites 'natural response' praising Hadar Cohen's murder.

Rafat Alian, the Jerusalem spokesperson of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, cited UN Director-General Ban Ki-Moon in justifying the attack on the Old City's Damascus Gate in which Hadar Cohen was murdered.

In the attack last Wednesday three Arab terrorists shot dead Cohen and wounded another female Border Police officer, but due to their brave response, the terrorists - who were armed with automatic weapons, knives and explosives - were prevented from conducting a large-scale attack.

Alian said the "occupation" of the "Palestinian nation" demands a "natural response" - in a direct quote from Ban, who two weeks ago caused outrage by sympathizing with Palestinian terror and saying, "it is human nature to react to occupation." 

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon wrote an official letter to Ban, demanding that he take back his statements that grant legitimacy to terrorism in Israel.

"Palestinian terror is using your words as justification for its actions," wrote Danon, citing Alian's words.

"Your words have created two categories of terror - against Israel and against the rest of the world."

Addressing Cohen's murder, Danon noted that the brave 19-year-old prevented a much greater attack on Israel's capital city by confronting the terrorists.

"Since when is it the UN's role to find justifications for terror? Since when does the UN create two categories for terror and victims? I call on you to take back your statements and say clearly that there is no justification for the bloodshed of Israeli victims," wrote Danon.

Ban's statements have raised ire in Israel and among the wider Jewish community. On Saturday he was scheduled to speak at Park East Synagogue in New York City for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but while speaking there he was booed over his recent justification of Palestinian terror.

Shimon Cohen

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/207691#.VrkFROazdds

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Real Cost of Nuclear Deterrence - Peter Huessy

by Peter Huessy

  • North Korea used both the Agreed Framework and the NPT as camouflage to cheat and proceed with its covert nuclear weapons program. Nuclear weapons are apparently an integral part of North Korea's strategy eventually to reunify the Korean peninsula under North Korean communist rule.
  • According to Hwang Jang-Yop, highest-ranking North Korean defector in history, North Korea's goal is to remove American military forces from South Korea. Once that withdrawal is achieved, the North would use its nuclear arsenal to deter Japan and the U.S. and prevent these two key South Korean allies from coming to the defense of the South once the North invades it.
  • Arms control, since the height of the Cold War, has cut both the U.S. and Russian strategic deployed arsenals by nearly 90% and thus can hardly be described as part of any "arms race" that might have compelled North Korea to build nuclear weapons.
  • The idea that the U.S. deciding to replace aging nuclear systems, some half-century after the last modernization, is somehow perpetuating an "arms race" is without foundation.

"Military critics" are already anticipating how to disembowel critical elements of the U.S. military -- especially its aging nuclear deterrent -- when the defense budget will be unveiled by the administration and sent to Congress February 9, 2016. In two recent essays, for instance, Gordon Adams, previously at the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration, and Lawrence Korb, at the Center for American Progress, are both calling for dismantling the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

Korb has long claimed that nuclear deterrence itself is obsolete. He blames U.S. nuclear modernization plans for providing an excuse for North Korea to test and build nuclear weapons of their own. It is an echo of Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick's 1984 warning that when things go wrong in the world, many critics of American policy will "always blame America first."

Korb complains that twenty years ago the U.S. Senate failed to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. And that fifteen years ago, the U.S. withdrew from the ABM treaty with the former USSR. These two actions, claims Korb, were responsible for providing the North Korea regime an incentive to test and build nuclear weapons. Any further nuclear modernization by America, claims Korb, will similarly force North Korea into more testing of nuclear weapons and building a bigger nuclear arsenal.

Adams, on the other hand, simply calls for the U.S. unilaterally to dismantle most of its nuclear deterrent. He proposes that the U.S. eliminate all land-based Minuteman missiles, take the strategic bombers out of their nuclear role and build only eight of the projected twelve nuclear submarines the U.S. is planning to acquire.

The nuclear arsenal of the U.S. would then shrink then from more than 500 separate launch platforms to fewer than ten – a low number the U.S. arsenal has never before reached except at the very end of World War II when the U.S. had exclusive possession of such weapons.

Both Adams and Korb propose such massive cuts because they believe the United States is pursuing an aggressive nuclear "arms race"— in their view unnecessary and much too expensive.

What is wrong with this picture? Just about all of it.

Korb sounds as if he is living in a fantasy world if his own making. First of all, North Korea started to build its nuclear arsenal as far back as the early 1990s, when the U.S. was still a party to the ABM Treaty and had announced a ban on any further nuclear testing. The only nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula since the end of the Cold War are North Korean weapons.

As for the U.S. pursuing an "arms race" or "build-up," in 1991, the U.S. and the USSR announced the START I treaty, which cut their deployed nuclear arsenals dramatically to no more than 6000 warheads. Ballistic missile warheads were cut as well by 50%.

At the same time, the United States made two key decisions: to delay--unfortunately-- much needed nuclear modernization programs; and to accelerate the nuclear reductions required by the START I treaty.[1] In short, just as the United States was building down, North Korea was building up.

There is thus no basis to Korb's charge that the North Koreans started building nukes in the 1990s to follow in the U.S.'s footsteps.

And even more surreal is Korb's claim that North Korea can be excused for building offensive nuclear missiles in response to U.S. non-nuclear missile-defense interceptors. The U.S. first deployed these in 2004 -- long after North Korea built its first nuclear weapons.

Just think: North Korea is building offensive nuclear missiles armed with real nuclear warheads. The United States is building—in response-- non-nuclear ballistic missile interceptors to protect America and its allies from explicit North Korean nuclear missile threats. In Korb's view, the U.S "arms control" credibility does not meet North Korea's standards; as a result, North Korea is excused for its nuclear arms building.

Ironically, contrary to Korb's assertion, the United States in the 1990s did all the things Korb now says should have caused North Korea not to pursue nuclear weapons. The U.S. stopped nuclear testing; it largely put on hold the modernization of its nuclear forces, and it pursued nuclear weapons arms control and dramatically reduced its arsenal. Not until 2004, long after the North started building its nuclear arsenal, did the U.S. deploy a single missile defense interceptor to protect the continental United States.[2]

From the beginning, North Korea cheated on its 1994 Agreed Framework agreement with the U.S. in which it guaranteed not to build any nuclear weapons. In addition, North Korea was also a signatory to the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) under which all non-nuclear states pledged not to build nuclear weapons. That makes two broken guarantees.

What Korb ignores is that North Korea used both the Agreed Framework and the NPT as camouflage to cheat and proceed with its covert nuclear weapons program all the while pretending to be nuclear weapons free. Nuclear weapons, apparently, are an integral part of North Korea's strategy eventually to reunify the Korean peninsula under North Korean communist rule.

How do we know that?

Hwang Jang-Yop, the highest-ranking North Korean defector in history, was the personal tutor and assistant to North Korea's ruler, Kim Jong-Il. He was also Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly. His defection in 1997 was a huge blow to the North. The South, upon his death in 2010 at the age of 87, made his birthday a national holiday.[3]

As he told retired USAF General Michael Dunn, the past President of the National Defense University and the Air Force Association, North Korea's goal is to remove American military forces from South Korea. Once that withdrawal is achieved, the North would hold at risk Japan and the United States with its nuclear arsenal and prevent these two key South Korean allies from coming to the defense of the South once the North invaded militarily. In short, North Korea's nuclear arsenal was to trump America's conventional military capability, and had nothing to do with America's nuclear arsenal.

Kim Jong Un, the "Supreme Leader" of North Korea, supervises the April 22 test-launch of a missile from a submerged platform. (Image source: KCNA)

Though Adams does not blame America for North Korea's nuclear recklessness, his proposed cuts to America's nuclear arsenal would cause serious instabilities in the nuclear balance between the United States and its nuclear-armed adversaries. It would also signal to U.S. our allies--such as South Korea and Japan-- that the U.S. extended nuclear umbrella under which they are protected may no longer be part of U.S. policy. This information, in turn, will probably propel U.S. allies to build their own nuclear arsenals -- worsening even further nuclear tensions and instabilities.

A key part of both the arguments of Adams and Korb and is the assumption that the U.S. is planning to spend nearly $350 billion over the next decade and a trillion dollars over the next three decades on nuclear modernization. Given such huge planned expenditures, Adams proposes to save roughly $200 billion by eliminating two-thirds of America's nuclear deterrent. Korb says the U.S. is spending too much, and has previously supported similar cuts.

Is the U.S. planning to spend $350 billion over the next decade and $1 trillion between now and 2045 on nuclear modernization? Currently the United States spends $25 billion on its nuclear enterprise, and by the middle of next decade this bill will rise to $30+ billion as the U.S. begins to build a new nuclear-capable bomber; new land-based missiles to modernize the Minuteman force of 400 land-silo-based missiles, and 12 replacement submarines for the 14 Trident submarines currently in the fleet.

A fair accounting of the costs of modernizing the nuclear enterprise would come to a total of roughly $270 billion for the next decade. If one excludes the non-nuclear bomber, the costs come down to $230 billion.

Included in the total is also the work of the Department of Energy. The U.S. has to refurbish its nuclear warheads and it is going to reduce the types of warheads it has have from twelve to five, and at the same time modernize and update its command and control system that communicates with its nuclear forces. Both are essential to maintaining deterrence.

No matter how you slice it, the entire nuclear enterprise—the platforms, the energy department and the command and control-- will cost at its peak level—in 2025—no more than 4% of the Defense Budget or 1/2200ths of the overall Federal budget. At $25 billion now -- rising to $30-2 billion by the middle of next decade -- the nuclear accounts still cannot then average $35 billion a year.

A couple of factors lower this estimate compared to that of Adams and Korb. First, the conventional non-nuclear bomber force will be modernized irrespective of whether the new strategic aircraft is nuclear capable. The "nuclear related" costs of the bomber are in the 3% range of its total cost, according to former top Defense Department official James Miller. Thus, eliminating the nuclear role of the bomber as Adams proposes would save at best some $1.5 billion over the 15-year life of the bomber's acquisition.

As for eliminating the Minuteman force of 400 missiles, the U.S. might at best save $300 million a year in research and development (R&D) costs that were scheduled to be spent to begin building a new ICBM during the next ten years. But closing the three related ICBM missile bases will have considerable costs of up to 40% of the imputed "savings" from cutting R&D for the next decade thus the savings are much lower than Adam's estimates.[4]

What about eliminating four of the planned twelve submarines? This option saves no funding over at least the next three, five-year defense plans: the acquisition of a smaller number of submarines comes at the end of the purchase of submarines and in the 2034-5 time-frame. This means that whatever acquisition savings might be achieved would have to wait for nearly two decades to be realized. If one delays now the planned replacement of the old Trident submarines to save money in the short term, such a move would leave huge gaps in the U.S. nuclear deterrent today: the submarines would go out of service now and not be replaced.

What about other near term savings, such as in the research and development budgets for submarines and bombers? There will be little savings as the R&D costs of acquisition programs do not change with a smaller purchase of submarines, or if the bombers are not nuclear capable[5]: most R&D is all done prior to building the submarines, and almost all bomber-related R&D work is for the conventional force of bombers and not in support of their nuclear role.

Thus Adams's proposals would save almost no money over the near term, but they would increase strategic dangers. For example, the hull life one expects from the current operating submarines when they are replaced will be greater than any other submarine in our nation's history. With a longer deployment, the U.S. risks a catastrophic technical failure that might jeopardize the entire U.S. nuclear deterrent, resting as it would on the submarines alone.

What about the impact on the strategic balance and deterrence of going to a submarine-only nuclear deterrent, as Adams proposes?[6]

That would entail putting all of America's nuclear eggs in one nuclear basket. The U.S. would be assuming that while the air and land have become increasingly transparent to surveillance, for some reason the oceans would remain opaque and thus U.S. submarines would remain undetectable for their entire four-decade deployment, an assumption Adams makes. That is a reckless bet to make, especially when the very survival of the United States is at stake.

Furthermore, the reduced submarine force would, for logistical reasons, be able to be deployed only in one ocean—either the Atlantic or Pacific, but not both.

This requires some further explanation. The Navy has repeatedly emphasized that the number of submarines—12— the U.S. is buying for the future is critical to ensure that enough submarines are at sea on alert, and are therefore available to provide sufficient deterrent capability against America's principal nuclear adversaries.

But reducing the number of submarines to 8 as Adams proposes would also significantly reduce not only the number of submarines but also the number of missiles available to deliver a retaliatory strike.

For example, 12 boats with 192 missiles with nearly 800 warheads can hit far more targets than 8 boats with 124 missiles and 800 warheads. To hold at risk all important Russian and Chinese targets, the U.S. would have to keep submarines in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as it does today.

Limiting the submarine force to one ocean would eliminate our ability to cover significant targets in both countries thus lessening deterrence of both China and Russia and pushing us to concentrate on holding at risk targets either in one country or the other.

Thus, deterring either China or Russia would have to be taken off the table: the U.S. could not hold all the key military assets at risk for each country necessary to ensure that deterrence would work.

To avoid the problem inherent in so radically reducing the U.S. deterrent, Adams proposes simply to take some of the warheads from the submarines, ICBMs and bombers that would not be built, and add them to the submarines that would be built. This move would require putting the maximum number of 8 warheads possible on each of the 16 missiles aboard each submarine.

But even then the U.S. would not have the same deterrent capability as it does today.

The U.S. would still have roughly 500 fewer warheads overall -- and other serious problems. According to two top former Pentagon nuclear experts with whom the author recently spoke, the extra warheads would so increase the weight of the submarine-launched missiles that it would markedly "cut down on the range of the missile and the patrol area in which each submarine could operate."

As a result, each submarine at sea would have to operate closer to the countries needing to be deterred for the warheads to reach their targets. This limitation would, in turn, reduce the submarine patrol area, thereby making it easier for an adversary to find and destroy the submarines even if the oceans largely remain opaque.[7]

As the range of the missile is circumscribed by the position of the submarine at sea, the missile's warhead load and missile range are tightly interconnected. Doubling the number of warheads as Adams proposes on each missile would be redundant, "only making the rubble bounce." The missile range being compromised with fewer missiles and submarines could not cover as many targets as they can today. As a result, deterrence would be undermined even if one assumes that the submarines would remain survivable.

Adams also makes the additional mistake of assuming that because U.S. land-based missiles are in fixed silos—although spread out over five western states—they are vulnerable to being attacked. Certainly a number of silos could be attacked with incoming enemy warheads. But what would be the point in that all 400 would have to be eliminated to avoid an American retaliatory strike back at the attacker?

Nevertheless, Adams concludes that for the ICBM missiles to be of any use to the United States in a conflict, the missiles would have to be launched by the U.S. early in a crisis to avoid being eliminated by an enemy's first strike. This is known as the "use them or lose them" dilemma.[8] Thus Adams recommends that to avoid that dilemma, just get rid of the ICBMs.

This ICBM vulnerability was a common Cold War assumption and held some validity during the height of the Cold War when the U.S. had roughly 1000 silo based missiles but the Russians had over 10,000 nuclear warheads. In that era, Russia had more than enough warheads to attack all U.S. nuclear assets many times over including America's ICBM silos.

But today, under the New START Treaty signed between Russia and the U.S. in 2010, the Russians have fewer than 2000 deployed strategic warheads capable of reaching United States, one-sixth the number in 1991.

Today, therefore, to take out 400 Minuteman silos and their associated 50 launch-control centers, the Russians would have to launch some 900 missile warheads at the United States assuming they would direct two warheads on each ICBM-related target to ensure the silos' destruction.

To what end would Russia launch such a strike, especially as the remaining U.S. bomber and sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) would allow the U.S. to launch back at Russia in a retaliatory strike?

Such a Russian first strike makes no sense strategically or tactically.

Russia would have to put its forces on alert to have that many warheads ready to strike the U.S. By doing so they would unavoidably warn the U.S. of a possible pending strike: U.S. satellites would see their platforms-weapons being moved into a position to launch. Their submarines would have to go to sea, bombers be put on alert and mobile missiles moved out of garrison. Otherwise the Russians would not have enough warheads in range of the U.S. even to consider a launch capable of taking out all 400 U.S. ICBM missiles and their affiliated launch control senders.

In other words, U.S. land-based missiles are not "vulnerable," and neither are its current and planned nuclear Triad of submarines, land-based missiles, and air force bombers.

Thus cutting the Triad as Adams and Korb have supported would reduce U.S. nuclear assets to a handful, making it easier for adversaries preemptively to attack and get the U.S. out of the nuclear business.

The United States, if anything, has been on a nuclear weapons reductions tear. The Obama administration will cut nuclear warheads from 2200 deployed strategic warheads to 1550-1800 – a limit that also applies to the Russians, under the joint New Start Treaty of 2010. This is even a further reduction from the George W. Bush era when U.S. strategic deployed nuclear weapons were cut under the 2002 Moscow Treaty (just a few short months after the U.S. withdrew from the ABM Treaty). In the 2002 Moscow Treaty between Russia and the U.S., deployed warheads were cut from 6000 to 2200, a 64% reduction. That was on top of the reduction from over 13,000 warheads to the 6000 warhead level under the 1991 START 1 treaty between the US and Russia.[9]

Furthermore, modernizing, sustaining and replacing the projected nuclear force stricture, as now planned, will not add any additional nuclear weapons to the U.S. arsenal. In short, arms control, since the height of the Cold War, has cut both the U.S. and Russian strategic deployed arsenals by nearly 90% and thus can hardly be described as part of any" arms race" that might have compelled North Korea to build nuclear weapons.

Modernization does, however, avoid what Dr. Clark Murdock -- formerly a senior staff member of the House Armed Services Committee and the founder of the Program on Nuclear Initiatives at the Center for Strategic and International Studies -- described as "rusting to obsolescence".[10] This will be the result if the U.S. fails to replace its aging nuclear systems, and it would have a serious impact on America's non-nuclear allies. It would also seriously undermine their confidence in the validity of America's extended nuclear deterrent over them.

Moreover, it is not as if the U.S. had just completed an earlier modernization. The U.S. last started modernization under President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and President Ronald W. Reagan in 1981. America's newest land based ICBMs were last built in 1971; its newest submarine was built in 1991; and its newest B52 was built in 1963. The idea that deciding some half-century after modernization to replace such aging systems is somehow perpetuating an "arms race" is without foundation.

In light of this history, one can thus come up with strong reasons to reject the counsel of Adams and Korb. First, causing strategic instabilities that could easily break down deterrence in order to save less than $1 billion a year for the next 5-10 years is clearly not a wise deal. Second, reducing American nuclear assets to a handful of targets in the face of multiple thousands of Russian nuclear warheads does not even pass the strategic stability smell test, especially given the resulting ratio of Russian warheads (2200) to remaining U.S. nuclear assets (8). The U.S. might as well paint a bulls-eye on our nuclear deterrent and post a sign that says "Come Get Me."

And third, any nuclear strategy that rests on the notion of blaming the United States for starting some nuclear arms race when its deployed strategic nuclear weapons under the past five administrations—including the current one-- have already been reduced nearly 90% is patent nonsense. Even worse, putting all of America's nuclear missiles on nuclear submarines and maximizing their warhead loads would leave the U.S. with a zero near-term capability to upload, while according to a new study by defense expert James Howe Russia could technically expand its modernized nuclear arsenal to 5800 warheads.[11]

It is true, that, as USAF Major General Garret Harencak, formerly responsible for two-thirds of America's nuclear Triad, warned, a Capitol Hill audience on May 13, 2015: The United States with the end of the Cold War went on a protracted "intellectual and procurement nuclear holiday."[12]

The General explained that the U.S. failed to modernize its nuclear deterrent. The U.S. also forgot to update its nuclear policy doctrine.

The U.S. is now remedying the situation under the dual leadership of Secretary of Air Force Deborah James and USAF Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh.

Despite many security disagreements in Washington, the USAF bomber and ICBM force modernizations—as well as the Navy's submarine replacement program—are supported by both this administration and an overwhelming majority in the U.S. Congress. So are the warhead and command and control enhancements needed to upgrade and sustain the nuclear enterprise.

It is important to remember that such a political and military consensus is difficult to achieve on any subject-- let alone the future nuclear deterrent of the United States.

But that consensus it is now in place.

The new deterrent would cost only 4% of the defense budget, a historically low figure and 1/2200th of the overall Federal budget.

Why would one jeopardize that?
Peter Huessy is President of GeoStrategic Analysis of Potomac, Maryland and Senior Defense Consultant to the Mitchell Institute of the Air Force Association and a guest lecture at the US Naval Academy on nuclear deterrent policy and the founder of the 36 year AFA-NDIA-ROA Congressional Breakfast Seminar Series on Nuclear Deterrence, Missile Defense, Arms Control, Proliferation and Defense Policy.

[1] Treaty Between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 31 July, 1994, at www.nti.org; Mark Schneider of the National Institute of Public Policy and a former top nuclear expert in the Department of Defense explained to the author in a number of messages that the U.S. could have deployed as many as 10,000 warheads under START I but adopted reductions way beyond that number, while the Russians, luckily it turned out, also sharply reduced their nuclear arsenal below the START I required levels because they could not afford the cost of the higher number of weapons. He also points out that the U.S., under both START I and the 2002 Moscow Treaty, accelerated and went below the reductions required by treaty law.
[2] See for example the transcripts from the NDUF Breakfast Seminar Series on Nuclear Deterrence for 1993-2000, and available from the author.
[3] Personal conversation with General Michael Dunn, President, National Defense University and President, The Air Force Association, for whom this author worked 2003-06 and 2011-12; Dunn was also Vice Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. in the Department of Defense.
[4] Congressional Studies have concluded that base closure costs consume some 40% of the imputed savings from the base being closed, not including the costs of personnel not finding work.
[5] Research and development costs precede a decision to acquire a weapons systems and generally are a fixed cost irrespective of the number of weapons systems one purchases. Thus stopping production of a defense weapon at say 100 units rather than 200 does not have any impact on the previous R&D expenditures as acquisition costs come after R&D is virtually completed;
[6] See especially Admiral Richard Mies, former Commander, US Strategic Command, in the Spring 2012, Issue No. 48, Undersea Warfare, "The Strategic Deterrence Mission: Ensuring a Strong Foundation for America's Security."
[7] It should be understood that when the D-5 missile leaves the submarine and goes toward its target, it releases its warheads virtually simultaneously. The warheads, when released from the missile "bus" or nose cone, each travel roughly the same distance from the missile. That is the missile "footprint." Adding 4 more warheads to each missile would be superfluous unless there were more targets to be held at risk. But if the missile needed to cover more targets, it would carry that number of warheads to begin with, while the U.S. military commanders would adjust other missile loadings to keep total warheads within the 2010 New Start treaty limits.
[8] During the past 35 years, the author has hosted over 1000 seminars on Capitol Hill on nuclear deterrent issues and especially re the assumed vulnerability of the land-based missile-leg of the nuclear Triad. Many of the speakers, including seven USAF Chiefs of Staff, all former Strategic Air Command and Strategic Command heads, three Vice Presidents, and six Air Force Secretary's as well as dozens of members of Congress all have discussed this critical issue and nearly without exception have explained that the flexibility of the nuclear Triad as a whole makes any large-scale attack on America's three ICBM missile fields in the context of an arms control environment not credible.
[9] May 24, 2002, Treat Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions (The Moscow Treaty).
[10] Clark Murdock, May 12, 2015, Remarks "Defining US Nuclear Strategy and Posture in 2020-2050," AFA-NDIA-ROA Congressional Breakfast Seminar Series, www.afa.org and Huessy's Corner
[11] General Garret Harencak, Remarks at the AFA-NDIA-ROA Breakfast Seminar Series on Nuclear Deterrence; transcript available at www.afa.org
[12] "Exploring the Dichotomy Between New START Treaty Obligations and Russian Actions and Rhetoric", James R. Howe, Vision Centric, Inc. Forthcoming, 17 February, 2016.

Peter Huessy is President of GeoStrategic Analysis of Potomac, Maryland and Senior Defense Consultant to the Mitchell Institute of the Air Force Association and a guest lecture at the US Naval Academy on nuclear deterrent policy and the founder of the 36 year AFA-NDIA-ROA Congressional Breakfast Seminar Series on Nuclear Deterrence, Missile Defense, Arms Control, Proliferation and Defense Policy.

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7375/nuclear-deterrence-cost

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Iran Infiltrates the West Bank - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

  • "The Patient Ones," Al-Sabireen, are seeking Palestinians as a group to become an Iranian proxy in the region, and redoubling efforts to eliminate the "Zionist entity" and replace it with an Islamist empire.
  • Loosed from its sanction-based constrictions, Iran is now free to underwrite terror throughout the region. This is precisely what is happening in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • Iran's infiltration of the West Bank should serve as a red flag not only for Israel, but also for the U.S. and other Western powers. An Israeli pullout, leading to a Hamas takeover of the West Bank, has been a subject of concern. Now, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians are wondering if such a vacuum will provide an opening for Iran.

Emboldened by its nuclear deal with the world powers, Iran is already seeking to enfold in its embracing wings the Arab and Islamic region.

Iran's capacity for intrusions having been starved by years of sanctions. Now, with the lifting of sanctions, Tehran's appetite for encroachment has been newly whetted -- and its bull's-eye is the West Bank.

Iran has, in fact, been meddling for many years in the internal affairs of the greater region. It has been party to the civil wars in Yemen and Syria, and, through the Shiite Muslims living there, continues actively to undermine the stability of many Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

The lives of both the Lebanese and the Palestinians are also subject to the ambitions of Iran, which fills the coffers of groups such as Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.

Until recently, Iran held pride of place as Hamas's primary patron in the Gaza Strip. It was thanks to Iran's support that Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, held hostage nearly two million Palestinians living in the Strip. Moreover, this backing enabled Hamas to smuggle all manner of weapons into the Gaza Strip, including rockets and missiles that were aimed and fired at Israel.

But the honeymoon between Iran and Hamas ended a few years ago, when Hamas refused to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad -- Tehran's major ally in the Middle East -- against the Syrian opposition. Since then, the Iranians, who have lost confidence in their erstwhile Hamas allies, have been searching among the Palestinians for more loyal friends. And they seem to have found them: Al-Sabireen ("the Patient Ones").

Al-Sabireen, Iran's new ally, first popped up in the Gaza Strip, where they recruited hundreds of Palestinians, many of them former members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Palestinian sources report that Al-Sabireen has also succeeded in enlisting many disgruntled Fatah activists who feel betrayed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its president, Mahmoud Abbas. This sense of betrayal is the fruit of the PA's failure to pay salaries to its former loyalists. In addition, anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination in mosques, social media and public rhetoric has radicalized Fatah members and driven them into the open arms of Islamist groups.

The Iranian-backed Al-Sabireen is already a headache for Hamas. The two terror groups share a radical ideology and both seek to destroy Israel. Nonetheless, Al-Sabireen considers Hamas "soft" on Israel because it does not wage daily terror attacks against its citizens. The "Patient Ones" are seeking Palestinians as a group to become an Iranian proxy in the region.

Al-Sabireen's Gaza commander, Ahmed Sharif Al-Sarhi (left), was responsible for a series of shooting attacks on Israel before he was fatally shot in October 2015 by IDF snipers along the border with the Gaza Strip. The Iranians are also believed to have supplied their new terrorist group in the Gaza Strip with Grad and Fajr missiles (right) that are capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

Buoyed by the nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions against Tehran, Al-Sabireen members are feeling optimistic. The group recently described these developments as a "victory" for all Muslims and proof of their "pride and strength." Muslims should now unite, they said, in order to stand up to the "world's arrogance and remove the Zionist entity from the land of Palestine."

Indeed, Al-Sabireen appears to be redoubling its efforts to eliminate the "Zionist entity" and replace it with an Islamist empire. Toward that goal, the group is now seeking to extend its control beyond the Gaza Strip. The lifting of the sanctions against Iran coincided with reports that Al-Sabireen has infiltrated the West Bank, where it is working to establish terror cells to launch attacks against Israel.

According to Palestinian Authority security sources, Al-Sabireen has already located some West Bank Palestinians who were more than happy to join the group's jihad against Jews and Israel.

PA security forces recently uncovered a terror cell belonging to Al-Sabireen in Bethlehem and arrested its five members. The suspects received money from the group's members in the Gaza Strip in order to purchase weapons to attack Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.

Al-Sabireen is not the only Iranian proxy whose eye is on the West Bank. Last month, in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, Israeli security forces uncovered and broke up a terrorist cell commanded by Hezbollah, which was planning suicide bombings and shooting attacks. The Palestinian members of the cell had been taught by Jawed Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, how to carry out suicide bombings, assemble bomb vests, gather intelligence, and set up training camps.

All of this sounds eerily familiar. As it has spread its wings over Al-Sabireen and Hezbollah, Iran has done much the same with its other proxies such as the Houthis in Yemen and members of the Shiite communities in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, all the while fomenting instability and gaining bases of local power.

Loosed from its sanction-based constrictions, Iran is now free to underwrite terror throughout the region. This is precisely what is happening in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Iran's infiltration of the West Bank should serve as a red flag not only for Israel, but also for the U.S. and other Western powers. At the moment, there is little to be done to combat Iran's presence in the Gaza Strip. But Iran on Israel's West Bank doorstep is a flag of a different color.

An Israeli pullout, leading to a Hamas takeover of the West Bank, has been a subject of concern. Now, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians are wondering if such a vacuum will provide an opening for Iran.

The future of the Middle East and Europe would be shockingly different if any Palestinian state were to fall into the hands of Iran's Islamic extremists and their allies.

The Palestinians and all interested parties might remember that Al-Sabireen is -- if nothing else -- patient.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh is an award winning journalist based in Jerusalem.

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7392/iran-west-bank-sabireen

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Next Administration’s Immigration Crisis - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

National security must be much more than a sound bite.

Immigration has finally emerged for the elections and the debates - particularly among the Republican candidates for the presidency.  Donald Trump opened the floodgates about this issue when he talked about building a wall on the U.S./Mexican government and deporting the criminals entering the United States from other countries.  During several debates Senators Cruz and Rubio have come to verbal blows over immigration accusing each other of being weak on immigration.

But immigration must be more that a slogan for a campaign and real solutions must be devised and then implemented.  National security must be much more than a “sound bite”.

However, it is my view that most journalists and most supposedly “scientific” polls continue to suppress any meaningful discussion about immigration and its true significance.  Pollsters and journalists claim the fear of terrorism is usually placed at the top of the list of concerns for Americans, followed by the economy.  Immigration is often characterized as being considerably further down the list of issues Americans want addressed.

Immigration is a critical element in our war against terrorism.

Hiring many more ICE agents and focusing, at least initially on locating and arresting illegal aliens who are citizens of countries that are engaged in terrorism would achieve two important goals- shrink the “haystack” in which the deadly needles are hiding and cultivate informants within that tight-knit community by using our immigration laws as an effect “carrot and stick.”

Although much is being made about supposedly “home grown” terrorists, nearly every terror attack thus far has been carried out by aliens who entered the United States,  Most entered via the lawful admissions process conducted by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) at one of America's 328 ports of entry around the United States- especially through international airports.

A number of terrorists not only entered the United States through ports of entry by committing visa fraud and/or lying to the CBP Inspector, but a significant number of them were granted political asylum.  Some were even granted lawful immigrant status and issued Alien Registration Receipt Cards (Green Cards) and a few had become naturalized United States citizens- generally only months before carrying out terror attacks.

All of these facts notwithstanding, most of the Republican candidates for the presidency have stated that since we cannot deport 11 or 12 million illegal aliens (the actual number is likely twice or three times as great) we must somehow “deal with them” by giving them lawful status while putting them on the back of some mythical “line.”

The truth is that the “line” that these candidates are talking about is a line to citizenship.  Most illegal aliens do not want to be American citizens- they simply want to work and send as much money back to their families back home- wherever “home” is.

The number of illegal aliens who would be process would preclude any in-person interviews or fied [Ed: field?] investigations.  Aliens could easily lie about their identities and backgrounds.  This is a threat to national security.  They could lie about when they actually entered the United States greatly swelling the number of aliens who would be granted lawful status.

While the politicians downplay the actual number of likely illegal aliens they also never mention that if legalized, millions of illegal aliens would have the right to immediately bring in their spouses and minor children.  Think of how many millions of additional aliens would suddenly be admitted into the United States with lawful status- flooding our educational and healthcare systems.

We should be concerned about the growing national debt.  However, when was the last time you heard anyone on any of the news programs talk about the fact that each year more than $200 billion is wired out of the U.S. by foreign workers- both legally and illegally working in the United States?

It is also important to note that generally more aliens who are authorized to work enter the United States than the number of new jobs that are created.

Providing illegal aliens with employment authorization means that they don't have to wait on the back or the front of any line- once granted employment authorization they won't be on any line at all, they will be working, likely displacing desperate American workers and sending their money back home.

Any politician who says we cannot deport all illegal aliens so we must find a way to provide them with lawful status is waving the flag of surrender to international terrorists, transnational criminals and boosting the profits of aliens smugglers by encouraging aspiring illegal aliens from around the world to head for the United States.

While the Republicans claim to be tough on immigration and demonstrate their supposed “toughness” by hiring many more Border Patrol agents they ignore that we can never solve the immigration crisis by simply beefing up the Border Patrol.  Nearly half of all illegal aliens are believed to have entered the United States through the lawful inspections process.  If we had enough Border Patrol agents to hold hands across our northern and southern borders these illegal aliens would not have been stopped from entering the United States.

Let's face reality- aliens will manage to enter the United States intent on violating our laws.
While it is undeniably important to have an adequate number of Border Patrol agents to secure our land borders, the key to effective immigration law enforcement is to have an adequate number of special agents employed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

Today the actual number of these agents is no longer provided by the administration- claiming that this number is a matter of national security.  However, the various official government websites do post the number of CBP inspectors, the number of Border Patrol agents and the number of TSA personnel.

Perhaps my cynicism is showing but I believe that the reason that the number of ICE agents is no longer being released is to keep Americans in the dark.

However, as of 2013 the administration reported that there were approximately 7,000 ICE agents- of whom more than half are assigned to enforcing customs not immigration laws.

To put this number in proper perspective, the TSA has more than 45,000 employees, the Border Patrol has over 20,000 agents and there are roughly as many as many CBP inspectors as Border Patrol agents.

The NYPD has more than 35,000 police officers.

The ICE agents have many missions to perform.  While it is obvious that they should be arresting illegal aliens they also need to focus their attention on many other violations of immigration law and the vulnerabilities these create for the United States.

Immigration fraud was identified by the 9/11 Commission as being of particular concern and represents a critical vulnerability.  Immigration fraud exists in two broad categories- document fraud and immigration fraud schemes.  Document fraud refers to those who produce counterfeit and/or altered identity documents such as passports, drivers' licenses and Social Security cards.  This also refers to supporting documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, diplomas, utility bills, etc.

Fraud schemes include those who engage in marriage fraud or other fraud schemes that enable students to enter the United States or aliens to acquire work-related visas for non-existent jobs.

Fraud schemes often involve United States citizens as well as their alien coconspirators and all involved in such criminal conspiracies should be arrested and prosecuted and those prosecutions should be well-publicized to deter others.

ICE agents need to enforce the employer sanctions laws to identify and punish employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens and to apprehend aliens found working illegally.

ICE agents also must conduct smuggling investigations throughout the United States because often smugglers will bring aliens into the United States through seaports and airports as well as across our northern and southern borders and then transport them around the United States to so-called “safe houses.”  In the late 1970's I was a member of the New York District's first Anti-Smuggling Unit and we did not lack for work!

ICE also furnishes agents to a variety of multi-agency task forces such as the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).  In point of fact, what is generally not recognized is that the number of ICE agents assigned to the JTTF is second only to the FBI.

Many more immigration judges need to be hired and in general, it is vital that a clear message be sent that violations of our borders and our immigration laws will not be rewarded- will not be ignored but will be pursued and pursued vigorously.

We only get one opportunity to make a first impression.  Our immigration laws are generally the first laws citizens of other countries encounter when they seek to enter the United States.  Today the outrageous executive orders of the Obama administration- coupled with statements by politicians from both parties have made it clear that in America today violations of laws are not only ignored and tolerated but rewarded.  This must stop immediately!

Deterrence through effective enforcement is the solution - the only solution.

Michael Cutler

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/261725/next-administrations-immigration-crisis-michael-cutler

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Palestinian “Moderate” Leaders - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

A sober look at words vs. deeds.

When Barack Obama or his shills at the State Department aren’t busy apologizing to the Muslim world for America’s imagined misdeeds or thanking the Iranians for kidnapping our sailors, they’re usually excoriating Israel for “creating obstacles to peace” while the other side – the so-called Palestinians – generally escape criticism. Palestinian Authority incitement and outright anti-Semitism are all but ignored by the Obama administration as is the fact that 6% of the PA’s budget is earmarked toward paying the salaries of convicted terrorists or their families.  Since a substantial portion of that budget is subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer, it places the administration of being in the odd position of being an accessory to terror.

The incidents and examples of Palestinian Authority incitement are too voluminous to note in this piece but there are a few recurring themes. Jews (and sometimes Christians) are routinely referred to as apes, pigs or monkeys. Ancient blood libels accusing Jews of kidnapping Arab children for the purpose of using their blood in preparing Passover Matzah are regurgitated with regularity and lastly, those who engage in terrorism and murder are extolled as heroes or Shahids. They or their families are often rewarded with cash payments or lucrative job opportunities. Some have even had public places named after them.

 Two watchdog groups, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) have done an outstanding job documenting and compiling the data relating to Palestinian incitement and anti-Semitism and their viewing should be mandatory for State Department staff. I doubt that will ever happen under an administration besotted by the concept of tearing Israel’s ancestral and historic heartland away from its people.

The Palestinian Authority is only half the problem. In the south, Israel must contend with the spawn of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas. In the summer of 2014, Israel fought a 50-day war with the terror group and during the course of that conflict, uncovered a vast network of tunnels constructed for the ghoulish purpose of carrying out mass terror attacks and kidnapping.  Some of these tunnels actually targeted kindergartens as well as schools. Incidentally, much of the building material used to construct these tunnels were donated by the EU, the United States or NGOs financed by the West. Since Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and internal controls are virtually non-existent, it was relatively easy for the terror group to divert funds earmarked for civilian use.

The vast tunnel complex was painstaking destroyed by the IDF but Hamas has recently been busy reconstructing the tunnel network at a feverish pace for the next round of hostilities. While Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure lie in ruins and await reconstruction, Hamas has been diverting badly needed construction material for more nefarious purposes, something the EU and US should be cognizant of next time they sign a check earmarked for “Gaza humanitarian aid.”

But Israelis are forgiving and many if not most genuinely desire peaceful relations with the Arabs residing in the disputed territories and favor negotiations to further that lofty goal. A recent poll supports this contention but that same poll also suggests that Israelis remain deeply skeptical that an agreement can be reached and it is not hard to fathom why.

The West somewhat naively divides the Palestinians into two camps – the moderates and the militants – with the Palestinian Authority falling into the former category and Hamas the latter. This simplistic view however, is grossly inaccurate. There are certainly differences to be sure but they are strictly superficial.

Whereas the Palestinian Authority has adopted nuanced language tailor-made to the receiving audience, Hamas is brutally honest about its intentions and its charter leaves no room for doubt – the destruction of Israel and the murder of its Jewish inhabitants. The PLO charter also calls for the destruction of Israel but aspires to a “secular” state where Jew and Muslim can live side-by-side. The big caveat however, is that the privilege extends only those centenarian Jews who settled in Israel before 1917, rendering the difference between the PLO and Hamas charters purely academic.

Palestinian Authority representatives addressing Western audiences generally pay lip service to the Two-State paradigm but it’s an entirely different matter when they’re addressing a Muslim audience.  Consider the following examples.

On January 19, 2016 during an interview with Ma’an News, senior Fatah Central Committee member Tawfik Tirawi noted that the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank was simply a “phase” in the eventual staged conquest of all of Israel. The borders of “Palestine” he explained, stretched “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.”

On April 30, 2013 PA political figure Jibril Rajoub stated that his government would use nuclear weapons against Israel if it had that capability. His precise words were, “I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.” The disturbing but revealing comment was made on Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV. Rajoub, who is President of the Palestine Olympic Committee and serves as Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, is often labeled a “moderate” by Western officials.

In an interview with the Al Jazeera network which aired on September 23, 2011 another ranking Fatah Central Committee member named Abbas Zaki made a rather revealing admission that brings the Palestinian strategy of staged conquest of Israel into sharper focus. He stated that “Everybody knows that the greater goal [of conquering Israel] cannot be accomplished in one go.” The greater goal he noted would be too difficult to accomplish, at least initially but asserted that Israel would eventually collapse once it was forced to cede all of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem. Demonstrating a certain level of nuanced sophistication and keen understanding of Western mentality, he cautioned the Arab masses and political leaders to keep silent about their true intentions implying that broadcasting it would be counter-productive and politically damaging.  “If we say that we want to wipe Israel out… C’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world, keep it to yourself” he said.

These “moderate” PA leaders would never direct such comments to Western audiences but freely remove their muzzles when addressing their fellow kinsmen. Many in the West stubbornly cling to the notion that the Palestinian Authority, unlike its Hamas adversary in Gaza, has moderated its tone and has accepted the Two-State paradigm. Israelis, however, who are forced to bear the burden of Palestinian treachery and are thoroughly familiar with the duplicitous nature of their neighbors, are under no such illusions and will exercise extreme caution before making any future concessions, irrespective of the pressures brought to bear by Barack Obama.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/261727/palestinian-moderate-leaders-ari-lieberman

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.
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