Saturday, December 3, 2016

Iran

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iran

Obama made a deal with Iran that has sent billions of dollars to the country and now they have what they want, they are threatening our safety.

In recent months, Iran has increased their efforts to harass U.S. Navy ships that are patrolling the Persian Gulf.

The aggressive actions are putting lives in danger and backing America into a corner. It looks like Iran wants a fight.

So far this year, Iran has initiated over 31 “unsafe and unprofessional” interactions with our Navy.

Iran ships are charging at the Navy and trying to force some ships off course. There is no doubt that they are becoming increasingly hostile.

Military officials have commented on Iran’s increasing war-like behavior and they agree that the threats are increasing.

Ever since the “ransom” that Obama paid to Iran to release four American’s from Iranian prisons went public, the harassment has increased. Obama has clearly given Iran confidence that we won’t do anything to retaliate.

Republican Senator from New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte had this to say about the increasing threat of Iran.

“Iran’s harassment of a U.S. naval vessel is just the latest example of troubling and unsurprising behavior by the regime following the Obama administration’s parade of serious policy blunders that have emboldened Tehran and invited increased belligerence.”

Iran sure is emboldened, that is for sure.

Since America paid for the release of the four hostages, at least two more Americans have been captured by Iran. Even some of the inspectors that are part of the new Iran deal have been turned away from some of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Tensions are rising all around the globe right now, and it doesn’t look like they are going to slow down any time soon. Mainly because of Obama’s foreign policies.

What do you think about Iran’s actions? Should we be worried? Lt us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Russia

Tensions with Russia are heating up and this week they took a very dangerous step in letting us know they are serious.

A Russian fighter jet flew within ten feet of a U.S. Navy spy plane over the Black sea.

The jet carried out a maneuver called an intercept to harass and redirect the spy plane.

An official spoke on the condition of anonymity about the incident and said that the event lasted roughly 19 minutes.

He also said the maneuver was “unsafe and unprofessional”.

This is just the latest in several aggressions toward our military around the world.

Iran has been doing similar maneuvers with boats in the Persian Gulf.

A situation is escalating with Russia that is hard to deny at this point. Every day, it seems like, the government is telling us that Russia is hacking our systems and threatening our elections.

Now they are actually threatening American lives with such reckless and dangerous military actions.

All of this comes on the heels of a rough meeting between Putin and Obama in China for the G20 summit over last week that sparked a lot of comments on Twitter.

Obama and Hillary Clinton designed a new “Russian Reset” back when Obama first took office.

It is safe to say that no matter how much the Democrats try and tie the Russian problems to Donald Trump, they only have themselves to blame.

What do you think about the actions of Russia and the failed “Russian reset”? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ransom

The Obama Administration did something in January that goes against one of our most sacred rules in dealing with terrorists; he paid a ransom.

Just five days after Iran released our sailors that were captured in January in an embarrassing spectacle, Obama sent $400 million on the same day four other American’s held in Iranian prisons were released.

The Obama administration says the money was part of the Iran deal, but the facts are not adding up.

If the payment was part of the deal, then why did Obama load up wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros and other non-American currencies and fly it to Iran in a unmarked cargo plane in the middle of the night?

John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department tried to explain the payment.

“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home. Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”

The Administration says that the payment was to clear up an old debt from 1979 before Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was ousted as the last monarch of Iran.

Let’s get this strait.

The United States paid a 37-year old debt to Iran on the exact same day that they release four Americans who had been imprisoned in Iran.

Does anybody believe the administration? Not really. People on both sides of the isle are furious that it looks like Obama paid a ransom to Iran of all places.

If it was part of the Iran deal, why didn’t Obama mention it back when the prisoners were released in January?

In Iran, the press reports have quoted leaders in the Iranian military that describe the cargo plane full of money as a ransom payment.

Is what Obama did illegal? Maybe not, because if the payment was paid in foreign cash it puts the payment in question.

There are members of Congress that are trying to pass legislation that will prevent the Obama administration from making more cash payments to Iran and to force the administration to release the details of the $1.7 billion transfer to Iran.

Senator James Lankdor from Oklahoma, one of the members trying to pass legislation by co-writing the bill, said this about ransom payment.

“President Obama’s…payment to Iran in January, which we now know will fund Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of executive branch governance. Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”

Again, if this was just part of the Iran deal, why all the secrecy? Let us know your thoughts about the ransom payment in the comments below.

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Weakness

This election cycle has spiraled out of control to the point where candidates and pundits are saying the “system is rigged”. The “system” they are talking about is our democracy and voting system.

Just to break things down for a moment, the most likely person to be president come 2017 is under a criminal investigation by the FBI. Her rival on the Democratic ticket is a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist”.

On the right, the front-runner is a boisterous billionaire who has had a problem making the majority of America even like him. Then there is Ted Cruz, who wants to build the wall and nuke the Middle East, and is staunchly opposed to gay marriage.

The differences and implications of this election are being multiplied and shared by every media outlet across the world. Unfortunately the majority of Americans don’t think about this election being broadcast around the world.

People around the globe are seeing the fights and protests at campaign events. They are seeing the names we are calling each other. The citizens of the world watch as we are trashing each other and the system that we claim is so great. The system that is supposed to be respected the world over.

What other country leaders and governments are seeing is something entirely different. They are seeing what looks like the United States exploding from the inside out, and they might be right. There is blood in the water and the sharks of the world are starting to circle.

We are projecting weakness; there is no doubt about it. Our country is divided and the rest of the world thinks we are focused on all the wrong things. The oxygen in the room is being sucked out by distraction issues like the LBGT movement and racism. Consequently, there is no air left to discuss our debt, growing financial bubble and some countries’ desires to bring us down.

While we are focused on the public bathrooms in North Carolina, Russian jets buzzed one of our destroyers in the Baltic sea. They didn’t just buzz the large military vessel once to mark territory, but they continued over 20 times.

A bold move that was aggressive in nature and wasn’t just some pilots fooling around. More than anything it was disrespectful and it makes Americans look weak.

Speaking of looking weak, remember when John Kerry apologized to the Iranians after they took our sailors hostages and had them on their knees? The Iranians used the images of our military on their knees to their advantage, blasting the propaganda to any media source that would distribute the embarrassing story to showcase our weakness.

North Korea is firing off missiles and acting erratically again, but this time they are really pushing the limits with their rockets and their recent claim of miniaturizing a nuclear warhead. Our inaction there is another sign of our weakness.

For seven years President Obama has had many failures that he would classify otherwise. The Iranian deal is one big one. He opened relationships with Cuba only to be mocked when he left. And don’t forget his former “reset with Russia”. Oh and Libya, the red line in Syria and pulling all of our troops out of Iraq.

He has made some mistakes, but he is about to be gone from the White House. In less than a year we will have a new president that will be facing a very tough situation with aggression growing around the world.

The question is, will we even make it to the elections before something happens? Can we stop projecting weakness to the world? I don’t know. What I do know is when Putin or Ali Khamenei watches a CNN report about college kids crying over “Trump 2016” written in chalk, then they might be thinking that now is time to take advantage of our weakness.

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Iran Deal

One of the many outrageous concessions that President Barack Obama made in his “nuclear deal at any price” with Iran’s Mullahs was to ignore three Americans being held hostage in Iran on trumped up charges that include everything from spying to espionage.

At the time the deal was inked, the Obama Administration said they didn’t bring up the hostage issue during negotiations because they didn’t want any sticking points that might derail the agreement.

Obama’s “agreement” doesn’t stop Iran from enriching uranium, doesn’t allow for anywhere anytime inspections by western nuclear experts, tore up economic sanctions that had been hurting Iran’s economy, opened the floodgates on conventional weapons purchases and concluded with a $150 billion payment by the U.S. to Iran to close the deal.

In return, the Obama got America nothing but a worthless piece of paper that many experts say Iran has already violated by testing long-range nuclear capable ballistic missiles that are supposed to be prohibited under the “agreement”.

Now, as if to punctuate their contempt for Obama and the West, Iran has arrested an Iranian-American scholar and consultant who were in the country to improve relations between the United States and Iran.

The arrest is a clear sign that dual citizens from the United States who are visiting or living in Iran after the nuclear agreement was reached in July are at greater risk– not less– because of the deeply flawed nuclear deal.

Thomas Erdbrink, writing for The Washington Post, described Siamak Namazi as a consultant with the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader who was working on strategic planning at Crescent Petroleum, a subsidiary of the Crescent Group, a conglomerate based in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Namazi was taken into custody by Iranian Intelligence officers around Oct. 15 according to friends and is currently being held at Evin Prison in Tehran. News of Mr. Namazi’s arrest rekindled fears that Iran is continuing to engage in their hate based anti-Americanism that prevailed before the talks that led to the nuclear deal.

Erdbrink quoted Mark Toner, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, who issued a statement in response to queries about Mr. Namazi:

“We’re aware of recent reports of the possible arrest in Iran of a person reported to have U.S. citizenship. We’re looking into these reports and don’t have anything further to provide at this time.”

Members of Iran’s “rubber stamp” Parliament believe one imprisoned Iranian-American, Jason Rezaian, a correspondent for The Washington Post in Tehran, heads a network of spies. Mr. Rezaian, arrested in July 2014, was convicted of espionage this month by one of Iran’s kangaroo courts.

The Iranian police have also imprisoned Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor, and Amir Hekmati, a Marine veteran, dashing hopes that they would all be freed after the nuclear accord was reached. Quoting Erdbrink’s article again:

“It’s not a good sign for those who want to open Iran to the West and the United States,” said Alireza Nader, an Iran specialist at the RAND Corporation in Washington.

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iranian-transgender

Eight of the “women” on Iran’s female soccer team are actually physically and biologically men, who claim to be “transgender.”

None of the eight have undergone a formal sex change operation.

Mojtabi Sharifi, an official with close ties to the Iranian soccer league, confirmed to an Iranian news website that the rumors are, in fact, true, though he declined to name the names of the players thought to be men.

The Iranian women’s team plays in baggy long-sleeve shirts, track pants, and headscarves–with only their face and hands uncovered–which would, conceivably, make it easier for a man to go undercover and take advantage of the commanding physical edge over women who were born as women.

Sex changes are, contrary to common belief, actually commonplace and reasonably accepted in ultra-conservative Iran–where changing gender is generally seen as preferable to homosexuality, which Sharia law considers a sin.

It’s unclear whether or not the Iranian government had anything to do with stacking, but government agents have vowed to force players to undergo gender testing to get to the bottom of the scandal.

Male-to-female transgender athletes have long been a point of contention in sports–largely because men have a stronger build, larger bodies, and more muscle definition, which doesn’t go away even as they transition their gender. It often affects not just the fairness of the game, but the safety of the players.

Earlier this year, American transgender mixed martial arts fighter Fallon Fox seriously injured a female opponent–who was immediately outmatched in the fight because Fox, who was born a man and had only recently transitioned, had such a physical advantage. Ronda Roussey, one of the biggest names in women’s mixed martial arts, later said that she wouldn’t fight Fox.

It’s unclear whether or not the Iranian government had anything to do with stacking their women’s soccer team full of biological men, but government agents have vowed to force players to undergo gender testing to get to the bottom of the scandal.

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Netanyahu-and-obama

Barack Obama, along with key American allies, have tacitly given the go-ahead for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and have crippling sanctions lifted.

Predictably, Israeli leaders are outraged–calling it a horrible mistake that lets Iran run amok, as it continues to build its nuclear capabilities.

“Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted.”

Netanyahu’s education minister, Naftali Bennett, had even stronger words: “Today, a terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history.”

Israeli leaders, especially Netanyahu, have long railed against what they saw as insufficient opposition to the regime in Iran, which often threatens to annihilate the Jewish state. They now fear that, with the sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy coming to an end, Iran will have more cash at its disposal than ever before–and will work hard to make sure that money furthers their anti-Israel, terrorist aims.

U.S. leaders from inside the Obama White House–which has had a notoriously frosty relationship with Netanyahu–have dismissed Israel’s criticism as overblown.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in an interview with NBC, accused Netanyahu of “making comments that are way over the top.”

“This is under attack by people who don’t really know the terms of the agreement,” Kerry added.

Already, bipartisan opposition in Congress is brewing–but it might not matter.

Due to a law passed earlier this year regarding Obama’s Iran negotiations, Congress can only vote to reject the treaty, not vote to affirm it.

That means, if Congress actively rejects the treaty, Obama can simply veto them–and, since overturning a veto requires huge majorities of both houses (that the opposition doesn’t quite have), it looks like the Iran deal will wind up as the final agreement.

Meanwhile, Obama himself called Netanyahu to tell him that the Iran deal doesn’t change America’s commitment to protect Israel–but, given the relationship between the two in the past, there’s no telling whether Netanyahu will believe Obama’s assurances.

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You may have seen it on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC cable news programs in recent days but ABC, CBS and NBC all turned down an ad sponsored by the bipartisan American Security Initiative (ASI) warning of what might happen if Iran goes nuclear – New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami or where you live – gone in a flash.

Specifically, the major networks would not run the ad on their various Sunday morning news programs – shows that liberal “thought leaders” turn to for news and opinion on anything but the consequences of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Leading the bipartisan ASI are former Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Norm Coleman (R-MN) who came together to urge passage of the Corker-Menendez sponsored S.615 – Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.

The legislation would provide for a 60-day congressional review period for any deal that comes out of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program – hardly the draconian deal killer the Obama Administration would have people believe.

The ad features a terrorist driving a van containing a nuclear bomb that detonates in the United States and ends with a message urging Congress to pass S.615 requiring any Iranian nuclear deal reached by the administration with Iran be approved by Congress.

ASI spent $500,000 to air the ad in Washington, D.C., Lexington, Ky., and Springfield, Ill. The ads in Kentucky and Illinois mention Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dick Durbin (D-Il) specifically.

ABC said the ad’s “subject matter” is “currently pervasive” in the news and could not be aired during “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” per network policy, which was not explained. CBS said the ad “didn’t meet their standards” and would not be aired on “Face the Nation”. Attempts to air the ad on NBC’s “Meet the Press” were also denied without explanation.

Commenting on the refusal by the major networks to run the ad, ASI spokesman Christopher Maloney said:

“Millions of network news viewers across the country are actively seeking information about our government’s ongoing negotiations with Iran…”

“I think many Americans, regardless of their political persuasion, would be concerned to learn that ABC, CBS, and NBC decided not to run an ad discussing what can be done to influence the debate surrounding these negotiations, and how they carry the potential to directly impact our national security.”

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tom-cotton

Inside the beltway pols predict that President Barack Obama is close to signing an agreement with Iran to limit the country’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions that have severely damaged the country’s economy and provoked social unrest among the nation’s 81 million people – 43% of which are under 24 years of age with no memory of Iran under the Shah.

While President Obama is free to sign an agreement, that’s all it is – an agreement that a future president could abolish with the stroke of a pen.

To drive home this point, freshmen Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) circulated a letter to Iran’s leaders earlier this week telling them how things work in the United States. The president can sign treaties but they don’t take effect unless the Senate ratifies them.

47 Republican senators signed the letter including all the Republican leaders in the Senate along with a number of potential 2016 presidential contenders including Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY). Quoting the letter:

“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system … Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement”…“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

Letter opponents claim that the next president and Congress would have a hard time changing or canceling any Iran deal without saying how a future president would be bound by an unratified treaty.

Josh Rogan writing for BloombergView quoted Sen. Cotton as saying “Iran’s ayatollahs need to know before agreeing to any nuclear deal that … any unilateral executive agreement is one they accept at their own peril.”

Republican opposition to any nuclear agreement with Iran that would allow the Islamic nation to enrich uranium (a precursor to nuclear weapons but not required by a “peaceful nuclear program) is not confined to the Senate. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former Texas Governor Rick Perry have both come out against any agreement that allows uranium enrichment to continue.

To punctuate the role of the Senate in any nuclear deal, Republicans pointed to a March 2002 letter that then Senator Joe Biden – Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – sent Secretary of State Colin Powel about the role the Senate would play in any treaty with Russia on limiting strategic nuclear weapons. In the letter, Biden said:

“Clearly, any such agreement would most likely include significant obligations by the United States regarding deployed U.S. strategic nuclear warheads. We are therefore convinced that such an agreement would constitute a treaty subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Every significant arms control agreement during the past three decades has been transmitted to the Senate pursuant to the Treaty Clause of the Constitution”… “we see no reason whatsoever to alter this practice….”

Cotton’s letter compliments legislation sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) would mandate Senate review of any nuclear deal with Iran deal – a measure that would no doubt face a presidential veto.

President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have charged that Sen. Cotton’s letter is an attempt to complicate negotiations and scuttle an agreement with Iran the Senate’s constitutional powers and prerogatives notwithstanding.

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Amir Hekmati Marine Corps

On Thursday, we reported the story of the American pastor serving a prison sentence in an Iranian prison.

President Obama met with the family of Pastor Abedini before the recent State of the Union Address, telling his wife and children that the pastor’s release was a “top priority.”

The same day, Obama discussed the case of yet another American citizen imprisoned in Iran, Arizona-born Amir Hekmati. Amir is a combat-veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Hekmati, was arrested in 2011 while visiting his grandmother in Iran.

He was charged with spying and forced to confess he was a CIA operative – which the State Department has denied.

Amir ended his active service contract in the Marine Corps in 2005 after serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a translator. A multi-lingual entrepreneur, he started a linguistics consultancy in 2006.

The Marine Veteran was initially sentenced to death after being declared by an Iranian court as “an enemy of God.”

The sentenced was later overturned by Iran’s Supreme Court and a retrial was scheduled, however the trial did not occur . . . at least in public.

Amir’s sister shed light on her brother’s fate when she announced last year that Amir was sentenced to 10-years after a “practical collaboration wit the U.S. Government” convicted him in secret.

During President Obama’s State of the Union Address, an empty seat was held in honor of the imprisoned Marine by Rep. Dan Kildee from Flint, Michigan, Amir’s hometown.

Kildee had a chance to discus Amir Hekmati’s case with the President before and after his address.

The Michigan rep did not disclose if he was also told by Obama that Amir’s release was a “top priority.”

In addition to Pastor Abedini and Amir Hekmati, Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian and possibly Robert Levinson are held in Iranian Prisons. Iran has not denied Levinson’s imprisonment but refuses to confirm it placing him “missing” limbo.

President Obama has not signaled any intent to pressure Iran to release the four Americans.

Chuck Norris has been significantly more vocal on these cases than the President of the United States and, given the lack of action by the U.S. Government, Iran may have more reason to fear Norris than Obama.

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