Friday, July 24, 2015

Kerry: Any action by Israel would provide justification for Iran’s pursuit of nukes!

Hot Air ^ | 12:01 pm | Ed Morrissey 

Secretary of State John Kerry sat down with Matt Lauer for an interview on Today earlier, defending the deal with Iran — and telling Israel to cool their jets, almost literally. In doing so, Kerry managed to turn Israel into the aggressor and Iran into a passive actor who might somehow decide they need a bomb only if Israel attacked them. It’s a strange reversal, and one that confirms the impression that the Obama administration has become the lawyers for the mullahs (via Jeff Dunetz):
Lauer points out to Kerry that opposition to the Iran deal encompasses practically the whole Israeli political spectrum. Kerry responds by noting that a few Israelis support it — “the former head of Shin Bet … the former head of Mossad.” Kerry opts to ignore the fact that representatives of both major alliances in Israeli politics, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his erstwhile opponent in the last election Isaac Herzog, both strenuously rejected Kerry’s deal. Herzog, whom the Obama administration and Kerry in particular hoped would be a more pliable partner in US-Israeli relations, said that Kerry and Obama would “unleash a lion from its cage” with the deal, and that it would “affect our borders. and it will affect the safety of my children.”
When Lauer hinted that the deal puts us at odds with Israel if they chose to take action, Kerry responded that any such action would provide justification for Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons:
Lauer: Do you think because many in Israel including the prime minister are very uncomfortable with the deal that the it’s now making it more likely than two years ago, for example, that Israel might attempt some unilateral action — military or cyber attack against Iran?
Kerry: Well I think that would be an enormous mistake. A huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and the region, and I don’t think it’s necessary. The fact is we will have for 15 years a restraint on Iran that absolutely prevents it from developing a weapon. They can’t enrich beyond 3.67%. You can’t make a bomb at 3.67% they will have only 300 kilograms in a stockpile of enriched uranium. You can’t make a bomb with that. They would have inspections on a daily basis the in their facilities.
That assumes, of course, that the Iranians will never cheat on the agreement. That seems like a fair assumption, except if you take into consideration all of the times they’ve cheated on other agreements over the last 20+ years on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But other than that …
Lauer: If the Israelis are not convinced and they take action where would it leave us the? Would we support Israel? Would the treaty go up in smoke?
Kerry: If they bombed them, sure Matt. I presume Iran would have a reason to say this is why we need a bomb. And what Iran will decide to do is dig deeper because Israel doesn’t have the ability to stop, nor do we, unless we went to all out war and literally annihilated Iran which I don’t are hear people talking about. So if you proceed with a normal military operation, you are talking about rolling back the program for two to three years. Then what do you do? And if you did that what will Iran’s response be? They are likely to decide now you have proven why we need a bomb and they will dig deeper and go get it.
Er, what? Kerry seems to forget that it’s not Israel who has spent the last three decades-plus issuing threats to wipe Iran off the map. Iran’s mullahs and their handpicked politicians have repeatedly, even joyously, pledged to destroy Israel ever since the 1979 revolution put them in power. That’s been the purpose of their pursuit of nuclear weapons, along with imposing their own regional hegemony through nuclear terrorism on top of all the other forms of terrorism they have been employing since seizing power. In fact, Supreme Leader Ali Khameini codified the regime’s public posture on the “elimination of Israel” in November of last year, in what the Iranians must have thought would be taken as a sign of moderation.
Not surprisingly, the Israelis object to this idea, and they’re pretty sure that the nukes Iran has tried to build for two decades had Tel Aviv as their targets. They don’t want to wait until the missiles are in the air to ensure their survival. Their attempts to stop or slow down this nuclear pursuit aren’t why Iran thinks it needs the bomb, and to make that kind of statement is either willful obtuseness or astounding naïveté. Either way, it hardly makes “trust us” a great option for Israel — especially since Kerry and Obama refused to demand guarantees for Israel as part of the deal.
Kerry’s not going to be all alone in selling this crap-sandwich deal to the American public and Congress. Dave Weigel reports in the Washington Post that MoveOn will come out of mothballs to conduct protests at August town-hall meetings in favor of the deal, taking a page from 2009 Tea Party protests against ObamaCare. That comparison probably won’t last for long, though:
But MoveOn’s most ambitious goal is to turn the long August recess of 2015 into the summer of peace. The inspiration comes — just a little — from the other side. In 2009, the last Democratic Congress was almost brought to heel at town halls, a combination of grassroots activism and top-level strategizing by groups like Americans for Prosperity. Tea Party activists packed the once-sleepy meetings of their local representatives. Some viral videos made some voters into celebrities; others made congressmen into former congressmen. (The 60-day countdown for congressional action on the deal takes the recess into consideration; had the deal been finished earlier, the countdown would have lasted 30 days.) …
There are two new, stiff challenges for any effort like this. One: In 2009, members of Congress discovered that they did not like being yelled at and seeing the videos show up on TV. Since then, “tele-townhalls” and smaller, invite-only forums have become more popular, and traditional town halls have started to decrease. According to Legistorm, the 535 voting members of Congress held a total of 588 public meetings in the 2014 recess — down from an already paltry 792 the previous summer.
Problem two: MoveOn will have company. Galland framed its campaign as an answer an ongoing, expensive campaign by opponents of the deal. The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is supplementing one ad campaign that could cost as much as $20 million. But the bulk of AIPAC’s effort is one-on-one lobbying, especially among safe Democratic members of Congress who balk at casting votes “against Israel.” Last week, at its annual Washington conference, Christians United for Israel announced the creation of a political fund to move Congress against the deal.
Good luck with that. The more that Kerry talks about this deal, the worse it sounds. They might do better to form a barrier outside of State to keep Kerry quiet.
Update: I changed “justify” to “provide justification for” in both the headline and the post, which is more accurately what Kerry asserted.

Cruz on Senate Floor, accuses GOP Leader, McConnell of Lying (Ouch!)

AP / Yahoo News ^ | July 24, 2015 

In a stunning attack on a leader of his own party, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying to him and said he couldn't be trusted.
At issue were assurances Cruz claimed McConnell, R-Ky., had given that there was no deal to allow a vote to renew the federal Export-Import Bank — a little-known federal agency that has become a rallying cry for conservatives. Cruz rose to deliver his remarks moments after McConnell had lined up a vote on the Export-Import Bank for coming days.
"It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff the majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie, and I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every one of us," Cruz said.
"What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again, was a simple lie."
The majority leader was not on the Senate floor when Cruz issued his attack, and ignored reporters who tried to ask him about it in the Capitol's hallways. A spokesman said McConnell would have no response.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Mammoths killed by abrupt climate change! ^ | July 23, 2015 | Provided by: University of Adelaide 

This image shows mammoth vertebrae in ice, Yukon Territory, Canada. Credit: Photo Kieren Mitchell, University of Adelaide
New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid man-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in mass extinction events of large animals, the megafauna, in Earth's past.
Using advances in analysing ancient DNA, radiocarbon dating and other geologic records an international team led by researchers from the University of Adelaide and the University of New South Wales (Australia) have revealed that short, rapid warming events, known as interstadials, recorded during the last ice age or Pleistocene (60,000-12,000 years ago) coincided with major extinction events even before the appearance of man.
Published today in Science, the researchers say by contrast, extreme cold periods, such as the last glacial maximum, do not appear to correspond with these extinctions.
"This abrupt warming had a profound impact on climate that caused marked shifts in global rainfall and vegetation patterns," said University of Adelaide lead author and Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, Professor Alan Cooper.
"Even without the presence of humans we saw mass extinctions. When you add the modern addition of human pressures and fragmenting of the environment to the rapid changes brought by global warming, it raises serious concerns about the future of our environment."
The researchers came to their conclusions after detecting a pattern, 10 years ago, in ancient DNA studies suggesting the rapid disappearance of large species. At first the researchers thought these were related to intense cold snaps.

Abseiling into Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming -- Professor Alan Cooper descending the 100ft pitch into the cave to excavate ice age megafaunal bones. Credit: Photo by Laura Weyrich, University of Adelaide
However, as more fossil-DNA became available from museum specimen collections and through improvements in carbon dating and temperature records that showed better resolution through time, they were surprised to find the opposite. It became increasingly clear that rapid warming, not sudden cold snaps, was the cause of the extinctions during the last glacial maximum.
The research helps explain further the sudden disappearance of mammoths and giant sloths that became extinct around 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.
"It is important to recognize that man still played an important role in the disappearance of the major mega fauna species," said fellow author Professor Chris Turney from the University of New South Wales.
"The abrupt warming of the climate caused massive changes to the environment that set the extinction events in motion, but the rise of humans applied the coup de grace to a population that was already under stress."
In addition to the finding, the new statistical methods used to interrogate the datasets (led by Adelaide co-author Professor Corey Bradshaw) and the new data itself has created an extraordinarily precise record of climate change and species movement over the Pleistocene.
This new dataset will allow future researchers a better understanding of this important period than has ever been possible before.
Explore further: Giant moa had climate change figured out
More information: Science,
Journal reference: Science
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