No sh*& Sherlock…..

And in other news of the Obama administration learning stuff like “insurance is complicated”, we get “if you take an actual position regarding regimes out to kill you, it could lead to war”.

Who knew? And so apparently the answer is to NOT take a position, and then stay our of war. Neville, call your office.

A top White House official has declared that Israel’s proposal that Iran totally dismantle its nuclear capacity in exchange for sanctions relief would likely lead to war.

……………..

In recent days, Israel has been warning against the deal being offered to Iran by the U.S. and five other countries holding talks with it in Geneva.

That position has put it at odds with the Obama administration and has led to a public war of words between Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry said earlier this week that Israel has “every right” to voice opposition to a potential nuclear deal with Iran.

At the same time, he told reporters, Netanyahu’s fear that a deal would leave Israel vulnerable is unfounded.

According to some reports, the U.S. administration has been frustrated with Netanyahu’s warnings to the point that President Barack Obama has been refusing to accept Netanyahu’s phone calls.

It’s going to be an interesting night. Debate Night III

Let’s see now……is the question a general one as in, “Why was there the misdirect on Libya?”, wherein the answer can be:
“Fog of war intelligence”

“A demand for an explanation that is quick, definite and unchanging reflects a naïve expectation — or in the present case, irresponsible politicking,” James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said at an intelligence symposium on Oct. 9.

The Associated Press reported Friday, for instance, that within 24 hours of the attack, the C.I.A.’s station chief in Tripoli, Libya, e-mailed headquarters that witnesses said the assault was mounted by heavily armed militants. But intelligence officials said Sunday that one report was not enough to establish the attack’s nature.

Or will the question be more specific such as “Within 24 hours there was clear indication that the Libya incident was not the result of a riot over a video that went haywire, but a more direct terrorist attack, why was it not reported that way out of the White House until September 25th?” In which case the answer can again be “fog of war intelligence” but the answer won’t fly.

Moving onto Iran will the question be “the NYTimes says you are in secret one on one negotiations with Iran over their Nuclear program, is this true and will it help while “Iran is claiming that you sent them a message through the Swiss Ambassador recognizing their nuclear rights?”. Or will it be “The NYTimes is suggesting that you and Iran are in concrete negotiations concerning their nuclear program. How it going?”

How about on Fast and Furious?
“Is it normal in your department for underlings to undermine other governments in this hemisphere or others and import guns to known criminals?”

How about….”you continue to make fun of Governor Romney for foreign “gaffes” but aren’t you the person who gave the Queen an ipod full of your speeches when you first started and continue to bow to foreign dignitaries and undermined the Honduran constitution?

It goes on and on. We know that Obama will have spent the weekend practicing his spin. I believe Mitt Romney is an incredibly intelligent man, but events are unfolding by the second and Obama will have the latest information. Here’s hoping Romney is not again sideswiped by a new version of old events.

In a post titled “Should Barack obama Resign Tonight” (yes) Roger L. Simon gives us this gem:

Only a man with a leftover undergraduate ambivalence about Western civilization would have dealt with the Benghazi catastrophe in such a fashion in the first place. Barack Obama responded to the terrorism like a Columbia junior stoned on a reefer, particularly one from his era. He took another toke and moved on. And then when he was told he couldn’t do that, he got angry at the people telling him.

UPDATE: Read this from the Wall Street Journal and tell me you feel pretty confident that this administration knows what the heck is going on anywhere. Seriously. Who the heck is in charge?

The problems were aggravated by infighting among U.S. agencies that appears to have slowed the continuing work to understand what happened. And the new disclosures about the President’s Daily Brief are likely to raise new questions about intelligence surrounding the Benghazi attack, which resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

World News

Wow – the messages sent yesterday are head spinning.

There was a pretty clear answer to Israel’s Iran problem yesterday from the White House…..“You are on your own and we don’t want to talk about it”.

It’s no secret the Israelis don’t want to strike Iran either, provided the U.S. is serious about keeping a bomb out of the mullahs’ hands. But Israel’s confidence in Mr. Obama’s seriousness is fading fast. This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg Radio that “we’re not setting deadlines” for Iran to halt its program.

Obama is too busy showing up on Letterman or visiting Ohio to talk to Netanyahu about it. Netanyahu could easily fly to Ohio or stay up as late as the Letterman hour, so I find the scheduling conflicts hard to believe. This leaves me, and Ahmadinejad with the impression that America doesn’t want any part of stopping Iran militarily.

What I think Obama misses here is that it doesn’t matter whether we are literally involved or not, the Middle East will have us involved. From the WSJ:

It’s possible this is how President Obama wants it, in order to leave the job of stopping Iran to Israel while avoiding American entanglements. But it’s hard to imagine an Israeli attack that didn’t ultimately entangle that country’s most important ally.

Which brings us to what’s going on in Egypt and Libya where Ambassador Christopher Stephens was killed yesterday. America is an amazing place with a tremendous amount of freedom. People can insult religion as much as they want and it isn’t illegal and it isn’t the federal government’s fault when it’s done.
Many in the rest of the world live in places where that isn’t the case and they have no concept that the President does not control the film making abilities of a preacher who is antiIslamic.

Our country is embroiled BECAUSE we have freedom and it is that freedom that is protested and rioted against even as Egyptians and Libyans claim their are angry about an insult to Islam. We should not apologize for our freedom 1) because our freedom is what makes us who we are, and great and 2) because we will be entangled anyway as the quote above from the WSJ states with regards to Israel.

Our country was attacked yesterday by angry mobs in Egypt and Libya. In Libya the Prime Minister condemned the attack on Twitter. (on twitter?)

In a message on Twitter, Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur of Libya said on Wednesday that he condemned “the cowardly act of attacking the U.S. consulate and the killing of Mr Stevens and the other diplomats.”

That condemnation is a good sign.
The original apology is not. I can’t keep up with who said what when and what was really meant on twitter (on twitter?) but I would say all this back and forth is not reflecting well on the current administration.

A reminder…..Obama tends to skip his intelligence briefings. Maybe there could be a little more unity of tweets if someone were running things.

UPDATE: Diplomad 2.0 is worth reading everyday. Especially today.

Now to go find my old twitter account. Apparently that’s where most diplomacy is taking place these days.

UPDATE 2: Romney continues to impress.

ROMNEY: I think president Obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy. My foreign policy has three fundamental branches. First, confidence in our cause, a recognition that the principles America is based upon is not something we shrink from or apologize for. That we stand for those principles. The second is clarity in our purpose which is when we have a foreign policy objective we describe it openness lee and clearly to the American people, to congress, and to the people of the world. And number three, is resolve in our might. That in those rare circumstances, those rare circumstances where we decide it’s essential for us to apply military might, that we do so with force and with clarity of mission and with the US mission involved and understand when it will be complete, what will be left behind us when that mission has been terminated? These elements I believe are essential to our foreign policy and I haven’t seen them from the president. As I’ve watched over the past three and a half years the president has had some successes, he’s had some failures, it’s a hit-or-miss approach but it has not based upon sound foreign policy.

REPORTER: How specifically governor Romney would a president Romney has handled this situation differently than president Obama? You spoke out before midnight when all the facts weren’t known, how would you have handled this differently than the president did.

ROMNEY: I spoke out when the key fact was known, which was that the embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be a policy for American principles. That was a mistake. I believe when a mistake is made of that significance you speak out.

Donald Rumsfeld

The man always is worth listening to.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed firm support this weekend for Israel’s position on the Iran nuclear issue and said that international sanctions have not influenced the Iranian regime. Rumsfeld also said that if he were Israel, he probably wouldn’t notify the U.S. of an impending strike on Iran given the current state of the relationship and frequent leaks out of the White House.

“Well, I think the prime minister of Israel, [Benjamin] Netanyahu, is probably correct,” Rumsfeld said in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Thursday. “Their intelligence on Iran is excellent.”

ht Dan Friedman via Insty

This would make an Excellent Drudge Juxtaposition:

Iran, Turkey pledge cooperation against Kurdish rebels (in Iraq)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday the United States will maintain a strong security relationship with Iraq despite the scheduled pullout of all U.S. troops and warned Iran not to try to exploit the situation.

So are we going to do something….or not? Are the Iraqi Kurds, Iraqis…..or not? Is Turkey part of NATO, or allies with Iran? Since NATO, will we cooperate with Iran against Iraq?…or not?

Paging Matt Drudge…

Interesting

So Iran, who is in need off fuel and so wants to turn to nuclear energy (and is being guaranteed a supply of uranium from Russia) is setting up a deal for uranium from Zimbabwe in exchange for …… wait for it……..

fuel.

Too Much Information

There is too much information out there for my tastes today.

1. On Al-Qaeda. Do we really need to know and should we know that infiltrated spies en masse are helping us get the upper hand and whew, do we have a lot of them!

Current and former senior U.S. officials, who spoke about intelligence matters on the condition of anonymity, confirmed what one former CIA official called “our penetration of al-Qaeda.” A senior administration official said that success had come “because of, first of all, very good intelligence capabilities . . . to locate and identify individuals who are part of the al-Qaeda organization.”

Dude…you’re a CIA official. Learn to keep a secret!!!!

2. Sarkozy’s disgust with Obama. France and the UK wanted to unite with the US and take on Iran at the UN. Obama didn’t want to (more on that in number 3) and instead wanted to hold off until the G20 meeting.

Le Monde’s diplomatic correspondent, Natalie Nougayrède, reports that a draft of Mr. Sarkozy’s speech to the Security Council Thursday included a section on Iran’s latest deception. Forced to scrap that bit, the French President let his frustration show with undiplomatic gusto in his formal remarks, laying into what he called the “dream” of disarmament

I understand diplomacy. A bit anyway – not being very diplomatic myself. These 3 major countries decided to do this thing (confronting Iran) together. They really wanted Obama on board and he wanted to push it back a few days. And so they all went together and did this thing at the G20 meeting.

So how on earth was Sarkozy a) “forced” to NOT confront Iran while at the same time b) sharing all his feelings about this later a diplomatic thing? Either he didn’t follow through or the US has some serious leverage on him that even tiny little Honduras won’t put up with and so Sarkozy is just a talkative tool.

3. On that Obama not wanting to confront Iran at the UN meeting. Apparently it’s because :

But the Administration told the French that it didn’t want to “spoil the image of success” for Mr. Obama’s debut at the U.N.

Again – I know that images count. The image of success is important to big shots.

BUT I don’t want to hear that’s how they’re making their decisions else it doesn’t actually count as a true image!!!!

Iran

Iran – aren’t hey supposed to be a moralistic, religious, Republic of an entire religion??
I doubt God would approve of their tactics.

In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a “wedding” ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard – essentially raped by her “husband.”

Morning Funnies

This story out of the Arab News is a precautionary tale to President Obama.

Don’t mess with Iran. You need to talk with Iran. Iran has now made overtures and you need to respond.
Iran has a right to nuclear power. There’s nothing wrong with Iran, so get on board there Obama.

Followed by:

No country in this region would feel comfortable with a nuclear armed Iran so it is in everyone’s interests to bring Iran into the international community’s fold. This cannot be done using threats, which will only inflame Iran’s desire to shore up its own security in the same way Iraq tried to do when Israel destroyed its civilian nuclear facility at Tuwaitha in 1981. It was only after that, that Saddam summoned his nuclear scientists and asked them to make a bomb.

Any attack on Iran would be a logistical nightmare because its nuclear sites are spread all over the country while many are buried deep. Not only would this strengthen Iran’s nuclear resolve and bring the Iranians together, Tehran is well placed to retaliate against Israel and Western interests in the Gulf.

Don’t worry about Iran. But in the meantime, we’re a little worried about Iran. But if you worry and attack, then Iran can attack back with all it’s secret underground facilities used for “nuclear power”.

ROFL