August 6, 2016

As Nixon put it: "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal."

I'm reading "Obama’s Cash Payment to Iran Was More Than a Ransom — It Broke Criminal Law," by Andrew C. McCarthy in The National Review.
At a press conference Thursday, Obama remarkably explained, “The reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran.” Really Mr. President? The whole point of sanctions is to prohibit and punish certain behavior. If you — especially you, Mr. President — do the precise thing that the sanctions prohibit, that is a strange way of being “so strict in maintaining” them....

By his own account, President Obama engaged in the complex cash transfer in order to end-run sanctions that prohibit the U.S. from having “a banking relationship with Iran.” The point of the sanctions is not to prevent banking with Iran; it is to prevent Iran from getting value from or through our financial system — the banking prohibition is a corollary. And the point of sanctions, if you happen to be the president of the United States sworn to execute the laws faithfully, is to follow them — not pat yourself on the back for keeping them in place while you willfully evade them. The president’s press conference is better understood as a confession than an explanation.

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
Levi Starks said...

Is this not the first thing that occurred to you when the details started to emerge? And it's true as long as the media is in love with you.

David Begley said...

Worse than breaking the law. The money is being used to kill Americans.

Obama should be impeached for this episode. A single count. This is a high crime.

AReasonableMan said...

Giving back money that we had perviously seized is not quite the same as paying a ransom.

Psota said...

It's illegal if a Republican president does it.

john said...

I still don't understand; why shouldn't a simple birthday cake be sufficient?

Once written, twice... said...

He is daring a Republicans to take him on. Go for it Republicans! Let's see how that works for you right before the 2017 elections!

MayBee said...

Giving back money that we had perviously seized is not quite the same as paying a ransom.

And what we did is not quite the same as giving back money we had previously seized.

Crazy Jane said...

AReasonableMan said: Giving back money that we had previously seized is not quite the same as paying a ransom.

Forget the ransom part: How much of the American-owned property that Castro seized will be returned now that we are normalizing relations with Cuba?

Sebastian said...

And AA was wondering how to make sense of O's moves toward Iran.

The fact that Trump is slightly (slightly) less likely to strengthen our enemies and weaken the U.S. in this way is one reason to vote for him. If he had any sense, he'd focus on the real O crimes and misdemeanors. Maybe he will.

LakeLevel said...

Obama has gone beyond the law so many times now that it hardly matters. The press never calls him on it. This is precisely why we need a Republican in the White House: They would at least be held accountable. You know, like Nixon.

AprilApple said...

Fox news interviewed one of the released hostages.

Funny - the pro-democrat hack media outlets (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN et al) won't go near him for an interview.

AprilApple said...

Please explain how that money is Iran's money and not tax payer money?

EDH said...

Drunk with power scene from "Jaws":

"I Can Do Anything. I'm The Chief Of Police."

Hagar said...

Confession implies admitting that you did something wrong, so this is not a "confession." Obama does not believe he is ever wrong. This action was simply necessary because Congress will not do as they are told.

But this was really bad. As Mr. Mukasey points out, it is the Quds Force that needs cash money for their war against us and everybody else not of the Shia persuasion, and clean, unmarked bills in hard currencies is wonderful, much better than just the dollar amount.

Mike said...

What? No Obama is like Nixon tag?

In addition to "banking" with Iran, as McCarthy poiints out, I submit that the cash ransom also invloved money laundering and structuring, and I'm sure Koskinen's IRS agents will be right on that and prosecute to the fullest...

Yeah. He'll get away with it and the Republican party stands there criticizing Trump and letting Obama skate right on by. Business as usual.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...
Giving back money that we had perviously seized is not quite the same as paying a ransom.
8/6/16, 8:32 AM"

Only if you ignore the acts of war by Iran against the US that lead to the seizure of the money.


" Once written, twice... said...
He is daring a Republicans to take him on. Go for it Republicans! Let's see how that works for you right before the 2017 elections!"

If only they would. Exposing the Party Of Treason has never hurt the Republicans.

8/6/16, 8:36 AM
"

tim in vermont said...

Remember when he fired the inspector general who was investigating one of his supporters in San Diego for misusing "Stimulus" funds? That was illegal too. Nobody gave a shit. Nobody give s a shit now. Democracy is over, so talking about politics is now a waste of precious time.

Unknown said...

It's money that was paid to the US for weapons by the Shah of Iran. The revolution happened. We froze the money. The Iran Nuclear agreement happened, in which we agreed to return the money. It's not complicated, people.

AprilApple said...

Read the whole thing.

tim in vermont said...

He is daring a Republicans to take him on.

tim in vermont said...

It's money that was paid to the US for weapons by the Shah of Iran. The revolution happened. We froze the money. The Iran Nuclear agreement happened, in which we agreed to return the money. It's not complicated, people.

So why pay them in cash in non US currency via an unmarked plane on the exact day the hostages were released. We only wanted to make the Iranians think it was a ransom payment, is that it?

Hagar said...

The Iranian government is at war with the United States. There is no obligation to give it anything until that is settled.
But Obama is not at war with Iran; quite the contrary.

Terry said...

"The revolution happened. We froze the money. The Iran Nuclear agreement happened, . . "
Kind of a big gap between those sentences, isn't there, Unknown? A rather uneventful sequence of thirty-seven years, I suppose?

David Begley said...

The fact that not a single person is calling for even an investigation - much less impeachment - shows how far we have fallen. NYT would be running an impeachment editorial Sunday if Bush did this.

This is a high crime. Worse than lying in a sexual harassment deposition.

Hello America. Obama just paid terrorists to kill us.

Someone smart here explain why I am wrong.

SteveR said...

Less than an hour into these comments and any optimistic notions about the 2017 election --err 2016 election have ceased to exist. sigh

Terry said...

AReasonableMan said...
Giving back money that we had perviously seized is not quite the same as paying a ransom.

Obama giving the People's money to Iran. No oversight by congress. Obama thinks that he is Caesar. This is a lawless administration.

Once written, twice... said...

Well, all of you Althouse Hillbillies should blame Republicans for their unwillingness to take President Obama on!

See that is his plan. He is trying to demoralize you right before the election. He is a political genius.

David Begley said...

One reason no one is calling for an impeachment is that Obama only has five thankfully short months left. So it is like a basketball game where what would be an obvious foul in the first minute is a no call in the last minute.

tim in vermont said...

He is trying to demoralize you right before the election. He is a political genius.

More like energize

traditionalguy said...

Obama is a Muslim. And the entire earth is alah's. What could be simpler to understand.

Just a few more borderless years and the thousands of enclaves of young Muslim Jihadists that Obama is settling here at our expense will solve the problem. The problem is the existence of the claims of the founder and head of Christianity.

David Begley said...

AA

Please delete the non English spam above. English is the official language of this blog and the United States. The Nebraska constitution is in agreement.

Terry said...

"Well, all of you Althouse Hillbillies should blame Republicans for their unwillingness to take President Obama on!"
The GOP rank and file isn't blaming the GOP congress for being unwilling to take Obama on . . . Guess you missed that whole 'tea party' thing that's been in the news lately.

David Begley said...

April Apple.

Worse than that. Many Americans have big legal judgments against Iran. I would be shocked if their lawyers had not attached or had garnishment proceedings on that $400m and the $150b in frozen assets. We taxpayers could be paying twice. Once to Iran and a second time to pay Iran's judgments. Kerry may have said something about a setoff for the $150b, but who the hell knows about that liar. It would be nice if the press did its constitutional duty and looked into this.

Bob Boyd said...

"The president’s press conference is better understood as a confession than an explanation."

It's even better understood as giving America the finger.

Mike said...

Obama:

Wants gun control for Americans who are law abiding but sells arms to Mexican cartels.

Cancels missile defense commitments to our allies while assisting our enemies in achieving nuclear parity.

Bungles the "recovery" so bad that middle class incomes actually decline on his watch and 93 million people leave the work force, yet gives $400 million to Iran so they can continue terror activities across the ME and the world.

Complains about Bush taking us to war and then creates more war and chaos by talking big while acting weak, and revealing our plans to ISIS and Al Queda ahead of time, leaving a worse situation in every sector of the world.

Putin, Kim, the Ayatollah? All better off than they were 8 years ago. ARE YOU?

Terry said...

Blogger David Begley said...
April Apple.

It would be nice if the press did its constitutional duty and looked into this.

8/6/16, 9:24 AM

The press has no constitutional duty. Don't let them claim otherwise.

Unknown said...

Just a few short months before Clinton is president, for those of you hoping against hope that Trump will be President. You could've defeated Clinton with some other R candidate, but you've squandered that opportunity.

tim in vermont said...

Muslims have a big belief in the honor of ransoms. Obama is the one who unilaterally changed the law where Americans were not allowed to pay ransoms. He sure made this look like a ransom payment.

There is a funny scene in Don Quixote where a Muslim grouses about being denied his rightful ransom from a Christian who was rescued by his friends by force. Obama may not be a believing Muslim, but he has Muslim values. Refusing to pay ransom? Why that is just disrespecting the whole piracy game Muslims have been playing since their inception!

mikee said...

I recall years and years ago lots of people - unfortunately people who derided a female candidate - being told that there were problems with Obama, that his foreign childhood, socialist/communist/terrorist friends and advisors, derision of US Constitutional rights, and lack of record, should be reason for concern.

The rubes all wake up eventually, some when the administration runs guns to Mexican drug cartels to influence US firearms policy, some when the administration runs billions to the world's most fervent supporters of international terrorism. But all rubes wake up, eventually.

Then they vote Hillary. And wait to wake up again.

That woman candidate mentioned above? Palin.

David Begley said...

Terry

Check out the First Amendment. No other business, trade or profession is mentioned in the constitution. Might as well revoke the First Amendement as the press does nothing.

tim in vermont said...

You could've defeated Clinton with some other R candidate, but you've squandered that opportunity.

Look at the huge risk the Democrats took. Picking a candidate that could defeat only one of the 17 possibilities the R's had! Hillary's personal lust for power and connections to the billionaire oligarchy were more important than what was best for the Democratic Party. Just like Bill left Juanita bleeding and with torn clothes, the Clintons view the party the same way, just another thing subservient to their will.

Temujin said...

Any of you younger than 40 will be dealing with a nuclear Iran in your life and all that it means for your comfortable lives. This President has absolutely zero regard for the truth or the American people. He and his 'team' have shown such utter contempt for both, time and time again, from Jonathan Gruber and Obamacare (“And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,”), to Ben 'I should be a shoe salesman' Rhodes and the Iran deal (Rhodes boasted his deceit was made easier by “hundreds of often-clueless reporters” failing to do their research).

Nixon was a piker compared to Obama. But Nixon's actions did not kill anyone. Obama's actions have, and will continue to kill thousands. And, to partially quote a former President: Make no mistake about it, Hillary is eyeball deep in this shit. If only we had real journalists these days.

tim in vermont said...

Well Iran is telling their people it's a ransom, and Obama is telling us it's not. Who to believe?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3725770/Could-Trump-right-Propaganda-film-suggests-Iran-DID-videotape-cash-drop-plane-photograph-shipment-cash-January-prisoner-swap.html#ixzz4GVPNJwwl

tim in vermont said...

And another flight to France from a Muslim country mysteriously disappears!

It is so hard to figure out why planes fall out of the sky when flying to France from Arab countries!

Mike said...

Once again Obama puts the desires of the Mullahs ahead of Americans. Many Americans who had assets seized illegally by Iran's Revolution had valid legal claims on that money. Americans should have been paid first out of the Iranian seized assets here. He treats his fellow citizens as poorly as he treats our former allies Poland, Israel, UK, India, etc.

tim in vermont said...

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton´s lead over Republican rival Donald Trump narrowed to less than 3 percentage points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday, down from nearly eight points on Monday."

Cripes! Rubio, Kasich, even Bush, would have won in a walk. She has one term written all over her.

buwaya puti said...

You all are screwed, some of you understand it.
The USG is entirely out of control.
Its not even Obama himself behind this, it was likely thought up and organized in some agency. He is just the PR man. He has always been just a PR guy, the front for someone/someones.
As for the partisans for political parties - you silly fools.

damikesc said...

Giving back money that we had perviously seized is not quite the same as paying a ransom.

Money "seized" due to kidnapping Americans for over a year and storming our soil (which our embassy was).

He is daring a Republicans to take him on. Go for it Republicans! Let's see how that works for you right before the 2017 elections!

No Democrat will ever hold any Democrat to any standards for behavior. Power is the only thing that matters.

So why pay them in cash in non US currency via an unmarked plane on the exact day the hostages were released.

And where their release was delayed pending receipt and verification of the money.

He is a political genius.

Glad that "trolling" is such an important thing for you.

Can't figure out why some think Obama is a Muslim. His behavior towards Islamic states and Christian states is so similar. Really.

AReasonableMan said...

Let's think about Iran for a moment. Muslim countries as a group are an appalling bunch of backward, fundamental religion riven kleptocracies. The countries that stand out as somewhat better than average are Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey and Iran. Of these, only two, Tunisia and Iran could be reasonably considered to currently be on a positive trajectory, from our perspective. There are 1.7 billion Muslims in the world and Obama, or any president, cannot simply ignore the Muslim world. Given these realities, I fully support Obama's efforts to move in the direction of normalizing relations with Iran. There are a significant number of smart, well educated, sophisticated and western orientated people in Iran who oppose the Mullahs. They cannot defeat the Mullahs militarily but they can shape the future direction of the country. The risk here is that because there are educated and technologically sophisticated people in Iran it could turn into Pakistan, a nuclear armed lunatic asylum. Obama has taken the best non-military option available to him.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

David Begley,

"The press" in the First Amendment isn't a trade/profession/whatever; it's an implement. You know, something that can be used to put ink on paper, so as to convey a message. The idea that there are specially protected people in America called "journalists" is just wrong. Anyone and everyone is potentially part of "the press," especially now that nearly everyone has access to digital media.

Sydney said...

Democracy is over, so talking about politics is now a waste of precious time.
Pretty much how I'm feeling these days.

tim in vermont said...

Obama has taken the best non-military option available to him.

Yeah, paid them a ransom, probably illegally. Did Congress ever approve that deal? Big fat No! But ARM, like all reasonable men, likes a strong leader who doesn't let the niceties of our political traditions stand in the way when he is certain that he is right! Stalin was certain he was right, so was Mao, so was Hilter. We used to have checks and balances. They are largely destroyed now. Because destruction of checks and balances, and corruption of the IRS, FBI, FEC, in the interest of the political power of a strong leader are the kinds of things that history has shown, produce the best outcomes!

Hagar said...

The "decency police" in Iran is currently engaged in a campaign to close down shops selling non-Muslim clothing, especially to women.
Some "positive trajectory," indeed.

Iran already is an armed lunatic asylum, and Obama is helping them get to the nuclear part.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
paid them a ransom, probably illegally


Nonsensical blather.

James Pawlak said...

The law broken by Barrack Hussein Obama by shipping Iran that cash is in U.S. Code Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 115 § 2381 AND that is based on Article-III, Section-3 of the Constitution (As overrides and nullifies any acts based on treaties OR foreign courts!).

Paul said...

How much of that $400 million went into Obama's pockets via Swiss bank account?

None? Some? Lots? No way to know, right?

And where did he get $400 million? Did congress authorize it? No? Can Obama just write $400 million dollar treasury checks at will?

But of course, congress (with a little 'c'), won't do shit.

Unknown said...

Trump....." like all reasonable men, likes a strong leader who doesn't let the niceties of our political traditions stand in the way when he is certain that he is right!"

Just like Trump and Putin!

tim in vermont said...

Just like Obama and Putin. You are just speculating about Trump.

tim in vermont said...

Nonsensical blather.

I am sure it seems that way to you, but I notice that no rebuttal is forthcoming. Why don't you address some of the points made above. After all, you are "reasonable" which means you can see both sides, and after careful consideration, determined that one side was wrong, right?


Or do you just decide these things by knee jerk, and call that being "reasonable"?

tim in vermont said...

ike all reasonable men, likes a strong leader who doesn't let the niceties of our political traditions stand in the way

This fits Hillary a lot better, who corrupted the DNC, turned the State Department into a personal cash cow to build her war chest. Oh yeah, got us involved in two further wars in the Arab world.

buwaya puti said...

There is no positive trajectory in Iran, as best anyone can tell. The "attractive" parts of the population are a tiny minority. They have been there since 1979, and have been described as "pro-American" since the 1980s. They were irrelevant then and are irrelevant now.
And from all reports Iran is just as much a backward kleptocracy as any of the others. Its supposed to have a few points more of average IQ in its population, but its not evident.
Back in the Shahs day Iran imported foreign workers just as much as the Gulf Arabs (and Iraq) did, when they needed something done right.
Turkey seems to be reverting as fast as they can manage. You may see another, somewhat different flood of refugees from there before the year is out.
The worthlessness of Muslim countries has no exceptions at this time, except, possibly, in East Asia. Malaysia is saved by having huge Chinese and Hindu minorities. Indonesia is doing rather well at the moment, but they were late to Islam and the cultural overlay hasnt taken quite as solidly. TBD.

Terry said...

"Unknown" is apparently in agreement with Nixon. "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal." There seem to be many things liberals hate when they were done by Nixon, but that they are okay with when they are done by Obama or Hillary.
Almost makes me long for the days of the dumb, but honest and idealistic, Jimmy Carter.

YoungHegelian said...

@ARM,

There are a significant number of smart, well educated, sophisticated and western orientated people in Iran who oppose the Mullahs.

Yes, that's true, & Iran has one of the most pro-US populations on the planet.

The problem is that, for now over 35 years, the mullahs have been allowed free reign by that very same population, & there's nothing that appears to be changing anytime soon. I remember when the Shah fell both American & Iranian observers didn't think the regime would last 3 years, much less 35.

The problem with moderates is that they're sane & they enjoy living. Until there's a Iranian revolutionary movement that is serious about getting down & dirty about killing the miserable bastards who run the regime in large numbers, nothing will change. Of course, the regime will fight back with appallingly violence, & the whole place might end up as one big Syria.

But what's the other choice? Taking an Israeli or American nuke? Honestly, now that I think about it, the Iranian moderates may be right: even taking a nuke or two will kill less people than a long-drawn out civil war like Syria's.

Terry said...

Let's stop calling Iran an Islamic Republic, shall we? It has a group of clerics that can stop any change to their constitution that threatens their rule. They are not a self-ruling people. They are ruled by Hierophants, they are an Islamic theocracy.

David Begley said...

MDT

SCOTUS has disagreed with you for like forever.

ARM

"There are a significant number of smart, well educated, sophisticated and western orientated people in CUBA who oppose the Castro brothers."

How has that Cuba policy worked out?

We had Iran on its back with 8 on the 10 count and Obama let Iran up. Unforgivable.

buwaya puti said...

For goodness sake, these days even the Philippine government is more honest, and they run death squads.

AprilApple said...

Terry @ 10:34 -

They are not a self-ruling people. They are ruled by Hierophants, they are an Islamic theocracy.


An actual Islamic theocracy is preferred, by leftists, to an imagined Christian one.

AprilApple said...

Obama just institutionalized that Islamic theocracy in Iran.

So much for modernization.

bagoh20 said...

That "positive trajectory" is pure Clinton/Obama speak - in other words, a bullshit lie directly in the face of counter evidence, an example among many they have of the "big lie". It has become the main form of cover and explanation from Democrats to dissuade people of what their lying eyes clearly see. Nobody even expects the truth anymore. The trajectory is toward war with Israel and the world disaster that will bring. Future generations will look back and ask once again how we let it happen when the intent was so obvious - even much more so than before. Some people seem to believe that because a horrible thing happened in the past that we would never be so foolish again. That's not only failed logic, but in complete denial of human nature and history, as well as a complete blindness to the evil involved both then and now - perpetually reliable as it is.

AReasonableMan said...

David Begley said...
We had Iran on its back with 8 on the 10 count and Obama let Iran up


This is delusional nonsense. Absolutely no evidence for this. You cannot create a sane foreign policy by building on the fevered imaginings of the fringe.

Mac McConnell said...

If only Hitler had taken hostages in the 1930s.
Someone explain to me how Iran is not still at war with the West.
Someone explain to me how that brilliant lawyer Obama save us $ because we were going to lose litigation in an international court we are not signatories to.
This was nothing more than Obama's Zakat on the taxpayer's dime.
Note, Iran is still taking American hostages.

Hagar said...

The ayatollahs want to resurrect the Baghdad caliphate with a Shia caliph and the generals want to resurrect the Persian empire, both of which sound good to Iranians, especially the young, which is a majority of the population, regardless of how smart, well educated, sophisticated and western orientated they may be.
And that at a time when there are several other large states active in the area with the same dreams, but featuring different religions and ethnic backgrounds.
This is not going to end well.

AReasonableMan said...

Delusional nonsense:
bagoh20 said...
That "positive trajectory" is pure Clinton/Obama speak - in other words, a bullshit lie directly in the face of counter evidence, an example among many they have of the "big lie".


Reality:
Iran Parliamentary Election: Moderates, Reformists Make Gains

David Begley said...

ARM

Why have any foreign policy with a country who's slogan is "Death to America?" Did we have a foreign policy with Nazi Germany?

And I will remind you that when Obama allowed Iranian oil back onto the world market the press went to $26, about 100 American companies have filed for BK and 200k American energy workers are out of work.

Obama has made Iran great again.

Molly said...

I do wish law professor Althouse would give us non-law-professor readers some insight into the bigger questions raised here (and by the Nixon quote).

As a theoretical matter, does the constitution prohibit Congress from passing a law that constrains presidential action?
Or is it: there is no practical way for Congress to enforce a constraint except for impeachment, and realistic political judgment makes it obvious that impeachment will not occur in this situation.

(Didn't some president once say something like: the supreme court has expressed its opinion -- now let's see them enforce it.)

AprilApple said...

Putin and Hillary have more in common than Trump and Putin.

Hillary and Putin both work in the world of corruption, bribes, and pay to play.

AprilApple said...

ARM - I notice you left off the last part of the header.

Iran Parliamentary Election: Moderates, Reformists Make Gains, Fall Short Of Majority

AprilApple said...

Bottom line - Obama lied. The cash haul was scheduled to land and be exchanged at the same moment hostages were released. The unmarked cargo plane was late, the hostages were held until it arrived.

Obama is a liar.

Roughcoat said...

buwaya puti @10:29 AM:

Excellent post. Totally agree. I like the cut of your jib.

Hagar said...

Iran Parliamentary Election: Moderates, Reformists Make Gains

Reality:
The news service notes that the results must now be approved by the Guardian Council, a vetting body.

AReasonableMan said...

AprilApple said...
Iran Parliamentary Election: Moderates, Reformists Make Gains, Fall Short Of Majority


I did that so I could follow up with some quotes from the article for the people who couldn't be bothered to read anything beyond the title

"The BBC says "supporters of President Hassan Rouhani won 42% of the total seats - short of an outright majority but comfortable enough to pass his legislative plans."
"According to The Associated Press, moderates and reformists now hold 143 seats in the assembly – followed by the hardliners with 86 seats and the independents with 61. The wire service says Rouhani supporters finished three seats short of a majority."

In other words, a functional victory. No one, least of all me, is claiming that Iran is a Democratic ideal. Currently, however, it is on a positive trajectory.

Rusty said...

I find this strange, ARM.
When Iran had its Green Movement a lot of people many of them Republicans begged Obama to recognize the movement as the legitimate will of the Iranian people. Obama ignored them. Waiting eight or nine months after the movement had been thouroughly suppressed to voice his concern. Then an agreemnet is made which turned out to be based wholly on lies and duplicity favoring Iran. Now you expect us to believe that pallets full of cash isn't ransome?
That sprinkle you feel?
It isn't rain.
cheers.

buwaya puti said...

The Iranians have even elected "moderate" president, Khatami.
The parliament had a "moderate, reformist" majority in 2000-2004. But their candidates were disqualified in 2004.
This all is meaningless. Power there is not a matter of democracy, in spite of democratic forms.
In the US either it seems, these days.

bflat879 said...

SO, the question is, what are the Republicans going to do about this? I sincerely hope Andrew McCarthy gets to talk to Donald Trump and get him to talk about this. I doubt the average person really knows the President actually broke a law when he did this and our illustrious free press doesn't seem to be emphasizing that point. It would be interesting if someone in the Press Corps had asked him that, wasn't doing it in cash just as illegal as doing it with a check?

AReasonableMan said...

Rusty said...
Republicans begged Obama to recognize the movement
, because they are congenital idiots. Having the US intervene in any way would have only hurt the moderates. It takes a special kind of stupidity not to recognize this.

Hagar said...

According to former Attorney General Mukasey, Obama's actions here are within the letter of the law, but directly contrary to its intent.

As I have remarked before, the Constitution is dependent on people of good will being elected to office.

Hagar said...

In other words, a functional victory.

Bullshit. The Guardian Council may have to disqualify some of these elected representatives if they persist in their contrariness, as was done before as Buwaya points out above.
IIRC, I believe a number of those "disqualified" then also disappeared and have not been seen in public since.

buwaya puti said...

Um, then why did the US support the antiapartheid blacks in South Africa? Was that counterproductive? Note that the black parties were Soviet-aligned communists and anti-American.
And Timor and more and more.
And dozens of other cases where the US Liberal consensus backed the rebels.
Syria, Libya, Ukraine, just some recent ones.

Terry said...

It is useless to court the Iranian 'moderates'. It takes a special kind of stupidity not to recognize this.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Rusty said...
Republicans begged Obama to recognize the movement,"" because they are congenital idiots. Having the US intervene in any way would have only hurt the moderates."

you make this assertion without any evidence whatsoever.

"It takes a special kind of stupidity not to recognize this."

Your assertion does imply a certin stupidity.


Terry said...

Some people seem to think that Iran is a democracy. It is not. Any electoral victory by the enemies of the Supreme Leader will be annulled.
Takes a special sort of stupid not to see this.

Terry said...

"Absolutely no evidence for this."
Right-o!They can always fall back on their ally Venezuela if their treasury runs low, right, ARM?

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
The Guardian Council may have to disqualify some of these elected representatives if they persist in their contrariness,


This statement recognizes two things, i) to date, the Council has not acted against the moderates and ii) there are a range of voices in Iran, some of them relatively, by Islamic standards, pro-western.

No one, certainly not Obama, is sugar coating this. Iran is a potential partner a long way down the road. It may never happen. Diplomacy is about trying to increase the probabilities of favored outcomes. Just singing 'Bomb, bomb Iran' as a Republican presidential candidate once did is not diplomacy.

Unknown said...


Just another attempt to distract from the piss poor choice Trump is as the Republican presidential nominee, or just another fever swamp imagining by the R's. The butthurt of Obama winning two presidential elections never ends.

It’s easy to see how the timing is suspicious. But Ryan, Trump, and other critics have the facts wrong. The Wall Street Journal story is actually describing a payment that President Obama announced back in January. What’s more, the payment was the result of a 35-year case in international court — and had nothing to do with any "hostage" payments.

In very simple terms, this payment is the first installment of a refund for a weapons purchase America never delivered. It starts in 1979, the year of the Iranian Revolution.

In November 1979, a group loyal to the revolutionary regime took 52 Americans hostage at the US Embassy in Tehran. In response, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran and froze Iranian assets in America.

By January 2016, the countries had struck a deal — the US would pay Iran $1.7 billion, which amounts to about $300 million in interest on top of the originally frozen assets (accounting for inflation).

The settlement was announced the same day in January as Iran received its first round of sanctions relief from the Iran deal.

The $400 million payment, delivered in foreign cash because US law prevents the government from giving Iran dollars, was the first installment toward the $1.7 billion total. Getting together large amounts of foreign cash is hard, apparently — hence the installment plan.

So there you have it. The payment, which sounds really shady out of context, was actually the end of a boring, decades-old international legal case totally unrelated to the hot-button nuclear and prisoner issues.

Mike said...

But according to Ben Rhodes that whole moderates vs. hardliners story is one he made up. Rouhani is on the same page as the mullahs. It's all BS and the press has been called out but they stick with the story they've been telling anyway. In Iran the moderates, hardliners, fundamentalists, nationalists, and quds forces all agree: Death to America!

Keep shoveling your shit ARM.

Hagar said...

One could also point out that the German nation is one of the best educated, enlightened people in the world with a great history behind them.
Did not prevent Hitler.

mockturtle said...

Nixon had two big strikes against him: A dour visage and a pissy personality. The media hated him from the start. Frankly, I didn't like him either. Contrast him to the Al Green-singing, well-tailored, smooth-talking, darling-of-the-media, Obama. Perception is everything. Rather like JFK, a mediocre president who nearly got us into a nuclear war but whose winning charm was a big hit with the MSM.

Mick said...

When the Putative POTUS, the executor of the laws, is not a legal entity (Hussein Obama is not a natural born Citizen because he was born British of a British subject father) then there is no law. The law is only what the invader to the office says it is.
How long have I been trying to tell you "law prof"?

Mike said...

So according to ARM Obama just voicing support for democracy would have been "interfering" in Iran's affairs and counterproductive to some pipedream. But whacking heads of state (Khaddafi), running the campaign against a prime minister (Israel), pushing an ally (Mubarak) out so the Muslim Briotherhood could take over, and drawing imaginary red lines are what, non-interferance and"smart diplomacy"?

AJ Lynch said...

Gangster Government is the Obama admin's SOP.

Now, accused parties can plead the Obama defense when charged with cash transactions in excess of $10,000 and those who play loose with classified info can use the Hillary defense.

I used to say what a great country this is..now I say what a great banana republic we have become.

AReasonableMan said...

Mike said...
Rouhani is on the same page as the mullahs.


So, if this is true, then all the Republican preening about supporting the Green movement was nonsense, since only the mullahs have any power.

AJ Lynch said...

ARM: no matter how you cut it, we, in effect, gave them dollars because Obama used our U.S. dollars to acquire foreign currency. You are being Clintonian in defense of this Gangster Government.

David Begley said...

Molly

The President can't break the law. At least that used to be the case. His defense would be that the Executive has the exclusive right to execute foreign policy and therefore what he did is legal and, hence, not subject to impeachment. Total BS.

Anthony said...

>>Democracy is over, so talking about politics is now a waste of precious time.

Yeah, pretty much in banana republic territory now.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

The conniptive fit that hard-core war mongers on the right have with Obama dealing with Iran is identical to the response these same idiots have when Trump says he could work with Putin. All our opponents must be bad, bad, bad. Evil incarnate. There can never be any shades of grey, because nuance does not feed the armaments machine.

buwaya puti said...

Failing to back the rebels of 2009 was a huge mistake.
There was no objection to that that passes the test of consistency. It was the whim of the administration, just as Libya, Syria and the Ukraine were.

The only half-reasonable argument I have seen is that US troops were still in Iraq and their withrawal may have had to be delayed if Iran was unstable. But that was an issue mainly of US domestic policy, and itself very mistaken as foreign policy as subsequent events proved.

As for these elections, the current US government, both the executive and the bureaucracy it (it because the US Presidency is really a collective body, you foolish drama-addled personalizers) oversees (oversees, it does not actually control), are grossly incompetent. The Democrats are the party of the collectives that currently staff and lead this stinking mess.

Mike said...

[edited for spelling errors]

No ARM. Are you purposely looking past the point of the Green Revolution? It was the PEOPLE uprising and trying to present change. The people, as in "we the people" type of movement. The kind the Left always claims to be FOR but somehow is always caught working AGAINST.

The GOVERNMENT (hint, that's the side you statists like Barack are always on) had to bring in Syrian thugs to put down the protesters because the regular army wasn't sufficiently hip to beating on their own friends and neighbors. Hired thugs beating their own populace for trying out some FREE SPEECH. Yep. Sounds like a leftist paradise.

So of COURSE Obama couldn't be bothered to stand up for the PEOPLE and their desire for democracy. He had water to carry for those famously moderate mullahs, right ARM? He somehow ALWAYS comes down on the side of the mullahs. Against us. Against Israel. Against the law. Against the tide of history, if I may borrow one of his worn out tropes.

Got to say about conmrade Obama: He is CONSISTENT in that regard.

Hagar said...

Obama is not "dealing with Iran." He is dealing with himself. The ayatollahs and the generals have always stated their unalterable opposition to his "deals."

Mike said...

The conniptive fit that hard-core war mongers on the right have with Obama dealing with Iran is identical to the response these same idiots have when Trump says he could work with Putin. All our opponents must be bad, bad, bad. Evil incarnate. There can never be any shades of grey, because nuance does not feed the armaments machine.[emphasis added]

180 degerees out of phase again. It is the failure of the Left to recognize that those who chant "death to America" and promise "wipe Israel off the map" ARE "evil incarnate." That you continue to side with them against the people of Iran, who yearn to be free from their theocratic oppression, is proof the Left has no objective standards for executing foreign policy.

buwaya puti said...

Putin has nuclear weapons.
Putin is not aggressively hostile to the US.
Putin is not threatening all his neighbors (as the Iranians like to do) with nuclear weapons.
Putin plays ball.
Putin doesnt have (or potentially could have) a knee on the throat of the world economy such as being right there on the straits of Hormuz.

Unknown said...

ARM, just admit it: Obama is an Iranian ally, at best, and an Iranian stooge, at worst. What has the US gotten in exchange for Iran's vast successes--hundreds of billions of US tribute, a free hand to get nuclear weapons, their troops all over Iraq now (guess Iran did win that Iran-Iraq war, courtesy of Obama!), and the worst US-Israel relations ever?

What have we gotten? Iranian "Promises" that they violate before the ink is dry? They announce they are violating them; they seize our soldiers and citizens, and all Obama does is pay them money. When did America become a conquered nation, a tribute to Iran? Why is Iran dictating our policies?

And if they aren't, please tell me the policy that Iran has wanted and has not gotten from Obama. Where has Obama told them "No!"?

You cannot name anything, because it hasn't happened. Obama is fully an agent of Iran. And you cannot point to anything to demonstrate otherwise.

I don't even think you want to. You love the idea of Iran, the Islamic theocracy; ruling America. Your previous comments show that the coming Holocaust, part II, as brought on by Obama and Hillary, is something you want dearly. The coming piles of dead Jews and Christians is one of your fantasies at night.

How else can anyone explain your constant shilling for the pro-Muslim, pro-enemies of America of the world, and in particular Iran?

--Vance

AReasonableMan said...

Mike said...
That you continue to side with them against the people of Iran,


The people of Iran voted for Rouhani, reasonably decisively by parliamentary election standards. The people won a victory, a modest victory, but a victory nonetheless.

tim in vermont said...

The conniptive fit that hard-core war mongers on the right have with Obama dealing with Iran is identical to the response these same idiots have when Trump says he could work with Putin.

That is plenty true, but since when has whipping up a war fever been anything other than a political tactic of distraction for the Clintons? Remember when Bill launched a missile strike on Afghanistan, a country with which we were not at war? In 1998, I believe... To distract from the accusations of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, etc, etc?

Operation Infinite Reach was the codename for American cruise missile strikes on al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan on August 20, 1998.

Gee, it's not like attacking countries could have repercussions, say three years and three weeks later, plunging America into an era of war? But this is about power for the Clintons! So that is all that matters! Memories like this are why the Democrats depend on the young and the stupid for the majority of their vote.

tim in vermont said...

Except it's not the "same idiots" it's the Democrats whipping up hatred for Russia now.

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya puti said...
Putin has nuclear weapons. - so this makes him less of a problem?

Putin is not aggressively hostile to the US. - cyberwar and attacks on the Ukraine don't count?

Putin is not threatening all his neighbors (as the Iranians like to do) with nuclear weapons. - see above (attacks on Ukraine)

Putin plays ball. - only with his balls

Putin doesnt have (or potentially could have) a knee on the throat of the world economy such as being right there on the straits of Hormuz. - fuck this is delusional.

tim in vermont said...

Putin doesnt have (or potentially could have) a knee on the throat of the world economy

But whatever you do, you must oppose Keystone and fracking at all costs!

Unknown said...

"Obama is fully an agent of Iran. And you cannot point to anything to demonstrate otherwise."

Russia and Iran have a political relationship. Trump is calling for better relations with Russia. Now WHO is an agent of Iran, of Russia? Trump! Man you Trumpists are dumb as a box of rocks, or or loony toons.

damikesc said...

Of these, only two, Tunisia and Iran could be reasonably considered to currently be on a positive trajectory, from our perspective.

I'll bite: HOW is Iran on a "positive trajectory, from our perspective"? In what way?

There are a significant number of smart, well educated, sophisticated and western orientated people in Iran who oppose the Mullahs.

And when they did so in 2009, we did absolutely nothing. Didn't even comment on the brutal repression.

If only Hitler had taken hostages in the 1930s.

Europe caved to him over and over as well. They threatened to attack Czechoslovakia if they dared resist Hitler's ambition. Europe has always been fascinated by tyrannical dictatorships.

We used to be of sterner stuff, but we aren't now. We just want a strongman as well. I'm not different. I want a Republican President to liquidate Progressives.

Iran Parliamentary Election: Moderates, Reformists Make Gains

All candidates must be approved by the mullahs. So, no, there are no actual moderates or reformers. Those wouldn't be allowed to run.

This statement recognizes two things, i) to date, the Council has not acted against the moderates and ii) there are a range of voices in Iran, some of them relatively, by Islamic standards, pro-western.

Funny, Jefferson being, by the standards of his day, opposed to slavery doesn't seem to wash away him owning slaves.

Seems inconsistent, don't you think?

It’s easy to see how the timing is suspicious. But Ryan, Trump, and other critics have the facts wrong. The Wall Street Journal story is actually describing a payment that President Obama announced back in January. What’s more, the payment was the result of a 35-year case in international court — and had nothing to do with any "hostage" payments.

Yet prisoners have said their flight was not permitted to leave until the money was received. Any idea why?

Whether you like it or not, IRAN VIEWS IT AS RANSOM. That is all that matters.

So, if this is true, then all the Republican preening about supporting the Green movement was nonsense, since only the mullahs have any power.

Hoping the Green Revolution turns into an ACTUAL revolution was in everybody's best interests --- except Obama and Progressives, oddly enough.

The conniptive fit that hard-core war mongers on the right have with Obama dealing with Iran is identical to the response these same idiots have when Trump says he could work with Putin. All our opponents must be bad, bad, bad. Evil incarnate. There can never be any shades of grey, because nuance does not feed the armaments machine.

As opposed to Obama actively trying to defeat Netanyahu in an election (and being markedly more critical of them than anybody else in the ME, in spite of them being the only democracy and the most free place there) and Hillary having Khaddafy killed, leading to ISIS. That's "nuance", apparently.

The people of Iran voted for Rouhani, reasonably decisively by parliamentary election standards. The people won a victory, a modest victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Hitler won amazing majorities of the vote after he became dictator. I don't see those elections held up as being the actual voice of Germans.

Unknown said...

http://www.russia-direct.org/opinion/beginning-russian-iranian-alliance

There are a number of economic and geopolitical reasons why Russia could be looking for a broader alliance with Iran, the most important of which is the desire to check U.S. influence in the world.

Yup, you Trumpists are fucking dummies.

AprilApple said...

Any victory is an Islamic theocracy is all window dressing.

Bob Boyd said...

@UnKnown
That's a bit of a stretch.
Was Hillary an agent of Iran when she called for better relations with Russian?
Can anyone call for better relations with Russia without being an agent of Iran?
If the PM of China called for better relations with Russia would he be an agent of Iran?

tim in vermont said...

"Muddy the water around HRC's ethical lapses" - DNC Memos

Well Unknown sure got that memo!

Unknown said...

*blink* I don't like getting cozy with Russia, idiot unknown leftist. But still: Russia is one of the "Great Powers" of the world; and their relationship with Iran is not the main thing with Russia. A concern, yes.

But under your logic, because Great Britain had an embassy in Cuba as well as a diplomatic relationship, when Reagan got all buddy buddy with Thatcher, he was really getting closer to Castro.

Which is utter nonsense, of course. But typical leftist thought pattern.

No, Obama surrendered the US to Iran, pretty much. If the Mullah's demanded the state of Maine tomorrow, who here doubts that Obama wouldn't be trying to figure out how to give Maine up without causing a mass revolt? We all know ARM and PB&J and our leftist "Unknowns" would be all on board with giving Iran Maine.

Actually, I suppose that is not true. I'm sure Obama would say, "Sorry, can't give you Maine. How about I give you Texas and most of the South instead, as long as you commit to killing as many Christians there as possible, and all Republicans."

From his point of view, the only problem with that would be all the dead progressives who's hearts burst from their rapture and glee at the thought of Islamic theocracy being enforced on America.

--Vance

tim in vermont said...

It is pretty funny that Hillary gave the Russians a button that said "Overcharged" instead of "Reset." After giving them that button, she then charged them millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation as she was working on approving a deal for Putin to gain control of most North American uranium.

You can read all about it in the New York Times, that crazy right wing newspaper!

Here's a hotlink: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

victoria said...

Actually sounds like Trump



Vicki

buwaya puti said...

Putin has nuclear weapons so it is imprudent to do things like support anti-Putin guerillas in Russia. Both politics and war are constrained by facts.
Iran, it is not so well armored against US policies.
Putin wants to gain back what he can of the Russian empire if doing so doesnt cost too much. This puts him in conflict with the US on certain matters but not any that are vital interests.
Putin and his proxy spokesmen arent in the habit of making such threats - unlike the Iranians, and the Chinese for that matter.
Putin plays ball, these arent semi-insane characters dedicated to some apocalyptic theology, as is much of the Iranian leadership. With Putin you are dealing with a mafioso who wants rewards in this world, not the next.

US strategic problems in this part of the world began in 1979 with the threat to the straits of Hormuz and the political stability of the oil-producing nations. That was clear at the time, it was the constant subject in, for instance, the US Naval Institute Proceedings. US policy there was all about keeping the sealanes open and the petroleum flowing. Keeping mad characters in Iran suppressed was a high priority. Also keeping the producers more or less friendly and undominated by a local empire-builder.

If you want to create genuine global economic turmoil through a military coup de main, there is still no better way than to close the straits. The US is no longer dependent on this but most other nations are.

Back in those days US strategy was determined and managed by wise men, in every administration for the most part. That generation seems to be gone now.

The most significant strategic development in the last administration was US oil production through fracking, and that was entirely a lucky break, purely a private venture, almost entirely outside even of the formal university "science" culture. It was bitterly opposed by the bureaucracy and its appurtenances. But there was just too much money in it to stop.

tim in vermont said...

The more I think about that button, the more I think writing "Overcharge" on it was not a mistake, but putting them on notice of what it would be like dealing with a Clinton.

victoria said...

People, a Republican President did just that. Ronald Reagan and that idiot who is now on fox... Oh yes, Ollie North


I get tired of this crap when people say, "If a Republican did it, he would be impeached, he would be fired, he would be forced to step down." That is just junk, and you all know it. The bad doings are not a purview of only the Democrats, Plenty of bad on both sides to go around. Please, grow up.



Vicki from Pasadena.

tim in vermont said...

Vickie, do you think a candidate with Hillary's documented history of corruption and exploitation of both private and public trusts who was a Republican could have won the Republican nomination? I don't.

traditionalguy said...

Hint: Europe has never recovered from watching the withering away of the glory of The Spanish Empire that blew its fortunes shipped home by its New World Conquistadors in trying to conquer the rest of Europe. The result was a Balance of Power that simply planned for eternal European wars.

The USA refused to get involved and was doing fine up until the outcome of WWII brought the same guys that had been expert at ruining Europe over here and hired them to do the same crap from DC using a 45 year Cold War to claim all of the America's wealth they could take.

These are the same ones who are now horrified at Trump for saying he will end the nenewal of the Cold War charade, and end Muslim Conquests cold, instead of using them to justify never ending Wars.

Right now it is the traditional Americans lead by Trump against the rest of the World.

AprilApple said...

When democrats are caught lying, (again) you can depend on the CA Pasadena contingent to remind you that everyone does it. (/wow - that's fresh thinking)

Unknown said...

And I'm still waiting for the ARM's and the leftist unknowns to prove me wrong that Obama essentially surrendered the US to Iran and is paying them tribute.

Obama: 1) Gave Iran hundreds of billions, and now 400 million more of hard cash in unmarked bills, as a ransom (at the very least, Iran says it was a ransom).
2) Unfroze and removed all sanctions from Iran.
3) Explicitly said they could make nuclear weapons in ten years.
4) Guaranteed no inspections of their nuclear facilities.
5) They get to run Iraq through their stooges.

And for what? What did the US get out of all of these concessions? What did we get in exchange for giving Iran everything they wanted?

A "Promise" to not make nukes for ten years. Which the Iranians have openly defied, said they weren't going to follow, and they have repudiated.

Obama's response to Iran reneging on their deal before the ink was dry? Nothing, except "Here's more money! Oh, and I'll keep Israel out of your hair!"

How is this not a surrender to Iran? They gave up nothing--zero, nada, and are not even pretending otherwise. Obama just unilaterally surrendered to them. They probably do regret not asking for the state of Alaska--Obama would have given it to them, and we all know it.

So tell me, leftists: what about this Iran deal, as demonstrated by the facts, shows that the US did not surrender to Iran? What facts demonstrate that Obama considered the interests of the United States at all, and did not just give Iran everything they wanted?

What Obama did was like FDR agreeing to send lend-lease to Germany in 1939, and vowing to continue on December 10, 1941, and then giving German troops transport to land on the beach at Dover. If FDR had done that... wouldn't we call him a Nazi sympathizer, at best, and a traitor, most likely?

--Vance

walter said...

And we didn't even get a Death to America! T-shirt...that we know of.

Unknown said...

"In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added."

victoria said...

Tim from Vermont, i totally disagree with you. What about Mark Sanford? A liar, cheater and a defrauder (My word). Just one example.


April Apple, just following the lead from the Republicans. Hello K street boys.


Vicki from Pasadena

Unknown said...

Fever swamps of the conservative mind....

tim in vermont said...

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign

Well that settles that!

Sounds like the Clinton M.O.

Whether about Gennifer Flowers, smoking marijuana, dodging the draft or, now, Monica Lewinsky, Clinton has found that hanging tough can get you through tough times.



In telephone conversations with Flowers, for instance, Clinton told her: ``If everybody's on record denying it, you've got no problem''; and ``If everybody kind of hangs tough, they're just not gonna do anything''; and ``They can't a story like this unless somebody said, `Yeah, I did it with him.'''

The problem for Clinton turned out to be that Flowers later said she did have sex with him. But Clinton denied it. When the story broke during the critical New Hampshire primary of 1992, Clinton repeatedly said there had been no affair with Flowers.

And voters seemed to believe him. Clinton, who also denied dodging the draft and breaking the laws of this country by smoking marijuana, came in second in New Hampshire after many had counted him out. He went on to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency.

It was not until January of this year - with no more elections to face - that Clinton admitted to having had sex once with Flowers.

Denial still looks like Clinton's defense of choice.

Days after the Lewinsky story first broke, CNN's John King reported that on one audiotape Lewinsky quotes the president as ``There is no evidence, so you can deny, deny, deny.''

AprilApple said...

12:46 Tim In Vermont- Brings the goods.

Not that democrats really care about the Clinton Crime family and their corrupt foundation.

tim in vermont said...

Fever swamps

Been reading your own posts? Because you have become increasingly unhinged since they gave you that Russia talking point to flog.

John said...

Is the treaty even legal, or binding?

The Senate did not approve it, isn't following an unratified treaty illegal for the President?

The Iranians never signed it. How is a treaty unsigned by the other party binding on anyone?

John Henry

buwaya puti said...

Things are getting way too serious.

US strategy since 1945 was, in broad outlines, to prevent WWIII. To keep a lid on the global pot. To create and maintain the Pax Americana. To suppress any local war or aggression likely to have global consequences. On the whole this worked extremely well.

However, this system can be seen to be breaking down. The Chinese have claimed the China Sea sealanes, in order to create a means to strangle Japan and the rest of East Asia, and there isnt much the US is doing about it.
The Middle East is pretty much on its own, I doubt the locals have any confidence in US guarantees. Gulf states are prizes for the plucking now. Its just a matter of time.
Global arms sales are way up.

Unknown said...

T in V,
Who are "they"? Some imaginary people who send liberal commenters here to bug you people? LOL!

eric said...

If you think this is bad, wait until Hillary gets in there.

John said...

A bit off topic but I am rereading Paul Erdman's financial/thriller novel "The Crash of 79". The plot revolves around the Irnanians working secretly with the Swiss to attempt to get nuclear weapons. There is a nuclear "research" facility, supposedly for peaceful nuclear uses. There are the Saudis doing what they can to keep the Shah from getting nukes. Manipulation of oil prices by OPEC and more.

The hero is an American ex-banker working for the Saudis. His love interest is a Swiss woman whose widowed father has been hired and, sort of, held in Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

It is a pretty good book if a bit dated. It was published in 1976.

I mention it because the issue of Iran and Nukes didn't just start yesterday.

John Henry

John said...

Bullshit, David Begley.

I agree with you about English being the official language of this blog. Well, that and bullshit.

It is not the official language of the US. The 1st Amendment guarantees that there can be no official language. I am free to speak Tibetan or Assyrian if I choose. Even bullshit, as witness our president and most politicians.

John Henry

John said...

Don't know if anyone else has pointed this out but yesterday President Obama said that even Israel, who had originally objected to the unsigned treaty, now says it was a good idea and succeeded.

Today several high Israeli officials said that Obama was lying (in more diplomatic language, of course). That Israel still saw the treaty as horrible.

John HEnry

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya puti said...
The Chinese have claimed the China Sea sealanes, in order to create a means to strangle Japan


I suggest you consult a map before you attempt to peddle any more of your apocalyptic conspiracy theories.

tim in vermont said...

Who are "they"? Some imaginary people who send liberal commenters here to bug you people? LOL!

If you are thinking this crap up on your own, I would have thought there would be more evidence that you have thought about it in your posts. I could be wrong, you could just be making this stuff up as you go along and you are probably one of those people who believes everything they think.

Did the Clinton campaign spokesman explain why the Russians gave the Clintons millions of dollars at the time of the deal?

walter said...

I will certainly miss Obama's "what makes you think you can question me?" tone.
That, the bleating scold and the recently reduced gap whistle.

Fernandinande said...

Last week[Jul.2016], Germany’s domestic intelligence agency revealed that Iran has continued its clandestine efforts to procure illicit nuclear and ballistic missile technology and equipment from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”
To make matters worse, another German intelligence report indicated that the Iranians not only were continuing their efforts to acquire nuclear technology after the agreement was signed, but they also sought items that could be used to make illegal chemical and biological weapons.

walter said...

Soon all he will have left to say is..
It's high time. She wants it.

Hyphenated American said...

"Republicans begged Obama to recognize the movement, because they are congenital idiots. Having the US intervene in any way would have only hurt the moderates. It takes a special kind of stupidity not to recognize this. "

But funding Iranian mad mullahs, reviving fascist Castro brothers regime in Cuba and running guns to mexican cartels did not hurt the moderates..... Heck, the mad mullahs are publicly announcing that Obama paid a ransom for American citizens and they can do anything they want now, but some liberals are saying Iran us on the positive tragectory now. Positive for whom, dumbass?

buwaya puti said...

The Shahs government was indeed also working on nuclear weapons, not quite like Paul Erdman had it, but true anyway.
It hadnt gotten very far by 1979.

Its interesting how many countries had nuclear weapons programs in the 1970s. Much of this came about I think due to doubts about the US umbrella as a result of Vietnam.

walter said...

Hyphenated American said...the mad mullahs are publicly announcing that Obama paid a ransom for American citizens
--
Kerry will 'splain how it's just a bit of funnin' for domestic consumption. Like "Death to America". A figure of speech..

buwaya puti said...

ARM, yes, look at a map.
If you wanted to route container ships and oil tankers (250,000mt or more) on a route from Europe/the ME to Japan/Korea/Taiwan, where would they have to go to miss Chinese "territorial waters"?
They would have to go all the way on the other side of the Indonesian island chain. No going through the straits of Malacca. There are few significant ports on that side. There is little trade and only Indonesian ports available through the Sunda strait, which is actually shallow and unsuitable for such shipping. Also using my dividers I add @5000 miles to the route at least, assuming the various straits can take that class of shipping. I know no Philippine straits are suitable either, nor are there accessible ports there for that class.
That, plus insurance and logistical matters of no ports, would multiply shipping costs enormously.

Lydia said...

Re the "moderate" and oh so trustworthy Rouhani:

In 2006 [Rouhani] boasted in Tehran of having “fooled the West” in that earlier “nuclear deal” he negotiated in Vienna in 2004. And back in 1986 there was the “Iran-gate” scandal, when America secretly supplied Iran with arms in return for the release of seven US hostages taken by Iran’s IRGC agents in Lebanon. The missiles were delivered to Iran, but only three hostages were initially released – and three more Americans were promptly seized to replace them.

Iran’s chief negotiator in that deal was Rouhani, even then being hailed in the West as “a moderate”. When the whole fiasco erupted into the greatest scandal of the Reagan era, the Washington Post published a storming editorial headed “The Moderate Fantasy”, excoriating the West’s naivete in imagining that there were “moderates” in the Iranian regime, somehow different from the all-powerful Supreme Leader. If only the US had not fallen for this delusion, the paper concluded, it might have “avoided a titanic and costly misjudgement”. Thirty years later it seems this lesson has still not been learned.

Jim at said...

"See that is his plan. He is trying to demoralize you right before the election. He is a political genius."

No, he's not a political genius.
He's a fifth-column POS. The enemy within.
Just like you.

Hyphenated American said...

"Giving back money that we had perviously seized is not quite the same as paying a ransom."

How much did Obama charge the mad mullahs for attacking American embassy and holding hundreds of Americans as hostages? Oh, it was free of charge, right? Obama is so generous when it comes to American lives.

buwaya puti said...

"In the South China Sea, Chinese activity is destabilising and could pose a threat to commercial trade routes," General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said before the Center for Strategic and International Studies"

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/chinas-activities-in-south-china-sea-may-pose-threat-to-trade-routes-us/articleshow/51612043.cms

Hagar said...

Back to the subject of this thread.
When the EPA set up testing regulations for passenger car diesel engines they apparently forgot to add a sentence to require that the test results should be consistent with the on the road performance of the vehicles, so VW devised a system that met the testing requirements during testing, but shut down when not hooked up to the testing equipment.
This met the letter of the regulations as written, but obviously not the intent, and VW did not even try to defend their action, when it was discovered and brought out in public.

Likewise, Obama should not be allowed to get away with an obvious effort to circumvent the intent of the laws regarding financial dealings with Iran, while pretending to obey the letter of the law - even personally openly admitting to such on national television.

AReasonableMan said...

You ignore the Lombok Strait, which at 250 m deep is much deeper than the Strait of Malacca. Ships that draw too much water to pass through Malacca (post Malaccamax" vessels) use the Lombok Strait. Not exactly 'strangled'. Shipping to most of its major trading partners, US, Korea and Australia, would be unaffected. You have developed a weird apocalyptic view of the world that is characteristic of old men. Young people are too busy living their lives to worry about the end of it all.

damikesc said...

I get tired of this crap when people say, "If a Republican did it, he would be impeached, he would be fired, he would be forced to step down." That is just junk, and you all know it. The bad doings are not a purview of only the Democrats, Plenty of bad on both sides to go around. Please, grow up.

There were hours of fully televised hearings, trying to generate an impeachment. This is ignored by the media. And there is little evidence that Reagan was in the loop the entire time and the policy helped freedom fighters in Central America.

Obama's policies helped terrorists only.

"In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.”

Well, her spokesman said so...all questions answered, I guess. Perhaps she should produce the 30,000 emails she refused to turn over. If you know what you don't want found, setting up keyword searches to make sure they aren't found is exceedingly easy.

Hagar said...

As for the South China Sea and the Senkaku Islands, note that the Chinese and Japanese both still think they have unfinished business. These are vey provocative actions by the CCP.
Also note that Viet Nam has already signed some sort of mutual treaty with India and other Southeast Asia nations are showing interest in getting in on that.

damikesc said...

Young people are too busy living their lives to worry about the end of it all.

The young felt Hitler was nothing to worry about also.

AReasonableMan said...

"Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Nazi analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazism or Hitler approaches 1" —​​that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism."

AReasonableMan said...

"There is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress."

tim in vermont said...

Hillary Clinton on Friday said that she may have mischaracterized FBI Director James Comey’s statements about her truthfulness during the investigation into her use of a private email server.

What would Nixon have called this, a "limited hangout"? Or is this a "That story is no longer operative" moment?

tim in vermont said...

I bet people were afraid to show her Comey's words, so she wasn't lying, she was just relying on second hand reports!

Unknown said...

I like how ARM demonstrates his knowledge of Hitler; who as far as I can tell is the role model all progressives strive to be. I mean, exactly what policy did Hitler have that people like ARM disagree with? Killing all the Jews? No, any self respecting leftist knows who to blame for all the problems in the Middle east and Europe: Those dirty Jews. And America. But in fairness, I have to admit: they've also added Christians to the "evil unpeople who should be killed" list.
Let's see: Fascism is where the government doesn't own the company; they just tell all the companies what to do. Just like Obama and the left want.
Goebbels had less control of the German press than the DNC has of the American one. Hitler blamed Christianity for all sorts of things--sound familiar? He claimed Christian "morals" were standing in the way of the state. Word for word what we hear from today's left.

About the only thing I can think of that today's leftists disagree with Hitler about is that Hitler wanted Germany to rule the world. Of course, we all can recite the numerous times we are lectured about how German politics and morality is what we need to implement here, especially Ms. Merkel's immigration policies. And in reality, the only thing leftist's object to about German nationalism is the German part. They want UN dictatorial control over everything, and as this thread proves, they really, really love them some Iranian theocracy.

Iran now and Germany, circa 1949 are about similar, aside from the particular brand of genocidal anti-semitic ravings of madmen, with lunatic economic policies. But leftists love them deeply, and want to import it here--back in the 30's, and Iranian theocracy now.

--Vance

buwaya puti said...

Heh, I was thinking apocalyptically when I was young.
I guess it comes from growing up with wall-to-wall tales of the real thing, and moreover, at the time, and in some places even now, you could place your hands on the stigmata.
The apocalypse is not far away at anytime. A disaster is always about to fall, and given enough time it is sure to happen.
Seen enough of them, and the signs are clear.

mockturtle said...

Good post, Vance [Unknown]! The real objective of 'progressives' is a one-world government, a leftist goal for as long as I can remember. I remember a Communist telling me in 1970 that a one-world government was the only path to peace. Well, yeah. There was the Pax Romana, too. I'll take war any day.

Hagar said...

!939, Unknown #2, 1939!

Hitler's one big idea was to restart the World War and this time there would not be any "stab in the back."

Iran is somewhat similar in that it is an expansionist autocracy on the march with dreams of empire, and I do think that attempting to get along with it by appeasement will have about the same results as it did with Hitler's Germany.

buwaya puti said...

The Lombok strait only gets you to the China sea anyway.
To bypass it you would have to pass to the East of the Philippines, into the Western Pacific, which is far out of the way, and there still are no significant ports on that side.
If China starts licensing shipping in its claimed waters it will have a huge item of blackmail vs Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
It will also effectively control the trade of Vietnam, the Philippines (because Manila Bay will be blockaded), much of Malaysia and Indonesia and much of Singapore.

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
Good post, Vance


Apparently MT has a fine appreciation of histrionic nonsense.

Hagar said...

Old marblehead is worse than I am about laying down the law without supporting facts.

tim in vermont said...

Had Obama simply gotten Congressional approval for this 'deal', he could have given them the money is a straightforward way. Instead he found a 'loophole' in the sanctions which kept him from just wire transferring the money, or giving them the money in US dollars. But did the law say no foreign currency? No! So he is in the clear on this one.

After all, why should a president be restrained by a Congress that the people of the United States duly elected? That's for weak leaders! Not strong leaders who ignore elections like Obama!

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya puti said...
The Lombok strait only gets you to the China sea anyway.


Look at a map, for chrissakes. Not 'strangled'. The Lombok strait route to Japan is only slightly longer because the Malacca strait route is so tortuous. They don't need ports except at the beginning and end of the journey.

tim in vermont said...

Old marblehead

Yeah, he has managed to associate an image of Aristotle with stupidity. That gave me the idea for my current avatar. I want people to associate Hillary with her lifetime of corruption.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
That gave me the idea


Well there's a first time for everything.

Unknown said...

Anyone else note that AReasonableMan has no actual response, only "Arrant nonsense!" and the like? Since he has ignored repeated opportunities to actually rebut the charges, one must conclude he has conceded the points.

--Vance

AReasonableMan said...

Vance said ...
If the Mullah's demanded the state of Maine tomorrow, who here doubts that Obama wouldn't be trying to figure out how to give Maine up without causing a mass revolt?


Gee, I guess I should respond to this well considered and thoughtful charge.

No. I don't think Obama is planning to give up Maine.

Hagar said...

BTW, the South China Sea has been free passage throughout known history. China cannot just suddenly jump up and claim it is its territorial waters.

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
BTW, the South China Sea has been free passage throughout known history. China cannot just suddenly jump up and claim it is its territorial waters.


Not surprisingly, I, like most non-Chinese, agree with this. Got any other deep insights you would like to share?

Hagar said...

Then what were you arguing with buwaya about?

It is a provocation, and the nations using the waters, and their allies, have a right to consider it as a potential casus belli. It is a dangerous move on China's part.

AReasonableMan said...

I was questioning his increasingly apocalyptic vision of the future. He claimed Japan was doomed, doomed I tell ya. When, as a glance at a map would quickly reveal, it is relatively immune to the current Chinese expansionism in the South China sea. There is a lot of saber-rattling going on at the moment that should send up warning flares in the minds of the US public.

virgil xenophon said...

ARM@4:16PM/

As was once said of Gore (iirc) may also be said about Obama, i,e., "If Casro invaded Florida the first thing Obama would do is to immediately begin negotiations about the neutrality of Georgia."

Terry said...

Blogger Unknown said...
Anyone else note that AReasonableMan has no actual response, only "Arrant nonsense!" and the like?
. . .
--Vance

Yes, something like this.
Normal Person: "The Moon is a world like the Earth, and is composed mostly of silicates."
ARM: "The Moon is made of green cheese. It takes a special sort of stupid not to see this."

mockturtle said...

@ARM Apparently MT has a fine appreciation of histrionic nonsense.

No, I don't care for your posts at all.

cubanbob said...

Hagar said...
BTW, the South China Sea has been free passage throughout known history. China cannot just suddenly jump up and claim it is its territorial waters.

8/6/16, 4:20 PM"

Who says they can't? The Chinese are playing a game they believe they can win since most likely they believe no one wants to go to war with them over this. They may well be right.

Hagar said...

Well, yes. They just did, so of course they can. But they cannot "legally" do so - if there was any such thing as "international law."

China pushes all around its perimeter, Russia pushes, Iran pushes, soon Turkey too.
Eventually there will be an accident or someone miscalculates, and there will be hell to pay.

CWJ said...

ARM wrote -
"I was questioning his increasingly apocalyptic vision of the future. He claimed Japan was doomed, doomed I tell ya."

No you weren't, and you know it. You consistently respond with selective quotes, insincere baiting or snotty - special kind of stupid - dismissal of any opinion you cannot rationally debate. You are one sick puppy. I wish others wouldn't rise to your bait, and you'd find a different outlet. But that's just me. Peace.

AReasonableMan said...

CWJ said...
You are one sick puppy.


I look forward to more thoughtful contributions like this in the future.

CWJ said...

Selective quote, ignore the point of the first sentence, and snark. Par for the course. Ciao.

AReasonableMan said...

Your first sentence revealed that you hadn't bothered to read either mine or Buyawa's posts. If you had you would have seen that he did in fact begin by claiming that Japan was at risk of having its sea lanes closed. I pointed out that this wasn't a particular problem for Japan. Your contribution to the debate was mindless name calling.

Gahrie said...

No. I don't think Obama is planning to give up Maine.

But he is planning to give up Gitmo....bet on it.

Rusty said...

buwaya puti said...@ 1:13

I think the immediate Chinese Strategy is to isolate Taiwan and thereby neutralizing any threat from Japan. By getting Japan to rethink it's military alliance with the United States. The Chinese are currently making noises about the legitimacy of Japans far western islands. Much like they have made claims on the Philippines far northern islands. Any action on their part would close the easy approaches to the South China Sea Causing shipping from the east to take a longer southern route. Or, more likely, pay to pass. The Chinese believe they are playing the long game, but there are several things China needs to do to accomplish this.Most of which involve stealing our latest technology.

Rusty said...

What I would like to know is how a 'moderate Muslim extremist differs from a a conservative Muslim extremist?
What? They hang homos with a softer rope? You get a pain killer before they amputate your hand? They just mouth the words,"Death to America!" at their religious rallies? I'd really like to know.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 201   Newer› Newest»