Wednesday, 30 September 2009

NORMAN HSU. ANATOMY OF A BURIED SCANDAL

Ken Berwitz

Remember Norman Hsu, the hugely prolific Democratic fundraiser?

You'll have to remember back, since our wonderful "neutral" media have decided to either not cover or dramatically under-report his conviction yesterday.

First let's look at excerpts from the Associated Press article on Hsu to see if he is newsworthy:

Ex-Dem fundraiser sentenced in NYC to 24 years

 

NEW YORK Former Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu was sentenced Tuesday to more than 24 years in prison by a judge who accused him of funding his fraud by manipulating the political process in a way that "strikes at the very core of our democracy."

 

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero sentenced the 58-year-old Hsu, who raised money for Hillary Rodham Clinton and others, to 20 years in prison for his guilty plea to fraud charges and another four years and four months in prison for his conviction at trial for breaking campaign finance laws.

 

In a lengthy criticism of Hsu's fraud, the judge said the former fundraiser used political contributions to win respect and impress investors as he committed campaign finance fraud.

 

"Mr. Hsu's disgraceful use of political campaigns to perpetuate his Ponzi schemes, as well as his acts of campaign finance fraud, strikes at the very core of our democracy," Marrero said.

 

The judge said Hsu stole more than $50 million from hundreds of investors in a 10-year Ponzi scheme by winning their confidence with his pristine reputation and friendly nature, a two-faced quality the judge noted was common among certain white collar criminals.

 

He described Hsu as a wolf in sheep's clothing. He said his "conniving use of the political process to fund his fraud" made his crimes much more sinister and reprehensible.

 

Before he was sentenced, Hsu apologized.

 

His donations became an embarrassment for Clinton's presidential campaign. His arrest led Clinton to return more than $800,000 to donors linked to him.

 

Seidler has said Hsu donated about $850,000 of his own money to political candidates and helped raise $1 million for Democratic candidates through about 75 people he knew who also made contributions. He said Hsu gave $3.5 million to charitable causes.

 

Marrero said he could not be lenient with someone who had performed "dozens, if not hundreds, of acts of dishonesty and fraud."

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander J. Willscher portrayed the Democratic candidates Hsu had helped as innocent victims of his devious ways. He said Hsu lied to some of the pre-eminent politicians in the country.

 

During the May trial, prosecutors played a voicemail recording of Clinton, then a senator, effusively praising Hsu for his support.

 

"I've never seen anybody who has been more loyal and more effective and really just having greater success supporting someone than you," she told him. "Everywhere I go, you're there. If you're not, you're sending people to be part of my events. You know, we're going to win this campaign, Norman, because you single-handedly are going to make that happen."

Let's see:  Hsu bilked people out of tens of millions of dollars, generated almost $2 million of his own and others' money for Democratic candidates, was a major contributor to, and got effusive praise from, the current Secretary of State, and was sentenced to 24 years in jail. 

Yep, I'd say that was news.

But guess what:  It either was not on this morning's Today show or was barely mentioned in passing (it is not even on Today's web site).  And the New York Times put it on page A28.  How fitting that A28 also has obituaries.  I guess the Times figured that, since it was burying the story, that would be the logical place to put it.

It is not on the Washington Post's web page either.  Or the LA Times' site.

Then they wonder why people call them biased?  Wow.


JOHN EVANDER COUEY, R.I.H.

Ken Berwitz

john evander couey was the monster who, in 2005 kidnapped and raped 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, then buried her alive. 

He died in prison today of "natural causes", at the age of 51.

I don't have the words to express my feeling about couey, other than that I am ashamed to be of the same species.

May he rot in hell.


ALAN GRAYSON'S FREE PASS

Ken Berwitz

Ok, I admit I'm anticipating that Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida will get a free pass for saying that Republicans want all of us to die quickly.

That is because a) Mr. Grayson has said other idiotic things in his short career in congress which have been ignored by our wonderful "neutral" media, and b) more generally, ignoring direct, viciously offensive comments against Republicans has become de rigueur for media, so why should this one be treated any differently?

Here are the particulars, from Tom Blumer of www.newsbusters.org:

Dem Congressman: 'Republicans Want You To Die Quickly'; What Will the 'Civility' Crowd Say?

 

By Tom Blumer (Bio | Archive)
September 30, 2009 - 09:29 ET

 

The Politico's Jonathan Allen reported last night that Democratic Congressment Alan Grayson of Florida let loose on the House floor. (UPDATE: Politico now has a YouTube video of Grayson's performance at the link.)

Hopefully, Allen himself was only being sloppy with his own wording:

 

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., warned Americans that "Republicans want you to die quickly" during an after-hours House floor speech Tuesday night.

 

His remarks, which drew angry and immediate calls for an apology from Republicans, were highlighted by a sign reading "The Republican Health Care Plan: Die Quickly."

 

"Warned"? As if "Republicans want you to die quickly" is a fact?

 

What follows, via Politico's Glenn Thrush, is what you can't say about a President:

 

Especially useful: The section on how to properly insult the executive branch in the in the chamber.

 

"Disgrace" and "nitwits" -- okay.

 

"Liar" or "sexual misconduct" -- ixnay.

 

Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:


refer to the government as something hated, something oppressive.
refer to the President as using legislative or judicial pork.
refer to a Presidential message as a disgrace to the country.
refer to unnamed officials as our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.

 

Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:


call the president a liar.
call the president a hypocrite.
describe the presidents veto of a bill as cowardly.
charge that the president has been intellectually dishonest.
refer to the president as giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
refer to alleged sexual misconduct on the presidents part.

Yet saying that "Republicans want you to die quickly" is not a problem? 

 

In a November 2005 House floor speech, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) quoted a Buckeye State Representative who wished to remind Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) of something:

 

House Republicans maneuvered for swift rejection Friday of any notion of immediately pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, sparking a nasty, sometimes personal debate over the war following a Democratic lawmakers own call for withdrawal.

 

.. At one point in the emotional debate, Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.

 

He asked me to send Congress a message stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message that cowards cut and run, Marines never do, Schmidt said.

 

What Schmidt said supposedly violated a ruling against criticizing a fellow individual House member, even though Schmidt was only relaying a constituent's message that did not itself criticize Murtha personally; if the poor guy took it personally, that's his problem. Schmidt, under pressure from fellow party members, later apologized; I say she had nothing to apologize for.

 

Schmidt's statement got her saturation media coverage and a Saturday Night Live parody.

 

But I'm betting that asserting (not "warning," Mr. Allen) on the House floor that "Republicans want you to die quickly" -- in effect personally tarring each and every GOP House member -- will be seen as okey-dokey, or at a minimum won't generate a wave of outrage, if it's noted at all.

 

I can't wait to see all of the coverage of Grayson's smear in the supposedly civility-obsessed establishment media. Actually, I can, because I virtually know that I'll have to. I half-expect that the cop-out will be, "Well, our old buddies at the Politico covered it, and they did a fine job, so we don't have to mention it."

 

The real reason will be that civility is a one-way street.

Other than possibly Fox and the conservative talk shows, try looking for coverage of Mr. Grayson's idiocy on the network news tonight, tomorrow's morning shows and/or the major dailies.  Let me know what you find first:  A story on what he said or a map of where Judge Crater is buried.

========================================================================

UPDATE:  There was a story on Grayson during Neil Cavuto's "Your World" (which I watched a portion of while the repairman was trying to get my phones back up and running).  Does that make Fox biased to the right, or does it make Fox a network that covers news stories.   I'm sure you know which one I'd pick - how about you?

FURTHER UPDATE:  Apparently I am wrong about how media will treat Alan Grayson's idiotic comment.  Brian Williams of NBC news reported what he said and called it "incendiary".  He played the video clip and then told us that Grayson not only did not apologize, but doubled down and called our health care a "holocaust".

Grayson may well be the single most offensive, obnoxious person in congress.

===========================================================================

LAST UPDATE (MAYBE):  Grayson's idiotic comment is not reported in the New York Times.  And, unless I missed it (which I don't think I did) Grayson is not on this morning's Today show- at least not in the first half hour, which is when the key news stories are covered.  Maybe I wasn't so wrong afterwards.  Call it a tie.

free` Ken here is an update, see what this jerk said today. Rep. Grayson compares Health Care to Holocaust - youtube.com/watch?v=iDtoGzQUTu0 this guy has some serious mental problems. (09/30/09)

BlueNC Three Cheers for Representative Alan Grayson! What he said is the absolute truth. The Congressional Republicans DO NOT have any health insurance or health care reform plan that would rectify the problems caused by the insurance company's policies of refusal of coverage for pre-existing conditions and acquired illnesses. Therefore the the obvious and logical conclusion is that their objective is exactly like that of the insurance companies. Rather than pay claims for peoples' medical care, instead they give people the option either of not getting sick , or if they do, of dying quickly. With the in surance companies it's all about stock prices, profits and greed. With the Republicans it's all about being re-elected, cynical ideology, and greed. Kudoes to Representative Grayson for vividly painting the true picture on C-SPAN for the American people! (10/01/09)


THE CRIME OF WATCHING YOUR NEIGHBOR'S CHILDREN

Ken Berwitz

The term "asinine" was invented for this. 

Excerpted from an Associated Press article:

IRVING TOWNSHIP, Mich. Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood's children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.

 

Regulators who oversee child care, however, don't see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

 

"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" that is, the mothers whose kids she watches "every one of them."

 

Snyder's predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.

 

On Tuesday, agency Director Ismael Ahmed said good neighbors should be allowed to help each other ensure their children are safe. Gov. Jennifer Granholm instructed Ahmed to work with the state Legislature to change the law, he said.

 

"Being a good neighbor means helping your neighbors who are in need," Ahmed said in a written statement. "This could be as simple as providing a cup of sugar, monitoring their house while they're on vacation or making sure their children are safe while they wait for the school bus."

 

Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said the agency was following standard procedure in its response. "But we feel this (law) really gets in the way of common sense," Boyd said.

 

"We want to protect kids, but the law needs to be reasonable," she said. "When the governor learned of this, she acted quickly and called the director personally to ask him to intervene."

 

Did you ever see anything as asinine in your life?

 

Based on this "logic" there are people all over the country, unknowingly running unlicensed day care centers.

 

To Governor Granholm's credit, when she heard about the situation she acted quickly.  Whether her celerity is due to personal outrage, a realization that she'd look ridiculous if she didn't, or some other reason, we will never know.

 

But, whatever the reason, Ms. Granholm is acting a lot quicker on this issue that President Obama is on another troop surge in Vietghanistan. 

 

And that's even more asinine than the unlicensed day care nonsense.

Ken Berwitz Anon - It was gratuitously added, to make a point about Barack Obama prioritizing a trip to Copenhagen over the now-month-old request from his commanding general in Afghanistan for additional troops - a request which came with the warning that we risk losing this war. Was it necessary to the story? No. Is it important to keep reminding people of how much/little Mr. Obama cares about the safety and well being of our troops? Yes. So, given the rhetorical opening at the end of my blog, in it went. (09/30/09)

(Anon) Am I missing something? How did you manage to bring President Obama into a comment about day care in Michigan? I can only conclude that in your mind "all roads lead to Obama" (09/30/09)


DA SILVA: MEDDLING IN HONDURAS AND BEING PLAYED FOR A SUCKER

Ken Berwitz

I have written several blogs about how idiotic Brazil's head of state, luis inacio lula da silva, was to give deposed Honduran dictator wannabe manuel zelaya asylum in Brazil's embassy

Now it is coming back to bite him - not only in Honduras, but in his own country.  From Reuters:

UPDATE 1-Lula faces criticism in Brazil over Honduras role

Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:57pm EDT

By Raymond Colitt

BRASILIA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Brazil's government is facing growing criticism at home over its handling of the Honduran crisis as senior lawmakers accuse it of allowing the ousted president to use its embassy as a political platform.

Manuel Zelaya, who was toppled as Honduran president by a coup on June 28, has set up camp in the Brazilian embassy with dozens of supporters and has given numerous interviews to foreign and domestic media.

His surprise return from exile a week ago triggered violent protests in the capital Tegucigalpa and placed Brazil at the center of the Honduran power struggle and an international diplomatic crisis.

Government and opposition legislators in Brazil's Congress have urged President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to stop Zelaya from using the embassy as a political theater.

"Zelaya's political activities are unacceptable. They weaken Brazil's position and international image," Eduardo Azeredo, head of the Senate foreign relations committee, told Reuters.

Brazil should formally grant Zelaya political asylum and take him out of Honduras, Azeredo said. Brazil would still be seen as defending a democratically-elected leader without being directly involved in the dispute, he said.

Honduras' de facto government gave Brazil 10 days to decide what to do with Zelaya, but Lula rejected the ultimatum.

Former president and current Senate chief Jose Sarney, one of Lula's most influential allies, also criticized the government's position.

"There's a certain exaggeration in transforming the embassy into a campaign headquarters. This excess is not good for Brazil or Manuel Zelaya," said Sarney, adding that the embassy must abide by international rules on nonintervention in a country's domestic affairs.

Foreign Minister Celso Amorim defended Brazil's position before a Senate foreign relations committee on Tuesday.

"What's at stake here is not only a small country but the future of democracy in Central America," Amorim said. "Tolerating this coup could stimulate others in the region."

Amorim said Brazil had not acted irresponsibly. The Lula government received Zelaya's request for refuge only 30 minutes before he arrived at the embassy, Amorim said.

Several weeks ago, Zelaya requested a plane from Brazil to return to Honduras and Amorim himself had denied it, he added.

Major Brazilian newspapers have run critical editorials and almost daily caricatures, mocking Lula's perceived leniency with Zelaya.

Conservatives are upset that Brazil may have been put into this bind by Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez, with whom the more moderate Lula has friendly though sometimes uncomfortable relations.

Chavez had been fiercely advocating Zelaya's return and is rumored to have provided an airplane for the fellow leftist to fly to El Salvador for his overland return to Honduran.

A front-page caricature in Tuesday's O Globo newspaper showed Lula, Chavez and Amorim singing Zelaya a lullaby as he dozed under his signature cowboy hat, boots propped up on a chair in his embassy refuge.

In an editorial, O Globo said it was "deplorable that Brasilia allowed itself to be entangled in a Chavez trap." (Additional reporting by Natuza Nery; Editing by Todd Benson and Anthony Boadle)

 What did da silva think was going to happen?  Did he think that his own country would be proud of his meddling in Honduran affairs?  Did he think Brazil's press would give him a free pass on aiding and abetting the lunatic manuel zelaya? 

Well they aren't, and they won't.  So now da silva is under serious fire -- as he damn well should be. 

zelaya acts more and more like a nutcake (which a) damages his cause and b) makes Honduras look wiser and wiser for removing him from office) and da silva is openly being derided for allowing hugo chavez to play him for a sucker.

What a needless mess.

One other thing:  Yes, I noticed that Reuters called the transfer of power from zelaya to interim head of state Michiletti a "coup".  That is complete BS, as I have shown time after time.  If you want to see why, just click here.

Zeke ..... So, WHY are all the world governments supporting Zel ?.... Why is Obama turning a blind eye on the Congressional Research Service, which concluded that Honduras acted in accordance with their constitution ...... and WHY is the word "coup" used ..... since NONE of the military is involved with the new government. ... imho .... the de facto government is truly the de jure institution. ..... .......... What prompts governments the world over to align themselves with Chavez, Noreiaga, Castro ... all of whom have become "President for Life"..... (09/30/09)


PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE IRAN CRISIS

Ken Berwitz

Here is one of two articles I will be posting about President Obama's handling of the Iran crisis (NOTE:  if you don't think that the imminence of Iran's having long range missiles which can reach Israel, and nuclear capability in the short term, you might as well stop reading now).  It is by Scott Johnson of www.powerlineblog.com:

Tentative theses on Obama and Iran

September 30, 2009 Posted by Scott at 5:23 AM

 

If any sentient person had serious doubt, last week's news that Iran has a covert uranium enrichment facility under construction at a military base outside Qom should serve to clarify Iran's intent to obtain nuclear weapons. News that Obama had been briefed on the existence of this facility during the transition makes it difficult to understand what Obama has said and done about Iran since then. His statements and actions need to be reconsidered in light of the state of his knowledge. In the spirit of inquiry I offer the following premises and tentative theses:

 

1. In statements going back to the primary campaign, Obama repeatedly referred to Iran's prospective acquisition of nuclear weapons as unacceptable and stated that no option to prevent it should be taken off the table. Yet Obama accepts the legitimacy of Iran's nuclear program and will do nothing to retard it.

 

2. Obama has known about the second Iranian enrichment facility since the transition.

 

3. Obama has repeatedly demonstrated an eagerness to avoid confrontation with the Iranian regime -- to the point of fawning over the regime. He prides himself on accepting the legitimacy of the Iranian regime.

 

4. Obama made nuclear disarmament the theme of his speech before the UN Security Council last week and secured the passage of a related resolution. Although Obama called for "full compliance with Security Council resolutions on Iran and North Korea," he emphasized that the resolution (which named no country) was "not about singling out individual nations."

 

5. The U.S.-drafted resolution called for "further efforts in the sphere of nuclear disarmament" to achieve "a world without nuclear weapons" and urged all countries that have not signed the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to do so. What countries might he have in mind?

 

6. Obama needs political cover for doing nothing about Iran's nuclear weapons program and its imminent success.

 

7. Obama's statements and actions indicate antipathy to Israel and its security interests.

 

8. Obama can propose mutual nuclear disarmament to Iran and Israel.

 

9. Such a proposal would appear to be evenhanded.

 

10. When the Israelis refuse to give up their nuclear weapons, he can throw up his hands and blame the Israelis for the Iranian program.

 

11. It will not work, but Obama is the sort to think that it will, for he believes he has come to save the world.

 

12. Our enemies have come to take Obama for a fool. (So have our friends.) Conscious of his divinity, he does not understand that they take him for a fool, or that he has only confirmed them in their estimate of him.

 

For a good article that tends to undercut some of my tentative theses, I commend Stephen Hayes's "Obama's Iran formula."

 


ROMAN POLANSKI'S CHARACTER WITNESSES

Ken Berwitz

Roman Polanski has some very interesting people demanding that the 32 year old charges against him be dropped.

From Steve Gilbert at www.sweetness-light.com:

Woody Allen, Almodovar: Free Polanski!

September 30th, 2009

From the Celebrity News Service [sic]:

 

Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar And More Sign Petition To Release Roman Polanski

September 30, 2009

Anne Lu Celebrity News Service News Writer

 

Los Angeles, CA (CNS) Some of the biggest names in Hollywood are backing Roman Polanski up. Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Pedro Almodovar, and John Landis are among those who have signed a petition objecting to the fugitive filmmakers arrest.

Polanski was taken into custody in Zurich on Saturday while he was on his way to the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement award. His arrest stems from his 1978 statutory rape conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

 

He is set to be extradited to the U.S.

 

More than 100 filmmakers and actors signed a letter demanding the 76-year-old Polanskis release. Stars and filmmakers who signed include Darren Aronofsky, Monica Belluci, Tilda Swinton, and Terry Gilliam.

 

Meanwhile, Polanski is facing more jail time after his legal team asked a Swiss court to release him. The decision could take weeks, which would mean the director would wait behind bars until such time.

Now those are some great character witnesses.

 

Mr. Allens credentials regarding the subject are fairly well known.

 

Openly gay Pedro Almodvars breakthrough movie, the 1984 What Have I Done To Deserve This?, was a comedy in which a mother sells her 12 year old son to a homosexual dentist as a sex slave.

 

Mr. Almodvars first film in 1978 was entitled, Folle, folle, flleme, Tim (F**k Me, F**k Me, F**k Me, Tim).

 

Maybe these two moral exemplars can serve on Mr. Polanskis jury, that is if he is going to get a jury of his peers.

Interesting. 

I consider Woody Allen a great genius (and, movie-wise, Polanski isn't far behind).  But, sadly, they have more than directorial talent in common. 

Woody Allen's relationship with Mia Farrow ended in 1992, when she found out that he was taking nude pictures of, and having a sexual relationship with, her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi, who he first knew as Ms. Farrow's adopted pre-teen child (Soon-Yi and Woody Allen married in 1997)..  Allen was also accused of molesting another child, his and Ms. Farrow's adopted 7 year old daughter.  Because of this, Allen was allowed only limited, supervised access to their biological child, Satchel (now known as Ronan

Steve has already shown you Pedro Almodovar's "credentials".  As noted, Almodovar has featured pedophilia and various sexual exotica in his movies

I love that line about them serving on Polanski's jury so he'll be judged by a jury of his peers.

Regarding Polanski himself?  I have mixed feelings:

-On the one hand his crimes occurred 32 years ago and - to my knowledge, which admittedly is almost nil - he has not broken the law since.  Plus, the girl he drugged and raped, who is now a 45 year old mother of three, says she forgives him and wishes the charges were dropped.  After all this time it maybe fair to concede that he is no longer a danger to underage girls and let it go. 

-On the other hand, he committed those crimes -- i.e. he drugged and raped a 13 year old girl, then skipped out of the country (you try doing that and see if it's forgotten years later).  By what logic does Polanski get a free pass?  The fact that his victim now says we should forget the whole thing is immaterial.  Whether she cares about it or not, she was drugged and raped.  Will Polanski do it again?  Has he done it again?  The recidivism rate for pedophiles is extremely high.  Leaving him free, it can be argued, not only subverts justice, but puts other girls in harm's way. 

I don't know where I come out on this.  How about you?

free` I am on the side of him going to jail. (09/30/09)


PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE IRAN CRISIS (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

This second of the two articles I promised is by Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard:

Obama's Iran Formula
Speak timidly and don't carry a stick.
by Stephen F. Hayes
10/05/2009, Volume 015, Issue 03

 When Barack Obama strode on stage to scold Iran for its failure to disclose the existence of a second uranium-enrichment facility in the country, his message was timid and at times almost apologetic. When the tough language came, it was because French president Nicolas Sarkozy had taken the podium. Sarkozy excoriated the Iranians for their deception, saying that the revelations have caused "a very severe confidence crisis" and issued a time-specific warning about oft-threatened (but never implemented) sanctions. "We cannot let the Iranian leaders gain time while the centrifuges are spinning," he declared. "If by December there is not an in-depth change by the Iranian leaders, sanctions will have to be imposed."

 

In fact, it was the third time in a week that Sarkozy had been tougher than the U.S. president on nuclear issues. Earlier in the week, the French president had insisted that the United States strengthen language in a non-proliferation resolution before the U.N. Security Council and admonished other world leaders for addressing nuclear issues without focusing their discussion on Iran and North Korea.

 

British prime minister Gordon Brown joined Obama and Sarkozy for the statement Friday. He, too, was stern. "The level of deception by the Iranian government, and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments, will shock and anger the whole international community, and it will harden our resolve."

 

Obama should have been taking notes. Three times in his brief statement Obama used bizarre couplets to soften his already gentle critique of the Iranian regime:

 

As the international community knows, this is not the first time that Iran has concealed information about its nuclear program. Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear power that meets the energy needs of its people.

 

And:

 

It is time for Iran to act immediately to restore the confidence of the international community by fulfilling its international obligations. We remain committed to serious, meaningful engagement with Iran to address the nuclear issue through the P5+1 negotiations.

 

And:

 

To put it simply: Iran must comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions and make clear it is willing to meet its responsibilities as a member of the community of nations. We have offered Iran a clear path toward greater international integration if it lives up to its obligations, and that offer stands.

 

The offer stands? Iran has been caught lying about its nuclear program three times in the last decade. The mullahs fixed the June 12 election and violently suppressed the brave Iranians who had the audacity to say so. The Iranian regime is continuing to train, fund, and arm terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan whose primary purpose is the killing of American soldiers. And the U.S. State Department considers Iran the world's leading state sponsor of terror.

 

For another American president, any one of these things might be cause to seek the destabilization of the regime, and all of them together might be cause to seek its removal. Not for Obama. He is determined to pursue "engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect," as he has put it. On Friday, a senior administration official briefed reporters shortly after the statement. The official referred to the October 1 negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 negotiating group (made up of the permanent members of the Security Council and Germany) as an "opportunity" for Iran. "This is going to be a critical opportunity for Iran to demonstrate that it's willing to address the very serious concerns that have been raised about its intentions in the nuclear area." At one point, the official called the upcoming talks a "test" for Iran.

 

But of course Iran has failed this test before-and dozens of others. It failed this test repeatedly under the Bush administration, as it steadfastly refused to address any of the concerns that have been raised about its intentions with its nuclear program. And it failed it two weeks ago, when it submitted a defiant 10-page response to international community demands that it suspend uranium enrichment and return to the negotiating table.

 

The fundamental problem with the Obama administration's approach to Iran is that it treats the nature of the regime as an unknown. Back in June, after a week of mayhem and murder by the regime in the streets of Tehran, Obama said: "I'm very concerned, based on some of the tenor and tone of the statements that have been made, that the government of Iran recognize that the world is watching. And how they approach and deal with people who are, through peaceful means, trying to be heard will, I think, send a pretty clear signal to the international community about what Iran is-and is not."

 

He was right. And the signal was clear to everyone but those determined to ignore it: The Iranian regime is corrupt, despotic, and willing to use terror internally and externally to achieve its goals. And the lesson of its repeated lies about its nuclear program is equally clear: The Iranian regime will stop at nothing to acquire nuclear weapons.

 

In some respects, the news of the second Iranian facility makes it harder for Obama to pretend that the Iranian regime is something it's not. And one line in particular from his statement Friday would seem to complicate his engagement-at-all-costs strategy. "The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program."

 

It is a line that the U.S. intelligence community would not allow George W. Bush to use. Although Western intelligence services had been looking at this facility for years, they had been unable-or unwilling-to draw conclusions about its purpose. When Obama was first briefed on the facility-as president-elect-the CIA had not determined that the facility was for the production of highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.

 

We are left with many questions. What, if anything, changed? Was there new intelligence? If so, what is it? If not, why did the CIA change its conclusion and allow the president to use this language? When did Obama learn that the benefit of the doubt he had been giving Iran on its nuclear program was, in effect, helping the Iranian regime perpetuate its lies?

 

Perhaps most important, will this public revelation of the facility create the political pressure necessary to persuade Obama to finally get tough with Iran?

To the people who actually believed that President Obama had even a scintilla of resolve to do anything about Iran:  Do you now know better, or are you still obamesmerized into not seeing and hearing what is dead-on in front of your eyes and ears?

And to the 78% of US Jews who voted for Mr. Obama:  Are you happy with what you got?  Because, speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you that I am not.

Zeke .... Appeasement is SURRENDER, ... on the Installment Plan .... (09/30/09)


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At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!