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Iran Has Always Clandestinely Sought the Bomb, Admits Ex-president

Source: Haaretz

Rafsanjani, who is head of Iran’s State Exigency Council, explained that Iran's goal was deterrence in light of its extended war with Iraq.


"Those years, we were all thinking that we should arm ourselves with deterrent elements since the war was not about to end and in our defensive policies we had the word of Imam [Khomeini] in mind that the war may last 20 years,” said

According to the IRNA interview as reported by NCRI, Rafsanjani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have personally followed up on the project to acquire a nuclear bomb. He also acknowledged the clandestine nature of the nuclear program, which has included building secret sites, enriching uranium, manufacturing centrifuge parts, employing laser technology and constructing a heavy water reactor.

“80% to 90% of the Iranian people… concur with the [nuclear] accord and want to be done with it [nuclear project],” stated Rafsanjani. The National Council pointed out that this statement contradicts the Islamic regime's official position that the Iranian people have been fully behind the project.


Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.682812



The level of candor is more surprising than the subject matter of the admission.

I'm sure some will, ironically, try to spin this as proof that the Iran nuclear deal was a bad idea, when in reality it's exactly the opposite.

Ben Carson's Prescription: Abolish Medicare

Please, please, please, let him be their nominee.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/ben-carson-medicare-medicaid-215055

Republicans have fended off accusations for years that they'd gut Medicare for seniors and end the program "as we know it."

Not Ben Carson. The former neurosurgeon acknowledges he would abolish the program altogether.

Carson, who now leads the GOP field in Iowa according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll, would eliminate the program that provides health care to 49 million senior citizens, as well as Medicaid, and replace it with a system of cradle-to-grave savings accounts which would be funded with $2,000 a year in government contributions. While rivals have been pummeled for proposing less radical changes, Carson hasn't faced the same scrutiny -- and his continued traction in polls has left GOP strategists and conservative health care wonks scratching their heads.

"This isn’t a borderline issue. The politics of this are horrific," said Doug Holtz-Eakin, head of the American Action Forum and health care adviser to Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.

Carson's stance on the third-rail issue of Medicare is especially risky given his strength among elderly voters. In Iowa, Carson draws a quarter of the senior vote -- more than double any other candidate except Donald Trump, with whom he’s statistically tied among seniors. Carson’s support is even higher among voters between the ages of 55 and 64, who are on the verge of Medicare eligibility. He draws 34 percent of that age group, double Trump’s level of support, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

Report: Israel breached Iran airspace in 2012 in what US thought was dry run for strike

President Obama may have prevented Israel from starting a war.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/report-israel-breached-iran-airspace-amid-tensions-with-us-over-nuke-talks/

According to the report, “[n]erves frayed at the White House” when the US discovered Israeli air activity over Iran, and Washington dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and also prepared attack aircraft, in case, as one senior American official told the Journal, “all hell broke loose.”

...

At the same time, relations between the countries’ leaders had begun to deteriorate. Obama and Netanyahu — who, before their respective election wins, were of one mind on how to deal with Iran — found themselves further and further apart by 2009, once they had both taken office. Netanyahu had been told by Republican lawmakers that Obama was “pro-Arab,” the WSJ said, quoting Israeli officials. Those conversations had subsequently reached the White House.

As a result, the newspaper said, the president took steps to reassure Israel, including an expansion of existing joint covert operations against Iran and increased cooperation between the CIA and the Mossad. But the Americans were reluctant to approve some of Israel’s more drastic plans, such as bringing down the Iranian financial system or all-out regime change.
...

Netanyahu’s determination to carry out a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities also caused anxiety at the White House, the report said. An Israeli plan to attack the heavily fortified Fordow enrichment facility from the inside was deemed to be a “suicide mission” by the US, which refused to sell the Jewish state the materiel it felt was needed to carry out the strike.

The Israelis “briefed the U.S. on an attack plan: Cargo planes would land in Iran with Israeli commandos on board who would ‘blow the doors, and go in through the porch entrance’ of Fordow, a senior U.S. official said,” according to the Journal. “The Israelis planned to sabotage the nuclear facility from inside. Pentagon officials thought it was a suicide mission. They pressed the Israelis to give the U.S. advance warning. The Israelis were noncommittal.”


The US tried to reassure Israel on the issue, persuading the Jewish state to engage in increased covert activity against Iran, and Obama even committed publicly to a military strike should negotiations fail. Yet this did not appear to comfort Netanyahu, and in 2012 US intelligence reported on “a flurry of meetings” between the prime minister and his senior defense officials.

Israeli officials, said the Journal, sought US “military hardware useful for a strike” in summer 2012. “At the top of the list were V-22 Ospreys, aircraft that take off and land like helicopters but fly like fixed-wing planes… The Israelis also sounded out officials about obtaining the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, the U.S. military’s 30,000-pound bunker-busting bomb, which was designed to destroy Fordow.” According to Gary Samore, Obama’s White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, the administration made plain it considered this “a big mistake.” Reported the Journal, “White House officials decided not to provide the equipment.



Conservative pundits were not impressed with the GOP's disastrous Benghazi hearing

http://www.vox.com/2015/10/22/9600096/clinton-benghazi-hearing

The optimist:

Expected Jar-Jar, got Ewoks


The rest:

Hillary = Lucy GOP = Charlie Brown Except the football is a grenade and Charlie Brown wrestles until he grabs it, unpins, and swallows it.


More:

Why doesn't Pompeo just go over and swear her in for president now--if he goes on like this he'll practically get her elected


...

Pompeo's second round of questioning was snarky in tone and ineffective in substance. A net negative.



Netanyahu's Revision of the Holocaust for Political Gain Is Inexcusable (by Deborah Lipstadt)

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.681950

It's possible to argue that since neither Huckabee nor Carson are well versed in the history of the annihilation of European Jewry, they should not be too roundly condemned for these cheap analogies. Similarly, one could say that anti-Israel protestors are so infused with hatred and anger that they too have lost sight of any historical reality. But what can one say when the leader of the Jewish state relies on this tactic?

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the World Zionist Congress that the idea for murdering the Jews was the brainchild of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. According to Netanyahu, when Hitler and the mufti met in November 1941, Hitler had not yet thought of exterminating the Jews but simply wished to expel them. When Husseini complained that expelled Jews would all come to Palestine, according to Netanyahu, a perplexed Hitler asked, “So what should I do with them?” The mufti supposedly responded, “Burn them.” And so the Holocaust ensued.

This claim doesn’t make sense. The murder of the Jews began in the summer of 1941, five months before this meeting. By the time Hitler and the mufti had their tete-a-tete, hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women, and children had been shot. At Babi Yar alone, the Germans murdered 34,000 Jews in September 1941, over two months prior to the meeting, without any encouragement from the mufti. Gas wagons were already in use prior to this meeting. Someone who wishes to only expel a people does not rely on mass shootings and gas wagons.

This is not the first time Netanyahu has made this assertion. In 2012 the prime minister claimed in the Knesset that the mufti “more than anyone else convinced [Hitler] to execute the Final Solution.” Some of the prime minister’s critics used this opportunity to brand him a Holocaust denier. He’s not – but he is a revisionist. And he is doing so to score political points.

...

Netanyahu, however, did not paint him [the mufti] as a supporter of this genocide. He credited him with coming up with the idea. There is a vast difference between the two. Historians continue to debate who originated the idea of the Final Solution. No serious historian, however, has ever laid the decision at the feet of the mufti.


Deborah Lipstadt is the Holocaust scholar who won the trial vs David Irving establishing him as a per se legal fraud.


Israel’s Nuclear Advisory Panel Endorses Iran Deal

Source: Haaretz

In defense establishment discussions of the Iranian nuclear agreement, Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, which advises the government on nuclear issues, has endorsed the pact, a source familiar with the commission’s stance told Haaretz Thursday. The panel’s position runs directly counter to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, cabinet ministers and most of the political opposition.

The commission’s members say they are convinced that the April 2agreement between Iran and the world powers will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. In recent years these experts have been analyzing information about Iran’s nuclear project, and estimating how far away the Islamic Republic was from developing a bomb. The panel’s viewpoint deals only with the technical aspects of the agreement, and not with the geostrategic implications of its non-technical clauses, such as the gradual lifting of sanctions on Iran.

The panel holds that any Iranian violation of the pact would be detected easily due to the outside surveillance and analysis methods being used on the Iranian nuclear project. In recent years Israel has invested considerable resources in developing technologies to locate and analyze nuclear activity, makes its available to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with overseeing Iran’s compliance with the pact.

Thus, the source said, there is effectively no importance in the agreement’s much-criticized clause giving the Iranians 24 days’ advance warning prior to an IAEA inspection of nuclear sites or sites suspected of nuclear activity. The IAEA has technological means that make it possible to recreate the precise nature of the nuclear activity, going back not only 24 days but many years, the source noted.



Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.681918



You mean Netanyahu and his groupies were lying the whole time?

Iraq War Resolution debate, part II.

Israel’s Nuclear Advisory Panel Endorses Iran Deal

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.681918

In defense establishment discussions of the Iranian nuclear agreement, Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, which advises the government on nuclear issues, has endorsed the pact, a source familiar with the commission’s stance told Haaretz Thursday. The panel’s position runs directly counter to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, cabinet ministers and most of the political opposition.

The commission’s members say they are convinced that the April 2agreement between Iran and the world powers will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. In recent years these experts have been analyzing information about Iran’s nuclear project, and estimating how far away the Islamic Republic was from developing a bomb. The panel’s viewpoint deals only with the technical aspects of the agreement, and not with the geostrategic implications of its non-technical clauses, such as the gradual lifting of sanctions on Iran.

The panel holds that any Iranian violation of the pact would be detected easily due to the outside surveillance and analysis methods being used on the Iranian nuclear project. In recent years Israel has invested considerable resources in developing technologies to locate and analyze nuclear activity, makes its available to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with overseeing Iran’s compliance with the pact.

Thus, the source said, there is effectively no importance in the agreement’s much-criticized clause giving the Iranians 24 days’ advance warning prior to an IAEA inspection of nuclear sites or sites suspected of nuclear activity. The IAEA has technological means that make it possible to recreate the precise nature of the nuclear activity, going back not only 24 days but many years, the source noted.


It's as if those who argued against the deal were a bunch of Neocon, warmongering, lying jackasses.


In Mufti Speech, Netanyahu Showed His Obsessive Hatred of the Palestinians


If Netanyahu can get the provenance of the Holocaust so appallingly wrong, what does it say about all the other historical “truths” that underlie and buttress his maximalist Zionism – which, it goes without saying, is the governing creed in the country today? How many other crank theories are hidden in the dark crevices of the prime ministerial mind?

The second takeaway from Tuesday night’s speech is that Netanyahu has lost it. He’s raving. His hatred of the Palestinians and his frustration at their refusal to succumb to his brutality has become an obsession in which even Hitler, the archetype of evil and Jew-hatred, has to play second fiddle to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian predecessors.

Hitler had many allies in his drive to kill the Jews – Ukrainians, Romanians, Lithuanians, Hungarians etc. Al-Husseini was just one of them, neither the most dastardly nor the most influential. Like all the others, he was motivated by his own national objectives, rather than by what historian Timothy Snyder calls the “ecological” hatred of Jews which was Hitler’s alone.

To put anyone on a par with Hitler as regards the Holocaust is a form of Holocaust denial. It perverts the historical truth of the Holocaust and opens the door to all sorts of other lunatic and dangerous theories. It is something that no intelligent and aware person should do, let alone the prime minister of Israel.

Netanyahu’s outburst on Tuesday night was a watershed. Much of the western world has long considered him a little over the top and now they have proof. He has lost whatever grip he may have had and he’s gone rogue. Benjamin Netanyahu is an existential danger to Israel.


http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.681790

Query how much Bibi looks at the Mufti and sees his own reflection.

Land of Israel Caucus relaunches with bill streamlining building in settlements

The Land of Israel Caucus held its inaugural meeting in the 20th Knesset on Wednesday, drawing in members from the coalition and opposition, and support from ministers.

MK Yoav Kisch (Likud), who co-chairs the caucus with MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi), began with a call to action to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman to "put your anger and egos aside and work together in a united, right-wing government."

"Yisrael Beytenu belongs in the coalition," he stated, adding that a stable, strong right-wing coalition can help the caucus obtain its goals.

...

"Ideology is the basis of [the caucus]," he said. "Anyone who doesn't think we have a right to Judea and Samaria wouldn't be here." The Land of Israel Caucus in the 20th Knesset is made up of MKs from Likud, Kulanu, Bayit Yehudi, Yisrael Beytenu and UTJ.

MK Eli Cohen said most his party Kulanu's MKs support the caucus, because settlements are important to them.


http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Land-of-Israel-Caucus-relaunches-with-bill-streamlining-building-in-settlements-428649

No Shas?

Netanyahu Reduced to Defending Hitler. Really ...

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/netanyahu-reduced-to-defending-hitler-really

All that said, al-Husseini didn't convince Hitler to exterminate European Jewry. Hitler didn't need to convinced. (It's hard to believe this requires saying.) As bad as he was, al-Husseini was a insignificant small fry in the tragic drama of the final years of the Third Reich.

Jews of all people can usually be expected to accept that Hitler didn't need any convincing or nudging or encouragement to order the Final Solution. There have been some fringe scholars who've tried to portray al-Husseini as somehow one of the architects of the Final Solution. But these claims have never been accepted by mainstream or legitimate Holocaust scholars. It's just not true. The origins of the alleged exchange Netanyahu quotes is even more obscure. It doesn't even have a documented history as propaganda or conspiracy theory. Regardless, no legitimate scholars believe any of this.

But this is about more than mere historical error. And it's worth considering what this was all about. Despite cases like that of al-Husseini, the Palestinians were essentially uninvolved bystanders to the Holocaust, though one can argue that they were also its indirect victims. Nonetheless, here Netanyahu is trying to reframe them as actual instigators of the Holocaust. The Palestinians thus become a sort of moral one-stop-shopping for the entire drama of 20th century Jewry.


Now, propagandists are capable of almost anything. But here, it is simply amazing that the need to do this brings Netanyahu so far as to actually advance a limited exoneration of Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler. And make no mistake: that is what it is. Hitler only wanted to deport Jews, says Netanyahu - an outrage and a crime, but hardly unprecedented in history. He had to be convinced to order extermination rather than expulsion.

When you, as a Jew, get to the point of making excuses for Adolf Hitler, partly exculpating him to make some political point, you really need to step back and ask how you got there.

There's really nothing more to say.


No one from the center-right in Israel has criticized Netanyahu for this.
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