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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, July 20, 2015

John Kerry Lies to the Media and Public about the Surrender to the Ayatollahs' Destructive Nuclear Urges

We know that Obama is an artist of smooth, well-spoken lies. I cannot think of anybody who lies so well with a straight face. But secretary of state John Kerry lies too, albeit not as smoothly as his boss.

The fact is that Iran is in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT] signed years ago. Rather than negotiating with Iran, the USA and other states in the P5+1 group should have been working to force Iran to comply with its obligations under the NPT. But as we know Obama and other politicians wanted to negotiate with Iran over its nuke bomb endeavors. In this case, negotiating means compromising on the original provisions of the NPT.  The nuke deal with Iran from last week also excuses Iran from compliance with previous UN Security Council resolutions, as we see below.

Omri Ceren, one of the good guys in the fight against the Iranian nuke project, took up Kerry's brazen lies on the US Sunday news interview shows. Omri sent this around as a fact sheet for the Israel Project where he works. The problems are not only Iran's nuke project. Consider item 2) below and bear in mind that Iran has been developing long-range ballistic missiles [ICBMs intercontinental ballistic missiles] the better to deliver any future bomb and not just on Israel:

The administration is scrambling to justify collapsing on conditions related to the three overarching areas of the JCPOA [= Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] debate:
1) will it work to keep Iran away from a nuclear weapon for a decade (the verification debate); 
2) even if it works, is it worth the cost of empowering Iran with advanced weapons and hundreds of billions of dollars (the arms embargo debate);
3) doesn't the deal make Iran into a nuclear power – the opposite of what it was supposed to do – because it expires and allows Iran's breakout time to go to zero (the sunset clause debate).
. . . . .
By far the most unexpected concession made at Vienna involved the Americans bowing to new Iranian-Russian demands to eliminate the United Nation arms embargo. Restrictions on conventional weapons will now expire in 5 years and ones on ballistic missiles will expire in 8 years. The collapse - which has been wrapped into how Iran is also receiving a short-term $150 billion windfall and long-term sanctions relief - was discussed on every one of the Sunday shows [a][b][c][d][e].

Kerry and Moniz had three different responses sprinkled across the shows: (1) that the administration had no choice but to concede on the arms embargo, and it was actually an American diplomatic victory because it's being phased out rather than lifted immediately (2) that dropping the arms embargo doesn't matter - "a mountain is being made out of a mole hill" - because there are other restrictions on Iranian arms transfers (3) that Iran won't get sufficient relief to exploit the arms embargo being lifted.
(1) The administration had no choice but to concede on the arms embargo, and it was actually an American diplomatic victory because it's being phased out rather than lifted immediately -
ABC This Week
KERRY: The United Nations resolution which brought about the sanctions in the first place said that if Iran will suspend its enrichment and come to negotiations, all the sanctions would be lifted. Now, they've done more than just come to negotiations. They've actually negotiated a deal. And three of the seven nations thought they shouldn't therefore be held to any kind of restraint. We prevailed and insisted, no, they have to be.

CBS Face the Nation
KERRY: ... [T]he reason that we were only able to limit them to the five and eight, which is quite extraordinary that we got that, was that three of the nations negotiating thought they shouldn't have any and were ready to hold out to do that. And we said under no circumstances, we have to have those...

Fox News Sunday
KERRY: This is a nuclear negotiation about a nuclear program. The United Nations, when they passed the resolution, contemplated that if Iran came to the negotiation and they ponied up, all the sanctions would be lifted. We didn't lift all the sanctions. We left in place despite the fact that three out of seven countries negotiating wanted to do away with them altogether. We won the five years for the arms and eight years for the missiles.

CNN State of the Union
KERRY: ... [T]his UN process that started the – that allowed the sanctions to be put in place in the first place contemplated the lifting of all sanctions once Iran had lived up to its obligations with respect to the NPT. So if the IAEA found in X number of years that they've lived up to this, then all the sanctions would be gone. So we, in fact, succeeded against three countries that didn't think they should have to do anything.

NBC Meet The Press
KERRY: And by the way, even though the arms and the missiles were put to – by the – they were thrown in as an add-on to this nuclear agreement. It was always contemplated that if Iran did come and deal on their nuclear program, that was going to be lifted.
This claim is false on at least a couple of levels. First, the condition for lifting the arms embargo was not that Iran "come to negotiations." UNSCR 1929 stipulated that the embargo was to remain in place until Iran had complied with UNSCR 1929 plus past UNSCRs 1696, 1737, 1747, and 1803 ([f] - ctrl-f down to "to persuade Iran to comply with resolutions"). The UNSCRs obligated Iran to stop all uranium enrichment, cease all heavy water plutonium work, and halt all development of proliferation sensitive ballistic missiles. So the arms embargo was to remain in place until Iran dismantled its nuclear program, not until it agreed to negotiate.

Second, there was nothing forcing U.S. to agree to lift the embargo. The JCPOA allows Iran to continue doing all of the activities prohibited by previous UNSCRs. The Americans could and should have argued that Iran was already receiving a Get Out Of Jail Free Card on its UNSCR obligations via sanctions relief, and that there was no reason to also gift them with the removal of the arms embargo.

(2) Dropping the arms embargo doesn't matter - "a mountain is being made out of a mole hill" - because there are other restrictions on Iranian arms transfers -
ABC This Week
KERRY: But we have ample other resolutions that allow us to hold them accountable for moving any weapons. President Obama is committed to doubling down on the enforcement of those measures. So I really think that a mountain is being made out of a molehill here.

CBS Face the Nation
KERRY: ... [T]hey add on to additional mechanisms that we have to hold them accountable on arms and missiles. We have the missile control technology regime. We have other missile restraints on them. We also have other UN resolutions that prevent them from moving arms to the Houthi, prevents them from moving arms to the Shia, prevents them from – to the Shia militia in Iraq, prevents them from moving arms to Hizballah.

CNN State of the Union
QUESTION: ... Why is lifting the embargo part of this deal?
KERRY: Well, we're not lifting it. It has eight years out of a 10-year component of the UN resolution. Eight years it will be applied, and we have other UN resolutions and other mechanisms for holding Iran accountable on missiles.

Fox News Sunday
KERRY: But we have many other sanctions still applicable, and we can bring other sanctions to push back against any of their behavior. They're not allowed to send arms to Hizballah. That's a separate resolution. They're not allowed to send arms to the Shia militia in Iraq. A separate resolution. They're not allowed to send arms to the Houthis. Separate resolution. So we, in fact, have a huge ability to be able to bring any number of efforts against Iran for any bad behavior here whatsoever.
This claim is misleading because the JCPOA will make it functionally impossible to reimpose economic pressure on Iran, regardless of what laws remain on the books [g]. 
Paragraph 25: "If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions lifting as specified in this JCPOA, the United States will take appropriate steps... with a view to achieving such implementation." 
Paragraph 26: "The EU will refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing the sanctions that it has terminated implementing under this JCPOA... The United States will make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realisation of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified in Annex II." 
Paragraph 29: "The EU and its Member States and the United States, consistent with their respective laws, will refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran inconsistent with their commitments not to undermine the successful implementation of this JCPOA."

The punchline is the very last line of the very last paragraph of the main agreement, which gives Iran its own snapback mechanism against the United States by allowing it to return to enrichment if sanctions are even partially reinstated. 
Paragraph 37: "Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part." Maybe the administration will say that the passage was only intended to refer to nuclear sanctions. That's not how it's written, and the Iranians have a 100% success rate of winning interpretation debates vs. the Americans over vague language in agreements and factsheets.

(3) Iran won't get sufficient relief to exploit the arms embargo being lifted
Fox News SundayQUESTION: Under this deal, we lift the arms embargo on Iran being able to buy weapons and even ballistic missiles between five and eight years. And the sanctions against General Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Qods Force, are also lifted. What we end up with, Secretary Kerry, is an Iran with billions, hundreds of billions of dollars more, able to buy weapons, and a Revolutionary Guard with fewer restraints. Isn't that potentially an even more dangerous state sponsor of terror in the Middle East?
KERRY: First of all, Chris, don't exaggerate. It's not hundreds of billions of dollars. It's $100 billion.
QUESTION: That's in the first year.
KERRY: But – it's their money that they have had frozen.
QUESTION: I understand. But it's a hundred --
KERRY: Well, let me – but let me just finish.
QUESTION: A hundred fifty billion is the first year.
KERRY: Please. Chris, this is not supposed to be a debate. You're supposed to ask a question and we're supposed to be able to answer it.
This is a strange stance to take. The $100 - $150 billion windfall will occur within months of the deal being implemented, but while that happens the sanctions regime will be shredded, allowing the Iranian economy to skyrocket to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. The lifting of economic sanctions will trigger a gold rush into Iran [h]. The administration used to claim that worries over Iranian noncompliance would dampen enthusiasm - because no company wants to enter the market if they have to leave a year later - but the final JCPOA has a loophole so snapback doesn't apply to companies that set up shop in Iran before noncompliance [i]. Snapback is a fiction anyway [j]. Meanwhile the delisting of banks will remove the last economic lever that the West has over Iran, and those financial sanctions are never coming back [k].
- - - - - - - - - - - - - END of Omri Ceren's Factsheet for The Israel Project - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Once upon a time, the so-called "Left" opposed nuclear proliferation. Cathy Ashton, the mentally challenged former commissioner of foreign affairs for the EU commission, had even been a hired employee of the British supposed anti-nuke outfit, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Then when she started work with the EU and negotiated with Iranian representatives she became in fact an agent of nuclear proliferation and was effectively scoffing at the principle of nuclear disarmament. Obama is identified with the "Left" but we don't know anymore what those terms, left and right, mean. In the 1950s, officials of the Republican Eisenhower administration were quite complacent about nuclear weapons and "peaceful uses of atomic energy." Nowadays, the so-called "Left", led by Obama is actively facilitating nuclear proliferation to Iran and indirectly provoking Sunni Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt to set up or restart their own nuclear programs [as in Egypt's case] as a defensive measure against Iran. Hence, Obama is instrumental in bringing  about a dread nuclear arms race. And Obama and his minions have the hhutspah to insinuate that opponents of the nuke deal with Iran are warmongers. 
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Former Saudi ambassador to US chides Obama for making the nuke deal with Iran which he indicates is worse than Clinton's nuke deal with North Korea. [here & here]
For those who are not aware, Saudi Arabia has been consulting with Israel for some time now in trying to work together to counter Obama's pro-Iran nuke deal, despite all of the other issues that divide the two countries.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Germany benefitted from debt relief but it is ruled out when for Greece's benefit

UPDATING 7-13-2015 at bottom

The Greeks are still voting on the referendum whether or not to accept proposals by the creditor institutions for getting another tranche [slice] of loan money to pay off previous loans. Note that Greece was not offered money to finance growth, such as in developing Greece's off shore hydrocarbon deposits. Greece is being offered money to pay previous debts to those who are offering new loans. So Greece is in a vicious circle or trap.

The help that Greece needs is debt relief and funds to aid growth and development. Indeed, former Italian Prime minister Berlusconi --interviewed yesterday [by TG com 24]-- wished Greece to have a future of growth and sviluppo [= development]. But the creditor offers to Greece did not include aid for growth, without which Greece cannot pay off old loans in the future. Instead, they insist that old loans be paid. Debts must be paid is the principle that they pretend to uphold. But how short are their memories, especially those of the Germans!!!

After the general destruction caused by WW2, a German war, in all the countries attacked, and in Germany itself as well, West Germany, occupied by the USA, UK, and France, was loaned $15 billion in Marshall Plan money when a billion dollars was worth much more than today. All but a small part of that loan was forgiven and the rest stayed in Germany as so-called counterpart funds which were used by the USA to finance projects in Germany to help Germany. Moreover, under US leadership, the formerly German-occupied countries agreed to forego reparations payments. They gave up on their demands for compensation from Germany for material damages. Peter Coy describes the spirit of US policy:
On Sept. 6, 1946, U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes gave a speech in Stuttgart, Germany. A movement was afoot to penalize the Germans for their role in World War II by deindustrializing the country. Byrnes opposed anything resembling economic spite and promised the country a fair chance to rebuild. “Germany is a part of Europe,” Byrnes said, “and recovery in Europe will be slow indeed if Germany with her great resources of iron and coal is turned into a poorhouse.” It became known as the Speech of Hope. [Peter Coy in BloombergBusinessWeek]
Greece too was led by the US to give up its demands for compensation as well as for return of gold reserves and forced loans taken by the German occupation army from the Greek state central bank.
Hence, we see that Germany enjoyed and benefitted from debt forgiveness after the vast destruction caused by WW2. But today Greece must not benefit from debt forgiveness nor even from debt restructuring to extend pay back periods and/or to reduce interest on old debt.

What's more nobody seems to want to recall that after WW One, also a German war, Germany agreed to pay reparations to France. The sum was huge and it seemed so to the German governments in the 1920s.  So what did the German govts of the time do to alleviate their debt, that is, to get debt relief?
They devalued their own currency, the deutschemark, and the French were paid off in cheap, nearly worthless deutsche marks. Greece cannot do that since its debt is denominated in euros and Greece's govt does not control the value of the euro which it cannot devaluate by its own decision.

Here is another example of how Germany benefitted from debt relief which it rules out when it is for the benefit of Greece. And the other major countries in the Eurozone go along with the present absurdity of creditors trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

Can Israel expect any humane treatment from diamond-hearted, self-righteous hypocritical Europeans?
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Also see links below:
European Union knows what is best for everybody else but cannot or does not want to solve some of its own problems. [here]
Eurozone is stingy with Greece, generous with Arabs claiming the Land of Israel [here]
Eurozone betrays its Greek Eurobrethren. What would they do to the Jews? [here]
Why Greece should vote No [here].
Was it deliberate policy to impoverish Greece by putting it into a debt straitjacket? [here]
See analysis by Committee for Abolition of Third World Debt towards bottom of link [here]
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UPDATING 7-13-2015 Investment fund manager David Einhorn sees political motives in the
Eurozone working to have Greece fail even if it hurts the rest of the Eurozone.
David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, said Europe’s leaders are prepared to let Greece fail to discourage other countries from electing populists.
“Europe is unwilling to allow Syriza a face-saving compromise, even if that means Greece collapses and the rest of Europe suffers” [Bloomberg here]

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Friday, July 03, 2015

The Eurozone Put Greece in a Debt Straitjacket - Was It Deliberate?

It's obvious to almost everybody that the Eurozone never "rescued" or "bailed out" Greece from its debt crisis in 2010. Instead, the Eurozone or Eurogroup put Greece into a debt straitjacket or debt trap in which Greece's state debt soared because it was left to borrow on the open market where the interest rates demanded by private investors/lenders were sure to rise fast. Later, but too late, it was openly realized  --about 2012-- that Greece needed to borrow on easy terms because its state debt was soaring. But Greece was already in the debt straitjacket or trap from which it cannot get out. Someone estimated that it would take 180 years for Greece to pay off the debt mountain.

Now evidence has emerged that suggests --not absolute proof to be sure, which is not likely to emerge for many years-- that putting Greece into a debt trap may have been deliberate German policy. The purpose seems to have been to use the Greek example as a whip to scare other economically weak Eurozone member states. German finance minister Wofgang Schaeuble is quoted as telling US secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, as reported by Peter Coy of Bloomberg Businessweek:
The upshot is that events are unfolding roughly as foreseen by the wily German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble: The disaster befalling Greece is scaring other European nations into following the straight and narrow. According to former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in his book Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, Schäuble told him in 2012 that—in Geithner’s words—some people were arguing “that letting Greece burn would make it easier to build a stronger Europe with a more credible firewall.”

This surmise of mine explains a lot, if true. Why do Germany and the Eurozone keep on insisting that Greece pay off debts made at inflated interest rates, debts which it cannot pay off for more than a century?
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Also see here, and below --
The economist Paul Krugman pointed out that Greece was in: "a vicious circle, with fears of default threatening to become a self-fulfilling prophecy."  here. Interestingly, former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, also pointed out that Greece was in a "vicious circle" that it should be helped to get out of. He favored mutualization of state debt within the Eurozone.
European hypocrisy about human rights according to Michael Rubin on the Commentary blog, "The Lie that Europe Cares about Human Rights"  [here]

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Friday, June 12, 2015

More European Greed, Failure & Hypocrisy: The Greek Case

We are all familiar with the moral pretensions and pretenses of Europe, particularly the European Union which embodies Europe's flaws quintessentially. They seem to know what is right for everybody else in the world, especially for Israel and the Jews. Just listen to us and you will have peace, they tell us. Why we should listen to them is beyond me, since I am old enough to remember that the Nazi Holocaust was perpetrated not just by Germans and Austro-Germans but was aided by most of Europe (by Arabs too but we're not talking about Arabs). Think of Quisling Norway and Vichy France and so on and so forth. Europe's world championship in hypocrisy is solid and unchallenged, as this Irish example bearing on Israel demonstrates. But even more striking is how the European Union  treats some of its own who appear to belong to a lesser class of Europeans.

The EU has never threatened Turkey with any sort of boycott for its occupation of northern Cyprus, whereas Cyprus, predominantly Greek ethnically, is a member of the EU itself. But there is obviously a lot of business to be done with Turkey or maybe the Greek Cypriots are just Europeans Grade B. Their brothers and sisters in Greece, also an EU member and a NATO member, suffer from counterproductive Eurozone schemes for settling their debt crisis. The Eurozone, a subsidiary comprising most EU members, imposed on Greece a terribly dysfunctional austerity plan that guarantees to keep most Greeks in poverty and does not encourage growth.

Anyhow Philippe Legrain in Foreign Policy updates some of the things that I and many professional economists have been saying for years [although I am not a professional economist, some big flaws in the "remedy" for Greece have been much too obvious]. Whatever the flaws in the economic plans to "help" Greece, their proposals for the Middle East  would work just as badly or worse if Israel adopted their plans to "help bring peace" to the Middle East. Here is Legrain:

Why Greece Should Reject the Latest Offer From Its Creditors





Why Greece Should Reject the Latest Offer From Its Creditors
Reform — Greece sorely needs it. Cash — the government is running desperately short of it. So it is time for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to do what’s best for Greece and accept its creditors’ reform demands in exchange for much-needed cash. That is how the Greek situation is usually framed. It is utterly misleading.
Imagine you’re in prison for not being able to pay your debts. (You’re right, it’s almost unthinkable — civilized societies no longer lock up bankrupt individuals. But bear with me.) After five years of misery, you lead a rebellion, take control of the prison, and demand your release. The jailers respond by cutting off your water supply. Should you back down and return to your cell, perhaps negotiating for slightly less unpleasant conditions, in order to obtain a little liquidity? Or should you keep fighting to be free? That, in essence, is what the standoff between an insolvent Greece and its eurozone creditors is really about.
For months, Greece has had “only days” to agree a deal with its creditors before it runs out of cash. Eventually that will be true. But even if Tsipras accepted the creditors’ demands, Greece would still have “only days” before it ran out of cash. The 7.2 billion euros on offer right now wouldn’t even cover the Greek government’s debt repayments until the end of August. And for a measly two months of liquidity, Tsipras is expected to surrender his democratic mandate: break his election promises, agree to yet more tax increases and spending cuts that would depress Greece’s economy further, and relinquish his demands for debt relief.
Then the wrangling would start again. Because so long as Greece remains in its debtors’ prison, it will be dependent on its jailers for liquidity and therefore expected to comply with whatever additional conditions they impose. Tsipras should not submit to this debt bondage.
Nine of every 10 euros that eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have lent to the Greek government since 2010 have gone torepay its unbearable debts, which should instead have been restructured back then. But from now on, every last cent of additional funding would go to pay back debt. The Greek government now has a small primary surplus: It doesn’t need to borrow, except to service its debts of 175 percent of GDP.
Yet in exchange for additional liquidity, Greece’s creditors are demanding a return to the failed austerity policies of the past five years, which have shrunkthe economy by 21 percent and thrown one in four people — and one in two youth — out of work. The hypothesis that austerity can cure insolvency has been tested to destruction. Another dose of it would be perverse.
As Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times points out, further austerity isn’t even in the creditors’ interests. They are demanding a fiscal tightening of 1.7 percent of GDP in the second half of this year alone. Since raising taxes and cutting spending would depress the economy — shrinking tax revenues and inflating social spending, thereby unwinding some of the budget tightening — a fiscal squeeze twice as big would be required to achieve the creditors’ target, if the past five years are anything to go by. According to Sandbu, that would crunch the economy by 5 percent, perversely raising the ratio of debt to GDP by some 9 percentage points. To achieve a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP by 2018, as the creditors are demanding, would require a fiscal squeeze of 8.3 percent of GDP, depressing the economy by 12.5 percent and increasing the ratio of debt to GDP by around 22.5 percentage points. Far from bringing Greece’s debts down to more sustainable levels, further austerity would cause them to soar.
Why would eurozone authorities be so cruel and foolish? Because they don’t really care about the welfare of ordinary Greeks. They aren’t even that bothered about whether the Greek government pays back the money they forced European taxpayers to lend to it, ostensibly out of solidarity, but actually to bail out French and German banks and investors. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other eurozone policymakers just don’t want to admit that they made a terrible mistake in 2010 and have lied about it since. So they want to be seen as standing up for eurozone taxpayers’ interests, and they want Greeks to put up and shut up until Merkel and her minions are comfortably in retirement, and it is someone else’s problem.
Further austerity isn’t the only consequence of leaving Greeks languishing in their debtors’ prison. Contrary to claims that Greece shells out scarcely any interest, it pays an average interest rate of 2.5 percent on its debts, according to Joakim Tiberg of UBS, a Swiss bank — 4.5 percent of GDP in total. With prices falling by 2.1 percent over the past year, the inflation-adjusted interest rate is 4.7 percent. Worse, the debt overhang creates crippling uncertainty about how the crisis might be resolved — including whether Greece might be forced out of the euro — stunting consumption, investment, and growth. Having creditors breathing down your neck to raise taxes is a further deterrent to investment. And the debt overhang also causes deflation, making the burden even more unbearable.
The creditors’ insistence on reform is also disingenuous. Greece has been run by the institutions known as the Troika — the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF — since May 2010. They have had every opportunity to insist on the reforms they are now demanding. Yet they kept on funding Greece because all they cared about was the fiscal targets (and wage cuts to boost “competitiveness”). The sudden focus on reform is primarily about forcing Tsipras to break the promises that got him elected in January.
Let me be clear: Greece urgently needs reform. Its economy is underdeveloped, hidebound, and dominated by oligarchic families who monopolize markets and suborn politics. Its public administration is corrupt and inefficient. Its legal system is dysfunctional, its tax system full of holes. Tsipras may or may not be willing to reform Greece. But ultimately, it ought to be up to Greeks whether and how they do so.
Indeed, the main sticking points between Athens and its creditors aren’t really reforms, they’re fiscal measures. While improving the collection and administration of value-added tax (VAT) is desirable, the creditors are also demanding a tax hike of 1 percent of GDP. That is wrong-headed, since it would hit the country’s main export sector, tourism, which accounts for 18 percent of GDP.
Pension reform is also necessary as Greeks live longer and fewer workers have to support more retirees. But the country’s social safety net is so threadbare that a single-slashed pension is often supporting a whole family of jobless people. So, while encouraging healthy people to continue working is desirable, pension cuts are not.
Some argue that Tsipras should sign up to what the creditors want, take the cash to pay off the looming bond payments to the IMF and the ECB, make a show of reform, and then press again for debt relief. But the notion that the creditors would then be more flexible is fanciful. In 2012, eurozone governments promised Greece debt relief once it achieved a primary surplus, but they still haven’t delivered it. The Greek government has now put forward sensible plans for restructuring its debts. Unless its creditors are willing to start negotiating meaningful debt relief, Tsipras should reject any deal on offer.
Merkel ought to be as magnanimous with Greece as the United States was with post-Nazi Germany, when Washington forgave half of the West German government’s debts in 1953 [this is not what was most important about the Marshall Plan money: None of it went back to the United States. All of it stayed in Germany-- Eliyahu m'Tsiyon]. But if eurozone authorities won’t be reasonable, unilateral default — and even euro exit — is preferable to debt bondage. 
[emphases are mine, likewise I supplied the link in the sentence above "Merkel ought to be as magnanimous. . . ."- Eliyahu

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Qatar denies that any workers have died working on sites for the 2022 soccer World Cup

Of course, we would expect a government accused in a situation like this to deny or minimize the loss of life that it may be  responsible for. Here Qatar engages in a brazen lie. The Guardian has followed this story and we have previously used the Guardian's material at Emet m'Tsiyon. What is interesting and what the Guardian still conceals or works to disconnect from other facts, from the wider context of Qatar, is Qatar's role as the leading funder of Hamas, the ones who made it possible for Hamas to shoot thousands of missiles at Israeli civilian locations last summer. Also missing is the efforts of US secretary of state John Kerry to force Israel to use Qatar's "mediation" to end the war with Hamas, whereas Qatar was clearly a major or the major ally of Hamas along with Iran and Turkey. In other words, the US as a great power or superpower or imperialist power worked to favor Hamas over Israel. When the Guardian talks about Qatar's oppression of foreign workers, it does not make a connection with Hamas or the USA. If you find something to the contrary, a Guardian webpage that I am not familiar with, let me know and post it here as a comment. [Guardian June 3, 2015 at 6:59 British time].

Qatar: 'Not a single worker's life has been lost'

The state-run Qatar News Agency has published a denial by the Government Communication Office of claims surrounding the deaths of migrant workers working on World Cup sites. (Read the Guardian’s investigation into these deaths here and here.)
The Qatari rebuttal tackles a blog published by the Washington Post, which said 1,200 migrant workers are estimated to have died during the construction of World Cup sites, and a further 4,000 could die by 2022:
This is completely untrue. In fact, after almost five million work-hours on World Cup construction sites, not a single worker’s life has been lost. Not one
Qatar has more than a million migrant workers. The Global Burden of Disease study, published in the Lancet in 2012, states that more than 400 deaths might be expected annually from cardiovascular disease alone among Qatar’s migrant population, even had they remained in their home countries.
It is unfortunate that any worker should die overseas, but it is wrong to distort statistics to suggest, as the Post’s article did, that all deaths in such a large population are the result of workplace conditions.
The Post’s article was accompanied by a dramatic graphic, which purports to compare the imagined fatalities in Qatar with the number of lives lost in the construction of other international sports venues, including the London Olympics, where just one worker was reported to have died.
A more accurate comparison according to the Post’s analysis would have also suggested that every migrant worker in the United Kingdom who died between 2005 and 2012 – whatever the job and whatever the cause of death – was killed in the construction of the 2012 London Olympics. [Guardian June 3, 2015 at 6:59 British time]
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How Hamas leaders got rich, with the help of Qatar and others [Globes 24 July 2014].
Hamas is led by very rich people [Egyptian TV]
Qatar funds the so-called "Free Gaza Movement"
Qatar and other super-rich Arab powers help finance American "higher education."

Business Insider comments on the numbers of dead workers [here]

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pope Acknowledges He Was Misquoted/Mistranslated by MSM Press

This piece from Times of Israel reports that the Pope is personally acknowledging that he was misquoted/mistranslated by press agencies and publications such as New York Times, Associated Press (AP), Reuters and Agence France Presse (AFP) [also see: here & here&here].
In comments made to veteran Portuguese-Israeli journalist Henrique Cymerman Thursday, Francis was quoted as saying that “anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel — and their right to exist — is guilty of anti-Semitism.” 
Francis was also said to have backtracked on statements he was reportedly heard making earlier this month designating the visiting Abbas “a bit an angel of peace.”
The pope recalled telling Abbas in Italian that he hopes the Palestinian chief might one day become an angel of peace in the future, according to Cymerman — although ostensibly he has not yet reached that level.
Jewish-Portuguese journalist Henrique Cymerman, August 03, 2013. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Jewish-Portuguese journalist Henrique Cymerman, August 03, 2013. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
The comments were sent by the Pope in writing to Cymerman along with Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka, one of Francis’s close interfaith colleagues, after the duo approached him following his meeting with Abbas, Channel 2 reported.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Did US Pres. Obama & French Foreign Minister Fabius Coordinate Lies about Justice Being on the Arab Side?

Last week Pres. Obama spoke to a Jewish congregation in Washington DC, and subtly told them that justice in the Arab-Israeli conflict was all on the Arab side, which he fashionably referred to as the "Palestinians." Just the other day, French foreign minister Fabius, about to make a trip to the Middle East for the sake of "peace," told a French radio station:
"We are for a two-state solution. We need to ensure Israel's security that's obvious. There is no peace and security without justice for the Palestinians, but let's be frank justice hasn't been given to the Palestinians," Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio
Is it mere coincidence that both Obama and Fabius spoke about justice being on the Arab side and, by implication, not on the Jewish side? Most likely not. Be that as it may, Fabius was probably franker on this claim than Obama dared to be in front of a Jewish audience, so Obama spoke more subtly. Subtle lies are one of Obama's specialties and I give him full credit for this talent of his.

Nevertheless, there is no justice without truth and if Obama's audience in Washington or Fabius' audience on Radio FranceInter thinks that justice is on the Arab side, then they are ignoramuses and fools manipulated by clever politicians. I for one think that promoting Obama's dangerous pro-Iran nuke policy was just part of the meaning of this speech.

Historically, not only was the Land of Israel the homeland of the Jews, called Judea by the Roman Empire, but nobody ever heard of a "palestinian people" before this psychological warfare invention came to light and was embodied in the PLO in 1964. There were always Jews living in the country and during the periods of Arab, Mamluk and Ottoman Muslim rule the Jews in the country were at the bottom of the social barrel, inferior even to the Christian subjects of the Islamic empires who were also called "dhimmis" in Islamic law and practice  and were subject to a whole series of oppressions, pecuniary exactions, and humiliations, like the Jews. Yet, as said, the Jews were in an inferior status even to the Christian dhimmis.

The top Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin el-Husseini, collaborated with the Nazis and in the Holocaust. Why does Obama not remember that? Husseini was given a headquarters in Berlin during the war by the Nazis as well as funds for his entourage of other Arabs, palestinian Arabs, who were with him in Berlin. He broadcast for the Germans over Radio Berlin, urging the Arabs to "Kill Jews wherever you find them." And hundreds of Jews were massacred in Arab lands by Arabs during the Holocaust.

Indeed, historical justice is on Israel's side, although our enemies like Obama and Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister of France, claim that these Arabs need "justice." Indeed, this is an evil Judeophobic falsification of history, since it was the Arabs who oppressed Jews for more than 1000 years and whose religion teaches them to hate Jews. And it was the top palestinian Arab leader who collaborated with the Nazis and in the Holocaust and who was pleased when Hitler told him that it was his plan to extend the Shoah to the Jews in the Arab countries. And it was the Arabs in the country, in Israel, following the leadership of the Mufti Husseini, who started a war against the Jews within hours of the 29 November 1947 UN General Assembly partition recommendation for both a Jewish and an Arab state in the Land of Israel, plus an internationally governed enclave or corpus separatum in and around Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

New York Times Lies about Pope Calling Mahmud Abbas "an Angel of Peace"

The New York Times lies once again. And lies to the detriment of Jews. The NYT is softly sliding into the status of an open enemy of the Jews.  The Pope did not call PA/PLO leader Mahmud Abbas "an angel of peace." Rather, he expressed the wish that Abbas would become one by reaching an agreement with Israel. The NYTimes was not the only media outlet to lie about what the pope said when he met Abbas [Abu Mazen] at the Vatican. The AFP & AP, Agence France Presse and Associated Press, and many others did it too. But let us use the NYT as representative:
Mr. Abbas’s meeting with the pope ended with an exchange of gifts. Presenting Mr. Abbas with a medallion, the pope said it depicted an angel of peace “destroying the bad spirit of war.” It was an appropriate gift, the pope added, since “you are an angel of peace.” [New York Times, May 16, 2015]
However, according to the Vatican Insider site of the respected daily La Stampa, the pope actually said: you could be an angel of peace: lei possa essere un angelo della pace». He had already called both Peres and Abbas "uomo di pace" [man of peace] when he met them separately in Israel last year [he met abbas in Bethlehem]. However some media outlets would rather hear "you are an angel of peace."

Just to reinforce the point, here are how some other Italian news sites covered the same event:
Here is Il Giornale. It has:  Papa Francesco ha visto questa mattina il presidente dell'Autorità palestinese, Mahmud Abbas, che ha accolto con un abbraccio e un auspicio, chiedendogli di essere "un angelo della pace".
That is, the pope met Abbas, "asking him to be 'an angel of peace'"

This report for a women's website quotes the pope saying: Ho pensato a lei: che lei possa essere un angelo della pace». I thought of you, that you could be an angel of peace."

La Stampa's Vatican Insider site also quotes from the Vatican's official statement about the pope's meeting with Abbas. The pope was definitely talking about negotiations and not about unilateral steps, whereas lately Abbas has been taking a unilateral approach in violation of prior agreements with Israel, including the Oslo Accords. The statement says that both the pope and Abbas were:
"expressing the wish that direct negotiations between the parties might resume. in order to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict."
In this regard, the pope is friendlier to Israel than the French who want a UN-imposed settlement.
"si è parlato del processo di pace con Israele, esprimendo l’auspicio che si possano riprendere i negoziati diretti tra le Parti per trovare una soluzione giusta e duratura al conflitto. A tale scopo si è ribadito l’augurio che, con il sostegno della Comunità internazionale, Israeliani e Palestinesi prendano con determinazione decisioni coraggiose a favore della pace. Infine, con riferimento ai conflitti che affliggono il Medio Oriente, nel riaffermare l’importanza di combattere il terrorismo, è stata sottolineata la necessità del dialogo interreligioso»" [Vatican Insider of La Stampa]
So keep in mind that mainstream publications in the United States and other Western countries cannot be trusted when they report about Israel. They cannot even quote the pope correctly and honestly.

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here is an English language version of the Vatican Insider site reporting on this event at the Vatican.
Tom Gross placed this story among his Mideast Dispatches [here].

Here is a report in Spanish [aqui]:
En el intercambio de regalos el Papa le entregó a Abbas, un medallón del ángel de la paz, y le dijo: “El ángel de la paz destruye el espíritu maligno de la guerra”. Y añadió: “He pensado en su persona para que sea un ángel de la paz”. El Santo Padre le regaló también la exhortación apostólica Evangelii Gaudium en idioma inglés."
The encyclical Evangelii Gaudium is said to be sympathetic to Jews.

Three passages from Evangelii Gaudium are found on this blog post in English, as well as discussion of what the pope said and its grammatical fine points [here]

Vatican Radio in Italian reported the story of the Pope Francis-Mahmud Abbas meeting, which is tantamount to an official statement. No mention of "an angel of peace" [qui].
Vatican Radio in German has "Be an angel of peace" [OR May you be an angel of peace] --  "Sei ein Friedensengel“ sagte Papst Franziskus laut italienischen Nachrichtenagenturen [hier]
Walter Russell Mead on papal diplomacy and papal canonization of two Arabic-speaking saints [here]

5-19-2015 Brian of London and the Israellycool blog have done good work on exposing the media lie [here]


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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Obama & Kerry to Iran: If you like your nuke you can keep your nuke!!

If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.
Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States
to the AMA 15 June 2009 

Prez Obama lied to his own people when he wanted to push through his so-called Obamacare medical plan, in order to quiet down opposition and prevent his electoral base from verging into opposition to that plan. In fact, his plan has led to a severe reduction in medical care for many Americans, including those retired people living on Social Security and used to receiving medical care under the previous Medicare plan. And under Obamacare, many Americans cannot keep their doctor. Obama is lying again today. If Obama is capable of lying to his own people so as to negatively affect their medical care, and thus their health, why would he not lie to nations outside the USA?

He sent secretary of state Kerry to lie for him to the Arab states opposed to and threatened by a nuclear Iran, as well as to Israel which shares common ground with Arab states, at least on this one issue on which both Israel and most Arab states share fears of an Iranian Bomb. Last night [Saturday night]  I heard Kerry say on Israel TV channel 10:
"We will have inspectors in there every single day. That's not a 10-year deal. That's forever. There have to be inspections," he said. [Also see Jerusalem Post, 2 May 2015, Internet ed.]
Every day? Have the Iranians agreed to that? In fact, Iran has been legally bound for several decades to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which already obliged Iran to undergo inspections of nuclear sites or suspected nuclear sites. But Iran has long resisted compliance with the treaty and prevented inspectors from the IAEA [international atomic energy agency] from inspecting in Iran as they had the legal right to do by virtue of the treaty. Which Iran has been violating for years by that fact alone, among others. Nonetheless, major Western powers, the UK, France, Germany and the USA have given Iran several "last chances." The first "last chance" was in 2003. Hence, you have to ask whether these powers really wanted to stop Iran from obtaining The Bomb --- or did they quietly want Iran to have The Bomb?

Anyhow, with Obama & Kerry and their team of lethal clowns in power, things are getting worse from the nuclear non-proliferation standpoint. Now, in order to calm down Arab opposition to the Iran nuke deal, the White House is said to be offering them high tech weapons never offered to them before (which they are however well able to pay for). But the USA is already committed to maintaining an Israeli upper hand over the Arabs in armaments, in view of the fact that the  Arabs were long threatening Israel but Israel was not threatening them. Since Obama has no compunctions about violating the international obligations of the United States, including treaties, it might sell these Arab states the very most advanced weapons. This will create a very dangerous situation in the Middle East which will be worse than the present dangerous situation. Some Arab states may work to develop their own nuke weapons to reinforce themselves, supposedly, against Iranian aggression. 

So Obama's "peace efforts" are looking more and more like war efforts. Nevertheless, Kerry claimed that:
"I say it again. We will not sign a deal that does not close off Iran's pathways to a bomb and that doesn't give us the confidence to all of our experts and global experts, that we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon."

A sure way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon would be to make sure that Iran divests itself of its nuke bomb making capacity. The Lausanne framework as proclaimed by Obama and by Iranian officials [who did not agree on the content of the framework] is meant to contain Iran's capacity to produce a nuke bomb, not to eliminate that capacity. Hence, according to what Obama and his minions are admitting to now, the agreement which is not yet an agreement will allow Iran to keep its nuke bombmaking capacity. Hence there is always the danger that it will make a bomb, The Bomb, once it has decided to do so. And in a short time. Furthermore, Kerry's claim about "inspectors in there [watching Iran's nuke project] every single day" sounds groundless, given the fact that Iran has been preventing IAEA inspectors from viewing its nuke project for years, and when not preventing access for the inspectors, it has been making things difficult for them. 

So other regional governments, Arabs, Israel, and others, believe that Iran will have The Bomb sooner or later and most likely sooner. Therefore, 
"Leading Persian Gulf states want major new weapons systems and security guarantees from the White House in exchange for backing a nuclear agreement with Iran, according to U.S. and Arab officials." . . . [Wall Street JournalJAY SOLOMON And  CAROL E. LEE, May 2, 2015]
". . . The demands underscore what complicated diplomatic terrain Mr. Obama is navigating as he drives toward one of his top foreign-policy goals, and they demonstrate how a nuclear deal with Iran aimed at stabilizing the Middle East risks further militarizing an already volatile region." [Ibid, WSJ, 2 May 2015]
Although these Arab countries are mainly interested in having the most advanced weapons to counter the Iranian threat, which will grow if Iran has The Bomb,  their having these weapons will also threaten Israel. 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares the Arab governments’ belief that Iran poses the greatest security challenge to their region. But there remains fear in Israel that over the long term any sophisticated systems sold to the GCC countries could eventually be turned on Israel, according to Israeli officials. [Ibid.]
Another danger is that the failure to enforce existing and longstanding treaties, like the NPT [nuclear non-proliferation treaty] or the laws of the sea treaties or the treaty guaranteeing US defense of the Marshall Islands, relevant in regard to the ship seized by Iran last week that was flying the Marshall Islands flag, is dangerous.
Assuming America does not act to enforce international conventions, however, Iran will have proved her point that the conventions are no longer enforced. [Cmdr J E Dyer, USN ret here]
This means that the USA under Obama is helping make treaties ridiculous, and thereby increasing the risk to peace in other ways than simply letting Iran build The Bomb.

Once again, Obama and Kerry's "peace efforts" turn out to be war efforts.
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Sarah Honig supplies additional reasons not to trust Obama's administration [here].
Karen Elliott House explains and describes Saudi Arabia's new diplomacy [here] on 1 May 2015 in Wall Street Journal. See this paragraph: 
". . .  in two weeks . . . Mr. Obama hosts a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, a collection of small Gulf countries plus Saudi Arabia, that Riyadh is seeking to lead in combating Iran’s Middle East expansion. The Saudis still hope to persuade Washington to be more active in the fight not just against Islamic State forces but also against Bashar Assad in Syria.
Mr. Obama seems to see the summit as simply an opportunity to encourage these nations to fend for themselves, showing U.S. concern for their security without offering concrete action. As Saudis point out, there is a chasm between Mr. Obama’s words and actions—as seen in his unilateral erasing of the “red line” he declared regarding Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria."

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