Just one week after the alleged Geneva agreement (which doesn't do much to slow down Iran's race to have nuclear weapons), we learned that there was only an agreement to seek an agreement! On November 26th, the Iranian foreign ministry called the text released by the Obama White House of the agreement, "invalid."
So let's see, there is no agreement, each side has its own version, and the benefits of relaxed sanctions and a release of $8 billion in blocked Iranian funds goes to the Ayotollah. It's too bad the inept team representing the U.S. doesn't handle negotiations on Obamacare with the GOP!
Jerusalem Post Op-Ed:
Iran's Dangerous Nuclear Program
By Congressman Ted Poe
The six-month deal struck this Sunday in Geneva between the West and Iran does little to curtail Iran's dangerous nuclear program and cripples the international sanctions that we have spent decades fighting for. Iran gets another slap on the wrist and we give up the best tool we have to stop them. This "deal" will not make the world safer. What it will do is strengthen Iran's economy and take it one step closer to becoming a nuclear power. Make no mistake, a nuclear Iran will make the world a more dangerous place.
In this lopsided agreement, the US and its fellow P5+1 countries (Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) agreed to ease existing sanctions and not implement any more new ones in exchange for too little. Easing existing sanctions will inject $20 billion into Iran's economy, according to Mark Dubowitz from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. This is money that Iran can and likely will use to invest in its criminal activities - whether that helps to advance its nuclear program or funds and trains terrorists abroad.
The US – and the world - got the raw end of this deal. Iran gets to keep its uranium and its 19,000 centrifuges. With these tools in place, Iran could still develop a weapon in a matter of weeks. Ignoring that fact, we're now allowing Iran to keep all of its building blocks for a nuclear weapon because it promised to suspend its nuclear program for 6 months. Why are we trusting the word of a country with a history of terrorist-financing and an agenda to destroy Israel? Are you kidding me?
WHILE THE Administration continues its media circus to gain support for this sham of a deal, Tehran moves forward towards a nuclear bomb. Tehran has dangerous 20-percent enriched uranium, but that's not being destroyed. Kerry lauded that it will be converted, but it's easily reversible. Tehran will also continue construction on a plutonium heavy water reactor at Arak. This will make plutonium that just like enriched uranium is the material necessary for a nuclear weapon. Kerry applauded that Iran cannot work on the reactor directly, but it can continue constructing it. This is a dangerous game of semantics.
None of this matters though if we cannot verify that any of it is actually taking place. And here, again, is where this agreement fails. Iran has repeatedly denied access to International Atomic Energy Association inspectors and hidden its nuclear sites. Sunday's deal does little to help inspectors guarantee access or cooperation from Iran.
The only thing that Sunday's agreement did disarm was our international credibility. Over the years, the US has led six United Nations Security Council resolutions that called on Iran to stop enriching uranium and to abandon its nuclear program. That is all null and void now. Despite Israel, France, and others standing up to Iran, we showed them through this agreement that we were no longer willing to make the hard decisions and lead. This is worse than the Administration's favorite tactic of "leading from behind", this is not leading at all.
Three weeks ago, I met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Israel. We discussed what Iran's nuclear program meant not only for the security of our countries, but for the safety of the entire world. When he called the agreement a "historic mistake" on Sunday, I couldn't agree more. This is reminiscent of former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain's mistake of appeasement with the Nazis by promising "peace in our time". Chamberlain ignored Nazi Germany's aggression and called for peace. Less than a year later, Germany started World War II. We know from history what happens when warning signs are ignored and peace agreements are rushed. We cannot afford to let it happen again. The consequences are far too dangerous.
Just because we are tired of talks doesn't mean that we can throw in the towel. The moves outlined in this agreement do not amount to actionable, verifiable steps to dismantle Iran's growing nuclear arsenal. They merely allow the Administration to have good sound bites for the Sunday morning shows.
Now is not the time to ease our sanctions on Iran. I and many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have spoken up to protest this bad deal. In July, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation to further strengthen our sanctions against Iran. In a time of partisan divide, the fact that this bill passed 400-20 speaks volumes about the magnitude of the threat we are facing from Iran. It's time for the Senate to pass this legislation and ignore the political pressure from the White House.
The United States must stand up and protect itself and its allies. Iran is already a threat to global world order and peace. It antagonizes Israel, trains terrorists, and wreaks havoc throughout the Middle East. An Iran emboldened by nuclear weapons will be a threat like which we have never seen before. We simply cannot allow that to happen. And that's just the way it is.
Ted Poe, is a US Congressman from Texas and Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation & Trade.
Needed Soon: The GOP Health Reform Plan
While the predictable imploding of Obamacare has immediate political benefit to the GOP, at some point, maybe in December 2014, it's time for the GOP to push its pro-free market health care reform ideas.
It is true, once we unveil the plan the Democrats will attack trying to take the focus off of Obamacare. That's why TCR says, wait until after the elections next fall.
Whatever we come up with policy wise, it must be as described by Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal recently, "Patient-centered, patient-driven, patient-owned (even when workers change jobs); a deep well of competitive choices that ensures access by all; fairness in tax treatment; ease of use; and a more streamlined and limited safety net."
It's this kind of plan that will give the American people real choice.
GOP 2014: Can We Seize The Moment?
Mike Murphy in Time Magazine gave his take on how to win the House, Senate and White House in 2014 & 2016, and surprise, it's all based on conservative public policy innovations:
"Our Republican policy cupboard is embarrassingly bare. What are our new ideas to help the middle class after years of economic pain? What's our plan to address the rising costs of health insurance? How do we create economic growth - for everybody, not just the most successful 10% of the country? How do we rebuild the ladder of upward social mobility? How do we fix public education? The Republicans need an idea renaissance... [W]ithout real immigration reform - tougher borders and an earned path to citizenship - it will be very hard for the GOP to win the White House in 2016. We need a modernized conservatism that can persuade the changing America... to let us govern. ... Ronald Reagan launched his campaign to make America great again in Detroit in 1980. Let's ... hold our 2016 ... convention in Detroit."
TCR Comment: Now one may not agree with all his ideas, but we definitely need a conservative reboot.
Have The Democrats Discovered A New Message To Get Elected: Anti "Big-Money Interests?"
Could a small state U.S. Senate race in 2014 be previewing the Democrats next message to ensure electoral success? In South Dakota, Democrat Rick Weiland is down a mere 6 points to the state's former GOP governor for a soon to be vacant Democratic seat. Note: this is a state Mitt Romney carried by 18 points!
Observers note the way Weiland is doing it, using the defining principle that government is not the problem per se, the problem is government taken over by "big-money interests." Voters in South Dakota agree - 68% to 26%!
So could the Democrats have discovered a new rise of populism and are seeking to benefit from it? Clearly, the GOP should not necessarily defend big business and big money interests. After all, they don't support us all the time.
Help A Great Dog Be Pet Of The Year
The Bellaire Buzz is excited to announce that their annual "Pet of the Year" contest has begun and your editor's pet, Nala, has been nominated.
The contest will take place through their website and the critter with the most votes wins! Voting is now open and closes at midnight on December 31, 2013. The winners will be announced on their website on January 6, 2014.
We encourage our friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to cast their votes! One vote per person, please.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland, liberal commentator David Jones and moderator Linda Lorelle on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
Red, White & Blue is on hiatus for the month of December, and will return in January 2014.
The current show as well as past shows are available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his fifteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last twelve years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 10 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his twelfth year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.