Showing posts with label Iran Deal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran Deal. Show all posts

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Who is Hillary Clinton and what has she done?

Apathy, Thy Name is Hillary
Many years ago, eight to be exact, I wrote about then Senator Barack Obama and asked the same question under my former Andrew, the Angry American persona.  

Mind you, this was during my pre-author days, and long before I found an effective editor, so don't judge me.

The truth is that we have a big problem in this country. We are electing people without any form of due diligence. We get too caught up in the empty promises, the campaign theatrics, and the party nonsense. Then, before you know it, it is the day after and we are left wondering what the hell did we just do? Unfortunately, at that point, it is too late.

Now a lot of folks seem to be repeating the same mistakes we did back in 2007/08, which is to not properly vet the candidates. I keep hearing about Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments, but to be honest, no one can actually name one. Heck, that’s not surprising considering the candidate herself can’t name one. To be fair she points to obscure things, but nothing tangible. However, you can read her book: Hard Choices, which promises to address these questions. It doesn't. 

Thanks, I think I’ll take a pass. You see, back in the 90's, when I was assigned to the NYPD's elite Intelligence Division, I worked on Bill Clinton's security detail when he visited New York City. I saw this 'loving' couple up close and personal. All I can say is do not believe everything you see and less than what you hear. 

If you enjoy political intrigue, I suggest reading my books. At least in my books no one makes excuses for their actions.

But let us consider who we are dealing with here:

  • She attended Wellesley College, majoring in Political Science, and Yale, where she graduated with a law degree.
  • During her college years she was very active in politics, Republican politics to be precise. She was even the president of the Wellesley Young Republicans. She left the party over the Vietnam War and Civil Rights issues.
  • She was an attorney for the prestigious Rose Law Firm in Arkansas where she would make full partner. She was twice named in the 100 Most Influential Lawyers by National Law Review.
  • She was Arkansas’ First Lady for twelve years (1979-1981, 1983-1992)
  • She served on the Board of Directors for WALMART, as well as several other firms.
  • She was the First Lady of the United States (1993-2001)
  • She served as Senator from New York (2001-2009)
  • She ran for President in 2008
  • She was Secretary of State (2009 – 2013)
And now she is the Democratic nominee for President.

She has been in the public eye for the better part of 3 ½ decades. So how in the hell can you not point to ONE tangible accomplishment? 

On the flipside, I can sure as hell point to an awful lot of controversies: Whitewater, Paula Jones, Cattle Futures, Filegate, Travelgate, Norman Hsu, Monica Lewinsky, FBI Background Records, Benghazi, E-Mail / Server, Clinton Foundation……

I’m sorry, someone with this much baggage shouldn’t be pointing fingers at anyone else.

That being said, you have to ask yourself if the world is a better place for her involvement and the answer is simply no. I cannot see anything in the record that points to her as being singularly qualified to be President. In fact, don't take my word for it, but consider what President Obama said about her in 2008: "Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything and change nothing." 

While First Lady, and despite having control over both houses, she was unable to get enough votes for the Clinton Health Plan and the proposal was ended in 1994.

In 1997 she did manage to get passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but whether it was her, or the bill’s big name backers (Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch), is questionable.

As Senator, she managed to sponsor only three,….. yes 3, bills that became law:

S. 1241:  A bill establishing the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in the State of New York.
S. 3613:  A bill naming a post office the "Major George Quamo Post Office Building."
S. 3145:  A bill designating a highway in New York as the Timothy J. Russert highway.


To be fair, she sponsored 355 bills, but of these, only twenty passed the Senate. I’m sorry, but you took over the seat of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, probably one of the most prolific politicians of the 20th century, and this is the best you can do?

I will leave it to those of you, who are so inclined, to pour over the bills; perhaps you can glean something to polish her record a bit.

To be equally fair, then Senator Barack Obama only sponsored 127 bills, 2 of which passed the Senate. You be the judge of the effectiveness of these two constitutional juggernauts. Just remember Clinton’s comments in the 2008 campaign when she accused him of voting ‘present’ 130 times as an Illinois State senator. 

Neither seems very keen on the idea of doing the people's work.

When I look at her record as Secretary of State, I am even more disheartened.

During President Bush’s time in office, the left routinely referred to it as Cowboy Politics. They lamented our status in the world. Hell, even entertainers ‘apologized’ for him.  President Obama was supposed to ‘fix’ it all, and his appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was meant to facilitate the repair work. Remember the infamous Russian ‘reset’?

Yeah, how’s that working out?

The truth is that, if you spent even a minimal amount of time watching or reading the news, you would have witnessed the decline in stability throughout the world under Hillary Clinton’s watch. From Russia to Libya, it seemed as if the United States government was asleep at the wheel.

And if one person points to the Iran deal as being an accomplishment, I will personally come to your house and slap you senseless or at least make you read Bishop's Gate !!

I actually heard someone point to the killing of Osama bin Laden as a positive. Then again, I also heard the credit given to President Obama.


Ultimately the credit is awarded to the person that answers the fateful question: ‘Mother, May I?’, but let’s be brutally honest for one moment. It was the operators on the ground who located bin Laden and it was the Navy SEAL’s who dispatched him to the afterlife. Giving the thumbs up, to go after the most wanted man in America, the mastermind behind 9/11, is kind of a no-brainer.

While we are on that subject, how did that work out for Shakil Afridi? Dr. Afridi worked for the CIA, running a cover program that ultimately led to the positive ID of Osama bin Laden. So what happened to him? He’s pretty much fucked as he was left out to dry. Pakistani authorities caught him trying to escape over the border and he was sentenced to thirty-three years in prison. Despite some political lip service from Clinton’s State Department, nothing has been done to help Dr. Afridi, but why should he be any different? In fact, it has been speculated that Afridi was made the sacrificial lamb by the CIA and Hillary's State Department.

No matter where you look, this administration has screwed the pooch. From Iran, to Egypt, to Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Russia, to Libya, to Syria, to Israel. To be honest, I’m surprised we haven’t managed to piss off the Canadians yet. The bottom line is that you can certainly argue that, when she left, the world was actually less stable than when she took the job.

What clinches it for me is that little diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

Yes, yes, I see you in the back with your hand up and that wild look in your eye. I know what you are going to say: ‘The subject of Benghazi has been settled, it was all just a vast right-wing witch hunt meant to destroy her reputation….’

Sit down and shut up, you’re making a fool out of yourself. Just because the media fed you some talking points and Congressman John Lewis, along with the rest of the Democratic cheering section, pointed an angry finger at Republicans, doesn’t mean the issue was actually addressed. In fact, I actually had one person make the argument that Republicans were ‘never concerned about diplomatic attacks until Benghazi.’


The truth is that any attack is horrific, but it wasn’t the attack that got to people. It was the cover-up!

I spent twenty-two years in law enforcement. It’s a dangerous job and we all know it. Losing an officer in the line of duty is tragic, but imagine being a cop, under fire, and calling for help and somewhere the dispatch supervisor turns off the radio. Help isn’t coming.

Don't believe me? Well then, ask: Kris Paronto

That was the reality of Benghazi and no one has ever been held accountable. I’ve written about this before and why Benghazi matters in terms of this Presidential election. Once you get past the political speak, you begin to see a pattern of deception. Sadly, the folks who were there are being both marginalized and vilified.

Maybe some of the millennials can point to her increase in Facebook and Twitter engagements as a positive sign, but that’s not exactly a glowing endorsement for someone to be President of the United States. As for me, I’m tired of the Clinton’s and their political games.

I’m going to vote for Donald J. Trump.

Yes, I do have issues with him, but when I look at his business record: I will gladly gamble on the four bankruptcies, actually four Chapter 11’s over twenty-five years, which are not always the result of bad business decisions, as most actual  business owners will tell you, and his many successes’. Do I think he is the A+ candidate that we all want? No. But, truth be told, we have not had an A+ candidate in a VERY long time. What I want is someone who is business savvy and who will at least attempt to stop the ship and put it back on its proper course.

The alternative is Hillary Clinton, a woman whom I firmly believe is a pathological liar and someone who will continue the destructive pattern we are currently on. The threats we face, in terms of foreign and domestic terrorism, grow larger every day. Yet we cannot even begin to address these issues because we are focusing on the every growing Clinton scandals. Even now we are unraveling the details of a pay-for-play scam that would send any 'law-abiding' citizen to federal prison for a very extended sentence. 

You do not have to agree with me on Trump, but I beg you to consider the ramifications and the long term effects on this country. We are twenty trillion dollars in debt and I guarantee you that we won't last much longer.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly – The Iran Nuclear Deal

For the purpose of full disclosure, I am not a politician or foreign policy expert, although I might have once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. I am just one of you, just maybe a slight bit more knowledgeable since I served in an intelligence unit for five years, but maybe that is a good thing. It seems that the more politicians and experts are involved in a subject, the less positive the outcome.

Take for instance this new ‘deal’, somberly referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with Iran over their nuclear program. To be sure, there are many who are applauding this as a foreign policy success story. In fact, I have actually looked at the deal and I can honestly say that it is a good deal.

Some of you might have just fallen off your chair at that last comment, so I’ll give you a moment to get your wits about you and perhaps get a cup of coffee or something stronger.

The idea that President Obama has achieved something that the world once thought impossible, an end to the threat of Iran obtaining a nuclear bomb, might seem a bit much for some to accept. I caution however, that while that would be truly historic, and provide the President with a much needed legacy, as the idiom goes: ‘the devil is in the details’.

The deal assumes a radical assumption that somehow Iran will act in good faith, rather than an assumption of bad faith. It goes against the known history of the past, in favor of a future one, that at best, remains cloaked in uncertainty.

So what is ‘Good’ about this deal? Well, quite frankly, if you are the Iranians, everything…… I haven’t seen a deal this one-sided since the Dutch bought the island of Manhattan for $24.

Note: For those of you who are for this Iranian deal and will come unglued about the above statement - Okay, yes, I know that’s a myth. I’m a native New Yorker. I know that the Dutch actually traded iron kettles, axes, knives, and cloth for the Island. I know that the Canarsee Tribe didn’t actually own the island, so the Dutch got taken and then had to pay the Wappinger Tribe when it was discovered that they actually owned the land….. sheesh, allow me at least some literary sarcasm.

Getting back to the point, this deal is truly one sided. Iran agrees to ‘shelve’ components of their program from 8-15 years. Pardon me, but wasn’t Iran a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? The fact that they have been working toward a nuclear weapon, in violation of their agreement, kind of makes me believe they can’t be completely trusted. So we are already starting off this agreement knowing that the Iranians have a history of not following through on their agreements. With this in mind, I can’t understand how we wouldn’t proceed under the ‘assume bad faith’ doctrine.

So how did the feckless diplomats handle this? Well, according to the administration we have 24/7 monitoring of the Iranian facilities, the so-called ‘anytime, anywhere’ verification. This would go a long way toward keeping the Iranians honest, but apparently 24/7 doesn’t actually mean 24/7. You see, it applies only to the ‘known’ facilities. The secret ones, which apparently fall under the category of ‘known secret’ and those that may, as of yet, be ‘unknown’ have a different process:

If IAEA inspectors have concerns that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities, at any non-declared sites, they may request access to ‘verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the agreement’, by informing Iran of the basis for their concerns. Iran may admit the inspectors to such site or propose alternatives to inspection that might satisfy the IAEA's concerns. If such an agreement cannot be reached, a process running to a maximum of twenty-four days is triggered. Under this process, Iran and the IAEA have 14 days to resolve disagreements among themselves. If they fail to reach an agreement, the Joint Commission (including all eight parties) would have one week in which to consider the intelligence which initiated the IAEA request. A majority of the Commission (at least five of the eight members) could then inform Iran of the action that it would be required to take within three more days. The majority rule provision (the United States and its European allies: Britain, France, Germany and the EU, could insist on access or any other steps and that Iran, Russia or China could not veto them. If Iran did not comply with the decision within three days, sanctions would be automatically re-imposed under the snapback provision.

As a result of the above, the breakout time, the time in which it would be possible for Iran to make enough material for a single nuclear weapon, should Iran abandon the agreement, will allegedly increase from two to three months to one year; this would be in place for ten years.

Seriously? Think about this for a moment. We are entering an agreement with a country that has a history of not following their agreements. We can conduct 24/7 verification of all their ‘known’ facilities, but if we actually find out about a secret one, then we have this rube goldberg-esque process to get them to comply. Yeah, nothing can possibly go wrong with that scenario.

So what is ‘Bad’? Well, if the above didn’t give you the warm fuzzies, consider this. No one is addressing the fact that this agreement does nothing to curtail the Iranians from actually getting the bomb, it just slows it down. To me that sounds a bit sketchy. It would be like negotiating with the school bully, who is threating to kill you, for a fifteen year reprieve.

On top of that, the agreement calls for lifting sanctions and returning upward of one hundred and fifty billion dollars to the Iranian government. Who, if you weren’t already aware of this, is the biggest sponsor of state supported terrorism, a fact that was never even discussed within the framework of the agreement. So I guess they curtail their overt nuclear program, but can continue their reign of terror without any problems along with a healthy dose of new financing. Now where do you think the bulk of this money will go? I’m not a betting man, but I would think that a large chunk will go toward sowing the seeds of terrorism through its surrogates: Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as through its own Qods Force, which has been actively involved in Iraq, where an estimated 1,100 US troops were killed by groups trained and equipped by the Qods, not to mention Syria, the rest of the Middle East, Afghanistan and parts of Africa. The administration even concedes this point.

Now to the ‘Ugly’ part. The government of Iran is a habitual liar. That’s not a baseless slander, but simple fact. The country possesses nearly ten percent of global oil reserves as well as eighteen percent of natural gas reserves. Their claim that their nuclear program was for peaceful purposes has always been a charade. Evidence has clearly shown that, despite their claims to the contrary, they have pursued technology to weaponize nuclear energy.

In fact, the IAEA inspectors are on record as saying that they (Iranians) have routinely stonewalled the inspectors and that it is entirely possible that Iran has an undisclosed clandestine nuclear weapons program in place. The lifting of sanctions will open Iran up to a host of countries and their companies, including some of our allies who agreed to this deal; many of whom were already dealing with Iran in violation of existing United Nations sanctions.

United Nations monitors recently issued a report that expressed frustration about the failure of United Nations member states, including those negotiating this deal, to report back to the UN about new incidents of Iran violating Security Council sanctions against its nuclear program, even though some have unfolded in plain sight. I guess reporting U.N. violations was not deemed important to risk sensitive negotiations, during which the Iranians were promising not to violate the provisions of the agreement.

One example in the report cited the failure of member states to report the highly publicized presence of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Qods Force, in Iraq. His Iraq visit was a violation of the U.N.’s imposed travel ban on key Iranian officials. Not that he cares much about restrictions, as he moves freely about the region, including a lot of time spent directing the fight against ISIS in Syria.

If you don’t know anything about the Qods Force, I suggest reading my novel: Bishop’s Gate.

One thing I am curious about is, once the sanctions are lifted and those countries and companies get their fingers into Iran legally, how many will be willing to vote to snapback sanctions? One thing I do know is that once you open Pandora’s Box, what you unleash will not willingly go back inside.

The administration claims that "tough, new requirements will keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon".

No it won’t. It might prolong it slightly, but they will obtain it. The world is playing checkers while the Iranian’s are playing chess. They are happy to let time pass by, while they work toward their end game, which brings me to another point. Can someone explain why their ICBM program remains intact? Isn’t anyone concerned about the “I” in ICBM, which stands for Intercontinental?

Iran doesn’t need an ICBM to hit Israel or Saudi Arabia, or to further its regional terrorism program, so what is the purpose? Please spare the talking point about how Iran’s is much further away from an ICBM then they are from a nuke. That isn’t really all that encouraging. Plus, they have two allies, who coincidentally are their main weapons suppliers, waiting in the wings. It is entirely possible that they might potentially expedite the ICBM process.  The lifting of weapons sanctions is another really bad idea.

Despite all the flowery prose coming forth from the administration and the world about this deal, the fact of the matter is Iran is Iran. They have not changed. Ink on a piece of paper does not change the heart of a person or a country. When you are chanting ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel’ your words resonate very clearly. When you sponsor terror throughout the region, and make no apologies for it, you show us who you truly are.

Iran is a theocracy. It is ruled by the nation’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution, after Khomeini's death.

Many will point to the allegation that Khamenei has reportedly issued a fatwa saying that the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons was ‘forbidden under Islam’. However, I am also aware that the Qur’an says that there are two forms of lying to non-believers, Taqiyya and Kitman, which are permitted under certain circumstances.  Taqiyya, which is saying something that isn't true, is permissible when it advances the cause of Islam. If he didn’t agree with his country’s nuclear program, then why were they still pursuing it in violation of his alleged fatwa?

On the other side of that coin, when the Supreme Leader is quoted as saying ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’, and has actually taken steps to direct terrorist activities against both countries, I tend to take him, and his words, very seriously.

None of this is a condemnation of the President. This is not a partisan issue; if you think that way, you are part of the problem. We are facing a grave threat, and the administrations answer is to kick the can down the road. What good does this do? Understand that when the provisions of the deal sunset, the breakout time for Iran to have a nuclear weapon begins to diminish from the ‘one year’ theory. That is if, and it is a really big IF, they don’t already have a clandestine program place. So, theoretically, we have only bought ourselves a 10 year reprieve. Realistically, it might be much less.

Again, I don’t trust them.

As I have said, this isn’t just an Obama problem. The responsibility has been shared by every administration going back to President Carter. The current regime came into power through a bloody coup, and the world did nothing. If you haven’t, I suggest you take the time to read up on the current Islamic Republic of Iran. You cannot begin to understand the problem, if you don’t understand the history.

In the thirty-five years since the revolt, they have grown to the world’s number one sponsor of state terrorism. Their list of involvement in acts of terror is stunning in its depth and breadth. The U.S. hostage crisis, which lasted for more than a year, the 1983 Beirut Barracks bombing, the Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires, the Khobar Towers bombing, the training of Al Qaeda, and the list goes on. They have also been named as being involved and complicit in the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the September 11th attacks, and the Riyadh Compound bombing. 

The world has allowed the current Iranian government to grow from a simple street bully, to a global one. Iran has never stepped back from its commitment to attack the ‘great Satan’, and yet everyone has treated it like nothing more than baseless rhetoric, even when those words were dripping with innocent blood.

Someone recently asked me: What would you do? As if somehow they can justify this bad deal. My answer was: It should never have gotten to this point.

After WWII, the United Nations was created. It was an organization that was supposed to prevent things like this from ever happening. Part of its mandate is maintaining international peace and security. Like its predecessor, the League of Nations, throughout its seventy year existence, the U.N. has proven time and again that it is incapable of doing what it was established to do.

Consider for a moment the fact that the four policemen, a branch of the U.N., which was originally conceived by FDR, was to be the enforcement arm, responsible for keeping order within their spheres of influence. Britain would oversee its empire as well as Western Europe; the Soviet Union had responsibility for Eastern Europe along with the central Eurasian landmass; China controlled East Asia and the Western Pacific; and the United States was charged with overseeing the Western Hemisphere. As a preventive measure against new wars, countries other than the Four Policemen were to be disarmed. Ironically, this concept was originally drafted by FDR in November 1943 at the Tehran Conference. Guess that didn’t work out well.

Like an insolent child, Iran should never have been allowed to arrive at where it is today. Their behavior should have been stopped long ago. Now they are at the threshold of becoming a nuclear power, and the best we can formulate is a plan to delay it by ten to fifteen years.

What will we do in that time frame? Well, if history is any indicator, nothing. What will Iran do? I would venture to guess that they will do what they have always done. They will continue to pursue a covert nuclear program, they will continue to promote unrest and terrorism throughout the region, and push the boundaries to see what they can get away with.

There might be the occasional verbal admonishment, or the threat of ‘tougher’ sanctions, but, in the end, the west has already shown their hand. They have been judged by the Iranian’s as being weak and unwilling to fight, eager to ‘give up’ concessions in order to avoid a conflict.

Imagine what the world would be like today if, instead of pursuing ‘peace in our time’, Hitler was told that if you cross into Austria, you will be dealt with swiftly and severely? Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement quickly led to the so called ‘flower wars’, the annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland and Memel. Had the west stepped in and said no, to Hitler’s advances toward Austria, would it have prevented WWII? I don’t know, but I do know that despite their attempts to avoid it, the war eventually occurred. Bullies don’t stop until someone stands in their way and says ‘enough’.

WWII ended with a mushroom cloud over Japan, my fear is that WWIII will begin with one.

Only time will tell if I am right. I hope that I am not. I hope that the ‘experts’ got it right this time. That somehow the leopard has truly changed its spots.  However, if I am correct, then we have just turned the corner on a journey, which ends with that mushroom cloud appearing over the nation of Israel.

Israel won’t let that happen of course, which means, despite the grand designs of the negotiators, the prospect of World War III just became significantly greater, not less.

But what do I know? I’m just an author who writes fiction novels……… Then again, as we all know, ‘Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth’.