These Are Not The Drones You Seek

Mission creep, what mission creep? Who are you going to believe, Robert Gates and Obama or your own lying eyes? Why, exactly, are we in Libya again?

U.S. will deploy Predators in Libya

President Barack Obama has given U.S. forces the go-ahead to use armed Predator drones in Libya after forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi changed their tactics in the fighting there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday.

“It’s an evolving situation. We saw an opportunity here and recommended it to the president. He took it,” Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.

However, Gates said the use of the drones did not indicate that the U.S. was being sucked back into a military campaign that Obama has promised will be handled chiefly by other NATO countries and allied forces.

“This is a very limited addition on our part, but it does provide some additional capabilities to NATO,” Gates said. “I don’t think there’s mission creep at all….The primary strike role has been turned over to our allies, our friends.”

Now remember boys and girls, providing “additional capabilities to NATO” is not, I repeat, IS NOT mission creep. Um, it’s been at least a couple months now, whatever happened to “days, not weeks”?

See also:
U.S. begins using Predator drones in Libya
U.S. Launches Drone Strikes in Libya
Obama authorizes Predator drone strikes in Libya
US deploys armed drones over Libya
Obama Approves Use of Predator Drones in Libya
U.S. Sends Predators to Strike Qaddafi Troops Fighting Rebels
Libya: US sends armed drones to shield rebels
Pentagon: Robot War Over Libya Begins in 3, 2, 1 …
US begins using armed drones in Libya
U.S. introduces armed Predator drones in Libya

Of course, the U.N. resolution we’re operating under only authorizes humanitarian efforts, so I’m sure these armed Predator drones will only be used to deliver food to civilians and stuff like that.

The Council stressed the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis that responded to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, noting actions being taken on the diplomatic front in that regard. It further demanded that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.

In that connection, the Council specified that the flight ban would not apply to flights that had as their sole purpose humanitarian aid, the evacuation of foreign nationals, enforcing the ban or other purposes “deemed necessary for the benefit of the Libyan people”.

I don’t know, what supposedly started out as a limited “kinetic military action” sure as hell seems to have blossomed over the weeks into the United States and NATO openly taking sides in a Libyan civil war.

/how is that not mission creep?

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Moammar Fly, Moammar Die

Well, this could get interesting, it sure as hell took them long enough. Hopefully it’s not to late to save what’s still left of Free Libya.

U.N. approves no-fly zone over Libya; raids may begin Friday

The U.N. Security Council has approved a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

The resolution also calls for an immediate cease-fire and an end to all violence.

. . .

British and French warplanes could make initial air raids on Libyan positions as early as Friday, the BBC reports, citing senior U.N. sources. Arab allies might provide logistical support.

See also:
UN votes for air strikes on Libya as Gaddafi warns of reprisals if West attacks
UN Security Council allows ‘all necessary measures’ to protect Libyan civilians
Libya hints at ceasefire as UN Security Council votes to approve no-fly zone
U.N. Security Council approves no-fly zone over Libya to stop pro-Khadafy forces’ bombing of rebels
U.N. votes on Libya ‘no-fly zone’
Libya: UK forces prepare after UN no-fly zone vote
US readying plans to enforce Libya no-fly zone
Western, U.S. militaries prepare to intervene in Libya
What a no-fly zone, other Libya measures would mean
Making U.N.’s no fly approval count
Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels

“All necessary measures'” should provide for quite a show. It looks like the Europeans will be taking the lead, let’s see if they can do this right. It would be extremely helpful to the overall effort if air strikes and/or clandestine/special forces were tasked with decapitating the Gaddafi regime. Terminate the Colonel’s command, terminate the Colonel.

/as General Corman said, “he’s out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct, and he is still in the field commanding troops”

So, How Are Those Sanctions Working Out?

I think Obama and Hillary finally have a hold of Iran by the balls this time, for sure. It won’t be long now before Iran gives up on their nuclear program and Ahmadinejad gets down on his knees and begs the West not to punish Iran anymore.

Iran increases uranium enrichment – IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran has activated more equipment to enrich uranium more efficiently, violating UN resolutions.

The UN watchdog said a second set, or “cascade”, of centrifuges was operating at the Natanz pilot fuel enrichment plant when inspectors visited in July.

The move to enrich uranium to 20% purity means Iran could quickly advance to making weapons-grade material.

The West believes Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb. Iran denies this.

The UN Security Council, the US and EU have each imposed sanctions on the Iranian authorities to force them to halt enrichment activities.

Power station

Iran has been producing low-enriched uranium (LEU) of about 3.5% purity for some time, and announced in February that it had begun enriching uranium to 20% to make fuel for its Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes. A bomb would require at least 90%.

“The IAEA can confirm that on 17 July, when agency inspectors were at [Natanz], Iran was feeding nuclear material to the two interconnected 164-machine centrifuge cascades,” spokeswoman Gill Tudor said.

Ms Tudor said the move was “contrary to UN Security Council resolutions affirming that Iran should suspend all enrichment-related activities”.

The centrifuges spin uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas at high speeds to separate the fissile U-235 atoms from the denser U-238 atoms.

Experts say that using two interconnected cascades increases efficiency by allowing leftover LEU to be re-fed into the machines.

See also:
Iran Expands Production of Higher-Enriched Uranium
IAEA: Iran activates enrichment equipment
Iran starts more efficient uranium enrichment – ISIS
Iran slams media hype over enrichment
IAEA: Iran boosts nuclear enrichment efficiency
Ten questions for the negotiators with Iran
Leaky Sanctions
Natanz [Kashan]
Natanz

Once again, Iran beats us like a drum. Hey Obama, how many times does Ahmadinejad have to laugh at you and kick sand in your face before you grow a spine and take this threat seriously? It’s painfully obvious to anyone with a third grade education that your “sanctions” are worthless and unenforceable. In fact, your “sanctions” do absolutely nothing to deter Iran and serve only to make them more defiant, the exact opposite of the desired effect. You’re desperately in need of a new, adult foreign policy team that doesn’t arrive for work every day in a clown car.

/all I can say is that when Israel finally does what has to be done, you’d better [expletive deleted] stay out of their way

The Incredible Ineptitude Of “Smart Diplomacy”

The Who Won’t Get Fooled Again, but the United States keeps getting fooled time after time after time. Once again, the Iranians have run diplomatic circles around the Obama Administration’s comical and ineffective “smart diplomacy”. If this was a little league softball game, they’d have to invoke the ten run rule.

Iran’s nuclear move may derail U.S. efforts on sanctions

An agreement by Iran to send much of its nuclear fuel abroad clouded prospects for U.S.-led plans to impose further economic sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear development program.

The proposal, brokered by leaders of Brazil and Turkey during an 18-hour session in Tehran and announced late Sunday, drew a reaction of cautious skepticism from the United States and its Western allies, who questioned whether it goes far enough to address longstanding concerns over the goal of the Iranian nuclear program. Iran says its effort is for civilian energy purposes only, but Western powers believe Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

U.S., French, German and Russian officials all raised questions about the announcement, noting that Iran would still keep more than a ton of its nuclear stockpile and would continue enriching uranium in its centrifuges. But Western leaders also called for further study of the plan, saying it should not be dismissed out of hand.

The agreement appeared to sap some of the momentum for a new round of United Nations Security Council sanctions, which looked to include restrictions on Iranian government financial transactions. Officials from Turkey and Brazil said the deal removed any need for further U.N. sanctions. The two countries currently sit on the 15-member Security Council, though neither has the power to veto a sanctions resolution.

It remains to be seen whether Tehran was merely trying to avert imminent sanctions or whether the pact could form the basis of a wider accord. In making the uranium transfer abroad, Iran would drop its previous insistence that any swaps should take place on Iranian soil.

U.S. officials face a choice of rejecting the deal and appearing intransigent, or accepting it, potentially allowing Iran to defuse mounting international pressures through an indefinite delay.

The plan calls for Iran to ship 2,640 pounds of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey under the supervision of both Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, in Vienna. In return, Iran would receive 265 pounds of uranium from France and Russia within a year for use in a small nuclear reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat the ill.

Talked Into A Trap

Nuclear Iran: President Obama’s “direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions” has, not surprisingly, led us down a blind alley. Now China and Russia are about to mug us with Turkey’s phony uranium deal.

The White House is learning that its “tough diplomacy” is a boomerang that may soon leave America nursing a very sore lump on its head.

The deal Iran triumphantly announced with Turkey and Brazil on Monday is exactly the kind of development that can give Moscow and Beijing the excuse not to agree to more sanctions. Which would mean that President Obama is left painted into a corner about what to do next to prevent a terrorist regime in the Middle East from getting nukes.

It was all smiles in Tehran as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan patted themselves on the back as peacemakers, and clasped hands with the world’s most powerful hater of Jews, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His shady re-election nearly a year ago sparked mass demonstrations and the killing of protesters by the Islamofascist regime.

In a regurgitation of last fall’s Geneva agreement that Iran ultimately backed out of, the new “fuel swap” deal would require Tehran to send some enriched uranium to Turkey. After a year, Iran would get some non-weapons-grade uranium back from Russia and France.

But Tehran says it will continue its own uranium enrichment activities, which means that when all is said and done nothing has changed.

As the Sarkozy government in France warns, the Turkey deal does “nothing to settle the problem posed by the Iranian nuclear program.” The new British government says it will continue to push for sanctions; an unimpressed Germany says what matters is Iran’s domestic enrichment.

Even the White House admits the deal resolves nothing. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ reaction was to point out that “the words and the deeds of the Iranian leadership rarely coincide.”

But China and Russia, which both have economic and geopolitical reasons to stay cozy with their trading partner, can use this deal to say in answer to President Obama’s charisma offensive designed to get them on board new sanctions: “Problem solved! Give Iran some slack.”

In the coming months, as Tehran continues to block inspection of nuclear facilities, and Moscow and Beijing refuse to approve new sanctions, what does the president do?

Reject what he was willing to accept last fall (because since then Iran has been busy enriching lots more uranium, and that makes it a different ballgame today)?

See also:
Iran’s Nuclear Coup
Iran nuclear fuel swap: how Turkey is complicating US aims
Nuclear swap deal helps prevent sanctions on Iran: Brazilian VP
Israel fears Iran nuclear deal will delay UN sanctions
Iran and Turkey reach unexpected accord on enriched uranium
Iran’s unanswered questions
West not convinced of Iran uranium deal
U.S., allies critical of new deal on Iran’s nuclear program
White House Keeps Sanctions on Table After Iran Announces Nuclear Fuel Deal
Lucy Says: C’mon, Kick The Football Charlie Brown

So, let’s recap, Iran gets to keep working on their nuclear weapons program, full speed ahead, without the threat of any meaningful sanctions and, at the same time, Iran makes the Obama administration out to be an international laughingstock.

/it’s a twofer

It’s Six Minutes To Midnight, Rejoice, The Peacemaker Obama Cometh To Bring Whirled Peas To The People Of Earth!

What’d I say two days ago about the loons in charge of the “Doomsday Clock”?

Now common sense would dictate that between al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, the threat of nuclear proliferation and global warming hysteria, they’d move the minute hand a minute or two closer to midnight. Then again, you need to remember that the “scientists” in charge of the Doomsday Clock are pretty much liberal lefty loons (LLLs) and, with the ascension of Obama to the world stage and Obama’s subsequent Nobel Peace Prize, they might just have gotten it in their pointy heads that the world is actually safer today and move the minute hand back. Either way, we’ll find out Thursday.

Sure enough, they’re falling down drunk on the Obama Kool-Aid.

It is 6 minutes to midnight

This hopeful state of world affairs leads the boards of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists–which include 19 Nobel laureates–to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock back from five to six minutes to midnight. By shifting the hand back from midnight by only one additional minute, we emphasize how much needs to be accomplished, while at the same time recognizing signs of collaboration among the United States, Russia, the European Union, India, China, Brazil, and others on nuclear security and on climate stabilization.

Beginning with the joint letter of Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev of April 1, 2009, a growing partnership between the United States and Russia is resulting in nuclear arms negotiations that could bring down our deployed strategic warheads from more than 2,000 to about 1,500 warheads each. To put this in perspective, just a little more than a year ago, tensions over actions on Russia’s borders–sparring over Georgia and U.S. missile defense systems in Eastern Europe–threatened to push each country into hostile corners. Instead, this bilateral relationship–perhaps the most important for nuclear disarmament–is on the mend.

. . .

A key to the new era of cooperation is a change in the U.S. government’s orientation toward international affairs brought about in part by the election of Obama. With a more pragmatic, problem-solving approach, not only has Obama initiated new arms reduction talks with Russia, he has started negotiations with Iran to close its nuclear enrichment program, and directed the U.S. government to lead a global effort to secure loose fissile material in four years. He also presided over the U.N. Security Council last September where he supported a fissile material cutoff treaty and encouraged all countries to live up to their disarmament and nonproliferation obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. These actions constitute, in part, Obama’s efforts to make good on his campaign promise–the first ever by a U.S. president–to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Unreal. Of course there is no deal with the Russians, no deal with Iran, no fissile material cutoff treaty, and nuclear proliferation is as much a threat as it ever was. It’s exactly the same logic used for giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, when Obama speaks to gullible liberals, they can taste the loquacious, Candy Land lollipop lies spewing forth from the TelePrompTer, via his mouth, and they can smell the savory fragrant, floral unicorn farts emanating from his ass! In the real world, Obama has accomplished exactly nothing.

See also:
Doomsday clock reset thanks to Obama
Doomsday Clock Gets “Hopeful” Adjustment
Making Good Time: Doomsday Clock Moves 1 Minute Back to 6 from Midnight
We’re a minute safer: Doomsday clock moves backwards for first time since 1991
Doomsday Clock shows signs for hope, need for progress
‘Doomsday Clock’ Moves Away From Midnight but Only by 1 Minute
‘Doomsday Clock’ moves a minute back
Atomic scientists move Doomsday Clock one minute further away from midnight
Scientists Push “Doomsday Clock” Back a Minute
Tick-tock: Doomsday Clock gains a minute
DOOMSDAY CLOCK ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEOS
It’s Five Minutes To Midnight, What Time Will It Be Thursday?

/frankly, you have to be insane to think that Obama has made the world a safer place, in fact, his naivety and weakness in international affairs have done just the opposite

So Much For Any Meaningful Sanctions, Now What?

Gee, maybe Obama shouldn’t keep pissing off Chana with his “smart diplomacy”.

At U.N., China insists it’s not ‘right’ time for sanctions on Iran

China’s envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday that his government is not ready to impose tough new sanctions on Iran for defying the world body’s demands that it suspend its uranium enrichment program.

“This is not the right time or right moment for sanctions, because the diplomatic efforts are still going on,” Zhang Yesui said at a news briefing at the start of China’s rotating monthly presidency of the U.N. Security Council.

The Chinese remarks underscore the challenges the United States faces in rallying international backing for its effort to punish Iran for nuclear violations. The Obama administration has been preparing a package of targeted sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian institutions it deems responsible for acquiring nuclear and ballistic-missile technology.

“It’s no secret that China and the United States look at the utility of sanctions differently,” said P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the State Department.

He said that U.S. officials would keep pressing other countries to impose “additional sanctions” on Iran’s ruling elite, but he added, “We want to do this in a way that can target specific entities within the Iranian government but not punish the Iranian people, who are clearly looking for a different relationship with their government.”

U.S. and European diplomats have acknowledged that China and Russia are likely to approve only the mildest of new sanctions. One Security Council envoy said the United States and its Western allies are planning to unveil a second round of their own sanctions against Iranian officials, including some responsible for the violent post-election crackdown on opposition movements.

Council diplomats say that China, which is expanding its commercial ties with Iran, has hardened its resistance to sanctions in recent months. Last month, it declined to attend a meeting on the nuclear crisis with the council’s four other veto-wielding powers — the United States, Russia, Britain and France — as well as Germany, citing a scheduling conflict, one of the diplomats said.

See also:
China: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
China Not Ready to Support Iran Sanctions
No Iran sanctions now, China says
As zero hour nears, differences emerge on sanctions
Time not right for new Iran sanctions: Chinese envoy
China dismisses Iran sanctions talk for now at UN
China dismisses more UN sanctions talk during its Security Council presidency in January
China Calls for More Iran Negotiations
Clinton: U.S. Not Closing the Door on Talks With Iran

So, Obama looks like a complete ass again because he foolishly set a December 31st deadline, which has now come and gone, for Iran to comply with demands to end its nuclear program or else. Well, as expected, Iran has not only ignored Obama’s deadline, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly and publicly mocked Obama’s “smart diplomacy”.

And then today, China summarily pulls the rug out from under Obama by telling him he can forget about his or else of sanctions.

/now what?

Round And Round She Goes, Where She’ll Stop, Nobody Knows

Kang Nam may be heading back home

The Kang Nam, a North Korean ship suspected to be carrying illicit weapons or related material, may be headed back home, according to diplomatic sources here.

“The ship is near our waters. That is about all I can say,” said one diplomatic source on the condition of anonymity.

Experts said this could mean that the ship is on its way back to North Korea, indicating that the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions are taking a toll on the reclusive communist state.

“If the ship is on its way back, it would mean that Resolution 1874 is taking effect and causing the North to retreat,” said Kim Tae-woo, vice president of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.

It has been almost two weeks since the Kang Nam set sail on June 17, but Seoul has claimed it has no information on the whereabouts of the ship.

The Kang Nam is the first North Korean ship to come under international scrutiny since the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1874 that strongly recommends member states to help search and ground North Korean ships suspected of carrying illicit weapons or related material.

Some observers said the Kang Nam may have already unloaded such items, but others said the North would wait until the last minute, as the weapons and materials constitute a vital source of funds for the impoverished regime.

Myanmar, the alleged destination of the Kang Nam, has recently told the foreign press that it would not allow the ship to disembark if it is found to be indeed carrying such items.

The government of Myanmar already has an idea of the items on the ship as the Kang Nam must declare them in advance, according to Foreign Ministry officials.

“The fact that the Myanmarese government has spoken out, if it has as some of the news reports claim, it indicates that the resolution is working,” said one Foreign Ministry official.

The Myanmar Embassy here said it had no comment.

A United States destroyer – USS John McCain led by Capt. Jeffrey Kim – is reportedly close on the Kang Nam’s tail. But the destroyer is not authorized to forcefully search the North Korean ship.

See also:
North Korean Ship Turning Around
Source: Suspected NKorean ship changes course
US-tracked N Korea ship ‘changes course’
N.Korean ship tracked by U.S. Navy reverses course
Source: North Korean ship now going the other way
North Korea suspect ship has turned around: US official
Burma ‘Ready to Search N.Korean Ship’
Hey Obama, Thanks For The Naval Escort!

Now why would the Kang Nam, after almost two weeks at sea, suddenly decide to turn around and return to North Korea, without unloading her cargo? It just doesn’t make sense, something about this storyline doesn’t quite smell right.

/stay tuned, this saga isn’t over until the Kang Nam ends up in port somewhere