U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb – Los Angeles Times

Funny how Obama now sees that Iran is a threat and is persuing nuclear weapons… I wonder what would have happened had he been privy to this level of intel when the decision to take out Saddam was made… I bet he would have sang a different tune, but then again he was just a state senator in IL and did not have access to intel this level of intel when he spoke out against going into Iraq.

Reporting from Washington — Little more than a year after U.S. spy agencies concluded that Iran had halted work on a nuclear weapon, the Obama administration has made it clear that it believes there is no question that Tehran is seeking the bomb.

In his news conference this week, President Obama went so far as to describe Iran’s “development of a nuclear weapon” before correcting himself to refer to its “pursuit” of weapons capability.

Obama’s nominee to serve as CIA director, Leon E. Panetta, left little doubt about his view last week when he testified on Capitol Hill. “From all the information I’ve seen,” Panetta said, “I think there is no question that they are seeking that capability.” 

The language reflects the extent to which senior U.S. officials now discount a National Intelligence Estimate issued in November 2007 that was instrumental in derailing U.S. and European efforts to pressure Iran to shut down its nuclear program.

As the administration moves toward talks with Iran, Obama appears to be sending a signal that the United States will not be drawn into a debate over Iran’s intent.

“When you’re talking about negotiations in Iran, it is dangerous to appear weak or naive,” said Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear weapons expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-proliferation organization based in Washington. 

Cirincione said the unequivocal language also worked to Obama’s political advantage. “It guards against criticism from the right that the administration is underestimating Iran,” he said.

Iran has long maintained that it aims to generate electricity, not build bombs, with nuclear power. But Western intelligence officials and nuclear experts increasingly view those claims as implausible.

U.S. officials said that although no new evidence had surfaced to undercut the findings of the 2007 estimate, there was growing consensus that it provided a misleading picture and that the country was poised to reach crucial bomb-making milestones this year.

Obama’s top intelligence official, Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, is expected to address mounting concerns over Iran’s nuclear program in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today.

When it was issued, the NIE stunned the international community. It declared that U.S. spy agencies judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”

U.S. intelligence officials later said the conclusion was based on evidence that Iran had stopped secret efforts to design a nuclear warhead around the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Often overlooked in the NIE, officials said, was that Iran had not stopped its work on other crucial fronts, including missile design and uranium enrichment. Many experts contend that these are more difficult than building a bomb.

Iran’s advances on enrichment have become a growing source of alarm. Since 2004, the country has gone from operating a few dozen centrifuges — cylindrical machines used to enrich uranium — to nearly 6,000, weapons experts agree.

By November, Iran had produced an estimated 1,400 pounds of low-enriched uranium, not nearly enough to fuel a nuclear energy reactor, but perilously close to the quantity needed to make a bomb.

A report issued last month by the Institute for Science and International Security concluded that “Iran is moving steadily toward a breakout capability and is expected to reach that milestone during the first half of 2009.” That means it would have enough low-enriched uranium to be able to quickly convert it to weapons-grade material.

Tehran’s progress has come despite CIA efforts to sabotage shipments of centrifuge components on their way into Iran and entice the country’s nuclear scientists to leave.

Iran still faces considerable hurdles. The country touted its launch of a 60-pound satellite into orbit this month. Experts said Iran’s rockets would need to be able to carry more than 2,000 pounds to deliver a first-generation nuclear bomb.

And there are indications that the U.S. and Iran are interested in holding serious diplomatic discussions for the first time in three decades. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said this week that his nation was “ready to hold talks based on mutual respect,” and Obama indicated that his administration would look for opportunities “in the coming months.”

Hassan Qashqavi, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, on Wednesday warned the U.S. not to wait for Iranian presidential elections this year, because ultimate authority rests with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He also said Iran would be patient.

“Since a new administration came to power in the U.S., we do not want to burn the opportunity of President Obama and give him time to change the reality on the ground,” Qashqavi said.

But experts said Iran was now close enough to nuclear weapons capability that it may be less susceptible to international pressure.

“They’ve made more progress in the last five years than in the previous 10,” Cirincione said.

via U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb – Los Angeles Times.

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Ahmadinejad Demands Apology for U.S. ‘Crimes’

Who the hell does this terrorist asshat think he is to demand the US apologize to him…

We are entering dangerous waters and Obama better grow a backbone quickly… If Obama does what he did on the muslim tv interview then we are going to empower terrorist even more.

Ahmadjinejad has seen a weakness in Obama, his interview as well as the public statement by Ambassador Rice regarding direct talks with Iran without preconditions, and he is making his first move to exploit it. 

Obama should demand that Ahmadinejad apologize to each of the 52 hostages and their families, that he held captive for 444 days. He should also apologize for supporting and training Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists. He also needs to apologize to Jews for denying the Holocaust… After that he can apologize and dismantle his nuclear weapons program…

Once Ahmadinejad has done all of these, we can arrest him for terrorist and support of terrorism and the the United States can apologize to the world for not having done it sooner…

TEHRAN, Iran —  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for “profound changes” in U.S. foreign policy on Wednesday, including giving up support for Israel, during an address to thousands of people in the western city of Kermanshah.

President Obama on Tuesday, in an interview with Arabic television, called for more dialogue with Iran to express difference and see “where there are potential avenues for progress.”

Without mentioning President Barack Obama by name, Ahmadinejad Wednesday repeatedly referred to those who want to bring “change,” a word used often in Obama’s election campaign, and indicated that Iran would be looking to see if there would be substantive differences in U.S. policy.

“We welcome change but on condition that change is fundamental and on the right track,” Ahmadinejad said. “When they say ‘we want to make changes’, change can happen in two ways. First is a fundamental and effective change… The second … is a change of tactics.”

Ahmadinejad also demanded the U.S. apologize for ‘crimes’ committed against Iran; specifically, criticizing and trying to block their nuclear program.

“Those who say they want to make change, this is the change they should make: they should apologize to the Iranian nation and try to make up for their dark background and the crimes they have committed against the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said.

Later Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that the U.S. administration is undertaking a wide-ranging and comprehensive survey of U.S. foreign policy options toward Iran.

Clinton also said Iran had a “clear opportunity” to demonstrate some willingness to engage meaningfully with the international community.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari, speaking in Athens, Greece, said Tuesday that it was too early to say whether relations with the United States would improve with Obama as president.

Washington is at odds with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program and its Mideast policy that seeks to destroy Israel and supports the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the charge and refuses to give up uranium enrichment, saying it has the right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to produce nuclear fuel.

“Who has asked them (the United States) to come and interfere in the affairs of nations?” Ahmadinejad said.

via FOXNews.com – Ahmadinejad Demands Apology for U.S. ‘Crimes’ – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News.

Obama Lays Ground Work For Direct Negotiations With Iran

Direct diplomacy without preconditions I am sure… Just wait and see. Pretty soon we will be bending over for these asshats while they builds some nukes… Remember what happened with N. Korea under the Clinton administration… 

Change You Can Believe In!

President Obama did a quick pivot Monday, shifting his focus to foreign policy by contacting a handful of major world leaders — including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nikolas Sarkozy — as his new U.N. ambassador restated the desire for vigorous and “direct diplomacy” with Iran.

President Obama did a quick pivot Monday, shifting his focus to foreign policy by contacting a handful of major world leaders — including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nikolas Sarkozy — as his new U.N. ambassador restated the desire for vigorous and “direct diplomacy” with Iran.

Obama spoke with the foreign leaders ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and his Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who was leaving immediately afterward for a trip to the region. Mitchell will go to Cairo, Egypt; Jersusalem, Israel; Ramallah in the West Bank; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He will also visit Paris and London.

Back in the U.S., U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who was confirmed last week for the post, said Monday that Iran’s refusal to meet international obligations will increase pressure on Tehran to drop its nuclear ambitions and cooperate with the United States and global community.

Besides pursuing nuclear weapons, Iran has called for the destruction of Israel and support for Hamas, a terror group designated by the U.S., Israel and the European Union. 

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Rice’s remarks are not a departure from statements made previously by Obama the candidate. She merely restated the administration position that no forms of communication should be off the table with the Islamic regime. 

“Whether you were on the campaign trail or not, clearly this was something that generated a lot of coverage over the past two years. And I think Ambassador Rice was simply restating the position that the president had,” he said.

Gibbs did not offer any specific initiatives on dealing with Iran, but said Rice’s remarks should come as no surprise.

“This administration is going to use all elements of our national power to address concerns” about Iran’s nuclear program. 

As for the Mitchell trip, Gibbs said Mitchell was ahead overseas “to begin the process that the president promised to be actively engaged in, the peace process there in the Middle East.”

State Department Spokesman Robert A. Wood said the purpose of the trip is to consult with regional leaders on a range of issues, including trying to contain smuggling into Gaza to prevent the rearming of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza. He said Mitchell will not meet with any Hamas leaders.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

via Obama, Iran Talks Next? – First 100 Days of Presidency – Politics FOXNews.com .

Chavez Possibly Supporting Hamas And Hezbollah

Not really that much of a surprise… I wonder how much support and the types he is providing… 

Now let’s not forget Chavez is looking to start up a nuke program, allegedly for power, but I would suspect with a little Iranian help this could very easily be a weapons program…

Wonder if Obama will watch his own backyard or if they will be given the Socialists pass…

A new book published in the United States alleges that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an active and open supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, providing the Lebanese Shi’ite militia with training for its fighters.

In “The Threat Closer to Home: Hugo Chavez and the War Against America,” authors Douglas Schoen and Michael Rowan write that through his support of terror organizations and by providing safe refuge for terrorists, Chavez constitutes a real, concrete threat to the United States.

Venezeula earlier this month cut ties with Israel to protest its military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The move came shortly days after Chavez called the attacks on the Hamas-ruled coastal territory a “holocaust.”

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Last August the Los Angeles Times reported that Western governments fear that Hezbollah is establishing a growing number of operational cells in the South American country.

Iran is long believed to have undertaken covert activity in South America in concert with Hezbollah. The LA Times reported that the U.S. State Department believes Iranian operatives were behind two terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires – the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center building. Both attacks killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more

via Chavez providing aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, says new book – Haaretz – Israel News .

Iranian Parliament Speaker Prefers Obama

Not that anyone with have a brain couldn’t have figured this out, it is always good when you hear it from the horses mouth. A member of Iran’s Parliament said he prefers Barack Obama… Because he is more Flexible and rational… in other words, they think he is spineless… They are just hoping for another Carter back in office… Can you say Nuclear Weapons…

Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Wednesday that Iran would prefer Democrat Barack Obama in the White House next year. Larijani also dismissed any idea that the US would attack Iran.

“We are leaning more in favor of Barack Obama because he is more flexible and rational, even though we know American policy will not change that much,” Larijani said at a press conference during a visit to Bahrain. 

 How to deal with Iran and the crisis over its nuclear drive has been one of the foreign policy issues in the Nov. 4 race for the White House between Obama and Republican John McCain.

 

 Larijani, a leading figure in the conservative camp in Iran, also said the United States was too busy dealing with the global financial crisis to consider waging an attack on Iran.

 

 “The risk was low before,” he said. “But now I am 100% certain that the United States will not unleash a war against Iran. The economic crisis has cost the United States $1.4 trillion and Washington is working to resolve its internal problems and not a war.”

Washington severed ties with Iran in 1980 in the wake of the Islamic revolution. US President George W. Bush famously denounced the country as part of an “axis of evil”.

Tensions have mounted over Iran’s nuclear program, which many Western countries believe is a cover for ambitions to build atomic weapons, although this is vehemently denied by Tehran.

Code Pink’s Jodie Evans Donates to Terrorists And Barack Obama

One of the founding members of Barack Obama’s finance campaign team has ties to terrorists. Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, has personally donated $40,000 to Barack’s campaign and raised between $50,000-$100,000 in donations. Evans has a long history of ties to foreign terrorist organizations and state sponsors, including the “Iraqi Resistance” which is responsible for killing thousands of US Soldiers.

This woman undermines our military, undermines our country and puts American lives in danger.

This is another “Association” that is troublesome. Barack Obama’s relationships, allies and partners, with extremist elements is just beginning to be uncovered, unfortunately the fourth estate will not do their job and dig into his past. They will go to the mattresses to discover what Joe the Plumber is hidding though…

More Change You Can Believe In!

Please read the whole article and educate yourself

Author’s note: It is commonly known that political visitors to totalitarian nations are only let in those nations if the visit serves the purposes of that government, the visitors are accompanied by minders and are monitored at all times and that the government facilitates propaganda events during the visits.

The following article is heavily documented with supporting links. The story it tells is very troubling for our nation. It is a story our news media refuses to investigate and report. Please forward this article widely.

A founding member of the campaign finance team of Democratic presidential nominee Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has been working with state sponsors of terrorism to undermine the United States in the global war on terror since at least February, 2003.

Jodie Evans, co-founder of the leftist anti-American group Code Pink, has documented ties to governments on the State Department’s list of current and former state sponsors of terrorism including Iran, Cuba, Syria and the former Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein. She also has endorsed and worked with the so-called Iraqi resistance that has killed over three thousand American soldiers and thousands of free Iraqis.

Evans is listed on the official Obama website as a bundler of between $50,000 and $100,000 in contributions. According to FEC reports, the official Obama website and news accounts, Evans has personally contributed over $40,000 to the Obama campaign—$4600 to Obama for America and around $36,000 to the Obama Victory Fund.

Evans served as a co-host for Obama’s first Hollywood fundraiser right after he announced his long-shot bid for the presidency in February 2007, just weeks after she returned from Cuba where she and Code Pink worked with the Castro government to protest the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo. Evans and Code Pink, who market themselves as feminists and human rights activists, blew off the Ladies in White, a Cuban human rights group that asked the delegation Evans led to inspect Cuban prisons where democracy advocates were being held by the Castro government.

The propaganda effort against the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo garnered worldwide sympathetic media coverage that undermined America’s efforts in the war on terror.

Evans and Code Pink’s trip to Cuba in January 2007 made up for their aborted effort to visit the communist nation the year before to celebrate the anniversary of Fidel Castro’s violent revolution.

In February, 2003, Evans traveled with Code Pink to Baghdad as a guest of Saddam Hussein’s government to lobby the world to keep him in power. Saddam’s government made a lasting impression on Evans. As late as summer 2008 she was still wishing that the genocidal, mass murdering tyrant was still in power in Iraq. She made a similar statement in 2006 pining for the ‘good old days’ under Saddam:

Let’s go back to the Iraq before we invaded, there was a good education and health care system, food for everyone. That system didn’t belong to Saddam it belonged to the Iraqi, it belonged to years of creating what a civilization needed. If your parents didn’t send you to school they could be put in jail.

Evans made several trips to Iraq in 2003 after the liberation. She worked with anti-liberation Iraqis to set up Occupation Watch in Baghdad. The purpose was to propagandize alleged war crimes by American soldiers and to recruit American soldiers into quitting the war by becoming conscientious objectors.

Evans did a propaganda interview with a communist newspaper in August, 2003, accusing G.I.s of wantonly slaughtering Iraqi women and children.

In December 2004, as the Marines were clearing out Fallujah from al Qaeda and Iraqi Sunni terrorists, Evans and Code Pink delivered over $600,000 in cash and humanitarian aid for what Code Pink called “the other side” in Fallujah.

(Giving cash and “humanitarian aid” to the anti-American or anti-freedom side in a conflict is an age old tactic of Western leftists as a way of bolstering their allies and prolonging the conflict without being accused of directly arming the enemy.)

In January, 2006, Evans traveled to Venezuela with Code Pink where she met with Hugo Chavez and protested against President Bush.

In April, 2006, Evans led a delegation to Iran. Blog entries by her and her fellow travelers are filled with propaganda designed to undermine U.S. policy againt the state sponsor of terrorism.

In June, 2006, Evans represented Code Pink at the World Tribunal on Iraq, a leftist-jihadist show trial held in Istanbul, Turkey, that proclaimed the ‘right’ of the terrorists in Iraq to kill Americans and free Iraqis:

There is widespread opposition to the occupation. Political, social, and civil resistance through peaceful means is subjected to repression by the occupying forces. It is the occupation and its brutality that has provoked a strong armed resistance and certain acts of desperation. By the principles embodied in the UN Charter and in international law, the popular national resistance to the occupation is legitimate and justified. It deserves the support of people everywhere who care for justice and freedom.

Evans herself gushed about her support for the so-called Iraqi resistance in an essay written in Istanbul:

“We must begin by really standing with the Iraqi people and defending their right to resist. I can remain myself against all forms of violence, and yet I cannot judge what someone has to do when pushed to the wall to protect all they love. The Iraqi people are fighting for their country, to protect their families and to preserve all they love. They are fighting for their lives, and we are fighting for lies.” (AlterNet, June 26, 2005)

In the summer of 2006, Evans and Code Pink traveled to Jordan and Syria. She and Code Pink wrote extensively about the Jordan visit, where they met with pro-terrorist Iraqi parliamentarians who urged them to seek recognition of the so-called Iraqi resistance.

The stop in Syria is clouded in mystery as none of the Code Pink members have written about what they did and who they met in Syria, except here:

From Damascus to Beirut: Arriving, Safely

By Medea Benjamin

Four of us—Gael Murphy, Judith LeBlanc, Diane Wilson and myself—split off from the rest of the group in Syria to make our way to Lebanon.

As noted at the beginning of this article, Evans traveled to Cuba in January 2007 to undermine America, then just weeks later she co-hosted Barack Obama’s first big Hollywood fundraiser.

In November, 2007, when Obama announced his campaign bundlers, Evans was on the list, as well as her husband Max Palevsky.

Evans got more involved in supporting Obama’s candidacy in 2008. In February she hosted a support Obama event and published an endorsement of Obama co-signed by several New York feminists.

On June 4, 2008, Evans was interviewed by radio talk show host Paul A. Ibbeston (Part One on YouTube and Part Two on YouTube.)

In the interview, Evans expressed her sympathy for the Sept. 11 terror attacks by al Qaeda that led to the murder of 3000 innocents, mostly her fellow Americans:

Jodie Evans:…”We were attacked because we were in Saudi Arabia, that was the message of Osama, was that because we had our bases in the Middle East, he attacked the United States.”

Paul A. Ibbetson: “Do you think that’s a valid argument?”

Evans: “Sure. Why do we have bases in the Middle East? We totally violated the rights of that country. Why do we get to have bases in the Middle East?”

Evans also expressed her “love” for the anti-American leader of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez, calling him a “sweetheart”, and admitted that Code Pink is trying to “undermine the war effort” of the United States in the war on terror.

Several weeks after that interview, Obama received Evans at a high-dollar fundraiser. Evans is listed by the FEC has having made a $7250 contribution to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising vehicle of Obama’s presidential committee, Obama for America, and the Democratic National Committee. The legal limit, $2300 of Evans’ contribution, was given to Obama’s general election coffers as she had already given the maximum allowed by law to his primary campaign, also $2300, at the Hollywood fundraiser she co-hosted in February, 2007. The balance of the $7250 went to the DNC.

Days after the event, a video was published featuring Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin bragging about Evans’ meeting with Obama.

In July, 2008, Evans joined other leftists in signing a letter urging Obama to keep left in his campaign that was published by The Nation.

The next month, Evans’ success at infiltrating the Democratic party was recognized with her being given the “Inside the Party” award by the Progressive Democrats of America, a group founded in 2004 at the Boston Democratic national convention to pull the party further to the left. Evans is known by her fellow leftists as a master of the ‘inside-outside game’.

Later that month, Evans attended the Democrats’ national convention in Denver. While Code Pink did their usual street theater outside the convention, they did not disrupt the convention inside. That is most likely because as a bundler for Obama, Evans was invited to private meetings with Obama and his vice presidential nominee Delaware Sen. Joe Biden after their respective acceptance speeches. From the National Journal:

After Biden’s speech on Wednesday night, bundlers are invited to an hour-long reception with the vice presidential candidate in a private room in the Pepsi Center, and then on Thursday morning, Barack and Michelle Obama are hosting a breakfast at the Hyatt Regency. After Obama’s acceptance speech, he is scheduled to mingle with bundlers at a private lounge inside Invesco Field.

The next week, at the Republicans’ national convention in St. Paul, Evans made headlines by trying to storm the stage during the acceptance speech by Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Evans spent her time in St. Paul committing identity theft to gain access to the convention and related events.

Less than two weeks later, Evans was again received by Obama, this time at an intimate $28,500 per person fundraiser in Hollywood and again later that evening at a $2500 per person fundraiser that featured a performance by Barbra Streisand.

Evans capped off her month by meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City. Ahmadinejad’s government has been funding, training and equipping terrorists in Iraq who have killed American soldiers and free Iraqis, as well as Hezbollah in its war against Israel, among many other activities that threaten the free world including seeking nuclear weapons.

Evans, who is no fool but is a propagandist, told Fox News after meeting Ahmadinejad that he is “really about peace and human rights and respecting justice.”

Ahmadinejad is also no fool. He would know that Jodie Evans, who visited his country in 2005, is in tight with the Democratic party’s presidential nominee and that Obama has stated his willingness to meet with Ahmadinejad and has downplayed the danger of Iran to the free world.

This raises the question of whether Evans was acting as an intermediary between Obama’s campaign and Ahmadinejad.

The American news media has utterly failed the nation by its willful failure to investigate and report the alliance between Barack Obama and the terrorist supporter Jodie Evans.

Evans has brushed off the few queries about this by saying her husband, Max Palevsky, is an old friend of Obama’s from Chicago and she’s just along for the ride. The evidence belies that story. Evans is a player in her own right.

In addition to working with state sponsors of terrorism, Evans works with pro-terrorist communist groups in the U.S. Those groups include The World Can’t Wait, ANSWER, Troops Out Now and United for Peace and Justice. Evans is the tip of spear of the pro-terrorist left into the heart of mainstream American politics.

There have been several calls from troop support groups for Obama to renounce Evans. He has ignored them and instead has drawn closer politically to Evans as the election draws near.

Obama said this summer he knows he needs to earn the trust to be commander-in-chief. He has failed to earn that trust, completely, by allying with Jodie Evans.


Jodie Evans and Barack Obama, photo by Code Pink


Jodie Evans and Code Pink lead protest against Marine Corps, Berkeley, CA. Feb. 12, 2008.


Jodie Evans being interviewed about anti-Marines protest, Berkeley, CA. Feb. 12, 2008. Photos by ZombieTime.com
More photos and story from that protest by Zombie Time here.


Cindy Sheehan, Jodie Evans, Hugo Chavez, Medea Benjamin in Venezuela. Photo by Code Pink. Jan. 28, 2006.


Jodie Evans in at Chavez speech, Caracas, Venezuela. Jan. 27, 2006. Photo by Code Pink. (Sign translation by Code Pink: Women Say Bush Must Go)


Jodie Evans and Jane Fonda.

Jackson – Zionist Regime Will Not Get Backing Of Obama Presidency

Now, Jackson is not speaking on behalf of Obama directly, however, it is more than likely he is expressing a shared view of Obama’s. Obama has no plan to support Israel, his first Foreign Policy advisor advocated sending US troops to fight Israel and take the money given to Israel and give it to the Palestinians, Obama feels the US did not have the Moral Imperative to go in and stop the holocaust, would not answer if he would aid Israel if Iran attacked it… Israel is a stong and necessary ally of the US for strategic.

PREPARE for a new America: That’s the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.

He promised “fundamental changes” in US foreign policy – saying America must “heal wounds” it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the “arrogance of the Bush administration.”

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where “decades of putting Israel’s interests first” would end.

Jackson believes that, although “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades” remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

Obama is about change,” Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. “And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it.”

Jackson warns that he isn’t an Obama confidant or adviser, “just a supporter.” But he adds that Obama has been “a neighbor or, better still, a member of the family.” Jackson’s son has been a close friend of Obama for years, and Jackson’s daughter went to school with Obama’s wife Michelle.

“We helped him start his career,” says Jackson. “And then we were always there to help him move ahead. He is the continuation of our struggle for justice not only for the black people but also for all those who have been wronged.

Will Obama’s election close the chapter of black grievances linked to memories of slavery? The reverend takes a deep breath and waits a long time before responding.

“No, that chapter won’t be closed,” he says. “However, Obama’s victory will be a huge step in the direction we have wanted America to take for decades.”

Jackson rejects any suggestion that Obama was influenced by Marxist ideas in his youth. “I see no evidence of that,” he says. “Obama’s thirst for justice and equality is rooted in his black culture.”

But is Obama – who’s not a descendant of slaves – truly a typical American black?

Jackson emphatically answers yes: “You don’t need to be a descendant of slaves to experience the oppression, the suffocating injustice and the ugly racism that exists in our society,” he says. “Obama experienced the same environment as all American blacks did. It was nonsense to suggest that he was somehow not black enough to feel the pain.”

Is Jackson worried about the “Bradley effect” – that people may be telling pollsters they favor the black candidate, but won’t end up voting for him?

“I don’t think this is how things will turn out,” he says. “We have a collapsing economy and a war that we have lost in Iraq. In Afghanistan, we face a resurgent Taliban. New threats are looming in Pakistan. Our liberties have been trampled under feet . . . Today, most Americans want change, and know that only Barack can deliver what they want. Young Americans are especially determined to make sure that Obama wins.”

He sees a broad public loss of confidence in the nation’s institutions: “We have lost confidence in our president, our Congress, our banking system, our Wall Street and our legal system to protect our individual freedoms. . . I don’t see how we could regain confidence in all those institutions without a radical change of direction.”

Jackson declines to be more concrete about possible policy changes. After all, he insists, he isn’t part of Obama’s policy team. Yet he clearly hopes that his views, reflecting the position of many Democrats, would be reflected in the policies of an Obama administration.

On the economic front, he hopes for “major changes in our trading policy.”

“We cannot continue with the open-door policy,” he says. “We need to protect our manufacturing industry against unfair competition that destroys American jobs and creates ill-paid jobs abroad.”

Would that mean an abrogation of the NAFTA treaty with Canada and Mexico?

Jackson dismisses the question as “premature”: “We could do a great deal without such dramatic action.”

His most surprising position concerns Iraq. He passionately denounces the toppling of Saddam Hussein as “an illegal and unjust act.” But he’s now sure that the United States “will have to remain in Iraq for a very long time.”

What of Obama’s promise to withdraw by 2010? Jackson believes that position will have to evolve, reflecting “realities on the ground.”

“We should work with our allies in Iraq to consolidate democratic institutions there,” he says. “We must help the people of Iraq decide and shape their future in accordance with their own culture and faith.”

On Iran, he strongly supports Obama’s idea of opening a direct dialogue with the leadership in Tehran. “We’ve got to talk to tell them what we want and hear what they want,” Jackson says. “Nothing is gained by not talking to others.”

Would that mean ignoring the four UN Security Council resolutions that demand an end to Iran’s uranium-enrichment program? Jackson says direct talks wouldn’t start without preparations.

“Barack wants an aggressive and dynamic diplomacy,” he says. “He also wants adequate preparatory work. We must enter the talks after the ground has been prepared,” he says.

Jackson is especially critical of President Bush’s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel that he gave the whole thing a miss,” Jackson says. “Barack will change that,” because, as long as the Palestinians haven’t seen justice, the Middle East will “remain a source of danger to us all.

Barack is determined to repair our relations with the world of Islam and Muslims,” Jackson says. “Thanks to his background and ecumenical approach, he knows how Muslims feel while remaining committed to his own faith.”