Tag Archives: S.908

Divergence on Iran: Obama Needs to Play Catch-up With Americans; As Usual

He’s President of The United States of America, Not MoveOn.Org

 New polling out confirms previous American attitudes on Iran & reveals yet another core issue on which the President is seemingly off the mark compared to his constituents, the American people. But first, the previous numbers relating specifically to striking Iran militarily.

In May I posted about Rasmussen polling which showed American support for Israel vs Iran was going up, in contrast to the harsh tones coming out of the Obama Administration relating to Israel..

With the screws ever tightening between Washington & Jerusalem and Obama looking to seemingly squeeze the Jewish nation, Americans polled show increasing support numbers for their ally Israel facing an Iranian threat. Rasmussen reports a fairly dramatic 7% poll lift for Israel since last summer on the question of military force, and the USA coming to assist Israel should we be forced to strike..

Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that if Israel launches an attack against Iran, the United States should help Israel. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 37% believe the United States should do nothing while just 2% believe the U.S. should help Iran. Last summer, just 42% said the United States should help Israel while 46% said the nation should do nothing.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans say that the U.S. should help Israel as do 50% of those not affiliated with either major political party. A plurality of Democrats (44%) say that the U.S. should do nothing. [...]

On the question in general of American priorities, again our allies showed strong predilection for stopping Iran, and not just for Israel’s sake. Americans polled previously viewed Iran as the number one foreign policy threat to the United States of America specifically due to the nuclear threat.

Stopping Iran is considered by American voters top priority, and this informed public has come to the realization it may be up to its ally Israel should other efforts fail. If that is the case, Israel requires both American moral support & assistance which numbers show are forthcoming overall from our American friends on the military front.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of all voters now say that preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons is more important than preventing war between Iran and Israel. That’s up fourteen percentage points from 52% last July.

Just 23% now say preventing war between Iran and Israel is more important than stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons

Iran is racing ahead toward nuclear weapons.

With Obama’s Administration lording & linking Palestinian issues over Israel as a pre-requisite for assisting its ally, these numbers and American opinion are crucial. If we are forced to strike, the chances of success are magnified exponentially with our ally’s quiet assistance. Israel has already made major concessions in the quest for peace under Netanyahu, but to date we have not seen Obama become more forceful on Iran despite the glaring failures apparent to all with his much hyped ‘engagement strategy’.

New Numbers Show Americans Again Standing Up to Iran – Where is Obama?

On the topic of averting strikes through strong non military means involving sanctions or fuel blockades, Americans speak out loudly in overwhelming numbers leaving the President in their dust & significantly out to lunch for months now. The Israel Project has new polling out which confirms trends seen previously via Rasmussen’s polling.

New Bipartisan Poll on Iran

According to a new poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and commissioned by The Israel Project:

• 81 percent of American voters believe Iran is a serious threat to U.S.
• Two-thirds support proposal to “prevent any company doing business in the United States if that company provides Iran with refined petroleum.”

Washington, D.C. – A new bipartisan poll (Word document, PowerPoint) commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) shows that an overwhelming number of Americans (81%) believe that Iran poses a serious threat to the United States, and that the international community should prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons (86%).

Further, Americans agree (84%) that “even with all the problems the nation faces here at home, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

TIP Founder Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi noted that, “While we may be mired in a recession and focused on the nation’s health care debate, there is no lack of concern among Americans about the potential threat posed by a nuclear Iran.”

Among possible approaches to deal with Iran, Americans favor a combination of approaches — supporting opposition groups in Iran that are working for democracy and human rights (86%), initiating direct talks between the U.S. and Iran (76%) and expanding UN economic and diplomatic sanctions (81%).

Most interesting was the two-thirds support given by Americans to a proposal to “prevent any company doing business in the United States if that company provides Iran with refined petroleum.” [...]

Indeed, it appears that for Americans – Whether it be strong upped sanctions & possible fuel blockades; or supporting Israel if it feels the need to avert an existential Iranian nuclear threat.. The support is there and often overwhelmingly so.

As I posted previously, there are Senate & House bills proposed which allow the President to implement precisely these forms of sanctions awaiting Obama’s go ahead. They have been sitting around since April in the drawer.

Meanwhile, pressure is brought to bear on Israel as opposed to on Iran?

This has been the case for 7 months now despite the evident failures this strategy has produced. Why is the American President so divergent from the American people on these issues? What has he been waiting for?

Obama made so much of former President Bush’s inability to admit he was wrong while out on the campaign trail. Yet the not so new any longer American President shows a surprising amount of ego & arrogance when he has to date exhibited.. More of the same.

When do we get to see Mr. Gibbs stand up at the podium and tell the American people & the rest of the World that the President’s engagement strategy has to date  failed, and that instead of blindly appeasing Iran; the President is going to try appeasing the American people a bit instead?

Engagement: UN Assembly in 3 weeks, it’s D-Day on Iran (S.908)

Enough time wasted.. Time to step up to the plate Mr President.

We heard about the Obama engagement plan all throughout the never ending campaign, more than a year & a half’s worth of buildup by the progressive wing of the American Democratic party. In January 2009, Obama was sworn in. He took a fair allotment of time to prepare his administration to implement his ideas through an Iranian policy review, no problem. By March Israel’s new government was beginning to do the same.

During the 1st & only meeting between PM Netanyahu & President Obama we learned that the US was coming to agreement with the consensus feeling in both Israel and old Europe that engagement could not be open ended, as this would allow Iran opportunity to simply stall for time under a cloak of ‘engagement’ while developing nuclear capabilities. The time frame laid out by Obama was end of 2008 to begin review of the engagement process.

Engage!…

Obama meanwhile punted, under the claim that until Iranian early summer elections elections no engagement was possible. Unfortunately for him, the Iranian people and the world, we all witnessed the brutality and criminality of the Iranian theocracy close up in those ‘elections’. Despite a state of denial by the American administration to ‘push forward’ with the illegitimate regime regardless, Europe was somewhat more appalled.

S. 908 ready since April

As a result of the brutality and clear path to failure with engagement Sarkozy, Merkel, and Israel were more inclined to speed things up. A consensus was reached at the Italian G8 Summit that discussion & determination of what action to take re Iran would come at the UN General Assembly in September, now 3 weeks away where the P5+1 / G8 members will be present. In the US Senate, a refined fuel sanctions bill is long on the table awaiting the White House ok. The Honorables Evan Bayh & Senator Lieberman have about 70 senate votes & about 300 house members prepared to support the new sanctions proposed by S. 908. (see below)

D-Day

The time for dilly dally is up, now is the time for pressure, sanctions, and isolation. It is likely Israel will come to some form of agreement on peace talks & settlements to placate envoy Mitchell & President Obama, so that the path will be clear for the American administration to live up to its pledge on alternatives to friendly Obama charm based ‘engagement’ - Which has now failed. The UN session will begin on the 15th, will we see the P5+1 push for international pressure? Will we see S. 908 become law? Will American foreign policy finally take some form?

Just as crucial, what kind of distraction, mayhem, or terror is Iran perhaps planning to deflect attention and consensus on these matters? The last time we saw an important crossroads like this Hezbollah was instructed by Iran to create distraction. They assaulted Israel in terrorist action to kidnap Israeli soldiers, resulting in a month long war in Lebanon. By the same token, any failure to move forward internationally led by the USA on Iran now puts Israel in a ready mode, prepared to jump out of the blocks and sprint to a military solution..

Netanyahu is already traveling Europe preparing the ground work for the UN Assembly, if he announces he is planning to address the world in New York we’ll know just how serious efforts to box in Iran are. President Obama is going to have to hawk up, pass sanctions and prepare a possible blockade for early 2009. Will he?

7 months gone, 7 months wasted.. 7 months closer to Iranian nuclear weapons. Time for countries & international petroleum companies to choose. Whom do they want to transact with, America or Iran?

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Official Summary of S. 908

A bill to amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran.

4/28/2009–Introduced.

Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act – Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the United States should continue to support diplomatic efforts in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.N. Security Council to end Iran’s illicit nuclear activities;

(2) diplomatic efforts with Iran are more likely to be effective if the President is empowered with the explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran;

(3) it should be U.S. policy to encourage foreign governments to direct state-owned and private entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran’s energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;

(4) the President is urged to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups;

(5) the Department of the Treasury should continue to work with allies to protect the international financial system from deceptive and illicit practices by Iranian financial institutions involved in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups;
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