Tags: Sanctions | Wont | Curb | Iran | Anti-Castro | Cuba | Kitty Kelley

Jewish Leaders Fear Sanctions Won't Curb Iran

By    |   Monday, 19 April 2010 02:35 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Jewish Leaders Fear Sanctions Won’t Curb Iran
2. Anti-Castro Group to Hillary: Cuba Won’t Change by Appeasement
3. TV Shows Boycotting Kitty Kelley’s Oprah Bio
4. Study: US 30 Percent Hispanic by 2060
5. Huckabee Favorite GOP Candidate for President in 2012
6. We Heard: Lou Dobbs, Obama’s Ambassador

1. Jewish Leaders Fear Sanctions Won’t Curb Iran

Jewish leaders in the United States now believe that new sanctions being weighed against Iran will still leave an inevitable choice: Either accept a nuclear-armed Iran, or launch a military strike against its nuclear facilities.

That’s the sobering conclusion that emerges from interviews conducted by The Jewish Daily Forward, the online site of the weekly Forward newspaper.

“Between where we are today and the two ultimate options, there is still a lot of space to be filled,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee. "The question is, Will it be filled? What’s contemplated currently seems very inadequate to the task.”

New U.N. sanctions are still being negotiated and will likely target the Iranian economy and companies doing business with the Islamic Republic.

However, previous economic sanctions, including the freezing of Iranian assets, have not deterred Iran from continuing its nuclear program. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that only $43 million in Iranian money has been frozen in the U.S. — a quarter of what Iran earns from oil sales in one day.

Harsher sanctions could seek to cut off Iran’s supply of refined petroleum — Iran must import a large percentage of its gasoline.

“If the new sanctions touch on the Iranian energy sector — and that remains to be seen — Iranians are already, we’re told, trying to hoard more refined energy product to avoid any effect on their domestic economy,” Harris told the Forward.

“It’s not clear that even strong sanctions, however well intentioned, will have the desired effect.”

Keith Weissman, former top Iran analyst for the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, said: “There is no question that sanctions like this will hurt Iranian economic activity, but will they do what we want them to do, which is to affect Iran’s ability to do what we don’t want them to do, like build nuclear weapons?”

There is also concern that sanctions that negatively impact average Iranians could push them to rally around their government, which has grown increasingly unpopular at home.

“Who will suffer? Will it be the revolutionary guards, the regime or the people?” said Yoram Peri, director of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland.

“If you make the people suffer, generally they will tend to support their government rather than revolt.”

The Insider Report disclosed earlier that President Obama wants to hold off passage of a bill imposing stern American sanctions so he can maintain “flexibility” in dealing with other countries in confronting Iran.

Indeed, effective sanctions will demand “real coordination” among many countries, Peri added.

“And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure whether we’ll get there.”

The difficulty in imposing effective sanctions became clear this past week with reports that a state-owned Chinese refiner made plans to ship 30,000 metric tons of gasoline to Iran. European traders halted shipments earlier this year.

Unipec, the trading arm of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, arranged to load the oil tanker Hongbo with gasoline in Singapore, according to Singapore ship brokers, who said the tanker would likely go directly to Iran.

Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, had not sold gasoline to Iran since 2004, Reuters reported.

A petroleum trader told Reuters: “As long as there is money to be made, and economic benefits to be taken advantage of, Iran will always find ready sellers of gasoline from the international market.”

Editor's Note:

2. Anti-Castro Group to Hillary: Cuba Won’t Change by Appeasement

An anti-Castro group has taken issue with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments suggesting that easing the trade embargo against Cuba could lead to changes in the “intransigent” Castro regime.

Speaking at the University of Louisville in Kentucky on April 9, Clinton said Fidel and Raul Castro don't want Washington's 48-year embargo lifted because they would no longer be able to blame America for their country's problems.

Whenever it looks like normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations could be a possibility, she said, "the Castro regime does something to try to stymie it."

She added: “Back when my husband was president and he was willing to make overtures to Cuba and they were beginning to open some doors, Castro ordered his military to shoot down these two little unarmed planes that were dropping pamphlets on Cuba that came from Miami.

“And just recently, the Cubans arrested an American who was passing out information and helping elderly Cubans communicate through the Internet, and they’ve thrown him in jail. And they recently let a Cuban prisoner die from a hunger strike.”

The Obama administration “came in and said, look, we’re willing to talk and we’re willing to open up, and we saw the way the Cubans responded . . .

“I think that many in the world are starting to see what we have seen for a long time, which is a very intransigent, entrenched regime that has stifled opportunity for the Cuban people, and I hope will begin to change and we’re open to changing with them.”

Capitol Hill Cubans, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-Castro group, responded on its website: “First and foremost, Secretary Clinton is absolutely right in her description of the Castro regime as an ‘intransigent, entrenched regime that has stifled opportunity for the Cuban people.’

“However, contrary to her qualifying thesis that the Castro regime doesn't want to see an end to the embargo, it is precisely due to this intransigence that the regime does in fact want to see the embargo lifted, but with one unacceptable caveat: Unilaterally and unconditionally.

“There is no consistent evidence that the Castro regime has sought to ‘stymie’ concessions from the U.S. As a matter of fact, the Castro regime lobbies very effectively internationally and within the U.S. Congress for the unconditional normalization of trade, travel and financing . . .

“What the Castro regime does consistently seek to ‘stymie’ (through violence and repression) are pro-democracy initiatives from within the island. In other words, domestic opposition.”

The Capitol Hill Cubans article concludes: “It's not with the U.S. that the Castro regime doesn't want to have normal relations. The unconditional and unilateral lifting of sanctions would provide Castro the financial windfall and unchecked legitimacy it has long sought.

“It is with the Cuban people that they refuse to have an open, respectful and non-repressive relationship — a condition for lifting sanctions that should remain non-negotiable.”

The Cuban government also criticized Hillary’s remarks. State-run Radio Reloj said she "mixed ignorance and falsehoods at an infinite level.”

Editor's Note:

3. TV Shows Boycotting Kitty Kelley’s Oprah Bio

Author Kitty Kelley is accustomed to widespread media coverage of her usually controversial biographies of famous people, including Nancy Reagan, Frank Sinatra, and the Bush family.

But she claims that Oprah Winfrey’s influence is so great that several prominent interviewers are refusing to talk to her about her new book, “Oprah: A Biography.”

In an interview with The New York Times, Kelley said: “In promoting this book, we have already been told by Barbara Walters’ producer, No, you cannot be on ‘The View,’ I cannot disrupt my relationship with Oprah. Joy Behar, the same thing, Charlie Rose. Larry King said, I will not do it, it might upset Oprah. Even David Letterman.”

Interviewer Deborah Solomon asked, “Why would they care about impressing her?”

Kelley responded, “Well, if you had a choice between being a friend of Oprah Winfrey or Kitty, no contest, right?”

Solomon then asked, “But what about their commitment to covering the news?”

Kelley responded, “I think they kiss that goodbye when it comes to Oprah.”

Kelley did schedule appearances on “The Today Show” and Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

But Margo Howard reported on the Women on the Web site: “Walters told Random House [parent of Kelley’s publisher Crown] publicly she didn’t want to ‘upset’ Oprah. Letterman said he didn’t want to ‘disrupt’ his détente with Oprah. And ABC . . . made an across-the-board decision that Kelley’s book would be boycotted by all ABC shows.”

The mainstream media had no such compunctions, however, when it came to interviewing the poison pen biographer about her book “The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty,” which was published less than two months before President George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004 and contained allegations about Bush’s drug use.

Kelley sat down for a lengthy interview with MSNBC’s Matt Lauer five days after the book was published. Kelley was booked for “The Today Show” on three straight mornings and also scheduled interviews with Chris Matthews, Don Imus, and two CNN shows.

Editor's Note:

4. Study: US 30 Percent Hispanic by 2060

At the current level of immigration, the population of the United States will grow to 468 million by 2060 — an increase of 167 million, according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies.

About 1.6 million legal and illegal immigrants settle in the U.S. each year, and around 350,000 immigrants leave, resulting in net immigration of 1.25 million. At that rate, the population will rise from today’s roughly 310 million to the 468 million figure in 50 years, and immigrants and their descendants will account for 105 million (63 percent) of the rise.

If net immigration was reduced to 300,000, immigration would add only 25 million people to the population by 2060, the CIS study found.

But net immigration has been increasing for decades, and if it was doubled to 2.5 million a year, the U.S. population would reach 573 million by 2060 — double the population counted in the 2000 Census.

Hispanics comprise the largest share of immigrants. The CIS projected that at current net immigration levels, Hispanics — who make up about 16 percent of the population today — would account for nearly 22 percent by 2030 and 30 percent by 2060.

Non-Hispanic whites, who today comprise nearly 65 percent of the population, would account for less than half, 45.9 percent, by 2060.

“Supporters of low immigration point to the congestion, sprawl, traffic, pollution, loss of open spaces, and greenhouse gas emissions that could be impacted by population growth,” the CIS observed.

“Supporters of high immigration argue that population growth may create more opportunities for businesses, workers, and consumers.

“Whatever one thinks of population growth, the projected 167 million growth in the nation’s population is very large.

“The question is not whether immigration levels are a key determinant of population increase — they are. The question is what costs and benefits will the increase bring. How we answer these questions will to a significant extent determine which immigration policy we pursue.”

Editor's Note:

5. Huckabee Favorite GOP Candidate for President in 2012

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee heads the list of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll reveals.

When Republican respondents were read a list of Republicans who may be running in the GOP primary for president and asked who they would be most likely to support, 24 percent chose Huckabee. That’s up from 17 percent in a CNN/Opinion Research survey in mid-March.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney placed second at 20 percent — down from 22 percent in March — followed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 15 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 8 percent.

No other potential candidate received more than 3 percent of the vote.

In a head-to-head race with President Barack Obama, however, Obama would handily beat Huckabee, Romney, Palin, and Gingrich, according to the nearly 1,000 registered voters polled.

That finding emerged even though Obama received the highest unfavorable rating, 41 percent, in any CNN poll conducted since he took office, and the lowest favorable rating, 57 percent.

"It is important to remember that at this stage of the game, candidate matchups are largely driven by name recognition, and at least a quarter of all Americans are unfamiliar with Romney, Huckabee, and Gingrich,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

“As a result, Obama has an 8- to-12-point edge over each of them in hypothetical matchups."

According to the poll, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a 38 percent favorable rating, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a 28 percent favorable rating, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating is 61 percent.

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT former CNN host Lou Dobbs won’t dismiss speculation that he might run for president.

In an interview for the upcoming issue of GQ, Dobbs declared, “I never said I’m running for president,” but added: “I’m not ruling anything out.”

He said his wife Debi is “probably more open to considering it than she’s ever been.”

Dobbs, a vociferous critic of American immigration policies, left CNN in November after a 30-year run.

As for his political aspirations, Dobbs told the magazine: “Let’s just say it would be reckless to say anything other than, ‘We’ll see.’”

THAT Republicans will seek to block President Obama’s plan to reappoint an ambassador to Syria in the wake of Israeli charges that Syria has transferred long-range Scud missiles to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Bush administration had pulled its chief envoy from Damascus in 2005 after Syrian agents were widely suspected of assassinating Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

President Obama has already appointed career diplomat Robert Ford to be the new ambassador, but a full floor vote on his confirmation may now be delayed.

Obama has also moved to relax sanctions against Syria’s ability to import software and airplane parts.

But Andrew Tabler, a Syria analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Journal that in light of the Scud controversy, “it’s increasingly hard to argue that the engagement track has worked.”

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Jewish Leaders Fear Sanctions Won t Curb Iran 2. Anti-Castro Group to Hillary: Cuba Won t Change by Appeasement 3. TV Shows Boycotting Kitty Kelley s Oprah Bio 4. Study: US 30 Percent Hispanic by 2060 5....
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Monday, 19 April 2010 02:35 PM
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