By Ben Barrack
The U.S. State Department has a scant four countries on its official list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. In light of the countries that are not on the list (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Venezuela, etc.) we are left only to conclude that all four of these nations essentially constitute America’s enemies.
Here is what the State Department – headed by John Kerry, who negotiated the Iran Nuclear deal – has to say about countries on this list:
Countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism are designated pursuant to three laws: section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act. Taken together, the four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation under these authorities include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.
Designation under the above-referenced authorities also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors. Currently there are four countries designated under these authorities: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria.
Here is the State Sponsors of Terrorism list as identified by the U.S. State Department:
Let’s take a look at how the Obama administration has decided to deal with these four countries the U.S. State Department has identified as State Sponsors of Terrorism.
Regardless of one’s take on the nuclear agreement with Iran signed in Geneva this week, sanctions were eased without removing Iran from this list. Barack Obama admitted this when he announced the terms of the deal, saying that his administration has:
“…agreed to provide Iran modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions. We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions.”
In case you’re not versed in political doubletalk, that means the U.S. is easing sanctions on a nation it continues to identify as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Here’ is Obama’s entire statement on the nuclear deal:
Those who refuse to see this deal for the disaster it is need only look at the unease of the two nations who fear a nuclear Iran perhaps more than any other – Israel and Saudi Arabia. This deal has even formed an alliance between those two countries. This fact belies any assertion that the deal is a good one.
Iran is the same country that captured and held more than 50 Americans hostage for 444 days from 1979 – 1981. The Ayatollah Khomeini was the new face of Iran at the time. Today, his acolytes run that country based on the exact same ideology. The survivors of that hostage crisis inherently know this and are already speaking out against the deal.
Hezbollah is an arm of Iran; it was responsible for the 1983 Marine Barracks bombing in Baalbek, Lebanon that murdered 241 U.S. Servicemen. The government that rules Iran is no different now than it was then. In fact, just this past August, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani nominated Hossein Dehghan to be his defense minister. Dehghan has been identified as the Hezbollah chief who planned that bombing.
As if none of this warranted ratcheting up pressure on Iran instead of easing up on it, consider the strong evidence that Iran and Hezbollah were involved in the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Janice Kephart, former 9/11 Commission legal counsel, was an expert witness in Havlish v. Iran, which presented overwhelming evidence of Iran’s involvement. In fact, in 2011, United States District Judge George B. Daniels ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs (families of 9/11 victims) in their lawsuit. Would you like some more? One of the defendants was none other than Ayatollah Khamenei, the current leader of Iran.
Much of this case involved irrefutable evidence that Hezbollah operational chief Imad Mughniyah collaborated with al-Qaeda’s leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Not long after Sudan was found to have connections to the first World Trade Center attack, it was placed on the State Department’s list and has never been removed. In 1994, the State Department expressed grave concerns about Sudan in a report on terrorism. Al-Bashir led the country then as he does today.
Sudan is a country run by Muslim Brotherhood member Omar al-Bashir, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. He is responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of innocent people. He is also the principal financier of Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord whose history includes making children kill their parents before turning them into soldiers in his army, which repeats the cycle.
While the Obama administration has publicly endorsed the effort to capture an increasingly alienated Kony, it has ignored publicly acknowledging the source of his funds.
Perhaps most disturbing is that Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama is not only the Executive Secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO), an arm of al-Bashir’s government but that the Obama administration’s IRS – Lois Lerner in particular – granted Malik’s foundation illegal tax-exempt status. This implicates Lerner in the commission of a felony simply by backdating Malik’s status more than is legally permissible. It also implicates her as an accessory to terror funding and aiding a State Sponsor of Terrorism by doing so.
It should be noted that we disagreed with a strike on Syria after the Chemical weapons attack took place in that country on August 20th. To this day, the perpetrators of that attack have not been sufficiently identified. In fact, more evidence points to it being the result of rebel Muslim Brotherhood fighters than an attack by the Bashar al-Assad regime. Assad’s defeat would most certainly usher in something much worse but that’s not the point of this post.
Syria is one of the four terrorist states. The terms of the nuclear deal that was ultimately negotiated between Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva are eerily similar to the terms negotiated in the recent deal with Syria. In Iran, sanctions were eased on a dangerously untrustworthy nation. In Syria, demands without real consequences for not meeting them is what all parties agreed to. Syria and Russia’s Putin were seen as the overwhelming winners. Kerry and Obama, as is the case with Iran, were the losers.
As recently as this month, Barack Obama has called for a revision to U.S. – Cuban relations. In particular, he seemed to be pointing to U.S. sanctions that have been in place on that country for decades, an embargo really. As is the case with Iran, the regime / government is no different today than it was before. Fidel Castro is still alive and his presidency was succeeded by his brother Raul Castro, who many view as even more brutal. Cuba’s is a murderous regime with a history that includes both Fidel and Raul joining forces with another mass murderer, Che Guevara, who is revered by the left in America today.
As for motivations Obama might have to warm relations to Cuba, consider that a man he shared an office with for at least three years – Bill Ayers – founded a terrorist organization that worked very closely with Castro’s Cuba. In particular, Ayers had a close working relationship with Castro’s Venceremos Brigades and even recruited fellow left-wing Americans into the group. According to the only man to successfully infiltrate the Weather Underground for the FBI – Larry Grathwohl – Ayers and his colleagues plotted to ally with Cuba in its attempt to overthrow the United States government.
After being convicted of killing a police officer, Joanne Chesimard (aka Assata Shakur) escaped from prison and fled to Cuba, where she remains to this day. The Weather Underground is believe to have been instrumental in her escape. To consider that the Obama administration would entertain the notion of easing relations with Cuba without including a demand for the extradition of Chesimard is an outrage all by itself but that is just one of multiple examples.
In 2009, when Hugo Chavez stooge and President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya was constitutionally removed from power, the Obama administration referred to Zelaya’s removal as a “coup” and called for his reinstatement. Do you know who else wanted Zelaya reinstated?
What makes this all significant is that these are nations the U.S. State Department has identified as being those who should be ostracized, marginalized, alienated, pressured, and even forced into compliance. In the cases of all four officially designated State Sponsors of Terrorism, the Obama administration has done the opposite to varying degrees and for varying reasons.
Obama’s promises about his health care bill prove he’s a liar.
Why wouldn’t he aid these states and tell us he isn’t?