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UN Court Siding With Iran Reveals More D.C. Cleanup Is Needed

By Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

The United States was handed yet another snub by the United Nations last week when its International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered it to undo sanctions against Iran that would interfere with the importation of humanitarian goods and services to that country.

Specifically, the court ordered the United States to remove those sanctions dealing with “medicine and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities and spare parts and equipment necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation.”

The United States immediately cried foul with John Bolton, the United States National Security Advisor, pointing out that the ICJ had allowed itself to be used “as a forum for propaganda” by Iran.

But here’s the head-smacking part: There is still a 63-year-old treaty in effect between the nations on which the court based its ruling.

Iran contended that the United States’ actions of reinstating sanctions in May were in breach of the Treaty of Amity signed in 1955 between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and King Mohammad Reza Shah. This treaty included an arbitration agreement of sorts that would make the ICJ the arbiter of any disputes between the two nations.  

But the sanctions dispute was not the only contention made by Iran before the ICJ. The international court also argued that the United States had acted illegally in unilaterally withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord, a charge the ICJ rejected.

However, the ICJ sided unanimously with Iran in its contentions regarding sanctions against products and services necessary for humanitarian aid. The ruling also declared that the international community viewed the reimposition of sanctions by the United States as illegal. 

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United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded forcefully by immediately withdrawing the United States from the Treaty and activating its one-year termination clause under Article XXIII. In the meantime, Bolton contended that the Treaty could not be considered in force in light of Iran’s hostile behavior towards the United States and the community of nations.

“Iran is a rogue regime,” he said. “It has been a threat throughout the Middle East, not only for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, but it’s (sic) acted for several decades as the central banker for international terrorism.”

Of course, Bolton is correct in his assertion.

Article I of the Treaty calls for “a firm and enduring peace and sincere friendship between the United States of America and Iran,” a provision that was permanently and irreversibly violated by Iran with the swarming of the American Embassy and the taking of American hostages for 444 days in 1979. Among others, that act of hostility violated numerous other provisions of the Treaty designed to guarantee the rights and safety of the nationals and companies in Iran. Additionally, Iran’s numerous actions of hostility towards the United States and its regional neighbors have cut to shreds any semblance of a treaty.

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Regardless, because the Treaty still exists on paper, the ICJ decided to honor it, thus giving the Iranian regime ammunition with which to ironically call the United States “an outlaw regime.”

In light of the irreparable deterioration of relations between the two countries and the widespread disregard of the provisions of the Treaty, it is amazing that the United States did not withdraw years ago, an observation that did not escape John Bolton.

“Given this history and Iran’s abuse of the ICJ, we will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose the United States to purported binding jurisdiction and dispute resolution in the International Court of Justice.”  

It’s past time we did.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through to arrange a lecture or book signing.

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America’s Most Amazing Year — Not Fake News Edition

Rod Thomson

Every newspaper and TV network will be doing their year-in-review issues around now. Considering they will primarily be re-hashing their own partisan attacks and intentional undermining of a duly elected American president, they’re not worth consuming.

But America and the American people actually had a much, much better year than the deeply discredited media and than Democrats — which are basically the same people. In fact, it was a downright amazing year — if you think America remains the best nation in the world, a shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope. For eight years we had people running the federal government who thought roughly the opposite. But 2017 brought a dramatic change to the White House and to the hopes of millions of Americans — and actually, the world.

The amazingness of the year is multiplied if you were unsure of what policies President Trump would pursue and his effectiveness in pursuing them. Many people voted against Hillary Clinton for good reason, but held their breath on Trump.

However, if you are conservative, traditionalist, pro-American or even libertarian, there has been an amazing amount of achievements to like in 2017 — even some Trump opponents admit that — generational tax reform and cuts, a booming economy and historically low unemployment, pulling out of the Paris climate accords, decertifying the Iran deal, the Jerusalem embassy, military revitalization, deregulation, immigration control, Obamacare mandate repeal, destruction of ISIS, Justice Gorsuch and the rest of the judiciary. 

Amazing. Here’s the full look:

➙ Conservative judiciary. This of course starts with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but extends far beyond. Once Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell broke the Democrats’ obstructionism on every appointee, Trump’s picks began slowly flowing through and they are amazingly conservative and originalist. Trump has nominated 12 constitutionally conservative appellate justices alone — a record for a president in his first year.

➙ Tax reform. The unnecessarily scorned tax reform law lowers corporate taxes sharply from 35 percent to 21 percent. We were by far the highest in the industrialized world which made it hard for American companies to compete globally and was creating the perverse incentive for them to create offshore entities to limit tax liability. The passage of this morally and economically right legislation was followed immediately by a stream of major American corporations announcing new investments, employee bonuses or hiking their own minimum wage to $15/hour — something Democrats are fighting for through the heavy hand of government. On the individual side, the reform is much more modest, but most Americans outside of some in high-tax states will get a pay raise or no change due to reduced tax rates. This is Trump’s only major legislation of 2017, but it is a generational change — as big as those by Presidents Kennedy and Reagan.

➙ Repeal of Obamacare mandate. This was part of the tax reform bill and unburdened Americans from the most Constitutionally questionable and liberty onerous provision. The Supreme Court should never have found it acceptable, even with the contortions it went through to do so, to force Americans to buy a private product. Striking this heavy hand of government from law is an amazing accomplishment considering full Obamacare repeal failed.

➙ De-regulation. The Trump Administration has eliminated 22 existing regulations for each new regulation it instituted. While some will wail that the world is ending, the voices are small and marginal because these were so overly burdensome, driven by ideologies of the previous administration and too often paybacks for political supporters. These have received very little news coverage because every tweet is more important, apparently. But they undoubtedly have had a huge impact on the booming economy.

➙ Keystone Pipeline and ANWR. This crucial pipeline that will create economic impact along its corridor and provide better oil prices and more energy independence for America, was needlessly and recklessly blocked by the ideologies of the Obama administration. It frustrated and angered everyone except environmental activists — a key Democrat constituency — and it hurt American workers. Many years after Obama and Democrats blocked any oil exploration in the mammoth and relatively uninhabited Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska, Trump signed legislation to open up the empty region for oil drilling.

➙ Rocking economy. After eight years of paltry growth that left Americans depressed and in a malaise, the jump in measurable economic activity in 2017 is astonishing. GDP growth is the best it has been in a decade and well above expectations. This has naturally led to a rapidly increasing workforce participation rate — more people with jobs and more people once again looking for work — and the lowest unemployment rate since 2000. We are sitting at near what economists consider full employment, and that will help everyone as such competition will create upward pressure on wages — if immigration is controlled properly.

➙ Immigration. Trump’s efforts to put a temporary ban on a handful of nations where terrorism is rampant, or actually government-supported, was initially blocked by politically-motivated liberal judges in one circuit. But the ban has since been lifted and is expected to be found constitutional and is now in place. Immigration controls help the American worker and much still needs to be done, but Trump has moved in the right direction. The administration has also beefed up border security forces and policies on enforcement of existing laws. The Department of Homeland Security found in October that the Border Patrol is stopping people trying to cross illegally at almost twice the rate of the past decade. Unshackled, the Border Patrol can do a lot more, and Trump unshackled them. However, the border wall itself is still just talk. This must begin to be reality in 2018 because a new president one day can simply undo the executive policy changes. He or she won’t demolish a wall.

➙ Paris Climate Accords. Walking away from this bit of fictional environmental salvation — but real-world economic harm — was a bold stroke by Trump and good for America. He knew the “world community” would come down on him like a ton of bricks, despite the fact that by its own measurement, the accords would not accomplish much on global warming while the biggest contributors of carbon emissions weren’t likely to ever be part of it. That means it was just going to competitively disadvantage the United States without being beneficial to its own, stated cause. This was always just a feel-good accord among people who would not individually be harmed by it. But Trump was right to pull out.

➙ De-certifying the Iran Deal. This awful and inexplicable deal enabled the worst state player in the Middle East to be put on a path to nuclear weapons, and be given hundreds of millions in cash, much of which Iran would promptly distribute to its Islamist terrorist arms to attack our ally Israel and perhaps even America. This was an unconscionable deal as part of a bumbling foreign policy. De-certifying is a start as it was unconstitutional on two grounds, but the United States needs to walk away entirely and re-institute sanctions. Unfortunately, we can’t get back the cash the Obama Administration literally flew to Iran on a plane.

➙ Jerusalem. Acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a campaign promise made by multiple presidents, including Obama and Bush, but which was never kept — until now. Trump kept his and will move the U.S. Embassy to the capital. Amazingly, despite the constant noise from the left, actually very little terrorism and outrage has happened. It was the right thing to do as it is the historic capital of Israel and countries have a right to choose their own capitals.

➙ Destruction of ISIS. This amazing accomplishment has been largely ignored by the media, for the obvious reason that it is great news under Trump. ISIS’ territorial holdings — it’s primary claim to a caliphate and recruiting power, are essentially gone. Not only is the caliphate gone and ISIS now reduced to another terrorist organization — dangerous but only a shadow of its former terror — nothing worse has popped up in its place at this point. Outstanding. It’s sad to think the world possibly had to endure the plague of ISIS for so many years unnecessarily.

➙ Military revitalization. Trump rightly jettisoned the hand-tying rules of engagement for the military that existed for eight years and allowed military commanders to make military decisions more freely. This resulted in the rapid destruction of ISIS. Trump also altered America’s military’s strategic timeline in Afghanistan and continues to push for a more fully-funded military after the readiness erosion of the previous administration.

➙ Asserting sovereign right at the U.N. When the United States acknowledged the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the world had a conniption fit and the United Nations, a weak but negative influence on world affairs, opposed our sovereign foreign policy and voted to condemn us. Those votes included most of our allies and the murderous dictators around the world that inhabit the U.N. and that we give aid to. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the U.S. will remember those who we have been generous to and then spit in our face. Funding cuts have already begun. Hopefully, 2018 will see a defunding of this anti-Semitic and anti-America institution.

This is not the list you will be seeing in your local newspaper or TV station, nor on any of the national media outlets. That will be a reiteration of what they got wrong in the first place — Russia collusion and other non-stories. But this list is true.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

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America: The World’s Only Entity That Is Truly Too Big to Fail

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

It has been less than two weeks since Ambassador Nikki Haley’s historic posture at the United Nations. The moment her hand raised in opposition to the tide of anti-Semitism flooding the General Assembly, Haley became a symbol for American resoluteness and the resumption of bold and principled leadership on the part of the United States of America.

Indeed, the experiment on American meekness in the global stage had played out for far longer than it should have. Despite the praise being showered upon the Obama Administration’s foreign policy approach of withdrawal from the world stage and abandonment of its most loyal allies, the result was undeniable. The United States was seen as unreliable, uncommitted, and unpredictable, and its foes scurried to fill the void created by its retreat.

In North Korea, the effort to develop and deploy a nuclear arsenal progressed as its leaders sensed the weakness in American resolve. In Europe, Russia was emboldened to invade Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and still occupies those territories for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union. In the Middle East, Iran, Hezbollah, and ISIS strengthened their foothold on the region by actually engaging in territorial conquest and fomenting terrorism throughout the world. In Syria, a callus dictator crossed Obama’s crayoned red line with impunity, delivering chemical attacks on his own people while Israel felt the increasing strain of not being backed by its staunchest and mightiest ally. Even in Latin America, the boldness of anti-American sentiment grew as Venezuela repeatedly ridiculed the President and the American people he misrepresented.

And despite the undeniable signs of the destructive consequences of a nation stubbornly selling a “lead from behind” foreign policy approach, the leftist press continued to sell its virtues to a largely dormant public.


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But all that ended on December 21, 2017, when a slender, feminine, American hand somberly and defiantly reached towards the sky, announcing an end to the political nonsense.  

Anarchy, once well embedded, is difficult to dispel, and the American plight to rectify the evils lurking within the United Nations is no exception. Nevertheless, the United States is following up on its position, demonstrating that its new approach to the world’s problems will not be fleeting. Ambassador Haley already announced that the United States will be withdrawing more than $285 million dollars of American support to the United Nations. And there is no reason to believe those cuts won’t be more drastic as the United Nations continues its anti-American stance.  

Already, 10 other countries have announced their intention to move their embassies to Jerusalem, joining what can now be rightfully considered a movement to rectify the injustices that have plagued the United Nations for way too long.  

The fact is, the failure of Obama’s approach to global interaction was predictable, as we have already seen the effects of even a perception of an America seemingly unmotivated in the international arena. Recall Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s “defense perimeter” speech delivered on January 12, 1950, where he failed to include South Korea in the zone of American military interests, which was erroneously perceived by North Korea as lack of interest by the United States to South Korea’s integrity. What resulted was the first international hostility by Communism in the post-World War II era at the expense of thousands of lives and continued regional instability to this day.  

Interestingly, throughout the waning months of the Bush years and into the Obama Administration, we heard the seemingly endless narrative about the existence of organizations that were too big to fail.  In the end, and with strong showings by Trump Administration, we are relearning that in fact, there is only one entity in the global stage that is truly too big, too important, and too righteous to fail.

The United States of America.  

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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A Great Week for President Trump, Utter Failure for the United Nations

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

The past week saw an unparalleled accomplishment by President Donald Trump and his team in the domestic arena in the passage of a tax plan that not only lowered corporate rates by 14 points, but repealed the individual mandate, and state and local tax deductions.  

By contrast, the United Nations displayed its consistently hateful and irrational bias towards Israel, along with its ill-directed ire towards the United States, by first considering a resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel (a resolution with absolutely no chance of adoption due to America’s veto power at the General Assembly) and with the passage of a resolution condemning the United States for its position on the matter. In the end, 128 countries voted in favor of this overtly hostile second resolution with 35 nations abstaining and 8 nations joining the United States in opposing it.  

But in contradistinction to other occasions, the United States forewarned the member nations that it considered these two resolutions direct insults to its sovereignty and would be holding complicit members accountable. As fearless Ambassador Nikki Haley said, “We’re taking names.”

What does this mean to the United Nations?

The United States provides about 22% of the international organizations’ general budget funds with the second highest contributor being Japan at a distant 9.68%. Additionally, the United States provides the organization a permanent home in New York replete with diplomatic immunity for its members to avoid criminal punishment, plus the majority of its military and policing capabilities. In light of the impatience of the American people at the continued antics emanating from the United Nations, it is likely that these numbers will precipitously drop as early as 2018.

Unquestionably, the United States must work to undo the damage done by the weak standing of the Obama administration. Few things can more effectively accomplish this goal than withdrawing 22% of one’s revenues, and it is high time that we did just that.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Nikki Haley: A Force To Be Reckoned With At The United Nations

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Being the only person in a huge room to raise your hand on a vote must carry with it some element of intimidation, especially when you just saw every voting hand go up against you.

Such was the situation for Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday, December 18, 2017, when she cast the sole and negating vote at the United Nations Security Council on a resolution presented by Egypt requiring the United States to rescind its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

However, what was at stake was nothing short of the erosion of American sovereignty at the hands of a dysfunctional and decidedly hostile international organization.  

That the United Nations would entertain a resolution telling one of its members what it may recognize as another’s capital is amongst the most arrogant parliamentary maneuvers in its ugly, beleaguered history. In fact, it is the very type of resolution motivating Americans to demand that all financial support be withdrawn from the U.N.  

But unlike other years where the United States passively participated in the United Nation’s political antics, Haley would have none of it. Not only would the Ambassador confidently raise her hand as the sole dissenting voice in the world, she then went on to point out the absolute arrogance of the resolution she was opposing.

But the indefatigable Haley would not stop there. In a show of force and of a return of a vibrant American presence, she warned those listening that the United States would not forget those taking positions contrary to America’s and Israel’s interests; positions taken by countries like England, Japan, and France. Her message was delivered resolutely and in a tone that carried with it the full strength and authority of the United States of America. “What we witnessed here today at the Security Council is an insult,” she said. “It won’t be forgotten.”

Interestingly, the matter is not yet resolved, as on December 21, the United Nations will be considering a second resolution, this one brought by Palestine, aiming to censure the United States for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and one that the United States will be powerless to stop with its veto power. Of this, Ambassador Haley wrote, “As you consider your vote, I want you to know that the President and U.S. take this vote personally.”  

And consider this one very disturbing wrinkle. If the United Nations is willing to force its will upon one of its members to the point of coercing a change upon that member’s opinion about another’s capital, just how far is the United Nations willing to go in eroding the independence of any of those member nations?

It may be time to put that real estate in Manhattan to better use, say, a roach motel.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through to arrange a lecture or book signing.

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