Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Do sanctions against Iran matter?

Featured image Daniel Pipes argues that the debate over sanctions against Iran, and thus over the P5+1 negotiations, is “peripheral and even diversionary.” He reasons that “the apocalyptically minded Iranian leadership will do everything it can to acquire the Bomb,” and therefore “economic sanctions only serve to slow its course, not to stop” the Iranian nuclear weapons program. For Pipes, all that really matters is whether some government will use force to »

Why did the New York Times say where Darren Wilson lives?

Featured image On Monday, the day when the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson and rioting ensued, the New York Times published a story that provided the name of the town and the street where Wilson lives. The Times gave out this information in the context of reporting that Wilson married a fellow police officer Barbara Spradling in a “quiet wedding” last month, and that the two own a home together. »

Yes, the process in Wilson’s case was unusual, but it didn’t favor Wilson

Featured image Because the evidence seems to support the grand jury’s “no bill” ruling in the Darren Wilson case, critics and protesters have focused on the grand jury procedure. They argue that it was highly unusual, and they are right. Normally, prosecutors try to guide a grand jury towards an indictment. Almost invariably, prosecutors succeed. Hence the cliche that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. In »

U.S. air support minimal as ISIS pushes deep into Ramadi

Featured image ISIS has intensified its push to capture Ramadi, a city of nearly half a million people and the capital of Anbar province: Islamic State fighters on Tuesday penetrated to the core of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Iraq’s largest province, prompting local security officials to warn that the city was on the verge of falling to the extremists. Such a gain would be the Islamic State’s most significant victory in »

Who would be Obama’s Secretary of Defense?

Featured image Not Michèle Flournoy. She has ruled herself out. Reportedly, her goal is to be Hillary Clinton’s Defense Secretary. In theory, holding the position under President Obama doesn’t preclude holding it under Clinton. Moreover, it is far from certain that Clinton will ever be in a position to offer Flournoy the job. But she must believes that running Obama’s Pentagon is a toxic gig. Not Sen. Jack Reed, another frequently mentioned »

Dr. Schumer’s weak, retrospective prescription

Featured image Chuck Schumer has caused a bit of a stir by stating that the Democrats erred in pushing through Obamacare. “Unfortunately,” said Schumer “Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them [in the 2008 election]. We took their mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform.” According to Schumer, Democrats should have focused on aiding the middle class in order to build confidence among »

Did Obama pressure Gov. Nixon to keep the National Guard out?

Featured image I noted here that the National Guard wasn’t in Ferguson last night, and I wondered why. After all, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had declared a state of emergency in the St. Louis area — the potential emergency being the impending grand jury decision — and had mobilized the National Guard. In addition, the mayor of Ferguson had requested the Guard’s presence. Yet, the National Guard was nowhere to be seen »

Believe your eyes, not liberal talking heads

Featured image In the post just below, Scott refers to “the underlying behavioral disparities that are reflected in the numerical racial disparities” in incarceration rates, school discipline and so forth. As he notes, these behavioral disparities were on display for all to see last night. It was surreal to hear liberal talking heads complaining about the number of African-Americans in prison while watching African-Americans (their “hands up” only as high as it »

No indictment in the Michael Brown shooting

Featured image A Missouri grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. The decision will, no doubt, be greeted by much outrage and perhaps some violence. At this time, I doubt that anyone outside of the grand jury process knows enough about the evidence to say whether Wilson should have been indicted. Unfortunately, this won’t stand in the way of a blizzard of »

John McCain’s cynical attempt to portray Chuck Hagel as a victim

Featured image It’s normal, I suppose, for conservatives to be sympathetic towards any public official who runs afoul of President Obama. But it’s abnormal to do a 180 degree turn about the merits of such an official. John McCain, though, has executed a full 180 with respect to Chuck Hagel. Today, McCain defended the ousted Secretary of Defense. In response to White House leaks that Hagel was performing poorly, stated, “Believe me, »

Chuck Hagel — not a war time consigliere [With Comments by John]

Featured image Good news. Chuck Hagel is out as Secretary of Defense, or will be as soon as a successor is nominated and confirmed. Let’s hope that any effort by the Republican Senate to block the confirmation of Obama administration appointees will exempt the Secretary of Defense position for national security reasons. The reason for Hagel’s ouster (let’s not take seriously the claim that he wanted out) is said to be that »

Iran’s win-win

Featured image The deadline for reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program expires today without the parties having reached a negotiated agreement. The negotiating period will be extended until July 1 of next year. This development is being reported as “no deal,” but there actually is a deal of sorts here. According to the British foreign secretary, Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, »

U.S. to maintain Afghan combat role through 2015, but why?

Featured image President Obama has decided to authorize an active combat role for the U.S. military in Afghanistan for another year. This is a reversal. In May, Obama said that the American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that missions for the troops remaining there would be limited to training Afghan forces and hunting the “remnants of Al Qaeda.” However, now, as the New York Times reports, »

More on “more than fair”

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about the report on Benghazi issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The report found essentially no fault on the part of the CIA or the military in its response the attack in Benghazi — findings that I consider sound. The report also finds that the administration’s subsequent narrative about the attack was the product of a “flawed” process. What’s more it finds that aspects »

The House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi Report — more than fair

Featured image The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has issued its report on the Benghazi attack. You can find it here. The Committee concludes, among things, that CIA personnel on the ground in Benghazi during the attack behaved bravely and made reasonable tactical decisions that saved lives, and that the CIA received all military support that was available. It further concludes that after the attack, the administration’s initial public narrative (via »

A Jim Webb presidential run? Spare us

Featured image Steve has commented on Jim Webb’s decision to launch an “exploratory committee” for a possible presidential campaign. But what is the case for a Webb presidency? According to the Washington Post, Webb is pitching himself as someone who can shake up Washington’s partisan gridlock. Webb argues that, through him, America can “return to a leadership environment where people from both political parties and from all philosophical points of view would »

Obamnesty, what to do

Featured image There are as many ways to express disgust with President Obama’s unlawful amnesty as there are talented conservative pundits prepared to write about it. The real question is what, if anything, can be done to negate the amnesty. Impeachment is not the answer. The votes don’t exist to remove Obama from office. Nor should Republicans attempt impeachment. Doing so would probably hurt Republican standing in the run-up to the crucial »