CRB: Digging up a new past

Featured image The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books that we have been featuring this week includes pieces by Charles Murray, Harvey Mansfield, Walter Russell Mead, John Bolton, Joseph Epstein, Michael Nelson, and many others. The new issue lives up to my billing of the CRB as providing a virtual education in politics with each issue, if a reader thinks through the implications of the arguments made in the issue’s »

Obama cuts U.S. aid to Egypt, but why?

Featured image President Obama has decided to withhold a significant amount of military aid to Egypt. The primary focus will be on the shipment of a dozen AH-64D Apache helicopters that were part of an $820 million order back in 2009. The U.S. will continue to provide spare parts for U.S. military equipment Egypt already has. And it will continue to support counterterrorism initiatives and security efforts in the Sinai, where Egypt »

The Clinton Foundation’s man in Cairo was also the Muslim Brotherhood’s

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon reports that a senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until fairly recently, was employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation, was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence. The official, Gehad el-Haddad, had been serving as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top communications officials. In that capacity, while the Muslim Brotherhood controlled Egypt, he “push[ed] the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda in the foreign press, »

History gives Obama a back kick

Featured image One of President Obama’s most disagreeable attributes is his presumption (and, I would submit, certitude) that much of the conventional wisdom is wrong. In fairness, some conventional wisdom will always be wrong. And Obama, or at least his operatives, have demonstrated the error of some standard views of American politics. But this isn’t an enormous accomplishment. Modern U.S. politicking is a work in progress. Most successful presidential campaigns contribute breakthroughs »

History refuses to cooperate with Obama in the Middle East

Featured image The Washington Post rarely delivers great news to my door step. Today is an exception, although it’s not clear that the Post recognizes it as such. Here’s the Post’s lead headline: “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood appears at risk of falling apart.” And here’s the opening paragraph of the story by Liz Sly and Mary Beth Sheridan: The world’s most influential Islamist movement is in danger of collapse in the land of »

Obama’s pal Erdogan blames Israel for the ouster of Morsi

Featured image Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims that Israel was behind the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. Who knew that Israel could cause hundreds of thousands of Egyptians to take to the streets on its behalf and cause the Egyptian army to do its bidding? Erdogan is too responsible to make this sort of allegation without proof. “We have a document in our hands,” he assured a gathering »

Nature abhors a vacuum

Featured image Yesterday, Saudi Arabia promised to compensate Egypt for every bit of aid that the U.S. or other Western countries might withdraw in the response to the Egyptian military’s crackdown against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents. This move highlights the growing irrelevance of the U.S. in the Middle East — a positive development in the short-term, given that U.S. Middle East policy is set by President Obama. As we know, nature abhors »

Not a legitimate party

Featured image I find it absolutely bizarre how little attention is paid to the fundamental nature of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is not a legitimate political party. Its objects are not consistent with democracy or democratic goals. It is, as Steve Hayward concisely commented, “a fascist political faction with murderous intent. Full stop.” Its goal is the (re)establishment of an Islamic caliphate. Forget Barack Obama, lost in Cloud Cuckooland. Do John McCain, »

Explicating Erdogan

Featured image Rod Nordland’s New York Times story reporting that Egypt’s security forces killed 36 Islamists in their custody on Sunday also carries a quote from Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Nordland notes that Erdogan had given “a blistering speech in support of the Muslim Brotherhood” and “likened Egypt’s military leader, General Sisi, to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria” on Saturday. Nordland then offers this quote from Erdogan’s Saturday speech: “There »

What’s Going On In the Muslim World?

Featured image Beats me. But Michael Ledeen thinks he knows, and he’s a pretty astute observer, so let’s turn the floor over to him for a while. First, Michael says, we need to stop looking at events country by country and recognize that a global war is in progress: The war is easily described: there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that »

In Egypt, a no-brainer that Obama can’t figure out

Featured image The biggest news story that broke during my stay in Europe was the Egyptian military’s move against the Muslim Brotherhood, and the ensuing bloodshed. The story received extensive coverage on French and British television and virtually non-stop coverage on CNN International. The latter outlet treated viewers to endless moralizing by Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama directed primarily at the Egyptian government. Given the extent of the bloodshed, I »

Egypt’s Agony and America’s Cluelessness

Featured image Here’s a historical counter-factual thought experiment for you: suppose the German military, in the spring of 1933, decided that the ascension of Hitler and his Nazis was bad news for Germany, moved to remove Hitler by a coup, outlawed the Nazi party, and in ruling henceforth by military decree thereby ended more than a decade of democratic weakness that was the Weimar Republic.  What judgment would you cast?  (Turns out »

John Kerry, still clueless after all these years

Featured image Has the United States ever had a more clueless Secretary of State than John Kerry? Perhaps, but I can’t think of one. Not long ago, James Rosen traveled with Kerry to Egypt, among other places. Kerry met for two and half hours with then-President Mohammed Morsi. According to Rosen’s report in Playboy (yes, Playboy): Kerry emerged from [the meeting] so persuaded of Morsi’s sincerity in pledging to administer the IMF »

Rand Paul — a clown and maybe worse

Featured image Rand Paul is a clown. He demonstrated as much with his grandstanding filibuster to protect us from being attacked by drones while sitting in our local café. Paul recently tweeted: “Democratic authoritarianism is replaced with military junta. American neocons say send them more of your money.” This is ridiculous. First, is it really “neoconservative” to advocate sending money to a military junta that has just overthrown a democratically elected government? »

El Baradei is Egypt’s new prime minister, unless he isn’t

Featured image Earlier today, Egyptian state media announced that Mohamed ElBaradei, a former chief of the U.N. nuclear agency, had been appointed Egypt’s interim prime minister. But later, according to the Washington Post, the announcement was “rolled back” after Islamists who joined in the coalition against ousted president Morsi threatened to withdraw their support if ElBaradei is installed. El Baradei, who may yet be selected, is seen as a secularist and is »

Reading Obama

Featured image On Wednesday night the White House issued President Obama’s statement on events in Egypt including the removal of President Morsi from power. The statement is posted here. Please check it out. As we have been noting, President Obama early on staked his claim to support of the Muslim Brotherhood as the wave of the future in Egypt. He is therefore disappointed in Morsi’s removal and vaguely threatening about the consequences. »

State Department denies that Kerry was on yacht during Morsi’s ouster [UPDATED With State Dept. Admission]

Featured image Mosheh Oinounou of CBS has tweeted a photo of John Kerry’s yacht, the “Isabel,” and claimed that a CBS producer spotted Kerry on board Wednesday, the day of Mohammed Morsi’s ouster. According to Oinounou, when the producer shouted “Morsi,” she received no response. However, the State Department denies that Kerry was on his yacht during the crisis. And it insists that, although he wasn’t in Washington at the national security »