Two 2013 letters

Featured image Omri Ceren’s tweet below is at the same time a valuable piece of media criticism and history. The letter to Khameni cited by Omri is described well in the Wall Street Journal story by Jay Solomon and Carol Lee. We are living in strange, strange times, and the press is a virtually insuperable obstacle to understanding them. Omri’s tweet is a valuable reminder on that score as well. In 2013 »

Rouhani miscast as a reformer

Featured image The Washington Post continues to portray Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, as a reformer whose relatively moderate views are making a difference in Iran. Erin Cunningham writes: People have criticism and objections on the economic issue, and they have a right. But the objections aren’t only economic,” Rouhani said at a televised news conference earlier this month, according to the Reuters news agency. “They also have something to say about political »

The coming Israel-Iran clash in Syria, the Russia angle

Featured image Herb Keinon, writing in the Jerusalem Post, argues that Russia could be a big loser if, as seems increasingly likely, Israel is drawn into a fight with Iran in Syria. He explains: Russia moved forces into Syria in 2015 with one purpose in mind: Save Syrian President Bashar Assad. And since then, Moscow has spent billions of rubles and spilled Russian blood to do just that: Help the Assad regain »

The coming Israel-Iran clash in Syria

Featured image Yesterday, as Omri Ceren reported, the Israeli air force struck in Syria after Iran sent a drone into Israel. The Israelis lost a fighter jet, the first time in 30 years an Israeli jet has been lost in combat. On the plus side, Israel reportedly inflicted serious damage on multiple air defense batteries and four Iranian positions in Syria including the mobile command center from which the Iranian drone was »

Omri Ceren: Israel strikes in Syria

Featured image Omri Ceren writes from The Israel Project with this backgrounder for journalists. He has folded information derived from wide variety of sources — I have omitted his 24 alphabetized footnotes — into the message. I would add only that the New York Times has just reported: “Later Saturday morning, clashes appeared to be continuing. There were new Israeli airstrikes around the capital, Damascus, according to Syrian state media and Damascus »

Rethinking Iran

Featured image It’s not yet clear whether the Iranian regime will succeed, for now, in stamping out the protests against it. Regardless, Bret Stephens says the protests have made apparent the need to reject the conventional wisdom about the regime. Stephens describes the conventional wisdom as holding that Iran “is a dictatorship with democratic characteristics, and that it’s riven between hard-liners who want to make it more repressive and militant and reformists »

The “Iran First” uprising

Featured image There are enough causes of the protests rocking Iran that it’s tempting (as is usually the case with hindsight) to deem it over-determined. However, the spark may have been the leak last month of the government’s proposed budget. According to Thomas Erdbrink of the New York Times: Iranians discovered that billions of dollars were going to hard-line organizations, the military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and religious foundations that enrich »

Maggie Haberman goes off the deep end

Featured image Maggie Haberman may have great sources, but it sometimes seems that the New York Times’ ace reporter isn’t very bright. More likely, though, she’s just too quick on the trigger when it comes to bashing President Trump. Readers may recall this tweet from Haberman: Other than San Bernardino shootings, has there been a terrorist attack involving a non-US-born attacker since 9/11? Um, yes. The Boston bombers, Times Square bomber, underwear »

Is Obama responsible for the Iranian protests?

Featured image Close readers of Power Line won’t be completely surprised by the wave of protests in Iran. A few months ago, we reported that the Iranian émigrée communities in the U.S. and France were buzzing about reports of anti-regime protest activity in Iran. Even so, I did not expect protests as intense, widespread and (so far) persistent as the ones that have broken out recently. It can be argued that, in »

Netanyahu and Trump speak on Iran

Featured image According to NBC News, the most significant protests in eight years are rocking Iran, with state media reporting Tuesday that the death toll from clashes between demonstrators and security forces had reached at least 21. By contrast with the protests eight years ago, the protests that have swept across Iran seek the displacement of the murderous mullahcracy that took control in 1979. The idiot cretins of the Obama administration counsel »

The Iran protests: Will the regime retain its grip?

Featured image When anti-regime protesters become deadly serious, the questions become: (1) Is the regime willing to shoot them en masse and, if so, (2) will its forces do so. If the answer to either question is no, expect the regime to become the former regime. Regimes typically are willing to shoot protesters if they deem it necessary. However, there are exceptions, for example when the foreign power that supports the regime »

Iranians Revolt. Why Now?

Featured image Demonstrations against that country’s regime have broken out across Iran. Radio Farda reports: [P]rotests against high unemployment, a stagnant economy with inflationary prices and expensive overseas military interventions are spreading unpredictably fast in several cities in Iran…. *** On Friday, protests spread to Kermanshah in the west, Tehran, Esfahan in central Iran, Rasht in the north, Ahvaz in the southwest and even Qom, the religious capital of Shiite clergy in »

Hezbollah’s Drug Mule

Featured image Scott wrote here about how the Obama administration let Hezbollah’s drug trafficking off the hook in order to promote its Iranian nuclear deal. Michael Ramirez is probably the only cartoonist savvy enough to comment. Click to enlarge: »

The Big News Of the Day…

Featured image …comes from Saudi Arabia. Shiite rebels in Yemen fired an Iranian-manufactured missile at the royal palace in Riyadh. It was intercepted, reportedly, just seconds before it reached its target. This follows a similar attack last month, where Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for a missile that was aimed at Riyadh’s airport but was also shot down. These incidents highlight the fact that the Gulf’s Sunni countries no longer care much about »

How Obama let up on Hezbollah

Featured image Late yesterday afternoon Politico posted Josh Meyer’s deeply reported account of our struggle with Hezbollah and its betrayal by the Obama administration. Politico gave this précis of the story by email: “In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States.” Some »

Down Argentine Way

Featured image Alberto Nisman was about to present the findings of his investigation of the cover-up of Iranian responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center when he died in January 2015 under mysterious circumstances. The bombing was an act of mass murder; it killed 85 people. Was Nisman himself murdered in turn? We covered the attempts to unravel the circumstances behind his death in a series of »

Israel strikes Iranian base in Syria

Featured image Several Arab media sources have reported that twelve Iranian military personnel were killed in an Israeli air strike on an Iranian base in Syria Friday night. The Jerusalem Post has confirmed the strikes but apparently not the death count. Israel fired the missiles at a base Iran has been building near the Syrian city of ​​al-Qiswa (also spelled al-Kiswah) about 50 kilometers from the Golan Heights. Reportedly, the strike destroyed »