Iran

Obama’s big shtick

Featured image President Theodore Roosevelt’s preferred diplomatic approach was to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” President Obama, by contrast, speaks falsely and carries a big shtick. Yesterday he carried his shtick to the Adas Israel congregation in Washington, DC. Obama held himself out as a friend of Israel. He likened his attitude to Israel to his attitude to the United States. He has “high expectations” of both. I take no »

Netanyahu on the Lausanne framework, &c.

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech in Israel’s Knesset last week on the seventieth anniversary of VE Day. As is his custom, Netanyahu drew the lesson for today. The Jerusalem Post reported on and quoted from Netanyahu’s speech: The lesson from World War II is not to back down from an extremist regime whose platform includes genocide and conquering other states, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, referring to »

Who killed Alberto Nisman? part 4

Featured image The Wall Street Journal devotes a good page-one story to a review of the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman. By Taos Turner and Reed Johnson, the story is “A body, a pistol, and few answers in Argentina” (accessible here via Google). It is an extraordinary and maddening case. The Journal story derives in part from the independent investigation of Nisman’s death commissioned by Nisman’s former companion, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado. »

An uncertain kazoo, cont’d

Featured image President Obama concluded his so-called summit with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David yesterday afternoon. He issued a joint statement and held a press conference (video below). Obama began his press conference with a written statement that acknowledged the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia (and made a pitch for “infrastructure,” exploiting the dead to advance the never ending Democratic pitch for increased government spending). If the catastrophic derailment »

Fig leaves falling

Featured image Certain impediments complicate Barack Obama’s selling of the arrangement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Obama seeks to camouflage the arrangement as one that deters Iran from the acquisition of nuclear weapons. In reality, the arrangement will finance and expedite the mullahs’ acquisition of nuclear weapons. John Kerry has issued ludicrous “guarantees” in connection with the arrangement. One such guarantee is categorical, but it’s not a money-back sort of a »

Who bowed down

Featured image One of President Obama’s core objectives is the humiliation of the United States. Thus his bows to the Saudi king and the Japanese emperor in the first year of his administration. Obama’s bows gave expressive form to the diminished role Obama has crafted for the United States on the world stage. Obama’s spokesmen threw in a healthy dollop of lying about it for domestic consumption thrown in for good measure. »

Saudi King blows off Obama

Featured image Saudi Arabia has announced that its new monarch, King Salman, will not attend meetings at the White House with President Obama or a summit of Arab leaders at Camp David. The king will instead send Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is the interior minister, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the defense minister. The main reason cited for the King’s abstention — the summit meeting overlaps »

In which we hope it’s not worse than nothing

Featured image Omri Ceren writes to update us on today’s Senate vote passing the Corker-Menendez bill. The vote was 98-1 in favor, but the 1 was Senator Cotton, which raises the question whether the bill is worse than nothing. Omri writes: Cloture was 93-6 with only Sen. Boxer not voting. The final vote was 98-1. Sen. Cotton was the only no. The White House and its allies have mostly given up trying »

Is Corker-Menendez worse than nothing?

Featured image National Journal reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved yesterday to end debate on the Corker-Menendez bill, shortening what he had hoped would be an open amendment process out of concern that some “poison pill” amendment votes could potentially sink it. “We’re going to move quickly,” Senator McConnell explained. National Review’s Joel Gehrke explored the procedural maneuvering: After Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) »

At the NRI Ideas Summit

Featured image Senator Tom Cotton was interviewed by John O’Sullivan at the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit this past Saturday morning. NR has posted the video here. I have embedded the video below. “You seem to me to be the exact opposite of a professional politician,” O’Sullivan says by way of introduction. The interview opens with the question of Iran and the Cotton letter. To quote Bob Dylan, “the wheel’s still »

What Does Iran Have In Common With the Baltimore Rioters?

Featured image President Obama told Congress to stand down with respect to Iran, and Baltimore’s mayor reportedly directed police to stand down with regard to the looters. Which inspired the great Michael Ramirez to produce this gem, depicting Iran as a rampaging rioter and President Obama running interference–holding off, I would say, both Congress and Israel. Click to enlarge: »

Zetetic with Zarif

Featured image Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif speaks on behalf of a regime that is an avowed enemy of the United States, one whose Supreme Leader regularly chants “Death to the United States.” It is a regime with the blood of many Americans on its hands. Yet here he is on stage at New York University, in conversation with the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, and speaking with great confidence that he has »

Tom Cotton, Vindicated, Takes On Zarif

Featured image Scott wrote earlier today about Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif’s insulting speech at New York University. While generally expressing contempt for the United States, Zarif dismissed Congress’s role in any agreement the Obama administration might forge with Iran: Zarif also took several shots at the U.S. Senate, just as it debated amendments to a bill designed to slow the lifting of sanctions against Iran and give Congress an oversight role »

Zarif zeroes in

Featured image Omri Ceren writes with an update on Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s appearance at NYU today with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. In his remarks Zarif took an early victory lap with respect to achievement of Iran’s goals in the arrangement in process with the Obama administration. Josh Rogin reports on Zarif’s remarks for Bloomberg here. To borrow from Mark Twain, we might say that Zarif speaks with the confidence of »

Iranian Piracy: Nothing Happens for No Good Reason

Featured image I’ve had occasion before to mention the maxim of my late teacher of international affairs, Harold Rood, that “nothing happens for no good reason.”  (By the way, there’s a brand new book out about Rood’s idiosyncratic method of understanding international affairs: You Run the Show or the Show Runs You: Capturing Harold W. Rood’s Strategic Thought for a New Generation, by J.D. Crouch II and Patrick J. Garrity. More about »

Mister, we could use a man like their Supreme Leader?

Featured image I have found Iranian reports concerning the (current) so-called Joint Plan of Action with Iran as well as the arrangement in process to be more reliable than those deriving from official sources in the Obama administration. This, however, is where I draw the line: Secretary of State John Kerry told his Iranian counterpart that he wished the United States had a leader more like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, according to »

A timely message from Iran

Featured image Omri Ceren provides this email update on today’s developments in the Persian Gulf, reported in this brief Reuters story: It’s been a busy two hours, but some clarity is starting to emerge about the Iranian seizure of a cargo vessel in the Strait of Hormuz. The vessel is the M/V Maersk Tigris and sails under a Marshall Islands flag. It was intercepted by Iranian navy patrol crafts earlier today and »