Iran

Verboten in Tehran

Featured image The Telegraph reports that six Iranian singers who were arrested for appearing in a viral video dancing to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy” have been sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes. The video appears to have received well over a million views at this point. Oliver Duggan writes: The group became famous in May when their music video for the hit song circulated on YouTube, racking up »

A question (or two) for Imam Obama

Featured image I have an impertinent question for President Obama in his capacity as a spokesman for Islam. It seems to me to follow naturally from his brief disquisition on the Islamic State or ISIS yesterday (White House transcript here): ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. Thus spake the man who sounds like Imam Barry. Or Carnac »

Arab states not eager to follow feckless Obama

Featured image So now President Obama wants to organize a coalition to take on ISIS, the group whose rise he ignored on the theory that it was the terrorist “jayvee.” Arab states — notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan — and Turkey are to be key members of the coalition. Obama assigns these states primary responsibility for mobilizing Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. Presumably, Obama »

Iran nuclear update

Featured image Omri Ceren emails us from The Israel Project to draw attention to the new IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities, published yesterday. Here is his summary (footnotes omitted, emphases in original): The upshot – that the agency’s nuke probe has completely stalled because of Iranian noncooperation – was already leaked earlier this week. But I wanted to make sure you had a link to the full report because the really »

The Hannity tapes

Featured image Sean Hannity has been on fire during the Gaza war, especially on his syndicated radio show. He understands what is happening and wants to make sure that his audience understands. This week he has taken his radio and FOX News cable shows to Israel. Yesterday he concluded his visit to Israel on a high note, with an interview of Benjamin Netanyahu. Video segments from Israel are posted here, including the »

One less U.S. apology required

Featured image In his 2009 Cairo speech, President Obama declared that “in the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” Obama clearly intended to convey that the United States shares some of the blame for its longstanding dispute with the current regime. In conceding wrongdoing in connection with the overthrow of the government of Mohammad Mosaddeq and the restoration »

George Will and the narcissistic view of American foreign policy

Featured image Scott did an excellent job of responding to George Will’s defense of diplomacy as the proper response to Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Scott is particularly persuasive in answering Will’s claim that “United States policy has taught certain regimes the importance of having nuclear weapons.” It would be interesting to know just how pacific U.S. policy would have to be in order to unteach the importance of having nukes. Will »

George Will begs the question and blames America

Featured image Last year George Will wrote a disappointing column on the Obama administration’s interim deal with Iran. The problem with Will’s columns is its assumption that Iran can be contained/deterred. Will assumes without argument that doctrines of containment and deterrence are viable in the case of Iran; he assumes what is to be proved, i.e., he begs the question. Two fundamental problems undermine his assumptions. First, Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons »

The Iran nuclear negotiations — slow motion defeat for the U.S.

Featured image John Kerry reportedly is preparing to extend the deadline for negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran. Evidently, the two sides are too far apart to reach an agreement by the deadline date of Sunday, July 20. In fact, as Seth Mandel points out, they are sufficiently at loggerheads that they plan to stop talking before the deadline is reached. Why are the two sides so far apart? Probably because Iran »

Rand Paul lets Obama off the hook in the Middle East

Featured image Rand Paul said today on Meet the Press that he does not blame President Obama for the instability in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East; instead he blames President Bush. Paul told an undoubtedly delighted David Gregory: What’s going on now I don’t blame on President Obama. Has he really got the solution? Maybe there is no solution. But I do blame the Iraq war on the chaos that »

Obama’s pathetic Iraq adviser surge

Featured image The Washington Post editorial board sees a parallel between the “foreign-policy” disaster that President Obama confronts in Iraq and the one President Bush confronted at the end of 2006: [Bush] had ordered an invasion of Iraq without a sufficiently large force to occupy the country and without a well-considered plan for its reconstruction. Under his direction, the Iraqi military and government were dismantled with nothing to take their place, and »

So Happy Together…

Featured image It is remarkable how little it took for some observers to start recommending that the U.S. should cooperate with Iran in quelling the extremist takeover of much of Iraq. If you tried to follow the logic, you could get whiplash. Then there is the practical question: how, exactly, would such cooperation work? Michael Ramirez offers an answer to that question; click to enlarge: Well, why not, if the Mullahs are »

McCain kicks his sidekick’s rear

Featured image Lindsey Graham is often wrong, but never in doubt. For example, Graham agrees with the Obama administration that the U.S. needs to work with Iran to help Iraq stem the tide against the current Islamist blitzkrieg. Graham told CNN, “The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn’t fall; we need to coordinate with the Iranians.” He added, however, that there will have to be “some red lines.” »

Obama’s partner, the Iranians

Featured image As I noted here, President Obama reportedly intends to open direct talks with Iran on how to counter the Islamist blitzkrieg by Sunni insurgents in Iraq. Yet, as Omri Ceren of The Israel Project reminds us, a mere six weeks ago, the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism concluded that Iran is actively working to undermine Iraqi stability through terror groups. Significantly, for present purposes, the report assessed that »

Obama seeks to leverage his Iraq debacle into rapprochement with Iran

Featured image In the post immediately below this one, I argue that President Obama now “owns” Iraq because his unwillingness seriously to negotiate a status of forces agreement led directly to Iraq’s current chaos. Obama, of course, doesn’t see it this way, but he is belatedly looking for ways to prevent the complete disintegration of Iraq. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Obama’s »

In Syria, Tehran declares victory

Featured image Researching and writing about the interim nuclear agreement with Iran, I have found Iranian authorities to be a more reliable guide than the Obama administration. I may be overstating the phenomenon, but if so, not by much. The same applies to events in Syria, as reported by Simon Tisdall in Britain’s Guardian: Iran and its close ally President Bashar al-Assad have won the war in Syria, and the US-orchestrated campaign »

One Pillar of unwisdom revisited

Featured image A number of signs point to the pending agreement of the United United States et al. with the mad mullahs of Iran on a bad nuclear deal. Jonathan Tobin collects a few such signs at Commentary in the post “Aid can’t buy Israel’s silence on Iran deal.” Another such sign, it seems to me, is the trashing of Israel in Jeff Stein’s Newsweek article “Israel won’t stop spying on the »