Middle East

Refugee Debate May Blow Immigration Issue Sky-High

Featured image The Obama administration wants to admit 100,000 Syrian refugees by 2017. News that one of the Paris terrorists was a Syrian refugee who entered Europe through Greece has led at least 23 governors, mostly Republicans, to move to keep Syrian refugees out of their states. GOP presidential candidates have also weighed in, opposing Obama’s plan. The president got on his high horse today, denouncing as “shameful” and “not American” the »

Bibi Brings It

Featured image Last night Power Line’s roving correspondents (that would be me and Scott—you can see how handsome we are nearby) turned up for the AEI dinner honoring Prime Minister Netanyahu with AEI’s Irving Kristol Award. And he did not disappoint. Rather than a formal speech, the Prime Minister had a conversation with AEI’s Dany Pletka. I was especially struck by his forthright embrace of the dilemmas of the responsible statesmen: “Most »

Heard About “the Wallstrom Affair”?

Featured image Did you hear anything about the dustup in Sweden in the spring over the remarks of foreign minister Margot Wallstrom? She belongs to Sweden’s Social Democratic Party and holds impeccable left-of-center credentials, and also served for a time as the Commissioner for the Environment at the European Union, where she said all of the politically correct platitudes about global warming and sustainable development. She also worked at the UN for »

Spontaneous Combustion on the West Bank

Featured image In Israel and the West Bank, violence is always “breaking out,” “erupting,” “flaring,” “raging,” becoming a “wave” or a “cycle,” and so on. These locutions are generally intended to obscure who is committing violence against whom. This morning, in an act of historical vandalism reminiscent of the Taliban or ISIS, Palestinians set fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, a Jewish historic and religious site: CNN tweeted about the arson with »

Obama Gets a Clue?

Featured image Back in late 1979 and early 1980, Jimmy Carter finally got a clue. To be sure, it took the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan—the first ever direct use of Soviet troops outside of its post WWII sphere of influence in Eastern Europe—to get Peanut-Brain to concentrate adequately. He announced the Carter Doctrine (declaring that any Soviet move toward the Persian Gulf would constitute an attack on U.S. vital interests), called for »

“Early signs of Russian intent”

Featured image That’s the front page headline of today’s Washington Post (paper edition). The story is about signs in August that Putin was mobilizing for a military offensive in Syria. Despite these signs, the Obama administration was “caught flat-footed” when the Russian offensive materialized two months later. In a larger sense, “Russian intent” has long been clear. Putin has said he consider the fall of Soviet power a geopolitical catastrophe. He wants »

What To Do About Middle Eastern Refugees?

Featured image Millions of people are streaming out of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Many are fleeing (or have fled, making an intermediate stop in Turkey) from ISIS, others from Assad. This refugee crisis has already roiled European politics, and some are advocating that the United States take in even more Middle Eastern refugees than we already are. What is missing from this picture? Michael Ramirez weighs in with his usual insight; click »

Trump talks Islamist terrorism with Hugh Hewitt, doesn’t distinguish himself

Featured image Donald Trump went on Hugh Hewitt’s show today. How did it go for Trump? It could have gone better. Hugh began by asking Trump whether he is familiar with General Soleiman. The following exchange ensued: DT: Yes, but go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me. HH: He runs the Quds Forces. DT: Yes, okay, right. HH: Do you expect his behavior… DT: The Kurds, by the way, »

John Kerry is “disturbed” that Iran remains Iran

Featured image Towards the end of the nuclear negotiations with Iran, the mullahs’ negotiators talked about the possibility of cooperating strategically with the U.S. on regional matters, in the event the sides reached a deal. Even “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei joined in, declaring that “if the other side avoids its ambiguity in the talks, it’ll be an experience showing it’s possible to negotiate with them on other issues.” This was an enticing »

A word from Jim DeMint

Featured image Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation, has written a good, concise opening statement of the case against the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. DeMint states: If allowed to stand, the Vienna agreement announced today will make the world a much more dangerous place. It completely fails to cut off Iran’s path to nuclear weaponry. Indeed, it moves the world one step closer to a regional nuclear arms race »

The Middle East prospect

Featured image The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Texas retreat took place last month in Dallas. I have posted videos of the presentations by Stanley Kurtz and Bret Stephens at the retreat. Other videos from the retreat are posted here. In the video below, Daniel Pipes presents a survey of the Middle East in the Age of Obama. It works as an excellent companion to Stephens’s presentation; Pipes provides a regional close-up following »

Will the U.S. and France deal Israel a double blow?

Featured image Shoshana Bryen, a long-time observer of the Middle East, senses danger to Israel arising from two areas of dispute between France and the U.S. The first area of disagreement involves the Iranian nuclear negotiations: The French government has expressed increasing concern that the emerging [nuclear] deal is flawed — perhaps fatally. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reportedly told the French Parliament, “France will not accept [a deal] if it is not »

Bin Laden had the book on Obama

Featured image Being on bin Laden’s bookshelf has become, in a way, the modern version of being on Richard Nixon’s enemies list. Bob Woodward gets a special award. He gained both distinctions, if that’s the right word. Politico contacted some of the authors in question for comment. Warning: Greg Palast’s response is nausea-inducing. What should we make of the bookshelf? Above all, it confirms that bin Laden was obsessed with the United »

Delusional White House Calls ISIS Strategy “A Success”

Featured image As I wrote on Monday, the administration’s policies on the Middle East are in a state of collapse. This is partly–but only partly–because ISIS is rampaging across Syria and Iraq. So on Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest was pressed on how the president’s campaign to “degrade and destroy” ISIS is going. Overall, Earnest said, the president’s strategy has been a success: Because the administration’s strategy has been successful “overall,” »

Obama’s Middle East Policy Is In a State of Collapse

Featured image You know it’s bad when even the Associated Press notices: “Rout In Ramadi Calls US Iraq Strategy Into Question.” The fall of Ramadi calls into question the Obama administration’s strategy in Iraq. Is there a Plan B? The current U.S. approach is a blend of retraining and rebuilding the Iraqi army, prodding Baghdad to reconcile with the nation’s Sunnis, and bombing Islamic State targets from the air without committing American »

“The IDF is worth it,” some Arabs agree

Featured image The Jerusalem Post reports that an Arab language Facebook page posted by an Israeli Arab citizen that paints the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in a positive light has attracted favorable feedback from Arab youths across the Middle East. The Facebook page, called “The IDF is worth it,” features praise for Israel and the its defense forces, along with anti-Hamas images. The site’s author is an IDF veteran. He says he »

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 »