Middle East

Obama’s Iran bail out promotes Sunni-Shiite violence

Featured image The Washington Post notices that President Obama’s deal with Iran has been followed by an “uptick” in violence between Sunni and Shiite in the Middle East. The uptick is not a coincidence. It almost surely is the product of the shift in U.S. policy towards Iran, including but not limited to the “bail out” features of the deal, that Obama has wrought: As Sunni Arabs push back against a reordering »

A Day In the Life, In Jerusalem

Featured image One of the problems that many Israeli Jews deal with on a daily basis is Arab terrorists who throw rocks at their cars, hoping to injure or kill the occupants. That is not unheard of; American liberals have been known to do it, too. For example, during the 2008 Republican convention in St. Paul, liberal protesters dropped cement blocks off highway overpasses onto random cars driving below. But that was »

Why did France say “non”?

Featured image It fell to France to nix the terrible deal that John Kerry worked out with Iran — a deal that would have signaled the demise of sanctions without setting back the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons. But why did France pull the trigger? Upon hearing the news, I said that France’s veto stemmed mainly from “a robust sense of reality [about] the Middle East,” something that the Obama administration doesn’t »

Middle East “peace” talks: more of a joke than ever

Featured image How will President Obama’s willingness — over the strong objections of Israel — to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for virtually nothing affect his administration’s ability to broker a “peace” agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority? The question should answer itself. Given the disregard for Israel’s interest displayed by Obama and John Kerry last week, Israel clearly cannot trust this administration to make good on the promises that »

Is Obama Making a Middle East War More Likely?

Featured image Short answer: Yes.  Not just by its neglect of the region, hostility to Israel, and fecklessness about Syria and Egypt.  Its active overtures to Iran are likely increasing the chances of a Middle Eastern war, and this may be one reason why Saudi Arabia recently took the extraordinary step of declining a long-sought seat on the UN Security Council as a way of signaling publicly its disgust with Obama. These »

Will China Save the Middle East? (With comment by Paul)

Featured image Through the post-war era, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has been the guarantor of something approximating peace in the Middle East. The U.S. accepted that role largely because of its need for Middle Eastern oil imports. But times have changed: domestic energy development, especially fracking technology, unleashed on private lands beyond the reach of the Democratic Party’s Luddites, is rapidly turning the United »

The wages of Obama’s foreign policy indifference

Featured image Last month, relying mainly on the work of Jessica Lewis of the Institute for the Study of War, I wrote about the resurgence of al Qaeda in Iraq. Today, the Washington Post, in a front page story that quotes Lewis extensively, describes the same phenomenon: Nearly two years after the U.S. troop withdrawal, Iraq is in the midst of a deepening security crisis as an al-Qaeda affiliate wages a relentless »

Obama’s Middle East abdication

Featured image David Ignatius shows how Obama administration policy towards Libya fits a familiar pattern of unwillingness to support anti-jihadist forces and governments in the Middle East: For a case study of why America’s influence has receded in the Middle East, consider the example of Libya. Some simple steps over the past two years might have limited the country’s descent toward anarchy. . . . When Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan visited »

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 »

Conservative internationalism

Featured image Henry Nau, writing in the September 30 issue of National Review, calls for “conservative internationalism,” which he describes as “a strategy whereby [the United States] stays engaged in the world and accepts smaller costs in the short run to avoid much greater costs in the long run.” Nau’s strategy involves four key tenets: First, “spread freedom in a way that is disciplined by priorities.” This means, among other things, focusing »

Obama is a symptom, not the cause, of America’s loss of credibility

Featured image Those of us who favored military action against the Assad regime are naturally disappointed by the apparent resolution of the matter of Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Assad will not be punished for using these weapons to kill more than 1,000 Syrians. And his stock of chemical weapons is unlikely to be diminished significantly, if at all. Furthermore, the momentum of the Syrian civil war, currently running in favor of »

Bill Otis’ case for attacking Syria

Featured image To paraphrase the old joke that Steve Hayward invoked the other day, some of my friends are for attacking Syria; most of friends are against it; and I stand with some of my friends. Bill Otis, a great friend, is for attacking Syria. He explains: I started off being in favor of hitting Syria, and am still there, but have great reservations, set out by, among others, Charles Krauthammer and »

The French Foreign Minister’s Epic Cluelessness

Featured image We have had fun at the expense of John Kerry, who only aspires to be a Frenchman. It turns out that the real article–in this case, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius–can match Kerry’s myopia. Agence France-Presse reports: A successful outcome to the US-brokered negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would be like a “thunderbolt” for peace in the crisis-ridden Middle East, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Saturday. “Even if we »

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 »

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 »

Kerry’s middle east lark puts Israeli lives at risk

Featured image No good can come from John Kerry’s push for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In all likelihood, the negotiations will produce no deal. In any event, they will produce no real peace. But Kerry’s lark has already produced harm. To keep Kerry’s peace fantasy alive, and thus curry his favor, Israel has agreed to release 104 Palestinian terrorists. According to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the release will be carried out »

Democracy in action

Featured image Throughout the Middle East, nations and factions are picking sides in the Syrian civil war. But, as the Washington Post reports, Iraq is maintaining its neutrality. Iraq does so even though its president, Nouri al-Maliki, is a Shiite with close past ties to Iran — a major player in Syria. Moreover, as conflicts between Sunni and Shiite increasingly define the region as a whole, not just Syria, Maliki is making »