Obama Foreign Policy

For the Iranian regime, Obama’s the one

Featured image The Iranian regime has always had a pretty good handle on American politics. In 1979-81, it realized that Jimmy Carter was a pushover and that Ronald Reagan meant business. Hence the release of the American hostages immediately after Reagan took office. In 2003-04, the regime realized that George W. Bush meant business. Hence its apparent temporary backing off of its nuclear weapons development program. Soon thereafter, however, the regime saw »

Iranian fantasia

Featured image This past May the Times of Israel reported on a Persian-language animated video that depicts a nuclear attack on Israel. According to the Times of Israel article, the video is called “The Rachel Corrie Message 2: The Point of No Return” and it shows an Iranian reprisal for a failed Israeli nuclear attack on Iran. The Times of Israel article describes the video and provides some useful background. The wish »

Obama kisses Kim Jung Un’s ring

Featured image North Korea has released two American prisoners — Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller. I agree with Claudia Rosett that we should be glad for the two prisoner/hostages, but unhappy about the way their release was brought about. President Obama secured the release of Bae and Miller by sending James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, to North Korea. Clapper carried a message from President Obama to North Korean tyrant Kim Jong »

Still More Troops to Iraq?

Featured image As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, Nobel Peace Prize update: Obama Says More Troops to Iraq Possible. We’re told that the 1,500 additional troops sent last week are for “training” purposes.  What difference will training make at this point, if all the training of the last decade failed so miserably?  The problem isn’t training: it’s that large numbers of Iraqi troops dropped their weapons and ran at the first sight »

Obama brings second knife to gunfight

Featured image Yesterday, President Obama authorized the dispatch of 1,500 more troops to Iraq. They will join the 1,400 already there. U.S. troops will be authorized to go beyond Baghdad and Erbil, but they still will not be allowed to go into combat. Notwithstanding the dispatch of the additional troops, Obama’s response to ISIS remains woefully inadequate. Max Boot explains: Most credible estimates suggest that [Obama] will need to dispatch at least »

Iran and Israel, Compare and Contrast

Featured image As Scott noted earlier today, the Obama administration’s warm attitude toward Iran’s mullahs has been in the news. Its view of Israel, on the other hand, is much chillier. Last night, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave a talk in which he lauded Israel’s avoidance of civilian casualties during the recent Gaza conflict, and stated that the U.S. military has sent a team of experts »

How to understand Obama’s Iran diplomacy

Featured image I think the easiest way to understand Obama’s diplomacy is this. Assume that Obama believes Iran should have nuclear weapons and would like to facilitate the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program. This assumption is the Occam’s Razor that clarifies what might otherwise be obscure. The assumption may not be correct, but it should prove a handy guide to coming attractions. Obama bids against himself chasing after the mullahs. You can say »

Coach K on President O

Featured image Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke at the Association of the U.S. Army conference last month. According to the Daily Beast, he was critical of President Obama’s “no boots on the ground” approach to combatting ISIS. Coach K reportedly stated: I know it’s upsetting to many of you when hear ‘no boots on the ground.’ It upsets me too, because that’s like saying I’m not going to play two of »

Obama’s syrian proxies routed

Featured image The Free Syrian Army and Harakat Hazm were formed with the intention of fighting the Assad regime. President Obama hoped to convert them into forces that could help degrade ISIS. But over the weekend, both groups found themselves in combat against neither Assad nor ISIS. Instead, they fought Jabhat al-Nusra, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. It did not go well. Both groups were routed. Many fighters surrendered. Many more scattered. »

Garry Kasparov and the Obama Doctrine

Featured image Garry Kasparov is a former world chess champion, now a full-time pro-democracy activist, who is one of the chief thorns in the side of Vladimir Putin. Kasparov is appalled at the West’s lack of resolve to defend its interests and values. He is active on Twitter, where he identified the Obama Doctrine: The Obama Doctrine: "Do as little as necessary to appear to be doing something without actually committing to »

James Burnham on Obama

Featured image I’m deep into rereading the works of the great James Burnham in preparation for the fourth annual conference on November 14 of the very fine William F. Buckley Program at Yale University, which will be devoted chiefly to Burnham’s classic Suicide of the West. (Come if you can: details here). And in the last chapter of Suicide of the West, Burnham explains in just two sentences exactly why Obama’s foreign »

Obama’s Iranian fantasia

Featured image In a good column on Barack Obama’s nascent alliance of the United States with Iran, Free Beacon editor Matt Continetti reports: Deputy National Security Adviser and MFA in creative writing Ben Rhodes likened an Iranian nuclear deal to Obamacare in a talk to progressive activists last January, according to audio obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The remarks, made at a since-discontinued regular meeting of White House personnel and representatives »

Chickenshit coming home to roost

Featured image Let us recall Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s disquisition on American foreign policy in which he explicated the text of Malcolm X in his Nation of Islam phase: “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” It was Wright’s post 9/11 sermon. Thus spake Obama’s pastor (video here): “What Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true: America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” Wright expounded on »

Who’s a Chickenshit? Part Two

Featured image We have written here and here about the “senior Obama administration official” who called Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit” in an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. This is the full context: The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” this official »

A twisted administration

Featured image The twisted mentality of the Obama administration is prominently on display in Jeffrey Goldberg’s summary of his conversations with senior officials posted here. Anonymously describing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as “chickenshit,” one senior official serves up a pure case of projection, and another senior administration official seconds him (or her). It is as if Obama himself had dismissed someone as “arrogant,” or Joe Biden disparaged anyone as “stupid,” or John »

Who’s a Chickenshit?

Featured image In case you missed it, the Obama administration (a “senior administration official”) has gone on record calling Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.” Somehow, that seems like a poor–not to mention vulgar–turn of phrase. The Netanyahu family is not known for its “chickenshit” qualities. Let’s just say that in his youth, Benjamin did not belong to a “Choom Gang.” Mark Hemingway responds on Twitter: Sure, that chickenshit PM was IDF special forces, »

Iran has Obama’s number

Featured image There is something to offend just about everyone on the American political scene in the comments of senior Iranian presidential adviser and former intelligence minister Ali Younesi. The comments were offered for domestic political consumption to the official Iranian news agency. I think it is fair to say that Younesi et al. have Obama’s number. Younesi’s contempt for Obama shines through his comments and it is surely reflects the consensus »