Obama Foreign Policy

The ransom that dare not speak its name

Featured image Did the United States really owe the Islamic Republic of Iran $1.3 billion because of a previousl Iranian regime’s payment to us? Somehow I doubt it. The previous regme was a friend of the United States; the current one is a deathly enemy. Even if we owed it, there must be a loophole somewhere in the nature of a self-preservation exception. Did the $400 million cash payment the administration delivered »

Aleppo update

Featured image In early August, I wrote about the apparent break through by Syrian rebels in Aleppo. Before the war, Aleppo was Syria’s economic hub and a cultural treasure. Since 2012, it has been divided between regime forces and opposition fighters. It became the Syrian rebels’ last urban stronghold and, as such, the target of a siege by the Assad regime and Hezbollah forces supported, crucially, by Russian air power. A few »

Munich plus cash

Featured image It was just one week ago that the Wall Street Journal published the story by Jay Solomon and Carol Lee about the Obama administration sending Iran $400 million in cash while the Iranians released some American hostages, triggering criticism that the payment had been a ransom. The Obama administration has denied this characterization of the payment and President Obama has himself mocked it in his patented style. It turns out, »

On Iran, Israelis Say: Obama Is Wrong

Featured image Barack Obama desperately claims the Iran deal is working. Well, he is partly right: it is working for the mullahs, anyway. He tried to enlist Israel among his supporters, as the Associated Press reports: Obama said in remarks on Thursday that the Iran deal is working and that “it’s the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community … that acknowledges this has been a game-changer.” Heh. A game-changer perhaps, »

Obama’s ransom payment (6)

Featured image At his press conference yesterday, President Obama denied that we made a ransom payment to Iran, denied that the ransom payment was hidden and declined to respond to the question of the uses to which the ransom payment would be put (video below). Obama addressed the ransom payment for some seven minutes in his patented style, weaving in arrogance, condescension, disparagement and falsehood in roughly equal measure. Analyze this: “This »

Obama’s ransom payment (5)

Featured image Team Obama keeps denying that it paid a ransom to Iran, so we’ll keep demonstrating that it did. Hey, it’s easy blogging. The latest evidence comes from one of the hostages, who discloses that he and the others were kept in the airport overnight until the Iranians confirmed that the plane with Obama’s payment had arrived. Omri Ceren has emailed the details. He writes: To resolve the [dispute over whether »

Obama’s ransom payment (4)

Featured image The United States purchased $400 million of cash in European currencies from European central banks; the cash was purchased with American dollars. The United States then delivered the $400 million in cash to the Iranian regime in an unmarked cargo plane on the day that four Americans held by the Iranian regime were released. The transaction was kept secret from the American people. Among other things, the Obama administration sought »

Obama’s ransom payment (3)

Featured image The Obama administration’s denial that the $400 million cash payment to Iran — a payment that coincided to the day with the release of hostages — was a ransom would be hilarious, but for the fact that the money went to a regime whose motto is “death to America.” To my knowledge, the administration does not dispute the fact that without the payment, the hostages wouldn’t have been released. That’s »

Obama’s ransom payment (2)

Featured image In the adjacent post Paul Mirengoff extracts the key points from the page-one Wall Street Journal story by Jay Solomon and Carol Lee reporting the Obama administration’s covert cash payment of $400 million to our enemies in Iran as they released four Americans they had detained. Omri Ceren has also emailed a useful summary of key points. Despite the repetition, I thought readers might find it of interest. Omri writes: »

Obama’s ransom payment

Featured image The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Obama administration secretly airlifted $400 million in cash to Iran in January at the same time Tehran was releasing four jailed Americans. The Journal, citing U.S. and European officials and congressional sources, says that Team Obama procured the money from central banks in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Reportedly, it was stacked on wooden pallets and flown to Tehran in an unmarked cargo »

German Intelligence: Iran Seeking Nukes

Featured image The German domestic intelligence service says that Iran is making extensive and repeated efforts to obtain technology and materials needed for nuclear weapons, contrary to its longstanding assurances that its nuclear program is peaceful: The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said in an annual report it has detected extensive Iranian attempts to acquire illicit materials in Germany, “especially goods that can be used in the »

Obama doubles down on failed Russia and Syria policy

Featured image The list of President Obama’s foreign policy failures is long. Thanks in large part to Obama, Iran is rich (and still able to go nuclear at the time of its choosing); Libya is a failed state and significant base for ISIS; the butcher Assad remains in power, while ISIS controls wide swaths of territory in Syria; Russia’s influence in the Middle East and Eastern Europe hasn’t been stronger in decades; »

Brexit: The latest example of Obama’s cluelessness

Featured image President Obama and his foreign policy team are perpetually surprised by the world. The rise of ISIS, the fall of Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood leader who succeeded him, the chaos in Libya, Putin’s aggression, Netanyahu’s reelection — all of these key developments (and others) wrong-footed the president and his advisers. You might almost think they don’t understand the world at all. Brexit is the latest manifestation of Team Obama’s »

Total system failure

Featured image A redacted copy of the Navy’s official Report of the Investigation to Inquire into Incident in the Vicinity of Farsi Island Involving Two Riverine Command Boats (RCB802 and RCB805) on or About 12 January 2016 has been posted online. Interested readers may want to review it themselves. The report is dated February 28, 2016; I haven’t seen any explanation accounting for the delay in its release. Paul comments on the »

Annals of mewling idiocy

Featured image The Islamic Republic of Iran has taken its $100 billion non-signing bonus on the Iran deal. With the cash in hand, it will ramp up its nuclear program and fund terrorism without financial constraints. The murderous terorist group Hezbollah is a chief beneficiary of Iran’s largesse. As Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah explained late last week: “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it »

Iran’s nuke program confirmed

Featured image Omri Ceren writes to comment on Jay Solomon’s page-one Wall Street Journal article “Uranium provides new clue on Iran’s past nuclear arms work.” I thought that readers who have been following the story of our partnership with, and funding of, the Islamic Republic of Iran would appreciate this update, provided by Omri with the usual footnotes. Readers may recall Obama’s assertions at the time he announced the deal: “Because of »

Death by a thousand euphemisms

Featured image The phrase “death by a thousand cuts” is so concise and descriptive that I thought it must be Shakespearean, but it is a translation of the Chinese word “lingchi” (alternately transliterated ling chi or leng tech). The word is translated variously as death by a thousand cuts, the slow process, the lingering death, or slow slicing. It was a venerable form of torture and execution used in China from roughly »