Obama Foreign Policy

Questions that perplex Biden

Featured image Following up on the adjacent post, I want to note that Vice President Biden keynoted the Saban Forum conference in Washington this past Sunday afternoon. The Saban Forum is an annual event including American and Israeli leaders from across the political and social spectrum, organized by Haim Saban and the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. The White House has posted the text of Biden’s remarks here. »

Iran caught cheating

Featured image Yesterday morning the Israel Project’s Omri Ceren wrote us to point out Colum Lynch’s Foreign Policy scoop: The Iranians got caught trying to buy parts for their plutonium-producing reactor at Arak. “Remember that when the Iranians cheat,” Omri wrote, “they have two goals in mind.” He elaborated: (1) Most obviously, cheating advances their nuclear program. (2) More subtly, cheating shifts the leverage in negotiations to the Iranian side. #1 is »

U.S. Sanctions against Iran? What’s that about?

Featured image As John has noted, the Obama administration is contemplating the imposition of sanctions on Israel as a response to new settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. So says Haaretz, a reliable Israeli source. When asked about this report, White House press secretary Josh Ernest did not deny it. Neither did the State Department’s spokesperson Marie Harf. At a minimum, then, President Obama wants Israel to believe that »

Obama Reportedly Considering Sanctions Against Israel

Featured image Russia is gobbling up much of Ukraine. China is putting growing pressure on its neighbors in East Asia. ISIS is chopping the heads off Americans. Syria’s government continues to slaughter thousands of its citizens. Iran is working feverishly on a bomb and running circles around our negotiators. Boko Haram is wreaking havoc in Nigeria. Hamas is raining rockets and missiles down on its neighbors. And the Obama administration reportedly is »

Meanwhile, in Eastern Ukraine . . .

Featured image You don’t see much in the news any more about Eastern Ukraine. Nor is there any indication that President Obama is thinking about the situation there. The “cease fire” that Russia, in essence, imposed provides enough of a fig leaf for the world to avert its gaze. However, as Ukrainian journalist Nikoay Vorobiov inconveniently informs us, the “cease fire” hasn’t stopped the fighting. Speaking yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, Vorobiov, »

Who’s sad?

Featured image President Obama went shopping yesterday for books with this daughters at the Politics & Prose Bookstore near the White House. The New York Post reports that Obama took a look at Chuck Todd’s new book about Obama, Stranger in the White House. According to the Post, Obama jokingly called Todd “sad.” Was this a rare instance in which Obama publicly lurched into the truth? NBC reports that Obama was referring »

Clearing my spindle, Iran edition

Featured image I take it that the mullahs who run the show in Iran have been pursuing nuclear warheads to hitch to ballistic missiles for about as long as the regime as been in business. They have sacrificed much in pursuit of their goals and they are within shouting distance of success, mostly minus whatever sacrifice imposed by the sanctions crafted by Congress against the will of the Obama administration. Watching the »

Do sanctions against Iran matter?

Featured image Daniel Pipes argues that the debate over sanctions against Iran, and thus over the P5+1 negotiations, is “peripheral and even diversionary.” He reasons that “the apocalyptically minded Iranian leadership will do everything it can to acquire the Bomb,” and therefore “economic sanctions only serve to slow its course, not to stop” the Iranian nuclear weapons program. For Pipes, all that really matters is whether some government will use force to »

Erdogan Unbound

Featured image Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a speech in Istanbul yesterday that included a crazed denunciation of the West: “The only condition to overcome the crisis in the Islamic world is unity, solidarity and alliance,” he said. “Believe me, we can resolve every problem as long as we are united.” Erdogan says there is no use counting on help from the Western world. “I speak openly, foreigners love oil, gold, »

U.S. air support minimal as ISIS pushes deep into Ramadi

Featured image ISIS has intensified its push to capture Ramadi, a city of nearly half a million people and the capital of Anbar province: Islamic State fighters on Tuesday penetrated to the core of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Iraq’s largest province, prompting local security officials to warn that the city was on the verge of falling to the extremists. Such a gain would be the Islamic State’s most significant victory in »

Iran’s win-win

Featured image The deadline for reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program expires today without the parties having reached a negotiated agreement. The negotiating period will be extended until July 1 of next year. This development is being reported as “no deal,” but there actually is a deal of sorts here. According to the British foreign secretary, Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, »

U.S. to maintain Afghan combat role through 2015, but why?

Featured image President Obama has decided to authorize an active combat role for the U.S. military in Afghanistan for another year. This is a reversal. In May, Obama said that the American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that missions for the troops remaining there would be limited to training Afghan forces and hunting the “remnants of Al Qaeda.” However, now, as the New York Times reports, »

Obama Disses Another Ally

Featured image Lost in the shuffle of Obama’s immigration diktat and his sham of a farce of a travesty of a climate agreement with China was his speech about climate change in Canberra, Australia, where Obama went out of his way to insult Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.  Apparently our embassy personnel in Canberra advised Obama against this course, but naturally Obama knows better. Australian newspaper columnist Greg Sheridan reports on the »

They’ve got a secret

Featured image The latest report from the nuclear negotiations with Iran indicates that they are likely to be extended. The deadline is Monday and “big gaps” remain, despite the Western powers’ strenuous efforts to surrender. Omri Ceren emails a status update suggesting that the negotiations have descended into a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. Omri’s message expands on »

No, Obama is not culpable for the Jerusalem Synagogue Attack

Featured image Our “picks” section today featurs an article by Jeff Dunetz claiming that President helped incite Tuesday’s deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. It’s a provacative piece worthy of your attention. I disagree, however, with the view that Obama helped incite the attack or is otherwise culpable for it. Obama has not, of course, advcoated that Palestinians attack Israeli Jews. Moreover, Obama hasn’t said anything that rationally justifies attacks. Dunetz focuses »

What happens if we dont reach a nuclear deal with Iran?

Featured image If, as seems likely given that the mullahs have already gotten so much of what they want from the West, no nuclear deal is reached with Iran by the upcoming deadline, what happens then? Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies considered the question in a column for the Wall Street Journal. They discuss five scenarios. First, the U.S. might give up on diplomacy »

The odds are against a nuclear deal with Iran, thankfully

Featured image The Washington Post reports that, as the “deadline” for a nuclear deal with Iran approaches, there is major doubt about whether such a deal can be reached. Michael Ledeen shares that doubt. Michael reasons that, although Obama wants a deal for the usual, narcissistic reasons, “Supreme Leader” Khamenei does not want one. Iran’s economy is doing well enough now that sanctions regime has started to crumble. Why come to terms »