Obama Foreign Policy

At the NRI Ideas Summit

Featured image Senator Tom Cotton was interviewed by John O’Sullivan at the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit this past Saturday morning. NR has posted the video here. I have embedded the video below. “You seem to me to be the exact opposite of a professional politician,” O’Sullivan says by way of introduction. The interview opens with the question of Iran and the Cotton letter. To quote Bob Dylan, “the wheel’s still »

What Does Iran Have In Common With the Baltimore Rioters?

Featured image President Obama told Congress to stand down with respect to Iran, and Baltimore’s mayor reportedly directed police to stand down with regard to the looters. Which inspired the great Michael Ramirez to produce this gem, depicting Iran as a rampaging rioter and President Obama running interference–holding off, I would say, both Congress and Israel. Click to enlarge: »

Zetetic with Zarif

Featured image Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif speaks on behalf of a regime that is an avowed enemy of the United States, one whose Supreme Leader regularly chants “Death to the United States.” It is a regime with the blood of many Americans on its hands. Yet here he is on stage at New York University, in conversation with the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, and speaking with great confidence that he has »

Tom Cotton, Vindicated, Takes On Zarif

Featured image Scott wrote earlier today about Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif’s insulting speech at New York University. While generally expressing contempt for the United States, Zarif dismissed Congress’s role in any agreement the Obama administration might forge with Iran: Zarif also took several shots at the U.S. Senate, just as it debated amendments to a bill designed to slow the lifting of sanctions against Iran and give Congress an oversight role »

Zarif zeroes in

Featured image Omri Ceren writes with an update on Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s appearance at NYU today with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. In his remarks Zarif took an early victory lap with respect to achievement of Iran’s goals in the arrangement in process with the Obama administration. Josh Rogin reports on Zarif’s remarks for Bloomberg here. To borrow from Mark Twain, we might say that Zarif speaks with the confidence of »

Mister, we could use a man like their Supreme Leader?

Featured image I have found Iranian reports concerning the (current) so-called Joint Plan of Action with Iran as well as the arrangement in process to be more reliable than those deriving from official sources in the Obama administration. This, however, is where I draw the line: Secretary of State John Kerry told his Iranian counterpart that he wished the United States had a leader more like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, according to »

Tide turns against Assad in Syria

Featured image The Assad regime has suffered a series of setbacks in its fight against rebel forces to the point that its ability to retain power appears to be in jeopardy, the Washington Post reports. Walter Russell Mead concurs. Both the Post and Mead cite Robert Ford, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria. He says “we may be seeing signs of the beginning of the end.” The most important signs are on »

Another Establishment Voice Slams Obama

Featured image Michael Mandelbaum of Johns Hopkins University is a certified member of the foreign policy establishment, and therefore no partisan conservative. He writes lucidly in the latest issue of The American Interest about the fundamental differences between arms control with the Soviet Union during the Cold War and with Iran today. Today’s arms talks with Iran are more significant than our talks with the Soviets, which is why Mandelbaum is dismayed with »

The Nork nuke angle

Featured image Omri Ceren promises a report on House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iran yesterday, with attention to the $50 billion signing bonus President Obama has in store for acquiring the signature of the Supreme Leader’s representatives on the arrangement in process with Iran. The $50 billion will come in handy as the Iranians finance their nuclear program and support their good works in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere in »

Obama’s “breakout time” shell game

Featured image Eli Lake shows that the Obama administration has been playing a shell game with the public when it comes to estimating Iran’s nuclear “breakout time.” Behind closed doors, the White House has long estimated that Iran is three months (at the most) from developing enough fissile material for a nuke. Until recently, however, Obama did not disclose this estimate. Instead, he stated publicly that it would take Iran at least »

A message (or two) from Iran

Featured image Yesterday’s New York Times published a column under the name of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif with the heading “A message from Iran.” It’s an interesting column with more than one message for the Times’s American audience. Noah Rothman admirably places the role of the Times as the servitor of the Iranian regime in context in “Favored venue for anti-American tyrants publishes a message from Iran.” He also takes a »

Brennan’s bromides

Featured image The Obama administration national security apparatus has to leave a knowledgeable man feeling a little queasy. You’ve got national security advisor Susan Rice, a knave or a fool with credibility somewhere south of zero. You’ve got assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for strategic communications Ben Rhodes. What is this man doing here? You’ve got Secretary of State John Kerry, the man whom Obama has entrusted to »

The Iran deal — treaty or not?

Featured image I have criticized the positive reaction to Corker-Menendez bill, arguing that the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority to have a deal like this approved, whereas under Corker-Menendez it takes effect unless there is a two-thirds majority against. However, the estimable Jack Goldsmith argues that the Constitution does not require President Obama to muster a two-thirds majority to approve an “international agreement,” which is how he characterizes Obama’s pending deal with »

The red line revisited (or not)

Featured image Four years ago President Obama declared that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had to go. As Assad held on, Obama elaborated on his thinking at a 2012 press conference in Stockholm, drawing his infamous red line: I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation. But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical. That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns »

Deal? What Deal?

Featured image Amid debates over whether the Obama administration’s “framework” agreement with Iran is a good deal or a bad deal, an even more basic question keeps arising: is there any deal at all? The agreement as announced by America’s State Department included a robust program of inspections. The New York Times, which greeted the framework enthusiastically as “a surprisingly specific and comprehensive understanding,” emphasized the importance of the inspections regime as »

Give Obama the Hook

Featured image I made the horrid mistake of channel-surfing to C-SPAN Senate coverage a couple days ago just in time to catch Sen. Babs “Don’t-Call-Me-Ma’am” Boxer bloviating about some public letter by “very smart people” backing up Obama’s Iran negotiations. Just then the batteries on my remote conked out, and I had to get up and walk over to the TV to change the channel, just like our great grandparents had to »

A signing bonus for Iran?

Featured image One gets the impression that President Obama would be open to throwing in a couple of nuclear devices of the Supreme Leader’s choice to be named later if only Iran will sign a nuclear agreement with him on the dotted line. Consider Omri Ceren’s latest email update: This Wall Street Journal article by Carol Lee and Jay Solomon went live yesterday [evening] just as everyone was going home, but it’s »