Obama Foreign Policy

More Contempt For the U.S.: Does Anyone Care?

Featured image Barack Obama is the weakest president since James Buchanan, when it comes to defending American interests. So our enemies, knowing his time in office is drawing to a close, waste no opportunity to demonstrate their contempt for him, and for us. Today a Russian fighter jet came within 10 feet of an American aircraft over the Black Sea: Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said the potentially dangerous incident, involving a Russian »

For the mullahs, nothing but cash

Featured image Omri Ceren writes to update us on today’s Wall Street Journal story by Jay Solomon and Carol Lee (accessible here via Google) that the $1.7 billion paid to the Islamic Republic of Iran was all cash. Omri writes with his usual footnotes: In January the White House revealed it was transferring Iran $1.7 billion while Iran released some US hostages. Officials denied those were linked, but then the WSJ revealed »

Good grief, John Kerry

Featured image President Obama has become a laughingstock in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and wherever else serious people are paying attention. But it is John Kerry, one suspects, who draws the biggest guffaws. Consider the Syria deal Kerry, with White House approval, presented to Russia in July. According to the Washington Post the proposal was this: the U.S. would share intelligence and coordinate its bombing of terrorists targets with Russia and Russia would »

Disrespecting Obama

Featured image Scott and Paul have already commented on the Chinese leaders’ calculated insults to Barack Obama when he landed in China for the G20 conference. But the hostility toward our president didn’t stop there. One of Obama’s priorities for the G20 meeting was to negotiate a joint effort in Syria with Vladimir Putin. So far, at least, that hasn’t happened. The main news about their meeting is the “death stare” that »

Why wouldn’t China insult Obama?

Featured image Scott has described the reception President Obama received when he arrived in China. It was, as the New York Times acknowledged, “bruising even by Chinese standards.” It was also unsurprising, Susan Rice’s statement that “they did things that weren’t anticipated” notwithstanding. Obama has earned China’s contempt. The administration’s “pivot to Asia” was not, objectively, terribly meaningful. But to the extent it had meaning, the Chinese reasonably perceived it as an »

Obama makes last gasp effort to gin up positive foreign policy legacy

Featured image At the beginning of his first term, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton announced a foreign policy “pivot” to Asia. Unfortunately, events refused to pivot with Obama and Clinton. Like the oceans that declined to recede, the big events stubbornly remained were they were — in the Middle East, as every intelligent analyst expected they would. Civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS, Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons »

Analyze this

Featured image The Obama administration’s multifarious accommodations of the Islamic Republic of Iran are an evil that we will be living with for some time to come. Omri Ceren writes with his usual footnotes to explicate the administration’s nonresponse to revelations regarding the regime’s installation of the Russian anti-aircraft system to protect the supposedly pacified nuclear facility at Fordow (emphasis in original). This is an important issue and I thought some readers »

Unsafe in the Gulf

Featured image The Obama administration has declined to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, though it has richly earned such recognition. President Obama doesn’t want to do anything to alienate his putative friends in Islamic Republic of Iran. His putative friends, however, continue to harass American forces in the Gulf and to take actions that humiliate the United States. As his putative friends express their contempt for him, President Obama »

More Iran dividends

Featured image AFP reports that the Islamic Republic of Iran has deployed the Russian made S-300 missile system to protect its underground nuclear facility at Fordow. The Obama administration has expressed its “concern” for public consumption, but it’s an Obama threefer. Russia flaunts its contempt for Obama; the mullahs put American ransom money to work protecting the nukes they will acquire when they choose as they advance their program under the umbrella »

Secrets of the Iran ransom (2)

Featured image Following up on Andy McCarthy’s NRO column on the $1.31 billion in ransom payments to Iran (apart from the $400 million in cash) and on my related post, a reader with background in federal law enforcement writes: I saw your post regarding the suspicious transactions totaling $1.31 billion to Iran and thought I could explain part of it but with more questions. The reason for the 13 structured payments is »

Secrets of the Iran ransom

Featured image At the New York Sun last week, Claudia Rosett tentatively reported the mechanics of the Obama administration’s payment of the $1.3 billion tranche of the ransom to Iran. She discovered what Andy McCarthy calls “a bizarre string” of 13 identical money transfers of $99,999,999.99 each — all of them one cent less than $100 million — paid out of an obscure Treasury Department stash known as the “Judgment Fund.” In »

Turkey moves against our Kurdish allies; U.S. sides with Turks

Featured image This past week, Turkey entered the fight in Syria against ISIS to much ballyhoo from the mainstream media. But according to Christoper Caldwell, who quotes the German weekly Der Spiegel, “ISIS is a pretext, the Kurds are the target.” Says Caldwell, Turkey’s strategic objective is not to “crush” ISIS. It is to crush the most effective part of the anti-ISIS coalition: the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection »

Obama’s Iran Policy Continues to Pay Dividends

Featured image From the first days of his administration, Barack Obama has sought to promote an alliance of sorts between the U.S. and Iran’s mullahs, and to build Iran up as a regional power. It is not hard to imagine what the Iranians thought of Obama’s repeated overtures. You might think the mullahs would show some gratitude for the $100 billion (or whatever the amount has turned out to be) that the »

Why Obama turned his back on the “green revolution” in Iran

Featured image Most readers, I’m pretty sure, recall that in the summer of 2009, after the dubious election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranians began an uprising. They hoped for support of some kind from the United States. That that support didn’t come. Instead, as Eli Lake reminds us, President Obama publicly downplayed the prospect of real change, saying that the candidates whom hundreds of thousands of Iranians were risking their lives to support »

Obama administration: Iran cash payment depended on prisoner release

Featured image Yesterday, the Obama administration finally admitted that its $400 million cash payment to Iran was contingent on the release of a group of American prisoners. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. withheld the delivery of the cash as “leverage” until Iran permitted the Americans to leave the country. There was also this exchange: In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until »

The ransom that dare not speak its name

Featured image Did the United States really owe the Islamic Republic of Iran $1.7 billion because of a previousl Iranian regime’s payment of $400 million 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 »

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 »