Obama Foreign Policy

Carlos Eire: The speech never given

Featured image Carlos Eire is professor of history at Yale and author of the National Book Award-winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy. At Babalú Blog, which is providing invaluable commentary on President Obama’s Cuban interlude, Professor Eire has posted the column below as “The speech never given, the op-ed never published.” Professor Eire provides a prefatory note indicating that he “offered the essay below to The »

Obama goes limp

Featured image Following their joint news conference this afternoon, Raul Castro grabbed President Obama’s arm and sought to raise it in a gesture of triumph against the backdrop of the Cuban and American flags. In response Obama let his wrist go limp. I take it that Obama was exploring the outer limits of his defiance of the Castro regime. It seems to represent another of the Obama administration’s great moments in diplomacy, »

Common ground with Castro

Featured image At his joint press conference with Raul Castro this afternoon, President Obama found common ground: “President Castro, I think, has pointed out that in his view making sure that everybody is getting a decent education or health care, has basic security and old age, that those things are human rights as well. I personally would not disagree with him. But it doesn’t detract from some of these other concerns. And »

Che chic, Obama edition

Featured image President Obama is proud of his visit to Cuba this week. He’s enjoying himself immensely. I bet he even enjoyed the group photo that captured him standing in front of a mural of Che Guevara in Havana this morning (below). My God. pic.twitter.com/rZYgnTi3dh — Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) March 21, 2016 As Jay Nordlinger has never tired of reminding the ignorant, this was Che: He was an Argentinian revolutionary who served »

Quotations from Chairman Barry

Featured image I still have my old copy of Quotations From Chairman LBJ. The book was inspired by Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (“the little red book”). Compiled by Jack Shepherd and Christopher Wren and published by Simon and Schuster in the annus horribilis of 1968, the book consisted of supposedly laughable quotes attributable to President Johnson. It was popular enough to go through multiple printings. My copy derives from the third »

Move over Che, indeed

Featured image AFP has published the photo featuring the poster of Presidents Obama and Castro in central Havana yesterday, characterizing the photo as “a revolutionary change to the portraits of Che Guevara and other communist leader plastered around Cuba.” The accompanying AFP story carries the headline “Move over Che: Obama’s the new poster in town.” Someone observed this week (I think, and I’m sorry I don’t recall who) that the United States »

The Clueless Presidency

Featured image If you cast your mind back to 1979 or so, one of the signs that Jimmy Carter was washed up was a long cover story in The Atlantic by James Fallows, who had been one of Carter’s speechwriters, called “The Passionless Presidency.” “[T]here was a mystery to be explained about Jimmy Carter,” Fallows wrote, “the contrast between the promise and popularity of his first months in office and the disappointment »

Obama’s CIA Director Is Opposed to Spying

Featured image Unbelievable, but true: President Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan, doesn’t think the agency should engage in spying. He finds espionage unsavory, apparently. John Sipher, a former member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service and a recipient of the agency’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, explains: In what was otherwise a thoughtful interview with National Public Radio last week, CIA Director John Brennan expressed his personal view that the CIA should be »

Hillary Clinton: Another Enemy of Israel

Featured image Caroline Glick is, in my opinion, the most astute commentator on events in Israel and the surrounding region. In yesterday’s column, she assessed Hillary Clinton as a possible successor to Barack Obama: Whether or not Obama’s anti-Israel policies will survive his tenure in office depends on who succeeds him. If Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is elected to serve as the next president, there is no question that they will survive »

Iran shows us the money

Featured image One thing George W. Bush got right: the Islamic Republic of Iran is an evil regime. It seems an elementary point. It seems obvious. The regime is responsible for the murder and disfigurement of many Americans. It is the proud supporter of terrorist organizations including but not limited to Hamas and Hezbollah. It is itself a tyrannical, murderous, terrorist regime. Yet President Obama is operating on a theory of international »

Kerry not saying

Featured image Omri Ceren summarizes recent developments involving Iran’s use of the cash kindly released to the regime by the Obama administration under the JCPOA. As always, Omri provides alphabetized footnotes to his summary. Omri writes: The context is the recent Iranian announcement that they intend to purchase Sukhoi-30 warplanes from Russia. According to UNSCR 2231 that sale has to go through the Security Council, which means the U.S. can veto it. »

The way the world should work

Featured image At a Senate subcommittee hearing yesterday Senator Mark Kirk questions Secretary Kerry yesterday regarding Ibrahim al Oosi, a terrorist released released by the Obama administration from the detention facility at Guantanamo who has since returned to work for al Qaeda. Kirk asked Kerry for his thoughts on Ibrahim al Qosi while a staffer held up a picture of al Qosi to jog Kerry’s memory (video below). Kirk expressed the fond »

The ambassador from hell

Featured image Samantha Power is President Obama’s handpicked ambassador of the United States to the United Nations. She made her name as the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. The book decries the indifference of American foreign policy to modern mass murder up to and including the monstrosities committed in Kosovo and Rwanda and so on. I thought that Power’s book failed »

An axis of three or four?

Featured image Ryan Crocker was the U.S. ambassador to Iraq during the surge of 2007. Crocker’s diplomacy played a substantial role in the success of the surge. Only the president who ordered it and general who conceived and carried at out deserve more credit, in my opinion. A few days ago, Crocker spoke to a group at the Atlantic Council. C-SPAN covered the event. Crocker said that during his recent visit to »

For Obama, trash talk is cheap

Featured image Given the number of times Vladimir Putin has rubbed President Obama’s face in it, one shouldn’t be surprised to see Obama talk trash about the Russia strong man. Today, at his press conference, the president claimed to have gotten the better of Putin in Syria — adding, with equal doses of condescension and chutzpah, that he takes no pleasure in it. According to Obama, Putin now finds himself in a »

Does the “cessation of hostilities” in Syria provide Russia a win-win?

Featured image The U.S. and Russia have agreed to a “cessation of hostilities” Syria. The cessation won’t begin for about a week, but there supposedly will be immediate humanitarian access to desperately besieged areas of Syria. Before discussing this agreement, it’s worth looking at the current humanitarian, military, and political disaster in Syria, and to ask how it came about. The disaster currently is most clearly manifested in Aleppo, an ancient city »

The crying game

Featured image We still don’t know what really happened when the Iranians took two riverine Navy boats into their custody last month. We know that the boats were said to have been traveling from Bahrain to Kuwait when they lost their way, but some have their doubts about that. FOX News recalls the background here if you need a refresher. We know that the Iranians humiliated the sailors by disseminating images of »