Obama Foreign Policy

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 »

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: »