Obama Foreign Policy

Samantha Power Dives Deep…Into Incoherence [Updated]

Featured image Yesterday U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power delivered the Daniel Pearl Lecture at UCLA and met with Pearl’s parents. Afterward, she unburdened herself of this tweet: Daniel Pearl's story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence. @DanielPearlFNDN — Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) February 24, 2014 I saw this on Twitter late last night and pondered it for a while. What is it supposed to mean? I »

Garry Kasparov, Prophet

Featured image Garry Kasparov, formerly the world chess champion, is now a full-time campaigner for democracy and liberalization in Russia. He has been one of Vladimir Putin’s principal political opponents. Twitchy has a remarkable series of tweets by Kasparov about Syria and Ukraine, beginning in 2013 and continuing to the present. Kasparov emerges as something of a prophet. Here are some of his tweets: Good point! When has Obama ever tried to »

Obama enters new Iranian talks with one hand gladly tied behind his back

Featured image The latest round of negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program began yesterday. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated what has always been clear: “Dismantling [the] nuclear program is not on the agenda.” What, then, is? As the Washington Post reports, the West seeks only “to prevent Iran from quickly converting its nuclear program to weapons production or from hiding a parallel program.” (emphasis added) This probably means “a demand that »

A ring of fire in Kiev

Featured image The New York Times reports that the antigovernment protests in Kiev culminated dramatically last night in a ring of fire around their encampment in Independence Square. Here is the top of the story filed by Andrew Higgins and Andrew Kramer from the scene: With hundreds of riot police officers advancing from all sides after a day of deadly mayhem here in the Ukrainian capital, antigovernment protesters mounted a final desperate »

Iran Nuclear Agreement? What Agreement?

Featured image In November, negotiators for Iran and the U.S., along with other Western powers, announced that they had agreed on a framework for an agreement to slow or even roll back Iran’s nuclear weapons development program, in exchange for an easing of sanctions. The deal was hailed by the usual suspects, like the New York Times editorial board: The interim nuclear deal between Iran and the major powers is an important »

John Kerry, Slow Learner

Featured image We are ganging up on John Kerry this morning. Here’s the thing–Kerry has a number of problems, but the most basic is that he isn’t very bright. He doesn’t have a high enough IQ for difficult work. As a senator, he hid his incapacity by ignoring virtually all of his job duties. As Secretary of State, his ineptitude–one might say shocking ineptitude, if this were not the Obama administration–is being »

Jakarta japes

Featured image For those who lack a rooting interest in the United States, American foreign policy has become a joke. We are fools who appear to lack the most elementary ability to distinguish friend from enemy. Functionally speaking, we’ve gone over to the other side — “the other side” being the side of our enemies. Those who wish us ill — both at home and abroad — have a friend in John »

Obama delivers the foreign policy America deserves

Featured image Walter Russell Mead surveys the wreckage of President Obama’s foreign policy and wonders whether there will be a late course correction: Jimmy Carter (a man whose basic foreign policy instincts are very close to President Obama’s) had a sudden moment of clarity when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. As his defenders correctly point out, the decisions he made in the last 18 months of his presidency prepared the way for »

Syrian talks end in failure; Obama has no Plan B

Featured image The farcical Syrian peace talks have apparently come to an end. The talks were never going to produce peace unless Russia pressured Assad into giving up or sharing power. And Russia was never going to pressure Assad into giving up or sharing power because he is Russia’s ally and is winning the civil war. Indeed, Russia recently blocked a U.N. resolution to bring aid to desperate Syrian civilians. The Obama »

Obama policy move boosts economy

Featured image President Obama has done little, if anything, positive for the U.S. economy. Growth has been anemic, about half of what economists (including his own) expected from the recovery. The jobs situation remains fairly grim. Debt continues to balloon. But Obama has helped boost another economy — Iran’s. An IMF report notes the progress the Iranian economy has made since Obama reached his deal with the mullahs to lift economic sanctions »

Contain this

Featured image Writing as “Mr. X,” George Kennan promulgated the doctrine of containment of the Soviet Union in his famous 1947 Foreign Affairs article “The sources of Soviet conduct.” Kennan’s conclusion was that “the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” The State Department Office of the Historian explains: “Containment provided a »

Occam’s razor applied to the Iran deal

Featured image At Mosaic, Michael Doran infers the Obama administration’s intentions regarding Iran’s nuclear program from the obvious consequences of the administration’s actions. I think it’s the only approach that makes sense. In honor of one of Obama’s quotable quotes, Doran’s column is titled “I don’t bluff.” The title/quote by itself is a valuable reminder of how Obama has flooded the zone with BS here as elsewhere. In order to make the »

John Kerry trumpets the economic boycott of Israel

Featured image It’s ironic that John Kerry is spending so much energy trying to upset the status quo in Israel/Palestine, given that the status quo there is preferable to that in almost every other country in the region. As Tom Wilson points out, most Palestinians don’t live under “occupation”; they live in areas controlled and governed by the Palestinian Authority — a mixed blessing, to be sure. Meanwhile, Israel enjoys relative peace »

Assessing Iran

Featured image Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress this week. At Commentary, Tom Wilson takes up Clapper’s testimony on Iran’s nuclear program: In yesterday’s State of the Union address President Obama spoke stridently of how “American diplomacy … has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program—and rolled back parts of that program.” The president spoke with apparent pride of the “peaceful” efforts being taken to prevent Iran from gaining »

Cone of Silence revisited

Featured image The nuts and bolts of the Joint Plan of Action that we have entered into with Iran are spelled out in a mysterious “nonpaper” (I’m withholding judgment until I can see it, but spellcheck disapproves it). Incidentally, we only know about the nonpaper because Iranian officials have touted it. If you want to understand the JPOA and related matters, you have to attend to their sayings. On this subject, they »

Obama’s magical thinking about Iran

Featured image In 1998, George F. Kennan wrote: On the foreign policy front . . . I find myself 
wondering why we cannot regard another country, in this case Iran, 
as just that, as one more country which we would regard as neither friend nor foe, with whom we are prepared to deal on a day-to-day basis, neither idealizing it nor running it down, keeping to ourselves (here, of course, I am speaking about »

How many schmucks does it take to defend DWS?

Featured image Debbie Wasserman Schultz is known more aptly to consumers of the Excellence in Broadcasting Network as Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz. Schultz has really come into her own as a blabbermouth in connection with her work as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, but there is one subject on which the cat has got her tongue. That is her behind-the-scenes opposition to Iran sanctions in Washington despite the fact that she represents »