Syria

The Syria Coalition’s frustration with Obama boils over

Featured image The Syria Coalition — the non-jihadist Syrian rebels whose requests for help President Obama has largely blown off for years — has issued a statement ascribing “much of the responsibility” for James Foley’s execution to the United States for “not react[ing] to the Assad regime’s repeated crossing of the red lines it had drawn and warned against crossing.” You can read the reasoning here. How fair is the Syria Coalition’s »

A Hawkish Rick Perry addresses the Heritage Foundation

Featured image Gov. Rick Perry stopped off in Washington today, on his way to New Hampshire, to give a speech at the Heritage Foundation. His address came at the conclusion of a panel discussion (which Perry did not participate in) called “The Border Crisis and the New Politics of Immigration.” Perry talked for a while about immigration but, exercising potential presidential candidate’s prerogative, his speech focused primarily on a different topic — »

Inside the Islamic State

Featured image In a recent column Jonah Goldberg mentioned VICE TV’s reports from Islamic State-controlled parts of Syria. Jonah encouraged readers to view the reports and commented that “you will quickly see how the word ‘criminal’ is morally, logically and strategically inadequate. They indoctrinate children to become jihadists and suicide bombers. They vow to fly their black flag over the White House.” VICE News has posted the full video of of its »

Obama fails the Norman Mailer test [UPDATED]

Featured image After reviewing a transcript of President Nixon’s secret tapes, Norman Mailer commented in The New Yorker, “He lacks the simple New York smart to keep the obscenities in. . . We still do not know if he even swears well.” As for President Obama, we now know that he doesn’t: Just before the Congressional recess, President Obama invited over a dozen Senate and House leaders from both parties to the »

The ISIS-Assad alliance

Featured image My last post about ISIS contained this passage from a report by John Rogin: “ISIS and the regime are working together [Der al Zour], and ISIS controls the suburbs without any fear of attacks from the Syrian Arab Army.” The reported collaboration cuts against the conventional narrative in Syria. ISIS has been considered the sworn enemy of Assad — indeed, his most radical opponent. But ISIS and the regime have »

Obama continues to give ISIS a free pass

Featured image The success of ISIS in Iraq has finally received the attention of the Obama administration. But ISIS is also making major inroads in Syria, where Team Obama continues to ignore warnings of its progress. Josh Rogin reports: Three weeks ago, a group of leaders from the opposition Free Syrian Army warned U.S. officials that a strategic city along the Iraqi border was about to fall to ISIS. It was the »

Obama successes in the Middle East? The Washington Post can’t find them

Featured image I have been searching, so far in vain, for Obama foreign policy success stories in the Middle East. The Washington Post’s editors fare no better in their search: In Syria, where for three years Mr. Obama has assiduously avoided meaningful engagement, civil war has given rise to “the most catastrophic humanitarian crisis any of us have seen in a generation,” Mr. Obama’s United Nations ambassador Samantha Power said in February. »

Let’s make a deal — Hezbollah edition

Featured image The Obama administration is mighty impressed with itself for having proved it can make a deal with the Taliban. Now, it would like to make one with Hezbollah. John Kerry said last week that the Lebanon-based terrorist outfit could have a role to play, alongside Russia and Iran, in bringing about a “legitimate” political solution in Syria. The sky is the limit in these heady days of diplomacy, Obama style. »

Obama foreign policy successes? Not Syria

Featured image We continue our look at Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East (see here for Egypt and here for Libya) with a discussion of Syria. Actually, it requires no discussion to conclude that Syria is no Obama foreign policy success story. The results say it all. Victory for not just Assad but his backers, Iran and Hezbollah. The rise of al Qaeda and other jihadist outfits in portions of the »

In Syria, Tehran declares victory

Featured image Researching and writing about the interim nuclear agreement with Iran, I have found Iranian authorities to be a more reliable guide than the Obama administration. I may be overstating the phenomenon, but if so, not by much. The same applies to events in Syria, as reported by Simon Tisdall in Britain’s Guardian: Iran and its close ally President Bashar al-Assad have won the war in Syria, and the US-orchestrated campaign »

The Enemy of My Enemy. . .

Featured image When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the life-long bitter foe of Communism Winston Churchill got on the phone right away to Joseph Stalin, and, while never forgetting what Stalin was, offered Britain’s help in staving off Germany.  A few days later Churchill said that he “would unsay none of his criticisms” of Communism, but that if Hitler invaded Hell, he would at least make a favorable reference »

How did the German stock market do under Hitler?

Featured image Who knows? Who cares? I doubt that Hitler did, at least not to the point that stock prices affected his foreign and military policy. And if ordinary Germans cared, it didn’t matter. The Obama administration touts a recent drop in the Russian stock market (which, by the way, began before the U.S. imposed sanctions). For example, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken notes that Russia’s financial markets are »

Soft, boring Power

Featured image This article about Samantha Power by Manuel Roig-Franzia of the Washington Post is mainly an attempt to explain away the fact that the famous anti-genocide crusader faithfully serves an administration that has done essentially nothing in response to mass murder in Syria. Along the way we learn that, for Power, “boring” has never been “ok.” This tidbit may explain a lot. Perhaps Power never really hated Israel; those anti-Israeli statements »

Photo of the Day: The Catastrophe in Syria

Featured image The Obama administration’s Syria policy has been a fiasco. I don’t think anyone seriously tries to defend it. That said, the humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding in that country is not the responsibility of the U.S. government. It is the fault of Bashar Assad and his minions, and al Qaeda and other radical Muslims who have forcibly taken over the opposition to Assad. The human catastrophe in Syria is almost »

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 »

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’s dishonest Syria self-justification

Featured image In his New Yorker interview, President Obama tried to justify his lack of action in Syria this way: It is very difficult to imagine a scenario in which our involvement in Syria would have led to a better outcome, short of us being willing to undertake an effort in size and scope similar to what we did in Iraq. And when I hear people suggesting that somehow if we had »