Iran

“Death to America,” he explained

Featured image Iran has been at war with the United States since the overthrow of the Shah and the ascent of the mullahcracy in 1979. The Iranians held American hostages for 444 days in 1979-81, until President Reagan was sworn in. On Reagan’s watch, however, the mullahs upped the ante, dispatching their Hezbollah subsidiary to murder 242 Marines in Beirut in 1983. The Iranians have kept right at it, murdering and maiming »

Trump v. Coats et al.

Featured image Our top intelligence officials presented their unclassified threat assessment at a January 29 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Defense Intelligence Agency director Robert Ashley, National Security Agency director Paul Nakasone, and National Geospatial Agency director Robert Cardillo. According to Coats et al. (as Jeff Jacboy put it in his emailed Boston Globe Arguable column), “the »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 108: Touring Hot Spots—Venezuela and Iran

Featured image Venezuela has been falling apart for more than a decade, but when matters reached a seeming crisis point last week, I decided it was high time to catch up with Mark Falcoff, the longtime Latin American expert now retired from the American Enterprise Institute, to walk us through the scene (including some terrific trivia about the structure of the Venezuelan army). Then I shift focus to the other member of »

It happened in January 2017 [updated with message from Bret Stephens]

Featured image Bret Stephens is a proud NeverTrumper; he supported Hillary Clinton for president and still wishes she had won the election. In his informative column on the war fought by the Israel Defense Forces against Iranian elements including Hezbollah and the Quds Force in “the campaign between the wars,” however, we can find a hidden message that belies his NeverTrumpism. Analyze this: By 2016, [just-retired IDF chief of staff Gadi] Eisenkot »

The great undoing continues

Featured image In his great undoing of the “accomplishments” of the Obama administration, President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the humiliating and destructive Iran nuclear deal. The deal funded a terrorist regime that remains at war with the United States and that continues to avow its dedication to our destruction. The Trump administration has also reimposed sanctions on the Iranian regime. There was no bridge too far for Obama in »

Holiday reading

Featured image As we kick off the new year with our felicitations to readers, I want to recommend some reading, mostly from recent Picks. In case you missed one or the other the first time around, consider this: • Lee Smith, “How should we read the American press? In Arabic” (Tablet). • David Albright, Olli Heinonen, Frank Pabian & Andrew Stricker, “Anatomy of Iran’s Deception and How Iran Benefited” (Foundation for Defense »

Helping the AP get it straight

Featured image Michael Doran retweets Omri Ceren’s correction of the AP (below) with the comment: “In order to fuel its attacks on Trump, the press is actively, constantly rewriting the history of Obama’s Iran concessions. You can see it in real time below.” We are suffocating in media lies and Orwellian revision of recent history. It is exceedingly difficult to keep the facts straight. Orwell himself put it this way: “To see »

The Mike Lee-Bernie Sanders show

Featured image Sen. Mike Lee used to be something of a conservative hero. More recently, he’s become heavy into working with Democrats. Not just any Democrats, but some of the most liberal, most stridently partisan Senate Dems. He and Sen. Dick Durbin combined to sponsor the jailbreak legislation that may well be on the verge of passing the Senate. A few years ago Lee and Durbin collaborated on a jailbreak bill that »

Hanukkah at the WH

Featured image I missed accounts of the White House parties and reception that were held in observance of Hanukkah last week. Eight Holocaust survivors from Brooklyn were in attendance at the first (afternoon) party. President Trump made three sets of formal remarks. Yeshiva World comprehensively documents the proceedings in “VIDEOS/PHOTOS: Trump Hosts Annual White House Chanukah Party; Joined By Holocaust Survivors & Parkland Shooting Victim’s Dad.” The family of Parkland mass shooting »

Iran sanctions revisited

Featured image In his great undoing of the “accomplishments” of the Obama administration, President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the humiliating and destructive Iran nuclear deal. The deal funded a terrorist regime that remains at war with the United States and that continues to avow its dedication to our destruction. There was no bridge too far for Obama in seeking to align the United States with the mullahs of Iran. »

Understanding Iran’s nuclear program

Featured image The Institute for Science and International Security has just released the paper Breaking Up and Reorienting Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Iran’s Nuclear Archive Shows the 2003 Restructuring of its Nuclear Weapons Program, then called the AMAD Program, into Covert and Overt Parts by proliferation experts David Albright, Olli Heinonen and Andrea Stricker. I have embedded a copy of the report at the bottom of this post. Here is the introductory »

Twitter: Yes to Ahmadinejad, no to the Gay Patriot

Featured image Did you know that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former president, is on Twitter? It’s true. On his Twitter account, Ahmadinejad describes himself as “Husband, Dad, Grandfather, University Professor, President, Mayor, Proud Iranian.” A better description would be “Jew hater, Holocaust denier, homophobe, serial human rights violator, and Death to America advocate.” There’s a place on Twitter for a guy like that, but not for the Gay Patriot. Is Ahmadinejad softening on »

Tom Friedman doubles down on magical thinking

Featured image To figure how not to think about events in the Middle East, it’s often useful to consult Tom Friedman. Yesterday, Friedman appeared on PBS with Christiane Amanpour to discuss the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Friedman looks like a fool in the wake of the murder because last year he wrote a gushing column praising Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince, for implementing a “top-down Arab spring.” Friedman »

A deadly attack on an Iranian military parade

Featured image Recently, an acquaintance of my wife returned from a trip to Iran, her country of origin. In addition to noting the runaway inflation and stark increase in poverty, she was surprised by the heightened level of separatist sentiment in various regions. That sentiment took a violent turn in southwestern city of Ahvaz today. Separatists attacked an Iranian military parade, killing at 29 people and wounding 70 more. The attackers disguised »

Pompeo condemns Kerry

Featured image Yesterday morning I revisited former Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry’s coaching of the powers that be in Iran on the fine art of resistance to the Trump administration. Yesterday afternoon Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked at a press conference (transcript here) about Kerry’s freelance diplomacy, as Michael Rubin calls it in this excellent New York Post column. Pompeo responded: “What Secretary Kerry has done »

Iraqi protesters torch Iran’s embassy in Basra

Featured image Protesters in Basra stormed the Iranian Consulate yesterday and set the building on fire. The protesters, who also set fire to headquarters of pro-Iranian militias as well as many government buildings, chanted “Iran out.” They also trampled portraits of Iran’s ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei Basra is a majority Shiite city. Thus, as the Washington Post says, the attack on the consulate. . .upended notions of solidarity between Iraq’s Shiite heartland and »

The sound of mullahs whining

Featured image “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” is one of the great lines in Apocalypse Now. Can we adapt the line to Trump foreign policy? In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I love the sound of mullahs whining all day long. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran’s oil exports are dropping faster than expected before the Trump administration’s new sanctions are scheduled to »