Foreign Policy

GOP Benghazi hearings a partisan disgrace

Perhaps during his next partisan exploitation of the tragic death of Americans at Benghazi, Libya, in political hearings paid for by American taxpayers, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) can replay then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning him, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and other Republicans that their efforts to cut diplomatic security spending will endanger American lives. 

Then House Republicans can testify en masse and offer a group apology for mocking and ignoring Clinton's warning. 


The UN doesn't like Israel very much

According to recent reports, since 2006 the United Nation’s Human Rights Council has condemned Israel 32 times by resolutions, amounting to 48 percent of that body's resolutions. Compare that with Sudan’s human-rights abuses, about which it has expressed "deep concern" but no condemnation. Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan admitted that the council's actions created a "credibility deficit."


The year of the settler: Israel, before the revolution

A day of destiny approaches in Israel: Jan. 22, when the Knesset reforms to new cultural contours. A critical article by Lisa Goldman and Mairav Zonszein reveals the ascending paradigm: “The settlement movement registered major victories this year on various fronts. Its representatives are reaching new heights in politics, the judiciary and the media. One out of five residents east of the Green Line is a settler. The expansion of settlements continues unabated, and – most importantly – settlers are in full control of the Israel national narrative. In 2012, as more and more observers declared the death of the two-state solution, the settler became the new normal.”

Unless Bibi falls — and Israeli pundits say he is weakening — it may go unnoticed in America and in the MSM that a systemic change is occurring in Israel.


Obama and the politics of anger at the UN

I thought that was a pretty effective and well-crafted speech that President Obama delivered just now to the U.N. General Assembly on the perils of political extremism.

In the middle of the presidential campaign, it wasn’t a campaign speech, apart from the strong words on Iran, whose leadership was warned that time is “not unlimited” and that the United States will “do what we must” to stop Iran gaining a nuclear weapon.

But on the “politics of anger,” it was an interesting plea for tolerance. He won’t have done himself any favors with his Republican rival for invoking Gandhi.


Obama’s 3 a.m. call comes; he hits snooze button

Reading the pundits, you would have thought that Mitt Romney said something wrong about the failed Obama Middle East policy.

However, the predictable reaction from the left shows us that in fact, Romney hit the nail on the head.
Obama’s policy of overthrowing stable governments that kept the lid on the radical Islamists in their own country in favor of the mob on the street has led to a more unstable, dangerous time in the region. Team Obama preened and crowed about the Arab Spring; now they own it.


Know thine enemy

Bloggers, be careful what you wish for. A year ago the Obama administration was triumphantly celebrating its role in the Arab Spring. In the process the USA failed to support its longtime Egyptian allies, President Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian military. Instead it tacitly supported the devil it didn't know. It was obvious that the likely winners of any Egyptian election would have been the Muslim Brotherhood. The United States’ policies at the time naively supported the devil that they would soon get to know. 


Imagine America and England without the Revolution

Thanks to reader Stephen Bone for his generous comment yesterday re: France and “the colonies.” He adds, of my picking on the French, “After all, without France we would not have a country.” But historic time presents us with a riddle. What would America be like without the American Revolution? Possibly much like it is today.

Consider what Hitler might have felt when he drove his troops into Paris on June 14, 1940. Americans held still for two years without defending their French allies of the Revolution. Why would they bother to defend their natural enemies, England? But aid we did and we culturally rebonded with England via the invasion of France with both our armies.


Obama open-mic remarks show president confident of second term

President Obama’s unguarded comments on a live mic with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, about how he will have “more flexibility” to deal on such issues as missile defense after the U.S. elections, are a statement of fact.

Presidents who are no longer running for office in a second term have the opportunity to concentrate on legacy issues. It was in President Ronald Reagan’s second term that he signed a landmark agreement with the Russians on eliminating an entire category of nuclear weapons in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987. But that was then, and this is now.


Should we extend the olive branch to North Korea?

Everyone remembers former President Bush’s famous "axis" jab with a conciliatory gesture toward North Korea, calling for North Korea to open its borders and pursue normal relations with its neighbors. To this day the radical communist state remains bordered by barbed wire, landmines and a standing army of 1 million, an enduring hangover from the Cold War. Now that its leader Kim Jong-il has passed away, from exhaustion no less, can the United States finally work with North Korea as “a friend and partner” in the rebuilding of their country?


Iran’s dangerous path of isolation

Iran’s ransacking of the British embassy in Tehran, which prompted the recall of all British embassy staff and the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from London, means that the chances of miscalculation by both sides in this spiraling crisis have suddenly intensified.

Iran has deliberately set itself on a path of isolation, even though Britain, long considered the “little Satan” in Iran alongside the American “Great Satan,” says that it is not severing diplomatic ties. But cutting channels of communication with Tehran, where radicals were already in the ascendant, contains other dangers at a time when Iran’s nuclear program is back in the diplomatic foreground.