Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he’s got three more years of luck to come.
He takes Crimea, and President Obama says it’s not in Russia’s interest, not even strategically clever. Indeed, it’s a sign of weakness.
Really? Crimea belonged to Moscow for 200 years. Russia annexed it 20 years before Jefferson acquired Louisiana. Lost it in the humiliation of the 1990s. Putin got it back in about three days without firing a shot.
Now Russia looms over the rest of eastern and southern Ukraine. Putin can take that anytime he wants — if he wants. He has already destabilized the nationalist government in Kiev. Ukraine is now truncated and on the life support of U.S. and European money (much of which — cash for gas — will end up in Putin’s treasury anyway). Continue reading
The Iranian interim agreement that went into effect Monday does not prevent Iran from implementing its intentions to create nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Netanyahu said in the Knesset.
Netanyahu, in a speech welcoming visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Knesset on Monday, said that the international community’s goal – one that has not yet been achieved — must be stopping the Iranians from gaining the capacity to build a nuclear weapon.
The prime minister likened the manufacturing of the fissile material needed to make a bomb to a train that must pass through three stops: the first stop of enriching uranium to 3.5 percent, the second stop of enriching uranium to 20 percent, and the final step of enriching uranium to 90 percent. Continue reading
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is taking to Twitter to gloat about the nuclear deal his country struck with the U.S. and other Western countries.
“Our relationship w/ the world is based on Iranian nation’s interests. In Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation’s will,” Rouhani tweeted about earlier this week. Continue reading
A Saudi prince sent a harsh message to President Obama and his administration, saying White House waffling and indecision has compromised the ability of the United States to nail down a peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former intelligence head of Saudi Arabia, in The New York Times. “When that kind of assurance comes from a leader of a country like the United States, we expect him to stand by it. There is an issue of confidence.”
Specifically, the prince blasted Mr. Obama for reneging on promises — a habit that’s been shown by recent polls about Obamacare to plague the president with constituents in the United States, too. Continue reading
U.S. officials told the Washington Post that Abu Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee and leader of a paramilitary group with al-Qaeda ties, had a role in the Benghazi embassy attacks on September 11, 2012.
Qumu, currently a leader of a wing of the Libyan paramilitary group Ansar al-Sharia, is being linked, along with his militiamen, to the attack on the Benghazi consulate. The Post notes that many eyewitnesses noted the group’s presence in Benghazi days before the attack–despite being natives to the city of Darnah–and Qumu’s presence specifically. Reuters reports that the group’s presence in Benghazi after being kicked out in the post-September 11, 2012 days was noted as recently as last February, with many anti-Gaddafi Libyans arguing that Ansar al-Sharia’s role in toppling the dictator grants them a certain license to roam freely despite their overt violence and Islamic fundamentalism. The State Department is set to designate Ansar al-Sharia a terrorist group in the coming days and link its activities to the broader, less structured, post-bin Laden al-Qaeda. Continue reading
Iraq’s ambassador to Washington says the Obama administration doesn’t fully grasp the consequences of failing to more aggressively combat a surging al Qaeda threat inside his country, pointedly suggesting that President Obama has been less engaged with Baghdad than his predecessor.
“The administration has to have a better understanding of any adverse impact of any delay in provision of support to Iraq,” Ambassador Lukman Faily told The Washington Times in an interview Wednesday. “It cannot afford a whole town or province of Iraq falling to al Qaeda and becoming a safe haven. It’s against the U.S. strategic interest. It’s against the U.S. national security to do that.” Continue reading
The breaking news that al Qaeda has captured Fallujah and Ramadi raises the question whether America’s sacrifices in Iraq were made in vain. It also highlights the utter inadequacy of President Obama’s Middle East policy, especially his disregard for critical regional threats.
Instead, Obama has focused on Israeli-Palestinian issues, essentially to no avail. Despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated visits, including one just ended, the “peace process” has seen no significant movement.
Proponents of “peace processing” ignore this reality, asserting that the process itself has an inherent value, and that real movement comes only when deadlines loom and decision-makers realize “it’s now or never” to “take risks for peace” and achieve “a peace for the brave.” And when all else fails, peace processers say, “What have we got to lose?” Continue reading
It wasn’t that long ago that Barack Obama took America to the brink of armed conflict in Syria over its use of chemical weapons against rebels trying to topple the Assad regime. The president went as far as asking Congress for a resolution authorizing the use of military force, kicking off a debate which nearly split the country.
No one knows how Congress would have voted because before it could act, Russian President Vladimir Putin pushed Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to one side to broker his own deal bringing the chemical weapons under international control and keeping American war planes on the ground. Continue reading
President Barack Obama has the Midas touch in reverse when it comes to foreign relations and world peace.
The latest example of his gift — or is it a curse? — comes courtesy of Iran. You will remember that President Obama surprised allies in the region by reaching an agreement with the terrorist state of Iran ostensibly to stop the country from developing a nuclear bomb. In return for that promise, sanctions against the country would be immediately eased. Continue reading
Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), along with Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had been trying to craft a nonbinding House resolution calling for more punitive measures against the Islamic Republic.
The resolution called for Iran to allow “including no-notice inspections of all suspect sites, including military facilities, and full access to all Iranian personnel, scientists and technicians associated with Iran’s nuclear program” by International Atomic Energy Agency officials. Continue reading
It will be interesting to see how President Barack Obama responds to charges coming out of Tehran that the White House is distorting the terms of the just signed multiparty agreement easing sanctions against Iran in exchange for that country’s backing off its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons program.
“Iranian officials say the White House is misleading the public about the details of an interim nuclear agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva,” the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Citing the Iranian press, the Free Beacon quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Marziyeh Afkham as saying Tuesday, “What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action, and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true.” Continue reading
Iranian officials say White House fact sheet detailing nuke deal is ‘invalid.’ It is starting to sound like Obama is selling his Iranian nuke deal the same way he sold ObamaCare – by misleading America about the details.
by Adam Kredo
Iranian officials say that the White House is misleading the public about the details of an interim nuclear agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva.
Iran and Western nations including the United States came to an agreement on the framework for an interim deal late Saturday night in Geneva. The deal has yet to be implemented
The White House released a multi-page fact sheet containing details of the draft agreement shortly after the deal was announced.
However, Iranian foreign ministry official on Tuesday rejected the White House’s version of the deal as “invalid” and accused Washington of releasing a factually inaccurate primer that misleads the American public. Continue reading
It isn’t surprising that the US and the other five powers signed a deal with Iran on Saturday. Over the past few weeks, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear that they were committed to signing a deal with Iran as quickly as possible.
And it isn’t surprising that the deal these overeager leaders signed with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism makes the world a much more dangerous place than it was before the agreement was concluded.
With the US and its allies far more eager to reach an accord with Iran on its illicit nuclear weapons program than Iran was, it was obvious from the outset that any deal ultimately reached, at least as long as these negotiating conditions remained in force, would facilitate rather than inhibit Iran’s quest to build a nuclear arsenal. And indeed, the sanctions relief that Iran has gained simply by signing on the dotted line will be sufficient to buffet the Iranian economy through a successful nuclear weapons test. Continue reading
The announcement that the P5+1 (the five U.N. Security Council members plus Germany) reached a nuclear deal with Iran has just been made. A few details of the deal have been announced and there likely will be others. But what has been reported so far is sufficient to conclude, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said of the draft deal reported two weeks ago, that “this is a very, very bad deal.”
The Iranian “concessions” thus far announced are unimpressive: Iran will stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent; it will install no additional centrifuges; it will convert the 100 pounds or so of 20 percent–enriched uranium which quickly can be converted to weapons-grade uranium to something harder to convert to weapons-grade uranium. Iran has not agreed to dismantle any of the thousands of centrifuges it has installed and continues to operate; to send any of its 20 percent–enriched uranium out of the country; to close the nuclear facilities which will soon provide it with plutonium with which to make nuclear weapons; to stop its testing of long-range missiles; or to cease its support of terrorist activities by Hezbollah and others. Continue reading
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed victory over the United States Sunday shortly after a historic nuclear agreement was reached in Geneva between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 world powers.
Under the agreement, Iran, in return for sanctions relief, will keep much of its nuclear infrastructure, is limited to enriching uranium to the five percent level for six months, will convert its highly enriched uranium of 20 percent to harmless oxide and will allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will be limited to only agreed-on facilities. Continue reading