Category Archives: Foreign Policy

US Interventionism In-Action: Fighting Both With And Against Iran

Foreign Policy, Iran

Foreign policy confusion is in part a consequence of intervening everywhere. The US can’t get its story straight. NBC’s Richard Engel, an excellent foreign policy correspondent of the Arwa Damon caliber, was on the nose when he recently said the following:

the Obama Administration’s foreign policy toward Iran … seems “convoluted” and “incoherent” at best, given the fact that the U.S. seems to be contradicting itself in its support and opposition to Iran in a number of countries.

Engel explained how the U.S. is fighting both with and against Iran in Syria, which he said is “an incredibly convoluted dynamic.” He said that while the U.S. is negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, it is supporting the fight against Iran in Yemen, where Iran-backed Houthi rebels recently forced out that country’s president and Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against them in retaliation.

“We’re fighting both with and against Iran in Syria, and fighting with Iran in Iraq,” Engel said. “There are many people who I’ve spoken to — many in the military, many policy analysts — who say that what we’re seeing here is an incoherent policy regarding not just Iran, but regarding the Middle East in general.”

Engel also said many in the military were “taken by surprise” when Saudi Arabia started bombing Yemen because they did not “consult extensively” with the U.S. military.

“Senior officials who would have been expected to know that there was going to be an operation in Yemen, they didn’t,” Engel added. “They were finding out about it almost in real time.”

About one thing Engel is wrong: US foreign policy is not newly “incoherent” and “convoluted” since Barack Obama. Did the CIA not back a coup in 1953 against Mohammad Mosaddegh, the Prime Minister of Iran, even though he was democratically elected? Did we not back the Mujaheddin against Russia in Afghanistan, before the former morphed into the Taliban and al-Qaida? Did George Bush’s puppet government in Iraq not turn to its coreligionists in Iran soon after it was ensconced? Are our people and diplomats not under frequent attack (such as in South Korea, Okinawa, on and on), due to blowback over the perception that the US bestrides the world like an arrogant colossus?

MORE Engel.


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Zionist Reciprocity = Recognizing There’s No ‘Global Right Of Return’ To The US For The World’s Citizens

Foreign Policy, IMMIGRATION, Israel, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism

Steve Sailer seconds Mercer on the “path to mutual respect” between the neoconservative and Zionist faction, on the one hand, and the American conservative (and paleolibertarian) faction, on the other hand. As Steve puts it:

The path to mutual respect is to insist upon reciprocity. The most reasonable bargain would be for conservatives to demand of neoconservatives that in return for American support for Zionism, Zionists must publicly support America deploying the same immigration policies as Israel currently enjoys.

The Mercer version (April 29, 2011) urged Israelis to recognize Americans’ right to deny a “global right of return to the US for the citizens of the world”:

“… Ask any left-liberal American Jew if he supports a ‘Right of Return’ to Israel proper for every self-styled Palestinian refugee, and he’ll recoil: ‘Are you mad? Never. That’s a euphemism for Israel’s demise.’ The very thing he opposes for Israel, the leftist Jew is inclined to champion for America: a global right of return to the US for the citizens of the world. When it comes to ‘returning’ to America only (but not Israel), humankind is said to possess a positive, manufactured right to venture wherever, whenever. (This view is common among American liberals of all religious persuasions.)
Israelis want the support of Americans in standing up for their national sovereignty. Fine. But they should respond in kind. … when liberty deprived peoples the world over support patriots stateside, I’ll return the favor. The same goes for Israel. …”

MORE Mercer.

MORE Sailer.


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Kerry’s Hypocrisy; Clinton’s Stupidity

Ann Coulter, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, Republicans

Libertarians take issue with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for his many transgressions, but stupidity should not be considered one of them. Whatever he did in office, Kissinger never displayed the unadulterated dumbness of a Hillary Clinton and her even dumber replacement, John Kerry.

As to the former’s dumb credentials, a jocular Ann Coulter relayed that one of the Clintons’ professors at Yale said the following about the couple and Clarence Thomas, all of whom he taught: “I had them all. One was smart. One was really smart. And one was dumb.” “I think we know who the dumb one was,” grinned Ms. Coulter.

Alas, there is nobody of Henry Kissinger’s caliber in office to put the likes of Kerry in his place (Marie Barf’s stupidity would have caused Kissinger to keel over). About the secretary’s admonitions to the Republicans for writing their “Dear Ayatollah” letter, let me say this: Pot. Kettle. Black. A principle that applies in reverse, of course: Every single thing the Republicans accuse Obama and his minions of can be said about their head honchos as well.

According to Newsmax, “Kerry [huffed to ] the Senate Armed Services that he was in ‘utter disbelief’ about the GOP letter to the Iranian leaders.

“During my 29 years here in the Senate I never heard of nor even heard of it being proposed anything comparable to this. If I had, I can tell you, no matter what the issue and no matter who was president, I would’ve certainly rejected it.”
“No one is questioning anybody’s right to dissent,” he added, according to the Caller.
“Any senator can go to the floor any day and raise any of the questions that were raised. You write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation — particularly the leaders that they have criticized other people for even engaging with or writing to — to write then and suggest they were going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way was absolutely incorrect, is quite stunning.

But back in 1985, “Kerry and then-Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin had visited Nicaragua … to make a deal with the Sandinista government even though President Ronald Reagan at the time was determined to overthrow the government with the help of the Nicaraguan rebels, the contras.”

Kerry supported a deal that would see the Sandinista government agree to a cease-fire and restore civil liberties in exchange for the United States ceasing to support the contras.
“If the United States is serious about peace, this is a great opportunity,” Kerry said at the time …

“But Kissinger,” recounts Newsmax, “blasted Kerry on ‘Face the Nation,’ saying: ‘He’s not secretary of state, and if the Nicaraguans want to make an offer, they ought to make it in diplomatic channels. We can’t be negotiating with our own country and the Nicaraguans simultaneously. My own view is that what we want from the Nicaraguans is the removal of foreign military and intelligence advisers.'”

Incidentally, Kerry’s 1985 initiative seems more agreeable to the libertarian than President Ronald Reagan’s. I thanked Nancy Pelosi for pursuing the same diplomacy with Syrian President Bashar Assad, in 2007:

The White House is furious that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has traveled to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus. Assad is not the only Middle-East leader Pelosi is speaking to. Nor was she the first American politician to pop in on Assad. Speaker Pelosi was preceded by a Republican posse.
That diplomacy can be presented as dangerous is a credit to the Bush administration’s success in inoculating the American public against civilized, rational conduct in international affairs. The Constitution is the other spot of bother the administration has helped obliterate from the American collective conscience.
As the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland, points out, “The framers wanted the Congress to be the dominant branch in foreign policy, as with most other aspects of governance.” “The Congress was given the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, declare war, raise and support armies, provide and maintain a navy, regulate the armed forces, organize, arm, and discipline the militia, and call them forth to resist invasions.”

It is not Kerry’s 1985 initiative that disgusts, but his present-day hypocrisy and indignation that are repugnant.


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Broken Clock Kerry Right This Once

Foreign Policy, Iraq, Israel, Middle East

Most readers crave partisan orthodoxy. How annoying, then, to have to preface every truly “fair and balanced” commentary over these pixelated pages, with disclaimers about my departure from orthodoxy. Since I am about to agree with no other than US Secretary of State John Kerry on a comment he recently made, I had better provide my anti-Kerry credentials to uninitiated ditto-heads.

KERRY’S COWARDLY CONVERGENCE
KERRY’S SEXY MOTHER TERESA

MORE.

In “testimony on the Middle East,” delivered to Congress on Sept. 12, 2002,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “expressed strong support for Washington to oust former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein,” saying: “I think the choice of Iraq is a good choice, it’s the right choice.” “If you take out Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region,” urged Netanyahu, in 2002.

Said Kerry recently, about Netanyahu:

“The prime minister, as you will recall, was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush, and we all know what happened with that decision.”

Kerry will get no disagreement from these quarters, other than to remind the secretary that he too should thrash about like a fish out of water when Iraq is mentioned. Like Bibi, Kerry supported that unforgivable invasion.

Until recently, Netanyahu and his government, so revered by Republicans, were on the wrong track with Syria too, but have been endeavoring to “radically change [the] tack on Syria, reversing a policy and military strategy that were long geared to opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

I wonder if Bibi even knows of “Assad’s pro-zionist grandfather”?

Given that Netanyahu is both intelligent and knowledgeable, which is more than one can say of Bush, Obama and Kerry—I suspect that unlike our idiots, he does “Know Shiite From Shinola.” However, Bibi is playing the US, out of what he perceives to be dire necessity.


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Iran To The Rescue

Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Israel

“Leave ISIS To The Homies” (Sept. 2014) observed that “ISIS’s neighbors, Israel included, didn’t seem particularly concerned about the barbarians at the gate.” The column worried that the “promise of eternal American intervention had, likely, enabled inertia and apathy among regional players,” when the wise thing for “U.S. meddlers” would be to “quit degrading the Syrian Army,” and “leave ISIS to Syria, Tehran and Tel Aviv.”

It has come to pass. the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is leading Shiite militias in battle against ISIS, near “the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit,” Iraq. And Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, like myself, thinks “it could turn out to be ‘a positive thing.’”

Yes, “let the locals take out their trash.”


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UPDATED: Rep. Steve Cohen On Bibi’s Bombast

Democrats, Ethics, Etiquette, Foreign Policy, Israel

“Lincoln Bedroom Or The American People’s House?” expressed my objection to the partisan practice of placing the American People’s House for hire by the foreign dignitary favored by the majority du jour. (The “Lincoln Bedroom” alluded to a practice Bill Clinton inaugurated of renting out this White House bedroom to big-time donors and political pals.)

As explained, “it was an abomination when Mexican President Felipe Calderon was allowed to address the Congress in May of 2010, and it is an abomination for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have been permitted to issue forth before a joint session of the American Congress.”

Rep. Steve Cohen, Democrat from Tennessee, and obviously Jewish, had expressed similar disdain for the spectacle, in an official statement:

Speaker Boehner and other Republicans supporting the speech are giving a foreign leader the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as a forum to present a counterargument to the foreign policy peace efforts of the President of the United States who has constitutional authority over foreign affairs. This speech is high theater for a re-election campaign in Israel and a political tool wielded against our President and his Administration by the Speaker of the House.

It is almost certain that, unlike this scribe, Cohen will have proven inconsistent: He likely objected not at all to the Democrats’ choice to pimp the Chamber to their pet client state of Mexico.

Nevertheless, Rep. Steve Cohen’s allusions, after the speech, to “political theatre” are reasonable too:

It was putting Netanyahu on an equal level with the president of the United States,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. “And that was wrong.”

UPDATE: Via CNN:

BLITZER: We’ve now just heard from the president of the United States. He’s in a meeting with the new secretary of defense, Ash Carter. And reporters were inside at the start of that meeting. The president said he did not have a chance to watch the Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before a joint meeting of the United States Congress but he did say he read the transcript, and then added pointedly there was, in his words, “nothing new.” We’ll get that videotape, play it for the viewers as soon as that pool comes out of the Oval Office in the White House.

Let’s get more reaction, a different perspective. Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen is joining us from Tennessee.

Congressman, you didn’t want to attend the meeting. You didn’t attend the meeting. I assume you watched it, though, on television, right?

REP. STEVE COHEN, (D), TENNESSEE: I watched it with a group of AIPAC’s representatives from Memphis, about 15, in my office.

BLITZER: What’s your reaction? Did the prime minister convince you?

COHEN: It was a — no, he didn’t convince me. It was political theater and that’s why I didn’t attend. It used the chamber to put him in a position that the president is often in, address the Congress at the State of the Union. This puts him on equal footing with the president of the United States. I thought that was wrong. I wasn’t going to be part of it. I didn’t attend.

I think the political theater was worthy of an Oscar. It was a great speech for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reelection in Israel, a good speech for Speaker Boehner connecting to the AIPAC and the Jewish republican force that was here, but it was not a good speech for the future of having a denuclearized Iran. That conversation should be taking place in Geneva, not here in Washington before the cameras. I’m afraid it created a greater schism between the president and the prime minister. And that’s not good for Israel and not good for world peace.

BLITZER: I’m sure that the relationship, which was bad to begin with, is a whole lot worse right now, that personal relationship between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel.

But on the substance, when he said, this current deal is really bad, will undermine potentially Israel’s very existence, what do you say?

COHEN: Well, he doesn’t know what the deal is. And he wouldn’t be in favor of any deal. He talked about a Persian bazaar and you walk away and they go back, and, oh, mister, mister, I’ll take this price. It’s not the same thing. If the Iranians have shown they don’t necessary make a deal. If they don’t make a deal, they’re not going to be down on their knees. They’re going to bend their back, straighten up their back and they may be tougher. I think it will hurt. 200 Israeli generals and security officials said this drives us further away from a good deal with Iran and I think it drove us away. BLITZER: Steve Cohen, the Democratic congressman from Tennessee,

[SNIP]


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