Tag Archives | Middle East

Putin’s Mini-Me

Can we get past the “we have to understand the discontent that gave rise to Trump” stage of the Republican primary and move on to the “this dangerous buffoon can’t be allowed anywhere near the White House” stage? I ask because Vladimir Putin just weighed in on the US election and basically endorsed Trump, calling […]

Comments { 1 }

Obama’s New War Czar

President Obama’s foreign policy is adrift, but there’s one good way to bring it back into focus. He needs to appoint a “czar,” someone decisive and results-oriented, someone who will take this whole Syria debacle and give it direction and control. But you know, if you’re going to choose someone for a position modeled on […]

Comments { 0 }

It’s Not That Donald Trump Doesn’t Know, It’s That He Doesn’t Care

Donald Trump has been whining about being bombarded with “gotcha questions” about the Middle East on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. I thought Hewitt was fairly gentle and respectful in the interview—see the transcript—and that Trump did a fine job of embarrassing himself with his ignorance of the players and issues in the region. But Trump’s […]

Comments { 0 }

Blame America First

What is President Obama’s deal with Iran really, essentially about? I just realized that John Kerry has been trying to tell us all along, and it’s only yesterday that he finally said it clearly enough to make it register. In last week’s Senate testimony, he first established the theme, warning that if Congress doesn’t approve […]

Comments { 1 }

In Case of Emergency, Vote for Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio just announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, sounding several very promising themes before describing the one that is actually likely to define his candidacy. First, he described his family’s immigrant success story, which he uses to establish himself as a champion of the middle class—specifically the lower-middle-class strivers like his parents. […]

Comments { 0 }

The Paradox of the Non-Interventionists

A rigorously non-interventionist foreign policy poses a basic paradox. The worse the rest of the world looks, the more the anti-interventionists can say there are no good options to choose from, and we should just stay home and keep out of trouble. But the worse the world looks, the more intervention is actually necessary to […]

Comments { 0 }

Freedom Is Child’s Play

For the short term, I expect the Middle East to be a close-fought battle between the forces of (relative) progress and the forces of religious obscurantism. Over the long term, I am more optimistic. The reason is that there are too many good ideas loose in the world, they are too easily available, and they […]

Comments { 0 }

Observations of a Bystander

Writing about foreign policy these days is an exercise in frustration, because the United States is in the unusual and unnecessary position of being a bystander to world events. The reason is that President Obama is deeply committed to a policy of inaction, or more accurately, action so halting and reluctant as to be nearly […]

Comments { 4 }