Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

Nationalism vs. Empire

In his latest column, Patrick Buchanan argues that what confounded the Soviet empire, and what will keep Vladimir Putin’s revanchist ambitions in check today, is not sanctions or military threats, but a rising tide of nationalism. We read: Before we start sending troops back to Europe, as we did 65 years ago under Harry Truman, […]

Bear-Baiting

Patrick Buchanan’s been on a bit of a roll lately. In his latest, he invites us to look at this Ukrainian ruction from the Russian point of view.

The Center Cannot Hold

In case you missed it, Venice has just voted to secede from Italy. It’s happening all over Europe: a backlash against centralization, a resurgence of identitarianism, and a yearning for local control. (It’s happening in America, too.) When I was in Venice and Florence in 2012, it seemed that almost any conversation with the locals […]

Meanwhile…

While all eyes are on Ukraine, it would be easy to lose sight of an earlier U.S. foreign-policy triumph: Libya. Has it really been a year and a half since we stopped having to worry about how to spell ‘Khadaffy’? How time flies. Anyway, in case you were wondering, it’s going straight to hell — […]

Cage Fighter vs. Pajama Boy

OK, one more on the events in Ukraine, this time from DiploMad. (h/t to Bill Keezer.) Key excerpt: “Putin is a patriot; Obama is not.”

Weakness?

Here’s another good article about Putin’s play in the Ukraine (or just “Ukraine”; I can’t keep track).

History? How Many Divisions Does He Have?

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about Vladimir Putin’s being behind the curve, history-wise. The reader who sent me that Ceylan Özbudak article yesterday, for example, said in his email to me that “territorial gain is an atavistic idea”, as well as saying that “I really question how strong supposed ethnic/historical affiliations are at this […]

Ukraine: Jottings

I haven’t said much here about the situation in Ukraine; it would be like shooting fish in a barrel to use this latest ruction as an opportunity to highlight the incompetence of this administration’s foreign-policy team, and anyway, others have beaten me to it. (I will, however, recall that during the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt […]

In Harm’s Way

A common response from those who wish to inoculate the Obama administration, and in particular Hillary Clinton, from charges of negligence and malfeasance in the Benghazi murders, is to suggest that Ambassador Chris Stevens was in large part responsible for the absence of security at the diplomatic compound. In our own comment thread, for example, […]

Foggy-Bottom Baksheesh For The Ikhwan?

Here’s a story that might get interesting. I’ll let you know.

Bull Goose Loony

We haven’t mentioned the Norks much in these pages lately (or, for that matter, foreign affairs generally; we’ve been taking a bit of a breather there). Time to catch up a bit. As I’m sure most of you know, the doughy, degenerate, dipsomaniacal despot Kim Jong-un has recently executed his girlfriend, his uncle’s closest advisers, […]

You Can’t Spell “Funeral” Without F-U-N!

Well, the Mandela memorial’s come and gone, and a fine time was had by all. In particular, our own Mr. Obama really let his hair down, offering a playfully deferential bow to that mean old Mr. Castro, and swanning about with Denmark’s comely PM, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Mr. Obama, never one to let his playful spirits […]

Two Tweets

From Charles Cooke (@charlescwcooke): The Russian president just trolled an embarrassed United States in its paper of record on September 11th. Everything I love is dead. From Iowahawk: Putin now just basically doing donuts in Obama’s front yard. They’re talking, of course, about this.

Paved With Good Intentions

Good point from Stanley Kurtz just now at the Corner: This speech was a close reflection of [U.N. ambassador Samantha] Power’s views. The overwhelming emphasis was on humanitarian goals, with a brief, secondary, and noticeably weak effort to buttress that case with talk about threats to our interests. Power’s core argument is that American foreign […]

The Goldilocks War

Some takeaways from the President’s speech just now: 1) Assad has achieved moral equivalence with Hitler, but we will leave him in power. 2) It is morally imperative that we use our incomparable military power to set an example here, so that despots the world over will never again dare to use gas to do […]

Peace In Our Time!

Hey, whaddya know. Looks like: a) Our “credibility”, and incontrovertible moral imperatives, don’t require us to bomb Syria after all; b) Our “incredibly small” strike — described as being equal, in its fearsomeness, to making Assad eat Cheerios with a fork instead of a spoon — might not be about to send its blunt and […]

Fools Rush In

Here’s retired general Robert H. Scales on a war the military doesn’t want: By no means do I profess to speak on behalf of all of our men and women in uniform. But I can justifiably share the sentiments of those inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who write the plans and develop strategies for fighting […]

Fog Of War

I was all set to put up a link to today’s NightWatch analysis, but noticed that the indefatigable JK beat me to it in a comment on our previous post. Here it is again, nevertheless. I haven’t selected any excerpts to reproduce here — I urge all of you to follow the link and read […]

The Good Guys

Meet our new comrades. See here (cannibalism) and here (shelling a hospital with some sort of gas) and here (attacking Christians) and here (beheadings). Hop in, boys! We’re off to teach that cad Assad to fight like a gentleman.  

Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Electrified Razor-Wire Fence Shoulda Bit Ya

With a tip of the hat to a tweet by hbd* chick, here’s an idea from Israel: banning “remittances” by illegal aliens (or, as they call them in Zion, “infiltrators”): Interior Minister Gid’on Saar signed regulations, Monday, that make it illegal for someone who illegally infiltrated the country to send money out of the country. […]

Learning Disability

Industrial-grade unwisdom from the National Review: Any strike shouldn’t be a pinprick or necessarily a one-off but part of a broader, longer-term plan to topple Assad and defeats [sic] his allies. This means strengthening elements of the Syrian opposition we can trust, with arms and training; it means crafting and leading an international coalition committed […]

Faint Heart Ne’er Won… Anything At All, Really

Mark Steyn: The problem with the American way of war is that, technologically, it can’t lose, but, in every other sense, it can’t win. Here.

Nerve Gas, Or Undetonated Thermobaric Ordnance?

With a hat tip to commenter ‘ScaniaBoy’, here is a very interesting assessment of the alleged CW attack in Syria.

The Road To Damascus

This Syria business certainly seems to have everyone’s attention, if not approval. NightWatch‘s John McCreary had this to say last night (I’ve highlighted some key passages): Syria: Update. The mainstream media headlines with slight variations predict that an attack against Syrian targets by US missiles could occur as early as Thursday. The UK and France […]

Go Git ‘Em, Cowboy!

It’s strange how quiet the Left seems to be as we rush, without Congressional approval, toward military action against Syria. (Not everyone on the Left, mind: I find myself agreeing with, of all people, Dennis Kucinich on this one.) The Long War Journal‘s blog, Threat Matrix, asks some pertinent questions, here. Among them: 3. Is […]

It’s ON

This is an interesting item: even as Sunni-Shia violence is getting hotter by the day in Iraq, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s preeminent intellectual, has called on all Sunni Muslims to join the anti-Assad forces in Syria, now that Hezbollah has joined the coalition fighting for the preservation of the regime. The ancient hatreds are […]

Anarcho-Tyranny

You’ve heard the term lately, no doubt. If you’re wondering what it means, have a look here: Parking Tickets Issued on Wrecks while Stockholm Burns We read: [W]hile the Stockholm riots keep spreading and intensifying, Swedish police have adopted a tactic of non-interference. ”Our ambition is really to do as little as possible,” Stockholm Chief […]

This Just In

Here’s a link to the latest report from the Congressional inquiry into the Benghazi fiasco and whitewash. A synopsis: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY An ongoing Congressional investigation across five House Committees concerning the events surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya has made several determinations to date, including: – Reductions of […]

The Plot Thickens?

One of the stranger loose ends in the Boston bombing story is Abdul Rahman Ali Issa Al-Salimi Al-Harbi — the Saudi national, tackled at the scene, who became a “person of interest”. That “interest” quickly became apparent at the highest levels of government: President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry had hasty closed-door meetings […]

This Time for Sure!

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Meanwhile, in other news…

In Raised Position

Read John McCreary’s latest assessment of the North Korean adventure, here.

Hugo Rafael Chávez, 1954-2013

Finally. From ‘The Diplomad’, a brief and accurate summary. Excerpt: In short, his was a bravura performance which has left Venezuela awash in debt, crime, and poverty–the signature achievement of leftism everywhere in the world. Thanks to Bill Keezer for the link. And here’s another.

Pretty Sharp!

I guess we’re all feeling pretty low, now that the Sequester has gone into effect. I haven’t been paying much attention to the news since Friday (been busy arranging the canned goods down in the shelter), but if the predictions I’d been hearing have turned out to be correct, the entire nation is now unemployed, […]

And The Burnt Fool’s Bandaged Finger

… goes wabbling back to the Fire.

Stairway To Hell

In case you haven’t been paying attention, a major Egyptian city has descended into anarchy and violent chaos. I’ve no time for commentary, but you can read about it here.

Professional Hard-Asses

If, like most folks, you’re a bit fuzzy on the historical context of that Algerian hostage-taking affair, here’s an excellent article.

Wond’ring Aloud

Can anyone explain to me why the United States is giving Egypt two hundred tanks and sixteen F-16s? The answer should not be that “we signed an agreement that we are now honoring”. We signed that agreement with Hosni Mubarak, a man we could rely on to maintain a stable peace with our principal ally […]

Fog Of War

According to this report, the Assad regime has deployed poison gas in Homs, killing 7 and injuring others. The quoted source is “opposition activists”, by way of al-Jazeera, so the story may not be veridical. But if so, in we go, I’d imagine.

What Buck?

I’m working today, with no time for writing — so here are NightWatch‘s comments on the Benghazi report: Special NightWatch Comment: The most important finding of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) on the Benghazi tragedy is that al Qaida is alive and well and living in Benghazi. The rest is pretty much well known, with […]

Take Good Heed Not To Judge Me Ill

Laura Wood, the Thinking Housewife, brings to our attention France’s newest public institution: the National Observatory of Secularism. Its function is to train the State’s benevolent and watchful Eye upon “religious pathology”. Whether secular pathology will be detected as well is left to the reader’s intuition.

Just Another Day In Paradise

For those of you with any lingering interest in the pestilential viper’s-nest we like to call the “Mideast” — that blasted, slippery-edged sinkhole of human misery that manages always to be going straight to Hell without ever actually getting there and leaving the rest of us in peace — I reprint below two items from […]

The Council Of One

With a hat tip to Bill Keezer, here’s a look at the Obama administration’s increasingly routine use of kill lists and drone strikes to prosecute foreign policy. I excerpt two notable quotes from this post. The first is by its author: Benghazi illustrates the problem of the President having the authority for everything and the […]

Circle Of Life

Kevin Kim gives us a memorable visual recap of the recent execution by mortar round of a tippling Nork military bigwig.

Methinks They’re Going To Need A Bigger Rug

Here’s a story that’s making the rounds today. I have no way of assessing its veracity.

Aid And Comfort

As we all know by now, the “Arab Spring” has led not to a flowering of pro-Western secular democracy, but instead has brought about a profound shift toward Islamist government throughout the region. Barry Rubin examines the President’s influence on this process, here. Hat tip: VFR.

“What Makes Your Big Head So Hard?”

Here’s a gloomy piece about my genetic homeland. It contains this priceless quote from P. G. Wodehouse: “It is never difficult to distinguish between a ray of sunshine and a Scotsman with a grievance.”

Romney, Syria

I wouldn’t want anyone reading the previous post to think I’m particularly stoked about Mitt Romney; he’s a total squish on many issues of importance to conservatives, and just another democracy-exporting dreamer when it comes to foreign affairs. Speaking of which: in this weeks Radio Derb, John Derbyshire zeroed in on the same comment from […]

In Cold Blood

From Danger Room, here’s a damning summary of the runup to the assault in Libya (thanks to Lokilinkster for the link). An excerpt (emphasis added): The security situation in Benghazi was “a struggle and remained a struggle throughout my time there,” (.pdf) said Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, the State Department’s Site Security Team commander in […]

The Truth, For Once

You’ve probably heard people mentioning Lara Logan’s blunt talk about Afghanistan last week, but you should take twenty minutes and actually watch it. It’s here. If you are informed enough, and wise enough, not to be taken in by the steady diet of lies and self-serving propaganda this administration feeds us about our Mideast adventures […]

Bump In The Road

From the Heritage Foundation, here’s a sharp video on the Obama administration’s deceitful, ass-covering response to the Benghazi attack. But hey, look  –  Big Bird!