Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

Sound And Fury

Yesterday’s Senate report on the CIA has sparked a lot of talk, most of it on a very shallow and very binary level. (Post on that forthcoming, when time permits.) As noted yesterday, the report is far from impartial. Several former directors and deputy directors of the CIA, who were active during the period covered […]

Meanwhile…

At least there’s some good news today.

No-Win Situation

Here’s a pungent analysis of the situation in Iraq from the ‘XX Committee’ blog. (Hat tip to the indefatigable JK.) Key excerpt: The U.S. military is quite capable of defeating almost any adversary on the battlefield, even Da’ish, though that is not the same thing as producing lasting political outcomes that Americans will like. This […]

Tweet Of The Day

Is this: Barack Obama couldn’t lift Bibi Netanyahu’s balls off the ground. Just so we’re all clear. — Narrative O'Failure (@MetricButtload) October 28, 2014 It was posted in response to this item, which explains that behind closed doors president Obama and his staff refer to Mr. Netanyahu as a “chickenshit”. It’s easy, of course, to […]

It’s On!

We are now active participants in Syria’s civil war. (The poll results must have been irresistible.) I’m sure everything will go as planned.

Och Aye!

Tomorrow’s the big vote in Scotland. I’m all for independence. Nick Land has argued, and I think rightly, that because Scotland pulls farther to the Left than the UK as a whole, its separation would immediately snap the rump UK rightward, while at the same time separation from London’s flowing teat would accelerate the failure […]

ISIS

In trying to catch up on all the stories we missed during our August break, I’d be remiss not to comment on the malevolent Muslim entity calling itself the Islamic State, and what we should do about it. My view is not, in many respects, a mainstream one. That said, I’ll hasten to align myself […]

Gie It Laldy!

Over at Outside In, Nick Land offers a neoreactionary’s perspective on the coming ‘exit’ referendum in Scotland. My Scottish mum would have approved.

Varsity vs. Jayvee

Once again, Vladimir Putin has snaffled the U.S. and her quondam allies: the acceptance by Ukraine of a proffered cease-fire on what, for Russia, are very comfortable terms, will douse any ardor in the West for aggressive confrontation. In last night’s NightWatch bulletin, John McCreary wrote: While NATO plans to fight Russia, Putin’s peace plan […]

Libya

Let’s review the results of our adventure in Libya, for which President Obama and the presumptive Democratic heir, Hillary Clinton, can fairly be assigned complete responsibility. ‣   After a successful, decades-long effort to bring Muammar Qaddafi to heel, and after feting our new North African ally at the highest levels of government, we betrayed […]

Aflame

Saw this startling item this morning in last night’s NightWatch: Iraq: Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) inflicted a significant defeat on Kurdish militia forces on Saturday. They killed 27 Kurds and routed them from three towns and claim to have taken control of the Mosul Dam, which supplies water […]

The Seven Gambit

With a hat tip to Bill Vallicella, here’s a dark and piercing essay by Richard Fernandez. The gist: the Devil has the power to make you do evil yourself in order to defeat him — and so you cannot really defeat him at all.

Casus Belli

This is vexing.

With Friends Like This…

Here’s a tart essay on the Obama administration’s stance toward Israel, from Noah Pollak.

Geodesy And Skullduggery

I’m working late tonight, so here are two items to keep you from going away empty-handed: a little item about map projections (sent our way by the indefatigable JK), and, to keep you up wondering about things, some very interesting reading about Benghazi, Syria, and ISIL. (As for the second item, caveat lector: I make […]

Forward!

In case you haven’t noticed, everything’s going to hell. I can’t say that I’m surprised: in a comment a while back, for example, I wrote that the administration of “this awful man — this grotesque incompetent, this subversive fraud, this preening and malevolent narcissist, this despiser of American tradition and implacable enemy of everything the […]

“On The Run”

Not content with Mosul, now it appears that ISIL has seized Tikrit, too. Iraq is disintegrating. Update: Not sure what to make of this…

Holger Danske Stirs

After yesterday’s depressing post, here’s some good news from across the pond: the anti-EU party UKIP has surged to first place in the runup to to next month’s elections. Suddenly, all over Europe, the spell is breaking.

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.