Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

As The World Burns

Though it’s September, and time to get back to business around here, I haven’t had enough quiet time over the past few days to do any serious writing. (Though you may find it hard to believe, it actually takes me rather a long time to produce a substantial post — and then there’s coming up […]

“I Did Everything Superhumanly Possible”

I’ve just read a book I must recommend to you all — Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, by Michael Malice. The book is extraordinary in that it captures, with frightening accuracy, not only the near-solipsistic narcissism of the fully developed totalitarian dictator, but also the seductiveness of the expertly managed personality […]

Done Deal

Former Spook ‘Nate Hale’ comments, here.

Man Of The People

Here is the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius: M. Fabius seeks an international arrangement to impose strictures upon the sovereign nations of the world in an attempt to control the Earth’s climate. (That such an arrangement will also transfer aspects of that sovereignty to gentlemen such as himself and his professional colleagues is, I believe, […]

How High’s The Water, Mama?

With a hat tip to reader Bill K., here’s a dark post from Richard Fernandez on the modern world’s growing “compassion fatigue” in the face of spreading chaos. I’ll excerpt the post’s closing lines: The first rule of civilization is to preserve it. Once enough of it is conceded to barbarism, when a sufficient quantity […]

Decline And Fall

Thanks all for the well-wishes in comments and emails, folks. I’ll leave you all on this cheery note.

The Letter

Republicans in the Senate have sent a letter to Iran’s leadership informing them of the Constitutional limitations of any deal the President may make without the approval of Congress. This is in response to Mr. Obama’s apparent intention to make such a deal as an ‘executive agreement’ that he can conclude without seeking Congress’s consent. […]


Rumors are going round that Ayatollah Khamenei’s cancer has now killed him. That would certainly complicate any pending deals, unless there’s a successor and an agreement that have just been waiting in the wings. Hard to see how things could coalesce that fast, or that reliably, though. Related content from Sphere

Netanyahu’s Speech

Benjamin Netanyahu just gave a magnificent, and in my opinion historic, address to Congress on the dangers of the pending deal with Iran. He was interrupted 43 times by thunderous applause. The shade of Winston Churchill, who was the only other foreign leader to have addressed Congress three times, hovered approvingly over the proceedings. Mr. […]

New From DARPA: Anti-Gravitas

My God, we are ruled by children. If this weren’t bad enough (and it is), we have now put forward a feather-headed teenage girl by the name of Marie Harf as the public face of America’s foreign policy. Yesterday, as noted at, she explained to Chris Matthews that the real answer to defeating ISIS […]

Enlightened Statesmen Will Not Always Be At The Helm

Well, here’s a heartwarming item. I may be wrong, but I am increasingly confident that Hillary Clinton will never be the President of these United States. She’s too old, too obviously incompetent, too ruthless, too unprincipled, too insincere, and she has too much baggage. Some combination of these things will bring her down, once the […]

Rock And Roll, Houthi Coup

As you have no doubt heard, there has been a revolt in Yemen, where Shi’ite rebels known as the Houthis have seized control of the levers of power. About Yemen, President Obama — who, when it comes to foreign policy and a whole lot more, has been described of late as “King Midas in reverse” […]

Yemen On The Brink


Charlie Hebdo

By now we have all heard the awful news from Paris. Time prevents me from commenting at length just now, but my feeling is that this will be as pivotal an event as 9/11 was, if not more so. This horrific attack is not only an assault on the prevailing social philosophy of the West, […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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. Related content from Sphere

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 […]


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. Related content from Sphere

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, […]


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 […]


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.”


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. Related content from Sphere

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 […]