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Tag: Iran

U.S. Fear, U.S. Folly in Afghanistan

Except for the brief NATO intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, all of the significant U.S. military expeditions since the Cold War have been fought against Asians, and we have lost nearly all of them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


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America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad
observer.com

Ahmadinejad to U.S.: Let’s Talk (Maybe)

On Tuesday, the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in his country, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad extended a tentative offer to open a dialogue between the U.S. and Iran—provided that the Obama administration makes good on its “change” slogan.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


Kremlin
exploitz.com

Biden Cautious, Conciliatory in Message to Russia

Will the Obama administration take a different tack than the Bush team did when it comes to relations with the Kremlin? It’s hard to say at this stage, but Vice President Joe Biden has suggested that it’s “time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.” He made the comment Saturday in a speech at a security conference in Germany.

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 READ MORE


America’s ‘Strong Commitment to Error’

John Kenneth Galbraith once warned that U.S. foreign policy suffers from institutional rigidity with a “strong commitment to error.” What better proof than the planned surge in Afghanistan?

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama sort of
Illustration. Original: Flickr / ivanatm

Dear Mr. Ahmadinejad

Nearly three months after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent then-President-elect Obama a congratulatory note, the State Department is still working on a response. Snail mail, indeed. The Guardian reports that the letter will be “aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks.”

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Faith Amid the Ruins of Faith

After the collapse of trust in every sort of expert—after lenders financed houses for people who couldn’t afford them, bankers created systems they couldn’t even describe and, finally, we hear, Bernie Madoff ripped off even his high school friends—there is a residue of resilience.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / seiu_international

Senate Confirms Clinton

Hillary Clinton made it safely through the confirmation process, despite a last-minute hissy fit from Senate Republicans. John McCain prevailed upon his colleagues to shape up and, in the end, only two voted against Clinton’s confirmation as secretary of state. She was then hastily sworn in.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


The Drama of Reciprocal Self-Destruction

The people of Gaza and Israel suffer at the hands of leaders whose bewildering and savage decisions have no rationally achievable purpose.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Rina Castelnuovo, pool

Obama Will Back Israel

The president-elect has struggled to stay out of the Gaza fight, but based on everything he said during the campaign, he appears determined to stand up for Israel.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama with soldiers

The Middle East in 2009

It may seem misguidedly America-centric to link the immediate future of many parts of the Middle East to President-elect Barack Obama, but because the U.S. has inserted itself so strongly into the region, a good deal undoubtedly rides on the choices of the next American administration.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


Ahmadinejad
AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Ahmadinejad’s Christmas Speech Raises Ruckus

Britain’s Channel 4 has a tradition of featuring an alternative Christmas message as a kind of counterpoint to Queen Elizabeth’s customary speech, and this year’s speaker—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—is sparking outrage.

Posted on Dec 25, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Michael B. Keller

The Road Out of Iraq Begins in Vietnam

Iraq is not Vietnam, yet there are parallels between the two wars. The American military dominated the battlefield in both conflicts, and yet America the nation emerged the loser in each. A “decent interval” is now needed for American troops to withdraw.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Bush the Infallible

Remember that long-ago news conference when George W. Bush couldn’t think of any mistakes he had made? Unbelievably, he still can’t.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Team of Rivals at All

When the journalistic pack bites into a tasty cliché, they often refuse to let go, lazily chewing and regurgitating a phrase like “team of rivals” long after the flavor is gone.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


mushroom cloud
Wikimedia Commons / Fastfission (altered)

Report: WMD Terror Attack Likely

A month too late for Halloween, a congressionally mandated independent panel has come to this terrifying conclusion: “Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013.” Boo!

Posted on Nov 30, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers

Bush’s Follies Will Destroy Obama If He Lets Them

Barack Obama has no choice but to accept responsibility for America’s foreign policy crises. But why should he accept them on the distorted and even hysterical terms by which the Bush administration has defined world affairs since 2001?

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


White Rock set
independent.co.uk

Making Movies the Afghan Way

Incredibly, as Afghanistan sinks back into the anarchy which became its natural state these past 29 years, Afghan film-makers are producing movies of international quality, turning out pictures which prove—even amid war—that a country’s tragedy can be imaginatively recreated for its people.

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 READ MORE


Why Obama Can Keep Gates

If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush’s policies at the Pentagon?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


To Each His Own Nuke

The cynical view of national sovereignty holds that it belongs only to those who can defend it. This was said recently at the Pentagon concerning American manned and unmanned attacks inside Pakistan.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Bracing for a Major Disappointment

The Americans who voted for Barack Obama as president were promised change they could count on, but it rather looks as if they may actually be asked to make do with a mildly refurbished Clinton administration, with many of the same officials and nearly all of the same policies.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Guns N’ Roses: Iranian Edition

Those fickle heads of state are at it again: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who so recently sent a note of goodwill (or so it seemed) to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, has apparently already changed his tune.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

With Iran, Obama Needs More Carrot, Less Stick

Now that the presidential election has liberated Barack Obama from the need to play to the fickle whim of domestic politics, he should put away the saber and take a more enlightened approach to Iran.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Mosaic election report

Election ‘08 as Seen From the Middle East

Which U.S. presidential candidate did Iranians hope would win? Do Palestinians think President-elect Barack Obama will understand the needs and challenges of their region better than President Bush has?

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


Palin

Palin Talks of Wars in ‘Iraq and Iran’

This weekend brought yet another startling installment from the Sarah Palin School of International Relations, in which she talks about “needing to really shore up the strategies that we need over in Iraq and Iran to win these wars” during the first 100 days of her time in the White House with John McCain.

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN



AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

Hell to Pay

Sen. John McCain’s ideological ties to the Bush-Cheney administration have mostly passed beneath the radar of the mainstream media, but if McCain loses the presidential race to Barack Obama, his neoconservative legacy could erupt into the open with a force that should not be underestimated.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Is the Superior Decider

The real issues of the American presidential election are the future of the economy and the future of American foreign policy. The one seems already settled. The second seems to unite John McCain and Barack Obama in support of a program doomed to fail.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool / Wikimedia Commons

Virtual JFK: The 44th President’s Foreign Policy Challenge

The leading issue in the current face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain is the economy. Once elected and inaugurated, however, a U.S. president’s politics become global literally overnight.

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE


Baghdad protest
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Thousands of Iraqis Protest U.S. Occupation

Tens of thousands of Iraqis, with remote guidance from Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, joined in a demonstration in Baghdad on Saturday to implore the Iraqi parliament to reject a security pact with the U.S. before the year’s end.

Posted on Oct 18, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Scott

Bush Doctrine Becomes DoD Dogma

The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy statement says nothing directly about American national defense. It is a strategy for intervening in other countries, and preventing others from blocking or resisting American interventions.

Posted on Oct 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jim Bourg, pool

Third-Party Blues

Ralph Nader is right: The two-party system is failing America. There isn’t time between now and Election Day to create a viable third-party candidate, and so the sad reality is one of two deeply flawed men, the byproduct of a deeply flawed political system, will serve as president for the next four or eight years.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


What McCain and Obama Just Don’t Get About Central Asia

There are only two real issues left in the foreign policy debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Yet neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan issue is within the power of any American president to resolve.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool

A Calm Obama Weathers a Storm of Sarcasm

Was he too calm? Did he pull his punches in an effort to look presidential? Not really. The viewers got a clear choice: a reasoned and reasonable Obama versus an old-fashioned Cold Warrior who would keep us in Iraq endlessly and extend the boundaries we must defend to Georgia and Ukraine.

Posted on Sep 26, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Newspaper: Bush Told Israel Not to Bomb Iran

The Guardian is reporting that outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought and was denied President Bush’s blessing for an airstrike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Bush was reportedly concerned that Iran would retaliate against U.S. targets in the region and that the benefits of such an attack would be insufficient.

Posted on Sep 26, 2008 READ MORE


Palin in Blaine, MN

Palin: Ahmadinejad Aiming for ‘Second Holocaust’

During a campaign stop in Blaine, Minn., on Friday, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin lamented that neither she nor Hillary Clinton would be able to attend next week’s anti-Iran rally in New York City and vowed that she and GOP presidential hopeful John McCain “will not waver in our commitment” to prevent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from obtaining nuclear weapons and potentially starting “a second Holocaust.”

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN



AP photo / Dusan Vranic

Farewell, General—but Did You Bring Iraq Hope?

Gen. Petraeus’ oft-declared uncertainty about the future stability of Iraq is genuine. It is the Shiites and their Iranian backers, not the Americans, who are the true victors in the Iraqi war.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum

Clinton Narrowly Dodges Joint Appearance With Palin

Hillary Clinton apparently would rather not deal with Sarah Palin, but she was nearly ambushed by the Alaska governor at a New York rally. Organizers didn’t tell Clinton they’d invited another special guest, and the New York senator backed out when she heard the news. True to form, Palin and friends responded with ready-made indignation.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE


Welch

McCain the Neocon

John McCain has made much of his reputation as a “maverick,” but, as Reason magazine’s Matt Welch lays out in this clip, McCain the Neocon has emerged as the Republican presidential nominee’s dominant political persona and the one he’ll take into the White House if he wins.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


Ayman al-Zawahri
msnbc.msn.com

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 Blasts Iran

Just before the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, al-Qaida has released a lengthy videotape featuring the group’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, providing updates about how the holy war is faring around the globe and laying into Iran for “cooperating with the Americans” and with the American-approved governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Obama on O'Reilly

Obama and O’Reilly Square Off

The first installment of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly aired Thursday, during which the Fox News host drove a hard line about Iran’s nuclear program and the success of the “surge” in Iraq. “Why can’t you just say, ‘I was right in the beginning and I was wrong about the surge?’ ” asked O’Reilly.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


Cleaning Up After Bush

The Bush administration has lived by a strategy of tension, and will go out of office bequeathing the wars it has started and the ill will it has created to its successors, to compromise those who come after.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


The Cost of Saakashvili’s Folly

The West’s response to the situation in Georgia evades acknowledgement of the damage Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili has done to the United States and NATO, and to Georgia itself, which for the foreseeable future will now be a nation of limited sovereignty, and an awkward embarrassment to its Western allies.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE


Rice
topnews.in

Rice Pops Up in Baghdad

Where in the world is Condoleezza Rice? Well, as the ink was drying on the deal she signed to secure Poland’s cooperation in the United States’ controversial missile shield project, Secretary of State Rice turned up in Baghdad on Thursday for an unscheduled visit with Iraqi leaders. Surprise!

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on the Middle East

What is it about the region that provokes intense sectarian passions, prompting seemingly endless vendettas? “Kingmakers,” by Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, tells the story of British and American entanglement and how the modern Middle East was invented. It also offers an exemplary history of hubris.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad Gives the Finger









Posted on Aug 6, 2008 ENLARGE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Syria Succeeds by Doing Nothing

Without a shot being fired, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ensured that anyone who wants anything in the Middle East has got to talk to Syria. He’s done nothing—and he’s won.

Posted on Aug 3, 2008 READ MORE


Hersh on Iran

Hersh: Cheney & Co. Discussed How to Trigger War With Iran

You may have already seen this, but it bears re-posting far and wide: The inimitable Seymour Hersh gave truly disturbing details, during the Campus Progress journalism conference in July, expounding upon his article from that month’s New Yorker about the Bush administration’s attempts to find a cause for war against Iran in late 2007.

Posted on Aug 2, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


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