Islamic Republic of Iran
A Defense of Wikileaks
December 01, 2010
The Obama administration has condemned Wikileaks for its second release within a year of classified foreign policy documents. And some liberal commentators have backed up the administration’s complaints. And I am not going to argue that the administration doesn’t have a case. Governments rely on candid assessments from their diplomats; and if Americans in overseas embassies have to assume that they are writing for the general public and not for their superiors back home, they are not likely to be very candid. But there is also something to be said in defense of Wikileaks.
Sure, End The Gaza Blockade. And Let In Rocket Launchers, Missiles, And Other Explosives
October 28, 2010
This is not a fantasy. The Nigerian Secret Service found in a ship bound from Iran to wherever, with a stop-over in Lagos, 13 containers of weapons about which the bribery bureaucracy had begun to fake papers. Where do you think they were going? To Disneyland? Here’s the report by Barak Ravid in today’s Ha’aretz. Please take notice Jimmy Carter, eminence gris of the Elders. Or maybe the senile.
TEHRAN DISPATCH: Anti-Iranian Terrorism and the United States
October 22, 2010
TEHRAN -- It’s a rare upbeat story to cover in Iran: the release of Iranian-American businessman Reza Taghavi from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after two and a half years behind bars. The only reporters allowed into the country for the event, we were the first to greet the 71-year-old from Orange County, as he walked free. He gave us a rare account of conditions inside the prison. Taghavi described living with 33 fellow inmates in a cell with only 16 beds, and enduring repeated broken promises that he’d be released.
The Bill O'Reilly Fallacy
October 16, 2010
After recent conversations with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and others who are of a more conservative bent, I started to reflect on Western scholarship and American conservative commentary on Islam. Western historiography of Islam provides a treasure-trove of sympathetic and hostile criticism of the Middle East’s last-born, earth-shaking faith.
Why Ahmadinejad Acts the Way He Does at the U.N.
September 22, 2010
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speeches at the United Nations and his utterances elsewhere in New York are, again, proof that the Marxist-Islamist Molotov cocktail that produced the Islamic revolution is rebelliously alive among Iran’s ruling elite. Most of my Iranian friends have an extremely hard time watching the man speak. He uses religious language and allusion constantly, more so than any political figure in the Saudi royal family—the only other religio-political missionary–enamored elite in the Muslim world.
China Undercuts Sanctions Regime Against Iran: Another Triumph of Obama Diplomacy
September 16, 2010
For more than a year, President Obama and his whole State Department team had been trumpeting our diplomacy--both in the United Nations and through intermediaries--to stop Iran's march to nuclear nirvana. There was much pretense in the effort, what with every rebuff by China (and other less powerful but more portentous states) treated by the White House and Foggy Bottom as another step to the grand agreement.
August 11, 2010
Markos Moulitsas has decided to go the "Liberal Fascism" route in his new book: “We all agree with the Taliban.”—Rush Limbaugh, October 9, 2009 America’s primary international enemy—Islamic radicalism—insists on government by theocracy, curtails civil liberties, embraces torture, represses women, wants to eradicate homosexuals from society, and insists on the use of force over diplomacy. Remind you of a certain American political party?
LONDON—Glimmers of hope, rumored concessions, and anticipated de-escalations of rhetoric are the almost daily fare of those of us who cover Iran and its tense relations with the West. But in the year since Iran's disputed election—and the brutal crackdown that has followed—those brief shining moments have almost always faded away.
Liberal Apathy, the National Security Story
August 03, 2010
Heather Hurlburt is executive director of the National Security Network. She wrote this in response to last week's item about liberal apathy. Jonathan Cohn falls into the same trap as his apathetic Netroots liberals as far as national security is concerned.
'Top Secret America'—A Bust
July 29, 2010
In late July the Washington Post published an ambitious report on U.S. national security intelligence that we are told had taken the Post’s staff two years to complete. The project was led by two competent and experienced reporters, Dana Priest and William Arkin, and the report has received an enthusiastic press. Having written about national security intelligence in books like Countering Terrorism: Blurred Focus, Halting Steps (2007), I was looking forward to reading the Post’s report. The report is, in fact, a disappointment.