June 22, 2009
Was Netanyahu Right About Iran?
Jeff Goldberg asks (and answers) the question: Yesterday, on Meet the Press, Netanyahu told David Gregory that recent events have "unmasked" the true nature of the regime, and this is undoubtedly true: No one, not even the regime's apologists, believes that these men are secret moderates interested in seeing Iran rejoin the civilized world. So in one way, the regime's murderous response to dissent helps Netanyahu make his case that this is indeed a fanatic regime.
Friends and sources who know Capitol Hill better than I do tell me that Senator Lindsey Graham is smart, responsible, and reasonable--in other words, the sort of Republican with whom Democrats could work on health care. Among other things, they note, Graham recently signed on as a co-sponsor of the Wyden-Bennett health reform bill--which, whatever its flaws, would give all Americans insurance in a fiscally responsible way. I'd like to believe these friends and sources are right. But Graham's performance on ABC's "This Week" yesterday makes me think they're wrong.
Jones To Afpak, India
National Security advisor Jim Jones is en route to Afghanistan and Pakistan to meet with senior officials in those countries, the White House say. Obama has sent Jones to the region "to follow-up on the implementation of our new, comprehensive strategy. NSA Jones will have meetings with host country officials, Embassy personnel, international coalition representatives and military commanders," says NSC spokesman Mike Hammer.
Rosen On The Voting Rights Act
The Supreme Court just released its opinion in Northwest Austin Utility District v. Holder, a case that raised questions about the constitutionality of enforcement mechanisms in the Voting Rights Act. As Jeff Rosen wrote last May, if the Court's conservative majority decided to overturn those provisions, it might have presented President Obama with a political opportunity: If the Supreme Court strikes down part of the Voting Rights Act ...
How Low Can They Go?
Over the weekend at The Corner, Victor Davis Hanson decided to read Obama's mind on Iran and discovered that our president is "almost more at ease with virulent anti-Westerners." Today on The Corner, Andy McCarthy tries to do Hanson one better with this analysis: The key to understanding Obama, on Iran as on other matters, is that he is a power-politician of the hard Left : He is steeped in Leftist ideology, fueled in anger and resentment over what he chooses to see in America's history, but a "pragmatist" in the sense that where ideology and power collide (as they are apt to do when your ideo
Dennis Ross To Handle *iraq*??
This is becoming a kind of comedy routine. Next thing you know he'll be headed to the domestic policy council to manage health care. I have no hard information to add to the curious Politico report, which comes via Robin Wright, except that last week one person who follows Iran policy closely firmly insisted to me that Ross would continue to be the administration's Iran point man. Based on this morning's report I'll offer three possible explanations for this latest report: 1. Ross clashed with others in the administration and was booted off the Iran portfolio. (I doubt this is the case.) 2.
Over the past few days, many of Obama's critics have argued that he should be speaking out more forcefully in favor of the Iranian opposition. Charles Krauthammer called the administration's position "absurd," while Paul Wolfowitz made a similar argument by referencing his own experience in urging President Reagan to withdraw support from the Marcos regime in the Philippines. Republican congressman Michael Pence slammed the president, noting, "When Ronald Reagan went to the Brandenburg Gate, he did not say ‘Mr.
June 21, 2009
In an op-ed from today's New York Times, Reuel Marc Gerecht makes this intuitively sensible point: The reverse parallels here with the rest of the Islamic Middle East are striking. Where secular dictatorships rule, the best and the brightest are often attracted to the Islamist cause. The moral repugnance of these regimes trumps the appeal of their Westernization. Muslim fundamentalists often espouse democracy either because it is the only peaceful means of dethroning their rulers or because they really do believe that most Muslims are “good” Muslims.
June 20, 2009
The Power of Plenty
The panoramic view on Thursday of more than a million Iranians filling the streets of Tehran, on the sixth straight day of swelling popular demonstrations against the Iranian regime's mangled election and ensuing street violence, has been an undeniable inspiration to the tens of millions who’ve seen it.
June 19, 2009
Threatening: The protests are a result of Iran's enemies. Their mechanism is "their media which is controlled by dirty Zionists." These enemies have exploited the protests that Mousavi called, but the violence had nothing to do with Mousavi's supporters. Terrorists are hiding behind the protestors, and basij (regime paramilitaries) have been killed. The debate over the election has to be done at "the administrative level" i.e. not on the street.