When Eisenhower Republicans Censured Israel—Three Times | The American Conservative – Derek Leebaert

August 23, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Both Democratic congresswomen endorse boycotts, divestment, and sanctions—as well as UN censures of Israel—to support Palestinian rights. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, among other interest groups, insists that BDS “intends to delegitimize” if not “destroy” Israel, and many politicians in Washington agree.

Yet interestingly, Omar and Tlaib are echoing the Republican Party’s support of censures and repeated threats to apply economic sanctions against the Jewish state from the days of President Dwight Eisenhower.

Eisenhower tightly controlled U.S. foreign policy and was pivotal to the UN Security Council’s censuring of Israel in November 1953, March 1955, and in January 1956. The reasons for each rebukes were similar, as they all involved what Eisenhower believed to be illegal aggression and violence against Israel’s Arab neighbors.

Source: When Eisenhower Republicans Censured Israel—Three Times | The American Conservative

Tulsi Gabbard’s Road to Damascus | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

August 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Kamala Harris and the other Democratic candidates would do well to take note of the following reality—if the U.S. goes to war in Syria, Iran, North Korea, or elsewhere, Tulsi alone among her colleagues could be called upon to serve on the front line. 

“The Congresswoman [Gabbard] is the most qualified and prepared candidate to serve as Commander in Chief, which I believe is the most important responsibility of the President,” Senator Mike Gravel, a Democrat who represented Alaska in the Senate from 1969 through 1981, noted in his letter endorsing Tulsi for president. Gravel, an Army veteran, is perhaps most famous for placing the Pentagon Papers in the public record in 1971. A popular progressive voice for peace, his endorsement should not be taken lightly. Kamala Harris should take note.

Source: Tulsi Gabbard’s Road to Damascus  | The American Conservative

Did Trump Just Threaten to Attack Iran With Nukes? | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

July 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

On Monday during a press conference between Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump spoke rather casually of having reviewed plans to annihilate Afghanistan.

“I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump said. “I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone. It would be over in, literally, in 10 days. And I don’t want to go that route.”

Source: Did Trump Just Threaten to Attack Iran With Nukes? | The American Conservative

Strait of Hormuz: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

July 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

For the next 60 days, the 90-mile length of waterway known as the Strait of Hormuz will be the most dangerous place on Earth, with the prospects for an incident occurring which will trigger a regional conflict possessing global ramifications high. Following this 60-day period, the risks will only grow higher.

On July 1, Iran announced that it was exceeding some of the uranium enrichment restrictions put in place by the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action, or JCPOA (better known as the Iran nuclear agreement), which the U.S. withdrew from a year ago.

The decision to blow through the restriction were a response to Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign to to negotiate a new deal. This campaign has included the resumption of crippling economic sanctions, including the implementation of so-called “secondary sanctions” which target nations and companies that do business with Iran in violation of the embargoes.

Source: Strait of Hormuz: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth | The American Conservative

The Tulsi Effect: Forcing War Onto the Democratic Agenda | The American Conservative – Danny Sjursen

July 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Democrats, liberals, progressives—call them what you will—don’t really do foreign policy. Sure, if cornered, they’ll spout a few choice talking points, and probably find a way to make them all about bashing President Donald Trump—ignoring the uncomfortable fact that their very own Barack Obama led and expanded America’s countless wars for eight long years.

This was ever so apparent in the first two nights of Democratic primary debates this week. Foreign policy hardly registered for these candidates with one noteworthy exception: Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard—herself an (anti-war) combat veteran and army officer.

Gabbard, shamefully, is the only one among an absurdly large field of candidates who has put foreign policy, specifically ending the forever wars, at the top of her presidential campaign agenda. Well, unlike just about all of her opponents, she did fight in those very conflicts. The pity is that with an electorate so utterly apathetic about war, her priorities, while noble, might just doom her campaign before it even really starts. That’s instructive, if pitiful.

Source: The Tulsi Effect: Forcing War Onto the Democratic Agenda | The American Conservative

A Parade of Imperial Presidencies | The American Conservative – Ivan Eland

May 27, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Watching the Trump administration stiff-arm constitutional checks and balances left and right, and stonewalling all congressional subpoena and other oversight requests connected to the Mueller probe, this might be a good time to remind Americans that the encroaching executive tyranny we feel has been building for some time, and that it is pretty much our fault.

Although historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. popularized the concept of the “imperial presidency” during the presidency of Richard Nixon, the power of the executive had been expanding mightily since the Cold War presidency of Harry Truman. However, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, presidents have further augmented their extra-constitutional power to such an extent that we might now classify the presidency as having gone rogue.

Source: A Parade of Imperial Presidencies | The American Conservative

Is America Ready for John Bolton’s War With Iran? – The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

May 11, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

National Security Advisor John Bolton’s announcement this week that the U.S. is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region seemed perfectly framed to put America on a war footing with Iran. And it is.

Claiming that the decision was made in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” Bolton declared that “the United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime.” But, he added, “we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.”

It took the Defense Department a full day to respond to Bolton’s statement, with acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan finally tweeting that the “announced deployment of the @CVN_72 and a @USAirForce bomber task force to the @CENTCOM area of responsibility…represents a prudent repositioning of assets in response to indications of a credible threat by Iranian regime forces.”

Source: Is America Ready for John Bolton’s War With Iran? | The American Conservative

Is Demography Destiny? – The American Conservative – Scott McConnell

May 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Unease with rapid demographic change is a major driving force in our politics. Neopopulist parties advocating tougher immigration restrictions continue to advance in Europe, most recently in Spain and the Netherlands. The more established parties of the European center-right, ineffectual at stemming immigration when in power, increasingly give rhetorical backing to enhanced restriction.

It now seems clear that at least a plurality of voters in Europe favor stark immigration limits. In the United States, President Donald Trump propelled himself past the rest of the GOP presidential field by promising strong measures to stem illegal immigration. He unexpectedly won the presidency and will quite possibly win a second term, even if he has failed to fulfill the promises he made to voters who backed him to get control over immigration.

Source: Is Demography Destiny? | The American Conservative

What if Iran Retaliates and Shuts Down the Strait of Hormuz? | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

May 1, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The effort on the part of the Trump administration to shut down Iran’s ability to export oil is predicated on the false notion that the rest of the world will fall in lockstep with U.S. policy. But has President Donald Trump really thought through what would happen to the economic health of the world if Iran retaliates, shutting the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil flows daily?

The Trump administration’s push to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero has entered a new, critical phase, with the United States refusing to extend the waivers it granted six months ago to eight nations, including China, India, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea, to purchase Iranian oil. Moreover, the United States has refused to allow for a “wind-down” period where impacted nations would be able to gradually wean themselves away from Iranian sources of energy. This means that, effective May 1, any nation purchasing oil from Iran will be subjected to punitive U.S. sanctions.

Source: What if Iran Retaliates and Shuts Down the Strait of Hormuz? | The American Conservative

It Was All a Lie | The American Conservative – Peter Van Buren

March 27, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The short version? Mueller is done. His report unambiguously states there was no collusion or obstruction. He was allowed to follow every lead unfettered in an investigation of breathtaking depth.

It cannot be clearer. The report summary states, “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election…the report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public.”

Robert Mueller did not charge any Americans with collusion, coordination, or criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. The special counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign “coordinated,” a much lower standard defined as an “agreement, tacit or express,” with Russian election interference activities. They did not.

Everything—everything—else we have been told since the summer of 2016 falls, depending on your conscience and view of humanity, into the realm of lies, falsehoods, propaganda, exaggerations, political manipulation, stupid reporting, fake news, bad judgment, simple bull, or, in the best light, hasty conclusions.

Source: It Was All a Lie | The American Conservative

Ari Fleischer Lied, and People Died | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

March 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, ignited a firestorm of controversy Wednesday when, while commenting on the 16th  anniversary of the U.S invasion of Iraq, he sought to defend the reputation of his boss when it came to the veracity of the claims about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that underpinned President Bush’s case for war.

“The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow,” Fleischer tweeted on March 19. “There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed ‘Bush lied. People died.’ This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.”

Fleischer goes on to declare that “The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded,” before noting that “The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.”

Source: Ari Fleischer Lied, and People Died | The American Conservative

Paul Manafort: Eulogy for a Straw Man | The American Conservative – PETER VAN BUREN

March 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

No one weeps for Paul Manafort. The irony is that his sad but relatively uneventful life as a parasite of a corrupt political system would not have mattered a jot if special counsel Robert Mueller hadn’t thought that he could bring down the president. That Trump is still standing means we need to prepare for Act II, what happens post-Mueller.

But first the eulogy. Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation in 2014, centered on the sleazy consulting work he did for Ukraine’s former ruling party. The surveillance was discontinued that same year and the FBI dropped the matter for lack of evidence. Then Manafort’s less-than-three-month tenure as Trump’s campaign chairman provided the good-enough-for-government-work hook when the FBI went fishing for ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives.

Source: Paul Manafort: Eulogy for a Straw Man | The American Conservative

How Politics Trump Intel in the US-Russia Nuke Treaty Pullout | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The United States has a track record of asking nations to prove a negative when it comes to compliance with arms control agreements, and then holding them to account when they fail to do so. The deficit of integrity over U.S. claims against Iraq regarding weapons of mass destruction and Iran and its nuclear program speaks volumes about how corrupt America’s policy making apparatus has become. Now the United States is making the same mistake again by pulling out of the INF Treaty, which it claims Russia violated.

“A high degree of confidence is required before the United States will publicly charge another party with violation of an international agreement.” Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Thomas Graham, Jr. delivered those remarks during testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 1994. At that time, the ACDA served as the lead agency regarding arms control compliance. The intelligence community supported the ACDA’s mission of making firm compliance judgments by providing the necessary intelligence information and analysis.

Source: How Politics Trump Intel in the US-Russia Nuke Treaty Pullout | The American Conservative

Hungary Shows the West the Path to Survival | The American Conservative – Scott McConnell

February 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

A specter is haunting the European Union—the specter of Eastern Europe. Hungary is a country slightly more populous than Virginia, and its population diminishes slightly every year. It receives substantial subsidies from richer EU countries, produces nice wines, but has little industry not tied to German auto plants. Its military has roughly zero external intervention capability.

And yet in Europe, Hungary is always in the headlines. The glossy French center-right weekly Le Point warns with alarm that Hungary’s president Viktor Orbán “outlines the shape of another Europe.” A few months ago, the European Parliament subjected Orbán’s government to a sort of trial under “Article 7,” a process that could lead to Hungary being denied its parliamentary voting rights. Le Point (again) speaks ominously of a menacing “axis” between Poland, Hungary, and the new populist government of Italy.

Source: Hungary Shows the West the Path to Survival | The American Conservative

Trump is Right: The Intelligence Community Needs to ‘Go Back to School’ | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

February 1, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Earlier this week, the collective leadership of the United States intelligence community briefed Congress on the Worldwide Threat Assessment Report. In doing so, they provided testimony that seemed to contradict virtually every aspect of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, including the decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, the threat posed by Iran, North Korean denuclearization, and improving relations with Russia.

The president, in typical fashion, lashed out, criticizing the intelligence community’s collective analysis, which predictably elicited criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. They accused him of undermining public confidence in the pronouncements of the intelligence agencies and damaging national security.

In this case, Trump is right and his detractors are wrong.

Source: Trump is Right: The Intelligence Community Needs to ‘Go Back to School’ | The American Conservative

Who Says Economic Sanctions Work? | The American Conservative – Scott Ritter

November 21, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The imposition of new, more stringent sanctions targeting Iranian oil sales by the Trump administration has once again raised the question: is this even a viable policy?

The Council on Foreign Relations defines sanctions as “a lower-cost, lower-risk, middle course of action between diplomacy and war.” In short, sanctions do not represent policy per se, but rather the absence of policy, little more than a stop-gap measure to be used while other options are considered and/or developed.

Not surprising, sanctions have rarely—if ever—succeeded in obtaining their desired results. The poster child for successful sanctions as a vehicle for change—divestment in South Africa during the 1980s in opposition to the Apartheid regime—is in reality a red herring. The South Africa sanctions were in fact counterproductive, in so far as they prompted even harsher policies from the South African government. The demise of Apartheid came about largely because the Soviet Union collapsed, meaning the South African government was no longer needed in the fight against communism.

Source: Who Says Economic Sanctions Work? | The American Conservative

Bolton’s Ridiculous ‘Troika of Tyranny’ Speech | The American Conservative

November 4, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Andrew Bacevich appropriately ridicules John Bolton’s silly “troika of tyranny” speech from earlier this week:

Targeting the ‘triangle of terror’ might strike a chord with right wing Floridians. But when it comes to advancing the cause of national security or of human decency, its benefits will be nil.

Source: Bolton’s Ridiculous ‘Troika of Tyranny’ Speech | The American Conservative

Trump Surrenders to John Bolton on Russia and Arms Control | The American Conservative

October 28, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Declaring that “there is a new strategic reality out there,” President Donald Trump’s hardline national security advisor John Bolton announced during a visit to Moscow earlier this week that the United States would be withdrawing from the 31-year-old Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. “This was a Cold War bilateral ballistic missile-related treaty,” Bolton said, “in a multi-polar ballistic missile world.”

“It is the American position that Russia is in violation,” Bolton told reporters after a 90-minute meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Russia’s position is that they aren’t. So one has to ask how to ask the Russians to come back into compliance with something they don’t think they’re violating.”

Source: Trump Surrenders to John Bolton on Russia and Arms Control | The American Conservative

Iran Deserves Credit for the Ruin of ISIS | The American Conservative

October 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Until recently the United States viewed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as a major threat to regional stability in the Middle East. Barack Obama made it a mission to roll back ISIS’s territorial and propagandistic gain, and Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to “kick ISIS’s ass.” The United States expended considerable effort, both military and political, in a campaign to defeat the terror group in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, Syria.

But there is also no doubt that the bulk of the effort came from Iran, not the United States. Without Iranian involvement, ISIS would still have a formidable presence in both Iraq and Syria.

ISIS was born out of the ashes of the American invasion of Iraq. Their rise was the logical extension of a process that saw the fabric of secular Sunni society torn asunder by an American occupier unwilling to further empower a Sunni ruling elite that had been loyal to Saddam Hussein. Washington failed to understand the resentment engendered within the Sunni community when Iraq’s Shia, some of whom were beholden to Iran, came to power.

Source: Iran Deserves Credit for the Ruin of ISIS | The American Conservative

Is Trump Letting Al-Qaeda Sympathizers Survive in Syria? | The American Conservative

September 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

On September 13, 2018, two days after the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard addressed her colleagues from the floor of the House of Representatives. “Two days ago, President Trump and Vice President Pence delivered solemn speeches about the attacks on 9/11, talking about how much they care about the victims of Al-Qaeda’s attack on our country,” she observed. “But they are now standing up to protect the 20,000 to 40,000 al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria, and threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran with military force if they dare attack these terrorists.”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson backed Gabbard’s statement by noting, “More than 10,000 rebels in [Idlib] province are believed to be aligned with Al-Qaeda. So that would mean that 17 years after 9/11, America could soon find itself bombing a country to protect al-Qaeda sympathizers. Why would we do that?”

The short answer is: Russia.

Source: Is Trump Letting Al-Qaeda Sympathizers Survive in Syria? | The American Conservative

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