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The Cleric and the Bombers: Iran’s Hassan Rouhani

Precis: In a crucial moment of opportunity, Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president, extends the hand of diplomacy. President Obama’s team, surprised and gratified, grasp for Rouhani’s hand. If the handshake pans out, this rapprochement will be Obama’s greatest triumph. Rouhani is no saint but will operate in his own best interests.

Waiting for Halabja

~by Creon Critic What exactly is the delay in formulating a comprehensive strategy to transition the Assad regime out of power in Syria? However reluctant President Obama is to get further involved in another Middle East conflict, the clear threats to US national interests are already upon us. Which is why the US and allies…

A Theoretical Case for a Romney Presidency From a Foreign Policy PoV.

Over at Blinded Trials the esteemed Dr. Saunders has a post up about how W. Mitt Romney, much like John McCain before him, has managed to alienate potential voters with his mendacity and pandering to the Republican base. In response to said post Jaybird says: There is a part of me that is vaguely troubled by the…

News Comes in Threes, Israeli Edition

The past three days have seen three important events in Israeli politics, which, taken together, will have ramifications for American policy and the region as a whole. On Tuesday—as the title of my prior, almost optimistic post suggested might happen despite my best wishes—Kadima left the governing coalition because of disagreements about how to replace…

Iran, Israel, And Wannabe Masters Of War

There’s a long and honorable legacy in the Jewish tradition of universalism, humanity, pacifism, and a generally forward-thinking, enlightened worldview. Of this legacy, Philip Klein of The Washington Examiner is not an heir; and his latest assembly of talking points and clichés is a testament as to why. With that mawkish machismo that so frequently…

Bolton on Bombing

John Bolton writing in the Wall Street Journal: We therefore face a stark, unattractive reality. There are only two options: Iran gets nuclear weapons, or someone uses pre-emptive military force to break Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle and paralyze its program, at least temporarily.. Given how much of an opponent of hawkish neoconservatism I am, it…

Iran is Going to Get a Bomb–Deal With It

Richard Grenell takes to the e-pages of HuffingtonPost to say the following: One year later Obama has single-handedly allowed the Iranians more than a year of unfettered progress toward a nuclear weapon with less pressure and inquiry from the international community. Even the slow-moving, state-the-obvious International Atomic Energy Agency announced this week that it fears…

Must Read for the Day: Iran Edition

Andrew Lee Butters has a really excellent piece in Time that tries to discern Iran’s thinking on the enrichment question.  Do read the whole thing: The response to the nuclear deal could be an important test of the regime’s direction, because while its ideology demands rejection, its pragmatic interests may be best served by reaching…

In search of realism

Given the recent uproar over this article defending the Iranian election results,* I think it’s important to distinguish between those of us who see a realistic, restrained foreign policy as the best way to promote both human dignity and American interests abroad and people who view the United States’ posture through a strictly amoral lens,…

Symmetrical Idiocy

I was going to take Michael Goldfarb to task for suggesting that Iran policy ought to be dictated by some anonymous student demonstrator, but then The Guardian published an entire op-ed inspired by little more than a picture of some anonymous demonstrator’s placard. One unfortunate result of the crisis in Iran has been a renewed…

a quote for a cloudy summer morning

“Moussavi passed through this system of ideological control; he’s no radical reformer. But what’s happened is that simply by representing an alternative, Moussavi became a vehicle for the expression of the hopes of people who are far more radical in their reformist attitudes than anyone in the dominant power structure. Even though the players in…

Some Real “F”ers

Andrew Sullivan posts this video:  Violence Warning.   Sullivan is creating a series (more here, here, and here).  Second warning–the last link in that series is particularly horrific.  I’ll simply link to them but not post any of them. The comment Andrew makes concerning these videos is:  This is Fascism.  Fascism incarnate, live and in the…

twitter

Here’s a good resource for Iran-related twitter updates/photos etc.  Right now, lots of tweets asking Twitter not to shut down for maintenance tonight.  Let’s see if new media management is as responsive as the technology they created….

yes but why so blatantly?

There’s a fairly wide consensus building that the Iranian election results were fraudulent.  Much speculation exists regarding the who, why, etc.  John Holbo wonders why the apparent fraud was so crudely done.  It’s a good question.  Why not make the results more believable?