Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Trump Ends Support to Anti-Assad Rebels. Trump’s empty embassy move promise was it seems a symbolic harbinger of things to come. By letting Russia control what happens in Syria near Israel’s border, Trump is betraying the fundamental security interests of ally Israel, not to mention doubling down on its dereliction of superpower duty, which means abandoning American long-term interests.

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Dispensability of Allies by George Friedman — probably the only required reading on President Trump’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, even if it is rather dismal.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Albeit behind Iran, Israel squeaks onto Walter Russell Mead’s list of the Great Eight Powers of 2017. It’s amazing that only one European country makes it here.

Friday, February 19th, 2016

In the wake of what seems to this layman to be unwisely tepid Western support, the Kurds of Iraq are building a relationship with Iran.

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Who is the enemy to engage, Iran or ISIS? Lee Smith has an answer: Iran, because you can’t defeat ISIS without the Sunnis on board, and you can’t get Sunnis on board against ISIS until you demonstrably tamp down Iran.


Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

According to the reputable Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, led by Dore Gold, ISIS is an Iranian surrogate.

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Garry Samore, President Obama’s White House Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction Arms Control and Counterterrorism from 2009 to 2013, discusses in detail negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Dore Gold recounts Iran’s first ‘charm offensive’: its use of the tactic of khod’eh, ie, “tricking one’s enemy into a misjudgment of one’s true position”, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini waged a successful deception campaign from exile in Paris.

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Sorry, but more David P. Goldman, this time at Tablet with “Dumb and Dumber” (not his title) on recent US Middle East policy. He begins: “Errors by the party in power can get America into trouble; real catastrophes require consensus.” Like liberals, neocons got mugged by reality.

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I like what the Middle East has become. The inevitabilities are being processed and Iran is more isolated than ever.

Thomas PM Barnett

Friday, August 17th, 2012

The Vlady-Bibi Tapes by Michael Ledeen. BIBI: “Well maybe you shouldn’t have built that nuclear reactor, or arranged for them to get your antiaircraft missiles.” VLADY: “I didn’t sell them antiaircraft missiles.” BIBI: “You sold the missiles to Chavez in Venezuela, and he sent them to Iran, as you well know. That was the deal, wasn’t it?”

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict,” said Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi at an international anti-drug conference held in Tehran. “They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.”

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Josef Joffe, editor of Hamburg’s Die Zeit, analyses Günter Grass’s What Must Be Said.

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Ensuring that Iran does not go nuclear is the best guarantee for long-term regional stability. Amos Yadlin, one of eight Israeli fighter pilots who bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, debunks some conventional wisdom on attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Revenge of the Sunnis: What the Arab Spring is really about. By Edward Luttwak. In Foreign Policy.

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Mark Helprin sums it up on attacking Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Unusually, he cogently summarizes the reasons Iran wants the bomb.

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Walter Russell Mead is sanguine about long-term prospects after a visit to Israel.

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The Strong Horse: Power, Politics and the Clash of Arab Civilizations

Lee Smith


A rich mixture of travelogue, history and policy pamphlet that is ultimately more of the former than the latter, it casts itself as a critique of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, but isn’t really. Rather, it’s a diving in. A lively and exciting diving in. I did want it to be longer than it is.

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Fine interview (discount the interviewer) with wise elder statesman Gary Sick on Iran.

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

On moving forward smartly on Iran. Robert D. Kaplan in The Atlantic (be like Reagan). James K. Glassman in The Wall Street Journal (a serious plan). And the participants in a Harvard Kennedy School diplomacy wargame with Iran talk to Charlie Rose: Gary Sick, Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns and Ehud Eiran.

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

It’s madness but persuasive: Why Russia is Not Afraid of an Iranian Bomb by Boris Morozov.

Friday, August 28th, 2009

If ever the US has been close to achieving potentially terminal self-marginalization in the Middle East, it is now, under Obama. By Michael Young, opinion editor, Lebanon’s Daily Star.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Iranians are back on the streets,
reports The New York Times.

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

David Brooks writes the first beautiful prose on the Iranian protests — see paragraphs 3 and 4. And it stays lyrical as well as wise. Brooks’s best ever?

I have to say, Tom Friedman’s column on Iran sounds like a presidential speech.

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Withering observations on Obama’s lukewarm reaction to events in Iran by William Kristol (Obama as “resolutely irresolute”) and Fred Barnes (rejecting Obama’s “false choices” meme).

“Unless Mousavi withdraws and leads his followers in a renewed quietist retreat,” writes Reuel Marc Gerecht, “the Islamic revolution, which shook the Muslim world 30 years ago, will now become either a real laboratory of democracy or a crude and violent dictatorship that might rival the Baathist regimes of Iraq and Syria in its savagery. Either outcome would be momentous.”

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Spengler provides the first interesting look at the Iranian presidential election, arguing that the ayatollahs must appear militant to fend off their main true threat: not Israel, not the US, not the Saudis, but the Sunni Taliban in Pakistan.

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

John Bolton lists Iran’s likely responses to an Israeli attack. Plus: he says “quantum of solace”!

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Joe Lieberman points out the unprecedented convergence of concerns about Iran among Arabs and Israelis alike — and that some of the strongest alliances in history have been forged among old antagonists when confronted by a new, common threat.

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009