Iranian Arms and the Spirit of the Deal

Speaking at the end of a nuclear security summit on Friday, President Obama argued that while Iran was living up to the “letter” of the nuclear deal it made with the West, it was still violating the “spirit” of the pact. But, as I noted yesterday, he framed the problem as one in which it was the Islamist regime and its potential Western business partners that would lose out. Actions such as violations of missile test bans or shipping weapons to Hezbollah might scare away foreign investment. But he didn’t seem to think the consequences of Iran’s provocative behavior went farther than that. The president’s confidence in the wisdom of his policy of engagement is such that he views those Americans who continue to point out the foolishness of his policy as being the moral equivalent of Iran’s Islamist hardliners. Though he doesn’t wish to be accused of ignoring Iranian behavior, he nevertheless treats it as insignificant. But yesterday, we got a reminder of why other nations in the Middle East, both Israel and its Arab neighbors, regard the question of the spirit of the deal very differently.

10
Shares
Google+ Print

Iranian Arms and the Spirit of the Deal

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Iranian Terror State Targets Europe

The Iran deal haunts its sponsors.

In a rare lucid moment in January 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the Tehran regime would use some of the funds from the Iranian nuclear deal to fund terrorism.

26
Shares
Google+ Print

The Power-Hungry Left Loses Its Cool

Hypocrisy is no obstacle.

In the early days of “The Resistance,” back when the movement was purportedly focused on forming broad coalitions that spanned ideological divides, it was common to hear its members lament Donald Trump’s assault on treasured American norms and conventions. The patina of legitimacy this organizing principal lent to the anti-Trump left’s more unsavory members and tactics is no longer operative. For the power-starved left, it seems that those norms and conventions are part of the problem.

21
Shares
Google+ Print

PODCAST: Which Side Are You On, Boys

Podcast: The pro-and anti-Trump conservative debate.

Brit Hume argues on Twitter: “I suppose you can also be pro-tax cuts, pro-deregulation, pro-defense increases, pro-gun rights, pro-life and anti-Trump. But at some point, it begins to seem ridiculous.” John McCormack of the Weekly Standard ripostes: “I suppose you can oppose sexual assault, conspiracy theories, lying, adultery, mocking American POWs, sanitizing dictators & white supremacists, and still be pro-Trump. But at some point, it begins to seem ridiculous.” This perfect distillation of the fight on the Right is the subject of maybe the best podcast we’ve ever done. Give a listen.

6
Shares
Google+ Print

German Wobbliness on Russia Is Real

And it long predates Trump.

The latest NATO summit got underway in Brussels this week, and President Trump brought all of his signature rhetorical subtlety to the Belgian capital. Off the bat at a meeting Wednesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump accused Germany of being “captive” to Russia. The remark ruffled diplomatic feathers in the Western alliance and touched off a predictable freakout among reporters and pundits back home.

80
Shares
Google+ Print

The Kavanaugh Conspiracy

Trading sanity for energy.

Generally speaking, the Trump era has been defined by two contrasting phenomena: Republican disunity leading to occasional episodes of tactical incompetence, and Democratic discipline and reconstruction. When it comes to judicial appointments, however, the parties trade their roles. From non-governmental organizations, to media figures, to Congress and the White House, the right has been united, strategic, and remarkably effective at nominating and confirming originalist judges to federal court appointments. Democrats, meanwhile, have been tactically maladroit, schismatic, and irrational. Owing to their lack of foresight, Democrats are now stripped of the minority privileges that would allow them to effectively oppose Donald Trump’s overqualified nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. Thus, in their impotence, they are left with one option: radicalize their voters.

19
Shares
Google+ Print