The Debate Democrats Can’t Have

The over 18 million Americans who tuned to CNN on Tuesday night for the first Republican presidential debate since the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino might have been pleasantly surprised. American anxieties over the threat of radical Islamic terrorism are nearing or surpassing their immediate post-9/11 peaks, and those who turned on the news to hear a substantive debate over the near-and long-term security challenges facing the nation were privy to one. For Democrats, this has proven frustrating. Theirs is a party that cannot have a serious debate over matters related to national security without condemning their party’s leader and his brand of crisis management and, thus, jeopardizing its own electoral viability in the process.

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The Debate Democrats Can’t Have

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Qods Force Speaks on Iran Governance?

Qasem Soleimani prepares to make his move.

The Qods Force is the elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps charged with exporting Iran’s revolution. In practical terms, this means terror sponsorship worldwide and support for insurgency and proxy groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Bahrain.

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So Much for ‘RyanCare’

Paul Ryan outmaneuvered the Trump wing on health care.

If you thought that winning both chambers of Congress, the White House, and the most state-level offices in almost 100 years had put the Republican civil war to bed, you thought wrong. The ideological struggle within the Republican Party that typified the 2016 election cycle has subsided, but conservatives, populists, and moderates are still waging a war of ideas. The stakes of the fight are nothing less than dominance within the American right, and the latest battlefield on which that struggle is being waged is the fight over ObamaCare’s replacement. For many on the right, the first draft of the GOP’s bill to replace the Affordable Care Act was a dud. Fearing, perhaps correctly, that whoever took ownership of the bill would one day live to regret it, Donald Trump’s backers in right-leaning media desperately sought to brand the bill “RyanCare.” President Trump isn’t playing along.

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The Curious Iranian Yellowcake Deal

What did Ernest Moniz negotiate for the Iranians?

A month ago, news broke that Iran planned to purchase 950 tons of yellowcake from Kazakhstan. Here’s Radio Free Europe, for example:

Iran says it has requested to buy 950 tons of uranium ore from Kazakhstan over three years to help develop its civil reactor program. Tehran has asked a body overseeing its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers to approve the purchase and is still awaiting Britain’s agreement, the ISNA news agency quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, as saying on February 25. Salehi also said Iran expects to get Russian help in producing nuclear fuel.

The Iranian announcement raised eyebrows in Congress, if nothing else because it once again raised the specter of the secret side deals and understandings struck by nuclear negotiators with Iran. Such agreements would have been illicitly withheld from Congress by the White House and State Department before the key vote on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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Iran’s Emboldened U.S. Lobby

What services is NIAC performing for the regime in Tehran?

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has long been sensitive about accusations that it acts as, at best, a de facto lobby for the Islamic Republic of Iran and, at worst, an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of the Iranian regime.

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The U.S. Human Rights Report Travesty

Anti-Israel bias masquerading as human rights advocacy.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Trump Administration’s plan to slash funding for the State Department, so I’d like to offer my own modest proposal in that direction: Kill the department’s human rights bureau.