Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’
June 24th, 2015 at 11:01 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Dealing With Iran
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 13th, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Obama’s Legacy: Pieces of Iraq Now Part of ‘Greater Iran’

It’s gotten so bad in Iraq that Iranian-backed militias are fighting ISIS soldiers for control of large swaths of territory. And while these two factions redraw the map of the Middle East, American military advisors and the Iraqi army have been rendered largely irrelevant.

That prompted Richard Haas, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, to give this grim analysis: “I think [Iran] will win this battle, but… I think we have to understand, Baghdad and the south are now part of Greater Iran. This is what it is… ‘Iraq’ is over. Rest in peace. The era where you had an intact Iraq and an intact Syria is over. So what you’re looking at is an Iraq where part of it is an extension of Iran…”

Maybe this is why President Barack Obama is so repulsed by Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran: It threatens our dependence on a known sponsor of terror.

March 12th, 2015 at 3:53 pm
Tom Cotton’s Letter Echoes Jesse Helms’ Defense of the Constitution

If the Obama administration thinks U.S. Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) letter is a threat to their negotiations with Iran, they should consider the actions of the late Jesse Helms.

Helms (R-NC) was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the latter part of the Clinton presidency and made no bones about attempts to circumvent Congress so the White House could claim a big foreign policy headline.

In an op-ed published the day Clinton was to engage in talks with Vladimir Putin about reducing missile defense capabilities, Helms declared, “After dragging his feet on missile defense for nearly eight years, Mr. Clinton now fervently hopes that he will be permitted, in his final months in office, to tie the hands of the next President.”

Helms would have none of it. “Well I, for one, have a message for the President: Not on my watch. Let’s be clear, to avoid any misunderstandings: Any modified ABM treaty negotiated by this administration will be dead-on-arrival at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee… The Russian government should not be under any illusions whatsoever that any commitments made by this lame-duck Administration, will be binding on the next administration.”

And with that, the talks dissolved.

In this context, Cotton’s letter is tame by comparison. Which isn’t to say that it lacks verve and importance. Cotton and the forty-six other Senators who educated the Iranian leadership on the limitations of Obama’s go-it-alone strategy are guarding against the misimpression that Obama’s dealmaking lasts any longer than his hold on office.

What Helms and Cotton have in common is a clear-eyed view of constitutional procedure, and the difference it makes when shunted aside. If Obama wants a legacy pact with Iran, he can’t do it on the cheap. Congress – and specifically the Senate – needs to be consulted, the sooner the better.

March 10th, 2015 at 10:33 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Little League
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 3rd, 2015 at 1:21 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: What Color Is This Dress?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 18th, 2013 at 11:07 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 5th, 2013 at 8:57 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Obama Foreign Policy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 1st, 2013 at 9:51 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Trouble Filling Jimmy Carter’s Shoes
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 4th, 2013 at 9:37 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Look! Syria! Miley Cyrus?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 14th, 2013 at 7:23 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Just Use the IRS…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 11th, 2013 at 9:51 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Iran Nuclear Threat
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez. 

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 31st, 2013 at 6:28 pm
Hagel Flunks Confirmation Hearing; Still Might Pass Senate

Looks like Quin might get his wish on Chuck Hagel’s nomination.  President Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary nominee misstated the Administration’s policy on containment of Iran twice; once when Hagel said he supported Obama’s policy of containment, then when he said there was no policy.  It took Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI) to remind Hagel that, actually, “We (i.e. America) do have a position on containment, and that is we do not favor containment.”

Hagel also said during his confirmation hearing today that he doesn’t know enough about military programs and technology, but promised that as Defense Secretary he would do the necessary cramming to get up to speed.

Overall, Hagel did himself no favors with the senators who oppose his nomination, and may have given fence-sitters enough wiggle room to justify abandoning him.  My guess, however, is that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will work the phones and twist the arms necessary to save the Administration from a humiliating No vote on confirmation.

November 26th, 2012 at 3:50 pm
White House Stays Quiet Amidst Egyptian Turbulence
Posted by Troy Senik Print

From the Daily Caller:

White House officials remained silent during the extended Thanksgiving weekend, as Egypt’s pro-democracy groups called on President Barack Obama to condemn Thursday’s power grab by their country’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi decreed Nov. 22 that his pronouncements and edicts were beyond the reach of judicial review. The announcement was met by resistance from the nation’s top judges, who said they would fight Morsi’s unusual self-elevation to near-dictator status.

Not to kick our Egyptian friends when they’re down, but point to any random spot on a map and chances are that you’ll be within hailing distance of a nation that has been disappointed waiting for the Obama Administration to do the right thing. Whether it’s supporting dissidents in Iran, protecting constitutional government in Honduras, or providing missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic, the president has a real gift for making himself scarce when the stakes get high.

If the devolution of Egypt continues apace, the implications for Obama’s legacy are decidedly negative. This president, after all, promised a new start for the Islamic world in 2009. And he did so in Cairo.

November 8th, 2012 at 4:17 pm
Oh, By the Way …
Posted by Troy Senik Print

You know, things got so busy in those last few days before the election — the hurricane, the swing state stops, the basketball game — that the President may have forgotten to tell you a thing or two. Like:

Two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired on an unarmed U.S. Air Force Predator drone in the Persian Gulf last week, CNN has learned.

The incident raises fresh concerns within the Obama administration about Iranian military aggression in crucial Gulf oil shipping lanes.

The drone was in international airspace east of Kuwait, U.S. officials said, adding it was engaged in routine maritime surveillance.

Although the drone was not hit, the Pentagon is concerned.

Four years and counting. Surely that unclenched fist is just around the corner.

October 15th, 2012 at 4:39 pm
In Iran, a Blueprint for Chaos
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Der Spiegel today carries a chilling profile of General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, that includes this provocative piece of intelligence:

… [Amongst Iranian hardliners] Jafari, 55, is seen being particularly unyielding. In 2009, for example, he declared that Iran would fire missiles at Israel’s nuclear research center in Dimona if the Israelis attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities — knowing full well that such an attack would result in several thousand deaths on both sides.

Now Jafari and his supporters are allegedly preparing new potential horrors. Western intelligence agencies have acquired a plan marked “top secret” and code-named “Murky Water.” Together with Ali Fadawi, an admiral in the Pasdaran, Jafari is thought to have proposed a senseless act of sabotage: to intentionally cause an environmental catastrophe in the Strait of Hormuz.

The goal of the plan seems to be that of contaminating the strait so as to temporarily close the important shipping route for international oil tankers, thereby “punishing” the Arab countries that are hostile to Iran and forcing the West to join Iran in a large-scale cleanup operation — one that might require the temporary suspension of sanctions against Tehran.

I don’t know which is the more disturbing thought: that a senior official in the Iranian military would be willing to consider such gratuitous environmental destruction — or that it might be the only thing that gets the left interested in the evils of the Iranian regime.

July 27th, 2012 at 1:15 pm
UN Gun Treaty Treats Dictatorships and Democracies Equally

Last week my column discussed the disastrous legal consequences likely to emerge from the ongoing negotiations to create the Arms Transfer Treaty at the United Nations.

Fox News reports that with the conference coming to a close, a draft text has been released that has everyone not working for a dictatorial regime hopping mad:

While critics say U.S. gun owners and interests would be left exposed by the draft, it has drawn criticism on other fronts. Activists on the political left say it is a gift to illicit gunrunners around the world, and the only group that seems to like it is the rogue states leading talks, say critics.

“The talks … are now being dominated by skeptical governments including Iran, Syria and Cuba, intent on having a weak treaty, or no treaty at all,” Control Arms, a global movement that says illicit gunrunning is fueling conflict, poverty and serious human rights violations worldwide, said in a statement. Other activists named North Korea, Egypt and Algeria as additional spoilers of the UN’s stated aims for the treaty: to keep conventional weapons out of the hands of rogue regimes, terrorists and criminals.

Heritage expert Ted Bromund says it’s no surprise why the draft text of the ATT treaty is benefiting bad actors while stymieing liberals’ good intentions:

Any conceivable ATT, simply because it is being negotiated through the U.N., will be based on recognizing that all members of the U.N. are equal and sovereign states and thus have equal rights. The inevitable result of this, in the context of the ATT, will be a treaty stating that Iran and Venezuela have the same rights to buy, sell, and transfer weapons as do the U.S. and Japan. The U.N. already contains far too many dictatorships; negotiating a treaty that enshrines their equality of status in the realm of arms transfers is inherently a bad and dangerous idea.

As I noted in my column, the push for the ATT at the UN arose because gun control groups could not get legislation they favored passed in the United States Congress.  But instead of getting the hint that the political marketplace was unreceptive to their ideas, gun controllers threw in their lot with a body that treats every government the same, even those willing to turn a gun control treaty into a mechanism that oppresses citizens at home and abroad.

It will be a form of perverse justice that when the ATT becomes an international law protecting Iran and Venezuela’s ability to kill their own people and arm other dictatorships like Syria that the constituency most responsible for enshrining those rights will be gun control groups.

June 11th, 2012 at 1:44 pm
Senator Feinstein Feisty Over National Security Leaks

Kudos to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for putting politics aside and directly challenging the Obama administration to investigate what she calls “an avalanche of leaks” harming national security.

Feinstein’s public offensive began last week with a press release where she acknowledged sending “a classified letter to the president outlining my deep concerns about the release” of information “regarding alleged cyber efforts targeting Iran’s nuclear program.”

On Sunday, Feinstein said on CBS’ Face the Nation that the effectiveness of two recently appointed federal prosecutors to investigate the leaks about covert U.S. efforts to combat threats from Iran and terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda would be judged on whether it was “nonpartisan,” “vigorous,” and able to “move ahead rapidly.”

But if Attorney General Eric Holder has proved anything during his tenure – as the face of the Fast and Furious scandal, non-enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act, and refusing to prosecute voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers – it’s that he is incapable of being nonpartisan in the administration of justice.

Feinstein isn’t waiting on Holder to change his spots.  In her press release last week she promised to include new disclosure requirements to her Select Committee on Intelligence so that administration officials can be held accountable for leaks that put at risk the lives of Americans and American allies – even if it might help President Obama look tough on foreign policy.

Feinstein’s reaction thus far is pure commonsense.  Conservatives should support her push back against the Obama administration, and open up avenues for her to do more.

March 8th, 2012 at 4:03 pm
The UN: Feckless on Syria
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In my new column this week, I profile President Obama’s manifest weakness in responding to Syria and Iran — a weakness that belies the reputation for hawkishness that he seems to have been cultivating in the press for the last week.

If the president is in the market for a foil to make him look like a saber-rattler by comparison, he couldn’t do much better than the United Nations, as the Washington Post reports today:

A UNESCO panel on Thursday avoided tackling the issue of whether Syria should be ousted from a committee that deals with human rights.

Instead, the commission of the executive board of the U.N. cultural agency voted 35-8 Thursday to condemn the crackdown on civilians in the Arab state.

The U.S. and several other countries want to unseat Syria from the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, which has a strong human rights component. But there apparently is no precedent to remove a nation from a UNESCO committee.

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on an opposition movement has left thousands dead in the past year.

So beware, Syria, the UN is unsheathing its weapon of choice: parchment.

The depths of intellectual and moral dishonesty in the United Nations would be funny if the subject matters to which they are applied weren’t so gravely serious. The body can’t oust Syria from a human rights committee? This is the nation where the Assad regime stacks political prisoners in shipping containers and dumps them at sea.

It’s a good thing the UN is intrinsically powerless. Otherwise it’d be an accessory to murder.

February 28th, 2012 at 1:53 pm
Some “Reset” – Only 8% of Iranians Approve of U.S. Leadership
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

So much for Barack Obama’s “Reset” foreign policy doctrine.

Presumably, the potential payoff from Obama’s constant prostrate manner, his willingness to meet dictators like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “without preconditions,” his repeated apologetics and public disparagement of allies like Israel would at least be improved perceptions of America abroad.  Four years after introducing that doctrine, however, we’re still awaiting the payoff.  Russia and China continue to obstruct U.S. policy, Israel is more endangered each day and the Iranians dislike us as much as ever.  According to a new Gallup survey, only 8% of Iranian respondents approve “of the job performance of the leadership of the United States,” while 67% disapprove.

This should prompt recalibration within the White House, because its foreign policy weakness is not showing results.  Meanwhile, time is running out to halt Iran’s nuclear ambition.

February 23rd, 2012 at 2:06 pm
How Many Times Does Iran Have to Tell Us They’re Serious?
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Over at the Daily Caller, Jamie Weinstein has a piece today regarding the grave seriousness with which the Iranian regime approaches the prospect of wiping Israel off the face of the planet. The column opens by citing the widow of one of the recently-assassinated nuclear scientists working on the Iranian bomb, who says that her husband’s “ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel.”

The intellectual balm of choice for foreign policy sophisticates has been to tell themselves that this sort of language out of Tehran is purely for domestic consumption, empty rhetoric aimed at consolidating support for the regime. At last night’s Republican debate in Arizona, Newt Gingrich rejected that line of thought, saying “I’m inclined to believe dictators. It’s dangerous not to.” (lest that quote sound a bit strange, it should be noted that Gingrich was saying it’s important to take threats from dictatorial regimes at face value).

Weinstein riffs on that theme at length and does a fine job of fleshing out Gingrich’s point:

They’re just posturing or joking or have been misinterpreted, we’re told. Israel and the West can live with a nuclear Iran, foreign policy intellectuals in New York, London and Berlin proclaim.

But if you’re the tiny, embattled State of Israel, it is hard to see how you can afford to take the chance that the Iranian leadership is merely joshing with their eliminationist rhetoric. Even if the odds are only 5 percent that the Iranian regime is apocalyptic and would act to bring back the hidden Imam through a nuclear holocaust, a five percent chance of a second holocaust is five percent too much for Israel to tolerate. (And let’s forget entirely for a moment the dire strategic problems of dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran even if the Islamic Republic doesn’t immediately use the bomb once it obtains the capability to strike. Try handling Hezbollah when they have a nuclear shield.)

Quite so. The higher the stakes, the lower our tolerance of ambiguity should be. It’s becoming increasingly clear that — regardless of how Iran uses a bomb — the cost will be prohibitively high for the U.S. and our allies. We still have a limited window in which we can set back and ultimately undo the threat with means short of war. Should we fail, the remaining options will be as unpalatable as they are necessary.