Category Archive: Foreign Policy

Dec 09 2013

Iran and the Many Forms of Envy

George Will has a refreshingly sensible column about the recent and tentative agreement with Iran over nuclear power and weapons, taking to task those neo-conservative critics who are right in pointing out the weaknesses of the agreement but entirely wrong about there being a better alternative.

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Dec 04 2013

Can Congress Stop the Iran Agreement?

There’s been a fairly furious reaction to the Obama administration’s ongoing negotiations with Iran over nuclear power in some circles. The Republicans are pretty much universally opposed to it and many prominent Democrats, folks like Charles Schumer who are strongly beholden to the Israel lobby, are as well. Rosa Brooks says that the recently announced …

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Nov 27 2013

Conservative Foreign Policy: Chicken Hawks and Chicken Littles

The predictable conservative reaction to the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran reminds us yet again that right wing rhetoric never really changes. Just like we are always on the verge of being taken over by the UN or China and perpetually at risk of being overrun by immigrants (fear and xenophobia being their primary currency), …

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Nov 26 2013

Deal Reached Over Iranian Nuclear Power

In a very big breakthrough, the Obama administration has brokered a deal between Iran, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program while partially lifting the sanctions that have caused such damage to that country.

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Oct 29 2013

The Limits of National Hypocrisy

Andrew Sullivan quotes an article from Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore in Foreign Affairs magazine (the article is subscription only, so I can’t read the context and there’s no point in linking to it) making the argument that national hypocrisy is necessary, at least within some limits:

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Oct 24 2013

Syria Chemical Weapons Deal Proceeding Well

I think President Obama got pretty lucky in Syria when his saber rattling ended up being backed down by an unexpected agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons with the help of Russia and other countries. But apparently the inspections and beginning stages of destruction of those weapons and means to produce them are going well.

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Sep 26 2013

St. Ronald the Magnificent and Diplomacy

I’ve written many times about how Republicans have invented a fictional Ronald Reagan, St. Ronald the Magnificent, and projected upon him every view they currently hold. Peter Beinart offers another example of how the real Reagan differs from St. Ronald and relates it to the current criticism of Obama for negotiating with Iran and Syria.

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Sep 24 2013

ICC: As Useless as the United Nations

Eric Posner has an article at Slate about the International Criminal Court, pointing out that it has been almost entirely useless in prosecuting war crimes and human rights violation. But like the United Nations, the major powers — us especially — made sure that it was ineffective.

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Sep 11 2013

A Possible Political Solution in Syria

This growing boondoggle on Syria gets more absurd by the day. Monday morning, John Kerry held a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and, of course, the questions were all about Syria. When a reporter asked if there was anything Assad could do to avoid military action by the United States, he …

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Sep 10 2013

Would Obama Attack Without Congressional Approval?

As Congress continues to “debate” whether to approve a resolution authorizing President Obama to launch a bombing campaign in Syria, perhaps the most fascinating question in all of this is whether Obama would go ahead and do it even if Congress votes no (and it appears that the House may well do exactly that). Paul …

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Sep 09 2013

Republican Invokes Imaginary Reagan

St. Ronald the Perfect, the entirely mythical Ronald Reagan that lives in Republican imaginations, was invoked in the debate over whether to authorize missile strikes against Syria for the use of chemical weapons. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) appeared on Fox News and delivered this whopper:

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Sep 06 2013

Obama, Syria, Clouds and Silver Linings

One of the more amusing things to me over the last few years is watching the most devoted Obama acolytes claim over and over again that virtually every mistake he’s made or bad thing he’s done is really some secret, brilliant strategy that is just too sophisticated for mere mortals to understand. Ezra Klein says …

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Sep 05 2013

The Government that Cried ‘War’

Re: Chemical weapons in Syria: I have no doubt they were used, but it isn’t clear who used them. Now that should be the kind of thing that can be supported with evidence. Our intelligence services should be able to identify who is responsible for using them and provide a wide range of evidence for …

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Sep 05 2013

WND Can’t Make Up Its Mind on Syria

Joseph Farah’s Worldnetdaily has a problem. They just can’t seem to make up their mind about Obama’s actions toward Syria, so they’re criticizing him for contradictory things. Obama is horribly wrong because he’s going to bomb Syria and support the Muslim extremist, Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels AND he’s horribly wrong and abdicating his role as commander-in-chief …

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Sep 03 2013

Obama to Seek Congressional Approval. Kind Of.

President Obama surprised people late last week by almost kinda pretending to make his behavior consistent with his rhetoric by asking for congressional approval before he bombs Syria. The man who once said the president could not take military action without congressional approval except in an immediate and necessary response to an imminent threat — …

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