NOV 5, 2015
The death of Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi has brought forth many critical obituaries, and a few glowing eulogies that focused on his pro-democracy rhetoric while ignoring his actual record as an ally of Muqtada Sadr and an enabler of Shiite Muslim death squads. Chalabi was truly the master of the long con: He continues to deceive his admirers from beyond the grave.
OCT 19, 2015
Kissinger: 1923–1968: The Idealist, by Niall Ferguson (Penguin, 1,008 pp., $39.95)
‘SURELY no statesman in modern times, and certainly no American secretary of state, has been as revered and then as reviled as Henry Kissinger.” So begins Niall Ferguson’s monumental biography, the first volume of which takes the story from Kissinger’s birth until his appointment as national-security adviser by President-elect Ri chard Nixon in 1968.
Sunni Arabs, trained by the U.S. in the Kurdish region of Iraq, could form an effective fighting force.
BY MAX BOOT AND MICHAEL PREGENT
SEP 30, 2015
Even as Russia launched airstrikes Wednesday against rebel forces in Syria, Obama administration officials and U.S. military leaders claim that the campaign against Islamic State is working. The facts suggest otherwise.
What made Awlaki such a compelling figure for extremists? He was charismatic and glib, but the key was his fluent English.
SEP 22, 2015
By Scott Shane
(Tim Duggan, 396 pages, $28)
Since the rise of Islamic State, it’s been easy to overlook terrorist organizations like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Yet not long ago AQAP was the terrorist group most feared by American officials—and it is still the one most focused on American targets.
The president's happy talk and sad results
AUG 10, 2015
President Obama is putting on the hard sell to market the nuclear deal he reached with Iran. On July 14, in announcing the agreement, he said: “This deal shows the real and meaningful change that American leadership and diplomacy can bring—change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure. We negotiated from a position of strength and principle—and the result is a nuclear deal that cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon.”
He promised that this agreement would put Iran and the entire region on a path away from “violence and rigid ideology,” a path towards “tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflicts,” a path that “leads to more integration into the global economy, more engagement with the international community, and the ability of the Iranian people to prosper and thrive.” In conclusion, he said, “This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it.”
Stirring words. But are they credible? Aside from the specifics of the Iran deal, it is possible to look back on the president’s litany of pronouncements about the Middle East to assess the reliability of his promises. Here are a few highlights.
JUL 21, 2015
Is Iran more like North Korea or Libya? That is the question politicians and the public must ask themselves as they consider President Obama's nuclear deal.