Middle East update: July 12 2018

SYRIA The Syrian military seized the city of Daraa on Thursday, symbolically flying the Syrian flag in the middle of town in commemoration. Daraa is an important tactical victory–you can’t control southwestern Syria without it, obviously. But it may be an even bigger symbolic victory, because it was in Daraa in the spring of 2011… Continue reading Middle East update: July 12 2018

Sick to my stomach

Welp, they did it. Our own government, the one you and I and so many other American citizens rely upon to defend us against our foreign enemies, paid the hostile Iranian regime in what appears, and let’s not mince words here, to be a straightforward hostage ransom. Oh sure, the president denied that this was… Continue reading Sick to my stomach

Phantom shift

Virtually since the Iran nuclear talks began, it’s been an article of faith among right-wing deal opponents that the United States is about to shift its Middle Eastern loyalties away from the Saudis and toward the Iranians. This would be Bad, we’re told, because it would strengthen a malign regional actor whose muscular foreign interventionism… Continue reading Phantom shift

Iran deal dead, say people who never wanted it in the first place

Over at The New York Times, Thomas Erdbrink (hey, at least it wasn’t David Sanger) lays down some mad truth about the Iran deal: Anyone who hoped that Iran’s nuclear agreement with the United States and other powers portended a new era of openness with the West has been jolted with a series of increasingly… Continue reading Iran deal dead, say people who never wanted it in the first place

Russia strikes Syria, maybe (?) reveals its plans

Russia moved very quickly today to begin carrying out airstrikes inside Syria. First, Vladimir Putin got authorization from his parliament for the use of force in Syria: Earlier on Wednesday, Russia’s upper house of parliament granted President Vladimir Putin authorisation to deploy the country’s air force to Syria, according to the head of presidential administration.… Continue reading Russia strikes Syria, maybe (?) reveals its plans

Fighting Barack Obama’s (?) Politics of Fear on Iran

Folks, Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake is mad that President Obama is scaring people about the Iran deal. Yes, that’s right, Eli Lake took time out from his busy schedule of scaring people about Saddam Hussein’s WMD, Al-Qaeda’s conference calls, and, uh, the Iran deal, to criticize somebody else for exploiting the “Politics of Fear”:… Continue reading Fighting Barack Obama’s (?) Politics of Fear on Iran

Timing is everything, I guess?

Donald Rumsfeld is questioning George W. Bush’s plans for post-war Iraq, and not a moment too soon only about 12 years too late: The man who once talked about the breakdown of Iraqi society by saying “stuff happens” and “freedom is untidy” told the Times of London on Friday that he didn’t agree with President… Continue reading Timing is everything, I guess?