5:15 PM, Apr 16, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
One of the important pieces of news to come out of Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s visit to the White House Tuesday is that Iraq will be receiving delivery of F-16s. At Commentary, Max Boot asks if this is such a wise move, “Why Are We Giving F-16s to an Iranian-Infiltrated Government?”
As Boot explains, “the government of Iraq is heavily infiltrated by Iranian agents,” and Abadi himself is an Iranian ally, selected by Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani to replace the former prime minister, also an asset of Tehran’s, Nuri al-Maliki.
“Does it really make safe under those circumstances to deliver to Iraq three dozen high-performance fighter aircraft?” asks Boot.
I, for one, am worried that the fighters could eventually wind up in Iranian hands, buttressing an Iranian Air Force that until now has had to rely on aging F-14 fighters from the 1970s and even F-4s and F-5s from the 1960s. Granted, F-16s aren’t top of the line aircraft anymore—they are outclassed by F-22s and F-35s—but as a matter of policy and law the U.S. does not sell arms to hostile states or to states that might transfer them to hostile states.
Paging the House and Senate Armed Services Committees! Congress needs to get involved in this issue urgently to assess whether it makes sense to continue with the F-16 transfer to Iraq—and, if it doesn’t, to block the sale before Gen. Suleimani’s boys are using F-16s to drop bombs on the heads of American or Israeli soldiers.
Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
What is to be done about Obama’s Iran “deal”? We could, fatalistically, lament the collapse of American foreign policy. We could, indignantly, gnash our teeth in frustration at the current administration. We could, constructively, work to secure congressional review of the deal and urge presidential candidates to commit to altering or abrogating it.
Or we can stop it now.
A better way forward in the Middle East.Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By MAX BOOT and MICHAEL DORAN
The ouster of ISIS fighters from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, has been widely celebrated. Although this victory was brought about in no small part by American airpower, it was a triumph for Iran more than for the United States. The vast majority of fighters on the front lines belonged to Shiite militias, many of them trained, equipped, and advised by the Iranians. Their de facto commander is Gen. Qassem Suleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force, which is charged with exporting the Iranian revolution.
Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By LEE SMITH
Ever since it announced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran last month, the Obama administration has flooded the news media with technical details elaborating the many virtues of the proposed framework agreement. Indeed, the White House sent its energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist, onto the Sunday shows to helpfully explain the knotty fine points that are likely to be lost on laymen—or anyone who doesn’t celebrate its signal accomplishment.
1:18 PM, Mar 27, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Matthew Continetti, writing at the Washington Free Beacon, explains why Jeb Bush has a problem in his foreign policy adviser James Baker. Baker recently spoke at a conference for the left-wing group J Street. Here's an excerpt from Continetti's column:
Hosted by Michael Graham.2:25 PM, Mar 26, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Michael Warren on how President Obama's Bergdahl and Iran Nuke deals keep just getting worse.
11:01 AM, Mar 5, 2015 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
When the revolt in Syria began in 2011, many policy analysts and former officials argued that the downfall of the Assad regime would be a major setback to Iran. I was one of them, and the claim was not complicated: Syria was Iran’s only Arab ally, provided its only ports on the Mediterranean, was a land bridge to Hezbollah in Lebanon that allowed Iran an easy means of arming Hezbollah, and via Hezbollah gave Iran a border with Israel. The fall of Assad would deny Iran all these assets and all these possibilities.
Mar 9, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 25 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Sometimes a speech is just a speech. Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech about Iran policy on March 3 will not be his first address to Congress. It will make familiar, if important, arguments. One might assume that, like the vast majority of speeches, it would soon be overtaken by events in Israel and the United States and the world.
9:10 AM, Feb 26, 2015 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The crisis between the United States and Israel has been manufactured by the Obama administration. Building a crisis up or down is well within the administration’s power, and it has chosen to build it up. Why? Three reasons: to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left) in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to diminish Israel’s popularity in the United States and especially among Democrats.
The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy.Mar 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 24 • By LEE SMITH
Last week, outgoing chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces Benny Gantz told an American audience that it’s important the international community defeat both camps of regional extremists. The way Gantz sees it, on one side there are Sunni radicals, like the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nusra Front, an al Qaeda affiliate. On the Shiite side are Iran and the Revolutionary Guards expeditionary unit, the Quds Force, as well as Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias.
There’s no way Iran will ever help fight al Qaeda. Mar 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 24 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Not long after his inauguration in January 2009, President Barack Obama penned a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran. As a presidential candidate, Obama had promised to conduct “tough, direct diplomacy” with the Iranians. And Obama figured, correctly, that all diplomatic entreaties would end up on Khamenei’s desk. So, the newly elected president decided to write Iran’s ultimate decision-maker directly. And he has written several letters since.
3:38 PM, Feb 3, 2015 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The Islamic State, a self-proclaimed “caliphate” that rules over large portions of Iraq and Syria, has released a video showing a Jordanian pilot, Mu’adh al Kasasibah, being burned alive. He is shown standing and praying in the middle of a cage as a fighter sets fire to him. The video is horrific, but not surprising. We should know by now that there is no limit to the group’s brutality.
Feb 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 20 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Otto von Bismarck may never have said what’s often ascribed to him: “There is a special Providence for drunkards, fools, and the United States of America.” But he could have, and it probably sounds even better in German. In any case, one can certainly see, looking back, why the apparently apocryphal quotation became famous. It’s true, after all, that America has seemed providentially fortunate at times. It’s true that we’ve managed to survive some near misses, and to flourish despite a fair amount of folly.