5:32 PM, Aug 14, 2015 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
President Obama claims, as Bill Kristol noted in his editorial in the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, that no country in the world has expressed opposition to his deal with Iran, with the exception of Israel. But that's not accurate. Canada, the United States' biggest trading partner—and, traditionally, its closest ally—has made it clear it wants no part of an agreement normalizing relations between Iran and the West.
When details of the agreement were released last month, Canada's foreign affairs minister, Rob Nicholson, had this to say:
Iran continues to be a significant threat to international peace and security owing to the regime’s nuclear ambitions, its continuing support for terrorism, its repeated calls for the destruction of Israel, and its disregard for basic human rights.
We will examine this deal further before taking any specific Canadian action.
That last sentence is not the typical contentless politician-speak; it contains real repercussions. Canada will not be lifting its sanctions against Iran—in stark contrast to the United States and Europe if the deal takes effect.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently called a federal election, and a group of secular Muslims hopes to make Canadian policy on Iran an issue in the race. Muslims Facing Tomorrow is collecting signatures on an online petition that calls "on all the elected members in House of Commons in Ottawa, whatever their party, to remain steadfast in opposing the nuclear-deal with Iran, to keep the Canadian Embassy in Tehran closed, and to maintain economic sanctions against this totalitarian theocracy. It is Canada’s time to take the lead!"
In fact, some might argue that Canada long ago took the lead on principled opposition to the Islamic Republic. Our northern neighbor broke diplomatic relations with Iran, and closed its embassy there, in 2012, for various reasons, summed up in then-foreign-minister John Baird's statement, "Canada views the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today."
Unsustainable public debt closer to home Aug 3, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 44 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Is America, or Illinois, or Chicago the next Greece? The answers are “Yes, if . . . ,” “No, but . . . ,” and “Perhaps.” Greece joined what was then the European Economic Community even though it had no business applying for admission, and the existing members had no business allowing it entry, as the community’s finance ministers concluded, only to be overruled by France and Germany, whose leaders were hoping to construct an institution that would make another continental conflagration impossible: Full speed ahead, economics be damned.
Can a nuclear deal change Iran?Jun 8, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 37 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
Many supporters of an Iranian nuclear agreement believe that a deal could help to moderate, even democratize, Iranian society. Barack Obama’s constant allusions to the transformative potential of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for U.S.-Iranian relations suggest that he believes an agreement, which would quickly release tens of billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic and reintegrate it into the global financial system, would improve the clerical regime’s behavior.
Dec 15, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 14 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Many Brits are known to enjoy a pint a day. Winston Churchill certainly did—though his daily ration was a pint of champagne, not ale. So it was fitting that the wartime prime minister was toasted last week in Washington with clinking glasses of bubbly. House speaker John Boehner invited a small group—of which The Scrapbook was happily part—to celebrate two birthdays: that of the great man himself, and that of the bust in the Capitol that honors him. One was the 140th, the other just the first.
Dec 1, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 12 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The New York Times editorial board took a break this past week from its usual practice of blaming Israel for being the cause of assaults against her. On Wednesday, after the terror attack on Jews praying in a synagogue in Jerusalem, the Times editors ruminated:
Israel’s Gaza dilemma Aug 4, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 44 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The Gaza war of 2014 will end in a cease-fire, just as the previous rounds between Israel and Hamas and the 2006 battle with Hezbollah ended. But the war will be won or lost less in the streets and tunnels of Gaza this summer than when the fighting is over. Israel must not only damage Hamas on those battlegrounds, but seal its own gains in the terms of the cease-fire, and ensure that the aftermath of the war weakens Hamas’s hold on Gaza and its role in Palestinian politics.
Americans spend over $4.8 billion annually on their pets.1:00 PM, Feb 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a new book on demographics set to be published next week, Jonathan V. Last writes that pets now outnumber children 4 to 1 in America.
Student loan debt is $956 billion, with an 11 percent rate of delinquency. 4:05 PM, Nov 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Household debt jumped once again to $2.7 trillion, according to the New York Fed. "[T]he Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that in the third quarter, non-real estate household debt jumped 2.3 percent to $2.7 trillion," reports the fed. "The increase was due to a boost in student loans ($42 billion), auto loans ($18 billion) and credit card balances ($2 billion)."
Why World War II was inevitable.10:45 AM, Nov 1, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Among Barbara Tuchman’s many sins as an historian was the notion, propagated in her popular volume The Guns of August (1962), that the Great Powers had more or less blundered into conflict in 1914, and that smarter diplomacy might well have prevented the Great War.
How the Bluegrass State was (re)born.12:25 PM, Oct 28, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Among those regions of the country that are culturally self-conscious--northern New England, Southern California, Appalachia--the South has been especially occupied, during the past two centuries, in defining what constitutes its distinctive character.
11:45 AM, Jul 29, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
60 Minutes had a fascinating report last week on what it calls "The Narrative," which "says that the United States is out to destroy Islam," and a man who devotes his life to combating this absurd meme. The man is Maajid Nawaz, who himself was once a radical fundamentalist. It's worth viewing in full:
Chávez is losing the ideological war over democracy in Latin America.12:00 AM, Jul 13, 2010 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
Until relatively recently, populist autocracy seemed to be advancing relentlessly across Latin America, backed by Venezuelan petrodollars and guided by the Castro brothers.
Team USA can compete with the best in the world.12:00 AM, Feb 23, 2010 • By FRED BARNES
The media has treated Team USA’s victory over Canada in hockey at the winter Olympics as a great upset. But that’s not true. It wasn’t an upset at all. The American hockey team is very good and its 5-3 win over Canada on Sunday night should have been no surprise.
12:00 AM, Feb 23, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
For almost 11 years, Kosovo has been ruled by foreigners: mainly the United Nations through its former mission in the country (UNMIK), along with the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Most Americans are aware of the derelictions of the U.N. in crises afflicting countries from Rwanda through Israel to Kashmir. And Americans have a healthy suspicion about the EU, because of its political competition with the U.S. and its intrigues with Russia. Unfortunately, few Americans have heard of OSCE, to which the United States belongs, alongside (among others) Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—bastions of antidemocratic politics and sources of regional instability. Yet the OSCE intervenes boldly and often crudely in “managing” the transition to democracy in the troubled Balkans and other states.
12:00 AM, Feb 20, 2010 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
So all is coming right. Sales of existing homes in the final quarter of last year were 27.2 percent above the 2008 level. Home construction jumped 2.8 percent in January, to its highest level in six months. The mining, manufacturing and utilities sector also grew at satisfactory rates as did retail sales, and several companies reported profit growth in excess of what markets were expecting.
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