United States Articles

What Next?

Oct 05, 2015

It's been two weeks since a majority of Congress sought to register its disapproval of the Iran deal but fell short of the votes necessary to break a filibuster or override a presidential veto, and most politicians and commentators have moved on.

It’s understandable to want a mental break after a long and hard-fought struggle. But the world hasn’t taken a break. The consequences of the deal are already reverberating. 

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Congress Shouldn't Vote on Iran Deal Without Side Deal Details

5:20 PM, Sep 07, 2015

Bill Kristol, the chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel, has a statement on behalf of the group:

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Canada Leads on Opposing Iran Deal

4:32 PM, Aug 14, 2015

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.

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The Next Greece?

Unsustainable public debt closer to home
Aug 03, 2015

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.

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What Happens in Vienna . . .

Could spell disaster for the Middle East.
Jul 20, 2015


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Transformational Diplomacy

Can a nuclear deal change Iran?
Jun 08, 2015

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.

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Paying Tehran’s Bills

Sanctions relief will only empower Iran.
Jun 08, 2015

Even the Obama administration acknowledges that Iran is up to a lot of mischief in the Middle East. Tehran is engaged in a sectarian conflict from Lebanon to Syria and Iraq that has recently come to include Yemen as another active front. However, the White House continues to insist, against all evidence, that the clerical regime’s aggression won’t increase when it gets a huge cash infusion from sanctions relief and an immediate $30 to $50 billion bonus, when (or if) it signs the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the nuclear deal.

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Feds Spend $150K to 'Embed' Russian Journalists in U.S. Newsrooms

11:10 AM, Jun 05, 2015

Even as diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Russia remain decidedly chilly over the Ukrainian conflict, the State Department is reaching out to "up-and-coming" Russian journalists. A recent $150,000 grant offering from the U.S.

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How Europe Differs from America

11:00 PM, May 29, 2015

There is an important difference between European and American appetites, in addition to those for fast foods: risk taking. “Investments in Start-Ups Pick Up Pace,” reports the New York Times after surveying the high-tech financing scene here in America. “Europe Struggles to Foster a Startup Culture,” reports the Wall Street Journal. It seems that in contrast with “multiple rounds of fund-raising [in the U.S.] in months, rather than years,” Europeans are “valuing prudence … and leisure time over flamboyant risk-taking.”

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Sessions: Trade Deal Opens Immigration Floodgates

6:30 PM, May 03, 2015

In a memo raising concerns about the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Alabama senator Jeff Sessions worries that the trade deal would open immigration floodgates.

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Mischief at the U.N.

Obama toys with cutting Israel adrift in the Security Council.
Apr 06, 2015

Immediately after Israel’s March 17 election, Obama administration officials threatened to allow (or even encourage) the U.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and confine Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Within days, the president himself joined in, publicly criticizing not just Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Obama has had notoriously bad relations, but sectors of Israeli opinion and even Israel itself.

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The U.S.-China Crossover

It probably won’t happen in our lifetimes.
Mar 30, 2015

After China supplanted Japan in 2011 as the world’s second-largest economy, some China scholars, as well as pundits and economists, began forecasting when it would supplant the United States as the largest. Extrapolating China’s remarkable 9-10 percent average annual growth in the prior three decades, these forecasters placed the GDP crossover in 2020. When China experienced a slowdown to 7-8 percent growth in 2012-2014, the crossover was deferred to 2024-2025.

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Dislodging ISIS in Iraq

The lessons from Tikrit.
Mar 23, 2015

What does the likely victory of Iraqi forces retaking Tikrit from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria tell us about the current U.S. military strategy in Iraq?

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Netanyahu’s Moment

Mar 09, 2015

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.

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Euthanasia Comes to Canada

Are we next?
Feb 23, 2015

This month, the Canadian Supreme Court trampled democratic deliberation by unanimously conjuring a constitutional right to “termination of life” for anyone who has an “irremediable medical condition” and wants to die. Note the scope of the judicial fiat is not limited to the terminally ill: The ruling grants competent adults a right to die if they have an “illness, disease, or disability that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual,” including “psychological” pain.

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Things Fall Apart

Twenty-five years after communism, Central and Eastern Europe are in trouble.
Feb 16, 2015


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Arms Race Revival Between U.S. and Russia

8:32 AM, Jan 05, 2015

Julian Borger at the Guardian writes that:

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Churchill on the Hill

Dec 15, 2014

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.

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Extending Extensions

The ‘complex’ negotiations with Iran.
Dec 08, 2014

Predictably, President Barack Obama and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have decided to extend again the Joint Plan of Action, the interim nuclear deal they concluded in November 2013. Unlike the last extension, which was for four months, this one is for seven months; the “political” parts of the deal, Secretary of State John Kerry assures us, should be done by March, while further “technical and drafting” details may take until July. 

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With Israel, Against Terror

Dec 01, 2014

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:

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A Bad Deal Gets Worse

Dec 01, 2014

As we go to press, the White House has reportedly offered Iran a deal regarding its nuclear program, a framework agreement with details to be worked out in the coming months. However, even as the interim agreement is set to expire November 24, it seems the Iranians have not responded to the Obama administration’s offer. And why would they? The White House has made it clear it wants a deal more than the Islamic Republic does. Under the circumstances, why wouldn’t Tehran wait to see how many more U.S. concessions it can extract?

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Berlin, 25 Years Later

As Germans celebrate reunification, they are reluctant to confront a Russia that is once again seeking to divide the continent
Nov 24, 2014


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Pushing Back Against Putin

No U.S. leadership, no NATO.
Sep 15, 2014

Vladimir Putin’s efforts to establish hegemony over Ukraine may now have reached a decisive point both for the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe and for the NATO alliance. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko warned on August 30 that Russia’s invasion of his country and extensive aid to pro-Moscow separatists could soon “reach the point of no return,” becoming a generalized conflict. German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that “the situation is increasingly getting out of control.”

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Why America Fought

The lessons of World War I
Aug 11, 2014

The United States entered the Great War with its eyes wide open. The mechanical slaughter in Europe had already left millions dead. In the trenches, men had to contend with lice, rats, sickness, mud, extreme temperatures, human waste, rotting corpses, and boredom as well as the threats of poison gas, explosive shells, and being buried alive. In 1914, Europe went to war with only the dimmest awareness of the horrors to come. Yet Congress voted overwhelmingly for a declaration of war in the absence of any direct threat to U.S.

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The Long War Against Hamas

Israel’s Gaza dilemma
Aug 04, 2014

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.

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Can India’s Military Be Fixed?

A reformist prime minister vs. a dysfunctional defense ministry.
Jun 30, 2014

American strategists are taken with the idea of India’s strategic potential: a large democracy with a blue-water navy and the world’s third-largest armed forces that happens to be jammed between an imploding Pakistan and an expansionist China. But a deeply dysfunctional Indian defense community has frustrated efforts to turn that potential into reality. Will the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month with the strongest mandate of any Indian leader in 30 years jumpstart much-needed reforms?

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‘The June 4th Incident’

Tiananmen Square and truth-telling.
Jun 09, 2014

In a March 28 speech at the Körber Foundation in Berlin, China’s president, Xi Jinping, called for historical truth-telling. He had in mind the Rape of Nanking, the massacre carried out by Imperial Japan’s forces in 1937-38 during their occupation of the then-capital of the Chinese Nationalists (the city is now called Nanjing).

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The Tinkerbell Effect

Apr 21, 2014

In his Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony last week, Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the breakdown in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He argued that an Israeli announcement of 700 new housing units for a neighborhood in Jerusalem were what did in the talks. “Poof, that was sort of the moment,” Kerry said. “We find ourselves where we are.”

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But ICANN Can’t

Don’t lose sleep over international ‘control’ of the Internet.
Mar 31, 2014

The Commerce Department issued a low-key bureaucratic announcement on March 14: The government will not renew its contract with the Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers (ICANN), under which ICANN has administered the Internet’s domain name system since the mid-1990s. U.S. government supervision will be superseded next year, according to the announcement, by new arrangements to “support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet policymaking.”

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