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:
From what I read in the papers, Bush is an effective manager and advocate. The New York Timesreported a few weeks back that he “used his connections freely” while his father was vice president and president, and a beat-sweetener in Wednesday’s Tampa Bay Times reminded Florida voters that in the 1980s Bush pushed his father to help airlift Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Yet this same wheeler-and-dealer was remarkably passive in the run-up to the J Street conference. He didn’t act until after the fact, writing an op-ed on the U.S.-Israel alliance for National Review Online, telling Brian Kilmeade in a radio interview that Baker shouldn’t have gone, and attacking President Obama’s “Alice in Wonderland” foreign policy.
It was a panicked and reactive performance that could have been avoided if Bush hadn’t released a list of foreign policy advisers before settling on a foreign policy, or had demanded that Baker cancel his speech and throw the J Street conference into disarray. That would have been unlikely, considering who Bush is and what Baker means to his family. And Bush does seem to be in this tough situation because of his family, but it’s not his brother who’s the problem. On issues of national security the party remains committed to W.’s post-9/11 vision: strong on defense, internationalist, hawkish, and unabashedly pro-Israel.
It’s Baker and the other Cold War realists associated with the senior Bush who are old, tired, haggard, removed, out of it. They’re the products of a bipolar world in which the Soviet Empire was an ever-mindful presence. Members of the waning WASP elite and beholden to the zombie theory of linkage, which says the source of instability in the Greater Middle East is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Baker and company treat Israel not as an asset for the United States but a liability. For Bush to repudiate Baker or the other friends of H.W. would be a rebuke of long-lasting relationships; it would also be just the sort of act that would establish Bush’s identity as “my own man.”
Read the whole thing here.
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.
10:51 AM, Dec 19, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Concerned Veterans for America has launched a new video series on the failures of the Obama administration's foreign policy doctrine of "leading from behind." The launch begins with Libya as a case study in what's gone wrong with U.S. foreign relations. Watch the video below:
12:01 PM, Dec 17, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Imagine for a moment that you are a Saudi, Emirati, Jordanian, or Israeli. Your main national security worry these days is Iran—Iran’s rise, its nuclear program, its troops fighting in Iraq and Syria, its growing influence from Yemen through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.