Jul 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 43 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
President Obama had a moment of impressive moral clarity at his Iran press conference Wednesday. It was when he was asked about Bill Cosby.
“I’ll say this: If you give a woman—or a man, for that matter—without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape.” And, Obama continued, “I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”
Nor, surely, should this country, or any civilized country, tolerate those who kill our soldiers and Marines, who boast about doing so, and who provide enhanced instruments of terror and pay bounties to others to do so.
Yet President Obama has an abundance of tolerance for the Iranian regime, which gets access to $150 billion as a result of the deal he is now touting. He even has tolerance for Iran’s main instrument of war and terror, the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its leader, Qassem Suleimani, who are explicitly removed from the sanctions list in the deal. Bygones are to be bygones. Indeed, foregones are to be foregones, since the deal doesn’t even contain a commitment from Iran to mend its ways or forbear from continuing to try to kill and maim, and help others try to kill and maim, American soldiers and Marines, Jews around the world, Syrian children, and Israeli teenagers.
There is plenty to object to in the rest of the deal—the fact that Iran is legitimized as a nuclear threshold state, the porous inspection and verification regime, the amazing commitment in the notorious Annex III.D.10 to help the Iranian regime fight off attempts by others to slow its nuclear program, and more. But how can we debate all of that without attending to the $150 billion that is going to a regime with American blood on its hands?
National Review’s David French, an Iraq war vet, put it very well:
Iran is responsible for more than 1,000 American military deaths since 9/11. That’s just a number, but for many of us those numbers have names—the names of men we knew. I will never forget the horrible days in March and April 2008, when Iranian-made IEDs periodically closed even the main supply route into our small forward operating base. I’ll never forget the hero flights, standing at attention as brothers carried the still bodies of their fallen comrades to waiting Blackhawk helicopters. And I won’t forget about the people who are even now learning to walk, and eat, and live again—recovering from horrific wounds.
Yesterday, I got an angry message from a friend from my Iraq deployment, a man whose vehicle was destroyed by an Iranian-made IED. Some of the blood on Iran’s hands is his own.
The American people need to clearly understand what their president has done. He’s granting billions of dollars in sanctions relief to a nation that put bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Iran isn’t ending its war against America. It’s still working—every day—to kill Americans, including the Americans Barack Obama leads as commander-in-chief of our armed forces. There is no honor in this agreement.
There is neither wisdom nor honor in President Obama’s agreement. After Munich, Winston Churchill famously said that “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.”
Barack Obama has chosen dishonor. If his choice is ratified by Congress, the United States will have chosen dishonor. We are also more likely to have war than if we were simply to leave in place the sanctions regime and various diplomatic, economic, political, and sabotage efforts against the Iranian regime.
National dishonor and an unnecessary risk of war. This country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for either.
Barack Obama’s global test.Jul 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 43 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
‘Without this deal,” said President Obama on Tuesday, “there is no scenario where the world joins us in sanctioning Iran until it completely dismantles its nuclear program.” That was nothing new. Throughout the negotiations with Iran, “the world” has been one of the president’s favorite defenses against criticism. “Nothing we know about the Iranian government suggests that it would simply capitulate under that kind of pressure,” he continued. “And the world would not support an effort to permanently sanction Iran into submission.”
The coming Iran intelligence failureJul 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 43 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
One might think that after the last Iraq war Democrats would be wary of allowing intelligence to dictate policy. Yet that is effectively what Barack Obama has done with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in Vienna on July 14. The agreement with Iran is strategically premised on the notion that greater commerce will transform the virulently anti-American, antisemitic, terrorism-fond, increasingly imperial Islamic Republic into something more pleasant. Tactically, the agreement depends on Western intelligence against the Iranian nuclear target.
Jul 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 43 • By MICHAEL MAKOVSKY
In his first Inaugural Address, President Obama offered an open hand to the Iranian regime. On July 14, announcing the nuclear deal that is the culmination of that overture, he shook a closed fist at the American people. The president came out swinging—not at the regime in Tehran but at his predecessors in the Oval Office and in Congress who for decades imposed an increasingly tough sanctions regime on Iran.
Jun 22, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 39 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Our attention was drawn last week to the presidential campaign of Lindsey Graham. The Scrapbook likes and admires Graham, the veteran Republican senator from South Carolina, but concedes that he is probably not the likely nominee. Graham’s specialty is foreign relations, which never plays a prominent role in primary politics, and he doesn’t have much of a campaign staff or fundraising apparatus.
1:46 PM, Jun 8, 2015 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Fresh off its widely-mocked exclusive on the traffic citations given Marco and Jeannette Rubio – fewer than one per year, combined – the New York Times has an in-depth look at Scott Walker and the wealthy conservatives who backed him throughout his rise to national prominence. It’s a classic of the genre.
Jun 15, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 38 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The media have no problem concocting scandals almost out of thin air when it comes to GOP candidates, so The Scrapbook continues to be agape at the journalistic treatment of this season’s Democratic field.
The GOP field gets a little less crowded. Jun 1, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 36 • By JOHN R. BOLTON
On May 14, I joined a tiny, highly exclusive group of Republicans, namely those who have decided not to seek our party’s presidential nomination. By contrast, the coach section of the party contains perhaps two dozen people who have announced (or soon will) their availability. Good luck to them all (well, maybe not all). Here’s the hard reality. If two dozen candidates actually declare, 23 of them will lose. I, on the other hand, will still be able to say I have never been defeated in a nomination contest.
4:33 PM, May 14, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Martin O'Malley's team is teasing supporters in the lead up to an announcement about whether he will run for president of the Untied States. The opening line of an afternoon email to supporters reads, "Is he in or is he out? Will he run or won’t he?"
"At a time when so many Americans are struggling to get by, Governor O'Malley is considering some bold plans for the future. But, while some tough decisions still need to be made, we can tell you one thing," the message reads.
7:34 AM, Apr 27, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
A year after news broke of the waiting list scandal at the Veterans Affairs medical facility in Phoenix, Arizona, President Obama finally visited the facility in March. And while they didn't quite roll out the red carpet for the president, they did clean the floors -- and spent $5,000 to do it.
A first-term Florida senator sets his sights on the White House Apr 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 31 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Five days before he would take the biggest step of his young political career, Marco Rubio called Bernie Navarro, a Miami real estate investor, to ask for a favor. Rubio wanted to have a small, low-key gathering to thank friends and family before his official announcement the next day, and he needed someone to host it. Navarro, like Rubio the son of Cuban exiles, asked permission from his wife. Although she had denied his repeated requests to host a Super Bowl party, there was no hesitation in approving this one.
12:04 PM, Apr 15, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Look, this is happening. It's a thing. Remember the jokes that started in 1992 with "two Clintons for the price of one"? Remember the incredulity of people in 1999 when it was quietly suggested that the first lady of the United States might decamp to New York and place a Senate seat into her carpet bag? Remember when it was only the crazies who said, "Don't you get it? She's trying to run for president!"
12:06 PM, Apr 14, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Out on the Twitters, people have been generally down on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign logo. The New York Times’s Nate Cohn said it looked like a hospital sign. Others suggested it looked like the Cuban flag. Or the Fed-Ex brand. Box CEO Aaron Levie said it looked like it was drawn with MS Paint. (Oooooo! Burn!) The self-righteous whiners at Wikileaks accused her of stealing their logo. The logo got its own Twitter account. (Which is 98 percent less funny than Obama’s Teleprompter.)
4:23 PM, Apr 12, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Republican Carly Fiorina, a possible presidential candidate, reacts to Hillary Clinton's entry into the 2016 race.
"She doesn’t have a track record of leadership or trustworthiness," Fiorina says of Clinton in the video response. "She’s not the woman for the White House."
An old soldier is chosen to clean up Nigeria— and defend it. Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By ROGER KAPLAN
In winning Nigeria’s presidency on his fourth try, Muhammadu Buhari, former military dictator and proponent of sharia, may have answered the Nigerian question: Is the big West African country more than a geographical entity—does it have a sense of nationhood transcending sectional and religious differences?