July 27, 2015 |
Here's the bottom line on the Iran nuclear pact: Whether you like it or hate it, or feel as I do - that it's barely passable but U.S. negotiators could have done better - it's a done deal. There are many things in this pact that make me queasy (see below). And the administration's Iran-empowering policy in the Mideast region gives me heartburn. But if this deal goes down to defeat (with Congress overriding a presidential veto), international sanctions will collapse and Iran will be free to ramp up its nuclear program now - rather than in 10 to 15 years.
September 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As President Obama and lawmakers grapple with Syria's alleged chemical attacks, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has a seat near the center of new maneuvering in the Senate. Casey, a Democrat, is part of a small bipartisan group of senators working on a plan to give Obama authorization to use military force in Syria if its leaders fail to turn over its chemical weapons to international monitors - an option that has gained momentum in recent days. That idea, first proposed by Russia, is now the subject of high-level diplomatic talks, taking the focus off Congress for now and placing it on the international stage.
September 6, 2013 |
As Congress debates whether or not America should launch missile strikes on Syria, one question dwarfs all others: Would we be worse off by not acting than by acting? President Obama has boxed himself and the country into a situation where either choice is a bad one. His declared reason for a military strike - to deter and degrade Bashar al-Assad's ability to use chemical weapons - is insufficient. But his foreign policy credibility would be shattered if the international drama he's triggered with his red lines ends up with ... nothing.
September 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. military strikes on Iran would shake the regime's political control and damage its ability to launch counterstrikes, but the Iranians probably would manage to retaliate - directly and through surrogates - in ways that risked igniting all-out war in the Middle East, according to an assessment of an attack's costs and benefits. The assessment said extended U.S. strikes could destroy Iran's most important nuclear facilities and damage its military forces but would only delay - not stop - the Islamic republic's pursuit of a nuclear bomb.
September 5, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli officials said Tuesday they are in close discussions with the United States over how to deal with the Iranian nuclear program, seeking to ease tensions that have emerged between the two allies over a possible Israeli military strike against Iran. The dialogue, in which Israel is looking for President Obama to take a tough public position against Iran, suggests the odds of an Israeli attack in the near term have been reduced. Israel, convinced that Iran isn't taking seriously U.S. vows to block it from acquiring nuclear weapons, believes that time to stop the Iranians is quickly running out. A series of warnings by Israeli officials in recent weeks has raised concerns that Israel could soon stage a unilateral military strike.
October 5, 2006 |
War makes a soldier out of some. It made that and a political candidate out of Army Capt. Patrick Murphy. In the chaos of Baghdad, Murphy, an army lawyer training Iraqis in the civil defense corps, came to an unsettling conclusion. The president was wrong, the U.S. mission in Iraq had become "unclear," and it was time to pull out. "The political leaders of America have failed our troops," he decided. After being so disinterested in elective politics that he had rarely ever voted, Murphy in 2004 changed his registration from nonpartisan to Democrat, and in 2005 launched his bid for the U.S. House seat in Bucks County's Eighth District.
April 16, 2006
Oh, God. It's all happening again. The scare-mongering, the dark talk of nuclear bombs handed off to terrorists. The rumblings about "regime change" and popular uprising. The up-tempo war planning done to a chorus of think-tank bravado. The smirky denials from the Pentagon. The acolytes chattering about the President's sense of history. Americans have seen this movie. It is called Operation Iraqi Freedom, and it grinds on bloodily to this day. Now, the camera shifts to Iran.
April 20, 2003 |
The land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers - whether we call it Mesopotamia as the Greeks did or use the Arabic geographical designation, Iraq - has been described as the "cradle of civilization," and for good reasons. Humankind's earliest cities were born on the floodplain, as were the first empires and centers of religion and learning. The early Mesopotamians (Sumerians) invented writing by about 3500 B.C., and produced the first records of our collective human history. For nearly a week now we have had to live with the saddening realization that Operation Iraqi Freedom and the civil disorder that followed military operations have robbed us of a key component of the world's cultural heritage.
March 19, 2003 |
Bustling through the Capitol yesterday on his way to a party conference on Iraq, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) stopped just outside the Senate chamber and ruefully recalled the anger that surged through the nation during the Vietnam War. Lately, there have been plenty of reminders. Hundreds, actually. His office has been deluged with faxes and e-mail against American military action, with opponents outnumbering supporters by 200-1. Yet Lautenberg, who has been critical of President Bush for failing to convince allies of the need to confront Iraq, says he has thrown his support behind Bush.
October 1, 2002 |
Bush administration officials launched a new round of criticism of Iraq yesterday, saying that country's recent antiaircraft attacks on British and American pilots enforcing northern and southern no-fly zones illustrate Saddam Hussein's defiance of United Nations resolutions. The administration's comments, led by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, apparently came in response to a Russian government statement earlier that enforcement of the no-fly zones is hampering negotiations for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq, an assertion that Rumsfeld called "nonsensical.