August 28, 2015 |
Tens of millions of advertising dollars have been shelled out by conservatives and pro-Israel groups that want to kill the Iran deal. Their efforts are likely to fail. It looks as if President Obama will rally enough Senate Democrats to sustain his veto should legislators vote down the agreement. But here's what is so disturbing about the kill-the-deal campaign: It harms America's security and Israel's. It muddies the debate, and often whips up hysteria, like the video put out by the foundation of John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, which shows an American family being incinerated by an Iranian bomb.
August 24, 2015 |
August 21, 2015 |
Two weeks' vacation on Cape Cod was a pleasant escape from the bizarre political circus otherwise known as the Republican primary contest, in which foreign policy has mostly gotten short shrift. But for someone who has been very critical of President Obama's foreign policy, there's scant solace in the positions of those candidates who are now giving foreign policy speeches. While Obama's policies pursued inflated hopes over realities, these Republicans ignore realities in favor of dated dreams.
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.
July 25, 2015 |
Israeli officials are orchestrating a campaign to have Congress scuttle the Iran nuclear deal by voting it down and overriding a promised presidential veto. Republican presidential hopefuls have jumped on the bandwagon, denouncing the deal as if it heralded the end of the world. There are indeed very serious concerns about the details, which the administration must try to allay. And Israel, whose right to exist is challenged by Iran, has every right to be concerned. But before Capitol Hill sinks into hysteria, legislators need to know that many former Israeli intelligence and national security officials oppose their government's approach - and think a congressional veto would be a disaster.
July 20, 2015 |
Here's one of the questions that worry both critics and supporters of the Iran deal: Will it encourage Tehran to make further mischief in the Middle East? Iran is the power behind Syria's war-criminal president, Bashar al-Assad, the armorer of Hezbollah, the trainer of Iraqi Shiite militias that fuel sectarian slaughter. And contrary to popular belief, Tehran's policies help ISIS. So it's legitimate to ask what impact the lifting of sanctions will have on Iran's machinations in the region.
July 16, 2015 |
President Obama needs to do a much better job of explaining why the Iran nuclear deal makes good sense. The case can be made, barely, but the president didn't make it on Tuesday. For one thing, the administration has yet to clarify the still murky details about how Iran will be prevented from cheating. For another, Obama didn't allay the fears of Israel and Sunni Arab states that the deal signifies his acceptance of Iran's ambitions to dominate the region - efforts that are fueling ISIS's expansion.
July 10, 2015 |
The photo is shocking. A 77-year-old Greek retiree sits sobbing on the ground outside a bank with his passbook and identity card thrown on the ground. He had queued for hours at four failing banks but was unable to withdraw his pension of $178. Not surprisingly, the photo of Giorgios Chatzifotiadis went viral. But the image illustrates much more than the suffering of ordinary Greeks. This pensioner's despair symbolizes the limits of a decades-old effort to meld European nations into one community based on shared democratic values.
July 6, 2015 |
When July Fourth rolls around, I always think of my grandparents, who emigrated to the "land of the free" from Russia, which undoubtedly saved their lives and enabled mine. Needless to say, I believe immigrants are a source of America's strength. But this year, when musing on immigration, my thoughts turn to the record numbers of desperate migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean in flimsy boats organized by Libyan smugglers. More than 137,000 refugees crossed from January to June, landing in Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain, an 83 percent increase from the same period in 2014.