Iran

Jaw-Jaw or War With Iran?

Patrick J. Buchanan, CNS News

France, Britain and Germany, co-signers of the nuclear deal who have sought to maintain the agreement, now appear to believe the Iranians are violating the spirit if not the letter of the deal by testing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calls the allegation "a desperate falsehood." The Europeans are "bowing to US bullying," and covering up their own "miserable incompetence," he said. Two U.S. Defense Secretaries, Leon Panetta and James Mattis, called this weekend for U.S.-Iranian negotiations. And Trump's tweet on the prisoner exchange indicates a receptivity to the idea. For all involved, jaw-jaw would seem a better option than war-war.

Trump’s Maximum Pressure Strategy On Iran Working, But…

We should use the protests in Iran to bring down the Islamist regime by ensuring the protesters have the communications technology support they need to circumvent regime attempts to shut down internet and telephone connections. And, more tangible covert support to the brave freedom fighters in the streets would be even better.

Stand with brave Iranians protesting for freedom

Editors, Washington Examiner

The United States is right not to stand by idly and witness injustice. More should be done. This would be a good moment for Trump to affirm that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an illegitimate government and that Iranians have every right to overthrow it and forge a new democratic government. Trump should make this clear, but without endorsing any particular alternative Iranian political group. Such a statement would show that America does not view Iranian politics as President Barack Obama once did — as a morally nuanced or complex question. After all, in the streets of Iran's cities and towns, Khamenei's government is now showing that there is nothing complex or nuanced about his regime's nature or its regard for Iranians.

Making The Middle East Safe For Iran

Leaked cables reported by The New York Times detail the extent to which Iraq has fallen under Iranian influence since the American invasion in 2003, which transformed Iraq into a gateway for Iranian power, connecting the Islamic Republic’s geography of dominance from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Death Of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Was A Great Victory, But...

With Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead it is probably safe to leave others to mop-up the scattered remnants of ISIS and hold the territory once occupied by the Islamic State. So, let’s savor the victory, and praise our military, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that killing al-Baghdadi ends the war political Islam, and Iran in particular, have declared on the West.

Lindsey Graham Gets The Kurds And Syria Backwards

Senator Graham has a point about the government of Turkey’s enmity toward an independent Kurdistan and the danger a Turkish incursion poses to independence-minded Kurds, but he has it all backwards about the United States “abandoning” the Kurds.

Keep It Steady and Cool with Iran, America

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Trump can claim nearly record-low peacetime unemployment and improved workers’ wages, which support his campaign promises to the Midwest. Trump certainly in high-stakes fashion risked his presidency to call China to account. But if Trump chooses to get into a war with Iran, it will be hard to convince his base that he had no other options at a time when Iran is going bankrupt. The best thing that America can do for the world is to ratchet up the sanctions; reply only if directly attacked by Iran; sit back and remain patient; and allow aggrieved allies, friends, and neutrals to go ahead and respond to Iran if they wish — and to pump as much gas and oil as it can.

What If They Had A War And Nobody Came?

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

Why is it our duty to respond militarily to an attack on Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia is not a member of NATO. It is not a treaty ally. The Middle East Security Alliance or “Arab NATO” chatted up a year ago to contain Iran — of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states — was stillborn. We are under no obligation to fight the Saudis’ war. Nor is Saudi Arabia a natural American ally. The question President Trump confronts today: How does he get his country back off the limb he climbed out on while listening to the Republican neocons and hawks he defeated in 2016, but who have had an inordinate influence over his foreign policy?

Is Trump 'Locked and Loaded' for War With Iran?

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

If a dozen drones or missiles can do the kind of damage to the world economy as did those fired on Saturday — shutting down about 6% of world oil production — imagine what a U.S.-Iran-Saudi war would do to the world economy. In recent decades, the U.S. has sold the Saudis hundreds of billions of dollars of military equipment. Did our weapons sales carry a guarantee that we will also come and fight alongside the kingdom if it gets into a war with its neighbors? Before Trump orders any strike on Iran, would he go to Congress for authorization for his act of war? How we avoid war is becoming difficult to see.

What Conservatives Need To Know About The Attacks On Saudi Arabia

The competition between the two principal Muslim powers in the Middle East – Iran and Saudi Arabia – is in one sense a continuation of the struggle between the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam. Americans might fairly ask, “What does a 1,400-year-old Muslim civil war have to do with us?” The short answer is “everything” for one obvious and one not so obvious reason.

We Saw This Russiagate Bombshell Coming

As we said in our 2017 column, General Mike Flynn’s Only Crime, Flynn’s only crime was being a truth-teller about Obama’s failures. We urge Judge Sullivan to grant attorney Sidney Powell’s motion on behalf of General Mike Flynn, to expose the conspiracy against him and President Trump and, for the government’s egregious conduct in the matter, to dismiss the entire case against General Flynn.

Bolton Fired For Being Right About The Taliban

Over the next few days much will be written about West Wing power struggles, but in the end, being right about Taliban perfidy and being out of sync with President Trump’s laudable, but impractical goal of making peace with them, is undoubtedly what got John Bolton fired.

Will Israel’s War Become America’s War?

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

Netanyahu's widening of Israel's war with Iran and its proxies into Lebanon and Iraq — and perhaps beyond — and his acknowledgement of that wider war raise questions for both of us. Tens of millions of Muslims see her as an enemy to be expelled from the region. While there is a cold peace with Egypt and Jordan, the Saudis and Gulf Arabs are temporary allies as long as the foe is Iran. Is this pervasive enmity sustainable? As for America, have we ceded to Netanyahu something no nation should ever cede to another, even an ally: the right to take our country into a war of their choosing but not of ours?

Iran Threatens Terrorist Attack Against Americans In America

The Iranian threats against Mark Dubowitz and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies show that the Islamic Republic has the intention to conduct terrorist activities in the United States and the recent conviction of Ali Kourani demonstrates it has the capability to launch an attack on American soil at time and target of its choosing.

America’s Latest Mideast Crisis May Have No Escape

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

This week President Donald Trump is sending 500 additional U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia. In this new century, leaders of both parties have plunged our country into at least five wars in the Middle and Near East. None of these wars has produced a victory or success for us. But taken together, they did produce a multitrillion-dollar strategic and human rights disaster. Meanwhile, China gained much from having its great rival thrashing about ineffectually in the forever wars of the Middle East. "Great nations do no fight endless wars," said Trump. Yes, they do. As the British, French, Germans, Japanese and Russians showed in the last century, that is how they cease to be great nations.

Unremitting Iranian Hostility Means It's Time to Reconsider Regime Change

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

In contrast to Kim Jong Un and the North Koreans, the Iranians have an ideology (Khomeinist Islam) that aims to take over the world for their version of Allah and automatically makes them imperialists of the most extreme sort. Who knows how many of their leaders truly believe all the Twelfth Imam, end days mumbo-jumbo, but enough to make it the guiding light of a deranged culture. It's worth paying attention when they shout "Death to America! Death to Israel!" as they have since most of their populace was alive. I am not at all advocating war — "going kinetic" in the parlance — with the Islamic Republic. I'm talking about giving moral support to the Iranian people against a regime of greedy, fascistic religious fanatics that is oppressing them.

Iran and the Levers of Global Power

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

The United States is almost immune from the sort of pressures that usually coalesce to dictate, modify, or thwart U.S. decision-making in the Middle East. Such liberation from outside coercion is singularly unusual in the post-war American overseas experience. Trump has some choices with Iran that few other presidents have enjoyed. After considering all the bad alternatives, Trump will likely conclude that the good one is to stay calm as Iran implodes, to not play omnipotent global cop responsible for the safe commerce of those who oppose U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal, and to not weaken sanctions — and be ready to hit back hard should Iran be so foolish as to kill Americans in international space.

Memo to Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

The problem Gabbard presents for Democrats is that she takes positions that split her party, while her rivals prefer to talk about what unites the party, like the terribleness of Trump, free college tuition and soaking the rich. Given more airtime, she will present problems for the GOP as well. For the foreign policy Tulsi Gabbard is calling for is not far off from the foreign policy Donald Trump promised in 2016 but has since failed to deliver. We still have 2,000 troops in Syria, 5,000 in Iraq, 14,000 in Afghanistan. We just moved an aircraft carrier task force, B-52s and 1,000 troops to the Persian Gulf to confront Iran. We are about to impose sanctions on the Iranian foreign minister with whom we would need to negotiate to avoid a war.

The U.S. Can Afford to Stay Calm with Iran

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

How can the U.S. deter Iranian escalation without getting into an unpopular war before the heated 2020 election? It merely needs to persist in the present standoff: Ramp up the sanctions even tighter and ignore pathetic Iranian attacks on foreign ships. If Tehran preemptively attacks an American ship or plane, it will be met by a disproportionate response, preferably one aimed not at civilian infrastructure but at the Iranian military hierarchy, Revolutionary Guard, and theocratic elite. Otherwise, the Trump administration can sit back and monitor Iran’s international ostracism and economic isolation while remaining unpredictable and enigmatic, ready to hit back hard at any attack on Americans.

Trump Must Choose: War President or Anti-Interventionist

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

If war is to be avoided, either Iran is going to have to capitulate, or the U.S. is going to have to walk back its maximalist position. And who would Trump name to negotiate with Tehran for the United States? The longer the sanctions remain in place and the deeper they bite, the greater the likelihood Iran will respond to our economic warfare with its own asymmetric warfare. Has the president decided to take that risk? We appear to be at a turning point in the Trump presidency. Does he want to run in 2020 as the president who led us into war with Iran, or as the anti-interventionist president who began to bring U.S. troops home from that region that has produced so many wars?