With each passing day, the United Nations becomes more irrelevant to anyone outside the progressive movement and/or the Obama Administration. The latest example of the failure of this institution is the news that Iran will chair the United Nations’ most important disarmament negotiating forum during the panel’s May session, which opened today, sparking calls by an independent monitoring group for the U.S., the EU, and UN chief Ban Ki-moon to protest.
My colleague Timothy Whiteman highlighted last Thursday the number of Air Force squadrons that will have to cease training later this year because the Air Force doesn’t have funds for the flying hours. This is real, and it is astounding. It will mean that, at a certain point in the near future – as early as this fall, if no additional funds become available – the cost of mounting an operation big enough to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons-related installations is likely to be too high. Continue reading
The Associated Press has decided that the word “Islamist” may not be used to describe anything objectionable. Lori Lowenthal Marcus calls out the relevant passage from the news service’s newly revised stylebook:
[An Islamist is] an advocate of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists. Continue reading
Two to three years ago, the United States Department of Defense had enough military forces on station in, or readily deployable to, the Persian Gulf region (the “CENTCOM AOR” – area of responsibility – or Southwest Asia, as it is called in the military) to execute a limited strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities without asking Congress for special funding. The military could have performed such an operation “out of hide,” as quickly and seamlessly as the president wanted it to.
Four to five years ago, moreover, the U.S. Continue reading
A correspondent of mine expressed some surprise when it was announced yesterday that the new secretary of state, John Kerry, would not be visiting Israel prior to the visit next month of President Obama.
What this means to foreign-service hands is that there won’t be a ministerial-level sit-down in advance of the president’s trip. The army of foreign-service specialists who negotiate for the U.S. and Israel won’t come up with serious negotiating points Continue reading
“That’s one small step for man, one giant step for a cosmic caliphate.”
Such an announcement, or something like it, could trip off the tongue of the next citizen of planet Earth to set foot on the surface of the moon: Astronaut Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranian state media reported on Monday that the Iranian President declared “I am ready to be the first Iranian to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space.” Amen to the sacrifice part anyway.
In a January 8 letter sent to Congressman Inhofe, the State Department explained its decision to allow the transfer of F-16 jets to Egypt to proceed. Egypt, it explained, “continues to play an important role in regional peace and stability.” But just what kind of role? A journalist in the region sketches a disturbing possibility.
Jennifer Rubin posts on Hagel’s Cuba problem:
Much of the focus on Chuck Hagel’s record has been on his views on Israel, Iran and sequestration. Equally troubling to those who have taken a forceful stand against Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba, however, has been his dismissive attitude toward the Castros and his enthusiasm to end the U.S. embargo with no quid pro quo.
Now that Hugo Chávez doesn’t need to be sworn in to start his new six-year term, there’s this from The Washington Post:
With cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez battling for his life, the Obama administration has embarked on a discreet but concerted weeks-long diplomatic initiative to open channels of communication with his sharply anti-American government.
To all right wing-nut conspiracy freaks: you have just been proved completely and utterly wrong. President Barack Obama has nominated, for three national security cabinet positions, not long-time, semi-known ideologues from the far left fever swamps, but…well-known national figures with dozens of years of experience under their belts.