Shadi Hamid on the Obama Administration’s Diplomatic Non-Victory

Scathing, and entirely accurate: A deal with Russia on chemical weapons may be a "win" for President Obama but only in the narrowest sense. He managed to avoid a war he desperately did not want. But with the near-obsessive focus on chemical-weapons use, the core issues have been pushed to the side. These were always more or …

Quick Links on Syria

In no particular order . . . This is what results when a foreign leader struts after thoroughly outwitting and outmaneuvering an American president. Yes, the Putin editorial is hypocritical in the extreme (was United Nations permission requested by the Putin regime before Russian forays into Chechnya or Georgia?). Yes, it is replete with falsehoods--and the …

Going from Bad to Worse (Syria Edition)

I missed the president's speech on Syria, but looking through it, I can't find anything that makes me feel more confident in the White House's handling of the situation. Chemical weapons are awful and horrendous things, but I don't see any rationale for making the use of chemical weapons the trigger for a possible American …

The Rush to Feel-Good Belligerency

Some more useful links analyzing our seeming willingness to get involved in a completely unnecessary war: Once upon a time, Barack Obama inveighed against unilateralism and thought that getting United Nations approval for American military actions overseas would be a good idea. Nowadays? Not so much. Even if we bomb Syria, Russia might "replace any …

Edward Snowden: Hero of Transparency

Or, you know, not: Since he publicly acknowledged being the source of bombshell leaks about the NSA two weeks ago, Ed Snowden has portrayed government secrecy as a threat to democracy, and his own leaks as acts of conscience. But chat logs uncovered by the tech news site Ars Technica suggest Snowden hasn’t always felt that …

Edward Snowden’s Dubious Achievement

To be entirely fair to Edward Snowden, there are whistleblowers who stand with him and who applaud what he has done in exposing NSA surveillance programs and techniques. But it is also worth noting that there are plenty of whistleblowers who think that Edward Snowden has done the cause of whistleblowing no good whatsoever:When Edward …

On the Obama Administration’s Embarrassment and Edward Snowden’s Insincerity

The fact that Edward Snowden was able to leave Hong Kong, transit through Russia and fly to Ecuador for asylum has to be humiliating for the Obama administration, especially in light of the "resets" in diplomatic relations that the administration has been seeking with China and Russia. I am sure that the president and his …