The Word You Are Looking for Is “Genocide”

Comes now the part of the year when attention turns to the ethnic cleansing of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Turkey in the aftermath of the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama pledged that he would call these massacres what they were--genocide. Times have changed: White House officials …

Social Media: Not the Place to Go for Sober-Headed Legal Analysis

There has been a lot of debate about the letter sent by 47 Republican senators to the Iranian regime regarding the negotiations over nuclear energy use--likely for weapons--by Iran. I happen to think that sending the letter was a bad idea; foreign policy has been found to be the province of the executive branch, with …

I Pity the Fool Who Becomes the Next Secretary of Defense

More evidence--as though any were needed--that while Chuck Hagel is leaving the Pentagon, bad governance practices designed and implemented by the Obama White House will remain. And those practices have been around for a while: On a trip to Afghanistan during President Barack Obama's first term, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was stunned to find a …

Chuck Hagel Is Leaving, But Problems with the Obama Administration’s National Security Apparatus Will Remain

Let there be absolutely no doubt that Chuck Hagel was at best, an inconsequential secretary of defense, and at worst, a terrible one. But while we ought to be relieved that Hagel has been shown the door, we also ought to be concerned that a completely dysfunctional national security apparatus will remain long after Hagel …

I Told You So (Chuck Hagel Edition)

Chuck Hagel was never cut out to be secretary of defense. I wrote as much. Repeatedly (just scroll down, and you will see). Hagel was selected because he was deemed the ideal secretary of defense to preside over declining Pentagon budgets and a declining American presence on the world stage, and astonishingly enough, he was also …

Wasn’t the Obama Administration Supposed to Improve the Conduct of American Foreign Policy?

I could swear that was the promise back in 2008. I could also swear that the president claimed to have delivered on that promise when he ran for re-election. And yet . . . When President Obama, after months of equivocation over how to respond to the takeover of parts of Iraq and Syria by …

Why Are We Aiding ISIL?

And make no mistake; we are. I understand and appreciate the desire to lend humanitarian aid to innocent civilians, but we have no evidence whatsoever that civilians are actually receiving the aid; rather, it appears that the aid is being diverted to meet ISIL's needs and interests. Behold: “The convoys have to be approved by ISIS …

Of Israel, the United States and Double Standards

As David Bernstein points out, the United States government is fond of insisting that Israel work extra-special super-duper hard to prevent innocent civilians from dying in Gaza (never mind that by stationing weapons near Palestinian civilians and turning them into human shields, Hamas actually bears responsibility for the deaths of civilians in Gaza). The problem, however, …

An Intelligence Failure of Alarming Proportions

How bad were we at assessing the threat posed by ISIL? This bad: By late last year, classified American intelligence reports painted an increasingly ominous picture of a growing threat from Sunni extremists in Syria, according to senior intelligence and military officials. Just as worrisome, they said, were reports of deteriorating readiness and morale among …

Our Astonishingly Incoherent Anti-ISIL Policy

So, notwithstanding the Obamaesque promises of 2008--and after--we are at war again in Iraq. And if that isn't enough, we are also at war in Syria. Here is the stated reason for our intervention: The U.S. launched eight airstrikes Monday night against a little-known, al-Qaida-affiliated militant group in Syria. The United States Central Command said Tuesday morning …