• Sanctions Devastate the People, But They Strengthen the Regime

    Sanctions Devastate the People, But They Strengthen the Regime

    Yesterday the head of the Trump administration’s Iran Action Group, Brian Hook, gave a celebratory press briefing in which he boasted about the “success” that the U.S. has had in wrecking Iran’s economy:

    Administration officials like to cite the economic damage that sanctions have caused, but at the same time they don’t READ MORE...

  • 110,000 Affected by New Cholera Outbreak in Yemen

    110,000 Affected by New Cholera Outbreak in Yemen

    Yemen continues to suffer from a lack of clean drinking water on account of the war, and in the first three months of this year there has been a sharp increase in the number of suspected cholera cases:

    Nearly 110,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in war-hit Yemen since the beginning of January, including 190 related deaths, the UN said on Monday.

    The UN office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said children under the age of five make up nearly a third of 108,889 cases which READ MORE...

  • Endorsing Illegal Annexation and the ‘Rules-Based Order’

    Endorsing Illegal Annexation and the ‘Rules-Based Order’

    Surprising no one, The Wall Street Journal is all in favor of Trump’s terrible decision to recognize the Israeli claim to the Golan Heights:

    Recognizing the Golan sends a message to Russia, Syria’s patron, that the U.S. recognizes that the civil war has changed Syrian reality. There is no returning to a nonexistent status quo ante. It also tells the Palestinians that a return to pre-1967 borders is no longer realistic. They will have to allow some Israeli security presence in what they call READ MORE...

  • O’Rourke’s Presidential Campaign Makes No Sense

    O’Rourke’s Presidential Campaign Makes No Sense

    Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke announced his intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination today. This passage from his Vanity Fair profile sums up why I think most Democratic voters aren’t going to rally behind him:

    O’Rourke is careful to pay homage to progressive icons, crediting Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren with advancing the national conversation on health care and consumer protections, but sells himself as something slightly different: a youthful uniter, willing to READ MORE...

  • Washington’s Continuing Failure to Understand Our Adversaries

    Steven Metz identifies the administration’s misunderstanding of Kim Jong-un’s goals and interests as the main cause for the failure of the Hanoi summit:

    But Kim is not a normal political leader. Having learned from his father and grandfather, he knows that personalist dictators die when they weaken their grip, allow the dependence on them to erode, or fail to deter or distract an adversary like the United States. He does not want the kind of prosperity that would make North Korea “an economic READ MORE...

  • Facebook Defends Muslim Sharia Law Censorship - Champions Blasphemy Laws

    Americans Want Greater Restraint in Foreign Policy

    The Eurasia Group Foundation recently released a survey of American public opinion on foreign policy. Ian Bremmer comments on the findings:

    No matter what party they claim allegiance to, Americans favor a foreign policy that resists entanglements abroad, the survey found—and it’s not limited to conservative libertarians on the right and liberal pacifists on the left. In every age group polled, respondents exhibited a waning appetite for the obligations and impositions of imperial governance.

    The

  • The U.S. Will Regret Interfering in Venezuela

    The U.S. Will Regret Interfering in Venezuela

    U.S. policymakers have frequently failed to plan for what comes after the overthrow of a foreign government, but in the case of Venezuela the Trump administration and its allies failed to plan for the beginning:

    Longtime observers, however, say the generals doubt the promises will be kept. This is a major reason why the revolution isn’t moving as quickly as some had hoped when Guaido electrified the world on Jan. 23 with his declaration. This has led to impatience and finger-pointing. U.S. policy READ MORE...

  • U.S. Sanctions Deepen the Misery of Venezuelans

    U.S. Sanctions Deepen the Misery of Venezuelans

    The cruel and unjust sanctions imposed on Venezuela last month are already having the predictable effect of hurting the people most of all:

    When President Trump slapped surprise oil sanctions on Venezuela aimed at toppling President Nicolás Maduro, exports plunged and banking froze as the effects hit harder and faster than expected.

    But in recent days it has become clear that Venezuela’s state oil company, the main target of the sanctions as Mr. Maduro’s bankroller, has found a few ways to READ MORE...

  • Venezuela and Our Regime Change Addiction

    Venezuela and Our Regime Change Addiction

    Noah Feldman helpfully rips off the fig leaf that the Trump administration and other governments are using to justify their interference in Venezuela:

    But the constitutional argument that Maduro isn’t really president is nothing more than a fig leaf for regime change. Even as fig leaves go, it’s particularly wispy and minimal. The U.S. policy is, in practice, to seek regime change in Venezuela. It would be better to say so directly.

    It may seem convenient now for the U.S. to hide its objective READ MORE...

  • Misplaced Hope Is Not a Strategy

    Misplaced Hope Is Not a Strategy

    The Venezuelan military is not on board with the effort to remove Maduro:

    The leader of Venezuela’s armed forces declared loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday and said the opposition’s effort to replace him with a transitional government amounted to an attempted coup.

    The pronouncement by the defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, came a day after an opposition lawmaker proclaimed himself the country’s rightful leader during nationwide antigovernment protests and pleaded with READ MORE...

  • The Growing Rift with Europe Over Iran

    The Growing Rift with Europe Over Iran

    The Trump administration is organizing an anti-Iran conference that will meet in Poland next month. Many European governments are planning to snub the administration by staying away:

    A U.S. effort to enlist Europe in its pressure campaign against Iran faced a setback after officials said ministers from several European Union members will likely skip a summit organized by Washington on Iran and the Middle East.

    The summit, which will be co-hosted by Poland and the U.S. and take place in Warsaw, was READ MORE...

  • The Senate Rejects Rubio’s Attack on Free Speech Again

    The Senate Rejects Rubio’s Attack on Free Speech Again

    Josh Rogin wrote this last week about the “pro-Israel” hawkish attack on the First Amendment:

    McConnell is attempting to show that, on Israel, Republicans are actually largely in agreement, whereas Democrats have a growing problem. The political battle over foreign policy leading up to 2020 has begun, and McConnell just fired the opening salvo.

    Picking a fight over Rubio’s Combating BDS Act does show that the GOP is almost completely in lockstep behind this terrible legislation, but it’s READ MORE...