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Keyword: michaelrubin

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  • Imaginary Iran

    04/01/2016 2:01:09 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 5 replies
    Commentary Mag. ^ | Mar. 31, 2016 | Michael Rubin
    Never before in recent history has the United States faced a country that has so persistently sought to kill Americans or attack Americans only to avoid consequences after every outrage. It’s not just a matter of: •The 1979-1981 hostage situation. •Assassinating an Iranian dissident in suburban Washington, DC. •The 1983 Marine Barracks bombing. •Seizing American hostages in Lebanon. •The 1996 Khobar Towers attacks. •The facilitation of transport for the 9/11 hijackers to and from Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. •Sheltering of senior al-Qaeda leaders post-9/11. •Smuggling of explosively-formed projectiles into Iraq and weaponry to the Taliban to kill Americans....
  • Iran: Miltary Sites Off-Limits to Inspectors

    04/09/2015 6:27:06 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 16 replies
    Commentary Mag. ^ | Michael Rubin
    President Barack Obama called the framework agreement Secretary of State John Kerry and other representatives of the P5+1 reached in Lausanne “historic.” Alas, as time passes and more is learned about the agreement and Iran’s understanding of it, the more it does seem to be “historic,” but for all the wrong reasons. -excerpt- Much of the work Iran conducted on military dimensions of a nuclear program occurred in Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities and on their bases. Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan today said that the Lausanne Framework does not commit Iran to provide international inspectors access to such military...
  • Countering violent extremism? ‘It’s the theology, stupid’

    02/15/2015 7:21:51 AM PST · by nuconvert · 8 replies
    AEI ^ | February 12, 2015 | Michael Rubin
    On February 18, President Obama will host a “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” which, the White House promises, will “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.” A coordinated strategy has never been more imperative. Since the Arab Spring turned hot, “violent extremism” has only grown more severe, with the Islamic State now controlling an area larger than Great Britain; Boko Haram on the rampage in Nigeria; Yemen, Libya, the Sinai, and large parts of Afghanistan and...
  • When Coups Advance Democracy

    07/07/2013 9:06:59 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 19 replies
    Michael Rubin/Pundicity ^ | July 7, 2013 | Michael Rubin
    Just hours after the Egyptian army deposed Mohammed Morsi on July 3, President Obama expressed "deep concern" at the ouster of Egypt's first democratically elected leader and reiterated U.S. support for "the democratic process and respect for the rule of law." He instructed the State Department to re-evaluate more than 1 billion dollars in aid earmarked to Egypt. Now is not the time to punish Egypt, however. If democracy is the goal, then the United States should celebrate Egypt's coup. Morsi may have won an election, but he despised the democracy which propelled him to power. Rather than consult and...
  • Iran to Citizens: Flee Isfahan

    01/02/2013 12:46:36 PM PST · by bayouranger · 55 replies
    freebeacon.com ^ | 02JAN12 | Adam Kredo
    Iranian officials tell citizens to vacate city located near nuke site Iranian officials have instructed residents of Isfahan to leave the city, renewing concerns that a nearby nuclear site could be leaking radioactive material. An edict issued Wednesday by Iranian authorities orders Isfahan’s one-and-a-half million people to leave the city “because pollution has now reached emergency levels,” the BBC reported. However, outside observers suspect that the evacuation order may corroborate previous reports indicating that a uranium enrichment facility near Isfahan had been leaking radioactive material. Tehran went to great lengths in December to deny these reports, telling state-run media outlets...
  • What really motivated the embassy attacks?

    09/13/2012 5:13:20 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 22 replies
    Pundicity/Michael Rubin.org ^ | Sept. 12, 2012 | Michael Rubin
    The September 11 murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a mob's sacking of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and the attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo demonstrate the war against terrorism is far from over. Disturbingly, 11 years after al Qaida's devastating attack on New York and Washington, neither the White House nor the State Department appears to recognize what the fight is about. As protests erupted outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, embassy public affairs officer Larry Schwartz tweeted — and then re-tweeted — a condemnation of the controversial film which initial reports suggested motivated the rioters. "We...
  • Not Everyone in the Middle East Hates Israel (my title)

    12/19/2001 7:29:22 AM PST · by mmmmmmmm....... donuts · 4 replies · 550+ views
    Jerusalem Report ^ | December 31, 2001 | Michael Rubin
    In the safe haven of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Jews and Israel are remembered fondly,if increasingly vaguely. "THEY CALL That lack of restraint?" the former Iraqi army officer exclaimed, while watching the BBC’s coverage of the Al-Aqsa Intifada on satellite TV last winter. "If this demonstration were held in Baghdad, there’d be 10,000 bodies in the street," said the Arab from Baghdad who now teaches in Iraqi Kurdistan. Almost 4 million people live in the safe haven of northern Iraq. A de facto autonomous region, it has been administered by the Kurds since 1991 when Saddam Hussein withdrew his administration in ...
  • How Iran sees America and what America does not want to see

    02/19/2012 7:05:38 AM PST · by nuconvert · 10 replies
    -excerpt- American diplomacy is based on the assumption that international counterparts operate by common rules. The Western notion of diplomacy, however, is a relatively recent concept, one that evolved during the Enlightenment and coalesced into a common understanding only in the nineteenth century. To assume that twenty-first century adversaries, be they in Tehran, Pyongyang, or Beijing, accept a value system rooted in Western culture is naive. The match-up between Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Obama is not a battle between equals, but rather a historical grudge match between Nizam al-Mulk, the eleventh century Persian Machiavelli, and Neville Chamberlain or...
  • Is the Bahrain Uprising Sponsored by Iran?

    02/05/2012 1:06:05 PM PST · by nuconvert · 6 replies
    Pundicity/Michael Rubin ^ | Feb. 2, 2012 | Michael Rubin
    Bahrain is strategically important and an incredibly diverse country, not only ethnically (with Arabs and those of Persian origin, not to mention South Asians and Filipinos if one includes the expatriate workers), but also religiously: The majority are Shi'ite Muslims, the ruling and more elite class are Sunni Muslims, and there are also a number of Christians and Jewish families, the latter mostly of Iraqi origin centuries ago. The Bahraini ambassador to the United States is Jewish. Because most of the opposition is Shi'ite, there is concern in American policy circles and among many journalists that a hidden Iranian hand...
  • Clinton Adviser Denies Endorsement of Turkish Islamist Paper [Zaman flagship-Gülen's Islamist cult]

    01/17/2012 5:03:15 PM PST · by fight_truth_decay · 14 replies
    Commentary Magazine ^ | 01.17.2012 - 12:50 PM | Michael Rubin
    Anne-Marie Slaughter, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s director of policy planning, now denies she endorsed Today’s Zaman, the flagship newspaper of Fethullah Gülen’s Islamist cult. Here is a google cache record with Prof. Slaughter’s endorsement, and here is the page now, with Professor Slaughter’s endorsement excised. Professor Slaughter denies she made the endorsementThere are two possible explanations: (1) Professor Slaughter is being truthful, and Today’s Zaman simply made it all up. If so, this suggests that the ethics of Zaman and the organization which sponsors it are non-existent. (2) Professor Slaughter asked for the retraction only after learning about Today’s...
  • Iran Puts a Weak America in Its Sights, With Big Plans for the Future

    01/10/2012 9:53:23 AM PST · by nuconvert · 15 replies · 2+ views
    FoxNews ^ | January 10, 2012 | Michael Rubin
    Addressing pilgrims on November 5, 2011, just over two weeks after President Obama announced U.S. troops would withdrawal from Iraq, Iran's Supreme Leader cited American "failures" in Iraq and Afghanistan as proof that, "Today, the West, the United States and Zionism are weaker than ever before." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went further, declaring the American retreat was not enough. "So long as the American empire based in the White House has not been overthrown, we have work to do," he thundered. In the weeks since, the Islamic Republic has ratcheted up both its rhetoric and its defiance. Whereas Iranian authorities...
  • Dire Straits - Iran’s navy plays a dangerous game

    01/08/2012 4:50:30 AM PST · by nuconvert · 26 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | Jan 16, 2012 | Michael Rubin
    -excerpt- War games may propel the Iranian Navy into the headlines, but the challenge the Islamic Republic poses to international shipping is broader and growing; indeed, it has been building for a quarter of a century. During the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), Tehran and Baghdad each sought to target the other’s business partners. Between 1984 and 1988, in the so-called Tanker War, Iran’s navy and its parallel Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Navy (IRGC-N) developed a doctrine of maritime guerrilla warfare using speedboats, mines, antiship cruise missiles, and, on occasion, aircraft to target neutral or enemy shipping. -excerpt- Iranian tactics should also be...
  • What the Storming of the British Embassy In Teheran Tells Us

    11/29/2011 10:46:47 AM PST · by nuconvert · 18 replies · 1+ views
    Fox ^ | Michael Rubin
    Hardline Iranian students stormed the British embassy in Tehran this morning, smashing windows and burning the British flag. The students, protesting the latest British sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic as a result of its nuclear defiance, demanded Tehran break relations with London. Rather than protect the embassy, Iranian security forces charged with its protecting simply stood aside suggesting official endorsement of the act. The attack on the embassy follows the Iranian parliament’s decision on Sunday to downgrade relations with Great Britain and expel the British ambassador. That vote was 179 in favor of downgrading relations, and four against with...
  • Contentions Chaos at Voice of America- Persian Service (Michael Rubin)

    11/09/2011 3:54:02 PM PST · by nuconvert · 5 replies
    Commentary Mag ^ | Michael Rubin
    IÂ’ve written before about a lack of professionalism and aimlessness that afflicts American government broadcasting into Iran. Alas, at Voice of America, it seems that the situation has gone from bad to worse. Its director Ramin Asgard, a veteran of the Foreign Service, appears to have embraced the State DepartmentÂ’s mentality that Voice of America should be a tool with which to build bridges toward the Islamic Republic of Iran, rather than use information to try to undermine the regime or shed light on its dark corners, something that was the basis of the Voice of America mission during the...
  • Iran Admits Its Nuclear Negotiating Strategy is to Run Down the Clock

    11/01/2011 5:08:15 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 3 replies
    Pundicity/MichaelRubin ^ | Nov 1, 2011 | Michael Rubin
    If the Islamic Republic of Iran has one trait that worries me, it is overconfidence. After all, wars in the Middle East are caused not by oil or water, but rather by one side fundamentally underestimating the capacity of its adversary to respond. That was the case, for example, with the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War​. After that conflict, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah commented that had he known how Israel would have reacted, he never would have launched the cross border operation to kidnap the Israelis in the first place. Sometimes that overconfidence can have a silver-lining, however. Last week, former Iranian...
  • The international justice industry should back off from Libya

    10/23/2011 7:55:26 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 8 replies
    Pundicity ^ | Oct 21, 2011 | Michael Rubin
    Muammar Qadhafi may have been captured alive in Sirte, but it wasn't long before his dead body was being paraded through the streets of Misrata, a town pulverized by Qadhafi loyalists. The United Nations is predictably demanding an investigation into his alleged summary execution by forces loyal to Libya's new government. The UN's outrage is misplaced, though. We should all be glad Qadhafi is dead. International justice has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which trials last years and justice is seldom served. Serbian dictator Slobodan Milošević died in prison more than four years after his trial began. Liberian dictator...
  • Safe havens must become risky haunts(Michael Rubin)

    09/11/2011 6:03:57 PM PDT · by nuconvert
    Michael Rubin.org ^ | Michael Rubin
    Ten years ago, al-Qa'ida terrorists struck New York, killing nearly 2700, including 11 Australians. Just over a year later, radical Islamists bombed a disco in Bali, killing just over 200, almost half of whom were Australian. As memory of those tragedies fade, many Australians question their participation in the war on terror. Whereas three years ago, the Australian mission in Afghanistan was relatively popular, polls now show almost two-thirds of Australians want their troops withdrawn from Afghanistan. The Indonesian government's execution of the Bali bombers in November 2008 and the dispatch of Osama bin Laden in May provide natural closure,...
  • Talking With the Taliban Is Not Diplomacy, It's Deadly

    09/08/2011 4:08:24 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 2 replies
    Fox ^ | Michael Rubin
    Against the backdrop of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, progressives seem intent on repeating the mistakes that led up to that tragic day. Last month, John Podesta, President Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, returned from a whirlwind trip to Afghanistan to recommend that the Obama administration enter into new talks with the Taliban. Podesta’s recommendation melds with Obama’s preference for diplomacy with international rogues, but talking to the Taliban has precedent. Between 1995 and 2000, declassified documents show American diplomats met on almost three dozen occasions with the group. The Taliban promised to close terror training camps, but always...
  • Tehran’s Nuclear Endgame

    08/29/2011 8:03:43 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 7 replies
    National Review ^ | Michael Rubin
    Moammar Qaddafi’s rule might be crumbling, but the colonel refuses to quit. On the evening of August 23, Qaddafi loyalists launched Scuds at the rebel-run town of Misrata. The missile strikes will be a footnote to the last days of the Transitional National Council’s struggle to unseat Qaddafi, but Western policymakers should not ignore them, for reasons that have less to do with Libya and far more with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both Pres. George W. Bush and Pres. Barack Obama declared that they would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. “The free world cannot allow Iran to...
  • U.S. Should Celebrate Sri Lanka, Not Condemn It (Michael Rubin)

    05/11/2011 5:58:19 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 3 replies
    michaelrubin.org ^ | May 9, 2011 | Michael Rubin
    In May 2009, the army of the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka did what decades of UN diplomatic intervention and State Department pronouncements could not do. It ended its 26-year war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, more commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. The war not only extracted a tremendous economic cost, but had a massive human cost—the UN estimated that the death toll might exceed 100,000. In the end, Sri Lankan action was both merciless and effective. The army reconquered Tamil Tiger-held territory and slaughtered the group's leadership. The final battle was messy, but with...
  • The Squeaky Wheel Syndome (Michael Rubin)

    04/17/2011 5:14:02 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 3 replies
    Commentary Mag. ^ | 4-11-11 | Michael Rubin
    Can President Obama, Vice President Biden, or Secretary of State Clinton walk and chew gum at the same time? Evidently not. Perhaps Obama can take the 3:00 a.m. phone call, but alas he and his team are ill-prepared to take that, and the 3:10 a.m. and the 3:15 a.m. phone calls together. What is going on in the Middle East is truly incredible. A Tunisian fruit vendor’s self-immolation leads to the fall of the Tunisian dictator—truly a noxious character albeit a secular one—followed in short order by Hosni Mubarak, an ally in name only. Now, Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh...
  • What’s Behind the Campaign to Delist the Mujahedin al-Khalq Organization?

    03/04/2011 5:13:12 PM PST · by nuconvert · 8 replies
    Commentary Mag. ^ | Feb. 24, 2011 | Michael Rubin
    A growing number of former U.S. officials — both Republicans and Democrats — have hopped on the bandwagon to demand that the State Department delist the Mujahedin al-Khalq Organization (MKO) from its list of terrorist groups.I consider the MKO a terrorist group for good reason. There is no doubt that the MKO has targeted Americans, and no amount of slick public relations should erase that. During my time in Iran, it was clear that while Iranians respect the United States and have little good to say about their own government, they all detest the MKO.The enemy of my enemy...
  • Egypt Is Not Iran (Michael Rubin)

    02/08/2011 7:53:55 AM PST · by nuconvert · 17 replies
    Behind the Obama administration's concern over legalism, many current and former officials worry that any withdrawal of support for Egyptian President Mubarak will reverberate through the region much as did President Carter's abandonment of the Shah of Iran. The two situations are not analogous, however. Egypt has been an ally in name only. When Vice President Cheney called Mubarak a good friend and a U.S. ally, it is telling that his example of Mubarak's friendship — Egyptian assistance during the liberation of Kuwait — is two decades old. He omitted that Mubarak held out for $14 billion in debt forgiveness...
  • How to Avoid an Iran-Like Tragedy in Egypt (Michael Rubin)

    02/01/2011 11:17:27 AM PST · by nuconvert · 8 replies
    Michael Rubin/Pundicity ^ | February 1, 2011 | Michael Rubin
    Few Egyptians will mourn Hosni Mubarak's downfall. His three-decade rule was sclerotic. He not only failed to address growing economic failings but also refused to even listen. As a guest observer at Mubarak's 2006 National Democratic Party convention, I watched as senior officials cut microphone power to party members who used their speeches to complain about high unemployment, poor housing and a lack of basic infrastructure. While the discrepancy between rich and poor is extreme in many Arab countries, Egypt's population density amplifies awareness. With nearly 80 million people crammed into the narrow Nile River Valley, the rich cannot hide...
  • The Direction of Turkey’s Foreign Policy and Strategic Partnerships (Michael Rubin)

    01/04/2011 5:04:18 AM PST · by nuconvert
    Euro-Atlantic Quarterly ^ | Jan. 3, 2011 | Michael Rubin
    For much of his first term in office, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan pursued a balancing act: He sought to reinvigorate ties to the Islamic world while, committing simultaneously committing Turkey to the European Union accession process. After winning reelection in 2007, however, ErdoÄŸan veered Turkish foreign policy further toward the Islamic world. TurkeyÂ’s European ambitions fell by the wayside, into the realm of lip service only. TurkeyÂ’s September 2010 referendum marked another milestone. While the poll centered on constitutional reform, the size of ErdoÄŸanÂ’s victory imbued him with new confidence. In its wake, he has cast aside any pretense...
  • Bill Bennett interviews Michael Rubin on Iraq, Pakistan, Taliban, Afghanistan

    12/29/2010 8:32:06 AM PST · by nuconvert · 3 replies · 3+ views
    Bill Bennett Show ^ | Dec 28, 2010
    Bill talks with Michael Rubin about his recent trip to Iraq, the prospects of victory in Afghanistan and how we deal with Pakistan. Listen to 19min. interview at link above.
  • How Sanctions Can Work With Iran (Michael Rubin)

    12/15/2010 5:05:47 AM PST · by nuconvert · 8 replies
    Pundicity/Miichael Rubin ^ | Dec. 15, 2010 | Michael Rubin
    -Excerpt- (on engagement with Iran)The second issue is with regard to with whom we engage. Many people talk about different Iranian power centres. The fact of the matter is, however, that we shouldn't be engaging with people who don't have power over the decision making in Iran. It's not enough to say 'Well, we engaged with this diplomat, but the Revolutionary Guard did this, so we can't blame Iran for its lack of sincerity'. Either we're engaging with the wrong people, or Iran is being insincere. What I do notice is that while the Americans seem to celebrate meeting with...
  • Sanctioning Iran (Michael Rubin)

    10/31/2010 6:48:02 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 1 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | Michael Rubin
    Iran today may be the most sanctioned country on earth. After the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 2005 finding that Tehran was not in compliance with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards obligations, the United Nations Security Council has slapped four sets of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, the most recent round in June. However, in order to hide its activities and protect its resources, the Iranian regime has mastered a version of Three-card Monte: For every Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps front company or bank that the international community sanctions, the Iranian government simply creates another. The fact is that the quest...
  • Talk to the Taliban? (Michael Rubin)

    10/21/2010 8:51:42 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 1 replies · 1+ views
    National Review ^ | Oct. 21, 2010 | Michael Rubin
    This U.S. policy is seriously misguided. With the war in Afghanistan now in its tenth year and both security and public support at their nadir, diplomats and generals in both Washington and Kabul focus increasingly on reconciliation with the Taliban as the key to stability and withdrawal. Engagement with enemies remains President Obama’s wonder drug. Outlining his Afghanistan strategy last December, Obama declared, “We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens.” Behind the scenes, both British and American officials have encouraged...
  • Iranian Weapon Shipment to Afghan Taliban Raises Alarm

    10/20/2010 8:29:01 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 12 replies · 2+ views
    FOX ^ | Oct. 19, 2010 | Jennifer Griffin
    Two weeks ago Afghan officials intercepted a shipment of Iranian weapons en route to the Taliban in the Afghan province of Nimroz. “The police chief of Nimroz announced that they had intercepted a couple tons of Iranian explosives marked as food and toys,” said Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, who just returned from a two week visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Excerpt- But on Monday Iranian diplomats were seated at a NATO conference in Rome at the invitation of the Obama administration to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan. It was the ninth meeting of the NATO contact...
  • How nukes will transform Iran (Michael Rubin)

    08/18/2010 3:28:53 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 5 replies
    President Obama says Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons is "unacceptable," but he appears resigned to the eventuality that the Islamic Republic will build a bomb. Iranian leaders are defiant in the face of sanctions. On Aug. 8, for example, the Kayhan newspaper, mouthpiece for the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, declared, "Iran does not consider any cost higher than the loss of prestige of capitulating to the West and does not consider any benefit higher than the benefit of becoming nuclear." Arab and Israeli newspapers both report that visiting U.S. officials suggest they could extend a nuclear umbrella should Iran develop...
  • Turkey's New Foreign Policy Direction

    07/28/2010 5:38:58 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 5 replies
    Pundicity/Michael Rubin.org ^ | July 28, 2010 | Michael Rubin
    To House Foreign Affairs Committee July 28, 2010 Chairman Berman, Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen, Honorable Members. Thank you for this opportunity to testify. Prime Minister ErdoÄŸan, and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have changed Turkey fundamentally. They do not simply seek good relations with their Arab neighbors and Iran. Instead, they favor the most radical elements in regional struggles, hence their embrace of Syria over Lebanon and of Hamas over Fatah, and their endorsement Iran's nuclear program. Over the last 8 years, the AKP government has reoriented Turkey toward the Arab and Iranian Middle East, not to facilitate bridge-building to...
  • Turkey, from Ally to Enemy (educational, eye-opening, must read)

    06/23/2010 5:52:43 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 11 replies · 1+ views
    Traveling abroad on his first trip as president, Barack Obama tacked a visit to Turkey onto the tail end of a trip to Europe. "Some people have asked me if I chose to continue my travels to Ankara and Istanbul to send a message," he told the Turkish Parliament. "My answer is simple: Evet [yes]. Turkey is a critical ally." On the same visit, however, the president showed that he considered Turkey more firmly part of the Islamic world than of Europe. "I want to make sure that we end before the call to prayer, so we have about half...
  • Containment won't work

    06/11/2010 4:37:34 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 11 replies · 301+ views
    Pundicity/michaelrubin.org ^ | June 11, 2010 | Michael Rubin
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shrugged off Wednesday's U.N. Security Council resolutions, saying they "resemble used napkins that need to be thrown to the garbage can." Diplomacy has hit a dead end: President Obama bargained away everything just to win watered down sanctions. Spinning centrifuges run down the clock. When Obama asked Iran to unclench its fist, it lacked the uranium to build a bomb. Today, it has enough for two. If President Obama does not act quickly and unilaterally to paralyze Iran's banking sector and stop the gasoline imports the Islamic Republic needs to survive, he will be left with...
  • Taking Tea with the Taliban

    02/02/2010 6:57:10 PM PST · by nuconvert · 2 replies · 228+ views
    Commentary mag. ^ | Michael Rubin
    Addressing the nation on December 1, 2009, President Barack Obama laid out the case for an augmented American presence in Afghanistan to battle the Taliban forces seeking to push their way back into power. “Over the last several years, the Taliban has maintained common cause with al-Qaeda, as they both seek an overthrow of the Afghan government,” he declared. The president offered a brief account of the Taliban’s rise to power before the U.S. tossed them out in November 2001. “Al-Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan,” he said, “where they were harbored by the Taliban—a ruthless, repressive, and radical...
  • A Watershed Election

    02/01/2010 8:27:41 AM PST · by nuconvert · 329+ views
    NRO ^ | Feb. 1, 2010 | Michael Rubin
    After the Iraqi parliament banned 500 candidates from contesting the March 7 national elections, Vice President Joseph Biden rushed to Baghdad to urge Iraqi political leaders to reconsider. While the ban has fueled U.S. cynicism about Iraqi democracy, such cynicism is unwarranted, especially now. The Iraqi parliament’s decision did not wipe out Sunni candidates. Even the majority Shia lists are multi-sectarian. Iraqis say the controversy is really about rule-of-law and sovereignty issues. Across the ethnic and sectarian spectrum — and even in senior Iraqi military circles — Iraqis consider it likely that there will be a Baathist coup attempt following...
  • The Enduring Iran-Syria-Hezbollah Axis

    12/18/2009 5:05:23 AM PST · by nuconvert · 318+ views
    The 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel took not only outside observers by surprise, but also Israel and the government of Lebanon. A day after an operation in which Hezbollah killed five Israeli soldiers and captured two others, the Israel Defense Forces struck Lebanese targets as far north as Beirut. Over subsequent days, the Israeli Air Force bombed Hezbollah-controlled neighborhoods in Beirut and struck targets in the country's north. U.S., European, and Arab diplomats scrambled to prevent the spread of hostilities. While Arab governments remained conspicuously silent, unwilling to support Hezbollah publicly, if at all, Iranian authorities egged on the...
  • Not Nearly Enough On Afghanistan (Michael Rubin on Obama's speech)

    12/01/2009 7:17:45 PM PST · by nuconvert · 15 replies · 735+ views
    Pundicity - Michael Rubin ^ | Dec. 1, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    Announcing the results of his administration's first policy review on Afghanistan more than eight months ago, President Barack Obama declared, "I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future." To achieve those goals, the president explained, "we need a stronger, smarter and comprehensive strategy." Unfortunately, the strategy Obama announced tonight will not achieve it. (excerpt) What Obama fails to understand, however, is that the surge is not only a military strategy, but a...
  • Forgetting the Fall (Michael Rubin)

    11/07/2009 3:06:17 PM PST · by nuconvert · 13 replies · 631+ views
    Michael Rubin.org ^ | November 6, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    President Barack Obama has RSVPed "nein" to Chancellor Merkel's invitation to Germany to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. National Review Online asked Michael Rubin and a few other experts what this snub reveals about Obama. Rubin: "Symbolism is incredibly important. When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire," the reverberations within the East Bloc went far beyond what Reagan's own supporters realized. Likewise, the moral clarity evident in Reagan standing before the Berlin Wall and declaring, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" did as much as tens of millions of dollars poured...
  • Forgetting the Fall (They tore down The Wall - Obama tears up his invitation)

    11/06/2009 3:35:24 PM PST · by mojito · 11 replies · 697+ views
    National Review Online ^ | 11/6/2009 | NRO Symposium
    President Barack Obama has RSVPed “nein” to Chancellor Merkel’s invitation to Germany to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. National Review Online asked a few experts what this snub reveals about our current president. [....] FRANK GAFFNEY: Nine words say it all: Undermine our allies. Embolden our enemies. Diminish our country. That’s the Obama Doctrine in a nutshell, and the slighting of Germany with regard to one of the most symbolic and consequential expressions of the quest for freedom undertaken in the teeth of Soviet oppression does all three. — Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is...
  • Obama Cuts Off Funding for Iranian Human-Rights Documentation

    10/06/2009 7:08:45 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 22 replies · 946+ views
    National Review ^ | Oct 6, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    I've got to say, even for the Obama administration, this is a real shocker. The Clinton State Department has decided to cut off all funding for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), which was compiling lists of protestors imprisoned in this summer's unrest, as well as those who were killed in the crackdown. IHRDC is what human-rights advocates should be: methodical, precise, and apolitical in their work. And yet, the Obama administration has, without explanation, cut off all federal funding to the group which has consistently fulfilled its mandate. Anyone, across the political spectrum who has any interest in...
  • It takes much more than talk to stop Iran's stonewalling

    09/30/2009 6:53:53 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 6 replies · 427+ views
    MichaelRubin.org/Pundicity ^ | September 30, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    Tomorrow, U.S. diplomats and their Russian, Chinese and European counterparts will join Iranian officials to discuss the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. The meeting follows new Iranian missile tests and exposure of a second covert Iranian nuclear enrichment facility. Iran enters the negotiations defiant. "The announcement of the enrichment facilities will be Iran's winning card," Kayhan newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Supreme Leader, editorialized last Sunday. The meeting will be a nail in the coffin of the Obama doctrine. Throughout his campaign, President Obama preached unconditional diplomacy. "We need a President who'll have the strength and courage to go toe-to-toe with...
  • Obama Still Flailing for the Clenched Fist?

    08/10/2009 6:10:23 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 11 replies · 4,084+ views
    NRO ^ | Michael Rubin
    Iran’s Alef News and Jahan News are reporting that the Obama administration sent the Iranian government another letter in the past couple days, reportedly with regard to the three detained Americans. The newspapers report that the Iranian government has yet to respond.
  • Iran: Recent Developments and Implications for U.S. Policy (House Foreign Affairs Committee)

    07/23/2009 4:46:37 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 1 replies · 210+ views
    MichaelRubin.org/Pundicity ^ | July 22, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    Michael Rubin testifies at House Foreign Affairs Committee (excerpt) Secretary Clinton is correct to note the challenges the Islamic Republic poses, but is incorrect to blame her predecessors rather than the Islamic Republic itself for the failure of diplomacy. It is a myth that the United States has not engaged Iran. Every administration since Jimmy Carter's has engaged the Islamic Republic. During the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan criticized the Carter administration's diplomacy toward Iran but then, faced with his own Iranian-instigated hostage crisis, also sought to offer incentives. During his inaugural address, George H.W. Bush extended an olive branch...
  • Our Common Foe (Michael Rubin)

    07/07/2009 7:49:56 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 7 replies · 430+ views
    MichaelRubin.org ^ | July 20, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    Tear gas was still wafting through the streets of Tehran when, at a June 23 White House press conference, The Huffington Post's Nico Pitney conveyed an Iranian's question to President Obama: "Under which conditions would you accept the election of [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working towards?" Obama avoided a direct answer, saying only that the Iranian government should "recognize that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity," and expressing hope that...
  • The Troop Drawdown Could Be Costly for Iraq (MichaelRubin)

    06/30/2009 11:27:08 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 351+ views
    MichaelRubin.org ^ | June 30, 2009
    Today is a milestone in Iraq. Under the terms of the Strategic Framework Agreement, U.S. troops will withdraw from Iraqi cities. In retrospect, however, June 30 will likely mark another milestone: the end of the surge and the relative peace it brought to Iraq. In the past week, bombings in Baghdad, Mosul and near Kirkuk have killed almost 200 people. The worst is yet to come. While the Strategic Framework Agreement was negotiated in the twilight of the Bush administration, President Barack Obama shaped the final deal. He campaigned on a time line to withdraw combat troops from Iraq, and...
  • Silence Is Not Neutrality - Obama needs to support freedom in Iran

    06/23/2009 4:57:41 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 17 replies · 472+ views
    MichaelRubin.org ^ | June 23, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    Obama needs to support freedom in Iran by Michael Rubin June 23, 2009 Over the weekend, both conservative columnist George Will and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan argued that conservative criticism of President Obama's rhetorical restraint amidst the Iranian protests was unwarranted. "The president is being roundly criticized for insufficient rhetorical support for what's going on over there. It seems foolish criticism," Will said. "To insist the American president, in the first days of the rebellion, insert the American government into the drama was shortsighted and mischievous," Noonan wrote. "The ayatollahs were only too eager to demonize the demonstrators as...
  • Protests aren't enough to topple the Islamic Republic

    06/20/2009 2:49:35 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 18 replies · 635+ views
    MichaelRubin.org ^ | June 19, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    by Michael Rubin Street protests in Iran are important but are themselves not enough to force change. The supreme leader will not be swayed because he considers himself accountable to God, not to the people. Indeed, even the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment is irrelevant in this calculus. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's invocation of folk religion -- his appeals to the messianic Hidden Imam, for example -- is a way to bypass senior religious figures who, according to Shiite theology, will be among the greatest obstacles to the Hidden Imam's return. Nor does the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pay too much...
  • Don't meddle, but help create a template for Iranians to act (Michael Rubin)

    06/19/2009 7:12:15 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 7 replies · 350+ views
    MichaelRubin.org/Pundicity ^ | June 18, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    As the Obama administration crafts its strategy, it should not repeat the mistakes of the past. The Bush approach lacked cohesion and coordination. A month after President Bush declared Iran part of the "axis of evil," the deputy secretary of State said it was a democracy. And although the White House talked tough -- much to the ire of the pro-engagement crowd -- the Bush administration engaged the Islamic Republic more than any administration since Jimmy Carter's, thereby losing the trust of those seeking more sticks than carrots. Regardless of his ultimate policy, President Obama must realize that the gap...
  • The Obama Effect?

    06/14/2009 4:23:25 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 5 replies · 661+ views
    MichaelRubin.org/Pundicity ^ | June 14, 2009 | Michael Rubin
    Iran's election result proves the US formula in the Middle East is not working June 14, 2009 On June 4, President Barack Obama declared, "I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." Awed by Obama's rhetoric, many commentators -- blogger Juan Cole and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, for example -- suggested that an "Obama Effect" could usher in a new era of hope and change in the Middle East, and a pro-American outcome in Lebanese elections earlier this month seemed to cooperate with the theory. After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection...