1:54 PM, Aug 31, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Last Friday, I moderated a panel at Hudson Institute titled, “Why is Qassem Suleimani Smiling? The Iran Deal and Sanctions Relief for Terrorists.” (See video of the event here.) The panel’s focus was not speculative—for instance, how the regime might spend the signing bonus promised by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or how the deal might moderate the regime, or reconfigure Iranian society—but rather looked at the regime’s actual behavior over the last 36 years. In particular, the panel discussed Iran’s acts of terror against Americans, especially servicemen and women.
The panel included three career, now retired, U.S. army officers, all with first-hand knowledge of Iran’s war against America—Captain (retired) Michael Pregent, Colonel (retired) Derek Harvey, and General (retired) Jack Keane. Pregent, a former intelligence officer and now executive director of Veterans Against the Deal, talked about the physical suffering and mental anguish that the Iranian regime has brought to American homes (here’s heart-wrenching testimony from Robert Bartlett, a combat veteran who was severely wounded in Iraq). Harvey, another former intelligence officer who worked with General David Petraeus in Iraq, and has concentrated on the Iran account for two decades, described not only Iranian strategy and tactics but also the character of particular IRGC officers, like Suleimani himself. Keane, a retired four-star who served for 37 years, filled in the big picture, explaining what it would mean for American interests if Iran came to control the Persian Gulf.
The three panelists provided both interesting details and larger perspectives with which to understand the ongoing conflict with Iran. I only wish that we’d had more time to delve further into the issues. For instance, I’d have liked to hear more details of Harvey’s interrogations of IRGC officers. And is it true that American forces once had Suleimani in their crosshairs, but our political leaders decided against killing a man responsible for killing so many Americans? As Keane explained, both Republican as well as Democratic administrations have neglected to punch back against the Iranians, leading to where we are now.
For me, the most striking observation was when Keane noted that while it’s true the Iranians do not now pose the same sort of threat to America that the Soviets did during the Cold War, the Soviets also did not attack American forces, and civilians, directly, as the Iranians have done since 1979. It’s worth considering how the JCPOA, and a multi-billion dollar cash windfall, might further embolden an aggressive regime that’s been making war against the United States for more than three decades.
Mike Pompeo takes on Jim Slattery.9:17 AM, Aug 31, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
A week ago, I suggested that—contrary to conventional wisdom and perhaps even to first-blush common sense—the GOP field might benefit from one or more new candidates. One of the well-qualified dark horses I mentioned was third-term Rep. Mike Pompeo from Wichita, Kansas.
6:12 PM, Aug 25, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Over the weekend, thousands of Lebanese took to the streets to protest against their country’s corrupt political culture.
7:19 AM, Aug 25, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Rob Portman of Ohio may have one of the toughest Senate reelection campaigns in the country next year, and the Republican isn't wasting time hitting his likely Democratic opponent, former governor Ted Strickland. The Portman campaign has launched a new set of online ads targeting Strickland's support for the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
The ads ask readers questions like "Who do you stand with on the Iran deal?" and "Do you agree with Rob Portman that the Iran deal is bad for Ohio and for America?" See the ads below:
9:42 AM, Aug 24, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New Jersey governor Chris Christie says America needs a "strong law enforcer as president" in a new 30-second TV ad. In the spot, Christie, a Republican, lists off examples of "lawlessness in America and around the world under Barack Obama," including the terror of ISIS, sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, drug problems, and "Iranian radicals with nuclear weapons. Christie adds in leading Democratic candidate for president into the mix.
"Now, Hillary Clinton thinks the law doesn't apply to her," he says with an image of a computer server on screen. "Really?"
8:06 AM, Aug 21, 2015 • By OMRI CEREN
The Obama administration spent the last two years telling lawmakers and reporters that any deal with Iran would require the Iranians to provide International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors robust access to the Parchin military base, where the Iranians conducted hydrodynamic experiments relevant to the detonation of nuclear warheads.
1:33 PM, Aug 19, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Associated Press reports that under the provisions of the deal, the Iranian government will be allowed to use its own inspectors on one site thought to have been used to develop nuclear weapons. Here's more from the AP:
"If Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it."5:14 PM, Aug 18, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bob Menendez, the Democratic senator from New Jersey and one of the leading voices for tougher sanctions on the Iranian regime, delivered an address Tuesday at Seton Hall University in which he declared he would oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.
5:32 PM, Aug 14, 2015 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
President Obama claims, as Bill Kristol noted in his editorial in the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, that no country in the world has expressed opposition to his deal with Iran, with the exception of Israel. But that's not accurate. Canada, the United States' biggest trading partner—and, traditionally, its closest ally—has made it clear it wants no part of an agreement normalizing relations between Iran and the West.
5:17 PM, Aug 14, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
A new Gallup poll shows that 55% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of Iran compared to 33% who approve.
3:21 PM, Aug 14, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new ad from Veterans Against the Deal features the father of U.S. Army specialist Clay Farr, who was killed by an Iranian bomb in Iraq in 2006. In the 60-second spot, Patrick Farr describes the day he learned of his son's death and expresses his opposition to a deal that will reward the regime that killed him.
Aug 24, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 47 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
“Because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.”
President Barack Obama, August 5, 2015