Tag: Syria

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see President Trump making a detailed case for border wall funding in tonight’s televised address, a more effective strategy than tweets and sound bites. They also like National Security Adviser John Bolton’s clarification that the Trump administration does want to get […]

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The Washington Post reports John Bolton has outlined conditions on our withdrawal from Syria, including protection of the Kurds, that could delay any withdrawal indefinitely. I think this is a wonderful development, I opposed the withdrawal, but have a few questions for my fellow Ricocheti? More

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I invested nearly two decades of experience in the region into this show and we look at what forces are there, how we got involved, regional context, possible paths, consequences, ISIS, Congress and POTUS rolls, and much more. Curious on your takes? Please take the time to really listen to this episode, the media coverage […]

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The announcement of Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ departure, followed by President Trump’s announcement that he wants to exit Syria, was a seismic jolt felt around the world. I remember where I was on 9/11, another seismic jolt felt around the world. The second so devastating, causing President George W. Bush to take action by […]

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Kicking Allies

 

President Trump’s behavior is unprecedented, but his decision to withdraw our troops from Syria, while unprecedentedly abrupt, is actually part of a tradition of unforced errors in American foreign policy.

Out of spite, or sometimes as a smokescreen to evade responsibility, Congress and past presidents have managed to lose wars that could have gone the other way. Seeking to make partisan points, we have cost ourselves dearly.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America fume as President Trump says ISIS is defeated in Syria on Wednesday and Thursday he claims that Russia, Iran, and Syria can handle the fight. They’re also disgusted as Trump’s insistence on $5 billion for a border wall seems to be shifting and congressional […]

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From the ABC: “Against the advice of many in his own administration, President Donald Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. Could a withdrawal from Afghanistan be far behind? More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Senate for approving the criminal justice reform bill known as the First Step Act. While still a bit uneasy about some details, they generally like the emphasis on teaching inmates how to live an honest life when they get out of prison […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome another good jobs report and President Trump’s desire to avoid a government shutdown right before the midterm elections. They also wonder why very few people are discussing Russia threatening to use force near U.S. troops in Syria and accusing us of protecting militias […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America sigh as Democrats repeatedly interrupt the start of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in a futile attempt to delay him from joining the court. They also give John Kerry credit for explaining how President Obama’s failure to enforce the red line over chemical weapons […]

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Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had historian, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, author of 38 books and most pertinent to today, Iran expert, Michael Ledeen on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran’s dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen’s theory that Gen. Michael Flynn — with whom Ledeen co-authored the book, The Field of Fight — falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

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Today I’m launching a new podcast, Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten, and I’d like to ask for some help from the Ricochet community in making it as successful as possible. Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers — primarily though not exclusively of a conservative/libertarian bent — on the most critical ideas […]

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Now that President Trump has made good on a major campaign promise – pulling the U.S. out of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal – the debate has begun whether it was the right move. Abbas Milani, a Hoover research fellow and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, offers his […]

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Triumph of the Swill

 
Hearst and Pulitzer depicted as “The Yellow Kids” of journalism pushing America towards war.

When it came to foreign policy, voters in the late presidential elections had two choices — either choose Donald Trump, a man with no previous government experience, or the first female to occupy the Oval Office. The drawbacks to the former were obvious, the drawbacks to the second were too politically incorrect to speak out loud; namely, might Hillary Clinton initiate dangerous military action just to prove she had “the balls” to be Commander-in-Chief.

After the surprise election results, the latter became moot. But the Democrats and their media enablers chose to take a dangerous path. Rather than accepting the results, they decided to push conspiracy theories about how a foreign government with nuclear capabilities manipulated the election and “installed” Trump in the White House. Put the phrase “Putin’s Puppet” into Google and you’ll get over 66,000 hits.

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Turkey’s Southern Border

 

Turkey has been adamant about preventing the Kurds controlling a contiguous area immediately South of its border with Syria. To that end, it entered Syria and has recently expanded the zone it controls directly (turquoise, labeled Afrin) and perhaps also indirectly (light green, labeled Idlib) in Syria’s North West:

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According to Anatoly Karlin: Islamic State might have been beaten, but there is a difference between Toyota-riding bearded yahoos and serious military Powers like the US, Turkey, and Israel. The latter cannot be dislodged, and they have now effectively partitioned Syria. More

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Israel vs. Hezbollah/Syria/Iran–Just how bad are things getting in the Middle East? Lindsey Graham’s terrifying report. Reason Magazine’s Jacob Sullum on whether we should give cops the power to detain without a warrant to stop gun crimes More

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“Your Longest, and Your Worst, Day”

 

“If you threaten us, it will be your longest, and your worst, day.” — Jim Mattis.

The Russians’ longest day occurred on February 7, when 500 (including Russian mercenaries) launched an attack on a base housing Syrian opposition forces along with US military advisers.

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Comments regarding our “excursions” into Afghanistan, and the Middle East. First on deck, A military man speaks out about Afghanistan and perpetual “readiness” More

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In light of the latest bout of protests in Iran, perhaps it is worth looking back at the “Arab Spring” generally. How does the Middle East look these days? What is the Arab Spring’s greatest success story? What is its worst failure?  More

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