Foreign Policy

The Afghanistan Paradox

This war has come to be inexorably linked to this President. He likes to say that he’s “taking the fight” to the terrorists because it’s “fundamental to the defense of our people.” His strong supporters include Karl Rove, John McCain and Sarah Palin. In Congress, Democratic leaders grate at the idea of granting him more …

Iranamok

It seems an appropriate time to resurrect The New Republic’s clever name for the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal. It seems the Iranians are playing hardball on the nuclear negotiations.

Today in Afghanistan

Dexter Filkins locates the most brazen vote theft so far.

And Pamela Constable raises the possibility of unrest as the evidence of massive fraud mounts. There’s also this:

American officials have expressed rare public dismay at Karzai’s electoral courtship of controversial former warlords. Karzai’s aides, in turn, portrayed his

Pentagon Blacklisting?

Stars and Stripes reports that the Pentagon has terminated its contract with the outside firm that was putting together files of journalists seeking to cover the war in Afghanistan and vetting their stories as positive, negative or neutral. However, Jason Motlagh happened to see his own “profile,” and has this account in TIME.com: …

Non Sequitur

Tony Cordesman, the well-known and -regarded military expert, makes the case for more of everything in Afghanistan today. But there is a giant hole in the middle of his argument.

Khamenei Is A Dictator, Say Clerics

It is wrong to call Iran a monarchy, even though it has a supreme leader who oversees all matters of state. (He is, in turn, overseen by a council of Islamic scholars, the Assembly of Experts, which has the ability to remove, in theory, the supremacy of the supreme.) But it is still striking to have an anonymous letter from unnamed …

Gibbs Retracts On Iran

This from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs via Reuters:

“Let me correct a little bit of what I said yesterday. I denoted that Mr. Ahmadinejad was the elected leader of Iran. I would say that’s not for me to pass judgment on,” Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One.

“He’s been inaugurated. That’s a fact. Whether any

Silly Summer News and Iran’s Slow Boil

The news tends to go small in the dog days of summer. At the White House today, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fielded a half dozen questions (of various formulations) about the kind of beer President Obama would drink when he meets with Skip Gates and the embattled Cambridge Police Officer. (No clear answer. POTUS, who is not much of a …

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