Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Ignoring Human Rights in Cuba

by Elliott Abrams

President Obama proudly announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba today–after a week of additional arrests on that island.

Here’s the most recent story: “Police arrested Emilio García Moreira and Alexander Veliz García, along with 10 members of the Ladies in White and 12 other activists on the their way to speak with Cienfuegos bishop Domingo Oropesa Lorente.” Read more »

The Non-Existent Progress in Bahrain

by Elliott Abrams

The Obama administration has decided to resume military aid to Bahrain, or more exactly to dispense with the limits on such aid that had been imposed after the 2011 crackdown there.

One can make a national security case for doing this. Given the security situation in the region, terrorism, the role of Iran, the Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, and other factors, it is possible to argue that the United States does not have the luxury right now of considering internal matters in Bahrain–such as repression. In announcing the resumption, the State Department did say this: “Bahrain is an important and long-standing ally on regional security issues, working closely with us on the counter-ISIL campaign and providing logistical and operational support for countering terrorism and maintaining freedom of navigation.” Read more »

Chemical Warfare in Syria Continues, Unpunished

by Elliott Abrams

In September 2013 the Obama administration congratulated itself on an agreement, brokered by Russia, that supposedly ended the use of chemical weapons in Syria. For the killings by using sarin gas Syria’s president Assad was not punished in any way, but he was supposedly going to turn over all his CW and the possibility of a recurrence was thus ended. Read more »

The President’s “Papal Infallibility”

by Elliott Abrams

The current flap over President Obama’s comment on the killings in Paris would, in an ordinary administration, never have happened.

To review, the President gave an interview in which he said “It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” Read more »