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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The Paris Peace Conference

by Elliott Abrams

 

Once upon a time, the term “Paris Peace Conference” was a serious one, and referred to the historic Versailles Conference that ended World War I. That conference began on January 18, 1919, and it is striking that the French would wish to make a mockery of their own history by convening a useless conference on almost exactly the same date—today, January 15. Read more »

What Happens When UN Security Council Resolutions are Ignored?

by Elliott Abrams

What happens when UN Security Council resolutions are ignored? That depends, really—on whether you are any of 192 other members of the United Nations, or are Israel.

Defenders of Israel often claim that it is treated differently by the United Nations from any other nation. That claim is accurate, and a brief look at Lebanon offers some proof. It continues to violate Security Council resolutions, year after year—but no one complains, and no one ever argues that Lebanon must be punished with boycotts or prosecutions for doing so. In fact they are often congratulated for their defiance. Read more »

In What Country is Shimon Peres Buried?

by Elliott Abrams

Last week President Obama spoke at Shimon Peres’ funeral and watched him buried–in some sort of No Man’s Land. Not in Israel, it seems.

The Obama White House actually issued a correction of its press release of Obama’s remarks, to strike the world “Israel.” You can see a screen shot of the corrected release here at the McClatchy news site. Read more »

The Syria Red Line, Three Years Later

by Elliott Abrams

It was three years ago, Labor Day weekend in 2013, that President Obama reversed himself and refused to enforce his “red line” against use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

What’s the outcome of that decision? In July, 2016, former Obama administration official Derek Chollet wrote an article in Politico with this subtitle: “The offhand remark spurred a massive success in Syria. Why does the foreign policy establishment consider it a failure?” Read more »

March 15: Five Years of Disaster in Syria

by Elliott Abrams

Today, the Ides of March, marks the fifth anniversary of the rebellion in Syria against the Assad regime.

These five years have brought an amazing humanitarian disaster: perhaps 350,000 dead, half the population driven from their homes, 4 million refugees. The  impact has been enormous: from destabilizing the politics and economics of Jordan and Lebanon, to increasing the Iranian role in the Arab Middle East greatly, to bringing Russia back into the region, to the destabilization of the European Union through massive refugee flows. Read more »

Iran’s Ruthless Persecution of the Baha’i Continues

by Elliott Abrams

The vicious persecution of Iran’s Baha’i community continued this past week. A court sentenced 24 Baha’i to prison sentences of up to 11 years. These are heavy sentences even by Iranian standards.

Their crime? Being Baha’i, and nothing more. The court made not even a pretense that they had committed acts of violence or otherwise broken the law. Their faith has been criminalized in the Islamic Republic. Read more »