President Obama has moved to take Cuba off the “terrorism list.” The administrations defends its move in a lengthy memorandum from the State Department to Congress, but the more they explain it the less defensible it seems.
The problem is that the memorandum defends not only the Obama decision, but the Castro regime. With the help of an accounting by Capitol Hill Cubans and an article by James Kirchick in the Daily Beast, here are some things to keep in mind. Read more »
Today, The Wall Street Journal reported that “the Kremlin has formally lifted its own ban on the delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran, setting the legal groundwork for the possible Russian sale of a powerful air-defense system to Tehran.” Initially they were to be delivered in 2007, but in 2010 Russia suspended the delivery. This was an important gain for the United States and for Israel: among other things, possession of the system would make an air strike at Iran’s nuclear weapons program far more difficult. Read more »
The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program have highlighted the role of Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, a charming diplomat. But the charm of diplomats representing tyrannies is something to worry about, not to celebrate.That’s the subject of a recent article of mine in The Weekly Standard. Read more »
The Washington Post reported this today:
An airstrike killed dozens of people Monday at a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen, in what appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi Arabia-led coalition sent warplanes to target Shiite insurgents advancing across the country. Read more »
It was obvious that after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s clear election victory, the Obama administration and the president himself would try to bury the hatchet. After all, Obama and Netanyahu must survive the next 22 months together as heads of government. Read more »
As part of the Obama administration’s deal with the Castro regime in Cuba, Castro agreed to release 53 prisoners. This was not quite the concession that it appeared to be, for some of the prisoners had already been released and the release of the rest had already been promised to Spain. Sen. Robert Menendez noted that “Some of the 53 were released well before June, before the list was supposedly put together,” he said. “As a matter of fact, 14, to be exact, were released six to eight months before the December 17 announcement. One was released over a year ago.” Read more »
Pressure Points tracks developments in the Middle East and democratization and human rights issues globally.