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.

Iraqi Reality vs. Administration Predictions

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Just days after the fall of Mosul, chaos is spreading in Iraq. The New York Times reports that:

Sunni militants extended their control over parts of northern and western Iraq on Wednesday as Iraqi government forces crumbled in disarray. The militants overran the city of Tikrit, seized facilities in the strategic oil refining town of Baiji, and threatened an important Shiite shrine in Samarra as they moved south toward Baghdad. Read more »

The New Palestinian Government

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In this week’ s edition of  The Weekly Standard, an article entitled “Dangerous Unity,”  I discuss the new Palestinian government. Here’s the basic argument:

The new PA government is a non-party, “technocratic” cabinet– and not a Hamas government or one with Hamas participation. For that reason I think the Israeli official reaction is a mistake: it treats this government exactly as it would treat a true coalition government of Fatah and Hamas, where Hamas held seats in the PA parliament and held ministerial or vice-ministerial positions in the government. Read more »

Narendra Modi…..and Menachem Begin

by Elliott Abrams Monday, May 19, 2014

The new prime minister was elected to the nation’s top office in his sixties after many years in politics. He had been an opposition leader while another party, tied to the nation’s very creation, ruled most of the time and claimed to be the ‘natural’ party of government. His victory was heralded as creating a new era in politics, with the hold of the old political clique apparently broken for good. Read more »

Tourism, the Egyptian Economy–and Augusto Pinochet

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, May 15, 2014

Egypt’s next president, sure to be Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will have a monumental task handling Egypt’s economy.

More bad news was reported yesterday regarding the tourism sector. Al Ahram reported that tourist visits were down 32 percent, but that figure actually understates the problem. Visits were also shorter, so the number of tourist visitor nights was down 43.6 percent.Tourism revenues were down 43 percent overall. Read more »

Baha’i Leaders in Iran Mark Six Years in Prison

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today, May 14, marks six years in prison for the seven leaders of the Baha’i community in Iran. Their biographies can be found here, and they are citizens whose only crime is their religion.

They were arrested in 2008 and in 2010 were sentenced to terms of 20 years in prison for non-existent crimes against the state, nonsense like spreading “corruption” and engaging in espionage. Read more »