What a disaster! And it’s only just begun — if we cannot do something to stop it.
Iran is up off the floor, regaining confidence in the strength of its bargaining position, restored to it as a free gift by the Biden team. Rockets from Gaza are again falling by their scores on Israeli civilians. The northern border of Israel is on highest alert. The last remaining Jews in Yemen have left as Iran’s proxies, the Houthis, consolidate their control over large areas of the country. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is appealing to the Democrats in control to take it off the U.S. terror list even as its leadership publicly encourages the wave of violence against Jewish civilians sweeping through Jerusalem.
It was only a few months ago that we were marveling at how peace was swiftly gaining momentum, and Iran, choked by powerful and effective sanctions, was being held to account for its actions and as a consequence had ever fewer resources to support its terrorist proxies. Most amazing, many Arab states began at last to see that Israel is no threat to them or their people and that they had common cause with Israel against Iranian imperialism. As if in a dream, we saw this trend begin as rumors, then peek into the light with a few gestures, and then finally, incredibly, burst into the limelight with the Abraham Accords. One Muslim state after another stepped forward to sign a real peace treaty with Israel and immediately open doors closed ever since Israel’s founding.
Last week alone, the Biden administration has made at least five blunders that will set back prospects for Middle East peace. These unforced errors will only serve to isolate our traditional allies in the region (Israel and the Gulf States) and enable Iran and its proxies and the Palestinian Authority.
As sane Americans reluctantly resign themselves to the approach of an unimaginable Joe Biden presidency, the unrelenting blitzkrieg of media Trump-hate is occasionally, but each week more frequently, punctured by glimmers of recognition of what the apparently outgoing president has achieved. There seems to be a consensus, even embracing many Democrats, that President Trump has scored a significant success with the Abraham Accords in the Middle East.
Iran’s supreme leader on Saturday demanded the “definitive punishment” of those behind the killing of a scientist who led Tehran’s disbanded military nuclear program, as the Islamic Republic blamed Israel for a slaying that has raised fears of reignited tensions across the Middle East.
After years of being in the shadows, the image of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh suddenly was to be seen everywhere in Iranian media, as his widow spoke on state television and officials publicly demanded revenge on Israel for the scientist’s slaying.
American forces overseas will by Jan. 15 be reduced to 2,500 in Afghanistan and 2,500 in Iraq, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said Tuesday. Miller in making the announcement also honored the service members who have fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
An explosion at a Saudi cemetery where American and European officials were commemorating the end of World War I wounded three people Wednesday, according to official statements.
The attack in the city of Jiddah follows on the heels of a stabbing last month that lightly wounded a guard at the French Consulate in the same city. It’s not clear what motivated the stabbing or Wednesday’s blast, but France has been the target of three attacks in recent weeks that authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists.
Stormy weather might be on the Middle East’s horizon. Following the U.S. presidential election, Iran offered a mafia-style protection deal to countries that have normalized relations with Israel: they must abandon Israel and align with Iran, or face the consequences. A Biden–Harris administration would likely undermine much of the progress towards Middle East peace that the Trump administration has made. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have several policy positions that would jeopardize the progress towards Middle East peace brokered by the Trump administration.
Perhaps the most remarkable statistic of recent times is that President Trump broke a 39-year streak of U.S. presidents leading the nation into a new war. That is, my entire life and the best part of a decade in which the United States dragged itself into conflict.
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the ruler of Kuwait who drew on his decades as the oil-rich nation’s top diplomat to push for closer ties to Iraq after the 1990 Gulf War and solutions to other regional crises, died Tuesday. He was 91.
In a Middle East replete with elderly rulers, Sheikh Sabah stood out for his efforts at pushing for diplomacy to resolve a bitter dispute between Qatar and other Arab nations that continues to this day.
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) applauded the signing Tuesday of the Abraham Accords, calling it a “paradigm shift.”
Blackburn on Tuesday tweeted, “Today, we are witnessing history at the @WhiteHouse. 27 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain have achieved monumental peace. This deal brings great potential and opportunity to the region and is a paradigm shift in Israel-Gulf state relations.”
Bahrain has become the latest Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by President Donald Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East.
Trump announced the agreement on Friday, following a three-way phone call he had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The three leaders also issued a brief six-paragraph joint statement, attesting to the deal.
The ruler of the United Arab Emirates issued a decree Saturday formally ending the country’s boycott of Israel amid a U.S.-brokered deal to normalize relations between the two countries.
The announcement now allows trade and commerce between the UAE, home to oil-rich Abu Dhabi and skyscraper-studded Dubai, and Israel, home to a thriving diamond trade, pharmaceutical companies and tech start-ups.
Even The Washington Post’s David Ignatius had to admit President Trump hit a home run with the deal he helped negotiate for Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize diplomatic relations.
“This was, as he tweeted, a ‘HUGE’ achievement,” Ignatius wrote. It is viewed as an “’icebreaker” that could open the door to other countries, such as Bahrain, Omar and Morocco, opening diplomatic relations with Israel.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state, President Donald Trump said Thursday.
The announcement makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state to do so and only the third Arab nation to have active diplomatic ties to Israel.
The Iranian navy boarded and briefly seized a Liberian-flagged oil tanker near the strategic Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the U.S., the American military said Thursday.
The U.S. military’s Central Command published a black-and-white video showing what appeared to be special forces fast-roping down from a helicopter onto the MT Wila, whose last position appeared to be off the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates near the city of Khorfakkan.
An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident — even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to “security reasons.”
The multiple, different claims by a self-described group called the “Cheetahs of the Homeland” included language used by several exiled Iranian opposition organizations. They also focused almost entirely on Iran’s nuclear program, viewed by Israel as a danger to its very existence.
ISLAMABAD – Officials in Afghanistan say a presidential decree is expected to be issued Tuesday that would set in motion the process of releasing thousands of Taliban prisoners as the U.S. military begins a troop drawdown in the country—steps outlined in a deal with the Islamist insurgent group aimed at ending the nearly 19-year-old war.
ISLAMABAD – The United States and the Taliban signed a landmark agreement Saturday in Doha, Qatar, setting the stage for ending a nearly 19-year-old war in Afghanistan and bringing back home thousands of American troops deployed there.
ISLAMABAD – In simultaneously issued statements, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the Taliban announced Friday that a deal between the U.S. and the Taliban will be signed February 29, paving the way toward ending the longest American war in history.
ISLAMABAD/BRUSSELS — The United States confirmed Thursday it has negotiated a “seven-day reduction in violence” proposal with the Taliban to move toward a political settlement to the war in Afghanistan.
The recent drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and a Shiite militia leader in Iraq led predictably to a retaliatory strike by Iran. Twenty or so ballistic missiles were launched at bases in Iraq where U.S. troops were housed. Fortunately, no one was killed.
The recent troubles with Iran highlight the problem with America First nationalism: it would mean placing the interests of regular people at home before transnational “interests” like foreign wars that have no bearing on middle-American life.
President Trump made it abundantly clear in his address to the nation Wednesday morning that Iran’s free reign of terror throughout the Middle East was over, but the United States would not be retaliating militarily against the Islamic Republic following their missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.
Does the U.S. armed forces’ killing of Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign wing, and his subordinate, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, outside Baghdad’s airport increase or decrease the chances of war with Iran? Does it mean a continuation of our disastrous endless wars?
The Pentagon will deploy 3,000 troops to the Middle East in response to escalating tensions, which culminated in a U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general in Iraq on Thursday, according to news reports.