Impromptus: Red vs. blue, &c.
We are in a season of sexual-harassment allegations (and worse). And the power of tribalism has come, once more, to the fore. When the allegations hurt “our side,” we tend not to believe them — or to say we don’…
The Other al-Baghdadi — and the Christians Fighting for Freedom in Syria
Raqqa, Syria — The soldiers of the Syriac Military Council sit on a rug in an abandoned home in the urban wreckage of the caliphate’s capital, perhaps 200 yards from ISIS, drinking tea and chain-smoking. The predominantly Christian unit is a …
From Raqqa, with a Christian Unit on the Front Lines of the Caliphate War
Raqqa, Syria — The coalition airstrikes lit up the night sky, perhaps a mile and a half away. The blast appears to be near the Old City, where ISIS is making its last stand, as it did in Mosul’s Old …
Deposing Assad Could Hurt Syria’s Christians
In Syria, most Christians and other religious minorities, primarily Alawites and Druze, support Assad, certainly according to conventional wisdom. Polling data such as they are indicate that a majority of the total Syrian population, not just religious minorities, backs him …
America’s War against ISIS Is Evolving into an Invasion of Syria
There was always going to be a reckoning. When President Obama began the American war against ISIS in 2014 — a belated and necessary step to stop ISIS’s blitzkrieg across Iraq — there was a lingering question: Then what? If and when …
Editor’s Note: The Oslo Freedom Forum took place last week. This is the annual human-rights gathering in the Norwegian capital. Jay Nordlinger has been writing a journal on this gathering, and related matters, and the previous parts can be …
Syria’s Chemical Weapons Show the Limits of Arms Control
Arms control failed to prevent Bashar al-Assad from using weapons of mass destruction against noncombatants, and this should serve as another hard lesson in its limitations.
Civilized nations have sought to abolish the use of chemical weapons (CWs) for nearly …
Impromptus: The way we were, &c.
There was a song: “Mem’ries light the corners of my mind. Misty water-colored mem’ries of the way we were.” I have been thinking lately about the way we were.
Remember when we knocked President Obama for spending so …
A Requiem for the Assad-Family Dynasty in Syria
It is said that old habits die hard. In the realm of foreign policy, old assumptions do as well.
But Bashar al-Assad’s recent horrific chemical-weapon attack in Khan Sheikhoun appears to have prompted a change in U.S. policy. …
No, Trump Is Not a Neocon
With U.S. missiles flying in Syria, the “mother of all bombs” exploding in Afghanistan, and an aircraft-carrier strike group heading toward North Korea, has there been a revolution in President Trump’s foreign policy?
His most fervent supporters shouldn’t get …
American Troops Liberate Raqqa from ISIS Control
Making the click-through worthwhile today: The forces allied against ISIS inflict a stinging defeat to the terror group; the Federal Communications Commission assures Americans that they aren’t going to yank broadcasting licenses because of presidential disapproval of news reports; …
‘Aleppo Awaits You” isn’t the ultimate exit strategy for anyone tired of politics in the United States, the ultimate tactic for distancing oneself from the Confederacy. The father of the city, Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart, in fact, doesn’t …
Iran’s Challenge to America in Syria
In Syria, the U.S. is directing the lion’s share of its energy toward defeating the Islamic State (ISIS) rather than containing Iran. Reflecting that reality, the caliphate’s days on the physical battlefield are numbered, with U.S….
The Great Muslim Civil War — and Us
The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on?
It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear. The …
Insult to Injury (and Murder)
Recently, the Assad regime in Syria gassed civilians, same as it has done for years. Today, Vladimir Putin has said that the regime — his ally and partner — did not do this. Rather, someone else did, in a “provocation.”
Raqqa and the Conundrum of Arming the Kurds
Preparing to retake Raqqa, the ISIS capital, the U.S. announced yesterday that it would provide heavy weapons to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are dominated by members of the Kurdish YPG militia.
In making this decision, President Trump …
ISIS Is Not a Counterweight to Iran
In two statements in August 2014, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed that the Islamic State was a threat to the region. “The danger does not recognize Shiites, Sunnis, Christians, or Druze, Yazidis, Arabs, or Kurds,” he said. “This monster is growing …
The ‘Oh, Never Mind’ President
In his first annual message to Congress, John Quincy Adams, among the most experienced and intellectually formidable presidents, warned leaders against giving the impression that “we are palsied by the will of our constituents.” In this regard, if in no …
Two Weeks of Great Clarity
If you prize clarity, these past weeks were some of the best in memory.
1. When America leads, the world is better. For the first time in eight years, the allies of America and the world’s decent people celebrated America’…
Restoring Deterrence, One Bomb at a Time?
The Tomahawk volley attack, for all its ostentatious symbolism, served larger strategic purposes. It reminded a world without morality that there is still a shred of a rule or two: Do not use nerve gas on the battlefield or against …