The Corner

You Don’t Have to Be a Cafe Milano Diner to Be Concerned

David Feith has a question for tonight’s debate; he reminds us about an Iranian terror plan that would have gone down in Georgetown: 

Political operatives wonder how the only foreign-policy presidential debate of 2012 will deal with Saturday’s New York Times report that the Obama administration has agreed “in principle” to direct nuclear talks with Iran after the election. Another Iran story, however, also deserves attention on tonight’s debate stage.

Either Mitt Romney or moderator Bob Schieffer could launch an important dialogue by asking: How, if at all, has the Obama administration responded to Iran’s having launched one of the most brazen terror plots in history—to explode a bomb inside a Washington, D.C., restaurant to kill the Saudi ambassador and everyone else nearby?


But despite the high-profile press conferences that accompanied last year’s announcement, the public record suggests that the Obama administration has done nothing to penalize the Iranian government for this terrorist outrage beyond what it was doing anyway to protest Iran’s nuclear-weapons plans. Iranian officials have paid no price whatever in the 12 months since the indictments—not militarily, diplomatically or even with clear words about the consequences of plotting to blow up a public space in America’s capital city.

President Obama may claim that he has responded in secret. But if so, has his administration briefed relevant congressional committees behind closed doors? If not, have those committees requested such briefings?

The Iranian plot almost never factors into administration officials’ public statements about the general threat posed by Iran, its nuclear program and its sponsorship of international terrorism. Yet Tehran’s willingness to dispatch agents of its Revolutionary Guard to attack Washington speaks directly to the regime’s ambitions, willingness to take risks and susceptibility to sanctions. This is relevant to whether America can rely safely on the hope that it could contain a nuclear Iran should it come to that.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More