By the summer of 2013, President Obama had convinced several key Israelis that he wasn’t bluffing about using force against the Iranian nuclear program. Then he failed to enforce his red line against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad—and the Israelis realized they’d been snookered. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, recalls the shock inside his government. “Everyone went quiet,” he said in a recent interview. “An eerie quiet. Everyone understood that that was not an option, that we’re on our own.”
Picturesque: a large, celebratory crowd listens to inspiring oratory near the shore of Lake Champlain. The speaker is Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, announcing his candidacy for president of the United States. It’s a fiery, detailed, leftwing speech—about what you’d expect from this 73-year-old self-described democratic socialist and grandpa.
There it was—the classic Hillary charm. Close to a month had passed since the Democratic frontrunner answered questions from the press. So this week, when reporters were invited to gawk at the spectacle of Clinton sitting with “everyday Iowans,” Ed Henry of Fox wanted to know: Would the former secretary of state take a moment to respond to inquiries from non-stage-managed reporters?
Ever since my son was born ten months ago, I’ve been thinking of a scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The valiant crew of the starship Enterprise has commandeered a Klingon bird-of-prey for their return to planet Earth. Spock, the Vulcan science officer who has just come back from the dead—it’s a long story—is on the bridge, where he is moni- toring interstellar communications. His longtime friend Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the ship’s doctor, approaches him and sits down.
Hillary Clinton is moving so quickly to the left that it’s hard to keep up. Her aides are telling the New York Times she wants to “topple” the One Percent, she’s pledging solidarity with union bosses over lunch meetings at Mario Batali restaurants in Midtown, she supports a constitutional amendment to suppress political speech, she’s down with a right to same-sex marriage, she’s ambivalent over the Keystone Pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, she’s calling for an end to the “era of mass incarceration,” she wants to go “further” than President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. It’s called pandering, but the press is too frazzled or sympathetic to call her on it. There’s desperation to Clinton’s moves, an almost panicked energy, to close the gap between her and her party’s base. If Elizabeth Warren called for full Communism, Clinton would be at the barricades the next day.
Not since Baryshnikov has a foreigner so captivated a New York audience. “A Conversation with H.E. DR. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran” played the other day at NYU. The show ran for just 90 minutes, but reviews were spectacular. Give this man a Tony: Zarif slayed ’em.
Now she knows how I feel. In a statement posted to her campaign website, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts laments that the Obama administration has kept secret the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—TPP for short—the decade-in-the-making free trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries that will soon be put to a vote in Congress. “If the American people would be opposed to a trade agreement if they saw it,” she writes in bolded text, “then that agreement should not become law of the United States.”
President Obama strode to the lectern in the Rose Garden Thursday to announce a “historic” agreement between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The preliminary deal made in Lausanne, Switzerland, the president said, “cuts off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.” I hope he’s right.