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The Worst Agreement in U.S. Diplomatic History

WASHINGTON -- The devil is not in the details. It's in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama's fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.

In pursuit...Read more

On Lowering the Flag

WASHINGTON -- After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control.

It's the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk solution. Within hours of the massacre, President Obama was lamenting the ...Read more

A New Strategy for Iraq and Syria

WASHINGTON -- It's time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct.

We may not want to enunciate that policy officially. After all, it does contradict the principle that colonial borders be maintained no...Read more

The Racing Form, Second Edition

WASHINGTON -- The Republican nominating race is a mess: a strong field, but with 10 declared candidates and a half-dozen more to come, we need a bouncer to keep order.

I've given myself the job. Rope lines separate the four categories.

(A) Top tier:

1. Jeb Bush. Solid, no sizzle. Sizzle may be in less demand than eight years ago, but ...Read more

Why Doctors Quit, Chapter 2

WASHINGTON -- I rarely do follow-up columns. I'm averaging one every 10 years. And while my last such exercise resulted in a written apology from the White House (for accusing me of making up facts over its removal of Churchill's bust), today's is not a complaint. It's merely a recognition that the huge response elicited by last week's column, "...Read more

Why Doctors Quit

WASHINGTON -- About a decade ago, a doctor friend was lamenting the increasingly frustrating conditions of clinical practice. "How did you know to get out of medicine in 1978?" he asked with a smile.

"I didn't," I replied. "I had no idea what was coming. I just felt I'd chosen the wrong vocation."

I was reminded of this exchange upon receiving...Read more

Speculations and Stretches for Hypotheticals

WASHINGTON -- Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it's the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who's in charge -- while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America...Read more

Save Obama (On Trade)

WASHINGTON -- That free trade is advantageous to both sides is the rarest of political propositions -- provable, indeed mathematically. David Ricardo did so in 1817. The Law of Comparative Advantage has held up nicely for 198 years.

Nor is this abstract theory. We've lived it. The free-trade regime created after World War II precipitated the ...Read more

Free Willy!

WASHINGTON -- We often wonder how people of the past, including the most revered and refined, could have universally engaged in conduct now considered unconscionable. Such as slavery. How could the Founders, so sublimely devoted to human liberty, have lived with -- some participating in -- human slavery? Or fourscore years later, how could the ...Read more

Men Wielding Power in Hellish Times

WASHINGTON -- "Wolf Hall," the Man Booker Prize-winning historical novel about the court of Henry VIII -- and most dramatically, the conflict between Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More -- is now a TV series (presented on PBS). It is maddeningly good.

Maddening because its history is tendentiously distorted, yet the drama is so brilliantly ...Read more

Obama's Nixon Doctrine: Anointing Iran

WASHINGTON -- In December, President Obama said that he wished to see Iran ultimately become a "very successful regional power." His wish -- a nightmare for the Western-oriented Arab states -- is becoming a reality. Consider:

-- Gulf of Aden: Iran sends a flotilla of warships and weapons-carrying freighters to reinforce the rebels in Yemen -- a...Read more

The Queen Travels by Van

WASHINGTON -- See Hillary ride in a van! Watch her meet everyday Americans! Witness her ordering a burrito bowl at Chipotle! Which she did wearing shades, as did her chief aide Huma Abedin, yielding security-camera pictures that made them look (to borrow from Karl Rove) like fugitives on the lam, wanted in seven states for a failed foreign ...Read more

The Iran Deal: What We've Given Up

"Negotiations ... to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability ..."

-- Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, The Wall Street Journal, April 8

WASHINGTON -- It was but a year and a half ago that Barack Obama endorsed the objective of abolition when he said that Iran's...Read more

The GOP Racing Form: First Edition

WASHINGTON -- With Ted Cruz announcing and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio soon to follow, it's time to start handicapping the horses and making enemies.

No point in wasting time on the Democratic field. There is none. The only thing that can stop Hillary Clinton is an act of God, and he seems otherwise occupied. As does Elizabeth Warren, the only ...Read more

No Peace in Our Time

WASHINGTON -- Of all the idiocies uttered in reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu's stunning election victory, none is more ubiquitous than the idea that peace prospects are now dead because Netanyahu has declared that there will be no Palestinian state while he is Israel's prime minister.

I have news for the lowing herds: There would be no peace and...Read more

Early Onset Clinton Fatigue

WASHINGTON -- She burned the tapes. Had Richard Nixon burned his tapes, he would have survived Watergate. Sure, there would have been a major firestorm, but no smoking gun. Hillary Rodham was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. She saw. She learned.

Today you don't burn tapes. You delete emails. Hillary Clinton...Read more

Netanyahu's Churchillian Warning

WASHINGTON -- Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to pre-emptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.

On the contrary. The steady stream of ...Read more

 

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Steve Breen Darrin Bell Steve Benson Chip Bok Clay Bennett Lisa Benson