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Iran

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Before the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels this week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin took a side trip to Georgia and Ukraine. Purpose: Assure these nations that America has their back and encourage their hopes of future admission to NATO. Austin, said the Pentagon, would tell both nations there is an "open door to NATO." "Ukraine... Read More
A week ago, the MT Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned tanker managed by a U.K.-based company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, sailing in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman, was struck by drones. A British security guard and Romanian crew member were killed. Britain and the U.S. immediately blamed Iran, and the Israelis... Read More
Thursday, in its first military action, the Biden Pentagon sent two U.S. F-15Es to strike targets of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia just inside the eastern border of Syria. The U.S. strikes were in retaliation for a missile attack on a U.S. base in Irbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, which killed a contractor and... Read More
In early August 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied Kuwait and declared it to be his nation's lost 19th province. Said George H. W. Bush, "This will not stand!" Translation: Get out of Kuwait, Saddam, or we will come over there and throw you out. Six months later, after a five-week air assault... Read More
If Israel, as is universally believed and has not been denied, was behind the assassination of Iran's leading nuclear scientist, questions arise: Why would the Israelis kill him? And why would they do it now? The scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, it is conceded, was a leader in Iran's nuclear bomb program, but that program was disbanded... Read More
With the Pentagon's announcement that U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be cut in half -- to 2,500 -- by inauguration day, after 19 years, it appears the end to America's longest war may be in sight. The Pentagon also announced a reduction of U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 by mid-January. In 2003, we... Read More
The directed killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's blood-soaked field marshal in the "forever war" of the Middle East, has begun to roil the politics of both the region and the USA. A stunned and shaken Iran retaliated by firing a dozen missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq. Yet, before launching the attack, Iran... Read More
Fifteen years after the U.S. invaded Iraq to turn Saddam Hussein's dictatorship into a beacon of democracy, Iraq's Parliament, amid shouts of "Death to America!" voted to expel all U.S. troops from the country. Though nonbinding, the expulsion vote came after mobs trashed the U.S. embassy in an assault that recalled Tehran 1979. What provoked... Read More
"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future," Yogi Berra reminded us. But on "The McLaughlin Group," the TV talk show on which this writer has appeared for four decades, predictions are as mandated as was taking Latin in Jesuit high schools in the 1950s. Looking to 2020, this writer predicted that Donald Trump's... Read More
"Jaw-jaw is better than war-war," is attributed, wrongly, say some historians, to Winston Churchill. Still, the words lately came to mind. While last week ended with a hopeful U.S.-Iranian prisoner exchange that was hailed by President Donald Trump -- "Thank you to Iran for a very fair negotiation. See, we can make a deal together"... Read More
"Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand," said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these "endless wars." Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly. Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S.... Read More
The backstage struggle between the Bush interventionists and the America-firsters who first backed Donald Trump for president just exploded into open warfare, which could sunder the Republican Party. At issue is Trump's decision to let the Turkish army enter Northern Syria, to create a corridor between Syrian Kurds and the Turkish Kurds of the PKK,... Read More
President Donald Trump does not want war with Iran. America does not want war with Iran. Even the Senate Republicans are advising against military action in response to that attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. "All of us (should) get together and exchange ideas, respectfully, and come to a consensus -- and that should be... Read More
"Iran has launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," declared Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Putting America's credibility on the line, Pompeo accused Iran of carrying out the devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities that halted half of the kingdom's oil production, 5.7 million barrels a day. On Sunday, President Donald Trump did... Read More
President Donald Trump, who canceled a missile strike on Iran, after the shoot-down of a U.S. Predator drone, to avoid killing Iranians, may not want a U.S. war with Iran. But the same cannot be said of Bibi Netanyahu. Saturday, Israel launched a night attack on a village south of Damascus to abort what Israel... Read More
In October 1950, as U.S. forces were reeling from hordes of Chinese troops who had intervened massively in the Korean War, a 5,000-man Turkish brigade arrived to halt an onslaught by six Chinese divisions. Said supreme commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur: "The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade."... Read More
Visualizing 150 Iranian dead from a missile strike that he had ordered, President Donald Trump recoiled and canceled the strike, a brave decision and defining moment for his presidency. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence had signed off on the strike on Iran as the right response to Tehran's... Read More
President Donald Trump cannot want war with Iran. Such a war, no matter how long, would be fought in and around the Persian Gulf, through which a third of the world's seaborne oil travels. It could trigger a worldwide recession and imperil Trump's reelection. It would widen the "forever war," which Trump said he would... Read More
For a president who won his office by denouncing the Middle East wars into which George W. Bush and Barack Obama plunged the nation, Donald Trump has assembled the most unabashedly hawkish conclave of foreign policy advisers in memory. And he himself seems to concede the point. If foreign policy were decided by my security... Read More
Speaking on state TV of the prospect of a war in the Gulf, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei seemed to dismiss the idea. "There won't be any war. ... We don't seek a war, and (the Americans) don't either. They know it's not in their interests." The ayatollah's analysis -- a war is in neither... Read More
In 2003, George W. Bush took us to war to liberate Iraq from the despotism of Saddam Hussein and convert that nation into a beacon of freedom and prosperity in the Middle East. Tuesday, Mike Pompeo flew clandestinely into Baghdad, met with the prime minister and flew out in four hours. The visit was kept... Read More
Last week, it was Venezuela in America's gun sights. "While a peaceful solution is desirable, military action is possible," thundered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "If that's what is required, that's what the United States will do." John Bolton tutored Vladimir Putin on the meaning of the Monroe Doctrine: "This is our hemisphere. It's not... Read More
On Monday, President Donald Trump designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, the first time the United States has designated part of another nation's government as such a threat. Iran's Supreme National Security Council responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist group. With 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 2,000 in Syria,... Read More
  In the Venezuelan crisis, said President Donald Trump in Florida, "All options are on the table." And if Venezuela's generals persist in their refusal to break with Nicolas Maduro, they could "lose everything." Another example of Yankee bluster and bluff? Or is Trump prepared to use military force to bring down Maduro and install... Read More
To manifest his opposition to President Donald Trump's decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, and half of the 14,000 in Afghanistan, Gen. James Mattis went public and resigned as secretary of defense. Now Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, in public testimony to Congress, has contradicted Trump about the threats that... Read More
"Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" implored President Donald Trump in a Sunday night tweet. Well, if he is serious, Trump had best keep an eye on his national security adviser, for a U.S. war on Iran would be a dream come true for John Bolton. Last September, when Shiite militants launched three mortar shells into the... Read More
Friday, deep into the 17th year of America's longest war, Taliban forces overran Ghazni, a provincial capital that sits on the highway from Kabul to Kandahar. The ferocity of the Taliban offensive brought U.S. advisers along with U.S. air power, including a B-1 bomber, into the battle. "As the casualty toll in Ghazni appeared to... Read More
A war with Iran would define, consume and potentially destroy the Trump presidency, but exhilarate the neocon never-Trumpers who most despise the man. Why, then, is President Donald Trump toying with such an idea? Looking back at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, wars we began or plunged into, what was gained to justify the... Read More
U.S. threats to crush Iran and North Korea may yet work, but as of now neither Tehran nor Pyongyang appears to be intimidated. Repeated references by NSC adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence to the "Libya model" for denuclearization of North Korea just helped sink the Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim... Read More
Brushing aside the anguished pleas of our NATO allies, President Trump Tuesday contemptuously trashed the Iranian nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. Prime Minister Theresa May of Great Britain, President Emmanuel Macron of France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were put on notice that their ties to Iran are to be severed, or secondary sanctions will... Read More
This next week may determine whether President Trump extricates us from that cauldron of conflict that is the Middle East, as he promised, or plunges us even deeper into these forever wars. Friday will see the sixth in a row of weekly protests at the Gaza border fence in clashes that have left 40 Palestinians... Read More
The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with... Read More
As tens of thousands marched in the streets of Tehran on Wednesday in support of the regime, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps assured Iranians the "sedition" had been defeated. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari is whistling past the graveyard. The protests that broke out a week ago and spread and became riots are... Read More
Asked what he did during the French Revolution, Abbe Sieyes replied, "I survived." Donald Trump can make the same boast. No other political figure has so dominated our discourse. And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early '50s, nor Richard Nixon in Watergate, received such intensive and intemperate coverage and commentary as... Read More
In the run-up to Christmas, President Donald Trump has been the beneficiary of some surprisingly good news and glad tidings. Sunday, Vladimir Putin called to thank him and the CIA for providing Russia critical information that helped abort an ISIS plot to massacre visitors to Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Monday found polls showing Trump... Read More
With his declaration Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is not in the national interest, President Donald Trump may have put us on the road to war with Iran. Indeed, it is easier to see the collisions that are coming than to see how we get off this road before the shooting starts. After "de-certifying"... Read More
Saturday, Kim Jong Un tested an ICBM of sufficient range to hit the U.S. mainland. He is now working on its accuracy, and a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop that missile that can survive re-entry. Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He wants what every nuclear power... Read More
Newt Gingrich, Credit: Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.
"Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender." Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U.S. presidents to bloodless victory in the Cold War. Why is containment surrender? "Because freedom is... Read More
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When Gen. Michael Flynn marched into the White House Briefing Room to declare that "we are officially putting Iran on notice," he drew a red line for President Trump. In tweeting the threat, Trump agreed. His credibility is now on the line. And what triggered this virtual ultimatum? Iran-backed Houthi rebels, said Flynn, attacked a... Read More
Though every Republican in Congress voted against the Iran nuclear deal, "Tearing it up ... is not going to happen," says Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Hopefully, the chairman speaks for the president-elect. During the campaign, Donald Trump indicated as much, saying that, though the U.S. got jobbed in the negotiations... Read More
In this world, it is often dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, said Henry Kissinger in 1968, but to be a friend is fatal. The South Vietnamese would come to appreciate the insight. So it is today with Aleppo, where savage reprisals against U.S.-backed rebels are taking place in that hellhole of... Read More
Is the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, a RINO -- a revolutionary in name only? So they must be muttering around the barracks of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps today. For while American hawks are saying we gave away the store to Tehran, consider what ayatollah agreed to. Last week,... Read More
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To awaken Thursday to front-page photos of U.S. sailors kneeling on the deck of their patrol boat, hands on their heads in postures of surrender, on Iran's Farsi Island, brought back old and bad memories. In January 1968, LBJ's last year, 82 sailors of the Pueblo were captured by North Korea and held hostage with... Read More
The New Year's execution by Saudi Arabia of the Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was a deliberate provocation. Its first purpose: Signal the new ruthlessness and resolve of the Saudi monarchy where the power behind the throne is the octogenarian King Salman's son, the 30-year-old Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman. Second, crystallize, widen and... Read More
Ten weeks before the first U.S.-Soviet summit ever held in Moscow, in May 1972, North Vietnam, with Soviet-supplied armor and artillery, crossed the DMZ in an all-out offensive to overrun the South. President Nixon responded with air and naval strikes on the North. Yet Nixon went to Moscow and signed the first strategic arms agreement... Read More
In his desperation to sink the Iran nuclear deal, Bibi Netanyahu is taking a hellish gamble. Israel depends upon the United States for $3 billion a year in military aid and diplomatic cover in forums where she is often treated like a pariah state. Israel has also been the beneficiary of almost all the U.S.... Read More
As President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran is compared to Richard Nixon's opening to China, Bibi Netanyahu must know how Chiang Kai-shek felt as he watched his old friend Nixon toasting Mao in Peking. The Iran nuclear deal is not on the same geostrategic level. Yet both moves, seen as betrayals by old U.S. allies,... Read More
From first reactions, it appears that Hill Republicans will be near unanimous in voting a resolution of rejection of the Iran nuclear deal. They will then vote to override President Obama's veto of their resolution. And if the GOP fails there, Gov. Scott Walker says his first act as president would be to kill the... Read More
"Pat, sometimes it seems like our friends want me to go over the cliff with flags flying," President Reagan once told me. Today, it is "Bibi" Netanyahu and the neocons howling "kill the deal" and "bomb Iran" who are shoving the Republican Party toward the cliff. The question, which may decide 2016, may be framed... Read More
The forces that do not want a U.S. nuclear deal with Iran, nor any U.S. detente with Iran, are impressive. Among them are the Israelis and their powerful lobby AIPAC, the Saudis and their Sunni allies on the Persian Gulf, a near unanimity of Republicans and a plurality of Democrats in Congress. Is there a... Read More
Pat Buchanan
About Pat Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

In his White House years, Mr. Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches, and attended four summits, including Mr. Nixon’s historic opening to China in 1972, and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit in 1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Buchanan has written ten books, including six straight New York Times best sellers A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; State of Emergency; Day of Reckoning and Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.

Mr. Buchanan is currently a columnist, political analyst for MSNBC, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He is married to the former Shelley Ann Scarney, who was a member of the White House Staff from 1969 to 1975.


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