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The Iran protests, then and now: Why America is truly great again

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The Iran protests then and now Why America is truly great again

On Thursday, protests broke out throughout the Islamic Republic of Iran against the government. The Iranian government, run by the Shiite Ayatollahs, has been in power since the overthrow of the pro-Western Shah in 1979. They do everything they can to repress their people, especially religious minorities, women and homosexuals. But what makes them one of the most dangerous nations on Earth is their desire to wipe America and Israel, whom they call “the Great Satan” and “the Little Satan,” respectively, off the map. They pose a great threat to the Sunni Muslim countries throughout the region as well, and sponsor terror worldwide.

However, this is not the first time these protests occurred. In 2009, early in the presidency of Barack Obama, there was a revolt known as the “Green Revolution.” The Iranian people took to the streets aiming for regime change, and the revolt lasted almost two weeks. Sadly, the revolutionaries were defeated, thanks largely to Obama’s decision to sit it out, de facto taking the side of the extremist Mullahs.

Later on, in 2015, towards the end of his presidency, we learned the probable reason Obama did this. Obama, along with Secretary of State John Kerry struck a deal with the Iranians to give them billions of dollars and lift sanctions in exchange for an empty promise that the Iranians would wind down their nuclear program. In fact, one of the issues that got President Trump elected was that he would pull out of this horrible, one-sided “deal.”

We are still learning details about the deal Obama struck, including precursors, such as allowing Hezbollah, Iran’s terror proxy in Lebanon, to traffic cocaine and launder money through used cars to finance its expansion. According to Josh Meyer at Politico, the Obama administration derailed Project Cassandra, an investigation by law enforcement into Hezbollah’s activities. By doing this, Obama put his own citizens in danger because of the cocaine now flooding the country.

This is how desperate the Obama administration was to make nice with an enemy that wants nothing more than world chaos and destruction.

Fast forward to this week. Earlier this year, Trump followed through half-way on his promise to shred the deal by merely decertifying it, which means that it is still technically in existence but on short notice, and Congress would have 60 days to work on a plan to possibly keep the deal afloat. But now, in light of the protests, Trump is taking tough stances to Iran, proudly standing with the protesters and correcting the wrong that the previous president engaged in.

The President posted a series of tweets on Saturday condemning Iran, saying that “the world is watching.”

Vice President Mike Pence echoed a similar reaction on Twitter, and the State Department did as well.

It really is worth noting the departure of the Trump administration from the Obama doctrine. Especially after Trump’s courageous announcement to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and his defunding of the UN, it may be a safe prediction that the situation in Iran will finally be what pulls the US out of the Iran deal, as January 13th, the deadline for doing so, is rapidly approaching. And this should be what does it— we would now be financing a regime we’ve denounced for human rights violations. To continue doing so would be preposterous.

Please make the right move, Mr. President. The world is watching.

Follow Jeremy Frankel on Twitter @frankeljeremy .

Foreign Affairs

J.J. McCullough tells the grim truth about Saudi Arabia

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JJ McCollough tells the grim truth about Saudi Arabia

America needs Saudi Arabia just as Saudi Arabia needs America. Few can argue that the symbiotic relationship is based solely on need and not any genuine goodwill towards each other. Quietly, they think we’re evil and that we meddle too much in other nations’ affairs. A little less quietly, we think their traditions are antiquated and their human rights violations are only tolerable because of the source.

We both see each other as evils. The problem is we both know we’re each other’s necessary evils.

I would contend that the relationship, as fruitful as it has been for decades, is so wrought with contention today that it can no longer be viewed as necessary.

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi is getting journalists such as National Review’s J.J. McCullough to speak out against the Kingdom.

Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance & Saudi Arabian Society’s Immaturity

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-disappearance/The sad reality is that Saudi Arabia will remain a U.S. ally regardless of how deep and disturbing Riyadh’s involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is ultimately revealed to be. As Matthew Continetti recently emphasized, there are certain geopolitical realities — in particular the cold war with Iran — that make the Saudi–American alliance a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy, no matter how appalling the Saudi human-rights record gets.

What the alleged murder of Khashoggi does do, however, is rapidly eliminate any possibility that the Saudi alliance could be seen as something defensible and positive on its own terms, rather than a necessary evil.

Our long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia is like a favorite old chair that’s tattered and starting to smell bad. It’s time to get our butts off it and push it to the curb.

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Foreign Affairs

White House plan to kick Iran from Syria leaked

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White House plan to kick Iran from Syria leaked

Syria has been in a state of disarray for nearly a decade now. Ever since the infamous “red line” that President Obama failed to enforce, the Middle Eastern nation has been suffering through war, poverty, and occupation by hostile forces ranging from the Islamic State to Russia and Iran.

The Islamic State may no longer be an occupying threat in Syria, but Iran and Russia are. The White House has a plan to push them out of the country. It does not involve military engagement, though U.S. military personnel may engage if they feel threatened. Instead, the plan is to offer aid to the Syrians wherever they need help, except where Iran and Russia have a presence.

This represents a huge chunk of the crumbling nation.

Trump administration has new plan to drive Iran out of Syria

“There’s a real opportunity for the U.S. and its allies to make the Iranian regime pay for its continued occupation of Syria,” said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank strongly opposed to the Iranian regime.

Driving Iran out of Syria would be one prong in an approach that would also involve continuing to destroy remaining pockets of Islamic State fighters and finding a political transition after the exit of both ISIS and Iran that does not call for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step aside.

My Take

Any measure that does not put Americans in harms way is worth pursuing. As long as Syria is as vulnerable as it is, there are risks to both American and Israeli interests in the region. The war-torn nation needs help rebuilding so they can rightly remove Iran’s and Russia’s presence.

Perhaps more importantly is the need to rejuvenate a homeland for millions of refugees. They are already causing major problems in countries throughout Europe and Asia. If we can expedite the renewal of their homeland, it will prompt many to return.

We have no business fighting battles in Syria. The White House plan would use diplomacy and economic pressure to rid Syria of their occupying forces. It’s a long shot, but it’s better than further military conflicts.

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Foreign Affairs

President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

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President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

President Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to discuss the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey claims to have ample evidence that the Saudis murdered Khashoggi at their consulate in Istanbul.

The situation is tense as pressure mounts for actions to be taken against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis fired back with threats of their own if such actions are taken. All of this is happening against a backdrop of increased engagement between Saudi Arabia and the United States as they work to put together a Middle East peace agreement.

Turkey claims to have a recording of Khashoggi’s murder captured on his Apple Watch. They also have the identities of a 15-man “kill team” that was allegedly sent to the consulate to capture and torture Khashoggi. Video shows him going into the consulate with his fiancee remaining outside, but no footage has been released of him leaving the consulate and his fiancee hasn’t seen him since. Turkey claims Saudi Arabia has sufficient surveillance cameras at the consulate that could prove he left, but the Saudis claim the equipment was not recording during his visit.

My Take

The White House is trying to sweep this under the rug. As obtuse as the Saudi government has been for decades, their strategic and economic importance to the United States is great. The last thing the White House wants is to be forced to choose between their close ally and public outcry, most of which is demanding repercussions in light of the alleged evidence.

Turkey has been adamant that their theory is correct.

At some point, we’re going to have to cut ties with Saudi Arabia unless drastic changes are made. Changes are underway, but they seem too slow to compensate for the backwards nature of the country. It’s time to just cut them loose now.

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