The Left Can’t Shake Its Farrakhan Problem

March 13 2018

When Tamika Mallory, a chairwoman of the 2017 Women’s March, praised the Nation of Islam’s leader Louis Farrakhan, two of her fellow chairwomen—and many of their followers—rallied to defend her from critics. This controversy came hard on the heels of recent revelations about Farrakhan’s continued relationship with mainstream African-American politicians. The editors of the Weekly Standard comment:

How strange that these self-proclaimed “intersectional” feminists would support an openly misogynistic and racist demagogue like Farrakhan. Among his more recent offerings: “When a woman does not know how to cook and the right foods to cook, she’s preparing death for herself, her husband, and her children.” He’s also observed that “man is supposed to have rule, especially in his own house . . . and when she rules you, you become her child.” Directly to women he cried: “You are a failure if you can’t keep a man, no profession can keep you happy!” We wonder just what it is about him that these feminists find so alluring.

More troubling is the photo that recently surfaced of a 2005 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) meeting with Farrakhan. It featured Illinois’s rookie senator, Barack Obama, smiling broadly at Farrakhan’s side. The photographer, Askia Muhammad, says the CBC asked him to suppress the image because it might have derailed Obama’s presidential aspirations. Nor is that the only time CBC members hobnobbed with Farrakhan: as Jeryl Bier pointed out in the Wall Street Journal in January, several of them can be seen shaking hands with Farrakhan or hugging him in a 2009 YouTube video.

We doubt the photo with Farrakhan would have hurt Obama, who easily weathered revelations of his long association with the anti-Semitic and anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright. What’s troubling is that the preponderance of mainstream journalists are happy to look the other way. We suspect that if a photo emerges some day of George W. Bush grinning with Richard Spencer or David Duke, the New York Times will have room for it on page A1.

On March 4, the CBC member Danny K. Davis defended his relationship with Farrakhan by remarking that “the world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth.” That phrase, “the Jewish question,” rings a bell. Where have we heard that before?

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Barack Obama, Democrats, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam, Politics & Current Affairs

The Danger of Hollow Fixes to the Iran Deal

March 20 2018

In January, the Trump administration announced a 120-day deadline for the so-called “E3”—Britain, France, and Germany—to agree to solutions for certain specific flaws in the 2015 agreement to limit the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Omri Ceren explains why it’s necessary to get these fixes right:

[Already in October], the administration made clear that it considered the deal fatally flawed for at least three reasons: a weak inspections regime in which the UN’s nuclear watchdog can’t access Iranian military facilities, an unacceptable arrangement whereby the U.S. had to give up its most powerful sanctions against ballistic missiles even as Iran was allowed to develop ballistic missiles, and the fact that the deal’s eventual expiration dates mean Iran will legally be allowed to get within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear weapon. . . .

A team of American negotiators has been working on getting the E3 to agree to a range of fixes, and is testing whether there is overlap between the maximum that the Europeans can give and the minimum that President Trump will accept. The Europeans in turn are testing the Iranians to gauge their reactions and will likely not accept any fixes that would cause Iran to bolt.

The negotiations are problematic. The New York Times reported that, as far as the Europeans are concerned, the exercise requires convincing Trump they’ve “changed the deal without actually changing it.” Public reports about the inspection fix suggest that the Europeans are loath to go beyond urging the International Atomic Energy Commission to request inspections, which the agency may be too intimidated to do. The ballistic-missile fix is shaping up to be a political disaster, with the Europeans refusing to incorporate anything but long-range missiles in the deal. That would leave us with inadequate tools to counter Iran’s development of ballistic missiles that could be used to wipe Israel, the Saudis, and U.S. regional bases off the map. . . .

There is a [significant] risk the Trump administration may be pushed to accept the hollow fixes acceptable to the Europeans. Fixing the deal in this way would be the worst of all worlds. It would functionally enshrine the deal under a Republican administration. Iran would be open for business, and this time there would be certainty that a future president will not act to reverse the inevitable gold rush. Just as no deal would have been better than a bad deal, so no fix would be better than a bad fix.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Donald Trump, Europe, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy