Pompeo Doesn’t Know What Imminent Means

Ken AshfordIran, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Pompeo, asked to define “imminent” in the threat posed by Qasem Soleimani: “This was gonna happen. And American lives were at risk. And we would have been culpably negligent … had we not recommended to the President that he take this action” https://t.co/244aOKfGlH pic.twitter.com/6bTmV8SHGp — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 10, 2020 This is so Trumpian. “We don’t know precisely when … Read More

Breaking: US Claims Iranian Anti-Aircraft Missile Shot Down Ukrainian Aircraft Over Tehran

Ken AshfordIran, Iraq, Middle EastLeave a Comment

US officials are now confident Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner with 176 people on board. Sources say US intelligence picked detected infrared blips of two missile launches, followed by the blip of an explosion. The Ukrainian jetliner crashed during takeoff in Tehran early Wednesday, killing 176 people — mostly Iranian and Canadian. Somehow, I don’t think the Iranians or … Read More

Senate Gets Briefed By White House On Rationale For Soleimani Attack

Ken AshfordCongress, Constitution, Iran, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Well, the Democratic response is predictable…. Sen. Murphy: "I was deeply surprised at the lack of information presented by the administration regarding a specific imminent threat … I was, I think, both surprised and saddened to not have that information before us. I think it is likely because it doesn't exist." Via ABC pic.twitter.com/rnoEG1ZYc5 — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 8, … Read More

Can You Quit Being Royalty?

Ken AshfordForeign AffairsLeave a Comment

I guess so. Hell if you can abdicate the throne, like Edward VIII did, I guess you can do what Prince Harry and Meghan Markel have done: First time I’ve ever seen someone quit their family, saying it’s to spend more time with their jobs. https://t.co/iFBZokRXhX — Eric Nelson (@literaryeric) January 8, 2020

Iran Retaliates But Offers Trump An Off-Ramp (Which Trump Takes)

Ken AshfordIran, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Iran retaliated for the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani by firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases housing U.S. forces on Wednesday local time. Washington and Tehran both confirmed that Iran was the source of the missiles. The extent the damage was unclear, but there were no casualties on either side. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the … Read More

Trump Tones It Down

Ken AshfordIran, Iraq, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

On Trump's meeting w/ the Saudi vice minister of defense that we only found out about because of the Saudis, @jonkarl says, "It is disturbing to see the government of Saudi Arabia have more transparency than the White House about a meeting with the President in the Oval Office." — Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 7, 2020 Remember Saudi Arabia and … Read More

Trump Steps Into War

Ken AshfordIran, Iraq, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

That held up well. So did this…. “Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate…So the only way he figures he’s going to get reelected, and as sure as you’re sitting there, is to start a war with Iran.” pic.twitter.com/CCKsY7SKoV — Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) January 3, 2020 It is hard to say … Read More

Baghdad Embassy Stormed

Ken AshfordIran, Iraq, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Trump’s penchant for embracing tyrants and stiff-arming allies and general bumbling idiocy on the international stage has calamitously degraded U.S. prestige and endangered and/or killed vulnerable populations in the regrettable position of depending on U.S. protection. That said, we’ve been lucky enough to avoid a major, organized and direct violent attack on the U.S. itself or its properties abroad. But … Read More

Puppet? Yes, Puppet!

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Russia, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Putin weighed in on Trump’s impeachment: Putin: Trump was impeached on completely contrived grounds, just a continuation of domestic infighting by Democrats, who lost election. First they accused Trump of colluding with Russia, now of pressuring Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/c8LIaCypZt — Lucian Kim (@Lucian_Kim) December 19, 2019 Huh. Much like the GOP talking points. It’s getting harder and harder t believe this … Read More

Conservatives Win Landslide Victory In United Kingdom

Ken AshfordElection 2020, Foreign AffairsLeave a Comment

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party won a landslide victory in the U.K.’s general election Thursday, returning the party to power for yet another term and giving the bombastic leader a clear mandate, for better or worse, to take the country out of the European Union. The unambiguous result handed the Tories 47 new seats, amounting to its biggest … Read More

The Afghanistan Papers

Ken AshfordAfghanistan, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

This morning, the Washington Post published The Afghanistan Papers, so-named as a tribute to Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers. It’s hardly surprising that what we learn from the collection of documents is that the US has been lying about Afghanistan since the very earliest days of the war: A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. … Read More

At NATO, World Leaders Laugh About — Well, AT — Trump

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This is embarrassing. Trump was asked about the video while taking questions from reporters ahead of a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. “Well, he’s two-faced,” the president said. After a long pause, he added, “He’s a nice guy. I find him to be a very nice guy.” Trump said the comments had stemmed from his pressuring Mr. Trudeau … Read More