The Conversation

Foreign Affairs: What's going on around the world.

What Was Really Behind the Benghazi Consulate Attack?

Feb 7, 2013 10:16 AM PT

Senator Rand Paul is suggesting that the Obama administration's initial cover up of the Benghazi consulate attack, where they blame some movie as causing a riot that led to the attack, was actually a smoke-screen for a gun-running operation between Libya and Turkey. Could Paul be onto something here? 

(Michelle) Obama beats (Sara) Netanyahu

Feb 7, 2013 5:42 AM PT

The contrast in leadership styles between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tended to favor the latter. However, there is one area in which Obama has bested his rival ally: fashion. More precisely, it is Michelle Obama that has trumped Sara Netanyahu, according to the media.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli press is in an uproar over a largely see-through, skin-tight, black lace blouse that Mrs. Netanyahu wore on a TV program. Verdict: "Sara Netanyahu is no Michelle Obama."

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Modern Warfare 3 Crushes North Korea - with Takedown Notice

Feb 6, 2013 6:18 PM PT

The makers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 pulled a fast one on North Korea this week, after the country posted a bizarre video that attacked the United States and depicted New York in flames.

The internet was all abuzz over the video yesterday, but many viewers pointed out at the time that the New York scene appeared to be the same as that in Activision's popular video game. You can view North Korea's video and compare it side by side with video of the Modern Warfare 3 scenes in question at Ars Technica.

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Rand Paul's Reaganite foreign policy

Feb 6, 2013 2:10 PM PT

Rand Paul gave a big foreign policy speech to the Heritage Foundation today, in which he presented a greatly tidied-up version of the elder Paul's anti-interventionism as the true expression of Reaganite foreign policy.  It was an interesting speech, filled with historical references and sourced quotes.  Rand is far more persuasive and polished when presenting such ideas than Ron ever was.

Among other improvements, Rand doesn't wave away the concerns of more hawkish foreign policy proponents (although he couldn't resist slipping in a dig or two at the "neocons.")  Thus, unlike his father, he's clear that Iran is a big problem that we have to deal with, perhaps violently.  But he's a strong proponent of trying everything else first, aligning himself with Israeli leaders who have deep reservations about taking out Iran's nuclear program with military force.

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Europe Turns Blind-Eye To Hezbollah

Feb 6, 2013 8:43 AM PT

There is no secret that the terrorist group Hezbollah has been waging a proxy  against Israel on behalf of the Assad regime in Syria, its main supplier of weapons and strategic support. Hezbollah has also established a very close alliance with Syria’s neighboring ally Iran, and it efforts to destroy Israel.

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Me vs. Obama in Israel

Feb 6, 2013 6:51 AM PT

President Obama has announced his March Israel trip with stops in Jordan and the West Bank. 

I wonder what will be the reaction of the Israeli elected officials I will meet with next week on my trip to Israel. Will they trust and speak with a friend although not President of the United States in candid fashion?

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The Left's waterboarding drama

Feb 6, 2013 6:23 AM PT

In response to Jay Carney: "Uh... er... ... ... ":

Joel, it's amazing that Carney doesn't seem to have been ready for this question.  Like most of those which flummoxed Chuck Hagel, it seems predictable that someone would ask why blowing terrorists into hamburger with drone weapons (and without due process) is totally cool, but dropping a wet towel on their faces to obtain vital intelligence is not.  Particularly considering how strongly Obama favors the former, and says he opposes the latter.

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Obama Goes to Israel

Feb 5, 2013 5:20 PM PT

The White House announced today, that for the first time in his presidency, President Obama will visit Israel. And I for one am glad that the president finally found time in between skeet shooting and golfing, to visit one of America's closest allies. I was beginning to worry. Must be all the newfound flexibility one comes to find in his second term as president of the United States.

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