Scott Horton Week on the Tom Woods Show

Libertarian author and podcaster Tom Woods hosted editorial director Scott Horton on his show all week this week as a fundraiser to support the writing of Scott’s upcoming book on the terror wars.

Listen to the interviews here:

Day One: Current War on Terrorism Overview

Day Two: Somalia

Day Three: Iraq War II

Day Four: Iraq War III and Syria

Day Five: Yemen

Iran Frees Americans as Sanctions Are Lifted, Frustrating Warmongers Around the World

Iran has freed four dual-nationality prisoners, including an American/Iranian pastor and an American/Iranian Washington Post reporter who had been accused of working for the U.S. to foment regime change in Iran. The release was part of a prisoner swap, in which seven Iranians imprisoned in the U.S. over sanction violations were also freed. A fifthAmerican was freed by Iran outside of the swap.

Within hours of the release, devastating international sanctions on Iran were lifted after international inspectors verified its compliance with the terms of last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers.

Taken together, the prisoner swap, Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-deal commitments, and the sanction relief mark what may be a historic thaw in relations between the U.S. and Iran. This, however, should not be exaggerated, as the U.S. continues many belligerent policies directed at Iran, especially in the realm of proxy warfare (see below).

The developments at least mark a short term political triumph for the chief negotiators of the nuclear deal: the administrations of U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani was elected on the basis of his campaign promise to negotiate detente with the U.S. and to accomplish economic relief from sanctions for the Iranian people. Parliamentary elections in Iran will be held late next month, making the lifting of the sanctions exceedingly well-timed for Rouhani’s political party.

Conversely, the thaw is a supreme setback to Rouhani’s political rivals, the hardliners in Iran who have strenuously opposed the nuclear deal.

The hardliners in the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia are certainly furious as well.

Continue reading “Iran Frees Americans as Sanctions Are Lifted, Frustrating Warmongers Around the World”

Iran War Weekly | July 22, 2013

[Reprinted with the author’s permission. Reformatted for]

Iran’s newly elected president will take office on August 3, and negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program are expected to begin in early September. In the interim, intense and possibly important debates are taking place within the US policy-making elite about whether developments in Syria and Iran should prompt the United States to make more positive and creative diplomatic approaches toward Tehran.

Among the most important efforts for a more positive diplomatic effort by the United States is a statement urging such an approach signed by (as of today) 131 members of the House of Representatives, the largest number of signatories ever received by a “pro-Iran-negotiations” congressional effort. Among the 131 signers were a majority of the House Democrats. Also, on July 15 a letter signed by 29 “former policymakers, diplomats, military officials, and experts” called on President Obama to recognize the opportunities for diplomacy signaled by Rouhani’s victory in Iran’s presidential election. Both of these documents, along with some discussion, are linked below.

Needless to say, the “bomb Iran” crowd hasn’t taken this lying down. Their most significant effort came in an appearance by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” which the New York Times echo chamber immediately characterized as “Israel Increases Pressure on U.S. to Act on Iran” (the statement by a majority of the governing party was not characterized by The Times as putting pressure on anybody). I’ve linked several good/useful analyses of Israel’s post-(Iran) election dilemmas below.
Continue reading “Iran War Weekly | July 22, 2013”