Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Speak up about Iran

Roxana Saberi, the journalist jailed for 100 days last year by the government of Iran, calls on people to continue to pay attention to people executed by Iran for political activities: "If the international community fails to condemn such atrocities, Iran’s regime will continue to trample on the basic rights of individuals, many of whom ...

Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Roxana Saberi, the journalist jailed for 100 days last year by the government of Iran, calls on people to continue to pay attention to people executed by Iran for political activities: "If the international community fails to condemn such atrocities, Iran's regime will continue to trample on the basic rights of individuals, many of whom have been detained simply for peacefully standing up for universal human rights."

Speaking of human rights, I was struck yesterday by one of the responses to my Chinese vampire item that seemed to dismiss the situation as simply right wingers against the Chinese government. I am not a right winger, and I don't see human rights as an issue of right or left. I am for people having the right to speak out. This doesn't mean I am automatically for sanctions. I think sunlight is the best disinfectant.

And while we are in the neighborhood, someone kidnapped and killed a young Kurdish reporter recently in Irbil. Protestors blame the authorities. They wonder how a car with a dead body in it made it through 11 checkpoints to where the body was dumped in Mosul.

Roxana Saberi, the journalist jailed for 100 days last year by the government of Iran, calls on people to continue to pay attention to people executed by Iran for political activities: "If the international community fails to condemn such atrocities, Iran’s regime will continue to trample on the basic rights of individuals, many of whom have been detained simply for peacefully standing up for universal human rights."

Speaking of human rights, I was struck yesterday by one of the responses to my Chinese vampire item that seemed to dismiss the situation as simply right wingers against the Chinese government. I am not a right winger, and I don’t see human rights as an issue of right or left. I am for people having the right to speak out. This doesn’t mean I am automatically for sanctions. I think sunlight is the best disinfectant.

And while we are in the neighborhood, someone kidnapped and killed a young Kurdish reporter recently in Irbil. Protestors blame the authorities. They wonder how a car with a dead body in it made it through 11 checkpoints to where the body was dumped in Mosul.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.