Top Quotes from Elliott Abrams

By | September 9, 2016

First impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes.

Elliott Abrams

Elections matter, but how much they matter depends entirely on how free, open and fair they are.

Elliott Abrams

The raids on Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, the Adenauer Foundation, and other groups helping Egyptians move toward respect for democratic politics and human rights were of a piece with the practices of Hosni Mubarak – only bolder and more repressive.

Elliott Abrams

In Iran, there is no freedom of the press, no freedom of speech, no independent judiciary, no free elections. There is no freedom of religion – not even for Shiites, who are forced by Iran’s theocracy to adhere to one narrow set of official rules.

Elliott Abrams

Nineteen-seventy-nine had been a year of American setbacks around the globe. Before the year began, Cuban troops were already roaming Angola, and a pro-Communist regime ruled Ethiopia.

Elliott Abrams

One good way of measuring the mood in Israel is just how alert or relaxed the guards at every restaurant entrance appear to be.

Elliott Abrams

There’s always Tunisia. Amid the smoking ruins of the Middle East, there is that one encouraging success story.

Elliott Abrams

Now in its third year in office, the Obama Administration has never championed the cause of human rights. Its slow reaction in June 2009 to the stealing of the election in Iran and the birth of the ‘Green Movement’ there, and its delay in backing the rebellions in Egypt, Libya, and Syria, are evidence of this problem.

Elliott Abrams

Honduras was the original ‘banana republic,’ and its poverty remains extreme.

Elliott Abrams

In Arab capitals, the failure of the United States to stop Iran’s nuclear program is understood as American weakness in the struggle for dominance in the Middle East, making additional cooperation from Arab leaders on Israeli-Palestinian issues even less likely.

Elliott Abrams

In Arab capitals, the failure of the United States to stop Iran’s nuclear program is understood as American weakness in the struggle for dominance in the Middle East, making additional cooperation from Arab leaders on Israeli-Palestinian issues even less likely.

Elliott Abrams

In Jordan, where the prime minister is always a commoner, the king has announced some new reforms that would tend to move the country toward a more democratic system: Notably, the prime minister would emerge from the victorious political party, not from back room conversations in the royal palace.

Elliott Abrams

The Erdogan government’s first major step outside of the U.S. alliance was during the Bush Administration, when it wouldn’t let Washington use Turkey as a launching ground for U.S. troops entering Iraq in 2003.

Elliott Abrams

The notion that public service requires men and women of good character now seems quaint.

Elliott Abrams

Scandinavia is boring. People living there apparently have little to do. And as European history teaches, when there is nothing much to do, you may as well amuse yourself by attacking the Jews.

Elliott Abrams

The Arab monarchies, especially Jordan and Morocco, are more legitimate than the false republics, with their stolen elections, regime-dominated courts and rubber-stamp parliaments.

Elliott Abrams

We need to understand that an open society and free speech and press… really are the best weapons against al Qaeda and extremism.

Elliott Abrams

The good Jew is ritually observant and resists assimilation, in some sense living apart, never fitting comfortably into American or any other society.

Elliott Abrams

An effective U.S. policy toward Sudan – one capable of changing the situation in the south and affecting the lives of its people – will require top-level attention and a great deal of energy. It should have three elements: aid, diplomacy, and financial disclosure.

Elliott Abrams

I don’t see kids with Palm Pilots. They are not common on college campuses, except among professors. Gen Xers don’t need them. They are a phenomenon of the 50-something who can’t remember if his broker’s number ends in 1137 or 3317.

Elliott Abrams

Tunisia was not for the United States an important country in the way, let’s say, Algeria was because of its gas, because of its size, because of its struggle against terrorism that sometimes turned bloody.

Elliott Abrams

U.S.-Israel relations are often depicted as an extended honeymoon, but that’s a false image.

Elliott Abrams

In the Bill Clinton years, the foreign leader who visited the White House most often was Yasser Arafat – 13 times.

Elliott Abrams

Al Qaeda’s message that violence, terrorism and extremism are the only answer for Arabs seeking dignity and hope is being rejected each day in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and throughout the Arab lands.

Elliott Abrams

The Obama administration rarely demonstrated the ability to shift gears and change policy in its first year. Even in the face of historic events such as the continuing demonstrations against Iran’s regime, it stuck devotedly to prior plans.

Elliott Abrams

The Obama administration has vastly expanded the use of armed drones and concentrated a great deal of diplomatic effort on building and maintaining alliances that share information about terrorists, provide access to get near them, and then strike against them.

Elliott Abrams

Enlightened despots are mythical creatures; real despots seem more interested in stealing money or installing their sons after them.

Elliott Abrams

Palestine, as Icelanders see it, includes the Western Wall of the Second Temple, Judaism’s holiest site.

Elliott Abrams

Evangelicals too often fall short in their actual teachings about Judaism.

Elliott Abrams

The Obama administration has been trying out a new policy toward Syria since the day it came to office. The Bush cold shoulder was viewed as a primitive reaction, now to be replaced by sophisticated diplomacy. Outreach would substitute for isolation.

Elliott Abrams

The war on drugs is not being won, and it continues to threaten stability and democracy not only in the Andes but throughout the Caribbean as well, where tiny police and military forces are outclassed by the sophisticated equipment in the hands of traffickers passing through the region on the way to their market in this country.

Elliott Abrams

I personally would not talk to a Jew for Jesus.

Elliott Abrams

It seems clear to me that the Obama Administration has no human rights policy. That is, while in some inchoate sense they would like respect for human rights to grow around the world, as all Americans would, they have no actual policy to achieve that goal – and they subordinate it to all their other policy goals.

Elliott Abrams

America was not founded to improve health care or housing; it was founded for freedom.

Elliott Abrams

The conflict between secular Zionism and the settler movement did not appear overnight following Israel’s conquests in the 1967 war, for there was an argument that bridged the gap: security.

Elliott Abrams

Obama’s foreign policy is strangely self-centered, focused on himself and the United States rather than on the conduct and needs of the nations the United States allies with, engages with, or must confront.

Elliott Abrams

There isn’t any way for the people of Nicaragua to find out what’s going on in Nicaragua.

Elliott Abrams

I never said I had no idea about most of the things you said I said I had no idea about.

Elliott Abrams

In 2004, President Bush gave Prime Minister Sharon certain guarantees about American policy, but the Obama administration treated those as a kind of private letter having no binding policy impact.

Elliott Abrams

Sometimes the results of a first free election will find the moderates so poorly organized that extreme groups can eke out a victory, as Hamas did when it gained a 44-to-41 percent margin in the Palestinian election of 2006.

Elliott Abrams

Two presidents pursued human rights policies that were serious and effective: Reagan and George W. Bush. They understood that American support for human rights activists is a moral imperative for us and also makes the world safer for us.

Elliott Abrams

It was simply impossible to support Carter for reelection in 1980 and easy for me to support Reagan. The Reagan campaign was happy to have Democratic support, and the Reagan administration was happy to have Democrats in it; they took the view that, after all, Reagan himself had been a Democrat, so it was not a strike against you.

Elliott Abrams

I grew up in Queens, in New York City, in a middle class Jewish family. My mother was a public school teacher, my father was a lawyer. They were Democrats – kind of middle-of-the-road democrats.

Elliott Abrams

When you work in the White House you talk to the White House staff all day, so you’re talking to the guy who handles the congressional liaison and the guy who’s handling domestic politics and the guy who’s handling the American economy and so forth.

Elliott Abrams

For the entire first term, Obama and his people blamed Bush for everything – which is another way of saying they felt Bush and the Bush years were the inescapable reference point for everything they were themselves doing.

Elliott Abrams

Obama is like the kid brother whose only standard for judging his own achievements is the records his big brother set.

Elliott Abrams

The Sandinistas are a tough bunch of guys, with a fabulous amount of Soviet Bloc equipment and Soviet Bloc advisers.

Elliott Abrams

China has concluded that trade trumps all.

Elliott Abrams

There’s been an Israeli position, which is ‘We love Mubarak,’ that permeates their whole society, the political class. That certainly differs from many of us in the pro-Israel camp in the United States.

Elliott Abrams

The real crime of Hosni Mubarak is that he ruled for 30 years and left behind an Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood is the single strongest player.

Elliott Abrams

I just don’t understand how Kerry or Obama or anybody else thought Assad was going to change.

Elliott Abrams

If you are trying to raise a child to be a Jew, then you have to create a sense of Jewish identity. You really weaken that sense of identity if you celebrate two religions.

Elliott Abrams

You are not practicing Judaism if you celebrate Christmas.

Elliott Abrams

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