The New Republic Staff

The Presidential Plan
and
January 11, 2007

by Richard SternLast night, standing in front of bookcases (History), wearing a dark blue suit (Seriousness) and a light blue tie (Hope), a handkerchief barely visible in a breast pocket (Limited Hope), President Bush spoke soberly, without a single one of his tragic, self-betraying smirks, for twenty minutes about his "new" strategy for "winning" the war in Iraq.

Trouble For The Carter Center
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January 11, 2007

The Carter Center sinks. No, I didn't say that the Carter Center stinks--although it does. The whole enterprise is now an embarrassment, not least to Emory University.

More On Presidential Libraries
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January 11, 2007

Yesterday, I posted on The Spine a comment on presidential libraries and how they were being insanely planted on both coasts and everyplace in between. This touched a response from Paul Kennedy, the distinguished scholar and J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History at Yale University. Many of you know his provocative and popular book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Among his other 12 volumes are close studies of Anglo-German hostilities and the naval mastery of the Brits. Anyway and not surprisingly, Kennedy has had his experiences with presidential libraries.

Yet Another Peace Conference
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January 11, 2007

Actually, I didn't know there was a Middle East peace conference taking place in Madrid. But at least three has-beens sent greetings: Mikhail Gorbachev, James Baker and Bill Clinton, who looks back at the Oslo festival on the White House lawn in 1993 as something of a triumph. What it was, of course, was a sham that kept the peace process breathing until it blew up in Clinton's face at Camp David in the fall of 2000. No, Arafat would not accept basically everything he had asked for. Who knows what animates Gorbachev? Maybe he hopes just to be remembered. He won't be.

Joe Liberman's Neverending Quest To Hit Rock Bottom
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January 11, 2007

"We need to cut through the confusion. Bringing security to Baghdad--the essential precondition for political compromise, national reconciliation and economic development--is possible only with a surge of at least 30,000 combat troops lasting 18 months or so.

Blind Hope As Strategy
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January 11, 2007

From today's NYT: [Bush] put it far more bluntly when leaders of Congress visited the White House earlier on Wednesday. "I said to Maliki this has to work or you're out," the president told the Congressional leaders, according to two officials who were in the room. Pressed on why he thought this strategy would succeed where previous efforts had failed, Mr. Bush shot back: "Because it has to." [Emphasis added.] That seems to be the underlying rationale to Bush's plan.

Make Way For Prince Sali
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January 11, 2007

It's hilarious that new Idaho Republican Representative Bill Sali appears to be the brightest young thing now emerging from the Republican freshman class, given that, during his campaign, his own Idaho Republican colleagues called him him "incompetent" and an "embarrassment," and complained that he didn't have "one ounce of empathy in his whole fricking body." But upon arriving in Washington, Sali was elected president of his freshman class, allowed to attend a prestigious pre-Way Forward meeting with Bush, and selected to give a floor speech during yesterday's House debate on the minimum-wag

Arguing Over Iraq
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January 11, 2007

I see another blog fight is brewing. I was waiting for somebody to drag me in, but since that isn't happening, I'll just jump in anyway. Jason writes to defend those of us who aren't certain about what to do in Iraq. As Jason puts it: I can't help but thinking that it was certainty--on the part of supporters of the war--that got us into this mess.

Profiles In Political Courage
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January 11, 2007

By way of the Corner, but mysteriously absent from the home page of his exploratory committee, here's Giuliani's take on Bush's speech (bold added): STATEMENT FROM RUDY GIULIANI ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S SPEECH ON IRAQ "Success or failure in Iraq is not a matter of partisan politics but a matter of national security. All Americans should be hoping, praying and offering constructive advice for the success of our troops in Iraq and for those Iraqis seeking to create a stable and decent government. In that spirit, I support the President's increase in troops. Even more importantly

What Is Brownback Up To?
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January 11, 2007

Probably the most interesting surge-related development on the right comes courtesy of Sam Brownback. Brownback, you'll recall, is the evangelical-cum-Catholic angling to become the conservative alternative to John McCain. Up until the last few months, he was a pretty reliable supporter of the war in Iraq. But he's since concluded that the war has taken a disastrous turn, and he's become more and more willing to call the administration on it. This all culminated with this week's statement that, "I do not believe that sending more troops to Iraq is the answer. ...

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