Ambassador

The Boston Globe's Farah Stockman reports that Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, could be in physical danger were he to return to Islamabad, where he hasn't been for 8 months, due to the charge that he's too "pro-American." Making that charge? The Pakistani military: Samina Ahmed, an Islamabad-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, said the attacks on Haqqani were carefully orchestrated by the military to weaken the government he represents. She predicted more will come. “These are the first rumblings of the storm,’’ she said.

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The Fork in J Street

The self-declared mission of J Street, the dovish "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" lobby that just concluded its first national conference this week, includes redefining the meaning of the term "pro-Israel." For too long, the organization's founders and supporters argue, right-wing elements in the Jewish community have abused the term to hijack the debate and tarnish mainstream, sensible advocates of a two-state solution. J Street's "pro-Israel" bona fides were questioned almost immediately after its launch, and with good reason.

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Now, everybody who reads me knows that I am not a big supporter of administration policy on the Middle East. But, then, I am not a big supporter of its foreign policy almost anywhere. No, let me correct that. Not "almost anywhere." But "anywhere." That said, I don't believe that President Obama is trying to weaken the United States or its allies.

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For months, the White House has been saying that President Obama would personally roll out the results of his administration's long-delayed Sudan Policy Review, which will officially set the direction of U.S. policy for Darfur and South Sudan, a region that will soon decide whether to become an independent country. (Update: Click here to read the text of the actual policy and my analysis.) Now, the review is finally here. It will be announced by Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and the U.S. envoy to Sudan, General Scott Gration.

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The Susan in question is Susan Rice. And, according to a New York Times article by Neil MacFarquhar, it's Stewart Patrick who gives her the good grades. Rice is U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. So who is Patrick? He is one of those hundreds of I.R. wonks in Washington who moves from fellowship to fellowship, eating up foundation money, and ends up being an expert in what actually amounts to nothing or maybe, just maybe, the same thing: "multilateral cooperation in the management of global issues; U.S.

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So says Husain Haqqani, Islamabad's affable man in Washington, despite contrary reports: "So far I've not been asked to alter my responsibilities nor have any questions been raised about my conduct," Haqqani said, adding that he does plan to meet with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during the latter's trip to Washington tomorrow. The scene of Haqqani celebrating the F-16 deal, a long-awaited accomplishment of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship, amid the backdrop of the rumors of his sacking, show the complicated dynamic surrounding him.

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Quote of the Week

Courtesy of Veronique de Rugy, over at The Corner: The New York Times reports that Obama just named the "openly gay lawyer" David Huebner to be his new ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. I always find it a little disturbing when people's sexual preferences make newspaper headlines (especially when it's not to explain that children have been molested).

Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and that is expected to swell to 70 percent by 2050. This was the backdrop for this year’s World Habitat Day, which falls on the first Monday of October of every year to bring attention to the needs of inadequate shelter, unsustainable development, and other challenges faced by cities and towns around the globe. This year’s activities were co-hosted by the United States for the first time, featuring kick-off remarks by HUD Secretary Donovan, U.N.

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This just in: A career diplomat from Bulgaria won a suspenseful and drawn-out race to lead the U.N. agency for culture and education on Tuesday, beating out an Egyptian candidate whose one-time threat to burn Israeli books had galvanized opposition.... In a fifth round of secret balloting Tuesday, Bulgaria's ambassador to France, Irina Bokova, defeated Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny for the leadership of UNESCO.

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The Stockholm Syndrome

When Zvi Mazel was summoned to the Swedish Foreign Ministry back in January 2004, he knew he was in trouble. As Israel’s top diplomat in Stockholm, the 64-year-old had just done something markedly undiplomatic--not exactly rare for Israeli envoys. No, he hadn’t remarked upon the “yellow skin and slanted eyes” of Asians. No, he hadn’t taken part in a child-pornography ring.

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