Department of State

Obama ♥ Nukes
November 24, 2010

President Obama is currently engrossed in a battle over the ratification of his New START treaty with Russia—along with the urgent news that North Korea’s previously covert uranium enrichment program is up and running, and now affords it something else scary to export. Yet, there is another related issue that Mr.

Obama Thought America Could Do Without Europe. Well, Europe May Think It Can Do Without America.
October 27, 2010

This is my rather crude way of putting John Vinocur's subtle answer to the question he posed yesterday in his "Politicus" column in the International Herald Tribune: "Could U.S. lose Europe to Russia?" Of course, Obama cares mightily about the Third World. The Third World is a mess, an unholy mess, and it's about time that someone make this argument clearly rather than let it linger as an unspoken and mischievous truth. Not quite a half-century ago I was preparing for my graduate school general examinations and "African nationalism" was one of my special fields.

Why Don't Novelists Care about Katrina?
September 10, 2010

Since 2001, fiction based on September 11 has become almost de rigueur among major novelists writing in English. In the aftermath of the attacks on the Word Trade Center, many of the most famous authors of our time have weighed in on the attacks, depicting the ways large and small in which they altered people’s lives. Some hypothesized possible motivations behind the terrorists’ actions: John Updike in Terrorist (2006) and Martin Amis in the short story “The Last Days of Muhammad Atta” (2006).

A Dem Palin? Not Needed
August 30, 2010

The Sunday NYT carried an unusually useless op-ed yesterday, asking for a "Palin of Our Own" for the Democrats. Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister note that Sarah Palin generates a lot of publicity, and conclude: The left should be outraged and exasperated by all this — but at their own failings as much as Ms. Palin’s ascension. Since the 2008 election, progressive leaders have done little to address the obvious national appetite for female leadership. And despite (or because of) their continuing obsession with Ms.

The Subversive Theology of Imam Rauf (Cont’d.)
August 24, 2010

The fervent mosque-haters have this much right: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Sufi leader of the Cordoba Initiative that plans to build an Islamic center on Park Place near the site of the World Trade Center, is subversive. But what he wants to subvert is not the United States of America. What he wants to subvert are dictatorships in Islamic nations. Imam Rauf’s third book, published in 2005 but unavailable to me last week when I wrote about him and his earlier work, is called What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America.

Iran Is Planning to Stone This Woman to Death. Can Anyone Save Her?
August 08, 2010

LONDON—Glimmers of hope, rumored concessions, and anticipated de-escalations of rhetoric are the almost daily fare of those of us who cover Iran and its tense relations with the West. But in the year since Iran's disputed election—and the brutal crackdown that has followed—those brief shining moments have almost always faded away.

Mock Trial
July 26, 2010

Yesterday, in Cambodia, a perpetrator of one of the twentieth century’s great crimes was sentenced. Kang Kek Lew, also known as Comrade Deuch, was the head of the infamous Tuol Sleng prison during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, and was at least partly responsible for the murder of more than 12,000 people.

The Heir
July 20, 2010

Is Qaddafi's hip, globe-trotting son for real?

Operation Sabotage
July 14, 2010

Eli Lake on our secret war against Iran.

BREAKING: Obama Taps Jack Lew to Run OMB
July 13, 2010

The White House just announced that President Obama will appoint Jacob "Jack" Lew to be his next budget director. Lew emerged as a front-runner relatively late in the process. But Lew comes with strong credentials, as I explained on Monday: Who’s Jack Lew? He’s a top adviser to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, where he's deputy secretary for management and resources. Before that, he was chief of operations at New York University and then chief operating officer at Citi Alternative Investments.