Great Britain

Is Russia Finally Getting Serious About Iran?
November 24, 2009

In recent weeks, Barack Obama's foreign policy has been derided by critics who say he has almost nothing to show for his first 10 months in office. But on one of his most important priorities--stopping Iran's relentless march towards a nuclear weapon--he may be quietly reaping a critical diplomatic turnaround: Russia may finally be getting serious about Iran's nuclear program. That would be great news for Obama. In recent weeks Iran has shown little sign of cutting a good-faith deal with the West to freeze its nuclear program.

Now that George Mitchell is Negotiating Between Israel and the Palestinians, Hillary Has Been Assigned the Irish. I Thought the Irish Question Had Been Solved ... by George Mitchell!
October 11, 2009

President Obama designated George Mitchell his special envoy to the Jews and the Arabs because he had experience with them. Of course, Mitchell's familiarity with the Middle East was the familiarity of utter failure. No matter. Obama couldn't have sent George Tenet again ... or, God forbid, Anthony Zinni.

A Just Withdrawal
September 25, 2009

The headlines of the last few months make it clear that there are going to be no free passes for America when it comes to getting its troops out of Iraq. The recent bombing of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, like the internal warfare in Sunni-dominated Anbar Provice, shows how many Iraqi security problems persist. But as President Obama continues the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, he should do more than pay attention to conditions on the ground.

Good Speech; Who Cares?
September 09, 2009

The health care debate has revolved around the sacrosanct principle that nobody who has health insurance should have to worry about any change in the slightest. President Obama paid lip service to that idea again tonight. But, when he wasn't doing that, he was trying to make people understand that the health care system actually isn't that great. Indeed, it's awful, as almost any empirical examination of costs and outcomes will show. The second main message of the speech was to reposition Obama in the center.

The Sordid Tale of Gadhafi and Labor Britain Continues: With 189 Americans Dead on Pam Am 103, The Administration Is Strangely Detached
September 06, 2009

Let's face it: Moammar Gadhafi has outsmarted the Western powers, and he has been outsmarting them for exactly forty years. Not outsmarting them, by the way, in behalf of an ideology either collectivist or Islamist—although it aspires to leadership in both orbits. Libya's rise this coming year to the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly is a symbolic victory for the mangy man and his very wealthy country with deprived people. This is a case of kingship with populist and Arabist rhetoric.

A Sabotage of Justice: Our Inert Response to Libya's Terrorist Pep Rally
August 24, 2009

This was a matter of American interest. More than that: it was actually an American matter. And the contempt that Great Britain, particularly Scotland, and Libya have shown the United States in it is a fact with which we must conjure, lest this drama in four parts otherwise define, delimit and demean our very position in world affairs. This is a choice that neither Russia nor China ever seem to face. That is, they never stand down (or seem even to contemplate standing down) from what they deem to be core.

A Sabotage of Justice
August 24, 2009

This was a matter of American interest. More than that: it was actually an American matter. And the contempt that Great Britain, particularly Scotland, and Libya have shown the United States in it is a fact with which we must conjure, lest this drama in four parts otherwise define, delimit and demean our very position in world affairs. This is a choice that neither Russia nor China ever seem to face. That is, they never stand down (or seem even to contemplate standing down) from what they deem to be core.

The World is Bumpy
July 15, 2009

On innumerable trips to Singapore over the past decade, I always made sure to stop by the Old Tanglin Officers' Mess, the city-state's version of the State Department. There, amid a street of gleaming colonial-style buildings and perfectly trimmed tropical foliage, the best diplomats in Asia--fluent English- speakers with a staggering command of regional politics and sharply tailored suits--would entertain me at the after-work bar.

Honor's Gasp
May 20, 2009

Valkyrie: The Story Of The Plot To Kill Hitler, By Its Last Member By Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager; With Florence and Jerome Fehrenbach Translated by Steven Rendall (Knopf, 211 pp., $24.95)   Try to imagine the following scenario. It is the winter of 1944 and the great German offensive in the Ardennes is threatening to push the Allied forces into the sea.

Two Presidents at a Time
December 03, 2008

On November 15, President Bush will host a "Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy" at the National Building Museum in Washington, D. C. Great Britain's Gordon Brown, China's Hu Jintao, and Russia's Dmitri Medvedev are among the 20 heads of state who will attend what's being billed as "Bretton Woods II." But there's one world leader, a soon-to-be head of state, who will be sitting out the proceedings: Barack Obama plans to spend the weekend in Chicago. Ever since winning the White House on November 4, Obama has kept a wary distance from the financial crisis that began in September.

Pages