Javier Solana

Europe is a mess. Greece is the country on the continent closest to utter wreck. (And, if not for statements yesterday by Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy, there would literally be no hope for a life raft anywhere near Athens soon. This morning's FT smothers even those wan hopes.) Spain, Portugal and Ireland are not far behind ... or under. Each of these countries has views on how Israel deals with the Palestinians, and they don't like it at all. Neither do the past and present "foreign ministers"—so to speak, but not exactly—of the European Union.

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Jews usually go out to the movies on Christmas ... and then they go out to eat "Chinese." I've spent it writing. Below is my harvest. I wish you all good cheer. Here are the motifs of my writing day. Alas, none of them cheery. 1. THE REAL GRIM REAPER: HOLY DAY VICTIMS IN IRAQ AND PAKISTAN 2. COLD COMMON SENSE ABOUT IRAN FROM, MIRABILI DICTU, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" 3. A WISE EUROPEAN FOREIGN MINISTER: "WE SHOULD SHUT UP ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST" 4. A SOBER "TIMES" PIECE ON ISRAELI MILITARY DOCTRINE 5.

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She is newly elected foreign minister of the European Union, made up of 27 sovereign states with half a billion people. OK, she has no substantial foreign policy experience. Except that she was a young militant in Bertrand Russell's not very sane Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, what was called CND, the symbol of which looked a bit like the Mercedes Benz logo. Yes, CND probably received some of its cash from the Russians. But which “peace movement” did not?

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Is Solana Serious?

Javier Solana does not want the Israeli government to fall. And why is this? According to Solana, who runs foreign policy for the European Union, the collapse of the coalition would "constitute a death blow to the peace process, particularly with the Palestinian Authority." Of course, what Solana sees is a government in Jerusalem so weak that it couldn't resist the blandishments of its supposed friends, like Solana himself.

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The New Hegemon

Vali Nasr on life under a nuclear Iran.

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Notebook

DAY TRADER When Brit Hume departed ABC News for Fox News back in 1996, he eagerly anticipated that his new network home would provide “freedom on the air to report and analyze in a way I’ve yearned to do.” Yes, years of confining himself to relatively cogent, tasteful commentary had left Hume pining for an outlet for his other thoughts—the irrelevant, the ideological, the inane.

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