Putin's Game
October 27, 2009

After years of stalemate, negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear development program seemed to progress last week when an Iranian delegation in Vienna agreed to the export and modification of its low-enriched uranium. The resulting optimism did not last. Officials in Tehran demurred, insisting that they needed more time to study the proposal and could not meet Friday's deadline to ratify the agreement. While Iran's stonewalling came as a disappointment to the United States, it did not come as a surprise.

Who You Calling Deranged?
October 16, 2009

Democracy Corps has a very interesting survey about the worldview of conservative Republicans. The focus group interviews show that the Republican right, which consists of about a fifth of the electorate, is held together by a set of beliefs that goes well beyond small government and traditional values. "Our groups showed that they explicitly believe [Obama] is purposely and ruthlessly executing a hidden agenda to weaken and ultimately destroy the foundations of our country," reports the survey.

Applebaum on Polanski
October 01, 2009

I didn't comment on Post columnist Anne Applebaum's first short web piece in defense of Roman Polanski. Among its many flaws, it claimed that there was "evidence" that Polanski believed the girl he statutorily raped was older (in fact, he stated under oath that he knew she was 13),  and it failed to disclose that Applebaum's husband, Radoslaw Sikorski, is a Polish minister who,  in his official role, was appealing to U.S. authorities to drop the proceedings against Polanski. But Applebaum's followup is really too much to ignore.

September 25, 2009

So, just one day after Presidents Obama and Sarkozy, together with Gordon Brown, warned Iran that they've determined that"the size and configuration of this [their newly disclosed nuclear facility at Qom] is inconsistent with a peaceful program",the Venezuelan government drops a diplomatic bombshell, as Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz confirms the longstanding rumors that Iran is also helping Venezuela prospect for Uranium in Southern Bolívar State. Iran has helped us on the aereal-geophysics fly-overs, and on geochemical analysis," the chavista minister said, adding that initial evaluat

Unpleasant Truths
December 30, 2008

There is an ungainly German word, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, that has no equivalent in the English language. It means "coming to terms with past," and it was coined to refer to the efforts of German intellectuals, journalists, and even some politicians who, over the past half century, insisted that facing unpleasant truths about their country's history was both a moral and political necessity.

The Mouth: Ed Rendell's Charm Offensive
June 25, 2008

Roughly a decade ago, when Ed Rendell was the mayor of Philadelphia, he made a controversial decision to appear with Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan at a rally. Farrakhan was in town in the aftermath of an assault by a gang of whites on an African American woman and her son and nephew in a notoriously gritty and racist part of the city. Many politicians, especially Jewish ones, would have kept far away from the incendiary Farrakhan. Portions of Rendell's liberal base were outraged. Protesters marched outside his home.

Mitt in a Box
October 23, 2007

Let's say it unequivocally: Mitt Romney's Mormon faith should not be an issue in this presidential campaign. Period. And then let us explore why the Mormon "issue" may be unavoidable--and what Romney and the rest of us should do about it. Romney's biggest problem is that he is running in a Republican Party that has been saturated by religion in recent years.

Pass the Fault
July 04, 2005

Ticket lines for movies are rare in Israel, and rarer still for features that have already been showing for five weeks, and unprecedented for a German production centered on the character of Adolf Hitler.

The Case of Honduras
August 15, 1983

A fragile democracy on the edge of a whirlwind.