The Foreign Policy Awards
December 29, 2009
BIGGEST TACTICAL BLUNDER: Pushing the Israeli-Arab peace process too hard. Obama took office looking for bold strokes at a time when peace seemed as far away as ever: Israel had just finished its punishing military campaign in Gaza last winter, and the Arab world was inflamed, and deeply uninterested in making offerings to Israel. Obama's squeeze on Israeli settlements, meanwhile, managed to a) tick off a backlash in Israel that enabled the Netanyahu government to stand its ground, without b) shaking loose meaningful Arab support.
Squaring Idealism and Realism
December 14, 2009
PARIS -- Europeans are coming to terms with the fact that President Obama is not a miracle worker, and with the reality that everything he does is not magic. Oh, yes, most Europeans are still happy Obama is president.
The Jujitsu of Obama’s Nobel Speech
December 12, 2009
It seems to me that one major political benefit of Obama giving a challenging speech about the war in Afghanistan--and discoursing on the nature of war in general--during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on Wednesday was that it derailed any focus on atomic arms. Had Obama not shaped his speech like he did, the press would likely be carping about the fact that, while the Nobel committee awarded Obama the prize primarily because of his "vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons"; he has in fact not delivered on any nuclear-weapons issues.
Dubai for Borat? Bad Idea.
December 10, 2009
Dubai is faltering. With its gleaming towers, indoor ski slopes, man-made islands, and other luxury projects, the city had epitomized the wealth that the global economic boom of the 1990s and early 2000s produced. It was even pronounced "too big to fail." But then, the boom went bust, and Dubai wasn't immune. And yet, despite glaring warning signals emanating from the Persian Gulf, some unusual suspects are moving forward with plans for their own Dubais.
Obama in Oslo
December 10, 2009
I agree with Chait and, to offer him some fancy synonyms, think this may have been the deepest and most elegaic speech of Obama's presidency. But what a strange one it was. Obama is a man trapped amongst the contradictions created by America's awkward place in the post-Bush world. Last week, Obama's address on Afghanistan both escalated and promised an end to the war there. Today, Obama opened his Nobel Peace Price acceptance speech with a long disquisition on the nature of war and its necessity--complete with a brief survey of "just war" theory.
Today at TNR (December 9, 2009)
December 09, 2009
The Detroit Project: A Plan for Solving America’s Greatest Urban Disaster, by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley The U.S. Government Is Getting Played by Burma’s Junta--Again, by Joshua Kurlantzick How Obama Can Convince Americans That Jobs Are His Top Priority, by William Galston Gasp! Are Liberals out to Destroy the Former Host of ‘Love Connection’? by David Roth Should the EPA Create Its Own Cap-and-Trade System? by Michael A.
December 09, 2009
From the hills outside Mandalay, Burma’s second city, the vista resembles a postcard of Asian serenity. Monks climb stone steps to a hillside shrine, where local men and women leave offerings of flowers and fruit. But the placid scene conceals one of the most repressive states in the world--a state that the Obama administration has decided may be more worthy of American friendship than American threats. For more than four decades, Burma’s junta has persecuted its population.
5 Things You Don’t Know About North Korean Soccer
December 08, 2009
The World Cup is only six months away, and adding to the list of South Africa’s many hosting challenges is accommodating one of the world’s most peculiar teams: North Korea, who will be competing for the first time since 1966. When the team merely qualified in June of this year, they were greeted back home as heroes, with hoards of fans welcoming them at the airport with pink and red pom-poms while showering them with flags and leis. Last week, the team found out their first opponent will be international powerhouse Brazil.
You Think the American Relationship With Pakistan Is Fraught Now...
December 03, 2009
...but just imagine if this scenario had played out: Shortly after 9/11, President Bush had issued a “lethal finding,” giving the C.I.A. the go-ahead to kill or capture al-Qaeda members. (Under an executive order issued by President Gerald Ford, it had been illegal since 1976 for U.S.
Repeat After Me....
November 24, 2009
Ever on the lookout for ways to shrink the party’s tent still further, a few of the masterminds at the Republican National Committee are pushing a resolution to establish an ideological purity test for prospective GOP candidates.