Obama Would Have Been Better Off Saying Simply "I Am Not Worthy" or “Nolo Episcopari”...
October 11, 2009

Which is Latin and means "I do not want to be bishop." That is how every Anglican designee for that office demurs ... but most then take on the miter anyway and with it the bishopric itself. President Obama could have said "I am not worthy," a true response that would also have kept him from the ridicule this Nobel Peace Prize designation has brought upon him. But it is not in his character. For the sin of pride is the most deceitful. The very sin prevents man from recognizing it in himself. The list of Nobel peace laureates is not an especially august one.

Obama on Consumer Financial Regs: Stay Strong
October 10, 2009

I was a little disconcerted a few weeks ago when I read that Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee was weakening the proposed consumer financial regulator. As the Journal reported: Mr.

Barack Obama and the Veil: The President vs. The Supreme Council of Al-Azhar, A Pinnacle of Muslim Orthodoxy
October 10, 2009

I am back again to Barack Obama's speech in Cairo. And here's what I wrote about it in early summer. Among other topics, the president focused for a long moment on the hijab (and, in case you want to buy one, here is a link to Hijab Girl, a salacious hook, if you don't mind me saying so.)  And here is what Obama said on the topic word for word: “[F]reedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders.

Ending Our Age of Suffering
October 10, 2009

Genocide is much discussed and poorly understood. It is regularly decried, yet little is done to prevent it. It is seen to be one of the most intractable of modern phenomena, a periodic cataclysm that erupts seemingly out of nowhere, often in distant places--Indonesia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur--where ethnic conflict or hatred is said to have spun out of control. So we can do little about it.

Obama's Nobel: Not Obama's Fault
October 09, 2009

Most everybody seems to think it's absurd to award the Nobel Prize to President Obama. I suppose I could even see how you could get outraged over it. What's amazing to me is that conservatives are outraged at President Obama. Read the Corner. It's insane. They seem to think Obama chose himself for the award.

What Is Gore Thinking This Morning?
October 09, 2009

Don't get me wrong, I think Obama has bona fide Nobel stature--and it certainly doesn't take long to recall numerous Peace Prize winners who were less worthy (some of them far less so). Still, it's hard not to see the prize as at least partly, if not largely, a shot at George W. Bush. I mean, read the prize citation and tell me if it doesn't sound like the exact opposite of a very recent U.S. president (certainly in the eyes of most European elites): Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics.

TNR on the Nobel Peace Prize
October 09, 2009

Barack Obama has become the fourth U.S. president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement has generated a lot of news and debate. TNR went into the archives to pull our past pieces on the Peace Prize and its recipients. "Prize Fight," by Peter Beinart, October 28 2002. In this TRB, Peter Beinart distinguishes between Peace Prizes that are awarded for ending conflict, and those that promote freedom. "Regrets," by Marty Peretz, April 22 2002.

What Washington Should Do to Create Jobs
October 08, 2009

Rob Shapiro is the chair of the NDN Globalization Imitative and chairman of Sonecon, LLC. Policymakers and pundits who finally are worried about a "jobless recovery" should consider this: Our actual prospects are worse than that term suggests.   The initial expansion we may already be experiencing will be notable not for a lack of new jobs, as the phrase "jobless recovery" suggests, but for substantial, continued job losses.   Total employment will continue to decline for many months and perhaps as long as two years, as it did after the 2001 recession.   Nor will it be enough to aim for simpl

AfPak Confusion at the White House
October 08, 2009

Afghanistan is a challenge that would bedevil even the finest foreign policy makers. But today's big stories in the Post and Times paint a somewhat discouraging picture of the Obama team's handling of the war. The Post depicts an administration whose initial policy review reached conclusions that meant different things to different people. And the Times reveals a re-review that is addressing fundamental questions which probably should have been settled months ago.

Course Correction
October 08, 2009

Camp Julien is surrounded by reminders of Afghanistan’s past. The coalition military base--which sits in the hills south of Kabul, just high enough to rise above the thick cloud of smog that perpetually blankets the city--is flanked by two European-style palaces built in the 1920s by the modernizing King Amanullah. Home to Soviet troops and mujahedin during the past decades of war, the now-crumbling palaces are littered with bullet holes and decorated with graffiti in multiple languages.