DUDES, WE DON’T WANT NO METRICS

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18

Sidney Blumenthal, who not only attended last Thursday’s luncheon with Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski but helped give it a bit of zest with this article on Scowcroft being shoved outside the door of Bush administration insiders just days before the meeting, wrote this in today’s Guardian. Blumenthal recounts not only Brzezinski’s and Scowcroft’s cautionary characterizations of what is unfolding in Iraq, but continues to emphasize something radically important. The administration doesn’t want its progress towards its goals to be…

MORT KONDRACKE KNOWS HOW TO RESPONSIBLY DEBATE THE ISSUES

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97

At the event I hosted a week ago today, Mort Kondracke was among the approximately 45 guests. Mort is an open-minded ‘radical centrist/moderate independent’ columnist who thinks, like I do, that blind faith by many to anachronistic perspectives as well as ‘inertia’ explain government policy better than most any other set of drivers. I think he is a guy who believes in good public policy and not letting laziness, ideological or otherwise, preempt policy outcomes the nation deserves. In his…

REPUBLICANS ACCUSE DEMS OF HAVING A PROBLEM WITH THE WORD “IMMINENT”

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4

I think everyone on both sides (if there are only two) of the debate that unfolded on David Frum’s and my blogs yesterday regarding the appropriate use and meaning of the words, ‘incipient’ and ‘imminent’ will find this editorial in the Manchester Union Leader something to laugh about. The only problem is that the editorialists there need to know that there are incipient social security problems that can be dealt with now — with relatively minor benefits adjustments — thus…

FRUM REACHES FOR THE PADDLE

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87

David Frum responds to yesterday’s post on Brent Scowcroft and a possible Iraqi civil war with a supercilious and I think incorrect commentary on the fine differences between the words ‘incipient’ and ‘imminent’. I’ll let the linguists out there be the judge of who has the better part of that lexical exercise. Bill Safire could have some fun with this. But the last time David and his friends played fast and loose with the word ‘imminent’, it cost us more…

IRAQ ELECTIONS BEING DEBATED IN CONSERVATIVE CIRCLES

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27

George Gedda of the Associated Press has written this interesting article today that refers to the comments made by Brent Scowcroft at last Thursday’s New America Foundation lunch meeting. A bit of an excerpt: At age 79, Brent Scowcroft doesn’t have much to lose if he speaks his mind. So despite his close ties to the first President Bush, he’s not averse to keeping his distance from the second. Scowcroft, a retired lieutenant general who served as national security adviser…

THE MEASURE OF THE PATRIOT’S DUTY OF DISSENT

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13

I am re-reading Anatol Lieven’s America: Right or Wrong — An Anatomy of American Nationalism, which I am reviewing and have a drop-dead deadline on Monday. At the end of the first chapter, he recounts something J.William Fulbright wrote in Arrogance of Power that I think deserves space on this blog: Only a nation at peace with itself, with its transgressions as well as its achievements, is capable of a generous understanding of others. . . When a nation is…

DAVID FRUM: BEWARE THE THREAT OF SCOWCROFTISM?

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131

David Frum gets starchy about the dangers of rising Scowcroftism in foreign policy circles. My sense is that those of us who have a problem with the neoconservative agenda have a lot of work to do to roll back the influence of David Frum and his fellow travelers — but if we are causing them pain, all the better. One note to David: “incipient” and “imminent” have very different meanings, and you ought to use the one Scowcroft used if…

Q&A WITH BRENT & ZBIG

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5

The transcription process for this event that has received a lot of attention in the media as well as my attention in entries below was complicated by the fact that the New America Foundation (in which I have a fairly substantial role) has unbelievably low quality recording and taping equipment. Thus, we were unable to send this out for standard transcribing. At long last, our team — including Jennifer Buntman, Jerry Irvine, Swati Pandey, Joanna Lederman, Robynn Sturm, Katie Willers,…

MAUREEN DOWD: THE BUSH WAR COUNCIL NEVER ADMITS A MISTAKE

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89

Here is the last part of Maureen Dowd’s New York Times piece today, “Defining Victory Down,” that lashes the Bush administration for its imperviousness to feedback. Again, the Thursday forum that we hosted with Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft gets a lot of play: The arrogant Bush war council never admits a mistake. Paul Wolfowitz, a walking mistake, said on Friday he’s been asked to remain in the administration. But the “idealists,” as the myopic dunderheads think of themselves, are…