Zoellick Departure May Trigger Next Condi-Cheney Skirmish



Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick didn’t want to “manage” the State Department in the same manner that his predecessor Richard Armitage did. Zoellick wanted to carve out portfolios that he would manage, and left the meat-and-potato operations of the department to others. Now Zoellick is planning to leave the government after hearing through the grapevine that he did not make the short list to succeed Treasury Secretary John Snow. The question now is who will come in after Zoellick….

<em>TWN</em> Schedule



A few commenters and those who have emailed have taken exception to my stating where I am during my travels at the moment. I state where I am because I like to meet TWN readers in the cities I visit. I attended conferences in Europe this past week — and am now about to start some vacation — during which Dave Meyer will be the MC of The Washington Note. But to those of you who just don’t like to…

Nir Rosen: Perhaps It’s Too Late for US Troops to Leave?



I am currently in Mykonos, after having spent a few days at a conference organized by New York University’s Center on Law and Security focusing on the legal frameworks through which governments pursue and handle would-be terrorists. One of the conference participants was Nir Rosen, a colleague of mine at the New America Foundation. Rosen has just published this powerful op-ed in the Washington Post. An excerpt: Every morning the streets of Baghdad are littered with dozens of bodies, bruised,…

Musings Waiting at Athens Airport: Sir Edmund Hillary’s Role in Commercializing Everest



I’ve always been interested in Mt. Everest and the spell it casts over some climbers and have been paying some attention to the recent tragedies of people climbing, getting sick on the mountain, and left by others who would risk their own survival if helping those who stopped on the mountain. But I have to critique Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person known to have achieved the summit and survived, for his criticism of the “commercialization of Everest” that has…

Bush and Blair



Julian Borger, Washington Bureau Chief of The Guardian, rang me in Florence yesterday to talk about Bush and Blair. I told him that I do not think that Bush was predisposed to giving Blair many legacy-building gifts, which is how Borger ended his piece. I’m traveling to Athens today. More later. — Steve Clemons

Bush’s “Victory at Hand” Rhetoric Breeds Doubt in American Power Among Allies and Foes



Sidney Blumenthal has a powerful piece in Salon today. He strikes out at the “Turning Point” and “Victory” rhetoric that continues to emanate from the White House. If there were another President in the White House, I think that a rhetoric of defeat, of being stalled, or having made incorrect choices would also be tough. But we passed the point where “Big Lie-ism” was really working long ago. Now, Bush’s failure to speak squarely about the realities in Iraq make…

Negroponte-Rumsfeld Battle Will Proceed



(Sorry for AWOL status. I spent yesterday in Athens and have just arrived for a conference in Florence where the internet is out at the hotel and in short supply elsewhere.) Yesterday, General Michael Hayden’s confirmation process to serve as Porter Goss’s successor as CIA Director moved out of the Senate Intelligence Committee on a 12-3 vote. Those voting against were Ron Wyden, Russ Feingold and Evan Bayh. This is interesting as Feingold rarely votes against a presidential nominee —…

America’s Middle East Project Will Stay Deflated Without Israel/Palestine Resolution



On Tuesday, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will spend some time with President Bush in Washington. Hopefully, they will engage in some “re-visioning” of what is possible in moving forward on the resolution of Israel’s borders in a negotiated process leading to a Palestinian state. There is great debate about how to get there, but without a negotiated resolution to the Israel-Palestine standoff, America will never move a credible program of public diplomacy in the Middle East forward. They are…