Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff: Diplomatic Spin



Bizarre reading of the Vienna agreement about Iran’s atomic program in the Washington Post this morning. In a news analysis Glenn Kessler writes: For years, the Bush administration has warned of the Iranian threat, but its concerns were belittled or ignored as yet another example of American hyperbole. Now, however, Washington has persuaded Russia, China and European allies to agree to the same red line. In the cast of this global game we have the American President in the starring…

Gary Hart: Out of Iraq…by 2055



For many months, at least since President George W. Bush announced that we would “stand down” in Iraq as quickly as the Iraqis “stand up”, it has been a puzzle as to why we were building permanent military bases in Iraq if “standing down” meant, as most Americans assumed, getting out–withdrawing our troops. The British occupied the newly-formed Iraqi nation from 1920 until at least 1948, a mere 28 years. Within a few years after their withdrawal, required by British…




By now, I should know what I’m getting into when I agree to help Steve out with the blog — just like last year, he’s managed to assemble an impressive array of guest posters. No doubt we can expect some sparks again, as events seem to flare up as soon as Steve leaves for vacation. I’ll be in the background for most of the next week or so, only occasionally joining the fray, but should the need arise, I can…

Dave Meyer is Blog Meister this Week and a Part of a Very Cool Guest Blog Roster



I may occasionally check in while on vacation, but TWN readers are in for a treat this week. When I travel, I try to invite a diverse group to consider blogging about whatever moves them, in a diverse set of areas. Below you will find a list of former government officials, historians, journalists, dramatists, thinkers, political strategists. This is a partial list. Some may not follow through. Others will certainly appear whom I didn’t have the opportunity to include on…

Level-Headedness on Iran



The flurry of hope and skepticism that proposed talks with Iran will lead anywhere are dominating the news, even here in Athens. While China and Russia have joined the roster of nations offering Iran a “tough love” package of incentives and punishments regarding its nuclear program, China and Russia’s commitment to the “sticks” part of the equation remains weak, and Iran will continue to try and split the five UN Security Council members. It is important news that Bush has…

Iran: Rice vs. Bolton/Cheney



Condoleezza Rice just really pissed off John Bolton, whom TWN has learned is seething about Rice’s offer of direct negotiations with Iran. There is a long, long way to go in our haggling with Iran over its nuclear program whether it is through indirect negotiations via Europe, direct negotiations, or resolutions and eventual sanctions via the U.N. However, Rice not only has to manage the Iranian response to her initiative but has to manage Vice President Cheney’s team — including…