New Type of Catastrophe Looms over America’s Iraq Deployments



I participated in a study group last night — and one of the scenarios discussed was the increasing probabability of a psychology-altering event having enormous impact on the vast majority of Americans. One of the scenarios was the prospect of Iraqi police and troops in a gun conflict with U.S. soldiers in which many of the Americans died. Read this on the death of an American in Iraq today by Iraqi police. Not quite the scenario discussed — but eerily…

Bob Gates Should Meet Up with Spc. Khai Krumbhaar in Kuwait: Thoughtful Letters on Women in Military and Gay Issues



It’s late. I should be asleep — but I was reading the Stars and Stripes tonight online and ran across a couple of letters to the editor by Spc. Khai Krumbhaar. I don’t know this soldier — but see that he has folks praying for him in St. Andrew’s Parish in Western Mexico. He is a very thoughtful guy given the tenor of two fascinating letters that he published in the military newspaper — one on gender issues in the…

Nightmare Confirmed: Things Are Soooo Bad. . .



Sometimes in Washington after years of networking and bridge-building, doors are opened to some extraordinary meetings where elite political players and policy makers really do discuss how to govern the world while sipping wine. I really can’t discuss the participants or venue of a dinner I attended last night but suffice it to say that some of America’s and Europe’s leading current and former political personalities were there — 60 people only — and among them a few former Secretaries…

GTMO Report: Only 10 out of 440 Charged



Desperate and frustrated detainees, US soldier/guards who were children just months before the hard core roles they are playing on the front line of this affair on behalf of the American taxpayer, and other shocking but illuminating images are worth reading in this sober piece (the first of two parts) in The Globalist by my friend Markus Ziener, Washington Bureau Chief of the German business daily, Handelsblatt. — Steve Clemons

Maureen Dowd on the Realists vs. Idealists



(President George and Laura Bush at casket of President Ronald Reagan) Ms. Dowd has a strong, smart piece on the battle between Bush administration insider realists and idealists and juxtaposes Bush’s inflexibility with Reagan’s dramatic turns. Read the whole thing, but here’s the best: Bush junior cast himself as the Reagan heir. But as President Reagan showed in Lebanon, when he pulled out troops after 241 servicemen were blown up, and in Reykjavik negotiating with Mikhail Gorbachev on nuclear arms,…

C. Boyden Gray’s Nomination Re-Activated?



Another controversial recess appointment made by President Bush was C. Boyden Gray, White House Counsel in the Bush 41 administration and Director of the Transition Team for Bush 43, who now serves as the unconfirmed Ambassador of the United States to the European Union. A Senator’s “procedural hold” has blocked Gray’s nomination from proceeding through the confirmation process, but according to the Senate Executive Calendar, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar is reporting that his committee now plans to…

Roster of New Committee Chairs in US Senate



Issued today by Senator Harry Reid’s office: AGRICULTURE — Tom Harkin APPROPRIATIONS — Robert Byrd ARMED SERVICES — Carl Levin BANKING — Chris Dodd COMMERCE — Daniel Inouye ENERGY — Jeff Bingaman ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC WORKS — Barbara Boxer FINANCE — Max Baucus FOREIGN RELATIONS — Joseph Biden HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR & PENSIONS — Edward Kennedy HOMELAND & GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — Joseph Lieberman JUDICIARY — Patrick Leahy INTELLIGENCE — John D. Rockefeller IV BUDGET — Kent Conrad AGING — Herb…

Jim Leach Could be “Confirmed Unanimously” by the Senate



Here are copies of two letters that Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim Walsh (R-NY) have distributed today to Members of Congress calling for the President to nominate Congressman Jim Leach as US Ambassador to the United Nations “in the event that Ambassador Bolton’s term is not extended.” Here is the “Dear Colleague“. Here is the letter that they are asking Members to co-sign. So far, after a jog along the mall today, Congressman Blumenauer ran into both Representatives Chris…