The <em>Independent</em> Republican Senator From Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter

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Arlen Specter has impressed me this week by bucking the Bush administration and going to Syria to meet President Bashar al-Assad and then to Jerusalem to meet leading Israeli authorities and pressing for a Palestinian-Israel final settlement. He has even stated that he favors direct talks with Iran. Specter as reported by the Jerusalem Post: Specter brushed aside the criticism of his trip to Damascus that was voiced by some in the Bush Administration who argued that his visit, as…

Saddam Hussein to be Executed Shortly

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It has been a long time since America has had such a direct hand in the execution of a former head-of-state. Hussein is was a thug, but this has not been handled right. The former leader should have been tried at the Hague — with a lot of distance between the U.S. and the process there. Now he will die and could very well be a martyr that further stresses the divide between Sunni and Shiites — as well as…

Senator Lieberman, This is Your War Too!

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Senator Lieberman just spent 10 days in the Middle East and still does not get it. He’s penned an op-ed calling for more deployed American troops in Iraq. It’s a remarkable essay for just how anti-empirical it is and how he can so easily waft platitudes about America’s engagement in the region after actually seeing the miserable results of more than three and half years of military occupation of Iraq by us. In the very first paragraph, Lieberman writes: While…

Oakley and Annie Ready for 2007

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Greetings from the pups, Oakley and Annie. Some of you wanted some more pics, so here is one of the two new best pals. Annie seems to be tilting towards Obama, and Oakley can’t decide between McCain and Hillary. I am working on broadening their options. — Steve Clemons

Gerald Ford: Beneath the Veneer

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Say what you want about Bob Woodward (and I’ve said a lot of it), the guy gets people to talk. While Ford talked to me about sports, Woodward talked with him about strategy and what he thought of our nation’s national security helmsmen. Behind the bland veneer of President Gerald Ford, there was a seemingly solid realist and Machiavellian strategist — with both policy objectives and personnel. That’s the read I get out of this fascinating Bob Woodward interview with…

<em>Elaph</em> Profiles <em>The Washington Note</em>

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I need to learn Arabic. One of my good friends, Raghida Dergham, who is the New York-based senior diplomatic correspondent for Al Hayat, sent a link to me today that has some things to say about this blog. It’s from the Arab news service and web portal, Elaph. I have no idea what it says but hope it’s good. — Steve Clemons

On Gerald Ford’s Passing

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A number of TWN readers have emailed me asking me to comment on President Ford’s passing. So much is out there now about him — in a strange blizzard of confessionals about how liked and admired he was (for the most part) — despite being mostly ignored for decades. I really don’t have much to say about the late President Ford. I met him three times — and one of those at Richard Nixon’s funeral which I attended and had…

John Edwards is “Getting Ready”

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I received an email the other day from John Edwards and his campaign — not yet over the line on running for president — but asking me (and lots of other Americans) if I am going to “get ready” to change things. He’s gearing up and plans to announce tomorrow. Edwards will be a player and has the tightest hold on big labor of any of the candidates, Hillary and Barack included. John Edwards wants to invite you to some…