Joe Biden is In the Race: Email the Candidate Your Questions

-

51

I just received an email from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden that tomorrow he is announcing formally his intention to run for President of the United States. Here is candidate Biden’s campaign website. Biden is a powerful ideas guy and gets points from me for being brazen, smart, and ready to dump political correctness. Biden is often intellectually ahead of his colleagues and can be flamboyant (well, I can be too). But lately, he’s really been pulling the…

<em>Without Me</em>? What Syrian Ambassador Moustapha Has In Common with Eminem

-

12

(Syrian Ambassador to the United States Imad Moustapha) Remember that snappy Eminem song that pushed a kind of edgy vulgarity that seemed, still, like it couldn’t be deleted or ignored, Without Me? These lyrics came to mind this morning when I learned that Syria’s Ambassador to Washington Imad Moustapha was not among those Arab Ambassadors meeting with Members of Congress today, in about an hour: Without Me by Eminem I know that you got a job Ms. Cheney but your…

Another Fine Mess: Lebanon on the Brink

-

29

I found that this piece in the Economist captures well the fragility of Lebanon’s current political order. I recommend reading it. Here’s a section I found compelling: Such conundrums point up the peculiar make-up and intractability of the opposing forces. Mr Siniora’s coalition includes Druze and Christian warlords, much of the business elite and the bulk of Sunni Muslims, including extreme fundamentalist groups that see more menace in Shias than in an alliance with America. Hizbullah, aligned with and armed…

14 cents per Iraqi Refugee per Year vs. $300 million per Day to Finance Occupation

-

34

President Bush probably chuckled when Colin Powell left the room after advising the President about the “Pottery Barn Rule” — “you break it, you own it.” (yes, I know Pottery Barn doesn’t make you pay. . .but you get the point. . .) Bush probably said, “Well, if I break it — I can get away with it.” And that’s what he’s been trying to do. What I didn’t realize is that the U.S. has been a worse fortress than…

Ari Fleishcher Blows Hole in Libby’s Plame Case Defense

-

48

Ari Fleischer was told “days earlier” than anyone previously knew by Cheney Chief of Staff Scooter Libby that Valerie Plame was not only Joe Wilson’s wife but that she worked in the CIA’s counter-proliferation division. Fleisher also indicated that Libby said this info was on “the QT.” Here is a bit of Newsweek journalist Mike Isikoff’s take on this huge revelation, via Raw Story: It is probably the most significant testimony in the case to date. Ari Fleischer testified that…

Former Senator Lincoln Chafee on Bush Speech

-

6

Former Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) has settled in at his new fellowship perch at Brown University’s Watson Institute — and is speaking out in the press about America’s foreign policy mess nearly as much as former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Here is what Senator Chafee had to say about President Bush’s speech recently: Reflecting on Bush’s speech afterward at the Institute, Chafee noted that: “To me, what the President seems to be ignoring is the recommendation that…

John Bolton Endorses Biden-Gelb Iraq Plan?

-

7

Not entirely. . .but pretty close. According to a piece that has just appeared in the International Herald Tribune: Former U.S. envoy to the United Nations John Bolton said in an interview published in France that the United States has “no strategic interest” in a united Iraq. . . Bolton suggested in the interview that the United States shouldn’t necessarily keep Iraq from splitting up. The Bush administration and the Iraqi government have said they don’t want Iraq divided. “The…

West Wing Floor Plan

-

6

Last August, Dan Froomkin published this interesting visual of the real West Wing floor plan — and a roster of who sits most closely to the President of the United States on a daily basis. Influencing the President is what much of us in the policy business try to do — legally of course and according to rules requiring transparency and such. I don’t have much to add right now, but I thought that the graphic depiction of what the…

Chalabi Surfaces to Take Inappropriate Credit for Iraq’s “Reverse Course”

-

20

Ahmed Chalabi has surfaced after a long period of silence in Iraq. He appeared at a news conference to announce that some of those “purged” from government positions have been allowed back into Iraqi government staff jobs. This is a couple of years too late in my view — but it’s a start. What is odd is that Chalabi was a top tier advocate of extreme de-Baathification. Her is the clip: Also on Wednesday, Ahmed Chalabi, the former exile who…