A Great Week for International Institutions


After Zimbabwe won its election to Chair the Commission on Sustainable Development and Paul Wolfowitz held the World Bank hostage last month, international institutions were due for a boost. The month wasn’t all bad – after all, human rights groups did manage to help defeat Belarus in its bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Still, more good news was badly needed. Fortunately, this has been a week of good news. Bob Zoellick will be the World…

Why Is Romney Running Against Obama?



Last week, McCain and Obama traded barbs over the Iraq war. McCain first derided Obama for voting against the war supplemental, then Obama called out McCain for his farcical pronouncement that Baghdad is secure, and McCain finally ended the exchange by smugly correcting the Obama team’s spelling of “fla[c]k jacket.” Mitt Romney’s campaign just sent out an e-mail comparing his agenda with Barack Obama’s. The obvious question is, why? Does Obama really engender greater anger or fear with the Republican…

New Middle East Blog by Daniel Levy



Daniel Levy is one of a handful of people who really could move the Palestinians and Israelis (and Americans, and Europeans, and Russians, and UN bureaucrats, and Saudis, Syrians, and Jordanians) towards a negotiated comprehensive deal establishing a Palestinian state that doesn’t undermine Israel’s national security. He is a great friend and colleague of mine at the New America Foundation and Century Foundation and has just launched his own personal blog, Prospects for Peace. The title isn’t my style. I’m…

Daily Smart Stuff at <em>DelanceyPlace.com</em>



(Richard Vague and blogger Juan Cole speak at New America Foundation/American Strategy Program dinner for Zbigniew Brzezinski) I have become a fan of a daily email and blog site, DelanceyPlace.com, that is published by businessman Richard Vague. Vague is the founding Chairman and former CEO of First USA Bank which he sold before becoming the head of Barclays’ American credit card operations at Juniper Financial. He has now moved on from that and is planning a new foray in the…

Cruise with John Bolton, July 29 – August 5



There are only 10 cabins left — and I am soooo tempted to go on this Alaska National Review cruise. I’d be civil, of course, but would hold my ground on my views and otherwise enjoy the scenery and the celebrity of being a token independent progressive on the ship. John Bolton is one of the recently added headliners — and I do wish him a good cruise. A number of close friends of mine have interviewed Bolton lately, and…

Wolfowitz Does <em>Charlie Rose</em> Tonight



Tonight on Charlie Rose will appear outgoing World Bank President and former Bush administration Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Should be a fascinating show. As a note to Charlie, some of the points of advice I have given publicly to incoming World Bank President Bob Zoellick may make interesting points for discussion with Wolfowitz. And stay tuned for a great Charlie Rose discussion with Zbigniew Brzezinski on June 13th. That should be a quite stimulating exchange. — Steve Clemons

Zoellick Ascends at World Bank



In just about 90 minutes, President Bush is going to speak to the “international development agenda” of his administration and announce his support for Robert Zoellick as President of the World Bank. Both Bob Zoellick and current Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt were at the top of my list to succeed the embattled and self-destructive Paul Wolfowitz as CEO of one of the world’s most important financial institutions. We were all very lucky that the thin-skinned former Senate…

Lest We Forget. . .Scooter Libby (and Fred Thompson!)



Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has noted that convicted former Cheney chief-of-staff Scooter Libby has shown no remorse for his role in obstructing the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert responsibilities for the CIA and has asked for a 30 to 37 month jail sentence for Libby. Here is the 18 page sentencing document (a pdf) filed by Fitzgerald. We also ought not to forget former Senator and potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson’s significant enthusiasm for Scooter Libby’s…

“Energy Independence” Leading to Troubling Policy Prescriptions



In case you’re wondering why I’ve taken issue with so many officials who rail against dependence on imports of foreign oil, wonder no more. The NY Times published a story today on the fight over coal-to-liquid fuels in Congress. Advocates of “energy independence” and “reducing dependence on foreign oil” say ramping up coal-to-liquid production will get us closer to our energy goals. Edmund Andrews writes in the NYT: “[The conflict over coal-to-liquid] reflects a tension, which many lawmakers gloss over,…