Beyond Rangoon: Stories Beneath the Surface of Myanmar Reporting

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As all eyes turn to Myanmar with brutal crackdowns by the military junta (including reports of a Japanese reporter murdered and school children being fired upon), international condemnations, speculation of a “saffron revolution,” and China caught between a policy of noninterference and brutal crackdown on its borders that could turn into a public relations disaster, there are stories at the micro-political level that deserve to be highlighted for the inspiration they might offer. First, the role that technology has played…

Bolton Supported the Law of the Sea Before He Opposed It

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It turns out that John Bolton’s recent lobbying against the Law of the Sea represents a major flip-flop. I’ve known about this exchange for quite a while, but it doesn’t commit Bolton to personal support of the treaty: BOLTON: The administration has submitted the Law of the Sea Treaty as one of its priorities, and I support that. SARBANES: Simply because it’s an administration position, or does that represent your own view of it? BOLTON: Well, I haven’t personally read…

John Bolton’s Tribal Wars Inside the Bush Administration

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There are many including this writer who have been documenting the internal decision-making divisions inside President Bush’s White House. The response that tends to be offered back is that we are misreading the situation, or that all of President Bush’s people are pulling together even if there are serious differences in the debate when policy is being hammered out. But yesterday, I learned of something that John Bolton did during the first George W. Bush term that reflects the deep…

Lugar Calls Out Right-Wing Hypocrites

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Some of the leading opponents of the Law of the Sea, ironically, feel very strongly that we should trust the judgments of military personnel on military matters. Jim Inhofe: “I don’t think it’s too much to expect for our leaders in Washington to keep an open mind and get the facts before drawing their conclusions. I, like the other 534 members of Congress, am not a General and do not presume to be. That is why I will yield to…

Joe Wilson and Hillary’s Vote on Kyl-Lieberman

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Joe Wilson is off in Nevada campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Joe and I think similarly on many national security issues — and we have like-minded disdain for what Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, John Bolton and others have done to America’s global position. But I hope someone in Nevada will ask Joe Wilson how he squares Hillary’s vote in favor of the Kyl-Lieberman Iran resolution yesterday. Hagel and Lugar voted against the resolution. Jim Web did too. But Hillary helped give the…

Dan Rather’s Worthy Crusade

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I’m not in a place to judge the veracity of Dan Rather’s reporting on Bush’s National Guard service, but as usual, Sidney Blumenthal has done an extraordinary job sequencing the bits and pieces of the Rather CBS story and suggests that Rather’s $70 million lawsuit against CBS will animate some much needed truth-telling about Bush’s slippery story on military service. Blumenthal writes: If the court accepts [Rather’s] suit, however, launching the adjudication of legal issues such as breach of fiduciary…

Real Quick on Chris Dodd

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A lot of folks out there think I’m a sucker for good email notes — or very effective, personalized fundraising appeals like Hillary Clinton’s invitation to all of us (including me) to possibly have lunch with her, after she picked up the groceries and with her husband dropping by to say hello. But I really liked this note from Chris Dodd — received just a few moments ago while I’m up covering the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Senator…

Buying Out Thugs – A View In Retrospect

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Juan Cole has picked up stories from Reuters and Harpers on a transcript of President Bush’s conversation with Spanish President Aznar that confirms that he had no intention of seriously pursuing UN Security Council support and was exceedingly optimistic over the outcomes of Iraq. But here’s the kicker — the President was offered a deal by the Egyptians but passed on an opportunity to buy Saddam out, have him exiled to Saudi Arabia, and avoid a US occupation that has…

Beyond the Bleak Binary Choice Revisited: Countering a Nuclear-Armed Iran with Dr. Gary Samore

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Note the correction — the event will be from 3:00pm-4:30pm If you are near Dupont Circle on Thursday afternoon, you should drop by the New America Foundation to hear Council on Foreign Relations Vice President and Director of Studies, Dr. Gary Samore, in an event hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the Nuclear Strategy and Nonproliferation Initiative and publisher of Arms Control Wonk. The event “Countering a Nuclear-Armed Iran” will focus on how we might develop new options to…