Comments on this Blog



I am going to enable the comment function on this blog again. But I need to say that the quality of discussion and exchange on line when I started this blog was better for the first couple of years than it is now. I want to return to the quality of that exchange. Thus, while I will not monitor every post — ANY post about which I receive a justifiable complaint will be removed. Any ad hominem attacks on any…

Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program



ArmsControlWonk’s Jeffrey Lewis and nuclear weapons watcher Paul Kerr turn out to be the winners of the what-is-Iran-really-doing prize. In July 2005 and then again November 2006, they reviewed the evidence and suggested that Iran’s concerns about a confrontation with the UN and the bureaucratic reorganization of its nuclear activities led it to shut down its covert weapons program. President George Bush said today, quite specifically and emphatically, “Iran shut its weapons program down.” He also said that there was…

Blog Comments


I have received quite a few thoughtful, sensible appeals from regular TWN readers, commenters, and emailers to turn the comments function back on. I will do so — but only after I have time to write and draft a statement of what I believe constitutes fair and worthwhile commentary on this blog. I am too actively involved in the foreign policy issues I am concerned about to allow the comments section of the blog to become the major distraction than…

Get Peacekeeping Right



“Should the anticipated discussions fail to clear the path to the deployment of an effective force, the international community will be confronted with hard choices: do we move ahead with the deployment of a force that will not make a difference, that will not have the capability to defend itself, and that carries the risk of humiliation of the Security Council and the United Nations, and tragic failure for the people of Darfur.” — UN Under Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guehenno in…

More on Why Bush Won’t Bomb Iran



For the “bomb Iran now hawks”, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran — just released — has probably ruined their holiday season. (here is the pdf) The report documents the high likelihood that Iran is no where near nuclear weapons capacity — and probably not pointed (at this time) in that direction. The implications, however, of this NIE on Iran are nuanced, complex and important. These findings reinforce the importance of getting a political resolution to Iran’s “power pretensions” in…

Israel’s Apartheid Problem



A lot of folks slammed Jimmy Carter for using the word — but when Israel Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert says the same thing, it just makes the problem in Israel more tangible and real. This from the BBC: Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said failure to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians would spell the end of the State of Israel. He warned of a “South African-style struggle” which Israel would lose if a Palestinian state was not…

Hanging with Haim Ramon and Ephraim Sneh



Israel Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon Tonight, I’ll be up at the big New York confab of the Israel Policy Forum titled “Two States: A Global Imperative” and hanging out with some interesting folks — including Israel Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon and former Deputy Defense Minister and Knesset Member Ephraim Sneh. Haim Ramon is the key, behind-the-scenes architect of the Kadima Party and is a brilliant political animal. Sneh is one tough general who, like Ramon, is completely committed…

Media Alert: Sam Seder Show



This evening between 6:00 and 6:30 pm EST, Daniel Levy and I will be talking with Air America talk show host Sam Seder on the outcome of the Annapolis Summit and also about the state of the American economy. — Steve Clemons Update: For those interested, the economic policy program I moderated on Friday is on C-Span right now (5:00 pm EST).

<em>Taxi to the Dark Side</em> — Screening Wednesday, 5 December



The Washington Note is sponsoring a Washington, DC preview screening of Alex Gibney’s powerful new film, Taxi to the Dark Side. The film already has a Gotham Award Nomination as best documentary and won the Best Documentary Prize at the Chicago Film Festival, the Newport International Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Festival. I’ve seen it — and it’s a devastating chronicle of the Bush administration’s Darkness at Noon-style kidnapping, detainment, and torture practices that have been less part of…