Mahbubani Responds: Western Intellectual and Moral Cowardice on Israel/Palestine is “Stunning”



(Kishore Mahbubani speaks at New America Foundation reception on the “Rise of Asia and the Decline of the West. Pictured are Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt, Kishore Mahbubani, and New America Foundation/American Strategy Program Director Steve Clemons. photo credit: Samuel Sherraden) The following is the fourth installment in an evolving series of guest commentaries on an original post on The Washington Note titled “The Next Fault Line in Foreign Policy Combat: “The U.S. Matters” vs. “No, It Really…

Candidates Offer Joint Statement on Darfur


According to UVA’s Larry Sabato, quoted in the Save Darfur Coalition’s press release, it’s the most significant joint statement by rival presidential candidates since advisors to FDR and Dewey pronounced the shared resolve of their bosses to defeat the Axis powers in 1944. The statement is here. Of course, Darfur has generated tough talk all across the political spectrum, though only a few officials have actually committed substantial political capital to make things happen. Hopefully the candidates will offer specifics,…

The Debate on East vs. West Continues: Anne-Marie Slaughter Challenges Mahbubani



This is the third installment in a debate that The Washington Note is hosting between Kishore Mahbubani and other of the world’s premier intellectuals on international affairs — including G. John Ikenberry, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Parag Khanna, Michael Lind, and others. In response to Mahbubani’s latest book, The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East, I attempted to trigger a debate between Mahbubani, on one hand, who said that the rest is going to have to…

Scott McClellan Knifes the White House



This is my next read. It’s overdue — and I’m sad to see that McClellan basically waited all of this time to tell his story. He should have gotten word to Patrick Fitzgerald that Libby and Rove were coordinating their Valerie Plame stories. But the worst is even more confirmation that George W. Bush wasn’t just hoodwinked by neoconservative zealots on Iraq. I have known that for a long time — but to hear it yet again, Bush’s role in…

New Short “Sea Studios” Documentary: State Strategies on Climate Change



Just today, the Sea Studios Foundation has released a new short documentary on what states are doing on the climate change front. Innovation at the state level is impressive and outpacing by far what is happening at the federal level — but the feds and a new set of international protocols are needed. Watch. — Steve Clemons

Bolton: Israel Should Negotiate With Iran



First, in this National Journal interview, John Bolton slams Barack Obama, arguing that negotiation is not a policy but rather a technique. Yet, most of the interview is dedicated to defending the pre-2006 Bush approach of non-negotiation as policy. Then, Bolton is asked about Israel’s recent decision to negotiate with Syria. Here’s his surprising response: I think they are making a mistake trying to negotiate with Syria now, because I don’t think Syria has any independent ability to make decisions….

Visa Complications



No big surprise, but it turns out that many countries really don’t like having to jump through so many hoops in order to apply for a U.S. visa. In 2003, a consular officer in Moscow told me that when the Russian duo t.A.T.u. applied for a visa, they were asked to sing for the staff to verify their identities. Another consular officer recounted a story about a national champion youth martial arts team applying for visas to go to the…

May We Never Confuse Honest Dissent with Disloyal Subversion



(portrait of President Dwight Eisenhower by Mike Hagel; hanging in Senator Chuck Hagel’s private Senate office) Joe Lieberman may lament what he considers to be the shift of the Democratic Party, but he may also want to reflect on how neoconservatives have so dramatically changed and warped the Republican Party in foreign policy. Spend some time with these lines from Eisenhower, gathered together for The Washington Note by regular reader Michael Beaver. They remind me of Senator Chuck Hagel’s anger…

Grover Norquist Calls for a Humbler Foreign Policy that Rejects Bush/Cheney-style Empire



I have many liberal friends who are not into Grover Norquist — but my policy is to reach out to all parties across the political spectrum to try and balance against the incredibly destructive influence of pugnacious nationalists like John Bolton and neoconservatives like Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and William Kristol. Grover Norquist makes an appeal to his Republican friends to get sane again on foreign policy in this video clip my colleagues and I encouraged him to do for…