Liberal Democracy or Empire?

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The question of how and when the United States should promote democracy abroad rose to the forefront of our nation’s foreign policy discourse following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and reached its apex in President Bush’s Second Inaugural Address. In light of the recent focus on the domestic political systems of states in the Middle East and elsewhere, it is helpful to trace the roots of democracy promotion in American foreign policy. In an unusually cogent lecture delivered…

Kreisky Forum: Politcal Blogging, Elections, and the End of the World As We Knew It

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Tonight, I spoke at a forum in Vienna at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue. The topic I was speaking on was “Electing the American President: Do New Media, Blogs and the Internet Make any Difference?” About 200 people attended. The place was packed; a really terrific, impressive group of young people represented about half the audience. I had a great time, but I have to admit that somewhat like Barack Obama in the debate last Friday (from my…

Bush Will Address the Nation, 7:45 am EST

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George W. Bush will address the country (and world) at 7:45 am EST Tuesday morning. Global markets are falling in the aftermath of the single largest point drop of the New York stock exchange in American history. There is no bail-out deal for the American financial sector, and global credit markets are choking up. The banking and financial industries will be brought to their knees in the coming days — but at the same time, I think that we are…

From Surviving Nuclear Knife Edge to 100 Pinpricks: The Next U.S. Foreign Policy

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Sunday in the Los Angeles Times, an excerpt ran of a new book that was partly sponsored by the New America Foundation/American Strategy Progam titled America and the World: Conversations on the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy with Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and David Ignatius. On the same subject, I recently hosted former National Security Advisors Brzezinski and Scowcroft for a meeting which is watchable above. And Michiko Kakutani gave the book an outstanding review in the New York Times….

Mozart Rave and a Drink

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Well, you’ll get more than Mozart — but if you love music and want to visit one of the funkiest cafes and restaurants — visit Santo Spirito in Vienna. I enjoy the website for the music (actually it’s the same selection over and over again) — just makes the world seem better — despite America’s nation’s moral, military, and economic implosion which I can see in more clear outline from abroad. If you meet the owner, he’s gruff. You have…

Bail-Out Becomes Buy-In?

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I spoke to former World Bank Chief Economist and Initiative for Policy Dialogue President Joseph Stiglitz on Saturday by phone, and he shared with me many of the same points that he does in this excellent article, “A Better Bailout,” on how we needed to structure a financial markets action plan. He shared a number of concerns with me about the administration’s approach to the financial crisis — but the biggest concern he had was that Paulson was trying to…

Taxi to The Dark Side to Run on HBO, Monday 9 pm

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Taxi to the Dark Side is going to run tonight on HBO, 9 pm EST. If you haven’t seen it, the Oscar winning documentary by Alex Gibney is a must see. Here are a few short clips of interviews I did with some of those featured in the film. The first (above) is with SPC Damien Corsetti about his experiences at Bagram Prison and FBI special agent and interrogator Jack Cloonan. Others follow: Steve Clemons interviews Alex Gibney Steve Clemons…

Paul Newman: Tears and Thanks for the Passing of a Global Great

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It’s amazing that the young, talented, got-everything-he-wanted Paul Newman turned into the globally aware and socially concerned activist he became. On a number of levels, I think that Matt Damon — and even Ben Affleck — resemble at their young age Paul Newman in spirit and human conscientiousness. I tried last year to engineer a request from ABC White House Correspondent Ann Compton to Paul Newman to serve as Master of Ceremonies of the 2008 White House Correspondents Dinner. Newman…