Dispatch from Iran: Some Police Soften on Neda’s Day

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This is an email from Tehran drafted by a young woman protester who is a friend of a friend of mine. I have agreed to run it on TWN and know that it may run elsewhere in ther intenet. I have confirmed its authenticity. It is interesting to note the relatively soft posture of the police — Steve Clemons This is going to be a slightly disjointed email, I’m sorry in advanced. It’s already well passed midnight here and we…

Turkey’s EU Bid Requires Patience on Both Sides

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I have a piece up this morning on World Politics Review that advises both Europe and Turkey to exercise patience in their accession negotiations. From the article: Ankara is currently enjoying a moment of self-satisfaction. Its economy has fared well in recent years, and it maintains friendly relations with nearly all of its feuding neighbors. Turkey’s potential as an energy hub, its role as a diplomatic interlocutor between its neighbors and the West, and President Barack Obama’s high-profile visit in…

Guest Post by Jon Weinberg: Things Fall Apart — Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet Row

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Jon Weinberg is a research intern at the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force. Over the past week and a half, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has lost over half his cabinet (twelve out of twenty-one original appointees) as well as the support of many of his conservative allies, most notably the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad’s recent difficulties began after a rare letter of condemnation from the Supreme Leader was read on national television and forced Esfandiar…

China-US Strategic & Economic Dialogue Discussion

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Steve Clemons standing next to statue commemorating Xu Xiake (1587-1641), who chronicled his travels throughout China during the late Ming Dynasty. This picture was taken at Liyuan Park on the edge of Lake Taihu in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. (photo credit: Peter Pi) For those interested in US-China relations, here is a digital clip of a discussion in which I participated on the Diane Rehm Show yesterday. Others on the panel including Albert Keidel, former acting director of the Department…

Obama likes Bud Light!? What are YOU Drinking Tonight?

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President Obama is going to help mend the rift between African-Americans who have experienced a life of racial-profiling and misunderstood policemen with an early evening White House therapy session involving beer consumption. According to this report, Henry Louis Gates has ordered “Red Stripe”. Cambride, Massachusetts police sergeant James Crowley will have “Blue Moon”. Barack Obama wants a “Bud Light”. Bud Light? After reading Richard Wolffe’s interesting, Obama-instigated and approved book Renegade: The Making of an American President, Obama really comes…

Guest Post by Patrick Doherty: Embrace the Economic Changes

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The monthly food ration for a Cuban adult. Photo credit Javier Galeano/AP. Patrick Doherty directs the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative. One of the most hopeful signs that both the U.S. policy of regime change and the Cuban policy of total resistance is melting was the joint military exercise at the Northeast gate of Guantanamo earlier this month. It is just really hard to maintain that the other side is all that bad if our armed forces are…

The US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue Power Dinner: Love Fest Clarifies Obama Priorities

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Former AIG Chairman Maurice “Hank” Greenberg waited outside the Ritz Carlton in a very long line of well-heeled Washingtonians waiting to be allowed by the organizers to access air-conditioning and get into the event ballroom. I clicked my iPhone weather application and it was 89 degrees outside — high humidity. Lots of old people in that line. The event was organized by the National Committee on US-China Relations, the US-China Business Council and a long roster of co-sponsoring groups. Some…