When You Wake Up Monday. . .

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. . .you will see that the world has moved close to the financial brink again given the debt default by Dubai World. Some believe that Dubai’s confidence-jarring effort to reschedule its debt servicing may trigger a round of other sovereign debt defaults around the globe. Three pages of copy on this crisis in the Financial Times. Just a bare glimpse of it in The Washington Post. This is a very serious crisis that very well could trigger other bubbles…

Strategic Readjustment and India

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The United States, during the Bush administration, started a very serious change of course in its strategic relationship with India — a huge democratic nation that has been at best ambivalent about relations with the United States for decades. Barack Obama’s decision to throw his first State Dinner honoring the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh underscores this shift — which needs to happen without ratcheting up fears in Pakistan and China. Steve Coll — one of America’s leading experts…

Thankful that Obama Has Helped Make Dissent and Debate Patriotic and Safe Again

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(This essay was commissioned by and first appeared in The Huffington Post.) Arianna Huffington asked me (and a sizeable gaggle of her other pals) to write something up for Thanksgiving. What am I thankful for? What moves me on Thanksgiving? My significant other lets me know regularly how lucky we are to have our health, a couple of nice homes, jobs that pay reasonably well, friends and dogs who love us, family that we seem closer to each year, and…

Pugnacious Netanyahu Pushes U.S. to Call for 1967 Borders

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This is a guest note by Daniel Levy, who served as the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and directs the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force. Pugnacious Netanyahu Pushes U.S. to Call for 1967 Borders Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced yesterday his cabinet’s decision, “To suspend new construction in Judea and Samaria.” (Yes, they still call it Judea and Samaria). The Obama Administration responded within hours with a statement released by Secretary of State Clinton followed by a…

Maureen Dowd’s Courageous Clarity on Obama White House

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Maureen Dowd has somehow inspired an industry of folks who really dislike her work as an essayist. I ran into this when I wrote approvingly of an incredible Inauguration party she hosted at her home and which I attended. It was her “Star Spangled Inauguration Party”, and I wore a star spangled tie. Despite a big chunk of Hollywood there, no one dressed festively — but I have to give credit to Maureen (who wanted the tie), Ron Howard, David…

The Right Speech Barack Obama Won’t Give on Afghanistan

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The White House Office of the Press Secretary A New Way Forward: The President’s Address to the American People on Afghan Strategy Oval Office For Immediate Release — December 2nd 8:01 P.M. EDT My fellow Americans, On March 28th, I outlined what I called a “comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.” It was ambitious. It was also an attempt to fulfill a campaign promise that was heartfelt. I believed — and still believe — that, in invading Iraq, a…

Alarming Rise in Military Suicides

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John Donnelly of Congressional Quarterly has a disconcerting piece out today noting that more US military personnel are dying from suicide than from either of the US military engagements in Iraq or Afghanistan. Donnelly writes: More U.S. military personnel have taken their own lives so far in 2009 than have been killed in either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars this year, according to a Congressional Quarterly compilation of the latest statistics from the armed services. As of Tuesday, at least…

Media Alert: Turkeys, Afghanistan and Copenhagen

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Just a friendly head’s up that at 1:06 pm sharp, I’ll be chatting with the erudite Jerome McDonnell on Chicago Public Radio’s “Worldview.” Along with Brian Lehrer, Warren Olney, Diane Rehm, and a few others, Jerome is one of the best ideas wrestlers in serious radio journalism. The topic will be Afghanistan. Then on CNN sometime during the day, I will be chatting about President Obama’s Afghanistan course — and perhaps something about his announcement that he will be going…

Jeremy Ben-Ami: George Mitchell Needs to Take Bigger, Bolder Steps

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Fadi Elsalameen, Publisher of The Palestine Note, and I interviewed J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami about a number of issues in the wake of J Street’s highly successful national policy conference last month. In this clip, Ben-Ami responds to questions about Iran, Obama’s foreign policy course, the effectiveness of Israel-Palestine Envoy George Mitchell, and about the task and complications of being a progressive, pro-Israel organization when so many want to approach Middle East issues in a zero sum frame….