Omer Taspinar On The Recent Arrests in Turkey



Brookings Institution Turkey Project Director Ömer Taspinar offers his thoughts on the recent wave of arrests of former and current military officials in Turkey. Taspinar is among the most astute and objective analysts of Turkish politics in Washington and this quick snippet captures the essence of the political events unfolding there. I helped organize a forum last week at which Taspinar spoke, and the most striking aspect of his presentation was his comment that many secular Turks from the bureaucracy…

Guest Post by Gail Reed: Reactions to Cuban Migration Talks



This is a guest “note” from Gail Reed, an American journalist based in Havana. Her comments are from an email, published at The Washington Note with her permission, commenting on the recent U.S.-Cuban migration talks and Cuba’s declaration released after the talks concluded: …it seems that the most important points to pick up from the Cuban declaration on the migration talks are: 1) Mutual respect recognized: this may seem like standard language for such communiqués, but it certainly is not…

Doha, Political Islam, A Darfur Deal, and DC



Greetings folks. I’m departing Doha in a few hours after having spent an interestin day at the Sheraton here watching the Sudan/Darfur peace agreement signing ceremony — as well as participating in a significant conference titled “Political Islam: Options and Priorities” sponsored by the Al Jazeera Center for Studies. I’ll post more on the conference when the video of the meeting is posted (though I think most of it will be in Arabic — we’ll see). Back to DC Wednesday….

President Obama, A CEO Would Change Up the Team



President Obama’s closest handlers — Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, and Robert Gibbs — are under fire from a number of observers, including this one, for deploying the President’s political capital badly, failing to animate and empower the considerable policy and political talent they have appointed to key positions on their team, poorly sequencing their policy gambits, and not having “plan B’s” ready to go after they threw down the gauntlet on some challenge (Israeli settlements comes to mind),…

Surviving While Grabbing the Third Rail



This is a guest note by Stephen M. Walt. The essay, which TWN encouraged Walt to publish after outlines of it appeared in private correspondence, first appeared on Walt’s Foreign Policy blog. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. On Grabbing the Third Rail Last week a colleague who has been facing repeated and unfair attacks in the media and the blogosphere (for making arguments that cut against the conventional…

Guest Post by Anya Landau French: Just Keep Talking



(Photo at: Anya Landau French directs the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba Policy Initiative. This post was originally published at The Havana Note. Last week in Havana, U.S. and Cuban officials met for a second round of bilateral migration talks – talks which customarily happen twice a year following 1994/1995 accords and had been suspended since January 2004. (U.S. and Cuban officials also discussed direct mail service resumption in New York last fall). With no announcement following these latest talks and…

Milbank Shows Rahm Some Love



This morning in the Washington Post, Dana Milbank challenges Edward Luce, Leslie Gelb, Jane Hamsher and me on our recent pieces explicating the management and policymaking mess among Barack Obama’s core team. (Here is my piece.) Let’s set aside for another post the fact that Milbank’s column seems to channel Rahm directly. The piece conveys a detailed knowledge of what exactly Rahm advised Obama to do — and how exactly Obama allegedly rebuffed Emanuel. So, Rahm, or Milbank on his…

Future Shock: Did Rahm Create the Tea Partiers?



Before I get too far into this post, while I don’t believe that Rahm Emanuel is serving the Obama White House well as Chief of Staff, I do think he’s brilliant and would excel in other roles for the team — but that is not the purpose of this post. Given current trends in the country, I can easily imagine “conspiracy theorists” (not me) in the future looking back in history at the Tea Party movement as having been a…