Remembering Chalmers Johnson



In November, my Japan Policy Research Institute co-founder Chalmers Johnson passed away. I wrote about him here at the time, but in early December I did an interview with WBEZ Chicago’s Jerome McDonnell which I never posted here and really liked. So, for those interested in Chalmers Johnson who I think was one of the nation’s great intellectual giants of the last century, enjoy. — Steve Clemons

Bill Richardson Makes Right Call on Billy the Kid: Now Make Him Our Cuba Envoy



New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson knows all the great news angles and pardoning Billy the Kid, as he was thinking of doing, would have kept him ablaze in the press for at least a week. Richardson and this pardon may have been the single threat to Anderson Cooper’s & Kathy Griffin’s ratings tonight. But pardoning the Kid would have been a major mistake and would have been something that might have preempted President Barack Obama from putting the talented nearly…

The View from My Window: Chestertown



Greetings from Chestertown, Maryland where I’m currently tallying up President Obama’s recent foreign policy achievements vs. failures and challenges left on the table. I spend a lot of time thinking about US-Cuba policy (in fact, today the Cuban Interests Section celebrates the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution), Israel/Palestine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world. I do think that there are noticeable strengths on the Obama national security team, but the most important thing that the President…

A Year in Toons



2010 certainly wasn’t a dull year. Between Wikileaks and BP’s leaks, D’s and R’s battling for Congress, iPads making many forget what books feel like, and of course the now ubiquitous tea partiers — there was maybe too much material. Meanwhile the Obama team grappled for new solutions in the Middle East and beyond – notably, with Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, and Iran. DC got a new mayor, the US and Russia got a nuclear treaty, and a giant volcano even…

Obama’s Game May Be Picking Up — Even with Tougher Congress



(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Barack Obama’s team is working better and delivering results that just weeks ago seemed out of reach. Tomorrow, I’m going to be offering thoughts on these results and how the Obama White House is gaining ground. But as a preview, I think that the successes are tied to four key factors: (1) Barack Obama seems more comfortable holding the line and fighting the long fight rather than giving ground early in efforts to…

My Thoughts on DADT: On Andrea Mitchell Reports



Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Yesterday on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, I had a discussion with Washington NBC Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker on the implications and political context for the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal. — Steve Clemons

New START Passes, 71-26: Is Pete Rouse the Magic?



It’s an interesting day when Robert Kagan, now at Brookings, is praising the President for his foreign policy and national security achievements. Noting Obama’s success (and I should add John Kerry’s and Joe Biden’s) in pushing through ratification of the New START agreement with Russia, Kagan writes: The Senate’s passage of the resolution of ratification of the New START treaty should be greeted as good news by sensible people interested in a sound American foreign and defense policy. The administration’s…