Congratulations to Patrick Cockburn, Winner of the 2009 Orwell Prize



(Photo Credit: Clfhcks’ PhotoStream) Congratulations to Patrick Cockburn, whose award-winning articles for the London Review of Books and The Independent provide an excellent primer on the political situation in Baghdad. Cockburn manages to explain the trajectory of events in Iraq without getting lost in the weeds of the complex and fluid situation there.

Iran Denies Dennis Ross Planning a Visit



I’m still in Doha, and Dennis Ross was here in Qatar yesterday meeting government officials and discussing America’s course on Iran. Now, there are denials from the Iranian press that Dennis Ross and two other senior government officials, including Puneet Talwar of the National Security Council, are planning a journey to Tehran.

Doing the the Doha Scene


Universities, think tanks, defense contractors, insurgent groups and new media operations all seem to be leaning towards Doha. Part of George Patton’s own 3rd Army Division is based near Doha. Al Jazeera is headquartered in Doha.

Guest Post by Jonathan Guyer: Green Collar Jobs Branch Out



Jonathan Guyer is a Program Associate at the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force. Although some pundits see the green collar revolution as too good to be true, there are plenty of concrete ways to plant the seeds of a green economy… and Obama isn’t doing that shabby so far.

Will Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy Be Built on Rock or Sand?



Joe Klein has written one of the best 100 day nutshell reviews of the Obama administration’s performance I have read. Klein’s take squares almost perfectly with a piece I have coming out in the next few days in World Politics Review — not there yet though.

Bush Administration’s Dark Side: Torturing a Clerk



Joseph Margulies in the Los Angeles Times offers anyone who wants to defend the Bush administration’s embrace of torture a chilling retort. His bottom line: the administration sold out the values Americans cherish most to torture not a kingpin in the al Qaeda network, but a clerk. Margulies writes: First, they beat him.