Sorry for being down a day. Lots of stuff going down.
I have returned from my various secret caves and hide-outs around the Mediterranean and have been getting my pace back at work — and also sorting out what I think about John Bolton’s recess appointment, the upcoming Roberts hearings, the mounting daily death tolls in Iraq, Iran’s aggressive nuclear pretensions, the Gaza pullout, Cindy Sheehan’s heart-wrenching Bush ranch vigil, and even the impact of a “frothy” housing market on America’s ability to pay for its extensive international commitments.
On John Bolton, I was going to seek an interview. I might even be able to get one — but I have since decided not to.
I don’t want to mock Mr. Bolton now. He has the job. Do it, John. Show us that you don’t need to be “managed” and that you can serve the interests of the President, the Secretary of State and the American people in a way that serves us and the U.N. well.
He will either “change,” as Senator Lindsey Graham once told me, or he will be out. John Bolton is being watched like a hawk — every utterance, every step. TWN will be watching very closely, and reporting — but this is the time to see whether or not Bolton can move beyond our collective concerns about him.
I suspect that Bolton is going to have some melt-down moments, and one informed observer — very close to the process — shared with me that if Bolton stays true to his old form, America’s latitude in the U.N. will shrink, and other thoroughfares will skirt right around Bolton to Rice and Zoellick. I’m not so sure as Bolton is a skilled saboteur of other thoroughfares, but it’s not something I want to be right about.
On other fronts, I am extremely focused in a team effort to get key policy practitioners to get on a smarter course in thinking about and responding to terrorism.
I have been thinking about this for quite a while now — and was on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s side in 2003 when he implied that police and military responses alone may only be assuring a constant stream of terrorists.
The two-day event I am helping to direct will be huge, internationally webcast, and hopefully high-impact. The event is called Terrorism, Security, and America’s Purpose: Towards a More Comprehensive Strategy.
Here is the website, conference information (agenda to be posted soon), and registration information. Stay tuned on that.
Lastly, I haven’t read this piece yet but know I have at least one zinger quote in this intriguing article, “The Strategic Class,” by The Nation‘s Ari Berman.
I’m going to read it now.
More later. . .seriously.
— Steve Clemons