STREAMING LIVE: Will the Next President Make the Middle East Irrelevant?


DEM National Convention Announcement - TWN.jpg
Wednesday morning, August 27, between 11 am and 1:30 pm EST or 9 am and 11:30 am mountain time, I’ll be chairing a New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force event in Denver at the Colorado History Museum.
The keynotes are Senator JOHN KERRY (D-MA), Obama National Security Adviser GREG CRAIG, Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School Dean ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, former Congressman and Obama Adviser MEL LEVINE, former German Foreign Minister JOSCHKA FISCHER, and Aspen Institute President (and former CNN Chairman and CEO and TIME Managing Editor) Walter Isaacson.
Our panel will be former Israeli negotiator and New America Foundation Senior Fellow DANIEL LEVY, former Senate Foreign Relations Committee senior staff member and Stonebridge International Senior Adviser JANICE O’CONNOLL, International Crisis Group Middle East and North Africa Program Director and former Senior Adviser for the Middle East to President Clinton ROBERT MALLEY, Arab American Institute President JAMES ZOGBY, and New Yorker Washington correspondent and New America Foundation President STEVE COLL.
I will be chairing and moderating the meeting. Please join us in Denver — or watch on line.
— Steve Clemons


9 comments on “STREAMING LIVE: Will the Next President Make the Middle East Irrelevant?

  1. Paul Norheim says:

    texas dem,
    Pacific Time would be great. I saw some yellow leaves on a tree
    here in Bergen (Norway) this morning, and soon we`ll have Winter
    Time: rain, darkness; then snow and more darkness… I hate it!
    Norway is not designed for human beings!
    Give me Pacific Time at any moment!


  2. texas dem says:

    Pacific Time, baby! Find a deck chair, a view of the ocean, and a cocktail, and practice peace!
    You’re right that Mountain Time is a great concept though. Thanks for pointing it out.


  3. Don Bacon says:

    US foreign military sales should hit $50b this fiscal year, with 3/4 of it to the Middle East, and then we have the $10b or so going for the Iraq thing every month, so I would say the ME has been pretty darn good for the US economy, and what else matters?


  4. Dan Kervick says:

    Provocative title, Steve. Of course, neither candidate will go near it. But they would no doubt support the idea of “eliminating our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.”


  5. Paul Norheim says:

    “between (…) 9 am and 11:30 am mountain time…”
    I must confess that this is the first time I hear the beautiful
    expression “mountain time”. There are plenty of mountains in
    Europe too, but no mountain time, as far as I know – not even in
    Switzerland or Austria. I would imagine that everything moves at
    a very slow pace in such a time zone. What about forest time?
    Grass time? Ocean time? Desert time?
    “Can The Next President Make The Middle East Irrelevant?”
    Are we talking about 4 years here? Or perhaps 8 years?
    At some levels, things are changing rapidly, also in the Middle
    East – as a result of technology, oil, wealth, wars.
    A handful of powerful people in Washington DC decided to
    invade Iraq. Result 5 years later: ca 1 million dead Iraqis, 5
    million refugees, a tectonic shift in the regional balance of
    Then there is the Kaaba in Mecca, the Western Wall in Jerusalem;
    the mosques and the synagogues; the traditions, the texts;
    legends and stories; history, memories.
    One million dead Iraqis, five million refugees: this creates
    more stories, more memories, adds to history.
    Desert time.
    The one million deceased and the five million displaced will
    return, not as ghosts or jinns, but they will certainly return, in
    the political future of the Middle East, the United States and


  6. catclub says:

    Did anyone read about the 5 or 6 carrier task forces being sent to the Persian Gulf?
    Bush still has the capability to make any future president irrelevant to the disaster he can still cause in the Gulf.


  7. jon says:

    Great panel, and an important discussion. I think the title is a little
    overblown. The Middle East will always maintain a level of
    importance. Its residents certainly think it has primacy to them.
    Currently, it’s importance to the US resides in oil, Israel, and as a
    focus for terrorism.
    If Israel is at peace with its neighbors and has domestic tranquility,
    and if the US and the world lessen their reliance on Middle Eastern
    oil, then the impetus for intervention that foments terrorism will
    lessen and, ultimately so will it’s importance to the US.
    Can this happen? Certainly. Will this happen? Perhaps. When will
    this happen? It does not seem to be resolving rapidly.


  8. Carrie says:

    Obama can do it! I just know he can, Mr. Clemons!


  9. kotzabasis says:

    “Can The Next President Make The Middle East Irrelevant?” This topic’s name is a misnomer. It should be named, Can Alice in Wonderland Be Relevant? That the next president will not be a mortal but an immortal being that he will be able to resolve and make “irrelevant” the most complex and abstruse issue that has concentrated the best minds of a legion of capable politicians and their advisers without resolving it for half a century, one has to be a votary of the chiliastic belief that God’s intervention has finally made His entrance in the realm of human affairs.
    One can only depict this Panel Discussion and its bright stars from the political and academic firmament in the inimitable words of a great man of the nineteenth-century, “doltishly sublime…a pathetic burlesque… a world historical piece of buffoonery and an undecipherable hieroglyphic for the understanding…” Karl Marx, The Class Struggle in France.


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