Washington National Cathedral Tonight: Brzezinski, Scowcroft, Ignatius, Friedman and More Discuss America and the World


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Tonight at Washington’s National Cathedral, I will be helping to introduce a major event — attended by more than 1,200 people — titled “America and the World: Picking Up the Pieces.”
The program will start at 7 pm and conclude at 9 pm EST. This is the inaugural event of a newly endowed “Nancy and Paul Ignatius Program” established by Washington Post national security columnist David Ignatius and his siblings and family friends.
The event will stream live on the National Cathedral website (and perhaps at TWN — but not sure yet). A video file will also be available for later viewing.
This event will start with opening comments from Washington National Cathedral Dean SAM LLOYD and New America Foundation/American Strategy Program Director STEVE CLEMONS.
Then, DAVID IGNATIUS, ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, and BRENT SCOWCROFT will engage in a discussion about US foreign policy building on their recently released book, America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy.
Then, HAILI CAO of Caijing Magazine in China, Bishop of Batswana TREVOR MWAMBA, Carnegie Endowment Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour, and New York Times foreign affairs columnist THOMAS FRIEDMAN will offer comments.
I think that the book is must read — and look forward to getting the video of this interesting event to the readers here at TWN
— Steve Clemons


9 comments on “Washington National Cathedral Tonight: Brzezinski, Scowcroft, Ignatius, Friedman and More Discuss America and the World

  1. political forum says:

    I think a lot of the US’ future diplomacy is going to have to recognize China’s rise and our own relative decline in world power. We’ll need to rely more on strong alliances in the future. We might also want to consider concepts like a league of democracies or allies we can count on to deal with nations that are protected from UN action by China and Russia in the Security Council.


  2. ptw says:

    Here’s hoping they take into consideration the possible resurgence of the Neocons in the UK …


  3. pacos_gal says:

    Steve, where do you think an Obama presidency and possible Democrat majority in both the house and senate, will stand on Cuba?
    I am concerned about what is going to happen with the possibility of some very serious food shortages in Cuba.
    reference: http://thehavananote.com/
    This is an excellent time to drop the embargo and send food supplies (without conditions) and open the way for investments between our two countries.
    I read what Larry Wilkerson had to say on the Foreign Policy about what his inauguration speech would be and he mentions U.S. – Cuba relations as a priority.
    While I think the time is right and in fact, long over due, will the politicians see it and act.


  4. bks says:

    Steve, please kick Friedman in the cajones and tell him he’s got six months to get the f.ck out of Dodge. Thank you.


  5. DrSteveB says:

    McCain is citing the Cuban Missile Crisis in follow-up to the Biden “Obama’s going to be tested” comments, suggesting that he , McCain has been tested. Sheesh… if Mr. erratic, volatile, no sense of real strategy or jujitsu, decision making by snap intutition, and military solutions to everything all the time had been in charge… I guess it would be bomb, bomb, bomb, Havana and WWW III.
    Kennedy was thoughtful, multitrack, and thinking longterm broad goals, not short term kneejerk response to just local issue.
    Just based on the their history, decision making, and yes including the campaign and election battle?
    Which sounds like more likely to work their way Cuban Missile Crisis the way it played out, versus what the military and pundits were pushing for then… Obamaor McCain?


  6. Mr.Murder says:

    The oil bill is trying to find a way for Bush hijacking our wallets over oil prices for his supporters to profit. He hopes to spin it, for it to be blamed on legitimate political opposition at home and oversight in Iraq abroad.
    Simply stated, let him do it, then point out the fact that “it was always about the oil.”
    Grounds for impeachment.


  7. Carroll says:

    Speaking of chasing one’s own interest.
    Does the book draw any conclusions about exactly what our foreign interest are?
    We’ve been kicking around and asking that questions for years right here on this site.
    It use to be (said) that world stability was the US’s foreign interest and promoting stability (without wars) was our policy.
    And then like a Beverly Hills teenager dropped off at the mall with Mommy’s credit card, congress became empire builders and masters of the universe. Suddenly making US policy meant strongarming other countries policies around the world. And DC still sits around the salon and talks like they can continue do this despite all the current evidence that fewer and fewer countries give a rat’s ass what the US says any more and the US in 9 trillion in debt.
    According to the news…French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President George W. Bush met Oct. 18 to discuss the possibility of a global financial summit. The meeting ended with an American offer to host a global summit in December modeled on the 1944 Bretton Woods system that founded the modern economic system.
    Obviously there are some other countries that are reconsidering the Bretton Woods system in which other countries got access to our economy in exchange for US military supremecy. The rest of the world doesn’t want their financial stability tied to the US any longer and doesn’t trust the US to regulate it’s own financial house.
    I don’t think our US problem is one of a simple ‘liquidity freeze’…I think our ‘fake’ market is just that, a glorious fake and the chickens coming home to roost were only delayed by the bailout, not stopped completely.
    Anyway the US policy people can keep on ‘debating’ but what they think and have to say may mean little to nothing unless they have come down to earth enough (which I doubt) to factor this in. US foreign policy may have to be built around what the rest of the world thinks now.
    I have finally gotten tired of this ‘debating’, it leads nowhere except to more ‘debating’..like congressional hearings it goes no where…reaches no conclusions..produces nothing concrete, makes to real corrections.
    It’s debate for sheer purpose of hearing their own voices and appearing to be doing something and every debate ends with plans for another hearing or debate.
    Some day, somewhere, someone has to come to an actual conclusion and take action.
    I think I will go watch V for Vendetta for the 100th time. It makes more sense.


  8. Steve Clemons says:

    JohnH….I like your posts, and I have no aversion to discussing oil. I just — at this point — find the subject matter predictable, an obvious issue, and boring. I’m busy — and I really don’t have any interest or need to be prodded or heckled into discussing issues you’d like to see discussed.
    If you want to discuss them, feel free — I give you space on the blog — but seriously, I write a lot of words every week on a ton of different subjects that matter to me. I often run into subjects that others want me to discuss — and sometimes I ignore their otherwise good counsel.
    But when I see notes like yours above — my typical response is to doubly ignore the suggestion because you are not offering your counsel constructively.
    So, someday — i may go into the subject — but not interested in chasing your interests. I’m chasing my own.
    best, steve clemons


  9. JohnH says:

    Too bad you can’t ask your esteemed speakers about this: “President George W. Bush this week rejected a Congressional effort to bar the U. S. military from controlling Iraq’s oil resources.”
    “Before signing a bill authorizing military funding earlier this week, the president issued a “signing statement”, saying that he would not be bound by a provision in the bill prohibiting expenditure of funds “to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.”
    One blogger notes “I think it’s really interesting that while the bush administration are putting the last touches on this long term agreement with their Iraqi allies, bush issued a new presidential signing statement last week specifically to allow the U.S. government to control Iraq’s oil resources! The statement was issued as a response to a congressional law that prohibits the U.S. government from taking control over Iraq’s oil and gas resources.”
    I’m sure that signing statement will motivate the Iraqi Parliament to sign the “SOFA”(NOT!).
    And why do people like Steve Clemons adamantly refuse to talk about oil as a major part of the calculus of US Middle East policy? Ignoring it creates a vacuum which gets filled by unscrupulous political leaders waxing eloquent with vacuous BS about WMDs, freedom and democracy, etc. Is that the foreign policy behavior that Clemons really wants to encourage with his silence, or is he silent for other reasons? It’s hard to tell.


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