Showing posts from October, 2006

On US-Israel relationship

My analysis on US-Israel relationship, "Special Relationship," has been published in the new issue of The American Conservative. It is not online yet, but you can read it by clicking on the three pics below and printing them:

About Woodward's latest masterpiece (not!)

Woodward’s Post-Electoral Prophecy
by Leon Hadar

October 26, 2006

When people are gossiping in the real world out there, they usually tend to exchange some juicy buzz about the rich and the famous, like the latest love affair of this Hollywood star or that famous athlete. Mix a little bit of sex with money, drugs and a few revealing pics and the new issue of People magazine is on its way to the newsstand.

But in the capital of the world’s only remaining superpower, tongue wagging can be quite a bit more consequential, and the gossip contained in Bob Woodward’s new book, State of Denial, delivers an implicit prophecy of post-electoral Washington. In the run-up to the elections, there is much speculation about the future power balance on the Hill. Amid this speculation is a clear augury of relative importance, if one interprets the message of Woodward’s sources.

In Washington we get titillated by a different kind of gossip. After all, can you imagine The Globe or Hello! Magazine revealing to…

The Humbling of the Hegemon

Please read my recent piece:
The conventional wisdom in Washington is that the North Korean nuclear test is just the latest demonstration of the Bush Doctrine being challenged by an aggressive international player intent on defying the dictates of the current global hegemon.

Hence, if after the Cuban Missile Crisis, John Kennedy could say that the U.S. and the Soviet Union stood eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow blinked, this time it was George W. Bush and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il who stood eyeball to eyeball and… Mr. Bush blinked.(more)

Also re The Iraq Study Group headed by Jim Baker. You get the feeling that these guys coming up with cure for cancer. According to leaks, some of their recommendations include dividing Iraq into three mini-states and getting a "strongman" to lead Iraq. Well, they could have saved a lot of money if they have read my commentary from October 31, 2003:To lower public expectations about Iraq would require the White House to accept tha…

Barney at War: We need to stay the course

“I will not withdraw, even if Laura and George W. are the only ones supporting me,” Bob Woodward quotes Barney as saying. Woodward's new book, Barney at War:Searching for Fire Hydrant, is the third of the Barney-at-War Trilogy. The first book was Barney at War: Winning, Doggy-Style followed by Barney at War: Wolfie is a Bitch.

End of U.S. hegemony in the Middle East

No, it's your humble servant or some other "original thinker" who is making that prediction. It's Establihsment Man Richard Haas in the FT on Tuesday.
CommentCloseA troubling Middle East era dawns
By Richard Haass

Published: October 16 2006 18:31 | Last updated: October 16 2006 18:31

It is just more than two centuries since Napoleon’s arrival in Egypt heralded the advent of a modern Middle East; but now – some 80 years after the demise of the Ottoman Empire, 50 years after the end of colonialism and less than 20 years after the end of the cold war – the American era in the region has ended.

Visions of a new Europe-like Middle East that is peaceful, prosperous and democratic will not be realised. Much more likely is the emergence of a new Middle East that will cause great harm to itself and the world.

The American era was one in which, after the Soviet Union’s demise, the US enjoyed unprece-dented influence and freedom to act. What brought it to an en…

Bush is not Churchill

My George Winston Bush? is now available online.

When Bella Abzug met Richard Nixon

The Nation and The National Interest hosted on Thursday a foreign policy discussion in Washington titled, "Beyond Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs: Can Realism Bridge Left and Right." It sounded very interesting. But I couldn't attend. Dr. Strauss' very, very interesting report on the event First Date: Progressives And Realists Hold Hands. I personally like the idea of the meeting but I don't think that much will come out of it in terms of future cooperation between "realist" progressives and conservatives.

North Korean Nuke

Now... that's Mission Accomplished

And this is Toilet Paper...

And this is my comments:
Business Times - 11 Oct 2006

Cool heads needed to defuse crisis

There is not much the US can do, short of invading N Korea and sparking a war, to prevent Pyongyang from going nuclear


NORTH Korea has now forced itself into the global nuclear-weapons club by conducting a nuclear test over the weekend. And even US President George W Bush, who fancies himself as the chairman of this exclusive club and its unofficial bouncer, finds himself in the same position that his predecessor president Bill Clinton had been when India and Pakistan conducted underground nuclear tests in 1998 and asserted their status as nuclear powers.

Mr Bush can try to mobilise America's allies and the international community against the new kid in the nuclear bloc, but there is not much that Washington can do - short of invading North Korea and sparking a bloody regional war - to prevent…

"A new kind of Neocon?"

The Right Web,an interesting webzine that monitors the the complex neoconservative "Comintern" and its many sub-groups and to which I contribute has just published my A New Kind of Neocon? which focuses on the rise of a "neoconservatism with a smiling Democratic face."

The grown-ups are back?

I totally agree with Justin Raimondo that the Baker Commission is unlikely to salvage the disaster in Iraq. Baker and the guys who run this operation are the proponents of what I call the "Empire lite" project and are responsible for this mess (I believe that one day historians will be discussing the Gulf Wars which started when the Bush-Baker and not Bush-Cheney attacked Iraq. But...if you read Dr. Strauss and David Sanger it's becoming clear that the grown-ups or The Man is returning to set some order in the place. If you're into conspiracy theories, it means that the cabal of CFR/Davos,etc. is going to replace the neocon cabal. Basically it seems that in the struggle for power in the bureaucracy, institutions, interest groups, etc. the neocons are losing. Now... what all of this will mean in practicaly terms, I'm not sure. Probably most of the efforts of Baker and his colleagues is to find a way that would allow Bush to "safe face" as the U.S. takes…

Silencing Tony Judt (Update)

I've received several emails about the alleged efforts to silence Tony Judt whose latest book on post-WWII Europe(see above) I'm reading now. According to the emails and several posts on the blogs, Tony Judt has circulated the following note about an incident that as one of my correspondents was "almost too bizarre to be true." I [Tony Judt] was due to speak this evening, in Manhattan, to a group called Network 20/20 comprising young business leaders, NGO, academics, etc, from
the US and many countries. Topic: the Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.
The meetings are always held at the Polish Consulate in Manhattan
I just received a call from the President of Network 20/20. The talk was
cancelled because the Polish Consulate had been threatened by the
Anti-Defamation League. Serial phone-calls from ADL President Abe Foxman
warned them off hosting anything involving Tony Judt. If they persisted, he
warned, he would smear the charge of Polish collaboration with anti-Israeli

Changing the Middle East Paradigm

The new issue of CATO Policy Report (September/October 2006) includes an summary of the Book Forum held on July 27 to mark the publication of my book, Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Read in pdf or in html.

Kissinger's Peanutsegy and Hitchens

One of the very small number of scoops in Bob Woodward's new book has to do with Dr. K's influence Bush's Iraq policy. I was particularly intrigued by his use of metaphors:In a meeting with presidential speechwriter Michael Gerson in early September 2005, Kissinger was more explicit: Bush needed to resist the pressure to withdraw American troops. He repeated his axiom that the only meaningful exit strategy was victory.

"The president can't be talking about troop reductions as a centerpiece," Kissinger said. "You may want to reduce troops," but troop reduction should not be the objective. "This is not where you put the emphasis."

To emphasize his point, he gave Gerson a copy of a memo he had written to President Richard M. Nixon, dated Sept. 10, 1969. "Withdrawal of U.S. troops will become like salted peanuts to the American public; the more U.S. troops come home, the more will be demanded,"he wrote.
The Salted Peanuts Model of Troop…

George Winston Bush?

The new issue of The American Conservative (October 23, 2006) includes my article, "George Winston Bush? Invocations of Munich and a parade of new Hitlers won't be enough to convince Americans that this is a good war."
Click on the images below (and print them) to read the article which is not yet available online: