Showing posts from September, 2007

So What About Iran?

( read this )

So many new movies...

I highly recommend In the Valley of Elah with Tommy Lee Jones and Eastern Promises with with Viggo Mortensen . I don't have doubt that the the two actors will be nominated for Oscars. David Denby's review of "In the Valley of Elah" in the New Yorker makes some good points. I'll add that this is the most powerful account of the Iraq War’s devastating impact on this country and the way it forces a genuine American patriot into a hellish introduction into the Reality Based Community. "Eastern Promised" (read review in the Rolling Stones) is an entertaining thriller that uses as a backdrop of gloomy London, the Russian Mafia, sex trafficking, drugs the preparation of Borscht soup. These are two truly contemporary films. They wouldn't have been made in the twentieth century.

Among the Paleos

I had the pleasure to attend and even to address the recent meeting in Washington, DC, of the John Randolph Club(JRC) which was organized by the Rockford Institute which publishes Chronicles magazine. JRC, Rockford and Chronicles are all part of what is known as the Paleoconservative movement. The panel that I shared with with an old friend, Serge Trifkovic focused on the Iraq War and issues related to U.S. foreign policy and the neocon imperial project in the Middle East. It was an intellectual delight to exchange views with so many highly-educated men and women who have contrarian views on domestic and foreign policy issues. Some of the other speakers included Thomas Fleming, Peter Brimelow, Justin Raimondo, and Taki. I just finised reading Fleming's The Morality of Everyday Life: Rediscovering an Ancient Alternative to the Liberal Tradition which is a fantastic read and a great introduction to paleoconservative ideas. Fleming challenges the philosophical foundation

Economic stuff

some of my recent thoughts on the subject: Business Times - 28 Sep 2007 US may have to bid farewell to good times The house of cards is falling amid soaring oil prices, diving home sector and credit crunch IT will be recalled as a Golden Economic Age, the Greenspan Era, or the Goldilocks Economy - but one thing is clear: The good days of doing-away-with-the-business-cycle and spending-like-there-is-no-tomorrow are probably over as far as the US economy is concerned. Indeed, it is becoming obvious that Americans will have to say 'bye, bye' to an age when consumers could take out huge mortgage loans to pay for new homes and spend the weekends shopping for the latest plasma televisions - made in China - as they maxed out on their credit cards. The era when financial institutions could juggle new and increasingly complex ('exotic') financial products that made it possible to extend more credit to the consumers and businesses, including packages of mortgages to those who ha

A Separate Peace: Leaving the country to save it

September 24, 2007 Issue Copyright © 2007 The American Conservative A Separate Peace Leaving the country to save it by Leon Hadar Casablanca, Sept. 17, 2010—The international conference that opened in this beautiful city yesterday is expected to put some final touches on a United Nations-sponsored accord on the future of the new state being set up in Mesopo-tamia, the Confederation of Iraq and Kurdistan (CFIK). The agreement was reached in early July, following months of negotiations in Bern, Switzerland, where the Arab League, Iran, and Turkey, together with representatives of the main ethnic and religious groups in Iraq that have been fighting over control of the country, accepted the formula proposed by the two lead mediators, U.S. Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke and French Foreign Secretary Bernard Kouchner. The agreement calls for the division of the former Iraq into two political entities—the Islamic Republic of Iraq (IRI) and the Kurdish Republic (KR)—that are delineated by


As a graduate of Columbia University (School of Journalism: School of International Affairs: Middle East Institute) and a recpient of many emails re Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "visit" to the campus. I'm still trying to figure out what was that all about: Why did the university invite him (to insult him publicly?) and why did he accept the invitation (to get insulted publicly?). Here is my short take: I'm interested more in learning about Iran's policies as opposed to statements made by its leaders (check-out Anwar Sadat's views on Jews and Israel before 1977 or for that matter Mao's views on America). Abd btw, between 30,000 to 40,000 Jews live in Iran. How many Jews live in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia? and this is interesting: Iran Holocaust Show Sympathetic to Jews. Bottom Line: an Israeli and/or American strike against Iran will ensure that Iran -- its government and its people will turn against Israel. And on a related topic.

More on Syria

The Independent Institute hosted an luncheaon-event on Friday titled Troop Withdrawal: Looking Beyond Iraq in which I spoke about my new policy analysis A Diplomatic Road to Damascus: The Benefits of U.S. Engagement with Syria which has been published by the institute. Ivan Eland who deals with foreign policy in the Independent Institute and David Henderson from the Hoover Institution also spoke on Iraq and America's non-dependency on Mideast oil. And you can read my Reporter-at-Large: Time to Talk to Syria? about the secret negotiations between Israel and Syria on the National Interest Online . A summary of my Independent Institute's policy analysis has been posted on the under American Realism and Engaging Syria. Update: Alon Liel, the former Israeli diplomat involved in the secret negotiaitons with Syria (see my National Interest piece) provides an interesting explanation for the "mysterious" Israeli strike into Syria here. : US Secretary of St

Bush wins the political war on Iraq

Yep. Sorry to say that. But as a member of the Reality-based community I need -- and you need -- to face reality. Here are some of the points I raised in a recent column: In the aftermath of a very hectic week in Washington which focused on US policy in Iraq, there is a growing recognition among lawmakers and pundits that US President George W Bush is going to win the political and legislative war at home over the military war in Iraq. The United States is going to 'stay the course' in Iraq at least until President Bush leaves office in 16 months. The decision on what to do about US military presence in that country will have to be made by the next occupant of the White House - long after Mr Bush concludes his two terms in office. Hence, despite continuing opposition by a large majority of the American people to President Bush's Iraq policy and their support for setting a timeline for withdrawal from that country, the Democratic leaders who control both the Senate and the H

Fed stuff

Some of my recent analyses of the Fed and the U.S. economy: Business Times - 20 Sep 2007 Spectre of 'Bernanke Put' looms Fed's half-point cut in federal funds rate also expected to produce new problems By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT CRITICS of Alan Greenspan have depicted what was seen as an attempt by former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board, Alan Greenspan, to ensure liquidity in the capital markets by lowering interest rates as the 'Greenspan put'. According to this argument, during the Greenspan term in the Fed, investors operated under the expectations that disorder in the capital markets would make it more likely than not that the US central bank would lower interest rates. Hence, this 'Greenspan put' may have created incentives for some investors out to engage in risky and irresponsible behaviour since they expected that lower interest rates would serve to bail them out. Their risky behaviour, in turn, would end up igniting more disrupt

Syria on my mind...

Madame Assad Although you wouldn't know it by Washington's refusal to talk with Syria, the country is becoming increasingly important to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. As Leon Hadar argues, the United States should realize that maintaining diplomatic ties with Syria could help Washington advance its interests on many fronts — including Iraq, Lebanon and peace with Israel (read the rest of American Realism and Engaging Syria.) Also if you happen to be in DC this Friday: I'll be speaking on Troop Withdrawal: Looking Beyond Iraq in a forum sponsored by the Independent Institute. I'll be discussing my A Diplomatic Road to Damascus: The Benefits of U.S. Engagement with Syria which will be published by the institute this month.

Today: Katie Couric Repeats Bush Talking Points

Four decades ago: CBS News (Feb. 27, 1968) - Report from Vietnam

The Surge Scam: Getting Rid of the Goat

From Right Web The Surge Scam: Getting Rid of the Goat Commentary by Leon Hadar | September 12, 2007 IRC Right Web There is an old Jewish story about a man who lives in a very small house with his wife, many children, no space, and very little money. So the man goes to his rabbi for advice: "Rabbi, you are so wise, and here I am living in a small house, with no light and little space. And I am so poor. What can I do?" The rabbi listens and instructs the man: "Go to the market, buy a goat, and put the goat inside the house with you for a week and then come back to me." The man is shocked: "But, rabbi, as I told you, I have very little space and money. If I buy a goat, I won't have any space and I'll lose all my money." But the rabbi insists: "Get that goat!" So the man buys the goat. He takes it home with him. The goat eats the furniture. It's too big and takes up all the space in the small ho

After Withdrawal: Futuristic Scenario

The new issue of The American Conservative includes my "Separate Peace" which is a report from Casablanca, September 17, 2010, three years after the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Please click on the images below:

Israel and the EU

On Ben Piven's blog (I assume that is the name of young man who maintains this clever and cool blog), devotes a long post to the possibility of Israeli membership in the EU, an issue that I've discussed in the past, for example here here and here here. He writes that: The question has long loomed on the political horizon. Will Israel ever become a full-fledged member of the high and mighty European club? This problematic of international convergence encompasses a plethora of diplomatic and geographic considerations that render Israel insecure about its future position among the various supranational blocs. Currently, the political relationship between Israel and Europe is governed by the EU-Israel Association Agreement, as part of the network of Euro-Mediterranean Partnerships, designed to bring the EU closer together with its southern neighbors. For now, the world's lone Jewish state finds itself accepted only by a limited number of its neighboring governments. By ironin