Showing posts from May 18, 2007

Sarkozy's plan for a Mediterranean bloc

The new French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to form a Mediterranean Union, which will include also the Arabs states in the region and Israel, has received no attention in the media here. As someone who has called for an increasing role for the European Union in the Middle East and Israeli accession into the EU, I'm very interested in Sarkozy's idea. According to the IHT: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also on Sarkozy's mind. In his speech Sunday, he described the Mediterranean as the region "where everything is being played out." He added: "We must surmount all the hatreds to make space for a great dream of peace and civilization." And: In Israel, where Sarkozy's Toulon speech was circulated in diplomatic circles, the reaction was also positive. When Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres called Sarkozy on Monday to congratulate him on his election victory, he said that the idea of a Mediterranean Union was "very important"

The "brilliant" Wolfowitz

You'll be reading many stories in the coming days explaining that notwithstanding the mess in Iraq and the World Bank, "everyone" or "the common view in Washington is" that Wolfowitz is "brilliant" and "smart." Right. In fact, I had chosen Wolfowitz as my Man of the Year for 2005 just after he was selected by Bush as the President of the World Bank. here . It's worth rereading today as is my comparison between Wolfowitz and Kennan: Anyone reading this blog is probably familiar with Wolfowitz, the leading neocon foreign policy thinker and his role in the Iraq War. If you are not, please read George Packer's excellent The Assassin's Gate which provides a somewhat sympathetic profile of the man. The reason I've chosen him is not because of Iraq but because of his selection as the new chief of the World Bank where he is going to spend the coming years traveling around the globe and wining and dining with the rich and the mighty (p