PunditWire readers may recall my analysis of the intellectually and technically unsatisfactory speech by President Obama in Cairo. Now we have the first major overseas speech given by President Trump, delivered in Saudi Arabia at the heart of the ‘Islamic World’. How did he do?
Lots of Middle East peace meetings had failed, but this was “post-Oslo,” so there was some hope something might come of it this time. There was cautious optimism all around. We knew that none of the parties wanted to be there, but also that James A. Baker had forced them, one by one, into the room by persuasion and a little intimidation behind the scenes. I think all the negotiators wanted the talks to fail, but no one wanted to be the one to blame if they did.
The Great Baker had gotten them together, and clutched them in his bullying embrace. I remember him with his hands stretched out on the table in front of him, head poised like a reptile about to strike, glaring at every delegate individually with intense eye contact. He looked like a pterodactyl about to pounce and kill. A fearful silence took over the room. Only Baker could pull this off. Continue reading The Great James Baker
The speech by President Obama at the UN General Assembly this year did not please everyone…
Continue reading President Obama’s UN Speech: Negotiating with Terrorists
September 10, President Obama rolled out his new anti-IS intentions. Meanwhile two high-octane intellects separately discussed their appraisals of Obama’s foreign policy. I won’t say “tautology,” but each made perfect sense in its own framework, each might have frayed if confronted with the other. I would say, “It would have been fascinating to have them in the same room,” but I am not into reality TV. Continue reading Believing is Seeing
So where are we in the Iran narrative?
I mean no disrespect to the victims of Iran’s terrorist clients, or the existential fears of Israelis and world Jewry, or U.S. security interests in the Middle East by calling it a narrative. Real events do happen in the real world, but people can’t help trying to fit them into larger stories. We love to connect the dots. Storytelling isn’t some atavistic remnant of our pre-scientific past; it’s how our brains are hardwired. Continue reading Iran No-Spoiler Alert