WALTER ISAACSON: We’d put it on the air and by nature of a 24 hour TV network, it was replaying over and over again. So, you would get phone calls. You would get advertisers. You would get the Administration.
BILL MOYERS: You said pressure from advertisers?
WALTER ISAACSON: Not direct pressure from advertisers, but big people in corporations were calling up and saying, ‘You’re being anti-American here.’ — May 2007
A you know, Dear Reader, we here collectively identified Obama’s peculiarly militant brand of passive aggressiveness in office beginning in March 2009. Recall that we all witnessed the Rightist initial fabrication of the Tea Party (and it was astro-turfed at the start, we were there for some of the discussions). And Obama did nothing. Recall(…)
One of NSA Director Keith Alexander’s cruelest feats? Forcing some of his fiercest critics (us) again to defend American self-interest and the role and purpose of intelligence. Despite NSA’s (and the Community’s) wanton, flagrant contempt for both. If Neocons were America’s malignant Id at her moment of apogee, then as Nemesis follows Hubris, they ushered(…)
Cut to scene: Ed Snowden flees to Hong Kong, spending his 30th birthday there at the Russian consulate. Yet we are told his immediate run to Moscow was both unplanned and caught the Russian government completely by surprise. Some tabulate the cascading coincidences intertwining Snowden and Russian operatives or their known consorts. The sheer weight(…)
Episode Recap State of play so far since our last episode. Putin bemoans now being stuck with an unwelcome Christmas present (Snowden). Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia offer Snowden asylum but can’t get him there. The man of the hour meanwhile finally seeks asylum in Russia yet’s vague about ceasing public ‘anti-U.S. activities’, a pre-condition set(…)
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three colleagues’ deaths in Libya and Egyptians storming embassy walls underscore the Arab Spring was always the Arab Decade. Both events also should give further pause to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) sentimentalists blithely calling for military action against Assad. Focus On Each Country And Its Politics Contrary to many media(…)
Stephen Walt’s school season trend piece, Top 10 Things Would Be Foreign Policy Wonks Should Study (notice the meme-friendly Top 10ism) deserves a Gentleman’s C+/B-. His list is safe. History? Check. Economics? And so on. Granted, Walt’s list is click bait for Volvo Moms and Dads driving Little Ones to a dorm for the first(…)
Because we do not always get the infographics we need, but what we deserve. Or something like that. We tried to put Pussy Riot, Putin and the West in the juxtapose most familiar to a meme addled society. We think it captures the moment in Russia and the West. Clicking on the image below will(…)
Putin must be wondering how did it all go so wrong? So fast? First, demonstrators marred his moment returning to overt power. Putin even cried a bit. Former Finance Minister Kudrin and others broke ranks and seek his overthrow. Lately, he’s blamed for inept responses to massive flooding and failed rocket launches. Putin’s presidency is(…)
Very little actually happened during Obama’s stunt visit to Kabul. His mastery of obfuscating optics remains unmatched: America is leaving in 2014 to rebuild at home, except we are staying to ‘finish the mission’. The most cheeky line? His declaration that ‘the mission is on a clear path to success.’ Do tell. Pure focus group(…)
Moscow’s pronouncement that Putin deems Obama weak shows how Obama’s Goldilocks syndrome poses risks for geopolitical miscalculations. A weak U.S. president destabilizes today’s even more anarchic than usual international order (as defined in Waltzian terms) because U.S. commitments and power are unpredictable. That’s not really Obama – although the resemblance is undeniable. Obama’s Goldilocks syndrome(…)