June 2006 Archives

Editor's Inbox  |  June 13, 2006 9:14 PM

What Would Kissinger Do?

Tips for the Bush administration on how to talk to your enemies can be found in two documents detailing Henry Kissinger's secret diplomacy, just released by The National Security Archive.

One details an astonishingly frank June 20, 1972 meeting between Kissinger and Chinese premier Zhou Enlai. (Taking the "EYES ONLY" notes at the meeting is a young National Security Council staffer by the name of John Negroponte.)

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Editor's Inbox  |  June 15, 2006 5:00 AM

A Very Modern Moukhabarat

The spy world's new passion for openness seems to be reaching even the murky Middle East. That includes Jordan's vaunted General Intelligence Department, which helped locate the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to reports in the Los Angeles Times and The Post. Once upon a time, Jordanians talked about their spy service only in whispers. But now the GID has its own web site, which includes a cheery message from the new director, Mag. Gen. Mohammad Dahabi, a list of "Frequently Asked Questions" and even a "Contact Us" email link. Maybe that's how Zarqawi was nailed.

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Comment Roundup  |  June 16, 2006 11:30 AM

Iran Discussion -- Bravo to Readers

I have just read through the thread of comments posted to our initial discussion of whether a future Iran could be stabilizing. It's a terrific debate, without the nastiness often found on the Web. My count shows that readers who posted are much more hopeful than our panel of commentators that a future Iran could in fact be stabilizing, with a roughly 60/40 tilt in that direction. I'll summarize the thread, and then offer my own comment.

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Editor's Inbox  |  June 19, 2006 9:49 AM

Korean Missile Message

The North Koreans play the brinksmanship game with chilling calculation, and experience shows that they don't signal moves they aren't in fact prepared to carry out. So the world needs to pay careful attention to the intelligence reports that surfaced this weekend that the North Korean military has pumped liquid fuel into one of its Taepodong 2 ICBMs, in preparation for a test launch. Intelligence experts quoted in news reports noted that once liquid fuel goes into a missile, it's very tricky to get it out. So despite warnings by the Bush administration (reportedly sent directly to the North Korean mission at the the United Nations) it's likely the test will go forward. Then what?

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Guest Analyst  |  June 20, 2006 9:45 AM

Iran -- Polls Apart

In our inbox, a message from rising-star analyst Emile Hokayem highlights a new poll that says Turks, Saudis and Pakistanis actually favor Iran developing nuclear weapons. But wait: He cites another recent poll that finds the percentage of Iranians who favor developing nuclear weapons has actually fallen to 49% from 55% last year. Confused and searching for answers? Emile offers the URL for the English-language website of President Ahmadinejad's favorite cleric, the apocalyptic Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi.

Editor's Inbox  |  June 21, 2006 10:37 AM

The French Disease

What ails France? There are many ways to answer that question. But one aspect of the problem that is too little discussed, even in Paris, is the dangerous interlock of business, politics and intelligence in France. The country has gone through a series of convulsive scandals over the past decade without ever really addressing this core issue.

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Editor's Inbox  |  June 22, 2006 9:22 AM

American Idol?

The Austrian exchange prompted me to call the man who conducted the underlying poll about U.S. unpopularity, Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. I asked Kohut Thursday morning if he had ever seen numbers for U.S. popularity this low, and what the Bush administration would have to do to turn these numbers around. Here's what he said:

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Comment Roundup  |  June 23, 2006 1:25 PM

Reading our Readers - Ten Days On

The PostGlobal community (if I can use that expression after 10 days) continues to express opinions that are interestingly outside the box. In this week's comments, a majority of readers opposed sending representatives to a G-8 counter-summit, overwhelmingly agreed that the U.S. was right not to have intervened in Hungary in 1956 and seemed intrigued by the idea of shooting down North Korean missiles. If there is one word I would use to describe the prevailing PostGlobal view, it is "unsentimental."

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Editor's Inbox  |  June 26, 2006 2:56 PM

Globalization Meets Euro-Racism?

When Mittal, the world's fifth-richest person with an estimated net worth of $23.5 billion according to Forbes approached Arcelor's chief executive, Guy Dolle, about arranging a friendly bid, Dolle rejected the advance and began to court a Russian steel firm, JSC Severstal. Saturday's Wall Street Journal, quoted Arcelor's chairman, Joseph Kinsch, saying it was because the Russian firm's chairman "understands our company." Unlike the non-European Mittal. Funny, it wasn't long ago that a Western European firm would have had jitters about partnering with Russians.

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Editor's Inbox  |  June 28, 2006 10:41 AM

The Somali Blogosphere

Confused by events in Somalia? We certainly were, so we checked out the website of Somalia's leading blogger, Bashir Goth, and then gave him a call. The bottom line, says Goth, is that the Islamic coalition (known as the Islamic Courts Union) that has taken control of Mogadishu from the warlords isn't all bad. They have brought order to a lawless city and even outspoken anti-Islamists like Goth are holding their fire for the moment.

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Editor's Inbox  |  June 29, 2006 7:56 AM

Botched 'Top Down' Rebuilding in Iraq

American-run infrastructure projects in Iraq, while costing billions of dollars, haven't won much goodwill or contributed substantially to nationbuilding efforts. Outright fraud is one reason. But Cameron Sinclair suggests the problem is more fundamental: "Top down" reconstruction and humanitarian relief efforts simply don't work.

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Editor's Inbox  |  June 30, 2006 3:30 PM

After the Hamdan Ruling

The Supreme Court's ruling Thursday that military tribunals planned for Guantanamo Bay prisoners are illegal marked a turning point -- but in which direction? A PostGlobal debate on the question will be coming next week. In the meantime, we asked the new head of Amnesty International, Larry Cox, to sort out some of the issues ahead. Short answer: Sending Guantanamo prisoners home may not always be such a great idea.

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July 2006 »

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.