NDN Blog

Morning thoughts

It has been said that the greatest tragedy of our failure in Iraq has been how it has weakened our capacity to project power aboard, and tackle emerging challenges and threats.  Today we are witnessing what should be considered a series of routine challenges emerge - the provocative threats of Iran and North Korea, the faltering of Afghanistan, the corruption of Russia, the growing anti-Americanism in Latin America, the sorrow of Sudan, the slide of Somalia.  Is it me or does America seem to be more bystander than leader in all these cases? Watching, waiting, buying time as our attention continues to be on Iraq? Has the world lost the America it knew for much of the 20th century, benelovent superpower, counted on to put things right?

Will be interesting to see how the Administration handles the contested Mexican election.  Given the way they won ugly in 2000, not sure they have will have the moral upper hand here. 

The Times reports that the Republicans may have found a way to unify their party on immigration.   It is classic Republican play - long on politics and marketing, short on solving the problem.  Look for more on this vital issue in future days here and at NDN's immigration site

And in honor of the World Cup, don't forget to order your cool NDN soccer gear at www.ndnfutbol.org today!

July 4th roundup

My family and I had a wonderful day today.  Our DC neighborhood, the Palisades, has been hosting a small town style parade for 40 years.  It is a spirited, old fashioned parade with a 21st century twist - floats, candidates, marching bands and South American dancers, candy for the kids and the new thing this year little plastic wristbands.  It was hot as always, too hot, but somehow it makes it all that much more a community thing, this suffering together. 

We read the Declaration of Independence together for the first time together last night as a family.  I enjoyed it.  Reading those magic words outloud was a pleasure.  It is a little long for young kids, as my two boys left the room soon into the reading.  But my 11 month old daughter Katie of course made it through the whole thing. 

This afternoon, we watched Italy outlast Germany in a fast-paced but still somewhat unsatisfying World Cup game.  Given how disapointing the American team was this year, we should all take consolation that they outplayed Italy in their 1-1 draw, and now Italy is heading to the finals.  Keeps reminding us of the saying, on any given day....

Finally, on to Joe Lieberman's suprising announcement yesterday that he is petitioning to get on the November ballot as an independent.  I am supporting Joe, and hope he wins.  But like Hillary Clinton I feel I must support whomever the Democratic nominee is for US Senate in Connecticut, a contest to be decided in early August. 

Joe Lieberman has been one of the most thoughtful, serious elected officials I've ever come across.  He was able enough to get on the ticket on 2000, survive the incredible anti-Democratic wave in 1994 and beat Lowell Weicker in a remarkable upset in 1988.  He is not just a thought-leader, he is an accomplished pol.  Therefore I will give him the benefit of the doubt that his move to start collecting petitions will help him return to the US Senate, but from where I sit it sure makes his task look a whole lot harder. 

I will have more thoughts on the Lieberman race over the next few weeks. 

Excited about the new blog

Thanks to Mike for getting the new blog up today.   We are all still learning how to use it, but expect much more content on it from NDN and our friends across the country.  All part of a new, more distributed content creation system we will putting into place over the next 6-9 months. 

Feel free to offer suggestions, comments, and help us make this and various other sites more powerful tools to advance our brand of politics. 

5 years later Osama is still with us

In a serious piece in the Washington Post today, Peter Bergen makes a compelling case that Al Qaeda itself - not copycat organizations - is gaining strength once again. Osama himself has been more vocal in recent weeks than he has been in years.

This story reminds all of us what an utter failure Bush's foreign policy has been. In less than four years after Pearl Harbor, FDR defeated Hitler and the Japanese, and put into place global building blocks that kept the world relatively peaceful and prosperous for two generations. In the nearly five years since 9/11, Bush has spent more than a trillon dollars and what do we have to show for it? A Middle East perhaps more dangerous than when he came to office; rising number of terrorist attacks around the world; enemy number one Osama still on the loose, and gaining strength; Afghanistan has become a troubled state again; as we saw with Katrina and even in the last few days with the flood-related closure of the IRS and other government buildings we are not ready; important international institutions that allow the world to act together when needed have been weakened; and as of this week, the intellectual and legal basis of a great deal of the war on terror has been found unconstitutional by a GOP-friendly Supreme Court.

It is time for the nation to come to grips with the fact that our foreign policy has utterly failed to produce the results we need to feel more safe, and must find a better path. In my mind, the mistakes have come to some degree from this administration's narrow notion of our mission in the world. Bush has argued that America's pirmary foreign policy goal should be to wage and win the war on terror. But is that really the right aspiration for us? Shouldn't it be to work with allies to foster liberty, democracy, free markets and the rule of law? The war on terror should be seen as a tactic in this greater struggle, not an end in itself. It is simply not a large enough ambition for this remarkable and just nation.

Five years, trillions spent, and we are no safer. What a contrast to FDR, who in just four defeated the greatest threats to our way of life in our history, and created the building blocks that created that Pax Americana that has kept the world marching towards democracy and free markets.

History will not be kind to the tenure of Mr. Bush.

Syndicate content