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When Israel-Palestine merits not a word from a president, you know the United States is turning inward. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 28 January 2010, “Exit America“ The same Cohen op-ed indicates that only nine minutes were devoted to international affairs in President Obama’s first State of the Union message last month. And now we… » read more

Europeans interested in civilian control of the military and in democratic oversight of the EU’s foreign affairs (to include defence) would do well to consider the opinion of Jan Dirk Blaauw, former Netherlands MP and former President of the WEU Assembly. The Assembly of the WEU (an institution that many casual observers had thought […]

Brussels was the venue of a very important human rights conference this past week, but it took place in an academic setting, out of the spotlight but hopefully not entirely unnoticed. ULB’s conference on 20 October, “Terrorism Lists, Executive Powers, and Human Rights,” organised by the European Centre for Constitutional & Human Rights” (ECCHR), aimed… » read more

It wouldn’t be autumn in Brussels without its slew of conferences to welcome the city’s “policy wonks” back from a long summer of frivolity. This week’s all-day conclave devoted to “The New European Parliament: What Priorities for Foreign Affairs, Security, and Defence?” covered a lot of ground, especially when the subtitle indicated that it […]

24 hours after Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Middle East peace is “impossible” and, especially helpfully in case that message appeared overly pessimistic, that many countries “have learned to live with” a permanent state of war, the Nobel Committee has awarded the 2009 Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama. The President’s personal… » read more

Spanish writer/director Gerardo Olivares’ film 14 Kilómetros tells us how far the Moroccan coastline is separated from Spain. Tantalizingly close, visible from your window whether you’re in Tangier on the African side or Tarifa on the European coast. But if you are one of the thousands of desperate African migrants who has […]

Michael Jackson’s televised funeral farewell turned out to be rather dignified, surprising those who expected the worst from a crowd of fanatical fans. But that doesn’t mean I approve of the time the world spent on this distraction. So far, the G8 summit in L’Aquila has produced photo ops galore for host Silvio Berlusconi, and… » read more

As soon as you start using the term pirate, unfortunately cute or nostalgic images of Johnny Depp and Long John Silver come to mind – “Avast, me hearties!” (”avast” means to stop or cease) and other lusty lingo. All that is best relegated to the world of children’s stories (image, Playwood Toys). Today’s […]

NDLR: Voici mes remarques lors d’une conférence à Bruxelles organisée par GRIP, pour presenter leur nouveau livre, “Qui Arme Israel Et Le Hamas?” —————– La politique américaine au Moyen-Orient et Obama : quels changements possibles ? Je me présente aujourd’hui comme ancien diplomate américain au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord. Durant la campagne présidentielle… » read more

NDLR: Voici le texte de mes remarques hier soir lors de la présentation du nouveau livre du Professeur Irnerio Seminatore, Directeur de l’Institut Européen des Relations Internationales (IERI) et de l’Academia Diplomatica Europaea (ADE), deux institutions Bruxelloises. Son livre, publié chez l’Harmattan, s’intitule “l’Europe entre utopie et realpolitik.” La conférence a eu lieu […]

Years ago in a community development project in Ramallah, when it was still just a sleepy, recently-occupied West Bank town, one of my fellow volunteers, a devilish Turk named Ali, gave me language lessons. In Turkish body language, said Ali, you have the nodding of the head up and down for “yes,” the shaking […]

“NATO is watching us watching them.” Such was the sentiment – confirmed by the impressive NATO presence, including several Assistant Secretary General (ASG)-level officials – at the end of this week’s two-day “NATO Shadow Summit.” The event, the first of the name, inspired in part by the new organisation “NATO Watch” (along with principal partners… » read more

NDLR pour les francophones: mon clavier QWERTY n’ayant pas d’accents, je mets mon texte EN LETTRES MAJUSCULES. Celcui est le texte d’une présentation lors d’un débat organisé le 16 mars par l’Institut Européen de Relations Internationale (IERI), en présence de Guy Spitaels et Katya Long. ————————– IL Y A DEUX MOIS, LORS DE L’INVESTITURE DE… » read more

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