Gabriel Wildau

Gabriel Wildau is an American Prospect editorial intern.

Recent Articles

Morning After

Secretary of State Colin Powell returned from Syria at 1 a.m. on Sunday. By 9:30 a.m. he was on television, appearing on all three network talk shows to discuss his trip just as the first reports about it were appearing on the wires. It must be a bracing time to be America's chief diplomat. No matter how you feel about the war in Iraq, it seems certain that Syrian President Bashar Assad was more attentive to Powell's, er, constructive criticism than he otherwise would have been. On Meet the Press , Powell explained the gist of what he'd just told Assad: Straighten up and fly right. The most important of Powell's demands was that Syria shut down the Damascus offices of Hamas, Hezbollah and all other terrorist groups operating out of the Syrian capital. Early-morning wire reports quoted a Hamas spokesman in Damascus as saying he hadn't heard anything about his office shutting down. But as Powell pointed out on Meet the Press , it's only been a few hours. Powell also demanded that Syria...

Morning After

A slow news week brought forth second-rate American politicians and loony foreign officials on yesterday's morning talk shows. Meet the Press began with Adel Al-Jubeir, foreign policy adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was scheduled to appear on NBC's Meet the Press , ABC's This Week and FOX News Sunday but cancelled at the last moment when the Saudi government dispatched him on a secret mission hours before he was to appear live from Saudi Arabia. Al-Jubeir would not disclose the exact nature of the assignment but said, "I believe it has to do with the war on terror." So it fell to Al-Jubeir to face questions about the continued involvement of Saudis in terrorism and whether the Saudi government has cracked down aggressively enough. The press has reported that the United States sent high-level officials to warn Saudi Arabia that last week's attack on three Western compounds in Riyadh was imminent. The Saudis...

Morning After

Lately public discourse has taken on a Hegelian structure: Thesis: The United States will triumph overwhelmingly in the war with Iraq. The conflict will be short. Iraqis will welcome us as liberators. Antithesis: The advance to Baghdad from the south has stalled. Resistance is stiffer than expected. Iraqis don't like us. In the old days, this dialectic might have taken months to unfold. Now it takes only days -- sometimes hours -- for trends in coverage to emerge, and for those in power to respond with carefully formulated spin. Administration officials and apologists fanned out on the Sunday talk shows yesterday to propose a synthesis: Synthesis: We've been prepared for the entire range of scenarios. We weren't overconfident. Everything is going according to plan. Trust us. Yesterday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers appeared on both Meet the Press and Face the Nation , and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appeared on This Week to try to curb the growing sense that...

Morning After

Presidential hopeful and former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) appeared on Meet the Press yesterday to argue against war with Iraq. Unfortunately, when host Tim Russert confronted the candidate with some of his own past remarks, Dean seemed to stumble: RUSSERT: [In your speech last week] you talked about the president using a unilateral attack against Iraq. In fact, that's inaccurate, isn't it? It would not be unilateral. There are now more than 20 countries signed up with the U.S. DEAN: Well, I'm not so sure how inaccurate it is. Tom Friedman used that word to describe his actions today in The New York Times . And Tom Friedman knows a lot about foreign policy. So although technically it might not be unilateral, the truth is, this is driven by the president of the United States, and the rest of them are pretty much along for the ride. Tom Friedman does indeed "know a lot about foreign policy," but shouldn't a presidential candidate be able to explain his security policy without defaulting...

The Talk Shows:

T here's good news and bad news from this past Sunday morning. The good news is someone finally spoke up eloquently in defense of the Democratic Party's soul. "I think Al Gore was exactly right to go out and make a campaign in favor of people and against powerful interests who stood in their way . . . I think that strategy is not only right politically, I think that strategy is right in principle. What else is the Democratic Party supposed to be about?" The bad news is that this particular "someone" was Democratic political strategist Bob Shrum, not an elected official with a national reputation (though Gore deserves some credit for his Sunday op-ed ). But hey, at least someone said it. The tangy back-and-forth between Shrum and Republican strategist Ed Gillespie on Meet the Press was the most entertaining of the day's political jawboning. It made you wish our actual leaders were willing -- or able -- to talk with such smooth, informed assurance. Indeed, the typical hour of Meet the...

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