Mark Goldberg

Mark Leon Goldberg is a Prospect senior correspondent. He writes at UN Dispatch.

Recent Articles

NORM COLEMAN: BOLDLY...

NORM COLEMAN: BOLDLY FALLING IN LINE. When Norm Coleman returned from Iraq two weeks ago he had some fairly harsh words for President Bush�s troop surge: I oppose the proposal for a troop surge in Baghdad, where the violence can only be defined as sectarian. A troop surge proposal basically ignores the conditions on the ground, both as I saw on my most recent trip, and in reports I've been receiving regularly since my return � A troop surge in Baghdad would put more American troops at risk to address a problem that is not a military problem. It will put more American soldiers in the cross hairs of sectarian violence, create more targets. I just don't believe that makes sense, Mr. President. Tough talk. But this afternoon, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Coleman voted against the non-binding resolution rejecting Bush�s troop increase. A Hollow Man . --Mark Leon Goldberg

THE SLIPPERY EEL...

THE SLIPPERY EEL SHOWS HIS SLIDE. During his career as South Korea�s foreign minister, Ban Ki-moon earned a reputation among the Korean press corps for masterfully evading hard-hitting questions. For this, he gained the nickname � slippery eel ,� which I�m told is more affectionate than critical. During Ban�s speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies yesterday, those present saw precisely how he earned that diminutive. From his perch in the front row, ABC�s Sam Donaldson asked a genuinely tough question about the circumstances under which Ban could sanction pre-emptive military strikes. But rather than answering the question head-on, Ban appeared to be star-struck and brought the room to full-bellied laughter. �Though I have seen quite many times of you,� Ban said with an ear-to-ear grin in almost perfect English. �This is first time for me to engage in direct dialogue. It�s my great pleasure to meet you in person like this.� And with that, Ban skirted the question...

While Thousands Die

This August, the United Nations Security Council authorized a major force -- more than 22,000 strong -- to deploy to Darfur. Under the Security Council's mandate, the U.N. troops would take over Darfur's defense from the undersized and ill-equipped African Union force, which has been unable to prevent attacks on civilian enclaves. Eventually, the United Nations Mission in Sudan was supposed to oversee a political settlement and establish order. The Security Council resolution mandated that the transition to the U.N. force begin by October, and conclude no later than December 31. Darfuris, however, will have to place their hopes on hold. As of publication, not one blue helmet has set foot in Darfur. Indeed, the transition to a U.N. force has not even begun. The dilemma is basically this: U.N. peacekeepers cannot deploy to Darfur without Khartoum's consent, which so far, they do not have. That has made the countries that supply the bulk of the peacekeepers around the world -- Pakistan,...

MORE ON THE...

MORE ON THE KONY MEETING. Last night, Sam flagged this Jeffrey Gittlemen piece about the incredible meeting between Jan Egeland , the world�s top humanitarian official, and Joseph Kony , one of the worlds most wanted war criminals. The Times (UK) article about the same meeting makes mention that the Ugandan warlord appeared to be �erratic and rambling during the meeting as if he had taken drugs.� Imagine being an unarmed diplomat meeting a man in the depths of the jungle who is part cult leader, part warlord (and among other things, accused of forcing the children he mutilates to eat their own flesh) -- and then realizing he was on drugs. Scary. --Mark Leon Goldberg

GUESS WHO�S BACK?...

GUESS WHO�S BACK? So with President Bush begging for a new spirit of bi-partisanship in Washington, he re-nominates the next-most-divisive administration official after Rumsfeld : the recess-appointed ambassador to the UN John Bolton . One has to wonder what the president is thinking -- or what tricks he has up his sleeve. In the Senate, Republican support for Bolton has always been lukewarm. Indeed, his nomination died this fall because Republican Lincoln Chafee refused to support moving the nomination from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the Senate floor for a vote. And almost as soon as the Bolton re-nomination was announced by the White House, Chafee called a press conference restating his opposition to Bolton. In other words, Bolton�s re-nomination is DOA. There are only two ways that Bolton could remain on the job -- and both are of dubious legality. Under option A, the president would select Bolton for a post not requiring Senate confirmation, then move him laterally...

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