Mark Goldberg

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

Recent Articles

So Long, Slobo

“ Mistuh Meloow-sev-ich ,” the late Judge Sir Richard May scolded the former Serbian president in his highbrow British accent. “We're certainly not going into Shakespeare. You're cross examining this witness , rather than addressing a literary class. Just examine the witness. ” It was June 2003, and I was a lowly intern for the prosecution team that had prepared the witness for trial. The slight man in the witness chair was a former municipal employee from a small Bosnian town. He had just testified that local Serbian authorities raided Muslim homes to confiscate their hunting rifles, which were subsequently handed over to local Serb paramilitaries. Milosevic, acting as his own defense lawyer, was trying to establish that the local Muslim population was, in fact, preparing its own militia and thus needed to be disarmed. Unsurprisingly, Milosevic didn't present any evidence to support his claim, so he took to quoting Hamlet instead. “You know, Mr. May, that famous sentence, ‘There are...

Ashes of ACT

In the summer of 2005, the director of the largest voter-mobilization organization that progressives have ever seen, sent e-mails out to most of its 30 staffers warning them that their paychecks would be cut off by the end of August. America Coming Together (ACT), the flagship progressive “527” organization, headed by former ALF-CIO political director Steve Rosenthal, was running out of cash. Its major backers, George Soros and Peter Lewis, who together put $38.5 million into ACT (and a partner organization, the Media Fund), declined to sustain their commitment following the 2004 election. State offices closed down, and the get-out-the-vote behemoth that at its peak boasted 6,000 employees and 78 field offices now had but a tiny number of staffers. It wasn't supposed to end this way. Born a year before the presidential election over a dinner conversation among longtime Democratic operative Harold Ickes, EMILY's List founder Ellen Malcolm, and Rosenthal, ACT sought to identify...

The Test

How important is a war-on-terror intelligence asset -- important enough that his clear complicity in genocide should be overlooked? That's the question raised by the presence of a name on certain United Nations documents obtained exclusively by the Prospect . Here's the story. After many long months of international paralysis on Darfur, the first two weeks of February have seen a flurry of activity that may presage a new global effort to confront the ongoing genocide. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton pledged to use the month of February, when America has the presidency of the Security Council, to move “fast” and “far” on Darfur. And on February 6, the 15-member council unanimously supported a U.S. decision to start planning for a possible U.N. peace-keeping force in the region. A week later, Kofi Annan traveled to the White House to discuss Darfur with President George W. Bush. Three days after that, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations...

The Test

How important is a war-on-terror intelligence asset -- important enough that his clear complicity in genocide should be overlooked? That's the question raised by the presence of a name on certain United Nations documents obtained exclusively by the Prospect . Here's the story. After many long months of international paralysis on Darfur, the first two weeks of February have seen a flurry of activity that may presage a new global effort to confront the ongoing genocide. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton pledged to use the month of February, when America has the presidency of the Security Council, to move “fast” and “far” on Darfur. And on February 6, the 15-member council unanimously supported a U.S. decision to start planning for a possible U.N. peace-keeping force in the region. A week later, Kofi Annan traveled to the White House to discuss Darfur with President George W. Bush. Three days after that, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations...

The Arsonist

There is an excellent coffee shop in the basement of the United Nations building in New York. The espresso is served bitter and strong, Italian style. Sandwiches can be bought on hard French baguettes, and the pastries are always fresh. Whenever a meeting lets out in one of the conference rooms adjacent to the shop, diplomats make a beeline to the cash registers. Others light cigarettes: Though the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-smoking crusade has not yet penetrated the complex, which sits on international land; so, beneath conspicuous no-smoking signs, diplomats routinely light up, creating a hazy plume that gives the Vienna Café a decidedly European feel. The European way of doing things, in the weeks preceding the mid-September 2005 United Nations World Summit, could not be stretched to include the 35-hour workweek. For days, frantic negotiations on the substance of far-ranging UN reforms dragged on from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. But the one UN...

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