Mark Leon Goldberg

Mark Leon Goldberg is the executive editor of UN Dispatch and host of the "Global Dispatches" podcast.

Recent Articles

The Death of van Gogh

In the weeks after the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Muslim extremist on November 2, Holland, a country known for its culture of tolerance, experienced unprecedented levels of racial and ethnic violence. Last Wednesday, Marc Chavannes, Washington correspondent for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad , talked with TAP 's Mark Goldberg about the rise of the contentious Dutch Muslim subculture and the repercussions of van Gogh's murder. A Dutch friend of mine told me, "I went to bed in Holland but woke up in a completely different country." Does this capture the prevalent mood in the Netherlands right now? The van Gogh murder is a little bit like our 9-11. The degree to which the United States had changed after 9-11 was hard to fathom in Europe. Now, this one murder seems to be having a similar effect on my fellow Dutch nationals. In Europe we have experienced our own homegrown terrorism for years, so although Dutch people felt enormous solidarity with Americans after 9-11...

Rock 'n' Roll, D.C.–Style

So there I was, leaving the Vote for Change after-party at a swanky downtown restaurant, thinking how super cool I was for making it past the velvet rope in the first place. And then, as I headed through the door, I suddenly got cooler still, because walking in as I was walking out was Bruce Springsteen. We were brushing right past each other. Under those circumstances, he couldn't help but meet me. Quaking in the presence of a rock-god, I stuck my hand out to shake his. I gushed, "Thanks for a great show, Bruce. You really energized us," all the while wishing that I had come up with something more clever to say. And then, with the kind of humility one wouldn't expect from a rock-star of his stature, he replied with a grin, "It felt good to play for this audience." So leaving the party at 2 am, I danced a little E Street Shuffle past the MCI center on G street, smiling ear to ear and thinking to myself, “This is rock ‘n roll, baby!” Well, sort of. While many veteran concert-goers are...

Some Gratitude

During his recent speech at the National Guard Association's annual convention in Las Vegas, President Bush touted his pride and steadfast support for his erstwhile brothers in arms. Not surprisingly, the president's speech was filled with invocations of September 11 heroism and resolute statements in favor of freedom. But the speech also included some nuggets of actual policy intended to highlight the administration's ongoing efforts to address pressing quality-of-life issues for reservists. “We're improving benefits and the quality of life for our nation's citizen-soldiers,” Bush said. “ … We have expanded health-care benefits for Guard and Reserve forces and their family members, giving them access to the military's TRICARE system for up to 90 days before they report and 180 days after deactivation -- and I will ask Congress to make that expansion permanent.” A kind sentiment, but these words becloud the fact that the Bush administration has consistently fought legislation that...

A Labor Party No More

Earlier this month, the editors of Renewal , an influential British quarterly on Labor Party politics, published a scathing assessment of Tony Blair and his leadership of the Labor Party. Renewal Managing Editor Neal Lawson talks about how New Labor panders to the center right and what the party must do to reconnect with its social democratic roots. After spending 18 years under Tory rule, the social-democratic left had high hopes for Tony Blair. Where did he go wrong? We thought Blair had the potential to represent a new kind of politics, but one that was still rooted in the traditional values of the left: equality, fraternity, and liberty. At the time, we thought we were swimming in the same sea as Blair. We held a hope that he would usher in a new dawn for social democracy -- and we gave him a lot of license and space to do that. But it slowly became apparent that he wasn't going to capitalize on the opportunity that existed in British politics for a transformative left advance...

The Hate Parade

Since the primary season, Republicans have sought to portray Democrats as single-minded Bush haters with no positive agenda of their own. Marc Racicot, chairman of Bush-Cheney '04, succinctly summed up this theme in an e-mail to Bush supporters back in December. “They are making this one of the nastiest, vicious and negative campaigns in history,” Montana's former governor wrote. “Democrats are reduced to personal slams on our President and outright lies about his record because they lack a positive agenda and hate -- hate -- what he has done for America.” The Republican national convention, supposedly, would combat this visceral hatred of President Bush with upbeat, substantive policy discussions. Karl Rove told New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney that the president's speech on Thursday would “lay out a forward-looking, positive, prospective agenda.” But to lead up to Thursday, the Republicans are providing nothing but negativity. From the beginning of the convention, the sins of...

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