Mark Leon Goldberg

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

Recent Articles

Bring Him On

In June, the Web site that served as the public clearinghouse of news and analysis on John Bolton's fledgling United Nations nomination, Steve Clemons' blog www.theWashingtonNote.com , reprinted a satiric cartoon depicting Bolton's first day at the UN. In the drawing, the political cartoonist Jonah Lobe portrayed a mustachioed Bolton clinging to the underside of a large statue of a .45-caliber revolver with its barrel tied in a knot. As visitors to the UN building in New York know, the statue stands at UN Plaza at Turtle Bay as a peace symbol. The cartoonish Bolton, though, has anything but peaceful intentions as he desperately tries to untie the knot so as to render the revolver operable once again. Hyperbole aside, the cartoon seemed like an apt representation of what Bolton's influence at the UN might be. After all, Bolton is the proprietor of a bushel of statements that question the value and utility of the United Nations as an instrument of peace and security in the world. Given...

Trick or Treaty

An eleventh-hour attempt by the Republican House leadership to save the unpopular Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) trade pact has apparently shifted into overdrive. If rumors abuzz on Capitol Hill are to be believed, members of Congress who seek CAFTA's defeat had best stock up on No-Doz and Red Bull. And if you're an undecided Republican, some hockey pads wouldn't hurt either. Several sources have told the Prospect that they believe that House GOP leaders are planning to hold a vote on CAFTA at midnight sometime this week, hoping that enough anti-CAFTA members won't stick around for the late-night fete. As CAFTA's opponents currently constitute a majority in the House, the GOP leadership intends to steal a victory by coercing, cajoling, or simply outlasting the CAFTA opponents. After being stalled for more than a year, CAFTA passed the Senate in a 54-to-45 vote last month. As it stands, about 180 Democrats and 28 to 30 Republicans solidly oppose the...

Docudrama

The prospect of a recess appointment for John Bolton has loomed ever since a second cloture vote on the nomination failed last week. Now, as Congress approaches the July 4 holiday, Senate Democrats have stuck to their pledge to tie up Bolton's nomination until the president acquiesces to bipartisan requests that documents relevant to the nominee be released. But the White House has refused to do so. As it is not apparent that the White House will admit defeat and pull the nominee, George W. Bush may find himself in the unenviable position of being the first president to send an ambassador to the United Nations without the consent of the Senate. It's not surprising that Bush is grappling with a recess appointment for Bolton. Throughout this long, drawn-out battle over Bolton's nomination, White House officials have systematically underestimated the opposition to Bolton. When Democrats put up a fight, Republicans sought to marginalize their objections by simply ignoring them. Instead,...

Khartoum Characters

As President George W. Bush sat down at a joint press conference with South African President Thabo Mbeki on June 1, he preempted a question about the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, one of the topics of the two men's White House luncheon. It had been 142 days since Bush had uttered the word “Darfur,” and this day, he spoke carefully. “This is a serious situation,” Bush said. Then he made a statement that would effectively end a dispute within his administration over the true nature of the war crimes in Darfur. “As you know, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, with my concurrence, declared the situation a genocide. Our government has put a lot of money to help deal with the human suffering there.” His latter point is beyond dispute. The United States gives a substantial portion of the world's humanitarian assistance to the roughly 150 camps for the internally displaced that dot Sudan's western region. But where a government has recognized genocide, dictates of treaty law...

Leader of the Band

Back in January, not long after Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist committed his caucus to the nuclear option, Senator John Warner came as close as he has yet in taking a side on the filibuster debate now at a rolling boil in the Senate. Not surprisingly, for the seasoned legislator, it came the way of a typically non-declarative comment: “I tend to be a traditionalist, and the right of unlimited debate has been a hallmark of the Senate since its inception. Without question, though, I am strongly opposed to the use of the filibuster to block judicial nominations." Since Tuesday, when Frist forced Warner to choose between those two principles by setting in motion a showdown over the filibuster, speculation on which sentence carries more weight for the senator has been the subject of intense debate. His vote, after all, could be decisive: While Arlen Specter and Maine's two senators are predictably unpredictable, Warner is cut from a different cloth. He's not dogmatically conservative (...

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