Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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Final thoughts about rogue states

A few jet-lagged final thoughts about the conference on rogue states I attended yesterday:

1) There was unanimous agreement that the term "rogue states" was pretty stupid as a category.

2) The most amusing moment for me was when AEI's Danielle Pletka accused me of being on the far left -- because I suggested some realpolitik approaches to foreign policy (like prioritizing counterproliferation over democracy promotion). When informed of my party status later, Pletka replied, "well, he's not like any Republican I know!" Apparently, Brent Scowcroft, George H.W. Bush, George Schultz, and Henry Kissinger are now barred from entering AEI.

3) Wesley Clark was on the same panel as Pletka and myself -- we were charged with giving advice to the next administration. It was interesting to note that Clark had no difficulty speculating about a president Clinton or a president McCain -- but it took a great deal of time and effort for him to say "President Obama" even as a hypothetical.

4) If you want to amuse yourself for a while, ask Ed Luttwak a question about... anything. He's good for at least an hour's worth of interesting free association on any topic.

5) There's something about California... at one of the conference dinners I saw the ghosts of Democratic Campaigns Past -- Michael Dukakis, Kitty Dukakis, Warren Christopher, etc. The freaky thing was that none of them looked like they had aged since falling out of the public spotlight.

6) Redeye flights suck eggs.

That is all -- you can read the LA Times' Scott Martelle for staight reportage of the conference.

posted by Dan on 03.12.08 at 09:00 AM


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