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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, October 20, 2003


Clinton as Middle East envoy

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, October 20, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
One other item of note from Dean's AAI speech:

Speaking to a crowd of Arab-American activists, Howard Dean said yesterday that if he won the White House he would ask Bill Clinton to be his Middle East envoy, in an attempt to forge peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The former Vermont governor echoed his Democratic rivals for the presidency in saying President Bush has not engaged in enough peace-brokering in the Middle East. But he took a step further with his proposal to enlist the former two-term president.

Despite the escalating tensions in the region, Dean said he was "optimistic" that Israel and the Palestinians were closer than ever to an agreement and that a figure of Clinton's international stature could help bridge the gap.

"Of all the Arab people, the Palestinians probably have the best opportunity to have a democracy," Dean said.

Messages left at Clinton's New York office were not returned yesterday.

It's a great idea - and we can be sure Clinton won't shake hands with tyrants, either. But of course Clinton alone is not going to be any more effectove than Anthony Zinni was. What is required is some original thinking - like this idea by Jonathan Edelstein which uses a wall, not for apartheid, but to stop the "bomber's veto". The idea is brilliant and potentially groundbreaking - but would require someone of Clinton's stature indeed to make palatable to both sides.


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.