• In Search of the Real Barack Obama | Foreign Policy

    ❝David Rothkopf: I re-read your most recent interview with Obama. It is the first interview with the president in which you seemed to really express your discomfort with some of his views. In fact, in my view, it is one of the most candid and direct interviews I have ever seen done with him. What was your takeaway?

    Jeffrey Goldberg: For me, it’s a mix — the main frustration, of course, is technical — there’s never enough time, and this president talks in perfectly formed paragraphs, and he’s given to filibustering on occasion, and it is, of course, hard to interrupt any president in the Oval Office. So most of the time I’m just worrying about getting in the questions I want answered. (Actually, by the way, it’s something deeper and more interesting than filibustering — I think he takes pride in deducing the next three questions in an interview, and so he answers these imagined questions before you get a chance to ask. The flummoxing part of this is that he’s very often right about the questions. Maybe it’s a lawyer trick, I don’t know.)

    Obviously, there was also frustration for me with a number of his answers. Let me put the Israel issue aside, because, as I’ve written, I probably share a lot of his analysis of Israel’s core dilemmas. To put it crudely, the

  • Please, Mr. President, Read This Before You Go to Camp David - Mohammed A. Al-Jasem - POLITICO Magazine

    ne reason I’m such a skeptic is that I’ve been at this a long time. I have been a lawyer since 1978 and was a court observer for Amnesty International in Bahrain and Egypt. I started working in media in 1994 and eventually became the editor in chief of a daily newspaper and the Arabic versions of Newsweek and Foreign Policy.

    In 2003, while I was still an editor, I was accused of instigating to overthrow the regime in a State Security case. I was a guest speaker at an election campaign event and spoke openly about the relations between the ruling family and Kuwaiti people. I said simply that there had been no change in the ruling family’s mentality for decades. That was enough for the state prosecutor to take notice. Two days later he notified me I was being investigated. Even though I wasn’t imprisoned in that case—I was released on bail—the U.S. Stat


  • Obama: Fight Against Islamic State ’Will Not Be Quick’


    U.S. President Barack Obama says the fight against Islamic State radicals will be long, hard-fought and require more than American military might to win.

    “This will not be quick. This is a long-term campaign,” the president said Monday during a rare visit to the Pentagon, where he met with his national security team. “It will take time to root them out, and doing so must be the job of local forces on the ground with training and air support from our coalition.”

    “There will be periods of progress, but there will also be some setbacks,” added Obama, who has pledged to neutralize and defeat Islamic State militants without dragging America into another ground war.

    The president, who once conceded the U.S. lacks a “complete strategy” to battle IS, met with Defense Secretary Ash Carter and top military commanders and intelligence officials. The gathering followed a weekend of intensified airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition against the militants, who have taken control of large swaths of northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria. The coalition conducted 38 strikes, with nearly half directed around the self-proclaimed IS capital of Raqqa.