Parties and Power Volatility

October 23, 2018

Historically frequent changes in party control of White House, Congress to continue?

In addition to the many imminent questions about the U.S. elections Tuesday, November 6, is a more historical one of continuity and volatility. The back-and-forth changes of party control in Congress and the White House seen during the past decade are unlike anything in the last hundred years.

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Russia’s Elections – A View from Siberia

A Spanish diplomat and I joined nearly 600 other international observers, deployed all across Russia, for the March 18 presidential elections. The two of us flew several hours east overnight from Moscow, and then with a local driver and interpreter met voters and elections officials in frozen central Eurasia. Here’s some of what we saw.

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The Other Palestine

In October 2017, I traveled throughout the West Bank with the American Federation for Ramallah Palestine.   A few of my reflections were published in the Times of Israel (in English and in Arabic).

In traditional souks we met the sellers of spices and vegetables of every kind, as well as iPhones and Haagen-Dazs….

Beyond the spice shops and restaurants and holy sites, though, this is also Occupied Palestine….  I saw things that reminded me of the difficulties in Banja Luka, Tijuana, and Kirkuk. A new art gallery illustrates decades of resistance to occupation, and I anticipated decades more. But the graffiti on the Palestinian side of The Wall – peace doves, Trump satire, pizza ads – chronicles desperate, ironic, yet hopeful Palestinians. It was fascinating to me that many of the Palestinians I met were not pessimistic.

Instead, they told me to look at Northern Ireland, South Africa, the Berlin Wall….

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A woman prays at the tomb of Sarah. (JQuirk)
The Wall, in Bethlehem (JQuirk)
Olive harvest near Nablus (JQuirk)
Ad for pizza place in Bethlehem (JQuirk)
Pottery in Nusf Jabeel (JQuirk)


New Cybersecurity, Israel, and Trump in Syria: Recent Posts

A review of some of my recent columns:

For the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet):

Blinking Red: Reconsidering U.S. Approaches to Cybersecurity

A former Obama official warns, “There’s no excuse not to know that the system is blinking red when it comes to the potential for a major national security-driven cyber incident to hit our critical infrastructure in a way that causes major economic issues.”

For the Foreign Policy Association’s blogs:

Israel PM candidate: “Biggest Crisis since the Time of Mohammad”

Former Israeli defense minister, General Moshe Ya’alon gave his first public remarks as candidate for Prime Minister.  He began by agreeing with the notion that the Middle East is in its biggest crisis since the time of Mohammad, concluding that the problem is “Iran, Iran, Iran.”

For the Jerusalem Post:

Trump: On the Road to Damascus?

Mr Trump’s “proportional response” of cruise missiles may settle the issue in the short run. But in Syria, in other crises, and in developing his own long-term national security strategy, it will be difficult for Mr Trump to find a third way in between more American war in the Middle East and American withdrawal from global leadership.