“From wherever you stood, the opposing side offered respectable, credible views. In today's fractured culture the evening struck a blow for civility.”
- The Huffington Post
November 29, 2010
As an American Muslim, I’ve come to recognize, sadly, that there is one common denominator defining those who’ve got their eyes trained on U.S. targets: MANY of them are Muslim—like the Somali-born teenager arrested Friday night for a reported plot to detonate a car bomb at a packed Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon.
November 26, 2010
Since 9/11, al Qaeda has not succeeded in launching another terrorist spectacular in the United States. But it has succeeded in provoking a spectacular debate about aviation security. Several weeks ago—and even earlier at some airports—the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) initiated full-body scans and enhanced pat-downs, including inspections of private parts, that in some quarters are fueling outrage.
November 24, 2010
As Americans fly this Thanksgiving holiday, critics of new security measures are arriving at airports in kilts. Subsequent pat downs will be quite enhanced, indeed. Pre-flight screening has moved from safety to comedy. Before it devolves into tragedy, airline employees and government officials should start profiling terrorists. America must focus its finite capabilities on those who crave the destruction of planes and the people who ride them.
November 23, 2010
Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford-style debate series, an initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation, hosted a debate last night on the motion, U.S. Airports Should Use Racial & Religious Profiling. Given the recent news of stepped up TSA security procedures at airports, the debate was well-timed and shed light on the complications around keeping America’s skies safe. At the debate’s conclusion, the side arguing in favor of using racial and religious profiling in airport screenings won the debate, though the crowd at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts was closely divided.
November 11, 2010
Four experts in the region and in international and military affairs considered whether the time was right to pull U.S. troops out of the war torn country. In the end, the team arguing against the motion moved more of the audience to their point of view, thus winning the debate.
September 18, 2010
Earlier this week, I debated General Michael Hayden (USAF, retired), former director of both the CIA and NSA, and Marc Thiessen, former Bush speechwriter and current columnist for the Washington Post, as part of the "Intelligence Squared" Debate series from New York. I was joined by Stephen Jones, an accomplished attorney best known for defending Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber.
September 15, 2010
Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford-style debate series, an initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation, kicked off the fall season with a lively debate on how the United States should treat accused terrorists. The highly engaged and energized crowd in New York heard four experts debate the motion “Treat terrorists like enemy combatants, not criminals.”
June 16, 2010
I attended the Intelligence Squared debate on Cyber Warfare on June 8, in Washington, DC. Those of you who read my blogs regularly know that I am an avid podcast listener (I have a one-hour commute each way to work). One of the podcasts in my regular rotation is the Intelligence Squared debates.
June 10, 2010
I mentioned back in April that I was going to be out of DC on June 8 -- but that if I had been around, I would have been sure to attend the Intelligence Squared debate at the Newseum on the motion that "The Cyber War Threat Has Been Grossly Exaggerated." Well, the results are in, and the "against the motion" side won big.
June 09, 2010
On Tuesday evening, a standing-room-only crowd at Washington, DC’s Newseum heard four of the country’s leading cyber experts discuss key issues related to the threats and challenges of the nation’s cyber security as they debated the motion “The cyber war threat has been grossly exaggerated.” The team arguing against the motion carried the day.
June 09, 2010
Resolved: The cyberwar threat has been grossly exaggerated. True or false?
That was the question put to four top security experts last night in a public debate at the Newseum here in the nation's capitol. The debate, which was organized by the Intelligence Squared U.S. Foundation and sponsored by Neustar, was designed to cut through the hype surrounding cyberwar and help determine how serious the threat might be.
June 08, 2010
Last night Intelligence Squared and Neustar conducted a fascinating, Oxford style debate on whether the threat of cyber war has been exaggerated. A packed house at the Newseum in Washington, DC heard four cyber heavyweights go toe-to-toe verbally both for and against the proposition that the threat has been exaggerated. The audience size was all the more impressive considering the competition on a very big night in DC—Stephen Strasberg was making his major league pitching debut, Conan O'Brien was in town and there was also a James Taylor/Carole King concert.
May 16, 2010
The story of Barack Obama's presidency to this point has mostly been written in domestic and economic policy. But he came to office promising to change American policy and rhetoric toward the rest of the world, especially America's historic adversaries in Asia and the Mideast. There is no disputing that he has done that, but at what costs, and to what ends? This month's Intelligence Squared U.S. debate was on the proposition "Obama's foreign policy spells America's decline."
May 11, 2010
Has Barack Obama strengthened or weakened the U.S. in the eyes of the world through his foreign policy of engagement? In a lively encounter sponsored by Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates and held at the Skirball Center at NYU last night, Dan Senor, a journalist and Fox News commentator, scored the most dramatic point of the evening when he challenged General Wesley Clark and French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy to name one prominent world leader with whom Obama has established a close personal connection as a sign of national loyalty.
May 11, 2010
The sold-out crowd in New York heard four experts, each with strong policy and intellectual credentials, debate the motion “Obama’s Foreign Policy Spells America’s Decline.” Prior to the debate, 23% of the audience was in favor of the motion, 45 % were against it and 32% were undecided. When it was over, the side arguing against the motion carried the day with 34% of the audience supporting the motion, 58% rejecting it and a remaining 8% were undecided. The evening’s winning team, which debated against the motion included Bernard-Henri Lévy, the influential French philosopher and writer and Wesley Clark, retired General of the United States Army and a 2004 Candidate for President.
April 13, 2010
... but if I were, I would be sure to go to this debate, by the US branch of the Intelligence Squared debate organization, on the proposition that "The cyber war threat has been grossly exaggerated."
April 11, 2010
Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford-style debate series, an initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation, announced today that it would travel to Washington, D.C. to host its first ever debate outside of New York City. On June 8, IQ2US will present a special live debate from Washington D.C.'s Newseum. With corporate underwriting support from Neustar, Inc., the debate will consider the motion, "The cyber war threat has been grossly exaggerated."
February 12, 2010
Eleven minutes after Israel announced its independence in 1948, President Harry Truman recognized the new state, and American support has been crucial to -Israel's survival and a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy ever since.
February 10, 2010
What are we talking about when we're talking about America's special relationship with Israel? To listen to the panelists at Tuesday night's Intelligence Squared debate arguing for the proposition that “The U.S. should step back from its special relationship with Israel,” we're talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
February 10, 2010
After the four person debate and a round of thoughtful questions from the audience, the final vote ended with one of the closest results in Intelligence Squared US’s history. The team arguing in favor of the motion won the night with 49% of the audience voting for them. 47% were against the motion and only 4% remained undecided.
February 10, 2010
Roger Cohen won over New Yorkers by claiming: “Jihadi terrorism aimed at the United States is not primarily motivated perhaps by the Palestinian issue, but it is a major factor.”
February 10, 2010
The Intelligence Squared debate series has a cool gimmick: at the beginning, audience members vote on the resolution via little keypads at each seat; at the end, they vote again; whichever side changed the most minds “wins.” As last night’s debate began, it was exciting to find that 25% of the crowd voted “undecided,” meaning that many minds were open to persuasion as the four panelists debated the resolution, “The U.S. should step back from its special relationship with Israel.”
December 08, 2009
Forty years ago, the United States government began a "war on drugs" whose cost so far is estimated at $1 trillion, and rising. In 2006, newly elected Mexican President Felipe Calderón began a crackdown on the drug-smuggling cartels—a "war on drugs" that really is a war, involving military troops and weapons and more than 10,000 dead so far. Americans buy drugs from the cartels and sell them guns, and Washington arguably provided the example for the Mexican government's hard-line tactics. So is America to blame for Mexico's drug war? That was the topic at last week's Intelligence Squared US debate at New York University.
December 03, 2009
The team in favor of the proposition, America is to Blame for Mexico’s Drug War, scored an undisputed victory with 72% of the audience at the debate’s conclusion siding with them.
October 18, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Oct 19, 2009
Only those who were in the room know what was said in the series of White House meetings about America's policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
October 18, 2009
Dick Cheney hadn't planned to speak, but others at the dinner in Manhattan noticed him growing a grimmer shade of grim. He was listening to Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official in Cheney's own Bush administration, wax eloquent about the virtue of diplomacy: how a new joint effort with France, Britain, Germany and even Russia and China could prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and terrorizing the Persian Gulf region and the world. In other words, President Barack Obama's position. The host asked if the former vice president wished to respond. Yes indeedy, he did.
May 14, 2009
We now know at least one reason former vice president Dick Cheney was taking the Acela up to New York on Monday morning: He was going to attend a debate on U.S. policy on Iran where his daughter Liz Cheney, former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, was arguing for the proposition that "Diplomacy With Iran Is Going Nowhere."
May 11, 2009
Former Vice President Dick Cheney swung quietly through New York City Tuesday night to watch his daughter, Elizabeth, a former State Department official, argue the conservative side in a debate over American policy toward Iran, and to express his own skepticism of President Obama's promised negotiations.
April 23, 2008
By the end of a spirited and high-level debate held here last week, many in the audience of about 400 dramatically shifted their opinions and agreed with the proposition that “Islam is dominated by radicals.”
November 07, 2007
TUESDAY NIGHT MARKED the eleventh Intelligence Squared U.S. debate hosted at the Asia Society and Museum on Park Avenue. Generously endowed by the conservative philanthropist Robert Rosenkranz, IQ2US underwrites a series of intellectual exchanges modeled on the full-blooded forensic style of the Oxford Union, though given that the august society has lately invited speakers like Nick Griffin, head of the fascist British National Party, and David Irving, Holocaust denier in chief, one wonders if like so many other British traditions this one has better thrived by crossing the Atlantic.