The Corner

Peter Rodman

A great deal will be said in coming days about Peter Rodman as a wise counsellor in foreign policy. He spent a lifetime serving America as a diplomatic strategist. He did so brilliantly but without the slightest self-promotion. He understood his country’s interests clearly and could explain them eloquently.  When Peter was speaking or writing, anyone listening or reading understood foreign policy too.  Much as Peter’s friends at NR admired the strategist and writer, however, we loved the man more. He was the most good-natured of colleagues. Also one of the most versatile, analysing Iranian policy and the comedian Benny Hill with equal fluency. His sly deadpan wit had listeners suddenly bursting out laughing halfway through their next argument. And we knew our friend was a truly good man. In private life Peter was a strong family man, rightly proud of his daughter Theodora and his son Nicholas, and devoted to his effervescent wife, Veronique. Like Ramesh I hate to think of the grief they must now be suffering. But they have at least the consolation of knowing how widely their father was loved and admired.

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Politics & Policy

The Omnibus Disgrace

The omnibus spending bill was crafted in secret and will be passed under pressure; raises discretionary spending as the national debt grows; and fails to deliver on any major GOP priorities except increased defense spending. What might turn out to be the signature achievement of unified Republican government this ... Read More

Thursday Links

It's William Shatner's birthday: Here he is in 1978 'singing' Rocket Man, plus a Star Trek/Monty Python mashup. Sold: Isaac Newton’s Notes on the Philosopher’s Stone. It was a long time before anyone admitted that he was interested in alchemy. High-tech forgery: Computer-generated 'Rembrandt' ... Read More

Korea: A Deadly Question

Olympic Games often have political significance, as in 1936 and as in the Olympics just past -- the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Those Games seemed as much political as athletic. I talk about this with Michael Breen on my latest Q&A. Breen is one of our best Korea-watchers, one of our soundest ... Read More
Film & TV

Superannuated ‘Idol’

In the pilot episode of Fox’s American Idol, Simon Cowell defined the show’s thesis: “We are going to tell people who cannot sing and have no talent that they have no talent. And that never makes you popular.” The show’s producers and its three judges -- Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson -- kept ... Read More