Matthew Duss

Matthew Duss is president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and a contributing writer for the Prospect. You can follow him on Twitter @mattduss.

Recent Articles

WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE.

Bret Stephens performs the favorite conservative trick of defending the use of torture by defining methods of torture which he favors as "not torture": "For the record, count me as one who does not object to the interrogation to which KSM was reportedly subjected, including waterboarding. This is not because I take the use of waterboarding lightly (although I have a hard time concluding that a technique, however terrifying, to which CIA officers are willing to subject themselves experimentally can properly be counted as torture). It's because I take the threat posed by KSM seriously." Waterboarding is torture . It was devised by torturers as a method of torture. CIA officers subject themselves to this torture as part of their training to withstand torture. Bret Stephens supports torture. "As with the militant anti-abortion movement, which believes that every abortion is murder and thus that every abortionist is a "murderer," the Times editorialists and their fellow travelers would...

SLOW MORNING ON THE PARAPETS.

Apparently, according to my favorite fake Iran expert Michael Ledeen , it is now objectively Islamofascist to report events in Iran in a way which does not conform to Michael Ledeen's preferred interpretation : "AL-AP STRIKES AGAIN! The headline on their story describing, in muted tones, the latest in a long series of demonstrations against the regime: Rare Iranian Protest Targets Ahmadinejad Feh. The real headline would have said “Revolutionary protests continue at Tehran U.” After all, one of the main speakers, reminding Ahmadinejad of his call for a Palestinian referendum, demanded one on behalf of the Iranian people as well. Which is tantamount to calling for an end to the Islamic Republic." ...Which is tantamount to, oh, let's just say it, calling for Iran to be made the 51st state, because the Iranian people love us so much. No word yet on whether these demonstrations also herald the coming of the great Zoroastrian revival, as foretold by the self-described "Iranologist" Ledeen...

OF PINS AND PINHEADS.

Barack Obama decides to forgo flag pins : "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Asked about it Wednesday in an interview with KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Illinois senator said he stopped wearing the pin shortly after the attacks and instead hoped to show his patriotism by explaining his ideas to citizens. "The truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security. "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," he said in the interview. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism." Imagine that,...

PROPAGANDA GIFTS.

Eric Martin suggests that Democrats call Bush's veto bluff, and proceed with legislation making private contractors in Iraq subject to prosecution in U.S. courts. I agree. Martin writes: "Bush's eventual veto won't leave Maliki very much room in terms of satisfying the mounting domestic calls to take action. Under normal conditions, such a crisis faced by a putative ally in an already precarious position might prompt a US president to take note of the delicacy of the situation and acquiesce by signing the legislation (of course, a sensible US president would probably recognize the wisdom of the proposed legislation in the first place). Under the present circumstances, though, I fully expect Bush to leave Maliki out to dry. Which will play right into the hands of Moqtada al-Sadr and those factions that are most intent on forcing the expulsion of American troops from Iraq. A propaganda gift of considerable potency. It really is amazing that this hapless foreign policy team cannot manage...

DIE, PARADIGM, DIE!

Noah Pollak is concerned that the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in Annapolis might subvert the dominant paradigm: "The risk is that if and when the peace conference fails — these events do not exactly have a promising track record — Israel will have set itself up to be blamed for the debacle, and we will then witness a reversal of the paradigm that has been dominant during the past seven years, since the failure of the Clinton-Arafat-Barak negotiations at Camp David in 2000. That summit was certainly a failure in delivering a peace agreement, but in historic and diplomatic terms it was actually something of a victory -- it demonstrated to every fair-minded observer that Yasser Arafat and his minions were not actually serious about peace. For American policymakers, the conflict was thus cast in a stark light, and Israel thereafter enjoyed a great deal of latitude in defeating the terror war that the Palestinians launched in 2000, and more generally in achieving for...

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