Matthew Duss

Matthew Duss is a foreign policy analyst and a contributing writer for the Prospect. You can follow him on Twitter @mattduss.

Recent Articles


EVERYBODY CAN TAKE IT EASY, WE GOT THE TOYMAN. Michael Goldfarb notes the killing of reputed al-Qaeda car-bomb specialist Abu Yaqub al-Masri , and links to this wonderful post that I think perfectly captures the deliriously triumphal macho-geek essence of the species warblogger: "Important that we don't understate how important of a kill this was... if Al-Qa'ida Iraq was structured like the Legion of Doom , this clown would be sitting somewhere between Bizzaro Superman and the Black Manta. I bid a fond farewell to all terrorists, but for this guy I'd be willing to break out the champagne and party poppers, and hire a band to belt out the Axl Rose version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"..... all while steely eyed soldiers usher him along to meet Allah." Yeah, remember when the we got AQI's Lex Luthor , and then the Iraq war was over? That was awesome. It's great that we've gotten rid of a guy who was blowing up civilians. It's tragic that we created a situation where he could practice...


LIKE ANDY ROONEY, BUT WITH MORE EXPLOSIONS . Victor Davis Hanson is one hilarious dude: ”Bin Laden also sees how the rival Muslim theocracy in Iran has turned its oil profits into a nuclear-weapons program. He’d like to replace the present Gulf monarchies with self-professed imams and jihadists. Such a single, united Wahhabi theocracy could dole out its oil to subservient importers, and use the profits to acquire enough weapons to unite the Arab world and prepare for the final war against us.” By gosh, bin Laden could sell enough oil to buy a huge, solid-gold gun that could wipe us out! Seriously, I'd like to replace my student debt with a car that flies, but that's about as likely to happen as a Wahhabi superstate. I feel I’m on pretty solid ground here. --Matthew Duss


STILL ATONING FOR THAT SUHA EMBRACE . Following up on Ezra's post yesterday on Hillary Clinton 's statement acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital," it's worth noting that this puts her to the far right of Israeli public opinion, of which a stable majority recognizes the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem, and accepts that shared sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods and religious sites will be part of a final status agreement. Honestly, though, I'd be interested to hear from Clinton how Israel's policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in Arab East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlements, in which non-Jews are prohibited from living, accords with her "liberal values," but, then again, I suppose no one ever lost an American election by ignoring Palestinian rights. --Matthew Duss


STEADY AS A ROCK. Jonah Goldberg on the inconstancy of President Bush 's war critics: "Perhaps the answer is that when it comes to bashing Bush about the war, no accusation is inaccurate -- even if it contradicts all the accusations that came before. Some say it's all about the Israel lobby. Others claim that Bush was trying to avenge his dad. Still others say Bush went to war because God told him to. Which is it? All of those? Any? It doesn't seem to matter. It's disturbing how many people are willing to look for motives beyond the ones debated and voted on by our elected leaders." Right. On the other hand, President Bush's justification for invading Iraq has always stayed the same : Saddam has WMD. Or, Saddam has connections to al-Qaeda. Or, Saddam wanted to develop WMD, and might could possibly have had connections to al-Qaeda. Or, we're building democracy in Iraq. Or, now we're fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here. Or, now we're fighting Iran in Iraq. Why...


REDNECK CHIC. Is there anything more pathetic than the spectacle of the wealthy conservative pundit, that creature of millionaire-funded think tanks, TV studio green rooms, and catered symposia, trying to establish some red-state cred by pretending to be down with redneck culture? Michael Ledeen : "Barbara and I went to Indianapolis for a Toby Keith concert, where we partied with something like 25,000 happy rednecks, most of them young, most of them wearing boots and cowboy hats (and cheering Keith's great song "I Should Have Been a Cowboy"). It's a great show, and he's a wonderful performer, not least because of his deeply moving patriotic songs like "American Soldier," "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," and " The Taliban," etc. It's great to get out of the Washington culture of narcissism and spend some time with the rednecks, a.k.a. real Americans. And it's simply great, as the encores end, and a downpour of red, white and blue confetti covers the crowd, to see Toby say "don't...