IN WHICH I SHARE MY THOUGHTS ON LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE, MALE FASHION, AND A NEW DRINKING GAME. The word for the night was Anbar. Anbar! Anbar! So much Anbar! I lost count. John McCain excepted, I suspect there's an inverse relationship between the frequency with which a candidate refers to "the success in Anbar province" and the likelihood that the candidate could find Anbar province on a map.
FRIENDS LIKE THESE.Yglesias directs us to this diavlog between Reza Aslan and Eli Lake, in which they discuss Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's new book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, specifically Walt and Mearsheimer's claim that there is no strategic advantage for the U.S. in the special Israel-U.S. relationship.
"Indications that hardliners within the Bush administration are (again) pushing for war with Iran casts new light on the recent alliance of convenience between the U.S. military and Sunni insurgents in Iraq.
ANTI-DEMOCRATIC TRANSFORMATION. Following on Doctor Robert's post, while I agree with Rob's statement that "the strategy of allying with Sunni tribes amounts to a renunciation of U.S. state-building aims in Iraq," I'd also add that recent developments in President Bush's Middle East policy, most notably the $65 billion in arms going to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, amount to a renunciation of Bush's entire program of democratic transformation in the region, and a reversion to "realist" policies of the past.