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

HAS OBAMA BEEN KRISTOLIZED?

Michael Cohen of Democracy Arsenal correctly flags a potentially disastrous development in Barack Obama 's race for the Democratic nomination: Bill Kristol's prediction that Obama will likely win the Democratic nomination. Given Kristol's record as one of the most consistently and comprehensively wrong pundits in America, this could be a harbinger of doom for Obama's campaign. --Matthew Duss

BOTTOM-UP RECONCILIATION.

Ha'aretz has this story on a potentially significant meeting between Palestinians and Israelis in Hebron: The heads of the largest Palestinian clans in Hebron met with the Kiryat Arba local council chief and prominent leaders of the Jewish community in Hebron on Wednesday in what both sides described as a meeting of reconciliation, Army Radio reported. Sheikh Abu-Hader Ja'abri, the head of a prominent Palestinian clan and a relative of a former mayor of Hebron, and the head of the Abu Sneinah clan, Haj Akram Abu-Sneinah met with the head of the Kiryat Arba settlement council, Zvi K'tzubar, and the heads of Jewish settlers in Hebron. The two sides declared their goal was to restore peace and security to the city, known to Jews as Hebron and to Palestinians as Al-Halil. "We don't see you as settlers but as residents," Sheikh Ja'abri, the head of a prominent clan in Hebron, is quoted as telling his Jewish interolocutors. "Hebron is ours just as it is yours." This is encouraging, and...

JUST THROW IT ON THE PILE.

A story in this morning's NY Times on how the U.S. Army buried a report critical of post-war planning in Iraq : [The RAND Corporation] submitted a report in the summer of 2005 called “Rebuilding Iraq.” RAND researchers provided an unclassified version of the report along with a secret one, hoping that its publication would contribute to the public debate on how to prepare for future conflicts. But the study’s wide-ranging critique of the White House, the Defense Department and other government agencies was a concern for Army generals, and the Army has sought to keep the report under lock and key. A review of the lengthy report — a draft of which was obtained by The New York Times — shows that it identified problems with nearly every organization that had a role in planning the war. That assessment parallels the verdicts of numerous former officials and independent analysts. The report also states that the lack of planning had "the inadvertent effort of strengthening the insurgency"...

YESTERDAY'S TERRORIST IS TODAY'S LINCHPIN.

International Crisis Group has just published a new report entitled "Iraq’s Civil War, the Sadrists and the Surge." It's findings are summarized thusly: The dramatic decline in bloodshed in Iraq – at least until last week’s terrible market bombings in Baghdad – is largely due to Muqtada al-Sadr’s August 2007 unilateral ceasefire. Made under heavy U.S. and Iraqi pressure and as a result of growing discontent from his own Shiite base, Muqtada’s decision to curb his unruly movement was a positive step. But the situation remains highly fragile and potentially reversible. If the U.S. and others seek to press their advantage and deal the Sadrists a mortal blow, these gains are likely to be squandered, with Iraq experiencing yet another explosion of violence. The need is instead to work at converting Muqtada’s unilateral measure into a more comprehensive multilateral ceasefire that can create conditions for the movement to evolve into a fully legitimate political actor. As I wrote last week...

NEW FRONTIERS IN DEMAGOGIC HICKITUDE.

Shorter Mike Huckabee : "Wanting to end the war in Iraq shows that Barack Obama and other Democrats just don't get it about the Holocaust." Interesting that an American presidential candidate takes to the pages of the Jerusalem Post to deliver these sorts of attacks. Also interesting is that, according to Huckabee's fundamentalist Christian Zionist eschatology, the threat of "convert or die" that Huckabee attributes to the forces of Islamofascism [sic] is precisely the deal that Jesus Christ is supposed to offer the Jews when he makes his comeback . Maybe Huckabee could address this in his next article. --Matthew Duss

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