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

WHAT WE NEED IS AWARENESS, WE CAN'T GET CARELESS.

I strongly recommend Brian Katulis 's article from yesterday. As he indicates, we are in a key moment for progressives on national security right now. Given the momentous and comprehensive failure of conservative ideology in the Middle East, progressives have an opportunity to redraw the boundaries of the national security debate in the U.S., and it's imperative that we recognize and make the most of it. Katulis offers some very smart suggestions on how to begin to do that. I think a big test for progressives is how we continue to deal with the myth of the surge . It's a tough one: people like hearing good news better than bad news, and tend to be more forgiving of sunny BSers than they are of hard truth-tellers. We're also confronted with an administration and a deep-pocketed neoconservative faction whose reputations are tied to Iraq, and who have proven time after time that they have no compunction about hiding behind the troops in order to advance astonishingly dishonest claims...

THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF HANSON.

One of Victor Davis Hanson 's readers asks "whether the ancient world offered any parallels in our modern war on jihadism?" Those of you familiar with Hanson's ouvre will understand that this is a bit like asking a French chef whether you should put butter in things, or asking Wynton Marsalis whether Louis Armstrong was important to jazz, or asking Jonah Goldberg whether he thinks blatant nepotism among political elites is appropriate. Not only will the answer be an emphatic yes, but it gets to the entire reason why he is here. Hanson's career as a pundit is dedicated to the proposition that there is no event in history that cannot be sculpted into a justification for the political preferences of Victor Davis Hanson ( Bob Bateman had a great series in which he dismantled Hanson's priapic puffery like a Lego battleship). True to form, in response to his reader's question, Vic reels off a bunch of names and battles that I'm sure he's hoping you don't know and thus won't understand how...

MONDAY MORNINGS JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT GRIMMER.

The New York Times leaves a flaming bag of poo on America's doorstep, in the form of Bill Kristol 's first regular column . But gratitude for sparing us a third Clinton term only goes so far. Who, inquiring minds want to know, is going to spare us a first Obama term? After all, for all his ability and charm, Barack Obama is still a liberal Democrat. Some of us would much prefer a non-liberal and non-Democratic administration. We don’t want to increase the scope of the nanny state, we don’t want to undo the good done by the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and we really don’t want to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in Iraq. As Ezra points out , the analysis in the column, such as it is, is utterly uninteresting. But, of course, Kristol is not an analyst, he's a propagandist, and I'll say this for him: He knows how to ladle it. This paragraph spoons like a thick reduction of right-wing talking points, a demi-glace of conservative bushwa, as if...

MCCAIN'S MACACA MOMENT.

( via Ezra ) Briefly: America simply cannot afford to have as president a man so utterly clueless about the nature of Islamism, and how so much of its appeal lies in its ethic of resistance to Western encroachment, as to blithely suggest that the U.S. stay in Iraq for "a hundred years." The last seven have shown how much damage to America's interests can be wrought by a president who wandered aimlessly into imperialism. I think we really don't want to find out how much can be wrought by a president who embraces it wholeheartedly. --Matthew Duss

YET ANOTHER IN A VERY, VERY LONG LIST OF REASONS TO BE GLAD THAT GIULIANI WILL NOT BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT.

Daniel Pipes , the well-funded Muslim-hater and Rudy Giuliani Middle East adviser, considers whether Barack Obama is now, or has ever been, a Muslim: Was [Barack Obama] ever a Muslim or seen by others as a Muslim? More precisely, might Muslims consider him a murtadd (apostate), that is, a Muslim who converted to another religion and, therefore, someone whose blood may be shed? [...] Available evidence suggests Obama was born a Muslim to a non-practicing Muslim father and for some years had a reasonably Muslim upbringing under the auspices of his Indonesian step-father. At some point, he converted to Christianity. It appears false to state, as Obama does, "I've always been a Christian" and "I've never practiced Islam." The campaign appears to be either ignorant or fabricating when it states that "Obama never prayed in a mosque." Obama's conversion to another faith, in short, makes him a murtadd . [...] [H]ow would more mainstream Muslims respond to him, would they be angry at what they...

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