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

DEFENDING JOURNALISTIC MALPRACTICE WITH COLONIAL-ERA RACISM.

I hope you're enjoying the NROBS saga as much as I am. If not, go read about it . Tom Edsall has done some great work here. ( Greenwald and Sullivan also have some good follow-up .) In what I can only hope will come to be remembered as the most regretted post of her career, editor Kathryn Jean Lopez sort-of apologizes for W. Thomas Smith 's fabrications with an appeal to the bigotry of National Review 's readership. The Arab, you see, is very crafty: "[W]e “should have provided readers with more context and caveats” – the context that Smith was operating in an uncertain environment where he couldn’t always be sure of what he was witnessing, and the caveats that he filled in the gaps by talking to sources within the Cedar Revolution movement and the Lebanese national-security apparatus, whose claims obviously should have been been treated with the same degree of skepticism as those of anyone with an agenda to advance. As one of our sources put it: “ The Arab tendency to lie and...

ENGAGEMENT: PEOPLE LIKE IT.

I just got back from a CMEP-sponsored panel on Annapolis and what it all means, and though there were differing views on where things would go from here, all the panelists were unanimous in their relief and enthusiasm for renewed U.S. engagement in the process. Daniel Levy , who was one of today's panelists, wrote this last Tuesday: "The Bush administration continues to view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of a global war on terrorism and as part of the momentous struggle of good against evil. The great irony of the Annapolis conference is that the framing narrative of its convener is the one thing that most undermines its chances of success. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is grievance-driven and its resolution is all about ending the occupation. Israel needs and deserves security and peace but those things don't coexist cozily with occupation. Violent al-Qaidists and their copycat crews use the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to rally and mobilise support, to vilify...

YOU MAKE A VERY ADULTEROUS POINT.

Last week, Chris Hayes had a great story in the Nation about the phenomenon of the right wing email forward, and how this new form of "folk media" serves to keep various rumors and urban legends alive. One of the most notorious of these is the notion that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim extremist who plans to throw a burkha over the Statue of Liberty and institute shari'a law after taking his oath of office on the Qur'an while munching on falafel, or something. Today, the Washington Post demonstrates how "respectable" news outlets keep these rumors moving in the media bloodstream: "Since declaring his candidacy for president in February, Obama, a member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ in Chicago, has had to address assertions that he is a Muslim or that he had received training in Islam in Indonesia, where he lived from ages 6 to 10. While his father was an atheist and his mother did not practice religion, Obama's stepfather did occasionally attend services at a...

I'D MAKE A SUGGESTION, BUT YOU WOULDN'T LISTEN...

Anthony Cordesman takes a realistic look at claims of the surge's success: "US and Iraqi forces are scoring important, if regional, tactical victories. However, these cover only western and central Iraq and may well be temporary. For all the claims that the “surge” worked, it is clear that it did not work purely on its own. [...] While the US and Iraqi forces have scored gains in Baghdad, and west and central Iraq, these are fragile and need to be consolidated by bringing Arab Sunnis fully back into Iraq as a nation. The need for decisive political action goes beyond the uprising in Anbar. Unlike US estimates, Iraqi statistics do not show a drop in the level of violence in the Baghdad area. The United Nations estimates that the number of displaced refugees continues to grow. Moreover, Baghdad is kept secure only by US force. The Shia militias are largely intact. Without political progress and a US military presence, the result could be a forced Shia takeover of the capital." (emphasis...

GOING THE FULL GAFFNEY.

Via Rob , Frank Gaffney establishes the new standard by which all future spittle-flecked neoconservative hyperbole will be judged: "It is fitting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chose the U.S. Naval Academy for the venue of today's so-called Mideast peace conference. The reputation of that extraordinary institution in Annapolis has been sullied in recent years by a succession of rapes of young women. Despite official efforts to low-ball its significance, Miss Rice's conclave is shaping up to be a gang-rape of a nation on a scale not seen since Munich in 1938, when the British and French allowed Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini to have their violent way with Czechoslovakia. This time, the intended victim is Israel. As with the effort to appease the Nazis and Fascists nearly 70 years ago, however, the damage will not be confined to the rapee. The interests of the Free World in general and the United States in particular will suffer from what the Saudis and most of the other...

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