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

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...

CAN'T SHAKE THE DEVIL'S HAND AND SAY YOU'RE ONLY KIDDING.

Demonstrating the aluminum bat-like subtlety which, combined with an enthusiasm for rehabilitating the paradigms of 19th century colonial discourse, has made him a foreign policy guru for wingnut racists everywhere, Ralph Peters offers his version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in today's New York Post : "In the end, the problem's difficulty can be put in New York City terms: A shiftless, violent family that turned an apartment into a slum was evicted. The new tenants cleaned up the place and made the apartment a showcase. Now the former tenants hate them for it - and want the apartment back." It would be a solid day's work unpacking the the desperate ignorance and defiant bigotry bound up in that statement, which, in any case, brays rather loudly for itself, so I'll just ask: Is there any other event in history of which it would be remotely acceptable to describe the violent displacement of 700,000 human beings in such a way? --Matthew Duss

"WHAT I HAVE TO DO IS TO SEE, AT ANY RATE, THAT I DO NOT LEND MYSELF TO THE WRONG WHICH I CONDEMN."

Responding to Chris Hedges' declaration that Hedges will refuse to pay his taxes if the U.S. goes to war with Iran, James Kirchick demonstrates one of the big features of the Marty Peretz clone software application suite, which enables the user to rebut any argument by asserting that The Nation was soft on Communism, and Arabs are stupid. (Also, note to Kirchick: Refusing to pay taxes as a form of protest goes back a bit farther than Grover Norquist. I guess History needs to be installed separately, as an upgrade?) --Matthew Duss

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