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


According to a couple of recent Washington Post items, it seems that perpetual war isn't the only policy of George W. Bush 's that Rudy Giuliani wants to give us more of. Apparently, Rudy shares Dubya's habit of installing people with questionable qualifications but unquestioning loyalty in key administration positions: "While some of his original appointments to high-level city jobs were well regarded, these critics describe a pattern in which capable appointees either quit or were pushed out, leaving the top levels of the Giuliani administration increasingly populated by friends and close associates. Some of the later appointees became shrouded in scandal, including Bernard B. Kerik, the former police commissioner indicted this month on 16 counts of corruption, mail and tax fraud, obstruction of justice, and lying to the government. [...] Hiring political allies for top jobs has a long history in city government, and Giuliani was hardly the first mayor of New York to bring along...


Here's one of my favorite recipes: Wild Turkey Apricot Stuffing Bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon 1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup golden raisins medium onion, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans loaf of white bread, cubed 7 tablespoons butter 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock Soak apricots and raisins in 1/3 cup bourbon overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat veggie stock in sauce pot, melt in 5 tablespoons butter. Pour two fingers of bourbon into a lowball glass, add a squirt of water. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet, add onion, celery, garlic, occasionally tossing artfully while sipping drink until onion is slightly carmelized. Add all ingredients in large mixing bowl, mix well but don't pulverize. Spoon mixture into casserole pan or pot, tamp down gently, bake for 35-45 minutes or until top browns slightly. Chase with water, if desired. --Matthew Duss


( Via Publius ) Glenn Reynolds : "If, as seems likely, Iraq succeeds, Republicans will be able to say it was in spite of the Democrats' efforts. If, as remains possible, it fails, Republicans will be able to say it was because of the Democrats' efforts." Usually, people attempting to advance staggeringly disingenuous political arguments don't broadcast it like this, but, unfortunately, whatever points Reynolds may have gotten for candor are entirely canceled out by his only being candid about his intention to be dishonest. Eric Martin unpacks Reynolds' nonsense: "What remarkable analysis. Without definining, or even hinting at the definition of "success," Reynolds breezily sweeps aside myriad factors that have contributed to the failure of the Iraq endeavor to leave the blame solely at the feet of the Democrats. Not satisfied to leave the Dems on the hook for failure, Reynolds suggests that even if Iraq does succeed, we could still blame the Democrats for its near-failure. The troops...


Tom Stoppard talks about how Syd Barrett partly inspired his new play, Rock 'n' Roll , which deals with young Czechoslovaks in the late 60's, turned on by Western culture and music, negotiating their identities under a suffocating Communist dictatorship. Fred Kaplan uses Stoppard's play to ask whether this phenomenon could repeat itself in America's relationship with Arab publics. "What inspired many of the Eastern bloc dissidents during the Cold War—what they found so alluring about the West—was not so much our market capitalism or parliamentary democracy; still less was it our government's policies. It was the insouciant freedom of our culture. It was our rock 'n' roll. [...] What does America have going for it now? What could we send out to the world that might have the same impact on, say, Arabs and Muslims today that rock, jazz, and B-movies had on Russians and Europeans during the Cold War?" Kaplan notes an important difference between then and now: "Since the world was divided...

Un-Selling the Surge

Now that the neocons have moved the goalposts, how can Democrats counteract the charge that they're "defeatist" and "dishonorable" for wanting to exit Iraq?

Despite growing disenchantment with the war in Iraq, the well-organized conservative propaganda machine has been hard at work selling the "success of the surge." After relentlessly promoting the invasion of Iraq in the wake of 9-11, then denying or shifting blame for that invasion's negative repercussions, the neocons have now begun attacking anyone who challenges their "surge success" narrative for being defeatist and dishonoring the troops. Having moved the goalposts all the way up onto the line of scrimmage, the right now condemns anyone who will not recognize a touchdown. At The Weekly Standard , home base of the surgeniks, James Ceaser asks : "Will any of the Democratic candidates be able to summon the courage to concede an American victory in Iraq? No one, of course, can know the ultimate outcome of this long war. But the vaunted 'facts on the ground' now at least admit a trend leading to what might reasonably be called victory." Stirring. Kimberly Kagan, whose husband Fred...