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


Getting quickly to the task of restoring Commentary 's intellectual seriousness, newly enthroned editor-in-chief John Podhoretz calls Heather Hurlbert a "poseur" for writing this : "I haven't posted lately because of a painful nerve problem in one arm. Even with Vicodin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxants and the occasional naughty glass of wine in my system, the Bush national security policy, progressive infighting, and the decline of our global standing hurt just as much, I'm sorry to say." I wonder what Podhoretz would call a person who writes something like this about the dangerous life of a pundit: “In its own way, this war of ideas is no less bloody than the one being fought by our troops in the Middle East.” ...I mean, other than " Dad ." In fairness, though, Hurlbert is actually using hyperbole for an effect, whereas Norman Podhoretz has used it for a career. --Matthew Duss


Bing West , via Max Boot , argues that the outrage over waterboarding is being blown out of proportion : "In my book, The Village, I described how in 1966 the police chief Thanh of Binh Nghia village used what is now called waterboarding, rubbing lye soap into a wet cloth and placing it across the face of the prisoner. (p. 67). I never saw a prisoner die or not be able to walk out of that room. But they talked. I reported it and our orders were to keep the Marines in our Combined Action Platoon out of that room. The PFs were under our command, but not the National Police. Today, 40 years later, the order would be for the American adviser to physically stop Thanh and to bring him up on charges." It might interest West and Boot to know that there is a substantial amount of research, some might even call it a "scholarly consensus," that suggests that the Vietnam war was not a resounding American success, and thus "They did it that way in Vietnam!" does not constitute an effective...


Yoram Schweitzer , writing in Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth , throws some cold water on claims of victory against al-Qaeda: "Al-Qaeda has already achieved several of its goals in Iraq, and while these may be circumscribed, they will not be reversed entirely. The global jihad has indeed been reinvigorated and been granted a new pretext and new context for its continued struggle, for new recruitment, and for accelerated training of new combatants. [...] Moreover, Iraq for al-Qaeda is one of many theaters whose achievements can be transplanted elsewhere. The first of these alternate arenas, which is experiencing something of a revival in the last year, is Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda fighters, supported by the Taliban, have begun to recover and exploit the topographical advantages of the terrain to launch guerilla and terrorist attacks against the Karzai regime and the coalition forces. At the same time, al-Qaeda cells are operating in Pakistan against the Musharraf government and are using...


Responding to Ezra 's and my posts yesterday about Marty Peretz 's attack on Desmond Tutu , James Kirchick assists his editor-in-chief: “Duss's and Klein's criticism consists mostly of ad hominem attacks and a defense of Tutu based primarily, if not entirely, on the fact that he's...well...Desmond Tutu.” No: Marty Peretz claimed that Desmond Tutu, in a speech last Saturday, “actually threatened Israel -- and not just the State but the whole People.” I responded that this was not true, that it was not a remotely defensible interpretation of anything Tutu said, and linked to Tutu’s remarks (PDF) as proof. If calling Marty Peretz a a liar and a defamer because he lied about and defamed Desmond Tutu qualifies as “an ad hominem attack,” well, then you can bill me. As for my defense of "Tutu for being Tutu," I suggested neither that he was perfect, nor above reproach. I merely meant (and, frankly, I think this was clear) that the man's career-long commitment to non-violence and...


Marty Peretz , continuing to rise below even my worst estimation : "Archbishop Desmond Tutu preached in Boston on Saturday "in a lengthy and emotional address to a packed Old South Church," according to Sunday's Globe. And what did he preach about? The same topic he's always preaching about these days: the evil the Jews are inflicting on the Palestinians. You wonder why a South African cleric of the Anglican Church is fixated on Israel, or at least I wonder. It could be for the same reason that many Christian clerics have always found reason to damn the Jews. With his characteristic sneer he actually threatened Israel -- and not just the State but the whole People. 'Remembering what happened to you in Egypt and much more recently in Germany -- remember and act accordingly.'" This is, quite simply, libelous. I was present at Old South Church on Saturday, and without getting too deep into some of the issues I'm hoping to deal with in an upcoming article relating to the event, I'll just...