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


How insane is Rudy Giuliani's Middle East adviser Daniel Pipes ? He considers the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, which has held for almost thirty years, to be a trick : "No significant peace process exists now, nor has it ever. Israel's signing of a diplomatic agreements with Egypt (1979), Lebanon (1983), the PLO (1993), and Jordan (1994) all proved ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. Preliminary skirmishes suggest that the usual pattern will hold in Annapolis. The Israeli side makes "painful concessions," the Arab interlocutor imperiously disdains these even as terrorism and other forms of violence continue. Jerusalem responds with several more rounds of ever-more painful concessions until finally the Arab side grudgingly accepts them, offering airy promises of "peace" that promptly turn into just the opposite – greater levels of hostility and violence." This is typical of Pipes. The idea that any Arab might have a legitimate grievance against Israel simply does not exist...


Michelle Malkin responds to Ezra’s health care debate challenge by taking several thousand spittle-flecked words to essentially say that while she'd love to give Ezra the whupping he so richly deserves, she thinks she hears her mother calling her for dinner, and she has to run home right now. At the risk of creating a slight breach of etiquette , I would like to take this opportunity to triple-dog dare Michelle to debate Ezra. Malkin has very few options here. The rules of the blogosphere are clear. --Matthew Duss


Shorter Ann Coulter : "Inside every Jew, there is a Christian trying to get out." --Matthew Duss


NRO's Rich Lowry just got back from Iraq, where he learned a new word : "The word that one hears again and again here, but is so rare in the domestic political debate, is “complex.” The war is changing at least every six months, and every area of the country — even every neighborhood in Baghdad — has a different dynamic. An officer at Forward Operating Base Justice in northwestern Baghdad explains that one translator who works there has to take three or four different taxis to get to the base, with a different faction ready to kill him from neighborhood to neighborhood." I think Rich is being disingenuous here. Liberals have, by and large, consistently grasped the essential complexity of the Iraq project, and have been relentlessly mocked for it by "with us or against us" conservatives. I'm glad Rich is coming around, though, even if it took four years. Thing is, Rich, this word, "complex": it applies to all different kinds of stuff! Please consider this as your magazine tries to get...


Eric Martin has a great post on the significance of the Sistani brokered accord between Muqtada al-Sadr and Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim : The Shiites are fearful that the Bush administration is tilting too heavily in favor of the Sunnis - in order to counter Iran, and to keep its own indigenous options open. In fact, there is concern that the Bush team might eventually undertake an all out abandonment of the UIA in favor of "friendlier" Sunni allies. This fear has prompted the Maliki government to cut a $100 million arms deal with China, amongst other "base covering" maneuvers. With the increasingly cozy relationship between the US and Sunni elements burgeoning, Sistani's message of Shiite unity took on an added air of wisdom no doubt. And so the Shiites are hunkering down, not because Sadr has been weakened and forced to crawl back to the UIA, but because there are common enemies to be dealt with first, and intra-Shiite fighting will leave each faction weakened and vulnerable. Thus, rather...