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


There's an Interesting LA Times story today on actors of Middle Eastern descent struggling with the roles available to them: "Arabs and Arab Americans in Hollywood live in an interesting time. The appetite for Middle Eastern stories and themes boomed after 9/11 and grew again with the ongoing grind of the war in Iraq. But the roles suddenly being created for Arab-heritage actors often are limited to those of terrorists or are otherwise so poorly drawn that actors must swallow their pride to take them. And that's if they even get offered the parts. Some in the community still see the changes as a sign of progress. "There is more work out there for the Arab actor than 10 years ago," said Ismail Kanater, a Moroccan actor who has been in Showtime's "Sleeper Cell" and the now-canceled Steven Bochco series "Over There." "Even though we get actors complaining about terrorist roles, there is a natural interest in the region. That will open doors." At least one actor made that interest pay off...


Read the following and see if you can guess whether David Frum is writing about Iraq back in 2003, or about Iran today: "You want realism? It's this: The emerging US-____ confrontation is a confrontation of ___'s choice and ____'s making. It is ____ that has determined to seek nuclear weapons, ____ that has declared it will use those weapons aggressively against its neighbors, and ____ that has made a nonsense of the long negotiations with the UK, France, and Germany. We are rapidly reaching the point - maybe we have reached it already - where ____ has succeeded in reducing our choices to two: acquiesce in a nuclear bomb or stop it by force. As for the idea that the present ____ regime can be a negotiating partner - a constructive force in the region - or anything other than a menace to its neighbors or its own people, well we need another term for that. How about "fantasy"?" Answer: Why should anybody give a ____ what David Frum writes at this point? --Matthew Duss


Jonah Goldberg brings his favorite analytical tools, the broad generalization and the unsubstantiated assertion, to bear upon the question of "national culture," with predictable results : "I've come around to the view that the culture war can best be understood as a conflict between two different kinds of patriotism. On the one hand, there are people who believe being an American is all about dissent and change, that the American idea is inseparable from "progress." America is certainly an idea, but it is not merely an idea. It is also a nation with a culture as real as France's or Mexico's. That's where the other patriots come in; they think patriotism is about preserving Americanness. Okay, but we all have our own definitions of "Americanness," don't we? For instance, the sort of Americanness I want to preserve involves my right not to be kidnapped by my government, held indefinitely without charge in a secret location, and tortured, err, I mean "stressed" into a confession. For...


Via LGM , Ann Althouse on Hillary Clinton 's laugh: "I think it was her strategy to make us talk about that instead of substantive problems she has. It's a distraction. She's deliberately laughing in a way designed to derail us from going in a direction that would hurt her. (So was the cleavage.)" You know how, late on Thanksgiving Day, after you've eaten the bird, everyone is sitting around, a bit woozy with food and drink, and the rants start to flow fast, furious, and surreal? With Althouse, it's always that time. --Matthew Duss


Glenn Greenwald on the fetishization of violence that characterizes Right Bedwetterstan : "Bombing and killing Muslims is the only path for avoiding the humiliating scenarios which our nation's war cheerleaders carry around obsessively in their heads, and which are currently filling my inbox. They're not going to be the ones on their knees, begging. They're not going to be the "faggots." Instead, they are going to send others off to fight and bomb and occupy and kill and thereby show who is strong and tough and feel protected. [...] That is a major reason why -- despite the endless debates and overwhelming public sentiment -- we stay in Iraq (because to leave would be to "lose," to suffer a "humiliating defeat" at the hands of a laughing Al Qaeda), and it is why war with Iran is so appetizing for so many -- we need to show the world who is boss. It is warped psychology masquerading as political belief. And that is why nothing triggers hysteria of the sort in the above-excerpted post...