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

Giuliani's War Cabinet

In his bid to become the 9-11 President, Rudy Giuliani has attached himself to a school of scholarly thought about the Middle East that has brought us nothing but disaster.

Rudy Giuliani speaks at a GOP fundraiser in March. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
There have been a few odd and funny moments in the presidential campaign, but no one really brought the crazy until Rudy Giuliani dropped his foreign-policy manifesto in Foreign Affairs last month. The piece is a hodgepodge of apocalyptic scenarios and conservative victory narratives that everyone has come to expect from Giuliani. But what is scary about the manifesto is how clearly it indicates his ambition to bring his craziness to bear on the entire world. Giuliani leaves no doubts as to where he's coming from. The manifesto's first line reads: "We are all members of the 9-11 generation." He goes on to describe, in very broad terms, a policy that imposes a Cold War framework over the United States' war against "radical Islamic fascism," a term which preposterously gathers al-Qaeda, Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah, and Iraq's Mahdi Army under a single heading. He regards international institutions, at best, as mere tools for implementing the will of the United States, to be sidelined when...


STILL A PROBLEM. One of the more interesting aspects of the criticisms of Mearsheimer and Walt 's The Israel Lobby is the way that, despite the authors' specific and strenuous disavowal of the idea of a "Jewish conspiracy," some critics still accuse the authors of describing a "Jewish conspiracy." (Am I supposed to hold the book sideways, or read it by the light of the full moon in order to translate "there is no conspiracy" into "there is a conspiracy"? I’m not sure.) Indeed, Mearsheimer and Walt's continued insistence that they are not engaged in conspiracy-mongering is simply taken by their critics as more proof that they are engaged in conspiracy-mongering, something which, ironically, is characteristic of conspiracy-mongering. But never mind. Now, I think it's pretty obvious to reasonable people that the charge of anti-Semitism against Mearsheimer and Walt is not serious, except in so much as it indicates the unfortunate tendency of some among the hard-line pro-Israel community...


DON'T LET'S STAY THE COURSE . Victor Davis Hanson , promoting the carnival shooting game model of anti-terrorism: "One of the untold stories is just how many of the al Qaeda kingpins who started this war on 9/11 are now dead, arrested, or in hiding. It is not just the likes of Zarqawi or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Mohammad Atef or Ramzi Binalshibh who are not longer free or alive. On August 31, the U.S. military announced that the Egyptian and Afghan veteran senior al Qaeda leader Abu Yaqub al-Masri was killed. I think that this is the same al-Masri whom Sheik Mohammed, in a transcript of his testimony, said was responsible for setting up recruiting protocols for al Qaeda prior to 9/11 in Afghanistan. Although it is taboo to say so, it really is true that Afghan veteran terrorists like al-Masri and Zarqawi did flee from Afghanistan to Iraq where they often ended up dead." It's not "taboo" to say that Masri and Zarqawi fled from Afghanistan to Iraq, it's just more relevant to point out...


EVERYBODY CAN TAKE IT EASY, WE GOT THE TOYMAN. Michael Goldfarb notes the killing of reputed al-Qaeda car-bomb specialist Abu Yaqub al-Masri , and links to this wonderful post that I think perfectly captures the deliriously triumphal macho-geek essence of the species warblogger: "Important that we don't understate how important of a kill this was... if Al-Qa'ida Iraq was structured like the Legion of Doom , this clown would be sitting somewhere between Bizzaro Superman and the Black Manta. I bid a fond farewell to all terrorists, but for this guy I'd be willing to break out the champagne and party poppers, and hire a band to belt out the Axl Rose version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"..... all while steely eyed soldiers usher him along to meet Allah." Yeah, remember when the we got AQI's Lex Luthor , and then the Iraq war was over? That was awesome. It's great that we've gotten rid of a guy who was blowing up civilians. It's tragic that we created a situation where he could practice...


LIKE ANDY ROONEY, BUT WITH MORE EXPLOSIONS . Victor Davis Hanson is one hilarious dude: ”Bin Laden also sees how the rival Muslim theocracy in Iran has turned its oil profits into a nuclear-weapons program. He’d like to replace the present Gulf monarchies with self-professed imams and jihadists. Such a single, united Wahhabi theocracy could dole out its oil to subservient importers, and use the profits to acquire enough weapons to unite the Arab world and prepare for the final war against us.” By gosh, bin Laden could sell enough oil to buy a huge, solid-gold gun that could wipe us out! Seriously, I'd like to replace my student debt with a car that flies, but that's about as likely to happen as a Wahhabi superstate. I feel I’m on pretty solid ground here. --Matthew Duss