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


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


STILL ATONING FOR THAT SUHA EMBRACE . Following up on Ezra's post yesterday on Hillary Clinton 's statement acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital," it's worth noting that this puts her to the far right of Israeli public opinion, of which a stable majority recognizes the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem, and accepts that shared sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods and religious sites will be part of a final status agreement. Honestly, though, I'd be interested to hear from Clinton how Israel's policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in Arab East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlements, in which non-Jews are prohibited from living, accords with her "liberal values," but, then again, I suppose no one ever lost an American election by ignoring Palestinian rights. --Matthew Duss