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

GUILTY PLEASURES

GUILTY PLEASURES . Jamie Kirchick takes a stand: "I'll admit, the New York Post is a guilty pleasure. It's the first paper I buy whenever I'm in the city. Like most of its readers, I take it for what it is, and enjoy it for a few minutes on the subway. It's fun and understands its role as a tabloid, which is to say, it has a sense of humor. One of the best Post headlines was a front-page spread showing Yasir Arafat's grieving wife at his funeral: "THE FAT LADY SINGS." But New York magazine shows that the Post's coverage of the Larry Craig fiasco--perfect fodder for the tabloid-- isn't even funny . You can click on a link in the Post's news story to take their "Are you a gay senator?" test, which just traffics in old stereotypes. "Do you sing show tunes in the car between political events?" it asks." Did I really just read that? Did Kirchick just write that making fun of a grieving widow for being fat is really funny, but referencing gay stereotypes about a Senator caught cruising an...

MUQTADA CALLS A TIME OUT.

MUQTADA CALLS A TIME OUT. The big news from Iraq is that Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his militia to stand down , though he has stated they will continue defensive operations against the occupation forces. Muqtada's image has suffered greatly from the perception among Iraqis that elements of his Mahdi Army incited the violence we saw earlier in the week. Starting a fight at the birthday observances of the imam after whom your group is named doesn't speak well of your piety, which is one of the strongest things he has going for him, so he has to do some serious damage control. The Washington Post article quotes both U.S. military sources and sources close him who suggest that the freeze is also part of an effort by Muqtada to root out factions of his militia which he believes to be directed by Iran. We can add this to the pile of evidence against the claim that Muqtada is an Iranian proxy, despite that claim being constantly stated as fact by those who seem intent on compounding the...

DARWIN... DARWIN... ANYONE? ANYONE?

DARWIN... DARWIN... ANYONE? ANYONE? You didn't think "Intelligent Design" was going away, did you? After the devastating defeat of the Dover decision , in which a judge ruled, based upon scientific testimony as well as internal documents from ID's own proponents, that ID was little more than religion dressed up in cheap science costume, the ID gang have regrouped, and now present themselves as brave, embattled scientific insurgents. The Discovery Institute's rather optimistically named blog ID:The Future (fingers crossed!) touts the soon-to-be-released "docudrama" Expelled , which harnesses the white-hot star power of Ben Stein ( Abe Vigoda was unavailable) to expose the disgraceful suppression of Intelligent Design by the Darwinist establishment and its dogmatic insistence that a scientific theory offer a falsifiable hypothesis. As much as the science-averse eighth grader in me enjoys the idea of answering "Because the Designer designed it that way!" to any and all questions on a...

LEAVE THE GUN, TAKE THE HADGI BADAH

LEAVE THE GUN, TAKE THE HADGI BADAH . Today's LA Times , on the difficulties of rooting out Muqtada al-Sadr 's Mahdi Army: Many soldiers also say practices that worked against insurgencies in other wars or in other parts of Iraq may not apply to Baghdad's Shiite neighborhoods. The Al Mahdi militia is not a textbook insurgent group. To Iraqi Shiites, the militia offers a source for basic services and support for the political and religious work of popular anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Sadr. "The Mahdi militia provides services and protects the region," said a 25-year-old clothing salesman in the Shiite neighborhood of New Baghdad who gave his nickname as Abu Atwar. "Militiamen do some killings from time to time, but we do not care about the crimes they commit. Only God can make them pay for that because, as you know, no law is working in Iraq now." The Mahdi Army may not be a textbook insurgent group, but they are in many ways a textbook Islamic resistance organization. Like Hamas and...

WHEN MINI-ME'S ATTACK.

WHEN MINI-ME'S ATTACK. There's a small scuffle going on over at Andrew Sullivan 's place . Yesterday, guest-blogger Jamie Kirchick posted this bizarre item , in which he interpreted a couple of Barack Obama 's statements to derive The Obama Doctrine: "The United States will remain impassive in the face of genocide." Fellow guest-blogger Hilzoy responded with a lengthy, detailed post, arguing that, sure, that makes sense if you ignore everything else that Obama has ever said or written on the subject. Kirchick then lamely responded that he was "was hoping to be provocative and stir some debate," which, while being an incredibly weak defense for accusing someone of ignoring genocide, is what people tend to say after they just been totally pwned. This sort of careless drive-by on a Democrat is typical for Kirchick. I've long wondered what, exactly, this self-described " libertarian " is doing writing for The New Republic ? Are there many other TNR writers who also have gigs writing for...

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