Sam Rosenfeld

Sam Rosenfeld is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard University and a former web editor at the Prospect.

Recent Articles

GPS TRACKING?

GPS TRACKING? The body of one of the three missing U.S. soldiers was found south of Baghdad in the Euphrates River yesterday. The soldier has been identified as 20-year-old Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. "Hassan al-Jibouri, 32, said he saw the body with head wounds and whip marks on its back floating on the river Wednesday morning." If these "head wounds" are drill holes from a power tool, a form of torture common to ethnic kidnappings, this could mean that Anzack was tortured to death with a power drill and a whip. This is a common approach among the Iraqi death squads, as this piece from U.S. News & World Report details: Jaish al-Mahdi [was the] battalion commander who led a 'punishment cell' set up to detain, torture, and kill Iraqis for alleged infractions of Islamic law. Their armed band…is accused of some of the most gruesome crimes in Baghdad, including the kidnapping of 14 Iraqi soldiers in May. When the soldiers' bodies were found, their skulls had been burned with a hot iron,...

DEADLIEST "FRIEDMAN UNIT" YET.

DEADLIEST "FRIEDMAN UNIT" YET. Sadly, it's official: With eight days still to go, May 2007 caps the deadliest six-month period for America of the entire Iraq war -- 540 dead, and counting. May also ends the first six-month period during which at least 80 American service personnel (never mind contractors) died every single month. It's been quite a Friedman Unit . Hopefully, there won't be another fatality the remainder of May; but if the pace continues at the present rate, April and May will also become the first back-to-back triple-digit fatality months. One of the young men who died this month, last Friday to be exact, was Army Specialist Casey Nash of Essex, a blue-collar, working-class community east of Baltimore. He was, in many respects, the prototypical soldier : a young, working-class kid who joined the Army almost straight out of high school. After one extended, 15-month tour, he was recently sent back to Iraq a second time because the Army also extended his service contract...

SO, WHO'S NEXT?

SO, WHO'S NEXT? With the passing of the Rev. Jerry Falwell , whose funeral will take place today, the inevitable question has begun to be asked: who is likely to lead the next generation of right-wing evangelicals? Falwell's colleagues in religious-right leadership -- James Dobson, Pat Robertson and D. James Kennedy -- are all elderly, ailing, or both. What the evolution (if I may) of the religious right over the next decade will look like will depend on the attributes of the next generation of leaders, and the right's intelligent designer may have a few surprises in store. As gay rights leaders Hans Johnson and Bill Eskridge noted in their recent Washington Post op-ed , one of the unintended effects of Falwell's demonization of gay people was to encourage many religious people to embrace the queer folks in their families and congregations -- to hold them close for the sake of safety and righteousness. If there's a change a-comin' in evangelical leadership, it may well be one with a...

JUST SHOOT ME.

JUST SHOOT ME. Today's Washington Post op-ed page self-parody comes from David Ignatius , who passes on the exciting new "post-surge" plan floated by White House officials: President Bush and his senior military and foreign policy advisers are beginning to discuss a "post-surge" strategy for Iraq that they hope could gain bipartisan political support. The new policy would focus on training and advising Iraqi troops rather than the broader goal of achieving a political reconciliation in Iraq, which senior officials recognize may be unachievable within the time available. Which is to say, the new plan consists of nothing that we haven't already been attempting for the last several years, and nothing that in any way addresses the underlying political dynamics that are fuelling the sectarian conflict. Is training the national Iraqi military going to fare any better than our training of the Iraqi police ? (It should also be noted that targetting of "Iranian-backed sectarian militias" will...

TAPPED WINS HILLMAN AWARD.

TAPPED WINS HILLMAN AWARD. Since 1950, the Sidney Hillman Foundation ( named after the progressive hero and founding president of UNITE-HERE's precursor, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America) has given awards each year to "journalists, writers and public figures whose work promotes social and economic justice." As those who read the print New York Times may have noticed in an ad announcement in today's op-ed page, TAPPED was awarded the second-ever Hillman prize for blogs. ( Josh Marshall won last year.) See more here . The folks listed in the announcement -- me, Ann , Ezra , Matt , and Garance -- are those Prospect staffers who've written for or worked on the blog since 2006, but of course the award goes to all of our contributors past and present. And it's a big honor. Given Playboy 's ranking of us as one of the top political blogs last year, I should say that it's nice to be able to provide some kind of common ground at the nexus of Sidney Hillman and Hugh Hefner . UPDATE:...

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