Franklin Foer

Flacks Americana
May 20, 2002

  It's five miles from Northern Virginia, where the Pentagon sets military targets, and a mile and a half from Foggy Bottom, where the State Department cobbles together coalitions. To look at it, you'd never guess that the ten-story glass-and-steel building at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and T Street, nestled amid the town houses and cafes of Dupont Circle, serves as one of the headquarters for the U.S. propaganda war against terrorism. If it doesn't look like a government office building, that's because it's not. Rather, it houses a public relations firm called The Rendon Group.

Welfare State
May 06, 2002

The fight over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (anwr) may be over, but it revealed a curious truth: The most zealous proponents of dotting the Alaskan tundra with oil derricks are ... the Alaskans themselves. A poll last year showed that 75 percent of state residents support anwr drilling. The Anchorage Times and Anchorage Daily News both came out in favor of it. And the state's small but noisy congressional delegation--Senators Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski and Representative Don Young--led the charge on Capitol Hill.

Relativity Theory
April 22, 2002

Alexander Cockburn isn't a big fan of Israel. The Irish expat's column for The Nation, "Beat the Devil," regularly trashes the Zionist entity. Among his typical criticisms: Israel's American supporters are "the spiritual soul-mates of those fanatical Cuban exiles"; Ariel Sharon's "credentials as a war criminal are robust";the occupation of the Palestinians amounts to genocide.

The Devil You Know
April 15, 2002

Alexander Cockburn isn't a big fan of Israel. The Irish expat's column for The Nation, "Beat the Devil," regularly trashes the Zionist entity. Among his typical criticisms: Israel's American supporters are "the spiritual soul-mates of those fanatical Cuban exiles"; Ariel Sharon's "credentials as a war criminal are robust"; the occupation of the Palestinians amounts to genocide.

Self Service
March 25, 2002

For Washington lobbyists, these were supposed to be the salad days. The Bush administration was to be their playground, the regulatory agencies their dolls to dress up and knock down. And on paper they’ve made out pretty well—tax cuts, the squashing of costly ergonomics rules, favorable appointments throughout the government. But for all their influence, D.C. lobbyists have failed to attain one elusive goal: public respect. During the 2000 primaries, John McCain denounced them as one side of the “iron triangle” of special interests that corrupt American politics.

Fabric Softener
March 04, 2002

Ever since he signed on as America's ally in the war on terrorism, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been asking for one simple favor in return: the suspension of U.S. tariffs and quotas on Pakistani textiles. And, last Monday, Musharraf finally got a definitive response to his request: No. On that day Commerce Under Secretary Grant Aldonas told Musharraf's deputies that the Bush administration would neither push Congress to cut tariffs nor raise quotas for vital Pakistani exports like cotton trousers.

Foreign Aide
February 18, 2002

Gray Davis is facing a tough year. His reelection, once deemed near certain given California's overwhelming Democratic tilt, has been thrown into question by an energy crisis and a moderate, well-known, well-funded Republican challenger.

Successor Story
January 14, 2002

Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Iranian shah, closes his speeches about Iranian democracy with a signature flourish: "This is a cause I believe in and am committed to see to fruition, even if it were at the expense of my own life." At public appearances, his plainclothes security force searches bags for bombs and stands over the crowd like guards watching the prison mess.This isn't paranoia, which famously afflicted his father. Since Ruhollah Khomeini ascended to power in 1979, Iran's ayatollahs have methodically whacked their opponents.

Foreign Aid
November 26, 2001

Since September 11, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has experienced something of an American renaissance. He has become a regular on the Fox News Channel and CNN, and he testified before the House Government Reform Committee. His book, Fighting Terrorism, has suddenly appeared on best-seller lists across the country. Nonetheless, on November 2 Bibi found time to break away from the TV and lecture circuit to head to Manchester, New Hampshire, for a local town-hall meeting at St.

Fevered Pitch
November 12, 2001

ON THE AFTERNOON of September 26, George W. Bush gathered 15 prominent Muslim- and Arab-Americans at the White House. With cameras rolling, the president proclaimed that “the teachings of Islam are teachings of peace and good.” It was a critically important moment, a statement to the world that America’s Muslim leaders unambiguously reject the terror committed in Islam’s name. Unfortunately, many of the leaders present hadn’t unambiguously rejected it. To the president’s left sat Dr.

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