Everyone in the magazine business understands that sometimes you sell articles or blog posts by making them sound sexier than they actually are. However, there are some things that one should probably shy away from. One of those things is accusing people of sexism without a shred of evidence. The charge shouldn't be made lightly.
Syria is disintegrating. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government has been overthrown, and its leaders are behind bars. Iran has a new president. The debate between Islamists and secularists in Tunisia is heating up. The United States is preparing to pull out of Afghanistan. With all of this going simultaneously, I thought I would call up Olivier Roy, an expert on political Islam who teaches at the European University Institute in Italy.
Responding to an interview with author Andrew Bacevich that he finds overly negative, The New York Times' Ross Douthat lays out his case for why American policy in the Middle East over the past 30-plus years has not been so bad. This is the crux of his argument:
As the first of what will be semi-regular chats with former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, I called him up on Monday to hear his opinions on Syria, Obama’s second-term agenda, and Larry Summers vs. Janet Yellen at the Fed. Isaac Chotiner: Do you think that Obama’s going to get this vote on Syria through Congress? Barney Frank: Oh, I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a possible way. There are people who would have a much better idea of that than I would. IC: Do you talk to any old friends in the House about what they’re thinking? BF: I’ve talked to exactly three members.
Chris Smith's very well executed interview with Michael Bloomberg in New York has received a lot of press for the mayor's remarks about Bill De Blasio, one of the candidates hoping to succeed him. But the Q&A is more interesting for what it reveals about Bloomberg: namely, that he has not changed one iota since becoming mayor, and remains just as distant and sheltered as ever. First, the De Blasio excerpt:
In a piece titled 'A Solution From Hell,' the editors of n+1, playing off the title of Samantha Power's A Problem From Hell, take a long look at the history of humanitarian intervention, and decide that it has never been done successfully. The piece is somewhat of a historical survey, and it ends as follows:
Given that the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons—or perhaps its latest use of chemical weapons—has been the particular atrocity that is likely going to lead the United States to war, the logic behind this rationale is worth exploring. My friend and colleague John Judis, in a piece titled "Obama's Biggest Gamble," explains the risks of President Barack Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization. He concludes by writing:
Peter Baker has a superb, deeply reported story in The New York Times on the Obama administration's attempted "reset" with Russia. According to Baker, the policy is "a case study in how the heady idealism of Mr.
In a blockbuster story in The Washington Post, Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman detail more aspects of the United States's so called "black budget," which was revealed by Edward Snowden in leaks to the newspaper. Today's long piece is about the United States's strained relationship with Pakistan, and offers some fresh detail about the country's secretive nuclear program.
In a post for The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf argues that the insularity of Washington commentators has made a war with Syria increasingly likely, or perhaps inevitable.