Clinton

The Operator

On May 28, George Tenet delivered for the Bush administration. Nearly two months had passed since the fall of Baghdad. U.S. forces had turned up no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, raising the specter of gross misjudgment on the part of the U.S. intelligence community and allegations of presidential dishonesty. But, that day, the CIA announced that two trailers found in northern Iraq the previous month were actually mobile biological-agent production facilities.

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The Rejection

The Palestinian People: A History By Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S.

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Persian Gulf

So far America's war on terrorism has converged nicely with the regional interests of the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism: Iran. After September 11, 2001, the United States worked with Tehran's mullahs to help oust their Sunni rivals to the east in Afghanistan, the Taliban.

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Personality Test

Erskine Bowles likes to say that he is not a politician--which might seem strange considering that he's running to replace Jesse Helms as a U.S. senator from North Carolina. But watching Bowles campaign at a nursing home outside of Greensboro one recent summer morning, it was easy to understand his oft-repeated disclaimer. Several dozen seniors were gathered in the facility's dreary dining room, more than a couple of them nodding off despite the breakfast cleanup loudly taking place in the adjoining kitchen.

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Small Arms

Today, Ba'adre is once again a sleepy, backwater town in northern Iraq, 25 miles south of Dohuk and miles from the nearest paved road. Few Iraqis have ever heard of Ba'adre, and fewer still visit. But, for 72 hours in December 2000, Ba'adre captured attention in crisis rooms in Washington, London, and Ankara after Iraqi troops invaded the Kurdish safe haven and laid siege to the town.

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Kick Stand

A few of us at The New Republic have gotten into the habit of expressing our mundane daily conversations in the lingo of 30 second political attack ads. (Just the sort of behavior that made us so cool in high school.) Suppose a colleague wants to head to a familiar spot for lunch, and I prefer a new place.

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At an early June meeting of Republican activists in California, White House political director Ken Mehlman set the stage for the November congressional elections. Delivering a slick PowerPoint presentation with 27 slides bearing short, declarative sentences and nifty national maps, Mehlman summarized the parties' competing approaches with boardroom efficiency. First he explained the by-now-familiar Democratic strategy: Support George W.

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Asia Minor

In June 1997 the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was on the congressional chopping block, its funding zeroed out by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Created to promote democracy around the globe, the endowment seemed about to fall victim to an argument that was potent from the early 1990s through September 10, 2001: that, with the cold war over, democracy faced no serious threat. But exiled Chinese dissident Wu Xuecan begged to differ.

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Last week, in the middle of the Battle of Gardez, theater commander Army General Tommy Franks expressed his condolences to the families of American soldiers who lost their lives “in our ongoing operations in Vietnam.” It was a strange slip. In truth, recent ground operations in Afghanistan have had exactly the opposite resonance: Never in the past 30 years has the specter of Vietnam been further from the minds of American military planners. The involvement of sizable numbers of conventional Army forces in sustained combat is a remarkable development in itself, one not seen since the Gulf war.

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Deserted

As we walked along Timbuktu's sandy streets, past mud mosques and houses, warm winds from the Sahara whipped dust over the city, obscuring the sun and stinging my eyes. The wind did not bother my guide Muhammad, however.

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