Religion

Nyc Schools And Muslim Holidays
July 09, 2009

Last week, the New York City Council passed a resolution to close public schools on two Muslim holidays. The resolution asks that the city's Department of Education recognize the holidays, and that the state government amend education law to do the same.

Was The Obama Campaign A Lie?
June 23, 2009

Harper's publisher John R. MacArthur, writing in the Providence Journal, says that President Obama misled the American people: IT ISN’T QUITE FAIR to call Barack Obama a liar. During the campaign he carefully avoided committing to much of anything important that he might have to take back later. For now, I won’t quibble with The St. Petersburg Times’s Obamameter, which so far has the president keeping 30 promises and breaking only six. And yet, broadly speaking, Obama has been lying on a pretty impressive scale. MacAurthur goes on to list Obama's "lies." He provides four examples.

Kagan: The Reconciliation
June 18, 2009

Robert Kagan emails to contest one element of my critique of his column. I wrote: Kagan begins with the premise that the Bush administration pursued an idealistic policy of supporting the Iranian opposition, which Obama has abandoned in the name of realism: The United States had to provide some guarantee to the regime that it would no longer support opposition forces or in any way seek its removal.

Is Obama Secretly Rooting Against Iran's Liberals?
June 17, 2009

Robert Kagan has a fairly embarassing column today excoriating President Obama for failing to support the Iranian protestors. Kagan begins with the premise that the Bush administration pursued an idealistic policy of supporting the Iranian opposition, which Obama has abandoned in the name of realism: The United States had to provide some guarantee to the regime that it would no longer support opposition forces or in any way seek its removal.

Between Idealism And Realism In Iran
June 16, 2009

Peter Scoblic is the executive editor of The New Republic and the author of U.S. vs. Them, which is now out in paperback. Like my colleagues, I am rapt by the sight of the Iranian protests. In fact, listening to NPR's coverage from Tehran this morning, I found myself rapt by the sound of the protests, the kind of roar that only a stadium-sized group of people can produce. It's an inspiring moment in Iranian politics.

For A Prudent Idealism
June 16, 2009

I like to think of myself as a prudent idealist in foreign policy and also as a follower of Woodrow Wilson (at least before Wilson, in the spring of 1919, beaten down and incapacitated by illness, became incapable of making the distinctions and compromises necessary to successful diplomacy). I am certainly as enthusiastic as anyone else about Iranians taking to the street against Ahmadinejad. But unlike some of my colleagues, I fully support the Obama administration's cautious diplomacy and worry about their appearing to take sides in the contest between Ahmadinejad and Moussavi.

The Return Of Idealism
June 15, 2009

The past few years haven't been kind to foreign policy idealism--the belief that when authoritarian states mistreat their own people, it is a matter of concern for all of us. We idealists can largely blame ourselves for this. The biggest reason idealism fell out of favor was Iraq--a disastrous war that many of us foolishly supported in the naive belief that substituting liberalism for totalitarianism in the heart of the Middle East would be a relatively simple thing. We made mistakes beyond Iraq, too.

Rahm The Dove?
June 09, 2009

So says Newsweek: Emanuel's status as a near-native son gave some Israelis and Jews the impression he would be their guy on the Obama team—the pro-Israeli with the receptive ear. He had those golden Zionist credentials, after all: His father, Benjamin, had been a member of the Irgun, the right-wing Jewish militia that existed before Israeli independence. His Uncle Emanuel had been killed in a skirmish with Arabs back in the '30s, prompting the family to change its name from Auerbach to honor him. But some in the Jewish community have been disappointed.

Worth Reading
June 04, 2009

Beneficiaries of tax breaks from the "Homeland Investment Act" did anything but. Countrywide's former CEO is charged with insider trading. Morgan Stanley says the rise in rates is "fully driven by a rise in the inflation premium." Digg is letting users vote on the site's advertising. Why do men have more followers on Twitter? --Zubin Jelveh

Insta-meshal
June 04, 2009

Joe Klein happened to interview the Hamas leader an hour after Obama's Cairo speech. Meshal wasn't impressed: "Undoubtedly Obama speaks a new language," he told me. "His speech was cleverly designed... The essence of the speech was to improve the U.S. image and to placate the Muslims. We don't mind either objective, but we are looking for more than just mere words. If the United States wishes to open a new page, we definitely would welcome this. We are keen to contribute to this. But we [believe that can not happen] merely with words.

Pages