All Terrorism Is Local?
January 26, 2007

by Daniel W. DreznerOver the past few weeks, stories have been trickling out (including Peter Bergen's in TNR) about how Al Qaeda is back and badder than ever (click here for another example). That cheery news was in the back of my head when I attended a few panels of a conference, "The 'War on Terrorism': Where do We Stand?" There was a paradox in the presentations that I saw. On the one hand, terrorism is increasingly prevalent in certain parts of the globe. Mia Bloom from the University of Georgia presented some sobering numbers.

Stumbling Into War
January 26, 2007

Last week, a U.S. official told Laura Rozen that the Bush administration was planning to "confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war." No mention, though, of how the White House planned to ensure that these new moves--confronting Iranian networks in Iraq, doubling its naval power in the Gulf, finding "covert ways to counter Hezbollah in Lebanon"--actually do stop short of war. After all, say the U.S. military decides to "kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq," as seems to be the new policy. Iran could very likely retaliate.

Well, At Least Bush Will Always Have Darryl Worley
January 26, 2007

Merle Haggard's already come out against the war in Iraq. Now it's Toby Keith's turn. From a Newsday profile of The Angry American: Keith doesn't support the Iraq war -- "Never did," he says -- and he favors setting a time limit on the occupation. He says he suspects civil war in Iraq is inevitable and predicts the Kurds will be the victors: "I promise you, they'll end up with it all." The article goes on to mention that Keith is buddies with Bill Richardson. I do think "How Do You Like Me Now" would make a pretty good theme song for Richardson's presidential campaign. --Jason Zengerle

What Can Feingold Really Do?
January 26, 2007

Reader RY doesn't follow Feingold's thinking: Isn't a "cut off the funding" bill merely a beefed up version of the non-binding resolution, in that the "decision maker" will veto it even more surely than he vetoed the stem cell research bill? In short I'm saying that despite the understandable rage and disgust of the Dems plus Hagel, they really can't stop Bush from prosecuting the war. This reader notes that a Congressional veto override--which would require mass GOP defections--is pretty hard to imagine right now, and I would concur. So what's Feingold's thinking? It's hard to be sure.

Kerry's Next Act
January 25, 2007

He may not be running for president, but John Kerry's clearly trying to position himself as the leading anti-war voice in the Senate. Here's his new website: www.setadeadline.com. --Jason Zengerle

Evidence, Please?
January 23, 2007

Two weeks ago, President Bush said, "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces." Presumably he'll hit those notes during the State of the Union tonight, vaguely hinting that escalation with Iran might be in the fold.

It's In The Details
January 22, 2007

Six days ago, bombs went of at a Baghdad university, and some 70 people--mostly students--were the numbered dead when the counting stopped. One hundred and fifty, maybe more, were wounded and maimed. Then, today again in Baghdad, another 75 men and women were slaughtered in a local marketplace after two bombs exploded, which also left more than 175 people injured, disfigured and limbless. In between these two atrocities, other bombings, beheadings, shootings were carried out. Who knows the real murder toll? The fact is no one.

Ancient Hatred
January 22, 2007

Marc Santora, who wrote The New York Times article on which my previous post was based, has just updated his dispatch. Now, it's 88 people dead... and rising. The market place is "littered with pieces of human bodies..." He has also given us some demographics of the murdered, and it is all Shia. This is strategic madness on the part of the Sunnis who cannot win this war, simply cannot. But they are so accustomed to having their will in Iraq that they also simply cannot grasp this truth.

More On Iran
January 22, 2007

I'm hesitant to get into a full-blown debate about Iran and Israel because I don't want to preempt Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael Oren, whose upcoming piece addresses the subject thoughtfully and in great detail. Unlike me, Yossi and Michael actually know what they're talking about. So I'll leave the big questions to them. But I do want to make a few narrow points. Brad, you note that Khamenei has issued a fatwa against developing nuclear weapons. But just about every reputable observer--left, right, dove, hawk, American, Israeli, European--believes that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

The Use And Abuse Of Intelligence
January 21, 2007

by David Bromwich Walter Mondale, interviewed today by Wolf Blitzer, said that in his judgment Vice President Cheney had "crossed a line" the Carter presidency took care to preserve: the line that stops the vice president from becoming an autonomous actor in the framing and the pursuit of policies. He added that Dick Cheney appears to have constructed "a parallel National Security Council" to control national intelligence.