Civil War In Iraq
November 25, 2006

This is the headline over an AP dispatch from Baghdad: "Iraq: Civil war feared after bombers kill 215." Does not calling it a civil war keep it from being a civil war? The death rates are worse than those in the Spanish Civil War and much worse than those in Bosnia. Why the hesitancy, both official and from others? Let's face it. There is a civil war going on in Iraq, and it has been going on for months and months. No one in the country really identifies himself as an Iraqi.

Terrorism And Risk Perception
November 24, 2006

by Cass Sunstein David Bell says that it is "a pity" that Overblown, by John Mueller, "isn't getting more attention," because its central thesis--that the risk of terrorism is wildly exaggerated--deserves to be part of public debate.

Lebanon War Iii
November 17, 2006

The United Nations performs again. And also the Lebanese army. Well, not exactly. According to Security Council Resolution 1701, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has been there for almost three fruitless decades, was supposed to be beefed up (that is, tripled in size) with real soldiers and given more arms and to perform the task of peace-keeping more--shall we say?--aggressively. Lebanon's army was supposed to displace and replace Hezbollah in the south. Everybody knows that none of this has happened.

Inside Man
November 15, 2006

On Monday, Nancy Pelosi made an announcement that was buried amid the tumult over the Steny Hoyer-Jack Murtha battle for House majority leader. It was the appointment of Representative Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, to be the head of Pelosi's "transition team" as she assumes the job of House speaker.

Pumped Up
November 13, 2006

Last fall, Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't escape the huge crowds of union members and Democrats who protested his ballot initiatives that proposed reshaping the state's education, budget, and political systems. Protesters surrounded hotels where he spoke,gathered outside TV studios and restaurants where he appeared, and even confronted him in hallways and kitchens. The angry hordes reflected a statewide rejection of the once-popular governor--more than 55 percent of Californians disapproved of his job performance, and Democratic challengers led in early polls on the 2006 governor's race.

History, Spin, And The New Congress
November 08, 2006

by Eric RauchwayHere is a chart (data here) showing Democratic representation in the Congress since the New Deal; the black bar indicates the threshold for a majority. It's way too soon to say anything really meaningful about this, but here are two of my thoughts:      1. You could spin this as a narrow, non-ideological, throw-the-bums out victory.

The Wrong Target?
November 06, 2006

by Jacob T.

Security Risk
November 02, 2006

The French may be soft on the Arabs in their diplomacy. And they are without a clue about how to deal with the simmering revolt in the banlieues of the big cities. But when it comes to their absolute security, they move quite quickly and decisively--if also with a more than slightly heavy hand. It's not quite what it was during the Algerian War when young Arab men with bad papers or no papers at all were dragooned out of the mètro and put on a plane to North Africa. Or, even more brutally, unceremoniously dumped in the Seine to fend for themselves.

What The Realists Wrought
October 30, 2006

During these very days fifty years ago, history was being betrayed by the cool realists in Washington. But the history was being made in the streets of Budapest and on the sands near Suez. Let me begin with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Of the Warsaw Pact countries, Hungary may not have been the most brutalized. But it had a resilient population of pious Catholics, some socialists and a smattering of liberals. A goodly number of these Catholics had been sympathizers of the fascist regime of Admiral Horthy, which was independent of Nazi Germany until late in the war.

Liberal Vs. Progressive
October 29, 2006

by David GreenbergI'm delighted to have Geoffrey Nunberg, whose writings I've admired for a long time, contributing to this blog, and I'm glad that he picked up a thread--on the differences, if there are any, between liberals and progressives--that Casey Blake and Eric Rauchway debated a few weeks ago. A couple of additional thoughts. Geoff has written a brilliant chapter in his new book Talking Right about the vicissitudes of the word liberal.