I.f. Stone Redivivus
October 02, 2006
There are three or four living political intellectuals by whose ideas I test my own. I blame none of them for what others may think my excesses. But I am always both eager and nervous to find out what they think. Paul Berman is one of these by whom I judge myself. Maybe it is solipsistic to introduce a third person by what he means to me. But probably you have read him in TNR many times (here, here, and here) and elsewhere, too. He is one of our contributing editors and, therefore, one of our gang. When Paul writes in others' pages, I immediately feel a kind of sullen envy.
October 01, 2006
by Richard Stern What a medley the least complex of us is. When the medley is exhibited on the large screen of public life, the discrepant elements can become components of tragedy or farce. Take the enormously gifted and attractive person who serves as our secretary of state. The child and grandchild of high-minded, accomplished people of exceptional dignity--grandfather and father Presbyterian ministers, mother a teacher of science, music, and oratory--she grew up in Birmingham exceptionally alert to the racial fires from which her parents could not protect her.
A Grave Turning Point In America
September 28, 2006
by Alan Wolfe Did it finally happen here? I've always been a skeptic of Sinclair Lewis's sloppily written novel of 1935--and equally skeptical of all those left-wingers who predict, sometimes with barely repressed glee, a fascist takeover of the United States. But there is no doubting that something finally happened this week. It is not just that Congress is about to give the president the authority to collect anyone, including an American citizen, off the street to be indefinitely imprisoned as an enemy combatant.
September 27, 2006
by Alan Wolfe"Since the Iraq war started, there have not been any successful terrorist attacks against the United States." So wrote Robert Kagan in yesterday's Washington Post in an op-ed arguing that we should not rush to judgment on the now-famous NIE leak. I know that Kagan thinks that Europeans are from Venus, but does that mean that terrorist attacks in London and Madrid should somehow not be counted because they were not attacks against "us"? I thought this was a battle in which the entire West is engaged. Kagan, evidently, does not.
What No One Will Be Saying About The Nie
September 26, 2006
by Daniel Drezner The declassified portion of the much-discussed NIE is now available online. Bloggers and analysts will spend the next 24 hours parsing and re-parsing the document to see exactly what was said about the relationship between the war in Iraq and the global war on terror (like, for example, here). In the interest of being contrarian, therefore, I think it's worth highlighting a surprising assertion made in the NIE that has nothing to do with Iraq:Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies.
September 26, 2006
I don't know who collected these comments on France. Let me assure you though that I am not a Francophobe. It is true that for a few years in recent times I have not bought French wines. But I did drink the ones I had in my cellar. In any case, there is some silliness in what follows. But there is also some wisdom, wisdom garnered from historical experience. If you are a Francophile, you may not want to read this. It's your choice. Feel free to send this to friends if you like. That's how I saw it in the first place. "France has neither winter nor summer nor morals.
A Lieberman Fantasy
September 25, 2006
by David BromwichA tempting fantasy, in Sanford Levinson's posting, about Senator Lieberman being ideally situated to emerge as a hero of constitutional liberty. What, exactly, in Senator Lieberman's record of the past ten years would suggest an absorbing concern with the integrity of the Constitution?
What Is Political Sophistication?
September 24, 2006
by Jeffrey HerfIn this age of terror fueled by the ideology of Islamic extremism, some old insights of the liberal historiography of the roots and nature of Nazism remain relevant. In works published in the 1960s and 1970s, two of Nazism's preeminent historians, George Mosse in this country, and Karl Dietrich Bracher, in the Federal Republic of Germany made a similar point about the political significance of ideological fanaticism.
Lieberman's Unique Opportunity
September 24, 2006
by Sanford LevinsonDoes any serious person believe that the current rush to pass a new law with regard to modes of interrogation (i.e., the potential use of what most people would regard as torture) and to the possibility that many detainees, especially low-level ones, will spend their lives in prisons without the slightest semblance of due process, is anything other than an artifact of Karl Rove and George Bush's desperate desire to scare the country into voting for vulnerable Republican representatives and senators by ramping up the fear attached to the "war on terror"?
Show Of Force
September 22, 2006
DEBKAfile, an intelligence Internet site put together daily by ex-Mossad staffers and other former Israeli security personnel, has often been on target and prematurely so. Sometimes it has been wrong. I don't know whether what seems to me to be the quite plausible report on a military alliance cemented at the 14th conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Havana earlier this month is reliable or not. The coalition--uniting Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela--seems to be taking shape at the initiative of Hugo Chávez, but with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad providing the show weapons.