Definining 'us'
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.

Poking Fun
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.

Darfur's U.n. Fantasy
September 22, 2006

Poor Darfur. The African Union (AU) will stay in the region. Many people around the world will then think that there is a robust peacekeeping force preventing the Sudanese military and its bloody Janjaweed allies from murdering their designated enemies, the black Muslims of Sudan. The AU says they will only be there until a U.N. mobilization arrives, better equipped and with more soldiers. This is a fantasy that will never happen, and both the AU and the United Nations know it. The Khartoum government won't allow them to enter the country.

Not All Love Lost
September 19, 2006

by Darrin McMahonI was in Argentina last week, and surprised at how often and how warmly the people I met there responded to the fact that I was American. One particularly endearing man, now in his 80s, had worked for Sears in the 1950s selling appliances, and relished the thought of going back. Another told of how he had watched his parents weep over the news of President Kennedy's assassination ("Era Católico!"), and rocked out in his teens to Dylan and Jimi Hendrix.

War Over Words
September 17, 2006

It's really quite amazing to see so many Muslims having a temper fit about the Pope locating a propensity toward violence in Islam and then watching as its militants proceed to firebomb Christian churches in revenge. As of Sunday a.m., at least seven churches had been firebombed in what's called Palestine alone. Five of these were not even Catholic, which reflects Islam's sloppy and undiscerning conception of the other. A non-believer is a non-believer. You don't have to know anything else.