Not A Book Burning
March 06, 2007

OK, it was not a book burning. It was a book bombing. "At least" 20 people were killed in the latest mass murder in Baghdad, and more than 60 wounded. The area around Mutanabi Street, where 40 students at Mustansiriya University lost their lives on February 25, is the cultural center of the Iraqi capital. Not quite like the old Sixth in Paris or Bloomsbury in London, but old, intense, and breathing the new life of freedom because there was no fear of Saddam. That's what Edward Wong and Wissam A.

March 06, 2007

You know things are getting tense among Democrats when anti-war liberals start calling Jack Murtha a sellout. --Michael Crowley

Has She No Shame? Yes, She Has No Shame
March 03, 2007

Barack Obama announced a few weeks ago that he would join (my old friend and comrade) Rep. John Lewis on the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to mark the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, when the state police beat the hell out of peaceful civil right demonstrators... and bashed the skull of Lewis, then head of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Science Doorstops Worth A Look
February 26, 2007

by John McWhorter In the vein of using this blog to shine a light on authors who don't get the attention they deserve, two books on how genetic data is revising what we know about early human migrations by Stephen Oppenheimer have been major eye openers for me. The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa, from 2003, shows how data from mutations in mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome are now allowing us pinpoint the pathways that humankind took from Africa in often bracing detail.

New Protocols
February 26, 2007

Well, you know about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They are the minutes of a conference of rabbis, communists, capitalists and Zionists who contrived a plot to dominate the world. The document has fueled more than a hundred years of Jew-hatred.

Girl Interrupted
February 26, 2007

Mustansiriya University is a mostly Shia institution of higher learning in Baghdad whose main campus experienced 70 dead in a series of bombings last month. Brian Murphy's AP dispatch from Baghdad reports that its campus annex was attacked by a female suicide bomber on Sunday, killing another 41. There are two facts one can deduce from this event. The first is that the murderer was a foreigner, a woman Arab Sunni fanatic smuggled into Iraq. We know this because virtually every one of the suicidalists has come from abroad.

In Today's Web Magazine
February 26, 2007

Jeffrey Rosen takes a luxury junket to the heart of Bush's war on terrorism; reporting from Jordan, where many have fled, Anna Husarska documents the living hell of pro-U.S. Iraqis; Michael Tomasky begins a debate with Fred Siegel about Rudy Giuliani's chances; and Jonathan Chait debunks the conservative myth that Hillary Clinton is unstoppable. --Adam B. Kushner

Sunni V. Shiite
February 26, 2007

Just to follow up on what Brad wrote earlier regarding Seymour Hersh's latest New Yorker piece, there is something deeply ironic about the Bush administration's latest Middle East strategy. Despite two wars and lots of talk about upending the status quo in the Arab world, the Bushies seem to be working from the same playbook used throughout much of the past thrity years: Make a Devil's Bargain with corrupt Sunni regimes, let them support (and yet paradoxically try to contain) Sunni extremist elements, and make sure Iran and the Shiites don't become too powerful.

At Long Last, Sir
February 26, 2007

Joe Lieberman has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. I found this passage particularly incredible: Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraq--or by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? Unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington?

Days Of Glory
February 22, 2007

Last night I went to see what I thought was Clint Eastwood's American pendant to his at once nuanced and stirring movie, Letters from Iwo Jima (which I hope wins the Academy Award for Best Picture.) The film I thought I was going to see was Flags of Our Fathers. But what I actually saw was Days of Glory. No, not that other Days of Glory with Gregory Peck and made in 1944. Yet there are some similarities. Both are about soldiers fighting the Nazis. The Peck drama centered on Russian partisans resisting the German occupation of the Motherland.