Category Archives: Featured Analysis

Honey, I Shrank the Superpower

In a snide reference to Bill Clinton’s 1992 promise to “build a bridge into the 21st century,” Barack Obama recently quipped that what Hillary Clinton really offers is a bridge back into the 20th century. Yet, a bridge back into the last century may be what all the major candidates are offering when they promise to restore the American leadership and primacy. The Republicans promise to restore American power by staying the course in Iraq, threatening Iran, and staring down “radical Islamic terrorism,” which John McCain calls “the transcendent issue of the 21st century.” The Democrats envisage turning the clock back eight years, restoring post-Cold War American primacy simply by adopting a more sober and consensus-based style. The problem, of course, is that while Bush’s
reckless forays into the Middle East have accelerated the decline of America’s strategic influence, there’s little reason to believe that this decline can be reversed either by more of the same, or by a less abrasive tenant in the Oval Office.
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Posted in Annals of Globalization, Featured Analysis | 14 Comments

The Wrong Questions on Iran

Imagine, for a moment, that U.S. troops invading Iraq had, as they neared Baghdad, been fired on by an artillery unit using shells filled VX nerve gas — an attack that would have lasted minutes before a U.S. aircrew had … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Analysis, Situation Report, Unholy War | 279 Comments

European Hypocrisy: A Palestinian View

It is with great pleasure that I welcome back Saifedean Ammous, one of my favorite Rootless Cosmopolitan readers and correspondents — he really is a far better political analyst than he is at predicting football results! Saifedean, currently completing a … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Analysis, Guest Columns, Situation Report | 43 Comments

The West’s Costly Hamas Error

Hamas represents the moderate current in Islamism that advocates for democracy and electoral politics. The alternative — which the West is effectively chosing — is violent nihilism First, it’s worth noting that the whole idea that Palestinian “moderates” are being … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Analysis, Situation Report | 92 Comments

The 8 Fallacies of Bush’s Abbastan Plan

“Hello, Condoleezza Rice,” the Hamas gunman joked, speaking into the President Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen)’s phone from the Palestinian Authority president’s chair in his abandoned Gaza office. “You have to deal with me now, there is no Abu Mazen … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Analysis, Situation Report | 51 Comments

How the 1967 War Doomed Israel

I. Avir harim kalul ba’yayin, ve reach oranim… The opening lines of Naomi Shemer’s legendary Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold) can still bring goosebumps to my flesh, even decades after I deconstructed and relinquished the mythology connoted by the … Continue reading

Posted in A Wondering Jew, Featured Analysis, Situation Report | 110 Comments

Getting Sarkozy Wrong

Bonhomie does not a policy make: Sarkozy’s agenda is “to the left of Kucinich” One of the reasons I know I’m doing something right on this web site is the fact that I’m lucky enough to have Bernard Chazelle as … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization, Featured Analysis, Guest Columns, Situation Report | 98 Comments

Palestinian Pinochet Making His Move?

There’s something a little misleading in the media reports that routinely describe the fighting in Gaza as pitting Hamas against Fatah forces or security personnel “loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.” That characterization suggests somehow that this catastrophic civil war that … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Analysis, Situation Report | 50 Comments

Iraq: The Trouble With ‘Benchmarks’

Or else what, George? From my new piece at TIME.com: Now that they each have registered their respective positions about tying Iraq war funding to a withdrawal timetable, congressional Democrats and President Bush are seeking a workable compromise. The most … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Analysis, Situation Report, The 51st State | 10 Comments

Why the U.S. Can’t Leave Iraq

The debate in Washington over troop withdrawals from Iraq is largely a pantomime for domestic political consumption — the Democrats are maneuvering to disassociate themselves from an unpopular war that a majority of their senators originally backed, and that they … Continue reading

Posted in Featured Analysis, Situation Report, The 51st State | 28 Comments