July 16, 2009

Arguing for Uncertainty

Andrew Bostom

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 1:38 PM | Permalink | 91 Comments »

July 15, 2009

Blumenthal Feels the Hate

Max Blumenthal, son of former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal, made quite a splash on the Internet recently when he posted a video portraying drunken Americans in Israel hurling racist epithets against President Barack Obama. One of his subjects even shouted

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:09 AM | Permalink | 19 Comments »

July 14, 2009

A Smoldering Disaffection with the President’s Policy

Marty Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, voted for President Barack Obama as you'd expect from the boss at a left-leaning magazine. But he has some complaints about the president's foreign policy, as do I. (I more or less approve so far of Obama's handling of Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan.)

Frankly, I am sick and tired of President Obama's eldering--more accurately, hectoring--Israel's leaders. It is, after all, they whose country is the target of an armed and ideological cyclone that Obama has done precious little to ease. He brought nothing back from Riyadh and Cairo, absolutely nothing except the conviction of the Arab leaders that they need do nothing but sit and wait until the president squeezes one concession after another out of Jerusalem. Oops, I apologize. Maybe I should still say Tel Aviv. In any case, waiting is exactly what they are doing. Palestinian President Abbas has prided himself in doing just that. He had said so, as I pointed out in this space a few weeks ago.

Maybe you weren't offended by Obama's advice to Israel, via some 15 American Jewish leaders, that it had to "engage in serious self-reflection," as if it took its perils frivolously. But I know many Democrats who are; they're just a bit intimidated to say so.

I also know Democrats who voted for Barack Obama who think his Israel policy is obnoxious and are afraid to say so out loud. We'll see how much longer that lasts.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 8:35 PM | Permalink | 49 Comments »

Problem with the Comments Section

All comments, including my own, that include links are instantly deleted by my publishing software. Anyone who writes something in the comments section with even a single embedded link will see a message claiming the comment will be published after I approve it. But that isn't actually happening. These comments are being deleted straight away before I even have the chance to look at them, let alone approve them. I'm not sure what the problem is. This is not a feature. It's a bug. Any ideas?

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 1:59 PM | Permalink | 5 Comments »

July 13, 2009

We Are Not at War with Nouri al-Maliki

Robert Spencer, founder and lead writer for Jihad Watch, has a bit of trouble telling the difference between friend and foe in Iraq and still thinks, despite everything, that the United States is losing the war.

Instead of referring to me by name, he sarcastically dismisses me as a

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 8:26 PM | Permalink | 21 Comments »

Abbas Goes to Eleven

David Hazony has a must-read piece in Commentary about the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

One of the clearest indicators as to whether you are negotiating with someone who actually wants to reach a deal, or alternatively has no intention of closing but is negotiating for other reasons, is how your partner responds to concessions on your part. Let

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 10:54 AM | Permalink | 21 Comments »

July 12, 2009

“It’s the Militia or Me”

I've never believed politics should get in the way of romantic relationships. My parents are political opposites, and so are my in-laws. My wife and I have our disagreements as well as our similarities.

But sometimes, in certain contexts, politics should be an issue. Iran in 2009 is one of those places and times. I almost feel sorry for this guy in the head-cracking Basij militia, but I don't really:

For Mr. Moradani, the biggest shock during the election turmoil came in his personal life. He had recently gotten engaged to a young woman from a devout, conservative family. A week into the protests, he says, his fianc

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 3:24 PM | Permalink | 21 Comments »

July 8, 2009

The Future of Iraq, Part III

Future of Iraq Part III.jpg

On my last trip to Iraq, I asked a number of Americans and Iraqis what they think about the future in that country. Around half were optimistic and half were pessimistic. This is the third installment in a four-part series. Optimists were quoted at length in parts one and two. I'm giving equal time here to the pessimists.

The United States has basically won the war in Iraq. No insurgent or terrorist group can declare victory or claim Americans are evacuating Iraq

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 10:55 PM | Permalink | 8 Comments »

The Least Free Places on Earth

Foreign Policy magazine rates the least free places on Earth. North Korea "tops" them all, naturally. Libya, the most thoroughly totalitarian place I've ever visited, makes the grade. Some of the pet countries of fools, such as Cuba and "liberated" South Ossetia (in Georgia), are listed, too.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 7:28 PM | Permalink | Comments Off
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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