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October 28, 2006

Progressive Strategy

I Want to Intervene
Posted by Shadi Hamid

Heart-wrenching stuff. Via Eteraz, this is a letter written by a son whose mother was stoned to death in Iran. Do you want to understand the psyche of a "liberal interventionist"? Well, when I read this, I want to intervene. There you go.


I read your recent article about stoning to death.

Reading your article reminded me of the bleeding bruises in my heart once again.

You wrote about murdering by stoning?

Have you ever held a bloody tool in your hands with which they have murdered your mother?

Have you ever touched the bloody skin and hair of your mother who has just been killed in a deep hole?

Have you ever followed the line of your mother’s blood in order to find her corpse thrown at the back of a truck?

Have you ever seen the fresh grave of that dearest being with a small piece of paper on which they have written her name wrapped around a small branch of tree?

Continue reading "I Want to Intervene" »

October 27, 2006


Rumsfeld under Pressure
Posted by Michael Signer

Rumsfeld's cracking up.  Sing it with me.

Bah bah bah bah bah bah bah bah
Bah bah bah bah bah bah
Pressure pressing down on me
Under pressure
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

Here he is to reporters in yesterday's presser:

"You ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it's complicated, it's difficult."

Continue reading "Rumsfeld under Pressure" »

October 25, 2006


Notes from the Road
Posted by Lorelei Kelly

Still on the road with baby in tow...On Sunday, I watched the Chinese boat swamp at the famed Head of the Charles regatta in Boston. Right beneath the Elliot Bridge it went down with the entire crew...valiantly trying to keep it going forward. Maybe our fears of a rising Chinese navy are premature?  The launch boat was really slow to the rescue, and Notre Dame lost a chunk of time, but everyone got out okay.

Two noteable items from this past week:

The world public opinion poll that found seven in ten Americans favor Congressional candidates who  will pursue major changes in US foreign policy, want less emphasis on use of military force to solve problems and want to work more cooperatively with the United Nations.  Most favor direct talks with North Korea and Iran to boot!

And this article by Kevin Tillman--the brother of Pat Tillman  (pro football player turned Army Ranger) who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. It is a concise and raw summary of where we've been these past five years.

Progressive Strategy

The Left Rediscovers its Love of Manifestos
Posted by Shadi Hamid

Contrary to Tony Judt’s delusional assertions about liberal acquiescence to Bush’s ruinous foreign policy designs, I must say that recent months have demonstrated that liberals are a serious bunch, who are, once again, thinking big. In my August Prospect essays on the future of progressive foreign policy, I cited the works of Michael Signer, Madeleine Albright, Robert Wright, and Peter Beinart in proposing bold alternatives to neo-isolationism of the ascendant Left and the neo-conservatism of the once-ascendant Right. Most of you are probably already familiar with these contributions.

The last year or so has also marked a renewed liberal interest in the treasured art of manifesto writing. For starters, Peter Beinart’s book is a manifesto if not in form then certainly in ambition. When young Democrats who care about foreign policy meet these days, one of the first things they presumably ask each other is whether they have dutifully read The Good Fight. Yes, it’s a damn good book. Beyond that, there is the Euston Manifesto, authored across the pond by Norman Geras and a reputable slate of intellectuals, who know moral clarity when they see it, and also when they write it.

More recently, I read the short-form sort-of-manifesto of Bruce Ackerman and Todd Gitlin, published in The American Prospect. I think it’s a bit lacking in the atmospherics that one has come to expect from manifestos, but I suppose this is the price we pay for living in a somewhat post-ideological world. Nevertheless, it’s signed by quite a few prominent people, so it’s certainly worth looking at, if for no other reason than its serving as a nice rejoinder to the political misanthropy of the almost-too-ubiquitous Tony Judt.

I suspect there will be more manifestos to come, led by the curiously titled and already wildly over-appreciated book – Ethical Realism – by unabashed</