Chuck Pena: Public Enemy Number One in Iraq

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I woke up this morning to the breaking news that Coalition forces had killed public enemy number one in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, in an airstrike. This is certainly good news. The United States has one less excuse to linger in Iraq and should re-focus its attention on the real al Qaeda threat: bin Laden and what remains of the al Qaeda leadership thought to be hiding in Pakistan — we need to remind ourselves that it was bin…

Mohammad Mohamedou: The Meaning of al Zarqawi’s Death

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Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s killing is not surprising, less significant strategically than it will inevitably be presented to be, and the man will in all likelihood be replaced sooner or later. For the past three years, al Zarqawi had been battling the world’s most powerful armies in the middle of a population whose majority (the Iraqi Shia) he had declared war on. He was on the run, and a $25 million bounty had been put on him in a place…

Robert Schlesinger: The Somalia CYA Campaign

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Mark Mazzetti’s NY Times front-pager on the most recent U.S. failures in Somalia is worth reading on two levels. First it’s an illustrative account of where we went wrong in allying ourselves with Somali warlords. (Is it ever a good idea to line up with someone who can be straight-facedly identified as a “warlord”?) Also worth some careful reading is the subtext of the piece. To wit A covert effort by the Central Intelligence Agency to finance Somali warlords has…

Robert Schlesinger: Zarqawi Killed

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In case you missed it, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. air strike Wednesday. Good. It will be interesting to see to what extent this affects the insurgency in Iraq. If we have learned anything about modern terrorism it’s that these violent Islamist movements are constantly evolving and able to replace their leaders. Robert Schlesinger, a Washington-based author writing a book on presidential speechwriters, regularly blogs on the Huffington Post.

Jon Wolfsthal: What’s Good for the Iranian Goose is Good for the North Korean Gander

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For months, various groups, former government officials and foreign policy experts have called on the United States to engage Iran directly to find a diplomatic solution to the continuing nuclear standoff. The recent Bush administration decision to offer direct talks with Iran, with appropriate conditions to ensure that a diplomatic solution also meets US security objectives, is a positive step forward in resolving the showdown with Tehran. The incentives being offered to Iran to abandon their uranium enrichment and plutonium…

Karen J. Greenberg: A World of Difference: Homeland Security versus New York City

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Here’s a way to feel better about the Department of Homeland Security’s evident disregard for the safety of New Yorkers, not to mention Washingtonians. Years ago, New York Knicks Basketball fans found a way to turn unfairness to their advantage. It was the early 90’s, part of the Larry Bird/Robert Parish Boston Celtics era. Game after game, the Knicks, led by Patrick Ewing, would be fouled, sometimes flagrantly, by the contemptuous Who-Me? Celtics. Rather than complain, Coach Pat Riley’s Knicks…

Alexander Steffler: From Salad Bowl to Pressure Cooker?

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Do we really know where we are in the immigration debate? We sure haven’t figured out the economic dimensions yet, as John Tierney pointed out yesterday in discussing border security’s relationship with opportunities for legal migration. As it turns out, we don’t know much about the cultural or ethnic facets of immigration to the United States, either. In her 2002 book World on Fire, Yale Law professor Amy Chua points out that free-market democracies often have the unintended consequence of…

Jeremy Kahn: Working with Bad Guys

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The revelation that the CIA did nothing to go after Adolf Eichmann after it was tipped off in 1958 by West German intelligence that he was living in Argentina under an assumed name is an example of the dangers that can arise when a country chooses to subordinate all aspects of its foreign policy to a single, all-consuming goal: such as fighting communism during the Cold War or, one might venture, winning the war on terrorism today. At some point,…

Arianna Huffington: Getting Spanked on Katrina: Heck of a Job, Harry!

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This weekend, my friend Harry Shearer took me and my Left, Right, and Center cohorts to the cyber woodshed for not giving the proper attention (alright, any attention) to the remarkable Army Corps of Engineers report accepting responsibility for the flooding of New Orleans. Here was the money spank: “It was astonishing to listen to these four natter on about the Treasury Secretary, while culpability for the worst man-made engineering disaster in the nation’s history was ignored.” Ouch. And touché….