Posts Tagged ‘’

Has Obama ended the “war on terror”?

January 28, 2009

 A MotherJones writer poses the question to Robert Gibbs:

At Robert Gibbs’ first briefing as White House press secretary on Thursday afternoon, I asked if the president had booted the war metaphor. Gibbs replied that Obama had used language that was consistent with his inaugural address. In that speech, Obama had indeed said that “our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” But he did not use the standard “war on terror” phrase. Instead he threw the word “war” against a specific target.

He then offers a handy summation:

He’s obviously not allergic to the term. But it’s not the description he reaches for first when he publicly discusses the matter.

Foreign Policy isn’t buying it:

The war on terror has been the country’s defining national security narrative since 9/11, and politicians across the political spectrum have paid obeisance to it.

Further in, they display unusually high cynicism too:



A Realist’s Middle East Strategy

January 27, 2009

In quite the tour-de-force, Stephen Walt gives his rundown on Middle East strategy from a realist point of view (after debunking the myths relayed by Friedman on the regular).  He gets the history right and refreshes the shit outta anyone reasonable with his nakedly realist approach.  I don’t have much time to sweeten up the post right now, but this is definitely worth your reading:

To begin with, Friedman would have you believe that settlement expansion is just the work of some isolated religious extremists, and the only problem is that no Israeli government has “mustered the will” to face them down. In fact, settlement expansion has been the conscious policy of every Israeli government since 1967 — Labor, Likud, and Kadima alike.