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January 2008

Hosni Begat Gamal. Saddam Begat Qusay. And Norman Begat John

Philip Weiss on

One of the best things in Jacob Heilbrunn’s new book, They Knew They Were Right, is his analysis of the children of the neocons. Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz had struggled to attain prominence. They had varied careers, generally on…

‘Commentary’ Distances Itself From Podhoretz (Norman)

Philip Weiss on

You have to do Kremlinology with the neocons. Study the pictures, see who’s missing. Well, the latest Commentary I got has as its lead coverline, “Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands,” by one Norman Podhoretz. If…

What Obama Bragged About in Kansas, Men Were Once Lynched For

Philip Weiss on

Yesterday in El Dorado, Kansas, Barack Obama told of his white lineage, and how his maternal grandparents had met and fallen in love (did people fall in love back then, or just hook up?) in Kansas. His mother was born…

The Clinton We Never Knew. Well Actually Some of Us Did

Philip Weiss on

John Harris of Politico has a nice column on Bill Clinton’s shrill, tempery performance saying this was the Bill Clinton who reporters saw every day back in the 90s, who Washington establishment types came to dislike. The only problem is…

Obama vs. Clinton: Code for Anti-Israel Lobby vs. Pro?

Philip Weiss on

Haaretz is teasing an exclusive interview with Obama in which he says that his opponents are trying to undermine his support in the Jewish community. I’m for a Jewish state, he says, and not for the right of return “in…

The Madman Was a Realist (Saddam Feared Al-Qaeda and Iran)

Philip Weiss on

On “60 Minutes” tonight, George Piro, the Arabic-speaking FBI agent who questioned Saddam Hussein for 7 months after his capture, said that Saddam craved Weapons of Mass Destruction because they gave him assurance that Iran would not invade Iraq. Also,…

The ‘Times’ Takes a Healthy Lesson From the Blogosphere

Philip Weiss on

I loved the Times editorial Friday that endorsed McCain and slagged Giuliani: The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power…….

How Many Years Before U.S. Policy Toward Palestinians Shifts?

Philip Weiss on

My friend Dan Swanson wrote a book about South Africa called Freedom Rising. It came out in the mid-80s, and ten years later, apartheid ended in South Africa, in good part because of U.S. sanctions, which leftists and blacks here…

Was I Wrong to Vote for Nader?

Philip Weiss on

At least three Democratic associates of mine, one of them my mother, regularly give me withering lectures on the fact that I voted for Nader in ’00. I just got that lecture now. These people hold me responsible for George…

Those MIT Students in West Bank

Philip Weiss on

In my capacity as Arabist and flak, I want journalists to know that two MIT students are in Ramallah, Palestine, this week to promote MIT to young Arabs, in Gaza by teleconference on Saturday morning, and to West Bank students…

I’m Wrong About ‘Nakba.’ The Spelling, Anyway

Philip Weiss on

Dan Sisken of Mideast Brief has corrected my spelling of the Arabic word “nakba,” referring to the disaster of ’48. I spelled it “naqba.” I think it’s important to try to use accurate transliterations of Arabic. It should be “Nakba”…

What Does ‘Pushback’ Mean? An Email from Dersh

Philip Weiss on

Some time back I reported that Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Colin Powell, said at the Middle East Institute (responding to Jim Lobe actually) that Walt and Mearsheimer’s paper contained the “blinding flash of the obvious,”…

An Antisemitic Joke From My Youth, and What It Says About the Elite

Philip Weiss on

Another thing historian Ilan Pappe said is that the “elites” of the world have made a mess of Israel/Palestine. He meant the American elite too, the political establishment, the Israel lobby. I went for a walk today and got thinking…