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August 14, 2006 | The Nation

In the Magazine

August 14, 2006

Cover: Cover by Gene Case & José Chicas/Avenging Angels

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Rashid Khalidi explains why the US has seen its power decline in the Middle East, Bob Moser wonders what happened to Ralph Reed and Stuart Klawans reviews Lunacy and Scoop.

Letters

MOMMY SMEARiST

Red Hook, NY

Editorials

In a news brief from the future, Bush continues to do whatever it takes to protect us from terror.

Two Republican primaries in the Deep South expose potentially serious cracks in the party's religious-right foundation.

The grisly commuter train bombings in Mumbai on July 11 both endangered the India/Pakistan peace process and underscored its fragility.

The crisis in the Middle East reveals the dangers of religious fundamentalism and leaving political decisions to the military.

At best, war in Gaza and Lebanon will weaken pro-American regimes without destroying Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran or Syria. At worst, it will plunge the region into catastrophe.

Bush's Mideast strategy of inaction is a dangerous failure. He must act diplomatically to achieve a cease-fire, prisoner exchange and Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands.

Columns

TruthDig

Hysteria over the barbarians at the gate has destroyed republics from
Rome to Germany. A new book explains why Bush's post-September 11
America may meet a similar fate.

TruthDig

The Jewish state's diehard supporters in the White House, Congress
and the media seem unable to understand Israel can't bomb its way to
security.

Major League Baseball's new "Faith Days" campaign is about more than family-friendly Christian entertainment with a twist of commerce.

Music

The only thing more absurd than the wedding gift the British government just gave Katha Pollitt is the fact that our government denies gays such benefits.

The American government has lost its grasp on reality in Iraq and Lebanon. They seek out the bright, clear problems of war, leaving rubble and corpses in their wake.

Articles

As an array of Iraqi leaders met with American peace activists this
week in Amman, Jordan, a grim picture emerged of what the future will be,
regardless of whether US troops stay or depart.

Liberal bloggers were just one aspect of a sophisticated netroots
strategy that led Ned Lamont to victory. Lamont must now leverage his
digital constituency to force Joe Lieberman to drop his independent bid
and win the support of a broad spectrum of voters.

Without a motivated base, fundraising capacity or resonant message, Joe
Lieberman is now in free-fall, lacking the strength and credibility to
run as an independent.

Rapture-ready Christian Zionists have hired their first full-time
Washington lobbyist. He's experienced, connected--and, oy vey, he's
Jewish.

As election officials in Mexico recount only a handful of contested
voting districts in the flawed presidential elections, Andrés Manuel
López Obrador walks a tightrope between defiance and keeping a lid on
his steamed-up constituents.

In New Haven, Joe Lieberman dismissed questions about a possible
independent run if he is defeated in today's primary by antiwar
candidate Ned Lamont and declared if re-elected to the Senate, he
would not change his ways.

According to the Western media, most Israelis, including leading peace
advocates, support the ongoing war in Lebanon. But Israeli doves are
beginning to speak out. Will it make a difference?

An American Jewish identity that centers on unconditional defense of
Israel is not healthy--for either American Jews or Israel.

The Congressional reaction to Hezbollah's attack on Israel and Israel's bombing of Lebanon provide the latest example of the lobby's grip on US foreign policy.

Is the coziness of progressives and foreign policy realists a strategic alliance or a sign that the conservative co-optation of "human rights" has disillusioned the left?

The wounds of the country's long civil war and Israeli occupation were
gradually healing. That fragile recovery now lies buried under the
rubble of renewed fighting.

The Lamont/Lieberman Democratic primary race is a referendum not only on the Iraq War but on a new vision for the Democratic Party.

Thirty years after Watergate, we again face a constitutional crisis at home and a misconceived war abroad. The United States will remain a helpless giant until we finally learn that power in the nuclear, postimperial age is diplomatic, not military.

Books & the Arts

Film

In Lunacy, order and liberty wriggle with equal parts Poe and Sade. In Scoop, recycled sleuthing gags masquerade as timely satire.

Book

What does it mean to be from a place? In Monica Ali's new novel, Alentejo Blue, the collision of locals, expatriates and tourists shatters any simple answers to the question.

Book

A new biography of Timothy Leary reveals the mixed-up sociopath behind the "turn on, tune in, drop out" mantra.

Book

One hundred years ago, Upton Sinclair exposed the meatpacking industry. Three new books expose Sinclair as an activist dreamer with a messianic streak.