Matthew Duss

Matthew Duss is president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and a contributing writer for the Prospect. You can follow him on Twitter @mattduss.

Recent Articles


There's a lot to digest in the leaked transcript of a February 2003 conversation between President Bush , Spain's Jose Maria Aznar , and Condoleezza Rice on the impending invasion of Iraq, but it pretty much confirms what we already knew about the president: By February 2003, he was already committed to going into Iraq, UN mandate or not; he viewed the entire UN process, at best, as a form of theater necessary to calm the concerns of other world leaders less gifted with heroic vision than he (and given what we now know about the utter fiction of Colin Powell 's WMD pageantry , he treated it as such); he was completely unreflective and unprepared for anything but the best possible outcome; as indicated by his reference to Iraq having "a relatively strong civil society," he was surrounded by advisers every bit as incompetent as he. --Matthew Duss


Via LGM , the heartwarming story of a multitude of wingnuts working themselves into a sanctimonious froth over a movie still. Let's all join D in issuing a hearty, Nelson Muntz ian "HAW-haw!" to Right Blogistan. Despite the photo in question being, repeat, a movie still , it remains true that that Iran continues to engage in the hideous practice of stoning , just as it remains true, despite the Killian documents apparently having been forged, that young George W. Bush was granted a spot in the Texas Air National Guard through the intervention of his family's powerful friends while other, less privileged Americans were sent off to fight and die in a war that Bush claims to have supported, just as it remains true, despite the addition of some extra smoke into this photo , that Israel bombed the rotting hell out of Lebanon last summer. But, as always with the nutters, there's truth, and then there's truthiness. --Matthew Duss


Via the Arabist , it seems two Saudi women recently lodged a protest against their country's religious police: Members of Khobar's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice were the victims of an attack by two Saudi females, Asharq Al-Awsat can reveal. According to the head of the commission in Khobar, two girls pepper sprayed members of the commission after they had tried to offer them advice. Head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Eastern province Dr. Mohamed bin Marshood al-Marshood, told Asharq Al Awsat that two of the Commission's employees were verbally insulted and attacked by two inappropriately-dressed females, in the old market in Prince Bandar street, an area usually crowded with shoppers during the month of Ramadan. According to Dr. Al-Marshood, the two commission members approached the girls in order to "politely" advise and guide them regarding their inappropriate clothing. Consequently, the two girls started...


Via Steve Benen , All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena has been cleared of preach-crime by the IRS. "The Internal Revenue Service has told a prominent Pasadena church that it has ended its lengthy investigation into a 2004 antiwar sermon, church leaders said Sunday. But the agency wrote in its letter to All Saints Episcopal Church that officials still considered the sermon to have been illegal, prompting the church to seek clarification, a corrected record and an apology from the IRS, the church's rector told standing-room-only crowds of parishioners at Sunday's services. The church also has asked the Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, to investigate allegations that officials from the Justice Department had become involved in the matter, raising concerns that the investigation was politically motivated." Politically motivated? As if the Bush administration would actually use the Department of the Treasury as a weapon against political opponents... that's what the Justice...


Writing in Salon yesterday, Peter Galbraith goes into great detail about Iran's new role as regional hegemon. The L.A. Times reported on Mahmoud Ahmedinajad 's growing popularity throughout the Middle East, a result of his steadfast opposition to the U.S.'s continuing occupation of Iraq. I think the latter story is particularly significant in that it suggests the troubling prospect of a scenario in which the U.S. is allied with authoritarian Sunni Arab governments against popular Arab movements increasingly inclined, if not specifically toward Iran, then at least toward the Shi'i ethic of resistance which Ahmedinajad, along with Hizballah's Nasrallah and Muqtada al-Sadr , have come to represent. These developments do not represent policy successes. --Matthew Duss