Sniping by aides hurt Clinton’s image as manager
NYT – The morning after Senator Barack Obama shook the Clinton campaign by winning five contests in one weekend, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new campaign manager — Maggie Williams, who had taken over in a shake-up the night before — assembled the curious if demoralized staff.
“You may not like the person next to you,” Ms. Williams told dozens of aides who ringed the conference room at the campaign’s Virginia headquarters last month, according to participants. “But you’re going to respect them. And we’re going to work together.”
Ms. Williams’s demand was dismissed as wishful thinking by some in her weary audience. But in the view of many Clinton supporters, it accurately reflected the urgent need to overhaul a campaign that at that point had set itself apart for its level of disorder and dysfunction.
Obama and the bigots
Nicholas Kristof – … the most monstrous bigotry in this election isn’t about either race or sex. It’s about religion.
Confronting the kitchen sink
Bob Herbert – We have seen election after election in which candidates have won by fanning the anxieties of voters. Elect me, or something terrible will happen to you! That is now the Clinton mantra, which is a measure of how grim our politics have become.
Sure, Obama’s a smart, sweet guy — but can he fight?
McClatchy – Can Barack Obama take a punch? Can he throw one? Will he fight back when sweet reason doesn’t work? Can he plunge into a smack-down without endangering the image he’s crafted as the avatar of a kinder, gentler politics that unites rather than divides?
The Israel litmus test
Aaron David Miller – Why do so many American Jews demand unwavering commitment to Israel from their politicians?
Iraq will not be a Qaedistan
Olivier Roy – One of the key questions in the U.S. presidential race is what will happen if U.S. troops leave Iraq. Of course nobody knows for sure. But I can say this: Al Qaeda will not take power and establish an Islamic state.
Feith assails colleagues over run-up to war
WP – In the first insider account of Pentagon decision-making on Iraq, one of the key architects of the war blasts former secretary of state Colin Powell, the CIA, retired Gen. Tommy R. Franks and former Iraq occupation chief L. Paul Bremer for mishandling the run-up to the invasion and the subsequent occupation of the country.
Saudis offer pioneering therapy for ex-jihadists
The Observer – Psychologists are turning militants into model citizens as they ‘deradicalise’ and providing education and financial help with marriages and cars.
Lost from Lebanon
Franklin Lamb – The case of Brigitte Gabriel, anti-Muslim bigot and pro-Israel apologist, highlights the indignity of those that celebrate military aggression against ordinary civilians
Look out below. The arms race in space may be on
NYT – It doesn’t take much imagination to realize how badly war in space could unfold. An enemy — say, China in a confrontation over Taiwan, or Iran staring down America over the Iranian nuclear program — could knock out the American satellite system in a barrage of antisatellite weapons, instantly paralyzing American troops, planes and ships around the world.
The unstudied art of interrogation
NYT – How do you get a terrorist to talk? Despite the questioning of tens of thousands of captives in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last six years, and a high-decibel political battle over torture, experts say there has been little serious research to answer that crucial question.