The Washington Monthly

An independent monthly magazine devoted to politics, government, culture, and the media in America, from a progressive perspective. Publishes investigative and opinion-based feature articles by notable authors, short news items, humorous sidebars, and boo

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 11, November

Bernard Lewis Revisited: What If Islam Isn't an Obstacle to Democracy in the Middle East, but the Secret to Achieving It?
America's misreading of the Arab world--and our current misadventure in Iraq--may have really begun in 1950. That was the year a young University of London historian named Bernard Lewis visited Turkey for the first time. Lewis, who is today an imposing,...
Bloc Patrol: Maybe There's No Such Thing as the "Latino Vote."
It has become an article of faith in this presidential election campaign that the Latino vote is an elusive prize that could catapult to victory the candidate or party that manages to capture it. If you watched either of the political conventions on...
Bully Pulpit: How Tom DeLay Changed Washington
It seems more and more possible that the name of Chris Bell will join that of Charles Julius Guiteau on the list of disgruntled office-seekers who helped derail a powerful politician's career. Guiteau, however, merely shot James Garfield, one of our...
Clear and Present Danger: The Hawks Relaunch a Cold-War Relic
James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is leaning over a speakerphone at the front of a small, ornate ballroom in Washington's Mayflower Hotel. "Hi George. It's Jim Woolsey." On the other end is George P. Schultz, former...
Grill Seeker: How George Foreman, Ted Nugent, and Bobby Flay Taught Me to Be a Real Suburban Man
One Of the false promises of adulthood is that once you grow up, all the competitive torments of adolescence will magically disappear. As someone who has only recently done that (hitting the adult trifecta of a new job, new wife; and new house), I...
Guerrillas in the Mist: What the Pentagon Can Learn from the Green Berets
In America's wars against the al Qaeda terror network and Iraq, few military organizations play as central a role as the US. Army's Special Forces. Founded a half-century ago, these "Green Berets"--named for the distinctive headgear they have worn...
Kinsey's Beatnik
The recent revelations about Alfred Kinsey's sex life have raised some questions about the reliability of the research upon which Kinsey's landmark books were based. I know nothing about Kinsey's sex life, but I do know a bit about his research. ...
Meanwhile in America
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Caption: The Pew Research Center! The Harris Interactive! Gallup! Zogby! all through September their hourly polls have crashed on us, bringing ever-worsening news from "likely voters." Even my own hopelessly small, hardly...
Missing the Point
During the 2000 campaign, the press gave more attention to Gore's exaggerations than to Bush's lies. Will it turn out to have made similar errors of emphasis this time? The CBS scandal does not inspire optimism. Within a few days after "60 Minutes"...
Stunned Guns: How We've Made the FBI Too Timid to Bug Mosques-Or Ken Lay's Office
One of the strangest things about the 9/11 Commission's report is that the FBI, whose intelligence failures during the summer of 2001 had been the most glaring of all the security agencies, actually managed to get itself ... promoted. The Bureau's...
The Great Black Hope: What's Riding on Barack Obama?
Cory Booker was feeling good. The one time Newark, N.J., mayoral candidate had just given a widely lauded speech at a youth vote event at the Democratic convention in Boston. The party's kingmakers and talent scouts, who had taken an interest in the...
The Post-Truth Presidency: The Unintended Consequences of Presidential Lying
May 22, 1973, loomed large in my life, and although most Americans may not realize it, helped determine the fate of a presidency. For weeks beforehand, rumors had circulated through official Washington that Richard Nixon was going in come clean about...
The Road to Abu Ghraib: The Biggest Scandal of the Bush Administration Began at the Top
A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq. On that date, "CBS News" broadcast the first ugly photographs of abuses by American soldiers at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison. There...
The Un-American Generation
Why do conservatives think the future belongs to them? Their power behind the throne in Washington, Grover Norquist, recently explained to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo: "We've had four more years pass where the age cohort that is most Democratic...
Tour of Beauty: A Hundred Years in the Arms Race to Acquire Newer, Better Weapons of Cosmetic Enhancement
Since its debut last year, the cosmetic-surgery show "Extreme Makeover" has drawn runaway ratings, its many viewers at once fascinated and appalled by the needles, incisions, and bandages the mostly female participants will endure in order to climb...
Writers' Block: What Will Bush-Bashing Book Authors Do If Kerry Wins?
Jack Huberman doesn't seem particularly mad as he reads The New York Times oil his laptop. He doesn't grumble or cringe, or ball his fists. As his tongue snatches a small crumb of toasted English muffin from his top lip, he looks the way any other...