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Talking to Iran
(By 0, 3/21/2006)
IF THERE is any chance to deflect Iran from its apparent quest for nuclear weapons, the Iranian and US governments will have to negotiate. But if the Bush administration continues to rule out any direct bargaining with Tehran over its nuclear program, US policy options will eventually be reduced to two: accepting a nuclear-armed Iran or using bombs and missiles to set back the Iranian program for a few years. This is the hard truth that hovers in the background of last week's simultaneous announcement in Tehran and Washington of forthcoming discussions about Iraq between Iranian and American officials.

Cheney vs. Kennedy
(By 0, 3/21/2006)
THE BUSH administration's post-Sept. 11 strategy led the United States straight into Iraq. Vice President Richard Cheney, one of its architects, had the gall to question Senator Edward Kennedy's criticism of the war there. But American political leaders have to call a halt to the reckless unilateralism born on 9/11 before it enmeshes the United States in more conflicts around the world.

Weighing the costs of today's defense strategy
(By Cindy Williams, 3/21/2006)
THE HOUSE of Representatives last week voted to add $68 billion to Defense Department coffers to help defray this year's costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Together with the $536 billion in outlays already planned for national defense, the emergency appropriation will bring total defense spending this year to some $600 billion. Adjusting for inflation, that is substantially more than the United States spent on defense in any year since World War II.

Needed: candor on Iraq
(By 0, 3/20/2006)
WITH POLLS indicating that 60 percent of Americans believe the war in Iraq is going badly, it is understandable that President Bush has been giving speeches and declaring, as he did last week, ''We have a comprehensive strategy for victory in Iraq.'' The trouble is that Bush has been pretending to have such a strategy since the war began on March 20, 2003, and prospects for stability in Iraq -- never mind ''victory'' -- hardly seem more promising now than three years ago.

The enemy we hardly know
(By Robert Malley and Peter Harling, 3/19/2006)
ON THE third anniversary of the US invasion in Iraq, the United States is still fighting an enemy it barely knows. Washington relies on crude, broad-brush identifications -- Saddamists, Islamofascists, and the like. Rather than analyze the armed opposition's strategy and objectives, it assumes them. Rather than listen to what the insurgents say, it dismisses it. All of which is mystifying and, of far greater importance, self-defeating.

The coming new wave of jihad
(By Rita Katz, 3/13/2006)
WASHINGTON ABU MUSAB AL-ZARQAWI has suddenly disappeared. As briskly as he has emerged, the Jordanian high school dropout who became the undisputed leader of the Iraqi insurgency has descended into obscurity. Where is the man who singlehandedly created from scratch a formidable guerrilla army in occupied Iraq and whom Osama bin Laden called the Emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq?

Jill Carroll's ordeal
(By James Carroll, 3/13/2006)
HOW LONG is 10 weeks? How long is 65 days? How long is 1,560 hours? For Jill Carroll, the American journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq on Jan. 7, the passage of time must be excruciating.

US Army in jeopardy in Iraq
(By Gary Hart, 3/11/2006)
IN 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia and, after success at the battle of Borodino, marched on and occupied Moscow. Napoleon and his generals took over the palaces of the court princes and great houses of the mighty boyars.

JFK's lessons for Iraq
(By Marc J. Selverstone, 3/9/2006)
BEGINNING tomorrow scholars, journalists, and government officials -- both former and current -- will revisit a topic that remains tightly woven into the fabric of American political culture: the Vietnam War. Convening at the John F. Kennedy Library, they will explore some of the more contentious aspects of this chapter in our history. Among the questions they will ask are those concerning America's entrance into war, the roles played by the media and public opinion in shaping the course of the war, and the lessons learned from that conflict.

Iraq's insecure democracy
(By H.D.S. Greenway, 3/7/2006)
MUCH OF the Bush administration's hopes for Iraq, and the transformative powers of democracy in the Middle East, lie in the ruins of the Askariya mosque's golden dome in the city of Samarra. For the bombing of the mosque exposed clearly what America wants so much to deny: that in the present climate of lawlessness there are ethnic and religious tensions in Iraq that are simply not going to allow for the kind of democracy the administration naively envisioned.

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