EDITORIAL

To the Shores of Tripoli

BY ROBERT KAGAN

Plane Photo

With Muammar Qaddafi still at large, continued fighting in parts of Libya, and an uncertain future ahead for that country’s long-oppressed people, one hesitates to make too many categorical judgments about the remarkable turn of events there. A few things can be said, however.

The toppling of Qaddafi’s 42-year dictatorship is a huge victory for the ongoing pan-Arab revolution known as the Arab Spring. The political map of the Middle East has been torn up after four decades of stultifying, soul-draining dictatorship (or, as one prominent American statesman once put it, “forty years of stability”). A region known for its interminable ...

Biden Photo

The Motley Fool

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

So, the vice president goes to China—and if that sounds like the beginning of a bad comedy ...

ARTICLES

Free Libya Raises Its Head

With the anti-Qaddafi fighters.

BY JAMES KIRCHICK

Graffiti Picture

Tripoli

'Raise your head,” reads a graffito as you cross the Libyan border on the desert road coming from Tunisia. “You’re in Libya.” Most of the graffiti along the route leading to Tripoli that refer to the one-time “Brother Leader,” Muammar Qaddafi, aren’t as dignified. But having suffered for over four decades, Libyans can be excused if they’re a bit vulgar regarding the downfall of the Mad Dog, as Ronald Reagan once called him. And so I had to smile at the spray-painted declarations that “Qaddafi is a son of a bitch,” and the caricatures depicting the strongman with snot coming out of his nose, and the other crude denunciations that grace every imaginable ...

Surgical Mask Photo

Unfinished Business

Where’s the Lockerbie bomber?

BY TOD LINDBERG

Without doubt, the center ring under the big top in Libya is the act of deposing a brutal dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, whose long record of ...

Huffy Obama

Obama’s Enablers

Meet the mainstream media.

BY FRED BARNES

As a rule, the press is the scourge of presidents. They’re expected to endure unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering—plus hostility if they’re Republicans—by a hectoring herd of reporters and commentators in the ...

Yacht Photo

Lifestyles of the Rich and Political

Shouldn’t our candidates’ consumption be less conspicuous?

BY NOEMIE EMERY

Dear Mitt Romney: Please don’t knock down your $12 million beach house in California and replace it with a new one almost four times its size. At ...

Qaddafi Compound Photo

The Little Emirate That Could

Qatar versus Qaddafi.

BY LEE SMITH

With Muammar Qaddafi perhaps on his last legs, Libyan rebel leaders are looking for $5 billion to rebuild a country wracked by nearly half a year of ...

Morris Childs Picture

Childs at Play

The FBI’s Cold War triumph.

BY HARVEY KLEHR and JOHN EARL HAYNES & RONALD RADOSH

For more than 30 years the broad outlines of one of the FBI’s most successful counterintelligence operations have been widely known. Exposed ...

FEATURES

Being Obama

It’s all about him.

BY JONATHAN V. LAST

Obama Photo

Once upon a time we had a president who sulked that his relatively uneventful tenure denied him the chance to thrust his way into greatness. In the days after 9/11, the New York Times carried a quotation from a “close friend” about Bill Clinton’s misfortune: “He has said there has to be a defining moment in a presidency that really makes a great presidency. He didn’t have one.” Clinton, the Times reported, was “described by friends as a frustrated spectator, unable to guide the nation through a crisis that is far bigger than anything he confronted in his eight-year tenure.”

This tracked with earlier accounts from two of Clinton’s advisers. George Stephanopoulos wrote that Clinton “envied Lincoln his enemies, ...

County Election Picture

The End of the New Deal Order

It won’t win the future.

BY MATTHEW CONTINETTI

The reporter went to the City of Light in the summer of 1925. He found himself in the capital of a nation at the height of its military, economic, and cultural power. The continental empires that had been threats to ...

Books & Arts

Friendly Rivals?

The Chinese challenge to American power.

BY GARY SCHMITT

Georgetown China Basketball Brawl

There have been two major books published this summer on relations between the United States and China: Henry Kissinger’s On China and this one. And while Kissinger himself has had an immense impact on how those relations have unfolded over the past four decades, Aaron L. Friedberg’s volume will  likely be far more important in laying out the path forward.

The irony is that Kissinger, the grand realist of American statecraft, presents a picture of China that romanticizes the country’s past, overstates its leadership’s sophistication, and offers up little more than hope that, going forward, relations between the two powers will go smoothly. In contrast, Friedberg, the Ivy League professor, takes more seriously the ...

Ballet Photo

Dance Marathon

This was the summer of the Cubans, the Russians, and the Danes.

BY PIA CATTON

New York

Old Baseball Photo

Diamond Mythology

No, baseball was not invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown.

BY EDWARD ACHORN

We human beings seem to crave creation myths. The tale of Adam and Eve moved people for millennia, and still seems thrilling and sad, even though we know all about natural selection. And we still talk, however ...

Book Cover

What Price Interns?

Punching the tickets of the meritocracy.

BY ANTHONY PALETTA

In the current age of print saturation it’s always a shock to encounter a book billing itself as a “first exposé” on a topic. Yet that’s exactly what Intern Nation is. When between one and two million ...

Apple Headquarters Image

Jobs Creation

A new Apple headquarters lands in Cupertino.

BY JAMES GARDNER

There was something almost princely in the way Steve Jobs went about selecting the shape and location of the proposed new Apple headquarters, ...

Transcendent Man

Yes, Masters

The future as a vision of vegetables and robots.

BY KATE HAVARD

Al Gore will never die. Or at least, he doesn’t plan to. 

CASUAL

Scared Shirtless

Philip Terzian, student of survival

BY PHILIP TERZIAN

Cartoon

My Western friends got a good laugh out of the shattered nerves in Washington—and all along the eastern seaboard, as far as I can tell—after last week’s earthquake. Just as my New England/Midwestern friends are amused by Washington’s paralysis when it snows, the Californians of my acquaintance were quick to remind me that temblors are a routine occurrence where they reside, and that 5.8 on the Richter scale is not exactly the stuff of nightmares. 

Having lived in Los Angeles once upon a time, I take their point. Earthquakes of various shapes and sizes are not just recurrent affairs out there but the stuff of everyday life. Californians are perpetually ...

SCRAPBOOK

Rice in the Driver’s Seat

Among the many fascinating nuggets in Vice President Dick Cheney’s forthcoming memoir, In My Time, is a lengthy discussion of the Bush administration’s second-term foreign policy. It comes in a chapter he calls “Setback,” in which he discusses the lengths to which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went to engage and accommodate Iran, Syria, and North Korea. The sum total of those efforts, he argues, was a setback for the Bush Doctrine established in the first term.

One anecdote that might be particularly amusing for readers of this magazine is Cheney’s retelling of Rice’s determination to convince a recalcitrant North Korea to ...

PARODY

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