Leon Hadar

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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

“Allies fear a U.S. Pullback in Mideast,” shouted a headline splashed on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, reflecting a sense of hysteria in Israel and Saudi Arabia that the diplomatic rapprochement between Washington and Tehran was

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Eve of Destruction?

Like some of you, I’ve been on the receiving end of an e-mail bombardment from friends who have expressed their shock and dismay over the recent shutdown of the U.S. federal government and the entire political and legislative impasse between

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Summer of Sharia

So here we are a year and a half after the start of the protests of Tahrir Square in Cairo, which Tom Friedman and the rest of the Arab Springers had promised would give birth to a New Middle East,

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Bombing Iran

As an American President prepares for his reelection campaign, he has to deal with a complex crisis in the Middle East.  A radical regime is projecting its military power, trying to destabilize the pro-American governments in the Middle East,

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Sunni Spring

Middle East historian William W. Harris described the Levant as the “eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt,” a geographical zone that includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and a

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Statehood Bid

Much of the international politics of the 20th century revolved around the drive for national self-determination, such as that of the Serbs in the Balkans, setting in motion the crises that led to the Great War, or that of the

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Isolating Israel

Neoconservative ideologues have joined liberal internationalists and left-wing global utopians in celebrating the collapse of the authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and the ensuing political uprising in other Arab countries.  Their glee suggests that the Middle East is about

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A Defining Moment

In itself, the Israeli military’s raid on the “Free Gaza” aid flotilla was proof, as the astute thinker Forrest Gump put it, that “Stupid is as stupid does.”  The flotilla was sponsored by a mishmash of Western lefty peaceniks and

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Battle of the Narrative

When a manufacturing company is confronted with the reality of a huge drop in product sales, the initial reaction on the part of the managers is to blame the marketing department and to demand that it come up with a

Obama’s Right-Wing Cheerleaders
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Obama’s Right-Wing Cheerleaders

The Tea Partiers and the Town Hallers are clearly angry that the Obama administration so quickly began to pursue policies that run contrary to traditional conservative values—values that are based on skepticism of, if not hostility toward, the role of

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Iran and Her Smiles

In the aftermath of the ousting of Saddam Hussein and the “liberation” of Iraq by U.S. forces, Bush-administration officials who had earlier compared Saddam to Hitler extended that analogy and suggested that postwar Iraq was like post-World War II Germany

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Israel’s Counterelites

Conventional wisdom has it that the recent parliamentary election in Israel has swayed Israeli politics further to the political right.  After all, the balance of power in the 120-member Knesset has shifted quite dramatically.  The political bloc that included the

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Two—State Solution, R.I.P.

Upon being congratulated for defeating the Romans at Asculum in 279 b.c. during the Pyrrhic War, King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who had lost half of his army during the battle, said something to the effect of “Another victory like this,

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Whither Obama’s Foreign Policy?

According to the Washington Post, a senior diplomat from a major European country, a Middle Eastern ambassador, and an Asian ambassador—all of whom represent “major, big-league countries”—have been getting lots of messages from their home offices wondering how exactly

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The Guest Who Stayed Forever

I wish I had a dollar—oops, better make that a euro—for every recent obituary marking the political death of neoconservatism.  I would have been able to bail out the grand financial house of Lehman Brothers and avert the tragedy of

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Surging Toward a Time Horizon

Having listened to recent statements made by President George W. Bush and his presumptive heir, John McCain, I am impressed that these two carriers of the neocon torch expect the opponents of their disastrous military misadventure in Mesopotamia, including presumptive

Neo-McCainism: The Highest Stage of Neoconservatism?
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Neo-McCainism: The Highest Stage of Neoconservatism?

It is difficult to imagine, but there was a time when pundits in Washington were tagging John McCain as the ultimate unneoconservative Republican figure whose nationalist yet pragmatic approach to foreign policy was being viewed with suspicion by your average

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The New Middle East

On March 20, President George W. Bush marked the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war by stating that the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power was and always will be the right one.  His view is

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Obama and the “Jewish Vote”

“Concern in Jerusalem: Obama Is Getting Closer to the Presidency” was the headline on the front page of Ma’ariv, an Israeli daily.  “Sources in Jerusalem are worried over the erosion in the support for Hillary Clinton who is considered

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Another Middle East Fantasy

There is an element of cognitive dissonance in the way that many members of the reality-based community in Washington tend to approach U.S. policy in the Middle East.  Many of my colleagues in Washington have urged policymakers to adopt a

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Pakistan: Here We Go Again

Condi Rice had a vision: It was springtime in Pakistan, and love was in the air—which was an ideal time for a chick flick.  From the lady who brought us the Shiite-Sunni Love Fest in Iraq, Fatah-Hamas: Isn’t It Romantic?

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Best-Laid Plans

A day or two after the signing of the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993, I attended a meeting at a think tank in Washington to discuss the economic prospects of an independent Palestinian state.  One of the speakers outlined

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Coalition of the Unwilling?

Recently, I attended a conference in Washington, D.C., that focused on the dilemmas involved in the expansion of NATO.  One of the American speakers, referring to the membership of the small Baltic nation of Estonia in the U.S.-led security

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The War on Terror Ended

Unlike some of my readers, I’m old enough to remember the time, during the American occupation of Baghdad, when this part of the city was known as the Green Zone.  It was renamed the Yellow Peace Zone ten years ago,

It’s the War, Stupid!
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It’s the War, Stupid!

Political analysts, consultants, and “scientists,” envious of the success of economists in turning the study of wealth creation into a scientific discipline and a lucrative profession, are always searching for rules and laws to explain and discover certain regular and

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Can Baker Clean Up the Mess in Iraq?

If a man (person?) from Mars were to have landed in Washington in late November, he (or she?) would have had no choice but to conclude that the important decisions in the capital of the World’s Only Remaining Superpower are

The Pitfalls of Ambiguity
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The Pitfalls of Ambiguity

The conventional history of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy has traced the ascendancy of the neoconservative ideologues in his administration to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and the ensuing “War on Terror,” the invasion of

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Trying Saddam

Robert A. Taft, in a speech delivered at Kenyon College in October 1946, expressed strong opposition to the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials that were just ending.  Taft argued that the defendants, the architects of the Nazi regime who had been

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Hamas-led Palestine

After Hamas, the radical Islamic and anti-Western movement and terrorist organization, achieved victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I was invited by a leading think tank in Washington to debate with another Middle East analyst the implications of that stunning

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Goodbye, Greater Israel; Hello . . . What?

My name and title (“global-political and economic-affairs analyst”) appears on a few rolodexes on the desks of the young ladies, a.k.a. “schedulers,” who are in search of pundits—that is, pompous think tankers and retired foreign-policy types who are willing “to

Misinterpreting Iran—and the World
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Misinterpreting Iran—and the World

“Learn to think imperially.”

—Joseph Chamberlain

Imagine that, for a few years, you had been investing the money you had saved for your daughter’s college education in one of those moderately conservative plans that provide some increase in the

A Tale of Two Cities
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A Tale of Two Cities

Many American Jews suffer culture shock when they first visit Tel Aviv.  Having grown up watching reruns of the movie Exodus, they imagine Israelis as yarmulke-wearing cowboys valiantly defending their land against attacks from vicious tribes of Arab terrorists. 

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Neoconservative Ideology

The neoconservative ideology of Western (preferably American) democracy and free markets is a form of secular religion.  The door to this secular church begins to open to the sinner when he starts surfing the internet, watching CNN, eating at McDonald’s,

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Whose Bias?

Two years ago, I was invited to address a group of Jewish-American women on the question, “Is the American media coverage of Middle East biased?”  The event took place during the height of the second Palestinian intifada, and my

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It’s Springtime for Hitler in Europe

Few would challenge the observation that the level of anti-American sentiments has been rising in Europe in recent months and has reached an historic high during the war against Iraq.  At the same time, the attitudes among Arabs toward the

The Israeli Prescription
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The Israeli Prescription

“Moderation lasts.”
—Seneca

The American public has fallen victim in recent years to a propaganda assault, launched and coordinated by the Israeli Likud party and their American partners, whose theme is clear and simple: the long-term security of the Jewish