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James Fallows

Entries by James Fallows

About that Presidential Medal of Freedom, Mr. Tenet

(78) Comments | Posted April 27, 2007 | 4:15 PM

Two and a half years ago, after interviewing many, many people involved in shaping Iraq-war policy, I wrote the following in the Atlantic (and then in Blind into Baghdad):

There is no evidence that the President and those closest to him ever talked...

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Virginia Tech Shooting: One American Woman Terrifies China

(41) Comments | Posted April 18, 2007 | 11:18 AM

It was Tuesday night China time when the authorities in Blacksburg, Virginia, identified the gunman as a young Korean. For the previous 12 hours, the worst traits in the Chinese media had been brought out by an even-worse lapse by part of the U.S. media. One -- and as far...

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Wolfowitz = Swaggart, chap. 1

(44) Comments | Posted April 16, 2007 | 11:05 AM

I was wrong to suggest that Paul Wolfowitz was like Robert McNamara. That is disrespectful to McNamara. The better comparison is to Jimmy Swaggart. Let me explain, through the roundabout medium of Norman Podhoretz.

Long ago, in the unbelievably frigid days in Washington just before Ronald Reagan was sworn...

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Dear Vice President Cheney: Shut Up

(86) Comments | Posted February 23, 2007 | 9:08 AM

The Chinese military's destruction of one of China's own satellites last month was an unexpected, disruptive, and potentially very alarming event. Was the People's Liberation Army beating its chest and showing its potential? Was there confusion within China's own government -- as suggested by the several-day delay before the Foreign...

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There is a HUGE Logical Problem with the Iraq Policy

(43) Comments | Posted February 4, 2007 | 1:55 PM

whitesq.jpgAt President Bush's meeting with the Democratic leadership over the weekend, the following line drew applause, according to the transcript released by the White House:

And I have made it clear to the Iraqi government, just like I made it clear to the...

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Where Congress can Draw the Line: No War with Iran

(67) Comments | Posted February 2, 2007 | 1:58 PM

Deciding what to do next about Iraq is hard -- on the merits, and in the politics. It's hard on the merits because whatever comes next, from "surge" to "get out now" and everything in between, will involve suffering, misery, and dishonor. It's just a question of by whom and...

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Note to Newseum: Don't Make the "Death Car" Mistake

(4) Comments | Posted December 11, 2006 | 10:04 AM

I am a fan of The Newseum, a museum of the news business that operated in the late 1990s in Arlington, Virginia and will soon open its gala new site on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Its CEO, Charles Overby, is a nice man who has been generous to...

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Getting Out of Iraq: What's the Right Idea When All Ideas Are Bad?

(33) Comments | Posted November 30, 2006 | 6:36 PM

For much of the last five years I have been writing about the buildup to the Iraq war, the management of the war, and the war’s likely consequences. Apart from this article in the Atlantic a year and a half ago, I have avoided writing or saying much...

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What Bush Isn't Addressing on Iraq

(122) Comments | Posted November 14, 2005 | 11:11 AM

It would be nice if, even once, the Bush administration addressed the strongest version of the case against its Iraq-and-terrorism policy, rather than relying on bromides ("fight them there, so we don't have to fight them here") and knocking down straw men ("some say Iraqis don't deserve freedom...").

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Here's What's Wrong With Norman Pearlstein's "Not Above the Law" Argument

(5) Comments | Posted July 1, 2005 | 9:06 AM

So Time Inc's Norman Pearlstein says he will turn over Matthew Cooper's notes, because Time magazine is "not above the law."


Being "above the law" would mean not doing what the law specified -- and refusing to accept any of the consequences for that decision. To use the most...

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