Michael Hirsh

No Time to Go Wobbly, Barack

Samantha Power is a tall, rangy redhead with the purposeful gait of the athlete she once wanted to be. She has a husky voice and often speaks in excited rushes of ideas, the words tumbling over each other. What animates Power more than anything else is her Cause, her dream of American power being harnessed… Read more »

Kurdish Delight

Peter Galbraith, like others before him, dwells at great length on these mistakes in his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End. But not surprisingly, he adds little to this discussion since he did not have a front-row seat either reporting or making policy in post-Saddam Iraq. For… Read more »

Paul Bremer was just following instructions

It is now conventional wisdom among the chattering classes that Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq was a “disastrous” affair, as New York Times columnist Frank Rich, in one of his weekly rants, termed it. Republicans and neocons disavow Bremer because they believe his incompetence may have cost the president his legacy; Democrats and… Read more »

Our Man in Pakistan

This critique is not by itself a novel one. But Haqqani, a former Pakistani diplomat and government advisor who is now a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, takes our understanding of the issue onto a whole new level by demonstrating that Musharraf, along with his predecessors among Pakistan’s military coup-meisters, have… Read more »

Confessions of a Humvee Liberal

The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq is the closest thing we have seen to a full history of the Iraq war, from its murky conceptual beginnings through the Bush administration’s still-unexplained failures of planning, up to Iraq’s present status as a quasi-quagmire with an unknowable future. Much of Packer’s reporting in this book has appeared… Read more »