Middle East, scandals, politics, and blogs

From Turkey, the government slams the country’s powerful military in a furious dispute over secularism and the appointment of a new president, as alarm grows over political crisis in Turkey with a threat of a coup by the secularist army. An article on the Turkish paradox and the prophets of Eurabia. Democracy in the Middle East, no matter who wins the elections, is a winning strategy for the West.

Confessions of a former fanatic: A review of The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left by Ed Husain. Allan Massie reviews People of the Book: the Forgotten History of Islam and the West by Zachary Karabell. A review of The Punishment Of Virtue, by Sarah Chayes, and a review of The Kabul Beauty School: The Art of Friendship and Freedom, by Deborah Rodriguez (and a critique of the Kabul Beauty School).

The Abandonment: How the Bush Administration left Israelis and Palestinians to their fate. Simon Tisdall.goes inside the struggle for Iran. A review of Unintended Consequences: The United States at War. From the Carnegie Council, here are remarks by Ali A. Allawi, author of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. Nobody really knows how much crude oil is being stolen by corrupt corrupt Iraqi and U.S. officials because, four years after the invasion, the oil meters haven't been fixed.

From Newsweek, a series of articles on God, War and the Presidency, and an excerpt from Twice As Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path To Power. Juan Cole on George Tenet on the staircase with the neocons, an article goes behind the Tenet Blame Game (and an interview), and Christopher Hitchens reviews Tenet's At the Center of the Storm (and an excerpt). Is the Iraq War lost? Key figures in the Iraq debate whether Harry Reid is right. Eve Fairbanks on dovish hawks and hawkish doves: Harry Reid and Carl Levin trade places.

From The New Yorker, the Conciliator: Where is Barack Obama coming from? More on the candidate, his minister and the search for faith. A profile of Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton's PowerPointer pollster. John Edwards' $400 haircut is only the latest in a long history of candidate miscues, but media honchos no longer control which ones become legend. John Arthur Eaves isn't just any old run-of-the-mill evangelical candidate — he's a Democrat. Matthew Continetti on the first Sam's Club Republican, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

From National Journal, Stuart Taylor Jr. on issue ads and common sense. From Harper's, an article on David Broder’s Golden Anniversary: Commemorating a quarter-century of hackery. The phantom of democracy: The blogosphere doesn't "do" decisions - - even if politicians choose to draw on blogger-led insights, it is still their own judgment that counts in the end. Jonathan Chait on the left's new machine: How the liberal netroots are remaking the Democratic Party in the image of the GOP, and more on the furious, disciplined, helpful world of liberal blogs. As blogs proliferate, gadfly Matthew Lee has accreditation at the U.N. From Wired, web mashups turn citizens into Washington's newest watchdogs. And from The Politico, an article on how Hollywood-Washington political ties rich in history