Empire, Iraq and American politics

From Frontline, a review of Masks of Empire. Is imperial liquidation possible for America? Chalmers Johnson on the Evil Empire. From National Journal, is the American era over? The sun hasn't set on the American era, but a surprising number of foreign affairs experts see the United States in a fading light; and Jonathan Rauch on how President Bush is resolute about the war, but he's delusional about how long America is willing to wait for that outcome.

From Harper's, an interview with Marc Lynch on Iraq, the surge, and Al Qaeda. There is no insurgency in Iraq: The United States has been trying to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Iraq expert Stephen Biddle says that is the wrong strategy. There is no insurgency, he says. Instead, we need to focus on ending the civil war. A review of Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq. If Iraq has taught us anything, it is that facts are slippery little creatures, even when published in The New York Times. From Foreign Service Journal, many in the Foreign Service may hope that things will get back to "normal" once the Iraq War is over. Don't count on it.

What do Dick Cheney and Jimmy Carter have in common? Redeeming Cheney: How can Vice President Dick Cheney salvage his historical legacy? From Slate, the Icing is Iglesias: His firing is reason alone for Congress to impeach Gonzales. When special interests talk, politicians listen and the rest of us suffer. But why do politicians listen? "Special-interest" legislation is popular. Was Henry Kissinger right when he said, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”? Dems are bringing sexy back. Thomas Schaller on why single women a sleeping giant for Democratic Party.

Could an independent Bloomberg-Hagel presidential ticket have a chance? Would such a pairing pull more from Democrats or Republicans? Charlie Cook investigates. Rudy Giuliani has the potential to split the social and economic conservatives who have constituted the Republican Party's base since Ronald Reagan united them a quarter-century ago. The Sane Fringe Candidate: Meet John Cox, Republican candidate for president. John Dickerson on the stupid GOP effort to silence Ron Paul. From McSweeney's, here are the pros and cons of the top 20 Republican presidential candidates. The Fraudulent Fraud Squad: An article on the incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights.

From First Monday, an essay on election bloggers and the methods for determining political influence. Battle of the Blogosphere: Which blogs deliver politics as unusual? Cavanaugh vs. Gillespie debate. The Internet has turned campaign news more and more into one-liners, weird exchanges, jaw-dropping flubs and other arresting moments. And from The Politico, an article on Politics 2.0: The rise of the netizen