Commentary Magazine


Posts For: June 23, 2013

Kirkuk and Mosul: A Tale of Two Cities

For the past few days, I have been calling Kirkuk, Iraq, home. Kirkuk, of course, is the city that, prior to Iraq’s liberation, policymakers and journalists worried about most. The reason is simple: In a country that does not reward diversity, Kirkuk has a mixed population of Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen; and Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Christians. Above ground, various groups jockeyed over land and property. Below ground, they fought over vast reserves of oil. Not surprisingly, both the Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government based in Erbil continue dispute the final status of the city.

While I have been a frequent visitor to Kirkuk over the past decade, I have not been to the city in three years. What has transpired over that time—and specifically during the tenure of current governor Najmaldin Karim—is amazing. What’s changed since my last visit? No longer is electricity available only six hours a day: At present, Kirkukis enjoy 20-22 hours, and that during the summer season of peak demand. The ring roads are paved, as are many secondary streets. Fancy street lights add a touch of class to the city. Dusty, trash-strewn road islands are now planted with a variety of trees. Curbs are painted, as are many buildings. New stores have opened, and residents enjoy parks and amusement parks. Hospitals are getting better, and many schools have gotten a facelift. Importantly, all local residents appear to benefit equally; there has been no ethnic or sectarian chauvinism on the part of the current government. That is not merely the finding of diplomats, but is also the firm conclusion of the city’s diverse taxi drivers—perhaps the most honest purveyors of local opinion. Kirkuk shows what can be done when government works for the people rather than for itself.

Read More

For the past few days, I have been calling Kirkuk, Iraq, home. Kirkuk, of course, is the city that, prior to Iraq’s liberation, policymakers and journalists worried about most. The reason is simple: In a country that does not reward diversity, Kirkuk has a mixed population of Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen; and Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Christians. Above ground, various groups jockeyed over land and property. Below ground, they fought over vast reserves of oil. Not surprisingly, both the Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government based in Erbil continue dispute the final status of the city.

While I have been a frequent visitor to Kirkuk over the past decade, I have not been to the city in three years. What has transpired over that time—and specifically during the tenure of current governor Najmaldin Karim—is amazing. What’s changed since my last visit? No longer is electricity available only six hours a day: At present, Kirkukis enjoy 20-22 hours, and that during the summer season of peak demand. The ring roads are paved, as are many secondary streets. Fancy street lights add a touch of class to the city. Dusty, trash-strewn road islands are now planted with a variety of trees. Curbs are painted, as are many buildings. New stores have opened, and residents enjoy parks and amusement parks. Hospitals are getting better, and many schools have gotten a facelift. Importantly, all local residents appear to benefit equally; there has been no ethnic or sectarian chauvinism on the part of the current government. That is not merely the finding of diplomats, but is also the firm conclusion of the city’s diverse taxi drivers—perhaps the most honest purveyors of local opinion. Kirkuk shows what can be done when government works for the people rather than for itself.

Just one hundred miles away from Kirkuk lies Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. I was in Mosul a few years ago, but I was strongly advised not to visit this trip: The city has become too dangerous. It remains a hotbed both of Baathist insurgency and al-Qaeda. Recent visitors—both Kurdish and Arab—say that it is in a deplorable state. The problem is not lack of resources, but rather poor management. While Kirkuk spent 96 percent of the money allocated to it by the central government, Mosul spent only four percent because its government simply cannot get the job done (the government funds provinces with sequential payments; when funds at hand are spent, governors can apply for their province’s next installment). While roads are paved in Kirkuk, Mosul still deals with open sewage and crumbling infrastructure. As the temperature regularly climbs above 100 degrees across Iraq, Kirkukis enjoy ice cream and air conditioning. The Moslawis swelter.

How to explain the difference? Certainly, Najmaldin is more competent than his predecessors and remains squeaky clean, a rarity in a nation where corruption has since the 1980s been the norm. There is another explanation which Iraqis offer, however, that will not be popular among Americans: David Petraeus.

Iraqis assess Petraeus’s legacy far differently than do many Americans. While commander of the 101st Airborne, Petraeus was effectively king of Mosul. He pursued three main policies during his tenure:

  • First, he sought to increase trade with Syria on the theory that such trade would benefit Mosul’s economy. While commander, he famously bragged to a visiting American delegation about how much he had augmented cross-border trade, even as that trade facilitated an influx of Syrians and others who did not consider Iraqi security an objective to promote.
  • Second, he sought to counter de-Baathification by appointing senior Baathists to both government and security positions.
  • Lastly, he sought to appease some of the more radical Islamists, often through creative use of some of the funds at his disposal.

For a time, Petraeus’s strategy appeared to work: So long as the money flowed, there was quiet. But as soon as such funds dried up, all hell broke loose. It was a myth held too highly among some in the army that only Baathists had the capacity to manage; the fact of the matter is that many Baathists retained their municipal positions not because of competence but because of politics. Scores of perfectly competent Iraqis, meanwhile, did not compromise themselves morally in order to work under Saddam’s regime. Some of these men took jobs in Kirkuk. Alas, many of the men to whom Petraeus reached out remain entrenched in Mosul, enjoying the perks of titles but not having the capacity to manage. Several are actively engaged in terrorism. The misery to which they condemn Mosul keeps grievance alive. Blaming Baghdad is not an option: In both Mosul and Kirkuk, Baghdad’s influence is more theoretical than real. Both cities have de facto autonomy by distance to implement the programs they desire. In neither city is the ruling Da’wa Party strong, and yet one succeeds where the other fails.

While Petraeus rehabilitated Baathists and Islamists, Kirkuk—the city which was by all accounts supposed to be Iraq’s flashpoint—purged Baathists and refused to pay off extremists. Today, the difference between short-term appeasement and more principled governance is on full display in the juxtaposition between the two cities. Petraeus may be a patriot and a well-regarded military tactician, but when it came to civilian affairs and, indeed, those living with his signature counterinsurgency policies, his reputation may be less well-deserved.

Read Less

Iraq’s Problem Is Economic, not Security

Many Americans shy away from Iraq because of security concerns, and certainly last month’s bloodshed has shaken confidence both inside and outside Iraq. Through all the violence—war, insurgency, and terrorism—Iraqis have been resilient, a trait which probably surprises only those who formed their political opinion about Iraq without ever talking to Iraqis. The security problems must be overcome—and Prime Minister Maliki is probably correct to fight them head-on rather than to appease those who would seek to win through violence what they cannot at the ballot box. Rather than allow any politician to walk away from terror support out of fear of sparking sectarian tension, the Iraqi government should instead enforce its standard universally and let no one off the hook. More systemic problems loom, however.

The decision to liberate Iraq was certainly wise, although the decision to occupy the country (as I stated before I entered government in this interview with the American Enterprise) was not. That said, once the decision to occupy was taken, it becomes essential to achieve the best possible outcome rather than refighting policy battles lost. Still, for all the years of occupation, the hundreds of billions of dollars in continued security and grandiose aid and development schemes, the United States really could count only two additional successes: First was modernizing Iraq’s old currency and second was reviving Iraq’s oil trade.

Read More

Many Americans shy away from Iraq because of security concerns, and certainly last month’s bloodshed has shaken confidence both inside and outside Iraq. Through all the violence—war, insurgency, and terrorism—Iraqis have been resilient, a trait which probably surprises only those who formed their political opinion about Iraq without ever talking to Iraqis. The security problems must be overcome—and Prime Minister Maliki is probably correct to fight them head-on rather than to appease those who would seek to win through violence what they cannot at the ballot box. Rather than allow any politician to walk away from terror support out of fear of sparking sectarian tension, the Iraqi government should instead enforce its standard universally and let no one off the hook. More systemic problems loom, however.

The decision to liberate Iraq was certainly wise, although the decision to occupy the country (as I stated before I entered government in this interview with the American Enterprise) was not. That said, once the decision to occupy was taken, it becomes essential to achieve the best possible outcome rather than refighting policy battles lost. Still, for all the years of occupation, the hundreds of billions of dollars in continued security and grandiose aid and development schemes, the United States really could count only two additional successes: First was modernizing Iraq’s old currency and second was reviving Iraq’s oil trade.

It is that oil trade which now threatens Iraq’s long-term health. Iraqi government officials privately acknowledge that every ministry could function with one-tenth of the staff. Most young Iraqi college graduates, however, aspire to a safe government post rather than take a chance in the private sector. Entrepreneurship is still frowned upon in many families. The result is that the majority of Iraq’s oil income goes to salaries, but not to basic infrastructure. Many Iraqis are content enough and willing to overlook Iraq’s problems so long as they have a nice house, a car, satellite television, a cell phone, a generator to make up the short-fall in electricity, and basic financial security.

The Iraqi government—unlike its Iranian counterpart—has been able to make payroll, and will continue to do so as long as oil prices remain high. Inside the Middle East rulers might hope that $100 oil is the new normal but if history is any guide, what goes up also comes down. If the price of oil ever drops precipitously—as it did, for example, in the late 1990s—then Iraq may pay the price for its failure to reform its economy and better encourage both domestic entrepreneurship and direct foreign investment.

Nor should those who regularly sing Iraqi Kurdistan’s praises believe that the Kurdish region will be immune from such consequences. The flash and the affluence upon which visitors to Kurdistan regularly remark are the hallmarks of a bubble, not a healthy economy. Real estate has boomed, but many of the apartment buildings and office buildings remain empty. Politicians, if asked, will acknowledge that Kurdish investors will pour money into real estate because there are few other outlets for their cash. Local banks are not trusted, and business still depends on political connections. Beyond oil, there has not been any significant industrial development. Rather than manufacture goods themselves, Kurds in the north and Arabs in the south continue to pour money into imports of Iranian and Turkish consumer goods.

Once again, however, a stable Iraq may be in U.S. interests, but the desire of both Democrats and Republicans to divorce themselves from Iraq is strategically shortsighted and deliberately undercuts a relationship which is America’s for the asking.

Read Less

Help Iraq Resist Iranian Influence

When Khalaf Abdul Samad, until last week the governor of Basra, announced that he would inaugurate a new bridge spanning the Shatt al-Arab on June 4, the Iranian government was worried. On June 4, the Iranians planned to mark the 24th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s revolutionary leader. Iranian government representatives reportedly warned Abdul Samad to move the celebration, since June 4 should be a solemn day. Abdul Samad responded by ordering an even larger fireworks display, one that could be seen from across the Iranian border. The symbolism was clear: When the Iranian regime wanted people to mourn, Iraqis Shi’ites chose to celebrate. Abdul Samad, by the way, belongs to the same political party as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

On a weekend when I had no meetings planned, I took a ride down to Fao, site of a key Iran-Iraq War battle, and near where Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait converge on the Persian Gulf. Fao’s main industry is fishing, and the fishermen are well acquainted with Iran, literally a stone’s throw away across the narrow channel. Mention Iran and the fishermen go apoplectic: Not only will Iranian patrol boats intercept fisherman who cross the invisible border under the Shatt al-Arabs, but often the Iranian patrols will target fisherman on the Iraqi side of the border. The Iranian modus operandi? Shoot first, ask questions later. Most fishermen know colleagues or family members killed by the Iranians.

Read More

When Khalaf Abdul Samad, until last week the governor of Basra, announced that he would inaugurate a new bridge spanning the Shatt al-Arab on June 4, the Iranian government was worried. On June 4, the Iranians planned to mark the 24th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s revolutionary leader. Iranian government representatives reportedly warned Abdul Samad to move the celebration, since June 4 should be a solemn day. Abdul Samad responded by ordering an even larger fireworks display, one that could be seen from across the Iranian border. The symbolism was clear: When the Iranian regime wanted people to mourn, Iraqis Shi’ites chose to celebrate. Abdul Samad, by the way, belongs to the same political party as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

On a weekend when I had no meetings planned, I took a ride down to Fao, site of a key Iran-Iraq War battle, and near where Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait converge on the Persian Gulf. Fao’s main industry is fishing, and the fishermen are well acquainted with Iran, literally a stone’s throw away across the narrow channel. Mention Iran and the fishermen go apoplectic: Not only will Iranian patrol boats intercept fisherman who cross the invisible border under the Shatt al-Arabs, but often the Iranian patrols will target fisherman on the Iraqi side of the border. The Iranian modus operandi? Shoot first, ask questions later. Most fishermen know colleagues or family members killed by the Iranians.

Trucks ply the roads in and around Basra as they head to the Iranian border. Curiously, during almost a week in Basra, I saw no Iranian-tagged vehicles. That stood in sharp contrast to Iraqi Kurdistan—recently lauded in this piece by Fouad Ajami—where it sometimes seems as if every third truck has Iranian license plates and, indeed, the Kurdistan Regional Government makes tens of millions of dollars smuggling material, including sanctioned fuel, to and from Iran. Indeed, it is easier for Iraqis to transit the Iran-Iraq border in Iraqi Kurdistan than it is in southern Iraq, where the Iranian government remains hypersensitive to the religious independence of the Iraqi Shi’ites. Add into the mix that the legacy of the Iran-Iraq War remains fresh in Basra, and the notion that Iraqis willingly welcome Iranian dominance is laughable.

That said, the Iranians do try: Basra—like Kirkuk—is booming. A new Iranian hotel is slowly rising up alongside the corniche. Iran dominates the consumer goods market: An informal survey of some local supermarkets indicates most food stuff is Iranian, maybe a third is Turkish, the bottled water and some soft drinks are Iraqi, and the Louisiana Hot Sauce is America’s only contribution. The Iranians pressure the Iraqi government to award Iran larger projects but the Iraqi government has resisted: Iranian prices are simply too high, and its workmanship poor. American and European businesses would be very welcome, but are more often absent when the bidding begins. The Iranians—and some of their Iraqi political allies—like to keep it that way by throwing extra-legal obstacles in the face of American businessmen flying into Basra, but such obstacles can be overcome. Iranians do provide Basra with supplemental electricity (an irony, since Tehran justifies its nuclear program in a lack of domestic energy generation) but because its consistency remains poor, the locals blame Iran for frequent outages.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric who often appears to take his marching orders from Iran, remains unpopular, but that does not stop his followers from plastering his image in every town center and on billboards aside traffic circles. Basrawis seem to mock Sadr. That said, his followers—while a minority—do leverage their status, joining with Ammar al-Hakim’s Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq recently to unseat Basra’s popular, Iraqi nationalist governor.

So what does this mean for the future? Iran will certainly continue to try to impose its will on Iraq. Iranian political influence is heavy. Across the board, Iraqis acknowledge that the recent summit in Erbil held between Prime Minister Maliki and Kurdish regional leader Masud Barzani was held at the behest not of the American ambassador, but rather Qods Force leader Qasim Suleimani, whom Iraqis only half jokingly refer to as Iran’s real president. Still, Iraqis will continue to resist Iran’s unwanted influence. The fact that the United States—despite promises of a continuing relationship—remains so unwilling to engage in Iraq, however, could unfortunately become the deciding factor in the battle for influence.

Read Less

Arming Syrian Rebels Is Strategic Suicide

There is growing frustration among many on the right—many of my colleagues both here on the pages of COMMENTARY and at the American Enterprise Institute included—about President Barack Obama’s incoherent policy and strategy with regard to Syria.

Certainly, the frustration is warranted. Over the past two years, tens of thousands of Syrians have been killed, and almost as many have “disappeared.” It’s a safe bet that those who have gone missing are not going to reemerge. Violence has forced additional hundreds of thousands of Syrians into refugee camps in neighboring countries. Wrong is the realist who claims that this may be an emotional, human rights concern but is not relevant to U.S. national security: When refugees flood into a country, competition for space and resources sends prices up and can further erode popular support for U.S. allies like King Abdullah II in Jordan.

Read More

There is growing frustration among many on the right—many of my colleagues both here on the pages of COMMENTARY and at the American Enterprise Institute included—about President Barack Obama’s incoherent policy and strategy with regard to Syria.

Certainly, the frustration is warranted. Over the past two years, tens of thousands of Syrians have been killed, and almost as many have “disappeared.” It’s a safe bet that those who have gone missing are not going to reemerge. Violence has forced additional hundreds of thousands of Syrians into refugee camps in neighboring countries. Wrong is the realist who claims that this may be an emotional, human rights concern but is not relevant to U.S. national security: When refugees flood into a country, competition for space and resources sends prices up and can further erode popular support for U.S. allies like King Abdullah II in Jordan.

Obama seems to be blind to the strategic implications of Bashar al-Assad’s downfall. The Syrian regime is a long-time terror sponsor responsible for the deaths of dozens of Americans. Wrong are those who say Bashar al-Assad and his father brought quiet to the border with Israel: The Syria-Israel border was quiet, but only because the Assads used Lebanon as their proxy battleground. Syria also provides the crucial link between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. The fall of the Syrian regime would roll back Iranian influence away from the strategically important Eastern Mediterranean.

That said, arming the Syrian rebels is wrong and would gravely undercut U.S. national security. I travel to Iraq a couple times each year—without the sponsorship, let alone knowledge, of the State Department or Pentagon—and have been in Iraq for the past two weeks or so. I began my trip in Basra and worked my way north through Baghdad to Kirkuk as well as areas controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government. Syria was a topic of frequent conversation, both among ordinary Iraqis and government officials. The evolution of Iraqi attitudes toward Syria has been interesting. In 2007, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki regularly condemned the Syrian regime for its role facilitating the infiltration of suicide bombers into Iraq. However, when I visited Iraq last October, many Iraqi Shi’ites warned against any support for the Syrian opposition, claiming they were more radical than the Americans realized. Such complaints from Iraqi Shi’ites might be easy to dismiss. After all, sectarianism overshadows the Middle East. Assad’s Alawis represent an offshoot of Shi’ism while the majority of the Syrian opposition is Sunni.

This trip, however, has been a wake-up call: Not only Iraqi Shi’ites, but also Iraqi Christians, Iraqi Kurds, and even many Iraqi Sunnis oppose American provision of arms to the Syrian rebels on the grounds that the Syrian rebels are either more radical than the Americans realize, or that nothing will prevent the so-called moderates whom the United States arms from selling or losing the weaponry to the radicals. There is a real sense of urgency, here, as Iraqis believe they will be the first victims of Sunni radicalism in neighboring Syria. Indeed, while here in Iraq, I have been within earshot of two car bombings, and Iraq has moved past its deadliest month in years. Regardless of ethnicity and sectarian preference, a consensus is emerging in Iraq about the character of the Syrian opposition. With all due respect to congressmen and some advocates for arming the Syrian rebels, those in the region are better able to vet Syrian rebels than U.S. officials 6,000 miles away. As tempting as it may be to think otherwise, and just as it remains with the Mujahedin al-Khalq and the Islamic Republic, the enemy of one’s enemy is not always one’s friend.

Does this mean we should abandon hopes for regime change in Syria? Absolutely not. The United States does maintain strategic interests in Syria: Eliminating WMD stores; preventing smuggling of weaponry to Hezbollah; preventing al-Qaeda groups from utilizing the Syrian vacuum to plan attacks against the West; and preventing both Assad and his opponents from destabilizing neighboring states. An Assad victory would embolden both Tehran and Moscow and ensure the spread of conflict to areas far more important to the United States. Perhaps the safest way to support Assad’s removal, however, is not to give weaponry to the Syrian rebels—a move that would make the “Fast and Furious” scandal seem positively benevolent—but rather to use American air power to prevent any aspect of the conflict perpetrated by either side which could undercut American security.

Read Less

Benghazi’s Legacy in Iraq

The September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was a preventable tragedy. The blame for Stevens’s death lies with the terrorists that murdered him, although they would not have gotten the chance had it not been for negligence if not incompetence at very senior ranks of the State Department. That the Obama administration responded with obfuscation rather than serious introspection merely compounded the tragedy.

The State Department, for its part, still smarting from the loss of four of its own, has also learned the wrong lessons. About a month ago, I penned a short piece for the American Enterprise Institute arguing that too much security can be a bad thing. It is easy to guarantee the safety of diplomats but, if such a guarantee requires locking diplomats away from the societies in which they are supposed to serve and comes at the expense of the ability of diplomats to do their jobs, then the broader goals of American diplomacy will be missed.

Read More

The September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was a preventable tragedy. The blame for Stevens’s death lies with the terrorists that murdered him, although they would not have gotten the chance had it not been for negligence if not incompetence at very senior ranks of the State Department. That the Obama administration responded with obfuscation rather than serious introspection merely compounded the tragedy.

The State Department, for its part, still smarting from the loss of four of its own, has also learned the wrong lessons. About a month ago, I penned a short piece for the American Enterprise Institute arguing that too much security can be a bad thing. It is easy to guarantee the safety of diplomats but, if such a guarantee requires locking diplomats away from the societies in which they are supposed to serve and comes at the expense of the ability of diplomats to do their jobs, then the broader goals of American diplomacy will be missed.

Nowhere is this clearer now than in Iraq. The Basra corniche is a lively place at night. Cars cruise, locals play backgammon, restaurants are packed, and businessmen talk in luxury hotels. Thursday nights are shopping nights in the Al Jazair neighborhood, where men and women look for bargains in indoor markets, hit the new supermarkets, or take a break for some shawarma with their sons and daughters in one of the bustling fast food restaurants. Alas, it is a city life the diplomats stationed at the U.S. consulate will never experience, because the consulate is located out by Basra International Airport, about 15 miles from the center of town. While the consul-general does go to formal receptions and events, few Basrawis ever see the Americans outside the consulate walls. To their credit, American diplomats have expressed frustration to their Iraqi friends over the situation.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a $750 million behemoth alongside the Tigris River, may house more than a thousand diplomats and other government diplomats, and even more contractors, but few ever see Baghdad. Iraqi officials say most officials who leave the embassy compound go either to the airport, to parliament, or one of perhaps a half dozen other Iraqi government offices all within walking distance (though the American diplomats are not allowed to walk outside). Outside the International Zone, Iraqis say they have seen Iranians, Turks, Russians, and Chinese but few have ever met an American diplomat. Nevertheless, each of the American government employees housed and working in the embassy gets hardship and danger pay that might add 70 percent to their annual salary, even if they never meet an Iraqi.

Perhaps nothing shows the Benghazi meltdown more than the U.S. consulate in Kirkuk. Kirkuk, for economic, political, and cultural reasons, may be the most important city outside Baghdad and perhaps Najaf. Yet after the attack on the Benghazi consulate, the State Department moved its Kirkuk consulate to Erbil, an hours’ drive away, where the United States already has a consulate. Now I’ve been staying in Kirkuk city for the past several days and, as I’ve indicated in other posts, it’s regaining its former glory. While the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) often brags about its heightened security, Kirkuk is not located in areas controlled by the KRG and so security does remain a problem, albeit a manageable one: Top officials live in compounds sealed off by blast walls and checkpoints, but get out and about by switching cars and license plates frequently, and taking other basic precautions.

If the purpose of an American diplomat is simply to pass messages, then the State Department can reduce its budget considerably if they would rely on Skype or build a couple secure video teleconference facilities. I say that with tongue in cheek, of course, because the purpose of American diplomats is more: State Department employees might talk about one project or another, but when push comes to shove, American embassies should be about influence, showing the flag, and gaining an increased understanding of societies that is not possible simply by sitting at a desk, meeting with officials, or hunkering down behind blast walls. Alas, it seems that in the wake of Benghazi, both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her successor John Kerry have responded by raising the white flag. How sad it is that rather than recognize and repair the faults in management and intelligence that led to Benghazi, the State Department prefers simply to hide its head in the sand, its diplomats behind sandbags.

Read Less




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.