Klein's latest book is Politics Lost.

Joe Klein

Joe Klein is TIME's political columnist and author of six books, most recently Politics Lost. His weekly TIME column, "In the Arena," covers national and international affairs. In 2004 he won the National Headliner Award for best magazine column.

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In the Arena In the Arena

Iraq Rape Update

The latest from Baghdad.
I love this part:

In the statement to news organizations, Mr. Maliki went beyond trying to prove that the woman had not been raped, implying that she was unmarried and having an affair.

Maliki sure knows how to win over those Sunnis.

And then, there’s the question of when the U.S. Military will tell us what …

In the Arena In the Arena


Well, everybody seems to be having fun with this.. A few observations:

1. I think Obama won the round. The Clinton camp’s initial reaction was over the top: Do they really expect Obama to censor his campaign contributors? The Obama camp’s response was swift, brutal and elegant, another signal–after Obama’s take-down of the Australian …

In the Arena In the Arena

No Comment Necessary

From the Washington Post:

“What I’m worried about is that the American public will be quite perplexed by the president adding forces while our principal ally is subtracting forces,” said Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), a longtime war supporter who opposes Bush’s troop increase. “That is the burden we are being left with here.”

In the Arena In the Arena

Not A Civil War?

I’m really beginning to notice the excellent work of Marc Santora for the New York Times in Baghdad. Today he shows how the rape of an Iraqi woman, possibly by the Shi’ite police forces, becomes a political football in Iraq.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki plays a particularly dreadful role in all this. Promising a full investigation, …

In the Arena In the Arena


This is a suicidal waste of time. I especially love this from Kos, who promises a “vicious [primary] fight” for Ellen Tauscher’s seat:

“We’re creating real democracy,” he said.

Thus spoke Robespierre.

Update Fair point from Arbitrista:

have you made any similar observations about the decision of Hugh Hewitt to support challenges

In the Arena In the Arena

Coalition of the Not-Very-Willing

The Brits are leaving. They say 3000 by the end of the year, but here’s a prediction: All 7500 by the end of the year. The reason is Gordon Brown, who’ll replace Tony Blair as PM in the next few months. Brown will want to build a head of steam for his agenda–and to keep the Tories away from Downing Street–and the best, fastest way to …

In the Arena In the Arena

Welcome to Hell

This is a first, and a demonstration of why the application of counterinsurgency tactics will be so difficult in the midst of a civil war. The joint patrol bases–they’re precinct houses, really–are vulnerable to enemy attack, which is why Generals Abizaid and Casey opposed the strategy. Two other thoughts:
–When John McCain says he’s …

In the Arena In the Arena

Playing Politics With Iraq

I must admit I’m boggled by the question now on the table: Whether to support John Murtha’s clever plan for limiting funding for the mission in Iraq. On the one hand, Murtha has it exactly right–a great many military people say (privately) that units are being deployed to Iraq with insufficient training and equipment, and that those …

In the Arena In the Arena

This Won’t Cut It

It is amazing that the well-oiled Clinton machine, bristling with consultants, could get itself into this kind of mess. I mean, you ask her why she voted for the war and she says:

“If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose

In the Arena In the Arena

I doubt it

Broder thinks Bush is about to have a renaissance. And yes, the President did have a pretty good press conference the other day. But he’s having a historically disastrous war. And he had a disgraceful Katrina. And…

Pre-emptive Update: Before the commentariat weighs in with ‘Hey, didn’t you defend Broder last week?’ and ‘Aren’t you …

In the Arena In the Arena

What’s on the table?

A lot of commentary in the blogosphere today, especially from Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein about whether “all options” should be “on the table” in dealing with Iran.

I was (correctly) hammered last year when I said on Stephanopoulos that “all options–including nukes–should be on the table” in our dealings with Iran. This was a mistake …

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