What to Read on Osama bin Laden’s Death

Yes, Bin Laden’s Death Will Help Obama, but for How Long? — Nate Silver

In 1991, the top 8 or 10 Democratic candidates skipped the presidential race because George H.W. Bush seemed unbeatable in the wake of the popular Gulf War. But by November 1992, Mr. Bush’s approval ratings were in the 30s, and Bill Clinton defeated him easily — as most any Democratic candidate would have.

Qaddafi Is Not Osama bin Laden — Robert Dreyfuss

In the case of Libya, it’s an illegal assassination effort, not sanctioned by any UN resolution, to force regime change in a state that has never attacked the United States and poses no national security threat.

Taliban Commander Vows to Avenge Bin Laden’s Death — Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Local jihadi wars will continue, al-Qaida in Yemen will continue to attempt to bomb targets in the west, and the Taliban will not stop fighting in Afghanistan.

US Strategy Misconceived, Says Hamid Karzai — Jon Boone

“Year after year, day after day, we have said the fighting against terrorism is not in the villages of Afghanistan, not among the poor people of Afghanistan,” he said. “The fight against terrorism is in safe havens…”

The Rewards of Revenge — Jonah Lehrer

[It] turns out that the most effective basic strategy is an approach known as “tit for tat.” The rules of tit for tat are incredibly simple: Unless provoked, the prisoners will cooperate (and not confess). However, one they are provoked, they will seek out revenge, Old Testament style. This help ensures that defection is discouraged, that people know their cheating has consequences. And this is why the brain, at least in young men, takes so much delight in the pain of bad people. An eye for an eye feels great.

As Gandhi famously said, “An eye for eye, and soon the whole world is blind.”


Best of the Week: August 29 – Saturday 4, 2010

10. The Effects of Immigrants on U.S. Employment and Productivity — Giovanni Peri
9. Don’t Worry About a Bubble in U.S. Government Bonds — Daniel Gross
8. Al-Qaida in Yemen: Poverty, Corruption, and an Army of Jihadis Willing to Fight and Shabwa: Blood Feuds and Hospitality in al-Qaida’s Yemen Outpost — Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
7. Ahmadi and Friends — Hooman Majd
6. Why Cheaper Money Won’t Mean More Jobs — Robert Reich and The Path to a High-Wage Society — Peter Dreier
5. Making Social Security Less Generous Isn’t the Answer — Ezra Klein
4. The Limits of Force as an Instrument of Foreign Policy — Shireen T. HunterDiary — Jonathan Steele, Why Do Wars of Choice Last So Long? — Stephen M. Waltand Flying the Flag, Faking the News — John Pilger
3. Economic Consequences of Speculative Side Bets: The Case of Naked CDS — Yeon-Koo Che & Rajiv Sethi and Central Clearing and Systemic Risk — Ilya Podolyako
2. Recovery Act: How Obama’s Stimulus Is Changing America — Michael Grunwald
1. Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury — Michael Joseph Gross
BONUS: “I Was Wrong Again!” What Ben Bernanke Meant to Say — Andrew Leonard