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What can Israel learn from America? (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

Condoleezza Rice: The New Axis of Evil and a Changed World

A conversation with the former secretary of state. Plus: George Packer on what Israel can learn from America’s 9/11 response.

In the first piece we published after Hamas’s attack on Israel last Saturday, Noah Pollak was quick to recognize the parallels between October 7, 2023 and September 11, 2001. In both cases, an illusion of security was shattered; a fiercely ideological enemy targeted civilians; and the magnitude of the horror transformed the nation—and the geopolitical paradigm.

If there’s anybody who knows about the decisions the United States made after 9/11, it’s Condoleezza Rice, who was national security adviser on the day of that attack, and went on to become secretary of state. I was already scheduled to talk to Secretary Rice for Honestly this week, but I threw my old questions out and instead we had an urgent conversation about the present crisis and the changing global order. 

You can listen to that conversation, which includes her defense of America’s response to 9/11, here:

But 9/11 should also serve as a cautionary tale for Israel in its moment of crisis, argues George Packer, a staff writer at The Atlantic. In a piece we’re republishing in The Free Press today, he writes that the comparison between 10/7 and 9/11 “might lead to unexpected places.” For more on how Israel might learn from America’s policy mistakes, scroll down to read his piece in full. 

For more coverage of the war in Israel, read Daniel Pearl’s cousin Ilan Benjamin on why his hope for peace is dead. 

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