The List

10 Classic Newsweek Covers

That aren't about Jesus or babies.

Sept. 20, 1943

The Sept. 20, 1943 cover shows a tired looking Hitler, and taunts him with the question "Little Man, What Now?" The Axis and Allied powers had been fighting for control of continent, and American troops were buoyed after the Italian surrender on Sept. 8 to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. Americans had landed in Italy, pushing inland to meet up with British forces, and German troops were beginning to lose ground. The question on the cover was taken from the name of a German book published in 1932 about the last days of the Weimar Republic.

 

 

Dec. 28, 1942

This 1942 cover shows a Rosie the Riveter-type figure sending Emperor Hirohito a Christmas present, in the form of a chubby-looking bomb wrapped in a red ribbon. The instructions? "RUSH." But the unwelcome present would be somewhat delayed in its arrival: in 1942, the U.S. had no bases in the Pacific from which to conduct bombing runs. No serious aerial campaigns were conducted on Japan until 1944, and of course, the atomic bombs were not dropped until 1945 -- three years after the cover went to print.

 

 

Sept. 18, 1972

This cover shows the burial of one of the 11 Israeli athletes taken hostage by Palestinians and eventually killed during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, when a botched rescue attempt at the German airport resulted in a firefight. The kidnapping saw competition suspended for the first time in modern Olympic history. Israel retaliated via assassinations, a response dubbed "Operation Wrath of God."

 

April 9, 1984: "The Decline of Europe"

In a special report in the spring of 1984, Newsweek declared Europe's future "uncertain." Its economy was stagnating; it was losing the technology battle to the U.S. and Japan. And "its best hope for unity -- the Common Market -- appears on the verge of collapse." Sound familiar? Newsweek's 30-year-old predictions may reassure those disheartened by the current bearishness surrounding the European project today: the Common Market did not collapse, and eventually transformed into the European Union.

 

 

Nov. 20, 1978

The Nov. 1978 cover shows a weary-looking Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, a few months before he would be overthrown in the Iranian Revolution. The shah's policies of modernization and secularization and begun costing him the support of the Shiite clergy, and his policies of political repression had begun generating opposition among other Iranian groups. Anti-shah demonstrations had started in the fall of 1977, and by January of 1979, the shah was forced to flee Iran. Soon after, the country was declared an Islamic Republic.

 

 

June, 1981 "Kaddafi: The Most Dangerous Man in the World?"

When Newsweek slapped Muammar al-Qaddafi with the label "Most Dangerous Man in the World" in June 1981, the Libyan dictator was just getting started. He had already been funding revolutionary movements as far away as Northern Ireland and the Philippines through Libya's oil revenues. But it was the 1986 Libya-orchestrated bombing of a dance hall in West Berlin and  the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that sealed Qaddafi's reputation as the bogeyman of his era.

 

May 14, 1979: "Britain Turns Right"

Margaret Thatcher wasn't just the first woman leader of the Tory party, she was inexperienced as well -- the only major post she'd ever held previously was education secretary. But she silenced any doubts when the conservatives swept Parliament in the 1979 landslide election, on a platform of lower taxes, lower public expenditures, and promises to fight back against the unions. Former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe proclaimed himself "horrified" after her victory, saying Thatcher "makes [her predecessor] Ted Heath look like a moderate." Indeed, the Thatcher years would change Britain forever, privatizing housing and industry and bringing Britain closer to the United States, thanks to the personal warmth between Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan.

Nov. 20, 1989: "The Wall: 1961-1989"

Over the course of 1989, the borders of the German Democratic Republic had grown more porous, with the stream of East Germans fleeing for the West through Hungary increasing by the month. Still, when it was announced -- mistakenly, it was later revealed -- on Nov. 9 that the German Democratic Republic was, in fact, opening its borders, the response was overwhelming. East German citizens rushed to the wall, were greeted by those in the West, and suddenly Berliners from both sides were dancing together on top of the barrier while the world watched in astonishment. The infamous wall, and the joyous spontaneity of the day it fell, have since become a symbol of peaceful liberation.

 

Sept. 24, 2012: "Muslim Rage"

In the wake of protests across the Arab World over a video mocking the Prophet Muhammad, Newsweek ran a story by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in which she explained to Western readers how to handle the phenomenon she dubbed "Muslim Rage." The cover showed three Muslim men at what appeared to be a protest. While Newsweek defended the cover, it was widely panned as inflammatory and simplistic, particularly online where an attempt by the magazine to spark a discussion through use of the hashtag #MuslimRage instead mostly led to parody.

The List

The 6 Best Moments in Veep Debate History

The 2012 vice-presidential debate might not be a game-changer, but that doesn't mean it won't be entertaining.

Politico posed a tantalizing question earlier this week: With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoying a post-debate surge in the polls and President Barack Obama seemingly on the ropes for the first time in the 2012 campaign, could Thursday night's vice-presidential debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden actually matter?

Alas, if past elections -- and our equally breathless musings about the potential consequence of previous vice-presidential debates -- are any guide, we shouldn't get our hopes up. In a 1996 study of debates between 1984 and 1992, political scientist Thomas Holbrook determined that "there is very little evidence that vice presidential debates do much at all to alter the political landscape" -- even in the case of Lloyd Bentsen famously telling challenger Dan Quayle that he was "no Jack Kennedy." In a 2008 survey, Gallup found that while presidential debates may have made the 1976 and 2004 elections more competitive, only in the tight races of 1960 and 2000 did the debates appear to have an impact on the outcome (other academic investigations have reached similar conclusions).

Still, vice presidential debates have produced their share of memorable foreign-policy moments. Here are the top six:

1976: Dole condemns "Democrat wars"

During the race between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Republican vice presidential candidate Bob Dole raised eyebrows by slamming World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War as "Democrat wars" while debating Walter Mondale. "If we added up the killed and wounded in Democrat wars in this century, it'd be about 1.6 million Americans -- enough to fill the city of Detroit," he asserted. The remark didn't sit well with Mondale, who retorted that "Senator Dole has richly earned his reputation as a hatchet man tonight."

The statement "haunted us for a while," Dole later recalled. "People were calling me that night saying ‘boy, what a great job, you won this debate'.... [A]nd the next morning after the press picked this out as a mistake, it suddenly changed." In fact, the controversy surrounding the comment outlasted the campaign. "Bob Dole came across as an ass," columnist Debra Sunders declared when the Republican politician ran for president in 1996.

1984: Bush gets pedantic

The most heated moment in the vice-presidential debate between Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Geraldine Ferraro came when Ferraro, the first female vice-presidential candidate for a major U.S. political party, compared the Iranian hostage crisis to the bombings of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon. "Let me help you with the difference, Mrs. Ferraro, between Iran and the embassy in Lebanon," Bush began, drawing a fiery rebuttal. "I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy," Ferraro declared. I've been a member of Congress for six years."

The testy exchange dominated the analysis of the debate the next day (it didn't help that Bush was later overheard saying "we tried to kick a little ass last night"). "Did he patronize her?" the Associated Press asked. "That's the debate about the debate that America may be chewing on for as long as women candidates for national office remain a rarity." Many years afterward, Ferraro said she had used the line reluctantly. "I readily admit I was not an expert on foreign policy but I was knowledgeable and I didn't need a man who was the vice president of the United States and my opponent turning around and putting me down," she noted.

1992: Quayle makes a ‘3 a.m.' appeal

We all remember Hillary Clinton's "3 a.m. phone call" ad questioning Barack Obama's national security's credentials during their Democratic primary fight. But George H.W. Bush's vice president, Dan Quayle, trotted out a similar attack line against Clinton's husband many years earlier. Staring straight into the camera during a debate against Al Gore and James Stockdale, Ross Perot's running mate, Quayle declared:

At some time during these next four years there is going to be a crisis -- there will be an international crisis. I can't tell you where it's going to be, I can't even tell you the circumstances -- but it will happen. We need a president who has the experience, who has been tested, who has the integrity and qualifications to handle the crisis. The president has been tested; the president has the integrity and the character. The choice is yours.

You need to have a president you can trust. Can you really trust Bill Clinton?

Reacting to the sound bite, the New York Times noted that Quayle had highlighted the "question that Bush strategists hope will sway voters their way in these final days" and "used the word ‘trust' ... so often that it started to sound like an incantation."

Quayle's warning comes at about 06:30 in the clip below. Right afterward, you'll find an even more famous vice-presidential debate moment: Stockdale beginning his opening statement by asking, "Who am I? Why am I here?" Saturday Night Live had a field day portraying Stockdale -- who also asked the moderator to repeat a question because he hadn't switched on his hearing aid -- as a doddering, existentially confused old man. What we often forget are the substantive points that Stockdale made next: that he would approach his office with a unique perspective given his many decades in the Navy and ordeal as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

1996: Kemp advises against bombing before breakfast

During a debate with Al Gore, Republican challenger Jack Kemp chose some novel language to criticize the Clinton administration's strikes against Iraqi targets after Saddam Hussein's assault on Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. He argued that U.S. foreign policy should adhere to the Golden Rule -- a line Ron Paul echoed in this year's Republican primary (you can watch the full 1996 debate here):

We should have a foreign policy that's predicated upon trade, on spreading democracy, by giving people opportunities to trade freely with us, and making sure that everybody recognizes a rule of the Golden Rule, "To do unto others to have them do unto you." Diplomacy first, and don't bomb before breakfast.

The "don't bomb before breakfast" admonition angered GOP wonks Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, who warned that the Republican Party's isolationist posture was dangerous. "[W]ith a Republican opposition singing choruses of ‘Come home, America,' and ‘Don't bomb before breakfast,' the odds of successfully fulfilling our essential role in the world will diminish," they wrote. "I took a lot of heat for it," Kemp mused three years later, "but looking back at [the Clinton administration's] foreign policy to react against Sudan, or Afghanistan, or northern or southern no-fly zones in Iraq, and now in Kosovo and Bosnia, I was right on target."

2004: Cheney meets Edwards

What made the debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards stand out was how much more confrontational it was than the gentlemanly Cheney-Lieberman snoozefest in 2000. Things got particularly heated when the conversation turned to Iraq, as Edwards accused the vice president of misleading the American people about the costly war and questioned him over government contracts awarded to his former employer, Halliburton. Cheney responded by alleging that Edwards was barely a presence in the Senate, noting that "the first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." In the clip below, watch Cheney work in the line, "you probably weren't there to vote for that." After the debate, the press pointed out that Cheney had actually met Edwards several times before the debate.

2008: Palin mispronounces McKiernan

During their much-anticipated matchup, both Joe Biden and Sarah Palin invoked Gen. David McKiernan to argue for their respective Afghan strategies, though neither candidate referred to the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan by (the correct) name. Biden noted that "our commanding general in Afghanistan said the surge principle in Iraq will not work in Afghanistan," while Palin retorted that "McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles would not work in Afghanistan" (instead of correcting her, Biden made another vague reference to "our commanding general"). Palin took heat for the mispronunciation, but it turned out that both candidates were partially right. McKiernan had rejected Iraq comparisons, but called for more troops in Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency.

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