Tag Archives: Middle East


For someone who keeps asserting that the presidential contest is proceeding pretty much as expected, and who spends much of his time trying to calm the nervous Nellies, I have been spending an awful lot of time lately at FiveThirtyEight.com, watching for signs of disaster. By and large I have been made happy by what […]

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Ever since the news of the foiled alleged liquid-explosive multiple-airliner plot in the UK, I’ve been racking my brain trying to recall where I’d read that the primary approach to terrorism should be internationally cooperative police work, not large-scale military operations, but that this notion had been discredited. Here we seemed to have an instance of such […]

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Informed Comment is where one goes to keep up with events in the Middle East, courtesy of the indefatigable Prof. Juan Cole. For some time now it has consisted of a relentless barrage of bad news—an unending litany of suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, kidnappings, murder, and mutilation; attack and retaliation; unreal rhetoric and very […]

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Happy Birthday, Freedom of Information Act! Forty years old today. Having just watched Syriana, which purports to show how the world really works, I can say I fully endorse the headline of Jimmy Carter’s commentary: We Need Fewer Secrets. And having rented The Syrian Bride by mistake—it was the only DVD box on the Syriana […]

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Yesterday I asked a quasi-rhetorical question: … but would this administration be smart enough to accept the invitation to depart? This obviously assumes the US has the best interests of Iraqis at heart. There are several competing assumptions: The Iraq invasion was actually an imperial venture. Thus the rationale for staying is the creation of “forward bases,” […]

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This from Haaretz: Just meters from the Brandenburg Gate, the 18th-century structure that came to symbolize Nazi power and was only reopened with Berlin’s reunification, stands one of city’s most beautiful and famous hotels, which is where the American Jewish Committee chose to celebrate its 100th anniversary. … “It was important for us to send […]

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Vladimir Putin has invited Hamas leaders to Moscow, and the world press has dutifully reported the yowling from certain quarters of Israel and from their amen corner abroad (most particularly, in the US government and mainstream American media). As usual, there are voices in Israel that undermine the party line, but one rarely hears them. At […]

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  • Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
    Gravity’s Rainbow

    ‘Is it about a bicycle?’ he asked.
    The Third Policeman