Europe
Cossacks for Hire

Cossacks for Hire

Last October, a Russian private military contractor, the Moran Security Group, shanghaied another PMC, the Slavonic Corps, by promising recruits $2,000-5,000 a month if they went to Syria to guard strategic facilities (military bases and power plants) to free up the regular Syrian Army guards for the front line. More»

Revenge on Turkey

Revenge on Turkey

On July 27th, 1983, the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Lisbon was seized by militants of the Armenian Revolutionary Army, following a failed attempt at storming the embassy. After a standoff with 170 Portuguese riot police, the building was blown up, killing the four ARA fighters inside, one Portuguese policeman and Cahide Mıhçıoğlu, wife of the embassy’s charge d’affaires. More»

Erdogan in Germany

Erdogan in Germany

It was a sight to behold. Yesterday, a large crowd of German Turks gathered at Brandenburg Gate in order to protest against Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The location was perfect. Multiculturalism is frequently attacked as being unsuccessful in Germany. Berlin itself can be seen as evidence of it. More»

Ukrainian Domino Effect

Ukrainian Domino Effect

There’s been a chilling feeling of déjà vu in Yerevan since the Ukrainian government’s decision to opt out of the EU Association Agreement. Though, as in the Ukraine, many Armenians depend on links to Russia for their livelihood, those who prefer a European course sense that Ukrainian demonstrators are managing to do what Armenians cannot. More»

The Scapegoat Policy

The Scapegoat Policy

Britain used to be great, but an enemy within has sunk us. From Syria to Afghanistan, its growing list of foreign policy failures are the result of women, ethnic minorities, godlessness and gory films. Apparently. Scapegoating is the order of the day. More»

Homeland Insecurity

Homeland Insecurity

Seeing this photograph of graffiti in Stuttgart transported me back to my time as an exchange student in Germany. Not so much for the cleverness of the critique it implies — though I do appreciate it — but because I spent much of my stay asking myself the very same question, “What the fuck is Heimat?” More»

Currency as Culture

Currency as Culture

Who could argue with such a simple request? “1 Euro for education”, the sign reads, advertising IKEA’s ongoing commitment to donate that amount to Save the Children with the purchase of each soft toy. But given the context, it’s hard not to read the message as a disturbing double entendre. More»

The Problem With Austerity

The Problem With Austerity

When the House and Senate budget talks got underway a few weeks ago, Paul Ryan, the GOP’s lead running dog on economic policy, reiterated the party line: The current situation is unsustainable. Negative consequences will fall hardest on the poor and the elderly. Therefore, sacrifices must be made…by the poor and the elderly. More»

Democracy and the Military

Democracy and the Military

It was as good as Daily Mail headlines get. “The Guardian has handed a gift to terrorists.” Paraphrasing a speech by new MI5 Chief Andrew Parker, in which the top spy took aim at the paper for publishing Edward Snowden’s leaks, the catchy language, though designed to pimp newsprint, testified to the gravity of Britain’s GCHQ crisis. More»

North Korean Europe

North Korean Europe

President Lukashenko appealed to the apparatchiks. They were fearful of the literati calling for human rights reforms, and raising the divisive issue of whether or not Russian should be Belarus’ official language, an issue that rankles to this day. He also seemed to rise above the intrigues of the post-1989 legislature, with his anti-corruption agenda, though post-mortems of his first campaign show that it was light on actual investigations, but high on image management. More»

On Women and Fighting

On Women and Fighting

Today my foot is mostly bruise-colored. I dislocated a toe last week training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I pointed out its new weird angle, and we all laughed. One of my training partners snapped it back so quickly that I barely had time to chomp the lapel of my gi. More»

The Token Lady

The Token Lady

I find Sayeeda Warsi curious. Despite our political differences, it is hard not to find some kinship in her stories of Paki-bashing, while being raised by a working-class Pakistani textile worker. It’s similarly difficult not to be impressed by her marital history, as she broke up her first arranged marriage in favor of another. Although this is hardly a revolutionary act, I recognize it as remarkable in its own way in our deeply sexist community. More»