Documentary
Europe at War

Europe at War

It ought to be a positive. To have their situation constantly referred to as “the worst crisis since World War II,” today’s refugees ideally ought to be shown the courtesy accorded to persons engulfed in a similar disaster. Why not invoke that era? Aside from the scale of the crisis, it should be an immediate guarantee of empathy, because Europeans all know what the last global conflict was like. More»

Shadowed by Communism

Shadowed by Communism

The 1990s were a drag. In every newspaper and magazine, on radio, and TV, the death of communism was repeatedly proclaimed, as though it were an alien force that had been successfully repulsed by human nature. More»

Out of Weed

Out of Weed

Blame it on the Baby Boomers. No matter where you go, whether it’s Europe or the United States, there will always be a hippie presence on the left. Partially due to generational mass, partially a consequence of the liberal consensus of the 1960s, their imprimatur on progressive politics is inescapable. More»

Germany at War

Germany at War

Few countries agonize more about sending their troops to war than Germany. That doesn’t prevent foreign deployments, however. German forces have been sent abroad for over twenty years nows, beginning with the war in Bosnia. But the ongoing debate highlights the persistence of pacifism in the country, crossing political boundaries in a manner unheard of in the United States. Given German history, one can understand why. More»

The Risk of Populism

The Risk of Populism

Over the past few weeks, as the mainstream media has finally started to recognize Bernie Sanders as a serious challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, it has become commonplace to equate him with Donald Trump. Both, we are told, are protest candidates, supported by those who are “mad as hell” about the establishment in Washington and its masters on Wall Street. But are they really equivalent? More»

Going Underground

Going Underground

For radicals, it can be exciting. Graffiti denouncing god scrawled on churches. Manifestos posted to to nearly every utility box. Streets and squares named after left-wing icons, like Karl Marx, and Walter Benjamin, in nearly every district, in the western half of the city, as well as the the predictable east. More»

Berlin Über Alles

Berlin Über Alles

Jerusalem for hipsters. San Francisco in exile. New York, when it was still cool. Berlinistan, to its Middle Eastern inhabitants. Poor but sexy, according to its former mayor. The German capital is many things to many people, the majority of reasons of which are decidedly unglamorous. For a major European city, it’s still relatively inexpensive. More»

Migrant Solidarity Flyer

Migrant Solidarity Flyer

Refugees welcome, indeed. For those who lament Germany’s sudden about turn in the wake of the Cologne assaults, take a step back. The brief window, during which Germans defined European tolerance, has witnessed a returned to form. Meaning discomfort, ambivalence, if not outright racism. More»

Welcome to Belgium

Welcome to Belgium

The populists are wrong. Getting settled in Europe is a lot harder than it seems. Though refugees and asylum seekers often receive support from their adopted home countries, the process of settling down, and earning residency, is incredibly hard, with no guarantees of success. It all depends on how you handle immigration bureaucracy, not just at the moment of arrival, but for years to come. More»

Citizen Journalism

Citizen Journalism

Everyone is a photographer now. So went the refrain, inside editorial rooms, in the United States, as smartphones began to proliferate, in 2007-8. Seeing dollar signs in the rise of citizen journalism, eager to shed editorial staff, reporters would now be required to shoot their own pieces, as well as write them. More»

Rebranding Germany

Rebranding Germany

Angela Merkel was just playing catch-up. By the time she announced Germany’s new open borders policy last summer (before retreating, a week or so later,) the slogan “Refugees Welcome” was already several years old. Plastered throughout Berlin, particularly the city’s heavily Muslim  central neighborhoods, it was the anti-Swastika. More»

Chechnya Déjà Vu

Chechnya Déjà Vu

The Russians are here. The echo chamber couldn’t be any larger. From Beirut to Washington, everyone has been repeating the same thing. Referring to Moscow’s military build-up in Syria, you can understand the surprise. For the first time in fifteen years, Russia had comitted military assets to the War on Terror. Or so it appears. More»