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Recently declassified German government files confirmed what many had suspected: Palestinian terrorists who massacred Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics had the help of Neo-Nazis. They also reveal just how ineffectual the German security apparatus really was. In more ways than one, Black September was an inside job. My first reaction upon hearing this news? A profound sense of relief. (More…)

As the United States moves toward elections, we’re facing a grim future in the Middle East. Not only do electoral politics dictate that nothing positive is likely to come from Washington for the next five months. November’s poll holds little promise for the next four years, no matter who the victor is. (More…)

“Turkish coffee?” The throaty Armenian was clearly affronted. “Sure, it’s Turkish when I buy it. But when I make it, it’s Abkhaz coffee.” Insisting eyes awaited an apology, which I promptly offered. I never made the mistake again. (More…)

In “Diary of An Anarcho-Goth-Punk Fiend,” Alistair Livingston, a member of the British  Kill Your Pet Puppy collective, records the transformational year of 1983 in terse bursts of prose. In clipped entries, he describes how 1983 began with him listening to bands like The Mob and Blood and Roses. By 1984 – the year of punk’s (and Orwell’s) apocalypse — he was trying ecstasy and getting into Psychic TV. (More…)

“Walk like an Egyptian.” “Trafalgar square = Tahrir Square.” Comparisons to the uprising then-underway in Egypt were aplenty at London’s anti-cuts protest in March 2011. No surprise there. For the first time since 1989, revolutionary fervor was crossing national boundaries, challenging authoritarianism in the name of democracy. (More…)

“Be careful, the walls have ears.” Ammar Khaf, a spokesman for the Los Angeles chapter of the Syrian American Council, quotes a saying that millions grew up with under Baathist rule. He talks of the fear that gripped the diaspora when Mukhabarat agents assassinated prominent exiles in the 1980s. But as anti-Assad protests spread, the community grew emboldened. (More…)

It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen Slayer live. As a metal fan for over twenty years  it’s been hard to avoid seeing them, given the frequency with which they tour. Nor would I want to avoid seeing them. They are after all the ur-band, the mother lode of extreme metal, never wavering in their commitment to a tight-riffing, hyper-disciplined sound. (More…)

Imagine you lived in an impoverished area with virtually no hope for the future. It’s a place where there is little work to be had and your family struggles every day to keep a roof over their heads and find some food to eat. (More…)

It wasn’t meant to be demeaning. Wherever you turned that winter, someone was selling something with the President’s name or likeness on it. The fact that it was Milan, at the height of the Berlusconi era, and the sellers Arabs and south Asians, said something. They were hoping for a breakthrough, just like Americans were. (More…)

Few entities inspire as much fear as Europe. Whether it’s the two World Wars, the Holocaust, or colonialism, the bad rap has generally been justified.  Add the current economic crisis to the list, and it’s hard to imagine the anxiety ever going away. (More…)

It’s common punk wisdom: Republican presidents suck for America, but they’re great for punk. The Reagan Administration proved to be an ironic boon to hardcore. And so was Dubya. What follows are some of the best moments from hardcore punk’s second great era: 2001-2009, the Bush/Cheney regime. (More…)

He was a casually dressed man in his fifties. He greeted me colloquially, and asked me if I wanted anything to drink. “I’d love some orange juice,” I responded. Referring to the man behind him, he said: “Watch for the paranoid schizophrenic back there. He’s bothering that couple and they don’t know what to do about it.” (More…)