The Abyss Stares Back

The Abyss Stares Back

Out of respect for the editors of this fine publication, I will resist the temptation to make some joke about spending a relaxing morning sipping fine Namibian #covfefe. The Internet has been ablaze with humor on this theme, but at this point it is a matter of liberals (mostly) laughing to keep from crying. More»

The Schröder Effect

The Schröder Effect

Going into the German elections the consensus is that Angela Merkel will once again be reinstated and the grand coalition reconstituted. Many people are taking refuge in the status quo given the instability in the world today. But this election result didn’t look so certain at the start of 2017. More»

The Likely Winners in the Race to Rebuild Syria

The Likely Winners in the Race to Rebuild Syria

Author Joseph Daher examines the Syrian government’s reconstruction strategy and warns that Assad will use rebuilding to reward foreign allies and consolidate power around a small core of Syrian elite. More»

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My Days in Damascus: Letter to a Friend

My Days in Damascus: Letter to a Friend

Farah is a young woman living in Syria’s capital city, where she faces the daily struggles of trying to maintain a normal social and professional life in a country being ripped apart by war. More»

‘Burn it to the Ground’

‘Burn it to the Ground’

It is well-known that there are currently 2.4 million people in US prisons and jails. What is less-known is that they write and are producing a new wave of American literature. More»

Splendid Isolation

Splendid Isolation

The British media was gripped by the image of Russian warships passing the UK coast on Friday. The flotilla was making its way through international waters to Syria. More»

Turkey in Berlin

Turkey in Berlin

You might as well be in Istanbul. So thick is Berlin’s Turkish cultural overlay, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was nothing separating the Bosphorous from east Germany. In spite of its critics, Berlin’s decidedly Middle Eastern public sphere helps ward off what would otherwise be a more provincial, poverty stricken city still struggling to overcome the legacy of Communism, and the Nazi era. More»

Green Gold: How ISIS Is Making as Much Money From Wheat as From Oil

Green Gold: How ISIS Is Making as Much Money From Wheat as From Oil

As ISIS comes under increased attack in some of the region’s most fertile lands, Middle East agriculture researcher Eckart Woertz discusses how the militant group shrewdly chose to export a renewable resource. More»

Konsumterror

Konsumterror

I’ve been reading Alexander Sedlmaier’s Consumption and Violence: Radical Protest in Cold War West Germany. I picked it up after seeing it in the Cambridge University Press catalog, and only subsequently did I realize that I’d seen Sedlmaier give quite an interesting presentation at a German Studies Association conference in New Orleans long ago. More»

Breaking Up the UK

Breaking Up the UK

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear she wants to hold a second independence referendum. The prospect of Scotland breaking away from the Union was predicted by many Remain commentators. Ironically, the nationalist core of the Leave vote could be responsible for the end of the United Kingdom. More»

The Balcony

The Balcony

There was no real living room in our no. 14 Nahmani home.  On the left side of the dining room with its round table, buffet and gramophone,  there was the master bedroom. On its right, a wide folding door opened to father’s study. There was, however,  a  comfortably sized balcony, overlooking the garden. It  stretched along the dining room with its large windows on either side of a glass paneled double door, letting in a  great deal of light. More»

Aid Delivery Delays to Madaya Worsen Infectious Diseases, Malnutrition

Aid Delivery Delays to Madaya Worsen Infectious Diseases, Malnutrition

Cases of meningitis and malnutrition-related growth deficiencies are increasing in the besieged town of Madaya, where humanitarian aid deliveries are sporadic and insufficient. More»

Working for Washington

Working for Washington

The American intelligence community got two things out of the dusty Chadian hamlet of Ouadi Doum in Chad during the Reagan Administration. One was a Soviet-built Mi-25 Hind gunship left behind by the Libyan invaders, ferried out in 1987 for the military to take apart and study. More»

Reinventing the Centre Ground

Reinventing the Centre Ground

Understandably, a lot of people see Theresa May’s populist turn as a sharp turn to the extreme right. The Nasty Party is back! This is a new kind of poujadism, as you’ve read in Jacobin. Her last speech was just less threatening than in the original German, or so I’m told. More»

Beyond Trump

Beyond Trump

In 2002, French voters expected that their first round of presidential voting, in which candidates from many parties can run and the people are said to vote with their hearts, would end up with incumbent conservative Jacques Chirac against the Socialist Lionel Jospin coming in first and second. More»