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»

Latest entries
My Days In Damascus: Out Of The Belly Of The Whale Part 2

My Days In Damascus: Out Of The Belly Of The Whale Part 2

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»

Legends of the Fall

Legends of the Fall

As a practical matter, it seems to be very difficult to write a book about the Frankfurt School (or any of its related figures) which is not hagiographical, impenetrable, interminable, or some combination of the three. I can count on one hand the number of titles on this topic that did not prompt me to the immediate consumption of alcohol or some sort of stimulant. More»

Drugs Instead of Dreams

Drugs Instead of Dreams

In the United States right now, little has been able to compete with Donald Trump for headlines. Police killings, mostly of black men, and the protests against them have managed. So have mass shootings, particularly when they could be connected to “radical Islam.” Besides those obvious above-the-fold stories, though, perhaps the most durable subject in the news has been the nation’s epidemic of overdoses. More»

The Future of the Balkans

The Future of the Balkans

The Balkan wars have been bloody and costly. We shall never know of the thousands of men, women, and children who died from privation, disease, and massacre. But the losses of the dead and wounded in the armies were for Montenegro 11,200, for Greece 68,000, for Serbia 71,000, for Bulgaria 156,000, and for Turkey about the same as for Bulgaria. More»

Asian Caricatures

Asian Caricatures

In his magisterial War Without Mercy, John Dower convincingly describes how prewar anti-Japanese feelings were driven by populist American fears of Japanese immigration and actual military contingency planning, though military planners consistently underestimated the Japanese in racist terms. More»

What Cities Have Learned on the Front Lines of Refugee Response

What Cities Have Learned on the Front Lines of Refugee Response

Much of the responsibility in caring for refugees arriving in Germany has fallen to local authorities.  More»

Life in London

Life in London

It rained yesterday morning. The first rain of winter. The air was sharp, cold and grey. The grey light of days gone by. The wet street a deep blue-black. The grey of winter recalls what I have left behind. More»

Racial Propaganda in Macedonia

Racial Propaganda in Macedonia

Of all perplexing subjects in the world few can be more baffling than the distribution of races in Macedonia. The Turks classify the population, not by language or by physical characteristics, but by religion. More»

End Games

End Games

It’s normal to hear NATO described as an “internationalist project” in Western Europe. Even the centre-left has long stood by the Atlantic alliance. Britain was signed up to NATO by the post-war Labour government. By contrast, France withdrew from NATO under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle as part of his politics of grandeur. Yet the NATO project may not have been so lost in the Cold War as it is today. More»

Civilization Versus Ideology

Civilization Versus Ideology

The United States has always approached political Islam in a contradictory manner. Since the 1950s, when Washington first made common cause with anti-Communist religious leaders, US policy towards the Mideast has been characterized by a disconnect between rhetoric and politics, particularly in matters concerning Islamist mobilization. More»

My Days in Damascus: Leaving the Belly of the Whale, Part 1

My Days in Damascus: Leaving the Belly of the Whale, Part 1

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»

Can We Avoid Losing More Generations?

Can We Avoid Losing More Generations?

As President Obama headed to the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, his last planned visit in his current capacity as head of state, he was highly cognizant of the meeting’s significance. More»