MSF: We Must Address Humanitarian Failings

MSF: We Must Address Humanitarian Failings

After Médecins Sans Frontières’ withdrawal from the World Humanitarian Summit, its U.S. executive director, Jason Cone, warns against conferences that blur the line between state and NGO responsibilities and calls for better humanitarian responses on the ground. More»

The AfD's 'perjury' problem

The AfD’s ‘perjury’ problem

Sometimes an accusation is all that’s required. Placed under investigation on Wednesday (25 May) for lying under oath to the Saxon state parliament, for Frauke Petry’s critics, the allegation could not have been more apt. More»

Parties Weren't Meant to Last

Parties Weren’t Meant to Last

Many believe that Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the Republican primaries will ultimately lead to the party’s downfall. Others have countered that Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity with independent voters and the young people who support Bernie Sanders means the GOP might yet have the last laugh in November. More»

Latest entries
Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now?

In the week following David Bowie’s death, a period my friend Ann Powers referred to as “sitting shiva”, my social media feed was dominated by content related to his career. Personal reflections on his impact, pieces about his career and countless links to clips testified to his cultural significance. At times, this collective outpouring felt like a desperate attempt to assert that we all still had something in common. 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»

Iranian American Self-Hatred

Iranian American Self-Hatred

“We were white until the Arabs came and raped our women,” is the sort of thing you’ll hear Iranian Americans say, when expressing their distaste for Islam. A reverse Orientalism in a sense, they will often refer to Arabs–Gulf Arabs, mainly– as ‘locust eaters’ (malakh khor) More»

Pre-Hipster Metal

Pre-Hipster Metal

There is a kind of literalism that permeates metal culture when it comes to the word ‘metal.’ Metal is hard, unyielding, unbreakable, weaponised, destructive etc etc. Metal is a metaphor that is applied to the music and to its culture; it represents an ideal as much as a description. More»

Thatcherite Wahhabism

Thatcherite Wahhabism

Saudi Arabia is facing a systemic overhaul. Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman recently indicated as much during an interview with The Economist, by answering “most certainly” to a question about whether or not Saudi Arabia is facing “a Thatcher revolution.”  More»

Some Alternative Courses in Iraq

Some Alternative Courses in Iraq

Because of the gravity of the situation in Iraq and of its consequences for Iraq, the United States, the region, and the world, the Iraq Study Group has carefully considered the full range of alternative approaches for moving forward. We recognize that there is no perfect solution and that all that have been suggested have flaws. More»

Nazis in Hell

Nazis in Hell

The British National Party has now been removed from the official list of political parties. This is because it failed to pay its annual £25 registration fee. Without registering, it’s not possible for the BNP to contest elections. Even six months notice wasn’t enough for the party to make the deadline. So this may well be the last gasp for the BNP. Whether or not it can regroup is hard to say. More»

My Dog is Dead

My Dog is Dead

“Mom, imagine Fabi is lost somewhere in the city. He is hiding near the dumpster, and a policeman named Jeremy finds him and takes him to the station. “So, where do you live? Mr.… Fabi, your name tag says! Let’s try and call your mom. Sit here and wait, and don’t make any prank calls.” More»

Waiting for Nimr to Die

Waiting for Nimr to Die

Saudi Arabia finally executed Shi’ite cleric and political dissident Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday. Regional tensions have escalated dramatically after Nimr’s death led to violent protests at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, causing a diplomatic crisis. The question is why this happened now. More»

Left in Melancholy

Left in Melancholy

The light was fading fast when I spotted the truck out of the corner of my eye. I’d seen some good sets of bumper stickers over the years, but knew that few of them could compare with this one for sheer quantity. Turning my car around, though, I realized that I was in the sort of neighborhood in which strangers taking photographs are asking for trouble. More»

Religion of Paranoia

Religion of Paranoia

The object of most conspiratorial fantasies in America is the federal government. This is no coincidence. Ever since the New Deal, and the Civil Rights Movement, the executive has been the most prominent guarantor of democratic change. In growing federal power, racists, evangelicals, and the business class found a common enemy to unite against. More»

Little Europe

Little Europe

The question of diversity in Europe is a recurrent one. This is probably because Europe may be the most homogeneous place on earth. The number of European languages has dwindled to 286 compared to over 2,000 languages spoken in Africa. Yet the continent remains home to rival forms of nationalism, particularly in the EU. More»