70s Revolutionary Chic

70s Revolutionary Chic

“Good thing it wasn’t Leila Khaled,” my father muttered, as the Carabinieri carted off an Arab-looking man in handcuffs, submachine guns pointed towards his back. “It was too easy.” More»

Prisoner of the Huns

Prisoner of the Huns

The Germans had prepared in advance for “gas” cases, and the chances are that they pulled through a good many of us who might have died had we been taken back to our own hospitals, where they had, at that time, small facilities for handling that kind of trouble. More»

Politics of Class and Identity Dividing Aleppo – and Syria

Politics of Class and Identity Dividing Aleppo – and Syria

This week marked the end of the sixth year of the war in Syria. On this terrible anniversary we examine the deepening economic, social and other divisions that make it so difficult for refugees to return to Aleppo, the city that has become a bellwether for the country’s future. More»

Latest entries
Far-Right Über Alles

Far-Right Über Alles

A new global bromance has begun: Trump, Putin, Orbán, Kaczynski, Johnson. These powers that be, who now control the planet, could not be more xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-woman, anti-queer, and ultranationalist. How could we have ever allowed that to happen? We’re all guilty of permitting the rise of the far right all over the world. More»

Waiting for Democracy

Waiting for Democracy

Finally, the May government has been challenged on its Brexit plans, but not in the way many of its opponents would hope. The challenge has come in the form of a ruling by the High Court. More»

The Napoleonic Idea

The Napoleonic Idea

With the new markets, which he opened at the point of the bayonet, and with the plunder of the continent, Napoleon returned to the farmer class with interest the taxes wrung from them. These taxes were then a goad to the industry of the farmer, while now, on the contrary, they rob his industry of its last source of support, and completely sap his power to resist poverty. More»

The U.S. Has Intervened in Syria, But Not In The Way You Think

The U.S. Has Intervened in Syria, But Not In The Way You Think

The United States intervened militarily in Syria under the premise of the “war on terror” and the fight against ISIS, but their presence is actually helping the Syrian government. More»

David Brooks Journeys to His Happy Place

David Brooks Journeys to His Happy Place

There are moments when I am tempted to start a sub-blog that would comprise commentaries on op-eds David Brooks publishes in the New York Times. Partly this stems from the delicious Schadenfreude that one experiences while watching this leading journalistic light of moderate conservatism try to cope with Donald Trump burning the Republican Party to the ground. More»

My Family

My Family

My father’s birth certificate tells us that he was born in Germany in the Westphalian town of Hörde, on the 15th of December 1877, the son of Herz Weinberg, and of  Johanna Weinberg née Alsberg both of the “Israelitisch”  faith. More»

Shipwreck Survivors Stranded by a Faltering Deal

Shipwreck Survivors Stranded by a Faltering Deal

As an EU–Turkey agreement on refugees nears collapse, Preethi Nallu and Iason Athanasiadis report from the Greek island of Lesbos on how the deal never fully stopped the deadly voyages and has left survivors of such tragedies in agonizing limbo. More»

Re-empowering Iran

Re-empowering Iran

Following the first Gulf War, the United States focused on preventing security and economic disruptions by Iran and Iraq, as their bitter rivalry throughout the 1980s shook the Persian Gulf region, threatening global energy supplies, and international shipping lanes.   More»

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»