War All The Time

War All The Time

The truck bombing in Mogadishu and appalled everyone who heard about it. Indeed, the level of carnage was horrific. But far fewer people know what lies behind the misery of Somalia than heard of this fresh atrocity. More»

The Great Terrorist

The Great Terrorist

My boyhood neighbor, Loren Jones, was a man with an interesting story about Stalinist Russia.  He arrived there in 1937 as the first television engineer in the country, sent by his employer, the Radio Corporation of America. More»

Leaving the West

Leaving the West

Among Turkish media commentators and academics, we are observing an increasing tendency to question Erdoğan’s policy of reorienting Turkey away from the West towards positions and a vernacular that appeal to the “Islamic street.” More»

Latest entries
White Supremacist Anthem

White Supremacist Anthem

It began as Colin Kaepernick’s protest against violent policing of African Americans, but now the protests have evolved. Taking a knee during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is another version of protests against Confederate statues. This speaks to how we regard US history and its legacy of racism. The issue now is more than police violence: it concerns history. More»

Not Your People

Not Your People

The German election was a pyrrhic victory for Angela Merkel. She has just enough seats to pull together a new coalition with the Free Democrats and the Green Party. However, the rise of the Alternative for Deutschland, and the loss of the SPD as a junior partner, means Merkel will triangulate further to the right on the refugee question. More»

Overcoming Our (Un)Historical Moment

Overcoming Our (Un)Historical Moment

In Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman plays a Hollywood producer recruited to stage a war so as to save the president from a sex scandal. At one point he complains to the president’s aide (Robert De Niro): It’s not fair! Nobody knows the producer! Everyone knows the director and the actors, but not the producer. More»

Elites, War Profiteers Take Aim at Syria’s Economic Future

Elites, War Profiteers Take Aim at Syria’s Economic Future

DAMASCUS – According to the Syrian government, the worst of the war is over. New businesses are opening, domestic tourism is booming and investors are slowly trickling back into the country. More»

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»

Red Scare and Reality

Red Scare and Reality

Pick up the New York Times on any random day, and chances are there’s something about the “unprecedented foreign intervention in American democracy,” the “Russian information attack” on the 2016 election. More»

The Limits of Freedom

The Limits of Freedom

Irony can be a difficult tone to manage well. It can be even more difficult to visualize effectively. Jillian Tamaki is a skilled ironist whose new graphic story collection Boundless (Drawn & Quarterly) can absorb and reward repeated readings. More»

The Big Nothing

The Big Nothing

We seem to be living through a renaissance of American TV shows, from Twin Peaks to House of Cards. Some of us spend dozens of hours a week just sitting in front of our laptops working our way through episode after episode, season after season. This is the other side to the work day for a lot of people. More»

The Work of Art in the Age of Martin Shkreli

The Work of Art in the Age of Martin Shkreli

Two years ago, I wrote a piece for Souciant about the end of a well-intentioned but otherwise disastrous experiment carried out by the Wu-Tang Clan. At that time, the world renowned rap group was poised to buck virtually every commercial trend in the history of the music industry by releasing just one copy of its top-secret double album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. More»

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

After being forced to flee eastern Aleppo in December, Wissam Zarqa moved to Idlib. Although the insurgent-held province is not known as a bastion of democracy, Zarqa will always remember it as the place where he voted in his first democratic election. More»