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French Secularism Dies in the Middle East

As Ramadan begins and the Islamic world starts its month of fasting, two historic events are pointing in the same direction: the era of Jacobin secularism in Middle Eastern government is over. The mass resignations of Turkey’s top military leaders is the good news; the murderous crackdown by Syrian forces loyal to Butcher Assad is […]

New Shame of Brooklyn Revealed: Queens Beats Kings

In yet another humiliation for the battered New York borough of Brooklyn, investigators report that its wannabe trendy Prospect Park is home to bands of roaming vagrants who hunt and kill squirrels, ducks and pigeons.  Geese and cygnets have been mutilated and killed; pigeons have been seen roasting over fires.This is not a one time […]

Assadaemmerung in Damascus?

A pre-Ramadan crackdown by the tottering Syrian regime seems to have backfired.  Tank attacks in Hama killed 100 or more but failed to crush the resistance.  There are preliminary reports of demonstrations in Damascus.  Check #Damascus on Twitter for updates.  Much of the violence has been, as usual, in the suburbs, but there are reports […]

Dems Dominate New List of Worst 20th Century Foreign Policy Presidents

According to a survey of historians, experts and practitioners by Michael Cohen, 4 of the 5 worst foreign policy presidents of the 20th century were Democrats: Truman, Wilson, Carter and LBJ.  (Nixon was the sole Republican to make the Bottom 5; George W. Bush served in the 21st century and, luckily for him, wasn’t eligible.)Only […]

Best Read Yet On 2012 GOP Foreign Policy Ideas

Eli Lake’s must read piece in TNR lays out the geography of foreign policy in the emerging GOP field.  Bottom line: necons in decline, isolationists contained, engage with Islam contentious.  Reading this piece will help you make sense of the news.

Epitaph for Obama

Glenn Greenwald is not the left’s most dispassionate thinker, and his bitterness at what he sees as the White House’s betrayal of its liberal base has been growing for some time.  What looks to him like a comprehensive cave-in by President Obama on the debt ceiling talks has inspired him to a comprehensive attack on […]

Queens: So Glamorous Even the Pork is Kosher

The glamorous and exclusive residential borough of Queens is truly a special place.  For the skeptics, comes word from Philip Gourevitch in The New Yorker that in this borough at least, even the lowly pig can aspire to greater things.  Eat your heart out, Manhattan.  Queens is the home of kosher pork.

China to God: Watch Your Step

Religion is a touchy subject for the Chinese government; an independent source of social cohesion that stands outside the state worries a government concerned about keeping an increasingly rambunctious society stable.In recent weeks (here and here), Catholics have found themselves on the wrong side of Chinese authorities. This week, a leader of one of China’s […]

The Irish Reformation

The sad and sorry story of priestly pedophilia is still making waves — this time in Ireland where the Vatican’s ambassador has been recalled to Rome following harsh words from the current taoiseach (a Gaelic word meaning leader of the Irish government; it is usually pronounced ‘prime minister’).Archbishop Cranmer, the Reformation archbishop who mysteriously manages […]

Bribing the Establishment

MEK, a controversial Iranian opposition group, has been on the US list of terrorist organizations since 1997.  The group says it renounced terror in 2001 and wants off the list.I have no idea whether this would be a good thing or not.  The Iranian government hates the idea; some Iranian-Americans who support a softer US […]

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(Wrong) Crisis in the Middle East

Secretary Kerry reopens Arab-Israeli peace efforts as world burns around him.

China's Rise

With the security situation deteriorating everywhere from Nigeria to Burundi to Mali to Libya, China needs to be able to protect its infrastructure and personnel.

Higher Education Watch

College enrollment ticked downward between 2008 and 2013, with an especially sharp decline among low-income students.

Foreign Policy Adrift

President Obama’s pivot away from the Middle East was only possible because of his belief that what happened in the Middle East could stay in the Middle East. But we are now seeing how false that belief is.

Show Me the Money

Republican Senators could shove a dagger in the heart of climate talks by withholding money from a global climate fund.

unforced error

The alienation of Bangkok should instruct American diplomats as they think about how to engage with Myanmar.

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