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The Strange Credulity of David Ignatius

In my running commentary on Syria over the past year and more, I have occasionally had recourse to mention, and sometimes to criticize, not just mainstream press accounts of events, but sometimes also specific commentators. One of these has been David Ignatius of the Washington Post. His column in yesterday’s paper marks a new low, […]

Via Meadia August Traffic Hits Record

Thanks to our readers and to a hardworking team of staffers, interns and guest posters, Via Meadia had more visitors this August than in any month in site history. In a relatively slow news month, and with WRM traveling in India for three weeks, the site received well  over 20,000 visits per day. (There is […]

Russian Repression Radicalizes the Caucasus

The Russian nightmare of Islamic radicalism spreading like a contagion is growing closer to reality. Reuters has a thorough report on the radicalization taking place in the mountainous region of Dagestan and the government’s heavy-handed crackdown: In the first half of 2012 alone, the Caucasian Knot website recorded 185 insurgency-related deaths and 168 wounded, making […]

Harvard Engulfed in Major Cheating Scandal

Last year, a massive cheating scandal at an elite New York high school prompted closer scrutiny of alleged cheating elsewhere. This year, it’s happening again, but at a higher level: the New York Times reports that more than 100 students at Harvard University are suspected of cheating and plagiarism on exams in a class on government (sadly, it […]

Japan Escalates Island Argument with South Korea

Known as Dokdo in Korean, Takeshima in Japanese, and Liancourt Rocks to the rest of us, a few small islets are the focus of an escalating fight between Japan and South Korea. WSJ: Japan’s foreign minister ratcheted up pressure on South Korea with tough rhetoric and hints of further countermeasures, after Seoul Thursday formally rejected […]

China Is Weaker Than You Think

Over the past few months, the conventional picture of China’s meteoric rise to economic dominance has been cast into serious doubt. Numerous economic indicators are pointing toward a significant slowdown. In the past month alone, manufacturing has hit a nine-month low, steel prices have fallen dramatically, and investors have begun pulling their money out of […]

Indian Hitler Store Sparks Backlash

Rajesh Shah opened a men’s clothing store in the city of Ahmedabad in the Indian state of Gujarat and named it after his father’s nickname: Hitler. Shah says his father got this nickname because he was “very strict” and that he didn’t know of anyone named Adolf Hitler. Now he is being roundly attacked, and […]

Gross Incompetence in Nigerian Secret Service

Like most undercover security officials, members of Nigeria’s secret service work hard to hide their personal information from the public. It came as a surprise, then, when information—including names, addresses and bank account details—belonging to more than sixty service members was leaked online for several days. Worse, this information came with a message attached: the terrorist […]

China to Add Pakistan’s Gwadar Port to String of Pearls

The port of Gwadar on Pakistan’s southwestern coast is strategically well-placed just outside the Straight of Hormuz (see map). It is a deepwater port capable of handling international shipping vessels and oil tankers. It was built with help from Chinese money and has been run by a Singaporean company—until now.The FT reports that China is about […]

Iran’s Summit Nightmare Continues

Iran’s chairmanship of the (mostly meaningless) conference of the Non-Aligned Movement conference isn’t going exactly as planned. First, Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi deviated from the script, criticizing Iran’s allies in Syria and coming out in favor of the rebellion. Then UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon joined in, sharply denouncing Iran’s threats of destruction towards Israel […]

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Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Saudi Arabia and ISIS

If ISIS becomes a third player in the Yemeni war, that involvement will complicate even further what’s already starting to look like a quagmire for the Saudis.


19 out of 28 EU member states have asked to opt out of perfectly safe GMOs this year.

The Battle for Ukraine

If some reports of Friday’s meeting are to be believed, Russia is getting what it wants in Ukraine, freeing Moscow to focus on Syria.

Corruption and Incompetence

International organizations often get away with a lot more corruption than their national counterparts.

Limping to Paris

Negotiators finally pared down a bloated draft climate treaty text…to 20 pages of equivocation.

burning bridges

Spain’s capital city is cutting ties with credit rating agencies. This is all very well so long as Madrid doesn’t want anybody to lend it money ever again.

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