November 09, 2011
Many characters made appearances during my efforts earlier this year to persuade the international community that the freedom fighters of Libya needed the world’s help.
After Qaddafi, Assad
May 19, 2011
How to explain the foot-dragging of the international community in sanctioning the repression that has rained down on Syria? Answer: The international community has never rushed to denounce repression, wherever it has taken place. It likes the status quo. It hates, as the great French poet Charles Baudelaire put it, movement that shifts the lines. And in principle and tradition, it is scared witless of all that may upset its habits and broad stability in the world.
The Stoning of Sakineh
December 11, 2010
Sakineh Ashtiani was mistakenly reported to have been released from custody earlier this week—before this print magazine article went to press. Though pictures of her at home appeared on Iranian television, the network subsequently stated that she had been brought there “to recount details of the killing of her husband at the crime scene”—in what might be regarded as a forced confession. As far as can be ascertained, she is still being held by Iranian authorities. I know only a little about Sakineh.
October 06, 2009
Return to Afghanistan with a group of journalists, escorted by the French defense minister, Hervé Morin. A limited view: We only see valleys in Surobi and Kapisa. But an invaluable glimpse, nevertheless, because it counters what is heard almost everywhere. First chapter, Tora, a small fort sitting on stones, some distance from Kabul. Welcome by Colonel Benoît Durieux, leader of the regiment and an intellectual, author of the excellent Rereading Clausewitz's On War.
What We Can Do In Iran
June 16, 2009
Massive cheating or not? A new kind of coup d’etat or not? How do we interpret this strange election whose results were announced by the press affiliated with the secret services and militia--even before the polls were closed? Considering the absence of international observers, considering that the election officials demanded by Ahmadinejad’s rivals were chased from polling places with billy clubs, and considering the climate of terror in which the whole process was steeped, it is hard to come down on one side or the other with much certainty. Nevertheless, three things are quite clear. The fi
A Happy Return
March 17, 2009
There are absolutely no limits to bad faith in politics. The grotesquely laughable debate about France’s place in NATO is just the latest example. First, it is not correct to speak, as people are doing everywhere, of France’s “return” to the alliance. This is because France never actually left NATO. In 1966, under the leadership of President Charles de Gaulle, France left NATO’s integrated military command, but it didn’t leave the political council. According to French Defense Minister Herve Morin, France participates, and has always participated, in 36 of the 38 NATO committees.
Eternal Damnation of the Spotless Mind
January 13, 2009
I write this in remembrance of the renowned Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, murdered two years ago, on Jan. 19, 2007, for his comments on the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces during WWI ... in horror that the police officers guarding the 17-year-old murder suspect, Ogun Samast, saw fit to take a video in which he proudly held the Turkish flag as they recorded their brief association with him for posterity ...
Liberate The Palestinians From Hamas
January 09, 2009
Not being a military expert, I will abstain from judging whether the Israeli bombardments of Gaza could be better directed, less intense. Not being able for decades to distinguish between the good dead and the evil dead or, like Camus used to say, between "suspect victims" and "privileged executioners," I'm also deeply disturbed by the images of the Palestinian children who have been killed. This being said, and taking into account that certain media outlets have been carried away on the winds of folly once again--as is always the case when Israel is involved--I would like to remind everyone o
November 08, 2008
It is clear that Barack Obama is neither an angel nor a man sent from heaven. Nor is he the honorary European floating through the fantasies of French leftists--that must be cleared up if we want to avoid some nasty morning-after wake-up calls. The fact remains that Obama's election will affect us in at least three concrete ways, making his victory one of those improbable, incomparable moments that mark a complete break with previous history. It is unmistakably an iconic event. First, an Obama presidency will be a decisive turning point in dealing with the "racial question" in the U.S.
A Suspended Apocalypse
October 27, 2008
We are living in an extraordinary time. The world has been badly shaken. In the space of a few days a system that we thought was as secure and assured as the air we breathe lost all its landmarks, its clarity, and was seemingly swallowed up by a black hole. Money--essential to the spirit of peace--congealed, like blood in veins. Credit--this fine word is also expressive of people's faith in others--like a machine that jammed, and then stopped. Confidence--the famous "confidence" that is also integral to the pact among citizens and the reasons it must be perpetuated--like a spell that is evapor