The American Left Turns Away from Syria's Agony
June 14, 2013
"Stay out of Syria!” screams the cover of The New York Review of Books. It would have been graphically cumbersome, I guess, or bad for newsstand sales, to have printed it this way: “Ignore the Murder of a Hundred Thousand People and the Massacre of Children and the Use of Chemical Weapons and the Bombing of a Civilian Population by Its Government and Millions of Displaced Persons Outside Syria and Millions of Displaced Persons Inside Syria and the Destabilization of Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan and the Aggression of Hezbollah and the Ascendancy of Iran!”
Idealism and Blindness
June 10, 2013
Many years ago, as I was leafing through a book in which I had no interest, I found one of the saddest stories in the world.
"Perhaps Culture is Now the Counterculture"
May 28, 2013
On May 19, New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier spoke at the commencement ceremony of Brandeis University, addressing the graduates as "fellow humanists." Here is a text of his talk.
Obama's Timidity on Syria: Lessons from a Fiasco
May 08, 2013
A reporter who visited the White House last week brought back the news that the criticism of President Obama’s immobility about the Syrian disaster has “begun to sting.” Good. Something got through.
Don't Move On
April 24, 2013
Moving on is one of the quintessential expressions of the American spirit, and of the American shallowness.
Obama Crosses His Own Red Line
April 18, 2013
Obama has a problem. On August 20, 2012, he declared that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian dictator is his “red line.” It appears that in March a chemical weapon was used in Khan al-Asal in the province of Aleppo. The game is on.
What Big Data Will Never Explain
March 26, 2013
Against the messianic conception of data—Big Data.
Arguing Iraq—Ten Years Later
March 20, 2013
MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: "For all the talk about futility and perversity in interventions, it is well to remember that not all of them have failed."
Syria, Bosnia, and the Old Mistakes
March 12, 2013
It has been two years since fifteen teenagers in the town of Dara’a scrawled “the people want the regime to fall” on the wall of a school. Two years. The Obama administration may as well not have existed.
A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher
March 08, 2013
When Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos recently appeared, Steven Pinker took to Twitter and haughtily ruled that it was “the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.” Fuck him, he explained.