Northern Exposure
October 22, 2008

There's no reason to doubt Sarah Palin's sincerity when she talks about her commitment to family and--more specifically--special-needs kids. When she introduced her son, who has Down syndrome, to the audience at the Republican convention, the family tableau drew cheers. And she issued a promise. "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message for you," she told the crowd.

The Army Sees The Sunny Side
October 10, 2008

In theory, the U.S. military could be a major driver of cleaner forms of energy. In recent years it's even been making noises along those lines: The Pentagon is, after all, well aware that spending $14 billion each year on oil (and, worse, paying up to $400 per gallon for fuel in a war zone) is untenable, and has recently started ordering planners to consider efficiency measures and look at alternative fuels. So far, though, he results have been inconsistent. When Marine Corps Maj. Gen.

The Survivalists
June 11, 2008

As the death toll from the cyclone that hit Burma earlier this month spirals past 100,000, the country's ruling junta continues its intransigence. Holed up in its new bunker capital in the middle of the country, the regime has gone from initially welcoming aid, to blocking U.S. and French assistance, to simply seizing relief supplies--before, finally, relenting and allowing some aid in. All the while, the chance for effective relief has grown slimmer. Burma defies political understanding in many ways.

The Faraway Massacre
April 21, 2008

Friends of Tibet and the Tibetan cause, I would like to remind you that China's totalitarian power also bears responsibility for another crushing disaster: Darfur. Of course I am not saying that the Chinese government and its army are directly involved. Nor that--as in Tibet--they are entirely responsible for a crisis that has only lasted so long because of the more or less tacit consent of other countries. For example, the United States talks a great deal but does little; France, before its presidential elections, promised more and delivered even less.

Discipline and Decline
March 12, 2008

Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 By Christopher Clark (Harvard University Press, 776 pp., $35) On his way back from self-imposed exile in Paris, in 1844, Heinrich Heine caught a first glimpse of Prussian soldiers in Aachen, a city in the far west corner of Germany: I wandered about in this dull little nest For about an hour or more Saw Prussian military once again They looked much the same as before. [ ...

Obama's Army Anecdote Checks Out After All
February 22, 2008

At last night's debate in Austin, Barack Obama said: "You know, I've heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon--supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon.

The Killer Question
January 30, 2008

The last time I saw Benazir Bhutto was over dinner at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., three weeks before her October return to Pakistan. She was in enormously good spirits, almost effervescent. The years in the political wilderness looked like they were coming to an end. But, at one point, the conversation took a more serious turn as she began discussing the mysterious death of General Zia, the dictator who had hanged her father in 1979.Zia died in a plane accident in Pakistan nine years later.

A Scott Beauchamp Update

Since our last statement on “Shock Troops,” a Diarist by Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp that we published in our July 23 issue, we have continued our investigation into the article’s veracity. On Wednesday, for a brief period, The Drudge Report posted several documents from the Army’s own investigation into Beauchamp’s claims.

Burma Blues
September 24, 2007

For days, thousands of average Burmese and respected Buddhist monks parade through the streets of Burmese cities, calling for democracy and picking up supporters as they march. The protests have a kind of festive atmosphere. Crowds of young men in baseball caps and elderly Burmese in traditional sarongs cheer the monks from the rooftops and wave hand-lettered banners in Burmese and English.

Street Fighting Men
July 03, 2007

Islamabad--Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the strategist and brains behind the Taliban-inspired movement that has taken over the Pakistani capital in recent months, may have overplayed his hand. On June 23, just after midnight, a squad of Islamist vigilantes set out from Ghazi's Lal Masjid, or "Red Mosque," in the direction of a Chinese massage parlor across town.