Der Spiegel

When I filed my TNR.com piece called “Everything Is Data, but Data Isn’t Everything,” I didn’t know that Wikileaks, Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and The New York Times had entered into what two AP reporters were to call “an extraordinary collaboration between some of the world’s most respected media outlets and Wikileaks.” Jamey Keaten and Brett J.

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In case you haven't gotten your issue of Der Spiegel this month, the German mag has some very cool details on the intelligence work that led to the discovery--and eventual destruction by Israeli airstrike--of a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor being built with North Korean help: In the spring of 2004, the American National Security Agency (NSA) detected a suspiciously high number of telephone calls between Syria and North Korea, with a noticeably busy line of communication between the North Korean capital Pyongyang and a place in the northern Syrian desert called Al Kibar.

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Unpleasant Truths

There is an ungainly German word, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, that has no equivalent in the English language. It means "coming to terms with past," and it was coined to refer to the efforts of German intellectuals, journalists, and even some politicians who, over the past half century, insisted that facing unpleasant truths about their country's history was both a moral and political necessity.

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German magazine Der Spiegel caused quite a commotion this week by printing an interview with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in which he endorsed Obama's Iraq plan by name. Some tried to downplay the significance of this endorsement by saying that Maliki had been misquoted by the magazine. But it turns out that Maliki actually got a copy of the interview before it was printed and had the option to make any changes.

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Our friend Lawrence Kaplan (whose new journal, World Affairs, comes with highest recommendations) has a fascinating interview in Der Spiegel today. He speaks candidly about the war in Iraq and its grave consequence, and, unsurprisingly, this quote has received the most attention: So whose fault is it--the Americans' or the Iraqis'? I think both. I also think that the Iraq experience has set back the cause of idealism in American foreign policy and the willingness of Western countries to intervene for humanitarian reasons.

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