France And The Middle East
February 25, 2007

A bit under two years ago, France rejected the constitution of the European Union by a margin of 55% to 45%. The E.U. since then has been, so to speak, under a cloud. Certainly in France. But Jacques Chirac has many fantasies about French leadership ... everywhere. And the Union is no exception. Among his greatest fantasies and most permanent is that the French republic is destined for leadership in the Middle East. Yesterday, he said he would "summon" the E.U.

Matters of Fate
January 29, 2007

In the otherwise brilliant opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, dramatizing the American landings in France on D-day, Steven Spielberg made one small slip. He completely engulfs the viewer in the American assault; but when we are thus immersed, he inserts a brief clip of German machine-gunners firing at the Americans. This complete switch in view cracks our involvement. It takes a few seconds to become American-absorbed again. Knowingly or not, Clint Eastwood has converted the Spielberg slip into a triumph.

French Patriotism
January 16, 2007

It is unacceptable to "want to live in France without respecting and loving France." So said Nicolas Sarkozy in an address to 80,000 supporters of his run for the president of the Republic as the candidate of Jacques Chirac's party. But he is not Chirac's candidate, not by a long shot. In any case, what he said should be liberating for the French, since they have had to pretend that it is perfectly alright to have 8 percent or 10 percent of the country's inhabitants live among them, get social benefits, invite relatives to come and still hate la belle France.

The New Hegemon
December 18, 2006

Vali Nasr on life under a nuclear Iran.

Persecution and the Art of Healing
November 13, 2006

He was, in short, a modern medical doctor.

Getting In
May 08, 2006

Alan Wolfe: What the immigration debate tells us about who Americans are, and who they want to be.

May 01, 2006

COVER CHARGE Your recent editorial on universal health care skirts some key realities ("Moral Imperative," March 20 & 27). The health systems in France and Japan are very different. France has more hospital beds per capita than the United States, but many states have "certificate of need" regulations that prevent new hospitals from being built--unless newcomers can overcome incumbents' lobbying against competition. So increasing the number of hospital beds in the United States requires less government control, not more.

Without a Doubt
April 03, 2006

CATHOLIC MATTERS: CONFUSION, CONTROVERSY, AND THE SPLENDOR OF TRUTH By Richard John Neuhaus (Basic Books, 272 pp., $25)   Liberal modernity exasperates traditional religion. It fosters a pluralism that denies any one faith the power to organize the whole of social life. It teaches that public authorities must submit to the consent of those over whom they aspire to rule, thereby undermining the legitimacy of all forms of absolutism. It employs the systematic skepticism of the scientific method to settle important questions of public policy.

The Siegfried Line
February 20, 2006

SIEGFRIED SASSOON: A LIFE By Max Egremont (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 597 pp., $27)    I. WHAT, IF ANYTHING, do Americans know, or think they know, about Siegfried Sassoon? To judge by Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, not very much. There they will find four short and surprisingly limp passages from Sassoon’s war poetry, which give no idea of the hysterical loathing, fear, and compassion that generated them (the only one that might have done so is carefully removed from its context).

Religious Experience
February 20, 2006

The riots currently engulfing the Islamic world, prompted by a Danish newspaper’s decision to caricature the Prophet Mohammed, require two responses. The first is easy: horror. In the physical assault on Denmark’s embassies and citizens, and in the diplomatic assault on Denmark’s government—all because a free government won’t muzzle a free press—multiculturalism has become totalitarianism. Religious sensitivity, say the zealots marching from Beirut to Jakarta, matters more than liberty. Indeed, it matters more than life itself.