Why Scott Gration really resigned.
June 29, 2012

Updated at 3:03 p.m. When U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration resigned his position early this morning, he said in an emailed statement, “differences with Washington regarding my leadership style and certain priorities lead me to believe that it's now time to leave." That's putting it gently. A former State Department official with a long service record in the Africa bureau and a former ambassador told me that Gration’s tenure in Kenya was marked by constant friction with his superiors and a refusal to abide by State Department protocol and security measures.

Conspiracy Porn
November 09, 2011

The Prague Cemetery By Umberto Eco (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 445 pp., $27) Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born communist jihadist. The Mossad staged the attacks of September 11. Vince Foster was murdered on the orders of his lover, the notorious lesbian Hillary Clinton. The United States government is concealing the wreckage of an alien spacecraft that crashed in New Mexico in 1947. A secret society named the Priory of Sion protects the living descendants of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. It is tempting to think that we are living in a golden age of conspiracy theories.

A Tale of Two Cities
September 28, 2011

Last fall, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed decided to use vacation days he had saved up in his eight years as a regional compliance specialist in the Buffalo office of the New York Department of Transportation. He told his co-workers he would be traveling to Mogadishu—the city he was born in, but had not seen since 1985—and that he would return in three weeks. What he didn’t reveal was the purpose of the trip: to interview to become prime minister of Somalia. Mohamed, who is known among Somalis by the nickname Farmaajo, got the job.

Rick Perry Takes Foreign Policy Advice From Crazy Man
July 21, 2011

Rick Perry is obviously very conservative, but I didn't realize that he'd be soliciting policy advice from a certifiable lunatic like Andrew McCarthy. I want to be clear about this. I use synonyms for "crazy" pretty often, which I find to be necessary in a world in which one of the two major parties holds to such beliefs as global warming is a hoax and tax cuts increase revenue.

Why Isn’t the Left More Irate About America’s Treatment of Ahmed Warsame?
July 08, 2011

The right is again aflutter about the Obama administration’s approach to the war on terror. The occasion this time is the decision by the administration to prosecute an alleged terrorist in federal court. We are told Ahmed Warsame provided material support to bad people, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Amid conservatives’ angry squawking, it is useful to take a step back and reflect on the case and how it fits into our current national debate about justice for alleged enemy combatants.

Tel Aviv Journal: Bin Laden, Israel, and Obama
May 05, 2011

Martin Peretz discusses American foreign policy in the Middle East in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death.

The Dangers of Elephant Relocation
April 08, 2011

Today sees the theatrical release of the documentary Born to be Wild 3D, which chronicles the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned animals. The story move back and forth between primatologist Dr. Birute Galdikas, caring for orangutans in Borneo, and "celebrated elephant authority" Dame Daphne Sheldrick, caring for, well, elephants in Kenya.

Will People Ever Stop Being Wrong About Obama's Birth Certificate?
March 29, 2011

President Obama’s birth certificate is once again in the news, thanks to Donald Trump. Trump, whose enterprises frequently seem to find themselves in bankruptcy court, is now intimating that he will run for president and appears to be making a play for the birther vote. Charges that President Obama was born in Kenya and has a fake birth certificate are nonsense, of course, but why won’t they just go away? According to research by Brendan Nyhan and others, it is difficult to change people’s minds when they believe something false about Obama.

The Mind of Mike Huckabee
March 01, 2011

[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] Mike Huckabee, who has been praised for his curt dismissal of the birthers, had this to say in a radio interview: “One thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American,” Huckabee said in response.

It's Not Just D'Souza: British People Think Obama Is a Kenyan Anti-Colonialist, Too
September 28, 2010

The assertion of Newt Gingrich and of the conservative author Dinesh D’Souza that President Obama’s actions can somehow be explained by a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview has already been greeted with the ridicule it deserves. But the funny thing is that while this theory (let’s call it the “Kenya paranoia”) is silly, it also isn’t entirely new with Gingrich or D’Souza.