Middle East

One Nation Under a Groove
July 15, 1991

  I.   My dream was to become Frank Sinatra. I loved his phrasing, especially when he was very young and pure….

The Stakes in the Gulf
January 14, 1991

Ironies can sometimes be painful. I began my political career in 1966 as the campaign manager for one of the first anti-war congressional candidates in the country. Now, a quarter century later, I find myself supporting a policy in the Persian Gulf that might well lead to a war that many believe could become another Vietnam. Such a position is more and more anomalous, I know, in the Democratic Party. And yet I cannot accept, or be dissuaded by, the analogy with Vietnam. In Vietnam no vital American interests were at stake. The crisis in the Gulf poses a challenge not only to fundamental Americ

The Heresies of Pat Buchanan
October 22, 1990

Joe Sobran, a syndicated columnist who was himself accused of anti-Semitism a few years ago, offers this perspective on the Pat Buchanan flap: "Jewish claims are being cut down to size in various ways. It's coded by a lot of Jews as anti-Semitism. I don't think it is. It's more like counter-Semitism.'' Sobran says that "counter-Semitism," unlike anti-Semitism, does not seek a "negative outcome" for Jews.

Field of Dreams
September 04, 1989

From Beirut to Jerusalem By Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 525 pp., $22.95) Thomas Friedman’s account of his journey as a reporter from Beirut to Jerusalem is rich in precisely the qualities that made his dispatches from those two capitals so memorable, and so breathtaking. We have to go back to David Halberstam, and perhaps to Homer Bigart, for another American foreign correspondent so unerringly alert to the illuminating detail.

Why Are We in Afghanistan?
September 04, 1989

We want them to beat the Soviets, but what if the mujahedin take over?

The Response to Terror
May 05, 1986

In the Middle East, as in much of the world, if a ruler can ward off the assassin’s hand, he need  not govern effectively or justly to remain in power. But the career of Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi demonstrates that the key to power in a place like Libya is not just brute force. It is the ability to mesmerize the mob. The mob is fickle, easily roused and easily disenchanted. With minimum expectations of what life might otherwise offer in a rationally organized economy and free polity, it feeds on slogans and fantasies.

The Demons of the Jews
The rise of Meir Kahane is a boon to Jew haters and Arab haters alike
November 11, 1985

The rise of Meir Kahane is a boon to Jew haters and Arab haters alike.

War Against the West
October 11, 1980

The reason for Moscow's receding influence is disarmingly simple: Marx and mosque are incompatible. —John Kifner, the New York Times, September 14, 1980 We are fated, as the old Chinese chestnut has it, to live in interesting times, and never more so than in the last 18 months, which have been witness to one of the most resounding collapses of foreign policy to have occurred in modern history.

The Light in the East
September 20, 1980

    During the last week in August in 1980 a new kind of light appeared in Poland, illuminating the world scene in an unexpected way. An eerie sentence swam into my mind, the one that Winston Churchill wrote about 1914 when the pall of the parochial Irish crisis hung over the warm summer evening of the British Empire; and when the parishes of Fermanagh and Tyrone faded into the mists and squalls of Ireland, "and a strange light began immediately, but by perceptible gradations, to fall and grow upon the map of Europe." That strange light, in 1914, was the glimmering advent of World War I.

The Great Carter Mystery
April 12, 1980

How does he do it? Here is an administration in ruins. Here is a president who has nearly quadrupled the inflation rate at home, has produced the highest interest rates in American history, and now is deliberately steering the nation into a recession; abroad he has kicked away confidence among friends and foes alike in the sobriety, consistence, and reliability of American foreign policy. Six months ago he was nowhere in the polls.

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