May 22, 2006

12:00 AM

Was Stephen Colbert funny? No, he was not being funny. He was being ironic, satirical, brutal. Don't you get it? These issues are just too painful for humor. Since Colbert's 20-minute routine at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner two weeks ago, the question has been asked and answered thus in the blogosphere, that underground realm of steaming resentment not exactly famous for the refinement of its irony, where the president is the "chimp," Laura is "his bitch wife," and the press is "the MSM." It is time—it is always time—for some literary criticism.

Boston Marathon
12:00 AM

Dominating the eastern entrance to Boston's Roxbury Community College, and wedged between the college's red brick administration office and sports complex, is a nearly completed $22 million Islamic cultural center and mosque. In 2003 the city of Boston, through its development arm, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), agreed to transfer the ownership of this 1.9 acre parcel of city land to the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB).

May 15, 2006

The politics of "24."
12:00 AM

It's 11:20 p.m., and agent Jack Bauer has had a very long day. In the morning, he worked to rescue the secretary of defense and his daughter (who also happens to be Bauer's girlfriend) from a terrorist kidnapping and Web- telecast execution. The afternoon was mostly spent unraveling a plot to melt down all of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors simultaneously.

The Trial
12:00 AM

Khartoum, Sudan--I am a human rights advocate in a country where human rights are in short supply. Several years ago, though I am also an engineer, I co-founded a volunteer group called the Sudan Social Development Organization, which monitors atrocities by my government, including those committed in Darfur. Naturally, this line of work lands me in trouble with some regularity. Actually, "trouble" is a euphemism. Not long ago, I was detained without access to legal counsel. Thanks to international pressure, I was released without having to stand trial.

Words Fail
12:00 AM

A 30-year-old woman squats on the sand outside her tent in eastern Chad's Touloum refugee camp as she tells me about her escape from Darfur. Her family, members of the Zaghawa ethnic group, had been farmers near the town of Kutum in Northern Darfur. She describes how, before fleeing to this desolate place, Sudanese soldiers and Janjaweed militias killed her husband and son, then burned her village. She recounts how she fled with other survivors, and how, during her escape, she became separated from three young boys with whom she was traveling.

Next Casualty
12:00 AM

For Suad Abdalaziz, prospects are bleak. A Zaghawa from the Tawilla area of Northern Darfur, Suad was raped repeatedly by three Janjaweed militiamen in February 2004. The Janjaweed were ferociously active that month in the Tawilla region; in a single assault, led by the notorious Musa Hilal, they burned to the ground more than 30 villages, killing more than 200 people and raping more than 200 girls and women--some by up to 14 assailants and in front of their fathers, who were later killed.

May 08, 2006

Pin Prick
12:00 AM

Ryan Lizza on George Allen's race problem.

Deterrent Defect
12:00 AM

Peter Beinart asks why Iran can't be deterred.

May 01, 2006

Is Al Jazeera the next PBS?
12:00 AM

It took Dave Marash about four years as a Washington anchor to become disgusted with the pandering, the triviality, and the sensationalism of TV news. Marash was a paragon of seriousness, as his bearded chin and intense eyes announced to even casual viewers of WRC-TV, Washington's local NBC affiliate, and, by 1989, he was fed up.

Trying war criminals locally.
12:00 AM

Four years, 466 hearing days, more than 300 witnesses, and over $200 million after it began in The Hague, Case Number IT-02-54, Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic, was officially declared over on March 14, three days after Milosevic was found dead of an apparent heart attack in his prison cell. There will be no verdict.