A Militia, a Madrassa, and the Story Behind a Siege in Yemen
January 30, 2012
On-the-ground reporting from Peter Theo Curtis, who was just released from captivity.
The Peace Process Fallacy
February 24, 2011
For years, those obsessed with forcing Israel to make all kinds of concessions to the Palestinians—on territory, on settlements, on refugees, on Jerusalem, on security, on water, on air space, on everything, in fact—argued that the occupation was the powder keg on which the kings and colonels of the Arab world sat waiting for it to explode. This was and is a curiously Judeo-centric perspective on the world.
Where Did Yemen's Water Go?
January 06, 2010
There's lots of Yemen commentary flying around the Internet right now, and an environmental blog obviously isn't going to be anyone's go-to place for it, but via Kevin Drum, I was surprised to see how many of Yemen's problems are exacerbated by resource issues. Here's Richard Fontaine and Andrew Exum in the Los Angeles Times: Yemen's economy depends heavily on oil production, and its government receives the vast majority of its revenue from oil taxes. Yet analysts predict that the country's petroleum output, which has declined over the last seven years, will fall to zero by 2017.
Stopped Making Sense
May 07, 2008
To build a building is hard; to criticize a building is, by comparison, easy. For a serious critic, the impulse to write uncomplimentary things should always provoke a bout of preliminary introspection. Does one write from the lofty principle that truth must be spoken to power, or at least to fashion? Will the reader come away from this exercise in scorching criticism of buildings and urban spaces with a heightened appreciation for the built environment and its importance to our daily lives?
Sarah Williams Goldhagen on Architecture: Extra-Large
July 31, 2006
A FRIEND RECENTLY TOLD me that his most important pedagogical tool as an architect is this maxim: the architect's primary ethical responsibility is to be the guardian of the public realm, in contrast to the myriad others who currently configure our built landscape— clients, politicians, contractors, developers, and NIMBY-driven "community action" committees.