The Spine

Ahmadinejad At The Lebanese-Israeli Border—Another Obama Debacle
October 15, 2010

Of course, it’s not only Obama’s debacle. The debacle started when the world’s self-appointed enforcers of what they imagined as peace put the squeeze on Israel as it fought Hezbollah in the summer of 2006. It is true that the fighting was not going as well as it might have for the Jewish state.

Jesus Christ And The Chilean Miners: Prayer and Victory
October 14, 2010

Almost everyone has noticed and many have commented on the “69-day ordeal,” as the A.P. reporter Michael Warren termed the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. For most it was the heroism and fortitude of the miners and the skilled dedication of the rescue team. One miner had been telecast many times from the mine and once he was out. The Chilean public began to see Mario Sepulveda as having a future on television. He nixed that idea immediately as he was on the ground: “the only thing I’ll ask of you is that you don’t treat me as an artist or a journalist, but as a miner.

Blaming Ted Kennedy
October 14, 2010

I remember Ted Kennedy announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 1980. It was an unusual candidacy because there was already a Democrat in the White House and he intended to run for a second a term. That president was Jimmy Carter, poor man. Poor haughty man. But it was Kennedy's own announcement that could not have been more mortifying. On television one night he was questioned by Roger Mudd. I believe he lost the nod right then and there.

The Old Likud Idealists Against The Thugs Of The New Israeli Right
October 11, 2010

You may not agree with Benny Begin and Reuven Rivlin on settlements or with Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan on other aspects of the negotiations with the Palestinians. But they are honest men and, in their manner, true liberals. Liberals in the sense that they want Israel to remain a real civil society not only in form but in substance. Not only for the Jews but also for the Arabs who live in the country.

The Taliban's Khymer Rouge Strategy
October 10, 2010

"The war on the educated" is what the New York Times called it on Saturday. And the fact is that there is much evidence that there is a relentless stalking of modern intellectuals and moderate Muslim clerics in Pakistan. The Times story by Jane Perlez reports the assassination, one of many, of Farooq Khan, "doctor to the poor, scholar of Islam and friend of America," who represented something the Islamic extremists hated.The assassination of Dr.

Sorry, Mr. President: By Now No One Believes That Your Obsession With Settlements Was Wise Or Practical
October 06, 2010

Do you remember Robert Malley? Yes, that (Jewish) fella who makes a living counseling Israel to accede to every Palestinian demand. The one who first was an Obama adviser and then wasn’t...and then maybe was again. Well, he turned out to not to be. Instead, he is, according to today’s New York Times, Middle East and North African program director of the International Crisis Group, a very pompous self-characterization. The Times piece is by Mark Landler which means it is accurate. And accurate on a weighty topic: “U.S.

"White House Puts Back Its Solar Panels," And How The White House Screwed Up, Really Screwed Up On Climate Change
October 06, 2010

There's an article in this morning's Financial Times reporting that the Obamas have restored the practice of installing solar panelling on the White House residence. I suppose it's better than not doing so.

The Real Encumbrances to Israeli-Arab Peace
October 05, 2010

Aaron David Miller is one of those youngish senior Middle East experts who's been in the field since at least James Baker was secretary of state. At that point, Miller more or less adhered to the Baker line which was--how can I say this?--downright anti-Israel and arguable anti-Semitic. You do remember "fuck the Jews," don't you? Miller is on his own--he being very rich--and the only old-time prejudice he seems to retain is one against his former colleague Dennis Ross.

Palestinian Athletes Should Have All The Opportunities To Train For The Olympics That Other Athletes Have...And To Play, As Well
October 05, 2010

I assume--and Israeli security officials confirm--that the problem is not systematic.

“Nowhere Else In The World Has The U.N. Invested So Much And Accomplished So Little:” A Four Day Rape Rampage In The Congo
October 04, 2010

The New York Times story is by Jeffrey Gettleman, one of our great narrative journalists. You will cry or maybe retch at the story he tells. This happens not to be a story of rape by U.N.

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