Pac Man
February 08, 2012

Recently, Foster Friess, a 71-year-old billionaire, was on a hunting trip in Tanzania when he heard that there was a 14-foot crocodile in the vicinity. “The natives had told us where it was,” Friess recounted to me over the phone. He and his party set out to track it down, but, when they approached the giant reptile on a sandbar, it caught their scent and slid into the water. Friess and company piled into a tiny boat and searched the river. Hours later, they found the crocodile sunning himself on a bank. Friess aimed, fired, and killed it.

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.

Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt: The Untold Story of the Black Panther Leader, Dead At 63
June 27, 2011

Elmer Pratt, the prominent Black Panther known by his nom de guerre, Geronimo ji-Jaga, died at 63 on June 2 in Tanzania. He had served 27 years in prison in Los Angeles for murder, the first eight in solitary confinement, and had been denied parole 16 times before his sentence was vacated and he was freed.

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.

Paul Kagame and Rwanda's Faux Democracy
August 05, 2010

If you’re a betting person, here’s a safe bet: On August 9, the balloting in the east African state of Rwanda will give world-famous military leader Paul Kagame yet another seven-year term as president. The astonishing margin of victory will impress even the modern grand viziers of Central Asia.

The Drone War
June 03, 2009

The Al Qaeda videotape shows a small white dog tied up inside a glass cage. A milky gas slowly filters in. An Arab man with an Egyptian accent says: "Start counting the time." Nervous, the dog starts barking and then moaning.

Occupational Hazard
August 06, 2007

'Take off your veil!" the Somali soldier shouted at the woman in the mostly empty street. Steadying his assault rifle with his right hand, he ripped away the woman's black niqab with his left. "Why are you coming so close to us? You have explosives?" He leveled the muzzle of his gun against the bridge of her nose. Her mouth, suddenly embarrassed and exposed, broke into a jester's forced grin. "I just want a juice," she pleaded. Except for a handful of armed soldiers, the only other person on the deserted street was a man selling mango juice from behind a table.

Kapiri Mposhi Diarist: Track Changes
February 12, 2007

JUST LIKE MANY OF AMERICA’S railroads, Zambia’s longest rail line was built by the Chinese. But the Tazara line, which links the landlocked country with neighboring Tanzania, wasn’t built by coolies. Rather, it was built by Commies. IT WAS THE 1970S, AND, IN THE NAME of Afro-Asian friendship and fraternal socialist solidarity, Chairman Mao built the countries a rail line to the sea.

Trying war criminals locally.
May 01, 2006

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.

The Politics of Churlishness
April 11, 2005

If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer, his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others. He pursued his goal obstinately, they would say, without filtering his thoughts through the medical research establishment. And he didn't share his research with competing labs and thus caused resentment among other scientists who didn't have the resources or the bold—perhaps even somewhat reckless-—instincts to pursue the task as he did.