World

Tough Love
February 04, 2009

Last year, a new Middle East lobby called J Street was formed to push American Jewish opinion in a more conciliatory direction. "What we're responding to," wrote J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami last year, "is that for too long there's been an alliance between the neo-cons, the radical right ofthe Christian Zionist movement and the far-right portions of the Jewish community that has really locked up what it means to be pro-Israel." Israel's supporters do have a distressing tendency to define their position in maximalist terms.

Stringer Theory
February 04, 2009

Earlier this month, Joe the Plumber Wurzelbacher--last seen serving as the third wheel on John McCain and Sarah Palin's increasingly disastrous blind date--traded in his toilet jack for a handheld microphone and traveled to the Middle East to become a foreign correspondent covering the Israel-Hamas war for the conservative website Pajamas Media. Alas, he wasn't terribly impressed with his new colleagues. "I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting," Wurzelbacher said in the Israeli city of Sderot, where he was, from all appearances, reporting. "You know, war is hell.

Not So Fast
December 24, 2008

When it comes to Iraq, "withdrawal" seems to be the word of the day. In Washington, the incoming administration has revived the Obama campaign's 16- month timetable for removing combat troops from Iraq.

The Truth Will Not Set You Free
August 27, 2008

Why we didn't prevent the genocide in Darfur.

Shanghai Surprise
January 30, 2008

Shanghai, from which I have just returned after a first visit to China, has a specially built modern museum to house exhibits on the planning for the future Shanghai, and it includes an enormous model of Shanghai today. It is of a scale and detail that matches the huge model of New York City built for the 1964 World's Fair and now housed in the Queens Museum—which is itself located in a fragment of the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. But the contrasts are striking and reveal much that distinguishes China's largest city from our own largest city.

Burma Blues
September 24, 2007

For days, thousands of average Burmese and respected Buddhist monks parade through the streets of Burmese cities, calling for democracy and picking up supporters as they march. The protests have a kind of festive atmosphere. Crowds of young men in baseball caps and elderly Burmese in traditional sarongs cheer the monks from the rooftops and wave hand-lettered banners in Burmese and English.

Growth Spurt
July 02, 2007

Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, doesn't come up in the news very often. And why would it? There's no war or ethnic strife. The city is poor, but not outlandishly so--in fact, thanks to a stable government and a lucrative mining industry, Botswana is one of Africa's rare economic success stories.

Killing Fields
February 19, 2007

ON NOVEMBER 11, two men in green uniforms arrived at the home of Abakar Yussuf, then ordered his wife outside. “When she came out, they shot her in the back and she fell to the ground and died,” Yussuf told Amnesty International. “They then took her by her feet and pulled her back into the house and set fire to it. … When I returned to find my wife’s body, all that was left were her bones.” Four days later, in the same Chadian village, attackers threw Abdoulaye Khamis’s 80-year-old brother into a hut they had set on fire. “I ran back … and tried to save my brother,” Khamis explained.

The St. Paul Warlord: Hmong Friends
February 05, 2007

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Beirut Dispatch: Eau No
January 29, 2007

Last summer, during the war with Israel, Hezbollah's Al Manarsatellite TV channel ran an advertisement featuring Reem Haidar, anattractive Lebanese woman with a special request for Hezbollahleader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah. "I want his cloak that he sweatedin while he was defending me, my children, my sisters, and myland," said Haidar, with a toss of her highlighted hair, as martialmusic played in the background. "I want it so that I can rub someof its sweat on myself and my children.

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