Lifting the Shadow Off the Tax System
August 20, 2009

The fact is that it did not happen until Barack Obama became president. It was a standing offense to American tax justice that probably hundreds of thousands of our very rich countrymen brazenly avoided the reach of the Internal Revenue Service simply by transferring (much of) their wealth to foreign banks in Switzerland and about 15 other countries, which protected the identities of these depositors by their laws. We know why this long-time structural injustice was of no interest to either of the Bush administrations. Let's say roughly that both George H.W. and George W.

Mahmoud Abbas Visits His Comrade, Omar al-Bashir
August 20, 2009

The administration has not yet commented--and probably won't comment--on the news that the president of the Palestinian Authority, partner of the U.S. and Israel in peace processing, is today on a visit to Khartoum for talks with the president of Sudan. Omar al-Bashir has a warrant out for his head on charges of genocide. This indictment by the International Criminal Court has never bothered any other leaders of the Arab world. So why should it perturb Abbas? (But I want to be fair.

Little Simon of Trent, Murdered in 1475, And Now Other Victims of the Jews
August 20, 2009

If Mary Robinson is entitled to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Swedes are certainly entitled to refabricate one of the great libels in European history. The very leftist Aftonbladet, the most popular evening tabloid in Sweden, has published a story, "They Plunder the Organs of Our Sons," accusing the Israel Defense Forces of seizing Palestinian young men and then returning them to their families without crucial and transferrable parts. (The two stories in Ha'aretz unveiling this vile piece of journalism are here and here.) Mrs.

From the TNR Archive: The Lockerbie Bombing
August 20, 2009

 This morning the Scottish government released the only person convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, after only serving eight years of a minimum 27-year-sentence for his role in the terrorist attack that killed 270. Megrahi, who suffers from terminal prostate cancer and whose release has been strongly and publicly opposed by the U.S., will return to Libya today to die in his home country.

Khamenei vs. Khomeini
August 20, 2009

During his August 3 speech formally endorsing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned protesters that “by imitation of Ayatollah Khomeini, they cannot deceive people.” Khamenei was mocking the opposition’s claim to be to reviving “the values of Ayatollah Khomeini”--the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Khamenei’s predecessor as Supreme Leader. Ironically, Khamenei made this statement while seated below a large, framed picture of Khomeini. This scene provides a stark illustration of the fact that politics in Iran are largely defined by attempts to claim Khomeini’s legacy.

August 12, 2009

A professor, a genocide, and NBC's quest for a prime-time hit.

The Indictment
August 10, 2009

A joke has been circulating widely in Iran these past few years: One day, a fox sees a friend running fast through the forest. "Why are you running?" asks the fox. "They are killing foxes who have three testicles," the friend replies. "So, why are yourunning?" the bewildered friend asks again.

Hey Obama, Don’t Waste Your Time Giving A Speech In Israel.
August 03, 2009

Two Israeli writers caused a stir last week by calling on President Obama to speak directly to Israelis, similar to the way he has addressed populations from Cairo to Moscow. “Simply stated, take your campaign directly to the Israeli people, and soon,” Bradley Burston wrote in a Haaretz blog post.

While Protestors Take To The Streets In Tehran For Democracy, Another Group Of Iranians Meets In Cairo For The Return Of Monarchy
August 03, 2009

Quiet sobs echo through the atrium of the Al-Rifai Mosque in Cairo, where rows of seated mourners are surrounded by wreathes of white flowers. Women d

Inside The Civil War That's Threatening The Iranian Regime
August 03, 2009

Ever since the June 12 election, the world has seen signs of serious rifts in the ranks of the Islamic regime in Iran. The main locus of these tension