What Next For A Zimbabwe-Shaped Hole In Africa?

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Author: David Anderson / Foreign Affairs / Published by: Forbes / Uncategorized

There’s a journalistic protocol for pre-writing obituaries before their subjects have died: all the newspapers do it. After a certain age, if you are prominent enough, there’ll be an obit on file for you, eerily awaiting your demise to publish. If you reach your 90s the editors will be spell-checking it — and at 93, President Robert Mugabe’s is long due. He isn’t even buying green bananas. So let’s get ahead of the game and prepare his right now, and speculate what will happen to Zimbabwe after he expires.

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A Yemeni Catastrophe That is Being Totally Ignored

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Author: David Anderson / Middle East / Uncategorized

If you live in New York or another large American city you might already know a Yemeni: there’s a good chance that one owns the deli you shop at every day in your neighborhood. When you have a moment, ask him about recent events in his country. Sit down and brace yourself as he’ll have a lot to say and it won’t be a happy talk. But pay attention, we’ll be hearing more about Yemen in the months to come because an accelerating disaster is happening there.

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Book Review: “Without You There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite,” by Suki Kim

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Author: David Anderson / Far East / Foreign Affairs / Published by: The Moderate Voice

Tourism to North Korea is possible, but as your reviewer wrote in Forbes lately, it’s a hazardous and horribly unethical destination. That said, Ms. Kim’s book is one of the most insightful reads a NK buff can use to explore from an armchair.

Published in 2014, it could have been written yesterday: with the exceptions of a little stronger “capitalism” and more cell phones, nothing has changed. Ms. Kim’s year there Read More

What’ll Happen in the Syria Civil War?

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Author: David Anderson / Middle East / Published by: Democracy Chronicles

The 15 year civil war in Lebanon last century can teach us about the future of the neighboring Syrian mess: they do look alike.

Like Washington state-sized Syria, Connecticut-sized Lebanon was a French colony. Pre-WW2 manners dictated the British and French politely divide this “Levant” (as in ISIS/ISIL) area into colonies: the “lucky” Brits kept Palestine, later Israel, and Jordan. The French had Lebanon and larger Syria.

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Faith-Based POTUS Tourism

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Author: David Anderson / Published by: The Moderate Voice / US Politics

For his inaugural trip abroad our President has picked an unpredictable but thematically consistent itinerary. He’ll be stopping at the Vatican, presumably without the whole kerfuffle of a state visit in Italy, then on to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

For his inaugural trip abroad our President has picked an unpredictable but thematically consistent itinerary. He’ll be stopping at the Vatican, presumably without the whole kerfuffle of a state visit in Italy, then on to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The commonality is that they are three of the very few countries which are legally legitimized entirely by religion. Saudi Arabia is founded on Islam: its monarchs are Read More

National Artwork: Around The Roundel

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Author: David Anderson / Foreign Affairs / Published by: The Moderate Voice / US Politics

Most people can recognize a roundel when they see one, but they don’t know it is called that, and they may not know how this form of national graphic art works. Military buffs and vexillologists (flag fanciers) know though. Such folks, usually men, are surprisingly common so let’s peek into their world with a look at the roundel.

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Useful Idiots: Tourism In North Korea

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Author: David Anderson / Far East / Foreign Affairs / Published by: Forbes

For many years tourism to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was almost impossible for Americans. Now it isn’t, but should one go? Stalin called western sympathizers and visitors in the 1950s “useful idiots” who believed Soviet propaganda while he killed tens of millions. A similar dynamic exists in northeast Asia today.

Travel agencies profiting from tourism there use the argument that grassroots connections and money in the economy are overall positives. This argument falls flat on Read More

How Qatar Walks The Tightrope Between Islamism And Modernity

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Author: David Anderson / Middle East / Published by: Forbes

The Connecticut-sized, natural gas-rich nation of Qatar in the Persian Gulf is often cited by optimists as a sane role model for Arab world. Qatar’s stated goal is to turn their hydrocarbon based economy and traditional society into more a diversified, outward looking system. This is often considered as opposition to the traditional, strict Islamic values of their population: it is a complicated and delicate balance.

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How Not To Keep Us Safe

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Author: David Anderson / Published by: The Moderate Voice / US Politics

It was my intention to visit Iran this year for study. Now however in a fit of pique, the tit-for-tat reply to our ban the Iranians will soon bar American citizens from visiting. So will the other, less tourist-friendly countries on a list which is a who’s who of “Dangerous sounding Muslim countries we’ve had something to do with in recent decades and can almost pronounce.” The ban is a win for “alternative facts.”

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