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.
With Brexit blowing up in the Brits’ faces followed by an orange punishment emanating from Washington, there’s world-wide alarm about this global move to the right.
We pay a lot of attention to hard right hooligans like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Blondie Le Penn in France. We note as Canada and Spain keep their cool and stay the course, and hope that Angela Merkel can hold off the Putinite forces of the new Evil Empire. Read More
The recent unprecedented blockade of Qatar by its neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has the Persian Gulf region in uproar. Citizens are being expelled, Qatar’s only land border and main food supply line is closed, and their airline must do bizarre aerial calisthenics to avoid overflying most of the Arabian Peninsula
I live in a 20 story apartment building in Chelsea, Manhattan. I was a little concerned yesterday when the building manager whom I ran into in the elevator whispered: “We need to chat in private.”
Every country has its own propaganda stuff: its currency, passports, internet sites, and media to communicate its ideology. The Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is sort of a state: they think they are a “Caliphate” (which is slightly different), they control territory and like all states enforce their administration with a monopoly of violence within their borders. Analysts and scholars write about their ideology, today we examine their propaganda.
Spats between Persian Gulf nations are commonplace: they’re similar countries with a shared language, religion, and culture. All walk the tightrope between conservative Islam and modern openness to various degrees. Conflicts are often in the differences of how each pursues modernity verses Islam.
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.
Who doesn’t like a theme park? There’s junk food, entertainment, rides and toys. Most have a steep price tag but it’s a fun day out with those we love the most: think Disneyland or Universal Orlando. Think again. Not all fun parks are as light-hearted or family values-compliant as those in the US. Let’s examine a few of the more extreme samples abroad: where politics meets fun.
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
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.