The murders of the U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by their Islamist captors were trivial horrors in the spiraling calamity that has engulfed Syria and Iraq. Still, to me they were uniquely painful for reasons unrelated to the region’s incomparably greater misfortunes: They were the needless deaths of brave … More >
I flew to Ukraine on July 16, 2014. It was a typical flight and travelers thought they could abstract from the war in the East of Ukraine. The next day changed everything. Pro-Russian separatists shot down MH17, a passenger airplane with 298 people aboard, 80 of which were children.
This is an … More >
I first went to Afghanistan in December 1969. I still remember the bitter cold. USAID had begun to invest in family planning and an American gynecologist had been assigned to the US embassy in Kabul to start a program. He was who had invented a new experimental intrauterine device. It looked … More >
My wife, Kathleen, and I stood gaping at the TV as we watched the towers fall. Kathleen said to me, “Do you realize what Bush and Cheney are going to do with this?” We both realized very well. Until 9/11, the Bush presidency was weak. On 9/11, … More >
Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead! Which old witch? The wicked old witch. The self-righteous, pathological murderer, Osama bin Laden, took a bullet in the head and is now gone. Riotous celebrations in the streets of many American cities with television images of (mostly young people) flashing … More >
President Obama said “justice has been done.” Many headlines were more direct. “Revenge” was the headline in the Scotsman, here in Edinburgh, while the the New York Daily News went right for “Rot in Hell you Bastard.” Whatever our emotions on learning the news, the killing of Osama bin Laden … More >
It will take a while before we know what the event really means for us. As I write, virtually everything that can properly be said is equivocal.
The only unequivocally good part: the Osama assassination pushed the Windsor nuptials off the news.
The unequivocally fun part: enjoying the pundit class’ angst trying … More >
Bin Laden’s death does not make one iota of difference to the dynamics of global terrorism. Osama was the 17th child of a man who had 57 children – and who would have had more if he had not died in an air crash. If we are to confront terrorism … More >