Back To School
The anxious emails from students are hitting my in-boxes once again: What time are office hours? Are places in the seminar still available? Where can they get advance copies of the syllabus? I don’t have answers to these questions yet; by this time next week I will. Another school year is ready to begin, and […]
Poland Between Rome and Brussels
During much of its modern history Poland was a ball of contention between three imperial centers: Moscow, Vienna and Berlin. Vienna has long lost any imperial aspirations, Moscow would like to assert them again, and Berlin tries hard to hide them if it has any. It turns out, though, that Poland is experiencing an internal contention […]
The Greening of Godzilla
Watching the colossal and implosive decline of the once mighty green movement to stop global warming has been an educational experience. It’s rare to see so many smart, idealistic and dedicated people look so clueless and fail so completely. From the anti-climax of the Cluster of Copenhagen, when world leaders assembled for the single most […]
Is "Proselytizing" a Bad Word?
In its July 2010 issue, Christianity Today, the masthead publication of Evangelical Protestantism, reported the merger of two Evangelical organizations engaged in missionary work in the Muslim world: Pioneers USA and Arab World Ministries. These have a combined total of 2,300 missionaries. The report does not make clear how many of these are actually trying to […]
Pakistan is Sinking: Time For Tough Love?
The news from Pakistan remains dire. The flood waters now sweeping toward the Arabian Gulf have been far more devastating and the destruction more widespread than anyone predicted. They have cruelly exposed many of Pakistan’s glaring weaknesses: its corrupt feudal elite, its corrupt and ineffective bureaucracy, its lack of infrastructure, its weak civil society, and […]
The Ethical versus The Possible
On his excellent blog for our magazine, Peter Berger has clearly laid out the impassioned moral argument for why we ought to think twice about pulling out of Afghanistan. He starts by highlighting a brutal stoning of an adulterous couple recently sanctioned by the Taliban in the north. He admits that it may very well […]
How to Think about the Mosque
The ongoing debate about the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” is a test for the real foundations of our country, and the maturity of our political debate. This issue has the danger of sliding further into political immaturity at best, and ugly xenophobia and discrimination at its worst. But it also has the opportunity for us […]
American National Interest and the Stoning of Women
On August 17, 2010 The New York Times carried on its first page a story about the stoning for adultery of a couple in a Taliban-controlled area of Afghanistan. (The Times deserves credit—the story hardly supports the anti-war position of the newspaper). The man (Khayyam, aged 25) was married, the woman (Siddiqa, aged 19) was […]
Rajendra Pachauri: Voodoo Scientist and Lone Ranger of Love?
Rajendra Pachauri, the formerly outspoken head of the IPCC, was yanked firmly off the global stage last January after his blustering and insulting attacks on well-founded criticisms of exaggerations and false predictions in the UN’s high profile climate report turned him into an embarrassing liability to the global environmental movement. “Voodoo science,” he said dismissively […]
Smart Diplomacy? As Crisis Hits Karachi, Bureaucrats Sideline Star
On my recent lecture tour in Pakistan, I was lucky enough to spend some time in Karachi with Dr. Elizabeth Colton, a 65-year-old ex-journalist who has made her second career in the State Department working on public diplomacy for the United States. This wasn’t the first time I’ve encountered Dr. Colton. Over the last eight […]