Bosnia, Hysteria Politics, and the Roots of International Terrorism

Since he was arrested in Belgrade last week, there have been miles and miles of newspaper commentary on Radovan Karadzic: on his bloody past; his role in Srebrenica; his bouffant; his limp handshake; his transformation from war leader to bearded hippy therapist. Yet perhaps the most interesting article – or at least the most unwittingly … Continue reading “Bosnia, Hysteria Politics, and the Roots of International Terrorism”

Hooked on a Failing

First they said it was a war against al-Qaeda. Then, when they failed to find Osama bin Laden and his henchmen, they said it was a war to topple the Taliban and liberate women from the burqa. Now, as Western troops continue to dig themselves into Afghanistan more than five years after 9/11, they’re calling … Continue reading “Hooked on a Failing”

Today’s ‘Islamic Fascists’ Were Yesterday’s Friends

According to President George W. Bush, America is at war with "Islamic fascists." Commentators who support Bush’s military interventions also argue that the West faces new religious enemies who do not play by the old rules of warfare. Hezbollah (which literally translates as "Party of God") says its wants to obliterate Israel, and Hamas (an … Continue reading “Today’s ‘Islamic Fascists’ Were Yesterday’s Friends”

Zarqawi: A Bogeyman Made by the US

So Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the man, is dead. Maybe now we can finally kill off the myth too. The myth is that Zarqawi, a Jordanian jihadist who had moved his operations to Iraq in recent years, was one of the greatest threats to Western civilization, who had single-handedly been hampering progress in Iraq and spreading … Continue reading “Zarqawi: A Bogeyman Made by the US”

Don’t Let Blair Off the Hook

It has become fashionable, everywhere from newspaper offices to the pop charts, to argue that British Prime Minister Tony Blair is a poodle to President George W. Bush’s rottweiler, a lapdog who pretty much sits, rolls over, and fetches as his master in Washington demands. In their new hit single "I’m With Stupid," the Pet … Continue reading “Don’t Let Blair Off the Hook”

The Humanitarian With the War Machine

David Aaronovitch, the London Times columnist who supported the war in Iraq, is sorry. He is sorry “for Abu Ghraib and for Donald Rumsfeld. For not understanding the insurgents. For the looting. For the dire planning.” He’s also sorry for “the election workers assassinated, the police trainees blown up, the parents of children caught in … Continue reading “The Humanitarian With the War Machine”

Al-Jazeera, Serbia, and Liberal Amnesia

Many in my profession – journalism – were understandably outraged to discover that in a get-together with his partner in crime Tony Blair in April 2004, President Bush allegedly made a bad-taste gag about bombing the Qatar headquarters of the Arab TV channel al-Jazeera. There is a memo doing the rounds, leaked by two British … Continue reading “Al-Jazeera, Serbia, and Liberal Amnesia”