When George W. Bush was invited to speak to the graduating class of Ohio State University, the students were given a few, uh, suggestions: "Immediately before class members filed into the giant football stadium, an announcer instructed the crowd that all the university’s speakers deserve to be treated with respect and that anyone demonstrating or … Continue reading “THE WIMPY AMERICAN”

How Jews Can Support Israel

The United Jewish Communities of North America has recently decided to give its financial support also to Israeli settlers in the occupied territories (Ha’aretz, 14.6.02). At first, out of warm Jewish solidarity, I got very worried. Persistent rumours, especially since September 11th, say that the US government is not very fond of using charity money … Continue reading “How Jews Can Support Israel”

Cracks in the Façade of the Civic Religion

It is very hard to get a clear reading on the present situation. Oh sure, there are those who write as if they know what is going on, but their commentary, on further analysis, can be seen to rest only on a wide reading of utterly conventional and predictable sources with "official U.S. party line" … Continue reading “Cracks in the Façade of the Civic Religion”

Let’s Just Scrap the Bill of Rights

If you pay attention to news about the “War on Terrorism,” you may be a bit confused about what our government is doing. One day Mr. Macho tells us we’re at war and we must put up with the intrusions of liberty that normally accompany war. The next day we’re told this “struggle” may last … Continue reading “Let’s Just Scrap the Bill of Rights”

Building On The Indo-Pak Thaw

The welcome commitment made by General Pervez Musharraf to "permanently" stop infiltration of jehadi militants across the Line of Control in Kashmir, and the "calibrated", but tiny, steps announced by New Delhi in reciprocation, have created a new, positive situation: The grim threat of war has receded somewhat; and there is reason to hope that … Continue reading “Building On The Indo-Pak Thaw”

Roots of Discord

It is often said that the roots of the conflicts in the Middle East, which many U.S. diplomats seem to think can be handled with just one more full-court-press and a conference, – and we’re talking not just of disputes between Israelis and Palestinians but the larger regional hostilities – are centuries-old, even milliennia-old. There … Continue reading “Roots of Discord”

Balkans and the Big Picture

Hollywood did it again last weekend, as the Chris Rock-Anthony Hopkins feature Bad Company revolved around preventing "Yugoslav" terrorists from blowing up New York City with a nuclear weapon. Even the film critics saw through such a pathetic plot setup. But it must have been rather embarrassing when a most unlikely suspect was arrested Monday … Continue reading “Balkans and the Big Picture”


In an earlier column, I theorized that when the hijackers rammed those planes into the World Trade Center, they must’ve torn a hole in the space-time continuum, opening the door to another dimension – the Bizarro World – an alternate universe where everything is grotesquely inverted. But now it seems that the Great Inversion may … Continue reading “THE AGE OF MALARKEY”

Military Force is No Solution

Going by the signals emanating from Almaty and Singapore, and from Washington, New Delhi and Islamabad, the level of official rhetoric of India-Pakistan hostility has come down by a few decibels during the past week. This must be heartily welcomed. But the lowering of the pitch of hostility is not consistent and pervasive, nor yet … Continue reading “Military Force is No Solution”

The Empire Strikes First

In a way, the news that the Bush administration is developing a new strategic doctrine that involves preemptive strikes against terrorists and states alleged to have chemical, biological or nuclear weapons could be viewed as simply formalizing what has been U.S. intervention doctrine for years now. After all, the United States did not require an … Continue reading “The Empire Strikes First”