Gluttons for punishment

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about a thousand points in the first five minutes of trading today. It’s recovered substantially at this point (about 10:45 east coast time) and is down around 650 points for the day so far. The S&P 500 is down almost 50 points and the NASDAQ is down about 115… Continue reading Gluttons for punishment

Joe Biden’s Iraqi federalism idea isn’t “terrible,” it just probably wouldn’t do much good

Max Fisher is upset about a couple of things. First, he’s irritated that Vice-President Joe Biden’s 2006 call for Iraq to be federalized, with significant autonomy for its Kurdish, Sunni Arab, and ShiĘża communities, has, in the collective imagination of the DC foreign policy establishment, somehow morphed into a call to partition Iraq into three… Continue reading Joe Biden’s Iraqi federalism idea isn’t “terrible,” it just probably wouldn’t do much good

The problem of involuntary (?) foreign fighters

There’s a situation happening in Australia that, one way or another, may set a precedent for the way that Western nations deal with one particular subset of the “foreign fighters” problem: the foreign fighter who was coerced into fighting. Adam Brookman is an Australian nurse and a convert to Islam, neither of which is illegal… Continue reading The problem of involuntary (?) foreign fighters

Something about this Cuba poll just ain’t right

Atrios flagged this Washington Post op-ed on the failure of President Obama’s diplomatic overtures to improve human rights conditions in Cuba. He notes the hypocrisy of the concern for human rights in Cuba when the US regularly does business with countries with human rights records that are worse than Cuba’s. In the WaPo editorial board’s… Continue reading Something about this Cuba poll just ain’t right

Quite a coincidence

Mt. Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina, caught on fire last night. Now, there are lots of reasons why a building might catch on fire, including lightning, which was a possibility last night as strong thunderstorms swept up the entire eastern seaboard. Understandably, the investigators looking into any particular fire need to consider all… Continue reading Quite a coincidence

Another, less whimsical Ramadan challenge

As hard as it may be to fast for 21 hours a day in Iceland (or, as I have now learned, up to 22 hours a day in St. Petersburg, Russia), it could always be harder: you could live in China’s Xinjiang Province: China has, once again, banned Ramadan in parts of the far western… Continue reading Another, less whimsical Ramadan challenge

Examining “Iran Derangement Syndrome,” me at LobeLog

Shane Harris, who writes for The Daily Beast, wrote a piece that was published Sunday night about being approached to write an anti-US/anti-Israel piece for a conference being held by a group in Iran that might have ties to the Iranian government. It’s an interesting read, but totally overblown and all because it has to… Continue reading Examining “Iran Derangement Syndrome,” me at LobeLog