Monthly Archives: January 2010

NYC Terror Trials, or Lack Thereof, Ctd.

Today in the NYT Gail Collins touches on a lot of the points I made, or tried to make, in yesterday’s post on the decision of politicians to embrace, and then denounce, holding the 9/11 trials in downtown Manhattan. I … Continue reading

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Giuliani, others: Civilian Courts in New York May Provoke the Mastermind Terrorists Too Much

The NYT reports that the Justice Department is rethinking its decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City, after rising objections from local officials over issues of cost, logistics, and security. Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. Paterson, and Senators Shumer … Continue reading

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Massoud Barzani at Brookings

I saw Massoud Barzani, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, speak at Brookings yesterday. Ken Pollack moderated the discussion, and to give a sense of Barzani’s place in Kurdish history and politics, Pollack said it’s very much like the relationship between … Continue reading

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State of the Union

My impressions of the speech: –I liked that he tried to redeem the Recovery Act a bit. I saw Mike Pence on Morning Joe this morning lamenting the “failed stimulus” and what seemed to him to be the president’s “same … Continue reading

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Kurdistan—The Other Iraq

By the time of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in September 1980, Mustafa Barzani’s son, Massoud Barzani, had taken his father’s place as the leader of the Kurdish movement in Iraq. In the last years of the Iran-Iraq war, the … Continue reading

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The Kurds Get Screwed by Everybody

Massoud Barzani, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, comes from a family that has dominated the Kurdish political landscape for the past fifty years. By the time of the Baathist coup in Iraq in 1963, Massoud’s father, Mustafa Barzani, already had … Continue reading

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"We Have No Friends But the Mountains"

There are approximately 25 million Kurds worldwide; they are one of the largest nationalities in the world to not have a state of their own. The redrawing of the map of the Middle East following WWI scattered the majority of … Continue reading

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Kurdistan Week!

On Wednesday, I’m going to Brookings to see Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Leading up to the event, I thought I’d write a bit more about the Kurds of Iraq: their history of oppression and … Continue reading

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Health Reform and the Problem of Solidarity With Strangers

I saw video yesterday of Scott Brown taking questions as he arrived on Capitol Hill. He has settled on a narrative to explain his opposition to national health care reform. He doesn’t really take issue with any of the bill’s … Continue reading

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Noses Are Still Fair Game Though…

This is unbelievable: The Taliban have embarked on a sophisticated information war, using modern media tools as well as some old-fashioned ones, to soften their image and win favor with local Afghans as they try to counter the Americans’ new … Continue reading

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We Are the Change We Have Been Waiting For, in the People’s Seat, With Hard Work and Common-Sense Solutions, For All

Everybody hates Congress. Its disapproval rating perpetually hovers around 70%. We hate the big money, the scandals, the political maneuvering and tactical manipulation, its inability and unwillingness to address the country’s big problems. BUT, we Americans also happen to respond … Continue reading

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Sorry Scott Brown, It’s Still Olympia Snowe’s World

No, the race isn’t over yet. But when it comes to election outcomes, I think whatever Nate Silver tells me to think. So why, why-oh-why, did Coakley blow it? The more popular narrative is that she just took an easy … Continue reading

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Whither Goes China’s Galloping Troika?

The other day I wrote of Google’s decision to stop cooperating with China’s internet censorship policies. Allow myself to quote….myself: “Google’s decision shows that there is a base incompatibility between China’s authoritarian free-market model, and the sort of open access … Continue reading

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Scott Brown Has Terrible Ideas

The Massachusetts Senate race is officially a toss-up. This is a sincere embarassment for Martha Coakley and her tepid campaign; and even if she ekes out a win, it’s a miserable omen for the Democratic party. Feeling good about things, … Continue reading

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Haiti, Tragedy, and Abstraction

I’ve been trying to think of a way to write about Haiti in a way that isn’t boring or maudlin or cliched. Jonah Lehrer has a post today that might explain some of my difficulty. He writes that the deluge … Continue reading

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