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Bhutto, Musharraf and Sharif
AP photos / Manuel Balce Ceneta / Adam Rountree / Lefteris Pitarakis

Playing Roulette in Pakistan

Everybody seems to have a pick for president, or even a couple of picks. Problem is, neither Musharraf nor Bhutto nor Sharif stands up very well when the historical record is scrutinized.

Posted on Nov 27, 2007 READ MORE


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Obama Taps the ‘Oprah Effect’

The conventional wisdom says that celebrity endorsements don’t mean much in politics. But the conventional wisdom also says that enormously long, difficult novels published more than a century ago don’t suddenly become best-sellers today.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Liberals’ Lesson Down Under

Kevin Rudd, Australia’s new prime minister, combines iron discipline with a puckish sense of humor, political toughness with a reflective spiritual side, and a youthful disposition with an old pro’s skill at divining where a majority lies.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Not So Happy Holidays for Afghanistan

Winter approaches, and as many as 400,000 Afghans face starvation. The trouble is not an insufficient supply of food. There is no way to get food to those who need it.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Protest in Chad
AP photo / Karel Prinsloo

How Not to Help Africans

The French charity group L’Arche de Zoé (Zoë‘s Ark) took 103 Chadian children from their homes with promises of sweets and a trip to the city of Abeche. But the group actually planned to fly the children to France on a 220-seater plane from Abeche airport in Eastern Chad, passing them off as “Sudanese orphans from Darfur” who needed urgent medical care and foster homes. The fiasco sheds new light on the activities of Western “angels of mercy” in Africa.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


flags at the capital
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America in the Time of Empire

All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Turkish flag
AP photo / Murad Sezer

The Not-So-Sick Man of Europe Does Matter

The former weapons inspector and military intelligence officer argues that Turkey, once dismissed as the “sick man of Europe,” will be ignored by the West at its own peril.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Gives Thanks

The satirist imagines what the president might be thankful for. A compliant Congress, perhaps? A lack of impeachment proceedings? Jena’s book deal?

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


The Promised Land

Imagine a place where the leading politician pokes fun at those who “regard all taxes as a pestilence, a plague or a disease.” Imagine the same politician saying: “Not one of us wants to pay more in taxes. But you know what we want even less? What we want even less is to leave our country to our kids in a worsened condition.”

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


Land of Broken Dreams

We think of the United States as a land of unlimited possibility, not so much a classless society, but as a place where class is mutable—a place where brains, energy and ambition are what counts, not the circumstances of one’s birth. But three important new studies suggest that Horatio Alger doesn’t live here anymore.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


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