Alex has a big problem. Since his earliest years he has been addicted to a potent combination of sex and violence. When he hangs out with his friends, their favorite activity is to break into people’s houses and terrorize them. But that’s actually not Alex’s big problem. That comes later, when he’s apprehended by the… Continue reading Assad and His Droogs
Institutions rarely vote themselves out of existence. Not if they still have money in their budgets. Large institutions in particular have an almost genetic propensity to cling to life even after their reasons for being have vanished. That’s why I don’t expect NATO, which will gather in Chicago later this month, to suddenly declare game… Continue reading NATO vs. Rogues
It’s easy to dismiss diplomacy as feckless. The art of negotiation always appears amateurish until it manages, against all expectation, to succeed. Even then, an agreement is only as good as its longevity. The February 29 pact between the United States and North Korea, the result of painstaking negotiations, lasted all of 12 minutes after… Continue reading Debating Syria
He is, in the words of Barbara Walters, a “mild-mannered ophthalmologist.” Indeed, the rather squeamish leader-to-be chose eye surgery because it didn’t involve much blood. He speaks fluent English and can get by in French as well as his native Arabic. His wife is a knock-out, a “rose in the desert” according to a Vogue profile. Reluctant to take over the family business from his father, he interrupted his medical training in London to return home only after his older brother died in a car accident. Then, once at the helm, he released a number of political prisoners and instituted economic reforms that got a thumbs-up from the international business community. He cooperated with the United States in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Even today, he uses all the right words: transparency, dignity, reform.