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In Depth: Middle East

28 Jul 2003

Why the Hitch Beats the Rest

Michael J. Totten's blog Here’s a snip from an interview with Christopher Hitchens , just back from Iraq. CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, VANITY FAIR: Well, I had been there earlier this year in late March, in fact, on the southern border, briefly. And I ...

Egypt Loves Sharon?

Michael J. Totten's blog I wonder what backroom pressure led to this . CAIRO – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Saturday Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was the only Israeli politician capable of forging peace between Israel and the ...

Enemy Propaganda

Michael J. Totten's blog During the Iraq war I raised the eyebrows of some of my friends when I bluntly described the Arabic language TV station Al Jazeera as “enemy propaganda.” Here’s what Iraqi blogger Salam Pax says about Al Jazeera today. I ...

The Globalization of Gaza

Michael J. Totten's blog I have a new Tech Central Station article up today: The Globalization of Gaza . Middle East Palestine ...

30 Jul 2003

Bad Drinking Scene

Michael J. Totten's blog Sometimes the little things are the most telling. Here’s a just-discovered interview with Michael Kelly just before he was killed on assignment in Iraq. Give me a sense of Baghdad as a tourist. Is it different from Amman or ...

2 Aug 2003

Idiocy Watch

Michael J. Totten's blog It [having kids] is the reason for marriage. It’s not to affirm the love of two people. I mean, that’s not what marriage is about. Rick Santorum , Republican senator from Pennsylvania I wanted a reminder of that day when we ...

3 Aug 2003

Another Reason to Oppose the UN

Michael J. Totten's blog The United Nations is not Star Trek’s “Federation of Planets.” Okay? The Ba’ath Party was founded by Nazis in Damascus during World War II. And for the month of August the Ba’ath Party is in charge of the UN Security Council. ...

5 Aug 2003

History of the Ba’ath Party

Michael J. Totten's blog Hovig John Heghinian in the Comments section pointed to this article about Michel Aflaq, founder of the Ba’ath Party. It’s not a new article, but it is worth reading anyway since it explains the ideological foundations of ...

17 Aug 2003

The State of Serial Killers

Michael J. Totten's blog In David Fincher’s nightmarish film Seven , Kevin Spacey plays John Doe, mad Bible man and the creepiest on-screen killer since Hannibal Lector. John hated sinners and he set out to kill seven, one victim for each of the ...

18 Aug 2003

Target: UN

Michael J. Totten's blog The Baathist “resistance” hit the UN headquarters in Baghdad with a truck bomb . The top UN envoy to Iraq was killed. These attacks are not a cry for help. They are committed by Saddam’s goons determined to kill their way ...

19 Aug 2003

Right-Wing Terror Apologism

Michael J. Totten's blog Via Andrew Northrup I find this nasty little screed about yesterday’s terror attack in Baghdad from Emperor Misha (in his own comments section), who likes to think of himself as an “anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.” I am not ...

20 Aug 2003

What Must Be Said

Michael J. Totten's blog Joe Katzman is one of my favorite conservatives in the blogosphere. No. Wait. I shouldn’t put it that way. Joe Katzman is one of the best writers in the blogosphere. How many other Jews after September 11 dedicate every ...

Blaming America First

Michael J. Totten's blog Jessica Stern in the New York Times says every problem in Iraq is our fault . Yesterday’s bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was the latest evidence that America has taken a country that was not a terrorist ...

24 Aug 2003

Taking Responsibility

Michael J. Totten's blog I don’t know if we can reconstruct Iraq. I am optimistic, I am hopeful, but I won’t make a fool of myself and say it’s inevitable. When the US decided after so many decades of feet-dragging that it was in the same trench as ...

26 Aug 2003

Howard Dean Surprises

Michael J. Totten's blog Interesting article in the Washington Post about Howard Dean. The challenge for Dean now is to transition from champion of the antiwar, anti-Bush left to electable Democrat without losing his steam and solid liberal base, ...

28 Aug 2003

Notes on the “Resistance”

Michael J. Totten's blog Mark Steyn on why Iraq is not the West Bank : For purposes of comparison, consider two suicide bombings within hours of each other: the Canal Hotel attack in Baghdad, the bus bomb in Jerusalem. The latter was greeted with the ...

2 Sep 2003

Two Shiite Views of the “Resistance”

Michael J. Totten's blog Here’s one , as reported in Yahoo! News : Lebanon’s top Shiite Muslim cleric warned that Iraqi Shiites would join the armed resistance against U.S. and British forces if the occupation of Iraq persisted for too long. Grand ...

3 Sep 2003

Don’t Panic

Michael J. Totten's blog Andrew Apostolou in a piece that manages to be both refreshing and sobering at the same time: That mistakes have been made in postwar Iraq is not in doubt, but that predicted disasters have not transpired is rarely ...

7 Sep 2003

A Glass Half Full

Michael J. Totten's blog If you turn on the news or look at the headlines in the newspaper box, the post-war reconstruction of Iraq looks like a failure. Look more carefully. The Iraqi summer of 2003 is a violent one, but something wonderful and new ...

10 Sep 2003

The Problem of Yasser Arafat

Michael J. Totten's blog Israel has decided to remove Yasser Arafat . The security Cabinet decided on Thursday to expel Yasser Arafat but put off immediate action. Individual government officials and Cabinet ministers have not yet commented. “Recent ...

14 Sep 2003

Ted Rall: Left-wing Terror Apologist

Michael J. Totten's blog Ted Rall demonstrates how the far-left meets the far-right on the nasty side of the political circle . NEW YORK–Nearly 70 percent of Americans tell Newsweek that “the United States will be bogged down in [Iraq] for years ...

17 Sep 2003

The Paradox of Terror

Michael J. Totten's blog Three different countries were recently polled, and respondents were asked whether or not they were satisfied with their lives. The three countries were Israel, the United States, and Canada. Now. Ask yourself which of these ...

Activists Against Nation-Building

Michael J. Totten's blog Judith Weiss sent me this from the left-wing activists at moveon.org : The US occupation in Iraq has left American soldiers unprepared and vulnerable, the country degenerating into chaos, and the Iraqi people embittered and ...

22 Sep 2003

Saddam Gets Desperate

Michael J. Totten's blog Here’s an underreported story from the Mirror . SADDAM Hussein has been in secret negotiations with US forces in Iraq for the past nine days, we can reveal. The Iraqi dictator is demanding safe passage to the former Soviet ...

24 Sep 2003

The UN and Avoidance Behavior

Michael J. Totten's blog Andrew Sullivan on Wesley Clark: Let’s put the best gloss on Wesley Clark’s ever-shifting position on the Iraq war and glean a coherent case within it. He would have voted for the Congressional Resolution – but only as a way ...

Edward Said Is Dead

Michael J. Totten's blog Edward Said, Palestinian English professor and leftist historian at Columbia University died today of leukemia. He was 67. If you want a well-balanced appraisal of his life and his work, this piece by Christopher Hitchens in ...

25 Sep 2003

Totalitarianism, Liberation, and Resistance

Michael J. Totten's blog Patrick Lasswell has some eloquent words on the nature of totalitarianism. There is no link between totalitarian government and efficiency, security, honesty, purity, simplicity, or holiness. There is no trade; you do not get ...

26 Sep 2003

The Iraqi Underground

Michael J. Totten's blog The Baathists do love to bury things in Iraq . TIKRIT, Iraq – U.S. troops uncovered one of their biggest weapons caches to date Saturday at a farm near Saddam Hussein’s birthplace, including anti-aircraft missiles and a huge ...

27 Sep 2003

Atrocity Seen From Outer Space

Michael J. Totten's blog This is what ethnic “cleansing” looks like. Behold a satellite photo of a Kurdish neighborhood in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 1997. Here is the same neighborhood in 1998. Saddam Hussein destroyed more than 3,000 Kurdish towns and ...

28 Sep 2003

Bosnia, the Middle East, and “Realism”

Michael J. Totten's blog Christopher Hitchens reviews French journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy’s new book Who Killed Daniel Pearl? Lévy has some interesting things to say, not just about Daniel Pearl and Pakistan, but about the Terror War in general. ...

New Iraqi Urbanism

Michael J. Totten's blog Until recently, the Baghdad skyline was dominated by Baath Party buildings and palaces. Those are now gone. Iraq is rich in natural resources. So when the country gets a decent government, a healthy economy, and some new ...

30 Sep 2003

Reuters Watch

Michael J. Totten's blog From Reuters : Police Open Fire to Break Up Iraqi Jobless Protest : Police opened fire on Wednesday to break up crowds of angry jobless Iraqis — including former soldiers — demonstrating in Baghdad and Mosul as frustration at ...

Iraq is Not a Quagmire

Michael J. Totten's blog Via Samizdata . Middle East Iraq ...

4 Oct 2003

Baathists Whine at the UN

Michael J. Totten's blog Syria demands that the UN Security Council condemn Israel for defending itself by striking an Islamic Jihad training camp across the border. Israelis, naturally enough, think that’s preposterous. Israeli Ambassador Dan ...

Israel Attacks Syria

Michael J. Totten's blog Israel has attacked a terror base deep within the borders of Syria . JERUSALEM – Israeli warplanes bombed Syria on Sunday, striking what the military called an Islamic Jihad training base in retaliation for a suicide bombing ...

7 Oct 2003

No Terrorist Threat?

Michael J. Totten's blog Jeff Jarvis reports : Michael Moore says on the Today Show: “There is no terrorist threat.” Lester Holt, shocked, says is there not evidence of a terrorist threat just two miles away? Moore says, “How many people died because ...

11 Oct 2003

If the Shoe Fits…

Michael J. Totten's blog An anonymous reader emails Glenn Reynolds, and Glenn responds approvingly. Your link to the Ebadi story reminds me of what the WaPo, NYT and the AP did after the fall in the Soviet Union. All of a sudden the most hard-line ...

12 Oct 2003

Death Cult Chic

Michael J. Totten's blog Andrew Apostolou has the scoop on Palestinian death cult “art” in Greece. Middle East Palestine ...

18 Oct 2003

A Losing and Immoral Strategy

Michael J. Totten's blog Because the Democrats want to relegate Iraqis to what Patrick Lasswell calls “indentured servitude” by saddling them with loans, he has decided to change his party affiliation from Independent to Republican. I do not think ...

26 Oct 2003

Why They Hate Us

Michael J. Totten's blog Even after the terrorist massacre at the International Red Cross center in Baghdad, Red Cross spokeswoman Nada Doumani still doesn’t understand the world she is living in. Maybe it was an illusion to think people would ...

28 Oct 2003

A Snake that Eats its Own Tail

Michael J. Totten's blog Zeyad , an Iraqi dentist blogging from Baghdad, on the recent suicide bombings: Suicide attacks are carried out by you-know-who. This is Bin Ladens gift to his fellow Iraqi Muslims. Didn’t he say it himself a while ago? I ...

29 Oct 2003

Pacifism and Human Rights

Michael J. Totten's blog Johann Hari writes in London’s Independent : I want one person to dare to write to this newspaper and say with a straight face and a clear conscience that the Iraqi people would be better off now if we had left Saddam Hussein ...

2 Nov 2003

Notes on the Resistance

Michael J. Totten's blog David Brooks writes in the New York Times about the so-called Iraqi resistance: Um Haydar was a 25-year-old Iraqi woman whose husband displeased Saddam Hussein’s government. After he fled the country in 2000, some members of ...

A Reply to Matthew Yglesias

Michael J. Totten's blog Matt Yglesias hopes we liberal and ex-liberal hawks don’t defect from the Democratic Party. Take a deep breath. Look in the mirror. Take another deep breath. Look at some photos of your liberal friends and family. Ask ...

America First?

Michael J. Totten's blog Cara Remal compares today’s anti-war leftists to yesterday’s right-wing America Firsters, among others. She includes some fascinating Dr. Seuss cartoons from World War II. One shows a woman reading a story to her children. ...

4 Nov 2003

McGovern Versus Nixon

Michael J. Totten's blog I’ve said before that I refuse to vote for Howard Dean if he wins the Democratic primary. I take that back. It’s unlikely, but possible, that I’ll vote for him. First let’s get a coupla things out of the way. Howard Dean is ...

5 Nov 2003

We Cannot Run Away

Michael J. Totten's blog Democrats like to complain when people say they can’t be trusted with national security, as if it’s some “straw man” (their new favorite buzzword) spun up by Karl Rove and the White House. It’s not what Republicans say that ...

Finally

Michael J. Totten's blog Maybe I can soon stop referring to the so-called Iraqi resistance . LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Times has ordered its reporters to stop describing anti-American forces in Iraq as “resistance fighters,” saying the ...

7 Nov 2003

A New Blog from Iraq

Michael J. Totten's blog If you haven’t already, check out the new blog from Iraq by Alaa called The Mesopotamian . Here’s a sample of what you’ll find. You have amongst you in the US alone an estimated more that one million Iraqis, not to mention ...

9 Nov 2003

No Plan

Michael J. Totten's blog One of the most common criticisms of the Iraq occupation is that Bush has no plan. Patrick Lasswell says that’s a good thing . Middle East Iraq ...

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