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In Depth: Middle East

26 Dec 2003

Tragedy in Iran

Michael J. Totten's blog The AP says the death toll in the Iran earthquake could be as high as 40,000. That’s two thirds the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. The Bam fortress, the world’s largest mud-brick structure, is gone. Asia ...

22 Dec 2003

Talk is Cheap

Michael J. Totten's blog The editors at the Guardian think Libya’s decision to relinquish its weapons of mass destruction is a victory of talk over force . Patient diplomacy, dialogue, negotiation, clearly enunciated principles and red lines, respect ...

17 Dec 2003

Do Intentions Matter?

Michael J. Totten's blog Let us say, for the sake of argument, that no one in the Bush Administration cares a fig about the Iraqi people or the democratization of Iraq, and that the war was conducted for nefarious reasons. Yet good has come from the ...

16 Dec 2003

Clear-Eyed Marxists

Michael J. Totten's blog There are some leftists (Paul Berman and Christopher Hitchens among them) that I still like more than I like some liberals. And this post (you might have to scroll down) about the UN on the British Marxist group blog ...

Seeing an Empty Glass

Michael J. Totten's blog Roger Normand in The Nation magazine laments the global assault on human rights. Who is leading the assault? Not the scattered bands of terrorists, who rely on fear and chaos to magnify their threat and disguise their ...

Not Just the Fringe

Michael J. Totten's blog According to this Anti-Defamation League poll , 43 percent of Americans believe Israel is a threat to world peace. And 37 percent of Americans believe America is the greatest threat to world peace. UPDATE: Moe Lane (who blogs ...

15 Dec 2003

Iraq: UN Failed Us

Michael J. Totten's blog The US isn’t the only country in the world unhappy with the UN . Iraq’s foreign minister [Hoshyar Zebari] accused the United Nations on Tuesday of failing his country by leaving Saddam Hussein in power for decades and ...

Operation Photo Shop

Michael J. Totten's blog Saddam had himself sculpted and painted all over Iraq in various guises. We saw Saddam the Bedouin, Saddam the General, Saddam the Gangster, Saddam the Camel Shit Shoveler. Here’s an homage to all that from flip GenX artists ...

Boo Hoo

Michael J. Totten's blog The prisoner Saddam Hussein is being treated more humanely than he treated a single one of his countrymen. But that’s not good enough for some people. VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A top Vatican official said Tuesday he felt pity ...

14 Dec 2003

Defending Saddam

Michael J. Totten's blog Via Jeremy Brown at Who Knew comes this little tidbit . A French lawyer [Jacques Verges] known for his notorious clients said on Monday he would be ready to defend Saddam Hussein and that the former Iraqi leader must be ...

13 Dec 2003

An Early Christmas Present

Michael J. Totten's blog Okay, so most Iraqis don’t celebrate Christmas, but they are celebrating today because Saddam Hussein has been captured alive . Woo hoo! Alaa blogs from Baghdad : This, surely, is the mother of all days for us. The heroes of ...

Coalition of the Pissy

Michael J. Totten's blog T-bogg says he hates to join the Coalition of the Pissy. But he joins on his own free will . Is Iraq better off now than it was before? At the moment, yes. Will it be better off after the US Corporations finish acquiring all ...

11 Dec 2003

Terror Supporters in Germany

Michael J. Totten's blog Harry Hatchett got his hands on a report to be published this Saturday in Britain. According to Harry, one in four Germans supports the Baathist and Islamist terrorists in Iraq, and some activists there are even raising money ...

10 Dec 2003

Pathetic and Sad

Michael J. Totten's blog Mainstream journalists are shockingly uninformed about what is happening in the world. Tim Blair writes about the huge anti-terrorism demonstrations in Iraq and notes that the Washington Post’s Middle East editor – editor! – ...

9 Dec 2003

View from the Radical Center

Michael J. Totten's blog Christopher Hitchens is interviewed by Jamie Glazov in Front Page Magazine , and he goes after both the right and the left with brass knuckles. These are long exerpts, but the interview itself is quite long, and as usual with ...

Iraqi Scoops the Times

Michael J. Totten's blog Iraqi blogger Zeyad writes from Baghdad about today’s massive anti-terrorism demonstrations. The rallies today proved to be a major success. I didn’t expect anything even close to this. It was probably the largest ...

18 Nov 2003

Not for Sale

Michael J. Totten's blog Nick Confessore in the Washington Monthly is making a fuss out of the fact that Tech Central Station gets money from corporate sponsors, and that TCS sometimes publishes pieces that favor the positions of those sponsors. ...

16 Nov 2003

The Memo

Michael J. Totten's blog You’ve probably already seen this report by Stephen Hayes, who obtained a leaked memo, documenting Saddam Hussein’s supposed ties to Al Qaeda. I am not qualified to go over this stuff. I don’t know how to tell the real ...

13 Nov 2003

Irony

Michael J. Totten's blog Who said September 11 killed irony? Whoever it was, I agreed. And boy was I wrong. Check it out. The Iraqi Communist Party supports the imperialist-capitalist-hegemonic war for oil. Oh, and they back Iraqi democracy, too. At ...

12 Nov 2003

The Ultimate Wingnut

Michael J. Totten's blog It seems that Ted Rall has become a fascist sympathizer. He wrote this appalling column on Veterans Day. NEW YORK–Dear Recruit: Thank you for joining the Iraqi resistance forces. You have been issued an AK-47 rifle, rocket ...

10 Nov 2003

The Tip of the Liberal Spear

Michael J. Totten's blog The US and British armed forces have achieved more objectively liberal results in the past six months than anyone else I have seen in my lifetime. Here is Tony Blair on Iraq: The press is free; over 170 newspapers in ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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