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In Depth: North America

16 Nov 2005

“Bring a Flak Jacket”

Michael J. Totten's blog I’m having a great time showing my visiting mother and brother around Lebanon. When I asked my brother if this place is what he expected he said “After listening to you talk about it and reading you write about it, it is ...

14 Nov 2005

Street People

Michael J. Totten's blog While hanging out at a sidewalk café in downtown Beirut, a Lebanese-American friend of mine shocked me when he abruptly and forcefully dismissed a woman who walked up and said something to him in Arabic. Whoa , I thought. ...

11 Nov 2005

It’s Not All About the U.S.

Michael J. Totten's blog New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh thinks someone other than the Syrian Baath regime assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. (Hat tip: Michael Young ) I’m exceedingly skeptical, and I have been all along, of ...

10 Nov 2005

One Degree of Separation

Michael J. Totten's blog Amman, Jordan, is only a few hours away from Beirut by car. By plane it is only minutes away. A Lebanese-American woman I know of Palestinian descent told me her uncle and his daughter were murdered two days ago in one of the ...

24 Oct 2005

Things Don’t Work Right

Michael J. Totten's blog Some things just aren’t right in this country. If I want to make an international phone call to the United States, it costs me several dollars per minute. I don’t even want to think about how much it costs per hour. So I don ...

23 Oct 2005

It’s Not All About the U.S.

Michael J. Totten's blog Some people insist on viewing the conflict between Syria and Lebanon strictly through the prism of U.S. foreign policy in the region. I understand why it’s tempting to do this if you’re an American who doesn’t like U.S. ...

19 Oct 2005

The Eve of the Mehlis Report

Michael J. Totten's blog You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. – Eric Hoffer (Via Lebanese blogger Ramzi ) Tomorrow the U.N.’s special prosecutor Detlev Mehlis will release his long-awaited report ...

6 Oct 2005

Meeting Hezbollah

Michael J. Totten's blog I met with Hezbollah in person today. The goons picked me up at my hotel. They stuffed me in the back of the car, blindfolded me, drove me around in circles, then took me (I think) into the mountains to a “safe house” to talk ...

5 Oct 2005

Hezbollah: First Contact

Michael J. Totten's blog I got the phone number for Hezbollah’s press and propaganda office. So I called them. (Ring ring.) Hezbollah : Alloe? Me : Yes, hello sir, may I please speak with Mr. Hussein ________? Hezbollah : He is not here. Me : Do you ...

20 Sep 2005

From Syria to America

Michael J. Totten's blog Tomorrow my Syrian friend Ali will become an American. I call him Ali (which is not his real name) because he does not want me to quote him or even mention his real name in passing in my public writing. He’s still afraid — ...

14 Sep 2005

The Swamp Thing

Michael J. Totten's blog Browning Porter explains in the comments why a debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens needed to happen. Some of our dovish comrades are having trouble understanding the value of last nights debate. So let me ...

4 Sep 2005

The Politics of the Last Five Minutes

Michael J. Totten's blog While New Orleans sinks, conservatives are busy blaming the Democratic mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic governor of Louisiana for incompetence. Meanwhile, liberals are busy blaming FEMA, the White House, and the ...

1 Sep 2005

Hurricane Idiotarianism

Michael J. Totten's blog I was going to write a post bemoaning people who view the worst natural disaster in American history through a narrow partisan lens. But what’s the point, really? Boys will be boys — or hacks will be hacks as the case may be. ...

29 Aug 2005

American Refugee

Michael J. Totten's blog Bill ( Pundit Guy ) points to a blog by a woman named Laurel who started her site just two days ago. It is called, simply, Hurricane Katrina Refugee . Hopefully she can shut it down soon. Our road trip was eerie. When we ...

27 Aug 2005

The Storm From Hell

Michael J. Totten's blog Category Five Hurricane Katrina will most likely slam into New Orleans before I wake up Monday morning. This three year-old article highlighted by Glenn Reynolds does not make for encouraging reading. And there’s another ...

An American in Iraq

Michael J. Totten's blog Kerry Dupont is travel blogging in Iraq . She has guts. Go read. North America Middle East Iraq US ...

23 Aug 2005

Why Israel Has to Leave Now or Later

Michael J. Totten's blog Pat Robertson proves himself a foreign policy dumbass twice in one week. First he pops off about assassinating Hugo Chavez. Now he rails against Israelis for doing what must, at some point, be done. Pat Robertson, one of the ...

19 Aug 2005

Careful What You Wish For

Michael J. Totten's blog It’s hardly worth arguing with a person who bandies about the term “chickenhawk.” I would like to know, though, how many of those people supported the invasion of Afghanistan from the sidelines. My guess is most of them did — ...

11 Aug 2005

It’s Not All About Us

Michael J. Totten's blog My new Tech Central Station column is up: Islamists have killed thousands of Westerners over the past couple of years — thousands in New York City alone. But they have killed far more of their own fellow Muslims in ...

10 Aug 2005

They Can Hear You Now

Michael J. Totten's blog When I was in Beirut in April one of the leaders of the Cedar Revolution, Nabil Abou-Charaf, told me that Syrian intelligence agents used cell phones to “spy” on people. “You mean they monitor your phone conversations,” I ...

9 Aug 2005

You’re Either With Us or You’re Against Us

Michael J. Totten's blog James Wolcott is beating up on liberal hawks (he singles out Roger L. Simon in particular) for making common cause with conservatives by supporting the Terror War: The fact is that by subscribing to Bush’s War on Terror and ...

3 Aug 2005

Islamofascists

Michael J. Totten's blog The Muslim Public Affairs Committee in Britain published an anti-Semitic screed by a retired U.S. Brigadier General that included a graphic image that was pulled directly from a German neo-Nazi Web site. They replaced the ...

2 Aug 2005

Making My Way Around the Blogosphere

Michael J. Totten's blog First of all, I’d like to publicly thank Joe Katzman for bringing me on board over at Winds of Change . I’ve cross-posted a couple of things there already and I appreciate the chance to reach a wider audience. Second, next ...

1 Aug 2005

War, Struggle, or Counter-insurgency?

Michael J. Totten's blog Yesterday I fisked Juan Cole for claiming the enemy in the Terror War (or whatever this contraption ought to be called) is “four guys in a gymn in Leeds.” His characterization was absurd. But he isn’t the only one who ...

31 Jul 2005

With Friends Like These…

Michael J. Totten's blog Last month I said it was time to dump “our bastard” Islam Karimov, thug-in-chief of Where-the-Hellistan (that would be Uzbekistan for those of you familiar with Central Asia) for machine-gunning dissidents. Nathan Hamm, the ...

30 Jul 2005

Returned to Sender

Michael J. Totten's blog Many years ago I wanted to move to Canada. It wasn’t because I wanted to flee the United States or become an expat per se. I just wanted to live in Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and ...

29 Jul 2005

Is Hillary Clinton Electable?

Michael J. Totten's blog I never cared much for Hillary Clinton, and I’m somewhat persuaded by Christopher Hitchens’ polemic against both Hill and Bill in No One Left To Lie To . At the same time I’ve always been both amused and put off by Hillary ...

17 Jul 2005

Left, Right, and Center

Michael J. Totten's blog It’s interesting to see some of the reactions around the blogosphere to the new centrist blog Donklephant I’m contributing to. Tbogg says we’re all “yoostabee Democrats” even though some of us are, in fact, actual Democrats. ...

12 Jul 2005

The Priceless Professor

Michael J. Totten's blog Juan Cole doesn’t just poke around for facts to fit his opinions. (We all do that to an extent at least on occasion.) Instead he hallucinates – or simply invents — his own “facts” to suit his agenda which, in this case, is ...

11 Jul 2005

Microwaved Marxism

Michael J. Totten's blog After every act of terrorism in a Western country essays by “intellectuals” who are dumb as a sack of hammers predictably appear in the press. Here’s one by the now-infamous Sarah Boxer in the New York Times , about ...

7 Jul 2005

Withdrawal Under Fire

Michael J. Totten's blog Hardly anyone seems to have noticed, but last week both Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush rather strongly implied that they intend to withdraw American forces from Iraq under fire. It’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds, ...

27 Jun 2005

Firefly and Serenity

Michael J. Totten's blog Last week I groused about Hollywood’s appalling lack of imagination. Today I want to thank Hollywood for saving us from Fox’s appalling decision to cancel Joss Whedon’s Firefly series – arguably the best science-fiction show ...

24 Jun 2005

Anti-Americanism

Michael J. Totten's blog In about twenty minutes a friend of mine is going to board an airplane to Belgium. He lives there on-and-off part time, in Antwerp, and this morning he told me he’s dreading going back there. The anti-Americanism gets more ...

21 Jun 2005

Poll Results

Michael J. Totten's blog Here are the results of my two wildly unscientific polls where I asked if you could vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries for 2008 today, who would you vote for? I did this out of simple curiosity and it would be a ...

Reactionaries

Michael J. Totten's blog The House of Representatives — again — voted to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawing the burning of American flags. You know what, guys? A vote on an anti-flag-burning amendment is not a poll asking whether or ...

20 Jun 2005

Totally Unscientific Polls

Michael J. Totten's blog I’m curious where you all stand. Help me out. If you could vote right now in the Democratic primary for 2008, who would you vote for? Barack Obama John Edwards Nancy Pelosi Hillary Clinton Evan Bayh Free polls from Pollhost ...

16 Jun 2005

Moving to Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan

Michael J. Totten's blog In my last Tech Central Station column I said we should dump Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov as an “ally.” Nathan Hamm disagreed and said we should wait for him to dump us. Well, he dumped us . That was quick. North America Europe ...

15 Jun 2005

Liberation – For the Record

Michael J. Totten's blog I have never been to Iraq, and I can’t act as a witness to anything there. Christopher Hitchens has been and can be, though, and I’d like to reproduce something he said for the record. History should not be rewritten as it ...

13 Jun 2005

Carrying Karimov’s Water – Again

Michael J. Totten's blog Our relationship with Uzbekistan’s tyrant Islam Karimov gets slimier by the day . Here we are arguing on Karimov’s behalf (albeit for tactical, not ideological reasons) and siding with Russia’s Vladimir Putin – in the halls ...

7 Jun 2005

Really, Dump Islam Karimov – Now

Michael J. Totten's blog After the Andijon massacre in Uzbekistan, lots of people — including myself — said it was high time we ditched the tyrant Islam Karimov as an “ally.” Nathan Hamm , who lived and worked there in the Peace Corps until shortly ...

24 May 2005

The Gulag of Our Times

Michael J. Totten's blog Christopher Hitchens has written with great force against the “giggling sadists” who have abused those unlucky enough to be captured and detained by the wrong US soldiers and guards in Iraq. One of two things must necessarily ...

19 May 2005

Saddam Hussein Exposed

Michael J. Totten's blog The Sun is in trouble for publishing this: The US military has condemned the Sun for publishing photographs of a captive Saddam Hussein and said it was “aggressively” investigating who took them. Today’s paper carries a ...

18 May 2005

The U.S. and Lebanon

Michael J. Totten's blog Yesterday I linked to a post at the Lebanese Political Journal that briefly mentioned how U.S. foreign policy intersected with the Cedar Revolution. Today the lead writer at the site, who uses the psuedonym Lebanon.Profile, ...

16 May 2005

Buchanan: Conservatism is Dead

Michael J. Totten's blog Pat Buchanan says American conservatism is dead . “The conservative movement has passed into history,” says the one-time White House aide, three-time presidential candidate, commentator and magazine publisher. “It doesn’t ...

15 May 2005

Dump Karimov

Michael J. Totten's blog Uzbekistan was instrumental in assisting the United States in the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Declaring bastard-in-chief Islam Karimov a realpolitik “ally” of the United States was justifiable under the ...

11 May 2005

A Beirut Diary

Michael J. Totten's blog The LA Weekly is still holding onto the story I wrote for them about my trip to Libya a few months ago. They say they will publish it soon. In the meantime, I wrote a piece about Lebanon for them and they rushed it into print ...

9 May 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

Michael J. Totten's blog So I saw Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven . How could I not watch Kingdom of Heaven ? I love almost all of Ridley Scott’s movies. ( Hannibal is the big whopping exception.) Blade Runner ties with Kenneth Branaugh’s Henry V as ...

4 May 2005

Babes of Lebanon!

Michael J. Totten's blog I’ve received more email asking for a Babes of Lebanon photo gallery than I could even begin to count. And so, by popular demand, here it is! A few words, though, before we begin. If any of you think only the Christian women ...

29 Apr 2005

Peace in Iraq?

Michael J. Totten's blog Posted by Jeremy Brown The Washington Post offers yet another disturbing look at the reality of prewar Iraq, before the first Gulf War created the no-fly zones: BAGHDAD, April 29 — U.S. investigators have exhumed the remains ...

25 Apr 2005

Where do they go from here?

Michael J. Totten's blog Posted by Mary Madigan “Where do we go from here?” Pro-democracy bloggers in the Middle East are asking themselves that question. arch.memory from Lebanese Blogger Forums says: So, now that they’re gone, where go we go from ...

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