On this site two years ago, watching with one eye as the World Trade Center burned on my living-room TV screen, I wrote the following thing: A lot has happened in this past two years, including — whoops — some great troop movements and massed charges. Most surprising, though, in a way, is what has... Read More
The Third World's cargo cult mentality.
If you write things in public about the Middle East, you get a lot of reader responses. After a while you start to spot trends in these responses, trends that are very suggestive about how people think and feel on large subjects. When I myself write about the Middle East, I generally pause somewhere along... Read More
The Middle East is nuts.
I recently got a long, carefully-composed email from a reader, who begged me to circulate it among "other opinion-formers." It laid out a plan for peace in the Middle East. The writer, obviously an intelligent and well-informed person, had done the email with great care. With some passion, too — he really wants to find... Read More
In chapter 9 of his book The Birth of the Modern, the historian Paul Johnson notes the following feature of British life in the early 19th century: Scholars of the future, looking back on our age with the long perspective of historical hindsight, may marvel at the tremendous stroke of good luck the human race... Read More
The future of China, Africa, Russia, Israel.
"Let observation, with extensive view, survey mankind from China to Peru." I'm afraid that Peru, along with the rest of the Americas, Europe and some minor places like New Zealand, will have to wait for another column. Today I am just going to survey mankind in the Middle East, Africa, Russia and China. I've only... Read More