Nov 25 2015

Daesh has a mother

Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It

By Kamel Daoud, Nov. 20, 2015


Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial … [more]

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Nov 25 2015

Their own culpability

How the United States helped create the Islamic State

By Juan Cole, November 23


Did the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 lead to our current crisis over the Islamic State?

The question has been posed baldly in this campaign season, as when a young woman at a campaign rally said to GOP candidate Jeb Bush (using an alternate name for the militant group), “Your brother created ISIL.” It was not so much the invasion itself, … [more]

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Nov 25 2015

Original sin

The Politics of Thanksgiving Day

By William Loren Katz, November 26, 2014


With family excitement building with the approach of Thanksgiving, you would never know November was Native American History Month. We would do well to recognize Native American resistance to colonialism on Thanksgiving instead of the myths about Native American dinner with Pilgrims.

Thanksgiving remains the most treasured holiday in the United States, honored by the White House since Abraham Lincoln initiated the holiday to rouse northern patriotism … [more]

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Nov 23 2015

An almost Kafkaesque reality

Part 1:  I am so tired of having to explain why Palestinians deserve to live

By Dina Elmuti, November 19, 2015


Every day, I desperately attempt to make sense of the senseless. I feverishly try to patch and weave together the pieces of history to understand and grapple with the calamities that have bestowed us today. But reality has satirized itself too many times over. By the time we update the list of murdered Palestinians, the list is … [more]

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Nov 23 2015

Historians and other nincompoops

Whoa there, David Cameron! Haste and rhetoric is no recipe for peace

By Robert Fisk, Sunday 22 November 2015 19:28 BST


Eisenhower famously sent some brusque advice to Anthony Eden in 1956 when he decided that Britain’s deceitful war in Egypt should come to an end. “Whoa, boy!” were his words. And they should be repeated now to the politicians, historians and other nincompoops who regard themselves as the soothsayers of eternal war.

Each morning, I awake to … [more]

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Nov 21 2015

Oh brother where art thou?



Sent in response to yet another letter from Lloyd Hoffman, our perennial village idiot.  Beyond an acute addiction to alliteration (the whole thing hangs off the phrase “prattling preachery”), I think I have writer’s OCD — I tweaked this for at least three days before finally submitting it.  And I’m still not really happy with it…

– Monsieur Jacques d’Nalgar, November 21, 2015


Dear editor,

Oh my little brother, where art thou NOW?!  Week after week … [more]

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Nov 20 2015

Zara’u fa akalna, nazra’u fa ya’kulun

Stories My Father Told Me

By Helen Zughaib with Elia Kamal Zughaib, November/December 2015




One evening about 10 years ago, after a family dinner filled with my father’s stories of his childhood and youth in Damascus and Lebanon, my mother and I were in the kitchen when she said, “Someday, we ought to record your father telling his stories.” Many of them told about experiences with his parents and paternal grandparents, whom he referred to using the … [more]

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