Category: The Middle East

Shock & awe

Shocked!  World leaders are “shocked” by the outcome of the Palestinian democratic elections.  Cable TV’s faux news experts are breathlessly analyzing “what it all means” when people half a world away won’t vote the way we want them to…

Let’s  see if we can break it down:  With great fanfare and general acclamation (by those same world leaders) Fatah assumes management of an occupied Palestine after Israel tires of the administrative headaches, the expense, and the really bad PR that … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2006/02/05/shock-and-awe/

Lines, lines, everywhere lines

I noticed the other day that the border between Israel and the Sinai is not a straight line.  About halfway across, between Gaza and Aqaba, the border has a couple of protrusions into the Egyptian side (there are other places, but these are the most noticeable).  Does anyone know the history of how this border was decided?

Photograph is of an Israeli border check.  http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2011/05/02/our-stories-overlap-passover-in-palestine/ or http://bit.ly/qZF1Ef or http://tinyurl.com/3ha7j5k [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2005/12/10/lines-lines-everywhere-lines/

The dead and the mutilated

From Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter’s December 7 lecture:  The 2,000 American dead are an embarrassment.  They are transported to their graves in the dark. Funerals are unobtrusive, out of harm’s way.  The mutilated rot in their beds, some for the rest of their lives.  So the dead and the mutilated both rot, in different kinds of graves.  (The British playwright won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature.)

The entire lecture can be seen and read at http://nobelprize.org/.  It presents … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2005/12/09/the-dead-and-the-mutilated/

Border forts

It’s interesting how news about the war in Iraq dribbles out. Today’s local paper has a front-page story about a James Vandenberg, a Little Rock architect who serves in the Civil Engineering Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve Seabees. He recently spent 10 months in the Al Anbar region of Iraq. Here’s the part of the story that makes me wonder what in the heck is going on over there:

He and his team worked to build 32 Beau Geste-style forts, with … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2005/09/29/border-forts/

Evangelism 101

This is from part of President Daniel Bliss’ speech when the cornerstone of College Hall was dedicated at the Syrian Protestant College (now American University of Beirut) in 1871:

“This college is for all conditions and classes of men without regard to color, nationality, race or religion. A man, white, black, or yellow, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan or heathen, may enter and enjoy all the advantages of this institution for three, four or eight years; and go out … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2005/06/09/evangelism-101/

Rights and wrongs are rather more complex

Syria’s Shades of Gray

By William Dalrymple, June 07, 2003

 

The United States has probably never been more engaged in the Middle East than now, with an American army of occupation in Iraq and President Bush promoting a Israeli-Palestinian road map to peace. Yet the Bush administration has virtually ignored Syria, which physically links Iraq and Israel, except to single it out as a target of occasional bellicose threats. There has been no question of constructive engagement with Iraq’s … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2003/06/07/rights-and-wrongs-are-rather-more-complex/

War coming

 A talk given at Long Branch Plantation, Clarke County, Virginia, on February 9, 2003…

It’s been almost exactly a year since I was here talking about the subject of terrorism. The title of my talk last year was “Terrorism — Some Unconventional Perspectives.”

This year I’m going to talk about a closely related subject, but one that is of much more immediate concern: the coming American war against Iraq.

Today, I have no choice but to speculate about the future, … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2003/02/09/war-coming/