Christopher Dickey

Stories by Christopher Dickey

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    Sarkozy Is Courting Right-Wing Extremists

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy is looking pretty weak before the election. So he's returning to his old law-and-order pose. Problem is, in his effort to exploit public fears, Sarkozy is courting extremists.
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    Go to the Head of the Class

    Running a country can be a thankless job, but these 10 leaders have managed to win serious respect.
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    Not Enough Electricity in Afghanistan and Iraq

    American troops might have had a real shot at winning hearts and minds if they’d just been able to deliver the basic service in Iraq and Afghanistan: electricity. Instead, they furnished an object lesson in superpower incompetence.
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    Sarkozy Sparks Summer of Scandal in France

    It’s become a scandalous summer in France. Allegations are mounting that the octogenarian heiress to the billions of the L’Oréal cosmetics fortune, Liliane Bettencourt, may have had some unseemly dealings with the current minister of labor, Eric Woerth, long a key fundraiser for President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party. The principals deny any mischief and, in fact, most of the connections are murky, at best. But infamous political scandals usually stem from public perceptions as much as legal convictions.
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    The Flying Prius

    The future of the passenger jet may look surprisingly like a larger version of the hybrid automobile.
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    Why Obama Isn't Talking to America's Enemies

    Obama came to office evincing what seemed like a deeply held belief that he could negotiate even with America’s enemies. Now that it’s time to engage our foes, including terrorists, his administration is making that job harder all the time.
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    U.S. Forces Abroad Should Copy British Colonialism

    The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan will come back to haunt us if we don’t improve life for the their populations. There’s a model—dated but still full of potential—for how to do that well: British colonialism.
  • Iran: Censorship and Satellites

    A battle for the future of Iran is shaping up in outer space, and it’s not about missiles or nuclear weapons. It’s about information—the ability to jam the signal that brings the news to the Iranian people via satellite television. And for the moment, it’s a fight the Iranian government appears to be losing.
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    Immigrants Actually Reduce Crime

    Despite what some raving pundits have claimed, immigrants aren't responsible for a violent crime wave in the Southwest. In fact, cities with large immigrant populations are actually safer places to live.
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    Stolen Paris Art: Where Will It End Up?

    More than $600 million in paintings were stolen from a Paris museum. But they’ll be hard to fence, and the investigation will be long and frustrating.
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    Burqas and Bikinis and Muslims and Miss USA Contests

    Do clothes make the Muslim? The French cabinet approved a draft law this week that would make it illegal for women to veil their faces so that only their eyes—and sometimes not even their eyes—are visible. Wearing what are called burqas or niqabs, the women in question keep their bodies cloaked and their hands gloved even in the heat of summer. They say this is their religious duty and their civil right.
  • Noriega, Karzai, and the Sleazebags We Cultivate

    The bent, shuffling figure in a porkpie hat shown on the news being hustled to an Air France plane by U.S. marshals on Monday was impossible to recognize as Manuel “the Pineapple” Noriega, the Panamanian dictator I used to know.
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    El Baradei: Egypt on the Edge

    One of the greatest challenges of driving in Egypt is knowing when to stop at a stoplight. Cars flood past the red signals as if they weren't there, and earlier this month on the way to see Mohamed ElBaradei, the man of the moment in Egyptian politics, I asked my taxi driver what the trick was. "You stop when you see the police," he said, as if that ought to be obvious.For generations, Egypt and virtually all other countries in the Arab world have been ruled as if that same principle applied to every aspect of society: the people are bent on chaos and only the iron hand of a police state can impose order. The result, after decades under the all-seeing eye of the security services, is a pervasive atmosphere of political intimidation—and stagnation. "The government makes people feel they should be thankful they are being governed," says ElBaradei, best known for winning the Nobel Peace Prize as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. "I would be happy if I could stir...
  • Female Jihadis Use the Web, Not Bombs

    Many questions remain surrounding Defne Bayrak, the wife of CIA bomber Humam al-Balawi, who blew himself up along with seven CIA employees in Afghanistan on Dec. 30. Did she put him up to the bombing? Is this a "divorce, jihadi style"? Read what she's said so far, and you're left wondering.Al-Balawi first came across Bayrak in a chat room in the 1990s. An aspiring journalist, she had just started wearing the hijab—a clear political as well as religious statement in Turkey. While he struggled with his medical career, she pursued hers at Islamist newspapers and, eventually, as a jihadi propagandist. Over the past decade, this has become a key role for female sympathizers of Al Qaeda. "A significant development in women's participation in the global Jihad has been the dissemination of radical ideologies on-line," writes scholar Mia Bloom in a draft of her forthcoming book, Bombshell: Women and Terror. One of the most famous examples is Malika al-Aroud, the Belgian widow whose husband...
  • The Role of Women in Al Qaeda

    What role do women play in Al Qaeda? A few are suicide bombers; others may encourage their men to become one.
  • Iran Has Made Hostage-Taking a Diplomatic Tool

    The Tehran regime, which has elevated hostage-taking to a tool of diplomacy, defies the laws of God and man. So how can it be trusted to keep its word about nuclear weapons?