Even in 1953, "atoms for peace" sounded like an oxymoron. The Soviet Union had just exploded its first hydrogen bomb, and the thermonuclear-arms race was shifting into very high gear. "The dread secret and the fearful engines of atomic might are not ours alone," said U.S. President Dwight D.
James Bond once had trouble parsing the bad guys from the good guys, which is to say the folks he ought to kill from the folks he ought not. The British secret agent's ruminations came in the very first novel of the series written by Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale," which is out as a new movie, of course, but which I haven't seen.
What happens when the gloating stops? That's the question that struck me several times when I read the European coverage this morning of the midterm election results in the United States.The conservative and right-wing European media that might once have aligned themselves with the Bush administration, like the Italian daily Il Giornale or the Spanish paper El Mundo, strained for neutrality in the face of the Democratic victory.
On Monday, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington. Before leaving Vienna, he gave an exclusive interview to NEWSWEEK's Christopher Dickey about the challenge of keeping a lid on nuclear proliferation.
George W. Bush's State of the Union address in January 2002 was nothing if not a victory speech. The Afghan war had just been won. "The American flag flies again over our embassy in Kabul," Bush told the joint session of Congress amid the constant punctuation of enthusiastic ovations. "Terrorists who once occupied Afghanistan now occupy cells at Guantánamo bay. (Applause.) And terrorist leaders who urged followers to sacrifice their lives are running for their own. (Applause)."That...
One of the many infamous bits of collective memory that linger from the Vietnam War is the remark by an American officer trying to explain the utter devastation of Ben Tre, a provincial capital, in 1968: "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it," said the unnamed major.Now, it would seem, some American military analysts think the same reasoning should apply to the whole Middle East.
Flying used to be about freedom. No matter where you intended to land, there was something magical about escaping to the heavens. Now, as we know, flying is more like going to prison, if not, indeed, to hell.As it happens, I once spent a week interviewing inmates and staff at what was then the main "super-max" federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.
The reliving of JonBenet Ramsey's dying over the last few days—the story of a 6-year-old beauty queen found strangled and bludgeoned to death in her parents' basement in 1996, perhaps by a stranger who has just confessed, or perhaps not—tells a lot about what we don't know in this world, and why.The case was and remains one of those true-life police dramas that has all the elements of a great fictional mystery.
Early in the evening, Capt. Roger Harrfouche talked to his brother on the phone from his unit's home base at Jamhour, south of Beirut. "I hope they don't target the Lebanese Army," the burly 40-year-old officer said. "Do you think they'll target the Lebanese Army?" No, his brother said, that wouldn't make sense.
I spent the early morning yesterday in my Paris apartment re-reading George Orwell's long essay, "Notes on Nationalism." It was written in 1945, but seemed the right thing for this year's Fourth of July when so many expressions of nationalism are in the air: the relatively benign World Cup competition, the blood-soaked tension between the Palestinians and Israelis and the ferocious violence of the war in Iraq.Orwell wrote that nationalism is partly "the habit of assuming that human beings can...
During his recent weeks in prison, one of Egypt's best-known bloggers, Alaa Abdel Fateh, had a terrible fantasy. What would happen to him if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 78, the man he loves to hate, passed away while Abdel Fateh was in the slammer? "I'm sure millions are actively praying for his sudden death," he wrote in one of several postings that were smuggled out. "Normally I'd be happy.
In 1907, Pablo Picasso caught what he called the "virus" of African art in the musty halls of what was then known as the Ethnographic Museum in Paris. Jumbled together in dimly lit cases were masks and sculptures that the French had collected as specimens of sorts, monstrous curiosities of religion and sorcery from what was still described as the "Dark Continent." Picasso felt the magic of their vision.
It's just two years ago this week—two very long years—that President George W. Bush's handpicked proconsul cut and ran out of Iraq. Instead of a grand ceremony handing over something called "sovereignty" to the U.S.-appointed government of Ayad Allawi, there was a low-key, almost secretive handshake and a very quick set of brief remarks before Paul Bremer jumped on a plane and got the hell out.