Christopher Dickey

Yes, In My Backyard

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.

The Poison Pinpoint

On a visit to London late last week, I kept walking past the now-infamous Itsu sushi bar on Picadilly, marveling at the crowds stuffing their faces with hot noodles and cool sashimi.


One of the first things U.S. President George W. Bush would have noticed on his trip to Asia last week is the region's economic buoyancy. From Hanoi to Jakarta, waves of young Asians are driving sports cars, watching flat-screen TVs, listening to iPods.

When Villains Might Be Allies

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.

Terrorist Hold 'Em

We're about to begin our retreat from Iraq. Whether it more resembles a "phased withdrawal" or a rout will be determined by Iran and the complicated game of Texas Hold 'Em being organized right now by former Secretary of State James A.

Now What?

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.

Hanging Judgments

So Saddam Hussein is slated to die. Good. Had he been executed, assassinated, or simply expired a few years ago, the world would have been saved a great deal of pain.

Interview: 'I Saw This Coming'

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.

A Brother's Rage

Anger has its moments, and this is one of them. You will hear that those who vent their fury about the Iraq war offer no solutions. You will hear that they want to cut and run.

Interview: 'I Am Frustrated'

The Camp David accords that U.S. President Jimmy Carter negotiated in 1978 between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were supposed to be the beginning of the end of the Middle East's terrible conflicts.

The Cold Peace

The anniversary went almost unnoticed. There were no major commemorative events. Only a few perfunctory articles appeared in the Egyptian, Israeli and American press.

Excess of Evil

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...

'He Was Like a Brother To Me'

The Camp David accords that U.S. President Jimmy Carter negotiated in 1978 between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were supposed to be the beginning of the end of the Middle East's terrible conflicts.

Bordering on Insanity

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.

Living Underground

The drinking water ran out seven days into the voyage. The cheap Global Positioning System onboard for navigation broke. Finally their fuel ran out, too. All those on the boat would have died but for happenstance.

Shadowland: Flying Blind

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 Real Nasrallah

Remember this about Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah: he grew up very poor but very smart, and although he wears the robes of a minor Shiite cleric, he is a world-class politician.

Shadowland: Pulp Fact

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.

Eye for an Eye

Hizbullah's fighters were as elusive last week as they were deadly. Thousands of them were dug in around southern Lebanon, and yet encounters with the hundreds of journalists also in the area were rare, and furtive.

The Wider War

When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, Assaf Sharon was only 8 years old. As a young man, he served as a reservist with the elite Golani Brigade occupying South Lebanese hillsides, which he remembers for their beauty, and as the place where his friends died.

Torn to Shreds

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.

Let It Bleed

Worthy-sounding meetings of ministers, like the International Conference for Lebanon held in Rome today, rarely get very much done. The participants here were high-powered, to be sure: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.N.

Sharon's Shadow

Ehud Olmert's voice quavered as he spoke at the U.S. Embassy's Fourth of July party last week. Behind the Israeli prime minister was an American flag made of colored balloons.

American Dream, American Nightmare

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...

After the Pharaoh

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.

Sex, Birth, Death and God

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.

The Rule of Order 17

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.