Iran

A Medieval Remedy for Modernity’s Ills

Show me a Catholic not troubled by the circumstances of these days, and I will show you a Catholic asleep. Society’s woes rock his soul, but the historic perils facing Holy Church do so even more. Not only from outside her walls, but more frighteningly, from within. How are we to keep our spirits from [...]

Feeling Good vs. Doing Good

How do you explain the fact that so many people support disastrous public policies? According to polls, a majority of young people want Bernie Sanders to be the next president. Yet socialist policies of the type advocated by Sanders reliably lead to basket-case economies such as in Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea. Likewise, the welcoming [...]

Dominance and Submission in Cologne and the Persian Gulf

Under the Islamic dhimmi system, when Christians paid the jizya tax, they were often required to kneel before the local Muslim dignitary as a sign of submission. Sometimes the tax collector would deliver a slap to the face as an added humiliation. This was in accordance with the Koranic injunction that non-Muslims must not only [...]

Faith-Based Negotiations with Faith-Based Fanatics

When Church leaders comment on international events they show a remarkable propensity for explaining those events in more or less the same way that secular liberals do. The flip side of this penchant is a tendency to ignore what their own theological training might tell them about important issues. Take the recent Vatican endorsement of [...]

Will Iran Replace ISIS?

If ISIS is defeated in Iraq and Syria, it’s likely that the Western world will breathe a collective sigh of relief. Many will assume that with the defeat of the supposedly un-Islamic Islamic State, things will return to normal—or, at least, to what passes for normal in the Middle East. As long as the beheadings, [...]

On to Tehran — or Is It Damascus?

Our War Party has been temporarily diverted from its clamor for war on Iran by the insurrection against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Estimates of the dead since the Syrian uprising began a year ago approach 6,000. And responsibility for the carnage is being laid at the feet of the president who succeeded his [...]

Peace Through Vigilance

With breaking news of a U.S. Navy SEAL team successfully rescuing two hostages from pirates in Somalia, military pundits are quick to note how the deployment of small, elite units will fit in with President Barack Obama’s vision for modernizing the U.S. military. Yet, while small, elite units are indeed crucial to the modern military, [...]

Who Wants War With Iran?

  On Sept. 21, 1976, as his car rounded Sheridan Circle on Embassy Row, former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier was assassinated by car bomb. Ronni Moffitt, a 25-year-old American women who worked with Letelier at the leftist Institute for Policy Studies, died with him. Michael Townley, an ex-CIA asset in the hire of Chile's intelligence [...]

Will Congress Vote on War with Iran?

  Returning from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta dropped some jolting news. Asked by CBS's Scott Pelley if Iran could have a nuclear weapon in 2012, Panetta replied: "It would probably be about a year before they could do it. Perhaps a little less. But one proviso, Scott, is that if they [...]

Iran: How to Lose

  Once again, tensions between Iran and the international community are on the rise as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, released a new report that warns of concealed attempts by Iran to produce an atomic bomb. How should one respond? The 19th-century Prussian general and philosopher Carl von Clausewitz, the [...]

A Talk in Tehran

How should academics comport themselves when visiting a dictatorship? More specifically, what should they do and not do when presenting a paper at an academic conference hosted by a government that denies academic and other freedoms to its own population? These were the questions that accompanied me to Tehran in July 2010 as I prepared [...]

Fidel at the dolphin show

It's the Cuban dictator like you've never seen him before. And I do mean never. Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic recently received an invitation to meet with Fidel Castro, after his recent article on Israel and Iran caught Castro's eye. "Always eager . . . to interact with readers of The Atlantic," Goldberg decided it [...]

Israel and Palestine Give the Two-State Solution Another Look

Direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine will resume on September 2 in Washington, D.C. The announcement of the talks has been greeted with a polite but skeptical nod from the media and a rolling of the eyes from experts in the realpolitik of international affairs. The assumption behind these dismissals is that peace talks [...]

If you’ve got blue eyes, we’re cousins.

According to a new study by the University of Copenhagen, people with blue eyes most likely share a common ancestor who lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago: "Originally, we all had brown eyes," Professor Hans Eiberg of the University of Copenhagen said in a press release. "But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in [...]

Behind the burkha, we’re all equal.

What can you say when the U.N. elects Iran to its Commission on Women's Rights, elevating a backwards theocracy that made international news last week when one of its "respected clerics" claimed that immodestly dressed women cause earthquakes?  Iran as a nation has a well-documented history of gender inequality and is an oppressive environment for women [...]

Why Is the Obama Administration Going Soft on Iran Sanctions?

Hilary Clinton's recent comments on Iran sanctions have disappointed the dozen conservative Christian leaders who signed two letters to Congress last year (on September 24 and December 14) expressing support for the House bill intended to stop the rogue nation's nuclear program. The bill, which passed 412 t0 12, would have authorized the White House [...]

Dave Barry’s ‘Year in Review’: 2009

Thank heavens for Dave Barry: Who else could cast the lowlights of the past year in a way that makes you laugh rather than reach for the bottle? (Ok, maybe both at once.) From the intro: To be sure, it was a year that saw plenty of bad news. But in almost every instance, there [...]

Saber rattling at Iran, the progressive heaven of Detroit, and Minas Tirith in cake.

Iran appears to be moving toward a full-scale revolution. If you want to follow the unfolding events, Andrew Sullivan remains the best media source for first-hand reports and video. And Stephen Walt makes an important point at Foreign Policy: [T]his is an especially foolish time to be rattling sabers and threatening military action. Threatening or [...]

Thinking as a Catholic on Iran

How should Catholics think about Iran? And how should a Catholic think about Iran? These are two different questions, as an individual person and the Church are two different things, but in trying to follow the news recently, partly through electronic "tweets" directly from Iran, including those from one anonymous Catholic Persian we have on [...]

Iraq: The Stakes

  In response to continuing calls for troop withdrawals from Iraq, including from within his own party (see Sen. John Warner's "bring them home for Christmas" plan), President George W. Bush made two major addresses -- to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion -- and then made a surprise visit to Anbar [...]

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