Middle East

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

New Film Documents the Persecution of Christians

A young boy, 10 years old or so, faces the camera. Like many young boys he is happy to be interviewed. This is war-torn Iraq, however, so he tells of the day ISIS came to his village. What took place, horror after horror, he starts to recount. It is hard to accept that one so [...]

Epiphany Brings Thoughts of Christian Persecution in the East

Being a New Yorker, I only go to the top of the Empire State Building about once every thirty-five years, and I have been to the Statue of Liberty just twice. Merely once in my life have I welcomed the new year in Times Square, and I had the impression that I was the only [...]

The Migrant Crisis: Compassion and Common Sense

Other than the large numbers involved, one of the most striking features of Europe’s migrant crisis is the level of discourse surrounding it. There is an emotionalism about the subject which doesn’t seem quite appropriate to the gravity of the situation. Momentous issues are being decided on the basis of what Peter Hitchens calls “an [...]

Middle Eastern Christians Face Calamity

The Middle East is embroiled in chaos and what little remains of the ancient Christian communities there are being destroyed with the latest tragic turn of events in Iraq. The barbarism of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that began a military and terror campaign from Syria swept into Iraq to capture numerous [...]

Christians Suffer as U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East Flounders

President Obama these days looks like a homeowner paralyzed in shock as he sees his house ablaze from across the street.  The White House is fine, but the president’s foreign policy in the Middle East is going up in smoke.  As Egypt implodes with escalating violence and the Syrian civil war rages into a second [...]

Obama Ignores the Fears of Middle Eastern Christians

President Obama loudly proclaims his enthusiasm for democracy in the Middle East as he did in his second inaugural address:  “We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.” But those [...]

Afghanization: A Half Year Plan

President Barack Obama’s five-point plan for turning the war back to the Afghans is designed to cover the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces and “forge a just and lasting peace.” What does the plan involve, and can it work? Here are the five points: Making Afghans responsible for their own security within two years [...]

We Do Not Seek; We’re Found

On the Solemnity of the Epiphany, I heard a sermon—a rather well-delivered one at that—about the Magi as religious “seekers.” The same note, I’ll wager, was struck from pulpits and ambos across the country, perhaps across the world. But isn’t there something a bit askew here? Isn’t the point of Matthew’s tale of the “wise [...]

Should We Get Realist About the Middle East?

The first round of Egyptian parliamentary elections has taken place, and the winners were two Islamist parties. The Islamists themselves are split between more extreme and more moderate factions, but it is clear that the secularists who dominated the demonstrations and who were the focus of the Arab Spring narrative made a poor showing. Of the three [...]

Is America Losing Control?

  "Events are in the saddle and ride mankind." In describing 2011, few clichés seem more appropriate. For in this past year, we Americans seemed to lose control of our destiny, as events seemed to be in the saddle. While President Barack Obama maneuvered skillfully to retain a fighting chance to be re-elected, the economy [...]

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 [...]

Democracy Is Impossible

  After Moammar Gadhafi's downfall as Libya's tyrannical ruler, politicians and "experts" in the U.S. and elsewhere, including French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, are saying that his death marked the end of 42 years of tyranny and the beginning of democracy in Libya. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Gadhafi's death represented an opportunity for Libya [...]

Georgetown’s Catholic Apologist for Islam

A non-Muslim activist lawyer has filed charges of discrimination against the Catholic University of America with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR). The university is discriminating against Muslim students, he contends, by “forcing” them to conduct Islamic prayer services in rooms filled with crucifixes and other symbols of the Catholic faith. The [...]

Henry Hyde Was Right, G.W. Bush Was Wrong

Events unfolding in the Middle East are proving that Henry Hyde was right and George Bush was wrong on the wisdom of a foreign policy focused on promoting democracy. When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared in Hyde's House International Relations Committee on Feb. 16, 2006, she presented written testimony touting Bush's messianic policy. "In [...]

India, Pakistan, and Unintended Consequences

When you get into discussions about the Middle East with certain people, you start hearing that the great mistake was the partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. If that had somehow just not happened, you hear, everything would be all right. That's not my view. I think the [...]

Inflation: Fuel, Food, and the Fed

  As Americans increasingly feel the pinch of higher prices for food and fuel, the Federal Reserve's QE2 policy of creating more money has been called into question. Asked if the Fed bore some responsibility for these vexing price increases, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke essentially replied, "It's not our fault." Instead, Bernanke blamed the price [...]

Christians in the Middle East

Dr. Habib Malik of the Lebanese American University has been a friend for many years. Few men have such an informed and humane view of the sad, even desperate, position of Christians in the Middle East. As a Lebanese Maronite with a Harvard doctorate in intellectual history, what Dr. Malik knows comes from experience as well [...]

The best coverage of protests in Egypt

Hands down, the best coverage of the crisis in Egypt is coming from Al Jazeera English (AJE). I was originally introduced to the news source by an American friend -- a conservative Republican and military veteran who has lived and worked in the Middle East for years. "It's the best news channel in the world," [...]

Egypt and the Loss of U.S. Prestige in the Middle East

The upheaval in Egypt appears to be a political revolution in its purest form: a united, non-violent effort against a military dictator from across the spectrum of Egyptian people, including leftists, Christians, Muslims, Arab nationalists, Nasserites, and the Muslim Brotherhood. More than 100 Egyptians have been killed, with thousands more injured, and there has been [...]

Helen Thomas’ Final Solution

You've seen this, right?  Helen Thomas, a terrifyingly senior member of the White House press corps, recently took the opportunity to explain her take on international politics  . . . to a rabbi, at an event celebrating Jewish Heritage: Kind of harsh, eh?  But it's cool, it's cool -- she apologized.  According to Fox News: [...]

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