Comparing US Muslims to European Muslims

A very interesting article in The Economist.Look out, Europe, they say Why so many Muslims find it easier to be American than to feel European … [Read more...]

UNICEF: 25% of world children seriously underweight

UNICEF - Press centre - A Quarter of the World’s Children Seriously Underweight “The lack of progress to combat undernutrition is damaging children and nations,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, speaking on her first anniversary as head of the global children’s agency. “Few things have more impact than nutrition on a child’s ability to survive, learn effectively and escape a life of poverty.”Another snippet: “Despite progress in some countries, developing-world averages for underw … [Read more...]

The benefits of being born in a beachside country

There's an intriguing article in ("Aiming for the sea" by George South) about the negative consequences for economic development of being landlocked.  We all know that the presence of natural resources often has a decisive impact on a country's fortunes--in some cases for the worse, though, as the tragic legacy of African diamonds and Arab oil shows; the main blessings for normal people of such easy-to-horde natural resources are often corruption and … [Read more...]

Who killed General Zia?

The fearless and always enlightening Eric Margolis on new suspicions that that perrenial favorite of Muslim conspiracy buffs--often for very good reason--the Mossad, had a hand in General Zia's demise in 1988. Read Another Day in Empire's informative analysis, too, while you're at it. I'm far too uninformed on this to have an opinion as to the culprit, but the premise is hardly ridiculous.  It wouldn't be the first time Israeli intelligence has been involved in assasinations or other … [Read more...]

Chinese tourists: Asia’s new ‘ugly Americans’

Chinese tourists: Asia's new 'ugly Americans' (Christian Science Monitor) … [Read more...]

Colonialism’s many guises

In his latest entry in Fall of Icarus, Zahir laments the palpable ignorance, prejudice and condescension of a "60 Minutes" report on American doctors working in Pakistan after the earthquake. The transcript includes a self-deprecating comment by one of the doctors that highlights in a lighthearted way how, as outsiders who don't speak local languages or know local culture, they were inevitably out of their depth on the ground in Pakistan:When they were dropped off here, Chris Summers … [Read more...]

For the rich, it’s a small world after all

There is an embarrassingly elementary fallacy that undermines so much otherwise learned analysis of the so-called War on Terror, American/Muslim relations, and  international affairs in general:  Observers ignore the many powerful class interests that are shared among elites around the world regardless of which side they inhabit of cultural, political, religious or geopolitical fault lines.  Few journalists peddling the Clash of Civilizations worldview bother to explore how, … [Read more...]