“Waiting to Die” in Iraq: A Costly History Lesson

By on 6.11.14 | 4:31PM

"We are waiting to die," Mahmoud al Taie, an Iraqi dentist, told the Wall Street Journal as he prepared to flee Mosul. If he does, a country that desperately needs every upright citizen it has will have lost yet another health professional.

Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, which at least 125 American soldiers died liberating from Saddam Hussein's forces, fell on Wednesday. Half a million Iraqis are fleeing to the Kurds, who have set up their own government and army.

Mosul is now in the well-armed hands of a militant group known as ISIS or ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The radical group's expansion from Syria into Iraq now poses even more of a threat, especially because it will have access to supplies and manpower from Mosul, according to Reuters.

Conservative Tastes


By From the November 2013 issue

AN ITEM HEADLINED “Wimping of America” in the Daily Caller a few weeks ago informed us that the intramural football program at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, allegedly the oldest in the nation, had been deemed by its (female) headmaster to be too dangerous to the participants and would henceforth be replaced by flag football. Like the article’s (female) author, I felt a pang of regret at the news, even though I am myself without any happy memories of playing intramural football—or doing anything else—at Lawrenceville. Like her, too, I am more than a little inclined to regard the move as further evidence (if any further evidence were needed) of the enforced wimpification of America’s youth. You cannot separate the thrill of football from the risk any more than you can that of boxing. These thrills were once considered to be among the legitimate pleasures of (male) youth. But then, as you might have guessed, they don’t do boxing at Lawrenceville either. 

Government Shutdown, Mother Russia, and the ‘Inner Life’

By on 10.4.13 | 12:22PM

Everyone from my barber to the hipster kid down the street who thinks he’s watched “the news” when he catches a clip of The Daily Show on his iPad has a take on the government shutdown and perpetual political stalemate in Washington. Whether they have the faintest understanding of what is actually going on, whether I agree with this or that neighbor’s assessment of the situation, the one thing we can all agree on is that the political and economic landscapes facing us today are lackluster, to say the least.

While reading through a series of essays co-written and edited by Alexander Solzhenitsyn titled From Under the Rubble, I was reminded of an all-too-important factor that one must consider when rendering judgment on his or her duly-elected government: the only change that really matters comes from within.

We’re a nation of more than 300 million people, and to keep insisting that one law here or one election there is going to “fix” things is asinine and a lie even the brightest among us tell themselves.

Henry Cabot Lodge: Isolationist? Not Exactly

By on 6.29.11 | 3:59PM

While discussing the "new" fissures in the GOP over foreign policy (they're not, especially on Iraq and Afghanistan, but hey! Whatever), Alex Roarty at National Journal offers this:

But the shattering of that consensus isn't revealing new divisions within the party as much as laying bare old ones. Dating back to Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, R-Mass.-who took on Democratic President Wilson over the League of Nations and won-an isolationist strain has always run through the party, even if it remained on the fringes. The more prominent battle within the GOP, however, has been between Republicans arguing for aggressive foreign intervention, as President Reagan did, or those wary of overseas involvement and promoting a more pragmatic view, like President Nixon.

The Nation's Pulse


By 12.31.08

Let old acquaintance be unforgot.