Insight. Antics.

Archive for the ‘Global Politics’ Category

Been Laden, With Bullets.

In Global Politics, Media, War on May 3, 2011 at 5:03 am

Sunday night, when President Obama came to the podium, the world learned that America has killed Osama bin Laden. And Americans learned that their tax dollars really work, save the ones that go to aid for Pakistan.

I’ve been reading so much I can barely tell if I have anything original or nuanced to say on the matter, but I think in order to process it all, I have to put some of this down…

The Administration needs to release evidence of bin Laden’s death, and soon: I have zero doubt that Osama bin Laden is dead. However, I am not a conspiracy theorist, or a citizen of a Middle Eastern country with uneasy feelings towards the U.S. When Saddam Hussein’s sons were killed, graphic images of them were released within a few days to show the people of Iraq. Bin Laden is a bigger deal, an almost mythical figure, and if this story is to resonate accurately through the Arabic and Islamic worlds, we need to deliver the goods. This story could also take on even greater meaning when juxtaposed with the movement towards freedom and democracy that is percolating in the Arab world, but not if they perceive some sort of cover-up. So, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham and I agree on this one: we need pictures. You can’t expect everyone to take it on faith.

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The Halal Belt.

In Global Politics on April 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Loyal readers, “mea culpa, mea culpa,” I say. My unannounced hiatus is over. Do not judge harshly: the Ides of March were particularly tough on me this year.

Also, it’s Brief Wit’s birthday!… so I get a free pass. That’s right people, we’re two years in, and the Times still hasn’t called to switch out one columnist named Ross for another. Maybe we can at least do A Parent Trap thing one day.

In case you weren’t here at the get-go, or wanted to remind yourself what got this all started, here’s a link to my first post: You’re Smarter Than The Experts.

Lest we waste any more time, let’s get back to the action. There’s plenty going on, perhaps too much: Japan is still in tragic limbo, federal budget negotiations are reaching a climax, and Charlie Sheen has taken his full-blown jackassedness on the road. Plus, Barack Obama is running for president again. But he needs you to do all the campaigning.

I’m going to leave it at that for now on those topics, and instead offer some thought nuggets on another subject.

You’ve heard of the Bible Belt. You’ve heard of the Borscht Belt. Welcome to 2011: Year of the Halal Belt.

That’s right, when it comes to the Middle East and North Africa these days, we’re way beyond street meat. (But, damn, those Halal Guys on 53rd Street are tasty.)

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