For a hand like mine, which always grips a wine glass, it would be a shame to put scripture or a rosary in it. You’re a dry ascetic, and I’m a soused rascal, but don’t worry– I’m too well watered to burn in hell. Translated by Juan Cole from Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, [pdf] Whinfield 170
Archives for July 2012
This summer is what global warming looks like: Increased average temperatures, forest fires, extreme weather episodes. Climate change is gradual and a matter of averages. Different parts of the globe will be affected differently. We could have a cold wet summer along the way. But on average, the summer of 2012 is what climate change […]
The news out of Syria is bad and worse. The regime is being accused of widespread torture, and it is having to fight the rebels on the doorstep of the capital. Human Rights Watch has mapped out the torture centers used by the Syrian government and identified the various techniques used on dissidents by the […]
When you see some politicians reacting with outrage to a new law, ask yourself which firms face a loss of profits from it.
On Sunday, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force gave a speech about Iran’s ballistic missile capability. At the very end of it, he said that if Israel attacked Iran (as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have repeatedly threatened to do), Iran would […]
For understandable reasons, analysis of the political changes in Egypt has focused on personalities (new president Muhammad Morsi is not charismatic); on ideology (how far can he depart from his sectarian commitments as a hard line Muslim fundamentalist truly to be president of all Egyptians?); and on military-civilian relations. But those questions are not the […]
The Neocons, masters of disinformation, keep trying to put it about (and it is in the current Wikipedia article on me) that I somehow was initially supportive of the idea of going to war with Iraq. I was not. I thought it was a horrible idea and would end badly. Basically my position was the […]