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International Intrigue

All Quiet on the Northern Front

Foreign Policy Essay

August 25, 2011

In banning innocuous tourism websites, "seditious" anti-capitalist books, and information about Pyongyang, South Korea's intelligence service is acting a lot like its brother to the north.

The Mark of an American

New York Times Magazine

February 3, 2002

In 1994, we went to the Philippines in search of adventure, never imagining that we would meet the future of terrorism.
His English was almost perfect. As we passed a row of low houses, a Filipino boy called me a "white monkey," calmly and hatefully. He was young, maybe 16. He had appeared out of nowhere and was standing with his friend in front of us on a broken street in Isabela, the brooding capital of Basilan island. "Why did you come here?" he asked. (PDF 1.6 MB)

Pakistan Journalism: A Fantasy

Sonora Review

September 1, 2014

Sonora Review, Issue 66, Fall 2014
He's looking at newspaper articles about CIA agent Raymond Davis, arrested for murder, then released, in the shattered zone of Lahore—the story a mystery.
Davis shot two Pakastanis on a motorcycle who'd supposedly ridden up to his car as it was stopped in traffic, or he was chasing them, maybe on a back street, by a crumbling wall, in broad daylight...

Iran's Cold Cases Are Coming Back to Haunt Us

Daily Beast

February 22, 2015

Argentina is only one site where murderous attacks inspired or directed by Iran have gone unpunished. It's time to pull out all the old files.
History repeats itself, whether we've forgotten it or not, and sometimes what used to be considered cold cases come back to haunt those governments that hoped they'd just crumble away like old newspaper clippings in rusting file cabinets.

Waiting on the Prez


December 5, 2001

After dinner, after the dignitaries had left, a guy in a blue suit came back to the kitchen—a Texan named George.
We were in the spacious dining room at the top of the Waldorf Towers, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.'s residence, looking down at the place settings on the table. Good-looking china made especially for the State Department: richly blue-ringed plates and glassware eblazoned with an eagle.
I stood off to the side in my tuxedo, a mercenary waiter. One of the U.S. Mission's protocol people had called me the night before. "Please, I hope you can do it. I'm so sorry for such short notice, but it's a real emergency; I'm not supposed to say, but it's for our head of state."

Current Biography International Yearbook 2004

Current Biography Int. Yearbook

January 1, 2005

Biography of Aga Khan IV
"The current Aga Khan assumed that hereditary title upon his grandfather's death, in 1957, and thus became the 49th imam, or spiritual leader, of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, a diffuse Islamic community of 15 million faithful living primarily in West and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa."
Published by the H.W. Wilson Company (PDF 3.6 MB)

How My Life in Korean Prison Foretold Bill's Success

Daily Beast

August 4, 2009

Bill Clinton's furtive mission to North Korea this morning to negotiate the release of jailed American reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee had a greater chance of succeeding than most realized, thanks to an innocuous but important gesture last month that provides some cover for the leaders of a country obsessed with—and driven by—perceived respect.
While observers can titter about how Bill is trying to rescue his wife, the secretary of State, and his running mate, Al Gore, whose Current TV employs the jailed reporters, more attention needs to be paid to a phone call last month. Specifically, Ling, whom along with Lee was sentenced to 12 years hard labor after wandering across the border from China, made explicit in the permitted phone call to her famous sister, TV personality Lisa Ling, that she "broke the law." A coerced confession? More North Korean mind games? On the contrary. It was a very positive step.

Gold Medal Minds: The Team That Gives US Olympians the Edge


July 27, 2012

In 1980, then 15-year-old Peter Haberl sat with his parents at home in the small town of Lustenau, Austria, and joyfully watched as the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team beat the Soviet Union, shocking the world.
"This was really inspiring for us Europeans," Haberl recalled for Newsmax. "We were bordering the iron curtain and the looming threat of the Soviet Union, and having played hockey myself, knowing how powerful the Soviet team was, it was amazing to see the youthful spirit of those young American college kids, that belief in what is possible. It impacted the world."

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