June 6, 2013
Re "Hero of the Lost Cause," Opinion, June 2 The sanitizing of the Confederate cause described by Craig Fehrman is as nonsensical and offensive as the more recent efforts to rehabilitate the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II as a case of genuine military necessity. In addition to Fehrman's examples of faulty recall, moreover, these nostalgic Confederate buffs consistently ignore the fulsome defenses of slavery clearly articulated in the Southern states' formal declarations of secession.
June 2, 2013 |
This spring will be remembered, by history junkies at least, for the opening of a major new institution, one named after a polarizing leader, devoted to a divisive period, subsidized by taxpayers and stationed in the South. I'm not talking about the presidential library of George W. Bush but the "presidential library" of Jefferson Davis, the one and only chief executive of the Confederate States of America, which will be dedicated Monday in Biloxi, Miss. The Davis library, of course, is not one of the 13 official libraries overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration.
May 26, 2013 |
President Obama's speech last week on the future course of America's 11-year-old war against Al Qaeda was long overdue. Never before has he offered the public such a detailed explanation of his anti-terrorism strategy. In part, that's surely because so much of it was officially secret - but also because the public hasn't demanded a position more nuanced than "tough on terrorism. " The president did three big things in his speech Thursday at the National Defense University in Washington.
May 21, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- Syria said Tuesday that its forces had destroyed an Israeli vehicle that crossed into Syrian territory from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an account disputed by Israel, which said that shots were fired at a patrol inside Israeli-controlled territory. It was the latest in a series of incidents in recent weeks that have raised fears of renewed violence along the cease-fire line between Syria and Israel. Syria has vowed to retaliate the next time Israel attacks its territory, following three reported Israeli airstrikes this year.
May 17, 2013 |
MARAAT NUMAN, Syria - Each morning, after saluting the Syrian flag and before the warplanes take off, soldiers at army bases across Syria are given political orientation. During the lectures, conscripts and career officers alike are repeatedly told that opposition forces are fueled by sectarian hatred and want to tear the country apart. The message - of a war waged by Sunni Muslims against Syria's Alawite and Shiite minorities - is well understood. To Syrian soldiers, "It has essentially become sectarian; the Sunnis fight out of fear and the Alawites fight out of conviction," said Muhammad Zinedden, a Sunni conscript who defected in February from the 17th Engineering Regiment in Raqqa province.
May 11, 2013 |
Efrain Rios Montt, the former Guatemalan military dictator who ruled his country during one of the bloodiest phases of its civil war, was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity Friday for the systematic massacre of more than 1,700 Maya people. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison. The landmark ruling by a panel of three Guatemalan judges came after a dramatic trial that featured testimony from dozens of ethnic Ixil Maya, who described atrocities committed by the army and security forces who sought to clean the countryside of Marxist guerrillas and their sympathizers during the 1982-83 period that Rios Montt, an army general and coup leader, served as the country's de facto leader.
May 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Sen. Dianne Feinstein made headlines recently by demanding a forceful U.S. response to Syria's use of chemical weapons against its population. Less noticed was that the California Democrat wasn't urging deeper military involvement or other dramatic steps, but only a new push for action by the United Nations Security Council, which has already rejected Western-backed resolutions on Syria three times. In this cautious approach, Feinstein, who is chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is not alone.
April 29, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Shiite-dominated areas in southern and central Iraq were rocked Monday by car bomb explosions that killed at least 22 people and fueled fears that the country is sliding into a civil war. The violence occurred as Iraqi security forces surrounded the Sunni cities of Ramadi and Fallouja demanding that the area's tribes hand over those responsible for killing five Iraqi soldiers over the weekend. Authorities gave the tribes 48 hours. The deadline passed, but Jaber Jabri, a member of parliament from Ramadi, said late Monday that a tentative deal had been reached to defuse the situation.
April 18, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - On the first day of trial, a witness named Bernardo Bernal recounted how, as a 9-year-old in the spring of 1983, he hid in a stream and watched Guatemalan soldiers kill his parents and two younger brothers. On the second day of testimony in Guatemala City, a man named Pedro Chavez Brito described how soldiers found him and his siblings hiding in a traditional sauna in their village on Nov. 4, 1982. His sister was carrying a newborn. " 'You are a guerrilla, you gave food to the guerrillas,' they said to my sister," the witness said, according to an unofficial transcript of the genocide case in Guatemala.