Tag Archives: Middle East

Sir Gawain & the ISIS Beheadings

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” helps us understand the horror we feel at the ISIS beheadings.

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Getting Tied Down in Syria

Is there a danger that U.S. involvement in Syria will lead to a Gulliver-like disaster?

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Libya: Gargoyle Laughing, Fist Pounding

First Muammar Gaddafi, Guernica-like, bombed his people.  Now the United States and several western countries are bombing Gaddafi. As this Carl Sandburg poem makes clear, the nightmare has no end: Gaddafi jeering and Allied responding go on and on (if not in Libya, then elsewhere) as America enters its third war in ten years. Gargoyle […]

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Brother Fire Unleashed in Libya

As I watch Muammar Qaddafi turn his air force against his own people, I am trying to imagine conditions on the ground. I asked my father for literature describing the experience, he having once undergone a bombing himself. It occurred in 1944, a couple of weeks after the D Day invasion of Normandy, when the […]

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The Powerful Urge for Freedom

  I am in awe of the protesters in Tunisia and Bahrain and Egypt and Libya and Iran and Yemen and the Sudan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Their yearning for freedom is so great that, day after day, they put their lives on the line. I pray particularly for those in Libya and […]

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Twain and Libya’s Bloody Endgame

The slaughter continues on in Libya, with the number of dead now in the thousands as Qaddafi turns his mercenaries, machine guns and tanks on his own people. While other parts of the country are in the arms of the resistance, he is holed up in Tripoli. It appears that he will indeed fight to […]

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Song to the Men and Women of Bahrain

As the remarkable uprisings continue to erupt across the Middle East, I turn for a third time to the revolutionary poetry of Percy Shelley.  When one looks at his time period, one finds a number of modern day parallels. Napoleon’s wars, although imperial, still carried the ideas of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” into the rest of […]

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Egypt’s Mubarak, Colossal Wreck

As Egypt, following the lead of Tunisia (see my post here), teeters on the verge of revolution, everyone seems to be looking to different historical pasts to predict the future. My former Carleton classmate Kai Bird fears that Barack Obama will repeat the mistakes that Jimmy Carter made with the Shaw of Iran but adds […]

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