25 Jul 2012

Syria is Iraq and something about a midwife. By Thomas Friedman.

A slightly different version of this article first appeared in the New York Times earlier.

Kristof with a moustache, not Friedman

Lord knows I am rooting for the opposition forces in Syria because I want you to think of me as a freedom-loving type of guy. But we both know that they won’t prevail, primarily because that means all my arguments of the past thirty years would be proven wrong. Also, because Syria is Iraq. Think of this: if you take out the Q and add an S and a Y, and rearrange the R, I and A, you will see that Syria is indeed Iraq. Also, they are both generic and interchangeable Middle Eastern countries. And this will save me having to do any research about Syria. They were both ruled by men with moustaches. Like me, but let’s not dwell on that.

Radio discussion with Ahdaf Soueif: Influence of the Arab Uprisings on new writing

Listen to the radio programme I participated in with Ahdaf Soueif and chaired by Edward Stourton on the influence of the Arab Uprisings on new writing. Below are the links to the two texts I read extracts from:

'One Year of Hope' by Amal Hanano

'Falling Apart' by Maysaloon

23 Jul 2012

CIA’s favorite Saudi prince is laying the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria

Haaretz published this article, then took it off the site. Here's the cached version: "CIA's favorite Saudi prince begins laying groundwork for a post-Assad Syria"