On Wednesday afternoon, I attended some panel discussions hosted by the Premio Gabriel García Márquez de Periodismo, a yearly festival that celebrates Spanish-language journalism. The list of panelists included Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker, whose work I started following after I read his biography of Che Guevara. He’s a seasoned journalist who has covered Latin American politics for decades, writing profiles of people like Fidel Castro, Augusto Pinochet, the King of Spain, and Gabo himself. He’s also covered conflicts around the world in Africa and the Middle East, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Given his experience in the region, I wanted to get his take on US decision to strike ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He was in a bit of a rush, but was kind enough to give me a short interview after the panel discussion. Here’s what he said: Continue reading →
In it, I write about several Colombian government officials who have fled the country to avoid prosecution for their actions while in office. Three of them were part of former President Uribe’s administration, and were allegedly involved in some very serious crimes.
This is a recent piece I wrote for Muftah during the height of the assault on Gaza. It challenges assertions made by the Israeli government – and repeated by US media organizations – that the tunnels Hamas dug into Israel have been used/were intended for “terrorist” activities.
The day before Colombia’s presidential elections, Muftahpublished a piece I wrote about the scandals that hit the two front-runners during the weeks leading up to the vote.
Muftah has been a site devoted exclusively to analysis of the Middle East/MENA region and recently revamped their website. When the new site launched, they also announced they would be expanding their geographical range to include all other regions of the world. This was their first piece on Latin America.
Over the past decade, the US not only detained but tortured al-Jazeera journalists under counterterrorism policies. Now, as its War on Terror diffuses into support for an increasing number of local – and secret – wars on terrorism across the globe, the tactic of imprisoning journalists seems to be catching on.
Ten years ago, the United States also justified its detention of al-Jazeera journalists by claiming a “national security threat”. These arrests could not be cloaked as mere collateral damage in a messy war. The US, then as Egypt does now, made leaping connections between the news network and militants, and specifically targeted those whose coverage did not serve the military’s objectives.
In January, Erik Voeten of the Washington Post posted the findings of a recently-published survey in a piece entitled, “How widespread is Islamic Fundamentalism in Europe?” The study in question compares not only the religious “fundamentalism” of Muslims and Christians, but also their hostility toward out-groups. Voeten, who in Europe generally finds the study credible, writes that the survey shows there are troubling attitudes held by Muslims in Europe that “cannot be ignored”.