Playing Politics With Pipelines

Most Russians celebrate the new year with a few firecrackers, a glass of sweet champagne, perhaps vodka and pickled herring to keep the party going. This year the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, celebrated by switching off the flow of natural gas to Ukraine.

It’s Not Whether You ‘Win’ or ‘Lose’…

In recent months it has become common practice to talk about what it will take to “win” — or what it would mean to “lose” — the war in Iraq. Recently the pace of that talk has accelerated. Just last week President Bush published a “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq,” presumably a follow-up to …

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The Value of Anonymity

Just a few days ago I spoke to a top government official who prefers to remain anonymous. It wasn’t the first time: We’ve met only once or twice, but whenever I have a question pertaining to this official’s area of expertise, I don’t hesitate to ask his opinion.

Silver Flu Bullets

Have you got Tamiflu? I haven’t, but a friend of mine has. He proudly told me he scored a prescription for his whole family. Another friend is also trying to wangle a prescription, even though there’s no guarantee that Tamiflu will work. “It saved 80 percent of the mice in the laboratory study,” he said.

Justice in Baghdad

“We are able to do away with domestic tyranny and violence and aggression by those in power against the rights of their own people only when we make all men answerable to the law.” — Justice Robert Jackson, in his opening statement for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials in 1945.

The Rumor Mill

Did you know that a monster crocodile was fished out of the New Orleans floodwaters? Had you realized that sharks were swimming through the submerged streets of the Lower Ninth Ward? Did you see the photographs of Katrina, the ones showing the hurricane menacing New Orleans like a Wizard of Oz cartoon twister?

Corruption as Usual

Two hurricanes have now hit Louisiana, wreaking terrible destruction. New Orleans continues to flood. Hundreds of thousands of people are scattered across the country, many in shelters. Given the scale of the calamity, surely it’s time for Louisiana politicians to stop, assess the damage and work out the most rational way to help their state …

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