For quick reference, here are links to several stories and columns I've done on
Shadowland: Most-Favored Terrorists? , 19 July 2003
What's behind the French arrests of Iranian freedom fighters?
Leaders of a controversial Iranian opposition group had been arrested in a small town outside Paris that used to be the home of Vincent Van Gogh:
...Over coffee and sweets inside the headquarters in Auvers, spokesmen for the Mojehedin e-Khalq scoff at the notion their group would carry out terrorist attacks in Europe. They never have, they say, and never would. Some suggest that the arrests and threatened extraditions back to Iran are just France’s way of currying favor—and perhaps winning lucrative contracts—with the Tehran regime. “We condemn this shameful haggling with the mullahs,” proclaim the posters on Rue des Gords.
It’s a muddle, this case. Could the French government be so cynical that it would stage these arrests just to win contracts for oil deals and airplane sales? Or does it really believe the Americans might invade
When I got home I pulled a copy of Vincent’s letters off the shelf and looked at the last lines—the very last lines of the very last unfinished note to Theo. If there was no clear answer, there was an odd reflection of the question some of the French may be asking themselves right now: “You’re not in the business of selling men as far as I know, and you can take a side, I find, really acting with humanity, but what do you want?”
Shadowland: Countdown Iran, 19 Oct 2003
The United States finally won a diplomatic victory in the United Nations. But
Look at the date. These tensions have been mounting for long time. But the pattern is well known:
...A countdown has started for war between the
When did this move toward war begin? You could say 25 years ago, with the fall of the Shah of Iran, or just this year, when Saddam was deposed. You could make the case that the clock started the moment some of Osama bin Laden’s key aides found sanctuary in
Now, countdowns come in a lot of guises. They can be bluffs as trivial as a schoolyard threat, “I’m gonna count to three!” And sometimes they can be stopped, of course. But when it comes to making war, the closer you get to zero hour, the harder that is to do. Expectations rise, political capital is spent, troops are deployed. A crescendo approaches, a point of no return is passed—or is said to be—and the drama of the countdown itself starts to dictate events.
That’s part of the reason we rushed to war in
In the case of
Shadowland: Sandbagged in Baghdad,
As bad as things are in
...By far the most obvious trap for American and regional interests right now is a short-term strategy that could well put the long-term future of Iraqi democracy in the hands of Iran’s mullah-ocracy. Two years ago, this seemed a minor risk compared to the big-picture accomplishment of ousting the dictator and eventually installing majority rule. No longer...
Article: The Spying Game,
...The MEK, Rajavi says, is the answer to American prayers as
Shadowland: Democratic Terrorists?,
A look at the role of Iranian-backed political movements in
...Turn terrorists into democrats? That’s not as incongruous as it sounds. The Palestine Liberation Organization was a terrorist group, by most definitions. Now its leaders are hailed as legitimate elected officials. Twenty-five years ago one of the most infamous international terrorist organizations in the world was a Shiite group called the Dawa Party, many of whose cadres eventually became involved with Hizbullah and carried out terrorist acts that included kidnapping Americans and blowing up the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait. (The Dawa was fighting Saddam Hussein, in fact, and
Shadowland: Writing Lolita in Tehran,
Iranian bloggers have harnessed the subversive power of the Web to express themselves politically--and also to find dates in a society that curtails public courting.
…By 2000, in fact, my friend Hossein the Geek and many other young Iranians came to the conclusion they had to emigrate. “We see that our future is canceled if we want to stay in
Article: Iran's Nuclear Lies,
Interview: Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
… “Obviously [
Shadowland: Rita's Revelation
As oil prices soar, so will demands for atomic energy.
…The Iranians, for their part, say God doesn't want them to have The Bomb, and they're OK with that. "In accordance with our religious principles," Ahmadinejad told the U.N., "pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited." So they claim they're focusing all their attention on the need for nuclear energy as a relatively cheap, efficient and reliable long-term source of electricity. That's why they're conducting their research. That's why they're building their reactors. That's why they're enriching uranium. That's why they are signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is supposed to open the way for them to develop peaceful nuclear energy, and that's why they are very careful to observe the letter (if not the spirit), of the treaty's language…
Shadowland: Confidence Game 10 Jan 2006
…Do [the Iranians] just want to generate electricity, as they claim? Or are they building The Bomb? "This is a matter of trust," said White House spokesman Scott McLellan earlier this week. "They have shown in the past they cannot be trusted." And if that's the case, then what? McClellan added "that's why these negotiations are so important," with a nod to
Interview: Diplomacy and Force
The United Nations' top inspector is prepared to issue a report on
… “No, I'm not angry [with
Article: Iran's Rogue Rage
Nukes: Iranians want nuclear know-how—and seem to be daring the West to stop them.
…The complex, contradictory game of secrecy and revelation, cooperation and provocation that the mullahs have played since some of their hidden nuclear facilities were discovered in 2002 has revealed just how little leverage Washington and its allies really have. But the Bush administration and European officials clearly hope they can appeal to
Shadowland: Countdown to a Showdown
The next few weeks of diplomacy on
…Let’s not let ourselves be rushed toward an apocalypse with too-fast, too-furious diplomacy. Let’s keep our eyes on the IAEA, and keep the message to
Shadowland: Countdown to a Showdown: Part II
Two American congressmen have proposed a 'quarantine' they think could stop
…Using a word borrowed from the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the congressmen proposed a “quarantine” to stop ships taking gasoline to
Cover Story: Devoted and Defiant 5 Feb 2006
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he doesn't want nuclear weapons. The world is suspicious. How dangerous is he?
… Born to a blacksmith, educated as a revolutionary, trained as a killer and derided by rivals as a mystical fanatic, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is easily cast as the personification of everything there is to fear about a nuclear