Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Look Inside Bob Dylan's Da Vinci Code

This Bob Dylan story in The Daily Beast is fascinating. Plagiarism? Inspiration? It could start a whole new generation looking up Virgil, Ovid, Twain, Hemingway and Dos Passos. Bravo!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Farewell to One of the Great Foreign Correspondents

Remembering Ron Moreau: Goodbye To A War Reporting Legend
Veteran Newsweek reporter and Daily Beast writer Ron Moreau was one of the last great foreign correspondents of a great generation.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hunting Al-Qaeda: America's Epic Yemen Fail, and more ...

Hunting Al Qaeda: America's Epic Yemen Fail
From Pakistan to Nigeria, terrorists are taunting the governments that are trying to hunt them down. The record in Yemen, scene of a weeks-long offensive, helps explain why. 

Video: Should We Negotiate With Boko Haram?
With the Nigerian terrorists proving difficult to locate, The Daily Beast's Christopher Dickey analyzes whether some sort of bargain is the only way to recover the abducted girls.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What To Do About Boko Haram and its Schoolgirl Hostages

The Boko Haram Bidding War, 10 May 2014
While the world mobilizes to do everything possible to #BringBackOurGirls, let's recognize that the ransom price will be very high indeed. (Article and video appearance on CNN)

#BringBackOurGirls: A Call to Action, 6 May 2014
Video of a Google Hangout conference call explaining the situation on the ground in Nigeria, and the worldwide campaign to effect change.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Chlorine Used as a Weapon in Iraq: 2006 - 2007

From Securing the City (2009):

Chlorine gas ... was the first of what have since become known as weapons of mass destruction. The Germans used it with devastating effect at the World War I battle of Ypres in 1915. When released from a container by opening the nozzle or setting off an explosive charge, it billows out as a heavy greenish fog that smells, not surprisingly, like chlorine bleach. When it mixes with the tears in your eyes, or the blood and soft tissue in your lungs and throat, it turns to searing hydrochloric acid. Outside, it settles into low-lying terrain—trenches during World War I. And in a closed space—a building or a subway—the effect is both gruesome and lethal. ...
[It showed up in] Iraq in late 2006, as the insurgents started adding canisters of the gas to their suicide bombs. By early 2007, these crude devices began attracting some attention in Washington. One exploded at a military base in Ramadi in January. It killed sixteen people, but the U.S. claimed the casualties came from the blast, not the gas. Then in February the insurgents set off a truck with two big chlorine gas tanks in it at the town of Taji north of Baghdad, killing six people and sickening scores more. A day later, they blew up canisters with a car bomb along the Baghdad airport road, killing two and sickening twenty-five. All of these attacks were in relatively open spaces. If they’d taken place in, say, the tunnels of New York, their impact would have been much worse.

Assad's Secret WMD; Poster Girls for Jihad; Saudi Arabia's Comic Book Fatwa, and more

Western Intelligence Suspects Assad Has a Secret Chemical Stockpile
Syria's 'declared' arsenal of chemical weapons is almost gone—but what was left undeclared? And what about his biological weapons? Those have not been acknowledged or inspected at all.
  • Poster Girls for Jihad
    by Christopher Dickey April 21, 2014 05:45 AM EDT
    Two young teenagers who disappeared from Vienna 10 days ago may have joined the Syrian jihad—or they may have been groomed and trafficked.

    The State of Saudi Intel

    April 17, 2014 03:23 PM EDT
    After Prince Bandar bin Sultan was replaced as Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, Daily Beast foreign editor Christopher Dickey joined CNN to analyze developments in the kingdom.

  • Boko Haram's Sick Hatred of Girls
    by Christopher Dickey April 16, 2014 05:40 PM EDT
    The abduction of 200 female students from northern Nigeria was not the first attack on girls' education by the al Qaeda-linked group—and it won't be the last.

  • Saudi Arabia's Comic Book Fatwa
    by Christopher Dickey March 28, 2014 07:58 AM EDT
    The president should confront Saudi leaders over the ludicrous fatwa against 'The 99,' a ground-breaking Muslim superhero comic.

Some of the many international stories posted on The Daily Beast over the last month:

by Barbie Latza Nadeau April 24, 2014 04:35 PM EDT
Old dying towns are seeing new life thanks to thousands of refugees seeking asylum from Syria....

by Jamie Dettmer April 28, 2014 02:00 PM EDT
Russia's gunmen in eastern Ukraine are staging a violent circus for the international press, and reporters are playing right along.

by Anna Nemtsova April 27, 2014 05:45 AM EDT
As the Kremlin tries to turn back the clock to the glories of the Soviet Union, Perestroika has become a bad word and its heroes are cast as villains.

by Marcel Ventura April 22, 2014 01:00 PM EDT
Violent demonstrations return to opposition strongholds as families struggle to find justice for their loved ones killed by the military in earlier protests.

by Angela Erika Kubo, Jake Adelstein April 10, 2014 03:59 PM EDT
If, as feared, Pyongyang fires ballistic missiles in Japan's direction this month, Tokyo and the United States intend to destroy them while they're in outer space.

by Brendon Hong April 14, 2014 12:25 PM EDT
Rich and powerful Chinese men collect trophy women—not wives but mistresses—two or three at a time. A look at just where and how they live.

by Margot Kiser April 06, 2014 06:45 AM EDT
A leading Shabaab recruiter predicted he'd be killed by "unknown assailants," and so he was

by Akshaya Kumar , Jacinth Planer March 24, 2014 09:05 PM EDT
Satellite images show the savage Janjaweed militias who helped carry out the genocide in Sudan a decade ago are back at work, and with a vengeance.

by Barbie Latza Nadeau April 18, 2014 01:00 PM EDT
One Venetian island is the stuff of campfire ghost stories—piles of dead bodies burned, hauntings by plague victims, and a home for the insane....