The time: 2003. The place: Black Site: Undisclosed Location. A battered man strung up by his wrists is being questioned by an interrogator. When he refuses to answer he is forced to the ground and held down by three men wearing ski masks.
It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times around the world. Dickens' famous line aptly describes a wide swath of the Arab world in 2011. It was a good year for the Arab Street as popular uprisings, fueled by the social media, swept across the Middle East toppling some despots and threatening others.
It appears that the male genital mutilation organization (MGMbill.org), Matthew Hess and Jena Troutman (“In Foreskin Fight, Even Terminology Is Being Disputed,” June 3 ) are following in the footsteps of such notorious leaders as Hitler, Stalin, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, and Roman emperor Constantine in their quest to make circumcision illegal for males under 18 … and punishable by jail time.
Danielle Berrin did the Jewish community a great service by showing why Lars von Trier should be singled out as the lone exception from a rogue’s gallery of anti-Semites, including Mel Gibson, Oliver Stone, John Galliano and Charlie Sheen (“Not Mel Gibson,” May 27). Both Berrin and Marvin Hier went beyond reactionary, black-and-white thinking to express their sense that it was ghosts in von Trier’s soul that had him behave in such a peculiar way at Cannes, and again as he sought there and in The New York Times to cajole his ghosts back into his tormented psyche. At least von Trier is struggling with his ghosts while the others have surrendered to them. Surrendering is the reason for anti-Semitism and all the other -isms that emerge from like minds.
As Americans anxiously waited to hear what their young president had to say, the words “national security” hung in the air. Then, when the president spoke on television,he seemed older and more in command than he had seemed the day before. And, as a result, his presidency was transformed.
In the mid-1990s, William McRaven, then a U.S. Navy SEAL, wrote a book about commando operations. Entitled "Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice" (Presidio Press), the book featured six case studies. One chapter was devoted to Entebbe, beginning with the lessons learned in the Israel Defense Forces as a whole, and in the Sayeret Matkal special operations unit in particular, after the failure to save the lives of 25 hostages in Ma'alot two years earlier. It included a discussion of Israeli intelligence gathering, decision-making processes, creation of the command and control system, personnel conflicts and the actual rescue operation in Entebbe Airport in Uganda, on July 4, 1976.
Jihad follows twisted path from Afghanistan to Israel.