Educated men who had returned to Afghanistan were virtually indistinguishable from those who had never left home.
For 400 years, Europeans directed world events on a grand scale. Suddenly, they have evolved into political irrelevance.
The singles become more frustrated at their continued misfortune. Some of them become annoyed - even angry - at the person who set them up with someone from left field.
It's been some time since the Monitor shared a few of the more, shall we say, interesting letters and e-mails that come this way. Maybe it's the onset of a presidential campaign, or maybe we've been added to a Michael Moore mailing list - whatever the reason, there's been a definite uptick in the number of angry, off-the-wall screeds hurtling through cyberspace or trudging through the postal system, all seem ingly designed with the singular goal of disturbing the peace and interrupting the contemplation of this humble scribe.
The so-called "Geneva Initiative" is merely the latest expression of Arab determination to "liquidate" (a commonly-used term in Arab documents about the "Zionist Entity") Israel. Although less explicit than usual, the Geneva refusal to fully renounce a Palestinian "Right of Return" means nothing less than a carefully-conceived plan for demographic as well as military measures in the ongoing war against Israel.
Regular readers of this column know the esteem in which the Monitor holds the website TimesWatch.org. The site provides consistently trenchant analysis of the distortion and bias that have come to define the news coverage provided by The New York Times. TimesWatch's year-end look back at the alleged paper of record's 'lowlights' for 2003 merits as wide a readership as possible, and the Monitor is pleased to feature it this week.
An essential element of all civilized legal systems is the fundamental rule of "No crime without a punishment." This principle, drawn originally from the law of Ancient Israel, is conspicuously codified in binding international law.