Articles By: William Dowell

Is the US Slouching towards a Weimar Scenario?

Is the US Slouching towards a Weimar Scenario?

Remember Germany’s 1930’s Weimar Republic and the diminutive, firebrand populist who eventually seized power?  Although he sees no problem in quoting Mussolini and at least initially hesitated at denouncing the Ku Klux Klan, Donald Trump is not exactly comparable to Hitler, at least not quite yet, but then neither was Hitler at the beginning. The true extent of depravity only […]

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The ARTacama Project- Art Meets Science Mapping the Cosmic Microwave Background

The ARTacama Project- Art Meets Science Mapping the Cosmic Microwave Background

Mark Devlin is an experimental cosmologist exploring the underlying structure of the universe.  Jackie Tileston is an artist, and Christine Pfister not only heads one of Philadelphia’s most innovative galleries for contemporary art, but also happens to be Switzerland’s Honorary Consul. For a few brief moments, all three came together last week to produce an extraordinary event highlighting the ongoing […]

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William Pfaff-In Memorium

William Pfaff-In Memorium

William Pfaff, who died last Thursday of a heart attack, had one great gift when it came to analyzing international affairs: it was not radical insight, but common sense. When you listened to him, the world made sense.  The Atlantic’s James Fallows offers a stirring commentary on a man whose success in life stemmed from maintaining a sense of balance in an […]

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Stepping over the line

Stepping over the line

In 1979, I happened to run across Georges Bernier, the creator of the bitingly satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The motto  was “Bête et Méchant,” which translates roughly as “stupid and nasty.” It had started in 1960 as a monthly, Hara Kiri, which became a weekly, Hara Kiri Hebdo, in 1969.  It was temporarily banned on government orders in 1961 and 1966, mostly for taking pot […]

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Steven Sotloff

Modern assassins, murder and social media

Steven Sotloff’s murder and decapitation is a tragedy in itself, but it also marks a turning point both for journalism and the communications strategy for the world’s most murderous insurgencies. Terrorists these days are spending so much effort on video production techniques that some analysts suspect that both Steven Sotloff and Jim Foley may have been murdered at the same time, […]

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Putting UNRWA back on the Map

Putting UNRWA back on the Map

With the civil war in Syria stalemated in its fourth year and more than 164,000 Syrians dead, the public has begun to be anesthetized to what is really at stake.  That changed briefly Thursday night (March 20) when photographs of refugees caught up in the conflict flashed for nearly an hour on giant video screens in New York’s Times Square […]

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The UN Takes on FGM/C in an Art Exhibit at the Palais

The UN Takes on FGM/C in an Art Exhibit at the Palais

“A woman wounded is a nation wounded.” The exhibition of paintings currently on display at the UN’s Palais des Nations in Geneva is both graphic and direct.  It is sponsored by Canada, Ghana and Togo, its goal is to draw attention to the UN’s ongoing campaign against FGM/C, the current acronym for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.  The tradition of using a […]

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