Category Archives: Annals of Globalization

The Shebab, the Shahids and the Champion’s League Final

The Shebab gunman on the left appears to be a Gunner, i.e. an Arsenal fan…

In honor of today’s Champion’s League final, I republish my op ed that ran in the National a year ago.

What was most fascinating about the photograph of the Somali gunman who was part of the crowd dragging the body of an Ethiopian soldier through the streets of Mogadishu that appeared in newspapers last year was his shirt. It bore the number 13, beneath the legend “Ballack”. This particular fighter was declaring his fealty not only to the Islamist Shebab movement, but also to Chelsea football club and its newly acquired German midfielder.

That image reminded me of a 2002 story in the London Sunday Times, in which Hala Jaber painted an extraordinary portrait of a group of young Palestinians training to be suicide bombers. Amid the tension of the boys steeling themselves to kill and be killed, one of the fighters ran in with “very important news”: Manchester United had beaten West Ham 5-3. “David Beckham two score. Very good Manchester,” Jaber quoted him as saying, adding: “The announcement was greeted with unanimous pleasure, amid further calls of ‘Allahu akbar’.” Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization, Glancing Headers, Situation Report | 22 Comments

Honey, I Shrank the Superpower

In a snide reference to Bill Clinton’s 1992 promise to “build a bridge into the 21st century,” Barack Obama recently quipped that what Hillary Clinton really offers is a bridge back into the 20th century. Yet, a bridge back into the last century may be what all the major candidates are offering when they promise to restore the American leadership and primacy. The Republicans promise to restore American power by staying the course in Iraq, threatening Iran, and staring down “radical Islamic terrorism,” which John McCain calls “the transcendent issue of the 21st century.” The Democrats envisage turning the clock back eight years, restoring post-Cold War American primacy simply by adopting a more sober and consensus-based style. The problem, of course, is that while Bush’s
reckless forays into the Middle East have accelerated the decline of America’s strategic influence, there’s little reason to believe that this decline can be reversed either by more of the same, or by a less abrasive tenant in the Oval Office.
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Posted in Annals of Globalization, Featured Analysis | 14 Comments

Getting Sarkozy Wrong

Bonhomie does not a policy make: Sarkozy’s agenda is “to the left of Kucinich” One of the reasons I know I’m doing something right on this web site is the fact that I’m lucky enough to have Bernard Chazelle as … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization, Featured Analysis, Guest Columns, Situation Report | 98 Comments

Cricket’s Coded Conversation

It is with unrestrained joy that I introduce my friend Balaji, a Madras-born scientist currently teaching at Princeton, who, in agreeing some months ago to write an analysis on the cultural and political subtexts of Australian umpire Darryl Hair falsely … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization, Glancing Headers, Guest Columns | 35 Comments

Marx, Fukuyama and the Planet

Getting a little hot around here, eh Friedrich? It gives me great pleasure to welcome guest columnist Gavin Evans to Rootless Cosmopolitan, with a thoughtful offering on global warming and what it says and does to our received notions of … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization, Featured Analysis, Guest Columns | 14 Comments

Marx and Fukuyama Were Wrong: It’s the Environment, Stupid!

Getting a little hot around here, eh Friedrich? It gives me great pleasure to welcome guest columnist Gavin Evans to Rootless Cosmopolitan, with a thoughtful offering on global warming and what it says and does to our received notions of … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization | 3 Comments

Fidel +10

Looks like another marketing triumph by Adidas over Nike: The first photographs of the ailing commandante supremo aimed at showing that he’s on the mend showed that Fidel Castrol has lost none of his inimitable sense of style. That certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization | 12 Comments

The Dragon of Mostar

The one thing all those years of brutal ethnic cleansing and pointless fratricidal war in the Balkans didn’t destroy was the dark sense of humor shared by all sides. Remember Mostar? The picturesque Bosnian town famous for its Ottoman era … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization | 6 Comments

Game Over for Bush’s War of Ideas

The media loves to wring its collective hands over each new droning video sermon released by Osama bin Laden or Ayman Zawahiri, but it is the release — to unprecedented box office success — of the Turkish movie “Valley of … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization, Situation Report | 24 Comments

Whose Coke Is It, Anyway?

Published in the Cape Times, July 1998 The Mayan church at St. Juan Chamula, in Chiapas: When Pepsi arrived here, it was simply incorporated into indigenous rituals The revolution will not be televised, not in Afghanistan, any way. The country’s … Continue reading

Posted in Annals of Globalization | 6 Comments