Anthony died as he lived — determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East and to testify to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces. He has spent much of his storied career chronicling the Mideast; his empathy for its citizens’ struggles and his deep understanding of their culture and history set his writing apart. He was their poet and their champion. His work will stand as a testament.
While I appreciate the cognitive dissonance Walters must have felt in trying to reconcile Assad’s gentle lisp and glamorous wife with the unavoidable fact that he was an authoritarian presiding over a country that was in thrall to his family, his subsequent actions reflect rather poorly on her judgment (just like they rendered the Vogue profile Assad’s wife shockingly tasteless and sycophantic). The prisons that disfigured and broke al-Khateeb were there when Walters was spending her free time with the Assads. They just weren’t as busy as they have been lately.
Walters is 82 years old. The fact that she can’t get it up to communicate indignation, or outrage, at as loathsome a creature as Assad—and the fact that she once befriended him, in some sort of bid for international cachet and glamor—is more than enough evidence that it’s time for her to step aside and hand the microphone to someone capable of recognizing evil when it invites them to dinner.
Afghanistan : Nine dead in Taliban assault on British Council in Kabul
Somalia : Turkey to set up embassy in Somalia
Money and Markets
Greg @Clayman of The Daily (via Reddit) : In 4 years, the Back to the Future movie will be as old to us as 1955 was to us when Back to the Future came out.
The first in a perhaps continuing series
Israel/Egypt: Gunmen kill six in Israel in attack near Egypt border
Syria: via @Reuters: “The United States is certain that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “on his way out,” - senior U.S. official”
Money and Markets
Markets taking again, down over 500 at one point today