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Geneva on the Rhine

Twenty years ago, in the immediate aftermath of Germany’s reunification, French magazines were full of caricatures of Chancellor Helmut Kohl wearing the traditional pointed Prussian helmet. The new Germany was perceived as a threat to the European balance. Germany was simply “too much” again. German geopolitical ambitions, it was believed, would invariably seek greater proportionality […]

Saif Qaddafi & Me

Not long ago, a Harvard colleague wrote to me that Saif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a son of Libya’s dictator, would be in town and wanted to meet me. He is an interesting fellow, my colleague said, with a doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); I would enjoy talking to him, and […]

Reluctant Imperialists?

U.S. President Barack Obama’s reluctance to provide the Libyan opposition with decisive military support is understandable: There was a fear of getting bogged down as in Iraq. But more importantly, Obama wanted to avoid accusations of a foreign occupation, which might have alienated supporters of the Libyan opposition and strengthened President Muammar al Qaddafi’s line […]

Gaddafi’s War: A Diary

It wasn’t that any of this was a surprise: Gaddafi had made his position clear from the start: “Either I rule over you or I kill you, destroy you, ” said Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations, Abdurrahman Shalgham, who turned against the regime. Gaddafi threatened to wipe out the city of Benghazi hours before […]

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