Israel’s leader and cartoon diplomacy | 

It’s not clear if one should laugh or cry watching how a world leader made his case — for military intervention, no less — at the United Nations this week. Below is the actual photo of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN talking about the threat posed by Iran’s reported efforts to build nuclear weapons.


Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu explaims complex geopolitics

I was not alone in immediately thinking of Wile E. Coyote’s attempts to destroy Road Runner, a comparison which apparently occurred to almost everyone else as well, such as these reports by the Times of Israel and the Atlantic (which seems to have confused the story line by making Bugs Bunny the target of the wiley coyote….)

Times of Israel

The Atlantic

But perhaps the best perspective on Bibi’s cartoonish approach to geopolitics was provided by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show who summarized a number of bizarre comments made by world leaders at the UN this week – scoring Netanyahu as best of the bizarre:


One view on the Arab Spring: From Syrian jail cell to Muslim feminists | 

I’ve known journalist D Parvaz for a decade and may never quite see the world the way she does.

But it’s worth trying.

Parvaz is a reporter for Al Jazeera and was formerly a colleague of mine for many years at the (dearly departed print version) Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper — now

She returned to Seattle this week to moderate a talk at Seattle Town Hall by Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who used Facebook to help spark the Egyptian revolution.

Tom Paulson

D Parvaz and Wael Ghonim at Seattle Town Hall

It was a great talk and Ghonim’s story is fairly well-known, as described here on NPR, in part to publicize his new book Revolution 2.0.

But a lot of the folks in the packed room would have liked to hear from D (technically, it’s ‘Dorothy’ but she prefers D). Ghonim tried to get Parvaz to talk about that moment last year when she was world famous – jailed by Syrian officials for attempting to report on protests there.

Held for nearly three weeks, first in Syria and then later in Iran after being secretly deported there for more interrogations, many think she’s lucky to be alive.

D refused to talk last night about her own experiences and perspectives, so I will. Continue reading