The recent independence referendums in Iraqi Kurdistan and Catalonia, and the predictable heavy-handed responses from the central governments in Baghdad and Madrid, have raised many questions — a catechism without answers — on the meaning of nationhood in the 21st century. What is a nation? What is a nation-state? Is it the same as a country? Are a people, or a tribe, the same thing as a nation? In a globalized economy what does national sovereignty really mean?
My guess is most Americans don’t think of these questions. They live in “One Nation Indivisible,” even if their country doesn’t feel that way these days.… Seguir leyendo »
There has been a terrible sense of deja vu the past few days for those of us who covered the fall of Mosul in 2003. The photos of Iraqi army uniforms abandoned on the side of the roads leading away from the city; in 2003, I saw uniforms abandoned on the roadside as soldiers refused to die for Saddam Hussein. Kurdish peshmerga taking over Kirkuk; in 2003, peshmerga took control of Kirkuk. The roads from Mosul to Erbil packed with people fleeing to Kurdistan; in 2003 the same scenes. The central bank looted; ditto 2003 – except this time it had real money, dollars, as opposed to Saddam bills.… Seguir leyendo »
Our neighbors Lauren and Matt and their kids moved out of London to Cambridge the other week. Bibi, Andy and their two left for Bristol in June. Another of my 8-year-old’s classmates and her family are heading out after Christmas.
In my book this is a trend.
The moves are not examples of the life cycle of the striving middle classes. Nor are they examples of middle-class folks being thrown on hard times by the sluggish British economy. The families moving out had good incomes.
Matt, who had been looking for a house for more than three years, summed up the reason for leaving best: “I don’t want to be a slave to a mortgage for the next 25 years.” Given the astronomic rise in house prices here, he wasn’t speaking metaphorically.… Seguir leyendo »