Category Archives: Middle East

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Israel But Were Afraid To Ask

After a summer break, another episode of International Edition with Levy and Counsell is up at [iTunes link to follow.] Here’s the Ricochet blurb: TV news shows often only turn up in distant countries when the shooting starts. This approach can scare off, or simply puzzle, intelligent and curious viewers who would prefer more backstory […]

International Edition with Levy and Counsell Episode 12: Michael J Totten

This week, Judith Levy and I interviewed independent international correspondent Michael J. Totten. Michael Totten, who has reported extensively from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Sohrab Ahmari of Commentary wrote of Michael that he "practices journalism in the tradition of Orwell: morally imaginative, partisan in the best sense of the word, and delivered in […]

Levy & Counsell podcast 4: National Manners, International Diplomacy, and Statehood at the United Nations

Over at, our producer Scott named this podcast The Politics of Petulance after an article of the same name by David Horovitz in the Times Of Israel that Judith and I mention towards the end of our discussion. There are a few other sources I’d like to give credit to: Yau-Man Chan at Skepticblog writing about the curious cult of […]

The Levy & Counsell Podcast, episode 3: special guest Claire Berlinski

This is the first edition of the podcast that’s freely available gratis to people who don’t subscribe to Ricochet so fill yer boots. Judith and I just wound Claire up and let her run, though I did press her to come up with some hard, pragmatic reasons for the West (the US) to intervene in […]

Levy & Counsell podcast 2: Special Edition

Judith and I discuss current events in Israel for The sound is better all round this time, though it’s clear I’m going to have to work on being a bit slicker. It’s possibly a good thing that I talk slowly out of a fear of saying something stupid. To quote one of our listners […]

The first Levy & Counsell podcast at

Oh the irony. My contribution to the first (test) Levy & Counsell podcast as token friendly Lefty at online US conservative community was marred by technical problems. Even I find it hard to follow the thread as I listen to this because my audio breaks up and I speak even more slowly and haltingly than I […]

Dancing about architecture

There is a small, ugly overlap between the kind of people who complain about reduced state funding for the arts and education in the UK and the kind of people who excuse the burning of books, advocate the closure of places of learning, attack performances of classical music, and disrupt debates in bookshops. Outside this […]

Emeritus Professor Of Political Thought explains Muslim Rage

There’s a letter in today’s Economist about the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya by fundamentalist extremists that encapsulates the rich blend of bigotry, ignorance, non sequitur, crude generalization, snobbery, and sheer, gobsmacking stupidity in which the thought processes of fashionable over-educated opinion stew. It also gives me an opportunity to try out my new […]

Bush Was Right

This would be a good day to quote and laugh at some of the many racist articles written over the past few years that warned us not to “inflame the Arab Street”, that rhetorical mass of undifferentiated savages that “we” created by interfering in the Noble Civilizations of the region with our Imperialist Adventures, and […]

What Hamas Gets Up To When No One (Here) Is Looking

Over at Ricochet, Judith Levy illustrates her commentary on the state of the “ceasefire” with a picture of the effects of another rocket attack from Gaza on a rehabilitation centre for special needs kids in Israel two days ago. For “prison camp” guards, the Israelis are surprisingly easygoing. …the attack on Sderot took place twenty-four […]

Parachute Pants

hammertime 2 —originally uploaded by gigiagius. Fresh from Iran’s Holocaust conference here’s a screen capture from a revisionist film showing the Nazis for the fun-loving japesters they really were. (And this is neat.) Like this:Like Loading…

Euston Invocation Of The Week

From a review entitled “Understanding Borat” on the blog The Libyan Observer: Moreover, nowadays, when the Jewish State’s influence within the American administration is academically and historically established (The Israel Lobby, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt) when the support for Neoconservatism that has lead to a genocide in Iraq is largely endorsed by the Zionist […]


Today, unique visits to PooterGeek have been cruising at the elevated level of 50-plus an hour. Why? Because this site has just entered the top ten on Arabic Google for the search term “boobs“. Like this:Like Loading…

Consulting Intelligence

Thanks to the Anonymous Economist for sending me a copy of a New York Times article that highlights some of the monumental point-missing of the current debates about (for example) Iraq and the War on Terror simply by asking a dumb question. CAN YOU TELL A SUNNI FROM A SHIITE? By JEFF STEIN FOR the […]

Ungulating Landscape

Snopes usually only publishes striking images to debunk them, but sometimes the truth really is out there. Look at the camels. Like this:Like Loading…

Awkward Casting Problem Solved

From The New York Daily News: “According to the incident report obtained by, [Mel Gibson] embarked on a belligerent, anti-Semitic outburst when he realized he had been busted. “F—–g Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” Mee’s report quotes him as saying. “Are you a Jew?” Gibson asked the […]

And Next Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Goes To…

Some misquotes are more serious than others. [thanks to Claire] Like this:Like Loading…

Walken For President

AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI is man-handled into his office. Waiting for him are four associates, standing: CONDOLEEZZA, RUMSFELD (an old Wise-guy), VICE-PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER, and BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BOB HOSKINS (a fireplug pitbull type). PRESIDENT WALKEN sits in KHAMENEI’s recliner KHAMENEI is knocked to his knees. He looks up to see a smiling WALKEN. They pick him up […]


I once put it to Norm jokingly that one reason he has the patience to pick through the foul-smelling giblets of articles like Madeleine Bunting’s in yesterday’s Guardian is that he has spent years marking terrible student essays. The truth is it’s because he is a top bloke. Rather him than me though. Like this:Like […]

Democracy, Whiskey, Busty

You can thank Judith for this shocking example of US cultural insensitivity: “the almost unthinkable personification of everything the people we’re fighting hate: hot blond Christian white girls, not too smart and seductively dressed, ready to dispense justice and the American spirit while leading a sexy attack, thus confusing the enemy into masturbating instead of […]

The Last Outpost Of Traditional Rule

The ever-temperate front page of The Independent screams, “IS LEBANON WALKING INTO ANOTHER NIGHTMARE?” Without a copy to hand, I think you can imagine the name and the roseate visage that make up the byline beneath the headline. Because the Indie charges for access to the online version of its output I can only quote […]

Iran’s Nuclear Programme: The Truth

The BBC has a round-up of “experts’” views on “Iran’s nuclear crisis”. Helpfully, after the introduction to the piece, each comment is abstracted to a single line. One of the wise men questioned by Auntie—Sanam Vakil, of the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington—offers this new insight into the affair: “The Iranians need some really big […]

Kickings I Have Enjoyed Recently

Squander Two on the Irish President on the Holocaust Tim Newman on Gary Younge on Uzbekistan (but really on Amerikkka of course) Michael Ignatieff on his “fellow” liberals on the Iraq elections Oliver Kamm on David Aaronovitch on Douglas Hurd Like this:Like Loading…

Isn’t Violet A Garish Colour?

At an online meeting of the imperialist-Zionist-lizardoid conspiracy today we had another idea for World Domination. Hak turned it into a neat button: Please steal it and link it to, say, this site. Like this:Like Loading…

If He Existed He’d Be Laughing

“THREE Muslim pilgrims were killed and 500 others suffered light injuries as they jostled to perform the ‘stoning of the devil’ ritual near Mecca, Saudi newspapers reported today. The crush was triggered by the arrival of ‘a large number of African pilgrims carrying their personal belongings’ at the site of the stoning in Mina called […]

The Countryside Alliance Goes In Hard

Chris The Stoat linked to The Brick Testament yesterday, showing the image of the Lego shepherds gathering. He didn’t link to the next frame of Luke, showing them drawing a bead on a messenger of the Lord with a ground-to-air missile launcher. As the angel is joined by reinforcements, the militants run for cover. Like […]

Mild Day In Hell

Do you think any of these Arab writers stand a chance of getting a regular gig at The Guardian? [Thanks to Judith.] Like this:Like Loading…

Thanks To The Grassly-Khalifehs

I meant to say thank you to Nicholas and Hind for dinner yesterday. In fact it was my discovering that Adam, the latest addition to their family, looks exactly like Nicholas, but smaller and a bit more Arab, that made me post about the Karzai photo. Thanks for the “Death to the Zionist Infidels” shopping […]

Future News: November

Live from next month, more of “Pooter’s Futures“: The Middle East The body of one of the militants believed to have been responsible for the bombing of the Hilton hotel in Taba on Egypt’s border with Israel has been washed up on a bank of the river Nile near the Egyptian town of Aswan. When […]

A Drink In The Desert

Adam spotted this one. Like this:Like Loading…

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