Interview with The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson



On Wednesday afternoon, I attended some panel discussions hosted by the Premio Gabriel García Márquez de Periodismo, a yearly festival that celebrates Spanish-language journalism. The list of panelists included Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker, whose work I started following after I read his biography of Che Guevara. He’s a seasoned journalist who has covered Latin American politics for decades, writing profiles of people like Fidel Castro, Augusto Pinochet, the King of Spain, and Gabo himself. He’s also covered conflicts around the world in Africa and the Middle East, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given his experience in the region, I wanted to get his take on US decision to strike ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He was in a bit of a rush, but was kind enough to give me a short interview after the panel discussion. Here’s what he said: Continue reading


US Cable Blames Israel For Stalling Peace Agreement (1975)

A cable available in Wikileaks’ “Public Library of US Diplomacy” shows that the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Atkins, believed in January 1975 that Israel was the primary impediment to peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

As the Jerusalem Post recently put it, the cable “concluded that it was Israel’s stubborn position that was holding back peace.”

The cable suggested that Israel was “disingenuous” when it claimed that Arab states would never agree to give security guarantees for Israel, and thus couldn’t relinquish control of the territories occupied in the ’67 war. It specifically points to the “Arab decision in Algiers to give de facto  recognition to Israel in its 1967 borders” and that this decision gave Israelis “almost everything they have ever asked for since 1948.”

Included in the cable was the claim that even Egypt and Syria, Israel’s primary adversaries at the time, “yearn for peace.”

A rarely mentioned event in the peace process is the January 1976 UN Security Council Resolution, backed by the PLO and the Arab states with the Soviet Union, calling for a two-state solution based UN Resolution 242 and the international consensus, vetoed by the US.

This is the last portion of the cable:

Courtesy of Wikileaks

Courtesy of Wikileaks