A Tale of Two Places – Dabiq and Rumiyah

[ by Charles Cameron — Rumiyah is a city for sure, Dabiq not so much ] . The Islamic State has a new magazine out, and it’s titled Rumiyah, not Dabiq. Here’s the first inside page of the first issue of Dabiq, together with the cover of the first issue of Rumiyah: And here’s the […] Read more »

Nativism on the March?

Has the pendulum swung away from the global spread of democracy which characterized Europe and elsewhere after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 until the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the subsequent rise and fall of the Arab Spring? The forces of reaction are powerful draws in times of turbulence and disruption - draws that we too often forget. Read more »

Rome, Rome, or Rome?

[ by Charles Cameron — on Graeme Wood’s latest, the goals of IS, and geographic slippage ] . Graeme Wood, who wrote the Atlantic piece that broke the apocalyptic side of the Islamic State’s ideology wide open in March of last year, has a related piece out this month: Donald Trump and the Apocalypse, with […] Read more »

Al-Muhajiroun’s European Recruiting Pipeline

After a period of silence, a couple of new pieces, the first for the CTC Sentinel, West Point’s excellent counter-terrorism journal. This one looks at the pernicious influence of al Muhajiroun, Anjem Choudhary and Omar Bakri Mohammed’s group across Europe. It is a subject a lot more could be written about, and the volume of […] Read more »

Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 Countries

Today, President Obama visits Kenya — the 50th country he has visited during his Administration. It’s also my 50th country traveling with the President.

To mark the occasion, as I did when the President visited his 50th state, I chose one photograph from each country that we’ve visited.

Traveling abroad with the President is very different.

Often times, I am at the mercy of the host country for access. Some countries are more accommodating to me than others. I am lucky to have counterpart official photographers in many countries who are extremely helpful to me in this regard. I of course try to return the help to them when they visit the White House with their head of state.

We’re also rarely in any one country for more than a couple of days, which gives us only a partial glimpse of each place. And because of security, the sites we are able to visit are often limited too.

All that said, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, the Great Wall in China, Petra in Jordan, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma). (So I really shouldn’t complain too much.)

I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned — we’ll be adding a photograph from Kenya and additionally, Ethiopia, following his visit next week.

Afghanistan, 2012

Boarding Air Force One at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

read more

Read more »

President Obama Provides an Update on the Latest in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri

Watch on YouTube This afternoon at the White House, President Obama delivered a statement on the latest developments in Iraq and in Ferguson, Missouri — two issues he has been following closely each day. First, the President relayed to the natio... Read more »

REVIEW: The Orientalist by Tom Reiss

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] The Orientalist by Tom Reiss  Some biographies are as much about the era or the milieu as the man. The Orientalist is one of them. This is not to say that Tom Reiss has written a bad book. On the contrary, it is an enlightening and informative one, even for [...] Read more »

Of visionary rings, chariots — and tanks

[ by Charles Cameron -- responding to Steve Engel's comment on my post Purim, or Israel vs Iran redux? ] . Steve picked up on the image of the Merkabah, Ezekiel‘s visionary chariot as five wheels with wings in his comment today: noting their resemblance to the Olympic rings. Such patterns have fascinated artists and [...] Read more »

Sent to Coventry and much else besides

[ by Charles Cameron -- shall we say, not a great enthusiast for war? ] . . This image of Winston Churchill in the bombed out ruins of Coventry Cathedral is almost a self-referential paradox in itself, if you still believe the canard that he knew the Germans were going to bomb Coventry that night, [...] Read more »