Magazine November 21, 2016, Issue

A Second Chance in Iraq

Iraqi forces roll south of Mosul, October 29, 2016. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty)
After ISIS falls, we must remain the ‘strongest tribe’

Just as you sometimes see geese flying south even before the weather breaks, it’s the small signs that often portend the larger transformations. And so it is in the Middle East. In late October, reports began to filter out from Mosul that young men were shaving their beards. Styles were changing, not through the world of fashion but rather through the fortunes of war.

In many places, the beard is the sign of the committed jihadist. It’s so common, in fact, that when a family describes their son’s descent into violence, his growing of a beard is often on the checklist

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Strange Superman

The Accountant, the new Ben Affleck action vehicle, is founded on a genuinely original idea. Indeed, I feel safe in ven­turing that nobody, in cinema or literature, has invented an ...


Politics & Policy


FIRST WORDS And then I resolved that thenceforward I would choose for the theme of my writing only the praise of this most gracious being. But when I had thought exceedingly, ...
Politics & Policy


Humble Experts The widespread connotation of “elitist” is one of arrogance and a haughtiness born not of achievement in the trenches but of patrician privilege. However, I feel certain this was ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We predict the morally dubious figure with an awful record in public life and much-remarked-upon blond hair will lose the election — and, unhappily, win it.  ‐ To former Bill ...


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