Nuclear Pakistan Sees The Saudi Game Against Qatar and Iran and Says, ‘No Thanks’ (The Daily Beast)

ISLAMABAD—The wheels are already coming off Donald Trump’s grand Muslim anti-terror coalition and there is a quiet sigh of relief here in the Pakistani capital. It all appeared so simple when viewed from the glittering palaces of Trump’s Riyadh summit. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and dozens of other Muslims nations versus Iran in a “battle […]

Black & White and Trump All Over (ForeignPolicy.com)

EVERETT, Washington — Maybe it was jet lag. But the scene seemed a bit surreal: the African-American hawker selling “Donald ‘Fucking’ Trump” buttons, the young Hispanic guy with the “Build a Wall” T-shirt, the grinning fellow of Chinese descent strategically placed behind the podium. I had stepped off a flight from the United Arab Emirates […]

Not All Islamists are Out to Kill Us (ForeignPolicy.com)

(July 19, 2016) The challenge Tweeted by Donald Trump’s military advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, after the horrific Nice massacre was clear and direct. “In next 24 hours, I dare Arab & Persian world ‘leaders’ to step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick and must B healed.” The same day, Newt […]

‘The Rise of the American Taliban’ (Foreign Policy)

KARACHI, Pakistan (Feb. 4, 2016)— In the strongholds of hard-line Pakistani Islamist thought, they are talking about Donald Trump and laughing. Then they shake their heads with concern. “He doesn’t belong in the White House, he belongs in a mental hospital,” 46-year-old Hafez Tahrir Ashrafi, a Muslim cleric who is head of the country’s Ulema […]

A chessboard Middle East: Russia’s pawn is Syria (The Seattle Times)

 By Lawrence Pintak, Special to The Seattle Times — (Oct. 17, 2015) MODERN Syria is dead. Russia’s intervention into the bloody four-year conflict cements that reality. Now U.S. policymakers must plan for what comes next. And it’s not pretty. Officially, the Russians say they entered Syria to fight the radical Islamic State. But they come […]

Money, politics, power struggles — Pakistan’s media scandal has it all (GlobalPost)

By Lawrence Pintak (May 25, 2015) KARACHI, Pakistan — A government raid on the company that is bankrolling Pakistan’s newest media conglomerate has highlighted the corruption and infighting within the country’s news industry. A front-page article in The New York Times early last week accused Karachi-based Axact — which calls itself “the world’s leading IT company” — of […]

Who is killing Pakistan’s educated elite? (GlobalPost/USA Today)

By Lawrence Pintak May 23, 2015 KARACHI, Pakistan — “We live in a kingdom of fear, fortified by religious extremism and intolerance,” columnist Ghazi Salahiddin recently wrote in The News on Sunday, one of Pakistan’s leading English-language newspapers. Such hyperbole reinforces stereotypes about Pakistan. But sometimes, stereotypes contain more than a grain of truth. This […]

How Bob Simon, Brian Williams Present a Parable of the Digital Age (PBS MediaShift)

(Feb. 13, 2015) It’s not about you; it’s about the story. That’s what we tell TV journalism students. The tragic death of 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon reminds us that even in the video selfie culture of TV news, accurate reporting matters. Bob’s death after a lifetime of covering conflict comes against the backdrop of […]

We Are Not All Charlie Hebdo (Spokesman-Review)

(Jan. 18, 2015) It was a good week for American journalism. To state the obvious, there is no justification for the brutal attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo by al-Qaida-inspired extremists. The fallout, however, has sparked one of the healthiest debates about journalistic rights and responsibilities American journalism has seen in recent years. […]

Media, Policy, and Conflict in Pakistan (CJR.org)

(April 25, 2014) — Pakistan’s raucous and increasingly lethal media sector is exerting a powerful effect on decision-making in the country, even though journalists themselves are divided on whether their influence is positive or negative. That’s the key finding of a survey of more than 350 Pakistani journalists, policymakers, and academics. The recent assassination attempt […]