Commentaries

RETROSPECTIVE

Why There's

Still Fighting in Iraq

By John Dorschner

      In early 2003, weeks before George W. Bush invaded Iraq, editor Mark Seibel in Knight-Ridder's Washington Bureau
asked me to give readers a background about that country and what the United States was facing.

      I knew almost nothing about Iraq at the time, but I did what I always did -- sought out experts. My ensuing stories
reported that Iraq was created after World War I by European powers, forcing three peoples who hated each other into
one nation. Charles Tripp, a British historian and author of A History of Iraq, told me: "Since its inception 80 years ago,
there's been a question of whether there is such a thing as an Iraqi people."

      For decades after its founding, the country was beset by civil wars and strife until a ruthless dictator, Saddam
Husseim, forced the three groups to stop fighting.  

      So what might happen if the United States overthrew Husseim? R.K. Ramazani, a Middle East expert at the University
of Virginia, said: ``Once Saddam is out of the picture, they'll be at each other's throats.''

      Ramazani said that in 2003. He probably didn't envision a decade-long U.S. occupation. But now that American
troops are out, strife has once again broken out. Sunnis are on the rampage, pushing back the Shiites, while the Kurds
are battling to control their own area -- and cable news commentators are expressing surprise and dismay about how
all the "gains" made by U.S. troops are being lost.


NOTE: This was written before the attacks of Islamic State, but the fundamental problems of Sunni versus Shiites etc still stands.



Posted Monday Feb. 24, 2014

Why Does PAMM Support the Destruction of Art?

Or

“I am the Wei, the Truth and the Life”By John Dorschner

      A Miami artist walks into the taxpayer-funded Perez Art Museum, sees an exhibit of a Chinese artist destroying an art work
and – guess what? – the Miami guy … destroys … an art work.     
      Technical score: 7.6. Originality: 0.     
      Locally, the art world and the media have blasted the criminal act, in which Maximo Caminero was arrested after smashing
an ancient vase that had been splattered with modern paint by Ai Weiwei in front of three photos of Ai dropping a Chinese vase
thousands of years old.
       Internationally, some thoughtful commentators are asking more probing questions. Click HERE to see full commentary on my blog under Feb 2014 archive.





Monday, December 9, 2013


A $2 million display down a Wynwood sidestreet and other Basel 2013 moments

 By John Dorschner

     With the heart of an amateur afficionado, this intrepid surveyor set out to see as much Art Basel that he could take without paying for admission or valet parking. This meant occasionally using a bus to get to and from Wynwood, which worked just fine. Let others complain about skimpy hors d'oeuvres, crowded streets, too many out-of-towners or slow valets. I had a great time.
    Here are my highlights for a fabulous week of art.
     
    Most unexpected moment:  The Now Contemporary Art, down a little side street in Wynwood. A friend and I peeked in near the end of a tiring day of a lot of walking, and got a huge surprise: A large installation by the Colombian artist Federico Uribe. Old briefcases made into a boat. A chandelier made of forks. Legs and shopping bags hanging from the ceiling, trees made out of baby suckers.
    You can link to video and full commentary by clicking HERE to go to blog and looking at archive for December 2013.