The Afghans are probably the world champions in resisting foreign domination and infiltration into their country.
During the 19th century, Britain fought two wars in unsuccessful attempts to subjugate the Afghans. When Britain finally drew a border between India and Afghanistan in 1893, Pashtun tribes in southern Afghanistan were cut off from related tribes across the border in what was then India and is now Pakistan.
Iran's most formidable modern leader, Reza Shah Pahlavi, was obsessed with the idea of building a steel mill, but in 1941, soon after he assembled all the components, Allied armies invaded Iran, and the project had to be abandoned.
King Frederick I of Prussia conceived the Amber Chamber in 1701 as a magnificent gift to the Russian royal family that would seal the alliance between the two powers.
Many Americans, and many more people around the world, have been outraged by what they see as President George W. Bush's radical reordering of American foreign policy.
Want to depose the government of a poor country with resources? Want to bash Muslims? Want to build support for American military interventions around the world? Want to undermine governments that are raising their people up from poverty because they don't conform to the tastes of Upper West Side intellectuals? Use human rights as your excuse!
During the Cold War, America took sides not only in disputes between Arab countries, but also in debates within them.
Samarkand, with its magnificent mosques, tombs and dazzling ensembles of ceramic tiles, is still one of the world's most awe-inspiring cities.
Every nation, like every individual, would like to believe it owes 'no apology' to anyone. Adults realise, however, that few among us are purely innocent or utterly blameless.
Successive American presidents have turned a blind eye to piles of evidence that Saudi money is being used to foment holy war against America.
As publishers focus on blockbusters, they steadily lose interest in little-known authors from other countries.
By the late 1970s, repression and economic chaos were causing increasing unrest throughout Latin America. Army strongmen were forced to cede power in Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
During the 1990s the United States sought to impose the 'Washington Consensus' on Latin American governments. It embodied what Latin Americans call 'neo-liberal' principles: budget cuts, privatization, deregulation of business, and incentives for foreign companies. This campaign sparked bitter resistance and ultimately collapsed.
Guatemala's ornate presidential palace, once a terrifying fortress whose every corridor was patrolled by heavily armed soldiers in berets and camouflage uniforms, is now a normal public building where ordinary citizens enter without fear.
Other places are also generators of far-flung violence beyond their own borders - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are obvious examples - but none has as long a history of war, resistance, and terror as Chechnya.
The history of Chechnya is one of imperialism gone terribly wrong. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Chechens were among the few peoples to fend off Mongol conquerors, but at a terrible cost. Turks, Persians, and Russians sought to seize Chechnya, and it was finally absorbed into the Russian Empire in 1859.
Eagles rarely fail to catch their prey. They usually kill it quickly by breaking its neck with their powerful claws.
At the end of the day, there is still one function of journalism that cannot be computerized, and that is reporters. You're always going to need reporters.
Revolutionaries who come to power by force of arms usually have great crimes in their background. Leaders who survive campaigns by great powers to destroy them do not survive because they observe the niceties of law. Subversives who shape world events by covert action and violence work in shadows and detest the light of day.
Sultan Mehmet had good relations with the Medici family and other powerful Italian clans, especially in Venice and Florence, and at his request, they sent him artists and craftsmen by the dozen.