Editor's Letter

Our Middle East coverage continues this week with a series of strong and passionate pieces. John Pilger is in Washington where he dissects the US propaganda that rewrites the history not just of recent conflicts involving Israel, but all American foreign policy of past decades. Charles Glass, the former Beirut hostage, provides a historical context to the assault, while on our excellent archive page we have a piece from 1982 written by Edward Mortimer, now director of communications for Kofi Annan. I'd also like to draw your attention to the ultimate insiders' guide to Tony Blair's approach towards the Bush administration - no, not written by a New Statesman regular, but by Sir Stephen Wall, long-time British Ambassador and until recently the Prime Minister's chief adviser on Europe.

And yet sometimes we have to look beyond the immediate crises to other issues that, in the long term, are of grave importance. Few readers, I imagine, will have a strong knowledge of hedge funds, what they are and what they do (I certainly didn't). Janet Bush, former Economics Editor at the Times, provides a chilling guide into an industry worth trillions that can bring down governments and major corporations seemingly at will.

The new NS being what it is, we combine light and shade. What other online and offline publication can boast in the same issue a diary from John Harris in Cuba; a book extract on identity from Amartya Sen, no less; a strong piece of reportage on the upcoming French elections; John Gray as the lead books essay; machismo in books and arts ... and Julian Clary...

Through the summer, your reading will be as compelling as ever...