October 2009

Just Islam or Just Islam

I guess the burning Obama effigy adds some to the context but enquiring minds do want to know ... [h/t jason] Afghans shout slogans during a protest in front of the parliament building in Kabul October 25, 2009. Afghan police used fire to disrupt the protest by thousands of people in the capital Kabul on [...]

Shut Down the NEH

Seriously! In the list of horrible waste of tax-payer's hard earned money exposed by Fox News, I saw this: $50,000 to build a computer model of an ancient city in Pakistan complete with "animated and interactive 'inhabitants'. If history is our guide, it won't be long before these inhabitants fall to radical ideologies and turn [...]


Riazat Butt,Welcome to Slackistan: Pakistan's first ever slacker movie, The Guardian, Saturday 24 October 2009: That would be, according to Khan, with a one–man crew, no script, no budget, no permission and, at one point, when the Taliban were just 60 miles away from Islamabad. Mumblecore has finally reached Islamabad, and just in time!

The Nation Forum on Afghanistan

For curious bystanders: the Afghanistan: A Special Issue, Nov 9, 2009, includes a short piece by me. I especially draw your attention to the Priya Satiya and Selig Harrison. And Stephen Walt. Ok, just read the whole forum. Related: Please see Basharat Peer, Outline of the Republic, The Review - National, Oct 22 2009.

Forgotten Afghanistan

Some reminders: 1. Remembering Afghanistan’s Golden Age by Elizabeth Bumiller. Includes a multimedia essay. 2. Kabul - City Number One by Adam Curtis - documentarian and researcher. (thanks to Arno) 3. Life Before Death by Michael Yon.

Sheik of Araby II

via Babu ... Ahab the Arab: Sheikh of the Burning Sand, Ray Stevens, 1962 Silently through the night to the sultan's tent where he would secretly meet up with Fatima of the Seven Veils, swingingest grade "A" number one US choice dancer in the sultan's whole harem, 'cause, heh, him and her had a thing [...]

Tribalizing Afghanistan

Ahmad Shayeq Qassem, "Afghanistan: Imperatives of Stability Misperceived". Iranian Studies, 42:2, 247-274. Similarly, while the Afghan government appeared keen to disarm the predo- minantly non-Pushtun armed groups in the north, northeast and west of the country, it actually distributed more arms to the mainly Pushtun eastern and southern provinces in an effort to institute what [...]

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