Sunday Reading for the New Years

I mean, really, how can EVERYTHING get cock-ed up by this Administration? A farce of a public trial and a lynching later, they managed to convert a bloody tyrant into a shaheed – it is downright pathetic. They should have thrown him back into that spider hole in which they found him along w/ some food. But, no. The video of the hanging – with the taunts, the thugs in leather and ski-mask, his last words of shahahda – is everywhere, fueling the narrative of a sunni martyr.

  • And, in the meantime, the vaccum continues on Capitol Hill. Escalation, surge, whatever is being ‘debated’. As if 140,000 soldiers only need 40,000 more – and not leaders with some notion of the history and religion of the societies in which they are operating [pdf link. Answers here.]. Really, What about the Iraqis?
  • In the NYT, Zizek takes issue with the hypocrisy and ineptitude involved in the trial. Zizek, also rips off an old Sikh joke in there. Or is it an old Irish joke? I need to look into the historical development of Sardar ji jokes.
  • Speaking of dictators, Tariq Ali in the LRB, gives a nice rundown of Pakistan’s past affairs with military ones – from Ayub to Zia to the General. It is a rollicking good read and guaranteed to make the neocons rush a call for democracy in Pakistan.
  • Things are bad in Afghanistan, too. For the British, who seem to be the only ones paying attention, the BBC finds rare historical proof that “the forefathers of the Taleban were every bit as ruthless as they are today”. Oh, brother. “Then as now, British troops faced a determined enemy described by Churchill as people who “fight without passion and kill without loss of temper”. Oh, brother. [thx to bulbul and umair for the tip]
  • Well, forget all this depressing stuff. I, for one, welcome our insect overlords. We, Chicagoans have been talking non-stop about this. Ok. No.
  • How to apply for jobs in Dubai. Canadians are arseholes, too?
  • David Denby, in the NYer, gets thoughtful on Hollywood, cinema and the ways in which we watch movies. It is hard nostalgia and some idiosyncratic reading of technology but well worth your while to read.
  • Deborah Solomon tries hard to kick Cat Stevens in the balls. Thats one mean lady with some issues. [via lapata]
  • And finally, Cliopatria Awards 2006 are announced. My heartiest congratulations to the best of historical blogging on the nets ESP. CM fav. – Bill Turkel’s Digital History Hacks for Best New Blog.

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sepoy

what is the vertiginous chapati saying to me?

5 thoughts on “Sunday Reading for the New Years”

  1. Jermaine has caused national controversy by openly praying his obligatory five time prayers live on national TV. However Channel Four the Broadcaster has censored any footage of the Former Jackson Five practicing his faith. Outraged muslims have begun to complain on grounds of fair representation as Shilpa Shetty was broadcast practicing Yoga, they are demanding an explanation from Channel four as to why Jermaine Praying has been censored. Complaints to Ofcom the body that adjudicates media complaints are set to flood in this monday. Jermaine has begun to attract many thousands of muslim votes.

  2. Seeing as you’re from Pakistan and already commenting on the pear-shaped-ness of the Northwestern Frontier, I figured I’d pose a question.

    How much further is Al Qaeda’s control of Pakistan likely to spread beyond Waziristan?

  3. Well, I wouldn’t put it as al-Qaeda’s control of Pakistan. Those tribal forces in Waziristan do not look kindly to outsiders – whether al-Qaeda or Army – and they may let them operate there but that could turn on a dime.

    As for the spread of al-Qaeda/Islamist tendencies outside the No Mans Land of Waziristan – the chances are slim unless the military allows it – Pakistan does function as a police state when it needs to.

  4. Deborah Solomon’s interview schtick for everybody is to be unproductively confrontational, but whenever Islam, Muslims, or especially Palestinians come up she gets real nasty. cf. her inteviews with the Saudi dude who tried to endow a Harvard chair in Islamic studies, the new female Episcopalian head bishop, and Mira Nair. (Nair gave as good as she got, or better, iirc). Not to mention telling chomsky he sounded like a “self-hating Jew”- I kid you not.

    …thank you for all the good reads!

  5. Thanks. Whenever I read news that touches on South Asia, I feel like a first year undergrad reading a post-structuralist article in a course reader. It’s interesting, but I know that there’s a ton of background that I don’t have which I need to understand it properly.

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