Anne Smedinghoff Didn’t Have to Die Part 2

[ Last week, Zen hosted Pete Turner’s guest post, PRT and State Department Ignorance Fails Us All. Here is part 2 of that article — posted by Charles Cameron for Zen ] . ** Last week I wrote about the tragedy of Anne Smedinghoff, who died on a patrol in Qalat Afghanistan.  This is part […] Read more »

New Book- The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House

[by Mark Safranski / a.k.a  “zen“] The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House […] by Zalmay Khalilzad Just received a courtesy review copy of The Envoy, the memoir of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, from Christine at St. Martin’s Press. Khalilzad was part of a small group of diplomatic troubleshooters and heavy hitters for the second Bush […] Read more »

Guest Post: PRT and State Department Ignorance Fails Us All

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“]             Anne Smedinghoff ZP is pleased to bring you a guest post by Pete Turner, co-host of The Break it Down Show and is an advocate of better, smarter, transition operations. Turner has extensive overseas experience in hazardous conditions in a variety of positions including operations: […] Read more »

The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security by Bartholomew Sparrow In writing The Strategist, Bartholomew Sparrow has demonstrated that his talents as a biographer match his skill as a scholar. Cautious and careful, in telling the life and national security career of the highly regarded Brent Scowcroft, Sparrow […] Read more »

Juxtaposition: chess in Wahhabism and Buddhism

[ by Charles Cameron — on the focus of similarity — sameness or differences? ] . As I said recently, juxtaposition does not imply eqivalence. It is only too easy these days to see a headline like Chess is ‘haram and a waste of time,’ says grand mufti of Saudi Arabia and view it purely […] Read more »

Reminders, and other signs

[ by Charles Cameron — the camps, theirs and ours, and nuking Mecca, with a pinch of Lynch ] . Here are the reminders.. ** These DoubleQuotes arose in the context of comments by Georgetown Syria specialist Marc Lynch, better known on the web as the blogger Abu Aardvark, on a recent On the Media […] Read more »

America’s Anti-Agoge

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] “….Instead of softening their feet with shoe or sandal, his rule was to make them hardy through going barefoot. This habit, if practiced, would, as he believed, enable them to scale heights more easily and clamber down precipices with less danger.” – Xenophon, The Polity of the Lacedaemonians “Be quiet! […] Read more »

Nuclear sites and religion, flags and clouds

[ by Charles Cameron — Oak Ridge, Albi, Bushehr, a Sinan mosque, clouds formation, the Karmapas ] . Cheryl Rofer very kindly suggested a DoubleQuote to me today, comparing and contrasting the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, Oak Ridge: and the Cathedral of Albi — heart of the district in which the Albigensians / Cathars […] Read more »

Armageddon: if you can’t hasten it, maybe you can dodge it?

[ by Charles Cameron — plus a date-setting video, awaiting The End in 2031! ] . Armageddon. Even if you can’t hotwire it.. you may still be able to dodge it.. ** From the late Israeli analyst, Reuven Paz: Jihadi apocalyptic discourse, either by Jihadi-Salafi scholars, clerics, or supporters of global Jihad is one of […] Read more »