Guest Post: Why the United States cannot put Boots on the Ground to Fight ISIS

[Mark Safranski / “zen“] Today, I’m pleased to offer a guest post by LtCol. Bob Weimann, USMC (ret.) .  Weimann is the former Commanding Officer, Kilo Co., 3/1 and Weapons Company 3/1. He also served as a Marine Security Force Company commanding officer, an infantry battalion Operations Officer and the Executive Officer of 1/6 during Desert Storm. […] Read more »

Orlando Tweets One

[ by Charles Cameron — on the variety of possible motives ] . On twitter alone, there’s far too much going on as we scramble to understand the Orlando massacre for anyone to make a useful summary, although I must say that Rukmini Callimachi‘s twitter feed since yesterday has been superb. My own first assortment […] Read more »

Romance as a precursor drug, and as a cure, for terror

[ by Charles Cameron — a scary thought for a poet, given that “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet / are of imagination all compact” ] . Considering the matter of altered states of consciousness as they relate to terrorism, I’m reminded of one of Shankara’s aphorisms: Who is the greatest hero? He who […] Read more »

Human Sacrifice and State-Building

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] A while back I had a longish post that argued that the mass executions practiced by ISIS drew from the long pagan tradition of ritualistic human sacrifice. Today in the news, some social scientists see evidence of human sacrifice as the catalyst for establishing and maintaining stratified, hierarchical and (usually) oppressive […] Read more »

Terror Is Glamour as War is Game

[ by Charles Cameron — on the necessary simultaneity of temporal and eternal perspectives ] . ** First as to glamour -– it may help to reflect that glamour, our word, comes not from Vogue but from the same origins as grammar (referring to languages) and grimoire (a book of spells, spelling also being a […] Read more »

New Book ! Global Radical Islamist Insurgency

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] Torn from the pages of Small Wars Journal….. Global Radical Islamist Insurgency: al Qaeda and Islamic State Networks Focus Vol. II 2012-2014  edited by Dave Dilegge and Robert Bunker New and looking to be very useful. Right up the alley for our own Charles Cameron and friends of ZP blog […] Read more »

Quick notes pending review

[ by Charles Cameron — slowed down by health issues, but getting there slowly ] . A quick announcement from Tim Furnish: The second of my complementary volumes on Islam and Islamic world issues is finally up on Amazon, albeit at this point only in Kindle format. Sects, Lies, and the Caliphate: 10 Years of […] Read more »

Early notes on McCants’ The ISIS Apocalypse

[ by Charles Cameron — a couple of grace-notes while I’m working on my review of Will McCants‘ book, The ISIS Apocalypse ] . One: My first note concerns the elegant way in which McCants‘ view of the changing state of IS eschatology as it has developed in practice conforms to Max Weber‘s theory of […] Read more »

Islamic State, Etat Chrétien

[ by Charles Cameron — breaking news, and I hope it stays broken ] . Here’s the breaking news in French, followed by my comments, then back to the document in question: ** There’s a symmetry to the names, Etat Chrétien and Islamic State — and a considerable asymmetry as to the size of the […] Read more »

Two ways a resemblance can be unwelcome

[ by Charles Cameron — NSFW, I repeat, NSFW , maybe ] . You can be photoshopped from Canada to France, Sikh to Muslim, &c — That’s an iPad, not a Quran, and the Dastar (turban) is worn by Sikhs. pic.twitter.com/xkKzJ0G65f — Grasswire Fact Check (@grasswirefacts) November 14, 2015 The fake (on the left), photoshopped […] Read more »