McCants explains the Saudis, Quantico rebukes them

[ by Charles Cameron — Saudi-sourced jihadism, the FBI, Baader-Meinhof — hey, it’s all about terrosism ] . Will McCants explains [upper panel, below] how the Saudis are and are not promoting terrorism — — while a screen-cap from episode 9 in the first season of Quantico explains just why such an approach is logically […] Read more »

Pope Francis : Francis Bacon

[ by Charles Cameron — and a tradition of natural philosophy profound enough to include Francis of Assisi ] . It’s a small point, perhaps, but M. Anthony Mills had a piece in The New Atlantis last Fall titled Is Pope Francis Anti-Modern? — which I ran across today because today 3 Quarks Daily posted […] Read more »

Military Reform through Education

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff facilitating Adaptive Soldier/Leader exercises at Fort Benning Fred Leland at LESC Blog recently had a guest post up by Dan Grazier from the Project on Government Oversight regarding the important work Don Vandergriff is doing to reform professional military education and training: Military Reform Through Education: From The […] Read more »

Takfir squared, Prisoners Dilemma and MC Escher

[ by Charles Cameron — call it backlash, backfire, or blowback, somewhere they’re dclaring takfir on the takfiris ] . Ali Minai at BrownPundits has a worthwhile take on what he calls, paradoxically enough, Unreal Islam, from which I’ve excerpted this paragraph: However, another version of takfir is now afoot in the world. Call it […] Read more »

Countering Violent Extremism as a koan, a hall of mirrors

[ by Charles Cameron -- from Raff Pantucci to Shakespeare & Borges -- plays within plays, mirrors within mirrors -- then back again ] . ** As you know, I’m in the habit of moving from apocalyptic and / or terrorist specifics to wider considerations, often more philosophical than immediately practical. Here’s the key paragraph […] Read more »

DoubleQuoting hashtags on Gaza

[ by Charles Cameron -- don't be fooled by the pretty colors, what you see is just a mass of data points artfully displayed ] . Here’s a fascinating graphic from the quantitative mode of analysis: I really don’t have much to say about this, except that if a prayer is fired off each time [...] Read more »

Gaza symmetries and asymmetries

[ by Charles Cameron -- "hatred of the other" viewed as a cognitive matter, and Richard Landes on the capacity for self-criticism ] . ** Nicholas Kristof has a post today for the NYT Sunday Review, Who’s Right and Wrong in the Middle East? — in which he explores the symmetries and asymmetries playing out [...] Read more »

BOOK REVIEW: Adaptive Leadership Handbook by Leland & Vandergriff

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Adaptive Leadership Handbook: :Law Enforcement & Security by Fred Leland & Don Vandergriff  The Adaptive Leadership Handbook is an unusual book. It is a work about thinking for men and women of action. It is an argument about learning for people whose professional life is governed by their training. Finally, [...] Read more »

Commentary on Politics and Strategy

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Infinity Journal has a good article by eminent Clausewitzian strategist Colin Gray on the interrelationship of politics and strategy (free registration required): Politics, Strategy and the Stream of Time ….Second, many scholars appear to be resistant to the conceptually, perhaps even morally, necessary recognition of the implications of the fact [...] Read more »

Recap: on HipBone / Sembl Thinking

[ by Charles Cameron -- briefly picking up a strand from an earlier post & running with it ] . ** I just wanted to reiterate an Einstein quote that I slipped into the middle of a post on the Black Madonna and iconography recently, where some readers more interested in the Sembl / HipBone [...] Read more »