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 »

Waiting for the other Max Boot to drop

[ by Charles Cameron — on the Tamil Tigers that did not bark in the night ] . It’s interesting to read Max Boot‘s chronology of suicide attacks in his Commentary piece, What It Takes to Stop Islamic Terror today: It’s worth remembering that suicide bombing is a relatively recent tactic: It was first used […] 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. — Grasswire Fact Check (@grasswirefacts) November 14, 2015 The fake (on the left), photoshopped […] Read more »

Jottings 11: self-immolators and suicide bombers?

[ by Charles Cameron -- on some aspects of religiously motivated suicide, and I'm not clear why I called this one a jotting, since it's quite long and detailed ] . . I have been taking a couple of online courses on terrorism in recent months, and in one of them I ran across a [...] Read more »

Furnish on Pew findings re: Islam

[ Charles Cameron presenting guest-blogger Timothy Furnish ] . . I’m delighted to welcome Dr Timothy Furnish as a guest-blogger here on Zenpundit. Dr Furnish has served as an Arabic linguist with the 101st Airborne and as an Army chaplain, holds a PhD in Islamic history from Ohio State, is the author of Holiest Wars: [...] Read more »

A recurrent fashion in explosive headgear?

[ by Charles Cameron -- two Taliban "peace" envoys who blow themselves up, and two bombs in two turbans ] . I didn’t catch this at the time, but there’s a curious echo of the most celebrated of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons… in the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani, head of the Afghan High Peace Council. I [...] Read more »

Ashura: the Passion of Husayn

[ by Charles Cameron -- today's solemn commemorations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in comparative religious perspective ] . I was listening to Mozart‘s Requiem last night, and it is rich in grief shot through with glory. That’s the thing about mourning celebrations in which death is accompanied by the “sure and certain hope [...] Read more »

“Ground Hog Day” Afghanistan Style — Lara Logan Shining Light Where Needed

[by J. Scott Shipman] This is worth the 20 minutes. Strategy without clarity, isn’t. There is no clarity or strategy to our current problems in Afghanistan. “We have killed all the slow and stupid ones. But that means the ones that are left are totally dedicated.” Ambassador Ryan Crocker Cross posted at To Be or [...] Read more »