Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Friday, December 26, 2008

Latest Additions to the Anti-Library

Santa's visit has me flush with the coveted bookstore gift card's. The Antilibrary grows:

"Taliban," Ahmed Rashid: Written and published pre-9/11 this book should meld nicely with my other readings regarding Afghanistan, none of which have focused directly on the Taliban. A good bridge between Kaplan's "Soldiers of God" and Wrights "The Looming Tower," or Bergen's "The Osama bin Laden I Know."

"Why Orwell Matters," Christopher Hitchens: Hitchens is one of the few writers that I thoroughly enjoy reading even if I completely disagree with what he's got to say. Given the presumed nature of this essay, I suspect I'll both enjoy reading and be in much agreement with what's written.

"Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran," Elaine Sciolino: Iran fascinates me, especially so since reading Christopher De Bellague's "In the Rose Garden of Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran" and Mark Bowden's "Guests of the Ayatollah."


JoshSN said...

Rashid is interesting, but occasionally he comes at things from a very Pakistan viewpoint (there are two Pashtuns, the Pakistans, and "up-country" Pashtuns, by which he means the Afghani ones).

I tend to really not like Hitchens because of his g*d work. I'm an atheist, but he sounds like a bitter, angry drunk. Most Christians are _trying_ to be good, they get together weekly to _try_ to be good. Way over 90% of the world adheres to one or another of these belief systems. Why make it into some sort of premeditated criminal activity? Only a few use it that way.

Anyway, you and I know that nothing new in Hamas rocket attacks in the last weeks or months justified using the Christmas news cycle lull to launch a large scale (120+ killed, and you and I know they weren't all rocketeers).

On the 2nd day of Christmas, Olmert gave to me, enough bombs to blow up my 'hood.

Weren't you saying something about a country not having to put up with that sort of thing, and it justifying retaliation?

Just asking.

Mike said...

Totally OT, but I figured you would be interested in this story..."Mexican beauty queen arrested in trucks carrying loads of guns and ammo."

Also, got two books for Christmas...Bing West's The Strongest Tribe, which so far has confirmed a lot of stuff I already knew about the 2003-2006 timeframe in Iraq (just getting into the start of the Awakening) and the memoirs of a Waffen-SS machine gunner called Black Edelweiss. It's quite good, both in its depictions of battle in Lapland in WWII and the author's struggle to come to terms with the evilness of his organization in particular and his country in general, despite the fact that both he and his comrades fought with honor.

Jay@Soob said...

JSN, thanks for the insight on Rashid.
As for my "justifying" retaliation that would seem to be an inference on your part rather than what my comment entailed.

Of course one of the biggest obstacles in the Israeli/Arab debacle is the concept of "justification." It lends a chicken/egg endlessness to the problem and the end game is a galvanized duel between the pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian sects of geo-policy with no attention payed to plausible solutions.

As for your "Israel stop settling" solution, these rocket attacks began just after Israel dismantled it's settlements in Gaza. The solution, I'm afraid, is a tad more complex than merely tossing in your lot with the Pro-Palestinian side of the above mentioned chicken/egg debate.

Jay@Soob said...

Mike, I'd read that story. Good times in Mexico these days.

The Bing West "Strongest Tribe" has been on the "buy list" for a while now. Let me know what you think of it.