Sunday, 22 February 2009

Bags of money, up for grabs . . .

. . . and Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan. Also India, China, Russia, and, um, Iran? And hard, long, difficult, challenging, and hard.

Some words from two conversations about Afghanistan on the Charlie Rose Show. From last Monday February 16th, a discussion with Milt Bearden, Dexter Filkins, Craig Mullaney and Martha Raddatz (via this SWJ post on Craig Mullaney’s new book The Unforgiving Minute), and from last Friday February 20th, an interview with Richard Holbrooke.

Recently I posted on Afghanistan and tea drinking. Here’s a tea reference that’s more to the point, in words from General Petraeus earlier this month:
A nuanced appreciation of the local situation is essential. Leaders and troopers have to understand the tribal structures, the power brokers, the good guys and the bad guys, local cultures and history, and how systems are supposed to work and do work. This requires listening and being respectful of local elders and mullahs, and farmers and shopkeepers – and it also requires, of course, many cups of tea.
That quote was used to open a radio discussion on The Brian Lehrer Show with Nathaniel Fick and John Nagl, all about counter-insurgency and Afghanistan, broadcast on WNYC February 10th, again via the Small Wars Journal.

Also on that same SWJ post, a TV interview with Tom Ricks on The Daily Show. An excerpt from his new book The Gamble, about the surge strategy in Iraq, appeared in The Times on Saturday and attracted the notice of both Mick Hartley and Norman Geras. The headline was Emma Sky, British ‘tree-hugger’ in Iraq who learnt to love US military.

Out with the family on Wednesday, we chanced upon this exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society showing Victorian photographs and drawings of Afghanistan, with a few more recent images included as comparisons. The exhibition still has a few days to run. I would have liked to have spent longer, but Dan Dare beckoned us further down Exhibition Road.

One of the photos in the Royal Geographical Society exhibition turns up in a recent post at Ghosts of Alexander, ‘Afghanisation’, a rather unfortunate neologism.

Two links to close: returning to a favourite theme, from Roland, This is “Realism”? And good news on the Canadian home front via Terry, Jonathon Narvey: Cheer The Hell Up. Of course once you start linking to Terry and his friends it’s hard to stop, but enough is enough is too much.

No comments: