Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Just for fun, and memories of the good old days.

Henry Farrell recommends Osita Nwanevu: "This is good"

The Enemies of Truth
"The true enemy of writing Packer conjures up isn’t belonging or fear, but the reader."

The pic is Henry's sister, smiling army wife. "Chicks dig the uniform", "I love a man in uniform,  "Reader, I married him", etc. 

The Farrells and Hitchens, and "Learning by Doing"

Maria Farrell, like Hitchens, is honest. And like Hitchens whether what she says is true or not –comporting with the facts–is another matter. Her brother, like Packer, is dishonest. Both make a living as pedants, writing for an audience more than for themselves, imaging their own objectivity, blind to their own affect, false humility and self-importance. Nwanevu is a U. Chicago grad building a career. He has time to learn but won't.

The Independent:
War crimes court could investigate British army for first time over alleged civilian killings in Afghanistan and Iraq
When it comes to cosying up to alleged torturers in Afghanistan, the United States military has been a slow learner. 
The US-led NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan just published a photo of Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, sharing a laugh with Kandahar strongman Gen. Abdul Raziq, long accused of forcibly disappearing detainees and having his henchman drill holes in the heads of some of them. Raziq runs secret prisons where torture is rife, and he’s also been implicated in corruption involving cross-border smuggling and unpaid custom duties. Both the United Nations and Afghan human rights activists have accused Raziq’s forces of extrajudicial killings going back at least a decade.
Gilles Dorronsoro, Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present,  trans. John King, Columbia University Press, 2005 .
The role of the loya jirga, inaugurated by the former king Zahir Shah on 11 June 2002, was the transfer of the interim administration's authority to the Afghanistan Transitional Authority. There was inevitably some confusion, but the positions of the various delegates gravitated towards the exclusion of former ‘commanders' and to support for Zahir Shah. However, the crucial decisions and in particular the choice of Hamid Karzai, had already been taken by the Americans, at whose behest Zahir Shah was obliged to step aside. Actually a majority of the delegates appeared to be prepared to cast their votes for Zahir Shah, a development which would have blocked the election of the Americans’ candidate. For his part the king let it be known that he was ready to assume any responsibility which the loya jirga might wish to confer upon him, but in spite of this, shortly after the Loya jirga opened, the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad publicly denied that Zahir Shah intended to put himself forward, and confirmed that he would give his support to Hamid Karzai. Some hours later Zahir Shah fell into line with the US position at a press conference, where the only diplomatic observers present were Americans, and irrevocably renounced anything other than a ceremonial role. 

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