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14 January 2013


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Any thoughts on why, after more than a decade of deep immersion in the Islamic world, we are still so dense?

Is the problem at the senior policy-making level or does it extend further to the 'experts' who brief and write papers for those top level guys?



The problem is with Americans in general who do not believe in the legitimacy or reality of any world view but their own, a world view that is largely a result of the "city on the hill" BS. To be honest many in your academic discipline contribute to that view by teaching "the elites" that human social development is linear and will sooner or later eliminate anythig but the "mainstream." pl

r whitman

Out here in the hinterland Afganistan is already "file and forget". Just one more place where the US has screwed up.

Bababk Makkinejad

US is not deeply immersed in the Isalmic World; she is physically and politically involved but not otherwise.

I agree also with Col. Lang response below; only in Anthropology departments it is hammered into students not to be judgemental.

In Economics and History the Normativeness of Euro-American synthesis is a given assumption. No one studies Burckhardt, Pirenne, and Spengler ought to have supplied the dominant paradigm of research - they are not.

Bababk Makkinejad

Reminds me of the doctrinaire historians in Communist Russia and China whereby they had to recast the histories of non-Western societies into a mold that would conform to Euro-centric Marxist historiography.

Historical truth was not as essential as conformance to the Party Line. It was that or else....


Am I crazy, or does the US seem committed to making the same mistake over and over again but expecting a different result?

Meanwhile defense contractors are whistling all the way to their offshore tax havens (the beauty of fighting foreign wars.)

And you have to hand it to wealthy elites who will be damned if they'll help pay for all the craziness that enriches them.

"War Is a Racket," -- Smedley D. Butler, former USMC Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient.



Yes, the US is condemned to repeat its errors overseas because most Americans are incapable of seeing the world as it is rather than how they imagine it to be or wish it to be. BTW, Butler was/is not a former marine general. He was a "retired" MG and therefore still member of the corps. try to figure that out. "Former" marines are people who left the USMC but never achieved the status of "retired." pl


Meanwhile defense contractors are whistling all the way to their offshore tax havens (the beauty of fighting foreign wars.)

And the transnationals are, or will be, getting what they've wanted all along: the US military protecting their interests in hotspots they want to exploit. A private military at US govt expense. Read any of that insufferable Thomas Barnett lately? He created Wikistrat with two Israeli partners.
The MP3 is interesting.

Wikistrat produced these predictions for 2013 for the Diplomatic Courier magazine


My turn to praise your post.


Col, this article out of Pakistan is interesting for a different perspective. It maintains that Obama's decision to fully withdraw troops took the wind out of Karzai who thought he would negotiate from a position of strength - that we need Afghanistan more than it needs us and we need to keep trooper there - and he returned empty handed.


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