Thursday, June 19, 2008

McClatchy’s reporting on abuse of American prisoners

We need to appreciate McClatchy papers for their faithfulness in reporting; they have developed a fine reputation for seeking to know and report what is going on in contested places; they were, I gather, one of the best in reporting on the Iraq debacle. Here are some recent articles that should be broadly read [not pushed in the other papers].

McClatchy papers have recently published a series on the detention system of the American military. This is what they say about the series:

“An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad.


“Browse an archive of documents obtained by McClatchy in the course of this investigation.”

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pakistan: still the source of insurgency in the Middle East

It is hard to believe that the Pakistan government continues to deny that Pakistani territory is a source for Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgents to base their activities in harassing Afghanistan. Once again an Afghan official is charging Pakistanis as giving sanctuary to insurgents. And once again the Pakistanis are ignoring and denying such claims.

We have just heard of another person's report, through personal sources. on a recent visit to Quetta. They report that Taliban and Al Qaeda members openly walk the streets of Quetta, and openly recruit fighters in their war against Afghanistan. They are paying families for allowing their young men to go off to the “holy war” against the Afghanistan government and the Americans. They seem, again, not to lack funds, and there are few jobs for the local recruits.

Pakistan is a festering source of insurgency – in fact, not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere in the Middle East.

The long-practiced denial in Washington is being emulated in Islamabad.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Recent Works on Radical Social Movements in Central and South Asia

[addendum June 9, 08, June 14, 08, June 16, 08]

So much stuff has been written on radical social movements in Central and South Asia that it is difficult to keep up. I recently made a list that was out of date within a few days. Here is a list, already in need of updating; I will add to it as I can, in order to try to keep a fairly current list at hand. [Note the addition of Rashid's Descent into Chaos below.]

Bajoria, Jayshree. 2008. Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists.” Council on Foreign Relations, February 6. []

Crews, Robert D. and Amin Tarzi. 2008. The Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Karagiannis, Emmanuel, and Clark McCauley. 2006. Hizb-ut Tahrir al-Islami: Evaluating the Threat Posed by a radical Islamic Group that Remains Nonviolent. Terrorism and Political Violence 18: 315-334.

Sageman, Marc. 2008. Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

Torres, Manuel R. 2006. Analysis and Evolution of the Global Jihadist Movement Propaganda. Terrorism and Political Violence 18: 399-421.

Weitz, Richard. 2006. Terrorism in Eurasia: Enhancing the Multilateral Response China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly 4(2): 11-17.

Wright, Lawrence. 2006. The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 911. New York: Knopf.

Wright, Lawrence. 2006. “The Master Plan: For the new theorists of jihad, Al Qaeda is just the beginning.” The New Yorker. September 11.


Rashid, Ahmed. 2006. "Jihadi Suicide Bombers: The New Wave." New York Review June 12, 08. Review article referring to 7 recent works on the topic.

Rashid, Ahmed. 2008. Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of National Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. New York: Viking. [This is a vigorous exposure of the failures of all the regimes involved in the Middle East -Central Asian crisis; should be read widely. If it will be read, it will be a bombshell.]

Kim Cragin, Bruce Hoffman. 2003. Arms Trafficking and Colombia. RandCorporation. 81 pages. ISBN:0833031449