Tag Archives: yemen

The Wrong Enemy – Carlotta Gaul on the wiles of Pakistan

 

English: Osama bin Laden Compound

English: Osama bin Laden Compound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Review of Carlotta Gaul’s “The Wrong Enemy” Russell Imrie May 2014, Arlington, Virginia How did Osama bin Laden live safely for years within walking distance of Pakistan’s military academy in Abbottabad? That, and other questions, are what Gaul writes about drawing upon over 10 years in Afghanistan and Pakistan reporting for the New York Times. She spoke recently on her experience in South Asia and her new book, a must-read for anyone interested in Afghanistan, Pakistan, jihadists, and al Qaeda.

 

l. to r. Husain Haqqani (Hudson Institute), Carlotta Gaul (New Yotk Times), Mohammad Taqi (author and analyst) - photo Russ Imrie

l. to r. Husain Haqqani (Hudson Institute), Carlotta Gaul (New York Times), Mohammad Taqi (author and analyst) – photo Russ Imrie

 

Afghanistan has been the battleground for empires dating back to past Alexander the Great, then Britain, the USSR, battling warlords including one-time western ally Gen. Abdurrashid Dostum (who, in the fraught national scene now may be back in play as a vice-presidential candidate!), the Western Powers/NATO, the Taliban, al Qaeda and revealed so well in this volume, Pakistan and it’s labyrinth-like Inter-Sevices Intelligence arm have made Afghanistan the prey of agendas on top of agendas. Venturing into this nation is risking to be burned by the enemy and often, by  those believed to be your friend. (continue to read more of this article select page 2 below)

 

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Brie at last or war’s a mouthful

Brie at last

By Russ Imrie August 30, 2013

I am disturbed and I am concerned about the recent uptick in warmed-over meals and re-animated fast food appearing at the table. I had been so looking forward to something fresh.

Make no mistake about it; I am in awe of the utensils and recipes that make American cuisine influential around the planet. It’s often the choice of both emerging foodies and of the established “Colonels” class.

Locally though, a fundamental quality of food, that it be securely rooted in tradition (and thus reflect upon our character,) is at risk today.

Discovering and then reheating last week’s “war on diet” pizza slice has always been a pleasant interlude. But when a savory home-cooked vegetable soup is reduced to a thick mish-mash and the onions, mushrooms, carrots, and delicate GMO free chicken lose “their way” in a pot of leftovers, I get a bad feeling about it. Times change.

Do not get me wrong. My [tribal] ancestors created a food that often served as well days or weeks along, if not better, than as a warm family main course: Kahnata. Dutch traders and settlers in what is now New York referred to this as “a kind of large corn dumpling.”

Warriors carried these heavy nourishing meals ready-to-throw along on canoe voyages in pursuit of beaver pelts and sometimes scalps. With some dried pre-GMO meat, it sustained and in a pinch could be heaved in the face of an enemy (or raiding bear.) Our French allies in those days could take along their hapless rations on raids against the rival Colonials south in New England but we packed a secret weapon that is tasty and nourishing to this day.

So is the source of my unsettled thoughts this morning. Lest we forget what food is  (and a particularly tasteless stew is on today’s “revisit”menu) let’s say grace and think deeply about what’s important.

distant US Capitol dome

U.S. Capitol SOTU eve, 2011 – photo Russ Imrie

Russell Imrie is a  Networking and Content Specialist, webmaster and an American Indian blogger living in the Washington DC area. More opinion pieces are at China Daily Mail and MediaSeenToo

Copyright Russell Imrie