Category: Uncategorized

Nineteen

New York- Yesterday was the nineteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States by al-Qaeda. The plot involved numerous Saudis and adhered to a zero sum Egyptian ideological backbone in which the ummah, or global Islamic community, is…

Bodhisattva Vow

Kandy- For years I’ve wanted to visit this city in central Sri Lanka and its nearly mythical Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) where one of Siddhartha Gautama’s four canine teeth is stored for veneration by Buddhists…

A City with Stories to Tell

Erbil- I arrived in the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from Beirut as yet another plot point in my journey toward Syria. I made it a point today to visit the city’s magnificent citadel just before it…

Unfrozen

New York- I have an article out for IHS Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Monitor entitled “A dangerous thaw – Nagorno-Karabakh heats up” after the recent clashes in the most hotly disputed territory in the South Caucasus. Nagorno-Karabagh, a Russian-Turkic-Iranian word mash meaning (Nagorno…

The Walls Have Ears

It’s the middle of winter here in NYC and I’m staying busy cleaning out my laptop and here I happened upon another unpublished story from my archives that I later used as the background for an article “Motivations and Methods…

The Intervention

Murşitpinar- Another quick blog entry with some images from Kobane and environs and recent days. The media narrative on the siege has shifted from predictions of the city’s imminent fall to IS being on the back foot in the battle…

Peace In Light of War

Barcelona- I realized the other day that going to wars for years and years affects perhaps not only the psyche over the long term but also the synaptic algorithms that are part of an unending string of decision making processes…

Anbar-Insurgency Redux

New York- I have an article out now for IHS Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst on the eruption of violence in Iraq’s sprawling western al-Anbar Governorate that borders the relatively calm governorates of Ma’an, Amman, Mafraq, and the somewhat sketchier Zarqa in…

Kachin Days

Guest blogger: Raymond Pagnucco Follow Raymond on Twitter at @RaymondPagnucco See Raymond’s site here New York- I’ve known Ray Pagnucco for some twenty years now. Ray is constantly on the move in Asia and Africa, often interested in uncovering the world’s lesser…

TWD Inside Free Syria

Antakya- I have a new article out in today’s edition of Asia Times Online on my journey into rebel-held northern Syria. In over a decade of jihads, war zones and civil unrest, I think this was the most difficult thing…

War’s Antidote

Barcelona- This hilarious article came out in the Daily Mail about show jumping rabbits here in Europe, something I never knew existed. So as not to get overly exercised about certain frustrating geopolitical constructs, one need only to picture Snoopy…

Rumba de Barcelona

Barcelona- I’ve just come back to Barca for the first time since 2008 and the town is as vibrant as ever. Everyone is so thin and bronzed that coming from the bowels of outer borough New York City, one may…

Young Stalin

Gori, Georgia-  This photo hangs in a museum that has not been updated since it opened thirty years ago at the twilight of the Brezhnev era. It is the B-side to the photo on the cover of Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Young…

The Tbilisi Terror Museum

Tbilisi, Georgia- I had a meeting here with the Deputy Counter Terrorism Chief from the Ministry of Internal Affairs relevant to some book research I’m doing here. My contact there showed me the cornered end of the hallway where the…

Off to Turkey

Tomorrow and possibly points beyond. It’s been fun here in Greece although the weather wasn’t what it should be but let’s just say I’m looking forward to that trusty old Turkish hospitality after a week and a half here.