Thursday, September 17, 2009

On My Nightstand: Confessions of a Mullah Warrior

I just started reading Confessions of a Mullah Warrior by Masood Farivar, and it's an insight into the world of Afghanistan and first-hand information about the country, culture, and reality of the crossroads to jihad.

I'm only a few pages in, but already Farivar notes with incredible disdain the Arab jihadis who came streaming into the country, first to fight the Soviets, and now who come to fight the US. Farivar's fellow Afghans welcomed these visitors with open arms and that has come back to haunt the country dearly. One can only wonder what would have happened if Afghan culture wasn't nearly as friendly to guests - would the jihad have been so easy to set up in Afghanistan and maintain support among those groups?

Also, Farivar's name might strike some as familiar. It's because he ended up attending Harvard University, following in the footsteps of another more notorious Afghan, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, who actively worked with the Taliban and ended up attending rival Yale University. John Fund has the details, including the dubious circumstances of allowing Hashemi to attend the Ivy League with the equivalent of a 4th grade education. In contrast, Farivar appears quite literate and well read.

Meanwhile, I didn't get a chance to post the last book on my reading list, probably because I finished it with hours of picking it up. Dale Brown's Rogue Forces picks up where his last book left off and the same cast of characters now face a turbulent situation in Northern Iraq as civilian contractors who happen to have technological marvels that the US military wishes it could have but run into serious complications.

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