Month: April 2008

Cavities of Architectural Secrecy

First there was Wired Magazine‘s national security blog, Danger Room. Then there was Danger Room‘s senior reporter, Sharon Weinberger, who’s got her own website. Then there was Subtopia: A Field Guide to Military Urbanism,  which is listed in the  "Underground Sources" section of Weinberger’s right-hand navigation menu. That was the path that took me to it; Subtopia’s latest entry, "’Block D’ Enters the Pantheon of GWOT Space" is fascinating.

Modesty and Megalomania in the White House

Interesting interview with Ted Sorensen, J.F.K.’s counselor, advisor, and speechwriter of 11 years, in this week’s NYT Magazine. He refuses to take much credit for Kennedy’s words, either in his new book, Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, or in the interview… which is in pretty stark contrast to a more recent generation of presidential wordsmiths, David Frum, Matthew Scully, and Michael J. Gerson.

Jihadi Tongue in Cheek Media

Associated Press reported that AQ No. 2 Ayman Al Zawahiri "will soon answer the hundreds of questions submitted by journalists, militants and others about the terrorist network’s future", citing an AQ press release to that effect. In response, the New Yorker, with it’s usual wit, has cobbled together an interesting exercise in relative banality. A sampling of what an AQ Q&A over the web could look like:

Twists and Turns: Spatial Anthropology

There I was, thinking that it would be a simple thing to contrast the cultural turn in US foreign policy and counterinsurgency, against the persistence and evolution of geo-spliced spatial analysis of conflict. Not so. Never underestimate the ability of scholars to adapt, improvise, and overcome – or to get it completely wrong; trust well-resourced academic departments at well-heeled U.S. universities to innovate.

Civil Society Saudi Style: Blogging in the Kingdom

The New America Foundation’s Nicholas Schmidle again, in Slate‘s "Dispatches" section,  this time writing about the state and the state of blogging in Saudi Arabia. The focus of the piece is a Saudi blogger, Raed al-Saeed who, in response to Geert Wilders’  inflammatory anti-Islamic film, Fitna, crafted his own video on the less savory elements of Christian contemporanea and biblical history. According to Schmidle, the exercise in relativism was, in addition to being a healthy exercise in comparative propaganda, an online smash.