Postcards from Hell: 10. The Vimto Factor

Foreign Policy’s Failed States index is slightly more sensible this year, although it still rather resembles a random list of shitty countries. At least Pakistan is down to number 12, dropping below Guinea and the Central African Republic. Maybe this year they have added the soft drinks index to their calculus. Broadly stated, this is … More Postcards from Hell: 10. The Vimto Factor

Ayman al-Zawahiri

Stuff I’ve been reading since Ayman al-Zawahiri took over as emir of al-Qaeda Zawahiri at the Helm – Lawrence Wright says al-Qaeda will now turn its focus back towards Eygpt, at a crucial time in the country’s history Osama bin Laden a ‘ranting chief executive’ – how the relationship between leader and deputy deteriorated The … More Ayman al-Zawahiri

A Bold Analysis of the Trouble with Pakistan

Pakistan is many things. A country where terrorists plot attacks against Europe, where a brewery founded by British soldiers produces beer, where software developers top the download charts, where tomorrow’s fast bowlers run through their paces on grass verges, where a Christian woman guilty of blasphemy waits on death row, and where supposedly educated lawyers … More A Bold Analysis of the Trouble with Pakistan


Went shopping in Rawalpindi. Didn’t buy anything. Too much choice. Well, too much choice if it’s rice you want. Have no idea what varieties these are, but they were all grown in Pakistan. Nice.

The Drones Work

Erm, so this is awkward. On Saturday morning The Wall Street Journal runs a story on splits within the US administration over drone strikes, with the American ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, or his friends, briefing that he is among those wanting a slow-down, to mollify Pakistani anger at the raids… U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan … More The Drones Work