How Pakistan deals with Americans trying to join the Taliban…

There was a revealing moment in the testimony of Zarein Ahmedzay last week in the trial of Abid Naseer. No-one else in the Brooklyn courthouse paid it much heed. But it gave this former Pakistan correspondent an opportunity for a wry smile. Ahmedzay was one of three young American Muslims – two of Pakistani and Afghan extraction and one … More How Pakistan deals with Americans trying to join the Taliban…

Qatar, Al Jazeera and Islamists in Libya

 Another interesting nugget from The Libyan Revolution and Its Aftermath. One of the recurring themes of the first section, detailing the structure of the uprising itself, is the – at times – divisive role of Qatar. It seemed intent on establishing its own command centres as spheres of influence, working in competition with those liaising … More Qatar, Al Jazeera and Islamists in Libya

You know what you can do with your selfie sticks

Pleased to read that New York museums are banning selfie sticks. I can think of nothing more tasteless than standing in front of a breathtaking piece of art and taking a photo of yourself gurning in front of it…. except for maybe doing it front of the city’s 9/11 memorial. Still, we seem to live in a society where … More You know what you can do with your selfie sticks

Sorry Aaron Rodgers, but it’s time for a new theory of change

This is how advocacy goes these days. Pick a cause. Boil it down to a few ABCs. Sign up a celebrity. Or a load of them. Change US policy. And then claim victory with some spurious research in your chosen country. This piece on the Foreign Policy website shows how the focus on conflict minerals … More Sorry Aaron Rodgers, but it’s time for a new theory of change