Very Special Forces
American political journalists tends to pooh-pooh generals on the way out and coo over them on the way in, much the same way business journalists persuade themselves that one Harvard MBA at the head of a company will somehow be different than the last Harvard MBA. So it’s gone with Obama’s new “Afpak” commander, Lt.…
Big in Somalia
Online Somali pirates have hijacked my May Harper’s feature, “Jesus Killed Mohammed,” excerpted “exclusively” (no more) here on Killing the Buddha. A publication called Garowe has re-published the piece — without my permission! Break out the sound cannons. Actually, I’m delighted that Garowe has republished the excerpt. It’s almost always a pleasure when someone borrows…
U.S. Army Chaplain: “We hunt people for Jesus.”
“Special forces guys, they hunt men, basically. We do the same thing as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. Hunt ’em down.” That’s Lt. Colonel Gary Hensley, who at the time he said those words was the top Army chaplain in Afghanistan, giving a sermon at Bagram Air Base. I wrote about Ltc. Hensley and…
The Mysteries of Torture
One doesn’t often look to Keith Olbermann for revelation of religion in the public sphere, but he inadvertently exposes the raw nerve at the heart of the “debate” over torture. Broadly generalizing, we might say that on one side, the anti-torture side, are humanists, empiricists, who base their opposition not in religious morality, as might…
The Collector’s Lair, part 1
An atheist descends into the underworld of the Israeli antiquities trade.
Relics & Renovations
One of the reasons KtB has seemed dead these past few months is that we (some of us, anyway) were off on a lengthy Near Eastern adventure. We spent much of the trip in Istanbul, light-headed with nargila smoke and ears-ruptured by over-exposure to roving bands of Ottoman Army reenactors: Turkey at the time was…
Living with the Enemy
An American woman residing at a hotel in Baghdad sends word to friends back home of the horror and beauty she bears witness to.
Dear Doctor Ullman
An email exchange with Harlan Ullman uncovers the doubts of a defense intellectual.