KtBlog

Killing the Buddha

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.…

Killing the Buddha

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…

Killing the Buddha

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…

Killing the Buddha

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…

crosstank

Jesus Killed Mohammed

The crusade for a Christian military.

Bedouin Coffee

The Collector’s Lair, part 3

“I’m a real motherfucker,” he says. “But I won’t sell a fake.”

odedgolan

The Collector’s Lair, part 2

Finding a fix in the dust of the Holy Land.

Shlomo Moussaieff

The Collector’s Lair, part 1

An atheist descends into the underworld of the Israeli antiquities trade.

Killing the Buddha

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…

Mansur al-Hallaj hanged and stoned.

How to Make a Martyr

When a death becomes larger than life, memory hangs in the balance.

Would a children's book be a better response?

A Whole Lot of Stupid

And other factors involved in the transformation of cartoons into riots.

"In Islam, it is not the content of an image that is blasphemous, but the very act of depiction."

The Right to Blaspheme

“God is not mocked,” and other proposed editorial guidelines.

A mosque in Lahore.

The Moderate

A tale of Westernization, lubricated by beer.

Bagdhad, before the war.

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.

Dr Strangelove, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love rapid dominance.

The Father of All Bombs

Meet the man who brought shock and awe to the world.

"The idea is to get the other side to quit by not firing a shot..."

Dear Doctor Ullman

An email exchange with Harlan Ullman uncovers the doubts of a defense intellectual.

Some taller than the Statue of Liberty, stone Buddhas have stood watch over the Bamiyan Valley for over 1500 years.

Taliban Kills Buddha

Islam takes on Buddhism in Afghanistan. A nervous art world attempts to referee. Buddha laughs.