Anthropology? Whatever

The following quotes are from Political Anthropology: An Introduction by Ted C. Lewellen (Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1992. page 5). First, Lewellen begins by saying “Induction, cross-cultural comparison, culture, system, and evolution are not really defining qualities of anthropology so much as various aspects of the anthropological way of looking at the world. Although […]

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Whose Hearts and Minds?

Notes from: Big strategy founders on corruption and tribalism Hearts, minds and the same old warlords Go up close to what’s happening in Afghanistan – for example, in the city of Kandahar – and you find crime, corruption, tribal conflict and ordinary people powerless to resist the armed might of the militias. No happy ending […]

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U.S. Congress and the Human Terrain System

To supplement the report by John Stanton, “US Congress Requests Assessment of Army‘s Human Terrain System: Independent Assessment Due from SECDEF by March 2010,” one should note the following background documents to which the request for the assessment refers. The NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010 points out that, In the committee report […]

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Afghanistan: The Unwinnable War

More U.S. troops to Afghanistan? Why the war in Afghanistan cannot be won By Hugh Gusterson | 21 September 2009 [reproduced with the permission of the author] A number of commentators have remarked of late on the ominous parallels between the situation in Afghanistan today and the quagmire in Vietnam in the 1960s: “The war […]

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This Be The Verse

This Be The Verse — by Philip Larkin They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who […]

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Embedded With the Taliban

From CounterPunch, 03 Sept 2009: Ron Jacobs: Embedded With the Taliban Anand Gopal is a reporter based in Kabul who has reported from all parts of Afghanistan (the following are his statements in an interview with Ron Jacobs): I have some well-placed Taliban contacts and I was offered a chance to come out and see […]

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Demonstration Elections

The concept of “demonstration election” is a useful one for describing the elections staged by the U.S. occupation regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a much longer history of practice in Latin America and the Caribbean. The concept came into usage with the publication in 1984 of Demonstration Elections: U.S.-Staged Elections in the Dominican Republic, […]

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Like a Diamond Bullet to the Forehead (2.0)

▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼▲▼ Horror and moral terror are your friends. The genius, the will, and the strength. The total revulsion, the total repulsion, the ability to sacrifice one’s own flesh and blood. These are not monsters. They fight with their hearts. They are filled with love. Moral. Primordial. Without judgment. Because it’s judgment that defeats us. No […]

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