A good friend and mentor, a retired anthropologist who lived with and studied a nomadic tribe in Pakistan, has begun his own blog, MetaThink. He plans to use it to discuss events in the Middle East with the cultural and historical perspective that seems to have been largely absent from the planning and conduct of the war in Iraq. I’m not sure how often he will update it, but it will be worth checking in on from time to time. I’ll be keeping an eye on it. And telling you about it gives me a reason to point you to two somewhat recent NY Times editorials I keep meaning to mention. They’re now in the pricey archives section of the Times, but the History News Network picked them up. Niall Ferguson compares the current US effort in Iraq to the “compromised colonisation” of Iraq by Britain in 1920. Sandra Mackey discusses the Pentagon’s failure to understand the role of tribal structure in Falluja. (It’s a great web site, actually. Check it out.)

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