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Archive for June 23rd, 2009

Robert Young Pelton

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

The author of  The World’s Most Dangerous Places: 5th Edition  and Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror was nice enough to drop by in the comment section and discuss his firsthand view of special operators in Afghanistan. During the course of the discussion, in response to a question from Lexington Geen, RYP offered up a couple of links that I think readers will find worthwhile. Here is a quote from one of them:

….The next morning, about 60 Afghan cavalry came thundering into the compound. Ten minutes later, another 40 riders galloped up. General Abdul Rashid Dostum had arrived.

“Our mission was simple,” another soldier says. “Support Dostum. They told us, ‘If Dostum wants to go to Kabul, you are going with him. If he wants to take over the whole country, do it. If he goes off the deep end and starts whacking people, advise higher up and maybe pull out.’ This was the most incredibly open mission we have ever done.”

“Dostum” is the mercurial, ex-Communist, Uzbek Afghan warlord,  General Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Here are the links:

The Legend of Heavy D and the Boys: In the Field With an Afghan Warlord

Inside the Afghan War Machine

Incidentally, I read The World’s Most Dangerous Places in an earlier edition, back when Pelton’s uber-violence list was topped by Algeria, Colombia and several, broken down, West African nations. It’s a great book and a fun read that I have lent out to many of my students who had an all too idealistic and  parochial view of the world. It cured a few of them.


Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

My Father’s Day Gift this year, from my always thoughtful, technophile spouse,  Mrs. Zenpundit

I would expound at length on the wonders of The Kindle except that the package only arrived this afternoon and the device is charging on the kitchen countertop downstairs. I expect that this will a) reduce some of my book buying expenses* b) get me back into reading a whole newspaper, maybe FT.com, CSM or the NYT instead of reading random articles online, and c) be a much more convenient way to read my favorite blogs on the go than on my crackberry’s tiny interface.

The Eldest and the Son of Zenpundit gave me the following (with a little “help” from me):

The Bloody White Baron: The Extraordinary Story of the Russian Nobleman Who Became the Last Khan of Mongolia by James Palmer.

The biography of  “the Mad Baron” of the Russian civil war,  General Baron Ungern von Sternberg of the White armies, a Cossack host and eventually, the Mongols. One of the strangest warlords of the 20th century.

* some books you need to own. Others can just be read. I put most fiction in that category, along with contemporary hyperpartisan politics, business books, memoirs of the niche famous and misc. subjects.

Spam Idiots are Active Again

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

I’ve had an upsurge in spammers hitting my old posts, so I have adjusted my filter slightly. If you leave a comment with more than one link, it will be temporarily held for moderation.

As a rule, aside from spam, I approve most everything except one or two incidents in past years that were a) wildly over the top and b) libelous and/or an illegal threat against other commenters that I thought better to remove for the sake of all concerned.

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