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Haider, Mobarak.  Taliban: The Tip of a Holy Iceberg.  Pakistan: Saanjh, 2008 (Urdu), 2010 (English).

An experience embraced over time becomes an education, and so in this my fifth year of the most obscure blogging, I may graduate (by my own authority, naturally) from generalist to specialist, from being many things to many people (three dimensional fellow: writer, photographer, musician) to settling down between the desktop, library, and Skype, and forging ahead not only with what has been incubated on Facebook — every you-know-what has an opinion, of course — but narrowing even those lively rounds down to a more in-depth and perceptive tracking and analysis of the conflicts blazing away beneath an umbrella I call the “Islamic Small Wars”, that band of civil conflict and terror that has established a cold or hot presence in every Muslim-majority state and produced misery along the interface with western and other cultures.

I may not confine myself to that interest, dictators and junta and crooked oligarchs serving equally well for mindful entertainment and colorful data on which to mull the human condition and the autocrat’s propensity for mad self-adoration and aggrandizement.

We’ll see how this goes, and if it goes well, I suppose I shall have to archive and close the high school version of my foray into foreign affairs: Oppenheim Arts & Letters.

I’ll put up an “About” page soon, but, right now, I’m reading the above noted book by Mobarak Haider, and it is answering questions, filling in gaps, making sense of many things having to do with the architecture and character of the Islamic Small Wars,

I don’t want to review Haider’s book in this post — I’m still reading it, for one thing — but have wanted to play with this blog concept for a while.

The industry that has taken on the name “anti-Jihad” has grown extensively around the art of righteous complaint, and for that there has been no lack of material for squawking.  What perhaps has been lacking would seem a less aligned perspective in a mind moving off the field and down into the engine room of the soul, which, incidentally, Haider does quite well, and searching out and perhaps arguing for answers.