Page 5 of 12 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast
Results 81 to 100 of 239

Thread: What Are You Currently Reading? 2007

  1. #81
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    I'm reading available essays and pamphlets by Mahmud Es'ad Cosan on Sufism trying to focus in on the Naqshbandi sect
    I am reminded of a grad school prof at the Naval Postgraduate School who taught us about Islam. A Sufi, he would repeatedly tell us that contempating our navels was good Sufism but only bad Sufis contemplated their anuses.

    I simply won't ask where you might be reading this tract...

    Tom

  2. #82
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,188

    Default

    The Flower and the Rifle

    Don't you see?
    We are the same
    my petal is the trigger
    giving birth and death
    the same mother
    the trigger is my petal
    giving death and birth
    the same father
    Don't you see?
    we must carry the flower and the rifle
    giving but one to the advancing stranger
    who knows not of birth or death
    but trods unknowing in Allah's world of motionless purity
    the echo of falling petals and casings
    brings His stillness
    Don't you see?

    attributed to Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood
    but not verified

    I think I'm at the lower end of contemplation here, Tom

  3. #83
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    The Flower and the Rifle

    Don't you see?
    We are the same
    my petal is the trigger
    giving birth and death
    the same mother
    the trigger is my petal
    giving death and birth
    the same father
    Don't you see?
    we must carry the flower and the rifle
    giving but one to the advancing stranger
    who knows not of birth or death
    but trods unknowing in Allah's world of motionless purity
    the echo of falling petals and casings
    brings His stillness
    Don't you see?

    attributed to Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood
    but not verified

    I think I'm at the lower end of contemplation here, Tom
    Now, see, that's our problem--our warfighters are not poets. Well, except for the Marines, but most of their poems begin, "There was an old man from Nantucket..."

    Military Review actually ran one of my ditties in their "war poetry" section last year.

  4. #84
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,188

    Default Dilemma

    In Jerusalem: by Mahmoud Darwish
    (an excerpt)

    .............
    A woman soldier shouted:
    Is that you again? Didnít I kill you?
    I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

  5. #85
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Not exatcly true

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Now, see, that's our problem--our warfighters are not poets. Well, except for the Marines, but most of their poems begin, "There was an old man from Nantucket..."

    Military Review actually ran one of my ditties in their "war poetry" section last year.
    Chesty Puller was a fine Marine
    and a fine Marine was he
    He called for his whiskey
    and called for his wife
    and called for his corporals three....

    Is that better?

  6. #86
    Council Member jlechelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Currently reading Prodigal Soldiers by James Kitfield.
    Fantastic book.

  7. #87
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jlechelt View Post
    Currently reading Prodigal Soldiers by James Kitfield.
    Fantastic book.
    He's very good. His War and Destiny is nicely done as well. Do you know him? He's very approachable.
    Last edited by SteveMetz; 07-03-2007 at 09:54 PM. Reason: the devil made me do it

  8. #88
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Morning Calm
    Posts
    177

    Default

    [I]The Utility of Force[I] by Rupert Smith

    Occupation of Iraq on standby

  9. #89
    Council Member jlechelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    He's very good. His War and Destiny is nicely done as well. Do you know him? He's very approachable.
    Thanks for the response Steve. No I don't know him, but I will certainly try to make contact with him at some point. The book is absolutely fascinating. I bought his War and Destiny: looks good as well, but I'm kind of curious as to why it might not have gotten wider play. Is it because he writes to a more specialized audience? Not, perhaps, the same crowd as the masses who buy Fiasco, Cobra II, and the Woodward trilogy? Those are all fine books, but not nearly as expansive as Prodigal Soldiers. Any thoughts on that?

  10. #90
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default


    Robb provides intriquing new perspectives informed by economics, technology and even biology -- at a 50,000-foot elevation. Pelton walks us through it on the ground.

  11. #91
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jonSlack View Post
    [...]
    I highly recommend both "God's Terrorists" and "Fire in the Night."
    [...]
    Thanks for the reqs. I have to take seriously the recommendations of anyone who cites the Dropkick Murphys in his sig line.

  12. #92
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jlechelt View Post
    Thanks for the response Steve. No I don't know him, but I will certainly try to make contact with him at some point. The book is absolutely fascinating. I bought his War and Destiny: looks good as well, but I'm kind of curious as to why it might not have gotten wider play. Is it because he writes to a more specialized audience? Not, perhaps, the same crowd as the masses who buy Fiasco, Cobra II, and the Woodward trilogy? Those are all fine books, but not nearly as expansive as Prodigal Soldiers. Any thoughts on that?

    On War and Destiny, Jim Kitfield is not as well known as Mike Gordon and Tom Ricks, and the book probably had less popular appeal because it was not just on Iraq, but put the Bush national security policy in a wider perspective. The only problem is that it's like two books--one on the Bush strategy and the other just sort of a war story of his time in Iraq as an embed. So you shift from a grand strategy perspective to the view from inside a Bradley. He really should have written two books. If you want to contact him, I think I have his email address at the office and can get it to you next week. I don't know if his choice of publishers had any effect. Potomac did War and Destiny. They were considering my Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy manuscript but I haven't heard from them, so I'm assuming they're not interested. I'm not pushing it hard at this point since it's unfinished.

    On the other three, Ricks is awfully astute but I think his hatred for Rumsfeld was so burning hot that it tainted the book. He vacillated between serious analysis and attack. I'm quoted a couple of times in Fiasco although not by name. In fact, he lauds a briefing I prepared. I met Mike Gordon standing outside BIAP in the early May 2003. Cobra II is on the mark but, of course, it really ends before the insurgency took off. There also have been a few revelations about how the policy was made since it came out. Woodward I don't know what to think of. I've read all three but just can't decide whether to trust them. He relies so much on whoever will talk to him, so it is very much an Armitage perspective.
    Last edited by SteveMetz; 07-04-2007 at 10:03 AM.

  13. #93
    Council Member jlechelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Thanks Steve. I can't speak for Potomac, but your manuscript title points towards what I'm sure is a fascinating read. There really isn't enough stuff on the grander strategy perspectives. Perhaps in a year and a half it will be less "current events" and become "recent history."

    I loved the Ricks book because it was the best up-to-date perspective that considered most of the major issues. He also gave voice, I think, to a lot of people who didn't have one before. However, I have heard that some of his quotes were taken out of context, or some other tidbits didn't match up with reality.

    Woodward: I hear you on that one. Fun to read though. Besides, all of Washington knows how he operates. Talk to him, get good coverage. So shame on those who opt out. The President tried to take advantage of that for the first two, but decided not to for the third.

    Any other decent Iraq books coming out, or does anyone know of any names out there who have projects in the pipelines?

    Two books I'm looking forward to reading: Charlie Wilson's War and Locher's War on the Potomac (might be off on the title there). I have heard that both offer great perspectives on how Congress can influence war policy. A lost art I fear.

  14. #94
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jlechelt View Post
    Thanks Steve. I can't speak for Potomac, but your manuscript title points towards what I'm sure is a fascinating read. There really isn't enough stuff on the grander strategy perspectives. Perhaps in a year and a half it will be less "current events" and become "recent history."

    I loved the Ricks book because it was the best up-to-date perspective that considered most of the major issues. He also gave voice, I think, to a lot of people who didn't have one before. However, I have heard that some of his quotes were taken out of context, or some other tidbits didn't match up with reality.

    Woodward: I hear you on that one. Fun to read though. Besides, all of Washington knows how he operates. Talk to him, get good coverage. So shame on those who opt out. The President tried to take advantage of that for the first two, but decided not to for the third.

    Any other decent Iraq books coming out, or does anyone know of any names out there who have projects in the pipelines?

    Two books I'm looking forward to reading: Charlie Wilson's War and Locher's War on the Potomac (might be off on the title there). I have heard that both offer great perspectives on how Congress can influence war policy. A lost art I fear.
    I need to read Charlie Wilson's War since my friend Mike Vickers (Janine's boss) plays a major role. Mike tells me the movie version with Tom Hanks will be out around the end of the year.

    I'm still in the middle of Ajami's The Foreigner's Gift and am swept away. Not only is he one of the best pure writers alive today, but he has amazing insights into both the Iraqi and the American psyches. I highly recommend it. I also found Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City useful.

    On a more pressing note, being a South Carolinian who also lived in the Kansas City area, I have a packer cut beef brisket and two pork shoulders which have been on a hickory fire since 3 AM. Dinner is at 6 this evening. Expecting about 25 people.

  15. #95
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Morning Calm
    Posts
    177

    Default

    I have to agree with steve on Fiasco. Ricks' lets some of his biases color what could have been a much better book. He has made some comparisons that are just not valid.

  16. #96
    Council Member jlechelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I have to agree with steve on Fiasco. Ricks' lets some of his biases color what could have been a much better book. He has made some comparisons that are just not valid.
    Interesting point. Examples? Even with a few mistakes or biases, it seems he pretty much nails a lot of the problems that have been evident over there. No?

  17. #97
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Morning Calm
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Ricks' didn't really understand the "mosaic" that is the Iraqi insurgency. So in ignoring that, he makes faulty compairisons of techniques and procedures used by different American units. His comparison the 101st and 4th Infantry Divisions is one glaring examples. That comaprison is based on some assumptions that Ricks' either made or he lets the reader makes in what those two units were facing on the ground.

  18. #98
    Council Member jlechelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Thanks Jimbo. Interesting.

  19. #99
    Council Member jlechelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Interesting website for avid readers.

    Goodreads is kind of like a myspace or facebook for books. Allows you to post what books you're currently reading, what books you have read, and you can rate and review the books.

    Here's a link that will have you listed as someone who can see what I'm reading: http://www.goodreads.com/friend/i?i=...zI2ODc6MzA5%0A

    Or, of course, you can go there and sign in without me being listed as a "friend."

    Either way, probably a useful site for the readers of smallwarsjournal.com

  20. #100
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jlechelt View Post
    Interesting point. Examples? Even with a few mistakes or biases, it seems he pretty much nails a lot of the problems that have been evident over there. No?
    I don't think there are mistakes, per se, but he selects his evidence on the basis of how bad a light it casts on the administration. To give one example, he uses a few things my organization did (including some of my own) which warned of problems before the intervention and, because we are a government entity, draws the conclusion that the administration should have been aware of what it was getting into. While I'd like to believe that, I realize there was lots of other analysis which supported the administration's policy choices.

    Another example is the famous Shinseki congressional testimony. Ricks, like many people, uses that to criticize the administration. As it turned out, Shinseki was right but those using this to attack the administration overlook the fact that Shinseki's number was a swag while CENTCOM and the Joint Staff had done detailed analysis that arrived at much smaller numbers. So while history has proven that Shinseki's swag was more accurate than CENTCOM and Joint Staff's analysis, the critics overlook the fact that in the context of the time, it made sense for the administration to accept the detailed force requirement analysis of CENTCOM and the Joint Staff rather than General Shinseki's swag.

Similar Threads

  1. Broadband and geostrategy
    By SteveO in forum Media, Information & Cyber Warriors
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-21-2008, 06:34 PM
  2. A Few Cyber Warfare Resources
    By JeffC in forum Media, Information & Cyber Warriors
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-18-2007, 02:01 PM
  3. Brave Rifles Reading List
    By DDilegge in forum Strategic Compression
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11-18-2005, 04:59 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •