Shameless self-promotion: DC events

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's been a busy time in the imperial metropole lately. On Friday I gave a talk at Georgetown University in front of a small group of DC-based scholars, including much of the Russian history ulema of the region. I presented an article I've been working on lately entitled "Politicizing Islam: Muslim Protesters, Tsarist Officials, and the Crisis of State Sharia in Late Imperial Russia.” Hopefully this piece will emerge somewhere in print before too long and I'll be able to share it with a broader audience.

Looking rough but feeling ready


More thoughts on OBL killing...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 
The WAPO sez: OBL unarmed when shot
In a White House news briefing, press secretary Jay Carney said bin Laden “resisted” when at least one member of the raiding party entered his third-floor room, but he declined to say how the long-hunted al-Qaeda leader had done so. 

A woman described as one of bin Laden’s wives “rushed the assaulter” and was shot and wounded in the leg, Carney said. Bin Laden was killed with shots to the head and chest, leaving him with gory wounds that have made U.S. officials reluctant to release a photograph of the body, Carney said.

“It’s fair to say it’s a gruesome photograph,” he said, adding that “it could be inflammatory.”
In his speech the other night, President Obama said that bin Laden had been "brought to justice." I disagree. Bin Laden wasn't brought to justice, he was shot dead. One can argue that this is what he deserved, but shooting an unarmed person in this way only constitutes bringing someone to justice if you mean cowboy justice, not the sort of justice that is dispensed through a court of law. 

Nothing to celebrate

Monday, May 2, 2011
So the CIA finally managed to kill Osama bin Laden and, predictably, yahoos from across the country are celebrating as if we've won something. Indeed, the fact that thousands of Americans would celebrate the killing of an individual like bin Laden is indicative of the degree to which our country has been weakened over the past ten years. 
This makes us all look stupid