I’ve written before about people wanting narratives to make sense of the world. I think that the rumor mill in Afghanistan, described in this compelling blog post from IWPR is a classic example. People with limited information access, living terribly difficult lives, trying to make sense of the world around them.
Two on Tuesday is a new feature where I find a couple examples of a phenomenon or issue that I find interesting, and try to learn something useful from them.
What I’ve found for you today is two blog postings that were hotly contested by their commenters. In other words, two interesting arguments. The real-time community knowledge aspect of blogs is one of my favorite things about this form, and a blog with passionate commenters is its epitome. There aren’t just two sides two every story, there are more like nine, and commentary from intelligent, passionate people is a great way to sort it out.
I therefore bring you:
1) Joshua Foust and Ann Marlowe continuing their ongoing feud on Registan.
2) Abu Aardvark and a bunch of commenters on the Anbar Awakening in Iraq.
A nice pair of postings that cast some light on the two major wars our country is fighting. (Some commenters are more worth reading than others, I admit.)
Cyd Mizell’s father has released a statement. She’s still being held, and as far as I know, no one has claimed responsibility for her kidnapping.
Wow. This is really amazing. I don’t think I had ever heard of that before — an Afghan protest — a women’s protest — in support of a kidnapped American. Cyd Mizell worked with the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, and she clearly meant an awful lot to the community she worked with.
The Asian Rural Life Development Foundation web page is here: http://www.arldf.net/index
agriculture seems very good. They are incorporated as a 501c3 through the National Heritage Foundation.*
It sounds like Cyd Mizell is a compassionate, idealistic woman with good common sense. She knew the risk she was taking in going to Afghanistan and she did it anyway. She will be in my thoughts. One person’s personal account of Syd is here: http://globalpolitician.com
*National Heritage Foundation turns out to be a pretty interesting concept. Basically, they serve as an umbrella 501c3 to help small charities become tax-exempt. Their list of services is here:
This is a firsthand account from someone at the Serena hotel during the bombing. Make sure to read the comments; there are interesting points in there. Let me say here and now though that the expats who implement international aid are fully aware of the ugly contradictions between our lives and the lives of the people we serve.