Kashmir

Editor's Note: We'll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Winsor McCay, the neglected artistic genius whose vivid creations have been lost to time, was the greatest illustrator of the twentieth century.  City Journal | 13 min (3, 178 words) Anthony Shadid's tragic death has robbed us of many years of great journalism.

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Europe’s Angry Muslims: The Revolt of the Second Generation By Robert S. Leiken (Oxford University Press, 354 pp., $27.95)  After the Fall: The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent By Walter Laqueur (Thomas Dunne Books, 322 pp., $26.99)  In two separate incidents in March, Mohammed Merah, a French-born French citizen who thought he was waging jihad, ambushed four soldiers around Toulouse, killing three of them. A week later, he shot dead three children arriving for morning classes at a nearby Jewish school, along with a young rabbi who was father to two of them.

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Sinking Fast

The U.S. ship in the successor flotilla aiming to break the Israeli embargo of the Gaza Strip has been named The Audacity of Hope. It is a bad joke that Barack Obama deserves. His proven coldness toward Israel has emboldened these foolish and meretricious people (including the uproariously silly Alice Walker) to open yet another front against the Jewish state. Of course, their campaign is not really about the embargo. It is about the very existence of Israel. It is not genocide, but it is politicide, and this is also a crime against humanity.

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On a recent episode of “Khari Baat” (“Straight Talk”), a popular Pakistani talk show, journalist Hassan Nisar bluntly captured the mood of his nation: “No normal Pakistani in his right mind would stay in this country for an extra 24 hours if given the option to emigrate.” His view echoed the findings of a poll by Gallup Pakistan released in April, which showed that 27 percent of all Pakistanis want to leave their country and settle abroad.

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Pakistan’s long conflict with India shapes its national security worldview. Far smaller and weaker than its neighbor, Pakistan compensates with far higher military spending and a larger Army than it can afford, creating a national security state.

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Ahmed Rashid reviews Pakistan: A Hard Country, Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of the Global Jihad, Pakistan: Terro

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Zero Bridge The Film Desk Artists Public Domain Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Strand Releasing The city of Srinagar, in Kashmir, is the setting of Zero Bridge. Its maker, Tariq Tapa, American-born and -educated, has a Kashmiri father who often took him to spend summers in Kashmir. Now the son’s first feature, for which he did everything—screenplay, directing, shooting, and sound—is the result of sharp-eyed infatuation with the place. It opens literally on Zero Bridge, which crosses a river that runs through the city.

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Abyei, Sudan—In news coverage, the recent violence in Abyei, a contested border region between northern and southern Sudan, has attracted shorthand references to the region as “Sudan’s Kashmir.” But this is a label Kuol Deng Kuol, paramount chief of the Ngok Dinka, the southern ethnic group that lives in Abyei, strongly rejects.

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The recent chief-of-station (COS) cover-shredding brouhaha between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate marks an ironic and possibly important shift in the historic affection that Langley has had for Pakistan’s premiere intelligence service.

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[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] The Indian writer Arundhati Roy, who is best known to Americans for her 1997 novel The God of Small Things, is a very controversial figure in her home country. She has criticized the government for undertaking disastrous development schemes and for submitting too easily to international capital. In recent years she has written increasingly nutty pieces on the country's violent Maoist insurgency. She has also rightly, if simplistically, commented on successive Indian governments' horrific policies in Kashmir.

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