Thursday, April 24, 2003

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has recently been in Pakistan trying to get the Musharraf government to restrain the Taliban-al-Qaeda attacks on Afghanistan launched from Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. Afghan government forces have been taking persistent casualties in this fighting recently, which has also claimed a few American lives. (They didn't get to be on TV, though - this war has officially been declared over and a success.) These attacks are apparently starting to go beyond small raids and show greater levels of military organization and training. I wonder if the Taliban ranks are being replenished from conservative Pakistani tribesmen?

In addition, there's been yet another suicide bombing in Israel, which I mention only because it took place the day after the Arafat-Abu Mazen agreement. It appears to have been done by a small group which broke off from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade and was working with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. This is not stopping the Sharon government from blaming the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade and Arafat's (and Abu Mazen's) Fatah group, and a course of action is being planned. This situation may test Sharon's ultimate intentions regarding the peace process: If Abu Mazen's agenda really does include a plan to disarm the AMB, and if Israel begins launching some sort of attack against that group, Abu Mazen will be in a tough spot from the very beginning of his term.

Finally, I now have an apartment for the summer: A small but comfortable place across from Lake Mendota. I saw John H. on the way to class this morning, and he made a joke about it becoming a new salon, like the ones of French intellectuals in earlier ages. Which caused me to it possible that blogs represent a modern incarnation of those? Will social historians of the future note prominent bloggers as trend-setters in the age, and will groups of artists and intellectuals be known by their blogrolls? It's way too early to tell, but it just struck me as an interesting possibility, as I look around the net and see so many different people sharing ideas and inspirations like never before.


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