Monday, July 6, 2020
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Wednesday News: India-Pakistan Crisis; Trump “Undermined and Distracted by Michael Cohen”...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, February 27. As Trump meets Kim in Vietnam, he’s...

Tuesday News: “Ahead of North Korea summit, concern about Trump’s gamble”;...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, February 26. India strikes inside Pakistan after deadly Kashmir...

Christmas/Hanukkah News: “Fake News” Leads to Nuclear Threat; “The Stolen Supreme...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, Christmas Day and "first day of Hanukkah" 2016. At...

Why a Nice Boy From Pakistan Bombs Times Square

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You won't get the perception of America held in Pakistan sitting here. Change places with a native. Not far outside Islamabad, federal authority fades into tribal hegemony. Promise after promise of American friendship and assistance has faded into comfort for the elite, not progress for democracy or the economy.

In one moment, my respect and understanding for the Pakistani leadership was completely altered. This was before the coup by General Pervez Mushariff. This was before Pakistan went nuclear. This was the kinder, gentler Pakistan; but the Pakistan whose patience was worn threadbare. And the group I was with had been sent on a fool's errand. At the end of that day, I knew that those Pakistani flag grade officers went home each and every day with a chip on their shoulders. It was a chip that rationalized corruption and hedged relationships. It was a chip that not one person in the embassy that I encountered explained. A piece of it was probably carried into Times Square on the shoulder of Faisal Shahzad.  

Stones into Schools – a response upon reading the book

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On Friday I attended ceremonies at the Smithsonian's Baird Auditorium honoring Greg Mortensen as the 2010 recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Prize jointly awarded by the Smithsonian Associates in collaboration with the Creativity Foundation.   Each person who attended the ceremony received a free copy of Mortensen's new book, Stones into Schools:  Promoting Peace with Books, not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The author stayed after the event to sign copies for as many as were willing to stand on line, then came to a reception in his honor at the Cosmos Club, where I was fortunate enough to briefly speak with him.

Much of my Saturday was spent reading the book, which has a foreward by Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

This diary is not a book review, but rather a response.  I will explore some parts of the books that spoke to me.  Then I will offer my response.

I invite you to keep reading.