Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Could a Bestseller Help Defense Sec?

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is a voracious reader, and a novel he mentions liking is M. M. Kaye’s “Far Pavilions.” The work explores how to deal with inept leadership, which may be important to him in his current situation.

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Milton’s Jesus vs. Trump’s Bombs

Unfortunately centrists and liberals have been endorsing Trump’s bellicosity abroad. Milton’s Jesus in “Paradise Regained” would not approve.

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Hoping against Hope in the Face of Death

Following philosopher Adrienne Martin, I meditate on what it means to “hope against hope” or to have “unimaginable hope.” The texts I use are “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” “Beowulf,” and “Wizard of Earthsea.”

Posted in Beowulf Poet, LeGuin (Ursula K.), Sir Gawain Poet | Also tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Benito Cereno on War, Racism

A story of two students who found themselves using “Benito Cereno” to sort through two of the biggest issues that Americans face.

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An Afghan Vet’s Green Knight Encounter

An Afghan vet found his war experience captured by “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”

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Pakistan’s Secret Service as Minderbinder

The crazy logic of Milo Minderbinder in Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22” shows up in Pakistan’s Secret Service using funds donated by the U.S. to hire terrorists to attack the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

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The Birds of War-Torn Afghanistan

I share today a poem by my father Scott Bates, who is an ardent birdwatcher as well as poet. The poem reminds us of an ongoing war that too often we want to push out of our minds. Through contrasting the natural world with the disasters created by humans, my father expresses his longing for […]

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