Break radio silence

Brief updates:

My fiance and I are now married.

We went on a honeymoon to Alaska:
We got a kitten and named her Oomi, short for Oomingmak, the Eskimo word for Musk Ox, of which we saw some in Alaska. Oomingmak means "bearded one" - Oomi has some white fur where a beard might be. Check out her attack the blinds at the bottom of the post.

I am now back at work, but going to this conference next week.

Lots of stuff happening over in Mali and Niger re: the Tuareg rebellion, but no time to write on it. Al Jazeera has got a reporter in there and put out a few stories on it. Still ignored by the American press. On request I put up some stuff over at, including a copy of my thesis (available as a pdf here) if you would like to read it.

Another blogger that just broke radio silence is Pat - go read his post about his idea of creating a money stream to politicians that can be turned off when they do bad stuff, like Obama voting for amnesty for telecom companies that broke the law. It would be easy to implement and effective at showing politicians that people actually care about issues that the media ignores.

I will get back to blogging once I figure out where to fit it in my schedule.

Now for Oomi!


Michael said...


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Grandmasta Splash said...

welcome back. awww such a cute cat

subadei said...

congratulations on all accounts. Alaska is on my "must visit" short list.

Mike said...


Elmendorf AFB in Alaska is #4 on my dream sheet of bases to be assigned to, behind two Italian bases and one in the U.K.

Adrian said...

Yeah F-15s (I think) from Elmendorf flew past the window of our hotel room every day, they were pretty close too.

Eddie said...

Congrats Adrian!

Anonymous said...

I have been researching the Tuareg for personal interest and enjoyed your thesis. You exhausted a lot of resources, which are not easy to find, to learn the history of the Tuareg Rebellions and to then explain them succinctly. I noted that you contacted Dr. Jeremy Keenan for some of your research. He clearly does not believe there is a terror problem in North Africa, despite continued attacks by AQIM in Algeria. I think the New York Times article "A Threat Renewed: Ragtag Insurgency Gains a Lifeline from Al Qaeda" (July 1, 2008 there is indeed a terror threat in the Maghreb and that AQIM will continue to grow unchecked in this region if measures are not taken against them. Having done the research yourself and talking with experts on the subject matter, I am curious to hear your opinion about terrorism in the Maghreb.

Adrian said...

I think Keenan recognizes that there is a terrorism problem up in northern Algeria, but he is deeply skeptical that there is a terrorism problem once you get away from Algiers, Kabylie, and the north in general. I disagree with his belief that the US intelligence services are behind events there simply because I don't think there's the necessary interest/expertise in the US intel community to pull anything like the El Para operation off, but I don't think we can rule out Algerian mukhabarat involvement (but it's far from case closed). So yes there is a terrorism problem in the Sahara but it's not nearly as big as the NYTimes article makes it seem to be.

I think that New York Times article over-reached a lot. AQIM was not on deaths door only to be ressurected by Zarqawi and bin Ladin like the article tries to portray it. In fact the decision to ally with Al Qaeda was a deeply divisive one among the GSPC and may have in fact been the result of a power struggle between Droukdel and others in the organization. Also I don't think they had an "outlaw" status among other Muslim groups as a result of slaughtering Muslim civilians in the 1990s, because they in fact did not do that. The civilian massacres were carried out by the GIA (and possibly by Algerian security service personnel that had penetrated the GIA), and Hattab formed the GSPC to get away from unpopular measures like massacring villages.

There is no evidence that the attack on French tourists in Mauritania was anything other than a bunch of thugs looking for cash. The Mauritanian government is not above crying "Al Qaeda" in hopes of scoring assistance from the United States.

Basically it seems to me like the New York Times article accepted everything people said at face value, even though basically everyone involved has an interest in overplaying the threat - AQIM so they seem like big guys, the local authorities so they get more assistance, and the Pentagon people involved with the Trans Saharan Counter Terrorism Partnership so that they get more funding. So I was pretty disappointed with the article.

Adrian said...

Also for another critique of that same NYTimes article, check out grandmasta splash's post on it over at the Arab Media Shack.