Suicide bombers can be identified by their headbands, which read: lā ʾilāha ʾillallāh, Muḥammad rasūlu-llāh (There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger).
Everybody is going to hear a lot about Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2011. Reports on the flagging American war effort, murderous militants, and the region’s opiate-based corruption will leave you sucking your thumb in a stupor. You’ll have no choice but to learn something. But that’s good: If the Apocalypse is imminent, it will probably begin in one or both of these countries. You should know what’s going on.
Since most of us here are firmly anti-getting-decapitated, we decided it would be best to send
’s vintage founders to investigate on our behalf. What follows are their accounts—Suroosh Alvi on the Taliban in Pakistan and
on the new capitalism in Afghanistan. (There’s also a handy timeline explaining everything you always wanted to know about these two countries but were too bored to ask.)
TALIBAN HOLIDAY - Militancy, Fear, and Volleyball in the New Pakistan