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Elephant Head

Karl Miller, 27 September 1990

India: A Million Mutinies Now 
by V.S. Naipaul.
Heinemann, 521 pp., £17.50, September 1990, 0 434 51027 0
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... time you went for tea.’ Aziz had been on the pilgrimage to Mecca, and Naipaul remembers the ‘hanks and twists of excrement’ witnessed on a Himalayan pilgrimage in 1962. ‘There were toilets everywhere between Jeddah and Mecca. It wasn’t like Amarnath. Everything was clean in Mecca.’ The chapter spends too much time on battles of will over a ...

Abolish the CIA!

Chalmers Johnson: ‘A classic study of blowback’, 21 October 2004

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to 10 September 2001 
by Steve Coll.
Penguin, 695 pp., $29.95, June 2004, 1 59420 007 6
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... Afghan frontier in part to impress upon a succession of girlfriends how powerful he was’. Tom Hanks has signed on to play him.) Saudi Arabian motives were different from those of both the US and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is, after all, the only modern nation-state created by jihad. The Saudi royal family, which came to power at the head of a movement of ...

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