Last night I had a strange dream. I dreamt that someone had given me two $1000 bills, and $750 in change. The coins were strange, like pieces of gold but from the US government. A $500 gold coin and a $250 gold coin. I put this money in my wallet and then was walking around some place unknown, some generic unknown urban place. And I felt constantly afraid, and threatened. Every where I walked, I was looking out for people trying to get me. People approached me and grabbed at me and I hurried to disappear in the crowd. I wasn't safe. No matter where I went, I wasn't safe; I knew they were after my money. Awake in bed early this morning, the fear remained. Only the money was the stuff of dreams.
From The Economist: The Coming Battle. About halfway down the page this article contains a nice map of the region for those of you who are unfamiliar with the location of some of these places.
What is the Koran?, a fascinating article about ancient fragments of seventh and eight century Korans found in Yemen. "[S]ome of these fragments revealed small but intriguing aberrations from the standard Koranic text."
The Saudi fatwah against suicide terrorism, "On April 21, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz bin Abdallah Aal al-Shaykh, said that Islam forbids suicide terrorist attacks."
From Salon (and spotted elsewhere), An Afghan-American Speaks.
And one more: Rendezvous With Afghanistan, some tips from the New York Times on the players in the region and the necessary alliances the US must make.