No Good Can Come from Azawad

I voted for president today here in Georgia. For all our fractious partisanship in the United States, it is my great fortune, and I am thankful to live in an established, mature democracy.

In fearsome contrast, take a look at how things are going in Azawad, a country recognized by no one. Earlier this year "Azawad" was wrenched from Mali by Islamist insurgents. For an ugly reality check, please read A Trip Through Hell: Daily Life in Islamist Northern Mali.

Azawad Doesn’t Sound as Fun as Timbuktu

AngryWindCoverWhether you're one of Robert D. Kaplan's critics or admirers, his piece yesterday was a useful primer on the lay of the land, and the feel of things in the Sahara.

Those of us who are reluctant to vacation in a place they might be killed are crossing Timbuktu off our lists, at least for now. As a substitute, I recommend Angry Wind, by Jeffrey Tayler. It's on my list of ten great adventure travel books.