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Guest Thinkers

An End to All That

A little less than a year ago Brian and I started this blog. What for me began as an amusing diversion has, nearly 12 months later, become an unhealthy distraction. I work slowly, preferring a day researching tribal genealogies to writing about al-Qaeda.

The work I love to spend my time on rarely has policy implications and I prefer it that way. I am free to read, write and think unfettered by outside restraints that I believe can often limit both creativity and discovery, or at least what passes for discovery in my world.

Initially, the blog was a forum for me to play with my thoughts in a different format. In a sense, it was a way for me to approach old problems from new angles, to break down some of the well-worn ruts in which my mind tends to travel in the absence of resistance. This is no longer the case. My first reaction on reading something on Yemen now is: “I should post something on this.” This is neither helpful, healthy or wise. My best thoughts are rarely rash. Instead they are the result of careful consideration not immediate impressions.

One bright young academic, whom I greatly respect, once told me that blogging gives one the same sense of immediate gratification as do scratch-off lottery tickets. He was, of course, correct. And, I would add, it is just as addicting. So, at least for me and at least for the moment, the time has come to bring Waq al-waq to an end. Or at least an end in its current form, the blog will remain up but posts will be reduced to the rate of around one per month.

Brian will continue to blog at Always Judged Guilty , and thankfully, for his many fans, he will not limit himself to the straight-jacket of Yemen-only blogging. He is one of my favorite writers. I hope you keep reading him. I know I will.


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