Professor Ahmed s. Hashim is a remarkably distinguished scholar. His subject is Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in Iraq and to a Chatham House audience, it's fair to say we were hooked by his knowledge and candour about the war in Iraq. There was so much to take in e.g. personal photos, testimonials of insurgent factions - many debunking myths that the media itself has been party to.
His snapshot from Tal Afar in which he spent time, also in his other capacity in the US Army [his job which brought him to Chatham House is as an academic in the Strategic Research Department of the Navel War College in the US]. I'll write more on the actual event later.
But it's a quagmire beyond any semblence of our fed comprehension and it appears more and more that UK/US officials have little idea about what to do.
Meanwhile, friends seeing the new conservative leader, David Cameron, are actually considering voting for him, by default also his party. It was his walkabout in Brixton that showed a level of ease and also political sophistication, that while naked, has gone down pretty well. And that comment to blair, "you were the future once" was cyanide.
Is there mileage in a course about the media and military? I have met a few academics who think so... busy day today.