Thursday, September 18, 2008

Worth reading

Steve Coll's piece in the New Yorker on Gen. David Petraeus as he prepares to leave Iraq to head the Central Command, is more reporting than opinion and quite valuable. Petraeus is definitely smart, probably smarter than most of the civilians who nominally supervise him. The piece doesn't offer too many insights as to what he'll do once Afghanistan and Pakistan are in his portfolio; maybe he's smart enough not to know yet.

Jeffrey Goldberg's Atlantic piece on "The Wars of John McCain" is pretty even-handed but offers what to me is a near-frightening insight into his devotion to war. I'm not sure if he sees it as the highest of human endeavors, as some deluded sols do, but he does see it as a likely solution to problems rather than a last resort to be entered into only reluctantly.

And Leon Aron's piece in the New Republic explains how the Putin regime has introduced new history textbooks into Russian schools that essentially whitewash the brutality of the communist era. Scary stuff.

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