June 02, 2009

Intern Nick Strikes Again

Well, CNAS loses a great intern, but the Naval Postgraduate School gains a new research assistant. Nick Masellis has left CNAS, but he has another contribution on SWJ:

...when I first arrived to the city and noticed the massive golden domes, I knew nothing of their significance; I knew nothing of the story behind the shrines and the history behind them; and I was still ignorant of the general cultural milieu. I was not at all unique – we all were mesmerized by the mosques and the culture around us, but had no clue where to begin in order to understand what they meant in the context of our presence among the people apart from: 1. do not get near the mosques; and 2. do not fire on them if fired upon from its vicinity. But more importantly, the prevailing attitude at the time seemed to be that we didn’t really have to understand anything beyond the latter. That seemed to be a reasonable tenant; after all, why would it be necessary to know such things about any given area, people or buildings? How, if at all, is it pertinent to the mission?