August 27, 2009

Population-Centric Cowterinsurgency

I subscribe to few magazines, but aside from Soldier of Fortune and the New York Review of Books, the Atlantic is one of them. In this issue, I chuckled my way through a hand-wringing Jeffrey Goldberg piece on Quintin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and what it means for Jewish identity -- because there are exactly ZERO of us East Tennesseans dwelling on the character of Lt. Aldo Raine and what he means for East Tennessean identity. We pretty much accept who we are in the popular imagination -- cruel-yet-just, ignorant-yet-clever, ridiculed-yet-humorous -- for what it is.

But there is another reason to read this issue of the Atlantic, and that is for Graeme Wood's dispatch from Fallujah, where the United States is teaching the widows of insurgents to milk cows for a living. Graeme is the kind of adventurous reporter this blog's editor and readership admire, so I'll be following his travels in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the course of the next few months.