Other Magazines

Neocon Scapegoats?

Foreign Policy on how it’s time to stop blaming neoconservatives for the Iraq war mess.

Today, Other Magaziners flips through the Economist, Time, the New York Times Magazine, Foreign Policy, and the New York Review of Books to find out what’s worth your time—and what’s not.

Must Read Foreign Policy’s stinging cover story blames you, not “a cabal of neocons,” for the failures of the war in Iraq. The article convincingly argues that the American public’s “rejection of [national] sacrifice” resulted in the war being planned and implemented with too much optimism and too few resources.— J.M.

Best Military Piece
The Economist cover story reviews what it terms the “counter-revolution” taking place in Western military strategy. Instead of the Rumsfeld-envisioned future where the number of troops would be reduced by increasingly smarter weaponry, leaders now recognize they need soldiers who are “less science-fiction Terminator and more intellectual … with a sense of history and anthropology” to fight the battles of asymmetrical wars.”—M.S.

Best Medical Article
Time notes the call for medical students’ greater familiarity with the Geneva Conventions. Without such training, supporters say, new doctors may not recognize torture. Perhaps worse, those “who do know what it is may be willing to inflict it anyway” if they lack a clear understanding of the physician’s role in critical conflict situations.—E.G.

Best Profile
The New York Review of Books paints a fine portrait of last year’s Nobel Laureate, Orhan Pamuk, as he tries to balance the “hermetic life” he prefers and the political life that “came uninvited.”—G.H.

Best Statistic
Foreign Policy’s profile  of Mexican entrepreneur Carlos Slim Helú, who recently overtook Bill Gates as the “World’s Richest Man,” notes that his net worth—over $59 billion—is a staggering 6 percent of Mexico’s GDP and increased by $2 million per hour last year alone.—J.M.

Best International Coverage
The Economist profiles a diverse Bangladeshi neighborhood in East London, where “Bengali curry houses compete with beigel bakeries—a Church of England school sits opposite the Bangla City supermarket”—the gains “Britain’s poorest big ethnic group” are achieving there.—M.S.

Best Line
Foreign Policy describes a Chinese hip-hop show as it analyzes the globalization  of the art form: “It was the perfect brew—an African-American entrepreneur promoting a Polish vodka owned by a French corporation using Chinese performers practicing an Afro-Latin influenced art form that originated in the inner cities of the United States.” —J.M.

Best Education Piece
Time describes the efforts of Abdullah Ibn Hussein, the king of Jordan, to transplant New England boarding school ethos to the Middle East. The school, modeled after his alma mater Deerfield, is the first co-ed boarding school in the Middle East and hopes to combine “the best of East and West”: “Arabic language classes are mandatory, and humanities courses taught in English draw on the canonical works of many civilizations.”—E.G.

Best Political Coverage
The New York Times Magazine takes a look at how the evangelical voting bloc is beginning to unravel. Once the most cohesive group in America—credited with Bush’s re-election—evangelical leadership is now “split along generational and theological lines.” All told, the group’s disarray looks very good for Democrats and very bad for Republicans in 2008.—J.L.

Best Obituary
The Economist looks back at the life of Lucky Dube, a “clean-living Rastafarian” who sang anti-apartheid reggae during the worst of the regime in South Africa. Dube was shot by carjackers in front of his children in October.—M.S.

Best Cocktail-Party Factoid
The New York Review of Books reveals that, in his early years, Joseph Stalin went through “forty different names, nicknames, bylines, and aliases at various times,” which only barely exceeds the number of his professions: “revolutionary, bank robber, gangster, singer, poet, womanizer, pedophile.”—G.H.