None of this means that arming the tribes is necessarily the wrong idea. And it is to Gen. Petraeus’ great credit that he has backed away from the thought that ideas and tactics can be exported from Iraq to Afghanistan. Nevertheless, the discussion of how to proceed in Afghanistan is increasingly dominated by thinkers and soldiers who made their names in Iraq, and the theme of exporting good ideas from Iraq into Afghanistan is almost universal in their op-eds, speeches, and magazine profiles. That doesn’t mean their ideas are necessarily wrong; it just means they seem not to have done enough homework yet to be controlling U.S. policy. But, it seems the journalists who cover them (with a few notable exceptions) haven’t done their homework, either. The result (for now, at least) is a very public discussion about repeating a failed policy—surely the one thing Afghanistan does not need.
01:25 PM - January 12, 2009
Stop the Ambulance Chasers!
Knowing a lot about Iraq doesn’t help you much in Afghanistan
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Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
18. (strictly for the mise-en-scene)
“Franzen tells a hilarious story of being a young writer in New York, meeting Vollmann, becoming fast friends, and inaugurating a draft swap. A while later, they exchanged work. Franzen gave Vollmann a dozen chiseled pages. Vollmann gave Franzen an entire novel.”
“Make yourself indispensable. Dispel any rumors, however quiet, that you are just there for a ‘quota’”
Nate Silver drills into the numbers
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.