Thursday, February 17, 2005

Suggested Magazine Reading

Since I won't be writing a lot today, I thought I'd suggest some magazines to fill the void. Aside from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition there are some interesting magazines out this month. Next time you are at a magazine stand, at an airport for example, you might check out some of these.

Popular Mechanics does a great service in this month's issue with a story called "9/11 Lies." The editors systematically debunk a number of 9/11 conspiracy theories. I doubt anyone reading this blog believes these "alternate histories" (certainly I don't) but it is still helpful to see them so thoroughly dismantled. Great photos and graphs. Even if you don't get the magazine, flip through it or read the article online. Plus there's a review of the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck. (They liked it.)

The New Republic has two cover stories on the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal. These days it's not just right-wingers and isolationists who are pissing all over the U.N. Now magazines that supported Kerry are blaming Kofi Annan and faulting the U.N. system. The tide may be turning.

Commentary has some thought-provoking pieces this month on the difficulties facing Muslims who convert to other religions and on Europe's demographic and economic problems. Norman Podhoretz follows up with the sequel to his great article "World War IV" and the always interesting Victor David Hanson asks "Has Iraq Weakened Us?"

The 2/14 issue of The Weekly Standard has a cover story on the Iraqi election by Reuel Marc Gerecht. Among other things, he lays out the case for a U.S. funded C-SPAN-style free satellite channel to broadcast the debates in the Iraqi National Assembly across the Arab world. The sight of elected Iraqis debating issues would, he says, do more to undermine dictators and embolden reformers than anything the U.S. could do directly. Persuasive. Plus the back page parody is the funniest take on Chinese house arrest you are likely to find.

Finally, for the more religiously minded there a fascinating article in the current Policy Review (the journal of the Hoover Institute at Stanford), "Understanding Jihad: An Authentic Islamic Tradition." I've underlined numerous passages in my copy, even in the footnotes. Really a fine read. Enjoy.

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