Tuesday, August 14, 2007

NYTimes: You Win This War By Drinking Tea

New York Times

This is a fun sounding book. In 1943 American and allied soldiers were in Iraq, because Nazi Germany was threatening to conquer it via Syria. The article is an interview with LTC John Nagl, an American officer known for his book "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife." Me makes the comment that it sure seemed like we knew alot about Iraq back in 1943. A "charming" book, with illustrations, written in a more hopeful, less irony-filled time. Back when we were sure we were fighting evil.

The article title came out of one of the points that Nagl talks about. I remember being dragged by a shopkeeper who wanted to get me to buy a rug. Brought me into his shop, and immediately offered chai. Very recognizable story.

There is a lot to be said about referencing the past. When I wrote my dissertation, one of my goals was to have at least one citation older then I was. I was successful. I also was able to do the same in a presentation I gave for work. One of the most compelling slides that I have. This is a difficult business, marked by what is unknown as much as is known. Using the advantages of other people's hindsight sems like a good thing.
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