Most often of Saturdays, but today on Wednesday, I went to my favorite European Cafe on Halsted and Grand. Part of my post Tai-Chi class ritual is to go to the Blue Iguana for Nutella Crepes (served after 1:30pm) and to read magazine confections (namely W or Vogue). Now, I do not subscribe to magazines. I read various newspapers/magazies online, NYTimes, Guardian, Salon, The New Yorker, etc. I used to read the Atlantic Monthly, but they did not have a web-only subscription and I don't like collecting paper magazines. Today, I read Vanity Fair. And I've come to the realization, that I really love, love, love, the writing in Vanity Fair.
The writing is smart, even witty, and at a level of investigative depth and clarity that one does not find anymore. I was most riveted by David Rose's story, The Gaza Bombshell, on the attempted US-supported coup against Hamas in 2007. Rose does an excellent job documenting (with actual government documents) the Bush government's urging of Fatah President Abbas to dissolve the Hamas-led government if they do not recognize Israel's right to exist, various drafts of plans to provide Abbas with financial and military support to expel Hamas from power.
Rose details how the Bush administration attempted to hide the military costs by getting other Arab countries to front the weapons and training, while negotiating with the US Congress for non-military costs. He details the "surprise" of the State department about Hamas willing the election, the Fetah-Hamas short-lived agreement, and the defeat by Israel by Hamas. He quotes Condi's statements of "Who could guess that X would happen?" What Rose best documents is the human costs of US miscalculations due to its desire to use Palestine to create Bush and Rice's legacy in the Middle East.
The fact that this is referred to as Iran-Contra II makes me angry that none of the people who authored this failed coup will be held accountable for the instability that they have caused.
So I appreciate the writing of Vanity Fair, which did have an awesome article on designer Calvin Klein. Of course, there seems to be the standard lack of diversity in terms of people of color and people under 45 years of age. The only person of color, and I mean any color, is Fashion and Style director (illustrator) Michael Roberts, who was hired in 2006. But they still make me want to make an exception to the no-paper-subscriptions rule.