Ankush Khardori

Ankush Khardori is an attorney at a law firm in New York City. He occasionally contributes to the blog Cogitamus and to The Huffington Post.

Recent Articles

Up-Close and Personal in Iraq

Dexter Filkins' new book provides an intimate and engrossing account of his time in Iraq. Why don't we read more like it in our newspapers?

Before I can ask him a question, Dexter Filkins -- The New York Times correspondent whose new book, The Forever War , recounts experiences from his three years reporting during the Iraq War and his time before that in Afghanistan -- insists on putting one to me. He hates to ask, he says, "but have you read the book?" When we met early one evening in New York City in September, Filkins had just returned from a trip to Iraq to see how things had changed since he left in 2006. I show him my copy of his book, with post-it flags protruding from the edges of the pages, and he seems relieved. The question, it turns out, is not entirely unwarranted. A decidedly apolitical affair, The Forever War is unlike the books on Iraq (and it is mostly about Iraq) that generate the most attention in the United States. The book studiously avoids direct engagement with the sorts of questions that have preoccupied commentators in the United States since the war in Iraq began (broadly, why and how did we get...

Sullivan on Obama

By Ankush I should've taken Charles Kaiser's advice and skipped Andrew Sullivan's cover story for The Atlantic , about how Barack Obama is the second coming of Christ. It is a stunningly bad piece of work -- reductive, overwrought, bloated, and, perhaps above all, patronizing. The setup doubles as an example of numerous overblown passages in the piece: At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war—not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a mo­ mentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade—but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama —and Obama alone—offers the possibility of a truce. Needless to say, Sullivan can hardly provide actual proof for all of the steps in this argument, even if you substituted more...

The Amazing Bob Woodward

By Ankush Vivian Aplin-Brownlee, part of the first small wave of African-American women to work their way up through major newspapers, died a week ago . The Washington Post obituary is a nice tribute to her work (and includes a really lovely picture of her, as well). Aplin-Brownlee was an editor at the Post when Janet Cooke published "Jimmy's World," an infamous, Pulitzer Price-winning piece about an 8-year-old heroin addict, which was later retracted by the paper because the story was bogus. I did not, however, know that the drama included a supporting role from the archetypal truth-seeking journalist with unmatched news instincts: "[Aplin-Brownlee] looked at the story on Page 1, turned to me and said, 'I don't believe a word of this,' " said her husband of 32 years, Dennis Brownlee. She tried several times to alert higher-level editors that the story didn't sound right and that Cooke was not capable of doing the reporting she said she had done. But the other editors dismissed her...

That's Rich

By Ankush We've seen this movie before . It's not like there aren't legitimate and serious criticisms to be made of Hillary Clinton, but I think Frank Rich actually does Clinton's people a service by wrapping his (barely identifiable) substantive criticism of the Senator in his tired, political-analysis-as-theater-criticism shtick. Look, successful politicians are inauthentic. You don't come close to being President without developing a carefully cultivated public persona. To pretend otherwise is nonsense, and you tend to see people harp on the A-word most often when all they're really trying to do is say that, on a personal level, they just don't like someone. In 2000, Rich's problem was that serial liar and egghead Al Gore, constantly boring us all with his talk of actual policies. Yawn! Today, we get a couple paragraphs on Hillary Clinton's laugh, with which we're apparently supposed to be concerned. ("Then there was that laugh," Rich writes, at which point you immediately feel a...

Nocera and the Skeptics

By Ankush Joe Nocera's weekly, reported columns for the Times Business section are usually quite good. But every once in while, things go weirdly awry, and the normally sensible Nocera reveals an odd penchant for contrarianism . A few months ago, it was his column on Jeffrey Sachs , whose impressive efforts to eradicate malaria and reduce global poverty Nocera referred to as "laudable" but unable to achieve their goals "in any serious way." To demonstrate this, he quoted and channeled Tyler Cowen at great length, without offering Sachs or one of his supporters any space to respond to Cowen's specific criticisms, which mainly boiled down to claims about the difficulties Sachs would have scaling up his small and successful projects to a grander scale. Nocera concluded by noting that Sachs was engaged in "a worthy effort but probably not as profoundly transformative as he likes to portray it." The reader could have been forgiven for wondering why Nocera blew prime real estate and his own...

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