The Century Foundation’s inaugural #TCFBest got off to a great start. We received several strong nominations, some of which we probably wouldn’t have seen without your suggestion.

Among the highlights for the week:

  • Brendan Pastor’s (@brendanspastor) look at the impact of Fairtrade on the sugar industry in sub-Saharan Africa. Pastor writes that as consumers begin thinking more seriously about where all their agricultural products come from, the Fairtrade program has considerable potential to raise living standards for workers in the sugar industry.
  • The New York Times’ revelation that in some states, gun rights trump protective orders. Twitter user @dissident1L nominated this piece, which outlines reasons for requiring that individuals subject to restraining orders be required to surrender their firearms.
  • Several readers suggested Tova Wang’s (@tovawang) examination of voting patterns for naturalized U.S. citizens. Wang’s piece laments that native citizens are 10 percentage points more likely to vote than are naturalized citizens, and suggests several strategies for closing the gap.

But this week’s winning piece—and the winner of the inaugural #TCFBest award—goes to Marc Lynch’s (@abuaardvark) piece, “What’s Missing From the Iraq Debate” (free registration required). Lynch looks at recent 10-year retrospectives on Iraq and finds that almost none of them include any Iraqis in the conversation. This myopia, Lynch says, has consequences:

Failing to listen to those Iraqi voices meant getting important things badly wrong. Most profoundly, the American filter tends to minimize the human costs and existential realities of military occupation and a brutal, nasty war. The savage civil war caused mass displacement and sectarian slaughter that will be remembered for generations.

We highly recommend that you go read the entire piece.

Thank you for all of the wonderful recommendations for our first week. If your favorite didn’t win this week, don’t despair. Nominations are now open for next week’s #TCFBest. Submit your nominations in the comments below, on our Facebook page, email us at [email protected], or on Twitter using #TCFBest.