The grammar is always impeccable in the New Yorker. It tells us how one thinks. Consider an illuminating sentence from William Finnegan's article on the Mexican drug cartels.
Mexico's President, Felipe Calderón declared war—his metaphor—on the country's drug traffickers when he took office, in December, 2006. ... [His] first act was to send sixty-five hundred soldiers and federal police into Michoacán. ... Fifty thousand soldiers and twenty thousand federal police are now in the streets and countryside, but the bloodshed and disorder have grown worse. (39)
It is the "but" in that last sentence that interests me. The unstated understanding between the implicit author and his implicit reader is that a surge of troops into a region will normally reduce "bloodshed and disorder"; "but" normally sets up a contrast of some sort. Consider the alternative:
Fifty thousand soldiers and twenty thousand federal police are now in the streets and countryside, and the bloodshed and disorder have grown worse.
We can easily imagine the same grammatical issue in coverage of the War on Terror.
One hundred and fifty thousand soldiers are now in Afghanistan, but the bloodshed and disorder have grown worse.
The always implicit axiom is that it is puzzling that declaring war on something increases rather than decreases the bloodshed related to it. The grammar of empire requires that "but" (which, not incidentally, indicates "exception"—as in "state of exception"). A shift in usage to favour "and" would be in the interest of peace.