October 28, 2004

B.D. In the Press

My recent UBL is dead post ("Who's Zed? Zed's dead, baby, Zed's dead") got written up in the Washington Times (thanks to Jack Kelly for the props). And, somewhere in the great battleground (or not) state of Oregon, I've been deemed one of three "rational" blogs worth consulting if you're an undecided in the impending election--with Dan Drezner and Brad DeLong the other two (Ph.D-less and voting Bush--but still deemed "rational"! A near amazing feat, no?)

Posted by Gregory at October 28, 2004 01:16 AM

I am an admittedly IRrational NON-member of the "reality-based community", so my praise may not be worth much, but I have to say that B.D. definitely deserves the recognition for its "rationality". B.D. deserves congratulations for that recognition, for the Jack Kelly article in the Washington Times, and for a recent achievement on the Western edge of the Iberian peninsula.

Posted by: Arjun at October 28, 2004 03:01 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Congrats. BTW, two possibilities you didn't mention wrt OBL's apparent deadness.

One is that Rohan Gunaratna alleges that Zawahiri's people were behind the murder of Abdullah Azzam, Bin Laden's mentor, over differences in jihad strategy and Islamic law. If that is true, it wouldn't surprise me that Zawahiri shanked OBL over some dispute about the direction of Al Qaeda.

The second point is that L-e-T, the Kashmiri militant group, has largely taken over recruitment for the Iraq jihad. Why? How?

Posted by: praktike at October 28, 2004 04:19 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

what's your source on L-e-T?

Posted by: greg at October 28, 2004 04:30 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Three sources:

One is the Asia Times:

Two is Daniel Benjamin's Op-Ed:

Third is the Hindu:

Some heavy-duty speculation involved, of course.

Posted by: praktike at October 28, 2004 04:50 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

benjamin piece--reeks of auditioning-for-kerry-slot (and thus overly hyperbolic in the gloom and doom pan-jihadism is nigh and getting worse meme--too neat a kerry talking point and aimed at getting the senator to say, perhaps today as he flits about the oped section, 'who is that benjamin guy...he's smart.."

atimes story: written by a biased source who wants to portary L-e-t as major enemy of U.S., ie heavy in iraq, to get US stance on Kashmir tilting more India's way

Hindu story--lotsa vagueness/hearsay.

bottom line: there is likely some jihadist cross-fertilization as btwn l-e-t and some iraqi jihadis but likely pretty de minimis fare. l-e-t cares a helluva lot more about their own neighborhood battles than those in fallujah, imho. don't believe the hype, i'd wager, all told

Posted by: greg at October 28, 2004 05:05 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Maybe so, maybe so. A kernel of truth, wrapped in propaganda?

Posted by: praktike at October 28, 2004 05:18 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Daniel Benjamin and his co-author seem to be saying, "Invading Iraq was a big mistake, and now we're doomed." That's good to know, but what do they think we should do now? (The only actual advice I can see in the article is that we shouldn't show weakness by waiting to attack Fallujah until after November 2, 2004. Mr. President, it's very important to attack Fallujah before the U.S. election, or else you'll appear weak! You have just 4 days to avoid the appearance of weakness!)

Most voters decide whether to re-elect an incumbent based on the incumbent's decisions while in office, which seems like a rational, reality-based approach. The trouble with this approach, however, is that the past is immutable. You can't change the past, no matter how you vote. For example, suppose someone was voting to re-elect the President because she agreed with the decision to invade Iraq. That's fine, but on the other hand, her vote doesn't affect that decision, because that decision was already made in the past. Doesn't it make more sense to base the decision on the candidates' likely decisions in the future?

Posted by: Arjun at October 28, 2004 05:57 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Okay, one more source:

The Bush-hating UPI (!)


Posted by: praktike at October 28, 2004 06:50 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As a recent BD reader, I would have to say that local commentary is much more rational than what you find on most of Brad Delong's blog these days, PhD notwithstanding. He is a rational guy who has been driven over the brink by the pure donkey blood coursing through his veins. I will return to his blog for some center left rationality after the election, perhaps.

Posted by: Jason Ligon at October 28, 2004 02:18 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Dan Darling gives his thoughts:

Posted by: praktike at October 28, 2004 02:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If you're being mentioned in the same breath with DeLong and Drezner, I'll have to think about whether or not to re-visit this site. You're being lumped with a commie moron and a fence-sitting ditherer.

Posted by: Jack at October 28, 2004 03:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Congratulations Greg. Two great successes in the past week I see - the Iberian conquest and the Washington Times mention (the former being the more significant of course).

Just as Jason Ligon makes a very good point about the comments section over here, Jack has to go and spoil it all. Come on Jack, you can do better than that tired old "commie moron" thing can't you? A sure sign that someone lacks confidence in their own argument is a tendency to use insults. Are you trying to tell us something about your insecurities Jack?

Posted by: Eric Martin at October 28, 2004 03:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I wrote below that Senator Biden is a leading candidate, assuming Mr. Kerry is elected President, for ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

However, Gerard Baker, writing in the Times, says that my opinion is dead wrong. He claims to have heard from inside sources that Senator Biden is the leading candidate for Secretary of State in a Kerry Administration, and that Richard Holbrooke is to be offered a lesser role instead.

The Gerard Baker column's wild speculation has caused me to doubt myself yet again. I had read that Senator Biden wanted to be chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but the fact of the matter is that the U.S. Senate will (barely) stay Republican, so Mr. Biden won't have that option.

Posted by: Arjun at October 29, 2004 05:47 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Posted by: weak sister bitch at November 12, 2004 08:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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