October 28, 2005

Guest-Bloggers at B.D. in October

Through October, please find guest-blogging in this space Eric Martin (of TIA and LAT) and Dan Darling ( RC and WoC). While they each come from different sides of the political spectrum, don't expect any cross-fire antics while I'm gone! Instead, doubtless, some constructive dialogue and high quality blogging from these two estimable bloggers. Be polite to them while they mind the store, and note E-mail to them should be sent to their E-mail addresses (not B.D.'s, they will doubtless provide). See you in late October!

Posted by Gregory at October 28, 2005 04:00 PM | TrackBack (11)
Comments

Reading Dan Darling's all-or-nothing take on Iran-in-Iraq ("I do not claim oracle"), in which he spins British accusations that the Pasdaran are aiding insurgents in southern Iraq into a single-minded Iranian terrorist campaign against every state in the region, as well as the US, all I can say is travel safely, Gregory, and come back soon.

Posted by: Simon at October 6, 2005 02:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If you think it's so patently wrong Simon, feel free to point it out where you see the flaws in my argument, otherwise you're just falling back into the slothful induction fallacy.

Posted by: Dan Darling at October 6, 2005 04:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Where is this 'take on Iran-in-Iraq' ?

Posted by: DavidP at October 7, 2005 02:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

my question is how does a college undergraduate majoring in political science at an obscuremidwestern college whose PoliSci Dept. consists of 2 full time professors (and no graduate PoliSci program) find himself a "consultant for the Manhattan Institute's Center for Policing Terrorism and an occasional contributor to the Weekly Standard magazine."

Could it have something to do with the fact that one of these two full time professors is an academic "CIA expert".

Its little wonder that DD's worldview is so skewed....its not like he's getting an education on foreign affairs etc. from a faculty full of recognised experts in diverse fields.

Oh, and Danny-boy, we do assume that you will be enlisting in the Army infantry immediate upon graduation.... I'm sure you're not one of those hypocritical young chickenhawks, now are you?

Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 7, 2005 03:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

at Dan Darling doesnt base his approach on ad hominems. What great University taught Mr Lukasiak that rhetorical approach.

General rule of logic Mr L - attacking someones credentials is ONLY relevant if someone is invoking their authority. If theyre not, and their arguments are based on publicly available evidence, and logic available for dissection, then their personal credentials are not relevant.

Oh, and I studied poli sci (but didnt major in it) at a large eastern university, most of whose tenured poli sci profs names you would recognize, if you know anything about poli sci.

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 7, 2005 04:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

At least he doesnt resort to ad hominems, Mr L.


Ad hominems are only logically relevant when someone invokes their personal authority, which Dan does not do. His arguements stand on their own.


Oh, and, if it matters, studied Politics (but didnt major in it) at a large, eastern university. Several of the professors I had are household names in political science.


Posted by: liberalhawk at October 7, 2005 04:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

sorry for the double post

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 7, 2005 04:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Dan Darling is more knowledeable on the topic of terrorism than any professors I had, and I might add that I attended undergrad at the only security studies program in the country at the time. His comprehensive knowledge of terrorist networks, names, locations and methods surpasses all those I have met within the intelligence community and private corporations in the national security area.

His age and where he attends school do not detract from or add to his analytic capabilities. Instead it seems to be his personal and professional interest that drives him to know more than most of us on the topic. If anything, we should be glad someone at his age is so proficient, and in a sense, dutiful, to the topic. There are a litany of other activities someone at his age could be involved in that are of little benefit to US security.

The contrast in maturity is quite stark when compared to those who would be belittle him on irrelevant grounds.

Posted by: Athena at October 7, 2005 08:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

At least he doesnt resort to ad hominems, Mr L.

please point out where i resorted to such an argument. I asked a question with regard to the genesis of "Dan Darling's" credentials and position--- and its a legitimate one. How does a 22 year old undergraduate going to some obscure school suddenly find himself working as a consultant for a heavily funded but intellectually corrupt far-right wing think tank, and how does he get published in a well-known but intellectually bankrupt far-right periodical?

And, of course, there is the question of hypocrisy---if Darling is such a fan of killing Muslims to advance America's foreign policy interests, why hasn't he enlisted in the Army Infantry?

The bottom line on Darling is that he appears to be little more than a propaganda outlet for anti-Islamic/anti-Arab/pro-Israel policy advocates. He exhibits none of the nuanced scholarship that a true expert would show---he simply posits the worst-case speculations as if they were all but proven fact, then draws the inevitable "we have to kill more Muslims" conclusions.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 7, 2005 09:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A true expert like you, P.? With your comfort to put words in his mouth? You're not even worth responding to further with such foolish arguments which are anti-progressive, anti-liberal, unrealistic, and baseless. Come back with a real argument and people might take your posts more seriously. Until then, they're a joke. And until I read something from you that isn't riddled with delusion, I have nothing more to add.

Yes, let's just kill Muslims, in Darling's own words:

http://www.regnumcrucis.blogspot.com/2005_07_24_regnumcrucis_archive.html#112221858014605571

Posted by: A Progressive at October 7, 2005 09:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm not going to jump into the middle of this particular fight, but I will offer some general observations. Certainly it's a free country, and people can write and post whatever they want. However, as a military officer, I tend to be very skeptical of folks who lack military experience but advocate military solutions.
If you don't know what it feels like to have a hole beaten into your back by the magazine well of an M-16 as you run a six-mile endurance course, you're gonna have a hard time appreciating how much effort and dedication goes to preparing for war. If you don't know what it feels like to do a mask-confidence exercise in a gas chamber full of CS or to try to manuveur a unit in full MOPP gear, you may not truly get just how scary NBC weapons are. If you've never looked up with your NVGs from a busy flightdeck and seen two helos full of Marines almost collide at 200 feet in low light level conditions, you may not realize just how dangerous even peacetime training can be. If you've never flipped through the headlines and thought, "Hey, I went to OCS with that dude" as you read "Marine killed by IED in Ramadi", you may not truly know the heartbreak and tragedy of war. If you've never looked directly at the ravaged body of one of your buddies, and thought, "my friends are heroes", you may have a hard time understanding the personal sacrifice our nation asks of its armed forces.
None of this is to say that war is not appropriate sometimes, nor that regular citizens should not actively discuss our military policy. My point is that as a military professional I am very protective of "my" Marines. If someone proposes to place them in jeopardy, I am going to examine that person's justifications very thoroughly, especially if that person does not know what it is like to be responsible for others. It used to be that we could count on our generals to be similarly protective, but sadly that seems to not be the case right now. In any case, Dan, I'm not trying to criticize the content of your work based on who you are. You have a right to your views, and frankly, I haven't read enough of your stuff to judge if you're on base or off. I will say, however, that I aim to move on to defense policy when I have finished my time in uniform, and I plan to especially monitor the work of defense intellectuals who lack military experience. I plan on hammering the Richard Perles and Paul Wolfowitz's of the world.
In any case, Dan, I don't know if you have phsyical limitations, or some other issues preventing service. If not, however, you should seriously consider serving your country in uniform. I say that in all seriousness, not as a snide remark or condemnation. Lord knows we can use all the smart folks we can get.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 8, 2005 12:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Paulie -

You need to get another hobby outside of cyber stalking Dan. As the former deputy at MI's terrorism shop, I could tell you why I contacted Dan. I've never been to Kansas but I've heard of Rockhurst - I read about it in US News and Barron's - two magazines I wouldn't call obscure but then what do I know. You let me down with your rant against Rockhurst, i was waiting for you to discuss the global jesuit cabal that is taking over the world.

Posted by: Pete at October 8, 2005 01:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Semper Fi, T-Bone. And I concur.

I too am very interesting in how a minnow like Dan D. becomes a consultant and writer with the cred.s listed.

How?

Knowing how is germane to the discussions he initiates because 1) I'd like to know how, given his age, lack of experience, and educational attainment to date, he would know his ass from a hole in ground. 2) Given that experience, knowledge, etc are not - cannot be - driving his current position in life, knowing more about Dan's background would shed some light on how, when and where he came up with his ideas and where he is going with them.

So, Dan, care to fill in the gaps in your resume?

Posted by: avedis at October 8, 2005 01:28 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Pete,
I haven't read much of what MI has put out, but I'll tell you what, what you just wrote will cause me to seriously question anything I ever read coming out of MI.

Do you realize how vacuous you make the organization appear?

Posted by: avedis at October 8, 2005 01:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

avedis:

No answers I give could be verified terribly easily. This is also a guest blog, not a job interview, and you'll forgive me if I refrain from answering any and all details about my personal life online, especially in front of individuals I do not believe to have my best. All I am prepared to disclose about my life at this time can be found in the intro I post and the link that was posted a little ways up and if you have any further questions on that score I suggest you refer them to e-mail using the address I listed in the post on Dr. Paz's research. Similarly, if you believe I am "unqualified" to blog here, I suggest you refer your arguments to Greg via e-mail as I currently doing this as a favor to him and both Eric and myself were contacted by him for this gig, not the other way around. All he has to do is say the word and I'm back to mostly lurking here, but until then he asked me to perform a favor for him and as he is so fond of saying, if you don't like what I'm writing then you don't have to read it.

Posted by: Dan Darling at October 8, 2005 06:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The above should read: "especially in front of individuals I do not believe to have my best interests at heart."

Posted by: Dan Darling at October 8, 2005 06:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Avedis -

To your comment, I don't really, I don't comment on anything, but here I did because Paul, while he asked a fair question, attacks Dan for what seems like everything - if that sounds vacuous to you, so be it. It was a poor attempt at being smarky that didn't translate well on the written page. Just to give you a breif background on MI, it has been around for 25 years - some of the highlights include Charles Murray, George Kelling and the idea of Broken Windows policing, the Rudy Revolution came from the ideas of MI, their flagship publication City Journal is must reading. Check it out yourself.

To answer some of the other questions, I didn't contact Dan because of his military experience, there are folks at MI who have done tours in Afghanistan, Panama and elsewhere who also use Dan's opinions to foster their work. I won't get into the specifics of who uses MI's terrorism data, but at the time there was an issue and I saw Dan had written some pieces on it and his analysis was very useful at the time. Since then he's been nothing but great with his analysis and his information. I don't work there anymore so you would have to ask those still there why they continue to use Dan, and I'm sure they would say the same. Who cares if he is 22? I don't.

Posted by: Pete at October 8, 2005 06:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Dan, Fair enough and understood.

I too value privacy.

Also, I am certainly not calling into question your right to have an opinion, to blog that opinion, nor your intelligence.

What I am suggesting is that those who are most likely to call for bloodshed and killing are those who are least likely to be familiar with bloodshed and killing.

Furthermore, I am wondering how a 22 year old could possibly have the wisdom and experience to "consult" on matters of global importance regarding war and politics. Apologies for sounding paternal, but there is simply no way a 22 year old college student can pass muster in this regard.

Thus, I am more concerned with the MI's credibility than with yours.

Dan, I can appreciate ambition, thoughtfulness and involvement in a young man. Good on you to the extent that you have exhibited these characteristics.

I also appreciate your thoughts on all the issues you address in your writing. I may not always agree with your conclusions or even your premises, but that's what this is all about; an exchange of ideas for the stimultaion of thought and hopefully a better democratic society at home, if not abroad.

What concerns me most is that organizations like the MI and people like you have no concept of the military (in any aspect) and yet you love to write about US military capabilities. It's all book knowledge. Nor do you have anything on the line. The blood that flows will not be yours.

You are writing about, encouraging, promoting, consulting, etc on the most serious issues that can face a nation and here you are 22 years old and green as hell.

Sorry, but we all have to pay our dues. I'm wondering why the MI thinks that you do not.

Pete says that your opinions inform the actions of, presumably, warriors in Afghanistan and Iraq. I find that disturbing in more ways than one. I am wondering why the MI has an influence on the actions of such warriors when there is ample capability in the Pentagon and the CIA. I become concerned that this is all about ideology versus reason.

The Ivory Tower nature of Dan's creds reinforce that concern.

Everything in life has its costs and its benefits. Until you're old enough and experienced enough you can't fully appreciate what those costs and benefits really are. Until a man is old enough and been through enough he does not possess the balance and perspective to make critical decisions that will have impact well beyond his own circle.

Again, I concur with T-Bone. Wear the uniform. get in the shit. See how it works and doesn't work. Relate to the men and women whose asses are on the line. Then go "consult".

That's all.

Posted by: avedis at October 8, 2005 10:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Avedis:

Here again, I am more than prepared to answer or address many of those questions/concerns via e-mail, just as I am many of your comments or concerns as far as MI go. I am not, however, going to get into a detailed discussion of my background, employers' backgrounds, future career plans, et al. in this forum. My own concerns aside, that isn't what Greg asked me to do when he requested that I guest-blog here with Eric (at which time, incidentally, he knew next to nothing about who I was or what I did) and if you or anyone else for that matter has a problem with his choice you are more than free to contact him and ask him to change his decision.

One misunderstanding I do want to address, however, is this:

What concerns me most is that organizations like the MI and people like you have no concept of the military (in any aspect) and yet you love to write about US military capabilities. It's all book knowledge. Nor do you have anything on the line. The blood that flows will not be yours ... Pete says that your opinions inform the actions of, presumably, warriors in Afghanistan and Iraq. I find that disturbing in more ways than one. I am wondering why the MI has an influence on the actions of such warriors when there is ample capability in the Pentagon and the CIA. I become concerned that this is all about ideology versus reason.

While I am not going to get terribly in-depth into this for the reasons listed above, you have a horrible misunderstanding of what it is that I do. As Eric, who has seen some of my professional work could tell you, none of it has anything to do with US military capabilities, the proper direction of US policies, or anything like that. It has instead to do with the study of terrorist organizations and I can't go any further than that except to say that my work (as opposed to my blogging) is simply not what you appear to think it is.

Posted by: Dan Darling at October 9, 2005 12:04 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Avedis -

I never said that Dan was advising us on Iraq and Afghanistan, I said that there are folks at MI who have experience being there and value Dan's insights. Look at the MI website, they are an urban policy think-tank - the issues of Iraq and Afghanistan have no place there. If you also bothered to look at the website you would see that MI's terrorism focus is urban in nature, with a special insight on training local municipal police departments the nature of terrorism, and counter terrorism that may help them in their policy making, fo instance Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh isn't Iraq. Like I said, at the time we needed help on an issue, that wasn't Iraq or Afghanistan and Dan helped us out. To my knowledge, Dan has never consulted MI on Iraq or Afghanistan, what he does on his blog is different than what he does for MI, because MI is urban focused. I hope that helps you out some. If you still want to debate the credibility of places like MI using Dan's help, well then I guess you have to find a way to deal with it.

Posted by: Pete at October 9, 2005 12:52 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Greg's bio (compare and contrast.....)

Gregory Djerejian is currently based in New York City as Vice-President and General Counsel of a financial services company that specializes in commercial real estate projects, hotel and resort developments, alternative investments, and company acquisitions. Mr. Djerejian also helps manage a philanthropic organization which has supported a number of projects in the Republic of Armenia including a loan program for small and medium sized enterprises undertaken in conjunction with the Washington DC based Eurasia Foundation.

Prior to this position, Mr. Djerejian worked as a corporate lawyer, also in New York City. Before this, Mr. Djerejian worked, in conjunction with the State Department, on the "train and equip" program for the Bosnian Federation military and with the International Rescue Committee in the former Yugoslavia from 1994-1996. Previously, Djerejian had worked at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and the U.S. Congress.

Djerejian has some expertise in regional issues (Caucasus, Former Soviet Union, Balkans, Western Europe, Middle East), as well as international law, media and public opinion, and international organizations (particularly NGOs).

He is fluent in French and conversant in Spanish and Russian. Djerejian is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and admitted to practice law in New York State. He attended secondary school at Phillips Academy and subsequently received a B.S.F.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1994 where he majored in European History and Diplomacy. He later received a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1999.

I often disagree with Greg, but his vast experience (and his non-ideological approach) makes his commentary well worth reading.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 9, 2005 02:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Dan,
Again - and this does not diminish you in any way given your experience - I am less concerned with your credentials than I am with those of the MI. Given the vast pool of experienced and educated talent on the market, I am surprised that the MI would accept you in anything more than an internship capacity.

I know that many "think Tanks" are not. They seek out and employ accolites that they teach - in pavolvian fashion - to follow the party line, whatever it may be. And the party line often has objectives that do not concern the overall good for the citizens of the United States of America (remember them?).

Power and access and "success" are a strong intoxicant, no?

I must reiterate that the value of MI and similar organizations is questionable. Again, ample talent and knowledge exists within tax paid organizations, already.

If I was as paranoid as some commenting here, I would say that the MI and you, yourself, function less as analysts and more as propagandists for certain interest parties and certain ideologies.

But you'd only deny it and I'd sound silly to most readers; so where would that get us?

As far as personal details, I am not willing to produce any that are relevant either. There is nothing to be gained (and much to be risked) by doing so. What should be discussed here is ideas - and ideas should stand or fall on their own merit regardless of who put them forth.


Given the revelations produced by Mr. Lukusiak I thought I'd weigh in on what I found to be interesting and a little disturbing.

I'm finished.

One last thing though....

Pete, stow the polyester suited lawyer rap. You're not talking to fools here. You're heating my worst suspicions here with that bullshit.

Please be real, OK?

Posted by: avedis at October 9, 2005 05:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Lawrence Mone (founder and President of the Manhattan Institute) says:

“A think tank’s job is to change minds......


2) Second, while we use books to change minds on national issues, we also publish a magazine which engages local elites. This magazine -- City Journal -- combines first-rate scholarship with outstanding journalism, and covers issues which impact the daily quality of life here in New York.


3) Finally, our Manhattan Forums, local events hosted herein New York, bring together cross-sections of the nation’s elites -- from the worlds of government, business, journalism, and philanthropy. 


The philosophy which guides these efforts has two principles. 


.........When we’re looking for scholars to tackle an issue, we’re always trying to identify individuals who can “cut through the noise.” To be sure, they must be experts in their fields. But they must not only inform; they must also persuade. For that reason, they must be outstanding communicators. In our view, the messenger is as important as the message.


Second, we target strategic audiences. We aim to influence the influential. Who really has the leverage to effect change?"

Sounds a lot like propaganda spreading to me; especially when see just what ideas the MI seeks to dissemenate (the ideas are the principal platform of far rightwing libertarian sect. You know "how welfare programs actually hurt the poor", "Why we need to dismantle the public school system". "Why government regulation hurts our economy", "Why safety net programs, like Medicare and Social Security, make our country weak" ...

The defining statement in the above quote is, for me, "When we’re looking for scholars to tackle an issue, we’re always trying to identify individuals who can cut through the noise." Having been through graduate school and having worked as a consultant in the healthcare insurance sector for a variety of organizations private and governmental, I translate "noise" in the above context as "annoying variables and results that counter our theories and agendas"; "noise" that would concern serious non-partisan and honest scholars.

I strongly suspect that 22 year old college student Mr. Darling's station with the MI is due to his demonstrated ability to stay focused on agenda and to cut through "noise" and the fact that he is an ideologue with sympathies for the MI's positions. That is his real resume.


Posted by: one last thing at October 9, 2005 01:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A few highlights of Micheal Ledeen, Dan's "mentor": http://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/ledeen/ledeen_body.html

Dan, not so long ago, back when you were in diapers, there was this incident known as Iran-Contra.

I'm sure you've heard of it, being so well read and all.

Your mentor was involved. Some serious laws were broken. Your mentor's people were aiding and abetting right wing death squads in Latin America. They were negotiating with terrorists, giving Iran weapons, etc.

Again, all illegal as hell (Interestingly, had Oliver I-was-merely-following-orders- North not been caught red-handed, the activities that were known to have transpired would, if ever mentioned at all, have been dismissed as just so much more leftist anti-America paranioa).

Your mentor is single mindedly focused on violent overthrow of governments, particularly in the M.E.

He is clearly one who does not subscribe to transparency in government; prefering the manipulative, the clandestine, etc.

I see him as a dangerous and most un-democratic personality.

Dan, I am wondering to what extent you agree with the actions and words of this radical man.

I am also wondering why I - or anyone else - should believe anything that a man with Ledeen's history of criminal involvement, involvement with criminals, manipulation and covert operations would say.

Seriously, I'd like to know.

Posted by: avedis at October 9, 2005 03:26 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Avedis -

I don't know where I attacked your intellect in my prior comment. If you want to question the credibility of MI, go right ahead. I have done the same thing on some issues. While I was there I didn't concern myself with welfare or healthcare reform. The terrorism site had nothing to do with that part of the house and funding was generated under its own name. While MI is a think tank, I wouldn't say the terrorism center is a think tank - it is now housed by only 1 full-time staff member. It is more of a facilitator that brings in experts to local police departments. The two head guys are former high level Clinton administration officials, one you know and the other you may or may not know. The experts that it has relationships with come from all spectrums and all viewpoints, something that I agree that the rest of MI doesn't do well. Dan was never paid for his role as a consultant, at least while I was still there. Now is the issue what MI stands for or is it the fact that I asked Dan a question and kept turning to him as well as others for information? Now if you don't think Dan is qualified, then wait for Greg to get back to read the site, heck the only reason I'm reading the site is because Dan is here for the week. I hope that helps you get a better picture although you will probably still critique my rap, but that's really all there is to this whole thing. I don't work there anymore so I can't tell you what Dan currently does for MI.

Posted by: Pete at October 9, 2005 04:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Pete, whatever.....quite frankly I don't care and if you want to pretend that the MI and Dan Darling are reasonable objective science based authorities, then go ahead.

I only here on this thread because Lukusiak's comment piqued my interest. I don't have the time to do huge amounts research regarding Iran or even Iraq for that matter. So if I'm reading an "authority's" opinion I want to know that the opinion id formed as much as possible out of academic rigor and I definitely want to know that some radical - whether he be right or left - isn't trying to con me into accepting his agenda.

Thus I thought I'd stir the pot and see what came to the surface regarding MI.
Then, because it's cold and rainy and I can't do what I really want to do - go for a nice trail ride on my horse - I looked into Darling some more. I learned that he has referred to M. Ledeen as his "mentor".

This is a much more disturbing development than the MI. Ledeen is a dangerous lunatic; a sociopath of the first order.

He speaks favorably of ends justifying the means - and his suggested means are extreme in many cases.

see here http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/MichaelLedeen.html

(some juicy Ledeenisms at that URL).

I do not believe a single word that comes from Ledeen. His character is to compromised.

Which brings me back to Darling. How and why a young man would want to associate himself with a vile ogre like Ledeen escapes me entirely.

I must conclude that Darling himself is of compromised character and that - while he sounds informed - he is selecting evidence and sculpting conclusions so as to further his mentor's twisted vision (remember that for Ledeen Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were good things - his words not mine- because they awoke the US' militaristic monolithic impulses....blah..blah...blah).

Posted by: avedis at October 9, 2005 06:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

one last thing:

Well, since I won't be blogging about welfare programs, the public school system, government regulation, or safety net programs, you won't have much to worry about.

I strongly suspect that 22 year old college student Mr. Darling's station with the MI is due to his demonstrated ability to stay focused on agenda and to cut through "noise" and the fact that he is an ideologue with sympathies for the MI's positions. That is his real resume.

Glad you think so. Here again, if you're so certain that I'm nothing more than a propagandist out spreading disinformation, I suggest you write to Greg and tell him what a horrible mistake he made in asking me to guest-blog. Here again, I'm only doing this as a favor to him and all he has to do is say the word and I'll happily return to mostly lurking around here.

avedis:

I'm quite familiar with both Iran-Contra and Ledeen's role in it.

Look, you want to regard Ledeen as "a dangerous and most un-democratic personality," fine. If you want to regard me as such because I interned for him, fine. Given your stated opinion of the man, however, I really don't see any reason to try and spend time trying changing your opinion on the subject, as I suspect that nothing I say would be sufficient in this context.

Like I said earlier, and this goes for everybody else who thinks I'm "unqualified" to blog on Belgravia Dispatch, all you have to do is e-mail Greg and convince him of the same and I will be more than happy to cease. Until then, I was asked to do a favor by a friend and I'm going to keep doing that until he either comes back or asks me to stop. If you can't stand the thought of such a thing happening and want me to just shut up and go away, then you can either e-mail Greg and complain, stop reading Belgravia Dispatch until the end of the month, or read what I write and discuss it on the merits.

Posted by: Dan Darling at October 9, 2005 06:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Look, you want to regard Ledeen as "a dangerous and most un-democratic personality," fine. If you want to regard me as such because I interned for him, fine. Given your stated opinion of the man, however, I really don't see any reason to try and spend time trying changing your opinion on the subject, as I suspect that nothing I say would be sufficient in this context.

In other words, Dan Darling has no problem with terrorism, which is what Ledeen was involved with in Central America.

Danny-boy really should fess up about his Ledeen connection. Did he come to the attention of Ledeen thanks to the efforts of one of the two full professors (Smist) that comprise the "political science" department of Rockhurst --- an academic whose primary claim to fame was writing a book about the role of congressional oversight of the CIA.

(Probably not, if Dan is to be believed....on his little personal blog, he gets around to explaining that he only showed up at Rockhurst this year.....and was working for MI and the Weekly standard before that time. Except for one problem....Dan claimed that he became affiliated with MI in Winter 2004, and with Rockhurst in August 2004. To wit... "I started working for the Manhattan Institute in the winter of 2004.....No, you twit, in large part because my current tenure at Rockhurst began in August 2004, well after I had started work for both the Manhattan Institute and the Weekly Standard. ")

...and as it turns out, questiona about Darling's academic "credentials" are even more acute---turns out that before showing up at Rockhurst, he attended a two year community college in Kansas City.

Or perhaps Dan is related to Arthur Darling -- the CIA's first historian who wrote the first narrative history of the CIA. (and, in the interest of increasing the overall paranoid nature of this whole question, one must mention that Arthur Darling taught American History at Phillips Academy, aka Greg D.'s prep school....)

Or perhaps he is related to Frank Darling....a CIA covert operative who was killed in 1993 by a Pakistani who also suspected of involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center....

******************

now, perhaps you think I'm being unfair to poor Dan, but this is a guy who, when I raised questions about his credentials, accused me of forging the "Killian memos". ( If you think my education needs improving, feel free to finance it with the proceeds you get from the next round of forged documents you to try to pass off. )


Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 9, 2005 10:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Look, you want to regard Ledeen as "a dangerous and most un-democratic personality," fine. If you want to regard me as such because I interned for him, fine. Given your stated opinion of the man, however, I really don't see any reason to try and spend time trying changing your opinion on the subject, as I suspect that nothing I say would be sufficient in this context.

In other words, Dan Darling has no problem with terrorism, which is what Ledeen was involved with in Central America.

Danny-boy really should fess up about his Ledeen connection. Did he come to the attention of Ledeen thanks to the efforts of one of the two full professors (Smist) that comprise the "political science" department of Rockhurst --- an academic whose primary claim to fame was writing a book about the role of congressional oversight of the CIA.

(Probably not, if Dan is to be believed....on his little personal blog, he gets around to explaining that he only showed up at Rockhurst this year.....and was working for MI and the Weekly standard before that time. Except for one problem....Dan claimed that he became affiliated with MI in Winter 2004, and with Rockhurst in August 2004. To wit... "I started working for the Manhattan Institute in the winter of 2004.....No, you twit, in large part because my current tenure at Rockhurst began in August 2004, well after I had started work for both the Manhattan Institute and the Weekly Standard. ")

...and as it turns out, questiona about Darling's academic "credentials" are even more acute---turns out that before showing up at Rockhurst, he attended a two year community college in Kansas City.

Or perhaps Dan is related to Arthur Darling -- the CIA's first historian who wrote the first narrative history of the CIA. (and, in the interest of increasing the overall paranoid nature of this whole question, one must mention that Arthur Darling taught American History at Phillips Academy, aka Greg D.'s prep school....)

Or perhaps he is related to Frank Darling....a CIA covert operative who was killed in 1993 by a Pakistani who also suspected of involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center....

******************

now, perhaps you think I'm being unfair to poor Dan, but this is a guy who, when I raised questions about his credentials, accused me of forging the "Killian memos". ( If you think my education needs improving, feel free to finance it with the proceeds you get from the next round of forged documents you to try to pass off. )


Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 9, 2005 10:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

now, perhaps you think I'm being unfair to poor Dan

actually lukasiak, I'd consider a troll like you a badge of honour. Generally the more hysterical and riled up you get, the more I tend to pay attention to the person's arguments...you're sorta our version of what Bizarro logic would look like...

As for Dan and Eric (and JEB for that matter), they are both superb bloggers, who bring a refreshing and thoughtful perspective to almost any topic they cover, disagree with it or not (as I often do with Eric's take).

Posted by: Mike at October 10, 2005 04:53 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yuck, let the ad-hominems roll. Bleah.

T-Bone, with all due respect, by the time you get to where you can deal with Perle and Wolfowitz, career-wise, you may well be defending them rather than opposing them. As it is, your argument sounds very close to the lamentable "chickenhawk" gambit.

Posted by: Kirk Parker at October 10, 2005 06:29 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yuck, let the ad-hominems roll. Bleah.

T-Bone, with all due respect, by the time you get to where you can deal with Perle and Wolfowitz, career-wise, you may well be defending them rather than opposing them. As it is, your argument sounds very close to the lamentable "chickenhawk" gambit.

Posted by: Kirk Parker at October 10, 2005 06:30 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Slick, Dan, real slick.

Actually, I would like to have explain to me why Ledeen is not what I say he is. I await your explanation. Please do it here - in this forum - so all can share in the enlightenment. Please be sure to include but not limit to - explanation of, justification of, etc Ledeen's involvement in criminal activities (eg Iran Contra, Support of various terrorist groups and death squads, etc) his advocacy of waging total war across the Muslim world in which civilian casualties should not be a primary concern (Ledeen's words not mine), affiliation with hard right Isreali groups (please do address conflict of interest issues), Ledeen's intellectual roots including his self proclaimed fascist mentor.......

All I can say is that I would encourage anyone who finds Dan's blogging to be interesting to keep on reading, but definitely do some research into his intellectual roots; especially M. Ledeen.

Dan can deny, in the form of a cassual shrug, Ledeen's off-the-grid fanaticism (Jihadi like fanaticism - are he and his wife really members of a group that wants to destroy -on the temple mount - the Dome and re-build up the Temple again?).

But there is so much out there in Ledeen's own words...........

And what of Ledeen's actions?

And yeah, it does matter.

If I was here blogging regarding, say, race relations in the US and someone discovered I had sought out and obtained mentoring from the Grand Wizard of the KKK, I would expect that fact to be considered germane to the discussion.

I would expect that many intelligent readers would consider the possibility that I had certain leanings that might influence my selection and presentation of statistics, and information generally and my conclusions. THis would be especially true if I was 22 years old and had not even obtained an undergrad degree, let alone an advanced degree. I would expect people to wonder just where my information and ideas were coming from.

I would consider myself remiss if I did not freely offer my "curriculum vitae" to any curious reader.

That is just the way things are traditionally done respectable intellectual circles.

I guess "respectable" is the operant here.

Posted by: avedis at October 10, 2005 03:54 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kirk and Mike,
I generally find Lukusiak to be a bit over the top, myself. However, I'm right with him on this thread.

If you guys are of the school that we should turn the Muslim world into a glassy parking lot, then fine. Let's just put that out front and debate the strategy's merits or lack thereof.

The problem with Dan is that he is hiding the possibility that he is of that perspective, while potentially advocating it at the same time. It's the dishonesty that I find disturbing; all that Machiavellian ends justifies the means mentality.

Given Ledeen's history, I know that such people can do anything.

So I wonder what, if anything Dan tells us is true; what is the spin? the slant? What is fabricated to achieve the "glorious" total war that Ledeen calls for?

I don't like a con.

I respect a man who tells me to my face what he's all about even if I disagree strongly.

Posted by: avedis at October 10, 2005 04:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

avedis:

I'm going to make one final attempt on this issue ...

Actually, I would like to have explain to me why Ledeen is not what I say he is. I await your explanation. Please do it here - in this forum - so all can share in the enlightenment. Please be sure to include but not limit to - explanation of, justification of, etc Ledeen's involvement in criminal activities (eg Iran Contra, Support of various terrorist groups and death squads, etc) his advocacy of waging total war across the Muslim world in which civilian casualties should not be a primary concern (Ledeen's words not mine), affiliation with hard right Isreali groups (please do address conflict of interest issues), Ledeen's intellectual roots including his self proclaimed fascist mentor ... Ledeen's off-the-grid fanaticism (Jihadi like fanaticism - are he and his wife really members of a group that wants to destroy -on the temple mount - the Dome and re-build up the Temple again?).

The Temple Mount allegation is a new one for me as I've never had that one come up before in all the hate mail I get on the issue of my ties to Ledeen. As for the rest of it, if you want to understand what Ledeen is and what he believes, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the man's writings, as in actually reading what he wrote rather than reading what opposition research types have written about what he's wrote. With the exception of the Temple Mount stuff, most of the issues you raise he has written at length about in various books, periodicals, and online columns. If you want to understand Ledeen, then you can read those and come to your own conclusions. Failing that, you can raise such questions to him rather than to me, as he has a publicly listed e-mail address and is usually quite good about replying to non-hysterical questions.

As it happens, Ledeen is not guest-blogging at Belgravia Dispatch, I am. Here again, if you or anyone else here has a problem on that topic because you regard my mentor as being no different than a Grand Wizard of the KKK, then I suggest you alert Greg immediately and urge him to revoke his offer to guest blog here so that I can go back to mostly lurking and you can be secure in the knowledge that you have deprived readers of access to one of Ledeen's acolytes.

I would expect that many intelligent readers would consider the possibility that I had certain leanings that might influence my selection and presentation of statistics, and information generally and my conclusions. THis would be especially true if I was 22 years old and had not even obtained an undergrad degree, let alone an advanced degree. I would expect people to wonder just where my information and ideas were coming from.

Greg asked for a brief bio from me and Eric and I provided mine. Given that I write for the Weekly Standard, I figured that this would do a pretty good job of informing readers as to where exactly I stood as far as the US political spectrum is concerned. If you want to know the source for much of my views on terrorism, my biggest influence is probably not so much Ledeen as it is Dr. Rohan Gunaratna.

I would consider myself remiss if I did not freely offer my "curriculum vitae" to any curious reader.

That is just the way things are traditionally done respectable intellectual circles.

I guess "respectable" is the operant here.

As I said, any reader who is curious about my background (which at least one feels he has already been able to both assemble and find wanting) is free to contact me via e-mail and I'll do my best to answer all of your questions. This is guest blog rather than a job audition however, and I dare say that you probably now know more about me than you do most other bloggers. I certainly never sought to conceal my ties to Ledeen if that's what you're implying, though I do have serious privacy concerns (as I would think that someone who blogs under a pseudonym would appreciate) about letting out any and every personal detail about my life in front of people I have never met except on the Internet who I do not believe to have my best interests at heart.

If you guys are of the school that we should turn the Muslim world into a glassy parking lot, then fine. Let's just put that out front and debate the strategy's merits or lack thereof.

The problem with Dan is that he is hiding the possibility that he is of that perspective, while potentially advocating it at the same time. It's the dishonesty that I find disturbing; all that Machiavellian ends justifies the means mentality.

Given Ledeen's history, I know that such people can do anything.

Not that it's all that relevant here, but I've been quite critical of those advocating such an approach. If you want to know the basic gist what I think we should do as far as fighting the war on terrorism is concerned, read the last section of Dr. Gunaratna's Inside Al Qaeda.

So I wonder what, if anything Dan tells us is true; what is the spin? the slant? What is fabricated to achieve the "glorious" total war that Ledeen calls for?

Well, if you believe that I'm nothing more than a disinformation agent (with CIA connections, no less!), then I suggest you not read or take seriously anything I write. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is only a gig for less than a month that is being done at the request of a friend. If I am half as bad as you guys suggest, then I think that the best course of action would be for you to get in touch with Greg and convince him that he made a severe lapse in judgement by allowing this uninformed, inexperienced propagandist free run of his blog and persuade him to see the error of his ways, a la Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol, and rest assured that I will be more than happy to cease blogging my evil lies to the unsuspecting readers of Belgravia Dispatch.

Posted by: Dan Darling at October 11, 2005 12:56 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

avedis and p.lukasiak:

You two clowns need to get a life...seriously...if you have this much free time on your hands. Maybe it's a type of psychological therapy for you. I don't know, and frankly don't care.

It's pretty apparent that both of you are a couple middle-aged, expert-wannabes who are desparately seeking some sort of self-validation of your life.

Posted by: anymouse at October 11, 2005 02:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

avedis and p.lukasiak:

You two clowns need to get a life...seriously...if you have this much free time on your hands. Maybe it's a type of psychological therapy for you. I don't know, and frankly don't care.

It's pretty apparent that both of you are a couple middle-aged, expert-wannabes who are desparately seeking some sort of self-validation of your life.

Posted by: anymouse at October 11, 2005 02:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Have any of you considered how Gregory has managed to post something from the future? "See you in late October" indeed! It was already Oct. 28 when he wrote that!!!

Posted by: brent at October 11, 2005 02:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kirk, it's no secret that when people use the phrase, "with all due respect", they in fact have no respect for the party they are addressing. In that spirit, let me make it clear that I don't give a damn what part of my argument you find "lamentable".

Posted by: T-Bone at October 11, 2005 07:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

T Bone.

My father was in the US navy during WW2. He was gunnery officer on a Destroyer that was participated in the battle of Okinawa.


When I was in my late teens and early twenties, the US was at peace and most who joined the US military did so for career reasons. It did not fit my plans, and i did not join. My dad was supportive of that.

He certainly didnt think that i shouldnt address questions of US foreign policy, war and peace, etc.

Why the hell should i listen to you, and not to him?

(And yes, i looked at joining the NG after 9/11, but I was too old)

we live in a democracy, its up to all of us to make decisions in war and peace. This is especially true in the WOT, when we are ALL on the front line.

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 12, 2005 05:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Tbone

My father was a gunnery officer in the USN during WW2, and fought at Okinawa.

He understood and supported my decision not to join the military when i was in my late teens and twenties (a time of peace, when most who joined did so for career reasons)

He certainly never thought i should not speak up on issues of imporance, including war and peace.

Pardon me, but I will follow his advice, and not yours.


We live in a democracy, where all are entitled to speak out.


We are also engaged in war where all are on the front line. I have a relative who was injured outside the WTC on 9/11 (he is a medic - fortunately the injuries were minor) He was not a member of the military, but that didnt protect him.


Posted by: liberalhawk at October 12, 2005 05:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Read what I said, liberalhawk, then tell me where I said you shouldn't speak out.

Tell me where I said you had to join the military to talk about military affairs.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 12, 2005 08:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Liberalhawk, I'm waiting.

You can apologize at any time for putting words in my mouth

Posted by: T-Bone at October 13, 2005 05:56 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Liberalhawk, I'm waiting.

You can apologize at any time for putting words in my mouth.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 13, 2005 05:56 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No comment, liberalhawk, no reply? I see you've since commented on other threads, so I'm sure you've read my replies to you. No surprise I guess that Pat Lang makes you uncomfortable; actually having to confront someone with military experience and expertise seems your weakness. Nice to see you have no class, to go with your lack of reading comprehension skills.

And I wonder why you're so defensive about not serving in the military? And why you think it appropriate to bask in the glory of your father's service? I guess the apple falls pretty far from the tree.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 14, 2005 04:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No comment, liberalhawk, no reply? I see you've since commented on other threads, so I'm sure you've read my replies to you. No surprise I guess that Pat Lang makes you uncomfortable; actually having to confront someone with military experience and expertise seems your weakness. Nice to see you have no class, to go with your lack of reading comprehension skills.

And I wonder why you're so defensive about not serving in the military? And why you think it appropriate to bask in the glory of your father's service? I guess the apple falls pretty far from the tree.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 14, 2005 04:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Tbone - You very carefully acknowledge Dan's rights, while at the same time strongly implying that folks who havent been in the military shouldnt comment on defense issues. You did this in the context of a thread where peopler were ripping into Dan.


Why am i defensive? Cause people are using the chickenhawk meme on a regular basis to try to silence opinions they dislike, thats why. I wanted to set the record straight about myself.
And no, the apple DIDNT fall far from the tree - I assure you that. Though its interesting that someone who insists on the need for direct experience to be able to comment on something, has no problem commenting on my relationship to my father.

As for Pat Lang, I made clear what my problem is. Its certainly not that he was in uniform - i have the utmost respect for Americans in the military. But thanks for putting words in MY mouth.

So you like Pat Lang, but want to "hammer" the Richard Perles and Paul Wolfowitzs.

Well, I see theres no need to respond to you anymore.


Posted by: liberalhawk at October 14, 2005 08:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

So you acknowledge that I didn't say what you accused me of saying.

I didn’t imply shit. I straight-out said, if you want to put my boys at risk but aren’t willing to risk anything yourself, I’m going to question your motives. Not silence; question. Or are you afraid of honest debate?

Did I say I like Pat Lang? No, I said he had “military experience and expertise”. I may agree with him, I may think he’s dead wrong, but I value his opinion. Once again I guess nuance is not your forte.

You’ll note that I was careful not to “diss” Dan. If seriously urging a young man with a stated interest in security affairs to pursue military service is tantamount to stifling debate, then I wonder how this nation is going recruit anybody for the military. By the way, have you encouraged any young people to serve their country in its time of need? Have you even just thanked your local recruiter for his or her hard work?

You have "utmost respect for Americans in the military" yet you say in another thread, “Pat Lang. I’m sorry, I can’t read him without vomiting.” Yeah, you respect the shit out of his decades of service. And then you accuse me, someone who has dedicated his entire adult life to supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States, of wanting to stop my fellow citizens from exercising their First Amendment rights, and you presume to lecture me on the democratic basis of our society. I’m feeling the respect, brother. So do you actually respect any actual live persons in the military, or just some abstract concept of “the military.” Do you even know anyone currently in the military? Or is this war just someone else’s fight?

I can assure you that most folks I know in the military didn’t join for “career reasons”. And my service significantly predates our current fight. The military is a calling. You didn’t hear the call, fair enough, but don’t claim that it was just one more career option to be casually tossed aside. And don’t give me some weak-ass shit about, “my dad said it was ok…,” “I almost…”, “my relative was hurt…”, “we’re all on the front line…” Whatever, tell yourself whatever you need to believe.

You want to be a “liberalhawk”, go volunteer to spend some time at a VA hospital. You might learn what it means to actually believe in something enough to sacrifice for it. Or hey, if you’re 42 or younger, we can hook you up with an opportunity to redeem yourself.

And then like a cowardly child you take your ball and go home. You know, I am generally careful not to use labels on people, but I think I see now why you are so sensitive at being called out. You certainly seem to deserve every label that comes your way. You “set the record straight”, that’s for sure.

Bottom line: you have a right to say whatever you want. And I have a right to say that, as you are someone who actively chose not to serve his country when he was able, I will place less moral value on your opinion when it comes to putting my comrades in danger. Go ahead and ignore me. Hopefully you can ignore your conscience as well.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 15, 2005 12:41 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Lotta fierce angry lefty patriots around here. VA? LOL! Tough bastards with a keyboard, hard-core rhetoric meisters, fierce defenders of fluffery. Refugees from blogs everywhere.

Posted by: HalfEmpty at October 16, 2005 06:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Do you LOL every time you pass a VA hospital, half-empty? That's pretty cold, dude.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 17, 2005 05:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"I didn’t imply shit. I straight-out said, if you want to put my boys at risk but aren’t willing to risk anything yourself, I’m going to question your motives. Not silence; question. Or are you afraid of honest debate?"

Who are "your boys" T Bone?

Do you mean the men and women of the US military?

Are they "yours"?

Isn't this saying "I served and so am qualified to comment on these matters with no question of my motives - and those who didn't serve like me deserve to have their motives questioned"


They are not "YOUR boys"

Many of them aren't even boys : )

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at October 19, 2005 06:50 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Give me break, Pogue, you gonna quibble with "my boys"? Seriously, do you really want to argue that I shouldn't take a personal, indeed paternal, interest in the welfare of my Marines? Dude, I think you need a better line of argument.

No, my comment is not saying that you shouldn't question me. It's a two way street; question my motives all you want. But you're going to have to face the fact that my motive or that of my peers will be to not get our boys killed or injured for stupid shit.

It seems that my argument makes many people uncomfortable. Good.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 20, 2005 12:40 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'll be glad to give you a break

Lay off the chickehawk bullshit

Don't act as though anyone who feels that we are doing the right thing in Iraq today is needlessly putting "your boys" in harms way

I for one certainly wish that our soldiers had been going after the enemy from at least 1993 ( the first WTC bombing ) or 1998 ( the african embassies ) or 2000 ( the USS Cole )

You feel those who are supportive of this effort, as the majority of the troops serving are by all counts, are getting killed for "stupid shit"

Well thats your OPINION - not a fact - and I really don't care if your Chesty Puller for all it matters

Your opinion carries no more weight than anyone elses

If you want to propose a different way to prosecute the war on terror go right ahead

But enough of the cheap chickenhawk bullshit already

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at October 20, 2005 03:20 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

" I for one certainly wish that our soldiers had been going after the enemy from at least 1993 ( the first WTC bombing ) or 1998 ( the african embassies ) or 2000 ( the USS Cole )"

Sure, me too.

What does any of that have to do with Iraq?

Posted by: ghost at October 20, 2005 03:48 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Avedis,

"If you guys are of the school that we should turn the Muslim world into a glassy parking lot, then fine."

Uhhh, after you put those particular words in my mouth, all I can say is Have A Nice Life. How does one get a gig as a troll?

T-bone,

So maybe you are just posing as a Marine, then?

Posted by: Kirk Parker at October 20, 2005 09:19 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Dan Darling:

"While I am not going to get terribly in-depth into this for the reasons listed above, you have a horrible misunderstanding of what it is that I do. As Eric, who has seen some of my professional work could tell you, none of it has anything to do with US military capabilities, the proper direction of US policies, or anything like that. It has instead to do with the study of terrorist organizations and I can't go any further than that except to say that my work (as opposed to my blogging) is simply not what you appear to think it is."

"I can't go any further than "?!?!?!?!?

What is this, classified research being done by the Manhattan Institute?

As for Ledeen, just go to NRO, and check out his old articles. See how well his judgement has held up.

Posted by: Barry at October 20, 2005 08:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Ghost asked "What does any of that have to do with Iraq?"

It is my view that we should have been taking this fight to the enemy many years ago - and to AQ certainly from 1993, or 1998 or 2000

Of course many would then call Afghanistan a "war of choice" and berate the Administration ( whichever Administration btw ) for putting our boys needlessly in harms way

Who knows - I may even have been one of those people

9/11 changed my perspective though - and I don't need to apologize for not having been a Marine in order to have an opinion about our nations policies vis a vis the threat posed by Islamic Facist terrorism and what the right course of action to pursue happens to be

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at October 21, 2005 05:59 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kirk, yeah, I'm a poser. You got me. Seriously, I don't really care if you don't believe I am who I say I am. Believe I'm a poser if it makes you feel better.

Pogue, you write "if you want to propose a different way to fight the war on terror, go ahead." Check the archives here about a month ago, dude.

Regarding your objection to my argument: get used to it. You are going to hear it a lot more.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 22, 2005 12:58 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well what can I say "dude" - if you keep up the chickenhawk bs your going to hear stfu a lot more

If you prefer a society where the military is in power and retains the right to make policy decisions then I can reccomend a few remaining such places on earth. Iraq no longer meets your criteria - thankfully. : )

BTW - I don't think you are a poser - just a guy who feels his opinion should carry more weight in the area of geo-politics because you served in the military.

I can't say I am sorry that this is not the case. I happen to feel we are ALL on the front lines in this war - some more than others. I work in midtown Manhattan myself - used to work in the WTC ( wasn't there on 9/11 ) - and frankly I feel I have as much interest in the successful implimentation of the global WOT as anyone.

But I don't tell others who may live in North Carolina or New Mexico or anywhere else to stfu because they don't have my experience or live where I do.

Do you reccomend I should? Because I care about "MY boys" ( my fellow New Yorkers ) - but I don't think that my fellow Americans care any less. I just don't understand why you think that those who aren't ex-military care less about the soldiers serving in the GWOT.

We don't ok.

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at October 22, 2005 05:12 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Let me reiterate my initial point. Dan, you are apparently a 22 year-old man with an education and interest in security affairs. I urge you to join your many peers in serving your country in uniform in this time of crisis. Your skills are badly needed. Moreover, such experience will serve you well later in your career, and give you perspective and credibility that others lack. I urge you to look at the example of recent prominent defense intellectuals who chose not to serve their country, and examine how their lack of first-hand experience colored their judgment. I further advise you that in my opinion and in the opinion of my of my colleagues, the lack of knowledge by these officials led to easily predictable mistakes that cost, and are still costing, many good people their lives. Just look at who raised concerns about Iraq-Scowcroft, Zinni, Shiseki, among others. Who pushed the war? Wolfowitz, Perle, et al. Who's looking smarter now? I will tell you that many of my generation know that things have to change, and we will deal harshly with future officials who bring similar mindsets to defense policy.

As for you, Pogue, if you are going to continue to put words in people's mouths and accuse people you don't agree with of being fascist, then yeah, you should be quiet. Your dexterity with straw man arguments is remarkable. And I didn't "serve". I am still serving. Just signed up for several more years, in fact. Here's the thing, man: if you really care about what's going on in the world, I sure hope you're doing more than just posting on some blog. You're damn right when you say we all have a major interest in what's going on. But what are you as an individual going to do about it, besides insult military members over the internet?

Posted by: T-Bone at October 25, 2005 12:58 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Your like a broken record Mr Bone - "you didn't serve so stfu"

Sorry - doesn't work that way. As I have suggested - try another society where such a rule is still in place.

Niether I nor Mr Darling is deserving of your repeated insults - would you care to cease and desist?

I am not insulting anyone btw - apart from responding to your repeated insults directed at ALL of us who haven't or don't currently serve in the military. You talk about "straw men" - and putting words in peoples mouths and then you haul off with the weakest possible such example - suggesting I am insulting military "memberS" ( plural )

Get it right at least - I am telling you - a SINGULAR military member that you have no MORE right than ANYONE ELSE to have an opinion.

And telling people who discuss the GWOT that they should sign up or stfu - as you repeatedly do - makes it all the more clear why Civillian leadership is best for the whole enterprise.

The military men aren't always right - in fact - they often fight the last war ( Civil War and WW1 are prime examples )

You imagine that every choice suggested by others would be better - if we had listned to "______" then what - all would be great?

You can argue that other choices should have been made - but this blanket assumption that if the Military had decided everything than things would be better is not realistic. Generals fuck up too you know.

So again - try to learn will ya - I don't care if your Audie Murphy - you don't have a better opinion than I do based on what you do for a living

Make your arguements and see if they stand up on their own

If you continue to lean on this "serve or STFU" crapola then you'll keep hearing about how such societies are available for you to join if you don't like our civillian run model


Posted by: Pogue Mahone at October 25, 2005 05:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Ok, one last comment and I'm done. Apparently now urging young people to join the military is now perceived by some folks as both insulting and fascist. And yet these same people want more war. The math will get interesting on that one.
In case Dan has any doubt (or is still reading this freaking thread!), my intent is not to insult him. I think he's smart enough to figure this out, but apparently others aren't, so I'll clarify myself. I am perfectly serious when I say we could use his skills. I am also serious when I say it will make him a better analyst. And yes, I do want him to know that if he chooses to make this field a career, he should know that those of us who have sacrificed first and second-hand will be watching those who proclaim policies without knowing the costs of those policies themselves.
I work with several extremely smart civilian defense intellectuals. One in particular changed my life, and transformed how I look at the world. The truly great ones either have served themselves, or listen very carefully to their uniformed colleagues. Military folks sure don't have all the answers, and sometimes we need civilians to rock us out of complacency. But what great civilian analysts don't do is cavalierly dismiss other opinions or refuse to listen, unlike Paul "There is no insurgency" Wolfowitz or Kenneth “Cakewalk” Adelman. It’s guys like those that we’ll be looking for, and doing what we can to discredit. So don't be that guy.

And Pogue, you exemplify all that is wrong in America today. Ignorant, opinionated, and analytically incorrect; a hat trick of incompetence. Maybe if you're not too busy you can send $5 to the USO, if it's not asking too much. I wouldn't want to inconvenience you though. Anyway, I know you care.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 27, 2005 01:04 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Ok, one last comment and I'm done."

Somehow I doubt it

" Apparently now urging young people to join the military is now perceived by some folks as both insulting and fascist. "

You are not urging "young people" to join the military - you are singling out a person who happens to be younger than you and has a different opinion of things and making it clear that in your opinion they should enlist or STFU when a real man like yourself tells us all the facts

This is called the Chickenhawk gambit

"And yet these same people want more war. The math will get interesting on that one."

Nobody wants war - or more war as you put it. Some of us feel that we should have taken some action v the islamic facists years ago and chose not to and the fruit of this avoidance of war was 9/11
You disagree - fine But being in the military doesn't make you correct


"In case Dan has any doubt (or is still reading this freaking thread!), my intent is not to insult him."

So why do you insult him? And by inference everyone else who A) disagrees with you and B) isn't in the military?


"I am perfectly serious when I say we could use his skills. I am also serious when I say it will make him a better analyst. And yes, I do want him to know that if he chooses to make this field a career, he should know that those of us who have sacrificed first and second-hand will be watching those who proclaim policies without knowing the costs of those policies themselves."

What is sacrafising "second hand" - is that when someone you know dies as a result of failures of policy? Do I count since I know people murdered on 9/11 because, in my opinion, Clinton did not "want war" and chose to ignore the threat.
Do you mind if I have an opinion on how to prevent the next 9/11 that differs from yours?


"I work with several extremely smart civilian defense intellectuals. One in particular changed my life, and transformed how I look at the world. The truly great ones either have served themselves, or listen very carefully to their uniformed colleagues. Military folks sure don't have all the answers, and sometimes we need civilians to rock us out of complacency. But what great civilian analysts don't do is cavalierly dismiss other opinions or refuse to listen, unlike Paul "There is no insurgency" Wolfowitz or Kenneth “Cakewalk” Adelman. It’s guys like those that we’ll be looking for, and doing what we can to discredit. So don't be that guy."


You know either of those men personally? Did either talk to ANY military people for advice? Or is it that they didn't talk to you and Wes Clark?

"And Pogue, you exemplify all that is wrong in America today. "

So glad your not running things to make me pay for this eh

"Ignorant, opinionated, and analytically incorrect; a hat trick of incompetence. "

On the plus side I don't go around telling people to stfu all the time and act as though I. and my colleagues, have the only valid opinion
But I suppose to you that is the kind of thing that is "right" in America


"Maybe if you're not too busy you can send $5 to the USO, if it's not asking too much. I wouldn't want to inconvenience you though. Anyway, I know you care."

You wouldn't have a clue what I have done so why don't you shove the sarcasm. Maybe you could try to support the mission that the overwhelming majority of soldiers do believe in - show you care.

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at October 27, 2005 01:59 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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