November 16, 2005

Electric Boogaloo Excitement!

Sadly, I had missed this Wolcottian epingle from many moons ago, and just found it recently amidst the happenstance of late night self-googling (yes, it happens to the best of us).


What exquisite timing. Right on schedule, Bibi Netanyahu hit the cable talkshow rounds Friday, the day after Bush's inaugural address to a sea of cowboy hats and mink coats. He appeared on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC, and may have dropped in at ESPN's Sportscenter to offer his playoff picks for all I know--I can only monitor so much. Bush's vainglorious call to bring freedom and democracy to the countries we don't like was greeted with electric boogaloo excitement by neoconservatives and warbloggers such as Michael Ledeen, Victor Davis Hanson, the chap who posts at Belgravia Dispatch, Fred Barnes, and the branch office of the Likud Party known as the New York Sun. To them, this speech was a wet dream with warheads. It was now Bibi's cue to make the rounds and reinforce the Bush Doctrine from an Israeli perspective ("Bush was on to something profound" he told Fox), and begin to gin us up for war against Iran, or at least a very stern scolding accompanied by bombing runs.

I guess this was the "wet dream with warheads" Wolcott was referencing. Well, yes, a tad boisterous and eager, in parts. But I espy 'nuance' too! (Memo to James: the first graf of this post was meant ironically, I trust you gathered?)

Ah, well, it's hard to be beat up by both the Left and Right, no? Kicking around other blog comments sections now and then, I rarely see the authors attacked so vehemently as I am here, seemingly daily. Is it because my posts suck? People hate my guts? People are singularly pissed off regarding my steady disenchantment with Bush? Or is that the disenchantment hasn't been rapid and strong enough? Frankly, I've got enough concerns (yes, piddling, minor ones--in the scheme of things) wondering how many investment bankers and lawyers and private equity guys I work with stumble across this site and wonder: "Is Djerejian nuts?" What the hell is he up to on his off hours? And, to boot, I have to be concerned they wade through the comments and think: "Djerejian puts up with this s*&%t? Yeah, he really is certifiably nuts!" Well, maybe I am, and should hang up the blog-gloves, I sometimes wonder....and then the blogoholic emerges, and it's off to the races again...

I should also note, (and this will sound snooty, so be warned), I have been tremendously underwhelmed by the discourse contained in myriad blogs of late. The France coverage was just risible, for instance, and so is much of what passes for deep think on the GWOT (despite much self-congratulatory harrumphing and excitement and link-stroking in the 'sphere, it seems to me, no one has yet penned the "X" telegram explicating the GWOT that I've yet seen [ed. note: Yeah, including the proprieter here, alas]). And yet, the level of dialogue and debate is still much more intriguing than most of what I find in the MSM, and so the show trundles along, to what end I'm not really sure...

Posted by Gregory at November 16, 2005 04:35 AM | TrackBack (0)


I often don't agree with you, but I admire your sincere attempt to discuss what really are some of the most important issues facing this country. Yes the level of discourse is less than what you would like, but that's their problem, and their failings, not yours. Keep it up.

Posted by: Thom at November 16, 2005 05:30 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


The more straightahead you are, the more vehement the attacks. It is in the nature of the beast. Don't dispair. You have your fans among the critics, some of which are both.


Posted by: michael pecherer at November 16, 2005 05:54 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I was nasty to you from the Left yesterday, and I wouldn't do that to anyone who I didn't think was worth the trouble. The world needs more blogs that take the trouble to cover US foreign policy in some detail and nuance. (Nothing against nuance here.)

It exasperates me that you're considering abandoning Bush for traits that have been highly prominent for years now, and that you hold out hope that Bush will take some action that runs entirely counter to his well-established theory of governance.

But that isn't the same as saying that there isn't an intelligent defense of Bush's worldview or policy, or that intelligent people can't find virtue in them, or whatnot.

Unfortunately, it's the moment that you declare yourself not to have drunk the Kool-Aid that the knives come out. It unfortunately puts a burden on you to reevaluate every not very nice thing you ever said about e.g. Kerry or critics of Bush, which I'm not sure I've seen any evidence of you doing. That's just the way it works. Don't despair.

(And that isn't the same as saying that Kerry was an unmitigated bundle of virtues either. But the people who voted for Kerry may have at least suspected that Bush in November 2005 might prove as dangerously pigheaded and incompetent as he currently appears to be, so maybe they deserve a little credit even if they are appeasing doves too.)

Posted by: Martin at November 16, 2005 08:13 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kicking around other blog comments sections now and then, I rarely see the authors attacked so vehemently as I am here, seemingly daily. Is it because my posts suck? People hate my guts?

actually, there is an explanation--or at least a partial one.

Glenn Reynolds keeps linking to you. A very large part of Instapundit's audience consists of complete wingnuts, and they follow Reynolds link, don't like what the see, and trash you.

The only thing that prevents a total breakdown in the comments section is that you use too many big words and complicated sentence structures for the average wingnut to deal with.... so they simply repeat far right wing talking points, then go back to Little Green Footballs for validation of their beliefs.


again, I'm with Martin on this. You seem to have a "blind spot" on Iraq policy --- your insights and commentary are spot on, but you seem to be incapable of noticing that the guy who got us into this mess -- and whom you tell us to rely upon getting us out of this mess--- has never shown the slightest hint that he's half as smart and incisive as you are.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 16, 2005 01:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

welcome to the vast likudnik conspiracy greg!!! :)

There are of course plenty of extremists on both sides, and they will say nasty and unwarrented things.

Posted by: liberalhawk at November 16, 2005 04:56 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

course some of us likudniks have content based disagreements, though we do drift into ad hominems, stemming from years of frustration at not being able to actually grab ahold of one of their exponents. It is rather hard for me to get Messrs. Scowcroft, Baker, etc on the line to tell them what I think of their tepid and "realist" foreign policy. You bear the brunt, mainly because you see the point of a more muscular version but then drift off into prefering a more realist line sometimes or are unhappy with the way things are going...

I do love how the disparagement of the other side is less content based when it comes from the realist/leftist side. I'm a "wingnut" and hence irrelevant and invisible, while I have actual points of arguments that are sometimes leavened with derogatory comments about striped pants pantywaists, etc.

I know that the libs know this, but most of us "wingnuts" really aren't happy with Bush, cause we think he's doing things to try and make you happy. We source many problems in Iraq and around the world to his moderation rather than his barbarity.

Posted by: hey at November 16, 2005 07:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


I'm a recent devotee of your site, and I think you do a superb, commendable job of nuanced postings attempting to get to the heart of national security issues, even if you don't answer email.

The quality of debate on the average blog will be sensational, melodramatic, vindictive for the forseeable, for the same reasons that actual, live political debate was the same in the 1800's in this country - only the experts have experience in communities full of knowledgeable people learning to express differences on difficult subjects politely.

In the same way, you will always be flamed for being reasonable, and for not hewing the line of any one power base. Those who stand for truth above loyalty pay for it. History overflows with examples. To one extent or another, you're a dissenting opinion. The masses punish dissent. It's the reason they exist. It's a functional mechanism of society.

For such a sophisticated and successful person, it's funny that you seem to be sensitive to baseless attacks, but it's a pleasing sign of your general humanity.

Seriously though: respond to the substance of the charges if it exists. Ignore the personal venom.

Don't ever get discouraged. The silent majority appreciates your existence and does not comment, even if they don't agree. For example, I'm an unapologetic champion of immediate withdrawal, and I love this place.

If you feel like once upon a time, reasonable people could disagree reasonably, but not anymore - the place is always there, but you have to look for it, and be ready to ignore or punish the gate-crashers.

Posted by: glasnost at November 19, 2005 06:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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