24 November 2009

Well, this is depressing

Two great blogs have pseudo-shut down today.

The first is Defense and the National Interest, run by Chet Richards, one of John Boyd's acolytes, and the number one repository of John Boyd and 4th Generation Warfare material you will ever find. The second is Abu Muqawama, run by former Army Ranger Andrew Exum, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, who announced that he would be curtailing his daily blogging activities.

What's distressing is that both have made the decision to shut down based, in part, on what I describe as jackassery in their fan base. DNI reported numerous security threats, and Andrew Exum drew the line with a post in a blog which called for his crucifixion.

It's truly a sad day. I wish both of them the best.


Guy Montag said...

From Andrew Exum's 11-23-09 Post:

“I have decided to stop daily blogging. … Blogging forces me into more or less split-second reactions to complicated policy events before I have had the opportunity to research and weigh opposing views. … My friend and boss Nate Fick, described me last week as being someone who enjoys taking a more deliberate approach and digging deep down into an issue before offering comment. … Second, since starting at CNAS and taking up a more public profile, I have grown concerned over the reaction to my blogging and public commentary.… A few months ago, Lady Muqawama, after reading one of the comments threads here, asked me, half joking and half serious, "Are you going to be assassinated?"

My response:

I believe Andrew Exum has neglected to explain to his readers perhaps the primary reason for his decision to stop blogging.

Reading between the lines, I believe his biased review of Jon Krakauer’s book about Pat Tillman and some of his off-the-cuff postings have caused a bit of embarrassment for CNAS. That his boss Nate Fick (“#42") decided that it was best that he lay low, reduce his public profile. Besides, for good or ill, he's already done his part to help set McChrytal’s Afghan “surge” into motion.

In particular, the Washington Post’s Ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, recently wrote in his column “Blame to Spare on a Book Review’ (11-15-09): “Krakauer is angry. He told me that because Exum is ‘enthralled’ with McChrystal, he wrote a "willfully deceptive" review that protected him. … I also think Exum deserves blame. The contract language is explicit. Despite media coverage of his role in Afghanistan, the contract puts the onus on the reviewer to notify The Post if there is an "appearance of a conflict of interest."


As I pointed out previously in my lengthy comments to Exum's November 2nd post, “On Martial Virtue ... and Selling Jon Krakauer's Crappy New Book” (and his November 9th Post, “He Who Shall Not Be Fact Checked) Exum's got more than the “appearance of a conflict of interest” when it comes to General McChrystal. Exum neglected to mention General McChrystal’s key role in the cover-up of the Pat Tillman' friendly fire death or disclose his close personal and professional ties with him. As one blogger commented, “Phew, talk about a man crush. … the normally witty and sarcastic Abu Muqawama has turned into a walking billboard for Gen. McChrystal …”):



Last month, I had assumed Exum and CNAS were part of the bipartisan “conspiracy” protecting General McChrystal. That Exum had written his book review to whitewash General McChrystal’s central role in orchestrating the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. But perhaps he was merely woefully ignorant of the most basic facts of the Tillman case. Despite Exum's assertion that McChrystal was “probably the least culpable guy in Tillman's chain of command” the evidence is overwhelming that McChrystal played a key role in the cover-up of Tillman’s fratricide.

For supporting evidence, take a look at “Where Men Win Glory – Andrew Exum, CNAS, and the Whitewash of General McChrystal’s Role in the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman’s Fratricide”:


Guy Montag said...


Last night I received convincing feedback that "I'm wrong in your reading between the lines stuff."
My accusation that Andrew Exum was less than forthright in stating his reasons for his decision to stop blogging was incorrect

(apparently, it was merely wishful thinking on my part that my critical comments or the mild slap on the hand by the Washington Post ombudsman had embarrassed Nate Fick at CNAS).

My apologies to Andrew Exum.

But, the same sources do not agree with Andrew Exum about General McChrystal's role in the aftermath of Pat Tillman's friendly fire death. I stand by the remainder of my comments. Andrew Exum, nor anyone else in the blogosphere, has yet disputed the substance of my arguments [excepting "Kilo" (not to be confused with Johnny Rico at Zulu Kilo] with whom I traded comments in AM's November 2nd "Martial Virtue ... post].

I welcome any substantive criticism of my arguments as opposed to ad hominum attacks.