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Yet the unprecedented media coverage of this war tends to undercut our military efforts. War is terrible–so terrible that its images have always been carefully managed. The public (any public, much less the pampered modern American public) is easily discouraged by the ordinary tragedy and inevitable reversals of war. That the Pentagon believed embedded reporting would work to its advantage in this war is, to me, remarkable. Yet, given that modern reporting already tends to probe and sensationalize every problem, the empathy made possible by embedded reporting may indeed be a gain for our military.

Media Gamble


We are still learning what it means that this war is being reported live, from the front lines, by embedded reporters. Clearly, the effects cut two ways. On the one hand, the country has been energized by empathy for our soldiers–by new found familiarity with a military that is, too often, hidden from most Americans. To follow this war on television is to feel a rush of respect for the dedication, professionalism, and courage of our soldiers. Despite the dangers, military recruiting may actually be easier now. Civilian life seems shallow by comparison to the drama of danger and high purpose now playing out before our eyes. High purpose is exactly what our civilian life lacks.


Speaking of Clowns


I have it on good authority that this is Saddam’s favorite clown

Web Briefing: September 22, 2014

Show The Crimes


This is from my longstanding cop guy, who also spent time in Bosnia (my other cop guy became Jack Dunphy — so keep in mind there’s an upside to being a ___ guy). Anyway, he makes a very good point:

Dear Jonah:
I find that I increasingly resent that I am not allowed to see for myself what the bastards are doing to our people. I want to be angry, I want to feel the rage and know that this war is necessary. When the Towers fell, we were given only PG images-maybe that’s one reason so many people seem to have forgotten it.
-What if nobody had filmed the concentration camps in order to spare the sensibilities of amaricans?

At some point this war will end and we know that people will claim that various crimes never happened. I suggest that the media should warn us, but give us access to the truth. You NRO guys disagree, I know. It’s my two cents. Thanks.

I’m still of two minds about this, but I’m coming around to this point of view. It’s very similar to an argument I made last August in a column, “Bring Back the Horror.” There is a point to making it clear to Americans about who and what the enemy is. Certainly, knowing that enemy is torturing or executing our soldiers would shine a light on some of the protestors out there. I’m going to keep pondering.


Revised: Speaking of Clowns


Our man Aaron Bailey gives me another version of the Williamsburg Bridge incident, with the gaps filled in.

Speaking of Clowns


Iraqi “Spies”


Saddam TV has aired footage of three Iraqi men it says are spies for the U.S., who were planning on showing us around. God help them.



Andrew – I don’t know. When war starts the warriors put on their uniforms. It helps identify and communicate their core functions and roles in the effort. And, similarly, when the anti-war starts, the anti-warriors put on their uniforms. Frankly, I think more of the protestors should wear floppy shoes and giant orange afros.

Another Bumper Sticker Idea


“I’m an NRO guy.”

Simple. Understated. Masculine. And so, so sexy. A sticker like that could turn the owner of a 1982 Citation into a babe magnet.

Oh Man...


Look at the bags under the eyes of the Chief of the Army General Staff. This is a guy who’s been working hard.

Unnecessary Expense


Reuters: ” About 20 anti-war protestors dressed as clowns temporarily shut down rush-hour traffic [in Washington DC this morning].” It seems to me that the costumes weren’t necessary.

Look Who Has a Blog-Site


My One Disappointment


Nobody has written me to apply for the position of “free lyposuction guy.”

Reuters Watch


“Defiant residents of Baghdad converged on mosques for Friday prayers, enraged rather than cowed by US bombs raining down on the capital in the second week of the US-led war to oust President Saddam Hussein.”

The Al Jazeera Tape Gets Worse


You’ll want to read Jed Babbin; evidently if you saw the al-Jazeera tape last weekend, you have not seen the worst version of it.



Lil’ Lucy woke me up at 3:30 in the morning and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I wrote the G-File already, so it will actually be up this morning. It contains references to French people.
Now, Cosmo and I are heading to the park. Because, at the end of the day (and the beginning of it), he’s my best guy.

I Love You Guys


While this is all terribly flattering, and I’m pretty confident that the reader who wants “Conservative Elementary School Art Teacher with Three Dogs Guy” won’t have a lot of competition, I should let you know how others have achieved “guy status.” My Middle East guy has been sending me interesting emails on his area of expertise for more than a year. They’re concise, informative and authoritative. Military guy has been convincing me he’s the real deal for quite a while as well. In short, you achieve guy status by worming your way into my confidences. Now, this doesn’t mean that all of the people who want to be Star Trek guy should send me long essays and insights into all things Trek. Another important attribute of “guy” status is being timely. Law guys email me when law stuff happens that they think is particularly important and that nobody else has noticed. All the guys tend to be funny, don’t take themselves too seriously and understand that not every email they send me can warrant the kind of thoughtful response they deserve. They offer sometimes brilliant criticisms of my columns, without being jerks about it. In fact, I tend to find that the more of a jerk a reader is, the less impressive his criticism is. Hmmm.

Anyway, when I think about it, this describes hundreds of you people. In fact, you’re all my guys. Now get back to the hard work of being “read NRO too much at work guys.”



One guy volunteered to be my cooking guy. I think his name was Emeril. I’m game.

It’s All in Baghdad


For what it’s worth, former Israeli PM Barak says: “Hussein knew he would have to retreat into Baghdad, so he long ago ordered the removal of all the hardware into Baghdad.”

Guys, Guys, Guys...


Lots of applications for “guy” status in my mailbox this morning. Lots of requests to be “Navy guy,” “Star Trek guy,” “Cubicle Man,” etc.

One reader wants to be my “Ex-Underpaid County Jailer Guy”:

I’m just seeing if the position is open.

I’m certain I can provide valuable insight into the tactical complexities of chow time. I’m always willing to participate in a spirited discussion concerning the age-old controversy: “Does the heel of a loaf count as an actual slice of bread?”

(Seriously, you wouldn’t BELIEVE how big an issue that really was.)

My resume, while not particularly impressive, is at least diverse. I’m also ready to assume duties as “Other Guitar Guy” at a moment’s notice.

Another reader wants to know if the “30 yr old unemployed still lives with mom guy” slot is still open. And then there’s this guy:

I would like to apply for the “Conservative Elementary School Art Teacher with Three Dogs Guy” position. We are a relatively small coalition, but very good at sniffing out NEA Al-Qaeda types with hidden agendas and costly membership fees. Rest assured, my Dalmatian is quite pro-war, I mean pro-liberation, and my Beagle thinks he is General Patton. My Basset Hound is more of a make love not war liberal, but we can exclude her from the war effort…or distract her with a milk-bone dog biscuit, launched scud-style onto the living-room sofa.

But mind you, they all hate the French. Damn Poodles…


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