The subject line of this email was “I hope this gets on your nerves”:
“Mr. Derbyshire—Your reporting and analysis on Iraq is of a piece with your claim – based on gossip in Vientiane and bars on Patpong Road – that Vietnamization failed.
“Although you were in Southeast Asia, obviously you were afraid to go to Vietnam (I spent four years there during the war) and you haven’t a clue about the real story in Iraq (I’ve been there six times).”
“The war in Vietnam was lost at home, not in the field—just as the war effort in Iraq is being undermined by cowardly clerk-typists like you.
“You style yourself a ‘conservative,’ in fact; your jaded cynicism is the pose of a weakling.”
[Derb] Get on my nerves? You kidding? For heaven’s sake, I get far worse stuff than that ten times a day. You’re not even trying. Where, for instance, is the obligatory reference to my mail-order bride?