Sunday, June 10, 2012

One of the few pleasures of Facebook is watching As'ad AbuKhalil and Nir Rosen fight.
But it reminds me to link to this again.
2 comments by Rosen at Small Wars Journal
-objections to my article have been silly so far. i'm a journalist, not an american journalist. my job is not to serve as a propagandist for anybody, just to tell stories and my advantage is that i can tell stories that are hard to come by
any comparison to WWII or the nazis always shows a lack of imagination, but in this case also a lack of understanding. the whole reason why its important to have people like me, able to hang out with militias in somalia, afghanistan, iraq or lebanon, is because they are not a formal army of a formal state, with clear goals, structure, hierarchy etc. on the contrary, their motives are not known and diverse, often at odds, they take up arms for different reasons and as anybody remotely interested in COIN knows by now (except for sassaman perhaps), they do not put down their arms through force, unless you're willing to use force like the russians in chechnya (and that hasnt worked for the israelis), but instead their goals and motives must be understood, and eventually a political accord must be reached.
moreover, journalists regularly embed with the american military when it is conducting operations, attacks, killing. whats the difference?
imagine if that one taliban commander had not screwed up my plans to go with them when they conducted attacks, and i had seen that too. isnt that interesting? isnt it important to understand who they are? and most importantly, wouldnt it make for a fun read?

-does any of this have to do with mr west's vietnam generation being bitter about losing vietnam and blaming their failure in vietnam on the media? i'm sorry you lost vietnam. for what its worth, i wasnt born yet
and has not the US administration now recognized that the taliban must be negotiated with? just as they ended up negotiating with the iraqi resistance? i came under similar criticism for spending time with the resistance in falluja, but now those guys are on the US payroll
also, as i recall, the increase in troops (not that i support it) is not merely to kill more people, but to secure the population
some of you people take this war too personally. this is not good vs evil, its much more ambiguous, and if anything you should be grateful for my work, for the light it sheds on your opponents
A better defense of free speech and freedom of the press than Bertram, Farrell et al. could muster.