Friday, December 29, 2006

My all too brief argument with Jonah Goldberg

The internet is a wonderful place, my friends. I have had the pleasure of exchanging emails with the Baghdad Bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times, Borzou Daragahi. James Fallows once sent me an email because of the lazy "reportage" of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page. Beyond those known names, I've made a lot of friends, fellow bloggers on the right and the left, on the internet. It has been an enjoyable learning experience for this 24-year-old. However, this blog's days are numbered. I don't think it will see much activity after the Spring of 2007.

Earlier this month, I enlisted in the United States Army. I have a college degree, and my scores on the ASVAB lead the test proctor to say "don't f--- with enlisting". However, the officer corps in both the Marines and the Army provide open-contracts. With enlistment, I can select a particular job and have that on my contract, as both the MOS and my Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Please forgive me for not going into the nitty gritty about what I will be doing. I will provide these hints: it is not infantry and it is not public affairs.

I am thrilled with the job I have, and my motivation is only rising.

Anyone that has occasioned this website would know my opinions of our current foreign policy. We are not conducting ourselves as well as we should. Iraq has been a disaster. If we do not make important changes in Afghanistan, there will be hell to pay there -- again. The war between Ethiopia and Somalia has just begun. The war between Hezbollah and Israel was a mistake for both sides.

Our president had a noble idea concerning the Middle East, but based on a lot of his talk (such as his post Katrina promises) I question his motives. At the least, the implementation of his plan was terrible. The Arab street has got to see more prosperity in social, economic and political life or else there will be many angry young adults.

In Iraq, we have only made them angrier.

Our domestic counterterrorism efforts have not been stellar. We have profited from the major disruptions to al Qaeda from 2001 - 2002, conducted by CIA and special forces and augmented with conventional formations. As a result of this good work, we've faced al Qaeda's B Team for a number of years. It is likely that this will change unless we refocus our efforts.

These observations make me more inclined for service to our country.

For the past few weeks, I have wondered how to "announce" my career change on this blog. I saw via TailRank this post by Jonah Goldberg. I do not read him often, but he seems to jump at every opportunity to slightly (oh, so slightly) redeem the president's efforts. In this post, it's a contrast between DeFrank's account of Gerald Ford and Woodward's. Woodward cast Ford as anti-Iraq war. DeFrank made some of the same observations, then added that Ford voiced his support for the war. Then he highlighted Ford's concerns over personal privacy. Historians, no doubt, will pour over the notes, as this will be an important passage in the accounting of our time. DeFrank and Woodward provide two glimpses. Goldberg focuses on the most extreme positives available in these pictures, these imperfect pictures.

If I may be so bold, I think Gerald Ford wrestled with the Iraq war like any good American would do at this point.

So, I sort of lost my cool and sent the 37-year-old Goldberg an email:
According to your Wikipedia ( you are 37. That is way too old for the Corps, but the Army will take you.

Frankly, I'm sick of you. Get some guts and fight this war if you like it so much.

Most disrespectfully,
Future Soldier (Last name redacted)
Here is Jonah's response: to me

yawn. get some new material. By the way, why should I give a rat's ass that you're sick of me? Who are you?
He posed two questions, which I answered. However, he had already blocked me with his AOL account... So he must not have actually wanted these answered. I suppose that leaves them as mere rhetorical questions from Therefore, it leads me to believe that he thinks I am a nobody (which is true) and and that my opinion, even as a soon-to-be soldier, is not important. Here was my response, just for the record:
As my signature indicated, I am going into the United States Army.

So, I'm going to be John Q. Soldier. Even though I think this war is garbage, the situation is out of hand and likely to get far more dangerous for our country. I would appreciate a little more intellectual honesty from your NRO friends. I would suggest the commentaries of this Blogger concerning what NRO produces:

He is far more eloquent than I.

There is no reason you should give a rat's ass that I am sick of you. I just wanted to tell you that I was. As you replied my comment, I now know that you know that I am sick of you. And this brings me great joy.
TCR does do great work watching the so-called "right" from an actual right-winger's perspective.

My best wishes to everyone, and have a Happy New Year! I'm going to stop blogging until next week. Oh, and if you like what you have read on this site, click some Google ads. An E4's salary is sort of minimal at best.


Blogger Ezzie said...

Wow. Best of luck to you!

But you should think about keeping the blog going while you're serving. It would be quite interesting.

11:29 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Thanks, Ezzie. I was going to send a note to you and wish you a great holiday and ask that you check my page. If I can continue to blog, I will. My assumption is that based on my job I will not be able to blog. Right now, I am staying studiously ignorant on that question.

Send me an email if you want to hear more about this, one on one and off the record.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Xanthippas said...

First of all, I salute you (figuratively at least) for your willigness to serve. There are way, way too many people on both the left and the right who see fit to talk about the wrongness and rightness of war, without ever having seen it themselves (or at least without the willingenss to chance seeing it.)

Second, I've enjoyed your comments on our blog quite thoroughly, and hope that whatever comes of your blog you are at least still able to visit ours from time to time.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Publia said...

Congratulations! I am excited to hear of your choice, but rather than limiting my best wishes to your comments, I blogged about your decision here: Wilmette.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

copy - Sad to hear that you'll be leaving us soon. You're one of the few bloggers I actually find interesting - you're critical without being a silly Kossack rabble-rouser who does little more than invent funny nicknames for Republicans (Rethuglicans, Repugs, etc.) I always looked forward to your comments. It's great that you've decided to serve our country. You have a strong intellect and are just the kind of officer we need in these uncertain times. Best of luck and keep in touch if you can.


P.S. Thanks for chasing off that annoying Farmer John troll awhile back too. My loyal readers (who are admittedly few and far between) were starting to wonder when I was going to regulate on that character...

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, forgive my oversight - I see you may not necessarily be serving as a commissioned officer. Wherever you end up you will be a leader, however, so just substitute "leader" for "officer" in my previous comment.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Thank you for your patriotism. I'm sure you wll make a fine soldier whether commissioned or enlisted. Chad is right about it being better to be an officer than enlisted. I don't mean that in a demeaning way and hope you and your readers don't take it that way but having been both I think I am qualified to judge.

You are somewhat cryptic about what you will be doing but I hope it is something that allows you to use your strong intellect. Good luck to you and go for that commission.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

However, this blog's days are numbered. I don't think it will see much activity after the Spring of 2007. Earlier this month, I enlisted in the United States Army.

I’ve been blogging less regularly lately for lack of time/will…remembering with nostalgia our political pas-de-deux of last summer, as Beirut was burning and bloggers of both sides of the aisle were united in condemnation of Olmert’s folly.

Funny how life is: I’ve always thought you’d make a fine soldier my dear CE: from the day I read you powerful prose to your wholehearted support for Jim Webb’s campaign long before the Virginia race took center stage.

For the past 6 years, Western humanism and classical rationality were assailed by a sinister assortment of faux Dixie “Christians” and authentic Trotskyite Pharisees who stormed Washington, toppled our time honored traditions, and tried to hijack our constitution in the name of “freedom”.

Today, we’re at the crossroads and our only hope lies in our men and women in uniform. The graduates of West Point and The Naval Academy and their lieutenants got rid of Rumsfeld last month: they are the only ones with enough strength and clairvoyance to cut our losses in Iraq and free our nation from the grip of Saudisrael.

May our Lord Jesus Christ bless them and bring them back home.



PS Goldberg is typical of that class of semi-gentile cum semi-literate Pharisaic intellectuals who feel they have to outzeal the zealots of Yitzrael to “prove” they’re good Pharisees, not “inferior” American mulatos.

Of course, they’re always willing fight for the cause of greater Israel as long as some lesser (read: Christian, WASP, Irish, African-American, Hispanic…) mortals do the fighting.


7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the very best.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have been enjoying your comments on MEmemo for quite a while. I wish you the best in all your endeavours.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take care, I'll miss you dropping by and I have somewhat of an idea what you might be doing.

Brains are always in short supply.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...


I'm shocked, surprised, and very impressed. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess that you will be a journalist. Just a guess.

If the people on the "right" only had the moral fortitude that you do.... ah, but that is another story.

It has been great having you around, and you will be sorely missed.


11:09 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Thanks, Mike. There are a lot on the right who do put their time in.

It won't be journalism, though I did consider that. I've qualified for something that should be a bit more active.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Well you've really got me stumped.

Good point on the people on the right. There certainly are those and plenty of them. Nothing but respect for those who put their money (and ass) where their mouth is.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of congratulations. I've been reading your blog for a while and can honestly say that I will certainly feel more comfortable knowing that there are people like you serving our country.

cheers and good luck,

10:22 AM  

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