Let's get something straight. There's a strong streak of unapologetic
curmudgeon in both Dave and me. But it's not nearly as strong as the
raging case of validation of preconceived notions that runs in so many
commentators these days. Latest case in point, some of the reactions to
Dave's recent micro-rant,
Armchair Generalist says "Small Wars Journal Blog departs from the sane and
analytical evaluation of military issues and sounds off with a primal scream of
disgust on what they perceive as unjust things....Fortunately we have articulate
people on the left, like
Matt Yglesias, who can counter this short-sighted, myopic view." Both
go on to suggest SWJ has basically drunk the Kool-Aid, buys "completely into the
CheneyBush argument for the Iraqi invasion and justification for continued US
force presence", and "reflects some dangerous trends in American culture."
Take another look at
Intermittent display of personal frustration / disappointment? Sure.
Revisionist history or glorifying, fact-distorting, self-justifying neo-con
rant? Hell no. That's only there if you want to see it that way.
Primal scream of disgust? Not hardly. Unless you count the one that
rightfully follows from how so many people can spool so endlessly on such random
So we'll continue to toil away here, focusing on the serious work at hand.
For the most part, we have no Small Wars Journal house opinion, other than that
the opinions of all serious participants should be heard and considered.
We're trying to facilitate that, and will continue to be equal opportunity based
on substance, credibility, and weight of reason, not ideology. We'd like
to be better at it, and we'd dearly like greater participation from non-military practitioners of Small Wars. It will come.
From time to time, we'll flip out a personal opinion. You don't do this
for as much time as we do without forming a few that you just want to put out
there, pretty clearly standing alone as such and only for what they're worth
(typically not much). But that happens on SWJ Blog a lot less than most
blogs, and it never interferes with our desire to publish substantive analysis
and personal insights on all sides of unpopular issues, whenever we can find
them presented thoughtfully. Those are worth a lot more. We are,
after all, pretty much boring small wars wonks. And as such, one thing we
really don't like is opinion disguised as analysis, particularly when it's
cantilevered out from extrapolated perceptions. We'll leave that to the
legions of armchair pundits.