Small Wars Journal

By the Numbers

Sometimes I just have to shake my head and wonder out loud (in this case blog) what the hell are they thinking? In this case the "they" is the readership of Phil Carter's Intel Dump over at The Washington Post.

Intel Dump has always offered up first-rate discussion and analysis on foreign policy and national security issues -- even when you disagree with a particular point of view expressed by Phil or a guest blogger you come away smarter for having read the postings.

Phil is on sabbatical (working on the Obama campaign) but he did manage to reel in an all star lineup of guest bloggers to fill the void -- and that's just what they have been doing -- in spades -- great posts on Iraq and Afghanistan (where we are, how we got there and what we need to do), Bacevich's The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, seapower and power projection, supporting our deployed civilians as well as the military and more. Posts that make you think.

What has me wondering out loud this Sunday morning is these 16 posts garnered a total of 157 comments from Intel Dump readership - and not all of those are exactly on-topic. A 17th posting by Bob Bateman concerning Chuck Norris' appearance on Larry King Live has racked up 189 comments (at 1045).

Have we descended that far into partisan politics and celebrity infatuation? Is public discussion on serious and important issues in these times of dynamic political, foreign policy and national security flux impossible? Judging by these comments maybe it is.