Friday, January 16, 2004

A PRETTY GOOD CRITIQUE OF LILEKS: And warbloggers in general; not overly nasty or anything, though definitely from a left-leaning perspective. Here's something from near the end:

It's impossible in this small space to explore all of Lileks's ruminations, but there is a constant refrain: America must invade and occupy the Arab world to stave off our own destruction. To say this is paranoid is not quite accurate. After all, there are people in the Middle East who would love to see us destroyed. But then, that sentiment is not restricted to the Arab world, nor even to this period in history. People the world over have always chafed against great powers and imperial states, for good reasons and bad.

But Lileks's conceit, which is widespread in the warblog domain, is that this particular moment is in fact unique. That because al Qaeda desires to impose a 7th-century theocracy on others means they have the power to do it to us (Lileks likes playing the It's Their Terms or Ours card, as if we're down to house-to-house fighting). That Saddam Hussein was a real and tangible threat to our very existence, or might've been down the road, or whenever. In any case, we are presumably "safer" now that we're bogged down in Iraq. And so on. To Lileks, it seems that 9/11 exists outside of history (except for World War II, images of which have adorned many a Lileks rant). Therefore those who try to view subsequent events differently are guilty of either liberal naïveté or abject anti-Americanism.

Via Pandagon. The warblogger movement has sort of split itself into warbloggers and anti-warbloggers (or counter-warbloggers). The differences between the two camps are mostly political--I don't think you can point to too many stylistic differences between the two.

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