Roger Ebert, R.I.P. (NRO April 5, 2013)

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I was shocked to hear last night of Roger Ebert’s death. This was partly because only yesterday I read a blog post, written by him on Tuesday, in which he announced that he was about to take a “leave of presence” from his fearsome schedule of film reviews (more than 200 in 2012) but was relaunching his [Read more…]

'Black Hawk Down', Two Decades Later (NRO Oct. 5, 2013)

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How an extraordinary feat of arms was turned into a political catastrophe. October 3rd and 4th marked the 20th anniversary of the “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia, also known as the First Battle of Mogadishu. The BBC ran a video report about it on Thursday entitled “US Black Hawk Down military disaster revisited.” It is worth watching [Read more…]

Defeat in the "Information Battle Space" (National Review May 17, 2007)

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The Western media, wittingly or not, are aiding our enemies Islamabad — The week I was in Afghanistan this winter, two big stories hit the international press. The first involved the publication of photographs of German NATO troops apparently “desecrating” the remains of dead Afghans. The second was about the accidental killing of up to two hundred [Read more…]

When the Fix is In (National Review, Sept 10, 2007)

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Fixers, interpreters, and reporting from Iraq    A British colleague of mine was sent by his newspaper to Iraq in 2005, just before the July 7 bombings in London. After that attack, his editor asked him to canvass “ordinary Iraqis” for their reaction. The resulting article reported that all but one of the twelve Baghdadis my [Read more…]

Good News From Afghanistan? (Commentary Magazine, July/August 2014)

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Good News From Afghanistan? (Commentary Magazine, July/August 2014)

On the Unheralded Transformation of Kabul  “Everybody knows the war is over./ Everybody knows the good guys lost.” -Leonard Cohen Everyone knows that there has been no progress and no development in Afghanistan, that the West’s efforts there since the overthrow of the Taliban have been a gigantic waste of blood and treasure. Everyone knows that the [Read more…]