November 07, 2007

Bateman on VDH

This has little to do with counterinsurgency, per se, but Abu Muqawama is posting it for those interested in military history and because Victor Davis Hanson -- aside from being one of America's preeminent intellectuals -- has been leading the charge since 2001, through his books and articles, in support of the idea that the West is in a violent clash of cultures with Islam. His ideas have certainly been well-received by the White House and Bush Administration staffers. Abu Muqawama doesn't usually read his columns in the National Review, but VDH recently caught this blog's eye when he signed on to what its supporters are hoping will be a right-wing alternative to the generally left-wing Middle East Studies Association. (The Arabist has more on that here.)

Bob Bateman, who has often taken time out of his schedule to mentor and advise both Abu Muqawama and Charlie, really lets loose on VDH on the Small Wars Journal website. LTC Bateman is an active duty lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, served as a strategist for Gen. Petraeus in Iraq, and is the author of several well-respected military histories, including this one here. Here is, in a nutshell, Bateman's message to VDH:

[Y]our personal technique of torturing the facts until they conform to your thesis is hurting America, and ... your personal signal work, Carnage and Culture, is a pile of poorly constructed, deliberately misleading, intellectually dishonest feces. I believe it is my personal obligation to try and correct the record and demonstrate for as many people as possible, why they should not believe you when you try to cite history in support of any of your personal shiny little pet rocks.

If you're not a big fan of VDH*, read more here. If, on the other hand, you like the guy, best just click here instead.

*Why do Hanson's conservative admirers refer to him by his initials? Don't they realize this is what the arch-enemy (the French) do with their intellectual heroes? JPS, BHL, etc.

Update: "something seems wrong with Bateman’s ability to read and comprehend language..." VDH's reply is here. Abu Muqawama wants to see these two guys meet in a darkened alley and settle their differences the old-fashioned way.