National Review "experts" out of their lanes
Friday, October 16, 2009
I hesitated before writing this as National Review has my favorite and I would say the best collection of talent in the commentary world. I don't always agree with the opinions and prescriptions they put out, but they consistently discuss major issues with more intelligence and wit than any competitors. Part of the reason is that they have experts in many fields who can shine the light of their expertise on complex issues. Lately they have had a couple of these folks mistaking their relative intelligence w/ specific knowledge about military operations.
Andy McCarthy is a brilliant legal mind and one of the top strategists in our battles against terror in the courts. He prosecuted the blind sheikh and continues to work toward policies that enable us to dismantle terror networks and deal with captured terrorists. On military strategy and tactics, not so much. Yet he has been relentless in grabbing every setback in Afghanistan and opining on how this proves our course there is not just wrong but impossible. He does this from a position of near complete ignorance of the specifics he discusses. I don't believe that writing about the military should be limited to those who have served. But writing about the complexities of counterinsurgency v. counterterrorism ought to be done by those who understand what the hell those things are. I do not delve into arcana of constitutional law as I have no relevant or enlightening views to impart. McCarthy ought to get back to commenting on issues where his opinion actually matters.
John Derbyshire is an amateur mathemagician and professional curmudgeon. He is entertaining in his convincing pessimism. He is a firm believer in the Eeyore school and his latest book is actually titled "We are doomed". He is not a fan of our actions in Afghanistan and is a leading proponent of "Rubble doesn't make trouble". In a video piece today he shows a Bidenesque naivete about our capability to operate a Magic Ninja plan to keep al Qaeda in check.
No offense fellas, but it might be a good time to sit down with a good book and imbibe a big warm cup of STFU.