Frum took issue with this writer’s "Ledeen
on the Run" and "Benito
Strikes Out" in the September 3 installment of his NRO
diary. Seems he objected to my quoting him as saying that Michael
Ledeen received $25 million for his tireless working to sell conflict
with Iran to the American public, then not recanting my admittedly
cheeky statement when Mr. Ledeen demanded retraction. Frum and
Ledeen are sticklers for detail -- at least to a certain point.
in his diary entry, correctly quotes this writer as having said
that "the implication is damned clear from where I sit –
[Michael Ledeen] has been compensated amply for his words. Why
would it be ‘his $25 million’ unless he ‘earned’ it?" Indeed,
I did ask that question -- though with one slight difference.
who have read my "Benito Strikes Out", will notice Frum’s
bracketing of the phrase "Michael Ledeen". Perhaps he
sought to mask the fact that Michael Ledeen, adviser to Presidents
alike, uses "Benito12" to identify himself in his email
there something wrong, Mr. Frum, with Ledeen paying homage to
the fascist dictator of a country who wanted nothing so much as
to destroy the forces of freedom in WW2? Would NRO readers recoil
in disgust if they realized that Ledeen, when able to choose from
centuries of American heroes for his particular homage, shunned
all of them? Andrew Jackson, Robert Taft, even Salmon Chase and
Chester A. Arthur; none of these measure up to Benito for Mr.
Ledeen? Remind me to have coffee with Ledeen sometime and discuss
some more from David Frum:
12] responded by email. He patiently pointed out that, no,
the US Government had not paid him the $25 million reward money
for the capture of bin Laden, and that my column did not say that
it had, only that it should have. At this point, most bloggers
would have realized that they had made an embarrassing mistake,
quietly resolved to read more carefully in future, and made swift
use of that convenient delete function in Blogger. But no! The
poor chump kept going. In a post
this morning, he truculently insists that [Benito 12] must have
collected $25 million - and that I said so."
to begin? I wouldn’t say Ledeen "patiently pointed out"
much of anything in his email; it was a bullying, dyspeptic rant.
Likewise, I never "truculently insisted" that Ledeen
collected 25 million -- I just quoted his homeboy at the AEI.
I would also add that Ledeen’s international profile is in no
small part related to his advocacy of US action in Iran, Iraq,
and elsewhere, and that he works to facilitate an untenable American
management of the world. Finally, I would point out that Frum,
Ledeen, and the whole crew, when asked to choose between confrontation
and negotiation, choose the former every time.
Ledeen directly advocate invasion of Iran? I’ve provided quite
a few quotes in previous columns on the man and his bellicosity.
He certainly has no time for negotiations with the Tehran government.
And I’m still waiting for Ledeen to provide one definitive quote
from Colin Powell saying that he would deny the Iranian people
expect I’ll be waiting for a bit longer, since Ledeen is back
to pimping Iranian regime change, seemingly oblivious to the disastrous
consequences of the Iraqi adventure. An extended quote here from
a September 8 "National Review Symposium" features yet
another criticism of our apparently wobbly President:
[Bush] has lost focus. He reminded us that he had always expected
this to be a long war, but he never mentioned the Evil Axis. .
. never mentioned the Iranian atomic bomb or the North Korean
nuclear program or the ongoing Saudi and Syrian support for terror.
This speech was narrowly about Iraq, with a couple of afterthoughts
about Afghanistan. If he's aware that we can't possibly win in
Iraq unless we bring down the mullahcracy in Tehran, he didn't
give any sign of it. We're dithering again, wasting time while
the terror masters prepare their next assault, instead of going
after them where they live."
like that speaks for itself. One supposes the "mullahcracy"
can be brought down with wishful thinking or propaganda on satellite
feeds. And one also supposes that "going after them where
they live" somehow serves as a peaceful solution. Because
"explicitly defines military action against Iran a mistake",
despite the bellicosity of his words toward both the Iranian and
United States governments. Ledeen wants "political action"
against the "murderous mullahcracy."
of the comforts of a non-interventionist position is that the
non-interventionist doesn’t have to split hairs, much less to
face questions like the following. Is the overthrow of the Tehran
regime more justifiable if accomplished through non-military means?
If so, which ones? If it truly is our nation’s destiny to spread
the fertilizer known as Creative Destruction, then why not invade
their countries and convert them to Christendom, as Ann Coulter
asked a couple of years back? What made Iraq a better candidate
for invasion than Iran? Would it help matters if we bombed Tehran
for a few weeks, just to let the bastards know we’re boss? If
the people can’t manage a proper rebellion on their own, should
we send in provocateurs? If we need provocateurs, couldn’t we
just fly some of the Gitmo prisoners over there on some work-release
program? Finally, why the hell can’t the Washington government
mind its own business?