Anointed Washington Surge scribe Thomas Ricks takes Antiwar.com to task for writing “about an area about which they know absolutely freaking nothing,” referring to my current piece on Gian Gentile: Exposing Counterfeit COIN. To his mind and of the COIN clique he runs with online, writing about the war should be left to practitioners and military theorists, and of course, Washington Post special war correspondents and senior fellows at the Center for a New American Security.
Certainly not any operation calling itself “Antiwar.” (Note to Ricks: Try to take more than two minutes to check out the site, then you’d find out how we feel about “predatory strikes” and “protecting the population.”)
Like many Washington types who ride a singular moment — say a war, a Surge, the rising stars of generals named Petraeus and Odierno –to such breathless heights of Washington success and sycophancy, there is a tendency towards peevishness when any of it is questioned. It’s territorial, and I can understand that. Thus Ricks reacts by reminding us of his bonefides in Iraq, and is so quick to defend the Washington think tank where he now hangs his hat. Don’t worry, we’ll get off of your cloud.