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Name Names!

This is no way to write a newspaper column:

I was reminded the other day by an American blogger of how things went in the last war but two - the one in the Balkans. Clinton was the cowboy bomber then (you remember, CND-niks - to divert us all from the dress and the cigar), and the Republicans were against. The Senate majority leader Trent Lott described involvement in Kosovo as a "quagmire". Diplomacy, the Republicans argued, had not been given a chance.

In 1999, at the height of the Kosovan crisis the chief political correspondent of the web magazine Slate predicted that, "You can be sure of only two things: Each party is arguing exactly the opposite of what it argued the last time a Republican president led the nation into war, and exactly the opposite of what it will argue next time." He had that right. Even here in Britain an opposition that consistently urged action against Saddam from 1998 to 2003, without once demanding evidence, now discovers that it was somehow being duped all along. Well, Michael, that's politics.

But which American blogger? And who was Slate's chief political correspondent in 1999, at the height of the Kosovan crisis? The latter fact, at least, I could look up, but why won't Aaronovitch just tell me?

November 2, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

In weak defense of the columnist, presuming a hard word-limit, the choice would be for the descriptive phrase most useful to his readers.
"Glenn Reynolds" would be totally useless to his international audience; "Glenn Reynolds, American blogger" might be more information than his Manchester readers actually need.

He did say "Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott", showing that here both title and name would be recognized and useful.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Nov 2, 2004 11:02:14 AM

You wouldn't want him to out an anonymous source like "the chief political correspondent of the web magazine Slate" now, would you?

Posted by: rea | Nov 2, 2004 11:03:27 AM

Well, of course they are arguing the opposite this time. And both times the Rethugs were wrong. Kosovo has not turned out to be a quagmire with Amkerican troops dying every day and Iraq has. What a hack.

Posted by: Seth | Nov 2, 2004 11:41:25 AM

Should have previewed...

Posted by: Seth | Nov 2, 2004 11:42:23 AM

Here is the article morons: Hawkish Doves, Dovish Hawks.

We should've bombed Albania instead of Serbia. The Butchers of Belgrade (Clinton, Clark, and Albright) are all war criminals and should be tried for crimes against humanity.

Posted by: Modern Crusader | Nov 2, 2004 11:48:21 AM

Ah, but Matthew, did you get the reference in the first line??

http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/littlebritain/characters/characters8.shtml

Posted by: Matt | Nov 2, 2004 11:50:41 AM

In 1999, at the height of the Kosovan crisis the chief political correspondent of the web magazine Slate predicted that, "You can be sure of only two things: Each party is arguing exactly the opposite of what it argued the last time a Republican president led the nation into war, and exactly the opposite of what it will argue next time." He had that right.

I remember that article, it was Saletan. And he wasn't right.

Posted by: Haggai | Nov 2, 2004 12:12:56 PM

Funny how Aaronovitch, the author of the Guardian column, either forgets how to count or forgets both history and his previous paragraph when he claims that the chief political correspondent at Slate was right. I don't recall many cries from Democrats to give diplomacy a chance in Afghanistan or many claims from Democrats that Afghanistan was turning into a quagmire.

Posted by: Blar | Nov 2, 2004 12:26:20 PM

here's the slate article:

http://slate.msn.com/id/27730/

Posted by: philippe | Nov 2, 2004 12:27:17 PM

Yankee Go Home

Who's leading the anti-war movement? Congressional Republicans.
By William Saletan
Posted Friday, May 7, 1999, at 12:30 AM PT

Posted by: philippe | Nov 2, 2004 12:29:11 PM

"We should've bombed Albania instead of Serbia. The Butchers of Belgrade (Clinton, Clark, and Albright) are all war criminals and should be tried for crimes against humanity."


HAHAHAAA!

You Serbs still can't get over it.

Clinton, the best US president so far IMO, did the right thing. Stoping the Serb killing machine (killing defensless women and children, that is) after 10 years of butchering was the best thing that has happened in the Balkans. I've no doubt that you Serbs would've liked the genocide to continue...

Posted by: Claudius | Nov 2, 2004 3:48:57 PM

Aaronovich is a hack. Though I'm glad to see that references to Daffyd (which should really be 'Dafydd') have made it to the national broadsheets.

'Oh, Myfanwy, he can't be a gay. He's not even that poofy.'

Posted by: ahem | Nov 2, 2004 4:28:34 PM

funny, I don't remember democrats acting like that when we went to war with Afganistan

Posted by: jjj | Nov 2, 2004 7:09:15 PM

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