by Unknown | 2/20/2009 02:54:00 AM
Top billing in the latest issue, no less. I'm honored.

I'll be responding to their critique soon.




Blogger Ahistoricality on 2/20/2009 8:32 AM:

Nicely done. I like the way they model their complaint about you -- that you failed to address their main argument -- by failing to address your main argument.

It's been a while since I saw such a spluttering, wheel-spinning failure. Why, though, did neither you nor they discuss Korea, Vietnam, proxy wars?


Blogger Jonathan Dresner on 2/20/2009 12:37 PM:

I give you all due credit for trying to engage Horowitz and Johnson on their own turf and terms. You do have one error worth noting, though:

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, to which 9/11 has frequently and erroneously been compared, was followed in short order by an effort by the Japanese Navy to sail to, attack, and occupy California.

Plans by the Japanese military to invade California existed mostly in the minds of Earl Warren and John DeWitt (etc., etc.) because the actual strategy adopted by Japan was the "Southern Strategy" in which they attacked colonial possessions in the Philippines, Indonesia, etc., as a way of getting at the raw materials (oil, rubber) which were being denied them by the US embargo. The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to cripple the Pacific Fleet and give the Japanese navy a more or less free hand in that region. There was some discussion about the possiblities of invading Hawai'i later in the war, and California was the target of some attacks intended to frighten and possibly reduce productivity, but invasion would have been an absurd proposition for a military quite fully occupied in Asia. Which makes the internment of California Japanese and non-internment of Hawai'i Japanese all the more ironic.


Blogger Unknown on 2/20/2009 1:23 PM:

Jonathan, point taken. At the very least, though, there existed the possibility that the Japanese might invade and conquer California. They did have the military power to do so, though it probably would have been recaptured in short order. Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, doesn't.

Ahist, thanks for your kind words, and you're right -- they didn't really manage to score any points on me in their response. I'm glad of that because that hasn't always been the case with others who've reviewed the book for them. As for proxy wars, we didn't discuss them because they're making a somewhat different claim. They argue that every Middle Eastern opponent of the United States (including the secular Saddam) is part of a single jihadist movement united by faith. Therefore, any war in the Middle East isn't a proxy war, it's the real war, because they all amount to the same country of faith. (Also because there's no single country with incredible resources, like the Soviet Union. Of course, they don't seem much interested in power relations.)