August 12, 2006

Back from the Border

I'm back in Tel Aviv from the Lebanese/Israeli border. Some people can write in a bangbang environment if they're used to it. I'm not used to it, and needed to get out. Now I can write. So I'll start doing that now. (If I go up again, I probably will be able to write from there next time.)

Stay tuned.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 12, 2006 11:12 AM

Sounds good, my donation is in the mail.

Posted by: Mantis at August 12, 2006 11:17 AM

Readers: Note the ease with which Michael goes back and forth between Tel Aviv and the border. Israel is a small country. The border is very close.

Michael: Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Yafawi at August 12, 2006 11:46 AM

I heard your podcast from Metulla - good job! The next time you go up, tell the guys that Chaya from Bat Yam sends hugs and kisses. And give them my blessings. But don't tell them I'll be 59 the end of this month. Let them think I'm some sexy, young chick! {:>)

Posted by: Chaya at August 12, 2006 12:23 PM

I hope Roger Simon is gonna give you a bigger share of the Pajamas Media ad revenue now, Michael.

He's headlining your podcasts on PJM while this site is starting to look like a teen's MySpace account of a botched trip to Disneyland.

Posted by: monkyboy at August 12, 2006 03:59 PM


Thanks for sticking with the business plan. (Line one of the business plan: Don't get killed or blown up even a little bit.) My contribution is being brewed back in Portland, when you get home, I'll deliver it in person one glass at a time.


Dale Carnegie has got a book you need to read. It's called How to Win Friends and Not Be a Flaming Jerk...or something like that. You should really look into it.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at August 12, 2006 08:04 PM

Hehe, Patrick.

I wasn't trying to make any friends.

I was trying to point out that Michael is getting ripped off.

There seems to be no shortage of funds in the Pajamas Media account to fly Roger L. Simon and his latest (3rd?) family first class to luxury hotels around the globe.

Michael, however, had to solicit funds from his readers to make the dangerous trip to the Israel-Lebanon border.

Yet the moment Michael arrived there, Roger L. Simon engaged Michael in a painfully amateurish "podcast," then slapped it up on the PJM main site...

Unless PJM made a $10,000+ donation to Michael, I think he should focus on putting content on his own site and let the Beverly Hills crowd attract eyeballs to their site with their own "reporting."

Posted by: monkyboy at August 12, 2006 08:26 PM

Excellent work. Like Simon, I was a bit tense when in your second podcast, I heard that high pitched sound, I thought a missile was about to land near you.

Of course, it was just the wind!

Posted by: John Ruberry at August 12, 2006 08:26 PM

Michael, thank goodness things are going relatively smoothly...

Would like to know if mood of MSM/western journalists has changed any in light of the worldwide terrorist threats being revealed, in particular, those here in the US...

Home grown jihadism, does that work for them?...;)

Posted by: callthemlikeyouseethem at August 12, 2006 10:25 PM


As the person responsible for arranging the most money Michael made this year, allow me to tell you that you are talking to the wrong guy. Michael is doing podcasts to cover the story, not to get a bigger slice of the PJ media advertising pie. He feels deeply responsible for covering this story well and podcasts are the fastest way he can do that, not the most profitable one.

I am the avaricious SOB you want to try to get Michael to be a dumbass and destroy his relationship with his good friend Roger Simon over various degrees of chump change. Michael is serious when he is asking for donations for his writing. If the donations trickle off, he has to do corporate gigs with me. When Michael wants real money, he can find it without holding up good friends for work he wants to do anyway. Oh, and I'm not going to try to get Michael to screw Roger Simon, either. I like Roger, and I support the work he is doing on PJ Media.

So why don't you go sow hate and discontent elsewhere?

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at August 12, 2006 11:17 PM

I wouldn't call it spreading hate, Patrick.

I assume Michael would like a career as a journalist and maybe as an author.

Associating with a fringe right guy like Roger Simon will probably cost Michael any chance of working for an "MSM" outfit and limit the sales of any books he puts out to the Fox News crowd (a very small audience).

Why do that if Pajamas Media isn't even picking up his plane fare and living costs while he's providing them with free content from Israel?

I think he'd be better off making this site as interesting as possible so it attracts a wider audience...

Posted by: monkyboy at August 13, 2006 12:44 AM

Monkeyboy, you know nothing of my arrangement with Roger. So it's time for you to shut up now.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 13, 2006 01:49 AM

when people mention the local temperature do they say the number in C or F?

Posted by: Todd Grimson at August 13, 2006 02:59 AM

Will do, Michael.

Think long term and don't sell yourself short.

I will take exception to your report that Hezbollah rockets that fell into Lebanon means Hezbollah are bad shots. It's more likely they were aimed at IDF forces inside Lebanon.

Remember that Hezbollah aimed at and hit many military targets within Israel with their rockets (12 reserve soldiers, several howitzers). Even the rockets shot at Haifa forced the Israelis to shut down the biggest of their two oil refineries...

Saying Hezbollah is only aiming at civilian targets with their rockets might be considered biased reporting in light on the civilian/military casualties on both sides of this conflict.

Posted by: monkyboy at August 13, 2006 03:02 AM

24 israeli soldiers killed in southern lebanon yesterday.
Hardly newsworthy.
At least CNN, BBC, NYT, Guardian dont seem to think so.
Its not like its a daring command raid by israeli special forces ar anything.
News management at its finest.

To clarify my position, I believe all wars are workingclass people killing workingclass people for the benefit of monied interests.
The workingclass always loses, whether israeli, palestinian, american or iraqi.
The soldiers dying in lebaanon have more in common with the workingclass of lebanon than the capaitalists who benefit from these adventures.

Posted by: kevser at August 13, 2006 03:19 AM

Kevsar, thanks for your refreshing college freshman level insight into war. Read some history about war, and not just the junk that is presented in academia (from grade school all the way thru at least undergraduate college).

I am in favor of pulling all of our troops out of Korea, putting them alongside the Israeli troops, and walking North until all the Hezbos are killed. Let's kill all the Muslim Fanatic Terrorists now before they get stronger. If the Muslim Fanatic Terrorists want to take their individual countries back to the 14th century, fine. Just don't attack any other country.

Quite similar to 1939 and the worlds appears to want to pull a "Chamberlain".

MT, will be interesting to hear what the troop level opinion is of the "cease fire" and Olmert.



Posted by: Ron Snyder at August 13, 2006 06:05 AM


The Katyusha's used by Hezbollah are optimized for range, not accuracy. They have a more than 4 kilometer Circular Error of Probability. They are significantly less accurate than World War II bombers. They are less accurate than the original Katyusha's produced by the Soviet Union in WWII.

It does not matter if you are the Arab Annie Oakley: if you choose to throw pieces of metal downrange that are landing at random, you are a lousy shot. Hezbollah chooses to fire rockets downrange that have no military effectiveness. Their rockets have yet to make a single company combat ineffective. Israeli artillery batteries are stacking ammunition in the open within range of Hezbollah's Katyusha's, this is not the behavior of artillerymen subject to effective counter-battery fire. Do you see Hezbollah stacking ammunition in the open? That is the difference between effective artillery and a bunch of terrorists playing with dangerous and ineffective weapons.

Could you please display your ignorance elsewhere? Your charges are as inaccurate as Hezbollah's.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at August 13, 2006 06:07 AM

They have a more than 4 kilometer Circular Error of Probability.

Oh, dear...

Apparently muslim militants think that hitting targets is one of those 'if god wills it' things.

How many times are they going to have to miss the target (or lose the war) before they decide god doesn't want them to hit the tagets (or conquer the Israelis)?

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