November 27, 2007

Comments are Back

Comments are back on for the time being. If problems persist, I will shut them off again until I get home from Iraq.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 27, 2007 06:47 AM


I don't see why you feel inclined to shut them down completely. People are capable of ignoring the obscene comments. And you can delete them when you get back.

Why let someone hold your blog hostage?

Posted by: Edgar at November 27, 2007 09:09 AM


Great dispatch. I am so glad to hear that things are gettingt better there. God knows those people deserve it after the hell they've lived under during Saddsm's rule (everyone in Iraq... not just Fallujah).

Jim C

Posted by: Jim C at November 27, 2007 11:52 AM

I went to that kid Abraham's site, but I was so disgusted by it that I couldn't bear to post. Even surfing over there seemed to be giving the guy more legitimacy than he deserved.

It's just typical leftist, anti-American BS. Lie lie lie, distort distort distort, attack attack attack. I'd even lay down money that the majority of the hateful comments he received he actually posted himself. I know they're not indicative of any of the posters I normally see chatting here. And, after all, sock puppetry seems to be wildly popular on the Greenwald side of the blogosphere.

Posted by: Nate at November 27, 2007 12:03 PM

I agree completely with the decision to shut down the comments temporarily. Since neither Michael nor I had the time and ability to police the comments over the holiday, shutting them down was a good choice under the circumstances. It is too bad though.

As far as simply ignoring the troll: Yes, we could. But we shouldn't have to.
I am capable of ignoring graffiti, but I won't permit it on my property. I wouldn't expect Michael to feel any differently.
Besides, it is his blog and he can do whatever he wants.

Posted by: Moderator at November 27, 2007 12:16 PM

I agree w/ Edgar. Abe seems between scores and off his meds. Typical noise with no end. We can handle it. No point hurrying back to the Portland/Vancouver area, unless you are jonesing for cold and wet. Americans are deeply appreciative of your new style of reporting, one which I would love to have you informally speak on, to a room full of Freemasons. Many good developments might come of such an event.

Posted by: J Johnson at November 27, 2007 12:20 PM


My son (he's 18) and I love your blogs. He'll leave for boot camp in San Diego next summer. And of course, there's a good chance he'll spend some time in Iraq or Afghanistan after he's finished his training. You give us great pictures of the Iraqi people and the work we're doing there.

Thanks for your great work.

Posted by: Lisa B at November 27, 2007 12:49 PM

I'm glad comments are back on. Thank you.

Posted by: Kevin in Dallas at November 27, 2007 12:51 PM

I'm sorry, but comparing trollish behavior to vandalism and a blog to a living room (as you did before) is just silly.

Insults transmitted through the Internet are just as bad as the ones you hear face-to-face. Fine. That's true.

But drawing a parallel between actual vandalism and someone writing obnoxious comments in your online, virtual space?

Come on.

The living room analogy is even worse. Having people argue heatedly on your blog is nowhere near as bad as people physically brawling in your living room. At least for most normally adjusted people.

Yes, I understand this is MJT's blog and he can do as he wants. But let's put things in perspective and not get carried away.

Posted by: Edgar at November 27, 2007 04:13 PM

I thought MJT's shutting down comments was very appropriate given the circumstances.

Posted by: Ron Snyder at November 27, 2007 05:39 PM

Having people argue heatedly on your blog is nowhere near as bad as people physically brawling in your living room. At least for most normally adjusted people

Well, yes and no. The person who runs a blog is considered to be the 'host'. If the blog is popular and well-established, it gathers a number of regulars, like a bar.

The people we call 'trolls' are generally stuck with that label because they insult the host and/or the patrons. The patrons can usually take care of the problem, but popular bars usually have a bouncer because sometimes the host has to kick the rowdies out.

Posted by: mary at November 27, 2007 06:10 PM

If the blog is popular and well-established, it gathers a number of regulars, like a bar.

It feels more like a pub to me.

Posted by: rosignol at November 27, 2007 07:46 PM

Glad comments are back up. So we can let you know how much your work is appreciated. Too bad we cannot see the same high quality work from Big Media.

Posted by: Robohobo at November 27, 2007 08:44 PM

Hey Mike, great work and great pictures!
I noticed that you have a middle eastern blog roll on your left navigation bar, but no Iranian ones... why not? There are a lot more Iranian blogs than there are Arab ones, surely we can find some to put up?
Keep up the good reporting!

Posted by: Darius at November 27, 2007 11:25 PM

As the mom of a member of the 3/5, I read all of this with interest. I remember the last time my son was in the al Anbar Province and I am so relieved that this time it is better. God bless and keep up the good work.

Posted by: Beth at November 28, 2007 04:27 AM

so you are comparing crime rates between a city of 8 million and a city of 100,000...that is also patrolled by thousands of US and Iraqi troops...I also notice you don't mention th ecra bombs that killed 30 people.

Posted by: madmatt at November 28, 2007 07:45 AM

Great Job Michael,
I tell everyone I run into to check out your site.
God Bless and stay safe.
Ignore or delete the trolls.

Posted by: Dr. Gerbs at November 28, 2007 09:10 AM

Really interesting article; just sad that we are tossing away $Billions on this, however, since it won't last one hour after we leave, which is why we should leave now, today. The test of pacification is not that things are peaceful when the area is flooded with military, but how it is when they are gone. We cannot predicate success on a multi-decade-long stay. Iraq was started on a lie and will end in failure.

Posted by: Seymour Paine at November 28, 2007 09:32 AM

Actually, both of those analogies are ones I have used in personal face to face conversations with Michael (in his living room), and I don’t recall him having a problem with it. I am sure he will let me know if he does. In the meantime, I think we agree on the point of fact that it is his space, and he can run it as he sees fit. I just regret being unable to be of more assistance while he is gone. I agree with Mary. A bouncer is what we need, and I bet we get one.

Posted by: Moderator at November 28, 2007 11:49 AM

Comments are closed.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 28, 2007 11:56 AM
Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member


"I'm flattered such an excellent writer links to my stuff"
Johann Hari
Author of God Save the Queen?

Andrew Sullivan
Author of Virtually Normal

"Brisk, bracing, sharp and thoughtful"
James Lileks
Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"A hard-headed liberal who thinks and writes superbly"
Roger L. Simon
Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere

Contact Me

Send email to michaeltotten001 at gmail dot com

News Feeds


Link to Michael J. Totten with the logo button


Tip Jar


Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn