September 4, 2008

Checking In

I haven’t published anything since early last week for a couple of reasons: it took me three days to get home from Georgia (I had to leave by ground and then fly home across twelve time zones from Azerbaijan), I took two days off with my wife at the beach, and now I’m recovering from a wonderful little virus that I apparently picked up on the plane. As of this morning I’m starting to feel like a normal human being again and can now resume writing.

Stay tuned. I have more dispatches from the Caucasus that will be up shortly, the first about a brief jaunt I took inside the Russian occupation zone near Gori in central Georgia.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2008 1:41 PM

It'll be a while before you write something again with the impact your last posting had, I'll warrant! 8-|

Posted by: Brian H Author Profile Page at September 5, 2008 1:02 AM


Nah. I'm working on two, a short one for Commentary, and another long one for the site. The short one will be ready very soon, and the long one quickly after.

The lag would have been much shorter if getting home wasn't such a pain and if I didn't get sick...

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at September 5, 2008 1:12 AM

Brian Hall? I see that you write about technology. But the name also recalls a certain book about the Balkans. Are you the same?! -S

Michael, stop slacking, we want to hear about hot meals in Georgia!

Posted by: sean Author Profile Page at September 5, 2008 10:22 AM

Long flight home, unknown vius from the trip, coughing slightly while the soundtrack shifts to the minor key then a semingly peaceful reunion. Sounds like the first twenty minutes of a sci-fi end of the world movie. Who knew that Michael would become Patient Zero! Or better Mad Michael IV; Warrior of the Caucasus.

Posted by: Pat Patterson Author Profile Page at September 5, 2008 10:28 AM

I sincerely hope that the long piece is more solid than the last long one on the site and goes at least part of the way towards addressing the major flaws in it.

Posted by: Angus Mc Author Profile Page at September 5, 2008 3:19 PM


I spent hours earlier this week seeing if I could debunk my own article. I even enlisted the help of one of my more honest critics who regularly posts comments here. There is a lot of counterevidence out there, and I'm willing to post corrections if I get something wrong. I have no fear of posting corrections, especially to a piece written during the fog of war.

The problem is that every piece of counterevidence I can find also comes with its own counterevidence. I found myself going in circles and getting nowhere. The bottom line here is that the question of "who started it" boils down to a "he said, she said" argument between Georgia and Russia.

The only change I would make at this point is in the title to my last piece. I admit it was provocative. "The Georgian Side of the Story" probably would have been better.

If solid irrefutable evidence surfaces one way or another about who really started it, I will publish it. In the meantime, I'm moving on.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at September 5, 2008 3:27 PM


I appreciate your candor. It is your site, and it is not too late for you to put a title change on the post as it exists here with a one-sentence explanation as to why.

Posted by: Angus Mc Author Profile Page at September 6, 2008 4:43 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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