June 18, 2009

The Ghost of Howard Baskerville

Howard Baskerville was an American from Nebraska who died fighting with the Constitutionalists against Iran’s despotic King Mohammad Ali Shah in the Azeri-Iranian city of Tabriz in 1909. He was only 24 years old when he was shot through the heart and buried there. You might not have heard of him, but many Iranian nationalists consider the man a hero even now.

Baskerville.jpg
Howard Baskerville

For the next nine days, Howard Baskerville’s ghost will be filling in for me on this blog.

Let me explain: Nine months ago I planned a short nine-day vacation -- my first in almost four years -- with some friends. Most of it has been paid for already. I would not have chosen such an electrifying time in history to drop off the face of the world had I known what was going to happen. (In case you just woke up from a week-long nap, there is an uprising in Iran that may change the country forever.) And I certainly don’t want to leave this Web site without fresh material on it for much of the remainder of June.

So please welcome “Howard Baskerville” who will keep you apprised of events while I am away. He’s a friend who needs to write under a pen name right now, he knows more about Iran than I do, so I think you should trust him.

And don’t forget to be nice in the comments.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 18, 2009 7:58 PM
Comments

Michael, enjoy your vacation. I will read Mr. Baskerville's posts with the same attention I do yours.

Posted by: Asher Abrams Author Profile Page at June 18, 2009 8:21 PM

Michael, have a good time and come back soon (but not sooner than you wish).

Howard Baskerville, welcome (if I may be so bold, it is not my home).

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at June 18, 2009 8:23 PM

Mr.Totten, have a great vacation.

So, Mr. Baskerville, we're waiting to hear from. Amuse us!

Isn't it infuriating to have impolite guests visiting?

Posted by: ColdWarWarmHeart Author Profile Page at June 18, 2009 9:24 PM

I can't wait.

Stay away from the news while you're gone. It can be dangerous and will chip away at your historical perspective if you let it. If what is happening in Iran is really significant, then when you get back, you'll be better able to separate the important from the irrelevant.

Posted by: Robert Kelly Author Profile Page at June 18, 2009 11:10 PM

Have a lovely break, MJT. Hello Howard!

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at June 18, 2009 11:53 PM

And Howard Baskerville -- I'd be interested in your take on the NY Times Op Ed by an unnamed Ianian student -- it reads great.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/19/opinion/19shane.html?_r=1

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 12:01 AM

Enjoy the vacation MJT. Enjoy the time with your friends. :-)

"Howard Baskerville," look forward to reading your perspectives.

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 2:13 AM

Have a great vacation MJT.

Balance is important, and there is hardly ever "the right time" to take time off. Quality time with family & friends should be non-discretionary at some point :)

V/R

Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 3:28 AM

Michael, enjoy your vacation.

Posted by: Michael A. Burstein Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 5:37 AM

Have a great vacation Mike. Welcome Howard.

Posted by: OsoPardo Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 5:37 AM

Where's Howard?

Posted by: John Rylander Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 9:17 AM

I have a micro-idea who this Iran expert might be.

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 9:59 AM

Hmm I can't resist...

My prediction:

Nine-day vacation to (undisclosed location)= trip to Iran or environs

Friends= fellow journalists/bloggers

Howard Baskerville= Microraptor

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 10:14 AM

Edgar!!

Be nice with MJT taking time to report from the front.

If you persist I'm sure P.Daddy will not hesitate to pull the car over.

Posted by: JohnDakota Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 10:21 AM

Umm? What?

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 10:23 AM

I don't have anything against MR if that's what you mean. If he does a good job, cool.

I'm also not 100% convinced MJT is going to Iran itself, as it must be extremely difficult to get in. My guess is somewhere nearby.

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 10:27 AM

I WISH I was on my way to Iran. I am actually going to Alaska. I'm at the airport now.

I suppose "vacation" would be a good cover if I wanted to go in under the radar, but I really am just taking a fun trip for the next week. I will prove it with photos, etc.

Hey, if I write about Alaska and ask for donations, I can write the trip off as a business expense. I'll do that. So if you don't believe me now, you will later.

And "Howard" is not Microraptor. None of you will be able to guess who he is because he doesn't have a public profile. Enjoy his posts. The Middle East will have to explode without me for a week.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 11:35 AM

Michael,

The only way we will be able to believe you if you will show us at least one picture of you and Alaskan governor. :)

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 11:17 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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