It turns out it wasn't Joe Klein
July 2, 2004 9:40 AM   Subscribe

The anonymous author of Imperial Hubris has been revealed.
posted by sixpack (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I still wanna know who writes all them books under that Thomas Pynchon name.
posted by xmutex at 10:01 AM on July 2, 2004

Gee, and I thought one of the right-wing pundits (and one with obvious White House connections) would be the first to Out this obvious America-Hater™. But then I was incorrectly assuming that they had experience in working with actual facts.
posted by wendell at 10:11 AM on July 2, 2004

that would be telling.
posted by clavdivs at 10:12 AM on July 2, 2004

I still wanna know who writes all them books under that Thomas Pynchon name.
posted by xmutex at 10:01 AM PST on July 2

Wanda Tinasky
posted by spacehug at 10:15 AM on July 2, 2004

Ivana Humpalot
posted by mr.marx at 10:18 AM on July 2, 2004

I do, actually
posted by jalexei at 10:31 AM on July 2, 2004

Excellent article. It's the type of thing that should be in the WaPo or NYT, good investigative journalism.

Note the author Anonymous seems to use Samuel Hintington's "Clash of Civilizations "as his driving theory behind his policy recommendations and that this started out as a CIA training manual.
posted by stbalbach at 10:51 AM on July 2, 2004

posted by jacobsee at 3:06 PM on July 2, 2004

He has a new op-ed: Seeing Islam Through a Lens of US Hubris
posted by homunculus at 4:24 PM on July 2, 2004

from that:

Our political leaders contend that America's astoundingly low approval ratings in polls taken in major Islamic countries do not reflect our unquestioning support of Israel and, as such, its "targeted killings" and other lethal high jinks. Nor, they say, are the ratings due to our relentless support for tyrannical and corrupt Islamic regimes that are systematically dissipating the Islamic world's energy resources for family fun and profit, while imprisoning, torturing and executing domestic dissenters. The low approval ratings, we are confident, have nothing to do with our refusal to apply nuclear nonproliferation rules with anything close to an even hand; a situation that makes Israeli and Indian nuclear weapons acceptable — each is a democracy, after all — while Pakistan's weapons are intolerable, perhaps because they are held by Muslims. And surely, if we can just drive and manage an Islamic Reformation that makes Muslims secular like us, all this unfortunate talk about religious war will end.

Thus, because of the pervasive imperial hubris that dominates the minds of our political, academic, social, media and military elites, America is able and content to believe that the Islamic world fails to understand the benign intent of U.S. foreign policy. This mind-set holds that America does not need to reevaluate its policies, let alone change them; it merely needs to better explain the wholesomeness of its views and the purity of its purposes to the uncomprehending Islamic world. What could be more American in the early 21st century, after all, then to re-identify a casus belli as a communication problem, and then call on Madison Avenue to package and hawk a remedy called "Democracy-Secularism-and-Capitalism-are-good-for-Muslims" to an Islamic world that has, to date, violently refused to purchase?

This is meant neither to ridicule my countrymen's intellectual abilities nor to be supportive of Bin Laden and his interpretation of Islam, but to say that most of the world outside North America is not, does not want to be and probably will never be just like us. And let me be clear, I am not talking about America's political freedoms, personal liberties or respect for education and human rights; the same polls showing that Muslims hate Americans for their actions find broad support for the ideas and beliefs that make us who we are. Pew Trust polls in 2003, for instance, found that although Muslims believed it "necessary to believe in God to be moral," they also favored what were termed "democratic values."

I'm saying that when Americans — the leaders and the led — process incoming information to make it intelligible in American terms, many not only fail to clearly understand what is going on abroad but, more ominous, fail to accurately gauge the severity of the danger that these foreign events, organizations, attitudes and personalities pose to U.S. national security and our society's welfare and lifestyle.

In order to make the decisions and allocate the resources needed to ensure U.S. security, Americans must understand the world as it is, not as we want — or worse yet, hope — it will be.

posted by y2karl at 5:11 PM on July 2, 2004

homonculus, if that essay is representative of the book--very, very powerful.
posted by billsaysthis at 7:04 PM on July 2, 2004

I finished Ghost Wars (really good book) just before the press campaign for Imperial Hubris started. The little bit that Coll used to describe "Mike" -- 20 year CIA veteran, knowledgable, die-hard anti-bin Laden before many people knew who bin Laden was -- sounded exactly how "Anonymous" was described. I wondered if they were the same guy.

One of the things that comes up several times in the last third of Ghost Wars is that the bin Laden analysts were constantly underestimated by CIA superiors and other bureaucrats, which in turn made them push harder. Everything about Imperial Hubris makes it sound like it was written by some expert who wasn't listened to, and that made him a lot more aggressive in getting his message out.
posted by raaka at 2:33 AM on July 3, 2004

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