• Foreign Policy.com

    September 30, 2011

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iran, Iraq, Military

    I didn’t plan it this way, but I ended up with three articles on ForeignPolicy.com today. Take a look if you have a chance.

    How the State Department Came After Me

    Who won the war in Iraq? (Here’s a big hint: It wasn’t the United States)

    Checkbook Diplomacy

    In the interest of a fair and balanced portrayal of things, here is one comment received by ForeignPolicy about my Iran article:

    After 1 year as a PRT team leader in Iraq you seem to think you are an expert. You cannot have it both ways, claim “The work was done by amateurs like me, sent to Iraq on one-year tours without guidance or training” and provide analysis of Iraq and be expect to be taken seriously. While of course some of your conclusions are accurate, (the sun shines on a dogs ass occasionally too), the rationale behind them provided here clearly demonstrates that although you were in Iraq for a year, judging by this piece you could have never been there and are merely regurgitating highlights from the latest SIGIR quarterly report.

    Those of us who have put in real time (much more than 1 year), and REAL effort, and continue to do so, can see right through your “analysis” errrr.. attempt to pander to media outlets and grab a headline in order to promote yourself and your book. Whether it is your ridiculous self-promotional photo, or your half-baked writing style, it is clear that you, like so many other FSOs hitting the 20 year mark, are interested in improving your post-Department prospects and instead of doing real work to improve conditions, whether in Washington or Baghdad, you are now taking the easy way out. Enjoy your 15, I mean 14 minutes of “fame”.

    Go for it. More power to you.

    Once you’ve come and gone, those of us who are determined not to give up on correcting mistakes made by your generation will still be striving to get these things right, and not throwing up our hands and allowing failure to happen on our watch, and simply point the finger at the other guy.

    So Mom, c’mon, stop writing in to web sites about me…

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  • Recent Comments

    • Zoe said...


      I really wish that commenter would explain his position and the work that he has done. With so many people over there and so much money being spent, there’s possibilities SOME of it is being spent in an effective (probably never efficient) manner. The commenter could have told his own story, but didn’t. That certainly, however, does not discount what you, Mr. Van Buren, have brought to the table.

      09/30/11 3:46 PM | Comment Link

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