Sunday, April 24, 2011

Great letter-to-the-editor response

My dad sent me this letter (in hard copy) a few years ago.  I wish I had the original letter, and Melissa Golding's response but I could not find them online.  But, Justin J. Green's response was great.


More Suggested Reading
Before writing this response to Ms. Golding's [Jan. 18] letter I took the trouble to "Google" Ms. Golding. After looking carefully at 10 pages of information, I think it fair to conclude that though there are other Melissa Goldings with the kind of credentials that might allow them to be critical of my research skills, that is not true of Knoxville's own Melissa Golding. Her two “Google” references are for a letter to Metro Pulse and a critical response to that letter. I urge Ms. Golding to “Google” me. There she will find that I have co-authored two books and she will find several references to peer reviewed journals in which I have published more than 40 articles. Ms. Golding’s issue positions suggest that her research consists of watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh.

My library contains at least 12 books about Iraq, all of which have received critical praise from reviewers and all of which contain footnotes and other references that provide strong support for the author(s)’ positions. I will mention a few on the chance that Ms. Golding might read them and replace her ignorance with knowledge. I sense, however, that she prefers to live with her fantasies rather than learn the truth. 

The best books on the history of terrorism and how to deal with it are Louise Richardson’s What Terrorists Want and Benjamin and Simon’s The Next Attack.  The latter makes a formidable case that our Iraq venture has contributed to the growth of various Jihadist movements worldwide. It also quotes Jihadist leaders to the effect that Bush’s policies are just what was needed to recruit Muslims to their cause.

I would also recommend The Assassin’s Gate by George Packer, The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind, State of Denial by Bob Woodward, Fiasco by Thomas E. Ricks and in my opinion the single best coverage of why Iraq is so violent today and how to reduce that level, Peter Galbreath’s The End of Iraq.  Ms. Goulding would also benefit if she read the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and even the Wall Street Journal as I do almost every day. 

She would learn that, contrary to her expressed views , Clinton did make some mistakes but he learned from his errors. Competent people who worked for him and transferred in 2001 to the Bush administration warned Bush, Cheney, and Rice to keep their eyes on al-Qaeda. They paid little or no attention until a couple of weeks before the 9/11 attack. The published post-9/11 Commission’s report documents the failure of communications between the CIA and the FBI. 

I said correctly that al-Qaeda played little or no role in Iraq. The Jihadist Zarqawi tried to legitimize his activities by naming his group al-Qaeda in Iraq. There were communications between Bin Laden and Zarqawi but the real al-Qaeda became very critical of Zarqawi’s operations.  There were and are foreign Jihadists operating in Iraq but according to our own military estimates these Jihadists account for only about 10 percent of the violence in Iraq. 

If Ms. Golding understand psychology she would understand that Jihadist leaders believe that if they praise Democrats and excoriate Republicans the American public might do the opposite, and ‘til last November that’s exactly how they voted. 

I hate to tell Ms. Golding but November elections inform us that the American public has seen through the lies that emanate from both the liars in the White House and people like Ms. Golding, who it appears has never read anything that might disagree with her warped point of view. 

Last of all, if Ms. Golding still doubts my credentials, I suggest she read Political Stability in the Philippines: Framework and Analysis by Daniel Druckman and Justin J. Green. It was an early study that explained how to predict the success of failure of insurgencies. I was told that it was required reading at the CIA (who paid for the research) for a good many years.

Justin J. Green

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Session content and levels for Exchange Connections - Looking for feedback

Hi everyone, I am one of the conference chairs for the Exchange Connections conference.  That means, among other things, that I help chose the sessions that will be right for the upcoming shows. The fall show in Las Vegas (starting on October 31) is now in our sights.

  What type of sessions would you like to see in future Exchange Connections events? Should they be “deep dives” on a single topic?  Overviews?  Best practices / lessons from the field?   

  What other suggestions would you make to help make the Exchange Connections event the best in the industry?
   I invite you to contribute to this discussion on our Exchange Connections Facebook Community page.  Please visit