When the clueless write about the mliitary

Michael Goldfarb noted some Unprecedented Stupidity at HuffPo. Seriously, it’s some good stuff.

I was all set to dig into it myself, but John at Op-For basically covered all the bases I was going for, so go read what he has to say as well.

One thing: Who would have ever guessed that regular old fuel oil was some sort of shadowy secret plot?

Also: The standard “this is what you get when an english professor writes about the military” rule is in effect. But, seriously, this is some of the worst writing I’ve seen from someone claiming to be a writer of any kind. Not the facts or the knowledge of the subject or the general point. The actual writing itself. It reads like the crap you find on most message boards.


  1. Does anyone know which college actually employs this duffus? I’d wage it’s one of those ‘Liberal’ educational institutions like Columbia in NYC!

  2. From the bio on the site:

    From 1972 to 2005, Barry Sanders taught English and the History of Ideas at Pitzer College, where he was the first Professor to hold the the Peter S. and Gloria Gold Chair. The author of some fourteen books, including, with Ivan Illich, ABC: The Alphabetization of the Written Word, A is for Ox: Violence, Electrronic Media and the Silencing of the Written Word, Sudden Glory: Laughter as Subversice History, and most recently, with Francis Adams, Alienable Rights: The Exclusion of African Americans in a White Man’s Land:1619-2000, (Harper Collins,2004). He currently enjoys a five-year appointment as Senior Fulbright Scholar.

  3. ‘He currently enjoys a five-year appointment as Senior Fulbright Scholar.’ Gee. Thank you Ex-Senator Fulbright. He was probably a Rhodes Scholar as well, like Slick Willie.

  4. …the Apache gets about one-half mile to the gallon. Just one pair of Apaches in a single night’s raid will consume about 60,000 gallons of jet fuel.’ Check my math. In order to do this, the Apaches would have to fly 15,000 miles in a single night. That would work out to about 2,000 mph. Military expert, English professor, and math genius. old chief

  5. I’m willing to bet that the trucking industry uses more fuel in a day than the military does. Leaky trucks, shitty recapped wheels peeling off everywhere, tremendous exhaust…

  6. It was good to see some of the HuffPo members respond with some sanity though. To quote one of the repliers (who got instantly attacked for being a right wing stooge): ‘I am NOT picking nits here; Sanders analysis isn’t ‘OFF’; it’s HUGELY erroneous. His thesis is that the military is a big contributor to G.W., and may produce 4x the CO2 as the rest of the nation; but He did a very bad job of making his case.’ To which he follows up with a very true and insightful: ‘Making a case with a falacious [sic] analysis isn’t going to help anyone. The right wing-nuts will have a field day with this stuff talking about those nut-case liberal blogs.’ It would be extremely nice to see more thinking like this from the left. Maybe there could actually be dialogue between the left and right that would lead to, I dunno, actual solutions to real problems.