Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A mild problem and a compromise solution...

A while back, before the New Year, I sent an email of support to a guy called Ross Douthat, Atlantic Monthly-wallah and sometimes National Review contributor who had written something for Andrew Sullivan's website on an article by Michael Ledeen that resulted in him walking face first into a first class shit storm, whipped up by various people of varying competence and intellectual integrity, some of whom should have known better. I wrote something about the whole furore here.

Given the volume of email that I assume he was receiving at this point I didn't expect a reply and indeed didn't get one. However, I have just noticed that a this website now features in the links section of the site he runs with two other Young Turk journalists and public policy researchers.

Now, although their site sometimes touches on defence and security issues, it isn't specifically defence related. In addition, although it displays encouraging and consistent intellectual honesty it is fairly overtly political (if you like Andrew Sullivan's politics you'll probably like theirs) and so really in purist terms we probably shouldn't link to it.

However. Several things strike me. First, if nobody links to us, we aren't going to get read (though I have reason to believe that readership is picking up). Second, if we aren't at least reasonably reciprocal people might think "Screw you guys, I'm going home". It's not very nice for people to give us the thumbs up and for us to then turn round and go "Ah yes, well, thanks, but you aren't serious or focused enough for us to return the favour" Third, who the hell am I to be sniffy, all three of the guys at the site in question are far more distinguished and qualified than I am or may ever be. So they're getting linked to but in a new section of the sidebar, which will be for sites that are nice to us but which are either not directly defence/security related or which have a party political agenda.. Further links may be added to this as time goes by. As it happens, I do personally endorse wholeheartedly the current site in question, but the appearence of any site in the new section should not necessarily be taken to represent a collective or individual endorsement.

UPDATE: Michael is concerned that some may find the original sidebar title offensive or perplexing. I'd hope that is not the case, but looking at it again he may well be right so it's getting changed.

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