When war buffs attack

I recently mentioned Victor David Hanson as one of the founders and board members of the new Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, a wannabe scholarly association that aims to challenge the MESA. The counter-insurgency blog Abu Muqawama points to a recent post at Small Wars Journal (an influential specialist blog on warfare and counter-insurgency) by the former US Ranger and military historian Robert Bateman that rips Hanson's Carnage and Culture, a book in which he argues that European military supremacy, especially in antiquity and after the Renaissance, is rooted in culture and values.

I know all of these things, and because I am a military historian and believe that your personal technique of torturing the facts until they conform to your thesis is hurting America, and that your personal signal work, Carnage and Culture, is a pile of poorly constructed, deliberately misleading, intellectually dishonest feces. I believe it is my personal obligation to try and correct the record and demonstrate for as many people as possible, why they should not believe you when you try to cite history in support of any of your personal shiny little pet rocks.
He will be writing a multi-part critique of Hanson's work, and a heated debate has already started with Hanson's reply.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.